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Do you ever struggle with comparisons? Do you allow your weaknesses to overshadow your strengths? Unfortunately, many times we get so focused on our weaknesses we don’t realize the strengths inside. But, you and I were each created as unique individuals. Yes, I think we definitely have areas we can work on improving, but we all have innate strengths just waiting to be tapped.
I’m going to be honest…I don’t like to cook. But, since my family needs food, I cook. Personally, I’m a fairly picky eater which means I find nutritional value in things like a bowl of cereal or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. However, my husband and my boys desire things like meat and potatoes. So, I make them entrees that have more than two ingredients in them, all the while thinking, “Why do they want dinner EVERY NIGHT?” You’re probably laughing right now, but the struggle is REAL. I have to force myself to come up with an idea for dinner and then execute it; all the while feeling like it’s a colossal waste of time.
My mom loves to cook and for a long time I struggled with feelings of inadequacy as a wife and mother because I didn’t have this innate desire to cook. But you know what? I realized that while cooking isn’t my greatest gift, I can do it well enough to meet the needs of my family. More importantly than that, I discovered that while focusing on my cooking weakness, I was ignoring my strengths. Trust me, I have more than one weakness, but I also have strengths.
Honestly, even as I write these words, I struggle with thoughts and feelings of inadequacy. I know that if I compare myself to others I can find plenty of shortcomings. However, if I compare me to me, I can focus on my strengths. Ironically, I have also found that by giving myself some credit on the things I do well, I am not stuck in a defeated mindset of self-doubt that keeps me from improving my areas of weakness. I have found that by learning new recipes and watching the Food Network, I can improve my cooking! While I still like making quick meals whenever possible so that I can get to organizing, crafting, and creating, I know that I have plenty of room for improvement, but I am enough.
And guess what?
YOU ARE ENOUGH
Maybe you don’t struggle with self-doubt. Maybe you are an excellent cook, a gifted homemaker, or a top-notch teacher. If so, let me be the first to congratulate you on your accomplishments. However, I would dare say inadequacy still lurks. If you are completely transparent and honest with yourself, you have probably lived with a defeated mindset for far too long.
Sometimes, I find myself looking at pictures on social media and think, “How do they get all 15 of their children dressed, schooled, and fed, refinish the floors, paint 8 bedrooms, coach 5 sports, and cook a 67 course meal? EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.” Some days, it’s all I can do to get a load of laundry washed and dried! The truth is nobody can do everything, every day. We simply need to do what we can in the time that we have.
The Choice is Yours
I have a children’s book that deeply resonates with me. Someone shared this story with me when I was going through a dark time in my life. You Are Special by Max Lucado follows the Wemmicks, little wooden people who go around all day giving each other stickers. The beautiful and talented Wemmicks receive golden star stickers while the ones with lack of talent or chipping paint are given ugly grey dot stickers. The main character, Punchinello, is covered in grey dots. He isn’t beautiful or talented. However, one day he meets a Wemmick who has no stickers and finds out why they don’t stick to her. He discovers that the stickers only stick if you allow them to; they only stick if you care what the other Wemmicks think. Punchinello learns that he has to believe in himself and one at a time his dots fall off.
Just like Punchinello, some of us are covered in grey dots. We are so guilty of letting people place gold stars and grey dots all over our lives, and sometimes, we put them on ourselves. Just remember, we are enough.
Today, be intentional in focusing on one positive thing or strength about yourself. Then tomorrow focus on that again. In a few days, see if you can think of something else you are good at, and one by one your grey dots will fall off. If you remember nothing else from this post, please know that you were fearfully and wonderfully made, and you are enough.