Owning Our Gifts

Hey. My name is Lindsey. That’s me crouched on the front left with the stripes surrounded by women I get to serve on the IF:Gathering leadership team.

Many of them you probably recognize — they lead your bible studies, they takeover your twitter feed for the Olympics, Miss America and the Oscars {and make you cry laughing}, they write the books that rest faithfully on your bedside tables, and they are the voices that inspire you to live more boldly, take better pictures, and find your callings. They are pretty much are rock stars. But more importantly, they are beautiful {inside and out} people, dear friends, and women actively chasing after Jesus and trying to be more like Him.

I’m kind of the odd woman out. The one without a husband or a boyfriend. The one without an agent. The one without a book deal. The one who doesn’t frequent conference stages. The one who so completely feels like a Ragamuffin.

These ladies they could care less about that stuff but if I’m honest from time to time it gets to me. Not in a “I wish I could be them” sort of way but in a “does what I have to offer matter” sort of way. And, if I’m honest, this fall I started to forget who I am and the importance of my voice and strengths. I started to believe that I wasn’t enough. I started to diminish myself.

On the Saturday of the IF:Gathering, we asked women to write on a stone to memorialize what God was calling them to and what they were going to do about.

hannahuff_stones_023

What I wrote on my stone was all about me remembering and owning that God is my Creator.

That I am His beloved.

That He knit me together with unique giftings.

That I am IN SIN when I disqualify myself because I don’t I cast vision like Jennie, preach like Bianca, sing like Lauren, mobilize like Jen, or pray like Ann.

That I need to own my gifts, use my voice, and stop comparing myself.

That my gifts might not attract the masses BUT they are still immensely valuable.

{and so are yours by the way}

Y’all, God didn’t make us all to be speakers, teachers, singers and writers. He made some of us to be team builders. He made some of us to be connectors. He made some of us to be strategic leaders. He made some of us to be award-winning home makers. He made some of us to be welcoming hosts. He made some of us to be prayer warriors. He made some of us to be freedom fighters. He made some of us to be compassionate caretakers. He made some of us to be wise counselors. And he made some of us to be loyal sidekicks.

We all need to own who God created us to be. And remember that we are His masterpiece. Designed purposefully to play a specific part in His good work.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

I’m curious if I’m the only one who struggles with this…

What gifts has God given you? 

Are you fully owning who He created  you to be or are you too busy looking to the right and the left and wishing He made you more like so-and-so? 

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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  • Lisa

    This has blessed my evening. Thank you, Lindsey.

  • Ashley Davidson

    Lindsey! Thank you for all you do! Thank you for sharing this too! I think one thing God has encouraged me to do is write. I literally wrote this right before I saw your post. I think it fits.

    Comparison is killing us.

    Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer and last I checked 75,000 people were diagnosed in 2014, becoming extremely common in women under the age of 30. I was diagnosed with two melanomas in November of 2010, stage 1.

    Most of us at least know that the UV rays from the sun are the major contributing factor to skin
    cancer. As I entered my freshman year of college in 2002 this was not my concern.
    I was much too busy looking at my new surroundings and the people that filled them. I was in a new state, new culture. Subconsciously I began to anxiously plan all that I needed to change to look and be what I was suppose to. Naturally I loved being in sun but I also have olive skin that tans very easily. It was a quick fix that would take me one step closer. Somewhere I knew tan was beautiful…..no one specifically told me that, but our culture screams it every day. Its one of the many identities we must wear along with be skinny, be fashionable, raise your kid this way, have your house look that way, drive this car, go to this church, only say those things, don’t be weak, and so on.

    So I lived by the pool in the warm months and was in tanning beds frequently throughout the winters. The strange thing is, even though I WAS tan and did get compliments on it. I still
    never believed I was beautiful or enough. I was never satisfied even when I fulfilled my culture induced goal. There was always something else I needed to be or to do better.

    I am four years cancer free! I still see my dermatologist more than I see some of my close friends and I am constantly reminded that the damage in my skin still rages against me every time I get a mole cut out. So where is God and the hope in all of this? What is the truth and can I stop this madness of looking around at other women? Heck, I think I was more often concerned with what women thought of me than men, still am.

    The truth is in where my identity lies. Who am I and what do I believe about this God who made me? Do I believe that He intricately created me perfect? That the God of the universe put thought and time into who I would be, to do certain things for His glory? That I am fully loved beyond human comprehension?

    For a while I believed that I got what I deserved and this was God punishing me for idolizing my
    appearance. That lie is so far from the truth that Jesus brought. Our God does not punish us, He sent His only Son to be that punishment. He died for that sin. He died for all the times I looked around at what was in front of me and compared myself to the rest of his image bearers
    instead of looking to Him. I didn’t realize every time I do that I am telling God that he jacked me up, didn’t give me He was suppose to, that He isn’t enough. How arrogant that looks as I type it out. Forgive me Jesus for listening more to what culture has decided is beautiful, brave, honorable, and right than what You said.

    King Solomon, who had anything and everything he could have wanted on earth said this:

    Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment[a]in all the
    toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God. 20 For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.
    Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

    Can we begin to see the lot that God has given us, and be so occupied with Jesus that we rejoice in the gifts that we have? That we don’t have time or even the desire to look around because God is so much better than anything this earth can offer. I want the joy in my heart that Solomon says is possible. Its not going to come in the moments when we are drawn to look at facebook, tv, instagram, people magazine, or movies more than book God wrote, can we begin to shift as women? Can we be in the world but not of it? To love the life God gave us and therefore we
    can be free to love each other no matter what they have or don’t have. Can I start encouraging instead of comparing? Through Christ, yes we can.

  • Mandy

    Lindsey– I FEEL YOU GIRL!!! In every word you wrote I feel that same inner tension. The wrestling with being the only one without a husband or boyfriend or children. The one often planning on the sidelines, unnoticed (and most often TRYING to stay that way!), and the one feeling like a cheerleader on the sidelines (thx Angie Smith). And then when I am in the actual game whether singing or speaking or having a difficult conversation with a high school girl, I often feel inadequate and wonder–am I enough? Am I the right person for this?

    Lately I have felt like the odd one out almost everywhere I am, like I just don’t fit. I know this is a lie from Satan but when you feel it you feel it hard, right? We are exactly who God made us to be and we are exactly where we are supposed to be right now. I just pray that in the tension we draw even closer to Him!

    • lindseyrnobles

      I’m sorry Mandy. It’s hard. Praying for you right now.

  • marijoy

    This is good stuff, Lindsey. I’ve really been wrestling with this and last night’s sermon from Jackie stirs it up more. I’m a teacher, but I find myself doubting how He could or why He would use me when there are all these awesome-sauce women teachers around. So, I’m gonna walk this out and see where He leads…

    • lindseyrnobles

      Yeah. Jackie’s talk and something she said afterwords stirred some stuff UP! 🙂

  • Another Odd Lady Out

    Oh man, I really needed this one today! I used to lead worship at my last church. We have moved and I attend a “mega” church now in a new city. I don’t lead, nor am I part of any worship ministry, and somehow feel like I’m not “doing” anything since I’m not leading. It’s dumb, I know, but if I’m not leading, I feel like I’m not doing enough for God. We used to lead a bible study and I don’t host that anymore. I stopped even going to the one bible study I was a part of because it seemed like everyone was adopting from Uganda or going to Israel or digging wells. I was like “man, I came to bible study…is that good enough for today?” I am in a totally weird “less than” phase and I need to just stop it! Self pity is from the Devil and makes me feel ungrateful for all the ways God IS working in my life right now. Thank you for the fresh perspective.

    • lindseyrnobles

      You are enough. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and searching for God. That’s all He wants.

  • Stephanie Leigh

    Oh how this touched my heart. I know this struggle all too well. I am trying to figure myself out and see myself through God-coloured lenses. It can be so hard when your heart is crying out for more but you don’t know what “more” is. I pray that each of us in the struggle can overcome the voice of the enemy telling us we are worthless and find the voice calling us to move mountains.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Yes!

  • goodness gracious. i heart this with all my heart! I am beyond grateful for the gifts that you have because you make it happen! You made IF happen, and IF has been a catalyst for me pursuing the gifts that He has given to me. Right now, I’m discovering a new gift- something I never considered a gift- writing. I’m not an author, I’m a newbie blogger, but He’s convicted me of it, and I’m going to be faithful to it.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Do it Grace! 🙂

  • Mary Reed Odell

    Lindsey, you are beautiful. I am more in the age group of Christine Caine, but can I just say that YOU ROCK. I did an IF:local on the couch with friends and “met” you through that. I love all the ladies you speak of, but you shine, too. Thank you for recognizing that God has wired within you and using it. You. Are. Beauty.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Thank you Mary Reed. What kind words. I will let them soak in.

  • Brittany Jones

    Wow, wow, wow. This is so on time for me. Some friends and I have had a group discussion today about this exact thing. Again, wow. We all blog and struggle with the fear – are we really reaching anyone? Is anyone out there? Thank you so much for writing this and sharing your heart! Such a refreshing post and encouraging to see someone else going through the same thing. We are not alone! Beautiful post! Thank you again!

    • lindseyrnobles

      Not alone AT ALL.

  • Becky H

    Yes!!! I truly feel I was made to lift people up, encourage, and support them. Unfortunately, I have compared myself to others so much and how I need to be something I am not, that I’m not really even a good or sincere encourager (is that even a word/gift??). I’m tired and cynical and a little bitter because I am kind of rejecting my gift. Thank you for pointing that out to me 🙂

    • lindseyrnobles

      Such important gifts Becky!

  • Allison Phillips

    As my friends and I were talking about this very thing last night, one of my friends so honestly shared that she has always felt like she has been given the “smaller” parts in His story and that she often feels like she’s running up to an imaginary “cast list” wondering if any of the lead actors were sick or unable to perform because, only then, would she be finally up for a “bigger role.” We all kind of giggled about it, at first, but it was SUCH a vivid picture of how MOST of us feel about our “calling.” So, we then were able to seriously talk about how there are no small parts in His story and that each of our gifts are so useful, and He can use them all for His glory if we will let Him. This came at a perfect time! Thank you for sharing your heart, Lindsey!

    • lindseyrnobles

      It’s hard. I think the world, maybe even the American Christian church, reinforces that idea. But it’s a lie…when we are doing our part every role is equally important.

      • Allison Phillips

        Yes. And your beautiful blog post was a great way to help us remember that. Thank you.

  • Michelle Fagan

    I LOVE this post. I recently wondered this same thing, so I did some research about the topic of gifts from the Holy Spirit. I took this survey to learn what my gifts were:
    http://www.spiritualgiftstest.com/test/adult
    The survey is by Jeff Carver. He even has a bible study that you can do with your small group about your gifts. 🙂

    Also I found a sermon by Joyce Meyers that talks about the fruits of the spirit.
    http://www.joycemeyer.org/articles/ea.aspx?article=fruit_of_the_spirit

    Both the survey and Joyce Meyers sermon helped me realize my gifts from Christ. I encourage everyone to take the survey and watch the sermon. They have showed me my gifts and now I try and strengthen my gifts and find people in my life that compliment my weaknesses. I now don’t compare myself to others, I know my gifts and try and use them to bless others.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Great tools. Thank you.

  • Chantel Adams

    Just by virtue of the fact that this is at least the third thing I’ve read TODAY on this topic validates the fact that I’m struggling with this, as well. Most of the time I feel so perfectly AVERAGE. And even as I was thinking that I didn’t necessarily want to be someone else, but more of myself, I thought, “Oh no, that just means I’m going to be even MORE AVERAGE.” (Sigh) It’s a daily struggle.

    • lindseyrnobles

      I get it Chantel. I went to Israel with a group this spring and when we went to the place where God called Gideon A MIGHTY WARRIOR, we asked God to give us names for us. Mine was SO UNDERWHELMING. I was like really God, I so wanted it to usher in an exciting season of a different life but it was FAITHFUL SERVANT. I was like…BLEH. But I’m learning to own it. 🙂

      • This is similar to what I heard from God at IF this year. Came all the way to Austin and was expecting to hear something big. Instead, I got a strange sense of steadiness (no emotional high like I usually would get) and the instruction that I am to be a “servant shepherd.” It feels right, though. And it’s consistent with what Jesus said about greatness, no?

  • Power of Modesty

    my gifts I’m not sure. I’ve been told at one of those “find your gifts” meeting, the leader wasn’t sure what gifts i have. could you imagine hearing that after he went around the room confirming everyone else finds? its been over ten years that i hold tight to these hard to hear words while also trying to release that embarrassing moment.

    • lindseyrnobles

      No way! I’m so sorry. Wish I knew you and could affirm you specifically right now.
      And there are find your gifts meetings?!? Who knew?

      • Power of Modesty

        you are truly precious. these meeting were big in the 90’s and early 2000.

  • Koppu

    10 years ago I was a missionary in Central Asia. I remember sitting in the window looking over the neighborhood praying a frequent prayer, that God would give me the gift of evangelism. This time, God spoke to me, that I should not worry about the gifts He chose not to give me, but to be responsible for the gifts He had given me. There have been many times I have reminded myself of that moment!

    • lindseyrnobles

      We all need to hear that word!

  • kmpinkel

    This topic needs to be exploding on news feeds. I cannot tell you how many woman I have had these conversations with in the last year. I am eternally grateful that in the last 4 years I have been able to shed the “ideas” of what I should be, and I have no idea where those “ideas” came from, and become who God intended me to be all along. When you recognize that every past mistake or experience you have had can be used for God’s glory, there is such a feeling of freedom. Like you are truly given wings. It has freed me up to grow so much more in relationship with God and with myself. True women’s liberation! I only wish I figured it out way sooner.

    • lindseyrnobles

      So good! Let’s spread the word 🙂

    • Has anybody seen A Snoodle’s Tale? I don’t love Veggie Tales, but this one had me in tears. The Creator helps the little Snoodle believe that his wings really do work, if he unloads his heavy backpack full of distorted self-portraits. He really can fly with his little wings!

  • Brandy Bowers

    Oh another fellow ragamuffin, odd man out there. I have no clue what my gifts are. And try diligently not to compare myself though it is tough at times. Just got to take moments and stop and pray to God not to do just that.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Yep. That’s all we can do!

  • Jann Cobb

    Oh sweet sister, thank you for sharing your heart. All of us have been in this very place, more than most of us want to admit. I praise God that we are all different! It is interesting that When I am weak or not gifted, then He (or His body) is strong!

    • lindseyrnobles

      Love that Jann!

  • That topic right there? That scripture you brought to life? That struggle you verbalized? Those truths you proclaimed?
    NAILED IT.
    THAT is a gift and you are doing it well! Thank you for sharing your heart on this today and ministering to not only my heart, but hundreds (thousands?) of other hearts too! Amen. Amen!

    • lindseyrnobles

      Thanks Bianca!

  • heather

    All. The. Time. You are in my brain right now. And my heart is encouraged.

    • lindseyrnobles

      🙂

  • Morgan

    Ironically, Lindsey, I have been reading YOUR blog and following YOU on Twitter significantly longer than any of these other IF ladies. You were one of my very first follows after I joined Twitter my freshman year of college (2009) – you had my DREAM JOB. At the time, I daydreamed about doing PR and communications for a publishing company, and Thomas Nelson was the top of my list. I followed industry influencers and you were one of those. And then I continued to follow your story and your journey – I remember reading about your move to California, then your move back to Nashville. All of this way before I had ever picked up a Jen Hatmaker book. In fact, even after IF came on the scenes, you Lindsey are who I still feel like I relate to and identify with more than any of the IF team.

    I never ended up in the publishing industry, by the way – I’ve been working in sports and major events over the past four years, primarily doing operations, public relations and digital media. I totally get and appreciate the hard, long hours you put in for all behind-the-scenes work you do that seems to be often overlooked.

    YOUR GIFTS MATTER – YOUR WORK IS KINGDOM WORK TOO – AND YOU ARE APPRECIATED!

    • lindseyrnobles

      Thank you Morgan! Appreciate you following along on my crazy journey. And the kind words!

  • KateEschbach

    This is beautiful! Love it.

  • Kendra Irwin

    GIRRRL, a thousand times yes! I think most of the If:Gathering audience would agree with me on how much we admire these women (yourself included). We admire their boldness. We admire their relationship with Christ. We admire the humility. We admire their compassion. So much so that we begin to want to emulate THEIR gifts and qualities.

    The line of thinking goes like this, “She is so firmly rooted in Christ. She writes books/has a blog. Does that I mean I also need to write a book/have a blog?” You can add the singing, preaching, and prayer in that formula too.

    We forget that we can stop at the thought, “She is so firmly rooted in Christ. I see Christ in her. I want more of Christ in me!”

    First comes God, then comes our gifting. We cannot get our gifting without getting our God!

    I want to emulate the qualities of my Jesus!

    Thank you for having a transparent heart! I admire Jesus in you!

    • lindseyrnobles

      Kendra…this makes so much sense. We all do this.

  • Sarah

    “And he made some of us to be loyal sidekicks.” I am a “loyal sidekick” aka personal assistant for a singer (vagueness due to the public format of this comment). While I love and own my role in God’s master plan, it took me a while to get to that point. I see many people, surrounding my boss, who strive to be more or different from the gifts they were given. And it seems to wreck them. Well said. Thank you for writing this!

    • lindseyrnobles

      Yes. I’m sure it does. We all need to just do us!

  • jswwrites

    I’m sitting here in Uganda, missing family and journaling similar things – reading this made me cry. I guess I have the “go and have relationships in Uganda” calling but when things are hard (jet lag, leaving my husband for the 10th time in 5 years, always difficult fund raising, crazy African government, etc) and when it seems like nobody gets it (except God and my immediate family!), it’s easy to start to question. Looking at the “rock stars”, it seems like things are so easy for them, but then I remember (or try to) that we all have our own journey and obedience is the thing God is after.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Yes. It’s hard.
      But I can assure you will all have our struggles and our victories. Some just seem more apparent than others. 🙂

  • Amy

    I find myself also looking to the right and to the left instead of staying focused on the life God has called me to. It’s hard to be the one without a husband or a boyfriend, or the one without children. I fall into the comparison trap all too often. It’s so easy to not see our own gifts and strengths. And so easy to forget where our value is found. Thank you for being so vulnerable and honest. Such a blessing!

  • Eniola Abioye

    Lindsey, this is beautiful. Vulnerable and refreshing. Thank you for sharing. I completely relate to this. Learning that I’m a daughter and I’m beloved. AND that I can own the gifts He has placed in me. Good word. Thank you.

    • lindseyrnobles

      the beloved one can be SO HARD…
      I’m trying…

      • Eniola Abioye

        You’re amazing. Your vulnerability opens hearts up be free and receive the strength of God.

  • Melissa d

    I often feel like this as well, I have often asked the question what makes me special, I can’t sing amazing, I’m also not married, single with no kids, 34, our preacher often says that God is looking for faithful people more than talented, God will equip you if you’re willing for the calling. I may not see myself with all these amazing talents or qualities, but I can with God’s help be faithful and willing to do the things that he wants me to do.

  • Kristina

    Last night I was sharing with my husband that I feel like Im not called, like I’m not annointed or appointed like many others. Its hard to fight the thoughts that I’m just here to be a mom, to be a wife, things that are great callings but not all that I had in mind. Reading this post reminds me that its not just me and others struggle with recognizing God’s call on their life.

    • lindseyrnobles

      It’s not just you.

  • I share in your struggle even though I am married and have children. I keep thinking about writing a book about ‘how to be ordinary in God’s kingdom’ (but figure it’s already been written by a better writer I just haven’t read it yet. LOL) And if I’m honest, I’m never quite sure HOW to be ordinary in our (Christian) world that extols the extraordinary.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Haha. If you figure it out, I’d read it. 🙂

  • Lisa

    Lindsey, I posted your article on facebook yesterday. The response from people in my life has been overwhelming in their response. Public messages commenting. A bizzillion private ones.
    THIS post was vulnerable, honest and so, so, so right on the money. Your words were what SO SO SO many people in my life, in friends lives, in MY life needed. THANK YOU for putting into words the expression of your heart. And a cool thing, a bunch of my friends said YOU were put on their heart. They are praying for you! God is just so amazing like that. Blessings.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Thank you Lisa.

  • Shannon

    This is difficult for me to accept, because I’m getting messages all the time from books articles and people around me that if we aren’t actively going out and winning people for Christ then we are sinning and are not being good Christians. I’m a huge introvert, and like to participate behind the scenes and communicate with the people I know rather then going out and talking with random people. What do you think about this?

    • Shannon, I think this is an incredibly interesting and important thought. I’d love to hear the thoughts of you and others on this topic. You are welcome to email me, or I bet people would respond on the IF:Local facebook page.

    • lindseyrnobles

      I think there are a lot of ways to lead people to Christ and a lot of them don’t involve words. Ask Him what you are supposed to be doing — prayer, inviting people into your home, etc. I don’t think we are called to the same thing. And what might be sin for one is obedience for another.

  • I saw this post circulating around social media yesterday, and just now had a chance to take a peek. You know what surprises me about it? How I would never, ever have guessed you’d felt that way. I see only your giftedness, and your God-fidence, your shine.

    I confess, I do what you did last fall when you fell prey to the ‘not enoughs’. Far too often, I diminish myself. I also far too easily see where I haven’t been invited or included, or where I am flat out ignored. I have felt on the “outside,” despite having written a book with 55,000 words telling women NOT TO DO THAT. I am in need of daily grace and renewal. So I daily write on figurative stones — asking God to tell me once again who I really am. I so easily forget. I’ve got to keep these eyes fixed on my Christ identity, rather than reaching for some ever-moving invisible standard. Thank you for sharing your heart, Lindsey. You’re a treasure, and your gifts are multiplied in myriad ways. I’m grateful that you shared what you shared, making a safe place for others to do the same.

    • lindseyrnobles

      It’s funny how we all think one another have it figured out but it’s obvious we are all still working through it… 🙂

  • Thank you for the reminder that we all have different gifts and talents and voices. 🙂

  • Thank you for sharing your heart on this. I think we all deal with the comparison game from time to time. Your words spoke straight to my heart! Thank you.

  • Oh, Lindsey. I love and hate this post! I mean, I don’t really hate it, but you wrote it at such a vulnerable time in my life that it stirs up those same questions in me. I love your honesty and totally relate to what you’ve said here.

    For years (let’s be real, since high school), I have sensed that God will use me in a certain way to influence people for Him. I’m staring my 20 year high school reunion in the face and that simply hasn’t come to fruition. In fact, the path He has taken me on is so wandering that just this week, I’ve been asking Him and people I love, “What am I supposed to be when I ‘grow up’?”

    I’ve been doubting my calling and wondering where my gifts fit in. It can be confusing when you can do a lot of things well, but can’t identify that thing you do GREAT. Yet, I know that God has me where He has me for a purpose. It’s a training ground. And He’s been extraordinarily clear since IF:Austin that I need to be faithful right where I am.

    You asked about our gifts. I took a spiritual gifts inventory recently. Here’s what it said about the highest ranked ones:
    Administration: 10
    Wisdom: 9
    Hospitality: 9
    Encouragement: 9
    Shepherding: 8
    Mercy: 8
    Leadership: 8

  • Konnie Drews

    Lindsey…thank you for your transparent honesty! You are not alone….I am currently struggling to figure out where I belong and what I have to offer. I needed to read your words today. Thank you for your obedience…you are beautiful!

    • lindseyrnobles

      Thanks Konnie. So are you!

  • Maggie

    I am the “jack of all trades and master of none,” type so I have always struggled finding what my gifts are. Any good ideas on how to peg down your gift(s)?

    • Maggie, Jennie Allen’s Restless study was so helpful for the women in my small group.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Yes. I’d say Restless.
      And then – I love things that help me understand my wiring better like — Strengthfinders. Enneagram. Meyers Brigg.

      • Maggie

        Thanks for the advice! I’be actually read Restless (because that’s how I feel and it was amazing) and done Meyers Briggs, Strengths Finder, and DISC. I also just finished a great book by Rebekah Lyons called “Freefall to Fly.” So I have a lot of pieces and feel lost but, hopeful.

  • JennaDeWitt

    Lindsey, this is so encouraging. My calling is to be an editor. Not exactly a fame-bringing career. Sure, maybe some day I might write the book people keep saying I need to write (“About what?” I ask them. haha) but for right now? I’m ok with being the one who asks the interview questions and puts other people’s names in the spotlight.

    p.s. Beloved is my One Word for the second year in a row. So, yeah. I get it. 🙂

    • lindseyrnobles

      It’s a hard word to grasp.

  • Randi S

    I do struggle with this. I don’t contribute to my household’s income (I do very, very, very, very part-time but come July I’m going to add one more mouth to feed & stop this very, very, very, very part-time job). I don’t have a Home & Gardens house…or garden (my garden is laughable). I struggle with what to do with my spiritual gift (or if this is even my gift…hospitality). Am I good enough? Am I enough? Why can’t I be [whatever] like [whoever]?

    • lindseyrnobles

      You are enough!

      • Randi S

        thank you! Whether this is pregnancy hormones or not, you just made me cry in a wonderful, wonderful way. 🙂

  • estherhavens

    seriously i have no words. Lindsey, please WRITE MORE!!

    • lindseyrnobles

      Only if you do… 🙂

  • Karrilee Aggett

    Oh I love this… And I loved what Angie shared at If about being a Cheerleader… And I love all the Incouragers out there who love to encourage and uplift… And I believe that I am called to Speak Life, ti Be Love, to Shine On… to call out the gold in others (…I believe we are all called to that!)… And this reminded me of Nasreen Fynewever and so many others who are leading the way in this rising (needed) ministry of people, women and men, who are being called to help others reach their goals and live their dreams and oh my goodness, just Yes and Amen!

    • lindseyrnobles

      Angie was so good wasn’t she….

  • Daniel Tomlinson

    That was beautiful and raw. Thank you Lindsey. And I’d say from the 180 so comments excluding your replies that you have quite the influence. I need to sit at your feet to learn how to get more interaction on my blog. Grace and peace fellow Nashvillian.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Thanks Daniel.

  • This is wonderful….it’s so easy to get caught up in the comparison game. Part of my problem is that I’m still figuring myself out and the specific ways God has gifted me – I’m not sure if chips and salsa buddy would count? 🙂

    • lindseyrnobles

      Totally counts!

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  • Thank you Lindsey. You are very much not alone. It is part of the human (especially female?) experience. There’s so much to be said about this. But what comes to my mind most is the simple fact that whatever we are gifted at probably feels so NORMAL to us, because we’ve probably always had it. We might not even know we’re good at something, or that that something is meaningful and useful, until someone else says, “Hey, you know that thing you do? You do that really well. Not everybody can do that.” But we might not get close enough to people for that if we’re comparing ourselves from afar. Yet there must be some measure of comparison involved if we are to realize what we have is a gift? So the question is, how can we engage with each other about these things in a way that is life-giving for both parties? Generally we try to be encouraging to the other but do it at our own expense. “Oh, you are such an amazing cook. I am so terrible in the kitchen. My poor family would be so much better off if they had you and your amazing homemade organic healthy-but-delicious kale and kumquat cupcakes instead of me and my hopeless burnt hamburger helper.” It would be one thing to admit our areas of non-ability if we were genuinely ok with it and felt lighthearted about it. But we don’t usually, do we? We buy into the lie that it says something about our worth. Usually that it says kind of a lot about our worth. Add up a lifetime of these falsely humble yet deeply self-deprecating interactions and there is a perfect recipe for insecurity. So what to do? Well, I guess first we need to STOP BELIEVING OUR WORTH IS MEASURED IN ANYTHING BESIDES BEING LOVINGLY, INTENTIONALLY, SPECIFICALLY CREATED BY THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE, SO PRECIOUS TO HIM THAT HE WOULD GIVE HIS LIFE FOR US. Then I guess we must accept the fact that it’s Just. Not. Possible. to be good at everything. (And I hate that period thing. But I had to do it. First time ever.) Even if we were good at everything, we wouldn’t have time for all of it and would have to just pick something anyway. God saved us the trouble. And speaking of God, we don’t need to be Him. Let’s let him be the one who is capable of doing everything. I don’t want that job anyway. I’d rather have my 8 hours (or 6, since im staying up late surfing blogs). Then, I guess we need to keep telling others what they’re good at, but doing it with JOY, not jealousy. But in order to do that, maybe we need to get better at saying what WE’RE good at, better at believing it, owning it, running with it. (Yes, you DO have gifts and talents! You ARE good at something, something that MATTERS! Do you honestly believe God has made anyone who isn’t?) Then the sting will disappear from seeing other people’s gifts, because we’ll just be running side by side, inspiring each other, filling in gaps for each other like The Body was designed to, and probably having a wonderful time. “I have come that you might have LIFE, and have it to the FULL.” John 10:10

  • By the way, I don’t know you or what all your gifts are, but your smile sure is an infectious ray of sunshine! Like seriously. That’s not just a consolation prize kind of a gift. I’ve often thought that if only I could radiate that kind of joy, the people in my life that I so long for to come to know Jesus would be able to really see him in me, see that he really has changed my life and given me joy. I hope they see your smiling face someday. 🙂

    And P.S. You kinda look like the star of that picture. And like your friends sure love you a whole lot.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Awww. Thanks Jennifer.

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  • Appearances are a tricky thing, aren’t they? How from the outside we can appear to “fit in” in all the ways other women think matter, when on the inside we have this mean girl voice in our own heads telling us all the ways we are out. Thanks for making us all really listen to that inside voice and calling her OUT on her lies and reminding all of us that Christ really is about the insides and never the appearance of the thing. Love you for this post and for all the amazing community building you do. You shine friend and I happily follow in your footsteps as you do the hard work of building community any day of the week.

    much love
    LJ

    • lindseyrnobles

      Love you LJ.