A couple of years ago I was struggling with identity and allowing myself to live out of an authentic space. I wrote a post called Who AM i? in which I said: In my journey with God I am constantly reminded that I am not fully equipped for this job, or this life. But who is? The humor in God’s power is a stuttering Moses being the voice of God, a barren old woman becoming the mother of a nation, a shepherd boy becoming king, and a homeless baby leading them all home. So why then do I worry about God using one woman’s voice to make a difference? I’m not that much different from all the other misfits he’s used in the past.
I recently challenged a few friends to give me 4 words that they would use to describe themselves or hope that others would say about them. Each one of these people had a difficult time coming up with 4 words, most of them stopped at only 2. This really shocked me! Although I’ve had months to think about it, I have come up with 4 words that I want to live out and hope that others can use to describe me.
authenticity: (defined as conforming to fact and therefore worthy of trust, reliance, or belief ) I seek to live a transparent life. This blog is part of that journey for me. I want to continue to embrace who I am, who I am not and continually work on growing in Christ. I don’t see the need to strengthen my weakness, but rather work on seeing my strengths be put to good use. It requires an action. Authenticity, for me, is not just doing what you promise, not “being who you are”. That’s because ‘being’ is too amorphous and we are notoriously bad at judging that. Internal vision is always blurry. Doing, on the other hand, is an act that can be seen by all.
simplicity: (defined as the state of being simple, uncomplicated) The Chinese pictograph for ‘busy’ is composed of two characters: heart and killing. Simplicity means identifying the difference between our needs and our wants. Needs are those things that are necessary for our survival – food, clothing, and shelter. Wants are all the other things we desire and to a large extent are driven by media advertising. Simplicity as a life-style is the identifiable difference between our needs and wants. I want to get back to the basics. I want to live out of the center (core) of who I am: a child of God.
creativity: (defined as the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, methods, interpretations.) I want to embrace the artist within me and add to the beauty in this world. Being creative takes energy, self-discipline, openness and imagination. Taking a risk everyday in order to be more creative- that’s what I want.
generosity: (defined as a willingness and liberality in giving away one’s money, time, etc. Freedom from pettiness in character and mind.) Generosity is much more than just material things (giving of time and finances). It’s an important part, one that I will definitely focus on in the coming months. I intend to start tithing in a new way and volunteering my time more often. But the kind of generosity I’ve been pondering lately has more to do with one’s attitude and approach to people. I want to have more of a generosity of spirit that entails an attitude rather than specific behaviors. I’m trying harder to see others as I think the Lord sees them–their potential and goodness in addition to their faults and flaws. Which is not to say that I won’t notice those faults. But if I’m being generous, I’ll hopefully see much, much more. I want to live an “other-centered life”. One where I’m not the focus all the time. The first three words (authenticity, simplicity & creativity) should naturally lead to an abundance and when it overflows it demands to be shared.