We need to fully understand and own the freedom that is available to us.
One weeknight, not too long ago, my family and I decided we were long overdue for a family dance party and quickly remedied that. Somewhere between ‘YMCA’ and ‘Getting jiggy with it’ my daughter and I realized that we were the only two left in the family room dancing our hearts out.
I’m pretty sure my husband and son just gave up because our sweet moves were simply too impressive for them to handle. Or they were ashamed of us. Either way, my girl and I continued to shimmy and shake around the room.
I was so proud of the fact that she had mastered ‘the sprinkler’ and she was thrilled when I tried to teach her the running man. Tried being the operative word there.
As I boogied around the room, my daughter said to me, “Hey mommy, let’s go dance in front of the mirror so we can see how we look.”
I laughingly replied, “I’m not sure I want to see what I look like when I’m dancing!”
My girl stopped mid-groove and looked at me with the most perplexed expression. “You don’t want to see how you look? I ALWAYS watch myself in the mirror while I’m dancing!” She was absolutely baffled.
Later that night as I relayed her comment to my husband (and he bemoaned the fact that he had missed seeing my awesome dance skills reflected in the mirror) I couldn’t help but think about the absolute honesty with which my daughter told me that she always watches herself dance. She was just so matter-of-fact about it. She had no sense of embarrassment at all. She was completely self-confident.
I, on the other hand, would never freely dance in front of a mirror unless it was in my family room and my daughter was begging me to join her. And, even then, it’s only going to happen for about a minute.
Sure, I’m happy to dance around the room, but watch myself doing it in the mirror? No…nope…uh uh. I’m too self-conscious, too aware, too jiggly in places where I don’t want to be jiggly. And you better believe that even if I did feel comfortable dancing in front of a mirror I wouldn’t admit it quite so confidently.
I started to wonder if I’ve ever felt that kind of freedom that my daughter feels. And, if I did, when did it stop?
Finding Freedom to Be Who God Created You To Be
Finding freedom in who we are as women is a lifelong journey isn’t it? And I believe that finding freedom is very much intertwined with being confident in who we are.
As a “good” Christian girl, I’ve spent most of my life trying really hard to not be too confident in who I am.
Because, in my mind, confidence was pretty much the same as pride. Somewhere along the way, I think that the line between confidence and pride became blurry for me. And in my efforts to never EVER want to give the impression of being too big for my britches or thinking too highly of myself, I decided that confidence was just too close to pride and therefore it must also be avoided.
Here’s the thing though, nowhere in Scripture have I ever found warnings against confidence. Oh sure, there are plenty about pride. But when it comes to confidence, I’ve discovered that the Bible makes clear distinctions between it and pride.
“The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.” (Isaiah 32:17)
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.” (Jeremiah 17:7)
As I’ve read through the many verses about confidence, a beautiful picture has emerged that looks a little something like this.
When we place confidence in ourselves we will always come up short. We will be plagued with insecurity and doubt and fear or we will begin to think too highly of our own abilities and become filled with pride. But when we place our confidence in the Lord and how He created us, we are able to use the gifts He’s given us with grace and humility which ultimately leads to His glory, not ours.
Pride and humility are mutually exclusive. They simply can’t share the same space in your heart.
But, I believe that confidence and humility can righteously co-exist. God wants us to have confidence in the gifts and abilities He’s given us! He wants us to use them! Because the more confidence we have in using our gifts the brighter we shine for Him.
You see friends, I think that there is a sweet spot when it comes to confidence. Go too far one way and you find that you are full of yourself and certain that everything you have in life is the result of your awesomeness. Go too far the other way and you find that you are full of so much self-doubt and insecurity that you become paralyzed.
But, when you are in that sweet spot? Well, that’s where the magic happens. That is where you find freedom.
Freedom to use, really use those gifts and talents.
Freedom to be exactly who God created you to be.
Freedom to confidently represent the love of Jesus to those around you.
And, if you want to, freedom to dance in front of the mirror.
Vanessa Hunt is the co-author of the book Life in Season: Celebrate the Moments That Fill Your Heart and Home. She founded the website At the Picket Fence where ideas for your home meet encouraging inspiration for your heart. Vanessa writes and creates from her home in Oregon which she shares with her husband and two children and as a true Pacific Northwesterner she takes her coffee very seriously. She is a regular guest on local television as well as a speaker at women’s gatherings around the country. You can meet her At the Picket Fence.com every day as well as on Facebook and Instagram.
Life in Season
I first “met” Vanessa through her new book, Life in Season: Celebrate the Moments that Fill Your Heart & Home (co-authored by her sister, Heather Patterson). I’m not sure what I was expecting when I picked it up, but whatever it was, this GORGEOUS book exceeded my expectations. I read every word. And wanted to try every craft and recipe—each one so simple and beautiful (that even I could manage).
So you know how you leave some books out on your coffee table because they “look lovely”? Well, this is far more than one of those. This is a book you’ll want to read again…and again. And give as a gift to family and friends.
Here, I’m going to show you some sample pages, so you can see what I mean….
Aren’t those refreshing and life-giving words to consider? The entire book is like that!
I’ve never heard of “Bird’s Nest Cupcakes” before (in a mason jar, no less!) but these looked so sweet to me. My family will LOVE them!
Or this cheery May Basket? So pretty!!
Okay, as you can tell, I’m truly delighted with this book! And I just wanted to share it with you in case you were looking for something new and fresh to read. Books are my “love language” and so I hope you enjoy, my friends!