Writing for (in)courage is some of the most difficult writing I do. Y’all, it’s hard. The posts I write in this space take me a really long time. I weigh, I consider, I re-consider, I procrastinate. For a few months, I’ve been trying to figure out why.

It’s kind of like when someone comes to my house and likes the way I decorate and then says, Hey, can you come over to my house and help me with my living room?

And I’m all, Sure, I can go to your house, but all I can do is this, what you see right here.

And they’re all, Great! That’s what I want!

But then I get to their house and it smells different and they have really cute pillows and fantastic taste and candles burning on the coffee table. And I really like and respect this girl and I want her to like me. She says she wants my help, but I look around and think, Why? This place looks great! There is nothing I can possible add to it.

Sometimes writing for (in)courage feels like that, like standing in the living room of a really great friend who wants advice on paint colors. But her walls are already painted awesome. So I stand there, empty handed and awkward with no advice to offer.

I’m not saying these things so you’ll be all, You have so much to offer! Really, that’s not my point. It’s just that after two years, I thought it was time to be honest about the struggle. I write at my own space with freedom and sometimes even risk. But then I pop over here and all of a sudden, I’m so self-aware. Like there’s broccoli in my teeth.

I don’t smile if I think there’s broccoli in my teeth. Broccoli-teeth lead to self-conscious people. Maybe that’s why it’s hard to write at (in)courage. Because it’s one thing to be honest and dysfunctional at your own place. But it’s another thing to go out, to be trusted with another audience, and still be free enough and vulnerable enough and brave enough to open up in the midst of them.

Maybe you’re not a writer, but there is something else you do that you love. Maybe you are being asked to take that thing you do and share it outside your zone of comfort. I think the Lord is delighted when we delight ourselves in Him. And part of that is doing what is delightful to us.

Freely. Openly. And maybe even in public.

I’m not saying we are to the bone delightful people. On our own and by ourselves, we’re quite dreadful, actually.

But we aren’t on our own. And we aren’t by ourselves. In Christ, we now have hope, life, freedom, fullness.

Are you being asked to share that thing you do in a way that is uncomfortable to you? What does that look like for your personally? There is no wrong. Let’s hear it.

by emily freeman, Chatting at the Sky

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  1. 1

    What wonderful encouragement! And you are right-how can it go wrong if we are writing about Him and what He is doing in our life? Maybe those insecure times are the perfect time to write, because “when I am weak, then He is strong!” Thank you, Emily, for these words to ponder.

  2. 2

    You are so right! It just feels like the bar rises exponentially higher. You certainly don’t want to disappoint, and you wonder if your meager offering of loaves and fish could possibly be worthy of their trust in your abilities.

    I find that when I start to feel unworthy, I recall the verse Nichole quoted above: When I am weak, then He is strong. I then have to remember to let go and let him write through me. As Janice Elsheimer writes in The Creative Call, “Our gifts are not from God to us, but from God through us to the world.”

    That’s all. It really is that simple. What is it that he wants me to share? Who is hurting and how can I help with the physical, relational, scriptural, tools I have?

  3. 3

    Emily, what a wonderful post! Recently, I’ve been having a lot of feelings of uneasiness about my career and have been feeling like the Spirit is leading my a different way. It’s hard for me to share that with others as I’m afraid I’ll let down their expectations of me. I have a wonderful job and even casually mentioning leaving it is shocking to most people. I’m just going to continue praying for strength and clarity. I know the He will open up the path for me…I just need to have the faith to see it!

  4. 4

    love this!

    i am new to this community and am so encouraged to see other women be honest about life! recently being challenged to share my art (which is my way back to God) has made me uncomfortable. your words today let me know i’m “normal.”

    thank you emily!

    j+

  5. 7

    Oh wow.

    Yes! I love to write, I like to write poems and I like to paint, and draw… but I can definitely relate to what you have posted here. Most of the time I am pretty pleased with the things I come up with… but the minute someone asks me to write a poem, paint a picture, draw, or sew something up for them… I get very nervous. I guess my problem is the fear of not measuring up to their expectations. I feel that they have this false assumption that all I do is perfect and pretty and I really do criticize every single little thing I do for others. Thank you for your honesty… at least I know I’m not alone in this! :)

  6. 8

    I get this. There are a couple places I write where I feel I’m stretching myself. I tend to just ignore writing for them for as long as possible until I’m backed into a corner and scream “OKAY OKAY I’LL DO IT!” And then it’s not so bad.

  7. 9

    I appreciate your honesty, and can completely relate!
    You are doing great! If it was easier it wouldn’t be as fruitful as it is!! Don’t let the struggle dissuade you…look at it like the pain of childbirth; natural and God ordained.
    Keep up the good work!

  8. 10
    r.elliott says:

    Funny thing…I am in the blog world and I am not a writer… ask anyone who has ever graded my papers…I really don’t have a secret dream to be published one day…I don’t feel that I come alive when I write…and if creativity in inside…God has not opened that hidden place…but here I am…He keeps me here. I struggle…what’s the point…but He keeps me here. Every now and then I start to retreat…and then this non-writer blogger is asked at times to guest post on someone’s blog…in my mind I say”are they kidding?”…so once again …I have to get outside my comfort zone and trust…”they weren’t kidding”. Just this morning I got an e-mail for a dear blogger asking me if I would write a post.
    Thanks for your honesty…it is good to know that gifted, word craftsman as yourself struggles too…blessings to you…smile big…I don’t see any broccoli:)

    • 11

      thanks, you! I love how you call yourself a non-writer blogger. That is how my sister (The Nester) describes herself, too. And she writes ALL the time.

      So glad you see no broccoli today!

  9. 12

    Thank you once again for being so honest. That’s what truly draws me to reading all of the wonderful things you write. Following years of living with “broccoli in my teeth”, I’m coming off a year of healing from alcoholism. Maybe it’s time to start sharing my story with others that may be hiding the same thing I kept hidden for so long. Thanks for the encouragement this morning!

    • 13

      karen, I hope you do share. My dad is an alcoholic (sober for 25 ish years now) but when he shares his story it is so very powerful. What a rescue. What a healing. I hope you decide to share in a way that feels right to you.

      • 14

        Thanks for your kind words of encouragement – I read your dad’s book ‘Scary Hope’ earlier this year and really appreciated his honest story – powerful indeed!

  10. 15

    So true…the broccoli in the teeth comment reminds me of a time when I spoke following a luncheon…without looking in a mirror…smiled for a photograph with the Commissioner of Education knowing the photo was going live on the website…only to go to the restroom later and find a huge green chive stuck to one of my front teeth :)

  11. 16

    This honest post touches my heart. As a writer, I am often stopped by thoughts of inadequacy. So much so that I stopped pursuing publication four years ago. However I’m just returning from my first writer’s conference in those four years. I’m re-energized and inspired to write my heart.

    This post serves as a healthy reminder for me to keep going in spite of all that hinders.

    OUR words matter.

    Thank you for sharing yours, Emily.

    ((cyber hug))

    • 17

      You’re welcome, Tiffany. I think as writers it can be discouraging to look around and think “Seriously? The world does not need another voice.”

      But we just can’t go there. Every generation needs their voices – and every person has a unique one. I’m so glad to hear that you are slowly re-entering and finding your courage again.

  12. 18

    Emily, your honesty and vulnerability is exactly what makes your messages a delight to read. They’re refreshing. I’m both an (in)Courage fan and a Chatting at the Sky fan (and a Chasing Blue Skies fan – hi, Kristen, great photo!) and I love to meet you gals wherever you’re posting. Thanks for writing the kind of stuff that gives us other writers something to admire and aspire to.

  13. 19

    Oh boy do I agree. I crochet, and I find among friends it’s a bit of a lost art. So when someone has a baby and they want a crocheted blanket, a layetsett, or just really cute booties I am so thrilled that they asked me.

    But then whatever I make has to be perfect, because this is for someone else’s baby. Oh and when they are paying me to make it…it’s got to be beyong perfect, this isn’t just some craft I whipped up for you and your loved one, now it’s a product. It’s special because you chose it, not because it’s handmade and there’s so much time in this (inperfect) work.

    You re-write, I rip out rows or start over. It’s nice to be amoung friends that feel the same way!

    • 20

      Oh I’ve heard other handmade artists say the same thing! It seems easier when someone picks something you’ve already done, but to have to actually create something just for them (and have them pay!) feels more pressure-y. I so get that.

  14. 21

    guest posting gives me the heebie jeebies. Then I worry that I’ve tried so hard I’ve turned it into something that’s not me, which was why they asked me to guest post anyway. Tough stuff. It does make me pray more. Then at some point I give up completely on any natural talent and throw it in the miracle bin. If it’s good I can blame God, and if it’s bad….I can…um…blame God?
    I like throwing the responsibility on Him.

  15. 22

    Yup, pretty much everything you said including the broccoli. *Especially* the broccoli.
    Amen.

    Oh, how I love you!

  16. 24

    We all get broccoli in our teeth from time to time unless we don’t eat broccoli or take those chances to share what’s in our heart. This is stretching and growing and sharing God’s love. You do amazing. I love what you write, broccoli and all.

  17. 25

    Wow. Can we be friends? I feel like everything you write is meant just for me and my personal situations. Thank you for that.

  18. 27

    Hi Emily,
    Yes, I have been stalling big time with opening my online store, making my art available to the public. I have been stalling with getting my name out there for my blog design business. It was fine when it was me giving my art away as a gift, but I sense God asking me to go further. I have waited over 2 years to get business cards printed. I guess the lies that I hear are “who in the world are you to think that people actually want your art?” and I guess there is a fear that everything will change once my art is out there in the world (not that I’ll be the next Picasso or anything). What’s weird, though, is that deep in my heart I have been craving change for a long time. I guess I just need to get my heart in sync with my head. My mission this week – get those cards printed. Thanks for this…you had me in tears.

    • 28

      Print those cards! And shut those voices up. You are afraid to succeed and that’s totally legit. But as you step into the next thing? You will be in good company – there are lots of us dancing on the edge of the now and the not-quite-yet, of the fear and the love and the lets-be-brave-anyway.

      There is no place I’d rather be.

      Join us, Christina!

  19. 29

    Yes! I’ve been waiting for that feeling to go away. To finally feel like what I have to say is worth saying and that I can say it well enough that it will matter. But, thanks to vulnerability like this, I know better. I’m learning to become more comfortable with the fear.

    “Do it afraid.” I tell myself that ALL the time.

    Thanks Emily.

    • 30

      Eyvonne? Someone needs to hear what you have to say – it may not be the first time it’s been said, but you saying it may be the first time we hear it.

      Your voice is valuable.

  20. 31
    Anne Landhuis says:

    Emily, your posts are always so encouraging. Lately, and especially this week, I have felt strong nudgings to blog. Oh, I have started three of them, but FEAR keeps me from continuing any of them. As I read this post and the comments above mine, I got tears in my eyes just seeing that the self doubt doesn’t affect just me. Because of your courage to write (with broccoli in your teeth–wait, did I spell broccoli right?), I am encouraged to write. Funny think is, I was just accepted at a grad school, where the admissions gal told me, “You are a beautiful writer!”. Even hearing that wonderful affirmation, I doubt it. I am beginning to finally see, that I MUST push past the fear, and share my God-given voice. THANK YOU for your honesty that helps each one of us have just a little bit more courage to share our gifts with the world. Blessings.

  21. 32
    Beth Williams says:

    Emily,

    I get your post. I do sign language to music. I used t do it quietly in the pew only for God to see. The choir director saw me and asked me to do it in front of the church–me in front of a crowd? I’ve done it for a few years now & everyone enjoys it.
    Just last Sunday (5/20/12) I was given a CD with 2 songs on it–I’ve never heard them before & they want me to walk out & do signs to the songs (3 things at once–memorize songs & signs while walking)–all this on father’s day. Way out of my comfort zone!

    God is stretching me & everyone here at In(Courage)!

    • 33

      Beth, I get what you’re saying more than you know – I used to work as a sign language interpreter. I know that feeling of having all eyes on you while you attempt to interpret one language into another – nerve wracking! May you be comforted and encouraged as you learn those brand new songs!

  22. 34

    There is definitely something about writing that can make me feel so vulnerable, I call it the “Wonderful/Horrible” feeling when I hit “send: to submit something. I feel wonderful – because what I wrote meant something to me and I believe God has a purpose, and then I feel horrible – because, well, we all know the writing road is filled with more rejections than yeses. The most important yes is doing what God calls us to do and trust Him with the results.

  23. 35

    i find it amazing when God comes through…telling me something by sending me messages. either across the internet or the radio, or through a written word. i experienced being completely out of my comfort zone for my passion last week. i am a mixed media artist and was asked by a local tv show to be interviewed for one of their segments were they feature a local artist. you see…i HATE being in front of a camera! hate. it. but i KNOW in my heart that how this came to be was all God’s doing. so i felt that i had to do it. the amazing part…i was so at peace while filming. words just flowed from my mouth! i didn’t have that deer-in-a-headlight feeling like i always do. i could feel God right there beside me! and yes, i did mention God on tv…the beautiful part was when my daughter gave me a hug after it was aired and said ‘do you realize how many people just heard that?’ that was enough for me. thanks so much for posting this!

  24. 36

    I totally understand the broccoli. I write daily in my leather bound journal, with scratch-outs, misspellings, and undiscernable ramblings. But to write for others to see… I have discribed it with a memory from elementary school. Coming back into the classroom and being afraid that your dress was not pulled down in the back and your underwear might be showing.

    Writing for the public can create a fear that your underwear is showing…is it showing now???

    Thank you for your honesty, it is (in)couraging for us all.

    • 37
      Anne Landhuis says:

      Diane, your underwear was not showing! Thanks for the analogy, and for your honesty! I, too, write daily in my journal…..for God to see! I want to write publicly, and am just now trying to push past the fear of my “underwear showing”!

      • 38

        Anne, I’m so excited for your new adventure in writing! Let’s hope that if our underwear does show that it is cute and teaches others good lessons!

  25. 39

    You are so right (about the broccoli in your teeth)!
    Sharing my very simple poems and stories when I had a child helped me to open up and share all the true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable things I desired for my son’s family life. Coming from a sometimes dysfunctunal family but a simply amazing and loving one I focused on what I wanted and needed from people. I shared qualities I loved and admired in each of them in a story for Christmas.

    You asked: Are you being asked to share that thing you do in a way that is uncomfortable to you? What does that look like for your personally? There is no wrong. Let’s hear it.

    It does look like brocolli in my teeth! Knowing that we open ourselves up to others judgement when we share our heart. But now, in retrospect, years after being eager to please and loving through difficult times but being disowned for my needs for positivity and stability I know that a broken father and family is left with my loving thoughts even if they don’t want me, ridicule them, or whatever. I don’t want to have
    broken down what was broken and hurt and have caused more harm.

    At least let my brocolli be good brocolli! Hopefully God has blessed it and those who
    affected my childhood and growing years so deeply with who they were and all they had to give. And hopefully God will continue to bless my newer relationships with more compassion and respect so that we can all grow in safety and in grace.

  26. 40

    Oh Emily, I feel ya. But for me it’s singing in front of people. And dangit if that’s not the only thing I’m good at that I can make a living at. But I have found over the years – the more vulnerable you let yourself be the more people respond to it. And most of the time they respond in a good way. They feel your emotions and that connects them to you in a deeper way. You writing is the same way. You allowed yourself to be honest about writing here and I feel more connected to o because – I understand!! It’s hard but I hope rewarding.

  27. 42

    You know those moments when you find the Lord speaking from all directions relentlessly trying to bring truth to your heart? This is one of those times.

    I’m a grad student in a clinical counseling program with a passion for social justice, specifically in the are of human trafficking. One of our recent assignments was to design a counseling program for a specific demographic. I chose young women who have recently been rescued from this entrapment. Come to find out, my professor passed my program onto a local anti-trafficking safehouse. And they liked it. They liked it so much that they want me to intern with them next semester, write up curriculum for my program and implement it with the young women living there.

    For this introverted, one-on-one-seaking girl, that was system overload. I was fighting fear. “What if they don’t like it, really?”, “What if it fails?”, “What if I can’t do it?”. That’s when Truth stepped in and reminded me of His sovereign power and His patience with me in my fearful state. This post was an extra dose of His grace in this time.

    Thanks for the courage booster!

  28. 43

    Our gifts are not from God to us, but from God through us to the world”, quote posted by Kim. I belive this wholeheartedly! We must let the love within us out so that others might be touched, healed, lifted!

  29. 44

    Oh, ugh. Way beyond my comfort zone. I am a retired teacher now, but when Bill Gates was in diapers, so was my baby. He made the PC a household item…but a bit late for me to be comfortable with the silly thing. Then, the Lord arranged for me to become a writer–for Him. Okay, but MARKETING!!!??? He kept asking me to do things (learn the tools of the age) and He would not leave me alone…I keep saying yes. But I am so far out of my comfort zone I can’t find my way back! Heeelp!

  30. 45

    So dang true. Thanks for figuring it out for me, too. I owe you (another) one.

  31. 46

    Hi Emily,

    I am an artist who has been somewhat dormant for awhile now…trying to get the emotional energy I need to get back into creating art – and figure out how I can use it to serve Jesus in a more consistent way – or if God wants me to keep it more close to home with friends? I don’t believe everything has to be BIG and “out there” for God to use it. Trying to hear from God in this area.

    But currently I’ve also been thinking a lot about my faith – which I’ve had practically since birth it seems! lol – and how it defines me, my view of God, and life as a Christian woman. I read an excerpt of your book “Grace for the Good Girl” online, and just HAD to get this book. It’s changing my life. I’ve always tried to be a good girl – but this means dealing with all the lies and masks you describe in your writing. I loved the way you leaned in your book towards being sympathetic with Martha vs. Mary in the Bible. You had me saying, “YES!” SOMEONE had to fix the meal/clean the house/be hospitable for the day to go well with Jesus’s visit! If Martha hadn’t done alll that she DID, I dare say there might have been some guests who may have been annoyed by her lack of preparation. Or would they have? Something’s got to give with the expectations others have of me….or perhaps that I have of myself? This is a huge aha for me that your book is helping me see: The pressure I feel others put on me to DO in my life…is really pressure I put on myself: that if I don’t DO, I won’t BE who I want others to believe I am. This is a mask, plain and simple. It could also be defined as a lie in some circumstances. I feel like I’m a pretty productive woman…but there are days I just don’t feel like being productive. I’m learning that’s really OK. Do nothing. Be quiet. Enjoy peace and “non-doing” moments. Because God has grace even for those of us who want so much to be good in all areas of our lives….I can rest in knowing that even God rested when He created the world. And if Giod craved rest…it’s OK for me to as well.

    I just LOVE your clear honesty and sense of humor in your writing Emily! Wow. What a gift…I love the courage God has given you to say what us good girls need to hear…(without Christianese language). Just truth. Plain. Simple. Truth.

    Thank you!
    Diane

    • 47

      Diane,
      I am right there with you!!
      Your craving to get back to being artistic/creative… Run with it!!
      One year ago, Emily’s writing inspired me to get back to watercolor painting after 20 years of having not painted. I’m so glad I pushed my fears out of the way and jumped in. It took me a while. I got started and then side-tracked and came back to it again. I even wrote about it here on (in)courage.
      ( http://www.incourage.me/2011/07/i-really-need-to-get-over-it.html )
      I have finally completed it and am joyful (and somewhat shocked) that I like how it turned out!
      But if I hadn’t done it I wouldn’t have this opportunity to enjoy it. (Soon I will unveil it and post about it.)
      Give those fears a shove and jump!

      • 48

        Hi Sharon,

        Thanks for the encouragement to jump back into creating…I too have done many watercolors…and pencil drawings…and card-making with wire/beads/paper scraps…and logo design…and even taught myself how to bind my own hand-made books…all this was when I was a stay-at-home mom. Now I work full time – have for about 8 years – and I have no choice but to work. So time really is a factor. And then there’s the issue of space to set all this up in my home so I can do these things whenever I have a few minutes…it’s frustratiing to not have a good place to set up a littlle studio area at home.

        I did read your article about getting over the excuses no matter what they are…and I will think about this seriously, because SERIOUSLY I need to learn how to PLAY again. :-) I’ve put my creativity into designing my gardens lately, but I also crave doing this other stuff too.

        Thank you for your encouragement,
        Diane

  32. 49

    Friend, I am so glad you wrote this. Because yes. And yes. Broccoli all OVER my teeth!

  33. 50

    Dear Emily…thank you so much for sharing with us all what has been on your heart…I can totally relate to this post :) I have been writing stories for many years…mainly for children… Then I began blogging over a year ago… gearing more towards women.. The world will say “what credentials do you have to call yourself a ‘writer’?” As far as I’m concerned…God’s blessing is the only credentials needed! You blessed me crazy big with today’s post!

  34. 51

    I hear you! My comfort zone does not include much technology, so this blogging/facebook thing sometimes seems beyond my reach. And don’t even talk about twitter! I get comfortable in my little corner of the world and I’m hesitant to reach out. But it happens as I’m led. Thanks for an honest post!

  35. 52

    I’ve been hiding out. Gripped by fear and lack of courage. Wishing the desires to “write” my words down for the world to see would just go away.

    Blogging doesn’t feel like enough…..listening to the Lord while checking the mirror for my own broccoli smile!

    Perfect post, Emily!!

  36. 53

    I feel this exact way, only when I write at the blog for my church. I’ve been doing it, in spite of my broccoli teeth, but it’s hard and I feel your struggle. Thank you for sharing. I needed the encouragement.

  37. 54
    Myriam Tuttle says:

    This posting made me think of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcLYkUb5Keo, and I could very well relate to the uneasiness you describe. Now, i do not know everybody else but when I am too careful, too guarded, too concerned about an opinion or experience of mine may affect my image or God’s that is when whatever I am doing gets the most uncomfortable. I go check my heart and more often than not, what lays behind it all is my own self-righteousness. My advice to you and anybody regarding this issue is “do not compromise” if you are mad, be mad, if you are sad be sad, do not make it pretty that is not the kind of help God needs (as if He needed any help at all right?).

    We (the audience or at least me among many) know you are not perfect, and not only we do not expect perfect but that [a person so in control of anything and everything] is not what that perception of “being needed” is all about. The gift of writing is to have the guts to be yourself (weaknesses, struggles, pains and all), to express the truth not to make it look pretty. It is God’s work and not ours to change our internal ugliness, death, darkness into the opposite. Do not forget that and do not forget either that His yoke is “lighter”. It is when we forget this that writing and life itself becomes the hardest.

  38. 55

    Hey Sweetie, guess what! We ALL have broccoli in teeth. That’s why God gave us our sense of humor, so we can laugh about it. I truly appreciate your transparency though and the fact that your writing isn’t sel-righteous and preachy. God is using you in ways you can’t even fathom. Keep on keeping on in Christ!

  39. 56

    I’ve recently struggled with this, too. Writing for (in)courage was once easy-ish and now I’m struggling to find the unique self that I am. Odd, but true.

  40. 57
    anuradha says:

    I’ve been asked by a very wise, older person who I deeply respect to give a cooking class (or more) with a week’s worth of menus. It’s an honor to share healthy cooking with others but I have never cooked outside the home, let alone for bigger groups of friends! I guess somewhere inside I don’t believe I can cook, and there’s another place inside me that knows for a fact that I nourish my family daily with love and great food, and I could be sharing this. It’s really out of my confidence zone (I’d rather be teaching, writing, caring for the kids, swimming…) but I know I’ll truly grow if I can put all my trust in God and just do it.

  41. 58

    Love your honesty here, Emily. I always feel like that when I guest post at someone else’s place. It takes me like 4 hours to write 500 words and I cringe and wring my hands the whole time (did I spell wring right? It looks really weird and wrong to me…don’t you hate when that happens? Maybe I have performance anxiety when I even leave just a comment on (in) courage?!).

  42. 59

    There is so much good to latch on to and just feel delightfully free with I don’t know where to start, but….. brocolli in the teeth is priceless and I so love the notion of when we are doing something that delights us there is a connectedness to delighting in Him. You say it beautifully, I say it clumsily. I thank you for your freedom to say what you see so authentically. Your insight and honesty are grace-filled.

  43. 60
    Paulette Curry says:

    Beautifully written! Thank you for sharing. I have felt the Lord encouraging me to put all my short (true) stories together for quite some time now. All I desire is to help others through the difficulties He has gotten me through. You have encouraged me..

  44. 61

    Well put. Adapting in the skin of the thing we love is oftentimes the most uncomfortable and humbling experience. But worth it all the way.

  45. 62

    After reading this blog and browsing through the comments – I now sit here with tears streaming down my face so overwhelmed at the grace and mercy of our Loving Father that he would comfort me with your words and the words of others and yet at the same time challenge me to the point that all I can say is “God Help Me!!

    Thanks for sharing your gift.

  46. 63

    Hi Lisa, I am one who disliked writing for sometime. To many people would be judgemental and more concerned with the grammar and punctuation than the true message. In October of last year the Holy Spirit placed it upon my heart to start Christian Comfort & Conversation Cafe. God tells me what to write to His people. But something else was taking place….God was taking me out of my comfort zone and showing me I can do all things through Him. Nothing is impossible because the very word says, I’m Possible!

    God accepted me right where I was and there aren’t any grammar rules because they are not needed for Heaven, just love. I do pretty well at loving others and my creator. I added you to my blogroll some months ago….great site you have. Stop by and sip on a cup of Christ at http://highlyfavored74.wordpress.com/ and my other blog is http://ubebetternotbitter.wordpress.com/ – Be Better Not Bitter. I look forward to seeing you!

    Shenine

    A Woman After God’s Own Heart ♥

  47. 64

    Oh my word. This resonates. I have this conversation almost monthly with my editor, Ann, at TheHighCalling.org. When my deadline approaches, I sometimes panic. I can pull together a blog post at my own place pretty quickly, but suddenly, when I’m writing for someone else, I have a freak attack! I’ve had the same struggle as I put together chapters for my book. You have said it so well here … I’m getting better, but it’s taking time. And a LOT of prayer. A. lot. of. prayer. Oh … and extra cups of coffee, and Dove chocolates, and occasional whining phone calls to my husband.

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    Thank you for being real & vulnerable here Emily, we appreciate you! One of the best parts of this space is the realness that exudes from here from every corner. You aren’t the only one!! Thank you for encouraging us to step outside our comfort zones!

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    your words ring true and they comfort me because if you feel this way and your writing is so exquisite and encouraging…To answer your question, writing on a blog is out of my comfort zone, and I have to keep talking to God about it…blessings, Emily :)

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    Emily,
    I was encouraged and inspired by your writing a year ago to get back to painting. I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and did it. I like what I’ve done so far and hope to share it with the world soon.
    Hugs,
    Sharon

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    Great post! Yes, most definitely can relate :) I have felt like this many a times! For example, last year, I was asked to be one of the speakers at our Mother/Daughter banquet…I was soooo nervous and a tad stressed (crazy, I know!), but it went fine! Also, sometimes, when I need to talk/teach the Jr. High teen class on Sun. mornings…some of the topics, etc. can be a lil’ bit like that (esp. since I’ve known most of them their whole life and all)! Really loved this post!

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    Emily,

    I love this post. “Like broccoli in my teeth.” What a great code for something that makes me uncomfortable. I’ll use it, it you don’t mind.

    Anything that reveals something about myself that I’ve kept hidden makes me uncomfortable; takes me out of my safe place. I was always taught as a child that you never let people know what your home life is really like. After all, your dad is well respected and what would people think? Sheesh.

    I am 47 and now I KNOW that I must be able to speak my mind without fear of what others will think. My life is over half over. I have two beautiful children for whom I want to be an example.

    I am learning to set boundaries with people who have intimidated me from doing that. I am learning to no care what other people think of my opinion. It’s often scary, but the more I practice, the better I get and the more of “ME” comes out. I meet with weekly with a group of safe, Jesus-loving friends with whom we can be real.

    I am a competent woman. I used to be a trial lawyer. I am more comfortable in the courtroom than I am expressing a deep hurt from the past that is affecting my life today. What contradiction I am.

    So, Emily, in answer to your question, I am being asked (by Jesus and friends) to reveal more of who I am; who He created me to be. I am being asked to take off the mask I wear so well and allow the woman Jesus knew before the world was created come forth.

    I’m trying to find a voice for my blog. I’m also trying to find MY voice.

    Thanks for asking. Good question.
    Love,
    Laura

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    Thx for writing this, Emily! I’ve dabbled in writing off and on for many years–part of my struggle has been in thinking that everyone has already said what I want to say and much better than I ever could! (I’m having that feeling right now reading your book!) But the nudge remains to write and share what God is showing me–I’m praying for courage! Thank you for your example–I love your vulnerability! (BTW, I’m a missionary in Budapest now, but originally from Gboro–I think our hubbies know each other!)

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    Yes, yes, yes! Feel this way, often. And my writing process also mirrors yours-most days I feel like I am a better editor than a writer. :)
    And thank you for being honest. Why is this always so hard for us? (i.e., me too?)
    Thank you for your authenticity and candor!

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    Dear Emily,

    Thank you so much for saying all of this ! My husband and daughter are GREAT writers in the family and I recently felt nudged by God to write from my heart — oh the fear — I would publish a post, delete it, re-publish it, delete it again, and republish — craziness !!! I’m stepping out even though I feel I’m the least worthy. Thank you for your bone-deep honestly ! :) I needed that again tonight !
    Sincerely…with broccoli between my teeth…and for His glory…
    Joy