One Way to Banish Insecurity from Your Heart {and radio news}

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I sit in her living room one morning as our three preschool aged boys build Imaginext castles and stories of heroes. Her child didn’t sleep well last night, so he’s had a rough morning. When he lets his frustration over having to share his things stand center stage, his mama’s words and actions cut through his mood like a warm knife through butter – tender yet firm. She calms him down, and he consents to once again share his castle building pieces.

I watch her in action and think about how I handled a similar parenting problem earlier in the week. Why did I get mad and yell rather than imitate my friend’s easy grace?

I tell ya, so many of my friends parent extraordinarily well. They move from one difficult, trying situation to the next like a graceful dancer. And I learn so much from them about how to step up my game. I also learn alot about my own insecurities, how I perceive myself awkwardly stumbling around while they perform pretty pirouettes.

But I don’t like insecurity to get the last word.

So when that feeling creeps toward my joy with fingers reaching, I have one sure-fire way to get it to back off pronto:

I stare that insecurity right in the face by calling it out, and I do it by telling my friend exactly what it is she does well, parenting or otherwise. 

For example,

Cheryl, you are amazing at giving your kids more freedom responsibly.

Rebecca, you know just what to say so your kids understand they are loved and respected.

Jen,  you are a baking genius! 

Alli, I love all the ways you make family a priority. 

When I encourage my friends by telling them specifically what they do well, I shine light on those dark feelings so they lose their power to mess with my heart. My attention is off what I’m not – or what I think I’m not. And because I’m praising a fellow sister for her God-given grace and abilities, God is glorified. When God is glorified through me, I am encouraged.

And I relax into a much more enjoyable position, one that finds me on my feet applauding her.

And applauding you. 

Last week, I did an interview with the lovely, mega-encouraging Lisa Buffaloe of Living Joyfully Free Radio. We talk more about insecurity, comparison, and being a military wife. Click here to listen.

{And if you’re not tired of me yet?}

A little while ago I recorded an interview with mom-extraorndinaire, Kat Lee of Inspired to Action. We chat about cultivating community, military life, and the shocking thing I’ve learned about teens. Click here to listen. 

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  1. says

    I really appreciated this wisdom today, Kristen. Thank you! I think many times we shrink back in embrassement for what we think we are not instead of giving praise to others. I love the thought of how we can encourage others and also not let insecurity have the final word.
    Much love,
    Beth

  2. Beth Williams says

    Thank you! I also try to encourage people. I know it lifts them up and makes God happy!

    My problem is wallowing in self-pity about what I’m not instead of realizing what I am. A good wife, good co-worker, cook, daughter, sister and most importantly–A CHILD OF ALMIGHTY GOD WITH HIS DNA IN ME!

  3. says

    I think you are probably too hard on yourself. Remember, she was not yelling…in front of company! You are a gentle woman, loving and Kind. I have no doubt you are an amazing mother! Love you, Friend.

  4. iamhere says

    Hi Been awhile since I have commented.The Merry was taken oit of Christmas for me with 2 family crisises.
    The city of Toronto had a Hydro shut down from freezing rain prior with an elderly blind family member it pulled on my heart strings as no heat or hot food or provision for accomodation coild ne made by me 1500 miles away and all I could do finally catching up to all that was Pray between hyper anxious calls between us. Finally a friend in a retirement community offered a place to stay. But where were the neighbours police or even Senior Agencies in all this?There was no way either I nor the family member could fly out. I was impossible to fathom anything working? I Fell like that song I got the Eye of the Tiger by Katy Perry and wanting to ROAR calling a Senior Center which sent Emergency Preparadness Links. That does nothing to reolve the immediate need to get a help to a senior blind and crippled. She just lau in thebed covered in blankets with at lest the phone not wanting to leave and I being thru this myself understood.STUPIDLY as this person silently now refuses tio speak angry at me. The other crieises was Christmas Eve

Trackbacks

  1. […] Or maybe you don’t have to look anywhere because the Enemy does such a good job convincing you you’re forgotten, that you make up your own fireside scenes in your imaginative little head. You are off and running with them, running to the first friend or sister you can find. With downcast eyes, you ask them to tell you your fears aren’t founded. My friends’ words are kind and sympathetic with a dose of reality. Even as they wave me right on in to a fireside seat, I still want a do-over where insecurity doesn’t get the last word. […]