Thursday, February 11, 2010

Book Club Thursday- The Confident Woman Chapter Six

It is here again! Book Club Thursday! Don't forget to check out Kristi's blog for her thoughts on today's chapter. As always, Joyce's words are in bold type.

Self-doubt and confidence don't work together, they work against each other. The woman who doubts herself is unstable in everything she does, feels, and decides. It is so important that as women of God, we are walking with Him and in Him so that we can have confidence with each step that we take. For some, we are the only Bible that they may see. If we are walking in self-doubt, we will not be a very good witness of the love of an awesome God.

A confident woman is not afraid of being wrong! So many times, we feel that being wrong makes us look less than what we are. Being wrong can be a major blow to our confidence level...and pride. However, true confidence says, "I am wrong. So what can I do to make it right?" or "Okay, I'm wrong. I don't know as much about this area as I thought I did. Can you teach me how I can do this?" A prideful person thinks they are never wrong, even though they usually are. A confident person knows they make mistakes and is willing to learn from them and fix them.

YOU DON"T HAVE TO FEEL CONFIDENT TO BE CONFIDENT! I have also learned that I don't have to feel confident to present myself in a confident manner. We need to believe God's Word more than we believe our feelings. Before Brian and I began dating, we were just friends from Sunday School and church, and apparently he was very intimidated by me. Why? According to him I was very confident. What he did not know was that I was probably the least confident person in our Sunday school class. I may have come across confidently, but inside I was very timid and shy, yet I did not present myself that way to others. Yes, my confidence level did grow because as you carry yourself, so you become. My confidence level really jumped when this really cute guy named Brian started showing an interest in me (even family members began to notice). I completely agree with Joyce, you don't have to feel confident to be confident.

Don't be afraid of making mistakes. Instead of allowing mistakes to make you feel guilty and bad, let them be your teacher and always remember that just because you make a mistake does not mean you are a mistake. To grow we must step out and try things. We learn what works and what doesn't. Learning from first-hand experience is a much better teacher than a textbook. So many times we are afraid to try something new because we are afraid of making mistakes, or we beat ourselves up because of the mistakes that we make along the way. Hind sight is always 20/20. And others looking into your situation from a completely different place will always see what you could have/ should have done differently (forgetting that they are not actually walking in your shoes and don't know the full situation and all of the details). Remember that God loves you, mistakes and all. Even the disciples that He hand picked to follow Him closely here on earth were flawed human beings. Two had absolutely no patience (James and John-the Sons of Thunder), one was a former tax collector (Matthew- tax collectors had bad reputations), one could not open his mouth without saying the wrong thing (Simon Peter), and one was a traitor and a thief (Judas Iscariot). I had read once that in Bible times, the Rabbis would choose a select handful of young boys who would be their disciples. They would live with and train under their assigned Rabbi until they were old enough to take on the responsibility of Rabbi themselves. Those who were not chosen grew up to have "regular" jobs. The disciples that Jesus chose to be His twelve were, in essence, the cast-offs, the mistakes. Jesus can do more with "mistakes" than we give him credit for.

On a completely separate note, I don't think as parents, we should tell our children that they were an accident (mistake). We had the privilege of planning our pregnancy of Addie, but I know of many who didn't (many godly young couples who have chosen to call their children a surprise gift rather than an accident). The Bible calls our children gifts, rewards, and blessings. Rather than call them an accident and have that word etched into their hearts and attitudes for the rest of their lives, call them what God calls them. Children will live up to what they are called.

Names also play a big part in our self worth, value, and attitude. Here are a few names that I am personally in contact with, and how they reflect the nature of that person.
  • Ana (my mother's name)- from the Hebrew meaning 'God has favored me'. She has a spirited and highly emotional personality with a great sense of curiosity. (taken from the magnet hanging on my refrigerator with her picture) Couldn't have put it better myself.
  • Fred (my dad)- peaceful ruler. He is a very nonconfrontational person.
  • Faye Ellen (my sister)- bright light. Anyone who know her, know that she lights up a room. She has a happy personality. She is also not ashamed of the gospel and has always been willing to share with others about her relationship with Christ.
  • Brian (the love of my life)- strength and honor. True story: During my single days, as I was praying Proverbs 31 over my life, I asked God to clothe me in strength and honor like verse 25 says. Only God knew at that time that Brian was for me (since I was not yet interested in him) and what his name meant. Brian definitely lives up to his name.
  • Adelaide- Noble one. She carries herself with confidence. Family does tend to treat her like royalty (especially GrandTiti and Cousin Belinda- in their minds she can do no wrong...).
  • Suzette Michelle- Lily of the valley; rose; and who is like the Lord (hence my call name on here- godlyrose).
I know I'm off the beaten path here, but this point really hit me hard when I read this chapter. The words we put into our children's lives will greatly impact their self worth and value.
God wants to give you favor-kindness that you don't deserve. Confess several times a day that you have favor with God and man. Yes, God's favor is an exciting way to live. Resist and refuse to let doubt convince you that good things won't happen to you and your family; aggressively expect good things. Ask God to give you divine supernatural favor and then expect to see it in your life, daily. On my way to work every day, I used to pray that God would give me favor in the eyes of my boss, co-workers, students, and their parents. God answered that prayer and I thoroughly enjoyed my ten years at SHCA and my one year at TCS.
My mother was highly favored. People used to tell her that everything just seemed to go her way. It wasn't that. She would just ask God on a daily basis to show her His favor. She also behaved in a way that pleased God. She and my father built the house that they were living in. The builder himself was going through a divorce and bankruptcy at the time. My mother would drive out to the house on a daily basis to check up on things. She spoke to the builder and encouraged him. She would take sandwiches and soda to the construction workers. Not only was her house the only one completed by the builder, but it had been given many upgrades free of charge. My parents paid for a two paned window to be put in the breakfast nook looking out onto the pool. The workers accidentally put in a large one paned window instead. When my parents alerted them to this (my mother had already laid hands on the window and asked God to let her keep it), the builder said that it would be too much trouble to take the window out, they could keep the window without paying for the upgrade. After taking subs to the workers one day, one worker asked my mother if she preferred arches as opposed to the standard style she was supposed to receive. My mother (who really should have been an designer) said she loved arches. The worker gave her arches for no additional charge.
If you have made your mind up that you intend to enjoy the best life God has for you then you must realize that it begins with you. See yourself the way God sees you, not the way the world sees you or even the way you see yourself. I love this! We all want to change something in our lives- weight (I guess the double fudge brownie "i-coo" (ice cream) that Addie and I shared last night wasn't a good idea), shape, organizational skills, financial situation, family relationships, educational skills, etc. There is only one person (besides God) who can actually get the ball rolling in any of these departments. You! When we have the image in our mind of what God has for us, we need to take the steps, or better yet jump in with both feet, to get it done. No one else can do it for us. I don't know about you, but I'm jumping.


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