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Possibly the Most Important Message You Will Hear This Week

Possibly The Most Important Message You Will Hear

Today, I want to give you possibly the most important message you will hear this week…

You are enough. Exactly as you are.

You don’t have to be more, try harder, or do more. You are enough.

If you can really and truly believe this with all of your heart, it will change your entire life.

As you probably know, if you’ve been reading here for any length of time, I’m a big believer in owning your own gifts. I think it’s so important that we cheerlead and celebrate each other.

One evening while my four blogging friends were at my house last week, we decided to intentionally encourage each other to pursue and embrace our individual gifts.

We all sat at my kitchen table and went around and shared what our own gifts were. Then, each of us affirmed those gifts and shared other gifts we’ve seen in each friend. It was such a beautiful time of building each other up and celebrating who God has created each of us to be.

When we got to one of my friends, she had a really difficult time verbally telling us what her gifts were. In fact, she said she was not even sure she had any gifts at all. It broke my heart, because when I look at this friend I see so much talent, ability, and potential.

I could also identify, though, because that was me just a few years ago. I constantly felt like I didn’t measure up. I compared myself to others around me.

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Break Down The Lies Inside Your Head

I’ve been on a journey the past few years to break down the lies inside my own head that tell me I’m not good enough. For a long time I didn’t want the gifts I had, and I fought against it.

I wanted to be a gifted writer who inspired people with beautiful word pictures. I wanted to be domestic. I wanted to cook and sew and create beautiful things.

But the truth is: When I try to write all artistically, it just falls flat. I can’t seem to figure out how to arrange basic wall-hangings in the rooms of my house. And I am totally not a chef.

You know what? I’m discovering that that is okay.

I have other talents God has given me. I have the gift of encouraging people to pursue their dreams and goals. I have the gift of marketing and strategic thinking: I can look at a situation and pinpoint what needs to be done in order to increase your income. And I’m a communicator — with the gift of taking big picture ideas and breaking them down into bite-sized pieces.

I could waste my life wishing these weren’t my gifts or I can choose to invest my life owning the gifts that I’ve been given. I could fritter away countless hours wishing I were someone else, or I can embrace who God has created me to be.

I want to stop playing the comparison game and instead choose to learn from others and be inspired by their special and unique gifts, and then own the gifts that I’ve been given. Because I’ve discovered that when I own my own gifts, I experience such fulfillment and excitement.

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You Can’t Own Your Gifts If You Don’t Believe You Have Them

When my friend finally had the courage to voice a gift she had, it was like a dam broke inside of her. She cried and we cried with her because we were so excited for her to actually believe she had gifts and talents.

And it’s been so amazing to watch how that first small step of voicing her gifts out loud has started her on a journey of now wanting to embrace and exercise those gifts. It makes me thrilled!

The world needs her gifts — and the world needs YOUR gifts, too! But until you believe you have gifts and until you can recognize them as gifts, you can’t own, embrace, or exercise them.

If you are not sure what your gifts are, think about what makes you come alive, what makes you excited, what you love to do. Also, ask people around you to share what gifts they see in you. Often, others can see our gifts more clearly than we can.

I Feel Versus I Am

Recently, I walked into a room to find my daughter staring at herself in the mirror. She started saying, “I’m not beautiful. I’m ugly.”

It broke my mama heart — especially because I think she is absolutely gorgeous and she has the sweetest spirit so much of the time. I told her she may feel like she’s not beautiful, but the truth is that she is beautiful.

The Most Important Message You May Hear This Week

We talked about the important difference between “I feel” and “I am”. Sometimes, we might feel like we are not enough or like we are a failure, but that doesn’t mean that we are these things.

I told her that she’s more than welcome to voice how she’s feeling (“I feel ugly” etc.) In fact, I want to know when she’s feeling like this so that I can encourage her and remind her of the truth.

However, I told her that she’s not allowed to say “I’m ugly.” That’s a lie and we don’t allow lying at our house.

Those might seem like strong words, but I want to raise my children with the clear understanding of the truth: they were created for a purpose, they have unique gifts and talents, and there are always going to be voices (real or in our heads) that will try to put us down and make us feel like we’re not enough.

I want my kids to go out into the world equipped and empowered to know the difference between lies and truth and to know how to replace wrong beliefs when they get stuck in their head and make them feel less than.

Because here’s the thing: If you believe a lie long enough, it becomes truth to you and you begin under that lie. You’ll not only think it, but you’ll believe it and you’ll let it cloud everything in life — from your relationships, your friendships, your work, your art, your parenting, and more.

We have to fight for the truth! The truth that says that we are enough. That we have worth. That we have unique stories, unique gifts, and unique perspective. That we don’t need to be more, try harder, or reach a certain milestone in order to be enough.

You are enough — exactly as you are.

Replace the lies you’ve been believing with truths. Embrace who you God has created you to be.

It’s a conscious effort and something you have to do over and over again. But if you commit to replacing the lies with the truth every time they pop into your head, eventually it will become a habit, and the lies will dissipate as you live under the truth.

Own your gifts. Embrace the truth. And watch it beautifully transform your life from the inside out!

What are YOUR gifts? How are you embracing them? Tell us in the comments!

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56 Comments

  • Mary says:

    This is what I am working on myself. Trying to figure out what I’m good at. I hear you on the not a chef thing. I don’t cook. But I can read a book really quick. I can’t craft. Anything. Seriously, my 4 year old has surpassed my artistic abilities. But, I am awesome at finding the cheapest way to get what I want/need.

    This is probably one of your best posts ever.

  • Misty says:

    This resonated with me: I wanted to be a gifted writer who inspired people with beautiful word pictures. I wanted to be domestic. I wanted to cook and sew and create beautiful things.

    But the truth is: When I try to write all artistically, it just falls flat. I can’t seem to figure out how to arrange basic wall-hangings in the rooms of my house. And I am totally not a chef.

    YES! I am a CPA by trade and love all things spreadsheet and big vision, but I never loved writing. God told me to write 2 years ago and I was like, huh?? I’m horrible at following through but I have big dreams and goals. Need to focus on the good and not repeat the negative in my head.

  • Jessica says:

    So encouraging and exactly what I needed to hear. Especially as a person who relates to your friend…feeling as if I do not have any gifts. I’m still battling that lie. Hoping that I will soon discover my own gifts. Until then, thank you for your words.

  • Anne says:

    I bookmarked this post. Beautiful. It definitely resonated with this recovering perfectionist and high-achiever: especially you don’t have to do more. I’m learning just because I can achieve a lot on my to do list doesn’t mean it’s actually a good idea for my family or me.

  • Thanks Crystal. I feel like between reading Rising Strong (Brene Brown) and hearing you speak a few weeks ago, God is telling me how I’m truly worthy. I’ve struggled with this my whole life. I’ve always tried to be what others want me to be, instead of embracing how God made me.

    I appreciate how you are covering this topic. It’s something women need to hear desperately. I also love how you’re teaching your daughter the truth from a young age, something I want to instill in mine as well.

  • Rachel Anna says:

    I am struggling with the same feelings as your friend. I just don’t feel like I have any gifts, even though I would like to be a writer and an artist. I don’t even try because I’m certain I will fail. Your encouraging post has reminded me that, as a child of God, I must have gifts and it’s my responsibility to try to find them and share them. Thank you, Crystal, for your kind words that are truly inspiring to me.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Thank you for this post! I grew up in a family of vocal, analytical, very gifted extraverts. I thought that in order to be worthy I had to be able to voice interesting new theories and have a lot of factual knowledge in my head. I’m in my late 20s now, going to hit 30 this fall, and I’m grateful for the path God has taken me on in the past decade (sometimes a very painful path) to discover my true talents.

    I’m proud of my introverted personality. I’m proud of my ability to listen to others and show them I really care and to be a listening ear and sounding board without needing to use a lot of my own words. I’m proud of my ability to think and think and think about something in my own head and then articulate in through concise and logical writing. I’m proud of my organizational abilities and how I can cut through red tape and quickly see a practical solution to the sort of interpersonal or logistical problems that can leave other personality types overwhelmed or stymied. I’m proud of my witty one-liners and ability to go with the flow while still holding to my principles. I’m proud of my ability to use hard-edged analysis while I also show compassion to others on an interpersonal level.

    I work in an administrative position leading a small team of employees, and when I started this job recently I was told by my supervisors that they needed someone who could get our site into shape because the staff had a reputation of being very difficult to work with and as a consequence the work was suffering. I’ve been overwhelmed at times, but I’m proud of how efficiently I am organizing the site, holding employees to what they need to get done, and yet building positive relationships with my team so that we are on friendly terms rather than me being the taskmaster sent from upper management to whip them into shape.

    I am really proud of the work I have done in my new job so far. And I’m grateful to God for giving me this job. It’s the equivalent of God holding up a mirror and showing me a glimpse of the person he created me to be. It’s scary and exciting at the same time.

    Crystal, thank you for giving me a platform to compliment myself. I’m tempted to delete this comment…but I’m going to hit post because I want to publicly share that right now I am enough. And that’s pretty awesome.

  • Erika says:

    Thank you for this.

    My 5 yo daughter recently told me she wasn’t beautiful, and yes- it broke my heart, too. I spent most I my life in the pit of an eating disorder, because I believed those same lies. To hear those words from her mouth brought me to my knees in prayer.

    Your advice on allowing, “I feel —” vs “I am —” helped me pinpoint where I can gently push her the next time she is in front of the mirror. I have told her that God created her, and that ALL of His creations are beautiful, but allowing her to voice her feelings is important.

    Thanks for showing me how I do that, while still pointing her in the right direction!

  • Amanda L says:

    This post was so beautifully written! I need to remember these words when speaking with my daughters, and even myself! Thank you!!

  • Jaime says:

    I’m so glad I read this first thing this morning! I’ve been struggling recently with feeling like I’m not a good enough mom for my daughter. I blame Pinterest that tells us we should be doing THIS and THIS or else our children will be under-educated and anti-social! I’m slowly learning to just embrace who I am and what I can do to raise her the right way.

  • K says:

    Thank you for this post.

  • Jaime says:

    Thank you, Crystal. You spoke to my heart this morning. I’m so grateful for your style of writing, because I get it, every single time!

  • My mother-heart broke to hear your daughter’s comments. My own daughter is still very young, but I am sure that I will have a similar conversation when she is older. Thank you very much for writing about the “I feel” versus “I am” distinction. I want to incorporate that into my vocabulary, especially when talking with kids. I am a middle school teacher, and I love my students. I tell them at the beginning of each year that they are not allowed to insult my students–not even themselves. I don’t allow, “I’m stupid. I can’t do this.” in the classroom. Now I think I will try to include the “I feel” wording to acknowledge their feelings, but to also remind them of who they actually are.

  • This is such a beautiful reminder and I love your heart. I love that you are sharing with your daughter truths about beauty and who she is. Coming from a place of severe insecurity, I have been so conscience of the words I use with my own daughter. She is only 3 but I strongly believe these little years mold and shape her heart more than any other. One phrase I’ve been using with both her and my son is that “God has made you beautiful, special and unique and I’m so thankful for who you are!” I may never know how those words will directly impact their hearts, but I pray that God would use them as seeds of truth as they come to know who they are in His eyes. Thanks for this post!

  • Brenda says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I definitely needed this today!! I have been struggling with fighting against my gifts and wishing that they were different lately and this is the perfect reminder to embrace and invest in what I have been given and use those gifts to enable me to give to others! Your words are amazing and I am so grateful for you and your blog!

  • Addy says:

    Excellent post! For many years I dealt with feelings of insecurity in certain areas..but God is ever faithful and in His mercy has led me down a path to get rid of those feelings. When they threaten to surface I am able to remember who I really am!

  • Janae says:

    I have struggled with this for years. It does not help that my introvert nature tends to hold me back. I have had so many ideas in the past few years that I never follow through with them. I love that you listen to Chalene Johnson as well. She has been a tremendous help with my brother getting his successful business going.

  • Terri says:

    This is such a powerful message. This is why I try to read your blog each and every day. You are so encouraging and show that we all human and each of us struggle at one time or another.

  • Ashley says:

    This is awesome, Crystal! I am a dreamer. Dreaming is a fantastic gift in that it is very helpful in goal-setting. I see where I want to be, where I want my faith to be, where I want my family to be. All is beautiful. I need to step up the follow-through process as that is where I trip and the “lies” enter my mind. I’m trying to have courage and be brave, and not let life take away my hopes and dreams. I need to put my hope in Jesus first, and He will help ease my disappointments. You’re great! Thanks for this message 🙂

  • Jennifer says:

    Words are so powerful. We’ve had the “I’m ugly” conversation with our son and he learned he’s not allowed to say anything negative about himself.

    I would say one of your gifts is writing. You communicate every effectively. I really enjoy your writing just as it is.

  • Kariane says:

    I love this post. Indeed, we become what we tell ourselves we are.

    I am a good mother, partner, and friend. I write well. I am good at encouraging others to take better care of themselves: mentally (simplify!) and
    physically (eat healthy food and use natural health boosters).

    You can read more about me here: http://everydaymindfulliving.com/about/

  • Fatima says:

    Lovely Post. Very inspiring. I like the way you share your thoughts and encourage us in your posts.

  • Joy says:

    Oh, man, did I need to be reminded of this today! Is raising well-rounded kids who love Jesus and love each other a gift?!? I hope so, ’cause most days I feel like that’s all I got – and some days, not even that…

    Saying this out loud (or rather, writing it down) feels braggish, but here it goes: I’m good at being a mom. Better than good. I have fun with my kids, while still maintaining healthy disciplinary boundaries. They have fun with me, while not needing me to be their BFF. They, at 21, 19, 16 and 13 all have a good sense of self, posses an amazing sense of humor, can problem solve, maintain healthy friendships and love Jesus. They know how to get along with each other, they know how to love people, they know what compassion, justice and dignity are – and how to pass those onto the world around them. I’m a firm believer that God gives us the children to raise because we’re the best choice for them, and parenting out of that confidence and calling has equipped me to be the kind of mom God wants me to be.

    The other fun things I’m good at are bargain-hunting, encouraging other moms to parent with confidence, crafting/sewing and party-throwing.

    Thanks for stretching me, Crystal, to put it down plainly what I’m gifted in. I’m going to have both my junior high small group and the women in our marriage small group do this. It’s time we all recognize that we are, in fact, good enough.

  • Danielle says:

    Are there certain Bible verses that you replace the lies with? Ones that tell us how God sees us? (Besides the one that says we are fearfully and wonderfully made.)

  • Kathy says:

    Thank you for this post as it is a timely reminder. Our words are indeed our seeds. What we think and speak we plant into our mind and the roots grow deeply in our subconscious of who we are. Years ago I went through a time of depression. I happened to read The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. The 12 scrolls in the story are supposed to work in your own life. You take each scroll and spend a week or two reading each one. You read in silence first thing in the morning then at lunch in silence and then read it out loud right before you go to bed. Within 2 weeks, I was waking up my usual happy self. I still remember the first scroll began “I will greet this day with love in my heart…” I never went through all 12 scrolls as I got side tracked with something else but after doing 3 or 4 of the scrolls, I understood how powerful words and thoughts are to how you see yourself.

    Thank you for the beautiful reminder of these truths.

  • Laura says:

    Loved your scope on this, Crystal! It’s so important for us to walk in the freedom that God made us uniquely US, to run our own race and not be bogged down by others (or our own) unrealistic expectations for ourselves.

    Thanks for sharing this and walking in that freedom yourself – it is a breath of fresh air and encouraging to see you grow in who you were created to be. <3

  • Angie says:

    It amazes me how your posts always come at the time I need them. Just last night my daughter who is 10 was saying that she was a horrible person and she can never do anything right. I struggled to find the words to help her understand the truth. That she is an amazing, talented and smart girl and that God doesn’t make horrible people. But I love your explanation. The difference between “I am” and “I feel”. I will definitely be sharing this with her today. Thanks for using the gifts God has given you, they are a blessing to so many.

  • Nola says:

    This post came at a perfect time for me, as I am preparing to spend a few days with extended family members that have been successful in tearing me down, making me feel as though I am not good enough, through most of my life.

    There are things that I am good at – I can sew pretty well, and I’m good at baking. The people I mentioned have never taken the time to see what I am good at, choosing instead to only see the negative things about me. I’m working hard to not let how they see me affect how I see myself. When it’s a life long experience though, it can be hard to get past. Ego Satis – I am enough.

  • Loved the scope you did on this- it so resonated with the same things I have been feeling lately. My success doesn’t look like other peoples’. We are all unique and need to be fully who we are so that we can fulfill the plans He has for us individually. Preach it, sista’! And so glad that you had such a fun weekend with your ladies!

  • Mackenzie says:

    What a great post Crystal! Definitely needed to hear your words of encouragement today 🙂 Thank you for always saying the honest words that need to be said.

  • Susan says:

    Has any one else asked where we can buy that necklace? Only it needs to say “I am enough”…:-) Thanks so much for such helpful, life-giving words of encouragement!

  • Sara says:

    Thank you for writing this and posting it.

  • Christi says:

    Crystal, what a beautiful message!! When I hear a SAHM say “I’m just a housewife”, I immediately come back with “you are not JUST a housewife! You have one of the most important jobs here in earth! God chose YOU to lend his kids to because he knew YOU are the perfect mother for them. No other mother can love your children the way YOU do! No other woman can love your husband the way YOU do! God knew that when he loaned YOU His children, and gave you this man as your husband! You have a very important job in the lives of this man and these children! Don’t ever doubt God’s plan to use YOU in their lives!”

    When we compare ourselves to others, we will fail every time because we weren’t made to do their job!! We were made to do our job…and only our job! God gives us wisdom each and every time we ask for it! He gives us hope, direction, peace, guidance, and self-control, when we ask for these things.

    Never ever let anyone tell you that you are not enough! You are wonderfully and fearfully made by the Most High God, and He doesn’t create junk!

    Thank you Crystal for sharing this message!

  • Laraine says:

    Great article! My gifts are that I am a great listener and a loyal friend. I am also good at decorating a room with furniture and accessories to that they look pretty. I wanted to know where I can buy the necklace you have posted in the picture above? I would like to buy it for my 11 year old daughter to reminder her that is good enough.

    • I actually had someone make it for me awhile back… I think it was a seller on Etsy, but I’m actually not sure of the specific seller. I think you should be able to find one on etsy who will do custom lettering on a necklace like that, though.

  • Rhonda says:

    Wow! I felt embarrassed to post that I don’t know what my gifts are. Glad to see I’m not the only one that feels this way. It has helped to just read the above posts & start telling myself, I do have gifts & I am enough! Love your blog Crystal! I wish I had more time to read it!

  • Carla says:

    My gift is being able to work (volunteer) with hospice patients. So many people say they don’t know how I can do it. I tell them there are many things I can not do, but hospice is one thing I can do! I also work with Alzheimer’s residents and God has given me the gift of compassion and love for them. I say this in humility and thanksgiving to God.

  • jen says:

    Hi Crystal,
    How do we figure out what our gifts are if nothing excites us, we don’t have any particular interests. Honestly, I feel like I have no gifts.I don’t have any hobbies or interests, nothing excites me. I just can’t think of one thing I’m good at, and I really wish I could. Any other advice?

    • I’d recommend asking your friends/spouse/co-workers… anyone who knows you fairly well. They probably have perspective that you don’t have and it would really encourage you!

  • Crystal, What a wonderful post. I often talk to my kids and, in my writing, focus on the difference between what we feel and what is truth — and the two are sometimes far far apart. It’s often hard to see that and so easy to forget — and yet vitally important not to let the lies in. Thank you for such a beautiful reminder.

  • Michelle says:

    Yes, I identify with this post too! I recently learned about the StrengthsFinder 2.0 book and test which helps you identify your top 5 “themes of talent”. It is an easy way to start to figure out where your talents lie!

    It also really helped me put my thoughts & feelings into words… For example, I get very stressed out when I am part of an organization (ie home school co-op) and my ideas are dismissed or not chosen. Am I just that prideful? Nope – two of my top themes are Responsibility and Significance, and that is a huge reason why I react the way I do. It is good to know I am enough just the way I am – and that my differences can actually be useful and not something I have to suppress to fit in.

  • Shannon says:

    Crystal,
    This is the BEST, MOST ENCOURAGING post I have ever read! I have battled with insecurities, anxiety, and comparisons all my life. But I’m just now realizing there is nothing wrong with me, I am enough and God loves me just as I am, no matter what other people think!

    Your are a blessing, Crystal. Thank you for sharing your story with authenticity!

    Love to you and your family!

  • Meg says:

    I love this post. It is so needed for my heart. I was laid off 6 months ago from a part-time pharmacist position. I have been struggling with being excited at the thought of becoming something new (writer) and feeling scared at leaving behind something that has been part of my identity for 20 years. Scared of failing. Scared of uncertainty. I know God has been leading me toward writing. I feel like it’s a gift? I need to claim it as one more.

    I plan to use this post as a devotion with my teenage daughters. I want them to be able claim their gifts. I want to start replacing ‘I am’ with ‘I feel’. Thank you for your beautifully written word picture.
    xoxo http://www.adailyfaith.com

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