I am so excited for this post! There’s a gal on the other end of it that spreads the fragrance of Christ everywhere she goes…and today she is writing for us! You won’t want to miss the blessing of God’s words through her. The Lord speaks in the midst of her typing, and I’ve been encouraged greatly by it and hope you will be as well.
Suzi and I met (in person) while living on Hawaii’s tiny Ford Island, a small plot of land that peeks up in the middle of Pearl Harbor. Like me, she’s a Navy wife, home educates her children, and absolutely loves the Lord. She lives with the gusto God has given her, worshiping the one true God with fervency. To learn more about Suzi, look for her bio at the end of the post. In the meantime, enjoy. 🙂
Growing up I never felt like I actually measured up. My dad put me down a lot and always had negative things to say to me about my life. It did not matter what I did, or how hard I tried, I just could never please him. Even as an adult, he would belittle me and say things like, “When are you going to get a real job?” I spent so many years trying to make him proud, yet it never seemed to work. I mean, come on..I HAD a great job, yet it still never felt like it was enough.
I think so much of our self-worth comes from trying to measure up in some crazy way to please our parents or others. I had asked my kids one day why they thought we loved them. Their response floored me. It all had to do with how well they did in school, or how well they played sports. It was all performance based. They viewed it as if they did well in certain areas of their lives then we would love them. Ouch! Talk about a painful moment!
Just in nature I think all of us are always raising the bar. We are always trying to do our best. Once we get there, we try harder to get to the next level. It is never enough. We are never satisfied. Unfortunately Rich and I have that same type A personality that is always striving for excellence, but at what cost? When is it enough? When is it too much?
After having this conversation with our kids, we sat them down and told them the real reasons why we love them. It has nothing to do with performance. We loved them just because of who they are, not what they do.
From that moment on, we did a lot to change the way we speak. We no longer tell them we are proud of them for what they accomplish. When they do something awesome we tell them that we know it pleased God, and we hope they pleased themselves. Ultimately, the person that they should be trying to please is the Lord. They should also be pleased with themselves for what they have done. This shift has changed so much in their confidence, and has helped our relationship with them greatly.
One other shift we did was we changed the standard of the bar. There is no worse feeling than the feeling where you feel like you will never measure up. No matter how hard you try and get to a certain place, it will never be good enough. This was the situation when it came to Cadence and her confidence. We had always talked about ways to make her more confident. We have worked through so many things with her to try and build it up, but she never felt like she was getting anywhere. Again, it wasn’t until we changed the way we spoke that everything shifted. We started telling her that she IS already confident. She doesn’t have to try and gain confidence. She already has it. Not only that, she has the power of Christ in her. She is confident in Him, and she is confident in herself.
Within a day of us talking to her like this, everything shifted. She handled situations differently. She stopped fearing the things that plagued her. Everything changed for her, and all we had to do was make a small shift in the way that we spoke. No longer does she feel inadequate. No longer does she feel like she is never going to be that person. Instead, she is there. Amazing how the power of words can either build or destroy.
Lord, help me to speak in a way that builds up others and does not tear them down. Never let me forget the power of you living in me. May your power strengthen us all today to boldly walk in a manner that is pleasing in your sight.
~ Suzi Dobias
A Bit More about Suzi Dobias ~
I am a Navy wife with 2 daughters. One is 11 and the other is 19. Our oldest one departed Friday, going on her first journey away from us to intern at Northpoint Community Church in Georgia. I have been involved in youth and family ministry for the past 20 years. I am a coach, an athlete, wife to Rich, and mother. The greatest role I have is the honor of being a servant and child of Christ. I did not grow up knowing Him, so my past is colorful to say the least. God has me on a journey and has asked me to write about it daily. Each day I learn from Him and the failures and successes of myself and others. The journey is humbling and at times hard and long. Holding onto Him and persevering through His strength spurs me on to get through each moment of each day. Hoping and praying that my experiences along the way are able to help others as we go through many of the same trials. To God be the Glory!
I hope you gleaned from the words Suzi penned. God is so wise to bring others along with words of encouragement. Take them in, chew on them, and keep your eyes turned toward Jesus. Have a wonderful week, and be changed for His glory.