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On Strengths and Weaknesses

I’ve had this ongoing struggle lately trying to make sense of something that really bothers me.  You see, I’m a tireless information junkie.  I love to read articles, journals, blogs, books, research, etc.  My idea of an exciting movie night is sitting down with a pad of paper and a pen in front of a documentary or a DVD recording of a seminar.

 

To me, getting tons of different perspectives and lots of varying ideas is exhilarating and exciting.  I enjoy sorting through conflicting information and making sense of it.  I love gleaning from experiences of others, even if their experiences are much different from my own.

 

Unfortunately, being the slow learner that I am (isn’t that ironic), it has taken me a long time to realize that not everyone’s brain works the same. For many people, too much information is oppressive and overwhelming.  So to have someone constantly throwing information at you can be tiring to say the least.

 

So picture this, here I am (the tireless information junkie) finding out all the really interesting stuff all the time.  I find something that relates to someone I know and so I pass that info on to them, thinking they would be as interested to see it as I am.  Next thing I know there are hurt feelings and defensiveness on the part of the recipient. Huh?  What in the world just happened???

 

I’ve had so many experiences, online and face to face, that stumble to something like this.  I’ve racked my brain to try to understand it.  I’ve spent much time in prayer asking God to give me wisdom on when to share and when to keep my mouth shut and to help me be sensitive to others needs.

 

I think I’m finally beginning to understand.  This article here by Stacy at Stacy Makes Cents has been so helpful in clarifying what I’ve been trying to make sense of.

 

I agree wholeheartedly with what Stacy says and I’m so grateful to her for putting it so clearly down in words.  For me, it’s a given that “Food is Not Your God,” and I assume that everyone knows that.  I assume that people who read my blog and talk to me know that I put my full trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for my salvation and that regardless of whether I feed my kids McDonalds for each meal or make every meal from scratch from all organic, locally grown ingredients…it makes no difference in eternity.

 

When Stacy made this statement it was an eye opener for me:

 

About three months ago, I unsubscribed from most of the whole foods blogs that I was reading. They were NOT encouraging…they were only stressing me out and making me feel like a complete failure. There was NO WAY I could measure up to most of those blogs…

 

I had to re-read that a couple of times to comprehend it.  Then the Lord brought to my mind several conversations that I’ve been a part of where similar feelings have been expressed.  Being discouraged by not being able to measure up is a result of comparing ourselves to others.   Feeling like a failure because we can’t do “it all” is comparing ourselves to others.

 

Big lightbulb moment for me!

 

Of course!  Aren’t we (women especially) so prone to comparing ourselves to others?  Aren’t our insecurities amplified around someone who we view to be doing something that we don’t think we can do/don’t have time to do/don’t really want to do?  I know that when I’m around a woman who seems to have it all together with homeschooling or home organization or keeping a clean house (things that I constantly struggle with), I feel a little intimidated especially if she’s coming to my house.  And then, if she tries to “help” me get more organized or teach me more effective ways of cleaning my kitchen floor, or tries to coach me on how to get better about keeping up with schoolwork…of course that might make me feel a little irritated, maybe even a little condemned by her if I don’t really have an interest in changing how I do things.  While she might have all intent to encourage and help me improve in these areas, I might actually be discouraged and overwhelmed by her.

 

Yes!  Now I understand.  When I throw all this info at people it might be something interesting to me that I think will encourage them and be helpful to them, but if they’re not in a place to receive it it actually has the exact opposite effect.  Just like when a fellow homeschooling mom was concerned about one of my children’s lack of progress in a particular subject and was trying to offer helpful suggestions.  I went home and unloaded to my husband about how judged she made me feel. Looking back, I know she wasn’t being judgmental and her heart was to be helpful, but my perception was skewed based on my insecurities in that area.

 

So to relate my new-found understanding to my personal interactions I have this to say:  Thank you Lord for showing me that unsolicited information is not well received.  For my friends and family, they know my interests and I trust that if they want or need my advice or help with anything in the realm of healthy eating or living, they will ask.  Of course I will gladly share!  But I am no longer going to be posting random information about health, wellness, food, toxins, etc. on my personal facebook page or offering it up randomly in conversations.

 

Of course, this blog is my outlet and I will continue to share these things here and on the Natural and Nourished Family facebook page. I have to realize that not everyone gobbles up information like I do and that some people might be turned off by it or feel overwhelmed.  But I also know that there are tons of people seeking this information. God has given me a passion to help people and if they’re visiting my blog, they’re here because they want to be.

 

To anyone who might be overwhelmed or discouraged, please know this: we all have our strengths and we all have our weaknesses.  I would never attempt to blog about sewing or crafting or scrapbooking or home organization or homeschooling or physical fitness or managing a large family or any other topic.  My niche is healthy eating and living.  Apart from the Word of God, I enjoy learning in this area more than any other and I enjoy sharing what I’m learning.  I am far from perfect, just like everyone else. Please don’t be discouraged because you only see this very small snipit of life that I actually do well. There are plenty of areas in which I am lacking greatly.  

 

No one has it all together.  Not one of us.  And having it all together should not be a goal we try to reach.  Let us all learn from eachother’s strengths and not be discouraged.  Love to you all!

 

Proverbs 16:9

 In their hearts humans plan their course,
 but the Lord establishes their steps.

 

 

 

2 Responses to On Strengths and Weaknesses

  1. Such great perspective! Both that people need to be in a place where they can receive the help or advice that I could give them and also that sometimes my own insecurities are probably often responsible for why I feel like someone is being judgmental or unkind. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. michelle lindenmuth

    obviously this article struck a chord with both of us since I posted it on the clean living site and my FB…..lol….I love your advice and I will be one to keep asking and seeking your advice on the food things I don’t know :), I appreciate it and am very realsitic even when people give me advice I am not ready for. I always thank them and let them know if I am ready or not for it and if I am not, then I just tell them that I will be asking them for their advice in the future when I am ready:), I am not easily offended and very comfortable with my strengths and weakness, and am the first to admit when I am wrong, but have had to work at getting to this point, but once you reach this point, it is soo peaceful and freeing, to not judge or worry about being judge even if you are….lol

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