Every now and again I like to write a little blurb from my heart to yours, because I am a real person with real thoughts and feelings and a real life that happens apart from the tips and tricks and makeovers that you see here. The thoughts that I have been rehearsing over the past few weeks aren't new ideas. They are actually probably things that you have heard before. But I feel impressed to share, and I hope that my sharing results in these truths finally clicking for one of you friends out there.
So when I say that I'm learning how to stay in my lane, I mean that I am trying to do only what I was made to do and quit looking around at what other people are doing comparing myself to them. Author Annie Downs talks more in depth about this in her interview with Christy Nockles on the Glorious in the Mundane podcast. And on a similar note, did y'all see that picture from the Olympics?
Yeah, that one. Do you see that dude? South Africa's Chad Le Clos is straight up WATCHING US Gold Medalist Michael Phelps instead of watching where he was swimming. My youngest sister-in-law trained and swam at the collegiate level, and something that I remember hearing is that losing your focus could cost you the race.
Point in case.
Let me say that again; when you lose your focus you lose ground.
I'm not condoning a competitive spirit saying "Go, Fight, Win! Beat everybody out." What I AM saying is that when you are focused on what YOU were created to do, you don't even REALIZE there is competition because you're just singing along with Dory to keep swimming straight ahead. You're not worried about who is getting featured on what website, or who is getting what book published, or who is getting booked for what wedding or what photo shoot. I'm learning (aka: being given opportunity to practice) on repeat that "staying in my lane" looks a lot like how to admit my weaknesses and ask for help when I'm a fish out of water. (Can't stop with the swimming puns now!) When I'm staying in my lane, I am freed up to support my friends' strengths EVEN IF THEY LOOK VERY SIMILAR TO MY OWN because I trust that God is enough. He has enough. He crafted us and has a very specific plan on how He is using every little detail about and within us. Why would I NOT be in support of that?
That also in turn looks a lot like giving credit when you use someone else's idea or strength for your inspiration. Giving credit doesn't make you look weak. It shows that you are strong enough to support the weight of both the work of someone else as well as your own. Sometimes we can all be absent minded and forget that tag or mention, and there is grace for that. But I challenge you, like I am challenging myself, to be more intentional about giving credit. Fight the urge to take the credit for yourself because pride suffocates joy.
I recently ran across a quote by Bob Goff on Instagram that said, "It's easy to get distracted watching what everyone else is doing. Tend to your own fire." If I was feeling sassy, I'd requote that as MIND YA BUSINESS. :) At least, that's what I'm yelling at myself. Just mind my business and choose to be grateful for the things I've been given to be faithful with. I've even recently posted about this on Instagram as well.
A real life example of having the chance to live this out is from working with my friends Paige and Skye. Up to this point with luxe|wise, I've pretty much done everything by myself. The branding, the graphics, building the website, the content, etc. But really, luxe|wise would've never even happened without Leesha. And content for the blog wouldn't keep coming without help from the contributing bloggers Katy, Jordan, and Whitney. And growth with the business side of things wouldn't have precipitated without Paige and Skye. Their fresh eyes and ability to work on the photos and SEO has been far beyond my reach. All these women have strengths that compensate my weaknesses, and instead of being jealous or trying to compete with them or become critical, I have (thanks to God working humility and grace in my life) been able to become vulnerable with them and trust that when I welcome their critiques into my life and business, it's from a place of mutual support and not jealousy. What we are NOT talking about is just blowing smoke and having them tell me what they think I want to hear. Cause ain't no body got time fuh dat. What we ARE talking about is how our relationships and strengths are intended to be mutually beneficial for each other and ultimately The One who made us. There's a verse in the Bible that says God's strength is made perfect in our weaknesses. I think that the world gets it twisted by thinking that humility is weakness. I fully believe that God intends to show that His strength is in humility when we allow others to step in and do things in ways that we can't. They take up our slack. They have our backs. And that points straight to the character of God. The beginning of that verse starts off by saying that God's grace is sufficient. That phrase has been coming to LIFE for me over the past 2-3 years. It's not just some cute thing to say. It is absolute life, because it is by God's grace that I am even drawing my next breath. It is by His grace that He provides friends who can pick up the slack when I'm weak.
The last part of the verse says, "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." That's what I want y'all. I want joy. I want to boast GLADLY about my weaknesses because that means I get a chance to put on display GOD'S strength by supporting what He has made someone else to do well. That is something powerful. That is something beautiful. That is something life giving.