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Day 14 :: The day I visited the Nester, on insecurity and a giveaway

 

Once upon a time I went to the Nester’s house and I didn’t get my picture taken with her.

What was I thinking?

Interestingly enough, the answer might be different than you’d expect:

I was thinking about myself.

That’s right.  Not in an arrogant way, mind you, but more in an ‘I’m so nervous and embarrassed about saying the wrong thing or being awkward or sounding like an idiot and why would she want to take her picture with little ol’ me?’ kind of way.

Nester 2

Back in the spring I signed up for a course that Myquillin was offering called Cozy Minimalist.   As a conclusion to the course, we could add on a day at Nester’s Barn with other Cozy Minimalists who had taken the course.  On a bit of a whim, and with a lot of fear, I signed up for that one day event, realizing I would be mingling with people I had only ever interacted with via the internet.

I packed my overnight bag and spent the day in Charlotte visiting a friend, shopping at Ikea, eating dinner out by myself (a treat for me), and sleeping in a hotel room with no child interruptions.  I woke up early on Saturday morning and sifted through the ten outfit options I had brought for the one day event.  Because, you never know what you’ll feel like wearing, especially when you’re ten weeks pregnant.  I settled on the same shirt I had worn the day before and a pair of black shorts.  Nice one, Lauren. 

Just the fact that I brought so many clothes tells me that I felt completely insecure about attending this event.

As I chatted with my husband on the phone on my drive to the event he said to me, “Lauren, have a good time.  Talk.  Just be yourself.

Just be yourself.  Easier said than done and he said it because he knows my struggle.

I would love to be able to walk into any social setting and feel totally comfortable, confident, and able to connect on any level with the people I encounter.

But that doesn’t always happen.  I tend to be quiet, observe from the sidelines, and get red-faced nervous when I strike up a conversation with anyone or get asked a question.  I fumble my way through small talk, often rambling about dumb things and then later wonder what on earth possessed me to say the words that came out of my mouth.

Nester 3

Some of this I will attribute to my personality.  But some of it is just plain insecurity, and something that I would like to conquer.  And I hope and pray that my girls will learn early on in life to be themselves.  To understand how God has wired them, recognize their shortcomings–yes, but to walk confidently through life and allow God to use them to bless others through their personalities, gifts, abilities, and quirks.

So, I’ve come up with a few pointers.

Nester 5

1. Know and believe that your greatest worth comes from the Lord.  This is the first step.  Inevitably there will be people in their lives who will tease them, dislike them, even find them weird and not want to be their friend.  And it’s easy to internalize these rejections and feel worthless or de-valued.  But in God’s eyes, we are loved, we are accepted, and if we are in Christ then we are new creatures who are precious and beloved of God.

2. Be more concerned with the needs of others than with your reputation.  When I’m really thinking about others more than myself it’s easier to jump into conversations with strangers, or even people that I know but don’t know well.  Questions come to mind to ask them and I’m less concerned with saying the right thing or having some witty remark and more interested in what the other person has to share.  This is one way to think of others more highly than ourselves.  Sometimes it takes a lot of effort, and it might mean that you never get asked a single question or get to tell that funny story you’ve been waiting to share.  But it’s loving and humble and these are some of the marks of a follower of Christ.

Nester 4

3. Be sincere.  Myquillin had this tea towel (pictured below) hanging in her kitchen.  I loved it at first because, Scripture on a towel.  But, then as I was editing photos for this post it struck me that the believers in the early church were characterized by sincerity in their communities.  Sincerity, by definition is:   the virtue of one who speaks and acts truly about his or her own feelings, beliefs, thoughts, and desires.  Oh, how I pray that this would be the bent of my heart when I interact with others!  And, I want this for my girls as well.

Nester 7

There are countless other ways to battle insecurity, but this post is already way too long so I’ll keep my list to those three, for now.

A few days after my visit to the Barn, I read a post by Emily (Myquillin’s sister) about self-reflection.  Emily’s story is different from my own, but what she had to say ministered to my heart.  She helped me to recognize that I was too concerned about what others thought and instead I needed to just be myself, wherever Jesus places me.

Nester 1

If I could live that day over again with these ladies I would do it differently.  I would ask more questions.  I would laugh.  I would speak up.  I would take selfies with each one I had the opportunity to chat with.  Because that’s what I wanted to do but I was too insecure.

Also, I’ve decided that if you’re in someone’s home, it’s completely appropriate to ask to have your picture taken with them, no matter how famous (or not famous) they might be.  And so, I would have a picture of Myquillin and me and I would display it as a reminder of what I learned about myself that day. 

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As part of our goodies for the day, we were gifted a signed copy of Myquillin’s book, the Nesting Place.  I already had a copy, so I’ve decided to give away the signed copy I received to one of you!

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To enter:  Simply comment on this post and to my list of tips.  Remember, I approve all comments, so don’t be alarmed when your comment doesn’t appear right away.

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I’ll leave the giveaway open until Friday, October 23, and I’ll announce the winner next Saturday. *Winner must have a US mailing address*

THINGS I WANTMY DAUGHTERS TO KNOW

This is Day 14 of a series “Lessons for my Daughters”.  Click here for a complete list of posts.

 

 

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20 Comments

  • Reply Ivey

    I just told my sister she needs to read this book! Love your thoughts for today!

    October 14, 2015 at 12:45 pm
  • Reply sherri lynn

    Lauren thanks for being so open and vulnerable in sharing this post! I love that you took so many outfits…that is totally something that I do ALL the time. I think we’re each insecure in our own ways, and I think your tips were great! Especially thinking about others. I always have a bunch of questions ready to ask people if I get stuck with an awkward silence or if people aren’t interested in asking me anything. Inevitably I end up enjoying myself learning about others! Also, I LOVE that tea towel! I’m going to try to find it online. Fun giveaway!!! Also, LOVE YOU!!

    October 14, 2015 at 1:07 pm
  • Reply Amanda E

    Lauren, I loved today’s post!I am right there with you when it comes to standing on the sidelines, not knowing what questions to ask and fumbling my way through small talk. such wonderful advice for your daughters, and it spoke to my heart as well 🙂

    October 14, 2015 at 1:21 pm
  • Reply Heather H

    Such a good post. I’ve really been enjoying these. I think it’s a struggle that we all face, especially when our focus turns inward. I’m the opposite of you in one way. When I feel socially awkward I start to talk too much. But it still comes down to what you said, thinking of the other person’s needs… Something I’m still working on.

    October 14, 2015 at 2:17 pm
  • Reply Emily

    It encourages me how genuine you are in your posts!

    October 14, 2015 at 2:36 pm
  • Reply Anne

    Thank you for your post. As a fellow military spouse, it’s easy to let the frequency of moving & starting friendships over become discouraging, but this is a great post that I’m going to bookmark & share (& re read as needed.

    October 14, 2015 at 2:51 pm
  • Reply marina

    I love this blog post! Thank you for sharing.

    October 14, 2015 at 2:54 pm
  • Reply Amy

    I didn’t know how much I needed to read this post until I skimmed it, and then went back to the beginning to take it all in. Thank you for being so frank about vulnerability, Lauren. I’ll be keeping those three tips in mind as I plan for the rest of this week.

    October 14, 2015 at 3:30 pm
  • Reply Suzanne (princapecos)

    These are great tips. I’ve been asked if engaging people comes naturally to me. It doesn’t, and I’d much rather stay in my own bubble. But being a Christian (and a pastor’s wife, to boot), I feel compelled to go outside of my comfort zone to make others feel comfortable and to serve them. Sometimes that’s simply by engaging them in conversation and being a good listener. It’s still uncomfortable at times, and I can’t say I’m good at it, but I’m a work in progress. Thank the Lord!

    October 14, 2015 at 4:02 pm
  • Reply Heidi W

    This hits so close to home! I have had many of these anxious thoughts in the last couple weeks as we try to get acquainted and involved in our small group.
    So hard to just be yourself!

    October 14, 2015 at 6:39 pm
  • Reply Lydia

    And to think you were always a confident, at least appeared way, hostess for our Bible study. And I love that towel, too!

    October 14, 2015 at 7:06 pm
  • Reply Angela Robbins

    Love your post! I’ve had the same group insecurities, and I loved reading through your thoughts.

    October 14, 2015 at 8:27 pm
  • Reply Stephanie

    Thanks for your post, and the opportunity to win the book. I really enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work, and I hope you are encouraged just as you encourage others.

    October 14, 2015 at 8:58 pm
  • Reply Julie

    Thanks for your account of your day. I appreciate your reflections and sincerity. I’ve been wanting to read the Nester’s book!

    October 15, 2015 at 3:47 am
  • Reply Sydni Jackson

    I love this post! I can totally relate to you… I get especially nervous around people that I know but don’t know very well, like you said. I’d rather meet someone knew and never have to talk to them again than go through that awkward phase of being acquaintances – where you’ve already asked the basic questions and you have to start talking about real things – it’s so hard! Jesus has definitely worked on my heart in the first two, and I find that it really is so much easier to meet people when you trust in who God made you to be, and focus on caring about the other person more than yourself. I have had so many great conversations with acquaintances and strangers since learning those! I love sincerity, too, and love that you mentioned that. 🙂

    October 15, 2015 at 10:10 am
  • Reply Heidi Bronleewe

    What a beautiful and insightful post! Our family is getting ready to move across the country and one of the things that scares me the most is building new friendships. Those three things are exactly what the Lord has been speaking to my heart.

    October 15, 2015 at 8:00 pm
  • Reply Write 31 Days :: Lessons for my Daughters | Life with Truth

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    October 17, 2015 at 6:37 am
  • Reply Jes M

    I am not a blog reader, but every time I read one of your entries I smile, I laugh, I relate to it in some way, and it somehow encourages and challenges me at the same time. Thank you for using your gift to encourage and inspire so many other women who sometimes feel alone in their struggles!

    October 17, 2015 at 12:54 pm
  • Reply Ashley

    Beautiful reminders. I can so relate to what you described here! Thanks so much for the encouragement!

    October 23, 2015 at 2:55 pm
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