One of the challenging parts of being a leader of any kind is practicing what you preach. As a leader & mentor to women of all ages, shapes, types, and backgrounds I frequently encourage them to be brave and authentic and also to love themselves. What kind of leader would I be if I didn’t do the same…or at least die trying?
This past year I had the pleasure of meeting and becoming mentor and surrogate mom to a lovely young woman by the name of Maeghan. Believe me when I tell you that it is impossible to meet her and not immediately love her. Over the last few months as we’ve spent time together we have discovered that we are very much like one iron sharpening another. As we all do at the end of every year, Maeghan and I began chatting about all of the things that would be fun to do in 2018 and considering our joint love of photography it should have come as no surprise that this type of challenge would come up. In fact…thinking back on it, I’m pretty sure that I’m the one who suggested it. (Ugh.)
So here we are…week 1 of a 52 Week Gratitude Challenge intended to incorporate photography, writing, boldness, transparency and quite a bit of anxiety.
Just kidding. Mostly.
Each week has a theme and will include some form of self-portrait taken with a DSLR camera and will be posted on our blogs. Make sure to also stop by and say hi to Maeghan at her site too!
This week we were asked, “Why start this challenge?”
Hmmmmm…great question and there are a few reasons for me.
- I said I would. I refuse to allow cowardice and insecurity keep me from following through with my commitment. I wasted enough time in my life allowing that to happen.
- I am learning to see myself through God’s eyes. My own view of myself is often incredibly critical. I sometimes struggle to believe that the same compassion and extravagant love I preach over other women is also my eternal birthright. But in the deepest parts of my heart, I believe that I am known and called by name and have been claimed proudly by the One who created me. Even now as I read through the words written in Isaiah 43, I am stirred with conviction and confidence.
- I have a daughter. I want my daughter and my future daughters-in-law to also believe in their worth and purpose. I don’t believe in neutrality in this area. There is too much evidence to confirm that if we are not truthfully, actively, and frequently teaching young women to grab hold of these thoughts with intention then by our silence we are teaching them the exact opposite. God help me to never be silent about who He is and who He says I am.
So there you go…week 1 done. Here’s to another 51 weeks.