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Inspiring Women, Part 7

I couldn’t be more excited to feature my mom in today’s Inspiring Women post! I’ve shared about her several times on my blog and am so thankful for her unconditional love and her contagious energy and optimism. She is not only my #1 cheerleader, but someone I look up to for advice when I’m confused or feeling down. She always has the perfect thing to say. When I was a freshman in college, my mom went back to school to get her Master’s degree in counseling. After extensive internships and 2+ years working in public health counseling, she is now opening her own business in my hometown. I am SO proud of her and excited for what’s next in her life and business. Check out her website here for more information about what she’s hoping to do…

Here’s what Momma had to say…xo!

1. What story is your life telling you today?
I am in the process of opening up a private counseling practice that has been the culmination of a dream and passion to help others. It involved a three year Master’s program, a rigorous licensure process which included an extensive internship, two national comprehensive exams, and 3,000 supervised hours practicing in the mental health field. My life story is telling me today that “Everywhere you go, there you are.” That is good—in that I can continue to use my training, desire and abilities to help others. I can continue to benefit from lessons learned and changes both internal and external that have been made. It is also bad in that I have been struggling with insecurity and the “ditch of inadequacy,” or fear that I am not up to the job at hand. I remembering feeling that way as a young mother. “What in the heck was I thinking?….I have no idea what I’m doing.” I remember feeling it the first time I counseled someone alone, and had the client tell me afterwards that I had been clutching a stone in my hand rather tightly throughout the session! I haven’t lived anywhere near the ditch of inadequacy for years. Occasionally, I visit. But this new venture—with new things like accountants, and marketing plans, and city zoning—–and having to sell myself—–and taking money out of the savings account with no money coming in…..brings me right back to the ditch. I find myself struggling with this whole ”fear of inadequacy thing” again. So the question was “what story is your life telling you today?” I have to go back to what the story of my life has been telling me for several decades—- that God is a good and loving God and fully trustworthy. He was with me through each and every one of those times. Why would He get me this far and then bail?

2. What woman inspires you and why?
I have been thinking about Ruth in the Old Testament. One of my daughter’s best friends recently married an Australian and one week after the wedding packed up and moved across the ocean to live down under for a period of time. I have been thinking a lot about the opposite of “ruth” which is literally “ruthless” or total disregard for anyone else in pursuing your own goal and agenda. I have been thinking about how much true love requires real sacrifice and a continual laying down of oneself. Ruth declared, “Your people will be my people, and your God, my God,” and how much building a lifetime marriage and providing a loving and godly heritage for generations to come involves a commitment (and continual re-commitment) to personal sacrifice. Yikes! That is hard. In the story of Ruth, you see God’s faithfulness in honoring Ruth’s commitment to loving well. In the end—–following some hardship, change, sacrifice, and hard work—-you see the beautiful picture of a loving and faithful God who took care of His own and honored Ruth and her sacrifices. “Ruth” the opposite of ruthless— was indeed true to her name.

3. What are three things you’re thankful for?

Biggies:
God’s grace and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
God’s daily presence in my life.
My family and in particular four beautiful daughters that although distinctly different each bring tremendous joy to me.

Small things that accumulate:
A good book.
Coffee.
Cooking for people who enjoy eating good food.

4. What’s one lesson you’ve learned that you can share with Polish My Crown readers?
I have learned that trying to control other people leads to manipulation and does not produce good fruit. Genuine love never manipulates. Sometimes in the past I have justified manipulating by saying that what I want to accomplish is something good and right for that other person. But, truly manipulation violates “the law of liberty” which points to the idea that each person is responsible for their own choices and actions. We can make choices for ourselves and also choose what we are willing to put up with—-but we must allow others’ the ability to choose (rightly or wrongly) and to deal with whatever consequences result from their actions and choices. Ouch! This is a tough thing for the parent of a teen and several young adults. This is a tough thing for people in relationships where they may be trying too hard to pick up the slack for the other person. The law of love demands that we allow people freedom to choose and to sometimes make mistakes that are harmful.

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