“Would you hold me accountable to help me to manage my time better?”
This is the question I asked one of my closest friends, several years ago.
Her answer surprised me, “What if God made you this way? What if you’re trying to change something that He created in you?”
Fast forward a few years. I sat at Panera Bakery, sipping decaf coffee, catching up with another dear friend. There, as if no time had passed, I lamented to her about how bad I am at managing my time.
Her response caught me off guard, “Has this annoying tendency ever been helpful to you or someone else?” Somehow, this sounded like a question she would ask one of her coaching clients. (I found recently, it was. I was part of her experiment. See pg 42)
“Well...,” I hesitated, “Actually, one of my daughters’ tells me, all the time, that I have the ‘gift of availability.’ Others, have told me ‘I am a Mary,’ (as opposed to a Martha). And, my husband always reminds me that I care more about people than things,” (like a really clean house, or planning menus, or filing that growing mound of paperwork).
My friend smiled. “Ugh!” I sighed, “I’m not so sure this is a good thing.”
My friend, who challenged the way I see myself, happens to be an amazing woman, wife, mommy, speaker, blogger, and coach. Plus, she just published her first book addressing this very subject. You know, the “quirks” that drive each of us crazy. The “weaknesses” we are forever trying to change. The “weirdnesses” that keep us from embracing and becoming all of who God fully, and wonderfully, intended us to be.
As I read through the pages of her book, “Why Your Weirdness is Wonderful,” I began to realize something. I have always measured myself by how “productive” my day, my month, my life is. When I tell my husband how many things I marked off my “to do list” at the end of each day, I either feel like a success or a failure, depending on the length of the list I can ramble off.
Yet, even as I type this, I wonder if my wise, loving and accept-me-just-as-I-am husband already figured this out. Because lately, when he comes home from work at night, he no longer asks me “what did you do today?” Instead, he asks me, “Who did you talk to today?”
This new question has confused me. What’s the “right” answer? If I don’t list more than one or two people, I still feel like a failure. However, lately, as I answer his question, I have discovered I communicate with a lot of people (on-line and in-person) everyday. And, I recognize, even to the introvert that I am, this is very life-giving and fulfilling.
In reading, “Why My Weirdness is Wonderful,” I am beginning to understand that my passion to connect with and encourage people (anytime and everywhere) is one of the ways my weird, annoying, mis-management of time can be helpful and is wonderful. Suddenly I see, I am my biggest critic. Those who know me well and love me most do not condemn me. Somehow they “get” that my weirdness is wonderful. So guess what? I am the one who needs to stop condemning me.
I am so excited to share my friend, Laurie Wallin’s, new book with you. “Why Your Weirdness is Wonderful” is a refreshing, fun, and transforming way to look at yourself and others. Please share a comment about how something you considered weird may actually be wonderful in your own life. Then, next Monday, March 17, I will give away two copies of Laurie’s new book to randomly selected winners. (Please leave contact info.)
In the meantime, embrace who God created you to be, weirdnesses and all! Because, YOU ARE WONDERFUL!
Laurie Wallin is a Christian speaker and certified Life Coach who loves helping people find joy and confidence by letting go of energy drainers and using their God-inspired strengths. Laurie, her husband and their four daughters make their home in San Diego.