A couple months ago, on a whim, I filled out a launch team application for one of my favorite authors. My thoughts – How unbelievably cool would it be to help launch a book for an author I love to read; It probably won’t happen because I don’t have a super huge following. On February 28th I opened an e-mail welcoming me to the launch team for Jen Hatmaker’s new book Fierce Free and Full of Fire: The Guide to Being Glorious You. WHAT!?!?!?!? I was over the moon thrilled. Now here I am, advanced readers copy in hand, ready to share my thoughts with all of you. My thoughts are many and tackling the whole book would be a never ending post. Instead of a marathon post, this is the first of a 5 post series, matching the 5 sections of the book. Let’s get started!
I am Wired this Way
How are you wired? Do you know? Have you thought about it lately? Is what you show the world match what is going on inside your heart, mind, and, soul?
“Understanding and embracing who we are, how we’ve been created, is the launching pad for living a fearlessly genuine life, where we’re no longer pretending or trying to be something other than what we are on the inside.” (Jen Hatmaker)
Sometimes it is easier to act how people expect us to act, rather than leaning into how we are hard wired. Shifting our actions to meet expectations means we are always checking out the room looking for a direction, instead of trusting our instincts. The goal of this shape shifting game is to stay in good favor with the people around us. But what if no matter what we are worthy of love?
“We were literally created by love, with love, and for love by a God who loves us and is Love itself” (Jen Hatmaker)
Our God created us perfectly and we are wired exactly as planned to live our best life. There is no reason to shape shift our personalities to be loved by others. We were created to be loved acting in our own unique and authentic ways. Our inside motivation can perfectly match our outside behavior and we will be on the right path. No questions asked, we are meant to act in the way in which we are wired by our creator.
I am a recovering shape shifter, otherwise known as a people pleaser. It is exhausting! Leaning into my authentic self and trusting that God created me exactly as I am meant to be is my new path. A path where I am energized instead of exhausted. I am Exactly Enough! Now let’s dig into that one.
I am Exactly Enough
In a culture that is always seeking more, do you find it hard to see yourself as exactly enough? At times the world wants us to hustle, work hard, be larger than life and then dream bigger. Then you walk into another room and are asked to be small, quiet, unassuming. Here is a secret from the words of Jen Hatmaker, “You are not required to justify your space nor hustle for approval.” Our task is to believe that we are enough when acting as our authentic self. So what kind of woman are you?
Jen coined three terms describing the ways in which women live. Let me explain.
First there are Mega Women, women who are “wired to lead and live large”. Next we have the other end of the spectrum, Modest Women are content “thriving in a quiet, private life”. Finally we have the women who thrive in the middle, Mezzo Women are “perfectly, absolutely content with what they have and where they are, right in the pocket in the middle of the dial.” Where do you think you fit?
I am solidly a Mezzo Woman. More is not better. I do not have a desire to be larger than life and constantly seeking the next best thing. My roots, my family, and my community is where my passion lies. I am designed to make the greatest impact right where I live and work. The following statement speaks straight to my heart, “Mezzo Women are the reason we still have a sense of home, connection, comfort.” I am going to live apologetically in my lane from now on. There is no need to be bigger, louder, or hustling for more. For the rest of my days, I will repeat over and over:
“I take up the right amount of space here. The end.” (Jen Hatmaker)
I am Strong in My Body
The last chapter in the Who I Am section of Fierce Free and Full of Fire discusses how we see our body. I know – whoa now, who wants to deep dive into those murky waters. Come on Jen, this is hard. Can’t we just skip this part. But alas, we have work to do.
The American culture pushes an ideal body type. The media bombards us with images of what we “should” look like. Right alongside the pictures of the ideal are a million products to help us get there. How many hours a day do you spend thinking about how you measure up? How many hours a day to you spend figuring out what to do next to reach the ideal?
“But for women who waste untold emotional energy chasing an impossible ideal, who harm ourselves with junk diets and pills to outrun the normal, human body we are walking around in, we have to deboard this crazy train.” (Jen Hatmaker)
I am so guilty in this arena; always striving for the “ideal” body. No consideration for the circumstances of my very own life. I have a perfect weight number in my head, is that number realistic? Who the heck knows! But it is my number and I won’t be happy until I get there. It is a horrible cycle of shame, deprivation, and then binging because who wants to deprive themselves all the time. A crazy train indeed! “Let’s sit on the porch where sanity lives and talk about what is real.”
Have you ever thought about your body as a she instead of an it? What a perspective change. The body and the mind are not separate. They are interwoven together.
“Your character and soul, intelligence and creativity, love and experiences, goodness and talents, your bright and lovely self are entwined with your body, and she has delivered the whole of you to this very day. What a partner! She has been a home for your smartest ideas, your triumphant spirit, your best jokes. You haven’t gotten anywhere you’ve ever gone without her. She has served you well.” (Jen Hatmaker)
Just wow! I need to give her more credit. This body, she carried and delivered 3 children, she earned two degrees, she worked to the best of her ability at so many jobs, and she serves her family and community to the best of her ability on a daily basis. Maybe it is time to give her a break. Instead of seeking an ideal body, let’s focus on a healthy body and mind. I will be compassionate with my body. She works hard. No more shame game. I know what I want, I am exactly enough, and this body has served me well on the journey.
Fierce Free and Full of Fire: The Guide to Being Glorious You is a call to be your authentic self. No apologies. No doubts. It is a book for everyone who is contemplating their direction. As you read, Jen’s passion for people comes right off the page and into your heart. The book releases April 21st, 2020. You can pre-order now by clicking here. If it was up to me, I would hand this book to every woman I know. Our world needs women who are authentic; women who are Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire. Authenticity will change the world – we are the women who lead the charge.