authentic

Days upon days – Let’s define it

DockDays upon days – missed!

Best laid plans of mice and men – right? Sign up for a 31 day writing challenge and then leave on day two for a women’s retreat. Without having your drafts set to post while you are away. Not a great start. I’ve got just enough audacity, though, to keep pressing on.

What does it mean to be authentic anyway? Not false or copied; genuine; real.

I don’t know about you, but there were years in my twenties I tried on personality qualities of those around me. I respected them. It’s not that I wanted to steal from them. I just didn’t have a clue who I was. As women often do, I compared myself to women around me and knew I fell short in most areas of my life. Grasping at straws to have some kind of identity, I tried on different hats waiting for one to fit just right. They never quite did.

Perhaps that’s part of why I’m so passionate about authenticity. My journey to understanding authenticity is a journey I would not trade for anything. You see, my first taste of what it meant to be the real me came at nineteen. I had no idea what to do with it. I came face to face with the reality of just how lost I was. At eighteen I was pregnant and scared to death.

I felt alone, overwhelmed and confused about what to do. I had options, they said. Numb and terrified I researched those options. One cold silent step at a time I walked the halls in search of the answer. A young fatherless woman in search of wisdom that would direct me, I cried out in my numbness to God I wasn’t sure existed. If you are real, will you show me what to do. I need to know. The days passed in slow motion until before I knew it these twenty-four hours periods passed into weeks. Just a few weeks after the research began I made the decision to keep the baby. I couldn’t make sense of any of it. How would I do it? How would I parent and provide for this child who would be dependent upon me for everything. Everything? In a moment I made a decision I would give anything to go back in time and change. Before I knew it I was home in the solitude of my bedroom with darkness surrounding me. Just the way I wanted it. Deserved it to be. How could I have chosen to take the life of my unborn child? Nothing made sense to me except the shame I felt.

Yet, this is the very beginning of truly understanding the real me. The reality of what my fear would drive me to choose was something I could not run from or ignore.

As I sought to understand how to be beautiful like Leigh and Debbie and how to carry myself like they did with such confidence and joy, I followed them to a bible study we were invited to. Now you have to understand, the bible was not something I grew up with. Turning the pages week after week revealed things I had never heard before. With increasing guilt and feeling dirty and ashamed I showed up on the doorstep ready for more. Something was enticing me to return.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. Proverbs 9:10. (KJV)

The day I began to understand myself in light of this truth is the day my credible search for who I was took root in something (someone) other than those around me.

The day I understood I was created by God and meant to acknowledge my need for him was the first time I tasted peace in the search for the authentic me. The pieces were not all accounted for and appropriately placed on the roadmap to finding my identity, but meeting the Creator of the universe and understanding that he knew each of my days before one of them came to be was the stake in the ground I would come back to over and over through my lifetime. You see, it is the one thing that changed the course of my life.

How can we, you and I, live with audacious authenticity unless we draw from the one who knows us best?

by // 0 comment

Mentor Survey Says…

It’s familiar to most of us. The longstanding game show – Family Feud – currently hosted by Steve Harvey, presents the contestants with a survey question. Once a team wins the right, the huddle to come up with the most popular answers begins.

The question?

As you were seeking to find a mentor, what characteristics were you looking for in a woman who would invest in you?

Years ago when I met the first woman who would invest in my life in an intentional mentoring relationship, the word mentor was not part of my vocabulary. I recognized a need within me. A need to understand how to live this new life I had surrendered to. A life given up to my Lord and Savior. I sought hard after it in this new friend who I saw living in such a way that showed me she was living for Christ. With her life.

Women today battle epidemic spiritual hunger and loneliness for healthy relationships.

I have witnessed a tremendous desire in younger women to have those who have gone before them share life with them and offer support, encouragement and life experience they have gained along the journey.

My hearts desire is to see women risk engaging relationships across generational lines, because when we become real with one another it offers a safe space for personal growth.

Some women have the ability to articulate what it is they are looking for in a mentor or friend who might be willing to share this type of relationship with them.

Others do not have words to adequately describe what their heart longs for.

With a yearning deep inside, many women have shared their stories with me. Stories of how they have prayed and still wait to see who might be willing to intentionally invest in them.

For seven days I will share with you the answer to a survey question I asked seven young women age twenty-five to forty. Initially my intent was to tally the results and present the top answers, but once the answers were collected, though some were similar, I made a decision to present each to you in hopes you might see the heart of each individual woman.

The survey today says: “As I was seeking a mentor I was looking for someone who possessed willingness, genuineness, loyalty, honesty, authenticity, boldness, kindness and compassion”. JM

Are encouraged by what you read?

Encouraged, perhaps, because this helps you to see the needs of those around you.

Encouraged because you are already investing yourself in this type of relationship.

Encouraged because you see character qualities you possess listed.

I would love to hear your take away.

If you would like to answer the survey question please send it in an email to