Live well and learn a lot!
“Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way.”
– Al Franken
“I am not someone who is ashamed of my past. I’m actually really proud. I know I made a lot of mistakes, but they, in turn, were my life lessons.”
– Drew Barrymore
We are days away from wrapping up 2017 and I can’t believe that it has almost been a year since I embarked on the journey of being a self-employed, stay-at-home/work-from-home mom. The journey has been quite the adventure as there have been some awesome highs and some steep learning curves, but I am thankful for all that I am learning with each passing day that I continue on this journey.
In deciding to be a fulltime blogger, Youtuber and general wearer of many hats, one thing that I was warned about early on was that not only would I have to be majorly disciplined when it came to working from home, but I would also have some trying times with regard to my work, especially when motivation and inspiration were lacking but I still needed to produce content regularly. Being a content creator for a living, I did find this warning to be quite daunting at first because I had no real answer for what I would do if I ever did hit a particularly dry time where no ideas weren’t coming to me and I lacked the motivation and inspiration to do what I love. My worries about what I would do almost made me want to hit the pause button and to seriously rethink if I even wanted to do this anymore, but as you can see, we are almost a year and I am still here – but by the grace of God! And 11 months from when I first started, one question that I get asked fairly regularly is where do I – a motivator/inspirer of women – go to in order to get some motivation and inspiration for myself?
So, because I get asked this question a fair bit, I figured that I would write a blog post about and share with you how “Dents In My Crown” came to be and how and why I do what I do and where do I get my motivation and inspiration from, so here goes…
If you have read some of my previous posts you would know that as a young girl, throughout my teen years and even into early adulthood, I struggled a lot when it came to embracing myself and learning that I am beautiful in my own special way. I spent a long time wishing away who I was because I for so long, I thought that I wasn’t good enough just being me. So, fast forward into the present day and the fingers that type the words you are currently reading belong to a woman who is sure in who she is, loves being the person God made her to be and fully embraces all that she is – quirks, strengths, weaknesses, stretch marks and all! The growth that has happened in my life over the years is nothing short of a miracle and I have learnt so much through life experiences and through the wisdom that strong women have willingly imparted to me.
"...one question that I get asked fairly regularly is where do I – a motivator/inspirer of women - go to in order to get some motivation and inspiration for myself? So, because I get asked this question a fair bit, I figured that I would write a blog post about and share with you how “Dents In My Crown” came to be and how and why I do what I do and where do I get my motivation and inspiration from, so here goes…"
I have been strengthened, nourished, challenged, comforted and pushed to always better myself and I thank God that today, through the love, blood, sweat and tears of many, I stand as a stronger and wiser woman myself.
Through the years, I have found the saying that “empowered women empower women” is actually very true and in my own life, I really wanted to pay forward the generosity, kindness and wisdom that was shown to me and so for 10 years, I served at my previous church as a youth leader. It gave me the perfect opportunity to influence and impact younger girls with powerful truths that I knew would go on to shape their lives just as it had mine. I thoroughly loved being a youth leader but that chapter of my life came to a close when I got married. I just felt that for a time, I needed to focus on my marriage as a newlywed and so for a time, I chose to just focus on my husband and I and the family that we started not too long after being married.
Even though I love being a wife and a mom, the desire to connect women with life-changing truths is one that never left me. For so long, I wanted to share with people the powerful truths that have helped save and shape my life in the hopes that it can motivate, inspire and encourage someone who has or has had similar struggles to me – but I just wasn’t sure how best to go about, until one day the penny dropped…
What if I could use my blog to help share with women three powerful truths that have affected me personally and shaped my life so powerfully?
What if I could use my love of writing to share a message that can help impact another person’s life?
And so, that is why before you today stands “Dents In My Crown.”
Through this blog, I want to share with you a message of hope and encouragement. I want to share with you a message that I hope will touch your heart and help you embrace being the woman God has made you to be. I wanted to create a platform that addresses the real heart issues that I struggled with when I was younger and to speak the truths that my younger self wishes that she had heard.
Truths which state that:
"For so long, I wanted to share with people the powerful truths that have helped save and shape my life in the hopes that it can motivate, inspire and encourage someone who has or has had similar struggles to me – but I just wasn’t sure how best to go about, until one day the penny dropped… What if I could use my blog to help share with women three powerful truths that have affected me personally and shaped my life so powerfully?"
- You are beautiful!
We live in a world where people like to compare. People like to compare who is the smartest, who is the richest, who has the most followers, who has the most views, who is the thinnest and…who is the prettiest. It is a cut-throat and ruthless game and few people (if anyone!) are left unscathed! And we women, are no exception! I think that it can be really easy for us as women to feel like we feel like we need to compete with each other in order to be the most beautiful, the most lovely and the most admired woman that we know, however, I believe that choosing to take part in this competition is detrimental to ourselves and to our inner well-being. It trains us to look at ourselves and others in a negative light.
When we look in the mirror, all we see are all the things that are wrong with us – the stretch marks, the scars, the dark circles under our eyes, the uneven skin tone and anything else we deem to be unflattering. We create a destructive habit of defining ourselves by our flaws and that in turn is how we start to view others as well. When we start to cultivate this negative trait within ourselves, we create a habit that is incredibly hard to break and we also rob ourselves of the ability to be able to see the joy and the real beauty that surrounds us!
So, how do we remedy the situation?
By embracing this one truth: you are beautiful! Just as you are, with all the jiggly bits, all the cellulite and all of the things which you deem as “imperfections” – you are so incredibly beautiful! It doesn’t matter if you feel like you don’t have movie star type looks and body because you look perfect just how God has made you and you are the most beautiful you that there is! There is no need for you to measure yourself or define yourself by other people’s standards. Yes, it can feel like other people’s expectations and that the media puts a lot of pressure on us girls to look a certain way but you know what, their expectations don’t have to be your reality! You can be happy being the girl who God has made you to be and you can enjoy life to the full by being yourself! You are who God has made you to be and you can rest in that truth and embrace the beauty that you have. As I like to say, rock out at being you!
- You are not defined by your mistakes.
It’s a fact of life that everyone messes up! Heaven knows that I have made more than my fair share of screw ups and if you’re anything like me, sometimes, overcoming the guilt from a past mistake can be so difficult to do. It can be so easy to be hard on myself and to beat myself up for doing something wrong and sometimes, constantly throwing my mistakes back in my own face only serves to make me depressed and despondent. One day, I was sharing my feelings of discouragement and guilt with a dear friend who is both older and wiser than me and she said something to me that really helped the penny drop: “Rachel, if you don’t make mistakes then how will you learn?”
"... you are beautiful! Just as you are, with all the jiggly bits, all the cellulite and all of the things which you deem as “imperfections” – you are so incredibly beautiful! It doesn't matter if you feel like you don’t have movie star type looks and body because you look perfect just how God has made you and you are the most beautiful you that there is!"
That simple question really helped me to see a powerful and life-changing truth. And that truth is this: Yes, I have made and still do make plenty of mistakes…and that is okay. No one is perfect and I am no exception. I will get stuff wrong but what matters most is that I learn from those mistakes! No, making a mistake and learning from it is not always the best or easiest way to learn but at least you’re learning something and you’re growing as a person…and that is infinitely more important than how many times you “get it right.”
Another important thing to remember is that no matter how many times you fail and no matter how many times you get things wrong and mess up, you are never defined by your mistakes. Your past and all the stupid (or not-so-stupid) mistakes you made there do not define you. Your value and your purpose come from God and His view of you is not that of a failure and of a mistake. Your precious and beautiful soul is not defined or determined by your faults, your failings or your flaws, so I implore you, do not let your mistakes define you! Do not believe the lie that you are nothing more than a failure and that you will never amount to much or that you can never do something significant because of your past and the mistakes that it contains. Girl, you have value and worth and the purpose of making those mistakes helps you learn meaningful lessons that enable you to move on a wiser, smarter and more empowered and knowledgeable woman then you were before. Chose to use your past mistakes and lessons as stepping stones so that you can go on to do better because now you know better.
"One day, I was sharing my feelings of discouragement and guilt with a dear friend who is both older and wiser than me and she said something to me that really helped the penny drop: “Rachel, if you don’t make mistakes then how will you learn?”
3.You were created for a purpose.
No one on this earth is here by accident. Your conception may or may not have been planned but you – as a person and as a soul – are no mistake. You were created and put on this earth for a purpose greater than you could ever know and you come alive when you chose to live according to that purpose. I know that this is a tricky thing to say because so many people feel like they do not have a purpose or that they do not know what their purpose is, so how can you be sure that you were created for a purpose when you don’t even know what that purpose is?
Well, here’s my thoughts on the matter: I am of the opinion that finding your purpose is not something that anyone can really tell you. Everyone has been put on this earth to walk their own specific path and so neither me or anyone else can tell you what your purpose is because we are all busy walking on the path that is set out before us.so, while I can’t tell you what your purpose is, I would like to share with you something that I believe to be true and that is that living to love God and love people is one of the most satisfying ways I have found to live. Living to make my God proud is something that gives me great purpose. It affects how I treat people and what decisions I make. In fact, creating Dents In My Crown is a result of me finding my purpose in God and through Him, I received the desire to reach out to women and encourage them with truths that have deeply affected and changed my life.
Now, you may not share my beliefs and I respect that, but I guess, I just want you to know that I believe that your life is not a mistake. You are here on this earth for a reason. You matter and in your own special and unique way, you bring value and worth to this earth that would otherwise be lacking if you weren’t here. So, never doubt just how important you are!
These three truths have hugely shaped and impacted my life. It has literally changed how I see the world and I would like to think that I am a better person by internalising these truths. Over time I came to realise that maybe I am not the only woman I know who needs to hear these life-shaping truths.
Maybe you also need periodic reminders that you are beautiful, you’re not defined by your mistakes and that you are created for a purpose. Maybe your friends need to hear these truths too? So, fueled and empowered by these truths I decided to create Dents In My Crown and to use the platform of YouTube, FB and all other social media to share a positive message of hope and encouragement to all who would stumble across my work.
" I just want you to know that I believe that your life is not a mistake. You are here on this earth for a reason. You matter and in your own special and unique way, you bring value and worth to this earth that would otherwise be lacking if you weren’t here. So, never doubt just how important you are!
To answer the question of where does my inspiration and content come from, that’s pretty simple. I get my inspiration from life. When I was younger, I tended to be an observant and introspective person and in my adulthood, not much has changed. I have always liked to watch people and I also like to think a lot – perhaps, I think too much! So, based on those two things, that’s where I tend to get the bulk of my inspiration and content. Life is a great teacher and I strive to be a good student of all the lessons that it teaches me. I am not always good at learning what I am taught but I have been finding that the more that I apply myself and learn what I am being taught, the more enriched my life is. So, I try and learn as much as I can through life and what it has to teach and offer me.
So in conclusion all I want to say is this: it doesn’t matter if you have a PhD in nuclear physics or if you’re something like me – just a simple girl with some common sense – as long as you are observant and are diligent in learning the lessons that life has to teach you, you will find that you always have something to learn and that you are never short of inspiration. Also, learning what life has to teach you helps you speak a word in season to someone else. We all go through what we go through for a reason, and that reason may well be to help and encourage someone else in their time of need. You may think that you are nothing special and that you have no value that you can input in someone else’s life but I beg to differ. There may be someone out there who needs to hear what you have to say so don’t be shy about sharing what you’ve been learning lately. Whether it’s coffee with your girlfriend’s or a chance encounter with a random stranger, you never know who God might put in your path and how your words of encouragement and insight may be a blessing to them.
So live and learn and live and learn well!