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I am a reforming people pleaser.
I use to be so worried about what others thought of me and how my interactions with them made them feel. I would leave every conversation replaying my words over in my mind, scanning each of them for offense. “Oh, I shouldn’t have said that.” “ Did that come out right?” Well, that was a dumb thing to say!” “I must of offended them with that statement.” This inner dialogue would consume my mind until my next interaction with someone and then the cycle would start over again. It was crippling and made me fearful of even speaking to people.

Talk about torture!
This is not a pleasant way to live. It’s also not an enjoyable way to do relationships.

Yes. Let’s be kind in our words and guard our tongues. Yes, let’s love others well in both word and deed. However, being so crippled by the fear of pleasing man is no way to live.

Over the years my desire to please people has waned because my desire to please God has become greater. My current mantra that has freed me up is this: “Audience of One.” Everything I do or say goes under that microscope. Does this please my Father? Am I doing this for Him or to please man? This one statement has shifted the way I approach a conversation and has freed me up to love hard, be fully myself, and release others.

This is one of those foundational principals I need my kids to know. Speak, work, perform, dress, eat, play all for the audience of One, the One.

All too soon the world will impress on them and they will start to care what others think of them. I pray that they care more about what God thinks of them then anyone else. I pray they are able to be fully themselves, who God created them to be and not get trapped in the scam of people pleasing.

I will end with this story that illustrates the way I want to live.
My six year old daughter loves fashion. She loves creating and that includes putting outfits together. It brings her joy and comes naturally to her. I believe it is apart of her original design, who God made her to be.
She puts together crazy outfits that sometimes I don’t want to let her leave the house in. I confess I’ve had to force myself from asking her to change because the world has told me its not ok to wear your dress backward. Yes, she has done that!
Instead of crushing her spirit though I encourage her. She is not in a place yet where she wants to please the world. She doesn’t care about fitting it. She feels free to be herself and I love that. And you know what? I believe God loves that too! Seeing His kids fully alive and free must bring Him great joy. He came so we would have life, and have it abundantly and part of that is walking out in freedom in who He designed us to be and not stifling ourselves because we want to please man.

I want to be more like my daughter. Free to be myself. True to my original design and focused on my audience of One. May everything we do and say and wear be for the audience of One.

 

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I have a simple remedy for a bad day. This remedy is another one of those things I need my kids to know before I die. When you are feeling sad, rejected, disappoint, depressed, or have a case of the “blahs” shift the trajectory of that day with gratefulness.

Yep. That’s it.
Start listing things you are grateful for (I have a journal dedicated to just this) and see what happens in your spirit. It doesn’t have to be huge and obvious things. Of course we are grateful for our families and the roof over our heads and it’s totally good and right to claim those. Don’t forget, though, to add the little things to your list such as the extra five minutes of sleep you got this morning, the bird singing outside your window, or being able to drink your coffee when it’s HOT (and all the mommas with kids under the age of 4 said “AMEN”).
It may be difficult at first to count your blessings when you are smack dab in the middle of really difficult things. Hard times will come and it’s ok to have the emotions and feelings that accompany hardship. But don’t stay there, dear one. Don’t give the enemy any more power than he thinks he has. 
With every grateful proclamation you are taking one step away from darkness and into the light. The Bible says to, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise (Psalm 100:4).  Catch hold of that marvelous truth! When we declare what we are thankful for we are drawn into the presence of God! Feel like God is so far away? Start to speak out what you are grateful for and watch God meet you there!
Gratefulness shifts the atmosphere. It softens our hearts and reminds us of the nearness of God. Getting after grateful is a powerful way to kick Satan in the teeth and draw near to your Creator.
Do you have a grateful journal? How and when do you use it?
And as I continue to participate in a writing challenge with some friends I would be honored if you would take a moment to check out these blog posts below. So proud of these women for taking a risk and writing even when it seems scary and exposing.
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I feel this desperate need to explain my child to new people.

New friends, new teachers, new church nursery volunteers all give me slight anxiety since I have yet to inform them about my kid. Okay, okay. Let me be completely transparent: it gives me major anxiety!

I fear that five minutes in my little one will throw a tantrum or hit or ignore authority and will be immediately labelled “the bad kid.”

You see, they may realize that she was adopted, but they do not know her story. They do not know her past which directly correlates to her present and her behavior.

Her past is not an excuse for her behavior. We do not let her get away with all the things and do not expect others to just give her a free pass. However, knowing about her past does help bring understanding and empower those in her life to better care for her and even avoid some of her behavior triggers.

So here is my struggle: how much do I share?

Do I reveal all the details of her personal and painful story? Do I give them a dissertation on the long term effects of trauma? Do I explain the ins and outs of attachment disorder? Or do I stay silent and let them go in blind? Even more disconcerting, will they believe me if I do share and will they take the information to heart?

I do not know the right answer. I am just here to say that my toddler hits sometimes. She also can throw a huge fit, usually in a public place which leaves all eyes on me. She often withdraws from social interactions which appears like a disregard for authority. All these behaviors are connected to her past and the trauma she endured. Unfortunately, I do not have 10 minutes to explain this to every watching eye as I walk through Target dodging her swing hands aiming for my face. But, oh how I want to. I often long for people to understand instead of judge.

This is uncharted territory for me. I am smack dab in the center of these unknown waters with no perfect answer in sight. What I do see, however, is other people out here treading water right along with me. I did not see them before. I confess I was blind to them before I joined them. I feel like this struggle has given me a peek behind the curtain, a small glimpse at what many moms and dads experience daily. Parents with children who have special needs or serve disorders or emotional delays or physical disabilities who are always on guard for their babes. The desire to advocate and educate is strong but collides with the longing for our babes to be free from any and all labels. You can’t seem to have one without the other though.

My daughter has a strong need to control all situations because she spent her first two years of life feeling unsafe. I want people to know that she is not fighting for control out of manipulation or pure defiance but because she feels unsafe and does not know how to trust people. I want them to understand her attachment disorder is a real condition and not just label her a sad little orphan or a difficult child. A child who comes from trauma may not appear physically to be affected by their past and that leaves a huge gap for behavior to be misunderstood and inappropriately handled.

What is a mom to do? Do I run down the halls of her preschool waving a huge flag that reads “Attachment Disorder” or do I sit back and hope that the principal doesn’t call me into the office and explain that we need to find a new school for our three year old?

I am sure the answer is somewhere in the middle, but I am caught in this tension and I have a feeling I will be here for a while.

Here is my plan for now: I will advocate for my daughter when it is needed and extend grace to those who care for her. And I will leave room for this to ebb and flow as needed. And most of all I will pray for wisdom. Man, could I use all the wisdom when it comes to parenting.

What I do know is that I am not alone in these thoughts and feelings. There are many parents out there yearning for people to understand their kids and not just judge them or slap a label on them. We love our kids and we desire that the world would see them as we do.

To all you moms and dads our there advocating for your kids, please know I see you. You are doing a good job and loving your babes the best way you know how. I know your kid is awesome. Keep graciously telling those teachers and childcare workers how awesome they are and what works best for them so they can continue to be awesome. 

How much do you advocate for your children? When do you decide to share information and when do you hold back? I would love to hear from you. We are in this together.

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Speaking of being in this together, I am excited to share with you some more posts from the writing challenge I am hosting. This is our second week of writing together and I am so proud of all these ladies for stepping out and sharing their words with the world. Click on their names to read their work. Be sure to comment on their posts to spur them on!

Terri 

Stephanie 

Traci

Jessi

 

 

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  • September 19, 2017 - 9:39 pm

    Terri Laurent - Renee,
    This is beautiful. So raw and real. When you painted the picture of parents out there treading water, that image was so vivid. I think that is how many parents feel. I can tell you that I even feel that way with adult children sometimes. I’m praying wisdom for you. God called you to this unique set of circumstances and He has prepared you. He’ll show you what to do.ReplyCancel

Welcome to the first post in this series entitled “Things I Need My Kids to Know Before I Die”. I know what you are thinking, “that is a strange topic for a blog series!”  Click here to learn the heart behind it and it won’t seem so crazy. 

Before I start I will say that these posts are not written in order of importance. Ordering them just seem too daunting for my brain. However, if I could only tell my kids one thing it would be this: love God and love people. The end!

But since I am not dying today I am able to tell them more, so I will start with this:

Call people up! Call out the gold in them. Speak life and destiny over them!

Words are powerful and what we hear starts to grow in our hearts. If we hear shaming statements such as “you are weak”, ” you are too much” or “you can’t do that” then we will begin to believe those lies. They will spread like a disease and cripple us. Those lies prevent us from walking out in our design and God given purpose.

We will not participate in that type of poison! Those voices are already loud enough in our world. Instead, let us be chain breakers and speak truth and potential over others.

Call them up!

This is what God did time and time again in the Bible. He would literally call people to their destiny by changing their names and calling them by their purposes. Come, on! Now that is good stuff.

He spoke hope and promise over a childless man by calling him Abraham, which literally means “father of a nation”. He did this way before his wife was ever pregnant. He called out the gold that was to come!

He declared position and authority over Peter when he proclaimed him “the rock” that God would build His church on. What a powerful word to speak over this man who would first deny Jesus three times before walking forward in this destiny as the rock!

Call people up!

How can you daily apply this? We often can see the gold in others that they can not see themselves. We simply have to speak that over them. Tell your husbands what you see in him. Proclaim the lovely you see in your kids.  Speak life and destiny over your friends and coworkers.

Here are some examples:
You are a leader.
You are such a giver.
You are a wise person.
You are creative.
You are a good friend.
You are kind.
You are brave.
You are a good listener.
You bring joy everywhere you go.
You are a risk taker.
You are a good writer, speaker, teacher…

It’s that simple. It’s not about vain flattery. It’s about calling out what you see in others that so easily gets lost in a world pointing out our faults and lack. Said in simple terms, since my babes are 7,6,and 5, just tell people what you like about them.

What a beautiful way to love people. Call out the gold. Call them up and watch them rise to that calling!

I am honored to end this post by sharing with you inspired words by some dear friends of mine. These are brave sisters who said “YES” to a writing challenge I am currently hosting. These ladies are writers, and bold risk takers who are doing this challenge even though fear and doubt may be telling them not to. They are putting themselves out there and sharing their words and hearts. Please take a moment to encourage them and CALL THEM UP by clicking a link below and reading their work. Your comments will make their day and spur them on in their call to writing.

Click on each name to read their blog post for this week’s challenge.

Magdalena

Stephanie

Sarah

Traci

Jessie

Lets be a tribe of people who call people up!

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I know so many people who feel called to write, but just don’t do it.

There are so many reasons why they choose not to write. And I get it. I was there too. Can you relate?

Instead of listing all the reasons why you shouldn’t write let’s list the reasons why you SHOULD.

You feel called to write. You love words. You have fingers that can type. You have a story to share. You have a powerful testimony. You have an average testimony. You don’t think you have a testimony. You have a brain. You have experienced life. You think thoughts. You are the only one of YOU on the planet. You are passionate about something that others need to know about. You have a vision and it is important.

Seriously, I could keep going, but you get the point.

So, you feel called to write. But what now? Let me invite you to get wild for a moment, to jump in head first into this world of writing. Let me give you a reason to start writing today or if you have written in the past, some motivation to get back at it.

I am hosting a writing challenge and I need you to join me. This challenge is the perfect reason to stop dragging your feet on this dream swirling in your heart. It will offer you a safe community that will support you, encourage you, and keep you accountable. What do you have to lose?


HOW IT WILL WORK:

  1. You commit to writing one blog post a week for four weeks staring on September 11. Every Monday you will publish your post, but don’t share it yet on social media.
  2. Email me with a link to your post each Monday by 9pm EST.
  3. Each Tuesday I will send an email out with all the links of everyone participating. Copy and paste those links to the end of your blog post to show love and encouragement to everything joining in. Now is the time to share on social media with your family and friends. You can do it! Be brave.
  4. Read the posts by the other participants and leave comments. ENCOURAGE, ENCOURAGE, ENCOURAGE!

What we will be participating in:

  1. Encouraging and championing each other as we dive deeper into this world of writing.

What we will NOT be participating in:

  1. The comparison trap. You do you, boo! Please guard your heart against judging yourself and your writing against someone’s writing. This is about finding YOUR voice and making steps toward your dream of writing. It is not about out writing others or building your platform.

Our Theme:

  1. The theme will be: things you need your tribe to know OR things that make life better ……………………………………   I explain the theme in more detail here in this post. We will be writing about our core values, about things we truly believe, lessons we want to share with others, or about ways we live our lives that we believe others would benefit from. A few topics I plan to write on are gratitude, kindness, gracious assumptions, and dance parties. You can take as much liberty with this this as you would like. There is freedom here. If you feel led to write about something else entirely, then by all means get after it.

How do I join the challenge:

  1. Send me an email at reneebooe@gmail.com. Deadline to register is Sept 8.
  2. Your first blog post will be due on Monday, September 11th.

What if I don’t have a blog:

  1. It is the perfect time to get one. There are many companies that offer them for free. I experimented myself and I was able to create a WordPress blog in about 3 minutes. Do not let the design element cripple you. Don’t over think it. Just get started. You can always come back and edit it later. Progress, not perfection is our motto.
  2. The other route is you can buy a domain name and go from there. You would need a hosting company if you go that route and there are so many options. I use Bluhost and they could be your one stop shop. Check them out. I also use Prophoto for my template design, but have heard great things about Squarespace. Those are just the options I am familiar with.
  3. If blogging is really not for you let me know and I will give you another way to participate.

So, what do you say? Are you in?

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  • August 29, 2017 - 6:49 pm

    Patricia Arnold - Renee this sounds awesome!!! Writing was a dream of mine that I never reached for. My fear has always been that what I have to say and how I say it will seem to simple minded,uneducated and irrevelant to the reader. Stepping out on the limb was too scary for me so I just let it go. To say that I have regrets for not being stronger may be to harsh, but there is an ache,a longing of what may have been. I am so happy that you have a stepping out strength. I would love to see what your participants write if possible. I love your themes, mine are the simple pleasures that bring my heart closer to God. Such as laughter, nature, gasoline revivals, family, friends etc. I dont think im a blogger as i
    truely am not sure of its definition. Ink stained fingers, scratched out line’s and run on sentences..now your talking! Let me know how i can participate.ReplyCancel

  • August 29, 2017 - 10:08 pm

    Patricia Arnold - Renee this is awesome. I have always wanted to write but was afraid of stepping out on that branch. Afraid that others would think my thoughts, my words, my writing was to simple, uneducated or irrevelant. So i just let the notion go. To say I have a deep regret of this may be to harsh. But i do have a longing to know what might have been if i did try. I am so happy that you have that stepping out strength! I would though like to read what others that come here do write. I dont think I am a blogger, truthfully im not sure what the definition of it really is. But ink stained fingers, scratched out words, run on sentences…now that sounds like an old friend. I really love the themes you mentioned, mine are simple joys where i feel like God is all around me. Laughter, family, friends, free fun, nature, gasoline revivals…etc. let me know if perhaps you see a way for me to participate here. Love your words, your heart and you.ReplyCancel

    • September 12, 2017 - 1:30 am

      admin - I’ve always admired your way with words Aunt Patty! I say its time to crush all those lies about not being “simple” or “uneducated” and start sharing you voice. There is no one else on the planet that can write like you do. You are uniquely made. Each of us is made in God’s image and you display a different part of that image that I do not. I would love to see you writing and sharing your writing!!!!ReplyCancel

  • August 30, 2017 - 5:59 pm

    Patricia Arnold - Renee this site is awesomeReplyCancel

  • September 12, 2017 - 1:30 pm

    Things I Need My Kids to Know Before I Die: Call People Up » Spur on Love - […] words by some dear friends of mine. These are brave sisters who said “YES” to a writing challenge I am currently hosting. These ladies are writers, and bold risk takers who are doing this challenge […]ReplyCancel