You guys! I had so much fun hanging out with you during last week’s live Facebook chat. Thank you so much for joining me there, and for the comments you shared here and on social media. I’m glad you’re all enjoying this book as much as I did!
There won’t be a live chat this week, so let’s make sure we get some good chatting time in here or over on Instagram because I really do want to hear what you’re loving, what’s challenging you, and what …maybe…you just aren’t connecting with. I’ll share my own answer to that last one today.
Can I admit something to you? I realized this week that my people-pleasing tendencies go even further than I thought…even to books. Sure, there are books I’ve read that I didn’t finish, or didn’t even like, but those live over on my Goodreads page. But any time I’ve ever done a book club I’ve felt like it was necessary to agree with the author and love every chapter. Guess what? It’s super rare when that actually happens, because I have opinions! And you have opinions! And sometimes our life experiences and feelings and beliefs just don’t really line up exactly with what we’re reading.
And that’s all wonderful. In fact, it makes for a much more interesting book club when we can really talk about more than just what we agreed with, but have a conversation about some of the things that challenged us and made us think. Seems like a good place to start our chat today, right?
The lie: I’m Better Than You
The takeaways: I have a chapter in “Holy Hustle” called Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better. It addresses the lie I believed for far too long that life is simply a series of mini moments of competition, and in order to get to the next step in my career or my education or my dream, I needed to outdo someone else. I had that elementary school phrase running through my head at all times, looking for ways to one-up someone, be just a little bit better or smarter or impressive. Not exactly the greatest way to create community – which I learned much later, was far better than competition. No spoilers on the specific Scripture God used to show me His version of healthy, honoring competition 😉 But I did have to learn when to separate myself from unhealthy friendships that made that competitive side flare up – especially when their “perfect to the world” facade collapsed in the face of “gossip concealed as prayer requests.” Community is hard, you guys.
The discussion question: When you take a look at the people you surround yourself with, are the spurring you toward community, or competition?
The lie: Loving Him is Enough for Me
The takeaways: I tried, you guys. I wanted to find some way to connect to this chapter and I just couldn’t. I didn’t get it and I was super confused (help me – she WAS dating Dave the whole time? Or no? What?). Maybe it’s because I married my high school sweetheart and had zero experience trying to figure out dating in my twenties. This would be an excellent time for those of you who DID get this chapter to give me all your brilliant takeaways. And…go!
The discussion question: Tell me how you met your spouse! I love a good “how we first met” story.
The lie: No is the Final Answer
The takeaways: Let’s be super clear here. The discussion in this chapter applies to chasing your dreams. In nearly every other area of life, no means no. Including but not limited to when I say it to my daughter. In case she learns to read exceptionally well and uses this as an excuse to argue with me more than she already does. #SixGoingOnSixteen.
Honestly? This was my favorite chapter of our three this week. I talk about a lot of my own failures in “Holy Hustle” because I never want anyone to look at my life and think I’m some out of touch success story they can’t relate to because I’ve never struggled. Nope. My first attempt at a book proposal was rejected (and not even as nicely as what Rachel received) by every publisher who saw it. Even “Holy Hustle” received far more rejections than interest from publishers. The difference between those two experiences (which were almost 5 years apart)? After the first book idea was shot down, I gave up. I decided to be the only blogger who never wrote a book. Going into the second book idea, I knew without a doubt that I was going to write that book. Whether it was picked up by a traditional publisher or I did it myself, it was the message God had been developing in my life and it was for His glory that I got to tell it. The first one was all about me – I was selfish and hurting and trying to prove myself. It wasn’t that I wasn’t going to take “no” as the final answer, but I was determined to figure out how to make it a “yes” – even if no one else did.
On page 67 Rachel writes, “Nothing that lasts is accomplished quickly.” I love that, and I love what it means for our dreams. We can find courage to get up again and again after failing over and over when we know in our hearts that we’re chasing the dream God has given us – something that will build His Kingdom and honor Him. That’s the stuff that will last. At the end of my life I want to be known as a woman who left everyone she interacted with feeling hopeful about the plans God has for them – and I can do that through writing, or helping my daughter memorize Bible verses, or encouraging my husband’s dreams. You can do that by raising a family, loving people well, honoring your co-workers, and being a light that shines Jesus into the dark corners of wherever God has placed you. It has nothing to do with fame or fortune or being in magazines. It’s about the stuff that lasts.
The discussion question: What goal did you write down during this chapter? How has this chapter made you rethink failure?
Next Week: Read chapters 7-9