I was chatting with my friend Liz the other day, asking her advice on speaking at events. She’s been gracious enough to agree to mentor me through this new season God has me in, and I took at least four pages of notes in our hour long conversation. Liz is a wealth of wisdom with a generous, encouraging heart and just the best sense of humor. Not to mention her thousands of speaking engagements have given her more than a little expertise in the subject.
When she asked me what I loved speaking about, I stumbled around for a bit. To be honest, my handful of invitations to speak haven’t exactly prepared me to have a singular passion about a specific topic. I know what I’m good at – teaching and encouraging women to use the internet for God’s glory. And I know that I can create a talk based around just about anything – I’m a word girl, it’s what I do.
But as we talked Liz picked up on something I said that I didn’t even really hear myself say, and she identified it as “my thing.” Do you know what it was that I said I loved to talk about? Helping women understand their talents and skills, teaching them how to use them for God’s glory and with joy, and encouraging us all to work together – not against one another.
That’s the thing. It’s what God has been teaching me over the last decade, what He’s been revealing to me as He’s redeemed what I viewed as failures. The talents and passions that God built in me before I was even born? They’ve never shown up in my life as passing fads. Unlike my attempts to be a DIY blogger or to adopt the latest trends, these are the things that come up again, and again, and again in my life.
- My love of words.
- My love of God.
- My desire to see the internet used for God’s kingdom.
- My belief that blogging and social media can be a mission field.
- My love of affirmation and encouragement.
- My ability to pick up the latest technology, apps, and trends with ease.
- My eye for design and love for learning.
- My heart to teach what I’ve been freely taught.
All of it – God has used all of it to take me from an aspiring writer in 7th grade to an English major at Villanova, then to a marketing position that set me up to be able to do exactly what He has me doing right now with (in)courage. These are the skills and talents that I’ve been given, and I want to help other women discover theirs – and find out how they can come together with the women in their communities (online and in real life) to do amazing work.
So, what is it for you? What are the things that you’ve always loved to do? The things that others ask you to do because you make it look so easy – and you can’t understand why it’s so hard for someone else? What are the dreams you’ve never been able to shake? Where has God brought you from, and what has He taught you along the way to get you where you are today?
That is your “thing.” Lean into it. Look around to see what other women are doing but not to compare – to see how we can come beside you and work together, to fill in your weaknesses with our strengths while you do the same for us.
Sometimes it seems the closer I get to my “thing”- writing- the more life gets in the way. Obstacles fly into my days like leaves in the wind, and overwhelming distractions come at me from innocent, real, needy sources; yet they push me off course more than I was before and I feel my thing slipping away. But then the dust settles, and I still see it shining on the horizon, and instead of giving up and turning around and walking back the way I came, I am encouraged to press on towards it even if it’s still out of reach for a little while longer. My mission field right now is my family and they come first, but yet I believe what God is doing right now, in the very fertile soil of life where I find myself, is putting me through exactly what I need to be going through in order for Him to teach me things I couldn’t be learning otherwise, and that I’m experiencing the very growth that I will someday write about.
It all counts!
Renee Swope says
I love this so much Crystal!! And there’s no better mentor and encourager than Liz!! Love that she’s walking you through this beautiful season of seeking and finding and living YOUR God-thing!! 🙂
Oh if I only knew….really knew what my ‘thing” is. I have been searching for it but haven’t dug it out of the dirt but I know I want to shine the Light of Christ in everything I do.
Thanks for being such an encouragement to me.
Kathy Erickson Powley says
Wow, well said! I’m glad there are people like you out there encouraging those of us who still don’t know what it is that is “ours” to lean into. I’m enjoying your Creative basics class and can’t wait to learn more a I am a new blogger, new to Essential oils and a homeschooling momma. Blessings to you.
Mary Carver says
One day…ONE DAY I will figure out my thing… 🙂
Crystal, we are sisters!
I believe social media can be ministry too — it’s also what I do it my corporate day job — and I’m transitioning to working from home so I can ‘lean’ more toward my things! <3
Woot! I love that so much 🙂 Praying for you as you make that transition!
Angela Nazworth says
Crystal, I just love this post and your heart. You ARE such an encourager of women. I am already loving your class! My “thing” is letting people … all people of all ages but especially women because I am one … know that God is with them and for them, regardless of what others say, regardless of their own sins, regardless of how many times they replay the old tapes that are filled with lies. Thank you for bravely and boldly sharing your thing and your spirit.
Oh that’s a message we all need to hear, over and over! So grateful that’s your “thing,” friend!
Love this post Crystal! It’s so awesome when you know “what your thing is”. I’ve been praying about this recently and He’s been revealing “what my things are”. The dream I’ve been not able to shake is to become a VA. I’m leaning into it today.
I love that, Lisa! There are some great VA groups on LinkedIn that you can find, and I’d also recommend checking out EAHelp.com. They’re an awesome organization that pairs VAs with clients. The application process is lengthy, but worth it!
Thank you so much for your suggestions! I will definitely be looking into them 🙂