You Are Not "Just" Anything

I don't think most people even notice it when this word rolls of their tongues.

"I'm just a ____."

We use the word just like a shield, revealing a sense of uncertainty about what will follow. How are we being judged? Are we up to the standards of success? We want to deflect potential critique by letting people know that we already know that what we're about to say isn't all that impressive.

Except it is impressive... If we have the eyes to see it.

We are human beings, created in the image of an incredible God. Whatever we do as a job, whatever we do as a hobby, whatever we do as a volunteer, we bring unbelievable potential with us.

We can listen. We can care. We can encourage. We can forgive. We can serve. We can teach. We can make something new. We can bring life.

God has given humans the capacity to bring light and love and goodness into God's world.

Which means you are just amazing.

I hope you can receive that word today.

You are not just a _____. You are just amazing.

Embracing My Name and Moving My Space

I began blogging at everydayawe.com in the fall of 2012. It was an experiment that I never anticipated would turn out the way it has.

As I have learned blogging, blogging taught me. It became my companion during life transitions. It taught me the importance of creating space to process. It introduced me to people I didn't know existed. It showed me the deeper wrestling with Scripture that occurred when I chose not only to think about it, but also to write about it.

It has been beautiful. And though some days, I want to throw it all out the window, blogging has become a friend I can't imagine leaving behind at this point of my life.

However, it is also ready for a transition.

As my blog came up for renewal, I decided to move it to a new domain: stephaniejspencer.com. On the one hand, it's not a big deal. On the other hand, it's frightening.

stephaniejspencer.com

When I began, there was safety in choosing something other than my name. After all, who am I? Who am I to write about God and life? Who am I to write and think there are people out there who would want to read it?

Yet, I have heard several messages lately about the importance of embracing our names. And I couldn't get around the idea that moving my website to my name needed to be part of that process for me.  I want a deeper connection between my online world and in-the-flesh world. I'm sure there will be more posts about that sometime in the future.

At the same time, I'm not ready to let go of Everyday Awe completely.  If for no other reason than the fact that Stephanie Spencer appears to be a common name and I cannot find a twitter handle without a weird abbreviation or number or underscore required. But also, because it has been my companion too. It describes a way I am trying to see the world around me, and have vision for God in the midst of it all.

So, the blog on my site will still be called Everyday Awe. This might change at some point in the future, because it adds a little extra to my post urls, but for now, it felt like the right way to make this move.

So, here's what this means for you if you are a reader:

  1. I am not tech savvy. I'm sure I am and will mess things up. Please be patient if something goes wrong with domain forwarding or rss or email. I'm trying to figure it out as I move along.
  2. You can find my blog at: http://www.stephaniejspencer.com/everydayawe/. While you're there, feel free to browse around the rest of the site. I'm still building it, but it's a start.
  3. My hosting here expires on November 18. I'm hoping a transferred everything correctly, but there's a chance I will loose things. You're prayers and crossed fingers would be appreciated. I'm pretty sure that going to everydayawe.com will forward you to the new space, but I'm not sure.
  4. {I think} you can subscribe to the feed here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/EverydayAwe (This was another place keeping Everyday Awe would be helpful so people don't lose subscriptions.)

So, with that, here we go! This is my last post at everydayawe.com and my first official post at stephjspencer.com.

You can expect more posts soon. I'm excited to write again. I've missed this space and missed you.

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Seeing Women in the Scriptures

Photo Credit: http://mrg.bz/ni3LFz
Photo Credit: http://mrg.bz/ni3LFz

“In the Scriptures, it is often the women who are the first to see.”

She says this as a side note in our conversation, and it is a thought that won’t let me go. It is a piece of wisdom a rabbi has passed along to her, and she is now passing along to me.

Without even doing research, I can think of so many stories in which this is the case. It is the women who are first to see the risen Christ. It is the midwives, mother, and sister of Moses who are first to see that God is on the move to rescue his people. It is Rahab who is first to see the identity of God’s people. It is Mary who is first to see that a Messiah is coming. It is Ruth who is first to see her right to be received into Israel. It is Timothy’s mother and grandmother who are first to see his potential for leadership.

Even in times of failure, the women are still seeing. Eve sees the serpent and the pleasing nature of the fruit. Yet it is not the seeing but the action she takes as a result of it that sets forth the chain reaction of sin. Rebekah sees that Jacob is the one who should receive the blessing. Once again, it is not the seeing but the action she takes as a result of it that causes the turmoil.

“In the Scriptures, it is often the women who are the first to see.”

We hear a lot of messages about what it means to be a woman. We are told to be beautiful, successful, compassionate, supportive, feminine, and more. 

I have never been told to be a seer.

Mother Teresa was first to see the value of living with the lowest of the low in society. Rosa Parks was first to see that she didn’t have to switch seats on the bus just because someone told her she should. Brené Brown was first to see how it is embracing our vulnerability that allows us to embrace our humanity.

It has been a countless number of mothers, grandmothers, teachers, bosses, and friends, women whose names we may not even remember, who have been the first to see the potential in us and cheer us into our full identities.

“In the Scriptures, it is often the women who are the first to see.”

What if this is part of what God has created beautiful and unique about women: an ability to see things first?  What would it look like if more of us embraced that gift? How might the world be different?

“In the Scriptures, it is often the women who are the first to see.”

She says this as a side note in our conversation, and it is a thought that won’t let me go.

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