Wednesday, April 02, 2008

563 - Just call me Dolly Speaker - 2nd post today...

I feel a great need to explain even though I am trying my hardest to move away from that kind of personality trait in me - people pleasing, but I must!

Last night on American Idol Dolly Parton said something about not wanting to cry because her false eyelashes might come off. I thought in that second that is the type of speaker that I am - well really that is the type of person I am and I speak the same way. Real and hopefully genuine! I can not hide much and try my hardest to expose myself only for the fact of raising Him up and helping to lift others closer to Him!! If i can do that through my mistakes - then by all means. I always tell about my "false eyelashes".

Let me go on to say my last engagement the other Saturday night at my old church in Norris City, Crossroads, was such a tender evening. My message was so raw I had trouble even articulating my thoughts on many occasions. But i went on to tell the ladies about my failures of most recent, but God led me to not get specific. He has never done that for me. But He revealed to me that He wanted the group to know how He pulled me through and not what my pitfalls were all about. Raise Him not expose Leigh. After the event my friend said, "Did you know you just pulled a Beth Moore?" I kind of looked at her funny and just laughed not really knowing what she was saying. Comparisons to Beth Moore are so humbling, but very, very uncomfortable for me! So I asked - what do you mean??? She went on to say that I left the group hanging to guess what my struggles as of late have been and did not tell specifics. She said Beth Moore always does that and it drives us all crazy - I have said the same thing myself. Yes, I understood what she was saying and I had not thought about it that way just because God had asked me to Raise Him and not expose Leigh. It was an obedience thing and not a copy-cat thing. My friend was not implying that at all... Anyway...

I say all that to say - I have to let myself out. I can not be contained. It does me no good and it does no one else any good - not that I blog for anyone else. My momma can attest to the fact that I have journaled all my thoughts, dreams, frustrations, fears, etc. since i was in 5th grade. I don't just mean off and on, I mean constantly. The only time i got slack or moved away from it was when i had children. It is just me. Anyone that read those journals knew that I had a fear of dying when I was very sick in high school, they knew i was scared of boys, they knew I was a jealous person, they knew I got very angry on the tennis court, they knew everything because i put it to pen! It really didn't bother me who read it because they could have asked and I probably would have told them all the stuff too. I can not hold in my feelings very much! Or at least my thoughts. For me it is not healthy - actually makes me physically sick.

I always get off line emails from individuals brave enough to ask me to explain this or that I blogged about. Why I think this or why I feel this way or whatever. I do not find it anything but special they would take the time to read the blog, but then ask about it, etc. These last couple of months have been so that and lots of questions have been asked!! I have told God often on my blog that I have messed up and want to realign. I have told Him that I wanted to be "recleaned". I have told God that I don't know what I am doing, but I want to just be His. I don't long, as in panic or stew, yes get a bit anxious, but not panic - any longer - to know specifics of tomorrow or even next month of my life - I just want Him. It is the honest truth!

I never set to set myself up as more than I actually am. I get raw and usually stay that way. My smile might seem as a cover up, but really I smile all the time. JOY! I am just living life and I think it might bother or discourage some readers. I would be a liar if I never told of my mess ups and mistakes. I have to let it out. Some would say I need to be more careful of my words. Others would even go on to say you might hurt yourself from being used in great ways - event planers are going to be scare of you, publishers are going to want to quiet you - you have to establish yourself and gain respect before you can let the real you out - I have been told all those things. I have even been asked if I could think of more tragic things in my life that would make for a real good story... I can not live like that and I know with all my heart He does not want me to. Is there a fine line - oh yes, but as my friend Lisa always says - Be You and I have to be me.

Why am I saying all this - well, I need you, the readers, to know - this is me. God has given me a gift and to what extent is He going to use - I don't know. He has and is establishing a ministry with the one of the head girls very real, raw, and totally passionate. Don't, please don't let your mind wonder when i tell you I have messed up. I think some readers are thinking I have robbed a bank or something like that. When I say I need to be recleaned or rejuvenated - it does not mean I strayed away in some great sin or even failed to have my quiet time for an extended length. When I say my husband and I had a argument it does not mean we are on the verge of divorce. It means we fight at times. If I say I am in over my head with this ministry stuff - it does not mean I am about ready to give up, it means I am doing something beyond me and am at a place that all dependence is on Him - right where He wants me to be!!

Those of you that look to me as some kind of leader, mentor, encourager, or even authority - I mess up and I have to let you know that and I need you to know that!!! It does not mean that I am abandoning all and forsaking Christ. It means I am just like you - real and a wretch! Oh please hear me - I love my Jesus more than most things and I am striving to love Him more than anything! It is a day to day journey for me, but one that I will not let go of. I know and have come to realize because of the Internet alone my sphere of influence - if you will - is much broader than I could ever imagine - and I am just little ole me. I know with that comes great responsibilities and accountability! Hopefully I am maturing with that realization everyday. Bottom line, I can not pretend. I can not fake it. I can not be something I am not or something you might want me to be - perfect is just too hard for anyone except my Jesus!

Please do not hear this as defensive, argumentative, or even angry - heaven forbid. Please hear this as just a girl crying out for you to Love Him more than all - same thing i am striving for. I do realize that because of my "rawness" I may exclude myself from greater things or publishers or whatnot. At this point in my life - today, I can only live today - that is OK. So far the Lord has not given me this huge terrible experience platform on which my story will be told to thousands - and I am not asking for that either. I am just a plain old girl loving Him! I am aiming to please Him and not man! I want to His approval. I am a servant of Christ. Gal. 1:10. I love you all and I thank you for all your encouragement through email, comments, or even letters - please do not ever stop. Thank you!!! This is me, Dol-Leigh! (get it, dolly?) Have an awesome day in Him!


Anonymous said...

Amen, Sister!!!!

I think we all forget that we are all human no matter how great God uses us, we are still sinners forgiven by grace and fall short. Jesus Christ our Lord was the only peferct one to walk this Earth. So why do we allow ourselves to feel the pressure to appear flawless and even allow others to think that.

We would have no need for Jesus other than the factor that he was a good role model, if we were without sin! We are impure striving to be as close as we can to pure, but we can only achieve that with the forgiveness he gives. Not by we speaking, teaching or living great for him.


Speaking Thru Me Ministries said...

Andrea - thanks sister!! youare going to have to get in on this blogging thing. Just think of all the things you could say that are kind of inappropriate at work or with clients. On a blog you could say it all and it be a form of ministry to them if they so choose on their own will. I think I have a good idea for you!! ha ha!!

thanks friend and I love you!

Valarie said...

Oh girl. Forget what people expect of you! Cling to Jesus, keep on bein' real and He'll fight the battles! They're His anyway!
Love ya.

Tracy Berta-daughter to the King, wife, mother, speaker, writer said...

Leigh, this is a beautiful post! I love when you "let it all hang out" and are totally honest! That is one of the things that has drawn me to you. (That and your total LOVE for the Lord!). Don't ever let anyone tell you differently. God is over it all, anyway. And, if an event planner or publisher wanted you to be different to be "chosen", then, that would not be honoring to God! He has created you so amazingly WONDERFUL, Leigh.

I know true honesty, authenticity can be disarming to others at times- takes people a little off guard. But, isn't that true friendship- being authentic???

Christians try to wear masks so often, not wanting people to know they are struggling. But, that only leads others to feeling defeated, like, "I am the only one who struggles." WE ALL STRUGGLE!

Thank you, thank you for being so honest!!!!! I love you, dear one!

Loved the post about Tucker. What a beautiful legacy for him.

Today is Aaron's birthday!

Blessings, dear one!

Jenny said...

I loved your post because I feel that same way too.
I think what happens sometimes is when we mess up we feel it deeply because we are trying to pursue God so relentlessly. In my younger years, I did worse things and it had less of an effect than the things I do now.

Does that make sense?

Speaking Thru Me Ministries said...

Jen - thanks for commenting and understanding. Nice of you to come by. I see you lots on Nicki - isn't she awesome. I think you all are going to get to meet at She Speaks!! Yeah - you will love her sweetness!!

thanks again!!


Speaking Thru Me Ministries said...

Hey Tracy - oh what a pleasure and gift it is to have you in my life. You are one person that I wish we could arrange a phone call every week - there are a few of the blogger girls I would love to do that with. You are such a cheerleader!! I too love your vulnerability!! You inspire and ignite!! Love you my sister!

Nicki said...

Wow.......well, I read this just this morning and I'm gald....because last night, I got REAL RAW at bible study. I shared so much of my life, got very personal....and it wasn't easy.

But, I realized something, something that I see what God has allowed our lines to stay open between you and I....I know God gives the "gift" of teaching and writing.....but, none of it really matters unless we are willing to take the mask off, to allow other's in, and to let them see glimpes of what we've been through.

I remember talking to someone who said, "Well you don't have to say specifics"...and I thought, "But how could I not say specifics? How could I ever share what God has done without bringing all the yuck out? How could I sugar coat that???"

We live in a world where people need to know the struggles we have. They need to know we are so flat on our face unworthy that only He could take it and make it pretty. Beautiful through our brokeness. Not perfect, broken and set free.

I hear your heart, I understand it and I believe it. And I love you girl and I'm praying daily!! Ok, sorry for the LONG commento! =)

Fran said...

"I am doing something beyond me and am at a place that all dependence is on Him - right where He wants me to be!!"

I loved that sentence Leigh!!

I pray that we all be in that place of complete dependance on Him.

Press on and Press in!!
Love you and bless you for all that you do for us~

Lisa said...

I love, love this honest post so much! You know I am all about the authenticity thing! :)

I want to encourage you as far as the publishing thing goes and them not wanting you to say certain things. I am so sorry this has been your experience...but I do want to say that my experience with publishers has been very different. As you know about me :), I am very bold with what I say, and it is not always (or usually, even) P.C. In writing both books, I never, ever felt stifled or prevented from being bold and honest. A good publisher will not ask you to do that, but rather, will be drawn to that since they know readers are looking for what is real. There are many, many good publishers out there, filled with very godly people who truly desire to help get the message out. Even the ones we consider "big dogs" are full of humble, capable people who do what they do to serve God. I know...know(!) weren't saying anything against them, I just wanted to give my experience to encourage you and others about the Christian publishing world. It's a tough business, yes, but it is a powerful tool God uses to get His message out. And as you know with God, He is not into the P.C. stuff! Love that about Him! :)

Keep on being you! It's good!
Lisa :)

Anonymous said...

Leigh I just want to encourage you as well, because I know in my life when I have became raw or very open about a struggle Satin has turned up the heat. Walls are torn down by honesty and we know that Satin has to hate that. In the past I would let him creep in and steel the joy that came from that honesty and in my mind think people were second guessing me and my relationship with God because of these struggles. But actually God used those moments of great honesty to lead others, many would respond to me dealing with the same struggles.


Shonda said...

Hey Leigh,
Great to be real. I know I look for authenticity and I also want to be authentic. I'm learning everyday.

I'm praying for you for the next couple of weekend. I trust God's will shall be done!

Blessings in Christ-

Anonymous said...

Hey, Thanks for making yourself vulnerable. Takes courage...

Becoming Me said...

We are called to be transparent and to boast only in Christ. Thank you for your raw honesty. It is beautiful.

Kathy S. said...

I absolutely love reading your blog when I get over here because what I see is love for Jesus, and a true example of the freedom He purchased for us.

I am a "type A" in reformation (by the Master Potter) So reading your posts inspires me and is a gift of God. Like driving by a house and wanting to go in and look at how it is decorated, when I see one who is free I want to go in and see how they think. You have given me a glimpse.
Keep inspiring us!!