Uniquely You

My devotion "The Real Me" is featured today at Proverbs 31 website and Crosswalk. If you found my blog through my devotion, I am so glad you stopped by. The journey God's taken me on to become the woman He created me to be has totally changed my life - and all of my relationships - for the better. I hope I can encourage you with what I've learned.

Have you ever wondered why you are the way you are, or why you do things the way you do? From the time I was in Jr. High, I didn't really like who I was, so I compared myself to those around me and tried to figure out who people liked the most, so I could be like them. It was exhausting!

I am convinced that comparison is our worst enemy. My friend Genia summed it up best when she said, “When I compare myself with someone else, I can never measure up because I am comparing my insides with their outsides.” Isn't it easy to compare how we feel on the inside with how someone else looks like they have it all together on the outside? Paul talks about the comparison trap in 2 Corinthians 10:12, “but when they measure themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.”

Comparison leaves us confused and discontent. It causes us to compete with each other but no one wins! God never intended for women to compete with each other; He wants us to complete one another. We need to encourage each other’s strengths and be who God created us to be. Paul explains why in 1 Corinthians 12:18-20, “But now God has placed the parts, each one of them in the body just as He wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? Now there are many parts, yet one body.”

You are uniquely you for your unique God-shaped purpose. We are all "God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ so that we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”Ephesians 2:10, (NLT) God created you with a unique personality because you play an important role in the story He’s been writing since the beginning of time. There are certain thing He wants to do through your life and that is why He gave you a personality that is one-of-a-kind!

In her book, Personality Plus, Florence Littauer describes four personality types. See if you can relate to the desires and emotional needs of one or two of these:

Phlegmatic: Desires PEACE
Needs times of quiet, reduced stress, feeling of worth, relaxation

Choleric: Desires CONTROL
Needs appreciation for achievements, opportunity for leadership, and participation in decisions

Sanguine: Desires FUN
Needs attention, affection, approval, activity with people

Melancholy: Desires PERFECTION
Needs sensitivity, stability, support, space, silence

  • Which personality best describes you?
  • What are your greatest strengths? What are things you think you need to work on?
  • What challenges do you face in discovering your unique "you"?

Click on the word "Comments" below to share thoughts or questions. Or simply leave your name and email to be part of a drawing I'll do this weekend to give away a copy of my CD and Workbook, Shaped with Purpose: A Practice Guide for Discovering Who You Are.

Each comment will be entered for the give-away so be sure to include your email.



269 Comments:

Anonymous C.J. said...

Dear Renee,
Your article on Proverbs 31 Ministries regarding "The Real Me" caught my attention. I am 50 years old and still wondering who I am supposed to be (what will I be when I grow up). At times I've caught 'glimpses' of who I might be, but they are more like odd puzzle pieces...I don't really know how they fit together.

As far as personality goes, I think I am melancholy but can see some of the other attributes at times.

You mentioned burn-out and that 'rings a bell' for me. I have 4 children (which at this time are all living at home). Right now I am feeling like the life has been drained out of me...like a old leaf that sets in the sun...withered up and ready to blow away. I am wondering just what life is supposed to look like. My feelings often make me feel separated from God as though I have let Him down even though I have worked hard at raising 4 kids. ( I, like other melancholy people, struggle against depression...)

People have told me that I can write...although I don't feel equipped as I am not that knowledgeable with English grammar. I enjoy art and music and dance...but feel inadequate. I feel as though my life is slipping by and I am afraid that I will stand before God not having accomplished all that He had for me.

I want to do something creative...not just maintenance (like cleaning, etc.)

Thank you for your thoughts that you put in the article...I could really relate. I pray that God will give me what I need to find my way into all of His purposes for me.
C.J. (cj4him@christian.net)

Anonymous Diane said...

I really liked your thoughts on this subject. I just really don't know if I'm who God wants me to be yet. Are you ever too old to concern yourself with this? Does too much time pass until there's no hope in ever figuring out what God's purpose is for ones life?

Blogger Joyful said...

Hi Renee...I know I've already shared with you the profound affect of your devotional today. Your blog post is so personal to me as well.

The day before I was to speak at a Ladies event a friend told me - "Don't say anything of any great importance in the first five minutes because the ladies aren't really listening to you anyway. They're checking you out and looking you over to see if you are worthy to listen to". *ouch* But, aren't we all too quick to do that? Compare ourselves with others based on appearance. God's Word says that "Man looks at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart". Must ask myself: What is my heart condition like today? If I was to dress to reflect the condition of my heart, wonder how often I would go out in public?

Anyway...this is getting long. I posted a blog entry 2 days ago entitled, "Eye of the Beholder" - it ties in with these thoughts. Also, want to post another one later today - another story in my life about learning my value to God.

I don't know what plan God has for me...what lasting legacy I will leave behind...but I trust in a God who will reveal it to me as I surrender to Him. Maybe His plan for me today is to be loving to my husband, a good listener to my son, a faithful friend, a caring neighbour etc...all those things ARE God's plan for me and I can't consider them any less worthy than someone with what others see as a Bigger God story written across their life.

Praying for you this weekend.
Love & prayers,
Joy

Blogger Robin said...

Dear Renee,
I am 44 and have had a fear of rejection since I was a little girl. I have been a chameleon all through grade school and high school which led me down a road of alcoholism; always trying to escape reality and hide from the world. I lost custody of my 3 children in the process but God is good... ALL the time. He has gently led me to sobriety of 6 years and has given me back custody of my oldest (who's almost 17) 2 years ago.
I recently took a spiritual gift quiz and was totally shocked at the results. Looking at my two highest gifts/results, I just don't see it in me.
I really have no clue as to my strengths and weaknesses or desires. I, too, catch myself comparing out and find myself wishing and wondering ~What would God have me to do... What if... Oh how I wish I could raise my family like that ~I am very sad in my heart most of the time. Once in a great while I get to feel and experience the true JOY of the Lord but it doesn't usually stick around long and I'm back to wishing and daydreaming again.

Blogger Robin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee,

I have been on a journey the last 6 months to find the real me. The latest discovery is that my desire and need to be flexible, available where ever I am needed, being secure deep down in my own choices, and never seeing anything but the good are actually spiritual gifts. I just figured I was weird. I scare some people and they leave me, and because of this I have been hurt. However God has given me such a deep peace and joy that gets me through anything. I know God has a big purpose for my life, and right now he is laying the ground work. God has provided jobs that allow me to use my learned skills(insurance), but also my natural gifts (caregiving). And with these jobs I also have the time to be a full-time mom to my boys and serve at church. I have been praying and seeking for God to design my life so money to live was there, but I would have the time to serve Him as well. God listens and answers if we truely believe and seek Him. This is what I have learned and keep on learning.
I would love to be apart of the drawing for your book.

Jennie; j.rauh@hotmail.com

Anonymous josierosie said...

Renee,
A thought provoking article! I am 57 and still have no idea who God intended me to be. I am going to try to go down your path and figure it out! Thank you for sharing.
Josie
lytlere@gpcom.net

Blogger Jennifer said...

WOW! Did your devotion this a.m. really speak to me and I didn't even realize I was lost in myself! I have dreams but they are for others, my kids, my family, etc not for just me!
I'm so lost that I see parts of each personality trait that seem to fit. I will have to get the book to figure myself out!
I turn 40 in Sept. and my age has truly never bothered me but I was feeling more dread about this one. It may be that I am just so unsure of who I am outside of being a mom to 4 great kids and wife to a great husband who loves me. I feel like I've wasted some of those 40 years.
Anyway, I am now giving myself the task to figure who I am by my birthday.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's so amazing how God works through others! Meaning you, and your blog. It was what i needed to read this morning. I somethimes doubt myself...

I have just started going back to school, because I do want to try and use my talents in a way God wants me to. It was very scary to take the first step , but I felt I can either sit and think about it or do something!

I have three children ages 16,9 and 8. I kept trying to find reasons and excuses not to pursue my dream and instead had support from everyone around me, including them. I was really feeling sad in my day to day routines of being just a "housewife"

I know God wants us to be happy and sometimes we need to stop and focus on us and what our purpose is.I have been rewarded with good grades and some really amazing people. I now feel that I have made the first step in who God wants me to become, we are never to old to learn! I admit there is a long road ahead, but with Gods grace and love I can do anything!!

Anonymous Mona said...

What I've learned is that age is just a number, and there is no point in basing any decisions on the fact of what age we are. At 49, I am more grounded and at peace than I have ever been in my life. And it is because I am finally doing what comes natural to me, without "should"ing on myself for anything! I don't aim to please everyone else, and I aim to please God. Bottom line, it is that simple.

Anonymous Tammy said...

Renee,

I don't usually post comments, however, this morning as I read your devotion for P31 I was touched in such a powerful way. Thank you! I hope to meet you in June at the She Speaks conference! God bless you in your ministry! Much love, Tammy Nischan

I have really enjoyed your blog and the comments left by other ladies. Thank you for your transparency. It's incredible to know there are other women in this world thinking and struggling with the same things as me.
Paula <><
wrinkledshirts@yahoo.com

Anonymous Verne said...

Good morning:

Your article on Proverbs 31 really ministered to me today. I am a 41 year old divorced mother of three wonderful children ages 19, 18, and 11. My conversation with God has been regarding, this being the second phase of my life and right now it seems like a puzzle of a 1000 pieces. God has used many people to speak into my life regarding His purpose, but it just seems as though I am still in the wilderness. IOnce I became a Christian and doing the ministry of praise and worship, I felt and sometimes still feel like I have to have all of my "stuff" together in order for the worship to be effective. I see God blessing many people, but oftentimes I leave feeling burntout& exhausted. I also recently took an early buyout from my company and thought that it would be fairly easy for me to find new employment. Boy was I wrong! None of my friends know that I have not had an income since December, and because I am the person that they come to when they have issues and concerns, I am embarrased to let them know that I need help! Crazy isn't it? I often wonder why noone notices when I am in pain, but I guess I have done a preety good job of covering it up. I know that the scriptures tell me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, but I often struggle with that. I am earnestly seeking God for guidance and answers...

Anonymous Patti VZ said...

WOW! Good post today again, Renee. Stuff to chew on as we each grow in the way God is leading us....some taller, some shorter, some with full folliage, some with just long reaching branches...we each grow as the master gardener has plans for us.

pattivz@fbs.net

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Renee,
I needed this meesage very badly, you see I live in a very controlling situation and at times I feel ready to give up and let go of my life, but I decided to read my email and found this through words of encouragement. Thank you for showing me that I can endure with God's help.
Sheila_caraway@yahoo.com

Anonymous janel10 said...

Dear Renee,
Having read your article "The Real Me", makes me really wonder who I am. Maybe posting on here and entering your 'contest' will help me. I identify with the othere person who wrote "I, like other melancholy people, struggle against depression...", maybe that's my problem. It causes me constantly to wonder why I can't be happy and go lucky like other people.
janmiller10@knology.net

Anonymous Jean said...

Dear Renee, When I came across "Uniquely You" I was fasting and praying for God to show me what is next in my life. I buried a son almost 4 years ago and finally am able to get on with my life. But how? I have an idea to help other motherr. I am working on that very slow. I keep asking myself "Is this all there is in life?" When I read CJ's blog I thought she sounds a lot like me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Renee:

I very much enjoyed you devotional today. The devotional spoke to me in a very real way and had me identifying with you. Thank you! God bless.

Danielle
girlofgod323@yahoo.com

Anonymous Pamela in TX said...

Wow! Psalm 139 is one of my favorite passages and I have so tried to quit comparing myself to others...but I never had seen it in this light! Thank you for opening up a new window in my soul, a place where I can search and find what God has for me, and me alone!!!

Pamela in TX (bluegoose@verizon.net)

Blogger kathy said...

Renee, I read each devotional I get they Minister to me a lot. Over the years god has been teaching me that I need to remember who I am in Him and your article reminded me again that I am a work in process and God can and will take those negitive strengths and turn them around to be positive for Him.And the strengths can also become stronger. Thank you for the reminder, It came into my life at the right time. I am defintly a Sanguin Sisters in Christ Kathy kathmilt@westriv.com

Blogger Joyful said...

Hi Renee, just came back and was reading comments while drinking a morning cup of coffee. The open, honest comments of these sweet, precious ladies - even sharing their ages - which has truly blessed me as I'll be 46 this year and had been thinking that all these comments usually come from younger women - and here I was mid-40's, and like the Israelites have spent 40 wandering, wilderness years.
Just wanted to say I'm praying for all you ladies - wish you were all here sharing a cup of coffee with me now. God loves you!!
Joy
joybells@speedline.ca

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the devotion today-it fit right in with what has been on my mind lately! I too am a mom of two, never went to college, or had a roomate or really even left my town until I remarried three years ago. I have always struggled with "who am I other than a mom" and "what will I be one day?" Many things seem to be slowly coming into view. The biggest thing for me is fear of failure and rejection which has kept me "down" for most of my life. I want to want to succeed and progress in God's way and time! Thank you everyone else for your comments as well. Now I don't feel so alone!!
Blessings to all of you~
Krista
kgmason5@msn.com

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa Blanford, lisabhdp@keter.co.il

please enter me in your drawing, thanks

Anonymous tammy1@grantco.org said...

Dear Renee,

I really loved your devotion "The Real Me". I have been reading (and praying) alot about my purpose and what God desires of me. Sometimes I find myself just going about my day like a robot...breakfast, getting the kids to school, work, supper, homework, and bed...and then it starts all over again. I truly want to do God's will, but sometimes it's hard for me to feel that this is His will. Please don't misunderstand, I LOVE being a mom and wife! My family means everything to me! But, I'm not the only mom in the world - I guess that's why I don't feel unique. I guess that's why I wonder if there's something more that I'm just not picking up on. I do feel blessed though! God has truly been good! Thanks for your devotion and may you have a blessed day!

Blogger a moment of time said...

I am currently in school for Christian counseling through the NCCA and rmcm.org. It is a study of tempermant theory. It is so interesting seeing what my temperament is, an inborn God given temperment. So interesting reading your blog. Would love to have your CD!

Thanks for your openness....I am trying to be more open myself....but struggle

Shannon
smarklow@gmail.com

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I didn't realize so many other women felt this way too. I've often felt ashamed that I didn't know who I was or or what dreams I had as a little girl. It was like a block I was afraid to go there and think about it because I didn't know. I grew up as a middle child being the peace maker and giving in to be a "people pleaser". I've been praying desperately to know the person God made me to be. I've recently discovered that I have a passion to see my kids serve Christ. But, I'm also at a career transition where I don't want to return to my former occupation (transportation planning). I want to be my own boss to work around my children's schedule. I've looked at my strengths and felt they are so ordinary...what can I do with them and use them as way to work into a new career? I've tossed around the idea of being a personal trainer because I love working out...but question myself if I have the passion and if this is right for me to pursue. I've had a lot of questions and prayers for God. But no direct or confirming answer. I'm afraid to move because I've felt I made a mistake in my first career where I put so much energy and education into pursuing. I don't want to make the same mistake...so I'm waiting on God for direction.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Renee for your words of encouragement this morning. I am in my forties & have 2 wonderful children in college & a great husband. I have been struggling with the question of what is God's real purpose for me. Surely it's not what I'm doing. My current position causes much stress & control over my life - very toxic environment. I don't feel I have any useable talents or don't know what they are. I know God is in control & will walk with me through it all but it sure doesn't feel good or is rewarding, which is why I pray for Him to show me where He wants me.

Blogger janet tobler said...

can you direct me to the proverbs devotional mentioned in this devotional that is supposed to identify the different personalities. i clicked on the link but was unable to locate the article based on your description.
thank you so much for your help
janet

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Opps- 2 wonderful children in college & great husband - failed to leave my email
ceddins965@yahoo.com

Blogger Van said...

Renee - You spoke to so many truths this moring on the Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today devotional and this post. I totally agree with you that becoming acquaintd with yourself through the understanding of your personality style is such a breaktrhough to freedom. It was for me and all my relationships. AND your commnent alluding to our comparisons to others is right on. IT is the foundation for discontent. Thanks for the reminders that encourage us to get back on track, focusing on the One who created us. God bless you, dear sister.

Anonymous rev.angel said...

wow,
Thank you so much for reminding me of the temperments we have. We read a book in my ministry class long time ago called A Spirit Filled Temperment, I forget who wrote it but I am going to dig this book out and read it, this time really study it. I need to truly know me the way God created me for His purpose and knowing my temperments, personality traits, and just getting to know me better will be a great step. I also want to check out the book you recommended, I will look for it at the christian book store.
Thanks again,
Angel

Blogger Joslin said...

Thank you!

Blogger Kelly said...

This is a great word, I would love to get the book on Personalities...I am thinking I am the type that wants peace...I am almost 50 and still don't know for sure what God has for me, and 'what I want to be when I grow up!' But I know the Lord has placed me in the same job as a legal assistant for 25 years next month for a reason, if I haven't felt it was my true heart's desire...this is a good subject to delve into, thank you for your today's devotion!
Blessings,
Kelly

Anonymous Connie said...

What a gift from God your message was today. I do not always take the time to read them. Jesus knew I needed to. Unlike most who posted, I know who I am and finally really like me and know my purpose. I am 49 married, have 3 daughters,13, 11, and 10, have worked in health care continuesly since I was a teenager, do middle school minsitry and have been happy and content even through struggles for years now. 4 days ago my world turned upside down when my 13 year old confessed she is suffering with body image issues. She is a size 7 jrs, very pretty and has the most beautiful spirit I have ever seen. She, too, is involved in minisrty in our public MS and has led many to Christ. I feel she is under satans attack to stop her and our family from our outreach. Her pain has been so deep and thinks she hasnt felt real happiness for a long time. I have been clinging to all the bible verses you qouted. Please pray, Renee, for restoration and healing for Brittany.
Thank you for letting Jesus show me his word today!

Anonymous B. J. said...

Dear Renee,

Thank you so much for this devotional. I have struggled with who I am and what exactly God's will is for my life for years.

My story is exactly like C. J.'s but I just turned 47 and I have only 1 child at home. Other than that, she wrote what is on my heart.

I want to encourage C. J. that she can write beautifully and thank her for sharing. It is so good to know that I'm not alone in this and that God isn't finished with us yet!

One of my own issues that drives me crazy is that I can see other people's spiritual gifts very clearly and can discern God's leading in their lives but can't seem to see these things in my own life. (Is this a gift in and of itself?)

I am excited and looking forward to getting your resources, whether I pay for them or win them.

I discovered this website several months ago and am so thankful for it.

May the Lord continue to bless you!

Brenda

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing so much of yourselves in your devotions.

Blogger Jeanne said...

Renee,
Your devotion today really hit home with me. I'm 38 and have no idea what I'm good at and I have no idea how to find out! I am married to someone who tries new things and almost always is good at it. Great for him, frustrating for me because I am a perfectionist and if I can't do something well, I give up. Something I really need to work on.

Thank you so much for your thoughts and comments today. At least now I feel like I have somewhere to start. I always thought I was alone in feeling this way, but after reading the many comments on your site, I see there are others out there just like me!

Thanks again.
God bless!
Jeanne (jeannem721@yahoo.com)

Anonymous Chris said...

Hi Renee,
I was so thankful to read your devotion today. I have always wondered what God's plans are for me, even since I was a child. Your advice at learning who I am is something that has not occurred to me. I praise God for giving me the time to read your message and I hope to begin a wonderful journey of finding out just who I really am.
Blessings to you,
Chris
cmarko@carolina.rr.com

Blogger Deb said...

Renee-
Thank you for speaking from the heart about your journey. I could really relate to everything you said. I can also relate to c.j.'s comment as I just turned 50 and am still waiting to find out what I will be when I grow up. Thank you c.j. for sharing because I feel like I am living the same life you are. I struggle to find time to spend with God, even though I know that is the best way to spend my time.
God bless you!

Anonymous Sunshine said...

Unfortunately it took me until I was 53 to understand who was in charge. Since then I listen to everything he tells me, but right now I'm on an adventure that I truly believe he is guiding me on because I never would have thought of it on my own. I'm taking a writing course. When I was looking at different courses, I had asked for information from two different institutions. One was what sounded like a good one and then I discovered a totally Christian one and I pondered over it. I let myself open to the Lord as to which one I should take, thinking surely that He would guide me to the Christian one solely on its merits. You have to remember that this idea seemed totally out of the blue to my husband who's a wonderful man that never questions and always gives me courage to do whatever I choose as far as quests.(He one of the gifts that the Lord gave me at a very awful time of my life) I prayed and meditated on my choice of schools and even questioned the decision that I was encouraged to take and the first school was the one. I found out later that this particular school is very Bible based and full of wonderful people. I think I now am seeing what direction this is going. The missions I would like to undertake are the mentally ill and the elderly. These are the most forgotten people in this world. There is a little history with the mentally ill because my mother and my youngest son are Bipolar. I'm scared to death myself but I know that is why I'm being encourged by God. I know that now I will be ok. People don't understand this disease very well. The other area is for my love and that is the elderly. What a wealth of information as well as friendships I'm going to enjoy in this area. I've got some ideas and already our rather large community paper has given me an open door if I choose to go in that direction. If it will put me into the nursing homes and senior community I'll be blessed.

Blogger Digging for Pearls said...

Renee,
Thanks for this reminder today. Praying for you!

digging4pearls@comcast.net

Anonymous Anonymous said...

de.migommetjes@skynet.be

nama:debbie huyghe

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee
I am 66 years soon to be 67 years and when I read your article 'The Real Me' it seemed to be describing me as I am now. I am honestly admitting that at this stage of my life I don't know the real me. If asked what I like I could not say, and dreams with or without money, I could not formulate one. Mind you I am doing things, but I think these are just things that come up, but there is no passion. I just prayed and asked the Lord to show me what His will for my life is, and I hope He shows me. In the meantime, please tell me which books you read that helped you
Thanks.
I am Yvonne and my email is patrain24@yahoo.com

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read your devotional on Encouragement for Today and it's exactly what I needed to hear. The last two days I’ve been struggling with this exact question. I was burden with this thought that I have no desire and worse I didn’t even know who I was. For the Lent season I’ve decided to set aside time everyday to read the Bible and sit in prayer. After only two days I can already see God at work; how awesome! Thank you for your message. I look forward to discovering who I am.


jbielski@hotmail.com

Blogger sHaLoNnA said...

Hi Renee!
I love it when God speaks to me. This is an issue that I have been meditating on a lot lately. I'm eager to go through your workbook and continue discovering who I am. I have spent my life in relationships and being who the other person needed me to be so that each time a relationship failed I was left floating around with no direction because I have never taken enough time to establish my irrevocable identity. God's brought me back to his open arms and I am discovering who I am and who I want to be, but my journey is far from over.
Your words are an encouragement. Have a Super Blessed Day!
(texasangel7@gmail.com)

OpenID bankeadel said...

Hi Rene

I am all the way in UK and so glad to be connected to this ministry as the encouragement for the day always encourages me.

I really would love a copy of your book, but i dont seem to be able to order it from the UK as i think method of payments differ in the US. If i am blessed to win a CD that would be gr8!

But please can you advise on how best i can order your book from the UK. I really need guidance in knowing my purpose and who i really am as i faced so many disappointments in life which has left me somewhat confused at the moment.

Your devotional was so key for me today as i had been up last night tearful about where i am in my life right now and what God has instore for me.

Blessings
bankeadel@yahoo.co.uk or bankeadel@aol.com

Blogger LaVawn said...

Oh my goodness! When I read your devotion entitled "The Real Me" I wondered who is this woman reading my mail in public? I am 33 years old and have been asked those same questions a few times and I still don't have an answer. It's hard for some people to understand how I cannot have an answer but I've been in survival mode for so long that I have never allowed myself to dream. I am now in the process of asking God who He created me to be and I'm trusting that He will answer/show me soon.

Thank you for sharing this, it really helps to know that I'm not the only one who has struggled to answer these questions.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This idea has been on my mind in recent weeks. I could have written C.J.'s comment. After 24 stressful years of marriage, I am burned out - that 'old leaf...withered up and ready to blow away'. I know my perspective is skewed, but wonder what my life is supposed to look like. I feel separated from God and cannot see His purpose for me. Life feels like working a tapestry from the back side.

Thanks for your thoughts on this. edmond76@sbcglobal.net

Blogger Kathryn said...

Dear Renee: I read your article on the Real Me and thought Wow-I thought I was the only one. I am so glad at 38 that I am not the only one who does not know who she is. God and I obviously need to talk! Thank you for touching my life with your faith.
God bless Kathryn in Ontario
kath@execulink.com

Anonymous buttersmama said...

I am in the same place the rest of these ladies are. Yet, I take solace in knowing God is with me always and in is in control. I am a survivor and battle fears of rejection almost daily. I am in a career change and am working to determine what is God's will for me at this point in my life. I know with patience on God I will in time learn more of his plans for me.

Thank You for this blog.Like others, it has struck a cord with me.
buttersmama13@yahoo.com

Anonymous Linda said...

Dear Renee---
This is something that I had blocked from my thoughts for many years as well! Being abused at the age of four put me in a place where I would not allow myself to feel, think, or dream! Therefore....when I started dealing with the abuse 38 years later....I truly did not know myself...or my dreams! That was almost five years ago...and I'm starting to get there!! It is comforting to know that other women were in the same boat as me though!! God has been very good to me in my life! He has blessed me with experiences in my life that are now allowing me to provide healing to others who have been through what I have!!! Thanks for reminding me of how far I've come!!! Bless you!!

Blogger teecee said...

Renee, your article on Prov 31 regarding the "real me" really spoke to me. I felt like you were describing me. I am 56 years old and don't know what I want or even what I like. I have spent my whole life feeling like it was my job to keep peace, not rock the boat and making other people happy. I was the peace-keeper in a troubled family growing up, then married a strong willed husband, then raised two strong willed teenage boys. My job, I thought, was to meet their needs. There is no burn-out for me now.. I have been there and done that when the boys were younger. There is no comparison to others but there is a feeling of being inadequate. Also, because I have always lived as a reactor to other people's feelings, I am not good at following through with things for myself. The only time I am really happy is when I am alone with God, so Satan does EVERYTHING he can to keep that from me. Thanks for letting me know I am not the only one. Praying God will show me how to follow through on changing. I covet your prayers and those of the other women who read this..

Anonymous Kristi said...

Dear Renee,

Thank you so much for putting into words the way I, and alot of other women, feel. It truly is exhausing to try to please everyone all the time and be all things to all people!

I will be 45 this year and am not in a "happy" place with my life. God is working in me everyday to change that.

Thank God for you and Proverbs 31 Ministries for approaching subjects that we don't always like to think about and deal with, especially when those are the things we need to do the most.

Renee,
I loved this devotion.

I am going to go back and re-read it again.

I read Florence's book several years ago as well as have taken several personality type tests over the years and I find myself always, always somewhere between "chloeric" and "melancholy".

I used to almost despise this, since it always seemed that the other personalities were those who seemed to be having fun.

But I have learned and continue to learn to look at myself through God's design.

It is a process. At times I still look at others and think to myself, "why couldn't God make me like her?"

This is a huge issue for women. HUGE! Thank you for taking the time to write on this topic.

Blogger SCOMU said...

Thanks Renee.Your article "The real me" has helped me a lot.
I'm a 52 yrs old lady,living in RWANDA.I now know what I have to do to find "me"-I 'm going to take time and ask my MAKER.
God bless you abundantly.

OpenID tdaymon said...

A beautiful devotion and speaks exactly to where I am in my life today. Funny that I also just turned 32 a couple weeks ago. The prayer at the end of the devotion is something that I will use in my own quiet time in hopes that the Lord will continue to guide me on my journey.

Anonymous Tiffany said...

DearRenee-
Thank you so much for your thoughts on this subject. Thank you for reminding us that we are beautifully made with a purpose in Christ's image! Wow! If that doesn't make you feel special!As I search for the women God wants me to be, I ask that he will be glorified through my actions and thoughts. That I can impact the world for him!Thank you again for brining this subject to so many women's attention. Let us focus on him to find out our purpose and he reveals it to us in our walk with him. Have a wonderful day and God Bless you as you speak to so many women I pray their lives will be blessed and chagned for his will.

Anonymous Ginger said...

Great blog today. I feel like I'm constantly trying to figure out God's purpose for my life. Maybe your book will help me. Thanks!
vanng@ecu.edu

Blogger Shannon said...

Renee-
Thanks so much for your encouraging message. I would love to be put in the drawing for your CD and workbook.
Keep up the good work and may God Bless your ministry!

Shannon
sailoriffic@gmail.com

Blogger mattsmoma said...

I can so relate to what your devotion said. I've been floundering for some time now trying to figure out what God wants me to be. I wish He would just write it on a brick and drop it for me!

Thanks

Blogger Tracee said...

The devotion on Proverbs 31 today is one that I will print and add to my collection of ones I think I really need to read over and over again. I love your blog as well and am so glad I followed the link on the devotional. I so want to be the woman that God wants me to be, but I feel constantly sidetracked. I think I was brought up believing that anytime I looked at a good quality in myself it was being conceited and arrogant, so I've always avoided looking for my strengths and put others first. I never considered that God made me the way I am for a reason and that I don't have to be ashamed of it.

Anonymous Deborah said...

Thank you so much for today's blog. It was a direct answer to pray. I especially enjoyed reading the responses of so many others. I found myself in every post. Thanks to everyone for their transparency and authenticity.

debkmac@yahoo.com

Blogger Kim P said...

I read your devotion this morning. It really touched my heart. Now that all my children are school age it seems like I have a little more time to figure out who I am in God's eyes. I have struggled for this for so long. When I was little I was always compared to my Mom. Then as an adult I have always been known as the lady with five children. I love and adore being a mother, but I can't help asking, "Is there something more I am supposed to be doing?" When I was homeschooling, that was a very easy question. I knew my ministry was at home. Now the kids are in public school and I am home alone all day, I find myself asking what is it I am supposed to be doing now? Who does God want me to be? Where does he want me to be?
I look forward to following God's path for me.
Kim (ramre1991@msn.com)

Anonymous Marybeth said...

I am so touched after reading your message & everyone's comments. This crisis of identity is one that, I think, is shared more by women than men. We have to juggle so much more than they do most of the time and we wear so many hats. Is it any wonder?

I am also at a time (50) where I am looking back and wondering what I have really accomplished and where I'm going from here.

My business has become very, very slow due to a bad economy in Florida and I'm wondering and waiting on God as to what to do. I need to contribute financially to my household. Sometimes what we love doesn't produce a good income!

I think I'm at a fork in the road and just need to listen to God and do some research. I would love to be a part of the drawing for your book and cd.

Thanks.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Thanks" to Renee and all you lovely ladies who posted comments. You've given me hope, and a new sense direction.

Sandy; spuckett@uaex.edu

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good devotional. The Lord has used you to hit the nail squarely on the head. I (at 52) have been wondering what the Lord wants me to do as I have some health issues. As I read your devotional what He's been whispering in my ear came again and I Know want I am to be doing. Now if I only knew who I am it would be great!
Karen @kutiequilter55@yahoo.com

Anonymous Marybeth said...

P.S.
I should have left my email in the text. I didn't realize it would not show up.

If anyone wants to email me it is marjaebeth@bellsouth.net
Marybeth

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Renee,

God amazes me every day! When I saw the subject line of my P31 devotional today I throat dropped. I couldn't believe it. I JUST said to my husband last night that I need to stop comparing myself to people and just be me. I'm still not exactly sure who that is exactly, but God using you today in my life gives me such an encouragement that I will find out!

Thank you so much!
Jacquie

Blogger Lydia said...

Renee,

Thank you so much for bringing this issue that obviously touches so many of us to light. I am finally learning and accepting, at 39, that God created me with special interests and talents to be used for His glory. I have learned to stop comparing myself to other women and concentrate on the purpose He has for me, and only me. I am stubborn and these were hard lessons for me and I still have to ask God to show me that He is using me. As women, I feel that we need to learn to celebrate our unique personalities and talents and stop trying to fit into this mold that we think we should fit into. I learned through divorve and being a single parent for several years that God expects us to celebrate His creations in each one of us and use our differences to reach other people. I don't have public talents, such as singing, playing a musical instrument, or speaking, but God has shown me other areas that He has created me for. Now, as a pastor's wife, mother, and step-mother, I have the opportunity to be used by God as an example that He can use all of us for His glory in any situation. What a wonderful adventure!

Thanks again,
Lydia
lkelley@rocktenn.com

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a thought provoking article! I'm 46 and I can't answer that question either. I can't even decide which of the four personality traits I am because think I am all four. Is that messed up or what? = > I'm thinkin' that workbook might be a good thing......

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Renee,
You devotional today has touched my heart! I find myself quite frequently being who everyone else wants me to be! The one that should matter only is God! I am mostly a follower, if everybody else is doing it why not me? I know that has kept me from being what God wants me to be! I also dont like change. I feel stagnate! Kinda like I am going no where really fast! I appreciate everyone who has been so open and honest! It has made me realize I am not the only one who feels lost! Thank you! God bless you all!!
Sarah
vandevarr_97@hotmail.com

Blogger Katrina's Blog said...

Dear Renee,

Your article on "The Real Me" sounds just like me. For over 25 years I have been a people pleasure, making their priority more important than my own. I have always been like this since I can remember. I find myself wanting to change this aspect of my personality after the death of my father. Who in turns have the same personality of what I have. I have always been putting other people before myself thinking that it would make both them and me happy. Just to fall short of not focusing on myself. I know that I am a very caring person but as you can say, I feel myself holding onto the people pleasing personality because it reminds me of my father. God rest his soul. I to feel burnt-out from pleasing all the people in my life that I feel exhausted each day.

Just like you, I to find myself comparing myself to others. Ever since elementary school, I never really had any friends leading me to be an extreme introvert. Once I went into middle school, I still had no friends and even in high school. I gained one friend who just turned her back on me because she did not like my husband (then boyfriend) and on the last minute of our wedding decided not to show. Ever, since that day I have had the persona that friends don't matter only family. However, that persona changed once my father died in 2007. I had to reach out for help and I gained a special friend at church who later lost her husband but we have supported each other.

Believe it or not, it took me over 25 years to see that I am beautiful in God's eyes and my husband's as well. I still have battles with myself and comparing me to other women’s exterior to my interior just to find myself in the same rut I did when I was young. I always thought of myself as inadequate and un-pretty and that I will never have a boyfriend or yet such a loving husband as Manuel has been to me.

Thank you Renee, for giving me some more insight to let me find my personal personality that has to deal with myself and not the one I seem to put on day to day. Again thank you and Proverbs 31 Ministries for your encouraging devotionals that I receive daily.

Sincerely (once broken hearted),
Katrina kafigueroa1@gmail.com

Blogger Debra Zantman said...

Thank You for your devotion.I question who I am all the time.

Blogger Cindy Watson said...

Cindy
kevin_cindy@verizon.net

First I want to thank you for all your words. I enjoy reading them and so often I feel like you know what I need to hear and read. After reading the devotional, I know I want to read that book! Boy have you described me. I have compared myself to others ALL the time, I am finally starting to feel comfortable in my own skin. I started journaling, which has really helped.

I think I am Melancholy with a little Choleric.

It has been since I have started making time for the Lord every day, that slowly he is revealing things about me, things that need to change and things that I need to do. In this whole process, he has also revealed that I was to organize a Woman’s Christian book club for busy women online (by blogging). Me! This is actually how I AM going to enjoy spending my free time. I have 13 women committed to this, and I am so excited. This is the first time I am facilitating something, so please please please say a little prayer for my Women’s Book Club Blog.

A saying come to mind, If satan can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.

Blogger Celly B said...

Renee,
I know from other personality tests that I've taken that I tend to be melancholic, but I've had such a week that I see my needs in all of the four types!
Seriously, though, this post has reminded me that although others might see my sensitivity as a drawback, it could be a benefit to be able to emphathize with others.

Blogger Christy said...

Renee, Love the direction your blog has been going lately. Mostly because it is where I'm thinking too. I love it when I find people who think like I do. ;)

I am a Chloeric/Sanguine. I'm much of the C than the S but the S comes out strong some days.

Things like the personality profiles you mentioned have helped me so much in understanding that it is OK that I am not like everyone else. I can't be. I am uniquely me. It has also helped me see that ALL of me, all parts of personality need to be under the reign of the Master. Without that my personality goes crazy and the I find my excusing my bad behavior with phrases like "oh that's just my personality or that's just how I was made." The study of personality types has helped me see that even the not so pretty parts of my personality can be and must be brought under the control of the Holy Spirit.

I feel that I need to let the other ladies that are really struggling today with knowing who they are and who they are in Christ that I am praying. In fact, let me right now...Father, my heart is so heavy for these ladies. Thank you and I praise you that you know every thought and care for every need in our lives. Nothing gets by you. Thank you for the opportunity for these ladies, myself included, to share with each the burdens in our hearts that might stand together to petition you to meet those needs. Father, I pray that you will make yourself known to these ladies in a mighty way today. I pray that they will hear you whispering to their hearts that you have a plan for them, that you love them, you delight with great joy over them, and nothing can snatch them out of your hand. Thank you for loving us and providing for us in unmistakable only God could have done it ways. And thank you for Renee and her ministry and the opportunity it is giving women to be heard, to have community, and to be ministered to. In your precious name I pray, Amen.

Christy
cnjleake@yahoo.com

Blogger skues said...

Dear Renee,
I enjoyed reading your devotional. I am a mixture of phlegmatic and melancholy. I have been on this journey for a few years. I have gone through a few books as well. Max Lucado has a good one out there called "Finding your Sweet Spot." I know the area that the Lord has called me to serve and work, and I am taking steps to become more employable in that area. I have returned to school and hope to be working in my profession in about a year.

The journey is amazing. There are times when doubt and fear creap in and I wonder if I really was listening to God, or was this my plan or my husband's plan. I worry at times that I will not be able to get a job, or do a good job when I do find one. Then I pray and the Lord moves me past the fear and helps me to realize that whatever he has called me to he will also equip me to do.

God is so much bigger than anything that I could ever imagine. I don't want to limit His plan with my fears.

As I move along this journey, I continue to pray for His guidance, direction, help and strength. He has enabled me to do so many things that I didn't seem possible before. We serve an awesome God!

Thanks for your blog. I have never written on a blog before. I really appreciate what you wrote in your devotion and am glad that I found you web page.

Blessings,

Skues (skues@charter.net)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You described me to a tee! I would love to win your book and cd's.

mscoleman@triad.rr.com

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your openness and your message, I have spent a life of 60 years not liking myself and not knowing my purpose, finally God has shown me the way, and I feel at peace.
I would love to read your book.
God bless you
joolsrobinson@blueyonder.co.uk

Blogger Beverly said...

I knew I struggled with this daily but never realized fully how much I have been hurting inside because of this until I read your devotional this morning. When my friends talk about their careers obtained as a result of their college degrees I tend to feel less of a person than them. I could go on and on about I guess the truth is I really need to find out who I am. I pray God can help me realize and then accept who I am in Him.

Anonymous Carmen said...

Dear Renee,
Thank you for "The Real Me". I received a conviction this morning, my husband and I are seeing a counselor and just yesturday he told me that I was Sanguine. That I need attention, I never saw that in me because if there is something that I stay away from is attention, affection, and approval but I do like to interact with others.

My strenghts are: good listener and I like working with my hands (give me a project/craft and I am there), I love to sing but can't hold a note and dancing well that's in my blood (I was dancing when in my mother's womb).

I do need to work on being more assertive and I lack confidence. I also have a hard time speaking my mind. I consider myself to be shy, but my friends say otherwise.

The challenges that I face in discovering my Unique self is where and how do I start. Then when I do find out, being able to accept and apply what I have learned about me to my life.

May God continue to Bless you...

Carmen (gardenwoman42@yahoo.com)

Blogger Faith said...

I think I thought it was too late! I really didn't think about it too much until just a few years ago.

I would love to be in your book drawing!

Faith

Blogger Evie said...

Dear Renee
It is amazing to me as I read this article, how it sounded so much like me. I am 49 years old and don't know the real me yet, but I am praying for God's guidance.

Thank you for allowing God to use you to be a blessing to many.

Evelyn

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, I needed to read that today. God is good!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Renee,

This article really touched me today as they all do. This one in particular is something I am dealing with and have been for a long time. I am 36 years old and I have spent most of my life living in insecurities. Insecure about my size (I am a size 3-4, way too small), insecure about what direction to take in finding a career, insecure about so many things.

This year I decided to give it to God and whatever he wants for me it will be for me. So I joined a church and got Baptized. I struggle daily with my current situation of my relationship. Not knowing what direction to take with it because I have lost who I am in it. I am tired, stressed and just unhappy. I felt that joining the church and getting baptized is the answer to guiding me to where I need to be. And I know it is, but yet I still struggle. I know it is a process but I am tired.

Forgive me for going on and on. I just wanted you to know I was truly touched by this article and I to am on a journey of finding who I really am.

Thank you for what you have shared, I truly can relate.

Have a blessed day!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never would have believed that there are so many others, like me, all close in age struggling with the same issues. Thank God for His timing in this! I know that He has brought us together....Thank God!And,thank you Renee and Proverbs 31Ministries!

Anonymous tinac62 said...

What an encouragement, to read that I don't have to be confused about the struggles I've had, because others are struggling with the very same thing...hmmmmm, sounds like something I've read somewhere!
For a long time, I struggled with the fact that I didn't seem to have any real goals and dreams for the future, (and Ithought I was the only Christian woman struggling with this problem. Other women just seemed to know exactly what they wanted out of life and where God was taking them)....and then God finally showed me that I was actually experiencing the answer to a previous prayer I had prayed. I had prayed that God would teach me true, godly contentment. I discovered that it's ok that I'm not always looking into the future wondering what I'm supposed to be doing, or where God wants me to go! I am blessed to be a housewife, and when I found the joy in that being the number one ministry God has given us as wives, I was able to pray.."Lord, help me to be the best housewife I can be, and if you have something else for me in the future, that's great, if not, I'll be content with where I am."
Once I found contentment in that area, THEN He moved me on to other areas of service. I now have the privelege of counseling young women in a Crisis Pregnancy Center! Not only am I able to help them find alternatives to abortion, and healing if they have had an abortion, but I get to share the gospel message with almost every woman I see.
God has also given my husband and I a ministry with married couples, which, after 9 years, is still as exciting as it was when we first started!
It all started with contentment. Praying that God would teach me contentment in whatever I was or was not doing at the time.
Be encouraged ladies! Ask the Lord to teach you contentment for where you are right now, and I promise, He will fulfill His word that says, He (or she) who is faithful with a little, will be given more! In other words....be grateful for the dreams I'm having you fulfill right now, and I will give you more dreams to continue your journey!
Thank you for the reminder that this devotional brought to my mind!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Renee, It is always comforting to see that others are struggling with the same issues, or have struggled and have found God's wisdom in things.
karristurm@msn.com

Anonymous jnippi2 said...

How timely that I read your devotion. I spent alot of my life trying to be who my father wanted me to be, he died over 10 yrs ago! We changed churches about a yr ago and I'm now learning how to truly release myself to the Lord and allow Him to lead me. I don't work, have no kids, so I do have lots of time. For about 10yrs I had medical issues that prevented me from working but, they have all been resolved.(Praise) I'm 46 have tried various types of jobs but have found none of them to be 'a fit.' I'm a phlegmatic & sanguine and would love to learn where I fit into God's plan.

Wow, you have put words to feelings that I never would have been able to verbalize! I remember taking a "career interest" test in high school and they said "don't worry you don't need to know what you want to do right now." At 43 I feel like I am still waiting....Satan has held me back with thoughts that I have no experience, no education (college)& too many responsibilities (7 kids) to find personal purpose and fulfillment in life (not that being a mom is not fulfilling). I know I am a sanguine personality and I am passionate for the LORD. He is leading me to some new places I never would have thought I would go (shepherding & speaking to women). I really need to work on my confidence and clarity of vision. Thanks for this post, it will help me to do both!

Gratefully~~~Kelley

Blogger dr_tawnda said...

Renee

Your devotional really struck my heart today. I am always struggling with who I am and what God intends for my life. I am really struggling right now because I have a chiropractic degree and practiced for 3 years before deciding to stay home with my infant daughter. Daily I deal with the guilt of not "working" especially with student loans to pay back. But no matter how guilty I feel I cannot leave my daughter in the care of another. I feel torn between my two "careers" and wonder daily if I've made the correct decision or if I should go back to work.

Isn't this the eternal struggle of the working mother? Long though has my thoughts been on what my purpose is and who am I? Do you ever leave somewhere thinking "why did I act like that--it's not me" I have. Yet somehow revealing the real self has become almost impossible. Before I enter a new place it seems as I put on the mask. I have taken the personality test and am the "people pleaser" and I think this is one the obstacles that I have to overcome.

Thank you for your thoughts today and the verse. I will think deeply on it.

Tawnda
dr_tawnda@yahoo.com

Blogger baronreads said...

The Proverbs 31 email comes daily and I usually pass right over them. I read today's and it really spoke to me. I've been yearning to know what God has planned for me, why I am the way I am, where I'm headed, etc. but didn't know where or how to start. I think I'll start with your workbook and Florence's book. I am going to subscribe to your blog in hopes that you can help me along the way. Thanks and God Bless!

Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

Excellent, excellent as always, Renee!!

I'm a definite melancholic-phelgmatic but with a weird surprisingly strong amount of sanguine in there. It's hard for me to make friends, but once I do, I'm theirs for life. But that's why I get hurt so easily when they are a sanguine or someone who is less committed.

I LOVE the concept of "complete, not compete".

Blogger Kim said...

Renee
What a great encouragement today. I am on a journey to get real with God and find out who He created me to be and "what I am supposed to do when I grow up" at 42!
I have to say that I am choleric/meloncholy personality and I keep getting in my own way of being the person God created me to be in this life. My fears/perfectionism and my high expectations of myself and my family can cause much distress for me and of course, those around me!
I know my weaknesses and not too sure about my strengths, but I am learning to trust God and let Him be in control. (altho. I tend to yank back the reins from Him too often!) :)
I am glad that I am the not only women struggling with feeling lost and I have been blessed by reading your blog and other ladies comments!
Thanks
Kim

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Renee,
I was blessed by the devotion today.

Blogger Readsalot said...

I also appreciated this article and realized that I sometimes vascillate between who I was, who I am now, and who I want to be. A few of us have been discussing does God want us to do a lot of things well or one thing really GREAT?!
Thanks again,
Amy

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Renee, I actually related to all four! Is that possible? I guess I am at a point in my life where I really don't know who I am. The real "me" has gotten buried many years ago. I think I will have to ask God what and who I am supposed to be, since He knows me best.

Blogger Dawn said...

Dear Renee,

I stumbled onto your site through my Encouragement for Today devotion...of course I feel that it was not a coincidence because God works in these little ways.

I had just finished my time in my bible study and was moving on to trying to decide what our group should study next. When I read your words I felt as if someone was hearing my thoughts and responding.

I believe I would mostly fall under the personality of melancholy and many times that need for space and perfection halts me in my tracks. I so want to please the Lord but am not sure what that is. I was a career driven wife and mom until 5 years ago when I decided to stay at home. I would never have imagined that I would be still be at home, but I love this role and season in my life. But there is this constant tug that pulls at me...that I am not doing what I am suppose to do...that there is more out there that God wants of me.

Your study seems like one that my group and I could begin that journey of discovery with. Please include me in your drawing. Thank you for your thoughts, your honesty, and your devotion to the Lord.

God Bless,
Wondering In Him
dkaine@wi.rr.com

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Renee,

Today's devotion was for me, I've been struggling for years trying to figure out who I am,where I belong, I have tried so many things, and been so many thing for many differen people. I'm married with a child although I love my husband and little girl. I have yet to find me or my purpose. I Love Jesus with all my heart and soul. However, there are time when I don't feel successful, i feel lost and incomplete because I don't have know my purpose. I have compared myself to different people, I like what they like, I don the same thing that they do but it is not a passion for me and it does not reveal to me my inner most me. I'm not giving up hope for it shall soon come to pass as to what makes me tick.

Anonymous AJ said...

Hi Renee,
thank you for the encouragement to focus on a future for-filling ourselves through God's purpose for our lives. I look at the personality descriptions and see that I at one time was one and now another. I once was self assured and in leadership positions and now after disappointments in both myself and others I shy away from them. My question to you is "is it possible to change your character personality mid way through your life"? Or is this a menopausal experience? I just know I am different now. I have a great life and marriage, no real reason to have feelings of such inadequacies. I have often wondered about this. I will look for your book and consider your CD and workbook a blessing. (AjBlexie@aol.com)

Blogger Julie said...

please enter me in your drawing

Julie

pjrausch1@yahoo.com

Anonymous OrderMySteps said...

Dear Renee,

I read your devotional on Proverbs 31 this morning. Oh, how it hit home for me. For a very long time I've tried to figure out the woman God created me to be. I look around at other women and see the many gifts and talents they are operating in and long for God to show me my gifts and talents. I know that God has a plan for my life, because His Word says He does. I am 37 years old, a wife and mother of 5 children, and work a full-time job outside of the home, but I always feel like there is a greater plan God has for me. Don't get me wrong, I love being a wife and mother, but I know in my heart God created me for a purpose.

I think that I have the personality trait of Phlegmatic, but see myself as some of the other traits as well.

Thanks for the God ordained devotional this morning.

OrderMySteps (ronandcat@bellsouth.net)

Blogger MaryLu said...

Renee,
I'd love to be entered into your drawing, I think I'm sanguine,
which is why I blog, and get sad when no one reads or comments on my posts. I come from a large family, I was the baby of 7 children and often competed for attention. I think this has gotten worse for me in the last few years, DH has been deployed several times and I sit at home with no adult communication.

Blogger Jeanne's Gifts said...

I found your Blog through Crosswalk and love it! I will definitely be coming back! It sure described me pretty well.

Lorri
jeannesgifts@gmail.com

Blogger MrsProverbs31 said...

Well, I guess a lot of people want this CD of yours and the book, too. Seriously, this resonates with a lot of us. I used to have a lot of those comparison problems. I hated myself, but didn't want to admit it. I looked down on myself until God showed me John 6:44. Then, He took me to several passages of how He looks at us. One of those is found in Song of Solomon. I wrote about it in my blog: Rise Up Darling.

He really showed me (ME) that I sinned when I didn't like myself because when he created me, He said, "it is good." I am good. You are good. God loves women, too. I only wish that we, women, would realize what a huge role we play in this world.

Shoua Lo @ pastor-wife@hotmail.com

Blogger Terri said...

Okay...now see here's the problem....I am all of those personalities! No wonder I am confused. I am new to your website and so thrilled that God directed me here.

Anonymous Toni said...

Dear Renee,
I'm 46 years old, and I'm sitting here with my mouth hanging open while reading your blog! This is where I am, and as I read your blog, I couldn't believe someone else out there could possibly come close to understanding how I feel!
I got married at a young age, started a family a year later. Eighteen years later, I found myself going through an unwanted divorce. Now, my daughter has two beautiful boys, and I'm married again to a wonderful man. I'm a Mother, a Grandmother, and a wife, but I still don't know what to do with MYSELF. I was fine when my grandsons lived nearby (I felt they were my purpose), but ever since they moved away last June, I have been a mess! There is so much I want to do, but I always carry this feeling of inadequacy! Is that sinful? I mean, maybe I'm not trusting God enough. Why do I feel so afraid to just go out and do what I need to do? And how do I know what I'm SUPPOSED to do?
I have been so blessed by you and the Proverbs 31 site. Thank you so much for sharing your gift to help others.
Blessings,
Toni

Anonymous beeco said...

I enjoyed the post on UNIQUELY YOU.I'm again trying to figure out myself.I have been a people pleaser all my life I think.I relate to Phlegmatic and melancholy.Now I need to know, will the real Sharon please stand up. Thank you for the message God Bless

Blogger Honea Household said...

I got the devotional on my email. It caught my attention because if someone were to ask me the same question that you were asked, I wouldn't know the answer. I'm 26, married, and mother of two, and I don't know what I want to be "when I grow up" if you can understand what I'm saying. Can you be phlegmatic and sanguine at the same time? And maybe a little melancholy? I honestly can hardly answer the question about which personality I am. I have been struggling with who God wants me to be. I know that right now, my calling is to be a stay at home mom. But sometimes I find myself thinking, "What am I going to do with myself when my kids get in school? When they graduate from highschool and move out?" I don't know. I am certainly going to read that Personality Plus book and would love to read your book about discovering who you are. Thank you so much for your devotional and your post. I am excited about finding out more about me and who God wants me to be.

Blogger Erran said...

Thank you, Renee, for your time, effort and devotion to Christ through your unique talents.
I personally feel most alive while teaching group exercise, physical adventures, leading small group Bible studies, bonding with strangers, visiting with women and children in our homes, carpooling with new friends and discovering who people are beneath the surface, deep conversations about God and life. What do these attributes equal? I would possible enjoy living in a women/children's Christian camp. Hmmm...greatest dream is traveling to Africa, hearing their stories and hugging, crying, praying with them. Need hubby and daughter on board somehow. I believe God called me to be a missionary to Zimbabwe nearly 12 years ago. I know God will lead me ther one day. Until then, I'll practice my talents locally.
Thanks for inpsiring personal reflection, Renee! May God bless you and your ministry!
errangilchrist@comcast.net

Anonymous Bronx Girl said...

Hi Renee,
"The real me" devotion hit home with me. I am in my 40's and have been a people pleaser all my life. It's odd that I've made it this far in life and still haven't figured out what "I" want to do. Thank God for prayer and patience. I will be picking up the workbook and CD you referenced in the "related resources" section.

Thanks for your wonderful devotion.

Anonymous ruthie said...

Dear Renee, Thank you for your writings. I share with my staff of 11 everyday. I work for an eye surgeon and we are all christian.

Anonymous Lacy said...

When I read CJ's comments, the very first one, It sounded as though I had written every word!!!
I, too, am a melancholy with 4 children and I struggle with anxiety and depression. I am creative and musical but don't have much confidence in my abilities. I know God gave me my talents and wants me to use them for His glory, but when it comes to sharing them I feel inadequate so I hold back. That of'course leads to guilt. I know that my main job right now is to be wife and mother, and I love this job. But I am lonely and oftentimes bored. I am also afraid that when my children are grown I will have empty nest syndrome and wonder what in the world will I do to fill the days.....and I may think that I have wasted good years that I should have been doing something else.... I guess I am afraid of that..... of regret. Anyway, thanks for your encouragement. I thrive on P31 and I love you all so much for answering God's call for your lives as you minister to me and countless other women.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! I thought I was the only one who felt that way. Your Devotion was very much needed and then I saw your blog and saw how many others needed it. I thank God that you shared this with us. Now we can feel not so alone and encouraged to know that God is concerned for us that's why He used you to share your testimony... to help the many others who are or have struggled in this area.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee,
Thanks for your article, "The Real Me" -- I join the line of women who do not yet know exactly who they are nor what their deepest dreams may be...
But, I believe it is never too late to discover ourselves and God's desires for us.

God is so good...this is perfect timing for me...I turn 48 tomorrow, and am searching, searching, searching. God is so good!

Thanks!
Beverly: bkclevel@yahoo.com

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I really enjoyed reading the article because I am at the phase or really leaving that phase where I am constantly comparing my self to others. I have always hated my shy personality and always desired and prayed to be more outgoing as I saw others to be. Well, God has answered my prayer of being more outgoing, which is so neccessary in sharing to others the message of Salvation, but I am still somewhat shy. Over the years, I have read the Psalm 139 and it really comforts me. Being shy really created obstacles for me such as just asking for help in school or making friends. I am learning to appreciate my distinct personality and furthermore, my friend recently told me that she loves my personality and that she is glad that she knows me and that was so uplifting. So now I am feeling that I am "fearfully and wonderfully made" and creating me the way HE did was good. I am still pursuing school and feel bold enough to ask or answer questions if needed. I feel that God really has a purpose in how He created me and I so look forward to discovering what it is.

Blogger awcamp said...

Renee,
Thank you for your words in Proverbs 31 today. You spoke directly into my situation. I have been challenged the last several weeks (and years) to be myself, to turn away from all the "ideals" I see around me. Your words affirm this uniqueness that God poured into each of us. It is a gift and a daily struggle to find my own heart and to act and speak from it -- and to step away from things I think I am "supposed to" do and be. I pray for each woman who faces this same struggle that she will be encouraged to step into the light that God shines upon her.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never really felt like I was being myself. I have always just tried to be like whoever I was with at the time to fit in.

OpenID mommoosage said...

Dear Renee,
Oh how hard to be vulnerable! I'm 52 years old, widowed 6 years ago, and have begun the process of not only healing but finding out 'who God made me to be'. I was married 20 years, was still deeply in love with my husband and was there to be his helpmate and a good mom to our 3 children, then 17, 15 and 10 years old. Well, time has passed and God definitely has me on this journey of blossoming into the person He intends me to be. All He has been revealing and peeling back of layers has been painful, but at the same time 'delightful' because I know He is up to something. Your blog this morning is one more tender love letter from the Father for me, to encourage, to push me forward in this journey. I would appreciate your prayers. Thank you for being so vulnerable with us. As one of my pastors used to say,"I'm just one beggar leading the other beggars to where the bread is."The Lord continue to bless you.
Kim

Blogger Mariley said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lost. Very lost. Renee, please help me. Please pray for me.

M @ ldvcoat@yahoo.com

Anonymous lacy said...

oops! forgot to leave my email for the drawing...sounds like a great resource!
lacybasinger@cableone.net

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your devotional totally spoke to me this morning, as I have more recently been praying and asking the Lord to reveal His vision for my life and the places that I will serve him because I have been feeling "lost." I can relate to feelings of trying to be who others want or need me to be and often experience burn out from that. Your devotional helped me to realize that I was missing a piece... yes, I've been asking God about His dreams for my life but I wasn't doing my part and spending time to really get to know myself better!! I am so thankful for your devotional and blog. It is extremely encouraging to know that sooo many other woman feel the same as I because a lot of times you feel alone! I am such a victim to getting caught up in the "busyness of life" and "people-pleasing" and I really feel that the Lord totally used your words to speak out to me so that I may make a change in my life. Thank you for sharing your story of finding the real you, I was truly inspired!

baby6irl3@tmail.com

OpenID rangerwj said...

Dear Renee,
I can't seem to put myself into any one catagory. I feel I fit most of all four. At different times of the day, I am many different people. I'm not sure who I want but I teach basic skills to adults and I am convinced that that is where my God-given talents are. I'm also a mother, wife, grandmother, friend, etc. so I have different personalities for my different purposes. Am I trying to be too much?
PJ

Anonymous melodyjoyangel said...

i can feel the kindred spirit soulmate sisterhood love in all of these comments! we are all truly unique and we are never all alone! we all struggle with the same issues. thank God for His love and our sisters in the Spirit. all of God's blessings to you all and all of your loved ones always! peace, joy, health, happiness, comfort, friendship, purpose, destiny, fulfillment, and most of all love with God, family, friends, and each other. blessings from melody 0;'}]

Anonymous dmcgrail said...

Thank you for your article on Proverbs 31 Ministries. They always pick outstanding writers with real lives and issues to bring to light.

I am living the "next" challenge of finding your real self, and that is actually carrying out the activities I know I should do in light of the gifts God has given me. I have this strong resistance deep within that holds me back from doing my artwork or other creative ventures, although I know it is a really key gift I have and that it should be shared with others and used to God's glory. The same goes with foreign languages. I speak two additional languages but haven't used this skill in nearly 8 years. The list goes on, I have been very blessed by God with many talents, but can't bring myself to use them to my full potential. Many prayers to this end for me, you and all the others who are struggling with this move.

Anonymous faithful said...

What a fabulous article ! I am turning 45 this month and still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. I've spend my entire life pleasing others and lost my self, hope and dreams in the process. I've been praying for God to reveal to me my purpose and passion that He has planned for me. Thank you for your insite. I really don't know where I fit and after 4 children, there isn't alot of time for me. I look forward to exploring this avenue that God has opened the door to. Thank you again. I've been praying for an answer for quite some time.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this article. I have been crying out to God to show me my purpose and why He created me. This morning He gave me an answer and the tools. I look forward to doing your workbook and reading the personality book. Thanks again for sharing your heart. I now know that I am not alone.
VH (mzvlh@yahoo.com)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Renee,
Your article on Proverbs 31 really spoke to me today. I have been so busy always trying to please and help others that I didn't realize I wasn't taking the time to find out who God has made me to be.
" The Real Me" made me stop and think. So I am going to get the books and cd mentioned and begin to find out who God wants me to be.

Blogger Jai said...

Good God words for today.
I stay focused on Psalm 139 so I do not get to carried away in the "why dids" .. why did God make me this way, I wish I ...

I border Choleric and Sanguine every time I take this test.

Blogger kbliss said...

Your devotional on Proverbs 31 today really got me thinking. Like another poster, I've often said I didn't know what I want to be when I grow up. Well, my youngest child is a senior in high school, and choosing a college, and I still don't know what I want to be when I "grow up". Other people tell me that God is preparing me to use me in a powerful way, but I pretty much feel like I'm treading water. I have a feeling this is a question that I won't be able to answer in a day, or even a week, but thank you for reminding me that I still need to seek Father God for answers.

KBliss- thebliss4@sbcglobal.net

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Renee,
in fact i used to blam God Jehovah for not created me as a whitie, bu when i read through your articles, i now realised the reason ehy God created me as blacky. kudos to you and pray to God to continue blese you whit His mercy.

Blogger Beck said...

Renee,
Thank you for putting into words thoughts that I have had for some time. I'm not sure why I am surprised at their being so many other comments on the blog - I guess idenity "issues" are not uncommon with us women! May we all come to know our true id in Christ and our own unique id as indiviuals.
Blessings
BJ
dandb@nbnet.nb.ca

Blogger Joyce said...

Hi Renee

Thank you for being open in your article this morning, being Uniquely you. I must admit that I am struggling with the same issue at 47 years old. I feel that God is calling me to step out on my faith and trust Him, but I am afraid that I won't measure up to his expectation. I want to please Him. I have always been a fearful person, even as a kid, growing up in my aunt's home. I felt that I was never good enough for her and was constantly trying to please her by doing what I thought was the "right" things. That attitude is still with me today as I try to be a good Sunday School superintendent, fearful that I am not measuring up to the to people's standards. When I look at church members I see my aunt's non-approving ways. I love teaching and want to be effective and efficient. I just want a relationship with my Father, knowing that I am pleasing Him in every way, every day. God is calling me to be great in Him, not the people. I know I am more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. I want everything God has for me. Your words are very inspiring to me. Thank you. In Jesus' name.
Joyce

Blogger kj said...

Dear Renee
Thank you for such a timely post!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise the Lord! I give Him the honor & praise for this new day! I shout out with VICTORY because He is my rock! I really appreciate all the comments on this particular subject. I am 54, married, mother of 4 (grown), grandmother of 5 raising one. Which can be overwhelming at times but a blessing most of the time. As I was praying last nite asking God the purpose of raising my grandson. Wow, what is my purpose.. I sit and think for the right words - on how each one of you are a blessing to me this morning - I am not alone - why I was thinking the other day I am uniquely made I am one of a kind and that kind of fell to the wayside. Today, I pick all that back up and can go forward because the word says "If God is for me who can be against me." I pray blessings to each one of you. Thank you for being so open. I like some of you never got on a "blog" before. Love in Him

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing how God works becouse I just purchased Personality Plus as it something God has been dealing with me on...As my relationship with God has been growing over the last year I have been having a hard time fitting in as " I'm not sure who I am as or what to say... as I'm so worried about what people want me to say or will think about what I'm saying.

Blogger Angela said...

Thank you, Renee, and all you women who shared your hearts. I am on a similar journey and really appreciate the encouragement.

Blogger coriehutts said...

This is exactly where I am in life! Struggling to find out what God's purpose is for me and what I'm meant to do. I know it's something filled with greatness for Him, but I can't seem to figure out what it is. Thank you so much for giving me hope that I won't have to struggle with this my whole life!
~Corie
coriehutts@yahoo.com

Blogger milo said...

Dear Renee,
Thanks so very much for the words of encouragement and for sharing with us. I was just what I needed. May God continue to use you to help so many of us Ladies who are searching for our own paths.... If I may... I would like to share some of your ideas and of course scripture with my ladies group. I am a counselor for Reformers Unanimous in Vienna, Ohio. I think it would make a great topic to help them find their hopes and dreams, as most of them have either lost theirs or have allowed Satan or a person to shatter theirs.... thanks in advance for your continued work in the Lord Jesus Christ.
milo
Lorraine

Anonymous Kelly said...

Renee,
I can't thank you enough for your heart today! This is the very topic that I have prayed about for weeks now. It is something that bothers me as I progress into a career that I'm not sure coincides with the devine purpose God created me for. Just the reassurance that I am not the only one with this issue is such a blessing -- thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Blogger Koper Family said...

Renee, I am a very busy, happy wife and mother of two. I always felt (before having kids) that my purpose in life was to be a mom and wife and to raise my children to love and honour God. I have never wondered if I should be doing something else. However, your devotion made me think that maybe I should be doing MORE. I don't know what yet but thank you for your devotion - it has made me think.

Blogger Beth said...

I'm always amazed at the number of women who share this same issue, as evidenced by the comments to this devotion. It never seems that way when you are experiencing it yourself, you always feel alone in the situation.

Anonymous L.S. said...

Dear Renee,
Your devotion on Proverbs 31 Ministries on "The Real Me", resounded in my spirit. This is something I have been struggling with for the last 3 years. Who I am really? Not the person (or as I like to call it - the mask) that everybody sees, but the person deep down. It is amazing how many women (and men) are struggling with this very thing.
Unfortunately I am still struggling with that answer. I have been a people pleaser for so long, I can no longer remember that little girl with endless possibilities. Any dream that I have, I question the very intent - is this selfish of me to want this....
Being the a part of a larger than life family and a mother of a special needs child, I find myself craving solitude just to be able to think.
Deep down, the only thing I know to be true is the deep desire to serve God and be pleasing to Him. Thank you for your words of encouragement that there is an answer through our Father to this question.
L.S. (insanextrm@esagelink.com)

Blogger momof2boys said...

I have struggled for years with finding my place. Before I was married, I was involved in an abusive relationship for 4 years. 15 years later, I'm married with 2 young boys. I keep looking for how God wants me to use my experience. I'm very active in my church, and only 2 or 3 people know of my past. I want to find a way to use it for His glory. I know everything happens for a reason, and I don't want my past to be in vain. I keep trying to see where God wants me to go with it. Your post today really struck a chord. I pray that God will show us our place.

Blogger Shaon said...

Your devotion brought tears to my eyes. I am so in this spot right now. At the ripe age of 42 I feel so lost because I have no dreams. Trying to explain it to even my friends who seems to have it all together seems useless and then in black and white there it was. I am so thankful for the devotional if for no other reason than to know that I am not alone in this. I recently prayed to God for dreams and wondered why I didn't have any. This helped to answer the real question that maybe just maybe I don't have dreams because I have yet to find out who I am. Thank you so much.

Blogger Mariley said...

Dear Renee, I have been reading “Encouragement for today” since a few weeks ago, and I want to thank you for all the enlightenment, I had several trials during my life…. I find myself reading the verses several times a day and the comments. I can relate with most of them, I got separated and divorced about 10yrs ago, and that was the most devastating experience that I have ever dream to go through, at that point I had 2 teens and my life was falling apart. But God was there with me…..every second of my journey; At that point I understood that HE has to break us sometimes to make us see the real road ahead of us, that HE is in control of our lives.

When I was 32 …(in your comments)….it hit me when I was reading…. and I went back on time…. I was so much like that….I didn’t have any dreams, I was overwhelmed with work and been the perfect mother and wife… and everything we are when we are married and trying to do and be everywhere … I was just was leaving life, making sure everybody and everything was happy… but me…… I was lost….. Didn’t know who I was and where I was going….what it keep me going were my kids…. After a few years of my separation I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, another trial……… at that crucial point of my life I asked God for life, guidance, strength, and health, and I surrendered to him, just waiting for his wishes. I was reading Job every day, the full chapter, I identify myself with him…… and Psalms: 17 / 18 / 27 etc., I am in peace free of cancer! I am in my early 50’s, have two wonderful adult children out of college and I am leaving my second life and very grateful to God for all the blessings in my life, especially… he blessed me when I had cancer and I thank my Lord for ALL and every second of it. I am grateful to him for my cancer, which brought life to me and made me the woman I am today!! God bless you always!
Mariley.MS@gmail.com

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This devotional applies to me. I'm still not sure what I'm supposed to do besides be a wife and mother. Please enter me in your drawing.
skransberger@yahoo.com

Blogger Michelle said...

OH SNAP!! It is with complete relief that I am not the only one suffering a "mid-life" crisis!! Just kidding. Just Kidding.

Joking aside. It is wonderful to read these posts and know that you are not the "only" woman in the world that doesn't "have it together" and even those who we think do, don't. :-)

As my pastor says, it's no accident that you are here (in our church). I say the same thing about your blog and your P31 article. It's no accident that you wrote it, it was posted and many have come to read it. Amen! :-)

I am 39 and hope that the Lord will allow me to discover who I am in Him by the time I am 40 (Dec '08).

May you continue to receive His blessings and wisdom.

In Christ's love,
Your Sanguine/Choleric with a little dash of Phlegmatic reader.
Mish
smisha1218@gmail.com

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog and can't believe there are so many others that feel as I do. I look forward to reading and learning more on the subject of "The Real Me". I have been searching for many, many years and feel that God has led me here today.
SK

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops, I didn't enter my email address for the drawing
TheMoose1@citlink.net
SK

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your comments today have touched on a subject that seems to be on the hearts of a LOT of women! I am 54 years old, and have struggled for years - but especially the past few months, with what my purpose is, what my strengths are, and what I like to do. I was struck with a sense of sadness as I read everyone's posts that there are so many women out there that have poured their lives into others, but have never taken the time - or even knew - that we should also be spending time doing things for ourselves. Many of us have been taught that it is "selfish" to do things for ourselves. And so many of us have lost "The Real Me". How sad that I am 54 years old, 2/3 of my life has passed, and I don't know the plans that God has had for me. I've been so busy "doing" that I never got around to "Being".
But - praise God - it's never too late. I look forward to more insight for all of us who are just now finding our way!
God Bless,
Wendy
wsSoBlessed@acegroup.cc

Anonymous snoopy47895 said...

I really appreciate your devotion. I've been struggling with this ever since I graduated from college and decided that what I had spent 4 years training to do was not what I was cut out to do. Since then I feel like I've simply fallen into different careers and activities because they were suggested by others or seemed safe.

Based on the personality types, I see myself in the Peace and Melancholy descriptions.

snoopy47895@yahoo.com

Anonymous Mandi said...

Dear Renee,
Reading your devotion was like reading the story of my life. I am 36 years old and am in that spot of wondering what my likes, dreams, desires, etc. even are. You have so inspired me. Thank you for sharing this.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just yesterday I met with my Bible Study Group and brought up Psalm 139. I want to know more about why God created me. Thank you.

Blogger Lori said...

It's comforting to know there are other women that think like I do! I'm 33 and a mother of two under the age of 3. My husband and I have been married for 13 yrs. Before we had children, I thought I knew who I was. Wife and Career woman. After deciding to stay at home with my children, I've been struggling with "who am i anyway"? While trying to be the perfect mom, wife and friend, I've lost who I really am! I'd love to read more in your book/devotional.
Thanks,
Lori
lorifuller2@hotmail.com

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the comment about comparison. I struggle with that so much and feel like this devotion was speaking right to me. Thank you!

jennijanejordan@gmail.com

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I forgot to include my e-mail. I would love to check out your workbook.
Julie
koelm@sbcglobal.net

Blogger Carol said...

I am 60 and wondering who I am supposed to be. Carol

Blogger Jami said...

WOWZERS! Tons of comments! I'm glad you wrote on this today. I was just thinking about this very topic!

Good reminders! :)

clintandjami@gmail.com

Blogger Brenners said...

Renee, thank you so much for sharing. I found your blog through your devotional at Proverbs 31. I'd like to share a little about my journey, which is still continuing. I'm sorry if it's too long. (I don't even know that anyone will read it, but it's good to get it out.)

Growing up, I was pretty much whatever I could be to keep my mom happy. I felt it was my responsibility to keep the family peace. To make sure Mom did not get upset. To protect my siblings from hurt that I had gone through. I did things Mom wanted me to do... sew, sing, etc. I believed the things Mom wanted me to... strict standards. But it wasn't me. It wasn't what God had put in my heart. There was something I was missing and I could feel it, though I had no clue what caused the discontented feelings.

A little bit of finding myself happened while I was working at the headquarters of a religious organization. I suppose some would call it rebellion. (Nothing evil, just didn't follow all the organization's rules (or my Mom's wishes).) But I believe it was the beginning of realizing that God is the God of indiviuality. He created not people, but indiviuals. And He created me. He put in my heart precise needs, thoughts, emotions, interests, dreams, intellect, and understanding. It was the beginning of realizing standards are not Bible rules. They are an individual's desire to act out what God has put in their heart. (Although there are many who act on them out of fear of man and God has nothing to do with it.) Being left with no strict personal standards, I had to search out for myself what God had in mind for me. It was a roller coaster those six months, but I learned a lot about who God is in relation to who He created me to be.

This learning continued during the next year at home with my family. Not so much in a physical sense. I felt I should still act upon Mom's standards so long as I lived at home. But it was more of a heart issue. I sought God like crazy. "Show me Your plan for me." "What do you want me to do?"

Then came the summer... that wonderful summer in Texas. I was away from home and Mom's mold, yet not confined to a religous trianing center and it's rules. I was trusted to be an adult and to be responsible without rules. For the first time, I was given choices, and God led me through each and every one. I can't quite put my finger on what exactly all changed that summer, but I left Texas a totally different person in my heart and thoughts. There was a depth there, an understanding beyond rules. And a crazy amount of God searching going on too... with loving a wonderful man and not being sure of God's will in it.

But I hadn't found my interests and dreams until after I was married. The real me has come out more and more as my husband has encouraged me to not care what others think. To not worry about others action and attitudes, since they are not my responsibility. There is freedom in that. Great freedom. Freedom to be everything God has created me to be.

Brenda (brenners at theherd dot us)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee,
I appreciate the honesty of your devotion. I am a mother of 4 little ones (6,4,2 & 5mos) and have the joy of staying home with them! I love what you and all the ladies at Proverbs 31 are doing- such a blessing to all of us in our little corners of the world. My prayer during Lent is to continue to sit in the Lord's presence and discern His will for me. I am excited that He is preparing the way for me.

I coordinate a small mother's group at my church. We read the book, "What Every Mom Needs" and it also noted the personality book. I think I'm a little of all of the types (so does that mean I don't know who I am?! ) but I'd have to say I am the melancholy type(and would like to be more like the phlegmatic). I guess I still figuring it all out and could really benefit from your resources!
Blessings,
Maria
mszematis@yahoo.com

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Renee, Your devotion and blog reminded me of a journey I have been on. My Mom died at 68 in December of 2004. I had been very close to one of our ministry leaders, (Mary), and highly respected her visionary type personality. The evening we found out that Mom didn't have much longer to live Mary called me out of the blue to ask me to come to a teacher training class (totally out of my comfort zone). Although I didn't know why she had called until the end of the lengthy phone call and after some prodding, because she instantly changed her focus when I answered the phone. She could tell something was wrong when I answered the phone. Because of my admiration for Mary I strongly considered, and ended up, taking the Teacher Training class. It changed my life. The class culminated with a final PRESENTATION (that scared me to death), but I was determined to honor God. During the preparation of the presentation God took me back through my life and showed me his fingerprints on my life. I know I am God's child and that He has shaped me with a purpose but I'm still not 100% sure what that is.

Thank you for your Ministry and Fellowship with all of us Christian women throughout the world.

Love,
Melanie Stilley

Anonymous texasmagz said...

Hi Renee,
A few years ago, my son asked me if I thought God wanted me to do something big. At that time, I realized that had more small yet meaningful intentions for my life. I just figured God would use me as He saw fit without really asking what He intended for my life. Thank you for your blog. I'll be praying and searching for the answers to these questions.

Blogger MCLopez said...

Hi Renee,
I'm in a women's bible study and we were just talking about our gifts. And I sat and listen to our teacher. I thought to myself what is my gift? What is my purpose in His kingdom? I've been saved since 1995 and my goodness I don't know what I want out of life. I mean I know I want to be in Heaven like now. But meanwhile I'm stick here in this rotten world, I don't have dreams or goals. Like I don't have a life or something. I'm married (2nd time around) to wonderful Godly man. I have 2 teenage kids. But I really live for them I mean God comes first of course. But your devo just sadden me, but inspired me to go out and find my dream thru prayer and books to read. Thank you for a mini-flash-back of my life. God continue to use you. And fill your heart with wisdom and knowledge.

Blogger kim said...

WOW! Once again I am amazed at how the Lord continually uses the Proverbs 31 ministry to speak to me!!! Thank you for this ministry Lord!

I am the mom of 3 teenage boys. My dream has always been to be a Mom and I have loved being a Mom. But as they have gotten older and more challenging I can honestly say that most days I am VERY unhappy. My personality is definitely of the "control" type which does not make for a peaceful home with 3 headstrong boys!! Your article made me realize that I really need to pray & search myself for my "new dreams". No, I am not giving up being a Mom to these young men but may be focusing my attention on what God's plan for me next would help me and my family.
Thanks Renee & God bless you!
Kim
henchicks@verizon.net

Blogger Nancy said...

Hi Renee,
I enjoyed your devotion on Proverbs 31 Ministries today!! It hit me right on. I'm truely in search of the Real Me, but it is really hard doing that. I'm 37, single, never been married. You are right on getting wrapped up in things and trying to please others instead of focusing on the only one we truely need to please, Jesus!! So thanks for the encouragement today!
Nancy (nansdream@gmail.com)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Renee,
Finally, someone out there that understands my pain! i think see myself n all of the "types". I am 43 and I too, wonder what's my purpose, how do I ask God, how do I listen and how do I know that's he's talking to me? I was led to this fascinating site through Daily Encouragement and I am so happy I did. It seems as though there is an Elaine talking to Elaine (me). Please put my name in the drawing and send me a daily devotional please. I love this.

God Bless you

Blogger kathie said...

Hi Renee,
I totaly undderstand how you felt, someone recently asked me what I liked to do for myself, and I couldn't give them an answer.
I guess I'll have to pray about it, but it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who feels like they ever fit in.
Kathie

Anonymous Christine said...

I struggle w/ who I truly am. I am a stay-home Mom of 3 but my work-type skills are highly technical. So I find myself missing the 'brain' work while at home. But when I had to return to work a couple times when my husbands work ended, I missed my kids so terribly. I don't have time for hobbies or 'self' really so I often experience burn out. I think your book sounds like it could be a wonderful help in this area - identifying who I am in Christ & who God made me to be.
God Bless you!
Christine (tcbischof@hotmail.com)

Anonymous sara said...

Renee,

I love your transparency! Reading through the other blogs, i see that I'm not the only one struggling to find the "real me". I am a people pleaser and in doing so, I become who they want me to be and not who God wants me to be. I am currently on my knees praying about the direciton God wants my life to take in re: to ministy. I have been working with the youth of our church for the past 8 years, but feel He is leading me in a new direction. It could be to your conference in June. What a blessing you all are and a big thank you for listening to God's call on your life and being an encouragement for the rest of us!

Serving HIm,
sara (sjmeyer@insightbb.com)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Renee,

I am 32 years old and for most of my life I have felt as if I do not belong. I have longed to be someone else. I have felt and still feel myself growing up in the shadows of life. I have often wondered why I am the way I am and why would God make me this way.
I've been married for 6 years and I am very unhappy with myself. I am who my husband wants me to be, who my kids want me to be, who my employer wants me to be and I have no clue who I really am. I want to know the real me! I pray that God will help me to walk in faith and not in fear but I feel fear everyday. I feel inferior to others but know that I am a chosen generation, a royal pristhood, I'm loved by God and the thought he thinks towards me.
I will focus more on discovering the real me but as I type this I'm thinking- my focus should be on others and God will take care of me.
I will pray for God to reveal to me the woman he had in mind when he fashioned me in my mother's womb.

Thank you,
Ty

Anonymous Connie connieh67@yahoo.com said...

Hi Renee,

Many times I read the devotionals I receive daily from Proverbs31 Ministries and they are just what I need to hear at the time. Your devotion today was no exception. It is hard, sometimes, to read devotions from women who seem to have it all figured out, while I feel I haven't grown up quite yet. Thank you for honestly sharing your search for finding who you are supposed to be in God. I look forward to diving more into the resources you list to discover a bit more about myself and who God has in store for me to be.

Best Wishes,
Connie

Blogger Amy L Brooke said...

I think I am probably melancholy. I wish I wasn't. The definition caught my attention: Needs sensitivity, stability, support, space, silence

I definitely need all of those things -- probably a little too much. It did strike me as interesting that the support and silence went hand in hand. I can see that in myself. I crave connection but I need silence sometimes to think. Actually, I love it when I can be with someone and have their be a compaionable silence -- no rushing to fill the void. I find that when there is rushing to fill the void all the important things end up unsaid!

My email is abrooke2002@gmail.com

Blogger Shea said...

I really enjoyed your Proverbs 31 lesson today! I have been thinking about this a lot lately and wondering if I am doing what I am called to do. I love staying at home with my kids but feel like I'm missing something that I should be doing along side of that. I too feel that I've done what others said I was good at not really what I was sure I was made to do! Thanks so much for todays message!

Blogger Kelley said...

This really hit home for me. Thank you.

Blogger Thodgson said...

Awesome! Thanks for the great reminders, and like so many others i appreciate your ministry
God Bless
Lilbitsmom

Anonymous roller coaster said...

Hi Renee,
Your devotion came at a good time, at God's time I guess. For the last year or so, I have been floundering, wondering who I am, what God wants from me, or for me. I've been afraid of who I am, afraid that I don't measure up. Thank you for your insights on comparisons...that is my problem. I'm learning that it's okay to be me, warts and all, that God loves me. From briefly looking at the personality traits, I think I'm a pretty even mix of phlegmatic and melancholy. Whew! That's a tough one. I got a an email the other day, one of those "get to know yous"...what did you want to be when you grew up as a child? Perfect, but I'm trying to get over that was my answer. By God's grace I will. I'm learning to believe Him over what I feel or even see. I'm sorry if this is scattered, I have four kids under the age of 9 and trying to have a coherent thought is a challenge sometimes. I just want to know that it's okay to be me, that God does have a plan and a purpose for a woman who doesn't see herself as having much to offer.

Thanks. C

Anonymous furey3 said...

Dear Renee,
Thank you so much for sharing, it has touched me more than I thought it would. This devotion has really hit home, none have grabbed me so tightly. I have always felt I don't belong anywhere, always thinking if I was like her or could do that, I would be alright. Never quite feeling like I am totaly belonging or accepted can be so tiresome.
I can see that if I just learn more about me, and learn to accept everything God has given me, and use this information, then maybe I will be more at ease knowing I am his child. An that's all I need to remember, with Him I can do all things. Even start this new scary journey of discover of me and finding His dreams for me.
God Bless
Cheryl F
3fureys@charter.net

Anonymous ReenyMae said...

Renee, I could just hug you! Thank-you so much for your Ministry!

This is my first time to your website and I really feel so blessed by it. I came in reading "What's Wrong With Me?" Oh my goodness! I can so identify! And with this posting for "Uniquely You" - It's definately God's hand that lead me here.

I have been unemployed Since September 15, 2007. I had just finished reading yet another email sent to me as to why I didn't get hired for a job that I had applied to. Tearfully, I prayed, and Opened my email to my new subscription to your website.

I have been trying so hard not to be depressed, but I just really don't know where the LORD is leading me to.

LORD, What do you want me to be??? What is your calling on my life? You have led me here Lord...Please give me WISDOM and Discerning Direction. AMEN

Please continue to follow where the LORD Leads you!

Blessings to you all! We are NOT Alone!!!

Doreen - reenymae@juno.com

Blogger Deejay said...

Who am I and why am I here?

Blogger Kathie said...

Loved your article on The Real Me. I was in my 30s too before I discovered who I am and what I wanted to be. I'm now 50 and enjoying the life and ministry that God gave to me all those years ago.

Blogger Lisa Hinrichs said...

I would love to learn more about myself from a Christian perspective. Your workbook and CD sound like a great way to do that.

I get discouraged at times when I read about my personality profile because I don't like some of the words used, the more negative side of my personality (depresssive tendencies). I like to do work for the Lord and He made me the way I am, I just need to be positive about that!

Thanks for your thoughts.
Lisa

Blogger Diana said...

Wow that was an awesome devotional
I have loaded myself with so much STUFF that just because I have done the same thing for the Lord for so long I have not even stopped to even think Is this what you have for me Lord?

Blogger Truusje said...

Hi Renee,

Like you and many others apparently I'm not certain what my dreams are for myself. I need to do some more research/study and prayer about this. Have done a few small ones but never can put myself into a category.
Please included me in the draw for your book and CD.
Thanks for your message today.
Just started receiving the Proverbs 31 devotionals this week.
God bless,
Truusje
truusje.b@gmail.com

Anonymous alexaj said...

Dear Renee,

funny I have been wondering that very question all of my life, iknow I ahve wanted to make a difference however i spend most of my time wondering,ha i have loads of stories that are quiet unique that I just seem to fall into however the end is always the same because i am never quiet sure what to do with it or where to go with it."The Real Me" who is that?
Thank you for your insight.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Renee,

I posted a comment earlier but forgot to leave my e-mail address...melanie.stilley@glaciersales.com

Thanks!

Anonymous Regina, Las Vegas NV said...

Hello Renee,
I just finished dinner and decided to read my email. My sister in law Sandra is just a joy. She is always thinking of me. I never would've thought prior to reading all the comments on your blog, all the women who were reading my thoughts and putting it down for me. I hardly ever consider what I want out of life.. other than being a good wife and mother. I have been through alot in my life, and the LORD has always brought me through to the other side. My mother was an alcoholic, and passed away at 40 due to the disease. My sister is now following in her footsteps at 50. I have 3 beautiful children and a pretty nice husband.. been married now for 23 yrs this march. I often wondered what else I was suppose to be doing with my life besides, being mom and wife.I go to work everyday,helping others and trying to be a blessings to others..I often keep in mind.. GOD is watching, does he approve?? is this pleasing in HIS sight? I always try to be the peace maker. I have always done this. Growing up with alot of siblings, it was hard. There was alot of sadness and pain. I made a decision while. I was quite young, not to let alcohol take over my life. My mother was always sad...working hard to care for her children by herself. I really dont stop to consider what my dreams in life are very often. I am just going through my day. I do know that I have a desire to write a book about my life with my family, growing up.... just not sure how to get started. I truly want to be the woman GOD desires for me to be. I often think I get in HIS way. I hope I can stay out of HIS way long enough so I can what HE wants me to/be... Thank you for these questions... I believe I am a little of all 4 personalities and that's ok.... He is showing me. I look forward to reading your book/and hearing you cd. Thank you for your website. I will come back to it often. Sincerely, Regina, Sister in Christ since childhood.

Anonymous pinklani said...

Renee,

What a beautiful way to put the real me.... Currently, my life and carrer is changing direction.
Since having burnout from 14 years of being a coordinator for infant/toddler programs, I took a year off. It gave me time to build a closer relationship with God, work on my home based business and to just learn more about myself.
~~Don't get me wrong some days I still question "Is this for me Lord" "What is it that you have planned for my life?" Since starting out on this journey, I have not always been listening, some days a nap would be better and other days I just surrender to His goodness. Deep down I have always wanted to speak, show everyone the town by having my own travel show, act, sing(even though everyone may cover their ears)and help those in need.
After sharing my story about being in a controlling and mentally abusive relationship that ended 15 years ago, God has been whispering to me to take a step and help those girls/women. Others have said really, more need to know about this or I just wish my daughter knew how to have a healthy realtionship while dating.
Where ever he leads I will follow.
It will not always be easy but He is the master planner for us all.

with blessings,
Rachel
rtmarykay1@cinci.rr.com

Blogger Faith said...

While reading your devotional, I totally could relate. There are things i would like to do as hobbies and maybe a career. But i don't know who I am or what God created me to be. i am person pleaser and think that's just what i'm suppose to do. But i too feel unhappy no matter what i think i want, i get burned out real fast too. I desire to know what God created me for and looking at the personality types I am the sanguine(oh forgot how to spell it) I like to have FUN!!! I desperately seek approval and desire attention.
here's my email address
faith_miracle1114@yahoo.com

Blogger t_studdard said...

At this time, I would just like to enter the drawing. t_studdard@yahoo.com
Thank you and God Bless

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love (no, I need) to be entered for your drawing!
Thank you and May the Lord bless you.
Teri
ltmlive@yahoo.com

Anonymous sandrabeth said...

Hello Renee, or i have to say hola...I am from Argentina, and here are 3:00 pm and I read the devotional of today and I sometimes or almost everydays asked to me the same and If that I studied today is that God real want for me. Thanks for your love and your time.My email is sandraelizabethfioretti@yahoo.com.ar

Anonymous Amy said...

Thank you for your words - I came across them in the Proverbs 31 devotional. For several years now, I have continually felt like I was in that group, anxious about having to give an answer to the question of what I am passionate about in this life. I have longed for a passion and asked God for one many times. I am waiting for that answer and willing to do whatever I can to discover it. When I read your article, I felt a small sense of relief because I don't know anyone else like me who loves God but at the same time is floundering to find her way. It's encouraging to see that someone has come out of that kind of season victorious. Again, thank you, Amy - amyjoyd@comcast.net

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been praying and praying about just this! I wrote the prayer from Prov31Devotions so I can repeat it again and again. I actually strayed away from praying for this because I "got busy". Reading your blog today is God's way of bringing me back. I do have dreams and goals. I am just praying for my talents/gifts to come to light. I do not understand what His plan is for me. I sooo desire to know. Thanks Renee!
mendez1013@yahoo.com

Anonymous skw said...

Renee,
The quote that struck me the most from your Ps. 31 devotional was, "Isn’t it easy to completely neglect ourselves to meet the needs of everyone around us, and call it self-sacrifice?" Alright, you can get off my baby toe now:)

I went to prayer last week at church and spoke with my pastor and an elder. The elder had a word for me "rest". "Rest" I thought, I get plenty of that! He did not mean physical rest but spiritual rest in the Lord. I began to realize that my life is so full of "stuff" that I have very little time to "be still" much less "rest".

He also asked me a poignant question which relates directly to your Ps. 31 & blog topic. Do you ever take time for yourself, or what do you do for yourself? My answer was nothing! Nothing? Nothing!

I am the mother of 3 daughters
(14, 11, 7), and my husband is disabled at 48. I am also a 3rd grade teacher and work 3 part-time jobs just to make ends meet.

My role has changed drastically within the last year. My husband and I closed our 7-year-old business that was very profitable. I am now the breadwinner, mother, wife, caregiver, and I could go on and on.

I now know that the self-sacrificing role I've been playing is not sacrifice but martyrdom. When we are a martyr we die for something or someone else. I am literally dying for my family and my jobs! Not only am I losing myself, but the very people I am a martyr for are becoming a burden to me because I feel I have no life, no outlet, nothing:(

YES, today I WILL use that gift certificate to get my nails done! YES, I will play Bunko with my friends the next time I call! YES, I will take my girls to the park and play! YES, I will spend time with my heavenly Father, so I can experience spiritual rest...real rest:)

BTW (by the way, sorry I have a teenager), I can really relate to the peace and control personalities & will be purchasing the book and actually read it!

Sheri
Macon, GA
skw42867@cox.net

Blogger Misty Kearns said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Angie O said...

The article you wrote concerning uniquely you really hit a home with me. I have been praying wanting to know what God wanted me to do for him what I could do for him. I am 38 years old and not well versed in the word so I feel like a fish out of water. I have really started studing the word daily and noticed the differece in the way I feel about myself and my relationship with God. I know I am here for a reason but I just don't know what. Then here comes your article. Thanks so much for the encouraging words and the references information I can refer to for help. Keep up the good work. You have found your calling from God and he is definently working through you.
Angie Owen

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grace & Peace Renee, as i read today's encouragement, it tore me up on the inside. I am 37 yrs old, a mother of 3 daughters and married for 7 yrs. I've been battling in my marriage for the past 2 yrs with infidelity on my husband's part. Prior to my latest pain, I've always been an introvert, unable to express myself openly due to fear of being hurt or looked upon as stupid. The journey of finding myself/purpose has been the hardest. So hard that I have lived for the sake of others and sacrificing my own peace. Smiling on the outside and dying on the inside. This morning my heart is so broken. I sleep with a liar every night who tells me he loves me, but behind my back he's a wolf in sheep's clothing. I want to leave, I feel bound and hindered daily. It's a daily thorn that pierces my heart. On top of it, we both are spiritual leaders in the church. I deal with women daily who are stuck on unhealthy relationships. How can I assist in their liberation if I myself feel imprisoned? I know God is with me, but sometimes I feel so alone and I'm tired of crying. All of my life, I've experienced pain and disappointment. I don't want to follow this pain anymore. I need deliverance. Please pray for my deliverance.

Blogger Joyful said...

Renee...remember your post from Thursday? Your totally rotten, forgotten day? Well...you certainly aren't forgotten now! Can't help but think this morning that God was preparing you and calling you to trust Him with all that He was and is about to do with and in your life as you open yourself up and became real with so many ladies. Thursday you could only see the moment - but look what lay ahead. Renee - 200 comments and still growing!!! Did you even imagine such a response? God does beyond what we hope or imagine! Oh my goodness my friend, you have not been forgotten.
"JOY MAY SEEM TO PAUSE AS GRIEF TAKES ITS COURSE, BUT THOSE WHOSE BROKEN HEARTS ARE BOUND BY HIM WILL EXPERIENCE IT AGAIN." Beth Moore (sound familiar?)
Praying for you as you process through these responses and as you seek God in where to go next.
Love & prayers,
Joy

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