I shared a confession during the 6 AM barre class that I taught this morning, but I couldn’t go into depth because 1. I was out of breath (seriously, have you tried one of our classes?!) and 2. Did I mention I was right in the middle of leading a barre class? 😉 I hurried home afterwards to type up this post because there’s freedom in confession. Here’s my short story that will hopefully help you know if your heart motives are pure…

One day it hit me like a ton of bricks. God said, “My precious daughter, you need to stop doing things to impress others or just to be able to say you did it.”

Instantly tears welled up in my eyes and I got that big ‘ole lump in my throat. I felt guilty and frustrated. I justified my actions, denied any wrongdoing, and the devil assisted me in this time of push back.

About one month later I heard that same gentle voice, full of love and mercy say to me again, “My stubborn girl, listen to me. Stop doing anything that you’re doing out of selfish ambition. Check your heart. It belongs to me, remember?”

I have to wonder if God regrets making me so stubborn and strong-willed sometimes. 

That second time I knew just what the Lord was talking about.
My #monthlylettersofencouragement project.

What started out as me tapping into two of my passions (writing and encouraging) with the intention of blessing others, had slowly turned into me wanting all of the glory, recognition, and praise. I found all so much pleasure in letting other’s know that, “I do X amount, all by myself.” It’s comical now, really.

Because of my own pride and selfish ambitions, a good thing that once blessed me and added value to my life slowly became a burden and something I did with the intention of gaining others approval. It was no longer sincere.

But Jesus grabbed hold of my heart that second time I heard the voice instructing me to stop doing anything out of selfish ambition.

As I handed the entire project over to Him like a little kid dragging their feet, hanging their head in shame, He spoke again.

He declared that it was His all along, but that I could keep it. So long as I was willing to lay my pride and selfish ambition aside.

That’s when I found a new way. That’s when I began asking for writers to help and share the joy of this project. That was the day I quit desiring all of the glory for myself. Or any glory at all truly. 

Now with a tremendous army of women helping write #monthlylettersofencouragement, it’s back to what it started: a way to brighten someone’s day through handwritten encouragement.

Nothing more. No vain conceit.

It’s not about me or who’s writing them. It’s not about impressing anyone. My intentions and heart motives are back in check; but I confess that they were not and that there have been many times in my life where I’ve done something purely out of selfishness. Because I’m human and I sin and I’m always making mistakes; learning, and growing, just like you.

I pray that wherever it’s needed in your own life, today you’ll listen to the voice calling you to lay down your pride and selfishness. That you’ll hand it over to the Lord. And don’t drag your feet or hang your head in shame. He’s not inviting you to dip your toes in His sea of grace. He’s inviting you to dive in deep. And from one fellow messy human to the next, dive on in sister, it’s the most refreshing swim you’ll ever take.

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Manda's weekly letters on faith, marriage, motherhood, soul care, social justice - and occasionally the collision of it all. 

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