Self on a Shelf: Challenge #3

This week’s challenge:

Buy yourself a Christmas ornament.

Before you do, on a clean 2-page spread of your self-care journal, write down all the names anyone might call you, any title you hold or once held, any relationship you have with others. Mine looks something like this:

  • Daughter
  • Mom
  • Wife
  • Grandmother
  • Sister
  • Boss
  • Director
  • Teacher
  • Writer
  • Homemaker

It includes titles and identities from my youth:

  • Organist (for my church when I was a teen)
  • President (of my high school student body)
  • Captain (of the track team)
  • Cheerleader
  • Vocalist
  • Actress

Your list might include other things tied to your career or personal hobbies and gifts:

  • Artist
  • Musician
  • Mathematician
  • Gardener
  • Lawyer
  • Ballerina
  • Soldier
  • Volunteer

Don’t worry about how long your list becomes. I want you to think hard about all the ways you have ever been identified at home, at church, at work, or in your community. Be sure to add what you think other people might say about you.

  • Prayer-warrior
  • Neat Freak
  • Star Wars fanatic
  • Party animal

I’ve asked you to create this list because we moms often forget how multi-faceted we are. We usually focus on one identity – Mom – and we fail to nurture the dynamic woman inside of us who’s begging for expression and care.

I can’t help but think of Jesus and the many names attributed to him. Here are just a few, familiar to us at Christmastime:

  • Wonderful
  • Counselor
  • Mighty God
  • Everlasting Father
  • Prince of Peace
  • Immanuel

One website includes a multitude of other names for Christ and wisely asserts:

The more we study this list, the more we will understand who Jesus really is.

How true. Christ was far from one dimensional.

We first meet him in the Old Testament as a promise.

Then he arrives as a baby, son to Mary and Joseph.

He becomes a boy and a carpenter.

He becomes teacher to the disciples; healer of the sick; provider for the hungry; friend of the rejected.

He is a Lamb. A Lion. Our Lord.

When he was baptized, God spoke from heaven: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Beloved Son.

How affirming for Christ to hear his heavenly Father express his love in this way. And as you think about your own relationship with God, I want you to remember that you are his

Beloved daughter.

Your heavenly Father created you with a purpose and a destiny, with many roles to fill and many passions to pursue.

The more you study your list of names, the more you will understand who you really are.

Now, pick an identity from your list and buy an ornament that corresponds to it. You might prefer to craft an ornament by hand. Have fun with this! Get that unique identity off the shelf and hang her on your Christmas tree.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2.10












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