I may not be the “est” but I am the “only”

By June 18, 2013Get Inspired

the-only

I’m Not The “est”

Few things can sabotage a woman’s self esteem like a vacation to the beach.

Maybe it’s just me and my own insecurities, but sheesh our trip to the beach a few weeks ago was a harsh reality check that I am rather officially middle aged.

Brutal.

As people roamed the beach wearing strategically and precariously placed pieces of cloth, I thought a lot about how I’m not the “est” anymore.

I’m no longer the youngest in any random group of people.

I’m not the fittest.

I’m not the fastest.

I’m not the prettiest.

I’m not the trendiest.

If we’re including mathematics skills, I’m out of the running for the smartest, too.

These aren’t self deprecating statements, they’re facts.

So maybe it’s time to stop focusing on trying to be an “est” when the more important truth is that I am an “only”

lee-family

I Am the “Only”

The only woman my husband chose to spend the rest of his life with.

The only one my kids call mom.

The only person God chose to impact the mix of people in my life.

We live in a society kind of obsessed with being the “est.” Nearly every show on tv is some sort of competition where hundreds of thousands of people are whittled down to a single winner.

Social media has brought this pursuit of “est” to the masses.

But what is it that we are pursuing? The fleeting admiration of strangers who don’t even know that when we eat a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, we eat the chocolate off first and then savor the yummy middle. People who don’t know that thing we do with our hair when we’re thinking really hard. People we’ve either never met or haven’t seen since the last day of 3rd grade.

So for all you mamas out there whose bodies and business cards have changed a bit since your early 20’s, dive deeply into the place where you are known; the places where you are an “only.” This is where life to the fullest is found; among those that know your wrinkles, moods and grays and love you fiercely anyway.

BFF. Mother. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Mentor.

Let’s stop worrying about what we are not and give everything we have to these beautiful, powerful things that we already are.

Have you ever gotten caught up trying to be an “est” and lost focus of the truth that you are an “only?” Click here to share your thoughts.

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Comments

40 Comments

  • Avatar Shelly W. says:

    Wow. Thanks so much for this, Kat. Being solidly middle-aged, having kids fly the nest, and feeling not-so-sure some days, I found this so helpful. I need to focus on what’s here, in front of me, today. So good.

  • Great post! I love your writing and have been using your praying calendars for my twins and hubby for a year now. My hubby recently accepted Christ after making him my ‘prayer project,’ thank you for your wisdom and guidance! God bless!

  • Avatar Jennifer says:

    Thank you. This is exactly what I’ve been needing to hear.

  • Great post – in today’s world it is so easy to get caught up in the -est part of things! thanks!

  • Freaking awesome words to remember this morning, my friend. Thank you for writing them.

  • Avatar Being Mrs. Mom says:

    This was right along my alley this morning. I had to remind myself of who I am in Christ and who I am to those that love me. This world can get us so off track sometimes. It can cause us an even our loved ones to begin to compare is to others. Today, I have taken the responsibility to make sure that I allow God to deal with and help me deal with my insecurities and that I not project those things in my husband or my family.

    We just took a trip as well and I saw some d the same things. I’m pregnant, so you know how emotional I was. Still I am dealing with it through the word of God and remembering How much he loves me and the way he sees me.

    I really enjoyed reading this post. It was very encouraging. It’s nice to know that I’m not going through something like this alone.

  • Avatar Bose says:

    Hi,
    Wow! I felt rejected by someone i respect so much yesterday and this got me depressed. while crying to God this morning, i heard him say to me that I have been focussing on becoming this person’s best which has pushed me to do things just to be approved by Him. i retraced my steps by asking for God’s forgiveness and He told me I have His(God’s) approval even before I accepted it and now you have added to the list: my husband’s acceptance(which made him marry me). My kids love and accept mummy and finally i have accepted myself as my world’s “only”. Thanks for adding to God’s word to me this morning.

  • Avatar Susan Herold says:

    You feed my soul Kat. Last week was a rough week of comparisons. I think this is something I will struggle with always. Thank you for your blessed words and encouragement.

  • Avatar Betth says:

    So, I had this realization the first time I saw High School Musical and realized I was about ten years older than the new Hollywood leads. Yuck! This has always been a struggle for me. If I can’t make an impression, I don’t want to participate. God has been working on me in this area, especially since having kids. Sometimes, people don’t seem to notice that my kids are the perfect”est”. I don’t want my children to define themselves by the response others have of them, the way I always have. In order to protect them from this, it seems I need to learn how to model an authentic and deep acceptance of myself. Thank you for the reminder that we don’t have to be an “est” to be exactly what we were intended to be.

  • Avatar Sarah Parker says:

    Preach. It. Sister.

  • Avatar Erin says:

    Kat, you are so gifted and annointed by the Lord to be an amazing encourager and exhorter! Thank you for walking in obedience to that so that you could be a willing vessel who shares such great truths with us!

  • I am kinda thankful to NOT be the “est”. Those people must feel so overwhelmed. It is fun to be the “only”, it makes us extra special to those we love the most! (Oh, and PS–I wore a tank top and surf shorts the entire time at the pool the other day. No “strategically placed pieces of cloth for this mama of 3! 😉

  • Avatar Lindsay says:

    This seems to be something I constantly wrestle with if I don’t keep my focus on Christ. Thank you for that refreshing reminder!

  • Avatar Kathryn says:

    Thanks Kat,
    I have been really struggling this week with comparison and i was becoming my own worst enemy. Reading your words this morning was a blessing from God and encouraged me that I’m not the only one that thinks like that. Thank you so much for being so transparent.

  • Avatar Maggie says:

    Thanks! This was definitely what I needed today. My husband and I just got back from a wonderful week away from our three littles. We went to a concert, to movies, to a theater production, art museums, hiking….It was perfect. Right up to the point when I had to come home. The plane landed and it hit me hard that I am definitely not “est” anything! I was not the teenager that was sitting all around us at the concert. I was not the fit hiker that would put in miles that day. My art has long since dwindled to occasional commissioned pieces and I’ll never have anything hanging in a gallery. I was a disaster!!! It’s been tough to realize that I’ve been with the man I love for almost 20 years- how can I be that old!? BUT, he’s been with me for 20 years- how cool is that!? We have three children that (when I don’t want to run screaming from them) are so great I actually consider wanting more! And mostly, I’m right where God wants me. I’m right where he’s been leading me all these years. Every path that led to an “est” that I passed by led me here. This is what’s perfect and “est”. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Avatar Breanne says:

    Oh, so good. Just so good. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Avatar Kimberly Todd says:

    I think you might be interested in this about the evolution of the swimsuit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJVHRJbgLz8

  • Avatar Amy says:

    Let freedom ring!

  • Avatar Rebecca says:

    Ahhh. So beautiful. Thank you. I was never an “est”, but reaching the stage of life where I’m an “only” is like coming home. I wish I could tell every twenty-something that’s struggling with the “est” stage of life how very beautiful her life will be in just a few short years when she is the “only” and KNOWS it.

  • Avatar Takiyah says:

    So beautifully written!!!

  • Avatar Meagan says:

    Oh Kat, I just love this. I’ve struggled with not being an “est” since I was a little girl, but by God’s grace I’m (slowly) learning to shift my thinking. Thank you for this reminder to keep my focus on who God has created me to be.

  • Avatar Debbie says:

    Thank you for such a timely and beautiful post! I really needed to read this today and be reminded of who I am “only” to. Its been a tough day with the kids and this was a balm to my soul.

  • Avatar lara says:

    At the beach now, sister. And I know exactly what you mean about not being the “est.” Blech. But I love this change in focus. I’m the “only…” Love to you, friend.

  • Avatar Cate Pane says:

    I completely agree with the “est” focus in our world! I have a few friends/acquaintances that really take pride in being the “est” at a some things. I am quick to compliment them but feel as if they really want to compete. Do I do that in my one life? I need to take a hard look at this! Thank you so very much for this very thought-provoking post! Being an “only” is far better than being an “est.” Then we can really become what God intends for us to be. Thanks again, Kat!

  • Avatar Rhonda says:

    Thank you for this post! I’ve been struggling with this at work. There are women who are younger, thinner, prettier and smarter and still have a good memory!

    • Avatar Rhonda says:

      Kat, for some reason the rest of my post was lost. So here goes again:

      Thank you for this post! I’ve been struggling with this at work. There are women who are younger, thinner, prettier and smarter and still have a good memory! Oh, and youthful feet that can wear really cute shoes! 😉 Oh, how I really needed to hear this now. So, I’ve printed a copy to put in my desk as a reminder of what is really important in life, and it isn’t being the “est”!! I love being reminded that I’m the “only”!!
      Kat, I know most of your audience are young mom’s but I’m really inspired by the blogs you (all) write. (I’m a young grandmother!) 🙂 This message has application across all stages of our life and I appreciate you sharing from the heart. Blessings to you and thanks again.

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  • I struggle with all the “est” statements all the time, comparing myself to other bloggers. It’s hard to accept sometimes that God just wants me to be me.

  • Thank you Kat – this is truly a liberating thought.

  • Avatar Mia says:

    Thanks Kat. I needed this post. Way too often I look at myself and think if what I’m not instead of focusing on what I am.

  • Avatar Rhonda says:

    Wonderful — encouraging post! Thanks so much… We just need to focus on what God’s called us to do. When we get to Heaven, people will finally understand that the values we judge each other by here on earth are not the same values that are important to God.

  • Avatar Steph Murray says:

    So good! Having just been sent out by ACC to tread new water in Lawrence and now as a pastor’s wife, I’ve been surprised by the insecurities that have popped up. Wrestling with what my role “should” look like verses accepting what God has called me to, to be His, a wife and a mom first. Such a good word to bring focus for today!

  • Avatar Crystal says:

    Loved & very much NEEDED this! Thanks for reminding us that we have to focus on the wonderful things we all are but just don’t spend the time acknowledging.

  • Avatar Kim says:

    Thank you for this!!! I have been finding that I am not even sure who I am because I have been trying to be the “est” to everyone else and what they want. I need to stop trying to be the “est” and figure out who I am.

  • Avatar Brenda says:

    Thank you for this post. I have spent many months lately thinking through all the labels we women put on ourselves and all the labels we wish we could put on ourselves. And you’re right, it’s so important to remember that we’re an invaluable only. “Hello! My name is ME!”

  • […] I May Not Be the “-est” But I Am the “Only” | Inspired to Action […]

  • Avatar Catherine says:

    After the last two weeks of experiencing two very young people ask me if I was using a senior’s discount (um, just over 40, young’un…) and hitting the ‘no’ button on their cash register for the question ‘customer under 40’ without even asking, I so needed to hear this. Such a great post.

  • Avatar Nikki says:

    I am nine days from turning 40 and loved this post!

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  • Avatar Joyce says:

    I gotten caught on this ‘running in the wheel’ thing trying to reach something unattainable many times. I don’t know why I forget that I don’t need to be the ‘est’ anything when that’s not what my family or friends are looking for in me. Love the pics of you with your fam. And…for some reason I want some Reese’s PB Cups. :p