On Being Intentional, Believing in Miracles and Punching Insecurity in the Face

My husband, God love him, is ornery. He takes a sick and twisted amount of delight in scaring the s*&$ out of me on a weekly basis. While I am busy turning out lights, whispering prayers over sleeping babes and shutting down the house for the night with grace and love, he is plotting evil.

I walk around the dark corners and he acts upon his wicked ways, jumping out at meΒ from the shadows. And I usually yelp in terror and, more often than not, pepper my reaction with a four letter word or four, because honestly, when my heart skips like and that and my senses jolt and buzz I cannot be held responsible for the words that come out of my mouth!

(It is for this reason that I hold firm to my belief that my mansion in heaven will be bigger and shinier than his. And will be stocked with Nutella while his will be stocked with only radishes…and haggus.)

Insecurity does the same thing to me. I can be moving along, calmly taking care of business, then BOOM! I round a corner and insecurity is there waiting to steal my joy. Where moments ago I felt confident and secure in my path, insecurity works to instill doubt. I walk forward with trepidation, fear dictating which way I will turn.

Left unchecked, this fear can begin toΒ order my steps, filter words spoken and limit opportunity.

I left last weekend for dotMOM with a lot of doubt and insecurity. I was part of a group of bloggers brought in by Lifeway for the conference and from start to finish it was everything I needed right at that moment. I entered completely unsure of myself and my abilities and I left with a fresh perspective about why I do what I do, and with the knowledge that there are some amazing people in this world doing amazing things.

I felt immensely loved all weekend by the other bloggers in attendance. They laughed with me, spoke wisdom into and over me and gave me all the courage to believe that this path that we’re on as a family – this path of adoption – is right. It’s good. It’s going to be great.

Every time I turned around this weekend, I met someone who has adopted and oh the grace they shared with me. They didn’t sugar coat things, they didn’t make it seem like sunshine and roses, but they did tell me that the process is beautiful and good and worth all of the effort.

I learned to be more intentional in all areas of my life. More intentional in parenting, more intentional in blogging, more intentional in wife-ing.

The amazing Jen Hatmaker in her sassy dress and boots...

There are so many women who blessed me this weekend. My roommate, Stacey, poured wisdom into me…and coffee. She bought me coffee in the mornings. I mean, that’s not why I fell in love with her, but it didn’t hurt, you know?

Jessica rushed up to me when she heard our adoption story and told me she wants to help. Then she spent the rest of the weekend making me smile and feel special.

Amanda encouraged me to be more intentional in mothering.

Jen amazed me with her grace and sweet, calm spirit. She’s raising quadruplets, people! Boy quadruplets!Β  It exhausts me just thinking of it.

Erin and Brooke speak directly to the hearts of mother’s of boys. Nish keeps it real and tells it like it is and in so doing requires you to stop and think about this journey called faith with a little more depth.

I heard amazing speakers like Jen Hatmaker who encouraged us to push our children toward courage. Don’t hover over them. Safety isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. “I don’t want to be the reason my children have chosen safety and comfort over courage,” she said.

I enjoyed a wonderful dinner with Vicki Courtney who later encouraged us all at the conference to be aware of the dangers of media and how the internet, with all it’s goodness, can also be a crutch to both us and our children. “You need to lighten up from trying to be the perfect mother,” she encouraged.

There was so much good that came out of last weekend, so many wonderful people met, so much laughter and praise. But perhaps the moment that impacted me most came late one evening, after we had raised our arms in worship together. I met Amanda Jones, a fellow Compassion Blogger and a sweet woman with a deep heart for Jesus.

Amanda and I spoke of the adoption and the many times I sit back in doubt. Will God provide? I say with my lips that He is bigger than the funds needed, but do I believe it with my heart? As we spoke, Amanda reached forward and grabbed my hands. “Can I pray with you?” she asked.

And she did. And I believed.

And just like that, all insecurity fled and I came home filled with…peace – ready to face the dark corners and excited to see what comes after each next step.

What are you facing that insecurity threatens to ruin?


  1. Oooh, I love that “push them towards courage.” I did a post yesterday about letting our children be brave. It was the anniversary of those nine black teenagers walking into Little Rock Central, escorted by the army, and I kept thinking, am I allowing my children to do brave things? Am I creating a life that keeps them in a bubble or that teaches them to run after God, even if it gets scary?

    Anyway, this is a great post. I can sometimes become discouraged when I read other blogs by women my same age who have “taken off,” like yours and others by the women you met last week. But then I remember that my obedience to God is most important. He has given me exactly what I need for right now, and I need to be a good steward of that. I have some really neat things coming this year that I know are a result of God opening doors for me, rather than me forcing them open ahead of time. I am in on some really neat stuff at church with ministering to young moms and I am teaching a public speaking class in the spring at a homeschool co-op. I have a double issue with insecurity and pride, a horrible cocktail! So on the one hand I am all, “look at me! They asked me to do this!” and “I can’t do this. Why in the world did they think I could do this?” And God gently reminds me that I *can’t* do it on my own, but that I can do it if I follow him. And he gives me peace, and he uses others to encourage me along the way.

    • Ah the double edge sword of insecurity and pride. I think we all (especially as women) battle those two things. Thanks for sharing, Jenn. I’m excited for you and the opportunities that have come your way!

  2. First of all, my husband pulls that same ninja stuff your husband does. (Though I secretly kind of love it!)

    Second, I loved reading your honest account of the conference and your feeling before it.

    I am praying that I just might win the Compassion Blog Month competition and be able to go with the Compassion Bloggers next year. But, even as I pray that, I am struck with literal panic at the thought that I just don’t measure up. I’m not “big” enough. Not fashionable enough. Not popular enough…. to go anywhere with “those” bloggers.

    You have reminded me that, despite their successes, these are real people. Brothers and sisters in Christ. What I build them up to be in my head, doesn’t really have bearing on who they really are. If I do get to go, I would probably be surprised at how wrongly I have assumed to know them.

    I love what Jenn had to say above, too. I’m realizing that, alone, I am not enough. I need Jesus. In a big way.

    Praying over you when your name comes to mind, Kelli!

    • Oh Michelle, I would love to see you win that trip. But you’re so right – we build this image up in our heads of who these people are and when we meet face to face it turns out we’re all the same. We all deal with these insecurities – of not feeling like we’re “enough.” Funny how we box God in that way, isn’t it? We are only enough through Him. He makes us enough for the tasks that He’s placed before us. i was terrified of not measuring up before leaving for Tanzania. I was petrified that no one would sponsor a child through my blog an di would have wasted all their resources. For some reason I thought it was all about me and my influence. But it’s not.

      It’s all about Hima nd what He wants to do in and through us. He doesn’t need me. But I’m so grateful He uses me. No more insecurity. It’s time to stand tall and believe that we are enough and to use what influence we have, whether great or small, for His glory and not our own!

      Thanks for your prayers, Michelle!

  3. Punching insecurity in the face – YES! What freedom! It was a joy to get to believe with you. We have been on a church planting journey in this season and is it so encouraging when people come along and speak faith over us. In the early days we could have been knocked over with a feather whenever people spoke to us with doubts and human thinking. But if they believed with us, they spurred us on with tremendous force. Anyway, I’m so glad the Lord ministered to you last weekend!

  4. One of the greatest gifts of dotMom was getting to know you, Kelli! I loved our time together…it was like we skipped all that “I don’t know you surface chat” and dug right in to the good gritty stuff. I’m so thankful.
    Praying for you, your family, the adoption, and that your Minivan stays HOT.

    • Thank you, Jen. Yes, it was such a great group of people that allowed us all to just be ourselves. Thanks for your prayers, although I fear it will take a miracle at this point for my minivan. She’s looking, and sounding, a little ragged these days…


  5. Love this. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your experiences…and the incredible women you met.

  6. Oh girl, it was a huge blessing to meet you this weekend! Like I told you, your words about adoption on Thursday night went straight to my heart and I know God is doing a great thing in your family AND on your blog with all of this. Believing in miracles with you today, friend!

  7. Community has been on my heart this week.

    I’m so thankful for the people God has surrounded me with as I live this life, the one of mothering and wife-ing and serving and loving. My neighbor brought me cinnamon rolls and gave me her single jogging stroller (which I could use with one of my two kids in school now). I am giving another friend my double jogger because she will use it more than me in this season. I’m organizing a concert and the funding is coming in from various friends and other churches and businesses. We have a VBS-type, although more elaborate, activity coming up during Fall Break that at least 20 (!!!) local churches are involved with and nearly 100 kids from as many churches are registered for. I keep wanting to talk and write and think and pray and praise about community. Because, really, there is no better way to live this life.

    And I’m thankful you’re experiencing that too.

    Thanks for your honest, heart-felt words. And I do pray you sense peace and community and joy throughout this adoption process. It will be worth all the paperwork and logistics and fears and insecurities. God IS bigger than it all.

  8. See, stalking has its benefits.

    You are a treasure girl! I am watching and waiting to see how God brings your little girl home. I think she is going to be a daily reminder that when we kick insecurity to the curb, He dazzles us with Grace!

  9. I usually never ever go all Spelling Nazi on anyone, but your spelling here made me laugh so hard I had to share my giggles with you. Are you referring to “haggis,” the Scottish dish that involves sheep stomach? Because “haggus” sounds like the plural Latin form of “hag,” which made me laugh out loud at the thought of Lee’s mansion stocked with radishes and hags. He’s scared the bejeebies out of me before, and I think he rather deserves a mansion filled with root vegetables and ugly old women. :). Ha ha!!

    • Dying laughing. Best. Comment. Ever! πŸ˜€

    • This is funny because when I typed “haggus” in my comment, it didn’t look right, so I tried it with different vowels in place of U and none of them looked correct either. So I just went for consistency with the author here. πŸ™‚

  10. Glad it was ‘just what you needed”. So glad we got to meet!

  11. I love this post! so glad you came and that God spoke to you — in BIG ways. it was great to meet you and I look forward to working with you more in the future!

  12. Kelli,
    You are a sweet sister in Christ! It was so good to have met you and many blessings to your beautiful family!

  13. Kelli, one of the best parts of dotMom was getting to know you! So happy we got put at Table 3 together. πŸ™‚

  14. You & your sassy pink hair are my favorite. I wanna be like you when I grow up.

    πŸ™‚ xo


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