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Company Girl Coffee 9/11/09 – Shawna R. B. Atteberry
Sep 112009

I have been taking part in Home Sanctuary’s Small Things daily challenges for the last three or four months. Owner Rachel Anne Ridge comes up with really great small things to make your life better by creating sanctuary in your own home. Those of us who take up the challenges are Company Girls. I decided to start doing the Friday Company Girls post after procrastinating for three or four months. So here is my first post.

This last week was a little rough because I didn’t sleep well. A pattern that finally broke last night, thank goodness. Part of that was my fault: I was staying up too late. I didn’t get a lot of writing done this week, but I did get a lot of thinking done. Thinking about where I want to go, where I want this blog to go, and who in general do I want to be? A lot of this reflection is due to another wonderful blogger and her challenge this week: Jen Louden. Jen declared this Freedom from Self-Improvement Week. Self-improvement thrives on us thinking we are not good enough. That we  have to beat and guilt and discipline ourselves into doing the right thing. We threw that out this week, and started with the assumption that we are innately good. That there is nothing to fix. On Tuesday, Jen asked these two questions that I’ve been mulling over for this week:

Can I trust myself to be who I am?

Can I trust myself to want what I want?

I don’t. I don’t trust myself. I’ve been thinking a lot about that this week. How not trusting myself hampers me, kneecaps me, disables me. Especially with my writing. I always second guess myself. I always assume I’m not right and it’s going to go wrong. And this has to stop. I need to trust who I am, and I need to trust myself to do what I want to do: write and speak on the women of the Bible. That is what I want to do. I love these women, and I want their stories to be told, and to be straightened out. Several of these women have gotten bad wraps, been marginalized, and just been lied about through the centuries. Someone needs to set the record straight. Someone needs to say to those who can’t handle strong women, women leaders, and career women in the Bible, that yes they are there, and it’s time to stop maligning them on the one hand and stop ignoring them on the other. Their stories need to be heard, and I want to tell their stories. I can trust myself. I can trust myself to do this: to do what I want to do. Not what anyone else thinks I should be doing (mainly the critical judges in my head).

So that is where I have been this week. That is why this blog has offered such meager fare: I don’t trust myself. But I’m working on it. Other people trust me (like my incredible husband), and now it’s time for me to start trusting myself.

I got real cherry to top this week off: I found out I won one of the giveaways Jen did this week: I have a free pass to her virtual retreat in January! Whoo-hoo! Thanks Jen!

Did you know there are only eight verses in the Bible that discourage women from speaking and holding leadership positions in the church? Did you know there are thousands of verses in the Bible that tell the stories of women who were leaders in their homes, towns, and religious circles? Meet the women in the Bible who were religious & civic leaders, business women, & women who challenged both Jesus and Moses in What You Didn’t Learn in Sunday School. What else didn’t you learn in Sunday School? Find out when you buy What You Didn’t Learn in Sunday School: Women Who Didn’t Shut Up & Sit Down from Wipf and Stock Publishers or Amazon.com today.

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  11 Responses to “Company Girl Coffee 9/11/09”

  1. I can’t wait to read more about the women in the Bible. Writing comes so easily to me – except when others are going to be reading it! =) The truth is – the more you write – the better you’ll get and the more your confidence will grow.

    If anybody is too rough in their comments, try to disconnect from them for a few days and go back and see if you find any truth in it that you can use to improve your writing.

    And you’re right – the women of the Bible are to be appreciated and studied – God purposed their place in Scripture and we can learn from them!

  2. You are so welcome! i have come to see self-trust as the ground we all need to cultivate, and it’s so deeply tied up with knowing we are good just as we are. Here’s to self-trust!

  3. Welcome to Coffee! Good for you for learning to trust yourself. Congrats on winning the retreat. That’s great. I love winning stuff.

  4. I’m just thinking here … I wonder … if maybe … possibly … always needing to do one more Facebook entry, one more tweet, one more blog post, answer one more e-mail …

    Is doing more substantially different from self-improvement? Are both forms of competition? Are we caught in a vortex of life-draining virtual reality?

  5. Good thoughts. I think something my dh has been trying to tell me – I am good enough. I am always trying to improve myself and I think that’s a great thing to do too, but there comes a point where we need to really just accept who we are and take a break from the self-pressure we create for ourselves. I will be thinking about this too.

  6. Thank you for stopping by everyone! I really appreciate your comments.

    @Sharon I do think the virtual stuff does make a difference. You think you have to everywhere all the time. It is exhausting.

    And I need to get around to some Company Girl blogs today. My errands took 4 times as long as I thought they would yesterday.

  7. Welcome to Company girl! I enjoyed your post I look forward to getting to know you here and at Rachel’s place.
    Have a great week!

  8. […] Company Girl Coffee by Shawna R. B. Atteberry […]

  9. Hey – I’m glad I found your site! I’ve always been interested in alternative versions of the Biblical stories, especially those about women.

    Not long ago, I spoke in my church about lessons we can learn from the story of Moses about following our calling, and one of the lessons was “surround yourself with good people who keep you afloat”. I was really fascinated by all the women at the beginning of Moses’ story (his mother, sister, Pharaoh’s daughter, and the midwives) who were fiesty enough to defy the law and keep him alive. What an inspiration!

  10. Heather, the women in Moses’ life were incredible. One of profs said without women there would be no Moses. I love the audacity of Puah and Shiprah to stand there and tell Pharoah that Hebrew women who were animals that just popped those babies out before they got there. Absolutely, incredible women.

    I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of my readings.

  11. Shawna, I’m sorry it’s taken me a whole week to get ’round for a cold cup of coffee. Somehow I knew you’d still keep a cup for me 🙂

    Your post is so thought-provoking! It reminded me of something someone said recently, “what would you do if you had no limitations on yourself?” Stopped me in my tracks because I always have my reasons for not following my dreams: no college degree, no formal writing skills, getting kinda old….all limits I put on myself.

    Anyway, what a great challenge you brought. I look forward to your writings on women of the Bible…always been a fan of Abigail.

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