33507477735_764f4def52_bRecently I began a study using the book You’re Already Amazing:  Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be by Holly Gerth. I came across the title while browsing through a Christian bookstore that is going out of business.  I purchased the workbook in the store and ordered the book online.  You can check out the book on Holley’s website.

Anyway, in Chapter 2:  Who Am I, Really, there was a list of 50 words and the instructions were to circle three words that I could identify as my strengths. I went through the list,  word after word after word, and before I knew it, I was at the end of the list and not one word had I circled.  Not a single word.  I paused for thought as I usually do and determined that surely out of 50 of these words I have to be strong in at least three and even if not three, then at least one.  “Okay, Charita I said to myself, go back through this list and this time quit doubting yourself and give yourself some credit.  You know darn well you’re good at something.”  Again I would up at the end of the list and a not a single word did I circle. Isn’t it so like us (people in general) to be so hard on ourselves and not give ourselves enough credit?

Holley suggested that if I were still having trouble, perhaps I could reach out to a circle of people that I know and ask them to identify what they view as one or more of my strengths.  The first thought that came to mind as the quickest and easiest way to get a response was to post the question on Facebook. But oh no, what if no one responds?  Would I take that as a sign that people could not identify any strengths that I may have?  How embarrassing would that be if absolutely no one responded?  How embarrassed would I be to know how little people thought of me?  Then with a smile, I thought about G. Michelle Hale, one of the co-authors of the 1 Work Book.  At the book launch, she talked about “Singing Your Own Song.”   Singing our own song sets us apart and no matter what people think, we have to think enough of ourselves to bring out the best in us.  We have to dare to be different.

Strengths:  We All Have Them

I reflected on G. Michelle’s words and what I had read up to that point in the book and workbook.  I recalled something that went a little like this:  we are our best selves when we embrace ourselves as God created us to be.  I marinated on that a little and I went back to that list of 50 and it seems that my hand compelled me to circle 6 words.

Following that exercise, there was what Holley called a “Strength Test” and strength was an acronym for:

  • Service
  • Time
  • Relationships
  • Energy
  • Natural
  • Glory
  • Trials
  • Heart

After each word was a description of what the word represented and how it applied to my strength.  I was to answer yes or no as to whether each of the strengths I identified with related to those descriptions.  The answers:  Resounding yeses in all 7 categories.  Do I have more that 6 strengths?  I imagine so, however, what I know for sure is that:

  1. I am funny
  2. I am hardworking
  3. I am honest
  4. I am reflective
  5. I am resilient
  6. I am trustworthy

Yep.  All of those things are a part of who God created me to be.  All of those things are the strengths that God gave me and what’s more is that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phillipians 4:13 NIV

photo credit: Erwin-van-Leeuwen Open CrossFit 17.3 @ Sixforty via photopin (license)

Everyone has words in their vocabulary that they’ve discovered, reflected upon, and connected with in a way that can prove to have the power to transform self and others.  What’s your 1 Word, at least for this day?