on being an outgoing introvert

Hello. My name is Emily. I am what one would call an outgoing introvert. I am outgoing around those I trust, places I am comfortable in. I can be silly and fun, maybe even bust a few dance moves, or belt a few opera notes, but my heart needs quiet and alone time. At my core I am still an introvert. When I get nervous around people, feel out of place, or like I don’t truly fit in, I tend to act like a crazy person who snorted one too many pixie sticks.

It’s true. I get babbly, rambly, and overly chattery. I am sure I have annoyed embarrassed my poor husband a few times. We are complete opposites. He is full of confidence. He knows where his value comes from and doesn’t struggle with people pleasing. I, on the other hand, do. I tend to over-think, over-worry, and over-analyze things to a fault.

I have this vision in my head of what I should be like at whatever event, gathering, or party I am at, and then get way too nervous, therefore trying way too hard to be that person I think I should be. If I am at a party, I should be super smiley and full of fun (even if inside I am peopled out, talked out, and just want to be home in my PJ’s watching Beat Bobby Flay or Doctor Who, it’s a toss up). If I am at a church small group, I should give input and answers to ALL the questions (even if I don’t really feel like answering them, and to be honest, sometimes I don’t even feel like being there). If I am at one of my husbands work or community events, I should act proper, put together, have on makeup and a dress, and wave like a queen (ok, so maybe not that last one, but this mama is the FARTHEST thing from put together, and I don’t really like getting that fancy or wearing makeup).

It. Is. Exhausting.

This is what leads people to be confused by my personality, which really, I don’t blame them. I confuse myself much of the time (that could be a WHOLE other blog post). This also leads to burnout from not being myself. This leads to possibly making a fool of myself, talking too much or out of place, or trying so hard to say it “the right way” when I do want to answer something, my words get all jumbled.

That is no way to live. It definitely isn’t being authentic. It isn’t being the person God created me to be, and it definitely isn’t helping anyone. It is mostly hurting myself.

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

The above was the verse of the day on my phone Bible app. It really hit me. As much as I want to say I do this verse well, that what I do, and why I do it, is to help others and share the love and light of Jesus…

It just isn’t true a lot of the time.

Ouch.

If it were, I wouldn’t be trying to be someone I am not. I would be the same Emily regardless of where I went or who I was with. I would be confident in being quiet if I didn’t feel like talking. I wouldn’t feel pressure to answer all the things or participate in all the activities if I just wanted to watch. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT saying to be rude, or have the resting you know what face look, I only mean I should strive to be REAL. AUTHENTIC. and the Emily God created me to be. Despite my circumstances or circle. 

We can act appropriately for WHERE we are, while still being WHO we are. We can be understanding and still be authentic. (I think that is more what Paul was referring to when he was talking about being all things to all people: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

How often do we, especially as women, try and be something we aren’t? Do too much? Get involved in too much? Be everything to everyone, all the time, because we THINK we should?

This culture praises extroverts more than introverts, and that is a problem that needs to change, because I think it plays a big part in the issue I, and other introverts, struggle with. Jesus needs introverts too. We cannot all be in the forefront, or there would be no one to do the background, but important, work. We cannot have all pastors and no flock. We cannot have all party planners, or there would be no one to plan for. This world needs both. God needs both.

And He needs you and me, regardless of personality, to be ourselves; because being ourselves is the best way to make a difference for the kingdom.

❤ XOXO
~Emily

 

Saturday.

This past Saturday was probably one of THE coolest “God days” of my life. The way everything lined up, fell into place, was remarkable. CLEARLY the hand of God leading me to where I went and placing me in the path of who I ran into.

It all started on Friday. We don’t have family around, so every couple of months, the hubs kicks me out for the weekend, sends me to a hotel, and gives me so much needed alone time (Yes, I am an introvert, but yes, I still like people). It also give him some much needed bonding time alone with the kiddies. So everyone is happy. The girls look forward to these Daddy Weekends and always have fun excitedly telling me what adventures they had with daddy, cause you know, dads tend to let the kids do more “daring” things than us mama’s do. HA!

So, I drove to the hotel I normally stay at. Hampton. I get a good deal AND we get points, AND free nights, so hey. So overall it is cheaper for me to do this, than hire a babysitter or nanny all the time, plus it just works better for me and our family. Well, there was a lacrosse tournament, the hotel was booked. WHA?! It was never booked. The worker,  whom I see every time I go there, he knows me by name, what room I want and how many nights I am staying, AND that I like late checkout, PLUS gives me all the discounts (like AAA etc) even if I am not actually a member LOL. He called around to other Hilton hotels (that is where we get points) and they were booked to. BOO. I was upset. I LOVE the one I stay at. I park, and can walk across the street to shops, restaurants etc, so I save on driving.

I called the hubs and he gave me some ideas for a hotel in a different area that is still OK, I would just have to do more driving it I went anywhere. Well, that’s ok. I want to be lazy and sleep this weekend anyway, I thought. So, I finally found one. It was really nice. I slept better than I have in months. Probably years haha.

lunchSaturday, since I was close, I decided to go spend the afternoon in the Baltimore Inner Harbor. It was the best, most relaxing day I have had. I realized then that God allowed what happened to happen for a reason. This was the first weekend I was forced NOT to look at anything kid related. Usually, I end up at Carters oohing and awwing over all the baby clothes. HAHA.

After a beautiful and peaceful lunch overlooking the harbor I decided to walk around the cute little shops in Federal Hill, ya know, the types of shops that someone would have to hold me at gunpoint to make me take my kids into. THOSE kind 😉

ropewalk-tavern-bI found a parking space and this sweet woman, probably a little older than me came up and gave me a parking ticket. She told me someone else had given it to her, but she doesn’t need all the hours left on it, and it had 3 more hours left on the ticket! And yes, it was legit. So, she just gave it to me, saving me money on parking. WOOHOO. This weekend was already saving me money AND it was better 😉 She seemed like something was bothering her, so I asked her:

Federal_Hill_01“Are you SURE? You don’t need it? I can get one if you need this, I promise” She replied “No, really, it’s ok. I don’t need it. I am sorry, I am just feeling overwhelmed right now.”

She went on to tell me how her husband had recently died, just two months ago! They had children, he was the breadwinner, so she is REALLY worried about how she is going to take care of them, how they are going to cope, and how to help them through all this. I got teary. My heart went out to those children. You see, I grew up without my father. He died when I was young. READ ABOUT IT HERE. I talked with her a little, told her my story, how heartbroken I was for her and asked her if I could please continue praying for her and her children. I told her I didn’t have much, but I gave her all the cash I had. After being in shock that I gave her money, you could tell she desperately needed it, she told me “Yes, please, that would mean a lot if you would pray for me” She seemed like she was going to turn and leave, but I grabbed her hand and said: “No, I would like to pray for you right here. Right now” She got this look of gratefulness on her face. I took her hand, prayed for her and her family. I honestly can say I have no idea the words I said. I know they came from the Lord Himself! When I said Amen, she lifted her head up and her eyes were filled with tears. So were mine. She told me how much that meant to her and she won’t forget it. She walked away still in tears. I was so shaken.

I KNOW God had that whole weekend planned. I truly believe things worked out the way they did because that woman needed compassion. She needed love and prayer and just to know someone loves her and is praying for her.

The entire rest of the day was amazing. It was like my faith was restored. I had been dealing with a lot lately.  I think we all go through times like this. Seeing God’s hand at work SO dramatically is enough to knock anyone off their feet. My legs were seriously like jelly. I had to just stand there for a few minutes after it was over because I was SO in awe. I continue to pray for her. Her name is Angelina, everyone calls her Angel for short. Would you all please join me in prayer for her and her precious children?

Well, the rest of the day God just kept placing people in my path who would do or say exactly what I needed to hear. Encouragement. Compliments. Love. Compassion. Etc. It was truly amazing, ya’ll. I know it sounds cheesy, but it is SO true. People would confirm things to me that I had been thinking on and praying through, even though they didn’t know me or have ANY idea I was thinking these things! They would just start talking to me, and then say things to me that were like God was speaking directly to me (He probably was!)

Fort McHenryLater, I decided to go to Fort McHenry. The huge park around it is free to go to, as well as the parking. It was BEAUTIFUL. I sat on a bench under HUGE trees just watching the water and the waves from the boats ripple. Again, I ran into person after person. I met this one young woman who just sat and talked to me, asked me motherhood questions, told me I helped her and encouraged her. Whoa.

Well, on my way to my car to leave this family was getting into their car and I noticed they had a highchair like the one I had thought about getting for Simon. I said, Excuse me, but is that the IKEA highchair? Do you like it? That is the one I am thinking of getting for my baby boy. The dad looked at me and said:

“YUP! It is the IKEA one! Do you want it?”

WHA!?!!??! YES! I was in shock, and of course kept asking wow are you sure, what in the world!? He and his wife both told me they only brought it out for his birthday but they really didn’t need it anymore and were going to have to figure out a way to get rid of it, because they had no idea how they were going to get it back in the car with all the presents and stuff. LOL. He said I would be doing them a favor and it was amazing timing that I came along needing one! HAHA! So, yup. I got a free highchair by a dad who talked like Dr. Who 😉 So that made it even COOLER! 😛

So yeah. My whole weekend was full of events like this! It was TRULY incredible and proves what I already know in my heart.

GOD’S NOT DEAD!