Kill Your Insecurity (For Everyone's Sake)

by - 2:07 AM

Big Thank You to everyone who helped get these boys bikes!

Putting in work!

Some friends are opening a new cafe, and want a zipline---who you gonna call?

Greetings from Thailand!

Maybe it's just as I grow older or perhaps because I live in a foreign country or perhaps I am finally getting comfortable in my own skin but whatever the reason,

I finally feel less insecure about myself. 

Maybe that sounds a bit touchy feel-ly for you men...

I have really enjoyed getting to spend more time with my guy friends lately.  We ride motorcycles, we hike, we build stuff, we talk, we joke, we play sports, and we eat
(sorry to those of you who are still under strict lock down).

But guys can be really insecure.  We are all intimidated by each other.

(And yes, women are too).

First Staff meeting in a while. I missed these friends!

Haircut and eating jelly beans.
Making Food!

After posting my dead lifting video on Facebook, a friend I have not heard from for many years messaged me and asked me to pray for her daughter who is struggling with her body image. She isn't even 12 yet.

It got me thinking.

So often we are so uncomfortable with who we aren't, that we cannot enjoy and appreciate who we are.  

When that happens, we cannot appreciate or enjoy others either. 

Everyone is a potential threat, instead of a potential friend.
Every gift or talent someone else has, makes us feel less rather than adding more to our lives.

After almost 35 years, I am beginning to feel comfortable with what I am and what I am not.
And, I am enjoying it so much, I thought I would try to share what I am experiencing with you.

One of the most life-changing ideas Jesus presents is that we can gain by losing.
We can share and grow richer.

Studying Online is not easy. 

We are still trying to help families in need in our community.

A giant floating water park!

Possession does not have to be exclusive.

A park in the neighborhood is your park, but it happens to be everyone else's park too.

The way Jesus sees the world, he didn't have to cling to anything, because he had everything already.  He could possess by sharing and He taught other people to live the same way.

Let me give you an example.

My wife and I do not own our own house.
We would like to, but so far the opportunity hasn't come.
Most of our friends our age have bought a house.

That doesn't mean we don't have a home.  In fact, we have lots of homes.

We have a homes in Ohio, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, South Carolina, Thailand, France, Italy, Germany, and many more.

Jesus said if you left a house for his sake you would receive many more. 
And we did.

No, we don't own any houses in those places, but we have friends who have houses in those places who would take us in in a moment.

Industrial quantities of hand sanitizer!

Zipline too!

Grateful for these friends from Prosperous Youth Foundation who came to make sure our kids stayed safe swimming.
I think they enjoyed playing too.  

I do not own my own home, but many of my friends do.  So I have a choice.

Should I be jealous of their homes?  Should I wish I had my own?  Should I try to get one no matter what it takes?

Or, should I think about how fortunate I am to be welcome in so many homes?

What could become jealousy and bitterness, instead becomes gratitude.

But what I am most insecure about is not what I have or don't have, but what I am.  

When I meet a guy who appears stronger or smarter or more successful or more musical or more athletic or more anything...or seems to be a better dad or a better husband, my tendency is to stay distant from him.

His talent or skill makes me feel inferior.  But that is my fault, not his.  

If I was comfortable with what and who I am, I could enjoy what and who he is.

But so long as I am insecure in myself, I will fear and shun people who might make my life richer.

We both lose.

I rob them too, of the good things I might bring to their life.

Can you relate?

Pii Moey having fun with the boys from Home of Light.

The Parker's Going Away Party.

If I remembered that God feels the same way about me (and you!), that I feel about Ezra,
I don't think anything would bother me.

And what happens is, the more insecure we are, the more we judge and criticize the people who make us feel inferior.  

If you are feeling like a bad mom, how do you feel when you see that one friend who always has a million awesome projects, meals, and activities for her kids, and manages to look great all the time?

When we feel bad, one way we try to feel better about ourselves is by putting someone else down.

(I do this way too often).

But it isn't that person's fault, it's mine.

When we are comfortable with ourselves, we are comfortable with everyone else.  

Even if they are a bit of a show off, its fine.
Because we aren't competing.

4th of July!

We like water buffalo.

Sienna checking on baby Judah.

What does this have to do with Thailand?

In Thailand I am weird all the time.

People are disgusted if I explain how to use toilet paper.
Why don't I use the water sprayer like a sanitary person?

Like a strange person, I choose not to chew on the chicken feet they generously put in my soup.

To Thai people, I am bizarre.  And I get used to that.  And I realize it isn't so bad.  

We spend so much time worrying about what people think of us, trying to manage their perceptions of us, hoping they see us a certain way.

It usually doesn't even work.

But if I am weird no matter how hard I try to make them think otherwise, then eventually, I just accept my identity as a weird person.

Imagine if we all just woke up tomorrow and said:
"This is who I am and it is ok."

(Imagine all the businesses that would fail if they could no longer make us feel bad about what we aren't.)

I am not saying we don't all need to change and grow, we do.
But we cannot change or grow until we accept what we are.

Audrey found a Japanese themed coffee shop.
On the Bike!

A cool flower from the Canon Ball Tree.

Insecurity is like a poison in all our relationships.

It ruins all sorts of things that could be good.
It makes everyone else shy to use their gifts. ("Maybe they will think I am showing off?")

If you can sing, sing so we can all enjoy it.
If you can build things, build them so we can all enjoy them.
If you are a good husband, share your secrets so we can all be better husbands.
If you can hoola hoop with 10 hoops, take a video and put it on youtube because that is pretty cool (and maybe other people can learn from you or at least enjoy watching you do it).

I'm serious.

We aren't alive yet.  

We are timid little creatures afraid to even use the gifts we have.
We are judgmental little creatures making others afraid to use their gifts.

So we walk around insecure, bitter, jealous, and afraid.

We rob the world of our gifts, and try to scare them out of giving theirs; and we are all poorer.  

Lao is one brave little guy!

Guys aren't good at photos.

My assembly crew.

So let's kill our insecurity together.

You are weird and so am I and that is ok.

I like to lift weights.  You like to jog.
I can build a table, you can sing beautifully.
I like to jump off cliffs into water, you like to paint.
I can carry heavy things, Audrey is very smart (my former Thai teacher's words to me).

I am me, and you are you.  And that is good!

All of us are unique Ideas of God 
(He thought us up, and thought us worth making). 

We all have room to grow better, but we also have a responsibility to discover the talents and gifts latent in us and use them to make God's world a better, more joyful, more fun, more interesting place.

Allow yourself to be you.
Allow others to be themselves.

Appreciate what you have and are.
Appreciate what others have and are.

Lots of love from Thailand!

Matt, Audrey, Ezra, & Sienna
Audrey made an awesome mug!

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