I love to read. I love a good biography and am particularly fond of reading books written by female Christian writers. There is a shared perspective there and I appreciate their encouragement and wisdom.
Very recently I’ve read two great books written by two great authors. Both are Christian women, mothers, wives. Both profess to love God and respect His influence in their lives. I loved each book and have talked about and recommended both of them to multiple people. Each book was well written and encouraging, but their messages seemingly couldn’t be more different. The two books are “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis and Ann Voskamp’s “One Thousand Gifts”.
I now feel like I have a miniature Rachel Hollis on one shoulder and a mini Ann Voskamp on the other, constantly, delightfully warring with each other. Mini Rachel Hollis is cheering me on, encouraging me to dream big and write down my goals and make a vision board and build a platform and run a marathon. And I’m all like, “Yes! I need to finish writing that book I started and I need to find an editor and research self publishing and I should try Couch to 5K!”
But then I hear mini Ann Voskamp quietly reminding me that I need to be still and find beauty in the here and now. Ann says that I don’t need to be a famous author with a huge platform in order to influence others and have a lovely, fulfilling, Christ-centered life. I just need to be grateful with what I have and where I am in life. And I’m all like, “Of course! Why would I want to run so fast that I miss that incredible spiderweb or be so busy writing that I miss out on a chance to read my daughter? Yes, I absolutely need to slow down, not speed up.”
Rach, Ann: you guys are killing me. Could one of you just defer to the other and admit that you’ve gotten it all wrong? Ladies, there’s no need to disagree. Just find common ground and stop telling me such differing philosophies because it’s messing with me.
Or at least it was messing with me until I realized this: it is entirely possible that both of them are getting it right. It is entirely possible that not every person finds their happiness and fulfillment the same way. It is entirely possible for me to find my own fulfillment and contentment one way during a certain season of my life and another way in a different season. It is entirely possible to pursue big dreams in one area of my life and be comfortable sitting still in another.
I’ve come to the conclusion that it is good for me to understand life from many different perspectives. Women doing life just like me, but doing it differently. I cannot be entirely Rachel Hollis or Ann Voskamp because I am me, not them. I am grateful for both of their voices and all of their words. I love having them rattle around in my head, encouraging me to both dream big and delight in the small.
I’m grateful that Rachel Hollis dreamed big enough to write a best seller and I am glad that Ann Voskamp found a quiet space in her life to write her own. Because each of them found their own path, they have created books that women like me can read and be challenged and encouraged by. And I think we can all agree that the world needs more of that!
Read more of Abbie Mabary’s contributions to allmomdoes here.