August 14th

Burst of color in the kitchen

MoziEsme’s mama posted a lovely quote this week about humility, and how faith guides us to remember to praise God first and be uncomfortable with other applause. Better yet, to redirect personal praise toward God, remembering that without faith, without His direction, we are simply lost. This is something that is regularly in the back of my mind. I think being able to accept praise gracefully is important, especially so for women in the workplace and more so when it comes to complimenting a woman’s appearance. How often do you hear a friend deflect your kind words with, “Oh no, I am so fat.” Or “Eh? This old dress? It was so cheap!” Learning to accept praise can be a challenge.
Then again, acceptance of praise and boasting about your own accomplishments are two entirely different things. The one aspect I want to change about this journal is the egotistical tone. I fear I am perceived as quite conceited and I can see why.
Look what I made!
Look what I cooked!
Look where I traveled!

Burst of color in the kitchen

Yikes. I need to take a step back and spend time reflecting on what fuels my desire to feed this blog, which ultimately strokes my ego. Ideally, I would love to see it make a turn toward something much more meaningful.

In the meantime, an inspiring quote from MoziEsme’s Mama:
A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Burst of color in the kitchen

We are powerful beyond nature.

Posted in
Faith, Flora and Fauna, Good to Great, Journal
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29 Responses

  1. A friend of mine hit me with one word that was acting as a challenge to her, and I shall now share the curse of it with you: Motive. As in, “What’s my motivation, here?” Personally, I think that motivation is more important than perception; there’s no way to really control how others will perceive you, no matter how hard you try.

    I hope you’ll keep sharing your sewing and your baking and your travels, because I have so much fun reading along after your daily adventures. 🙂

  2. That’s one of my favorite quotes ever!! Thanks for sharing it.

    As I see it, your cooking, creating, and travelling is in service to others. I think it’s a beautiful thing to share how to serve. (I mean, really – that’s what Jesus was all about.)

  3. Your blog is so much more a community of people sharing like interests than almost any other blog i’ve ever seen. It serves a purpose for you but it isn’t in a selfish or egotistical way in the slightest, IMHO.

    “If i was humble, i’d be perfect.” – Brian Wright –

  4. Those flower photos are beautiful, Kel! I don’t think you come across as conceited at all! In fact, quite the contrary. You’re kind and generous and are always making homemade gifts for people. Very thoughtful. I love your cooking and crafting projects! Please keep sharing. They’re inspiring.

  5. I don‚Äôt really think it is possible to have a blog that isn‚Äôt egocentric and manages to let you know much about the person writing it. Please remember that this is your blog and so it is about documenting your life and sharing what you do with others. I think people expect that. I certainly don’t see your blog as a “look at me and all the good I do” arena. In particular this blog allows those of us who may never meet you to get a sense of who you are and how you spend your time.

    Your blog inspires me every day by your thoughtfulness and your generosity of spirit. It makes me want to be my best me. Does that stroke your ego? Probably, but without some ego-stroking I think many of the good deeds that do go on today would go undone. If people felt that way about your blog, they likely wouldn’t spend the time reading it.

    I have learned so much from reading your blog, and without you sharing your cooking I certainly wouldn’t have learned that you could make a pretty decent pulled pork in a slow cooker. This is now regularly requested for Slow Cooker Sunday by my husband and has been served to family and friends to rave reviews and recipe requests.

    To be truly humble you would have very little to say other than to promote the activities of others, which you do pretty regularly anyway! Please keep sharing your achievements.

  6. How would we know about you Kelli if you didn’t share things with us that you do, make, cook, or places you travel? And you moticate people to be all they can be, and to me that is what God wants of us. To give back, to love, to share, care and help one another. I believe God is proud of our acheibements when we do them through HIM. Truthfully I have never found your postings egocentric. I have perosanlly found them motivating to be all I can be. I agree with you, as women we do need to learn to accept praise and compliments gracefully. Your blog is far from “Look at Me!” I pray that you do not change a thing, though I do love looking at things like flowers, beautiful skies, et el when you are breathing in things around you. And I know you do that even when you are not focusing on that in a post. You have given to so many, taught so many, delighted so many, moticated and encouraged so many. I do not underdtand why you would want to stop doing that, ot why God would want you to. HIS light and love spill from you, in your doings, your writings, your care and love for everything around you. You are humble my dear. Don’t fool yourself!

  7. A friend recently told me that she doesn’t look at my blog any more because it made her feel “inadequate”, which seemed funny to me because I would post about my crafts and travels—if I had any! My blog is just daily life in our home with 3 boys.

    You have no control over perception. I love that you celebrate the things that bring you joy. I don’t get to eat your food or carry one of your bags, but I still feel like I get to share in the joy of your talents via your sharing here.

    That quote by Williamson is my very favorite. We receive so many messages that tell us to “play small” so others can continue to. I’ve never gotten the impression here that you think your achievements glorify you—rather you always shine light on what comes from family, friends, community, discipline and determination. I hope you continue to.

  8. I’ve had these same thoughts about my blog. But like someone here commented, blogs ARE egocentric. We are writing about the world around us and our experiences. I always hope that I am sharing my life to ENCOURAGE others not make them feel inferior.

    I enjoy reading about your travels and triathlon/sport endeavors, cooking/sewing….because they are well….encouraging and plus I don’t have time to sew or work out so I can do it vicariously through you! I also enjoy your positive attitude and spirit. I don’t know you other than you blog, but you certainly don’t come across as a selfish person at all! 🙂 Keep writing about whatever moves you!

  9. Stephanie August 14, 2008


    Your blog is the reason I am FINALLY going to get my rear in gear and do the philanthropic work I’ve always wanted to do. Your blog and personal accounts makes it real for me, makes it tangible that a regular gal like myself can do it, rather than it just being something I see “missionaries on tv” and the like doing. Your blog makes being in 3rd world countries, doing good works, personal and real. and for that I send you a hearty THANK YOU!!

    I am spiritual rather than religious and I do not, in any way, see what you share of yourself on this blog as bragging nor boasting. You have an interesting and full life and I find it fascinating to read.

    Believe me, if you ever get big headed…your readership knows how to “slap you back”… in love of course, a few paces…LOL!

  10. “The one aspect I want to change about this journal is the egotistical tone. I fear I am perceived as quite conceited and I can see why.
    Look what I made!
    Look what I cooked!
    Look where I traveled!
    ME ME ME!”

    Nothing could be further from the truth, truly. All your readers will beg to differ. In fact, I see your blog as an inspiration to look beyond ourselves into the bigger world out there and to recognize it through our actions and lifestyles. I wouldn’t change a thing.

  11. The loving are the daring. They dare to put their true selves out there – to be seen, heard, felt, believed, and loved, even if it is only by themselves.

    Also, sorry to be a downer, but I thought those words were Nelson Mandela’s?

  12. Me again, with a correction. Nelson Mandela quoted Marianne Williamson in his 1994 inaugural speech. I just didn’t know it.

    Thanks for the great post and this bit of learning!

  13. I agree with the previous comment: “DO NOT CHANGE A THING ABOUT YOUR BLOG”!! You are very inspiring to me.
    In an egocentric world where there’s so much consumerism, you’re there: serving others, creating with your own hands, and bringing friends together with your meals. Ah, I love your book recommendations also (I just finished reading “Edgar Mint” and loved it). I always talk about you and the work you do to my friends, hoping that we all learn something from it. How else could we know all this about you if it weren’t for your blog?

  14. Yes, this post is certainly food for thought. It’s a struggle many have, and a fine line one walks. I think that anyone who knows you personally knows you don’t brag, so I will, as many have above, encourage to continue to share. Africankelli’s purpose is to inspire others, and to do that you must share. Ouviste rapariga? 🙂

  15. Kathryn Hosfelt August 14, 2008

    I agree with everyone else – please do not change a thing about your blog. Your blog is like a daily dose of antidepressant for me! You inspire me and give me hope and joy in so many ways. When I get discouraged with so much of life – war, politics, poverty, etc – and start to feel hopeless I check in with you and feel encouraged to continue to make a difference from your wonderful example. Thank you so much for your wonderful blog – I always feel guilty that I think I should be paying to read it. Please keep it going!!
    Kathryn from Topeka, KS

  16. I don’t think you’re egotistical AT ALL, and I love seeing all that you make, cook, and all the places you go. It is inspirational, every bit of it.

  17. Such a beautiful quote, Kelli, thanks for sharing it with us.

  18. I have never seen that poem before. That gives me a lot to think about.

    Don’t put your light under a basket, babe.

  19. I’ve been thinking about your post all morning. I agree with the comments I’ve seen. Yes you do post all of what you’ve been doing, but generally those things are for and in service to others. Also you are very regularly sharing of life in poverty in Africa, and things that can be done to change that.

    I do appreciate your vulnerability and will continue to be a lurker here to see how this plays out. Thanks for having me along for the ride.

    Peace and Hope,


  20. What a great post!I don’t think you blog is all about YOU! It’s what is important in your life. You have such a giving heart and I enjoy reading all about what is going on with you.

  21. You make for others.
    You cook for others.
    You travel (most of the time) for others.
    There is nothing egocentric about this blog, Dear Kelli.
    You just keep doing what you do – serving your God along the way.

  22. I think you share the joy you get in doing these things- cooking, sewing, traveling. A love of learning and an excitement for living shines through.

  23. I remember reading something years ago regarding women who cannot take a compliment. It stuck with me as I often fell into the trap of saying, “oh no, this is ugly…etc etc.” All you need to do is say a simple “Thank You.” You are really insulting the person making the compliment and telling them that they are wrong. So just say thank you! I wish I could remember where I read that. Anyway – don’t change a thing, you are SO NOT conceited! And I love your blog, your writing and your pictures – keep up the great work!!

  24. No! I see it as giving of yourself. Really, Kellie. You are the most giving person I know. You SHOW others how to give through your craft, baking, travels. I have learned how to give from you.

  25. I really hate to share this example because it’s not about the greater good or using less energy or influencing positive change in the world. But I will. I can’t help myself. I got a package in the mail yesterday. It was from my mom. Weeks ago, I’d sent her over to your blog to look at the two Amy Butler birdie slings you were making before you began your travels this summer. She called me up just tickled pink and said, “I have that pattern!” She’d been holding on to it but had yet to find a reason to start it. I picked out fabrics and sent them to her. We chatted about it over the phone. And yesterday, it arrived. I love it. It’s a piece of her that I get to carry with me. And you inspired it. So as little as it may seem, thank you! (I’ll post pictures soon and let you know when they’re up!)

  26. I would agree with the other commenters that you’re NOT perceived as conceited. And I’ve loved your blog, too. And I’d also say – don’t stop shining! Just make sure you’re shining for the right reasons . . .

    You put a spin on this that hits a little close to home for me – I still have some work to do on being real and the whole humility factor! I have a written list of reasons I blog, and none of them has anything to do with affirmation. Yet in a discussion with hubby last week, I admitted that in the past, I got my dose of affirmation from work. Now that my work is drastically different, I get that affirmation from my blog. Blog commenters are SO NICE! And I’m almost addicted to blogging – making sure I get the posts out so I can get the comments back.

    It’s scary that I subconsciously measure the value of my blog (and in a way of myself) by how many comments or hits I’ve gotten. Even when my post topic is about others, I’m the one getting the compliments on my writing. And I’ve started to tailor my writing to get the most comments . . .

    What I want to do is be real in my blog – and stop measuring its success by the compliments, but rather by how lives are uplifted and touched for the better. And to realize that it’s not me, but God, who is doing the uplifting.

    It’s hard, and I’m not sure exactly how to get there.

    So I have an idea of where you are coming from, and will be watching to see where you are going.

    Keep liberating us by shining!

  27. I’m echoing a lot of what was said in previous comments when I say that your blog inspires me both in my crafting and in my spiritual life. I hope you see your journal as a beautiful gift to your readers!

  28. Veronica August 17, 2008

    I think your blog is actually a great–and rare–example of a woman honestly and rightfully celebrating her accomplishments. It is not egotistical at all, and helps me to be proud of my own work and to compliments graciously. Don’t change a thing!