Who Defines You? & Tune In Thursday #8

Who Defines You? & Tune In Thursday #8

I have a love hate relationship with social media!

Can I get an amen?

But seriously, when it comes to social media – I love it and I hate it.

Can you relate?

I know I don’t even have to mention the reasons why I hate it, but let me tell you about why I love it.

I love it, is because I can connect with people from places I have met during ministry times from all around the world. I can also stay connected with family and friends who don’t live near me. I especially love the Facebook memories.  I love it because, it reminds me of events and memories that I may have forgotten.

Memories like attending my kids high school events, fun spontaneous adventures, or past ministry locations and people who made an impact on me.  Even memories of quotable quotes or encouragement thoughts I captured from others.  Like this gold nugget:

God is the ONLY one who defines who I am – not my friends, my family, ministry, activities, etc. …”


This power packed nugget came up as a memory I posted on Facebook several years ago.  I wrote it after a conversation with one of my ministry board members.  At the time, I was struggling to write the message God had put on my heart.  Not because I didn’t want to write it, but because I was afraid.  I was afraid the book wouldn’t be any good and I was afraid of what people might think about me if I did write it.  (Yeah, I used to have BIG people pleasing issues, but that is a topic for another day).  For too many years, I let the opinions and thoughts of others define who I was.


Who defines you printable


Recently, I attended at the Mount Hermon writers conference and while I was there one of the speakers said something very much like the above statement.  God has a mysterious way of getting messages to us until we pay attention.

My assignment from my editor at Chosen Books was simple.  While I was at the conference I was to: “Attend ALL the sessions I could on marketing and platform.”

UGH … honestly?!?!  Marketing and platform building – that is just not me.  I don’t like self-promotion and both marketing and platform “things” seem to fall into that “self” category.

Most of the time, I am a rule follower, an over achiever really. (ok, truth be told, I do have a stubborn and rebellious streak that comes out occasionally).   So, of course the over achiever came out, and I did just what I was told to do, I attended every class I could on marketing and platform.

Let me just say, that I was pleasantly surprised.  I LOVED the way the speakers at the Mount Hermon conference covered both these topics.  I have attended a lot of conferences, and by far this one was the BEST for my growth as a writer and an author.

The track I chose for the conference was “Lifestyle Marketing” and during the very first session, our presenter said this:

“You have to settle your worth with the Lord before you journey this road as a writer.”  – Mary DeMuth

Ok God, you have my attention!  Mary’s words and the words from my board member were pinging around in my head for hours, in truth for days.

Then later that day, I attended a session led by my editor, titled: “Build Your Wow Factor.”


Yes, I know what you are thinking, and yes, I sat front and center. I mean she was my editor, I had to attend her class… right?! lol   But truthfully, I will be working with her on my book, I respect her, I like her, and so I wanted to hear what she had to say about this whole platform and marketing thing.


You will never guess what the first thing out of her mouth was?  Are you ready?  You might want to be sitting down for this…….  She said:  “Platform is not self-promotion.”

What?  Did I hear her correctly?  A senior editor for a publishing house just said, “platform is not self-promotion”?  I seriously could not believe my ears.  Yet at the same time, I was so very grateful God had orchestrated that we would be working together.  She went on to say that “Platform is not more important than your story or your message.”

Here’s the thing God has been percolating in my heart and mind:

God has given each of us a message, a story to share with others about what He has done for us.  How we share that story, who will be drawn to it, and who listens to our messages will differ.  Yet, we all must have a kingdom mindset.  God has entrusted us each with a unique message. First and foremost, I am a child of God. I am an author, a writer, a speaker, a pastor, a wife, a mom, a daughter, etc. How and where I share my message will be different from how and where you share yours.

While our messages may have similarities, they are uniquely different.  We must not compare or compete with one another.  We must not let book deals, or speaking engagements, or family, or friends, or anyone else define who we are or what we are worth.

Look to God. He alone is the one who defines who we are!

Let’s stand together in unity.  Let’s be of one heart, one mind, and one single focus.  Let’s love people and make Jesus known through our messages and support one another in the process.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.  Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:12-17).

I thought it might be fun to have a few community building questions this week, so here they are:

  1. Who have you let define you?
  2. What message has God given you to share with others?

If you missed my special edition of lessons from the lake this week, you can view it click here for the post, or watch the video below:


Again Welcome and Thank you for joining me for #TuneInThursday it is an honor to have you here!

I have had a few people ask for a badge/button to display on your blogs.  I would absolutely be honored if you would display it, or link back here in some way.  Thank you!

Tune In Thursday

Now let’s get this party started, feel free to link 1-3 posts:



Do you wonder if God still speaks today?  Do you wonder if He would ever speak to you personally?  Do you long to hear the voice of God in your life?

Have your read other books on hearing from God, but long for hands on practical application? or are you looking for ways to  move you forward  hearing from God?

If you answered YES to any of those questions, then I have exactly what you need.  I now have an online e-course designed to equip you in understanding that God still speaks today, and He longs to speak directly to you, through His word, and others.  He longs to encourage you, strengthen you and comfort you.  The training on this site, is fully based on Scripture, and taken from my training manual Releasing God’s heart through Hearing His Voice. 

I have been teaching these classes internationally for the last 10+ years equipping and training believers in discerning the Ways God speaks.  God is speaking, Can you Hear Him?

2. My new membership site, d2htrainging.com has official opened, I invite you to check it out today, and develop a deeper relationship with the Lord, as you learn to hear Him speak to your heart.

Looking for other Great Inspirational Parties. Click Here to see where I Link-Up weekly.

Several Submissions have been featured at Blessed Transgressions, an Online Magazine:

Balancing the Warrior & the Princess We’re Called to Be

Who we Are and Whose We Are

Trusting God When it Seems Illogical

Will You Sit with Me? (Jesus is Calling.)

My Post “Climb Every Mountain” was featured in the August monthly link-up at : Life on Intention Link-up Party

My Post: The Power of your Story was featured here:

My Post “What’s in a Name?” was featured here:

The Luke 2:52 Project

My Post: “Will You Sit with Me?” was featured here:

My Post: “The Journey through Change” was featured here:


Again,  I have been know to link to the following Inspirational Parties:


  1. Am I really the first one to link up this morning? Must be the East Coast advantage! I’m linking a series I’m doing with three “authors.” Yes, that’s what you are because you have real live books! I’m so thankful to be a part of this series and just know that placing myself in company with you will be an encouragement to push through with my project.
    Congratulations and many blessings to you Debbie.

    • WOW – YES, you were the very first person to link up – totally an East Coast advantage 🙂 I am so glad you are linking up our series post – yay, this is so fun. I must admit, it is weird thinking of myself as an author… but you will be one too very very soon! YAY. we are all in good company and thank you for being the friend who wouldn’t let me run away and encouraged me to step out and risk.

  2. Oh my, Debbie! This was written just for me! The Lord has already taken me on a reading journey this morning to help me with just what I need today. I was over on Nicole Kauffman’s blog reading about how to find the courage to face the unknown, and then He sent me here to read this post. Debbie, this is so exactly what I needed to hear about writing and online ministry and completely confirms what God has already been speaking into my heart. This just seems to cement it so that there is no doubt about what He has already told me. I’m printing this so I read and reflect on it more. I can so very much relate to every. single. thing. you mentioned in this post. I am sharing in social and emailing to another friend who needs to hear these words. Thank you, thank you! PS My message is about understanding, identifying and overcoming perfectionism and I have a deep desire to give others tools for creating an intentional prayer life. : )

    • Leslie – I am so glad what I wrote ministered to you right where you are at this morning! I am going to go read Nicole’s post myself as well. thanks for sharing about hers. Also, thank you for the honor of sharing on social media and with others that may be blessed by the message written here – that is so my heart – that others receive encouragement from the words I feel God has given me to share. That you are printing it out, is even more of a complement and I pray God will minister strength and courage to your heart each time you read it!

      Ohhhh – I love the message God has given you and it is a much needed message. Especially for those in the church… to understand perfectionism isn’t what God is after nor is it from Him… What a powerful message and I love you heart to give others tools to be set free from the bondage. Thank you for taking time to share with me today. I am praying God gives you His words and that He opens many doors for you to spread your message! Blessings

      • Thank you, Debbie! 💜 I appreciate your encouragement so much!

        • you are so very welcome!

  3. I love your “Sessions from the Lake” and so much identify with your story! I too dreamed from an early age of writing and wrote all sorts of things. I even wrote for a local paper as a “stringer”, but then I shared some creative writing with someone who worked in the industry who basically told me that what I was writing was not worth publishing and that I had no gift to write. That stopped all my writing for years. The desire never totally went away, however, and when I retired I went to a Writers Boot Camp in CO put on by Margaret Feinberg. I was scared to go, but determined to do so. I never had an idea that I would need to set up a website and blog before I went, but a young woman whom I had met when she and her fiancé were in premarital counseling had a degree in graphic arts and helped me get through it. I have been writing three times a week for just about two years now. The other big risk is that I have started a book, a biography of an incredible woman who met the Lord in my counseling office 20 years ago. Her life was one of chaos and abuse. (She had 8 abusers!) I walked with her through the Lord redeeming her and then her four children whose life had been torn up like hers had been. She came to my church and none of the traditional ministries fit. I told her to “bring me a vision” and she ultimately created a Rehab, an outreach to women who have been trafficked. I hope to have it self-published with all profits going to her ministry by late fall. I haven’t risked a book proposal because A) I want her to get the most $$ possible; and B) I thought it still sounded too scary!

    So happy for your book contract! I look forward to reading it and pray the Lord keeps your eyes and heart focused on Him as you finish the project. I will look forward to reading it and hope you might one day read mine!

    Blessings and love,

    • Oh Pam! Thank you for sharing your story with me. I have read your stuff, and it is excellent. I am so glad that you didn’t let that colleagues words stop you from writing forever. I am so glad that you bravely started writing again and that you braved going to a writing retreat to learn and glean from the best. I love how God orchestrated it and brought you just want you needed in the form of help with a website and blog. Only God can do that 🙂

      I am so incredibly proud that you didn’t just stop with writing a blog, but that you are moving forward with writing a book! The book sounds amazing – the testimony of this woman’s life and her children will make a huge impact on other people’s lives!

      I will tell you, I have went the self publishing route and you most definitely make the most money going that way, so to benefit the ministry, it may very well be a smart path. I can also say, that never give up the possibility that a publisher would pick it up. The book deal I just got is for a book I had previously self published and it is something that through rewrites and additions will end up way different than the original, but at the same time still stay true to the intent, and prayerfully make an impact on everyone who reads it.

      PS – don’t let the book proposal scare you, I am not going to lie – it was intense and a hard process, but it was well worth it. 🙂 Thank you for your joy and prayers for this new adventure I am on.. I definitely need them all. And yes, of course, please keep me posted as to when yours is done so I can read it! Blessings and love to you as well.

  4. God is the ONLY one who defines me! Thank you for reminding me of that. I’m glad you were able to reap so much from your conference! <3

    • You are most welcome Erika – I am often needing reminded of it. Yes, I was very glad to get so much out of the conference as well.

  5. It is so TRUE. All of it! I am over the “self promo” hang-up. God told me to write. He told me to make books. He told me…. And, as with anything if He told me then He has to, with my earthly hands-on help, get it into the hands of those who need to read it. He tells me to eat healthy food but He doesn’t stand in my kitchen and fix it. Amen? He enables us. I love commenting on your blog because it gives me material for a writing post. Like today’s linkup? Came directly from a comment I left on your post a few weeks ago!!! Amazing, eh? xo

    • love your style, susan! He said it so we do it! amen.

    • Susan – you ROCK! Yes, I completely agree with you, although, I am going to admit that it took me a long while to come to the same conclusion you did. In fact it was the year I met Liz Curtis Higgs at Allume in 2014. She was gracious enough to sit with me and talk and give me advice. She encouraged me to self publish, which I had done with my other materials, but was somehow feeling less than if I did. She was really a catalyst for mind shift and heart shift in me just a few years ago.

      I am so glad you like commenting on my blog, I am so glad that it gives you material for more posts – I often find the same inspiration from yours and others blogs as well. God just takes a message and puts it through out experiences and filters and makes them unique to us. XO right back at ya!

  6. I’m really happy for you!
    Congratulations Debbie.
    Thanks for sharing your story. I read the announcement on the previous post.
    Hugs and blessings

    • Thanks Ifeoma! I really appreciate it.

  7. Thanks for the link up!

    • you are most welcome Sandy!

  8. Super post, Debbie – it’s a tough subject but I’m growing through it! And congrats and so glad you loved Mt. Hermon – how does it compare w/ She Speaks?

    • Sue – It is a tough subject for sure, and I am growing right along with you. Also, thank you so much and, I am excited… as far as how does it compare – I think it depends on what you want – Mt Hermon was definitely focused on writing and the parts that go with that. I loved how at meals you could purpose to sit with editors, publishers, agents, other authors and have conversations with them. They had so many writers willing to help in a variety of ways, it was definitely a more intimate and personal setting. I learned so many things about writing, I much preferred it to She Speaks. Now, She Speaks is awesome and I love it for a different reason. I got my book deal from She Speaks, but I like that they had classes about writing and speaking, but if I had to choose between the two – Mt Hermon would be my choice. Hope that helps.

  9. I love your message here. This is so relevant. Sometimes I silence my wow factor because I actually want to hide–doesn’t make sense for blog promotion, does it? Amen, sister. Keep on teachin’!

    • THANK YOU April! I have done the same thing, I completely understand wanting to hide and remain silent, but God has given you a message to share, don’t be ashamed of the story He has given you to share with the world! Thank you so much for your words. Blessings

  10. “Let’s stand together in unity. Let’s be of one heart, one mind, and one single focus. Let’s love people and make Jesus known through our messages and support one another in the process.” AMEN!

    Loved reading this and so excited for you, Debbie!


    • Thank you Gayl! I am so glad you enjoyed reading this post and thanks for joining me in the excitement! I so appreciate the help in celebrating! I love the line you chose to highlight in your comment too… it just came spilling out onto the keyboard … 🙂 Blessings to you as well.

  11. This is such a great message for me to hear today…thank you so so much!
    This is the first time at your link up, so if you don’t think my post is appropriate for it, just let me know and I can delete it!!
    I am trying to inspire women of every age, size and budget because looking good makes us feel good!!

    • Jodie – WELCOME! I am so glad you linked up and YES you are more than welcome to link up here .. Don’t you dare delete it! 🙂 (said with all the love and kindness, but in all seriousness too) XOXO – I love all kinds of posts as long as they are family friendly. I love home decor, clothing, art, inspirational etc. I think we need to celebrate one another, and we don’t all have the same message or focus – that is the brilliant God who created us. I am so glad you enjoyed the message today, I sure hope you will join us in the weeks and months to come. Again, welcome and Blessings upon you!

  12. Love this message! It takes a lot of pressure off, doesn’t it? We do our part and God takes care of the rest! Thank you for your encouragement!

    • Julie – I am so glad you liked today’s message – YES, it takes ALL the pressure off – God takes care of it all, as long as we do our part! So well said. Blessings and thanks for your comment today 🙂

  13. Wow Debbie, CONGRATS!!! You so know I want to be on the launch team when it comes time. I am epically excited for you!! I was almost in tears with your words because I have felt the inner battle this week. Since the relaunch the enemy has been accusing (me in my mind) that I am selfish and I am doing what I want. But I know who God made me to be and that as you said, he planted this gifting and desire to glorify him by way of writing. Please pray for me and I am you too. God bless!

    • Thank you Meghan!!! And yay for the launch team!!! it’s still over a year away, but I will put you down. I am so glad my words could speak to your heart today and I pray they encouraged you to silence the lies from the enemy and stand your ground with your head held high and your heart in tune with what God has for you. I will most definitely pray for you as you walk forward in the very thing God planted deep within your heart! Blessings upon blessings to you!

  14. Dear Debbie,
    Congratulations!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart for God here! I love the encouragement that you always bring to keep following hard after the Lord, and I can’t wait to read your book! I will be praying for you through the days ahead! May Jesus bring His words through you!

  15. Hi Debbie,

    I think you and I would be fast friends if we ever met. So many people have tried to define me yet I’ve always known, it is God and what he says about me that defines me. That is the only reason I am able to be so powerful in my ministry over at my blog; because of what he says about me and no one else. Trust me, if I didn’t know this in my inner knower, you would not know me. Thank God for Jesus!

    • Yvonne – I think you are right – Maybe some day, God will have our paths cross and we can meet in person! Until then, we can be fast blogging friends 🙂 You make such a powerful point – it is because of who God says we are and how HE defines us that allows us to have such powerful ministries. We have God confidence! Confidence in who He is for us! I am so glad you are linking up with Tune In Thursday so I could get a chance to meet you even if virtually through our blogs. Blessings to you

  16. So very powerful. I need to really remember these words. Thanks for sharing and hosting. Have a wonderful weekend.

    • Patrick – I am so glad these words spoke to you today! Thanks for linking up and stopping to leave a comment 🙂

  17. Debbie – This was just what I need to hear. You were echoing what I have been hearing from God his week in my quiet time. I am going to share with my writing group and then keep a copy for me.


    • Maree – thank you so much for such a high compliment – the fact that you would share with others, is so powerful. Thank you for doing that. Also, don’t you just love it when God confirms to your heart the very things He has been speaking to you about. I am so glad this message was exactly what you needed to hear today. 🙂

  18. I love Mary DeMuth’s heart! She’s the real deal. Glad you enjoyed the conference. I’ve heard amazing things about it. Maybe one day I’ll get there!

    • Lyli – I highly recommend Mt Hermon and can’t encourage you enough – that if ever the opportunity presents itself – go! Yes, you are so right, I spent every day of the conference in Mary’s class for hours and she is the real deal. She is so authentic and has a Kingdom mindset, which is so my heart too!

  19. “Platform is not self-promotion.” Thanks for sharing that truth with us, Debbie. Too often we can fall into the trap of believing the platform equates to selfishness (and I’m sure it can be!), but it doesn’t have to be.

    • Lisa – you are most welcome! Yes, I agree way too often we do fall into the trap about platform and selfishness, but you are so right, it doesn’t have to be that way.

  20. Wonderful post! I think this is something that a lot of us need to hear. 🙂

    Blessings to you!

    • Thanks Dani – I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment today 🙂 Blessings to you as well

  21. So important to remember! I was such a pleaser for so many years and that inner pleaser sometimes still tries to poke out her head! Thanks for sharing and for hosting. Congrats on the book!

    • Thanks Donna!!! The book is so very exciting. inner pleaser – I like that and mine tries to poke her head at still too, good to know I am not alone in that. 🙂

  22. I am so happy to be next to you at Jennifer Lee’s! You gave me so much food for thought re. my writing, and I’m happy to have a new link to join!

    • Elizabeth – I am so very glad to have you stop by …Feel free to link up with this weeks post if you haven’t already and thanks for being my neighbor at Jennifer’s too.

  23. I, too, hate and love social media. I find I have to take breaks or I will go nuts. It’s like image and information overload is too much for this thoughtful introvert! And I’m not so great at self-promotion either – probably why I won’t ever make it as a professional blogger/writer. 😉

    Thanks for sharing at Literacy Musing Mondays!

    • I am so glad I am not the only one that has a love/hate relationship with social media. thanks for sharing where you are at, and your thoughts with me on self promotion either…. the good news for us both, is that it doesn’t have to be that way. 🙂 yay


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