What Do You Want to be Famous For?

I recently made a pilgrimage with my children to the place of little girls’ dreams, The American Girl Store. As we sat down to have lunch at the bistro, my 7-year-old, Avery, drew my attention to some cards on the table with questions to foster discussion.

“Alright,” I thought, and smiled. “This is my moment to practice what I preach and spend some quality time having a fun conversation with my kid.”

Avery picked up the first card and asked me, “What do you want to be famous for?”


At that moment, multiple personality responses flow through my mind:

The Selfish Self of my youth — Katie Couric.
The Selfish Self of today — a big name children’s minister speaking at conferences.
The Sunday School answer — I just want Jesus to be famous, not me.

The Don’t-Be-Honest-But-Just-Say-Something-Your-7-year-old-Will-Get Answer wins— “On a travel show telling people about Disney World”……..and then I just felt terrible because I don’t actually want that and feel like I just lied to my kid.

The truth is: I feel called to a quieter life, but I don’t have any idea how to do that. And it goes up against everything I ever wanted in fame, popularity, or success. So a simple childhood question has crippled me.

Those closest to me have to hear me constantly going back and forth saying I don’t want to do stuff that draws attention to me, but then I end up not doing things that were truly made for me to do. And it’s because I’m scared. Scared of failure. Scared of imperfection. Scared of vulnerability. And scared that success will make me lose my soul.

So I just stand still.

Psalm 46:10 echoes through my heart --- “Be still and know that I am God.”

Only I’m not doing that.

I’m not being still to know Him more. I’m being still to hide or still to wallow in self-pity and my unworthiness. That is NOT God.

And I look at the eyes of my 7-year-old, so filled with hope, drive, inspiration for a beautiful life. And I want to tell her, “Go for it!” Whatever dreams the Lord has etched in your heart. Go for it! If He put it there, He wants you to be part of it. And it doesn’t matter what anyone else says about your success or failure.

If someone says “You’re great at this,” but the Lord hasn’t put your heart in it, don’t do it. And if someone says “This isn’t your gift,” but you know the passion for it is real, ask Him to show you how He wants to use you. And that’s a worthy way of being famous that really does reflect His glory. Letting Him be known through His beautiful creation in you.

Just as the mountains and the oceans reflect his glory through their beauty, let yourself be the same, and let me be the same.

I give it all to you, God, trusting that you’ll make something beautiful out of me."