When I was in high school, I doubt anyone would have called me smart. I was not voted most likely to succeed, nor was I in the top ten percent. I was however voted "personality plus" by my senior class. That is me... fun, cute, great to have at a party. Yes. Smart, intelligent, thoughtful - Not so much.
When I decided to become a teacher - it seemed like a good fit. I like kids, I am fun and easy going, particularly patient. Few go to the college of education with aspirations of an academic life.
It wasn't until very recently I had begun to consider that, in spite of nearly completing a PhD, I have never really thought of myself as being smart. Getting through this program requires hard work and perseverance.
All of this to say that I have realized that many of my choices have been influenced by a fear that someone is going to figure out that I am not really that smart. I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine and we discussed the parable of the talents, and after letting me know that she thinks I am one of the smartest people she knows, she reminded me that it doesn't matter how smart I am, but whether like the good servants in the parable I choose to use my intelligence (and my other gifts) to the glory of God.
Yesterday was a crappy day (literally- the boy flushed the toilet and flooded our bathroom), I was struck with the reality of how difficult writing this dissertation is and by how no matter how smart I am I will NOT be able to complete this project without submitting to the Lord. This is, after all His work.
So after cleaning up the literal mess. I began the work of cleaning up the messes I have created elsewhere, realizing I need God's help with both.