What Really Defines You?

What Really Defines You?

big babyOne of my first memories is of the day I waddled into the room where my parents were entertaining people for dinner, wearing a low slung, loaded diaper and desperately needing help.

I cleared the room!

A moment like that might make a person avoid dinner parties the rest of his life.

On my kindergarten report card, the teacher wrote “Ken is a pleasant boy.”  I didn’t read cursive very well and I thought it said, “Ken is a peasant boy.”

A moment like that could make a person very fashion conscious for the rest of his life.

On test day, I wrote “Mrs Lawson is my favorite teacher” on my hand, then looked at it repeatedly while taking the test.  Eventually she called me up to the front and insisted that I show her what was written on my hand.  She read it and kissed me on the forehead.

A moment like that can make your classmates beat you senseless.

Our preacher told Diane that she was a rock, she thanked him for the compliment.  That night I told her that Jesus was her anchor.  She sat straight up in bed.  “What? You calling me a ship? Are you saying I look like a boat?”

A moment like that could make a person think much longer before they speak or perhaps stop them from speaking ever again.


Certainly the sum total of all the experiences in our life affect our thinking.  But they do not define us.  Our past does not define us and it doesn’t define our future unless we choose to allow it to do so.  We are not in bondage to our past.

No matter what our past, we are responsible for what we do today.

There are certainly lessons to be learned from the past and we know that God wants to use everything that has happened to us for good.

BUT…..  The next choice you make today is yours!  That choice is what defines you now and will determine your future.  Choose well.

What were some interesting memories in your life you refused to let define you?

What events in your life did define you?

Talk to me!


  1. Ken, in all transparency, except my
    real name – LOL, my past at times has crippled me. I grew up in a
    dysfunctional, abusive, alcoholic home; where I was beaten-almost daily, ridiculed
    and molested. If It had not been for an all knowing (which somehow I’ve always
    known), an all-powerful LOVING God, I’m not sure where I would be today…TODAY I
    have a loving husband, 3 grown caring sons, a home and degree. I still
    struggle-daily and mostly from self-sabotage, but I keep looking up and
    remember what He has brought me through. I try to emember, my past does not
    define me; I define it. TY Father God!

    1. Thank you for the honest message and for the hope that you hang on to. I will pray that you continue to work to break the chain. You have been abused by too many people. I hope you will not do it to yourself. You are loved.


    1. Esther, You are so right. Your value was determined on a cross and your power was confirmed at the resurrection. Nothing can discount that value or take away that power. .

  2. This made me think back to my days in kindergarten. It was groundhog day. We were given a sheet for brown construction paper with the outline of a groundhog. Our instructions seemed simple. Cut the groundhog out “on the line.” Problem was, I liked the line. So I cut just outside the line. Afterwards my classmates were dismissed for recess. I had to stay in and “cut on the line.” The creative in me has been kicking and screaming to get out ever since. – I actually blogged on this last year. https://www.jonstallings.com/2012/06/25/do-you-cut-outside-the-lines/

  3. The biggest moment was when my mother and aunt were talking about both my older sisters going to college. I was about 13 at the time my oldest sister was going to Fordham in the fall and my second oldest sister would be starting SUNY Buffalo the following year. My mother was so excited and I happened to interject, “And I will go to college soon too…” and both women stopped, looked at me and laughed. My mother said, “No Patti, some people are just not college material and that’s you. Instead you could be a secretary or a nurse…” Now please know that I am not in anyway trashing how hard it is to be an admin or a nurse, but this was my mother’s thinking. She thought I wasn’t smart enough to do anything but in her head, go to a trade school. I worked hard for the next few years and got into SUNY Oswego. I handled all my own loans and when I sat on the bed in my new dorm the first day of freshman year I thought “WELL NOW WHAT DID I DO?” I was completely panicked…but I took advantage of the courses offered and I have had a pretty great career in journalism. And from that day on, I refused to let others tell me I wasn’t bright enough to do something

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