Monday, July 7, 2014

When Expectations Don't Fit

In my guest blogger series, I've asked some of my favorite bloggers to discuss one of the questions found at the end of my book, When Others Shuddered: Eight Women Who Refused to Give UpToday's question is about Emma Dryer. 

Women of Emma Dryer's day were expected to marry and devote their life to household work. What are the social expectations for women today? Are they different for Christian women? How has your life conformed to or gone against the expectations of society or the church?

Enjoy this essay from my friend, Connie Mann. Connie and I first met in college. Now, she is a boat captain and fellow writer! Also, be sure to pick up a copy of her fiction novel, Angel Falls, an exotic adventure set in Brazil!

I’ve spent a good bit of my life feeling like I escaped the island of misfit toys. As a little girl, I dressed the cat in my doll clothes and climbed the neighbor’s tree so I could read, uninterrupted. I wore my hair boy-short, but was mortified when the elementary school principal once called me, “young man.”

I’ve never been a girly-girl. I’ve always loved pink, but if it comes with ruffles or lace, no thank you. I choose clothes based on comfort, not fashion. I don’t polish my fingernails, because they’ll be chipped by noon. Toenails? Yes, those get polish.

I come from a family of crafters, but my creative ability showed up in stories, not samplers. I still have half-completed cross-stitch pictures from when I was twelve. Much to my family’s disappointment, while my female relations glued and painted and sewed, I snuck off to an obscure corner with a novel or a notebook, hoping no one would notice.

A while back, I got a captain’s license from the USCG. It took almost a year to get that credential and I absolutely love my job. But more than once when I’ve told someone what I do, the response has been, “You? You’re a boat captain?” Followed by gales of laughter.

I write books and blogs, but I get a little antsy if I haven’t been outside or around people on any given day. Though I love to entertain, I clean my house when I finally realize the cleaning fairies STILL haven’t shown up. I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. Baking, not so much.

When it’s my week to bring dessert for our small group, things get a little stressful. For years, I brought grocery store macaroni salad to potlucks. I had a system: bring a pretty bowl and spoon with you and make the swap in the parking lot. (I may not be girly, but I am resourceful.)

I can poke fun at my quirks because I’ve finally gotten comfortable in my own skin. I wasted years worrying about what I should and shouldn’t do, what kind of woman I was ‘supposed’ to be. I finally realized that God made me, me. He gave me different gifts and talents from the ones He gave you. He gave me a heart to encourage others and there is no greater compliment than when people say they feel comfortable and welcome when they come to our home.

I think there are far less ‘shoulds’ in God’s mind than we impose on ourselves. It’s time to let go of who we think we ‘should’ be and celebrate who God made us to be. Let’s thank Him for our strengths and abilities and for equipping us exactly for the roles He needs us to play. You are exactly who you are ‘supposed’ to be.

Connie Mann is the author of Angel Falls, a romantic suspense, and she blogs at As a USCG-licensed boat captain, she gets to take local school children on Florida’s Silver River and show some of them their very first alligator. When she’s not writing, she’s usually out on the water or exploring new places with her family. Visit her online at

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