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Be you

As you start this week, may you be brave and learn more about yourself and how you’re made. When you feel a still, small stirring inside you, don’t ignore it—take note of why it’s there, and let it lead you down a journey of a bit more self-discovery.

And sometime during this week, when you’re in a situation that asks you to be different than how you’re made, may you find the courage to ignore the pressure to fit in. Be at peace with how uniquely different you are—because we all are different in our own ways.

In fact, be more than at peace with how you’re made—be happy about it; take joy in it. This week, learn a bit about how you can be more you.

Today is my birthday, and tomorrow I’m going to share a few things I’ve learned during my 36th year. In the meantime, I’d love it if you celebrated with me a bit by bypassing a fancy coffee drink and giving $5 to this blog’s Child Survival Program in Ethiopia instead.


You can sign up via Pure Charity and start building your giving account through your online purchases, or you can simply give $5 directly. Head here, and click on “Back This Fundraiser.” (And if you want to be really bold, you can give $5 per month or more, too.)

(And if you’re curious, we created a new giving account for our CSP—those of you who’ve given in the past, it has gone to Compassion International, even though the numbers aren’t reflected on the new Pure Charity page. In fact, we’ve collectively given over $8,000! Thanks, friends.)

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  1. Jen

    I just wanted to say thank you for your blog and for some reason I could tell it was your birthday from your first sentence as it is quite in line with my current thought process. My 37th bday soon too. Keep it coming Tsh.

  2. Sarah

    Happy Birthday! I love reading your blog ~ so much inspiration.

  3. Victoria

    Happy Birthday, and thanks for the Monday morning encouragement.

  4. Clara

    Happy Birthday!

    It’s so wonderful to read your wise words!


  5. Betsy

    Happy birthday and thanks so much for your service on behalf of Compassion’s kids. I look forward to readaing about what you learned in your 36th year tomorrow.

  6. Southern Gal

    Happy birthday to you!

  7. Jenn @ A Simple Haven

    Happy Birthday, Tsh!

    “In fact, be more than at peace with how you’re made—be happy about it; take joy in it”

    I’ve only just entered my 30s but I love them already because with them came a lot more of this. 🙂

  8. Rachael

    Thank you for these thoughts, and happy birthday!

  9. Faigie

    Happy 36th. Your words remind me of a book we had floating around the house somewhere “feel the fear and do it anyway”. then you can really be you

  10. Idaho Jill

    Happy Happy Birthday!

  11. Jill Foley

    Happy Birthday, Tsh. Me and my Compassion child in Ghana celebrated our birthdays 2 days ago. : )

  12. Andrea

    Happy birthday, Tsh! Thanks for the encouragement: perfect timing as I meet a whole new batch of 7th graders today.

    Blessings on your next year.

  13. Kristen N.

    “Occasionally, in times of worry, I’ve longed to be stylish, but on second thought I say no—just let me be myself…” Vincent van Gogh

    Happy, happy birthday!

  14. Elizabeth

    Happy Birthday, Tsh. I hope you have a fantastic day and a wonderful week.

    Can’t wait to read your “what I’ve learned this year” post tomorrow. I remember enjoying the one you wrote last year.

  15. Claire @ Lemon Jelly Cake

    Funny how I read a blog post and it says exactly what I need to hear. 🙂 The neighborhood went back to school today and as I sat outside with my 18-month-old watching older kids get onto the bus, I doubted my dream of homeschooling like I’ve never doubted it before. I wondered if I would be more accepted as a mother and if my daughter would have more friends if I went the public school route instead. Poor reasons for choosing education if ever I heard them.

    And how crazy to be worrying about all of this when I’ve still got a few years before she even hits kindergarten. 😉

  16. Melro Azul

    Happy birthday!!! Hope you have a wonderful year, full of health and joy and inspiring posts and books (;

    All the very best for you and your family

    Muitos parabéns e até breve (:

  17. Debbie Donaghue

    Have a wonderful birthday, Tsh! My birthday is tomorrow and my kids keep asking me what they can give me…I think I just found the answer! Thanks for the link to support your CSP!

  18. Rachel

    Happy Happy Birthday to you! May your life be blessed as much as you bless others with your words, wisdom and inspiration. 🙂

  19. Lana Wilkens

    Wow – this is a really sweet post. I’m going to turn 34 in a month and I’m finding out more about myself each year. It’s funny how events and people draw out things you didn’t know were there. Anyway, hope you had a wonderful birthday and that each year brings at least 10 new things that are worth sharing. 🙂

    I do want to stay true to myself and not chase after things because I’m “supposed to” or because I think someone else expects me to. It’s a tough process accepting that moving forward doesn’t always look like people expect. Thanks for encouraging me to stay the course.


    PS If we lived near each other I’d want to sit down and have tea with you and pick your brain for half an hour cause I have a feeling you’ve been through what I’m going through right now. Thanks again.

  20. Tiare

    Happiest Birthday, Tsh! Or, as we say in Hawai’i, Hau’oli Lā Hānau! Thanks for all the inspiration.

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