March 12, 2014

Why Your Weirdness is Wonderful-An Interview with Laurie Wallin

"What if the weirdest, most annoying things about you exist on purpose--for a purpose--to bring life, joy, strength, and healing to this world?" Laurie Wallin from Why Your Weirdness is Wonderful

Did you flinch when you read the quote? Shake your head? Resist even considering the possibility? If so, you're not alone. So did I. The very idea that my quirks or annoying character traits might exist for a purpose was/is mind-boggling to me. And it appears that I'm not alone.

Many people, of both genders, find it difficult to embrace the notion that what they or others deem as "weird" could be even remotely "wonderful." 

Which is why life-coach, speaker, author, wife, mom, Laurie Wallin, has written a book to address the subject. Why Your Weirdness is Wonderful will be released on March 18th. (It can currently be pre-ordered in either the paperback or Kindle version on 

During a recent interview Laurie shared why she wrote this book which encourages women to view the quirky things they don’t always like about themselves as the way God designed them. Here’s what she had to say.
Laurie Wallin
Why do you think it's important for women to see their weirdness as wonderful? 
Women, in particular, have this fog of expectation clouding our view of ourselves and each other. The more I studied personal strengths, the more I noticed that 1) the things that annoy me in other people are them living their strengths and either me not appreciating them in the situation, or them not living them in a loving way; and 2) the things that annoyed me about myself suffered from the same two issues. 

So I started asking myself "What strength is she trying to live right now?" when I sensed jealousy or frustration or judgment creeping up with a friend. You know what happened? Where I used to feel insecure, I started noticing a desire to see the good in others and celebrating---affirming---the God-glimpses I saw in them.

As a woman, to be able to feel secure in the face of others is a HUGE change to what we often experience. It makes us allies, supporters of each other, champions of what God's doing in each other's lives, instead of defenders of what we think is insufficient in ourselves. 

In the book you talk about the dark sides and positive sides of our quirks. Could you give a few examples for readers? 
As a Star Wars fan, I've always related to the whole Dark Side, Light Side (or, as I call it in the book, Life Side) idea. God invests tendencies in us, and we either love Him and others with them (reveal their Life Sides) or we live from fear (Dark Sides). 

The most common struggle strengths I hear about from people are tendencies to overthink things, be too sensitive, worry too much, argue too much, or be controlling. There are a lot of possible strengths hiding in these Dark Sides, and maybe they come from different strengths in different situations. 

For example, overthinking can be the Dark Side of being analytical, an achiever, someone who is contextual and sees connections between anything done or said now, and what it will effect. Being overly sensitive can be the Dark Side of empathetic, compassionate, or spiritually discerning individuals. Worrying too much is the fear-driven Dark Side of many prayer warriors I know. It's not an exact science, but the important thing is to allow the question---to stop fighting who we are long enough to let God show us what is possible in us right then.

How can women embrace their weirdness? Where should they start? 
First, we have to decide to suspend judgment about our natural tendencies. This one trips a lot of people up. They're scared that if they do that, they're dropping their moral standards. But that's not what I'm saying. I'm asking people to stop assuming they understand God's design in the ways they've always thought, acted and reacted in life. His thoughts are higher than ours, after all, right? 

So step one is to notice when we're making ourselves feel bad about some way we are, like when we use negative words to describe ourselves (overthinker, worry wart, impatient, lazy. . .) and stop right then to chat with God about it. To say, "What natural desire or strength of mine is wanting to come out right now? How would YOU reveal that trait, God?" Then, let God tell you what He thinks. And keep eyes open to see His answers to the questions unfold in life and relationships.

How do you suggest women maximize their quirks to build God's kingdom? 
The more we listen to what God meant when He designed us the way He did---quirks and all---the more we let God reveal His heart for the world around us. The more we're attuned to the unique ways God designed us to think, communicate, plan, care and relate with others, the more people are drawn to Him, and the kingdom grows. 

How can they maintain a balanced perspective about quirks and weirdnesses? Our weirdness---our blend of strengths and their quirky upside down versions---stays balanced when we focus it on loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and loving other people as ourselves. The Greatest Commandment is our great balancer in this tightrope walk of living our weirdness wonderfully.

Where can people connect with you and buy your book? Come visit me and check out more about the book at, or stop by my Facebook page at

Anything else you'd like to mention? 
I certainly hope you'll grab a copy of my book and allow me to walk this road with you, but whether you buy my book or not, you owe it to yourself (and your spouse, kids, friends and community!) to learn more about your strengths. Whether it's Gallup's StrengthsFinder program, the Myers-Briggs assessment, or Gary Chapman's Love Languages assessment. . . find out who God designed when He made you. Because if you're not being all God designed you to be, there's a hole in the world---a missing piece in our view of God's nature---that nobody else can or will ever fill.

Yes, I highlighted that last sentence for a reason. Read it slowly and ponder it. It is the very reason why her book is worthy of our time and consideration. Her insights will challenge your thinking and provide "a better way."

I will be posting my review of Why Your Weirdness is Wonderful in the next week or two. In the meantime, I highly recommend that you, go over to and pre-order a copy. It is excellent for personal study and would also be great for book clubs or small groups. 

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