Inviting women to live like God’s Word is true.
What if God really is in control? What if he’s truly with us and for us? What if this world isn’t all there is? Well, that would make quite a difference, wouldn’t it?
Hi, I’m Shannon. As a speaker, I love the laughter that bounces across the room after I share a funny story. I also love the tears, smiles, and nodding heads, when I share an experience women can relate to. But most of all, I love to see their eyes light up with fresh faith and commitment, when I invite them to live like God’s Word is true.
I would love to be considered as a speaker for your next event, retreat or conference.
It would be a joy to partner with you in ministering to the women God has entrusted to you. Please use my contact form to get in touch, and let me know how I might be able to serve your group. I look forward to hearing from you!
Current Speaking Schedule
September 8, 2020 – Path of Life, Ludington, MI
September 24-26, 2020 – Camp Lebanon Women’s Retreat, Burtrum, MN
October 6, 2020 – Flourish Writers Conference (online)
October 13, 2020 – Small Group Leader Training at Grace Community, Hudsonville, MI
October 15, 2020 – Thrive Women’s Gathering at Ada Bible Church, Grand Rapids, MI
October 19, 2020 – Training and Encouragement for the “She Writes for Him” Online Writing Community
October 17, 2020 – SALT Women’s Conference, Grand Haven, MI October 23-24, 2020 – Faith Community Women’s Retreat, Vacaville, CA
October 23 – 24, 2020 Bloom Women’s Conference with Jenn Hand (online)
November 4, 2020 – Common Ground at Keystone Community Church, Grand Rapids, MI
November 11, 2020 – Genesis Church, Petoskey, MI
November 16-18, 2020 – SEPA Summit with Editorial Portavos, Cancun, Mexico
December 3, 2020 – Ridgepointe Community Church, Holland, MI
December 9, 2020 – Shores Community Christmas Tea at Maranatha Bible, Norton Shores, MI
March 13, 2021 – True Woman Conference, Meadsville, PA
April 23-24, 2021 – Cran-Hill Ranch Women’s Retreat, Rodney, MI
May 1, 2021 – Eastpointe Bible Church Ladies’ Retreat, Peru, IN
September 23-26, 20201 – Camp Lebanon Women’s Retreat, Burtrum, MN
October 8-10, 2021 – Bair Lake Bible Camp, Jones, MI
October 16, 2021 – SALT Women’s Conference, Grand Haven, MI
Speaking Schedule 2020
January 17-18, 2020 – Renelly Women’s Retreat, Metamora, MI
January 20-25 – The Storytellers Conference with Flourish Writers
March 7, 2020 – Rooted in Christ Women’s Conference, Morrison, IL
March 14, 2020 – First Central Church of the Nazarene Women’s Retreat, Flint, M
April 18, 2020 – Eastpointe Bible Church Ladies’ Retreat, Peru, IN
April 24-26, 2020 – Cran-Hill Ranch Women’s Retreat, Rodney, MI April 29, 2020 – Westwood MOPS, Kalamazoo, MI May 22-23, 2020 – G4 Women’s Retreat, Seaford, DE
July 9-11, 2020 – Speak Up Conference, Grand Rapids, MI
July 15, 2020 – Grace Community Church, Hudsonville, MI
Speaking Schedule 2019
September 9, 2019 – Alpine Baptist, Comstock Park, MI
September 13-15, 2019 – Lake Ann Women’s Retreat, Lake Ann, MI
September 27-29, 2019 – SpringHill Women’s Retreat, Evart, MI
October 12, 2019 – G4 Women’s Retreat, Seaford, DE
October 18, 2019 – Breathe Writer’s Conference, Grand Rapids, MI
October 24, 2019 – “She Found Joy” tour @ Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI
October 28 – November 10, 2019 – Speaking Ministry Trip to the Middle East
November 18, 2019 – Central Baptist Church, Jonesboro, AR
November 19, 2019 – Family Life Today, Little Rock, AR
November 20, 2019 – Central Baptist Bible Study, Jonesboro, AR
December 5, 2029 – Life Change Women’s Event, Dorr, MI
December 7, 2019 – Lakeside Community Christmas Brunch, Alto, MI
March 1-2, 2019 The Chapel Women’s Retreat, Wadsworth, OH
April 12-13, 2019 – Southside Bible Women’s Retreat, Denver, CO
April 26-27, 2019 – Lincoln Lake “Flourish” Women’s Retreat, Gowen, MI
July 10, 2019 – Maranatha Bible Conference Women’s Luncheon, Muskegon, MI
July 11-13, Speak Up Conference, Grand Rapids, MI
July 26-27, GEMS Leadership Conference, Grand Rapids, MI
Speaking Schedule 2018 and before
January 10, Allendale MOPS, Allendale, MI
March 2-3, 2018 – County Line Church Women’s Conference, Andrews, IN
March 9-11, 2018 – Women’s Retreat at Cran-Hill Ranch, Rodney, MI
April 10, 2018 – “Bloom” at Chapel Pointe, Hudsonville, MI
April 19, 2018 – Calvin Seminary Wives Dinner, Grand Rapids, MI
April 21, 2018 – Robinson Baptist Church, Grand Haven, MI
April 26, 2018 – Moms Connected @ Chapelstreet Church in Geneva, IL
April 28, 2018 Red Brick Church in Stilman Valley, IL
May 1, 2018 – MITT @ Hastings Baptist Church, Hastings, MI
May 5, 2018 – Standale Baptist Church, Standale, MI
May 19, 2018 – Forest Hills Baptist Church, Forest Hills, MI
June 5, 2018 – Ada Bible Church, Summer Bible Study Kick Off, Cascade, MI
June 28-30, 2018 – Speak Up Conference with Carol Kent, Grand Rapids, MI
September 20-22, 2018 – Gitche Gumee Bible Camp, Eagle River, MI
September 27-29, 2018 – True Woman Conference (Blogging Team), Indianapolis, IN
October 5-6, 2018 – Bridge Bible Women’s Retreat @ Camp Geneva, Holland, MI
October 12-14, 2018 – Grace Adventures Camp Women’s Retreat, Mears, MI
October 23 – November 3, 2018 – Speaking trip to Asia
November 15, 2018 – Ridge Point Community Church MOMS Group, Holland, MI
December 3, 2018 – Cornerstone Church Christmas Women’s Event, Caledonia, MI
December 6, 2018 – Women’s Christmas Event, Liberty Bible Church, Chesterton, IN
January 12, 2017 – Lowell MOPS, Lowell, MI
January 26, 2017 – Control Girl Launch Party @ Baker Book House!!! Grand Rapids, MI
February 2, 2017 – Ada Bible Thrive Gathering (Knapp Campus), Grand Rapids, MI
February 9, 2017 – Book Signing at Kregel Parable Christian Store, Grandville, MI
February 16, 2017 – Book Signing at Liberty University Barnes & Noble, Lynchburg, VA
February 24-25, 2017 – Friend Retreat, Metamora, MI
March 10-11, 2017 – Christian Ministry Conference, Grand Rapids, MI
March 13, 2017 – Alpha Women’s Center Volunteer Appreciation Banquet, Grand Rapids, MI
March 15, 2017 – Trinity Lutheran MOPS, Clinton Township, MI
March 23, 2017 – Ada Bible Thrive Gathering (Cascade Campus), Cascade, MI
April 12, 2017 – momLife at Mount Pleasant Community Church, Mount Pleasant, MI
April 21-22, 2017 – Ravenna Baptist Retreat @Maranatha Bible Camp, Muskegon, MI
April 28, 2017 – Winning at Home bus trip, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2017 – Grandville Bible Ladies’ Tea, Grandville, MI
May 13, 2017 – Millington Church of God Ladies’ Tea, Frankenmuth, MI
May 16, 2017 – Ada Bible Church, East Paris Campus, Grand Rapids, MI
May 19, 2017 – Kilpatrick MOPS, Woodland, MI
May 20, 2017 – First Baptist Church of Newberg, Jones, MI
June 14, 2017 – The Rock, Grandville, MI
July 13-15, 2017 – Speak Up, Grand Rapids, MI
September 9, 2017 – “Come to the Table” at Hudsonville Reformed Church, Hudsonville, MI
September 16, 2017 – Homefront Church, Jenison, MI
September 28-29, 2017 – Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference, Muskegon, MI
October 6-7, 2017 – Breathe Christian Writer’s Conference, Grand Rapids, MI
October 24, 2017 – Mom to Mom at River Terrace Church, East Lansing, MI
October 26, 2017 – Lowell MOPS, Lowell, MI
November 4, 2017 – Immanuel Church “Ladies’ Day”, Holland, MI
November 11, 2017 – Living Life Women’s Retreat, Muskegon, MI
November 16, 2017 – Thornapple MOPS, Grand Rapids, MI
November 28, 2017 Jamestown Baptist Ladies’ Tea, Hudsonville, MI
December 2, 2017 – The Chapel, North Canton, OH
December 13, 2017 – Kilpatrick MOMSNext, Woodland, MI
December 20, 2017 – Trinity Church, Lansing, MI
January 29-31, 2016 Springbrook Community Church Ladies’ Retreat, Huntley, IL
February 25, 2016 Lowell MOPS, Lowell, MI
March 7, 2016 – Calvary CRC Mom & Co., Holland, MI
March 12, 2016 – Women’s Day at Grace Evangelical Free, Rockford, MI
March 16, 2016 – Ada Bible Church, Kentwood, MI
March 23, 2016 – Hope Church MOPS Group, South Haven, MI
April 15, 2016 – Highland Hills Baptist Church, Grand Rapids, MI
April 22, 2016 – MomBreak, Grandville, MI
April 29-31 – Lifestream Ladies’ Retreat, Allendale, MI
May 3, 2016 – Lake Center MOPS, Portage, MI
May 5, 2016 – Home Front Bible Study Group, Jenison, MI
July 7-9, 2016 – Speak Up Conference, Grand Rapids, MI
September 9, 2016 – REAL Sisters at Kentwood Community Church, Kentwood, MI
September 13, 2016 – Coffee Break at First Christian Reformed Church, DeMotte, IN
October 4, 2016 – Corinth MOPS, Byron Center, MI
October 7-8, 2016 – Breathe Writer’s Conference, Grand Rapids, MI
November 8, 2016 – MUMS at Calvary Baptist, West Branch, MI
November 17, 2016 – Hudsonville Reformed Church, Husdonville, MI
December 1, 2016 – Lake City MOPS, Lake City, MI
December 11, 2016 – The Lakes Women’s Christmas Event, West Bloomfield, MI
Shannon’s biblical knowledge, coupled with a sense of humor, warmth yet professionalism proved to be a winning combination. Shannon was an absolute joy to work with and made herself available throughout the weekend far beyond the podium and merchandise table.
Denise Perry, Women’s Retreat Director at Spring Hill Camp, Evart, MI
Shannon was a great fit for our ladies retreat. The ladies loved her practical insights and Biblical frame of reference. She taught with vulnerability and confidence and the response was tremendous.
Ken Riley, Executive Director, Lake Ann Camp, Lake Ann, MI
Kristi Stephens, Women’s Ministry Director, The Chapel in North Canton, OH
Engaging, challenging, excellent, encouraging, fantastic and awesome are all words our guests used to describe Shannon. Her message of control will resonate with women at all stages of life as she shares her own experiences and asks them to confront their own control issues and submit to God. She is creative and engages participants on and off stage.
Abby Banfield, Grace Adventures Camp, Meers, MI
Shannon is a fantastic speaker in both her content and presentation style. The women in our group found her engaging, relatable, and encouraging. She speaks with authenticity and wisdom. Highly recommend!
-Carolyn Kersten, Ministry Director, Trinity Church in Lansing, MI
Shannon was a joy to work with. She shared her “Control Girl” presentation, perfectly blending humor with biblical teaching in a non-threatening way for our outreach ministry. She is organized, responsive, and presented an open and honest message. I highly recommend Shannon!
Kristen Streepy, Chapelstreet Church, Geneva, IL
Shannon is passionate about caring for ladies and interacts with them, making each instantly feel like a new friend. When speaking, Shannon engages audiences, leading them to make a step of faith. What is most impactful about Shannon’s ministry is that she is led by the Spirit to meet the needs of each group uniquely.
– Debbie Jo Schwartz, (formerly) Women’s Ministry Events Director at Ada Bible Church in Grand Rapids, MI
I really feel like, wow, there is hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and I don’t have to control it. I was in counseling for eight months for anxiety/anger and nothing helped; there was no relief. In one hour, I have come to realize what the issue is and I have learned more about myself and what God wants of me than ever before.
– A MOPS attendee.
The message Shannon presented it is with me every morning when I wake up. I count it a joy to get up in the night with my boys (even though I just want to sleep), and rock my youngest when he’s not feeling well. I count it a blessing to be able to stay home and care for our home and fix meals. I look at it as a gift to teach my boys to take of themselves. Shannon was a blessing to my heart!
– A MOPS attendee.
Podcast, Radio & TV Interviews
with Bob Lapine and Dave & Ann Wilson
Do you remember the time you felt like you didn’t measure up? I do. It was sixth grade camp, and I told the story here on the FamilyLife broadcast.
It’s not always comfortable to tell the world how I’ve struggled (and still do!) with feeling inadequate. My hope, in sharing about my own Comparison Girl journey, is to invite others to Jesus’s me-free living in a measure-up world.
Here’s the two-part broadcast:
with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth
Listen in as Nancy and I talk about how God challenged me to stop trying to control my husband and family – and the peace I found when I began trusting the Lord, instead. What a privilege to talk with my friend Nancy Wolgemuth, who has been sharing this message of surrender a lot longer than I have! I’m so thankful for Nancy and Revive Our Hearts, and all the ways this ministry has invested in me personally.
with Lee Nienhuis
Are you feeling anxious and overwhelmed, as you get “back-to-school” updates from your school, church, and local governments? Join Lee Nienhuis and I as we talk about our illusion of control, the destruction that comes with comparison, and how to respond today with the uncertainties of tomorrow.
Also, listen to episode #34, where Lee and I talked about “Control Girl”.
with Erin Davis & Dannah Gresh
Revive Our Hearts’s daily response to Covid-19 crisis is to remind us to be grounded in the truth of God’s Word. I’m delighted to join Dannah Gresh and Erin Davis to talk about the role of comparison in our current crisis, and how to respond like Jesus.
with Jill Savage
Jill has been talking about this topic of comparison and perfectionism and how they divide us way longer than I have. She had some great things to add to our conversation as we discussed comparing in two directions–one where we come out better than someone else and one where we come out worse than someone else. When we compare “up,” we experience jealousy. When we compare “down,” we experience disgust.
with Jenn Hand
Laugh with Jenn and I as we tell about our first impressions of each other (yes, we were both comparing), and compare our patterns of collecting coffee mugs – which are completely opposite. Plus we’ll talk plenty about Jesus and his unique way of comparing.
With Kim Wier
There is something in us that wants to prove that we have more or are more. We want to measure up. So what does this do to our relationships? Is there any way to stop being jealous of a friend? How should I respond to demands of this measure-up culture?
Here’s my conversation with Kim Wier, where we talk about these questions and more.
with Amy Carol and Cheri Gregory
It’s hard for reforming perfectionists and people-pleasers to give up control! Amy and Cheri believe that every good girl can grow her grit, embrace God’s grace, and learn to break bad rules. I LOVED talking with them about how control is one of those “bad rules” we need to break.
with Rachael Adams
I so enjoyed my conversation with Rachael, and I hope you will, too! Here are some quotes from our conversation:
- “This desire to be in control and compare the things I can’t control overlapped more than I realized.”
- “My heart seems to be bent toward pride and perfection and measuring up in the eyes of other people and it doesn’t lead to freedom and joy.”
- “We’ve got to handle the problem with comparison before we even go over to the window.”
- “He’s inviting us to adopt a me-free mindset. I’m not here to prove I’m better than you. I’m here to serve you.”
- “When you’re feeling inadequate you want to retreat and pull away. The enemy attacks us in isolation. We need to get out of the corner.”
with Randy Robison
It was a joy to join Randy on LIFE Today to talk about Comparison. I especially appreciated the opportunity to talk about our current political and social climate, and how Christians are not to “compare down” in self-righteous disgust or condescension toward those who disagree OR those who sin differently than we do.
Overcoming Fear and Comparison
If you’re a writer, speaker, or ministry leader, you’ve probably had to grapple with both fear and comparison as you’ve stepped out to use your gifts for God.
Listen in as my co-author Kate Motaung and I have a conversation with Thomas Umstattd Jr. Brought to you by the Steve Laube Agency.
Thanks to WOTV4Women and Wood TV 8 for having me on the “Where you Live” show with Maranda! Maranda is a delightful host, and such a supporter in our community. It was truly an honor to be on the show.
With Jenny Stemmerman
On this podcast for Christian working moms, Jenny and I talked about comparison and the impact it has on the way we see ourselves and others. We also talked about the “race to the bottom” and the difference it makes when – instead of trying to prove that we’re the “hottest mess”, we choose to be humbly vulnerable with each other.
Speaking Topics for Women’s Events & Retreats
Comparison Girl: Me-Free Living in a Measure-Up World
Do you compare yourself? On social media, in the neighborhood, at church, or the school drop-off lane—do you constantly glance sideways and ask, “How do I measure up?” Your enemy loves to use comparison against you, first by driving you to prove you measure up, then shaming you when you don’t. But Jesus offers you freedom by inviting you to live as he did—lifting others up and pouring ourselves out.
With humor and candor, Shannon will share about her own comparison struggles, and how adopting Jesus’s me-free way of living is restoring her confidence, freedom and joy.
Check out Shannon’s book on this topic at ComparisonGirl.com.
Control Girl to Jesus Girl
Control Girls aren’t trying to exasperate anyone; they’re just trying to make everything turn out right! Yet the woman who lives life repeatedly lunging after control tends to make everybody miserable–herself included.
Shannon Popkin can attest to that. As she shares about her journey from Control Girl to Jesus Girl, Shannon will invite you to find the peace, security, hope, and joy that comes–not from gripping, clamping, and clawing after my own version of perfect, but from surrendering to the One who truly is in control.
Check out Shannon’s book on this topic at ControlGirl.com.
How to Have a ‘Mary’ Christmas
From pies to decorating to gift-giving, women tend to put a lot of effort into making everything turn out “right” at Christmas. But our drive to create the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ often turns us into exasperating Control Girls, who cause everyone to cringe instead of savor the season.
With humor and passion for celebrating Jesus, Shannon Popkin will help you consider Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a beautiful example of relinquishing control at Christmas. Come find the hope and joy that Jesus offers to any woman who chooses to make Christmas all about Him.
Check out Shannon’s book on this topic at ControlGirl.com.
A God Who Leans Low
He’s got the whole world in his hands, but what about my little world? Does God see? Does He care? Is he for me? If I see God as distant and uncaring, I won’t surrender control; I’ll grip on even tighter. Yet this is how the skeptics responded when Jesus came to town, and they missed out on seeing the signs that were clear to everyone else: God truly does lean low.
With compassion and conviction Shannon shares about several stories of watching God involve himself in the details of her small life, but only after she surrendered. Are you ready to surrender to the God who leans low?
Topics for Moms Groups
Control Girl Mama
Control Girls can be uptight, overprotective, angry, fretful, pushy, frantic, irritable Mamas—but only because they’re trying to make it all turn out right! Yet trying to control everything tends to make everybody miserable (including the Mama). As Shannon shares about her journey from Control Girl to Jesus Girl, she will invite you to find the peace, security, hope, and joy that comes–not from gripping, clamping, and clawing after your own version of perfect, but from surrendering to the One who truly is in control.
Comparison Girl Mama
Comparison isn’t a game; it’s a trap set by Satan. He knows that when we measure ourselves against other moms we emerge feeling either inferior or superior—and both lead to bondage. But Jesus invites us to be part of His kingdom, where freedom is found—not in measuring up, but in pouring your life out.
With humor and candor, Shannon will share about her own comparison struggles, and how participating in Jesus’ upside down kingdom is restoring her confidence, freedom, and joy.
Treasure Maps that Lead Little Ones to God
Left to themselves, our kids will spend the rest of their lives hunting the empty treasure of this world. So how can we draw a ‘treasure map’ that leads our little ones to God (especially since they can’t see God, and they can see Thomas the Tank Engine or whatever else they momentarily fixated on)? Fortunately, we don’t have to turn our kids into treasure hunters; they already are treasure-hunters! God placed an insatiable desire for more inside our kids to draw them toward Himself, knowing that He is the only one who can ever satisfy them.
With the perspective she’s gained from parenting her kids into their teen, Shannon Popkin will give you six guidelines for drawing a treasure map that leads your little one (or older child) to the one true treasure–God.
Why we have “MOPS”, not “POPS”
There’s a reason we have MOPS instead of POPS. It’s because God embedded in YOU a unique drive and desire for relationships. He designed you to be the relational expert of your home! But that doesn’t mean your work is easy. You won’t be able to distance yourself from problems or hope things fall into place. No, relationships will be the most challenging work of your life; but also the most rewarding!
In her humorous, yet encouraging way, Shannon Popkin will share several biblical patterns for creating extraordinary relationships between the people who matter most: your family.
Writers, Speakers, Leadership, Youth, Ministry Conference Topics
5 Platform-Building Questions Every Christian Speaker or Writer Must Ask
Social media offers more opportunities to spread the light of Jesus than ever before–but it also presents new and unique challenges. We set out with a passion to serve others, share truth, and give of ourselves. Yet our good intentions are easily eclipsed by desires to promote ourselves, receive affirmation, and gain recognition.
Is there a way to gather followers and still follow Jesus? Is there a way to both take up our cross and build up our stats? Shannon Popkin believes there is. Come get guidance on these five questions, every speaker and writer must ask:
- How can I make noise, and still be humble?
- Does Jesus want me to be strategic?
- How can I weigh my own motives?
- Should I become a platform-builder, or just trust God?
- Am I self-serving when I try to network?
Preparing for Spiritual Attack in Ministry
Many new writers and speakers are caught off guard by the spiritual gloom or added temptation, which often accompany a writing/speaking project. When we—as writers and speakers—cast words of light and truth out into the darkness, we also throw rocks at the enemy’s hornet nest. And Satan doesn’t fight fair. Yet God has not given us a spirit of fear. Come develop a step-by-step plan for protecting against and overcoming spiritual attack in ministry.
- Learn to identify the enemy’s condemning attack vs. conviction from God
- Define the unseen spiritual battle—God’s goals vs. Satan’s
- Develop an offensive plan (physically, spiritually, emotionally) for times of intense ministry
- Create a defensive strategy for times of attack—how to fight back
Comparison isn’t a game; it’s a strategy of war used by an enemy who loves to divide us. Satan knows that when we compare, we pull away—with either a sense of inferiority or superiority. Division. Jealousy. Pride. Unworthiness. Each one has “Satan was here” graffiti spewed all over it. But what if we showed Satan to the door and ushered King Jesus to His throne at this conference?
Jesus invites us to a kingdom where greatness is achieved—not measuring up, but by pouring yourself out. And Jesus invites us (the leaders) to go first. As we huddle up and collaborate on how to better share truth and spread the gospel, let’s link arms in solidarity. Let’s enjoy the sweetness of unity. Let’s empty ourselves—as Jesus did, and be free!
Control Girls in Ministry
Control Girls aren’t trying to be inflexible or exasperating; they’re just trying to make things turn out right. But by clamping onto their own ministry ideals, they work against God, not for him. Discover God’s way to respond, either to your own inner Control Girl, or the Control Girls you minister alongside.
Threatened or Thriving: How Control Strangles Ministry
Controlling leaders are turf-oriented, defensive, and inflexible. Out of fear of losing their grip on control, they strangle a ministry, rather than breathing life into it. Come discover five ways to cultivate a thriving ministry by surrendering control to God.
Building a Platform to Elevate Jesus (Not Me)
In a media driven world, does God approve of our efforts to build a platform and expand our reach? Are we compelled by the Great Commission or a great need for affirmation and recognition? Is there a way to gather followers and still follow Jesus? Get practical help on examining motives, relinquishing control to God, and developing godly strategies for growing your platform.
Are you a Comparison Girl?
(Great for Teens/ Middle School/ Youth leaders)
“How do I measure up?” a girl intuitively begins to wonder, as her eyes flutter open to differences she never noticed. And that’s when Satan pounces–tempting her to compare. Jealousy, pride, inferiority, self-loathing, and mean girl tactics are some of comparison’s bitter fruits which can poison a girl’s life for decades. Thankfully, King Jesus came offering a cure.
With humor, compassion, and passion for God’s word, Shannon will share her own struggles with comparison, along with the immense freedom, joy, and connection she’s found from living inside Jesus’ kingdom–where the last are first, the greats are servants, and measuring up comes from pouring your life out.