The Grove: Known

This week we’ve been looking at what it means to be known. To be known by a culture not our own. To be known by teammates. To be known by friends and family. To be known by ourselves. To be known by God.

Connection Groups started meeting this week and being known is the heart beat of connection, it is not?!

In preparation for this post I’ve been thinking about the relationship between the words “known” and “know” (Geek alert, sorry). How does what we know influence what we become known for? How does what we know influence the ways we are known by others and ourselves?

As I waited to meet with a young woman I mentor, I pulled out a piece of paper and wrote down people we are familiar with and what they knew. 

  • What did Joseph know? He knew he had been falsely accused.
  • What did Joshua know? He knew God was bigger than the giants in front of him. He knew it even when others didn’t.
  • What did Hannah know? She knew the ache of infertility runs deep.
  • What did Mary know was true about herself? She was a virgin, she had been loyal to her fiancé and her word, and she was the servant of God. She knew this even when it was hard for others to know it.
  • What did Moses know? He knew fear when he heard the call. He knew he needed help.
  • What did Ezekiel know? He knew that cooking over human feces was not something he was comfortable with and talked with God about it.
  • What did Esther know? She knew there may be a cost (she might die) and she was wiling to pay it.
  • What did Daniel know? He knew that some cultural rules are not to be followed.
  • What did Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego know? They knew, “Come what may, we will trust the Lord.”
  • What did Jesus know? To enjoy time with friends.
  • What did Paul know? He knew the truths of the gospel are had to fully grasp at both an individual and community level.
  • What did Lydia know? She knew how to be a successful business woman.
  • What did Peter know? He knew he needed to be willing to change with the leading of the Lord and what had been unclean was now clean.
  • What did Sarah know? She knew the joy of holding the longing she never thought would be fulfilled.
  • What did Jeremiah know? He knew to weep for the sis of the people.
  • What did Hosea know? He knew to risk relationship even when others may not understand.
  • What did Mary know later in life? She knew the pain of watching a loved one suffer.

I know (wink!) this is not an exhaustive list and many of these folks knew and were known for more than this one attribute. What stands out to me as I read over this list and let it soak into me a bit is the relationship between what they knew and what they were known for.  

Which leads me to ask myself, what do I know? And what am I known for? Limiting myself to three :

  1. I know life is messy and large enough to hold complexities. I am known for walking into messes with people (they don’t scare me) and looking for ways God can work.
  2. I know that appropriate laughter lightens the road. I’m known for being a bit zany and up for a good time.
  3. The older I get the more I know this one: I know relationships matter and are necessary. I’m known for finding ways to connect people to each other, history, ideas, and God.

If someone were to ask you what do you know and how does that influence what you are known for, how would you answer?

P.S. The depth and variety reflected in the Word is stunning, is it not?

Winners of the book give away for An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor are Davita, Marie, Jenny, Stacey, and Lynn! Even if you didn’t win, this is still a great book to own!

This here is what we call The Grove.  It’s where we all gather to share our thoughts, our words, and our art on our weekly prompt.  So join us in the comments.  Show us your art work by adding an image. And  link up your own blog posts on this week’s prompt.  Click here for details and instructions.

Photo Credit: Mitya Ku via Compfight cc


  1. Lauren Pinkston October 2, 2014

    I love the way you’ve connected the words ‘know’ and ‘known’. I don’t consider what I’m known for nearly as much as what I know, and I’d be interested to know what other people think of when they think of me. Great thoughts!

    1. Amy Young October 3, 2014

      Thanks Lauren, though scary, it might be interesting to ask others what you are known for :). Though I don’t want to presume to know you well … I image they’d put loyal, encouraging, and connector on the list.

  2. Lisa Matejka October 2, 2014

    Amy, this is really good!  What I HOPE I am/will be known for is my depth and importance of relationships.  Yet I also know a degree of insecurity and fear that I don’t want to be known for – and that is a reminder to me to keep working at renewing my mind and grow in intimacy with God.  The people on your list are good reminders to do that!

    1. Amy Young October 3, 2014

      Lisa, I so appreciate your being willing to share with us the good and bad 🙂 (and now I have the theme song from The Facts Of Life going through my head!).  Agreed that I want to keep growing so that I can be known for more fruit of The Spirit and less Fruit of Amy’s broken spirit 🙂 (though redeemed and in process. The whole dance of already/not yet you know :)!!


  3. Kristi October 2, 2014

    I Know

    I know that in myself I am weak

    I also know that His strength is made perfect in my weakness


    So I will embrace my weakness so His strength will be known by others


    I know that my flesh and my heart fail

    I also know that He is my portion forever


    So I will freely give from my inheritance in Him


    I know that I am full of fear and doubt

    I also know that His Father-love casts out fear


    So I will run into His arms when fear assails


    I know that I am a stranger and pilgrim

    I also know that He has prepared a place for me


    So I will live this life holding onto things loosely


    I know that relationships are messy

    I also know that iron sharpens iron and wounds from a friend are faithful


    So I will gladly spend and be spent helping others to bear burdens


    I know that there are many things I don’t know

    I also know that I am complete in Him and He gives wisdom to those who ask


    So I will ask and seek and knock


    I know that only He knows me completely

    I also know that He loves me anyway


    So I will rest only in what He knows



    1. Amy Young October 2, 2014

      And I know you have a gift. The way you can use words to create poetic word images — I can only marvel at the ways God has wired your soul to dance with words and images. Thanks for sharing :)!!

    2. Beth Everett October 3, 2014

      Love this Kristi!

  4. Lanette Breedt October 3, 2014

    I am a South African artist and photographer serving in Italy with my husband. We are part of Operation Mobilization (OM).
    This painting is about KNOW. Ps 23. The Lord provides and protects, but He is also known for his guidance and righteousness.
    I know my Shepherd, I would love to be known as somebody following the Shepherd no matter what the circumstances may be.

    1. Danielle Wheeler October 3, 2014

      This is gorgeous, Lanette!  The texture and color are stunning.  And I love what the positioning of the hands says (and how it differs from the Sistine Chapel).  One hand is up in need of help, while the other comes down gently to hold and guide.  It’s a Shepherd’s hand.

      Thank you for sharing!

    2. Amy Young October 3, 2014

      Lanette, what a treat to wake up and see this beautiful addition to our discussion! Did you paint it? I’m curious if there are words on what looks like the little pieces of torn paper? And the positioning of the hands has got me wondering too :). Thanks for the visual image to go with the ponderings of “know” and “known” that are tossing around in me 🙂

  5. Kristi October 3, 2014

    Hopefully not wearing out my welcome 🙂


    I Am Known

    I am known as






























    I am known


    By You

    As Yours


    1. Beth Everett October 5, 2014

      I liked this one too Kristi!
      Thanks for sharing again!

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