Wonder – Taking the Step from Ordinary to Extraordinary

Success3

 

A couple of weeks ago we had workers in our backyard putting in a patio. It just so happened that I kept our four year old granddaughter the day the construction began. The workers were where Lyla could watch from our bay window. I had no idea she would be so captivated by the work in progress. First she came running and told me she’d waved at one of the workers and that he waved back. She was delighted. Her eyes were glued to their every move. Finally, she asked if she could go outside and watch from the deck. She said they were now “mowing the dirt”. That’s how she described the leveling process. She said it was the second step. I’m not sure how she understood all of that, but it was evident she was taking it all in and she was enchanted with the work they were doing. Living in wonder seems to be natural for children.

Watching her, I realized she was in total amazement and wonder of what these skilled workers were accomplishing. This was a picture of what natural child like wonder really looks like. She looked from different angles; she found a comfortable place and position to do her gazing. She smiled at them first. Then she moved closer as she went outside. She even struck up a conversation with them. She was in a place of total awareness.

I can’t help but think how often I miss out on experiencing the joy of today because I am not living in a place of wonder, which is really a place of joyful expectancy. As adults we are bombarded with bad news. We are bombarded with too much to worry over. We are bombarded with things that can feed our selfish indulgences. It’s like we open up our mouths and let things that breed negativity flow into every part of our soul. It takes over until there is no room left for joyful wonder.

As I watched Lyla that morning I realized living in wonder really can become a part of our daily living. The wonders of God are all around us! David tells us this in Psalm 40 verse 5: “Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done….were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare!” It’s really not all that hard to start practicing living in that place. I even became aware I’m already doing many things that foster having many daily “wonder moments”. What are those things?

  • Writing down at least three things I’m grateful for each day. I actually do this in the morning which means I write down things from the previous day. I started this habit in 2001 after I read “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp. All I know is I’m on number 5,232. I don’t know what number I’d be on if I did it everyday since I started. There are days I miss. I’m too lazy to do the math right now.
  • Taking every opportunity possible to enjoy the beauty of a sunrise or a sunset. We have the widest and biggest screen that’s available to mankind at our fingertips and it’s free! Take the opportunity to let “Heaven and nature sing!”
  • Getting outside and enjoying the freshness of a morning through taking deep and slow breaths.
  • Connecting with others and listening to their special God stories. Those always fill me with wonder.
  • Being still for at least 5 minutes a day doing nothing but thinking about the love of God and His other qualities and actions that I admire the most about Him. His love is personable and intimate. The words of an old hymn by Frederick Lehman describe this Love so well: It’s rich, it’s pure, it’s measureless, it’s strong, it endures forever. Thinking about this love always puts me in a place of reverent wonder!

 

There are many other ways to embrace the joy of wonder. These are some simple ways I’ve found that help me find extraordinary beauty in an ordinary day. I’d love to hear from you! What are ways you practice living in wonder?

Advertisements

A Good Good-bye

beautiful-autumn-leaves

This is my favorite time of the year. Fall! I loved saying good-bye to the unseasonably hot and longer than usual Tennessee summer. It’s always a nice good-bye for me. I love the crispness in the air that accompanies the beautiful face of autumn.

Fall now brings more to me than just the normal much awaited seasonal changes. It holds memories that are still very fresh. It brings back the memory of October 23, 2014, the day I said good-bye to my mother. It was a long good-bye. I flew to Texas to spend a week with my parents having no clue that that 7 day planned visit would turn into 20. Just two days before my arrival, she stopped eating. It’s what happens during the last stage of Alzheimer’s. Usually the good-bye comes quickly, but not this time . . .

The memories of those days are so very clear. They are beautiful. They are brutal. My Mother was trying to say her goodbye to this world. My sister was fighting to live – enduring the hardest season of her cancer journey.

I can’t help but be reminded of something we talked about in a Bible Study I’m leading called “A Woman Who Doesn’t Quit”. It’s a study taken from the book of Ruth. In that study the author mentions a phrase that’s really stuck in my mind – “Just so happened.” Ruth is a widow who made a choice to leave the land of Moab and make her home with her mother-in-law in the land of Israel. When they arrive Ruth knows she needs to find a way to provide food for the two of them. She goes to a field to pick up grain that is left from the harvesters, an acceptable practice of the culture at this time. “So Ruth went and gleaned in the field behind the reapers. She just so happened to be in the field of Boaz, who was from Elimelech’s family.” Ruth 2:3 Elimelech was her father-in-law who died in Moab. It just so happens that Boaz and Ruth marry and have a son. That son is the great-grandfather of King David of the tribe of Judah. That’s quite a “just so happened”! God orchestrated quite an event here. Jesus came from the tribe of Judah!

The story of Ruth and Boaz is part of God’s narrative that is huge. But, my narrative is a big deal to God, too, and so is everyone else’s. It’s these “just so happened” moments that always continue to remind me of how much God loves me and cares about the way things unfold in my life. They are not haphazard. They have purpose and meaning, richness and depth.

For it just so happened:

  • Months earlier a friend had let me borrow her DVD’s of our late beloved pastor’s sermons on Heaven. I just happened to have put them in my suitcase. I had my computer and watched them just outside of Mother’s room.
  • I had the opportunity to ask for forgiveness from my mother for the times I know I let her down.
  • My sister and I had time to fill the house with music as we played the piano and sang songs that we all loved.
  • My daddy had the chance to say some needed words of endearment.
  • When in the middle of despair a text or a phone call came that gave me words I needed to hear.
  • God was putting together a plan for a date, a place, and perfectly skilled doctors for my sister to have one the most complicated surgeries a person could ever have that would happen in just a few weeks. This surgery meant life for her weakening body.
  • I woke up early that morning, October 23rd, and decided to sit beside Mother during my morning devotion. Not sure why, but I landed in Psalm 119.

I read each verse of that long chapter out loud to Mother. It just so happened that immediately after I read that last verse, verse 176, Mother took her last breath on this earth. The good-bye to Mother had been much longer than any of us could have anticipated. God’s ways are beyond our understanding. But, one thing I know: pure joy and adventure was just beginning for her. Someone has said: Every beginning has an end, and every end has a beginning. This is one beginning that has no end. C.S. Lewis says this eloquently in “The Voyage”

“All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and title page: now at last they were beginning chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”  

Are we living today with that great chapter One in mind? As my former pastor, Bro. Glenn Weekley, said in one of his sermons on Heaven: Our purpose on this earth includes preparing for life there. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

Your Hardest Task

MH900448740

A couple of weeks ago I went by our local used bookstore and came across a book I heard about from a group of women who had read it in their book club. I’m always on the lookout for a good deal, so grabbed it. Three dollars is not bad for a like new hard-back book! In The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith, I again am reminded of a gift we can give ourselves everyday of our life. It’s the gift of silence. It’s something our soul desperately needs in order to find a place of rest and peace in our soul, if only for a few moments. It’s a gift we can give ourselves everyday and it is restorative medicine for our soul.

However, there are just too many reasons we find to not do it. There are too many electronic devices calling our names to pick up. There are little ones calling our name. There may be a spouse calling our name. There are voices in our head vying for attention. There are errands to run, jobs to get to, appointments to make, etc. The list of what someone called the tyranny of the urgent is endless!

Here’s an idea – what if we made sure to find in our day only 5 minutes to practice being still with God without any distraction. It might surprise us what that gift of silence will do.

It will help us get “centered”. What does “centered” really mean? I love this definition: having the specified subject as the focal element. We’re not to just empty our mind of everything. We’re to put the most important One at the center. Out of the right “centering” our day will find more peace and order, even when surrounded by chaos.

In this book the author has some practical tips on ways to find those 5-10 minute quiet moments during the day and what to do with them when found:

  • Look for little free spaces in your day, such as a break between activities.
  • Get up a little earlier.
  • Leave for you next appointment a little sooner so that when you arrive you will have extra time to find a quiet place and “just be.”
  • If struggling with thoughts running to and fro during this time of silence, have a notepad nearby to jot things down that may come to your mind. Examples are: a phone call you need to make, laundry that needs to be done. Writing down these things can help quiet your mind.
  • Reading the Bible for a minute or two can help us usher in this time of quiet.

What’s the real purpose of this quietness? It’s a place where I can hear from God. I desperately need to hear. The distractions of life will not allow me to hear from Him. My life will spin out of control if I don’t hear from Him. I will not love others well if I don’t hear from Him. I will not enjoy this life to the fullest if I do not hear from Him. As James Bryan says, “The God who is good can only reach us when we are quiet.” Let’s do whatever it takes to find that place of quiet today, tomorrow, and every day ahead. It’s a treasured gift I can give myself today, tomorrow, and all my days. The cost is pretty small when you think about it. But the dividends are unbelievable.

“Your hardest task—do you even know what it looks like? It’s being still. Still does not have movement, still does not have sound, still does not have a committee meeting in your head, still is peaceful, still is quiet, still is open and ready, still is at ease, still is waiting peacefully, still is available to receive.” Allie Frankfurt

Lord, help me to find space in my day to unplug from noisy distractions. It’s here  I become more and more aware of your goodness and love that nourish my soul.

A Mirroring that Never Fails

l_151-mirror

 

David Boudia and Steele Johnson are synchronized divers. Watching them perform at the Rio Olympics was fascinating. I can’t imagine the time and discipline it takes to master the moves that ensure that they are completely in sync with each other.   These divers mirror each other. It takes years of hard work to develop physically and mentally to be able to compete and win. The physical skill and mental toughness required is incredible.

The journey of Steele Johnson and David Boudia began a decade ago. Boudia, at age 17 would pick up Johnson (10) and they’d head to practice. Boudia became Johnson’s mentor. They spent endless hours together developing the skills it would take to become two of the world’s best divers. They worked hard. They worked in unity. They focused completely on the task at hand: Do it right, do it together, do it better.

Johnson watched, listened, and learned from his respected mentor. He did what he was told to do. It paid off. Steele Johnson says of David Boudia, “I’ve learned so much inside and outside of the pool from this guy—about diving, about faith, about being a man—that I wouldn’t be where I am without this guy teaching me along the way.”

Some of us are blessed to have a mentor in our life who helps us in our journey. They are ahead of us in some areas that we still need to develop. We can learn much from them. Others may not have that person in human form. But, as believers in Christ, we all have the Word of God in our hands that is available at all times. His Word acts as a mirror. It reflects back to us how we are to look, act, and live.

We are to spend our lives gazing at the right thing. That right thing is Jesus. We gaze at Him as we read about how He lived. He teaches us how to live. He teaches us how to flourish. When there is pain, struggle and brokenness, Jesus puts us back together.

Boudia and Johnson know about pain and hardship. They know what it’s like to be unsure about the trajectory of your life when, at the moment, your dreams seemed crushed. Seven years ago Johnson had a diving accident that could have taken his life. In 2009 Boudia was in such a pit of despression he contemplated suicide. They both turned their eyes to the One who was able to reach down and restore them in their greatest time of need.

It is worth taking the time to look at Jesus’ life as revealed to us through the Scripture. Making it our life long goal to reflect Him in the power of the Holy Spirit to a watching, waiting, wounded world is a huge part of discipleship.

What will we reflect?

  • An eagerness and availability to minister to others
  • A Christ-like compassion for those who suffer
  • A Christ-like humility
  • A steadiness of purpose
  • A disciplined life
  • A serenity of spirit

We won’t ever get it done perfectly, but what joys there are in the journey of being in the right race. It’s anything but boring. Ask Boudia and Johnson.

What race are you running? Are you reflecting Jesus? What is one thing you can do this week to reflect him more to your family? A neighbor? A classmate? Or a stranger?

Where to Find Significance

Success3

The 2016 Olympics came to a close a few days ago. At the close of the events, I came away totally in awe of what these young, and even not so young, accomplished. They sacrificed so much in order to get their bodies ready for these competitions. I can’t help but wonder what it will be like when they get back to the real world. Many say they’re going on vacation to rest and relax. Well deserved!!

Some will start preparing for the next Olympics. Others will now start a new season which doesn’t include competing again. One thing we all know. There will be a day when no one in this year’s group will return. Our bodies finally wear down. No one can have a fit Olympic body forever.

It’s evident they’ve run on adrenaline for a substantial length of time and for most there will be quite a let down when the emotional high has worn off. Hopefully, they’ve all prepared for the moment of returning to those ordinary mundane days of working, studying, taking care of family, even needing to decide what to do next.

Two American divers, David Boudia and Steel Johnson, gave the key to dealing with the jolt of unsustainable elation followed by real-world reality. They just achieved an incredible victory—winning the silver medal for synchronized diving. But David and Steel know where real success lies; more importantly they know significance. They know a significance, an inner peace, an identity that is not dependent upon any career, any medal, any fame, any role, any man’s applause, any natural gift or ability, any human relationship, any perfectly fit and good looking body.

The key of lasting significance that continues into eternity is found in one thing and one thing only – a personal faith relationship with Jesus Christ. These divers both discovered that their identity in Christ is the only thing that matters. They know that it is in Christ that true peace, joy and purpose are found.

Boudia experienced the enormous pressure that comes with being in the limelight of competing for an Olympic Medal. When asked by a reporter what it meant to win the silver medal, he said, “When my mind is on this (diving), and I’m thinking I’m defined by this, then my mind goes crazy. But we both know that our identity is in Christ.” Johnson said he, too, went into the event knowing that the root of his identity was in Christ. Because of that he was able to have peace and enjoy the contest. What wisdom these two young men have!

To many people, the thought of having an identity in Christ is a foreign idea. Either they’ve not thought about it or they haven’t been taught. But, this is a biblical idea. In reality, it’s a foundational truth of one’s relationship with God through Christ Jesus. So what does this identity in Christ mean? Who am I? Who are you?

  • A person created in the image of God. Genesis 1:27
  • A person God designed with unique gifts, abilities, talents that are to be used in His Kingdom work in our homes, communities, and church. Hebrews 13:21
  • A person perfectly loved by God. Jeremiah 31:3
  • A person perfectly valued by God. Psalm 139:13,
  • A person perfectly accepted by God. Psalm 139:14
  • A person who can bring glory to God through inward devotion to Him and outward actions. 1 Corinthians 10:32
  • A person who is blessed. Ephesians 1:3

How are we to live out our lives with these indelible truths? We live in growth. We live in the Word. We submit to His Lordship. We rehearse the Truth. That is, we read daily the truths mentioned above. We live in the power of the Holy Spirit and trust Him to transform us to be more like Jesus everyday.

Where are you? Are you living out these truths that develop us into being the person God designed us to be? If so, we can change our world. Jesus in us, the hope of glory!

 

5 Benefits of Transformational Life Coaching

thCXOWP6J9

A few years ago I had the opportunity of taking a course on Life Coaching. I knew very little about it at the time, but someone said I should register for it, so I did. I was hooked right from the beginning and put together a plan on becoming a certified Life Coach. Coaching opened my eyes as to how to help people take their next right step. Coaching is a beautiful process of discovering and reaching your full potential.

I wouldn’t have fully understood the many benefits of having a coach had I not hired a coach for myself. There were areas in my life I wasn’t navigating very well, and a personal life coach was just what I needed. Some of those areas involved organization. Through excellent questions and observations from my coach, I came up with plans that helped me make progress in a couple of places that needed a lot of attention. My coach gave me just the right amount of accountability which was helpful in my pushing forward.

There were definitely other times when I needed to be coached around things much weightier than this. One time I needed to make a hard decision and then share that decision with the person who was involved. Another time it was a struggle in a relationship. My coach always helped me move in the right direction that was God-honoring. Coaching was a safe place to be heard. It was a place to find confidence. It was a place of discovery. It was a place to be challenged in a way that was transformative.

Through being personally coached, and now being a certified Transformational Life Coach with Coach Approach Ministries, I see the many ways coaching can be of great value to any person who desires forward movement in any area of life. Do you desire growth and more life fulfillment? Check out Coaching. Some benefits of coaching include:

  • Clarifying goals and making a plan that enables you to meets those goals.
  • Discovering ways to maximize your potential.
  • Finding the best ways to have success in family life, spiritual life, health, relationships, anything where a place of well-being and balance is desired.
  • Finding more confidence in areas where courage is needed.
  • Taking the next right step that is purposeful, powerful, and meaningful.

There may be times in our lives when we can figure out how to navigate challenges well on our own, but most of the time it is much better when there is someone who can come alongside us who can help spur us on to becoming the best that God desires us to be. From personal experience I know deciding to work with a Transformational Life Coach is one of the best decisions a person can ever make. It’s well worth the investment.

Interested in Life Coaching? Contact me for a free introductory session.

 

 

An Unusual Anniversary Gift

Couple holding hands.

 

My husband and I have just celebrated 39 years of marriage. I remember celebrating our 25th by taking our first cruise. The cruise was amazing and I’m grateful God has allowed us to do many more since then. One of Mike’s dearest friends says that’s the best way to vacation because you get more bang for your buck – it’s all inclusive! I agree.

One thing that will be forever etched in my mind about that 25th anniversary trip is that whenever we told other cruisers that we were celebrating 25 they were shocked and impressed. Well, that was 14 years ago. Those same people would be REALLY impressed now. These past 14 years have held many joys and some sorrows. I’m grateful to say that we both made the choice to intentionally grow up in some places where some refinement was seriously needed. Through much prayer and much work our marriage continues looking like the marriage I know God always intended.

Mike and I always give each other gifts on our anniversary. Sometimes they’re practical, sometimes not. I’m glad that this year we were able to tell each other what we really wanted. That helps us both out a lot. Neither of us really like shopping. We loved on each other by doing just that. I wanted something that is useful but has some bling: a new watch. He wanted a ladder. It was not just any kind of ladder, it’s an amazing Megamax made by Little Giant. It has heavy –duty construction, folds to a compact size for storage and portability, holds up to 300 pounds (Yea! We can both get on it if needed), extends to a nice height of 15 feet, light weight (35.5 pounds) and has many safety features. It sounds like the perfect ladder and gift!

Where do you find this item? In the Home Improvement Department. As I read of these fabulous qualities of this amazing ladder I can’t help but be reminded of the things we are learning to put into practice that make up a great Marriage Improvement Plan for us in our couple-ship.

  • Practice communicating well in humility and honesty.
  • Practice showing love in action. Ask: What makes you feel loved? Then, do those things for the other person.
  • Practice sharing at the soul level. This is where we share how we feel. The response we both desire is that the one listening will listen attentively – without judgment and without giving advice. The best definition of intimacy I’ve ever read is that intimacy is “into me you see.” At times this is a scary place, but it’s worth the price to go to this deeper level.
  • Practice telling each other what we need. We should not assume we know what the other one is needing at any given time. My spouse cannot read my mind.
  • Practice lots of forgiveness and lots of patience.

It takes a lot of determination to make a good marriage but with God’s help, it’s possible to have one that brings Him honor and glory. He delights in taking broken people, which we all are because of our sin nature, and making us whole. Marriage is the perfect life stage in which we see ourselves as we really are. It’s the perfect place to grow in our spiritual walk. One of the first questions Gary Thomas asks in his book “Sacred Marriage” is “What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?” The beauty of this is when we’re becoming more and more transformed into His image there is more joy, there is more happiness because we’re walking in closer fellowship with God, and therefore with each other. And, that can be a little bit of heaven that we get to enjoy in our homes, in our marriage here on Earth. And, God said, “It is good!”

 

 

Living Out What We Believe

christmas_candles

This week on Inside Edition I heard the moving story of how Tim Tebow used many of his spiritual gifts to encourage and comfort a family in distress. He was on a Delta flight headed to Atlanta from Phoenix when a passenger suffered a heart attack. Many came to the man’s aid performing chest compressions and then a defibrillator to restart the man’s heart. Tim Tebow was in first class and heard the commotion. He got up and found his way to this family. He hugged them, embraced them, encouraged them, and prayed with them. After the flight landed, he went with them to help with their luggage and then went to the hospital. He was there when the family heard the news that their loved one didn’t make it.

Tim Tebow used gifts that all believers in Christ have available at all times. He used prayer, encouragement, comfort, service, and loving touches to a family in need. Because of his notability this story will be read and heard and told multiple times. It is a story that lifts our spirits.

In a similar way, God used a precious friend of mine and others in a beauty salon here in my city just last week to help save the life of an elderly woman. It’s a story that won’t be on the news or in the newspaper (as far as I know) but it’s still just as great. It’s a story of how my friend allowed God to use her spirit-filled life to help someone in need. As she was getting her hair done, another lady in the salon began choking on a peanut. Some ladies were gathered around her trying to help. Then my friend started praying aloud. She then looked at a lady sitting next to her and asked if someone had called the ambulance. Before getting an answer, that lady threw off her cape and went over to the woman and began doing the Heimlich. She was a nurse and even had on her nursing scrubs. God orchestrated many things that morning to bring about good that saved a woman. There is power in caring. Power in love. Power in reaching out. Power in doing something. Power in prayer.

This week I also heard of a 6 year old boy who was in a Bob Evans Restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida where some police officers were eating. He overheard the manager shaking hands with one of the officers and thanking him for his service. Joshua Garza, the 6 year old, then approached the officers and asked if they all could pray together for their safety. They gathered together and Joshua prayed for them.

I can’t help but think of these verses that I memorized many years ago when I think of these three amazing people. 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16. These scriptures don’t say “you can be” the light of the world. They say “You are the light of the world.”

I guarantee these three people didn’t take moments to sit around and ponder “Do I need to strike up a match and light up my light?” No, they knew they were light because God’s Spirit lives in them. It’s evident they consistently spend time understanding how the light of the world, Jesus, wants to show forth His glory in them. It’s evident they spend time praying in their personal alone time with God. It’s evident they understand that some of the fruits of the Spirit are love, kindness, and goodness. It’s evident that they know we’re all to pray and intercede for all mankind. It’s evident they know we’re to be bold in living out our faith. It’s evident that they were being gentle and loving in their thoughts and actions toward the men and women God put in their path that day.

These stories impact me. I want to be the light of Jesus Christ in word and deed to all I encounter. I don’t want to be so caught up in my world that I do not make myself available everyday to be light that God can use to bring others closer to Him. And, if it’s a day I’m just in my house and see no one, I know I can still make a difference in others’ lives because I am interceding for them in prayer. It’s one of the greatest things I could ever do for anyone. And, if and when there’s an opportunity to pray with someone I’ve never met before, I will do it. If they need prayer, I will be ready. All for Him.

We all hear about the Tim Tebows and thank God for them and their witness, but God uses ordinary, unknown believers daily for His glory. Believers in Christ have incredible power within our lives. God wants to unleash that power through us everyday! What do you think? Has God used you in his way? Please share your story.

Navigating the Uncomfortable New

MB900387808

Frequently we encounter situations that are quite uncomfortable. Perhaps it’s a new social gathering where we find ourselves not knowing many people. Some personalities are quite social and love these types of opportunities. It’s an adventure for them, nothing awkward. But, as an introvert, discomfort is, well . . . uncomfortable.

Discomfort comes in many forms. Sometimes changes in the family system create new family dynamics that cause great anxiety. Family changes with new dynamics are difficult to handle and often cause great inward distress when the family gets together. Some changes can be good, but some can be traumatic. Experiencing these changes, good or traumatic, will be different for each person involved because of our own uniqueness – it’s all part of our own story. Navigating these challenging waters and managing the “new” is difficult because of the unknown and because we all come into the new situation with different perspectives.

During the last few months I’ve waded through some new territory – which I was not prepared for. Big changes have affected me greatly. However, God is using this as a powerful tool to refine me and to help me know me better. I’m grateful that I’m learning to accept who I am in a healthier way than ever before. That’s not easy! But, the progress I’m making is freeing and it is good.

Finding my way has been so much easier because of the safe places God has given me to share my heart. Fortunately, those safe places are an understanding husband, children, and friends. I’ve appreciated the empathy and the affirmation given by each. These are gifts.

Words of encouragement and wisdom came from one particular person that is not only beneficial for the present, but also for the future when I encounter another hard place. Here are words full of truth:

  • Things won’t be perfect.
  • What is will be okay.
  • Live in freedom to be you.
  • Allow yourself to feel your feelings.
  • Know God will honor your commitment to try and build relationships.

I believe these five things can be beneficial for your present and your future, too. I wrote them down. I revisit them. I practice them. I am in growth. Join me in this journey.

Five Ways to Overcome Fear

Success3

 

Overcoming fear is hard, but it can be done. Good news: You don’t have to do it alone. As the song says, “The God of Angel Armies” is always by our side. In His strength we stomp out this enslaving enemy emotion that desires to keep us in bondage.

This bondage to fear keeps us from realizing and developing the awesome God-given potential that He placed in each one of us. Staying in the place of fear enslaves us so there’s no opportunity to experience the many joys that can come with the gift of just being alive. It keeps us from trying new things. It keeps us from the enrichment we can receive from meeting and getting to know new people. It keeps us stuck where we are so we don’t continue developing the amazing person we are. It keeps us from hope. The opposite of living in fear is living with courage driven confidence.

So how can we move forward to a place of courage and confidence?

  • Believe the truth about ourselves. We are wonderfully and uniquely made by God. We all have good gifts and abilities that God in love gave us.
  • Find ways to develop our gifts and abilities and use them to bless others.
  • Say no to comparison thinking or competitive motivation.
  • Get rid of negative, self-defeating thoughts. Say no to the lies of the enemy!
  • Be willing to take risks and do new things that are out of our comfort zones. Don’t allow the worry of failure to keep you from moving forward. If it’s not perfect, it’s okay and you’re still okay.

Decide today to do something that will move you forward in conquering any fear that may be immobilizing. We gain courage by action. We gain courage by right beliefs. We gain courage by faith in what God says. “I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:11