Thursday, October 31, 2013

Why I Want To Stop Being Fearless (Day 21)




Oh my, I've just come off a trying day. I have started new job that has my nerves all in a tizzy. I am a customer service rep for a high end dept store now. Everything about it screams perfect...except the reality of it.

I get to stay home (in my pj's if I want) and work in my home office. I take calls and help people out the best I can with their questions while my kiddies are at school. I get off about the time they are getting off the bus. See? Perfect.

Except, today was my first real day taking calls, and I wasn't expecting to take calls. I'm still in what they are calling a new hire training period. I'm supposed to be doing more training and reading than actual talking on the phone. So, when they said about two hours into my shift you're all set up you need to take calls the rest of your time. I FREAKED OUT on the inside. Are they serious?! They trust me to start taking calls?! For real?!

I can't take calls, I'm not ready! Why can't I just sit here and keep reading?? Reading is safe and not scary. Reading isn't going to get angry and yell when I don't know what in the heck I'm doing.

But, I had to take calls. I logged into the phone software and stared at the take calls button for a good 10 minutes before actually hitting it. I prayed, begged, pleaded, for God to zap me with courage, because I was sweating with fear.

What was I thinking?! This job isn't for me! I've trained, I've passed the tests, but training and passing tests is completely different than real life actual on the job doing it for real.

I want to be fearless, but for the love of all that is good in this world I really thought I might die at my computer desk today. This fearless living is not for me. Why does it have to be so hard??

I want safety and security. Not this. I want to feel comfortable in knowing that whatever I'm going to do I am going to do a good job. Not crash and burn with my first call. (Which I almost did, but thankfully they have an awesome support system for newbies like me that were willing to help me on every some calls.) And quite frankly I was honest with my first couple victims and told them I was brand spanking new, and they were my first ever customers so maybe they would show me some mercy and not get impatient. They did, they were nice. Even when I accidently disconnected one (whoops).

Fearless...it's putting me in situations that make me uncomfortable and are stretching me in ways I don't like.

Why do I have to be Fearless anyways? It's just something I thought I would give a go at. Now look what I've gone and done.

However.

I may not like this fearless living, I may actually hate it. But I am excited about what it's preparing me for. I may need these customer service skills one day. I'm just thankful I have the weekend to collect myself before I start again on Monday. My nerves are thanking me anyway.

Now I'm off to take my son trick or treating and eat enough chocolate to put me in a nice little coma.

Night, friends!

If you think about it, wanna say a prayer? I could definitely use them!!






Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fear In Numbers (Day 20)

'Numbers in a City: New Haven / 1997 / SML' photo (c) 2012, See-ming Lee - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/


Together we can cheer each other on or tear each other down.

When we have the support of our people around us we feel like we can do anything. Accomplish any goal, chase after any dream, climb any mountain.

One kind-encouraging word from someone may be what we need today to finish a project strong, can we be that someone today?

Fear, just like encouragement flourishes in numbers too. When you have your people doubting what you are doing and telling you it just isn't going to work, give up. You're more inclined to go with the group, instead of what you know God is telling you.

In Gideon, we see God a couple of times telling Gideon to take people with him, when he asked him to do something. Why? Maybe because he knew courage can be found in numbers. If we have those around us supporting us, we will feel courageous.

But on the opposite coin, lies fear.If you have a group of fearful people not sure that they can accomplish something, they may turn and run instead of staying to fight.
"The Lord said to Gideon: “You have too many people on your side. If I were to hand Midian over to them, the Israelites might claim credit for themselves rather than for me, thinking, We saved ourselves. So now, announce in the people’s hearing, ‘Anyone who is afraid or unsteady may return home from Gideon’s mountain.’” At this, twenty-two thousand people went home, and ten thousand were left."(Judges 7:2,3)

"So Gideon took ten of his servants and did just as the Lord had told him. But because he was too afraid of his household and the townspeople to do it during the day, he did it at night." (Judges 6:27)

"But if you’re afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah, and you’ll hear what they are saying. May you then get the courage to attack the camp.” So he went down with his servant Purah to the outpost of the armies that were in the camp." (Judges 7:10,11)
God dwindled his army of thousands to 300. Could it have been because too many men would get to talking about how they are never going to win this war and they should go home before they all get killed?

Fear and insecurity can spread like a wildfire in a group. God dwindled the group down to not only show his people that He would win this war for them, but to also keep their spirits up before it could get taken down.

There may be fear in numbers but, there can also be courage in numbers too.

When we believe that with our faith we can do anything that God asks of us it doesn't matter who agrees or not. God will bring the right people into our lives to encourage us. To affirm and confirm His plans.

We just need to be obedient. And live Fearless (better said than done, I know, but we can do it!)

Live fearless, my friends.




Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Die Many Deaths (Day19)

'sun grass' photo (c) 2010, David DeHetre - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once."                    (William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar)


I was looking up quotes on fear that I could share on here today and this one caught my breath in my throat. How true it is. 

Facing fear and dealing with fear almost feels like a death. It can make you feel like you want to die at least.

"Is it that they fear the pain of death, or could it be they fear the joy of life?"                                                                         (TOAD THE WET SPROCKET, Pray Your Gods)


Do we fear celebrating our victories because that means we aren't being "humble?" If all gifts are given from above and we excel in those gifts shouldn't we be happy and rejoice...and rejoice with others?

Fear can hold us back from living the lives we were meant to live, and I think each day we need to make the choice. Hold back or Live fully.

I know what I'm ready to do, do you?

Walk fearless, my friends







Monday, October 28, 2013

Whom Shall I Fear? (Day 18)





"The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom should I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1












Saturday, October 26, 2013

You Have a Warrior Fighting for You (Day 17)




The Lord your God is in your midst—a warrior bringing victory.
        He will create calm with his love;
        he will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)


I pray that your weekend is full of rest, peace, and laughter. And of course, Fearlessness!







Walk Fearless, my friends

Friday, October 25, 2013

Whom Shall I Fear? (Day 16)



One of my favorite author's and speakers is Sheri Rose Shepherd.

The following is an excerpt from one of her daily devotionals I get through email.

My Princess,
Are you bound up in darkness and fear? Come to Me and tell Me what you’re afraid of. Is it the future? Your health? Your circumstances? Your finances? Your security? Don’t you know that I am Creator and King of all? I own all the resources in the universe. Nothing is beyond My knowledge or My power...


What are we afraid of? Do we trust God enough to give over our fears? He can and will do abundantly more than we can ever ask for(Ephesians 3:20).

"Light, space, zest—    that’s God!So, with him on my side I’m fearless,    afraid of no one and nothing."(Psalm 27:1)

I read something this week on Jon Acuff's blog that I wanted to share, this is for those of us that don't like the self promotion side of writing. Don't Write a Book


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Praise Defeats Fear:: (Day 15)




Did you know praise defeats fear?

Right now on Spotify I'm listening to a mix of Matt Maher, Mandisa, Laura Story and more. All have songs on praising God in the middle of our storms and fears. Have you heard that Overcomer song by Mandisa? Take a listen here if you haven't yet.

In all of the battles in the Bible why does God have them praise and blow horns first before the battle even begins?

Because this battle we fight day to day is not ours it's His and He intends to win. Every. Time.

The praise comes first because we are declaring that God is with us, and despite how small we may be we have a force on our side that can't be defeated.

We may have a life with plans that don't make any sense. But God, he plans to use them. If He can win a war with jars, torches, and trumpets (Judges 7:15) just think what He can do for us, today.

Let's defeat the fear and anxiety in our lives by hitting our knees and thanking God for the battle and  walk in faith that we that we are meant to be overcomers.

"They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped him." Matt 2:10


    "Jesus answered them, “Do you finally believe? In fact, you’re about to make a run for it—saving your own skins and abandoning me. But I’m not abandoned. The Father is with me. I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world.” John 16:33






Wednesday, October 23, 2013

If We Knew :: (Day 14)

'Lions & Lion Cubs' photo (c) 2008, fortherock - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
If we only knew what the enemy knows about us we would never walk fearful or weak in this world again.

He uses the only devices he has, lies, fear, intimidation. He knows the plans for us don't stand a chance. The One that is in us is greater than the one in the world, him (1Jn 4:4).

What if we could get a glimpse of who we really are? I think we would be more confident and have less excuses for not doing things.

The voices of You can't, You shouldn't, You'll never...will disappear

They will have no authority over you any longer.

In the Bible it says we have an enemy. An enemy who prowls around us looking for our weak spots so that he can pounce.

"Be clearheaded. Keep alert. Your accuser, the devil, is on the prowl like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8

Remember, Noah built an ark when they were in the middle of a drought. Moses doubted and begged God to use someone else.

And my favorite least likely hero, Gideon. Weakest in the family of the weakest clan.

When you start to wonder what you are doing and if you are going to look like a fool. Keep going. Maybe you will look foolish, but at least you are being obedient. And to God that counts for a whole lot.
"If you're not willing to look goofy in the eyes of others at some point, you will never make it to your God-sized dream."(Holly Gerth, Opening the Door to Your God-Sized Dream Devo)
 We are mighty warriors, it's time we started acting like it!

Walk Fearless, my friends.





Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I Want To Be Brave:: (Day 13)


LOVE this song, it's about being brave and being who you are. Sara Bereilles is one of my favorite new artists.

Read the lyrics and watch the video below. I hope you enjoy!



Everybody’s been there, 
Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy
Fallen for the fear
And done some disappearing,
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is


Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave


With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave


And since your history of silence
Won’t do you any good,
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?



If you're reading in email click here to view the video

I want to see you be BRAVE!

Walk Fearless, my friends!










Read the rest of the Fearless posts here

Monday, October 21, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

What is your 300? (Day 10)




There are things that I hold tight to out of fear of not having enough. Or nothing.

My marriage
My kids
My things...

I am told to not worry about tomorrow because I will always have what I need for each day.

Whatever may come my way, I won't have to face alone.

God will be my strength, comforter, and provider of all things.

Gideon eventually came around and decided to trust God to deliver him with only 300 men (the odds were 450:1).

I guess the question I need to ask myself is, "Do I trust God enough to do the same for me?"

Gideon let them go...his fears.

Can I?




Catch up here




Linked with Faith Filled Friday and Fellowship Fri

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

In Your Strength (Day 9-ish)

'fearless' photo (c) 2011, Edith Soto - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/


Judges 6:14 "The Lord turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have..."

This verse popped out at me as I read it last week. Go in the strength you have. Isn't that what we do? Isn't that where the fear comes from?

Going and doing things in our own strength?

We know how weak and small we are and the tasks that God is asking us to do seem large or impossible.

But,  yet God didn't mean for Gideon to win this battle by himself. Nor does he mean for us to as well.

God dwindled Gideon's army from 32,000 down to 300! That's amazing odds. And all odds were against Gideon.

When he looked at the numbers he knew he couldn't win. There was no way. He asked God 3 times to be sure he heard him correctly.

Really, God, me? The weakest in my family, whom is the weakest in the clan? Me?! You want me to deliver this nation from people so numerous they can't be counted?!

Can't you just see him pacing the floor and probably near hyperventilation as he tries to process what the Lord has just told him?

And the Lord replies, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior." Jdg 6:13
 "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together."Jdg 6 :14 
"Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die." Jdg 6: 23

God called him a mighty warrior while Gideon was in a near panic. He saw something inside of him that no one else saw, not even himself.

God knew that together they could do this. He just had to get Gideon to believe it too.

And he patiently does the same for me and you. We look at the outside while God looks at our hearts and knows we can be something more.

If only He could get us to believe it too.
Judges 6:34 "The spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon..."
("The Hebrew word to clothe (labash) normally  "referred to the every day act of putting on a garment." God's spirit put on Gideon like a suit of clothes." (Gideon, Priscilla Shirer))

We have this same spirit, the Holy Spirit and it is closer than our own breath. We can also put on the (spiritual) armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), that will protect us in the heat of our every day battles.

We are stronger than we realize.

If only we would realize.

As we look at our obstacles with faith eyes and with our armor on each day, we see that there is nothing that can overtake us. Nothing too big for our God.

We may be weak, but in Him we are STRONG.

Walk fearless, my friends.







Find the rest of the posts here



Saturday, October 12, 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013

Keep Showing Up:: (Day 7)



We are on our second week of our Bible Study, and we have new faces, those that didn't come last week, (fear, perhaps?) and some no shows.

As we sat around the table talking I wondered where the other ladies were from last week?

Did they succumb to fear?
"In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" Psalm 56:4
"The fear of man is a snare, but the one who trusts in the Lord is protected." Proverbs 29:25
Did they think they didn't fit in, or had nothing to offer? Maybe they were just plain busy?

I don't know.

I wonder though....

When will we ever feel comfortable in our own skin?

When will we ever feel and know we are good enough?

That this thing called community? We were made for it.

Community needs us to keep showing up.

When will we believe?

In Him, we are enough.
In Him, we breathe out insecurities and fears and breath in power, truth, and peace.
In Him, we have all we will ever need.
In Him...

May kingdom come.

And not find me walking meek or weak.

But, strong and brave.

You may be a  modern day Gideon, but God sees so much more.

Be strong and courageous, might warrior! Don't be afraid, only believe.


Walk Fearless, my friends.

Catch up here:: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6 can you believe I've written every day for a whole week?! me either.

Linking with:: Fellowship Fri, Faith Filled Fri

Thursday, October 10, 2013

How Community is Born:: (Day 6)




I looked in the mirror and finished applying the last coat of mascara. I stepped back to look at my reflection to make sure everything was just right. I blew out a deep breath I didn't realize I was holding.

I was getting ready to leave to attend a new Bible Study that had just started up at my new church home.

I had made up my mind I was going and I wasn't go to think about not going. The Bible Study would be good for me, plus being a stay at home mom in a new town meant I needed to get out of the house.

My only comfort was knowing one person ahead of time,Christy, she moved from Iowa with us, or not technically with us, but made the move down with Target with us along with her husband. She was looking for a good Bible study too and my church just so happened to offer the one she was hoping to do.

I met Christy outside the church and we chatted before going inside. Together, we were ready.

We found a table with a few other ladies and the small talk commenced. Shortly thereafter, we broke into groups depending on our life stages.

Christy left me and I was left with a relatively small group. It seems most women my age have really young ones or are just starting out.

Guess not too many thought it would be a good idea to start having babies early like me :)

After everyone got  a little more comfortable we started sharing. And guess what came up?
Fears ( I know, right?!)

Fears about not coming, not being liked, not knowing anyone...

The woman sitting across from me said "I almost didn't come, we are new to the area, and I knew I needed this but I was scared. What if you guys didn't like me?" and as she said the words the rest of us nodded our heads in agreement and said, "yep, me too."

I was amazed.

Here we are 7 different women and we are all having the same exact fears. We almost let our fears keep us home, keep us isolated.

But instead we made the brave step of showing up.

And just like that, community was born.

We realized we aren't that different, we all have the same fears and insecurities.

But that day we didn't let our fears win.  No ma'am, that day we stood in the power that God had given us, and we showed up.

I'm proud of us.

Is there somewhere you need to be today? I challenge you to swallow down the fear, and show up. And just see how God will bless you!

ps. I realized something, if you have a fear about doing something, it's probably a good indication that you should probably do it!

pps. We are doing the Gideon study by Priscilla Shirer (if you follow me Twitter or Facebook you may have noticed the #lessonsfromgideon hashtag popping up, that's why)

Gideon was the epitome of fear and weakness. How much more perfect could this study be for me?! (you can find the story in Judges 6)




Read previous posts in the series, here:: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5



***Winner of the Grace Unplugged CD Prize Pack from Day 3 of The Fearless Posts is....comment 11, Denise!!!! congrats Denise! I'll be contacting you to get your info to send that out. Thanks for commenting!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Have I Not Commanded You? (Day 5)

Dandelion


We may know what we need to do but don't do it out of fear and uncertainty. We waive in what we think God is telling us because it doesn't make sense.

But does it?

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."Joshua 1:9

We are told in the Bible when God tells us something to not harden our hearts like we would have done when we were younger. (Hebrews 3:15)

But to listen and obey.

For me, so many times, I wait until others agree with me to make sure I am doing the right thing.

I deeply fear doing the wrong thing.

But God didn't whisper my dream to them He whispered it to me.

"...fear is often a confirmation to move forward than a reason to turn back on the path to our God-sized dreams."(Holley Gerth,Opening the Door to Your God Sized Dream Devotional)

As Holley goes on to explain, God wired a part of our brain called the amygdala to control our flight or fight response.

"The amygdala likes the status quo. It sees change, especially if it means stepping out of our comfort zone, as a threat because it's unfamiliar. Therefore it registers those things as something that needs a "flight or fight response" initially. In scripture, when God says, "Do not fear," it is almost always to someone already feeling fear. He helps us get past that first response and move from fear to faith. But that first fear response is often an indicator that God is asking us to step out of our comfort zone. That's why it can be part of a confirmation that he's asking us to do something." (Opening the Door To Your God Sized Dreams Devo,Ch 12)

So, what am I waiting for?

What are you waiting for?

Walk fearless, my friends


Catch up on previous posts here:: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4

Linking with:: Three Word Wed, #TellHisStory, Imperfect Prose

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