Brave

Quite a few people have been coming up to me and calling me brave lately. Its funny because I never really feel brave. Often times I am the exact opposite of brave. I have come to a point in my life where I am afraid, but I am doing it any.

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I won’t say that confidence always follows but what I will say is that people recognize the good in me. I was nervous, I was vulnerable, I was worrying about being judged, however when it was finished it turned out well. I was told that I was doing a good job, that I had a gift. I don’t feel like the things I do are a gift, it just is how I am, so I discount it. I shouldn’t do that.

 

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The main reason I don’t want to do things is because I am afraid typically of the unknown. People are saying they can’t blog or talk about their problems because they aren’t brave like me. That’s not true. I don’t feel brave when blogging.

I don’t think it is something that I am going to be doing for years but for now it is something that I needed to do. I could no longer hold in it and journalling was not enough. Blogging can be very passive, especially when you use a platform that people have to find.

I feel liberated and validated through blogging. I know that many of things I go through I am not alone. It has helped me be more honest with myself and other people. Like the other day, one of my friends wanted to go to lunch. My fun money has been tight this summer because I am working part time and I told her that I couldn’t go because I didn’t have the money. The old me would never have done that. I would have went and spent the money and done without for something else later. That is small but its the growth that counts in that. My friend told me something personal things about her marriage and she said she was able to do that because of this blog. I appreciate that. She said she feels like she has to have this public persona because people don’t get it. I have lived that life so it makes sense to me.

I notice how other people are much more in tune with their feelings and even though they seem more anxious they also seem more comfortable in their own skin. Or comfortable being uncomfortable.That’s brave to me. That’s where I aspire to be.

I am doing better. We have these big social gatherings at work and I just don’t feel comfortable. Its just not the way I operate. I am much better in one on one or small group settings but instead of sitting there and worrying about what I was going to say, I decided to remove myself from the situation. It worked out much better. As I drove home today I didn’t have to replay everything I said to make sure I didn’t say something stupid or jerk like, etc. I am happy about that.

If you want tell your story you should. Its therapeutic. Being 100% Authentic is whats really brave. I don’t believe I do that 100% of the time but I am working on it. If I can do it, you certainly can as well. Don’t let fear hold you be back.

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The cost of being ordinary (29)

Brene’ Brown says in her book Gifts of Imperfections:

Our culture is quick to dismiss quiet, ordinary, hardworking men and women. In many instances, we equate ordinary with boring or, even more dangerous, ordinary has become synonymous with meaningless.

I read this and immediately agreed. Nobody wants to be ordinary, basic, regular. In the world of social media, ordinary people are not getting second looks.

So many teens look at people online and think that’s the way it has to be. They want to be social media influencers, versus influencing people in real life.

Those folks who are considered ordinary get lost in the shuffle. People who go to work, take care of their families, go to school, do the general right thing get no recognition.

We can live our whole lives and not have anything extraordinary happen. That doesn’t discount us. It doesn’t make us boring or regular, or lame.

People are  chasing images of what they think life is supposed to be like when in reality it’s not that way at all.

Nobody celebrates the dad who goes to work everyday, the kid in college working hard. This isn’t sexy or cool.

We have to change the conversation. I have recently started seeing Instagram post giving props to the ordinary citizen. The every day hero. We need to start the conversation about what makes a person important. What gives them value? It certainly is not how many social media followers they have. What are they contributing to society for the greater good? These are the things that matter.

Is Jesus at the center of your goal (28)

Is Jesus at the center of my goal? I believe so. I am not saying I want to save the world. I do however want to use the gifts that he gave to do good. I don’t want to waste any opportunity that I was presented to me. I want to be able to say I did the very best I could with what I was given. The bible says anything God is in can not fail. . This is a reminder for all my Christian bloggers who lose motivation because we may not have the followers that other blogs have, even though we are saying the same thing. People are being impacted by the words we write down. When you are changing lives their is no failure. I often times get caught up in likes and views but if even one person read what I wrote and was impacted then that is a win for God. Even if that person doesn’t believe if it got them thinking a little bit, then that is a win.  Don’t lose hope, for our work is not in vain. Its our job to plant the seed by being obedient and we can do that. Every little bit counts.

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I used to think that why would anyone want to read what I had to say. I wasn’t saying anything special or doing things that had not been done before. Then I realized, it hadn’t been done before, because my voice was needed. Your voice is needed as well. So write when you don’t feel like it. Write, even if you don’t think it is good. People will resonate with you because your story is important.

Do you want to he successful by the worlds terms or Gods?

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Quick and dirty (24)

I am reading this book right now called The Gifts of Imperfections, by Brene’ Brown. In the book she has 10 guideposts to life. Her whole approach is not how to but why you make the decisions you make. They were so many nuggets in her book. It has been a long time since I connected with a book in the way I connected with hers. I saw myself in those chapters. I was really surprised.

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by [Brown, Brené]

One of the many things she said that stood out to me was when she said there is no fast way to do the work. She couldn’t give people a how to because it was a quick list of steps is not going to help you with long lasting change. A blogger that I follow, Aqua,  brought up this same topic in her post. She talked about why blogs with headlines like 10 Ways to Happiness got more likes than Christian blog posts that basically said the same thing.

I get it. Putting in the work is hard. I talked about in a previous post as well. I would much rather get a top ten things to do, or avoid instead of doing soul searching work that is difficult and takes a long time to show results. Most people don’t run marathons for a reason. We want Microwave Growth. I know at times I do. Brene’ talks about in her book, how that just doesn’t work, even when we want it to. I will be talking more about her book because it was so life changing to me. I think its great that other people are starting to get this concept as well. The more of us that talk about it, maybe more people will be willing to put in the work to change themselves and not go for the quick fix.

Doing the work (23)

This summer is going by fast. I don’t feel like I have done as much partying as I did last summer. I had quite a breakthrough last summer in focusing on my self care and really doing the work to be a better person. I came out of that experience refreshed. I just start writing for my blog. I had good the goals or things I wanted to accomplish. God did all of them but one. You could probably guess which one that was. I was very pleased. I must admit though that list was pretty surfacey, superficial. It was mostly about partying and hanging out, having fun with my husband and my friends. I knew this year I would do the same thing. Make this list to God and ask him to help me do things that I wanted to accomplish. It was much harder for me to write it this time though.

I started this list in April, but every time I would sit down to write it, I just couldn’t do it. I would stumble and stutter and end up talking to God about random stuff, not what I really what I wanted to do. I couldn’t understand what was taking me so long why i just couldn’t spit it out. Part of that was because if I really asked God for something and worked on it and he didn’t do it I would be faced with disappointment yet again.

I just didn’t think that I could do that again. God’s track record is proven. So I decided to go for it. Knowing that I need to put the work in. I always thought that if I put the work in that I would be trying to help God.

That just isn’t true. He doesn’t need my help, he needs effort. Effort can be difficult when you aren’t seeing results, but that is where true perseverance comes in.

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I gave God my list and I started putting the work in. It has certainly been harder but also more rewarding. I am making long lasting changes. Changes that aren’t just a change in action but a change in thought process, with action to back it up. Its been a challenge but I feel good. I have definitely grown this summer and taken some steps back. Change is not a linear process. I couldn’t always say that.  Growth is also recognizing that things take time.

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100th post (20)

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I can’t believe I’m here. I thought it would take me longer but 31 posts in 31 days (1) helped get that done. I never thought I would get a 100 strangers to read my story or anything that I write down. I have big writing goals. I have been listening to books on how people write and when they got started. I don’t feel so behind. I have so many ideas, I just need to pick one and start writing. I’m all over the place, fiction, non-fiction. I haven’t found an idea I really wanted to start.

I wrote 87 of my posts in 2018, which is crazy to me because I published my first post in October. I count that as my true anniversary not June when I purchased the domain.

I asked about classes or training and I got some good info that I will be checking out. I’m excited to take the next step. It’s comforting to hear writers you really respect say, “I threw away 4 books before I had one good enough to publish”. – Janet Evanovich

I know that I’m on the right track. I just need to do it. Failing is so hard and not something I do often. I don’t fail often because I don’t like to do things I where I am not great. I hate to be one of those people that talk about writing a book but never do it. I don’t want fear to hold me back. What’s the worst that could happen? If nobody wants to read it, at least I finished it. That is a big deal. It doesn’t have to be perfect and I am ok with that.

Faith over fear (15)

What are you afraid of? I just realized that I am afraid of change. I never really thought I was a person afraid of change but one of the ladies in my caregroup asked me yesterday if I was of change and after thinking about it I had to say yes. We are doing a bible study on faith in a larger study on the fruit of the spirit by Beth Moore. Beth asks when you are afraid to have faith what is holding you back. Everyone said fear of disappoint, myself included but after we started talking about prayer requests, I realized I am afraid of change. I haven’t had many changes in my life. I worked in the same department at the same company for eight years. I also worked their in Undergrad, so there was no true change for me there. I lived in the same apartment for 3 years before I got married. I hate moving. As I look back over my life, I realized that I don’t take the opportunity to change very often.

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My fear of change could potentially be blocking me from my blessings. An opportunity came up at work and I was thinking of all the reasons that it could be bad. I never thought for a moment of the positives that could come from the change. There is growth in change. I realized that if I let my fear of change hold me back, then I am telling God he can’t be with me wherever I go or whatever situation I face. Its a control issue. The longer you stay in a situation, the more you have control over, you can anticipate the variables. I say God is in control of my life, but if I let fear rule me then truly, I am saying I control my life and not God. That’s not the life I am trying to lead.

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One of the girls in the group said that I was just creating a lot of this in my mind. I created a story. It doesn’t have to end that way. I am projecting my feelings onto a situation that had not happened yet. What if it was good? I have never even considered that. I chose to focus only on the negative. What if I chose to focus on the positive instead? I also made a pros and cons list. After looking at the list, the pros were definitely outweighing the cons.

Change is something that is inevitable. I am working hard to embrace change and not run from it. I don’t want to block any blessings because I am afraid. I trust God to work everything out for my good.