Be moved. Be changed. Love because you are loved.

Tag: Proverbs 24:16

Soccer celebration

It’s Go Time!

Baby feet

My book baby is out in the world.

Let the heart palpations begin. We’ve all been there: leaving an interview, finishing a tryout, turning in an exam, hitting send on a proposal. Our nerves tingle and our stomachs flip over in hopeful trepidation.

But then the doubts creep in.

I’ve woken up at 4 am for the past four nights. I can’t say what woke me up, but as soon as I did, my brain started working overtime listing out all the things I need to do, reviewing all I’d forgotten, and berating myself for the mistakes I couldn’t reverse.

I was under attack.

Maybe it was because of the early hour, but it took me a bit to realize I didn’t need to lie there and listen to my thoughts. So, I fluffed my pillow, prayed, and left things in God’s hands.

There will be resistance to seeing your dreams fulfilled, but a bump in the road isn’t anything to a God who can move mountains. Seeing my dream in print was a long time in coming, but it was the process that challenged me to grow. I am a firm believer in learning vicariously, so here are three key things I’ve realized:

  1. It’s more effective to be the vision than just to cast the vision: It’s easy to tell others, “Don’t give up,” but the most significant impact was for my children to watch mom face adversity and to see me keep trying. They saw the tears, the stress, and the doubts but witnessed me over and over sit back down at my computer and keep typing. “For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.” – Proverbs 24:16
  2. Trust God despite the outcome: Whether my book flies off the shelves or sits there gathering dust, I’m going to remember what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said to King Nebuchadnezzar as they were about to be thrown into the furnace.  “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18).  No matter what, I know God will work all things according to His purpose, and that’s what allows me to sleep at night.
  3. It’s the strength of others lifting you up that gives you a grand perspective: I can’t tell you how many times an encouraging email kept me writing, or my kids praying for me, or other people’s excitement that boosted my own. I will be forever grateful to all the friends, family, church members, and wonderful souls (some of who I haven’t even met face-to-face who’ve carried me on their shoulders). Hebrews 12:1 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Thank you for cheering me for during those times when my legs ached, I grew winded, and the finish line seemed impossible to reach.

My race isn’t over. I may have only gone a few laps, but it’s because of you that one foot continues to move in front of the other.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and may God bless you! 

Football or American Soccer celebration

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Road Block or Toll Booth?

Avoiding potential disaster is not how my husband likes spending his holiday. However, this past Memorial Day, instead of BBQing, he reverted into crisis prevention mode because the main hard-drive of our company’s server decided to stop working. If it wasn’t back up and running for the following morning, we’d have an entire staff with nothing to do without a computer or internet. The IT company we pay to help us in crisis told us they were on vacation and good luck getting a hard drive on a holiday. Thankfully, a good friend who happens to work in IT stepped in and saved the day, for which we are very grateful.

Roadblock or Tollbooth?

Toll Booth

Tim Elmore, the author of Habitudessays we have to decide whether we let our problems be roadblocks or toll booths. When we run into a roadblock, we’re stuck. Our problem either makes us immobile or sends us back to the way we came. When we see our problems as toll booths, we pay the price and move past them to keep going.

Proverbs 24:16 says, “For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.”

Dwelling on our problems keeps us stuck. God doesn’t want us not to ignore our issues, but He doesn’t want our issues to keep us trapped. We will fall, but Proverbs says we should dust ourselves off and keep going. Pay the consequence and move forward. Expect adversity so you’ll be ready to overcome and move past it.

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clock

Being Stood Up

Rejection hurts.

I’d done up my hair, put on my best outfit and double checked myself in the mirror clockseveral times as the minutes ticked by on the clock. Ten minutes… twenty… half hour… an hour… then longer. It eventually hit me—I was being stood up. It stung, my pride, my self-esteem, and my confidence. The thought of facing my friends the following morning when they asked, “How was your date?” knotted my stomach and sent heat to the tips of my ears. The high school junior who’d asked me out didn’t apologize the next day as we passed in the halls. He acted as if his memory had been wiped of any trace of asking me on a date. In my humiliation, I vowed I was done with dating and men. Thankfully, I reneged on that vow, because now I’m happily married and raising three boys. Funny how those things work out. What at the moment felt like a big deal, now is the faintest blip on my memory’s radar.

Failing stinks.

My son didn’t make the team. He’d showed a lot of promise with baseball. He had a great swing. His coach asked him to try out for a special league, but he got cut. He tried to brush it off like it didn’t matter. My husband and I did our best to encourage him, but the next season his heart wasn’t in it. The following season he decided to try lacrosse and now he’s out there tearing up the field.

Wouldn’t life be simpler if we could just succeed at everything? Actually, no. Chasing failure can take you further than success. Why? Because when we fail, we analyze what happened. We study to figure out where we went wrong. Sometimes the worst thing that can happen to someone is success. With success we give ourselves a pat on the back. We don’t check to see if it could have been a fluke or if we could improve. Success reinforces the behavior and if the behavior wasn’t perfection than perfection won’t be sought.

Squirrel trapped in a bublbeMaybe we should take ourselves out of the fight before we get hurt? We could remove ourselves from the equation to keep us from feeling any pain, but what life experiences are we passing up in the process? Should we stay in a protective bubble? When does the insulated bubble become a prison of our own making?

Fail trying, don’t fail watching.Bob Goff author of Love Does

Allowing yourself or others to fail can be hard to do especially when it’s your own children. Standing by as they struggle is heart-wrenching. (My protective mother bear instincts kick into high gear.) But, what if you’re keeping them or yourself from crucial character development. I want to force my kids to study for tests while my husband says let them fail and learn from it. I remind my husband how important grades are for their future and to get into a good college, etc. He reminds me that it’s better for them to learn the importance of studying, by the pain of an F, while we can still be an influence on them. It’s a lot easier than having them flunk out of college later because you’re not there to force them to be responsible. (I hate it when he’s right.)

“Though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.” – Proverbs 24:16

All of us will deal with failure and rejection, even Jesus was rejected. The same people he came to save nailed him to the cross and crucified him. Jesus forewarned his disciples that some people won’t listen. He told them to “Shake the dust of your feet” and move on. Jesus’s brother James wrote in 1:2-4: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

So whatever failure you may have faced or are facing, pick yourself up, dust off your sandals, and persevere. Use rejection and failure as a launch pad for growth, and realize you’re a great work in the making.

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