Sixty whole minutes before time to pick Taylor up from the high school. I didn't want to drive home and have to come right back, so we headed to the city park. It would provide a much better waiting area than the school parking lot.
Logan bounced from the Tahoe and went straight for the playground and I, gifted with an hour of leisure (or so I thought), found the perfect spot on the grass for my blanket and books.
I tried to read a few sentences between glances at my wandering seven year old, but my mind had shifted into mama mode making it difficult to concentrate or retain any information other than what pertained to my little man. From the jungle gym to the monkey bars to the merry-go-round and finally to the swings.
Faster and higher and higher and higher.
As a kid, I remember swinging as high as the swing would go, pushing and stretching it to its limits and then jumping off. I remember the excitement and exhilaration I felt as I climbed as high as possible and then contemplated the exact time I should jump. I don't remember being afraid or even getting hurt.
But as I watched Logan do the same thing I did so many years ago, all I could think was, "Oh no, be careful! Not so high! Watch out!"
Where had my excitement gone? Where was the risk taker and girl who wanted to test limits and boundaries and gravitational force?
It seems part of growing up and "maturing" is learning to be afraid, learning to be safe, and learning to accept mediocrity. Now, I know there is an argument on the flip side about how all this is good, because certainly it is wise to be safe. But today, I am exploring the possibilities and opportunities often missed because we are too scared to move out of our comfort zone - our "norm" - and take a chance at greatness. We refuse to take risks because...what if...?
For me, attending my first writer's conference last summer was scary. Getting on a plane and traveling from Texas to North Carolina (without my hubby by my side), sharing meals and attending classes with six hundred women I had never met before, going face to face with two publishing houses for a fifteen minute pitch, sharing space with Lysa Terkeurst, Renee Swope, Ann Voskamp and countless others who are national and international speakers and published authors, having breakfast on the last day with two new friends and finding out one was working on her thirtieth book (yes, 3-0)...all this is a little intimidating. Hang on I'm hyperventilating....be right back....
Sorry, I just remembered I'm signed up to attend again this summer and got a little anxious.
I also remembered I'm taking the speaker's track this year (plus writing classes and meetings) and will have to prepare two short speeches to be critiqued.
When we refuse to break away from the norm (if God is asking us to do so) and live a dream, write a book, produce a CD, enter a contest, accept a speaking engagement, lead the local PTA or PIE at our child's school, facilitate a Bible study, start a business, coach a team, use our gifts as more than hobbies, change careers or accept another job, we could be missing out on God's plans and purposes.
God often asks us to do things outside of our own ability so His glory and strength and power can be known and displayed through our lives.
Don't listen to the voice that says you can't do it.
We may not all slay lions and fight giants and conquer cities or publish books, but He desires to use each of us to bring His glory to the earth and build His Kingdom (not our own) in one way or another. For some that may mean praying bold prayers and interceding for people you don't know, for others it may mean:
- raising Godly leaders for the next generation
- being a voice in your community
- teaching children's church
- encouraging those who are hurting
- praying for someone in the grocery store
- going on a mission trip
- trying out for American Idol or The Voice - vote for Raelynn! :)
Is God asking you to do something out of your comfort zone?
Is He asking you to move forward with something, to take action?
Let me take some pressure off and put your mind at ease. You can't do it. Nope. But He can do it through you. And that's exactly what He wants to do.
Won't you join me on the swings? I'll let you jump first. ;)
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Linking with Jen and the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood