She believed she could…so she did

There’s power in words. Proverbs 18:21 tells us “death and life are in the power of the tongue.” I’m a firm believer in letting our words breathe life. Recently, I embarked on a journey in which words truly matter. In this case, it was the words and the thoughts I had in my own mind about myself.

I’m a natural encourager to everyone around me. I love to lift others up. But something strange happens when I try to turn those cheery thoughts toward myself. Suddenly I am met with doubt and insecurity. I don’t believe the things for myself that I believe for others.

I’m not good enough. Others have already done this. I will look stupid. No one wants what I have to give. People do this better. I’m not equipped. What if I fail? Who really cares? I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.

On and on those thoughts invade. There is a famous quote by Henry Ford that says, “Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right.” There’s power in words. And I believed the lie “I can’t” for starting up a small business. The lie won.

Alas, the Lord has a way of moving us from our comfort zones with HIS words. And He is gracious to send others who carry His message to us. My husband, my closest friends, my children all were saying life-giving words to me.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. His grace is sufficient. You are worthy. He is more than enough. Take a step. Do one thing. Yes! Go for it. You can. You can. You can.

And ever so slowly, those thoughts begin to drown out the lies. They pushed the doubts into a place where they no longer paralyzed. I found myself starting to think that this is maybe, kinda something I might be able to actually do. Sort of.

It was a process, a step in the right direction. I began to realize that I didn’t have to believe the lies. I don’t have to know everything. I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to fear failure. I don’t have worry about what others think. I just have to believe I could.

I could try. I could overcome fear. I could learn. I could grow. I could dream. I could achieve.

I could.

I could.

I could.

And so I did. I launched a small business.

And it’s terrifying. And exhilarating. And daunting. And mine. All because I took a step. I changed my thinking from “I can’t” to “I can”. I don’t have all the answers, but I know the One who does. I trust Him to guide me through this, wherever it’ll lead.

Maybe you are still believing those lies of “I can’t” and other words that do not breathe life. Listen instead to those who love you. God has a plan and purpose for you. Do one thing today that moves you towards “I can”.

Everyone Needs a Cheerleader

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I love to encourage people. I find such joy in lifting others. My children hear daily how amazing I think they are and I easily find things in them to celebrate and cheer. If I could wear a cheerleader outfit, I totally would.

Okay, that’s not true at all. But that’s really my heart. I tell my husband that I’m his biggest fan and cheerleader. And I don’t just mean my size. (HA!) I really believe in my people and I want to cheer them in their God-given talents and abilities. So, I strive to do that each and every day. Smiling is my favorite. If I can bring about a smile or see one of my kids walk a little taller with more confidence, it makes my heart feel full.

Something happens though when I try to turn that cheerleader toward myself. I suddenly am at a loss for words. Self-doubt overshadows any rah-rahs that might be happening. I can talk myself out of almost anything for fear of being misunderstood, or looking foolish, or failing, or…*gasp*…succeeding.

This blog is a step in listening to my inner cheerleader that loves to tell others “Go for it! You can do it! I am for you! God will help you!” My whole life I have loved to write. It often comes in the form of ridiculously long texts. You know, the kind where I craft a lovely story about the ongoings here at home and my husband responds “k”. (I love my man of few words. God knew I’d need someone patient to listen to all the words in my daily quota.) I have journaled over the years. I’ve blogged about our traveling adventures. I’ve even written an entire novel. Writing is something that I truly enjoy. Yet it’s not something I have truly enjoyed sharing.

Writing costs me something. It makes me vulnerable. I’m recording my thoughts and my stories for others to see. And it feels scary. What if I write something that makes me look foolish? What if it doesn’t make sense? What if I’m boring? What if I ramble and don’t make a point?

Kind of how I feel right now.

I can “what if” my way to hitting delete, or not even starting, or simply closing the computer and convincing myself I’ll have something of value to write later. The reality is that the Lord gave me a love for writing.

I write for Him. I write for me.

I may have to listen to my inner cheerleader a little more closely. She echoes the words of God.

I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

How precious His thoughts are towards me.

I can do all things through Christ.

God created me and when He did, He gave me a love for writing. He gave me lots of words! So, today, I am pushing back the self-doubt and listening to encouragement from the Lord. Today, I’m hitting “publish”.

It’s hard to overcome those thoughts that say you aren’t enough. Not smart enough. Not strong enough. Not brave enough. Not consistent enough. Not enough.

As a cheerleader, let me encourage you that God says differently. He has gifted you with talents and passions for a reason. That small cheerleader voice inside pushing you to do that thing you are scared to do is God’s voice. He will equip you. He will help you. He will guide you.

He will be your Cheerleader.

Here Comes the Sun

I sat at the kitchen table sipping my coffee as I watched the drizzling rain outside. Although I felt nice and warm inside, I knew that outside was cold and dreary. Gray. I hate the gray.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. I hate the¬†prolonged gray. I enjoy a good, rainy, gray day here and there. I love to curl up with a good book under a warm quilt and listen to the rain softly pelting the windows. It’s soothing and relaxing.

But more than one of those gray days and I start to feel blah. Everything seems to move slower and take more effort. Drab. Gray. Dreary.

I miss the sun. I imagine I saw it not too long ago, but it feels like it’s been weeks. I’ve taken to turning on every light in the house and opening every blind. It’s not the same. But hey, I try.

Today, I stepped out into the cold drizzle and raced out to the car. Turning over the engine, I willed the car to heat up faster. I pushed the seat heater button to speed up the process to warming me up. There’s something nice about heat coming from all sides enveloping me and chasing the cold away.

Flicking on the windshield wipers, I pulled out of the driveway. Wet roads. muddy puddles. Raging creek. Gray skies.

I drove out to our country highway and plodded along. As I drove I marveled at how much more of the sky I could see than from my house. I saw gray for miles in every direction. Dark gray clouds mixed with light gray clouds. The light rain seemed to give everything a muted hue, even the cars on the road. The world seemed colorless as I drove.

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This particular stretch of highway is where I like to turn up the music on a sunny day and tap my steering wheel as I sing along with my favorite songs. Today I chose slow, sad music to fit my gray mood. I wondered when I might see the sun again. The forecast just showed clouds for the next three days.

As I sung a sad song, I looked at the road stretching out before me. Something caught my eye up ahead. I saw the color blue off in the distant sky. Surely I was imagining something! In disbelief I shook my head and blinked a few times as if to clear my vision. Indeed, there was a small opening in the gray clouds. I could just make out some blue sky.

And then suddenly I saw what appeared to be some light casting down from the opening onto the road up ahead. No. It couldn’t be. Could it? Was that…the SUN??

Wonder of wonders, it was!! I gasped. I literally gasped. I’m sure my foot bore down a little heavier on the gas pedal as I raced toward the light. As I drove I could see the break in the clouds open a little wider as more of the blue showed. I was nearly to the rays streaming¬†down out of the opening.IMG_7731

As I entered into the beam of light I leaned my face toward my window, hoping more of the glorious sunshine would cover me. The warmth hit my face. If I hadn’t been driving, I would have tipped my head upward with my eyes closed and soaked in all the sunny goodness.

I giggled as I drove through the sunny spot. It lasted merely seconds before I passed all the way through, but it was a heavenly feeling. As I drove on, the gray didn’t seem quite so gray and the world didn’t seem so lacking of color. I probably smiled for five more miles.

I dwelled on that ray of sunshine in an otherwise drab scene. It was so out of place and unexpected, but brought such beauty and joy. I couldn’t help but think of how we as Christians can have that affect. This world can be so cold and gray. We just need a small opening to shine the light of Jesus.

I felt God’s love as I experienced that little ray of hope. Hope that the sun still shines behind the clouds. Hope in a God who sends a desperately needed spot of sunshine. Hope that the gray won’t last forever.

And hope that the forecast calling for sunny skies in a few days is spot on.

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