Courage Outside the Comfort Zone

When I was six years old, I was chosen to be the flower girl in our neighbor’s wedding. The job came with a stunning white gown that mimicked the bride’s dress—complete with white lace and a hoop skirt that made me feel like a princess. I was even invited to the bridal shower and got to serve punch to all the pretty ladies who were there to celebrate the upcoming nuptials. Until the day of the wedding, I hadn’t realized that the role of flower girl also involved a walk down the aisle filled with stares from over a hundred strangers as I made my way to the front of the church. This was not clear to me at the rehearsal when all the pews were empty! So when the big day came, I slowly made it to my spot up front next to the bridesmaids and bit my lip the entire time as I struggled to hold back tears. Thankfully, the ceremony was short and I quickly headed to the back of the church where I greeted my mother and father with a tearful outburst that had been bottled up for what seemed like an eternity, but in reality was probably about 30 minutes. Aww, the comfort I felt when my mom swept me up in her arms and took me away from the crowd into the empty sanctuary where she consoled me. Being by my mom’s side would be my comfort zone for many years to come.

It’s hard to believe that I remember so much about that experience from when I was six years old, but that frightening emotion of being out of my comfort zone was so powerful that I will never forget it. It is a feeling I am all too familiar with and creeps up on me every time I am stepping into something unfamiliar that God is calling me to do. Sometimes it paralyzes me and I want to quit before I even take a step forward. But soon I realize that my reluctance prevents me from completing my divine assignment. So, instead of cowering in my comfy corner, I say “yes” and put all my trust in Him. Then He takes my hand, opens door after door, and leads me into a life that is eternally focused and made rich with purpose.

How often does stepping out of your comfort zone stop you from making your next move? How many times do you retreat missing out on what God is calling you to do? We can all fall prey to the enemy’s whisper that convinces us we are unworthy, unequipped, and unable. But we serve a God who is worthy, who equips the called, and who is able to provide us with all we need to fulfill His purpose in our lives. I encourage you to connect with God by engaging in His word and He will show you the way out of your comfort zone and into a more meaningful life.

Deuteronomy 31:8
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

As I sit here in the Starbucks on my lunch break, I notice quite a few suntanned women dressed in their shorts and cute summer tops, radiating the glow that comes with being pretty, happy and healthy. I instantly compare them to myself and begin to take inventory of my flaws and individual insecurities, which include my very pale skin, dark circles, stringy hair, drab work clothes … oops—there I go again… dialing in on all that I think is wrong with me! Starting to race through my mind are thoughts such as, “why do all of these women have it so together and I don’t?” or “gee, why can’t I look that cute in workout clothes? Flaunting a bouncy ponytail, instead of looking worn out and frumpy…” And all too quickly, the pity party of one begins.

Why do we gravitate towards comparing ourselves to others? Why do we let the world dictate what is success, happiness and beauty, when the Creator of this very world itself specifically designed our individual make up. How do we discipline ourselves to turn to Him at all times so that we can see ourselves through the lens of our loving, heavenly Father?

Scripture tells us:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139: 13-14

God does not make mistakes and He created you to be exactly who you are at this very moment in time, surrounded by the people he specifically placed in your life. It is time to embrace the creation of God that you are, rather than what you think the world expects you to be. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and adored unconditionally by a God who wants to give you the desires of your heart, so you can live out the life he has planned for you. So on my next visit to pick up my basic venti half-calf, I’ll send my regrets to that pity party, and RSVP to the journey God has in store for me.

The Season of Letting Go


It is impossible to measure the love a mother has for her children. You always picture them as the little girl or little boy who would insist upon holding your hand when you walked them into school or who would snuggle up beside you while you read a book to them.

I think that is why the transition into the teenage years is so difficult for mothers. It is that moment in our children’s lives that we realize we have to start letting go and allow them to make their own mistakes. Even the ones that we see coming! It is an arduous battle against our maternal instincts that we mothers fight every day.

I am in the midst of that struggle now as I write this post. While my husband and I quickly approach the proverbial empty nest, it feels as if time is ticking away at warp speed. I often find myself going through a virtual checklist in my mind of all the life lessons I believe my kids need to be taught before they venture out into the real world. Of course, panic ensues when I realize that one of our children has made a choice that contradicts something on my “life lessons I need to teach my kids list” so I frantically go back over it to see if I missed something.

Much to my dismay, I often discover that I did not forget, rather, my child chose to ignore it. Ugh, that hurts a mother’s heart and delivers a dose of anxiety that never seems to go away.

So how do I manage through this season without crumbling? I am ashamed to admit that sometimes when I am in the painful throws of dealing with difficult situations I can get caught up in my emotions and unconsciously turn away from God. I should know better but, unfortunately, it happens.

Thankfully, I manage to come to my senses and lean into God for guidance. That’s when I reach for my bible and begin a conversation with Him. The words on the pages start to come alive and suddenly my pangs of anxiety start to subside as I find comfort in His counsel.

During my latest parental challenge I found that the following scripture verses gave me a renewed sense of hope and peace:

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

PRAYER: Thank you, God, for the gift of eternal life through the unimaginable sacrifice of your son, Jesus Christ.

As I continue to scour the pages of scripture, He assures me with the following words…

Proverbs 22:6

Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

PRAYER: Thank you, God, for providing us with your living word to guide us as parents. We are grateful for the comfort of this verse that reassures us that the biblical foundation we have built within our children will remain in their hearts for a lifetime.

And finally, He provides me with the reassurance that His gift of grace is always available no matter how far we or our children may stray.

Luke 15:32 Parable of the Prodigal Son

But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

Prayer: Thank you God for your unending, undeserved grace filled love for us.

It is in those conversations with God that I rediscover how He understands the love we have for our children because that is how he loves us. And even though I find as I navigate through my own personal journey as a parent, that overcoming anxiety and fear is never an easy task for me. However, when I turn to God’s word I find hope and strength that I would not have without Him.

Maybe you have suffered the unbearable loss of a child, endured the heart wrenching struggle with infertility or have to manage the day to day demands of parenting as a single mother. Perhaps, you have waged war on a drug addiction that has taken hold of your teenage daughter or nursed your severely injured son back to health after a major car accident. You are the women who are the true heroines of faith, dignity and strength. I am in awe of how you forge on through life even though it would seem easier to just give up.

As I sit here at my computer, I dig deep in an effort to find the right words to say to those of you who are fighting some of life’s most painful battles but only manage to quietly whisper the following words:

“We are all in this together sweet sisters and my heart aches for each and every one of you” then I breath in the soothing mist of the Holy Spirit as I pray for God’s peace over each of you…Amen.