Lessons on Spinning and Battlefields from the State Fair (Brave Every Day)

My mind is younger than my body. A discovery I made about 5 seconds into the Tilt-a-Whirl. And 5 minutes after when I was still steadying my steps.

But it was the swings that brought a bigger lesson home.

Everything looks easier from the ground.

On terra firma, the seats above seem easy and breezy. A leisurely spin around the park. It’s not until your own feet are lifted that you notice the height — and the way the center pole rotates to create a dip and rise during the round and round.

I have Brene’ Brown to thank for introducing me to the Theodore Roosevelt speech that comes to mind as I circle high above the North Carolina State Fair.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Lessons Learned…

  • People, in general, are exceptionally good at masking their feeling. True understanding requires a different view and deeper questions.
  • What looks simple and ordinary from one perspective is really an act of bravery. Until you get in that position yourself, don’t expect to understand what another is experiencing.
  • It’s OK that other people don’t really understand my struggle. It looks different from where they are standing. Therefore, their thoughts on my battle should be filtered through the light of whether they are speaking to me from the mud of the arena floor or from the safety of the stands.
  • I’m deeply grateful for those who get dirty with me in both my strength and struggle.
  • I ask forgiveness from those I have shouted to from the ground while they do their flying through the air.
  • Even when you don’t really know just how fast the spinning is and how long its effects can last, it’s still more fun than not doing it at all.

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brave-squareIn response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October — reporting on ways I reach out to bravery in my everyday life. (See all posts to date HERE.) To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Or Subscribe to get posts sent to your Email.

 

Fed by Every Word (Brave Every Day)

In these days. In my listening days, He has been feeding me from His Word. The tried-and-true prose that fills my spiritual hunger. Words of His promises. His kindness. His grace. His care. His provision.

His love. Oh, His love. That deep and wide love. The love that is a banner over me. The love that leads a prodigal home and a blind man to see. The love that makes an evangelist of a harlot and a preacher of a persecutor.

And in these days. In my listening days, I store them up in my spirit.

Least I forget… on my writing days. My talking days. My stormy days. My weak days.

On these days they are no less true than today.

All my days were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16)

Today is Shh (Brave Every Day)

Shh.

It’s a quiet day for me.

No writing. No posting.

Listening. Dwelling.

A checking in and making sure that along my current path I have not wandered out of the sound of His voice.

There are words forming, yes. And soon they will come together in thoughts and posts.

But not today.

Today is Shh.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.  And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. (John 10:27-28)

Love Without End, Amen (Brave Every Day)

2015-09-17-09.44.31 (1)Maybe I’m not a fan of standard mathematics because I prefer God’s version.

Where 5 stones+1 boy=1 felled giant
and 5 loaves+2 fish=more than 5000 fed
and Grace>Sin

Which is why I love Momastery Love Flash Mob days. Where lots of people each give a little money to make one humongous difference. And always for the purpose of spreading Love — especially to those who just haven’t gotten much of it in their lives to this point.

I had been struggling to know what to write today. Struggling to express any intelligent feeling at all.

So I’m going to borrow my brave from the midwives in Haiti today. And the mamas fighting for their babies. And the babies fighting for their next breath. And for all the love and dollars we can muster. (So go Flash Mob of Worth, please.)

For all of us who need a reminder of our Unsurpassable Worth. Unsurpassable. Like infinity.

Because Love divided always comes back multiplied. Always.

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brave-squareIn response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October — reporting on ways I reach out to bravery in my everyday life. (See all posts to date HERE.) To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook orTwitter using the links on the right side of this page. Or Subscribe to get posts sent to your Email.

In Fields of Grace (Brave Every Day)

One tiny step in front of another. Heel, toe. Heel, toe.

A misstep is too costly on the high wire. Life becomes a balancing act. One fraught with fear. For there is zero margin for error.

It’s a long way down.

***

We knew the philosophy of the organization from the beginning. Pull your weight or sit it out. Everyone is replaceable.

There is a mark, and it must be met.

Still it hurt us all when he was pulled.

I sat with the sadness for days. Not quite sure why it laid me so open.

Embarrassment? Shame?

Pure old-fashioned anger?

A truly visceral reaction to the “not good enough” laid before us.

Tiny missteps. Big consequences.

But what if, my heart wonders.

What if the pressure was removed? What if they could just play? What if their standing wouldn’t change based on mistakes? What if errors were met with extra chances?

***

“Your spot is secure, Beth.”

And there is was. The answer to all my aching.

A heart pained from walking the high wire. Holding my breath with every movement, nervous of doing it wrong. Fearful that something could come along without warning and knock me from “good girl” status. With irreversible damage.

Because His kingdom has not yet fully come. And “three strikes you’re out” is the way of the world.

But Grace. But God.

“Your spot is secure.”

***

In the green pastures near still waters, the way is wide. Room to roam. To explore. To run and play. To zig and zag. A stumble is met with the soft landing of lush grass. It’s easy to brush yourself off and walk again.

The measurements there are different.

In the fields of grace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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brave-squareIn response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October — reporting on ways I reach out to bravery in my everyday life. (See all posts to date HERE.) To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Or Subscribe to get posts sent to your Email.