Five Minute Friday: Brave

Today is Friday, which means that the community at Lisa-Jo’s place (AKA The Gypsy Mama) are gathering together for Five Minutes on Brave.

The idea is to embrace spontaneity, and dump your words on the page. Kind of like how my kids dump all their stuff by the front door after they get home from school. There’s no real rhyme or reason, and it’s just a big jumbled mess.

Ready?

GO

Relational.

That’s the word God repeated to me as 2011 came to a close. Funnily enough, it’s the word that God gave our pastor for the church too. I guess I must be hearing something right.

Relational is hard for me. Apparently it is for a lot of other people too, because being an introvert is the next cool thing to be. In the past week I’ve discovered blogs, books, TED talks and more that help the introvert feel okay with themselves.

Unfortunately I’m not allowed to feel okay with that side of me. The one that wants to curl up in my big green chair all day, every day and be “social” on my iPhone (yes, I have another one). There’s something so appealing about sweatpants, Netflix and a warmed up cup of coffee.

Alone.

But God is challenging that in me this year. Asking me to step out of those sweatpants into presentable clothing and show up. For meetings, for play dates, for hard conversations where I feel like I can’t catch my breath.

And I’m doing it. And He’s guiding me.

This is part of the process of changing my name. From task-oriented to relational. I think at heart I’m still an introvert, but He’s helping me to see that I need others and (surprisingly) others need me.

STOP

There you have it! What does “brave” mean for you?

And, since it’s tomorrow…Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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19 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Brave

  1. um…I had to laugh as I read this….why? because I’m in my sweats, drinking coffee…alone. touche. The introvert in me knows the introvert in you, yet I am on the same journey of expanding myself to others more. So glad there are others on this journey with me…{but I’m not giving my sweats up all together :) }

    • Oh! I would never suggest that anyone give up their sweats! Those are a basic of any woman’s wardrobe. They’re Victoria’s real secret. Haha! Glad you stopped by. :)

  2. I’m curious when you say you’re not allowed to feel OK with that side of yourself … not allowed by whom, if you don’t mind me asking. Thanks! Amy

    • Five minutes wasn’t enough to expound upon what I feel God is doing in my life this year. :) My tendency towards isolation and solitude can be unhealthy. I am very aware of my need for time away from others to seek out God, rest my mind and unwind in a private way; reading books, watching a show or writing. However, there comes a point where we exclude ourselves from society because it’s easier and safer to stay alone. God has revealed to me that darker shade to introversion, and He’s challenging me to step out and be involved in others lives. Also, I am a pastor, which means that I need to meet regularly with the people I oversee and reach out to them. I tend to prefer when others do the inviting, or to be social within a small sphere of people. My position can lean towards a more administrative trend if I allow it, and God has challenged me to force it to be more relational. Does that explain better what I meant? :)

      And, thanks for asking! It’s nice to know people are actually interested in what I say. Haha!

    • I’ll take that as a compliment, Robin! I think that social media allows me to appear more relational and extroverted than I actually am in real life. It’s easier to write things on a computer than to sit face-to-face and look someone in the eye. I can connect with a whole group of friends through Twitter, Facebook, email, blogs and texting right from my home. But to connect with that same number of people in real life involves effort and intentionality. And the risk of rejection. :)

  3. I like it :) A few weeks ago, my small group did a study on Do Hard Things by Brett and Alex Harris.. like getting out there when all you really want to do is sleep. .Amazing book, even if I never did get a copy, so I always had to kinda go with it. Maybe I’ll read that this summer…
    Great post!

  4. What if He’s asking you to show the world your sweatpants? On Meyers-Briggs personality tests, I was always on the line between introvert and extrovert. I credit my extroverted mother who daily pushed me to speak in public and do all kinds of other things that scared me. But then cancer took over my life, and I became a complete, confirmed hermit. Sweatpants were too comfortable, my house too messy to invite others in. Besides, I’m a homeschooling mom – don’t I have an excuse to stay home? Slowly, God is calling me out again. When we go to church, I put on my dress pants. But with my friends, I’ve learned to stay real – even if that means wearing yoga pants to their house, or inviting them into my messy one.

    I love what you’ve written here and I was happy to visit! I don’t mean to be harsh at all – just a line from my personal story that really came up for me as I read your words! Be brave, sister – so many want to see you out and about!

  5. This is my first time visiting your space (I’m #12 today). When I opened your page and began reading, I immediately connected. I’m a sweatpants gal who loves alone time, sitting on the couch watching Netflix while sipping tea. But I, too, have been challenged. He’s challenged me to step our and step up. I’m not to forsake my time alone, but the Lord is letting me know I can’t live there. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    Love your space and subscribed via email.

    • Nice to meet you, Stefanie! :) Thanks for subscribing! I’ll warn you that my blogging has been slightly sporadic lately. Haha! Yet another area God’s calling me to get connected back into.

  6. I loved this line…. “There’s no real rhyme or reason, and it’s just a big jumbled mess.” before you even got to your Five Minutes, because my Five miutes was soo discombobulated in my head today… I almost deleted it!

    ps. A new iPhone??! are you back on Words with Friends!?!?! :)

  7. Brave for me means running. Training for this half marathon (something I’ve never done) and pushing. Hard. Through pain, fears, objections, and people’s negativity. I lace up my shoes and I run. I’m brave.

  8. There was a lump stuck in my throat the whole time I was reading this. It feels so good to know I’m not alone in this. To know that others are walking the same path and that God is helping them start on a new one. I’ve been feeling that gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) nudging lately to put myself out there. But until I read this post, I hadn’t realized that it’s what God has been trying to speak to me since the beginning of the year.
    I am, by nature, an introvert. I need time alone to decompress and recharge my batteries, but it wasn’t until the last few years that that part of me has been the more dominant one. And that needs to change. I know it’s going to take time for me to come out of my comfort zone (again), but I’m glad to know I’m not alone. Thank you so much for sharing, Melissa!

  9. I often confuse introverted me with insecure, inadequate me. I’ve had to learn to discern the difference between those. I, too am introverted. I like people, love them, need them, but I actually need time to recover from being with them. I have to have time alone. My husband, who is a complete extrovert with a nearly 100% sanguine personality thrives on people and small talk and all the rest. But, I have often used my introverted nature as a crutch to hide my insecurity. It provides a great cover, really. I’ve had to shed that in order to be authentic me.

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