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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Not because you told me to

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle always knew what to do.

Parents would come to her, looking for a cure for their “thought-you-saiders” and “slow-eater-tiny-bite-takers.” At the end of each chapter the child was cured.

It was like a literary sitcom.

Recently I feel like I’ve contracted one of the ailments from the book, I am an Answer-Backer.

An other-wise sweet little girl comes home one day with an obstinate streak. When her parents tell her to do something, her reply is: “I’ll do it because I want to, but not because you tell me to.”

“I’ll do it because I want to…”

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;

I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” (Ps 32:8)

Over the past couple of weeks God’s been talking to me about making a change in an area of my life…a place I had not fully submitted myself to Him and His will. Interestingly enough, there’s also been an increase in “chatter” about this topic in my little corner of the world.

Online. At church. With friends. In books I’m reading. I can’t seem to get away from it.

At first I took it as confirmation of what God was showing me in my personal times with Him. Then it got annoying. I was open to the change, but now I feel like I’m being forced into a change.

“…but not because you tell me to.”

What is it about being told to do something that raises the hackles on the neck?

Pride? Obstinacy? Fear?

I don’t know about you, but for me it’s even worse when it’s something I was already planning on doing.

I have a bad case of “I’ll do it because I want to, but not because you tell me to.” In fact, it’s almost become “I’m not going to do it, only because you told me I need to.”

“Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,

Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check,

Otherwise they will not come near to you.” (Ps 32:9)

I know that what God’s calling me to will only lead to better things in my life. I know that He always has my best interest in mind. Even more, I have no objection to making this change…just to people thinking they’re the cause of it.

Ouch! That hurt to admit.

Basically it comes down to pride. However, if I allow that stubbornness to rule me, to block growth God has initiated, then I am really only hurting myself.

“Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the LORD, lovingkindness shall surround him.

Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones;

And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.” (Ps 32:10-11)

Ok…I’ll take a cue from Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and remember that it’s rude to answer back…even more so when you’re answering back to God.

I’ll swallow my pride and make this change in my life, even if other people feel like they’re the reason for it. I need to allow others to hold me accountable, whether I’ve asked for it or not. The result will only lead to me becoming a more effective tool for His purposes.

I will trust Him, be glad in Him, and rejoice that He’s bringing about growth in me.

holy experience

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