Freaking Out!

Daily Prompt: Safety First

Share the story of a time you felt unsafe

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/daily-prompt-safety-first/

When I read this prompt, the first thought that came to my mind was RIGHT NOW!  Now don’t panic, I’m not in any dangerous situation or in need of rescuing – except maybe from my emotions.  Here’s the scoop:

We are leaving in three days for an almost two week vacation in the western part of the United States. My husband has been asking and asking to take this trip with the kids for years.  I finally agreed. Now, as the date approaches, I am waking up in a cold sweat each morning – or should I say ten times a night.  I have that infamous pit in my stomach all day long. My heart races at odd times and I can feel it in my chest.

I know logically there is nothing to fear. But, I just prefer my life to be safe and predictable. Traveling to five cities I’ve never been to in eleven days feels anything but safe. I’m uncomfortable with flying. I’m sure my teenagers are going to end up goofing off and one is going to fall off the edge of the Grand Canyon. I’m nervous about all the unknowns that will occur. I’m not a risk taker or an adventure seeker. I would be happy sitting in my rocker and watching the grass grow. Guess it’s time to be stretched.

But, mostly, I am afraid I’ll lose my edge when I’m tired or sick (migraines are a pleasant part of messing up my routine) and be sharp with my family. I just want to be kind and gracious towards my family – not selfish and grouchy.  I want this to be a wonderful vacation that we will all look back fondly. I know my sharp tongue can ruin the moment more than getting lost or having a flat tire.

Lord,

You know my heart – you made me. I confess my fear to you. I know any allusion of safely is just that – an allusion.  You are my rock, my fortress and the one I run to. I pray you will strengthen me from within. I pray my heart would be selfless, loving, kind and gracious. Help me to be quick to confess my failures when they occur. When things don’t go my way, help me to remember that my attitude and character are more important than anything we see or do. 

Thank you for this opportunity to make these memories with my family and to see parts of the world you created.  You are an awesome God. I pray I would do the next thing even when my heart feels like it will faint within me.  Help me to be able to hike in the Grand Canyon and not be afraid – and please keep my kids safe. I’m trusting in your faithfulness and pray these steps will help me overcome my fear. I don’t want to live in fear. In Jesus Name. Amen.

First Day of Teaching

Daily Prompt: First!

Tell us about your first day at something — your first day of school, first day of work, first day living on your own, first day blogging, first day as a parent, whatever.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us BEGINNING.

Although it happened over two years ago, it still seems like yesterday. I can remember the fear that gripped my soul as I looked around the table of eight women who had come for a Ladies Bible study. A Bible study I was leading. How did I get myself into this. I wondered.  I was so far outside my comfort zone it wasn’t funny. Did everyone at the table notice it was my first time to take attendance or pray with a group of adults?  Was I doing it right?

I have been teaching children since forever.  I’m comfortable in most any setting with most any subject. Education, experience and a love for children has lead me to spend most of my life with children. And by children, I don’t mean junior high or high school. I mean two year olds to about sixth grade.  So, when I was approached about leading a women’s group, I was excited for the teaching aspect, but knew it was outside my comfort zone. But, I’ve been trying to do things outside my comfort zone, so I said I would lead.

Ah, yes.  I remember those emotions of the first day so vividly.  I also remember starting a habit that continues to this day. I prayed  about everything.  I prayed for the weeks leading up to the study, for each woman who would be attending, for God to be the ultimate leader – leading and teaching each one there.  That habit has freed me from my fears and allowed me to enjoy seeing God change lives, including mine.  I have seen him answer so many prayers and my faith has grown so much as a result of that.

Some verses I have prayed are:

Ps. 141:3-4 “Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” I asked God to shut my mouth when I needed to shut it and open it when I should speak. 

John 14:26 “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”  What a comfort these verses were to me.  God was truly the leader.

2 Cor. 12:9 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” How often driving home from the study was I amazed at God giving me the right words or just working out details of the night in a way I knew it was Him.

I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone those years ago.  It is a privilege and blessing to be able to learn from and grow with all the beautiful women God has brought into my path. I’ve come to realize that adults aren’t much different than children.  Each has a story, if we take time to listen.  And adults like stickers too.  At least I think they do, because everyone says the memory verse each week. Or maybe they are just humoring the kindergarten teacher that still lurks inside of me.