Have the storms of life left you dismayed?

I quietly rolled over in bed, trying not to wake up my husband. We were on vacation, and I was doing my darnedest to let him sleep until 7 am. So I did what I usually do when I awake early: think and pray. I prayed for friends who were struggling, friends who were sick, and for family members who needed help.

Then I began to pray for my fledgling speaking ministry. As I prayed, I felt a familiar knot in the pit of my stomach. All of my hopes and aspirations were rolled up in that pang of uncertainty about my future.

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One day we will no longer need courage

For the last few years, I have chosen a word that I want to define my new year.  There are books and websites that describe the process of choosing your word, but in the interest of time, I just pray and ask God what my word will be.  Last year it was “Belief,” and looking back I sure was challenged and I grew in the area of belief.  This year my word is “COURAGE.”

Courage.  Most people think that the word “courage” means the absence of fear.  But that is an incorrect assumption.  Courage means “the ability to do something that frightens you.”  I was struck by the phrase “the ability”  – to be able to do something that frightens you.

Courage

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Run to danger! Finding courage to face fears & phobias

I don’t know how I developed the phobia, but for the first 30 years of my life, I was deathly afraid of stinging insects, especially wasps.   When I was a teenager, I would like to “lay out” in the sun, but when a wasp would fly around the patio, I quickly gathered up my things and went back inside.  One time I was driving up  the interstate and a wasp got into my car.  In a panic, I went to the Highway Patrol station for them to get it out before I would continue my trip.  I was a crazy woman.

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Facing my fear at the brain surgeon’s office

Last Saturday night I had a hot date with my husband.  I got all dressed up and we headed to the hospital.  There, I checked in for my 3rd MRI of my brain in the last 20 months.  I’ve been told that I have a beautiful brain, but they keep wanting to see more and more of it.  So I stripped off my sexy outfit and donned some one-size-fits-all scrubs instead. And while my husband waited in the waiting room, I spent my date night in the MRI tube.

Scrubssmall

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Does your life demand more than you can possibly give?

I walked around my house chanting, “I am braver than I think.  I am braver than I think.”  I didn’t feel brave, but I was trying to convince myself that I was.  My heart was in my throat, and I felt sure that I was going to have a panic attack. My 18 year old son wanted to drive to a friend’s house for the first time.  The friend’s house was on a busy city street that was near “the projects” on the other side of the railroad tracks. And it was dark outside.  I was desperately trying to be brave, but all I could envision was him being lost in the city in the dark in the projects.  I was an emotional mess.

trust

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Jesus would rather have you wavering on the water than staying in the boat

“In Jesus Name, Amen.”  I came down from the stage, took off the headset microphone, and breathed a sigh of relief.  I had just completed teaching the first week of an 8 week Bible study.  I had expected to teach to a crowd of around 40 people,and around 80 showed up.  The teaching had gone SO WELL and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. I should be on cloud 9, right?  Instead, I was an emotional mess.

That night, I could not sleep. I could see the room full of people.  I heard the words I had spoken over and over.  My insecure self, that Lisa that I have been trying to banish for 44 years, questioned everything that I said and did and made note of all of my mistakes.  Why did I say THAT?  What are people thinking about me?  And what was I thinking, agreeing to teach an 8 week Bible study?  Clearly I was NOT thinking.  My stomach was a ball of nerves as I considered being on that stage again, seven more times, in front of all of those people.

waveringAAAAHHHH! What was I thinking?

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Worry is imaging the future without God

Guilt. Shame. Worry. We all struggle with something. I’ve been walking with God for over 20 years, and these are some of the things that I still struggle with. But worry is my vice. I think of the book Pride and Prejudice, where Mr. Bennett says that Mrs. Bennet’s nerves have been his “constant companion these twenty years.” For me, worry has been my constant companion for my 44 years.

There is one area of fear and worry that has stuck around as I have grown and matured. It comes around once a year, right after Thanksgiving. It is the fear of shopping in the month of December.  It is the fear of leaving my home on Saturday’s in December, or going out AT ALL the week of Christmas. Especially Christmas Eve, when throngs of people are doing last minute shopping and are clogging up parking lots and roads. My heart beat is speeding up just thinking about it!

Shopping

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Reluctantly confronting my Facebook fears

Facebook and I have had a rocky relationship which can be described as me shunning and abhorring Facebook. For those of you who were willing and eager to join Facebook, that may be hard for you to understand. I am a reluctant and unenthusiastic Facebooker. I joined two days ago, kicking and screaming.

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