Wednesday Wonderings

Where does change begin?

No-holds-barred Fiona is suddenly struck shy and hides behind her Gaga!

There are lots of babies and toddlers in my family these days.

And lots of relationships.

Two mamas (Rachel and Emily), then Gaga (their mother), Grandma (my mother) and me, Aunt Amy.  I savored my relationship with my nieces as they grew up, just as I do now with their children as a great aunt. But unlike the mamas who still call me Aunt Amy, their girls simply call me “Amy.”

Spur-of-the-moment visits come frequently at my house.  One day my older sister, “Gaga” to 2-year old Fiona, dropped by for a quick chat. Fiona with her baby-fine straight hair, dark wide eyes and excited smile is a dynamo-packed toddler.

I wanted to scoop Fiona up and squeeze the “cute” contained in her little frame, and reached out to tickle her. Instead of the giggle I expected to hear, she withdrew and said a firm, “No,” hiding behind Gaga. In toddler-talk that one word meant, “Don’t touch me,” “Don’t overstep your boundaries.”

What? Just last week when I visited Gaga’s house, Fiona and her cousin, Lilly,  looked at each other as if they couldn’t believe their luck and shouted, “It’s AMY!” as if I were the best thing since Cheerios. Is this that same little girl?  Disappointed, I let my empty hands fall away—yearning for that sweet tickle and a quick cuddle before she barreled ahead to start exploring.

Fiona is determined. Shouldn't I be just as determined?

Fiona isn’t typically timid or shy but once in awhile, she assumes that role. She holds back. Like most toddlers, she chooses her moments and sets her own safety zones. She clutches onto the familiar. Stares down the aggressor and refuses to throw herself into the adventure. Sometimes she can be coaxed. Other times, any effort to draw her out only makes her more stubborn and determined to stay put—arms length away from me, or Grandma or even Buddy, my dog, which she adores.

As I reflected on this moment, I realized that many people are like Fiona when it comes to pursuing our potential. Sometimes we race ahead and meet it, seeing the possibilities and delight in the embrace. We stare at each other, unable to believe our good fortune, and pursue it with gusto. In other moments, our boldness fails and fear takes root. We stop, backtrack to the familiar and say, “No.”

Sometimes we race ahead and meet our potential, delighting in the embrace. Other times, we backtrack and let fear take root. We say a quiet but firm, ‘No,’ and, sadly, turn away from our dreams.”

How many opportunities do we lose out on because of this?

How many times have I done this?

Too many to count.

That’s the way it was with my book. I’d start it, pouring my ideas out with abandon. Then I’d read my thoughts again and refashion some ideas. Little by little, I organized my stream-of-conscious writing into better paragraphs, and then into chapters. I was on my way to fulfilling my dream.

I KNOW God has a personal, more-than-I-can-ever-grasp, plan for my life and I’m ready to meet it.

That’s  when I move forward in my writing career.

Fiona and Lilly play well together and encourage each other. Surround yourself with ENCOURAGERS!

I surround myself with encouraging people.

I meet with other writers.
I blog regularly.

I relive experiences and cull out messages I feel God wants me to share.

I update my progress on Facebook.

I even try to market myself.

That book God desires me to write is within my grasp.

Then, without warning, I hesitate.

I pull back.

I fall behind.

Doubt sets in.

But that’s not what I want. What I know we all want. What is just around the corner if we only step out from behind the Gagas in our everyday lives.

If we let our hands reach out to the sky.

If we let the butterflies invade our bellies.

Our hearts will feel.

Delight.

God promises He will give us the desires of our hearts.

I saw a picture of Fiona riding this Frog ride at an amusement park. She sits in the second seat with her arms high in the air! She is ready to enjoy the ride. Excitement fills her face. Her fear is gone.

Be a participant. Not an observer. Or halfhearted. Or an uninterested rider.

Trust the Lord.  Lift your arms.  Let the ride thrill you.

You’re not too young. And not too old. God loves to delight us — at any age.  Then God takes what we’ve done and transfers the spotlight onto Him. That’s how we bring him glory.”

Don’t watch others have all the fun. JOIN IN.

Lord, this book has been a back and forth challenge but I’m staying with it. I’m lifting my arms in faith prepared to accomplish Your goals for my life. Starting with this book.  I know you will bring it to completion.

Friends, don’t let your empty arms fall and wish you had that done ____ (fill it in with whatever your dream is).

What IS your dream? What is holding you back from jumping on the ride and throwing up your arms in joy to embrace it?   Share it in the comments below, and determine to step out from behind your fears.

***

You have just read “Step Out from Behind,” September 2014. If this post encouraged you, LIKE, comment and share it with your social networks.

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14 thoughts on “Step Out from Behind

  • September 10, 2014 at 3:32 pm
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    What a very important post for writers to read. Faith can travel a long way so long as we allow ourselves to consider the options. Love the parenting topic that goes along with this conversation. There are SO many important messages that can be shared here.
    Sharing on my social media networks.
    Dorit Sasson
    Giving a Voice to Your Story
    http://www.GivingaVoicetotheVoicelessBook.com

  • September 10, 2014 at 4:12 pm
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    Oh, wow. I really needed to read this. Lately, I have been giving up on my dreams, and taking the easy way out rather than working for them.
    “We say a quiet “No” and sadly turn away from our dreams” that is so very true, and profound. Thanks for taking the time to encourage us all today! Blessings to you!

  • September 10, 2014 at 5:11 pm
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    Gosh, as a writer I feel like I can relate to your post!
    🙂
    wp.me/p1UTgw-1wV
    x

  • September 10, 2014 at 8:50 pm
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    Hi Dorit,
    So happy to hear that! We do need to coax our dreams into existence again.
    Thank you so much for sharing on your network!
    Amy

  • September 10, 2014 at 8:56 pm
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    Bethany,
    So, so glad that you were encouraged!!
    Amy

  • September 10, 2014 at 8:56 pm
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    Sophie, glad to hear that!!!

  • September 11, 2014 at 12:19 am
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    I was just talking about this yesterday at my Bible study. 🙂 Great article, I could relate to it so much!!! 😀

  • September 11, 2014 at 5:05 am
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    So glad Eliza!
    Isn’t it amazing when we do encounter something so close to what we’ve ben feeling right after it’s been on our hearts?!
    Like a confirmation of sorts. =)
    Have a great day!
    Amy

  • September 11, 2014 at 3:55 pm
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    This resonates so much with me, Amy! I’ve always told myself that not putting myself out there and bravely following my passions is disrespecting God. Because He put me on this earth with these passions and talents, and He’s working His wonder through me – but it’s up to me to choose to let Him. And the best way to thank Him for everything I have in my life is to do just that – put myself out there and just let Him create through me. What a beautiful, poetic post! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • September 12, 2014 at 3:56 am
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    Hi Amy, I’ve been wanting to read your posts. Finally 🙂

    What resonated with me was actually your interaction with little Fiona and how you respected her space. Big or small, old or young, we are all entitled to our space – whether it be, first and foremost, our body, our room, our belongings and even our thoughts, and how important it is for others to step back when we indicate that that is what we want and need from them.

    How often do we find ourselves “scooping up” a baby, as you put it, or squeezing its pudgy cheek, when obviously the child wants to be let alone? How often do we find ourselves trying to draw a child into conversation (particularly after a troublesome day at school) to get him/her to tell us what’s wrong, when it’s clear that s/he needs time and space to reflect or simply wallow in self-pity? How often do we impose our assistance to someone – not so much because they need it – but because of our need to be of assistance?

    You are indeed a wonderful Aunty to recognize this need and take a step back. That is one of the reasons why the little ones come back with open arms! HUGS <3

  • September 12, 2014 at 4:25 am
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    As I am a natural encourager – more/better for others than myself, I say “Go, Amy. Go, go, go! You can do it! I believe in YOU!” You have such a natural, conversational writing style. Since you ask, I have several dreams: (1) write books including at least one children’s book (story is written), at least one book of my poetry, and possibly partial memoir (2) my vision and dream which came from God/Spirit years ago of an alternative choir for children/youth – ages 9 to 12 to begin with – based on the expressive arts and very different from traditional choirs. And I sabotage myself, get in my own way, with fear. I’m delighted to read your posts. Keep on writing! 🙂 <3

  • September 12, 2014 at 12:07 pm
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    Hi Judy,
    I love the way you saw this situation! It’s so good to see events through other people’s lenses. I do indeed let my nieces set the parameters. Then I follow suit. 🙂
    Amy

  • September 12, 2014 at 12:23 pm
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    Thank you!
    So excited to hear about your plans, Elly! And you’re in the middle of them. Are you a member of a writing critique group? Do you share your writing ideas face-to-face? I found that’s when I took the next step. When I had to have something done to share on a particular evening – regularly. Having that accountability forced me to write. Alternative choir? That sounds wonderful and, as you said, different and creative! I will pray for you to keep moving forward! Be kind to yourself. Every time you notice that you’re sabotaging yourself, immediately replace that thought with a positive thought about yourself. And get others around you to do it, too. xx Amy

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