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), Uncle Mike and me, Aunt Amy.  I savored this role when my nieces were growing up, and now, again,  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. This week was no exception. After a sharp rap on the front door, my older sister, “Gaga” to 2-year old Fiona, stepped into our family living room–dropping by for a quick chat.  Seeing Fiona, I wanted to scoop her up and squeeze the “cute” contained in her sweet little frame. Fiona with her baby-fine straighthair, dark wide eyes and excited smile is a dynamo-packed, younger version of her sister, Talia. Cuteness runs in the family.  So I reached out to tickle her. Instead of the giggle I expected to hear, she withdrew and said a firm, “No,” hiding behind her Gaga. In toddler-talk that one word meant, “Don’t touch me,” “Don’t think you can be too familiar with me,” “You’ve overstepped your boundaries.”

What? Just last week when I visited Gaga’s house, Fiona and her cousin, Lilly,  looked at each 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 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.  

Fiona pursues her goals with determination. Shouldn't I do the same?

As I reflected on this moment, I realized that many of us 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.”

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

How many times have I done this?

Too many to count.

I get excited about the possibility of writing my book. I start it, pouring my ideas out with abandon. I let my thoughts flow from my heart through my fingers and onto the paper. It’s the most beautiful, freeing activity I know. Then I read my thoughts again and refashion some words. Little by little, I organize my stream-of-conscious word into better paragraphs, and then into chapters. I’m on my way to discovering and 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. Surround yourself with ENCOURAGERS!

I surround myelf with encouraging people.

I meet with other writers.
I blog regularly.

I relive past adventures 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.


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

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

EnJOY the desires God placed within you. Allow Him to carry you on HIS ride--no hands barred!

Be a participant. Not an observer. Or half-hearted. Or an uninterested rider.

You’re not too young. And not too old. God loves to delight us — at any age.

Then God takes our response and shares it, like a spotlight on Him.  

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

Lord, let me step out in faith toward my writing (without turning back) and accomplish Your goals for my life.

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

What IS your dream? What dream do you long to run forward to meet?  Share it in the comments and I will pray for you.

Step Out from Behind
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4 thoughts on “Step Out from Behind

  • September 14, 2012 at 1:14 am

    Very nice article, Amy.

  • September 24, 2012 at 12:15 am

    I like the way you take an everyday experience/disappointment and turn it into a learning example.

  • September 29, 2012 at 3:18 am

    Hi Terry,
    Thank you for reading my post! It’s God’s leading that helps me. I pray for God to help me to see what He wants me to focus on when I write.

  • September 29, 2012 at 3:20 am

    I’m so glad you read this story, Carolyn! Check back for more stories of the grandkids. I’m sure I will feature them again. 🙂

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