My husband Andy is a great listener. At least I think he is. This past weekend I was sharing my heart with him and when I asked for his advice, he told me exactly what I needed to hear. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but it was extremely impactful. I’ll get to what he shared in a few minutes.
First, I want to give you another example of the great counsel he has given me in the past.
Andy visited Israel as a teenager, so as I was preparing for my recent trip overseas, I was grateful that I would have his insight into what to expect and how best to prepare.
As my departure date was quickly approaching I asked Andy if there was anything important I needed to know. Without skipping a beat he told me that I should not pass up any opportunity to use the restroom. REALLY?!! That’s the best he could come up with? Well, guess what? He was right. I never passed up an opportunity to “go” and I am very grateful for his seemingly insignificant advice which ended up holding great value. I even paid to use one facility because in my head I could hear Andy saying, “don’t miss your chance!” 🙂
This upcoming summer I have a burning desire to attend a conference that will challenge me as I begin to equip myself to follow after one of my passions. A passion I am going to pursue and stop putting on the back burner. This conference is a wonderful opportunity to gather information, meet others with similar interests, and to put myself out there for helpful critiques. The possibility of putting myself out there to be critiqued makes my knees shake and my arm pits sweaty. This past weekend I spent some time gathering more information about what to expect. Reading about one of the break-out sessions, a previous conference attendee shared that “the purpose of this time is so that your group can evaluate your skills (it’s ALL friendly, grace-filled and constructive! No fear!)” Really? Cause I’m full of fear right about now. The more I read about what to expect, the more I began to doubt my decision to attend.
Why, oh why would I put myself in a position to be uncomfortable, anxious, and possibly unprepared?
Although I’ve been assured that newbies are welcome, and that they make up a large portion of this conference, I can’t help but second guess my plans to attend as I read these comments and questions other ladies are asking and sharing about. Topics that aren’t even on my radar! Instead of being filled with the excitement I had hoped for, I am overcome with fear and doubt as my eyes are opened to how little I know, and how much I need to learn.
I shared these reservations with Andy.
“Why would I go to feel like a fool?”
“Am I wasting our money chasing after this dream that may be so far out of reach that it may never happen?”
“Who am I to think I have anything unique to offer?”
I’ve shared with Andy how I believe God is directing my steps and calling me to walk down this road. “Everyone needs to grow and learn and practice when starting out in a somewhat unknown endeavor,” he reminded me.
“Yes, but should I attend this summer?” This was the question I kept coming back to and this is when I got some of the best advice I have ever received.
“Yes, you should go,” he matter-of-factly stated. “Go and just laugh at yourself.”
It took me a minute to mull this over and then suddenly all of the tension left my body and the weight that had been suffocating me this weekend finally began to lift.
See, the night before, we attended Andy’s parents’ church for a hayride, bonfire, and cook-out. Their long time friends were in charge of the family relays and at one point the instructions for one of the races was lost in translation. The game wasn’t going as planned and made little sense, but this delightful family friend, who had planned these games, just shrugged her shoulders and laughed. I stood there and watched as the kids continued running, competing and loving it! As Andy was reminding me of this to reiterate his point he commented on how his entire life this wonderfully, joy-filled woman would laugh at herself all of the time and it’s one of the things he loved most about her. “She doesn’t take herself too seriously, and is always having an incredible time.”
Oh, how I need to learn from this.
Andy knows my tendency to take myself way too seriously, and he knows that in unfamiliar territory my self esteem can be completely destroyed.
I needed to hear these words. I need to remember it’s okay to go and chase after a dream and to not be the best one in the room. I don’t want to kill my dreams before I even attempt to make them come true.
Tonight, the kids looked outside and saw a clear sky filled with stars. They ran out to experience the magnitude and beauty of the view.
I realized I needed to join in and seize this moment. I put away thoughts of what still needed to be done inside and brought a quilt out for us to lay on. As the six of us cuddled up on this blanket lying on our driveway, enjoying this magnificent view, I was struck with the all too familiar saying,
“Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.”
Has the Lord laid a passion on your heart that you’ve allowed fear, insecurity, or self-doubt to steal away from you? Is He calling you to move forward in this desire, but you’re too hesitant with thoughts of not being good enough?
I know I am struggling with these thoughts more often than I’d like to admit, but I am reminded of a verse that the kids and I came across in our recent devotions.
There is nothing to fear, because the Lord will be with me wherever I go. And He will be with you too!
So what are you waiting for?
Chase your dreams! Answer the call! Go for it!
And along the way, don’t forget to laugh at yourself. 🙂
Thankful for this man sharing some of the best advice I’ve ever received.
Advice doesn’t have to be profound to hold great meaning.