November 2015

Guest Blog Story: A Little Bravery Goes a Long Way

Four years ago, I did something a little crazyokay, maybe not crazy, but a little brave. I got on a plane to go abroad for the first timealone.  I didnt know who would be meeting me on the other side of the Atlantic, but I had a feeling that it would all work out. Seven continents and 20 countries later, Id say that my hunch was on point.

Out of all of my travels, the greatest bravery that I found was in surrendering. Releasing my motives, my agenda, and my plan, and courageously clinging to God’s perfect will was where I found extreme bravery.  Braver than boarding a ship to sail with 90 strangers to the coldest continent on Earth. Braver than jumping beside a waterfall with only strangers at the bottom to see me surface. Braver than sleeping at a stranger’s house in Sydney, Australia and trusting that it would all work out. I mean, this bravery that I speak of is far beyond all of that. It’s deeper. In surrendering, I’ve experienced a freedom that has no boundaries. (Tweet it!) No zip codes. No limits. This bravery takes me to places that fear will never see.

This bravery manifested in this simple prayer to the Lord: I have a “yes” waiting for you. That “yes” has placed me before Buddhist monks. That “yes” has sandwiched me between atheists and agnostics, Christians and Muslims, colleagues and strangers. That “yes” has walked me down beautifully mysterious roads in Malindi, Kenya. It’s nestled me safely in various flats in Hangzhou, China. It’s welcomed me to teach women at two universities in Saudi Arabia. That “yes” took me much further than any “no” would’ve ever taken me. That’s why I have a “yes” waiting for Him. That “yes” places me in the safest place: His will.

Every time I get crazy enoughI mean, brave enough to get on another plane, I connect with some of the most beautiful people on Earth. I connect with people who have their hands out to give. Im stretched and humbled. Im challenged to do more, be more, and give more. I’m challenged to surrender. And with a grateful heart, I say “yes.”

This time last year, I made my final payment for my trip to Antarctica. I had this wild idea three years ago to see all seven continents by my 30th birthday. God had a wilder idea: to connect me to people around the globe who would pour into me, pray for me, challenge me, and strengthen me. As I thaw off from my trip to that frigid continent, I can’t help but smile. Bravery took me to a place that fear will never see. Where will bravery take us next?  

Follow more of Karissa’s adventures at!

Guest Blog Story: Bravery in Motherhood

What makes a person brave? When I ask this question, I’m not referring to US Military brave or firemen brave or even risk-your-life-and-tackle-criminal-for-strangers brave….. These men and women are obvious heroes who sacrifice everything for the ones they love and those they don’t even know exist. They are beyond selfless and possess an inner strength and perspective of life that many do not, including myself.
I’m talking the everyday bravery and courage that is consistently shown by people we work with, volunteer next to, and make small talk with while our children are at the practice of the activity of their choice. Bravery shown by those who don’t see it in themselves.

I’m referring to the mamas who don’t recognize such greatness within themselves. The ones who have this unbreakable spirit and seem to glide through the toughest of circumstances with a distinctive grace and dignity. The mamas who are working several jobs to make ends meet, the ones who go from work to school only to stay up later than they should to make sure everyone is prepared for the next day. The mamas who endure the worst of circumstances, the mamas going through a divorce or separation, the ones who’ve lost their jobs or husbands. The women who are wives, mothers, career women, and homemakers are the brave, confident, strong, and resilient ones.

These mamas [you and I] are brave.

David going up against Goliath was brave. But, so was Ruth choosing to stay with her mother in law in a foreign land with no source of income. She had no means to take care of herself or Naomi but chose to believe that modesty & purity were her best options when there were definitely “others” out there, if you know what I mean. Bravery is simply courage in action. It takes courage to raise your children and advocate for them when all we have is our mommy instincts telling us something isn’t right. It takes courage to raise your child/children alone. It takes a certain boldness to face terrifying circumstances and not back down or break down when your strength is required. It’s our inner strength that allows us to smile and create a peaceful environment when our babies need comfort and solace.

And, mamas, this is the thing.

While the sacrificing and giving that we do is second nature…. While it comes naturally and we do it without even thinking; it’s easy to fool ourselves into believing that the natural instincts to provide for our child is not a big deal. It’s easy to minimize the enormous efforts we put forth and say that we’re “just doing what needs to be done” without realizing the vastness of what we do.

Y’all. We are mothers – we partner with God in creating and maintaining life. There is nothing minimal about what we do and how we do it.

Mama. You are brave. And, don’t ever forget it.

You can follow more of Alaina’s unashamed growth as a mompreneur of twins!

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If you would like to share a brave story along your journey, fill out a contact form here!

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