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Jen Hatmaker

Be Brave & Carry on.

“Each step prepares you for the next one.” Dr. Hoffman

I recently heard this quote while discussing the big picture in life and how we can get so focused on the big picture, that monumental moment in the future, that we forget about the here and now.

In the past few months, God has given me many pictures and words for what is to come in my life. However, I live in the present reality, I don’t live in a futuristic fantasy. Now my job is to live this present reality in view of the future, mindful of the work I will do each day in order to get there. I still hold onto the hope, but I’m not naive enough to think it will just magically happen with no work on my part.

Proverbs 14:15 says, “The simple believe anything,

but the prudent give thought to their steps.”

If each step prepares me for the next and it is a good thing to give thought to my steps in the view of the vision I have been given, then YES, I will prayerfully consider my ways each day!

Bravery is a journey. You don’t wake up one morning and just decide to be brave (although that would be a good way to start). Bravery starts small, and as you go along the journey, each step of the way will be preparation for the next. Take some time to think about the journey. Reflect and be still for a few moments.

Here are three things to help as your current step prepares you for the next:

  1. Ask yourself, how is this step preparing me for that bigger picture?
  2. What in my last step (or the last year) prepared me for right now?
  3. How can I live right now in view of the bigger picture of a lifetime? Or eternity?

Trust that this step is preparing your for the next, however difficult each step may be. When we take the time to reflect on what has already happened, it gives us that bigger picture view to take with us in the midst of each step.

Proverbs 20:24

“A person’s steps are directed by the Lord.

How then can anyone understand their own way?”

We may not understand it now, but we will someday! Keep going. Be brave, and carry on. (Tweet that).

Three ways to crush your fear

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Last weekend I went on my first getaway with my husband. We traveled a few hours away for a three day trip filled with horseback riding, hiking, tubing, and a hot air balloon ride! I was anticipating our trip as soon as the hotel was booked, but as it grew closer to our departure, I started feeling anxious; unhealthy thoughts filled my mind: “you can’t leave the kids, you’re still nursing your daughter this will not work, will my son be okay with us disrupting his new schedule, and the worst one of all–what will happen to the kids if we die??”  I secretly hoped that God would give me an excuse to stay home: Dear Lord, can you bless me with a 48 hour flu so I can control my own life and stay at home. You’re awesome-Amen!

Has anyone else experienced this?  Fear is sneaky. It robs you from experiencing adventure, building relationships, and living your dreams boldly and passionately. You have the power to crush fear and here are three ways to do it.

1. Recognize that your fear button is being pressed.

A friend of mine left me a beautiful note and prayer featuring those words. You can’t remove what you don’t acknowledge. It takes vulnerability to acknowledge you are fearful. As a Mother, I never want to appear weak or afraid; especially in front of my kids. I tried to crush fear by ignoring it not realizing that it only increased fear and anxiety. What do you need to acknowledge today?

2. Turn back to the truth. 

2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and a sound mind. Living in fear opens up the door for reckless thoughts. As I said before, fear is sneaky so you can unknowingly leave the door open for those thoughts to enter. What negative thoughts are you replaying? Acknowledge the fear and turn your thoughts and your heart to the truth of who God says you are.

3. Commit your treasure to Him.

“Parenting is as much about our sanctification as theirs; it teaches us to trust God and listen humbly, to commit our greatest treasures to His safekeeping. We can confidently give Him our fear, our hopes, and our kids.” – Jen Hatmaker (Author of For the Love and mom of 5 kids) My kids are my greatest treasure. I will do anything and everything I can to help them live a life with purpose. I learned from a Mother early on to release my children’s lives into the hands of God. Catastrophe can happen at any time and I cannot control it. Committing your treasure to Him releases the pressure off of you and allows you to trust in His outcome.  What treasure do you need to commit to Him? Your children, husband, a family member….You have been empowered by God to live with abundant faith therefore you can release fear into the capable hands of your Father.

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