My oldest son inspires me on a regular basis. For about a year, he has asked to run in a "real race" like his Mamma and Daddy. There aren't many children-friendly races near us, so he waited patiently until November to run the Turkey Trot Fun Run, a big one mile loop.
On the day of the race, due to an oversight on our part, we had him running all by himself among a sea of children and families. Being his mamma, I could tell he was a little nervous. I was nervous too. We made a plan to meet at the finish line and then he was off. Sending my baby out with all these people, I got a lump in my throat. Would he be okay? Was he scared being all by himself?
He smiled big, walked up close to the front of the group and ran his little heart out. I choked back tears as I watched my boy push through to the finish line and conquer a goal he's been wanting to do for months.
He was brave.
When I chose "brave" as my one little word for 2014, I really had no idea how it would affect my life. At the beginning, I created my own parameters: getting out of my comfort zone creatively, in the kitchen, and in my giving. And while I have made strides in these areas, I ended up having to be brave in even bigger ways.
When we found out I was pregnant with baby number five, I was so excited, but also greatly doubted myself. Can I do this? Am I a mother capable of doing this vocation well? Four was already a "big" family, but five? Five is considered crazy in today's society. Would I be able to handle all of the stares and thoughtless comments?
When I felt God's prompting to homeschool my two oldest, I doubted my abilities again. Can I do this? Can I be a good teacher to the one who really struggles with learning? Will I be able to give them the education they deserve?
Both of these instances required a jump into the unknown, a leap of faith. "I am not afraid...I was born to do this", a quote from Joan of Arc, became the words I whisper to myself when the doubts creep in. I wouldn't say that 2014 has been the year I've become fearless - not even close! - but I'm making baby steps in the right direction.
Going forward into 2015, I want to be more like my son. I want to look the scary things in the face and acknowledge my nerves, but make a plan and go for it with all I've got. I want to be brave.
I'm signing off to spend the rest of Advent with my little family. I have some exciting things in store for the blog, though, so be sure to meet me back here after New Years! Wishing you and yours a blessed Christmas!