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Monthly Archives: February 2013

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How to Leave a Legacy of Life. Unafraid

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I read this post about raising brave kids by Jen Hatmaker a few weeks ago, and it kind of messed me up. I read her words like, “I want to have to say to my sons, “Only boys would think something like this up,” and pretend to be put out when really I’m enamored.”

And my heart got all excited as I remembered how I used to think I wanted five little boys so I would be forced to be that kind of mom. Because I admire such motherhood bravery.

The kind that teaches unafraid and risk-taking. And lets her kids actually live.

I’ve always wanted to be a mom who doesn’t hold my kids back for fear of something bad happening.

It sounded awesome. Until my daughter climbed to the top of that reeeeaaaallly tall slide at the age of six, and all my mind could see was a paralyzed kindergartner in a full body cast for a year.

The truth is, I haven’t been good at teaching my kids unafraid until recently. In fact, He’s used this time in the land of Deutsch to show me the amazing of kids who live unafraid.

 

He has given me a new legacy to leave for my children.

The legacy of life. Unafraid.

We’re talking about it today over at my friend, Becky’s blog. Join us? Why not poke around a little while you’re over there? She’s doing a series this month and next about the legacies we leave. Good stuff.

Come on over . . .

 

**Have you signed up for my (free) e-book yet? You can click right here, and I’ll send it right to your inbox. Enter your address up there in that subscribe box where it says, “Sign up here for your free e-book and email updates.”

Life Unafraid the Manifesto {A Free Book}

We went to bed at 10 last night. But I could not sleep. Perhaps it was the large Cappuccino I consumed at 4pm for Sunday afternoon Kaffee und Kuchenzeit. Okay, it was most likely the Cappuccino I consumed at 4pm for Sunday afternoon Kuchenzeit.

Anyway, I couldn’t sleep. So I finally got out of bed and moved to the window in the living room. It was 11:30 by then, and I was curious about Bayreuth streets on a late Sunday night. I only sat there a moment before I grabbed my camera and started studying the light and the way it cut through the darkness.

Here’s a little bit of what I saw.

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I used to be afraid in the dark. Then I learned that living afraid, no matter what time of day, is not really living at all.

(T)he Life was Light to live by. . . The Life-Light was the real thing: Every person entering Life he brings into Light (Jn 1:5a,9).

So last night, as I watched the quiet nighttime streets of our home-for-now city, I opened eyes wide for beauty I would have missed were I still living in the afraid.

Because afraid is a dark all its own. Only it doesn’t reveal beauty or cool things like this. It hides them.

You see, the thing about the dark used to be the unknowing. Unsure of what may lurk that my eyes couldn’t see. Afraid of surprises for which I could not prepare.

The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out (v5b).

Then I realized that the Light of Life holds every bit of dark unknowing in the very palm of His hand.

And I decided I would rather fear the Light of Life than the dark of fear.

I am on a mission to live Unafraid, and I’m looking for fellow sojourners. Because so many times, it’s the subtle fears that freeze us up and keep us from the real kind of living. And I don’t want to be kept from any kind of living.

So I wrote a manifesto to remind myself where to put my fear. I’ve been working on it for a while now, a self-challenge to live. Unafraid. A reminder to live apart from the scared that keeps me from the real life Jesus came to give us.

It’s helping.

I think it will help you, too. Because so many of us live in survival mode. Hopping from intimidated to scared without a second for breaths of fresh air.

That’s why I turned the manifesto into an e-book. One that I want to give to you. Seriously.

Team of rock climbers.

In all truth, it’s a little bit scary for me. Because there is a super whole lot I do not know about e-book publishing. But, well, I’ve decided to live unafraid, so today I’m facing the scary and offering it to you.

If you sign up for email list, I’ll send the link to my free ebook right to your inbox. Can’t wait to for you to read it! Seriously. You can sign up right here. Just click this link. Or you can move over to the right side of this web page where it says, “Sign up here to get your free book and email updates.”

So go read it. Tell your friends about it. Send it to them. Join the unafraid movement. Tweet about it at #lifeunafraid. Then come back here and tell me if you’re in. Because I want to pray for you as you journey to unafraid.

But first, tell me — what’s something you probably missed out on as a kid because you were too scared to try it? Tell me in the comments.

When The Kitchen Becomes A Sanctuary

My head feels explosive and the living room’s closing in. The laundry pile has grown into the actual Tower of Terror, and the to-do list has become a minor threat to my sanity.

The kitchen’s a mess, and snow boots fill the hallway like a party’s going on in here. Only it’s really anything but a party.

My kids feel my stress, so the mood gets tense as soon as I let on about the almost-exploding head. I don’t even say a word. All it takes is one look, an extra deep sigh, then a tightened-jaw-bone reaction, and my secret is out. Every square meter of this tiny German living space fills with the less-than-gentle prodding of a mama in a fit.

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And that makes me feel worse. The power of a mom to change her home’s thermostat just like that. With a simple blast of frigid overwhelmed, the temperature of an entire home drops from warm to stinkin’ cold in three seconds flat.

I’ve felt it coming for a while now. The winds in my heart have been blowing cooler as my focus has gotten blurred. The mornings have changed. The routine’s gotten lax, and somehow lifeline with God has morphed into work and making deadlines. I find it easy to justify, too when I write about God. Studying the Word and then writing what I find. But somehow finding God inside His Word has turned into mere words from my own mortal hands.

And I don’t know how to stop it, so I just start a new blog post and keep writing.

But my soul needs its Lifeline. The words need the Word. They are pointless when they have no One to point to. And motherhood’s not that if not for the kids. And the calling is just a job if only to-do’s and deadlines. And life is only breathing if it’s merely survival.

I stand to go start dinner, breathing deeply. Subconsciously overly dramatic. I know the house is cold. Because my soul is.

I peel potatoes over the sink, and I start to pray. I tell God I need Him while I flick the dirty peels. Picking out the brown spots, I ask for His help. Ask Him to breathe fresh into my spirit.

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And when I confess my own destitution that brought this chill into my home, the kitchen becomes a sanctuary and Living God shows up.

I admit the empty that stole the grace right out of my mommy-love, and I feel my heart start to soften like the old potatoes I just threw out.

I think of Asaph’s change of heart. The turn-around perspective when he entered God’s sanctuary. When he re-found God’s presence, re-focused his blurred eyes. I remember his refreshed, and I hope my potato-peeling heart whispers are enough for the same kind of turning because, man, do I need it.

My bathing daughter calls for me, requesting shampoo. I breathe and I go and I wonder is it different. Can I serve with Grace. Can I answer my call more warmly now?

Then I remember Proverbs from last month’s devotions series. The pride and the fool and the broken and the grace.

I remember He hears the broken I-need-You’s that call out for help. And I grab the shampoo and feel the warmth start to rekindle.

Finding Friends Where I’ve Never Been

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I’m kind of a freak when it comes to online friending. You know, like awkward. Because I’ve never really caught its rhythm, never could figure out how to come across on the screen like I come across in person.

I’m pretty good in person. I like making people feel comfortable when they are unsure. Acting like buddies with people behind me in the grocery line. You know, yucking it up if there’s any kind of connection or any kind of anything to laugh about together. It’s probably weird for the person behind me, but I don’t usually care. I just like making people feel comfortable in their own skin. Even if they think I’m a dork. I’m somewhat (perhaps falsely?) secure in my real-life friending methods.

But the online social media friendship thing has always sort of befuddled me.

Then I started an online writing course called TribeWriters by Jeff Goins, and I gained access to an online community that is pushing me out of my social-media dorkdom and pulling me into some amazing friendships, on professional as well as personal levels. I am learning things about online friendship that I honestly did not know I didn’t know.

Like, for example, you can have real friends even if you’ve never met them in person. Also, writers are pretty amazing and generous people.

Well, one of my new friends, Christa Sterken, invited me over to her blog today to talk about facing fear. (And you know I am all about that!) She’s in the middle of a series where she writes about just that. She’s a beautiful soul who does really cool things with pictures. She pairs Bible verses and wisdom words with her photographs and inspires in unique ways.

Anyway, I wanted to invite you to check out her blog (and also my guest post) today. Snoop around a bit. Maybe leave her a comment and give her some lovin’. Hope you enjoy it. (Just click on those links where the words change color, and you’ll end up there. www.ChristaSterken.com)