Stretching Yourself: Take a Risk

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Are you taking a risk and stretching yourself?

I’ve just returned from a weekend away with the ladies from my new church. I was battling a massive migraine the whole trip there (over three hours in the car) and certainly wasn’t much fun at the beginning. But things got better!

For those of you who have read my blog for a while you know these last few months have been times of great stretching for me.   Everything from singing again with my college friend who played Tony to my Maria in West Side Story 28 years ago to attending my first blogging conference and learning ways to grow my blog as a business and finally, to this weekend away with virtual strangers. God is stretching me.

I am a natural introvert. Mingling, meeting and networking at a blogging conference? Way outside my comfort zone. But I did it.

Singing with an old friend from college at a concert? Haven’t done theater or sung from a musical in many, many years. But I did it.

Comfortable and predictable?  Go off for a weekend with 25 ladies, most of whose names I didn’t even know, without knowing any of them well? Oh yeah. I did it.

Did each of these steps make me nervous? Certainly.

Did I enjoy every second of them? Not all of them.

Did I have fun? Laughed myself silly this weekend.

Am I thrilled with the opportunities God is giving me in this new season of life? Incredibly so.

Am I grateful to the God who challenges me yet uses difficult, heartbreaking situations in my life to draw me to Himself? Yes, Lord. Oh, yes.

I have realized that God is asking me to take a risk.

Risk transparency: Will anyone like me? Will my honesty be too much or push people away?

Risk reputation: What if someone finds out that my life is not perfect, my kids aren’t perfect and my marriage isn’t perfect?

Risk criticisim:  What if sharing my story makes others look at me differently, critically? What if they judge me?

As an adoptive mom who blogs with a heart to encourage others through being real, I risk judgment every single day. I know what it’s like to have my words used against me and endure criticism.

Yet, if I don’t stretch myself and take a risk, how will God use me and my story?

This weekend I took a risk and continued my journey of healing. I connected with women just like me. Wounded. Struggling, Honest. Endearing. Hopeful.

They each told a story.

What is yours?

photo by jlydesigns

Linking with: Fireflies and Jellybeans, The Better Mom, A Mama’s Story, What Joy Is Mine, Women Living Well, Leaving a Legacy, Intentional Me, Living Life Intentionally

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Comments

  1. Great post! Thanks for sharing.

    Glad your time with the ladies went well. Oh how I wish that my church had some type of retreat coming up. After 8 months there, I am having a very difficult time breaking into real friendships . . . when many of the ladies have been friends for 20+ years. They are “nice”. They are “friendly” at church. But . . . friendships? Not. So. Much. So hard. I keep stepping out and taking risks (to invite families over . . . to ask ladies to coffee) and I keep facing rejection. Makes me just want to stay home and give up trying.

    Hope your week is BLESSED!

    Laurel 🙂

  2. Sandra @Beneath this Roof, Within these Walls says:

    Good for you for taking a risk, and so glad it went well. We all need to step outside our comfort zone sometimes, and we never know what incredible blessing we will find.

    • Thanks so much, Sandra. New things are uncomfortable at times, aren’t they? I appreciate your taking the time to comment and encourage. Have a blessed day!

  3. Thanks for sharing, Marty! Since there was somewhat of a split at my old church, I’ve found it extremely hard to trust other Christians since. I’ve been trying to open up with my new church family, but this gives me encouragement to keep trying. Glad you had a great weekend with the ladies!

  4. Taking risks and stepping outside of my comfort zone is something that I have been doing for the past 10+ years. At first it was a conscientious decision. At the time, I was in a new place, starting a new job and I had no friends in the area. Within months I had made several new friends that I still have today. Over the years, taking risks has become easier; and in fact, it is just who I am now to my friends. I actually had a friend compliment me on it last week. “You are always so good at talking to people and making yourself and others comfortable.” My secret? I just live the way I feel led to live. If other people accept it, then great. If not, that’s on them, not me. I have found that if you live the way you outlined (with honesty and transparency), and add in compassion towards others, then the inevitable criticism is easier to take because you are living in the truth.
    Marty, I don’t know you at all, but it is quite apparent that you are a thoughtful mother, wife and friend to others. Keep living in your truth!

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