Where To Find Your Bravery

As my husband and I walked up to the other passengers that we would travel with to the ATM in Belize, I couldn’t help but feel as if I was the ugly duckling in the group. While they all looked athletically fit in their swim shorts and swim rash guards, I realized I didn’t have the proper attire for our excursion. They one thing I had going for me was the right pair of shoes.  It was going to be a long day for me.

 

Where You Find Your Bravery.

For over an hour that morning, I suffered from fear, sweating profusely and trying to ignore the growing knots in my stomach as we traveled to our destination. After we piled out of the van, our most excellent and knowledgable guide directed us to the change in the bathroom. When I made my way in the bathroom to change into my swimsuit, I could taste the tears flowing down my cheeks.  Rather than doing what I was supposed to, I created a long list of reasons why I couldn’t go and prayed my husband would believe me. ( yeah, I should’ve known that wouldn’t go over well with him.)

Fear controls us in so many ways. And it definitely had its control on me right then.

When I finally climbed over my fear, I was able to face challenges I’d never encountered before.

First of all, there were three rivers to cross to get to the cave. Girlfriend, I held on for dear life to the rope for my river crossing.  Then I was afraid of tripping on rocks and falling.  Not only that, the only way into the dark cave was to swim in waist-high water while wearing your helmet.

Within a few minutes of water crossing as the water rose to my chest, I then had to fit through crevices with a sharp-edged rock sticking out.  I was scared!  The only thing I could do was trust the guide and know that my husband was right behind me.

ATM Cave

This photo is from Pinterest. To give you a real picture of what I had to do – this is it!

Want to know what’s really funny about all this? I was the one who wanted to take this trip. I had a romantic vision of having quality time with Jeff and experiencing a sense of being in the jungle and nature of Belize. Well, I experienced nature to the fullest.

Jungle Bravery

1. Being brave is listening to those voices of courage. While I was crying in the bathroom ready to wimp out, I needed to focus on trusting the expert guide and my husband. Above all else, I needed to trust God. He knew I was about to cross rivers and enter a dark, scary cave. He would be waiting to greet me on the other side in new ways I never thought possible.

2.  Let other’s bravery encourage you.  When I witnessed the other travelers with us, I saw them being brave and sure of the outcome, so in essence, it made me want to be as well. As I was maneuvering through those rocks and dark waters, it became a domino effect as I saw them do the same thing.

3. Conquer those brave moments without fear. I entered into the cave of the unknown and climbed boulders that required strength. I could have easily said, “No, not doing it,” but instead I focused on what our guide was telling me.

When I walked out of that 3-mile cave, I never thought going on the trip and conquering something like that would have such a profound effect on me. When I made my way out of that large cave, I cried. The tears that streamed down my face were not the tears of sorrow. They were the tears of courage and confidence.

When you walk through the rivers

Each one of us has caves to scale and rivers to cross. They may not all look the same, but take comfort in knowing you’re not alone.  You may be knee-deep in the waters raising kids as a solo parent, dealing with a sick family member, or putting on a brave face with friends when you’re struggling. Regardless of what you are facing, you can be brave and walk on the other side of your challenges stronger and more courageous.

How? Here are a few ideas to help you with whatever you’re facing:

1. Find those friends/wives who have traveled before you. Trying to handle it all is hard and challenging. Seek out others who can offer you support in ways that can help you through rough rivers.  “Encourage each other and build each other up.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

2. Be encouraged. When you are afraid of not knowing what do remember to put courage in your bag cause that’s the way to get courage out.  “Do not be discouraged for I am with you. (Joshua 1:9 NIV)

3. Remember that you are strong. The fear of a struggle can cause panic. We feel we don’t have the strength to overcome an obstacle or a challenging time. It ’s then we need to shift during those times. To remember to shift our view of ourselves to Christ and to rely on his strength and wisdom.  “For God has not given us the sprint of fear, but power love and a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

 “Courage is not the absence of fear.  It’s moving forward despite those fears, trusting in God’s help.”Where You Find Your Bravery. (2)

Right footing required

Our guide and my God knew that the path was not going to be easy.   It was going to be rocky, and we would face challenges, including large boulders!

These obstacles reminded me of a verse that I have on a wooden pallet in my home: “He makes my feet of a deer, he causes me to stand on the heights.”  (Psalm 18-3 NIV)

This verse reminds me that when I fly into my fear or discouragement whether it be my parenting, caring for a family member or dealing with a  struggle in my marriage, God gives me the kind of feet I need at that particular moment.

When I swam into that unknown, our wise guide and God knew it wasn’t going to be a calming excursion.

So often we want our path to be flat, wide and smooth and peaceful. But God says it isn’t like that. Usually, the road is turbulent with a strong wind gust that takes us to unexpected places.

With the right footing that God gives us, we can handle those times of uncertainty and fear. That day in the bathroom I should’ve asked God to provide me with the right feet for the path. Even though I failed to ask, He was gracious enough to give them to me anyway. I  just didn’t realize it.

What kind of path are you facing today? Are you trying to venture to the right or the left of where God wants you to be? Or are you asking God that whatever path or cave you find yourself in that you have the right kind of footing to make you bold and courageous?

We all face those boulders and challenges in our lives. Just remember that we’ve all been there.  If you’re struggling, you’ve come right place; a place filled with love and encouragement.

IMG_2030

Our trip was a lot of fun and Jeff, and I had a great time reconnecting. After our adventure in the cave, he shared this post on his Facebook page… Tiff read ahead on Pinterest while Jeff skimmed some reviews on trip advisor for the ATM (short for long, confusing Mayan sentence) cave tour. She was better prepared than I to swim the river, wade the river, wade the river again, hike a few miles, then go swimming and climbing under over and through crevasses and gymnasium-sized chambers filled with water or Mayan artifacts. They don’t allow cameras in there anymore because people were trying to get good pictures are stupid and literally broke skulls (ancient dead ones mostly). My reward was a beer with lunch. Her reward for being such a brave trooper and holding my hand in the scary cave was dinner at a lovely place. I can afford it here in Belize.

 

IMG_3765  Take-off and Landings Always, Tiffany

Love for you to jump on over to my Facebook page .  A place where you find connection, encouragement and learn from one another.

How to Finish What You Started.

Writing at the kitchen table, I’m also listening for the soft chime of the washing machine, checking emails, and avoiding my sweet dog who’s looking at me wistfully for a walk.

How am I supposed to finish a blog post on finishing what you start, when I’m being bombarded with distractions? It’s not easy, but for the sake of my readers and editor, I’m going to get it done!

how to finish what you started.

 

The unfinished project

To be honest, finishing projects is something I struggle with. Ten years ago, yes, ten – I had a strong desire to form a community with other pilot wives. So, I hired a life coach to help me clarify what it was I wanted to share with other wives. Over a decade my vision has traveled into a few areas:

  1. Wanting to put together a forum of veteran PW’s to speak to those that have just begun their own flight plan of a PW.
  2. Write a book about the Twelves steps of a Pilot Wife. However, I have learned there are more than 12 steps, much more!

However, just as I was starting, I stopped before I could finish. Ever been there? It was discouraging.

The vision that I had those many years ago got re-routed, and some have vanished into mid-air. I was raising three kids and raising a little boy (my husband’s nephew).  Also, I’d had faced some problematic roadblocks in my health that kept me from focus in on those goals that I had started for myself.

While the passion for my goals has never diminished, I’ve learned how I can keep striving for them.

The question you need to be asking

The last few weeks I’ve been reading a lot about goals and finishing what you start. The question that kept landing in my reading was to ask yourself, what is important right now? I would say there are three important things to me right now:

1. To finish that book I started a decade ago.  Having finally discovered my voice, I’m confident of what I want to share and convey. I’ve decided to write a memoir about being a pilot’s wife. I’m currently taking classes and have registered for more workshops to help me write my story.

2. To finish my painting projects. Last summer I painted our dining room and promised myself I would paint the kitchen as well. It’s still not painted. I also need to touch up a few spots on the wall over our fireplace. I currently have the paint and paintbrush sitting on the floor. That was three weeks ago! 

3. To organize my closet and kitchen so they function as they should. I’ve read all the magazines, watched all the HGTV shows, and even followed advice from the pros, such as my editor, who also happens to be an organizer.  I have every intention of applying what I’ve learned, but then, like Scarlett O’Hara, I tell myself I’ll get to it tomorrow. Sadly, I never do.

How to cross the finish line

As I take the time to reestablish the projects I once started, I have found ways to complete them in a way that is doable for me.  Here are a few things that might help you, too, as you seek to finish what your start:

1. Identify what’s keeping you from finishing. If you have little ones, find a friend to watch them for a few hours. Or be vocal in letting your family know what you want to accomplish and see how they can help. Or ask that they leave you and alone for a while!

2.  Keep your vision in front of you. Create a poster board with pictures of what finishing your project looks like or take a piece of paper and simply list those things left for you to do.

3. Stop thinking it has to be all or nothing. If you want to conquer your closet or your desk take small steps in achieving your goal. Sometimes incremental progress can make the biggest difference. 

4. Be flexible. Remember you don’t have to do everything in the right order. Maybe do what will take the least time and stress. Be flexible in the management approach of your to-do list.

5. Research what it is you want to accomplish. Learn from others what helped them succeed in how they achieved their goals. Ask for advice and support from your friends and family.

how to finish what you started. (1)

Are you up to the challenge?

In his book The Best Year Ever, Michael Hyatt says, “To accomplish anything we have to believe we’re up for the challenge. That doesn’t mean it will be easy or that we even know we’re going to accomplish it. Usually, we don’t know. It just means we are capable; we have what it takes to prevail.”

For me, writing a book is a huge undertaking but a challenge I’m ready to tackle. I know there will be obstacles. Every goal has them. But it’s how we work through those obstacles that will help us see the end in sight.

Do you have something that’s left unfinished?  A project you started years ago, or even just a few days ago? Hopefully, these tips will help you overcome the obstacles standing in your way and allow you to finally cross the finish line!

Love to hear about your projects, big or small. I know you have them.

I’m sure we can all learn from each other and offer encouragement and love.

Jump over to my Facebook page and let’s continue the conservation and talk about those unfinished projects. 

 

IMG_3765  Take-off and Landings Always, Tiffany