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

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When Was Your Last Yes?

Have you heard the saying, “Let your no be no and your yes be yes”? Last week I owned my no and my yes! It felt good to do that.

If I said, ”No” I would’ve have missed out on something beautiful.

Like any other workday, my husband called me around 4:30 pm when he had landed.  Seeing his name on my phone, I was ready to walk out the door to make my way to the airport to bring him home. However, the second I answered, he informed me that he was rerouted.  He went on to say that he’d made a listing for me to fly away with him on an 18 hour overnight!  Before I could decline his offer, he asked me to make arrangements at the kennel for the dog,  pack an overnight bag, and meet him at the airport at 6:00. Our flight was leaving at 7:30.

Saying yes post

Girlfriend, I had to move fast! There was no time for me to think about all the reasons for saying no, cause I had a few:

1. The Kennel would be closing at 5:30. There was no way they would let me bring the dog in this late, let alone have room for her. (They did!)

2. I’d made plans to go over to a girlfriend’s house where she had put together a little gathering for us wedge of friends at 6:00. I knew my PW girlfriend would understand. When I texted her about this unexpected adventure with my pilot, she encouraged me to go, go, go!

3. And if  I were to say yes, how am I going to pack a bag in less than an hour? While at the same time thinking of things I had not gotten done and trying to remember if I’d brought my make-up and deodorant.  Deodorant was important cause I was sweating with nerves.

4. What if I went to all this trouble only to arrive at the airport to find out that Jeff had been rerouted again and I was left alone with my luggage?

Do you ever have those silly thoughts or reasons to say no?

To ease your mind, all went according to plan, and my navigator swept me off my feet for an overnight. It was a first in a looooong time.

My yes was beautiful!Saying yes post (2)

Sometimes plan, sometimes wing it

I’m all about planning, but there are times, many times, that I will sabotage the idea of winging it, only to regret later that I did.

I can’t remember the last time I flew off on an overnight with my husband, much less be on the same airplane he was flying. That was the icing on the cake!  We had the best time, laughing, talking, and just being together.  That wouldn’t have happened if I’d waited to plan out the event rather than acting spontaneously.

In her book, “The Best Yes,” Lysa Terkeurst says, “If we are going to live in the thrilling place of Best Yes opportunities, we must cut the but of lies chaining us to insecurities.” How many times have I let “but” stand in my way? But this, but that, but I need.

Every time I make a choice saying no to something to say yes or visa verse, I’m choosing to make something a little different than before, like I did this past weekend. I hope I’m learning to do it more so in the future.  That call that I thought was to pick up Jeff made a sudden spontaneous turn around; this time I was driving to the airport to take-off with him.

How to carry your yes bag

The other day I landed on a verse from Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG):

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.”

That afternoon, it wasn’t for me to figure everything out on my own, even though my heart started beating fast and my brain started thinking, “ Oh my, I can’t do this; I don’t have time.”

It was then that I took a deep breath, listened to my heart (which was saying, “Go!”) and made memories that will last a lifetime.

We seem to always hear or read reasons to say no, but what about yes?

Saying yes post (1)Saying yes is about being courageous to do the things that we want to do. Let’s face it sometimes we say no cause of fear. 

Why do we do that?

1. We tuck away that opportunity because we believe it’s not the perfect timing. When was the last time it was the perfect timing to go on a trip? Say yes to meeting a friend for coffee or dinner? When I say no to something, I usually regret missing out on the fun.

2. There are always reasons to say no. A no should be clear and obvious. We know when we should say no to something, but shouldn’t we also listen to our little cheerleader inside of us for the yes from time to time? We know she is often correct.  My cheerleader had her pompoms and was cheering me to take that flight. When I had little ones at home, it was hard to do things on spur of the moment. I’ve been there- many times! All I can say is to listen to that inner cheerleader.

3. Opportunities don’t always come again like this. I would’ve regretted not saying yes when my husband took the controls in planning an overnight that I could go on.  He saw the opportunity and embraced it. I needed to do the same. When those invitations arise, it does take effort and planning, but in the end, it’s worth it.  PW, I’ve learned that the hard way.

 In what ways can you say yes when the spontaneous arrives at your doorstep? You might have to say no to something, but in the end, I’m sure it would be beautiful. 

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.