"As water reflects the face, so one's life reflects the heart" ~Proverbs 27:19

Take Courage

posted by J. Amendt Eickman

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Courage is being scared to death... and saddling up anyway.  ~John Wayne

Two weeks ago I was able to visit my sister's new stomping grounds, Austin, TX. She is venturing out into the world with a new calling. My Mom, Kate and I spent a lovely weekend seeing the sites and enjoying the beautiful 104 degree weather! <insert sarcasm >

On Sunday we attended the church Kate was assigned to. I think we were all nervous. Kate, for making good impressions; Mom, for knowing the impending departure mere hours in the future; and me...wishing I could keep her under my big sister wings just a little bit longer.

We pulled into the parking lot and walked through the front doors. Not seconds later, a young lady with a friendly face and eyes that showed a huge heart came up and introduced herself to us. She took us on a tour of the small, but welcoming church, and introduced us to each soul we came upon.

The worship service began, we settled into our seats and began to relax a little. As Pastor Pete, who happens to be from the great state of Iowa, began his message on courage the three of us kept smiling at each other...knowing how timely this message was for our family.

He said something that has been tugging on my heart since, "Complacency and courage are incompatible." 

It is easy to be brave from a safe distance.  ~Aesop

Complacency is the easy way out, right? Yet, courage just seems like so much work sometimes.

It's so easy to sweep things under the rug and not have a crucial conversation with a friend.
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Martin Luther King Jr., “The Trumpet of Conscience”, 1967

Or it's easier to stay in a career or a job you are comfortable in than to try something more challenging or something you might love!
"The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence."  ~Confucius

Then there's the tough one, that many of us are uncomfortable with...witnessing to others.
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." ~Matthew 28:19

Some struggle with meeting new people and making new friends.
"Don’t make friends who are comfortable to be with. Make friends who will force you to lever yourself up." ~Thomas J. Watson

"If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere." ~Zig Ziglar

Then there's those who avoid new things altogether. Whether it is change in general or doing something crazy like skydiving! 
"You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take." ~Wayne Gretzky

"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic." ~Dave Barry

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do." ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Where are we being nudged in our lives to have more courage?
As we said our goodbyes that Sunday, to both Kate and her new friends, I admired her strength, her determination, and her calmness. A sense of peace came over me as a new friend to Kate approached me, and said, "Don't worry...we'll take good care of her!"

This past Sunday, as my husband and I were driving back to Texas after a short trip to Iowa the last thing I felt was courageous. As tears streamed down my cheeks, I called my sister and told her how weak I felt for sobbing as our families grew smaller in the distance. She said, "Jenn, tears are not a sign of weakness...they are a sign of emotion...and emotion is okay!" 

Thanks for the words of wisdom and affirmation Kate, you are one of the most courageous people I know!

 ~Jenn Marie

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