Sunday morning: I’m sitting in church fighting back the tears, my heart full to overflowing with gratitude. My baby girls will be home for Christmas in a few days, my dear friend Rick is home after successfully making it through major surgery, AND my book gets released into the world this week. A real live book full of scripture, stories and prayers! So many blessings, so many reasons to whisper Thank You, Abba Father.
Sunday afternoon: I am snapping at my unsuspecting husband and my whiny, elderly dog, the blissful gratitude bubble clearly popped. My to-do list for Sunday afternoon says “write a blog post for book release day” and I am stuck. I am a bundle of nerves and I have no idea what to say. The inner critic voice, the voice of the saboteur, is turned up to top volume:
- People are so sick of hearing you talk about this book. You are starting to sound JUST like those adult voices droning on and on from the Peanuts cartoons.
- Honestly, what do you know about being brave? When have you really ever had to be brave? Annie Flippin’ Downs, a REAL author, just published a devotional about bravery, for goodness sake! Do we really need another devotional on bravery? You don’t have anything new to say.
- No one is going to read it and, if they do, they are going to be bored. You should give them all their money back now.
- You are doing this all wrong. You should have been posting on your blog more regularly leading up to release day. You clearly have no idea what you are doing and have messed up this opportunity. What a waste!
- This isn’t about you, it is about Jesus. So just settle down, quit calling attention to yourself and be quiet. Hush…
- You are a fraud. Really, who do you think you are?
But wait a minute, I know better. I remember this nervous energy, this hand wringing anxiety that surfaces when I am doing something vulnerable and risky. I’m not falling for it. Not this time.
I recognize these pesky voices. THOSE voices show up when I step out of my comfort zone and bravely hold up my offering to the world. THOSE voices hate it when I follow Jesus out on a limb, when I risk failing, when I show up with my heart wide open. Frankly, those voices are pretty selfish and make it all about their whiny fear, instead of love and generosity.
THOSE voices would prefer I stay safe and comfortable. But those voices are liars and they are not the voice of God or my best, bravest self. If I continued to listen to those voices, I would miss all the best moments of my life.
And I would never get the privilege of being on this adventure and talking to you about being brave.
So here it is. With trembling hands and a lump in my throat, I offer you this little book today. The book God gave me to write, the one He made me put my name on even though it was all His idea. If you hate it, talk to Him about it. (In my opinion, it is just always a good idea to talk to God about everything, even books you hate.)
This pretty little book is imperfect, but it is my heart in a 5″ X 7″ package. And it contains everything I understand so far about God’s heart. I hope you love it. I hope it makes you think and maybe even laugh. I hope it makes you feel seen, heard and known. I hope it makes you uncomfortable in all the right ways. I hope it brings you closer to Jesus. I hope it reminds you how brave you are, how much the world needs you, and how much God is cheering you on…how much I am cheering you on!
The world needs YOU to be brave, to take a risk, to step out of your comfort zone and show up for your assignment. The world needs you to know just how brave you can be, so I wanted to remind you. Together, we remember that God made us brave.
Welcome to the world, little book! Happy Birthday!
Being Brave: A 40 Day Journey to the Life God Dreams for You is available TODAY at these retailers. If you read the book, I would be ever SO grateful if you would take the time to leave a review on Amazon and GoodReads. THANK YOU so much for all your support and encouragement!