Just. Show. Up.

Girls Winter Park Bench 1

They say that “older” women (whatever that means) are more confident and sure of themselves. I think there’s truth to that. Now that I’m —ahem– an older woman, I know and have accepted certain things about myself:

  • I’m serious about chocolate. I’m talkin’ so serious nothin’ but dark, bitter, 87% cocoa qualifies as chocolate.
  • I’m addicted to gum. I never chew just one piece at a time and I’ve been known to beg, borrow and yes, even steal (from my children) gum. That kind of behavior definitely qualifies as addictive.
  • I’m never going to be a train conductor. I constantly mix up the whole caboose and engine thing. Case in point? {Read the rest of this post for my old-age epiphany.}

I spent too many years allowing emotions to take the lead. I had long suspected that about myself but until I heard my pastor present a powerful message on that very thing, I lacked the clarity to put it into words.

The picture my pastor painted was one of a train. He went on to explain that when we go through life allowing emotions to take charge it’s like putting the caboose in front of the train. Trains don’t go very far, very fast when the engine’s stuck in the back.

Bam! It was an epiphany!

I don’t know if it was the illustration, timing, or the fact that I love trains. (Few things on this planet give me more peace than the sound of a lonely train whistle as it echoes over the plains. Heart. Be. Still.) Whatever it was, Holy Spirit had my chin in His hands and I heard, really heard, a truth I needed to know. That moment was the beginning of something beautiful for me.

It was the first step in long line of many in which I learned to show up.

Living life based on emotions means you miss out. I missed out on plenty. If I wasn’t feeling it I didn’t do it. I know. Stupid right? But at the time it made sense. After all, my train ran with a caboose.

However, once I started to see the value in traveling “engine first” I began doing things…taking chances that I didn’t always feel like doing but somehow I knew they were right. It wasn’t rocket science. Nothing earth shattering. And yet——–my world was deeply impacted.

  • There was the trip with a friend to a Christian concert that forever changed my faith.
  • How about those overseas missions’ trips with my children that forever changed my family?
  • Then there was the investment in a hurting human that changed my heart and garnered me an invaluable friendship.

At the time I didn’t necessarily feel like doing any of those things! Honestly, those moments were often inconvenient, uncertain and downright scary.

But it didn’t matter. I was learning to make decisions based, not on feelings, but on trust. I believed I needed to show up and I did despite how I felt. Do you know what else I learned?

Showing up is accepting your invitation to the party.

God was already in every situation/relationship/decision before me. My showing up never precipitated God’s presence. The Alpha and Omega had long been on the scene. He was in it, around it and through it. When I showed up it simply demonstrated that I finally had the common sense to accept an invitation to the party.

Is God calling you to show up?

As you read this post does someone or something come to mind that tugs? Your head says “Do it.” “Say it.” “Follow up.” But your heart isn’t feeling all warm and fuzzy?  May I say “been there done that” and then may I encourage to DO that?

Hold that hand.

Bake that cake.

Say that word.

Just. Show. Up.

God will do the work, you and I just need to be there. It’s His invitation to a party that we don’t want to miss. Pinky-swear promise.

“May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 MSG

{Be sure to stop by Suzie Eller’s #livefree place in cyber space this weekend. Oh so many beautiful stories about “showing up”! (And a book give-away too!)}

Your (Learning to Show Up) DoAhead Friend,


  1. I heard a similar message lately and God spoke to me through it…I was letting my emotions and “Disapproval” lead my train. I am learning to let Holy Spirit be my conductor. I appreciate the wisdom of an older woman!

  2. Put that caboose in it’s place, Lady! I love this article and the illustration your pastor taught you. It is so true, when we lead with emotions we miss out on so many beautiful opportunities! Emotions are valuable, but they must be put in their place (regularly and consistently). Hugs to you!

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