Teen Tears, Wet Fish, The Oscars (and other reasons I write).

Oscar 1

My darling daughter was 14 and in need of an Oscar worthy pep talk. Her confidence was crumbling as she faced an upcoming, nerve-wracking school event. Her tears trailed. I could tell this was going to be a two-box-Kleenex kind of talk.

I reminded her of God’s faithfulness and His desire to see her live out her dreams. I encouraged her to move forward despite her fears and I told her how excited I was because I believed God had great plans for her.

She seemed to pull out of her funk so I slipped from her room. As I quietly closed the door behind me, I’m embarrassed to admit I felt smug. “I did it. She’s re-gained her confidence! I’m so glad I could inspire her!”

I wasn’t 18 inches from her door when it hit me. (More like He hit me. Ordinarily the Holy Spirit speaks to me in a tender whisper but then there are the moments He slaps me with a wet fish because he knows I need it. This was definitely a wet-fish moment.)

He didn’t congratulate me on the pep talk. (He knew I’d already done that.) Instead, he convicted me. I heard what Mark Batterson calls…

…the inaudible yet undeniable voice of God.

“Does she see it in you?”

I knew immediately what He was referring to. Honoring your calling. Chasing your dreams. Maximizing inspiration.

There it was again, “Cindy, does she see it in you?”

The hall was dark, no one was around. This time I was the one with trailing tears. All those words I’d just spoken to my daughter were being spoken over me.

But how could I begin the chase?

As quickly as the Holy Spirit raised the question Satan and his minions were at the ready with a hundred reasons why I should stay in the safety zone of perspiration and leave inspirational pursuits to those better and braver than I.

You see, ten years prior I left my profession, pushed my suits to the back of the closet, and became a full time stay-at-home Mom. The only thing I’d added to my resume’ during that decade was Expert Diaper Changer and Princess of the Car Pool. I wasn’t qualified to chase my kids run-away soccer ball let alone a dream.

However, the truth is I’d been feeling a “nudge” for sometime. I never once regretted the decision to be home full-time but I’d begun to sense that God was nudging me toward an additional calling. I told myself that my hubby and kids were my priority. It’s true they were (still are).

But as I stood in the hallway I came to terms with something else that was true. I wasn’t chasing after those things because I was convicted I had to singularly care for my family. No. Suits weren’t the only thing in the back of my closet.

Apparently my resolve, courage and the will to chase dreams were stuck between herringbone and navy.

Enter She Speaks.  A couple of years prior a friend of mine had asked if I wanted to go to the speaker/writers conference. I had considered it. In fact, I had thought about it for a few summers but there was always a reason not to.

I don’t know if it was the lingering aroma of Fleur de’ Fish that made the difference, but I finally attended my first She Speaks in 2010. I felt like throwing up for most of the conference. I hid in the room for a short time. One night I even called my hubby in tears wondering why on earth I’d come.

But I went another year…and another.  This past summer marked my fourth She Speaks.  Since 2010 I’ve been blessed with opportunities to take classes and receive mentoring from various sources.

All the while God has slowly but surely helped me grow into the communicator I believe He’s wired me to be. Of course, now and again (especially on the days laundry is behind and the crew is eating cereal for supper because there are NO DoAhead meals) my memory messes with me and causes me to ask,

Was that really fish I smelled?

Thankfully, the moments of doubt don’t last. Confirmations come in different forms:

  • A readers gratitude when she shares that the words I’d written were exactly what she needed.
  • The spark of pride I see in the kids as they watch their Mom determinedly work through a manuscript.
  • Accountability from family and friends who believe in me and won’t let me quit.

Today, it’s been five years since my self-congratulatory “Oscar Talk”. I don’t have a clue where it will all land but I know this…my kids have witnessed a transformation in their Mama.

My early tip-toe typing turned into tiny steps that today have morphed into a full-fledged run.  I’m a woman chasing hard after God and whatever——–wherever, He leads. I’m grateful for that wet-fish moment. If it had never happened I’m afraid my running shoes might still be stuck behind the suits.

The tension between perspiration and inspiration is real.

Perspiration is good but inspiration is good too! With that thought in mind may I ask you a question?

How is the quota of inspiration in your life?

The question isn’t meant to haunt or depress. It’s meant to be the same sweet gift the Holy Spirit gave me five years ago. I’ll be praying this week that if God wants this question to trigger or awaken a call in you—you won’t stop thinking about it. I’ll also be praying that those thoughts will be full of curiosity, wonderment and unparalleled peace.

“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are.”  Romans 8:15 MSG

Next week I’ll share a bit of our hankering for Fall around here. In the meantime, I hope you’ll stop over at Suzie Eller’s #livefree community where you’ll receive inspiration galore. {Be sure and visit me at DoAhead Woman’s Facebook between now and next week. I love hearing from you!}

Your DoAhead Friend,

Speak Your Mind