on being brave

This week is the week of my church’s Singing Christmas Tree performances. For the past few nights we’ve had technical rehearsals for lighting and sound purposes.

There is a song in the production where one little child comes out on the stage and sings all by herself. Up to this point we hadn’t heard the child sing.

When it was time for that song, my friend’s seven year old daughter walked on stage, where she was lit up by the spotlight. She sang her song, and she sang it sweetly, confidently, and flawlessly.

I was completely overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by her smallness and her innocence. But I was mostly overwhelmed by her confidence.

She stood on that stage and sang without hesitation. And that kind of bravery in such a small person singing about giving her heart to baby Jesus overwhelmed me.

And I thought to myself, “I could never be that brave.”

But I know that we all do things every single day that require courage.

I saw another friend yesterday who has a five week old baby boy. While we were visiting, she mentioned that coming home from the hospital was a really emotional time.

And it made me remember how much courage I had to find deep down inside myself just to get in the car and leave the security of the hospital when our kids were born. And how much more courage it took to say goodbye to my mom, knowing that I’d be taking care of a newborn baby for the first time in my life– all by myself.

When we get out of bed in the morning and know we’ll be facing a teething, cranky toddler or a spirited preschooler, we’re being brave. We’re being responsible, of course. But being responsible for another person in every year is brave. It just is.

We’re brave when we fall asleep at night dreading the to-do list of the next day. But we do it. We move on, we face it, we take care of our responsibilities. We do our best to smile and keep the peace. And maybe even wash our face that night before we go to bed so that we can try to maintain a youthful-looking face, at least.

There is so much courage in the ordinary. Because sometimes the ordinary can wear us down.

But most times, we can look at the ordinary and see how fantastic it is. And that we’re really good at it! We are good wives. We are good mothers. We are good keepers of the home. We are good friends. We are good employees and employers.

Those decisions each day to just move forward and face the scary responsibilities head on, are the ones that make us great at what we do.

 

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

 

*I wrote a guest post today for Courtney over at Lil Light O’ Mine. Courtney has started a great initiative for families to show their children about giving back during the Christmas season. It’s called “Light Em Up.” Courtney has created a list of 100 ways to give back and has also created printable gift tags for us to use. I hope you’ll go over to her blog at Lil Light O’ Mine to read all about how you and your family can participate and read the testimonies from other families who are participating in Light Em Up 2012!

 

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Comments

  1. Spot on, Erin! Thank you so much for the encouragement this morning!

  2. Malisa says:

    I struggle with the wearing down of the ordinary, so this post was a huge encouragement. Thank you for your bravery in sharing your heart!
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  3. I think there is so much truth in this post. Thank you for sharing. I will begrudgingly admit that I recently watched a Teen Mom 2 episode and was so astonished at the way that one of the moms simply couldn’t grasp reality and care for her child or even herself. She is in total denial and living in a fantasy land. I think that we often forget that we are making decisions for our families and that those decisions make a difference. Praising God for loving moms and praying for the children of those who can’t seem to grasp being brave.

  4. Jessica says:

    Wow! Awesome and beautiful post. Just what I needed today. Thanks!!

  5. Thanks for writing this. I definitely needed to read it today. I’ve been struggling to be brave in the last couple of weeks and now I have deadlines looming that make it even worse. So today I’ll hold that verse in my heart and try to be courageous about my circumstances.

  6. Natalie says:

    I really needed to read this today. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do, and I get discouraged thinking that I don’t do a good job or that I am not capable of doing the task. But I often forget how courageous I am just for showing up and giving it my very best every day. Thanks!

  7. Erin – another great post… I really needed to read this today, and needed the scripture you posted. I just added it to Notes on my phone, so I can see all day today as I consider (and pray) over changes in my life. On a side note, many years ago I went to the same church as Scott Lee – awesome person. Y’all are very lucky to have him as your Minister of Music… take care. Oh, the pic of your boys with Santa was absolutely precious!!! Linda.

  8. I’m so glad you wrote this today, Erin. I really needed to hear this.
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  9. Eunice says:

    For 4yrs i struggled with infertility (i now have 2 miracle babies – they are actually 5 and almost 2 but will always be my babies!) and one night i was going way outside of my comfort zone to meet up with other local girls, that i didn’t know, who were also going through the same thing. Before going to meet them my husband gave me a necklace with an aquamarine stone in it with a note (aquamarine represents courage). To date that is one of my most favorite gifts he has ever given me. Unfortunately it was stolen last spring, when someone broke into our house, but i often think of that necklace when i need a little extra dose of courage! Thanks for writing this, i hadn’t previously thought about the courage it takes to just complete the daily tasks of life!!
    Eunice

  10. Emily says:

    I don’t think that I have ever commented before . . . but thanks. I needed to hear that verse today.

  11. “There is so much courage in the ordinary. Because sometimes the ordinary can wear us down.”

    Absolutely love this. It really spoke to me and I needed to hear this today. Thank you, Erin!

  12. wow. I love it when you write a post that absolutely nails what I’m experiencing at the time. Just this morning I was talking to my husband about running into Target by myself with our 2 year old and newborn for whatever odds and ends we needed and I said, ” I think I have JUST ENOUGH courage and energy to do it” The truth is, the last few days of mothering has been exhausting in the best possible way, but exhausting nonetheless and my toddler’s energy source seems to increase as mine decreases! =) Isn’t that how it always works?

    anyways, excellent post. Thank you.

  13. This is a great post! I think we sometimes forget how brave and strong we are in the ordinary things and those ordinary things matter so much!
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  14. great post and so true about being courageous when dealing with an energetic pre-schooler and a sassy toddler!
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  15. Alison says:

    Love this post so much right now.

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