God, Growing, Rejection, Risk

Growing: Encouraging Personal Growth

Unless you try to do something RW Emerson

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

***Hubby and I took a few days away, so I don’t have a regular blogpost ready for this week.

With that being said, I have been contemplating the idea behind this quote. I’ve completed three rough drafts that have the potential to become full-fledged books. If I revise and polish and submit them.

I stretched myself with the first word I wrote for my first book. I—the woman who never thought she could make up a plot, imagine up characters and dream up dialogue—wrote my first story. With a lot of help from God. And guidance from friends.

As my third story marinates for a bit, I’ve discovered a hesitancy to take it through the process to completion. I suspect I’m nurturing a fear of rejection.

So . . .

It’s time to try to do something beyond what I’ve mastered and refine this story. Pour more of myself into it and see what God does with it. If I  entrust the end result to Him, I don’t need to fear rejection or anything else. I’m going to grow as I walk through this stretching process.

What about you? What have you tried to do beyond what you’ve already mastered? What was the end result?

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Five Minute Friday scribblings, FMF Reach, Risk, Uncategorized

Reach: Reaching Beyond Myself

Bright Zinnia

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—Reach. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

REACH

Reach is such a challenging word. It can mean stretching beyond myself, my comfort zone and extend life, words of encouragement, actions to another. Sometimes reaching involves risk. Reaching for a dream a goal to satisfy a deep desire.

When I reach for something I’m stretching myself. Whether it’s a physical stretching of my hand to touch another in comfort, to stroke a blonde head, combing fingers through a child’s hair.

Or perhaps it’s reaching an arm around the shoulders of one sobbing or hurting. Reaching can involve the risk of rejection.

Is it worth it to reach out? To reach in the hopes of ministering to another?
Stepping Up

Is it worth it to dream and reach for said dream?

Yes. It is.

We may or may not achieve the dream, but we learn in the process. We can aspire again and reach forward with more wisdom, and perhaps achieve the dream in the future.

Even more importantly is reaching out to people. People are eternal. When we reach out to another, offer comfort, pour on love, we are being a glimpse of Jesus to them. When we reach out with words that speak life and truth—even the difficult truths—we are giving a taste of eternity.

Does this involve risk? Yes. We could be rejected. Does this mean it’s not worth it to reach?

What if Jesus hadn’t reached both arms, spanning the width of the cross?

We’d be lost now.

So, yes, I believe its’ worth it to reach beyond ourselves, to touch another skin-to-skin or heart-to-heart. Reaching out with Jesus’ love to be a salve and to be truth spoken at a proper time.

What about you? When have you risked to reach out to another? What dreams have you reached for?

Kate Motaung’s FMF: Reach

Comfort Zones: Do We Trust God In Our Comfort Zones?, Life, Living with Intention, Risk

Comfort Zones: Do We Trust God In Our Comfort Zones?

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I don’t know about you, but I like comfort. I’ve always felt safe in the comfort of my routine, of knowing what to expect each day. There’s safety in the comfort zone because I don’t have to risk anything of myself. But . . . when I focus on—seek out—comfort, I cut off opportunities to know and be known by others.

When I flew to Destin, Florida recently, I did something different.

Continue reading “Comfort Zones: Do We Trust God In Our Comfort Zones?”

Risk, Taking Risks Okay Vs No Way

Taking Risks: Okay Vs No-Way

hinnamsaisuy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of hinnamsaisuy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

On Tuesday, I shared observations from when our family attended a baseball game. Here’s a slight addition to that story. One of our children is a risk-taker, and one is not. When Peter was so eager to meet the team mascot–Sox the Fox–I asked Edmund if he wanted to go too. He shrank into his seat and gave a definite shake of his head. Too risky.

He looked like he wanted to meet the mascot, but it would be too embarrassing for him. Edmund dislikes being singled out for something–good or not-so-good. Ruining his reputation is too high a risk for our youngest boy. He stayed in his seat and watched his brother greet the fox.

Peter rarely worries about what others think. If he wants to do something, he’s going to do it. This is the boy who climbed thirty feet into a tree when he was six. Risk and Peter seem to be synonymous.

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Image courtesy of andy newson at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve thought about the different mindsets my guys displayed that night. Peter was uninhibited about going after what he wanted. Edmund let fear of embarrassment stop him from getting something he wanted.

What about me?

Too many times, I’ve let risks persuade me to say no to possibilities life offers me. Fear of making a mistake in front of others, of trying something and failing, of being hurt in the attempt have all convinced me to say, “No way” rather than to take life up on its possibilities.

I’m purposing to get beyond the “No Way” mindset. A few things I’ve discovered that help me to “take on” risks are:

  1. Realize I need to let go of some of the control I think I hold over my life. When I release my grip on life, I discover the ability to embrace adventure and try new things.
  2. Look beyond the fear factor to the possibilities–fun, learning something, accomplishing something I never thought I could do are all great results from taking risks.
  3. Tell someone I’m going to do something I consider risky. When there’s an accountability to “just do it,” I’m more likely to move out of my comfort zone and take a risk.
  4. Taking someone along with me. When I try something new with a friend or a loved one, it’s easier to move beyond fear. It’s also easier to take the pressure off and laugh at myself.

There are times to say, “No Way.” There are also occasions when I need to answer an opportunity with “Okay,” even when risks are involved.

Your Turn: What helps you to say “Yes” to taking a risk in your life? What’s the riskiest thing you’ve ever tried?

Adventure, Risk

Red Mustangs

Image“Would you like to upgrade to a convertible red mustang at no extra cost?”

Those words made my heart pound. Really? A red ‘stang? I’ve always wanted to drive one. The candy-apple red temptress whispered to that cautious part inside me saying, “Try it, You’ll like it!” I looked at my hubby, trying to tamp down the eager in my heart. We were ready for some fun. I thought about our friends’ faces when we pulled up to their homes in our red built-for-speed convertible and grinned to myself.

We drove out of the rental car parking lot, ready to be adventurous. Well, as adventurous as the forty-something mother of two dares to be in Vegas. This car had power. A tiny touch on the accelerator gave it plenty of speed. The barest tap on the brakes reined it in. Oh, I liked it.

It didn’t take long for other thoughts to nudge their way into my mind, though. Thoughts like, “This is Vegas. This car screams, ‘Steal Me!’” Or, the realization that our red adventure on four wheels would be a magnet for every policeman in our vicinity to radar in on our vehicle, judging the way we drove before looking at the occupants. And, thoughts like, “Honey, let’s park in the garage or use valet, to keep our rental car out of sight.”

I realized the risks inherent with driving a fire-engine red speed machine could steal the joy from my fun. Was I going to let it? I could worry about every police car we passed, about what might happen if we parked out in the open and what passersby would be thinking about how to break into “our” car, or I could learn to enjoy our adventure and take necessary precautions.

So, too, those unexpected adventures that find each of us on our life-journeys may hold risks.Image Are we going to let ourselves experience a mild walk on the “wild side” of the road and learn to manage the risks, or will we allow fear and worry determine how we interact with God’s planned adventures? This cautious gal is learning to deal with the maybes and enjoy the unexpected blessings.

Your Turn: Have you ever had a surprise adventure that came with strings attached? What was it and what did you do?