Doing the Hard Thing

Have you ever had to do something you dreaded but you knew it was what needed to be done? A hard conversation? A tough decision? Saying no?

Doing the hard thing and doing the right thing are sometimes the same thing.

My favorite lineman had been pretty quiet lately. When asked what was wrong, he would shrug his shoulders and say nothing. Football was in full swing and school was getting ready to start. So I chalked it up to a lot of new things going on. That is until he came in my room and told me he didn’t want to play football this year.

He’d not said anything until now because he knew how much we enjoyed watching him play. He didn’t want to disappoint us. Then there were the coaches and his teammates to consider. He didn’t want to let them down. But if he were completely honest, his heart just wasn’t in it and he wouldn’t be giving his best. So in the end he had to do what was best for him.

I have to tell you, I WAS a little disappointed because I DO like watching him play. But then I remembered reading this in Brene’ Browns book Daring Greatly:

“Daring greatly means the courage to be vulnerable. It means to show up and be seen. To ask for what you need. To talk about how you’re feeling. To have the hard conversation.”

It took a lot of courage for my almost teenage young man to be completely honest about how he was feeling and what he needed for himself. It took courage to have that conversation with me and more so with his coaches when he turned in his equipment. A conversation we had him do on his own. It took courage to face his teammates, knowing they would be disappointed and maybe even mean about it.

I had to have one of those tough conversations myself recently. I had been thinking about it for several weeks and kept putting it off until I realized my 12 year old was brave enough to do it, so I should be too!

What kept both of us from doing the hard thing when we first knew what it was we should do? It really boils down to three things:

  1. Disappointing People

Let’s face it, most of us don’t like it when we’ve disappointed someone. But ignoring your own wants, needs and feelings can lead to frustration and resentment. This can be detrimental because you end up not being true to who you are and lose yourself somewhere in the mix. Could my favorite lineman have “stuck it out”? Yep. And he would have been miserable in the mix. (You all he had himself so worked up over this whole business he couldn’t eat lunch at school…sigh…)

As a woman of faith I have to ask myself, “Am I trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10) If it’s more important for me to not disappoint God then I have to do the tough, sometimes unpopular, thing.

  1. Fear

Of what? Lots of things really. Besides of disappointing people, we can also fear change, the unknown and confrontation. Carson had played football for six years. It’s just something he had always done so now this is different. Sometimes “different” is scary enough to keep us from being honest about our wants and needs.

The unknown is a road that’s hard to travel, isn’t it? Carson wasn’t sure what reactions would be…ours, his coaches and his teammates. Maybe he would lose some friends over it. (On a side note we talked about his true friends liking him for being him and not just because he played football.) He had to take that step on a new path and trust his gut.

As a woman of faith, I have to let my fear of the Lord trump any other fear that might get in the way. Which leads me to the next thing…

  1. Ignoring Your Gut

Carson had said to me at the end of last season that he wasn’t sure if he wanted to play football in junior high. I thought for sure it was just end-of-the-season-burnout. I encouraged (read “pushed”) him to at least try it over the summer. He agreed and went to weightlifting and conditioning all the while not really wanting to do it….but then there’s that not-wanting-to-disappoint-people-thing rearing its ugly head!

It’s easy to do isn’t it? Ignore the red flags. Shut down the whisperings telling you this isn’t for you. You make excuses and reason with yourself why it’s okay to go against what your gut is telling you. Until you simply can’t do it any longer.

As a woman of faith, that gut thing, those whisperings is the Holy Spirit. When we ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit, it leads to disobedience. Disobedience leads to losing our joy. (See John 15:9-11)

You have to trust your gut (the Holy Spirit) and do that thing you dread; have that difficult conversation; make that tough decision.

While Carson has moments of missing football, overall he’s happy with the decision he made. (And he can now eat lunch again!)

Now it’s your turn. What keeps you from doing the thing you’re dreading? Having that hard conversation? Making that tough decision? Be brave my warrior friend! Step out in faith, step into the unknown and dare greatly!!

Love you all something fierce!


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Dipping My Toe in the Second Half Century Has Been…

…let’s just say interesting and leave it there. I’ve learned a lot about myself…some funny, some ugly and some not for the faint of heart. This past year proved to be one of great challenge tapping in to every emotion…these are some of the things I learned along the way…

  1. Tattoos make for interesting conversation starters.
  2. People judge you as soon as they see your tattoo…I’ve been prayed for, tsk tsk’ed at and told I’m beyond forgiveness.
  3. People open up when they see you have a tattoo…I’ve been able to hear some pretty cool stories about other people’s ink and share about mine and my faith in the process.
  4. I prefer the latter group…so much nicer.
  5. Be careful what word you have inked…you’ll be given ample opportunities to practice it. Grace was inked on September 15th. All hell started breaking loose October 1st.
  6. Grace is given to those who don’t deserve it…that is the definition after all.
  7. Grace is hard to extend when circumstances (people) hurt your heart but it’s worth it.
  8. Blood is thicker in the end.
  9. Honey attracts. Vinegar just smells like a douche.
  10. It takes more courage to say you need help than to pretend all is well.
  11. Pretending is exhausting.
  12. I still rock at beach corn hole…ask Tyler my son-in-law. J
  13. Good friends feel bad for you; best friends cry with you.
  14. Everyone needs friends who show up in their PJ’s with wine.
  15. I just need to write the dang book. Thanks Mace!
  16. Hell hath no fury like a Mamma bear protecting her cub…no matter the age of said cub.
  17. Adult kids are a blast to be around…hang in there Moms of toddlers and teenagers.
  18. I AM a writer, so I need to sit down and write. Thanks Todd!
  19. God WILL allow more than you can handle. Whoever said otherwise is a liar.
  20. But when I am weak, then He is strong.
  21. Love indeed heals.
  22. It’s ok to say you’re not ok.
  23. 175 chickens eat and poop WAY more than 40…duh…
  24. I talk to myself…a lot…
  25. Fires and S’mores are therapeutic.
  26. I do not parent perfectly.
  27. Extending myself Grace is a must….but hard to do.
  28. There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for.
  29. My menopausal hormones trump an almost teenage boys hormones. Every. Single. Time. Bless.
  30. Parenting is THE hardest job on this planet.
  31. And the most rewarding.
  32. There is nothing more potent than a parent who prays.
  33. God is faithful.
  34. Your rebellious kid is watching how you handle them…Truth and Grace and lots of Love works wonders.
  35. Some of my ugly came rising to the top. Scrape it off and learn the lesson, quickly before it sours.
  36. Be careful when you pray for God to let you see people as He sees people….it will turn your world upside down.
  37. I’ve been to Africa but can’t find the parking garage where my car was parked in downtown Cincy. Shout out to the TWO sheriffs who escorted…I mean helped me…find it.
  38. People need space to figure things out.
  39. I can do way more than I ever thought I could.
  40. Therapy is not for sissies.
  41. Your words matter. So do your actions.
  42. My 7th grader will be the most schooled guy at the Jr-High on estrogen patches and progesterone levels.
  43. It’s amazing what you can do because you have no other choice but to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
  44. You will get to where you are going, sometimes the process is just slow.
  45. People need to know you see them. And love them. Right where they sit.
  46. Two steps forward and one back is still forward motion from where you began…don’t give up!
  47. Somehow life gets instantly better in a golf cart.
  48. I don’t have to be perfect to try.
  49. I CAN do all thing through Christ but that doesn’t mean I have to do ALL things.
  50. God’s timing is impeccable.
  51. It takes courage to be vulnerable and real.

Lots of lessons learned this past year. Some I handled with Grace and some I learned while kicking and screaming. Still others I learned after I uncurled myself from the fetal position. I may have taken a time out to catch my breath here and there but I never quit. Here’s to the second year of my second half of a century.


Love you all something fierce!!