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Swimming with Sharks

I struggle with stepping outside of the very comfortable box I live in. Being brave is not what many would use as a descriptor for me.Very recently my youngest daughter and I were having a conversation about facing her fears and the courage it takes sometimes to do things that others might see as simple. I called it "everyday bravery", which I thought was very original (it's not). Those events that push you to step outside of your comfort zone and face those fears that tug your shirttail and encourage you to stay put. We discussed what it meant to be brave. She thought of knights fighting dragons or doing an impossible task. But then we thought about when WE are brave, what's that look like? Here's her list:

1. Go in the ocean ("You could get eaten by a shark, Mom!")

2. Go snorkeling (sharks again)

3. Go to camp when some people are mean

4. Asking you (mom) for permission to do something (I am the "no" parent)

5. Go on a bike ride

6. Go on a rollercoaster

That's a good list. It took a long time for those six. It was hard for her to realize that SHE could be brave. She started with knights and dragons, and then moved on to a list of things that would require her bravery to face. This list included things like... sharks! All that being said, what I loved was she only thought big things required bravery. She's still young enough to take risks because she believes she will succeed, and if she doesn't, no sweat- try it again. That's beautiful.

When do we lose that? That childlike idea that all bets are off and we can do anything (except face a shark). That childlike FAITH, that equates everyday bravery? That trust in the protection and abundant love that we receive from Christ. It's different for each of us, but it falls at the time when we begin placing our faith in things of this world instead of our Heavenly Father. Because the things of this world will ultimately fail us in some way. Our eyes should be fixed on the cross, where BRAVERY won and took our need for fear away.

Anyway, we are going to camp out on this everyday bravery for a few. Do you have a list of how you're brave in the day-to-day? Let's see it, comment below. We are all brave- and if we aren't, perhaps we need to revert to our childlike ways.

Matthew 18:1-5, The Message

18 At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?”

2-5 For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.

Father in Heaven,

Thank you for blessing me with a daughter that reminds me daily how to rely on childlike faith. Your Word tells us to return to this state, but there are times that we try our own brand of bravery and it falls on our egos and spitefulness. Wash us, Lord. Cleanse us to a pure state of faith- like that of a child, so our everyday brave is pleasing to you. In Jesus' beautiful name, Amen.

#brave #rollercoaster #sharks #faith #courage

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© 2016 by Jennifer McAndrews