If I’m being honest…

I worry a lot.  That part isn’t new.

I’ve been a worrier my whole life.  Give me a few seconds to think about something, and I could probably give you a pretty good list of all of the things you should worry about.  Sounds run, right?  Maybe a fun party trick? Not really.

Add worry to the fact that I’m a people-pleaser to the max, and you get a girl that weighs all odds and options before she does anything!  I’m super cautious!  I want to succeed.  And the thing is, because I have the art of calculating risks down to a science, I normally do alright for myself.

But the thing that I’ve learned the most about myself lately is that I seem to really need permission from people before I do anything.  This has never really occurred to me until lately.  And because it’s never occurred to me, it’s never bothered me.  But now that I realize this about myself, it’s driving me nuts!

I don’t like risks and I have always wanted people to be happy.  So I did what it took to make people happy.  Rarely doing anything for myself.  Shoot!  I didn’t have a clue what I would even want because I was so wrapped up in what I thought others wanted from me!

I’ve realized that this has even presented itself in silly ways like I didn’t really do anything to update my house for the first 10 years we lived there.  How crazy is that?!  I HATED my kitchen wallpaper, but I lived with it for 10 years!  Most people would come in and change it right away!  Who in the world did I think I needed permission from to rip that junk out?!  But there was always something in the back of my head saying that I didn’t have permission to do that.  Until one day when I had enough!  Chris was sitting in the living room, and all of a sudden I grabbed the wallpaper scratcher thing and went at it.  He was shocked because I hadn’t said a word to him about it.  I just started at it, and he was like “Well, I guess we’re re-doing the kitchen!”  So we did!

One of the most freeing conversations I’ve had over the last year was with a leader at church.  I was explaining to him something I had been researching and having meetings about.  I was struggling with actually making the decision to pull the plug on the project and was asking who I needed to ask permission from to move ahead when he looked at me and said something to the effect of “Stephanie, you make good decisions.  If you think this is the right thing to do, do it!”  And so I did!  Those few words made a world of difference to me!  And it started getting me thinking about what else I could do!

There are always going to be times when I/we need to get permission to do things.  But more often than not, people just want us to act!  Get things done!  Get the ball rolling!  Maybe even take a little risk!

A guy that I follow on social media posted this the other day…”Your life unfolds in proportion to your courage.” (Check out Stephen Brewster!  He’s awesome!)

I’ve been thinking about that a lot.

If I’m honest with myself, I haven’t had much courage in life up to now.  I’ve played things safe.  Done everything I could to make sure I didn’t make mistakes.  Tried to be the best.

And if I’m also honest with myself, the times I’ve learned the most in life have been when I’ve royally messed up.  And I truly believe I’m a better person because of them!

We’re so afraid of making mistakes and messing up that sometimes we don’t really let ourselves live.  I haven’t let myself really live.

But I’m learning that it’s OK to take some risk in life.  And it’s OK to screw up now and then!  That I’ll still be an OK person…if anything, I’ll be a better person!

I’ll always probably have a tendency to worry.  And I’ll always want others to be happy.  But I’m going to try to not let these things cripple me so much in the future.

And I’m not asking permission!

Don’t worry. Instead pray.

I worry a lot.  I always have.  I have gotten a little better about it over the years.  I don’t worry about all the small stuff anymore, but when I have bigger things to worry about than normal I almost get lost in my worry.  At times it has consumed me.  It’s a horrible feeling.

On the way to work/daycare yesterday, the kids and I were listening to the Kingdom Rock VBS cd, and the song Pray About Everything came on.  I’ve heard this song a million times, but it really struck me yesterday.  Here are some of the lyrics:

Don’t worry about anything
Instead pray about everything
Tell God what you need
Thank God for all He has done
Don’t worry
Instead Pray
Don’t worry
Instead Pray

What if every time I am worrying I make the decision to start praying?  Would would happen if I really did this?  And it hit me that  this might just be crazy enough to work!  To do the trick for me!

If I really did train myself to start praying any time I start worrying about something, I can see how this could totally change my life and my way of thinking.  If I really get into the habit of doing this, I just might be able to let things go!

I heard a quote a few days ago that was something like When you pray about your worries, it is impossible to not feel better.

So I am not going to try to train myself to pray as soon as I start worrying.  I’m sure this will be something I have to work on for a really long time.  I’m a slow learner when it comes to stuff like this, but I’m going to try to make it happen!