Friday, May 18, 2007

What if.....We had more courage to persevere

A few weeks ago, we went to the local roller skating rink. My youngest daughter had never been skating before, but she was willing to try something new. She started out gripping my hand and letting me pull her. She progressed to learning to skate alone on the carpet area of the rink. She then eventually went out on the rink with one of her older sisters (I was worn out!), stayed close to the wall and out of the way of others, and skated around the entire rink by herself. When she would take little breaks, she’d look over and smile and wave. She was grinning ear to ear when she was done. She did it! She built her confidence through persevering on a task she initially thought was overwhelming.

This is the same precious daughter who had three open heart surgeries by the time she was two years old and we almost lost her after her last surgery due to major complications. This girl knows something about perseverance and a God who protects and provides!

How about you? Is there something in your personal or professional life that requires perseverance or tenacity? What area of your life could you use a little more confidence?


1. Identify one area in your life you could use a little more confidence you know requires perseverance?

2. Think of building your confidence like climbing up steps. Take it one step at a time. When you have mastered that one step, THEN move to the next step. What kills confidence and brings a strong desire to quit is looking at all the steps you need to climb instead of focusing on what’s in front of you.

3. Perseverance brings confidence that can take you to a different level in your life. –A life that gives you more energy and passion!

Live Out Loud Ladies!


Randee said...

Okay, Lynn, I have a confession to make. When I first read your post I thought that perhaps these words didn't apply to me. (Typically, I have to put my actions on hold rather than jump right into something half-cocked.) Then, of course, I realized my arrogance adn began to ponder and realized that I DO need to persevere with courage in a very specific circumstance.

I need to persevere in a loving witness to some pretty unlovable people. But it begins with my heart. I can "act out" my witness even when I don't necessarily "feel" I long for a congruency between my heart and my actions. I'm talking internal work.

Again, I come back to the paradox of "being" vs "doing". Discipline has taught me to "do" but I've found that only God teaches me to "be". When I am in this state, I feel tormented.

I know, I know...focus on Christ, get into His word, spend time alone with Him.

But...what about when you are doing these things and find no relief in the heart?

Anne said...

Randee, there's a story I read once about Father Pishoy, an Orthodox priest. Everyday he would walk down the street and whenever he encountered one particular man, a butcher who lived in the church's neighborhood, the butcher would swear at him and spit on him, and Father Pishoy would simply smile. One day Fr. Pishoy noticed that the butcher shop had been closed for many days and he enquired about the man and found out that he was at home very sick. Fr. Pishoy bought him a gift and went to his house to visit him. The butcher became one of his strongest church members and was baptized. Sometimes we don't see the miraculous outcomes that acts of love alone create. As my pastor says, usually we're a link in the chain that leads someone to faith, but not the last link. Sometimes it takes great courage just to be loving when people act so unlovingly. I'll pray for you to continue to have courage; please pray for me.

Randee said...


You have a beautiful gift of speaking in stories. Jesus used this same gift in His parables.

I think you provided a "first step" for me on this. Tomorrow when I am with these "unlovables", I will simply smile at all they say.

A very good (and simple) first step to take!

Today, I had a young woman ask me a very interesting question: Randee, why are you really here?

Do you know what I did? I smiled.

Intesting, indeed.

Shalene said...

Lynn, I think that sometimes, life has required so much perserverance from a person, that to continue to do so- even the thought of it alone- is exhausting. I too, find it hard to continue sometimes. I think for me it's not a lack of confidence but rather a lack of follow through. I am so worried that I'll not do something perfectly, that I sometimes won't do it at all. God has helped me with this- at least I recognize it now- but He's still working on me. I know there have been times when I have just stopped and looked at another person who so obviously loved the Lord, and I'm sure you'll know what I mean when I say that they just GLOW. They are beautiful. So beautiful, that you don't see any physical imperfections in them. I've seen this more than once, and I pray daily that I can one day show this inner beauty on my outer form as well. That is what I want to perservere at. Of course, I probably will be well past the point of perserverence if I'm exhibiting that kind of beauty, won't I??? Love In Him,

Shalene said...

Oh, and Randee, when you're not feeling the peace, just try to remember that's the Deceiver trying to stomp out what he knows you can do through God alone. Rebuke him when you feel this way, (it'll help get the angry feelings out too- that anger can be directed at him) This always works for me. (And I'm a fiesty Irish/Cherokee woman with fire for blood sometimes.) :) I'm not proud of that, but it is what it is. God will show me the blessing of that in time. :)

Anne said...

Randee, thanks for what you said about speaking in stories being a gift, as I'd never looked at it that way before. I'm musing over that woman asking you, "Why are you really here?" Most people don't ask that question. She sees something beneath the surface of you. And in this case, I think a smile was a perfect answer.

Shalene, I can so relate to your words about life sometimes requiring so much perseverance that it's exhausting. I wish I'd had a community of faith when I was a young single mother working two jobs and raising two small children. There were times when I felt that I just didn't want to live anymore from the struggle and exhaustion of just trying to put another can of Spaghetti-Os on the table. And yes, I know what you mean about meeting those people who simply glow because of God within them. What a treasure to persevere in being that kind of woman.

Randee said...


I had to laugh at the "fiesty Irish/Cherokee" description for I, too, am Irish and Cherokee. What are the odds?

Lori Arriaga said...

Life truly is all about having the courage to persevere. Life does get exhausting and sometimes it takes everything in us to persevere. Great post to ponder of what it means to persevere and have the courage to do so.

Sheri said...

Wow, this is a tough topic for me.

Dealing with a chronic illness, now, for 12 years has been exhausting. There are some days where I really just want to throw in the towel. I have a friend who is dealing with the same illness plus another and she has actually admitted openly to wanting to end her life.

Thankfully, we both are women of faith so we just keep on keeping on.

Is it perseverance? I don't know. Maybe it's hope. We both hope that in the end this will all mean something, that we might make a difference in another person's life or that we might be the catalysts in finding a cure.

I agree that we can't focus on the flight of stairs in front of us. How overwhelming is that? I tend to take one step at a time, then go back down a few stairs and start all over again.

Sheri said...

Anne - I, too, enjoyed your parable. You are creative down to the bone. What a gift that is!!!!

Randee said...

Sheri...the word you used: hope is a beautiful concept.

Perhaps, we persevere most strongly when it's backed by hope.