Living Fearlessly in 2019
Big lapse in the blog here--lots of changes happened in 2018. I took a teaching job at my kids' school and it's been epic! Though it's technically only one short hour in school a day, there's tons of detail coordination that takes hours more to do as I lead a teen band that performs once a week, every week, in front of about 500 people. Plus, there's more. I'm co-leading a band from the piano and a company of about 300 women in gatherings once a month. I'm singing with all my heart on another large stage with another wonderful team once a month, too. I encourage lots of folks in private vocal encounters regularly each week. Add in laundry and dishes and marriage and family and it's insane.
I'm figuring out that the little girl still living inside of me (because we all retain a smidgen of that tiny person, don't we?) is actually terrified of performance, but Big Me makes her do it a lot because that's what we do. This year I've just upped the ante and brought in a whole crazy bunch of uncontrollable factors to the mix and increased the frequency of what makes little Lori anxious! Every. Single. Time.
Well: living fearlessly this year is the only way I'm gonna survive:)
The kids in my class are amazing, and they're doing great. I am having a wonderful time with all my teams. It's just that I've been raised to avoid disappointing people at all costs, and that's near to impossible right now--there are so many plates to spin.
Balancing all of my roles and responsibilities in my own strength is a recipe for disaster. Thankfully, I don't have to.
There is one greater than I who has offered to spin the plates for me. My only job is to stay in close communication with him, and he will coordinate all the details for me and let me know when to call, text, email, write, talk and/or step in. He is my ultimate concierge; I cannot do without him. If I spin the lone plate of staying in communication with him, I don't have to worry about a thing. He cares better than I do for everything in my whole life.
Even more, his reach extends beyond mine into things like safety concerns for my family, my housework, my finances and my vehicles. He sees behind the motive of every person I come in contact with and advises me in matters of discernment so I don't tangle myself up with things I'd later wish I hadn't. He shelters me from information I don't need to know, steers me away from disasters I will thankfully never know, and delivers me into the destiny I am meant to occupy.
He is my very best friend, I love him more than anyone on earth, and I get emotional when I think about how much he does for me. He always has...and he always will. He loves me more than my parents, my sister, my sweet husband, my kids or my friends. He never lets me down. I'm so so so happy that I'm learning to stay in constant communication with him during this busy season where leaning on him matters so much.
It hasn't always been this way. For the past 20 years much of my life was centered around avoiding messes or loss as I raised four kids all born in four years and just didn't want them to die. They're now aged 21 to 17; my wings can't cover them anymore--they're fully grown, making choices of their own and I am no longer in control of every aspect of their lives and that's good because it was exhausting. The very people I worked so hard to protect made all the messes and risked loss all the time--they unraveled my careful plans on the daily! This made me mad at them while I was supposed to be loving them, and the constant stress of this battle kind of wore me to a frazzle, especially as their young sweetness turned to sour disdain as teens. Ah, for about six years I went through a sad, scary rough patch. I became moody, snappy, testy and terse while I tried to keep going and hold it all together. I lost myself for a while. I couldn't be creative and I stopped dreaming altogether. Fear and control were drowning me.
Hallelujah, there is something stronger than fear. Something broke through all my self-imposed programming that held me in that prison of unhappiness. It rescued me from a plastic, static, fixed mindset. Only this one thing could.
Love. Love is stronger than fear. Love sizzled through old thoughts with new ones. Love attracted my attention away from what had been to look at what will be.
The movie Leap Year depicts a woman who had learned to control and stage perfection to avoid loss. Fear drove her to make agreements that systematically trapped her into a plastic life she'd have hated in the long run if love hadn't broken her out of that mold. It took her plans totally unraveling, but when she lost everything she found herself in the presence of a strong protector, gentle but firm, who called out the real her and let her be. He accepted her just as she was, with love. She did what any thinking person would: she left everything to follow him into the unknown to know more of that kind of stronger love. Because he proved himself trustworthy, she felt free to let him lead.
Love is breaking me out of a fear-based need to control...by giving me more than I can handle on my own.
This year marks two in a row (after the dark years) that I've let go of fear and held onto him. I've decided to chuck my plans and follow Love into the unknown. He's bursting through old, hard patterns like butter; strongholds have no chance against him.
Love's mission is freedom. He saw my heart trapped and is steadily pulling me back out into the light...where I find myself dreaming again.
Look: as busy as I am, I'm blogging, aren't I? (He gave us a snow day:) I'm repeating things like this: He's able to accomplish all that concerns me today... I am able to do all things in his power which strengthens me. I am free now in love; I can relax and enjoy life even while there's a lot to do, as long as I'm with him.
I don't have to be in control of anything except my attention. I choose to put my focus on Love.
I'm sure you've guessed that I mean Jesus. I'm guessing you know that the greatest gift ever sent to humankind by Father God was his Holy Spirit, available to any and all who want him to be their friend. He's infinite and personal. He's the most mighty force and gentle as a thought. He's love in essence. He's how to life fearlessly. Do you know him? Just ask for an introduction and He'll take care of the rest.