why I need you to be brave

I feel numb.

I think that’s the emotion that I can relate to most this year. It’s a kind of numb that is self-induced, in a way. Have you ever reached the point where caring too much resulted in too much that instead you just resorted to a plethora of I’m fines and I don’t cares? That’s me right now. Trying to get through.

I don’t know if I’m alone here. Sometimes when I type words I wonder. I wonder if there are others out there just going through the motions every single day. And more than that I wonder if there are some of you out there like me who are going through the motions very very aware that we’re going through the motions.

In the morning I pack lunches. The same thing almost every single day. Gluten free bread, squirt on some mustard add the Honey Roasted Turkey (not the smoked – the kids don’t like that), cut it in half and put in Target baggie. Repeat. Day after day after day.  Some mornings I wake up and think about how I really don’t want to pack those lunches again. But I do. Day after day after day.

Weeks pass.

And with each week that passes some of the dreams keep getting shoved to tomorrow. Somehow that same turkey sandwich ritual is just another reminder of that numb heart feeling.

Tomorrow I’ll start running again. Tomorrow I’ll write that perfect post. Tomorrow I’ll message her. Tomorrow I’ll change. Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.

Eleanor Roosevelt said Do one thing everyday that scares you.

Writing this scares me.

Do you know why? Because it’s not perfectly packaged. And I care what people think despite not wanting to care. Yeah, I admit it. I wonder when there aren’t enough likes or shares and instead of thinking that it’s no big deal I think I’m not relatable. I need to get better. You ever have that? Where you put something up on Facebook and you get crickets as a response? Yeah. I understand. It’s turkey sandwiches with mustard. And once someone told me they needed something inspiring – that it was too much truth.

So I worried.

Until I realized what I needed you to hear.

You are worth living with vibrant emotion.


Not numb. Numb for me hid fear. It hid my worries about not measuring up or needing to do the hard things or write the hard stuff. But no more. I kept thinking about how I can’t wait until 2017 to start over but then I realized that I am giving up on today. I’m giving up on the 31 days of awesome to live. Can you imagine what we can do in this time? (Read my friend Rachel’s post about this as well.)

So I’m challenging you to join me to wake up to our lives.

Wake up.

Every single day. And when life becomes boring or monotonous or too hard instead of hiding from it we are going to delve in head first and reclaim our lives. Ha! I’m going to cut the bread in triangles tomorrow.

No more accepting numb as the standard.

I need you to do something. I need you to be brave. I need you to look at your life and your family and to look at all the places where you tell yourself that it doesn’t matter or you’ll deal with that tomorrow and I want you to start dealing and caring about it now.

No fear. Or maybe let’s acknowledge the fear but jump anyway.

Can you imagine living 31 days without being afraid of fear?

Can you imagine the power?

You are so valuable and worth it. Today it took me getting out of my house and breaking my routine and realizing that part of my writing isn’t just to pat us all on our backs but is rather to encourage us to be brave and bold.  So be brave. Be bold. We don’t have to wait until January 1 to start anew.

We have today.

So for me – I’m going to live out Eleanor’s phrase and do something every single day that scares me. Today? Today I wrote this. And if it’s crickets liking it and sharing it – it’s crickets. Because I know that those of you who needed to read it are reading it. And tomorrow? I’ll share with you what I do.

I hope this inspires you to start fighting for you.

Maybe it’s ten minutes of chill in the morning. Or cutting the turkey sandwiches with mustard a different way. Or standing up for yourself. Or making that tough phone call. Or signing up for a class. Or painting a wall. Or reading a book. Or realizing that putting yourself second in everything has to stop.

I believe in you.

And you need to believe in you too.



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14 Responses to “why I need you to be brave”

  1. December 1, 2016

    Laura Reply

    I always type a response to you and immediately delete it. So, here is my brave move for the day. Thank you. Your posts wake up that part of my brain that knows I matter. Now to just wake up the rest of the brain to help me let people know that. That part is not so brave right now. 😊

  2. December 1, 2016

    Ginnie Stewart Reply

    I get every word you said. As a newly single woman with three children, everyday scares me. My future scares me. Being alone scares me. But every day, I wake up and every day I take one more step to my future. I can’t say I do something every day that scares me. I am a nurse in a jail, so it kind of takes a lot, but I do things out of the ordinary. Like texting a guy I think is attractive, or posting all of my crazy emotions on Facebook. You are so not alone! Thank you for being real and honest. Its kinda what I get props for also, but I don’t really know how else to be. I’m me. Sometimes I feel its not good enough but most days I don’t care, bc in the end, everything will work out the way its suppose to! Have an awesome day, and I look forward to becoming a regular to your stories! God bless!

  3. December 2, 2016

    Amy Reply

    I saw there were no replies and didn’t want you to have crickets!

    One thing that scares me could be typing that URL above, but I’ve also set the ball rolling to order actual business cards. And I’ll see if I can one up that by doing ONE MORE THING that is scary and brave today.
    It’s not even 9am yest, it could happen!

    Thank you friend!

  4. December 2, 2016

    Eva Reply

    We moved to a rural area and I am a first-time mom with a one-year-old baby. It can be hard, but for a few things. It’s true being a SAHM (by the way, I despise that term – it’s not as if we are locked in our houses all day) today is not like it was when I was a little kid in the 70s where all the mothers were home and everyone was friends. These days there’s a lot more isolation as so many mothers work outside the home. But I have practice being alone. I was overseas for many years and in that time I survived loneliness, the likes of which many people will never know. Whenever I feel lonely I just remind myself I’m blessed with a lovable husband, loving marriage, and an adorable child. I have a good home. You see, for many years I could only dream of finding Mr. Right and having a child and a good home. I didn’t get married until I was 40! Thankfully when I did, I married a wonderful man and easily conceived and had a wonderful baby. We then bought a good home at a very low price – cheaper than the home I owned alone so we can afford to live on one income. Is it lonely sometimes? Extremely. But over the years I’m sure I will make good friends.
    But aside from that most people sitting in offices are numb and trapped. Holy smokes – most people working are not doing great jobs. Most people work a 9-to-5 and are more numb or stressed than you! And while they are bored at their desks they are also TRAPPED there! I’m not saying that to be mean, this may will help you. Next time you feel numb, remember you are free in your home, free to come and go as you please – you are much more free than many working stiffs out there. My husband gets up at 3:30 AM, drives to work and works his tail off every day so that our baby doesn’t have to go to daycare, so that I can enjoy every day with her, so I can enjoy motherhood without the stress of trying to hold down a job outside the house. The drudgery of having to wake up every morning and drag yourself into some boring job. Oooh, I pity the masses. when I say that, I’m not talking about the people who have great jobs they love. I mean, the majority of people who have to go to crap jobs they’d rather not do. Obnoxious coworkers, jerk bosses… And gosh the working mothers who are exhausted… You know how many women I know who have to work, because they don’t have a husband or the husband didn’t have health insurance at his job… They didn’t want to leave their babies in daycare, they try so hard to juggle work & motherhood – only so many hours in the day, if you get out at 5 o’clock how much time do you think that leaves you to spend time with your child, to cook or clean, to spend time with your spouse, and to take care of yourself?! When I feel tired or overwhelmed or lonely I think, geez what if I suddenly had to get up every day and go to work, then come home and try to get the house together, and spend time with the baby, and then still try to have time for my husband. And – holy smokes – would I have a smidgen of time for myself?! And then I thank my lucky stars. Is this hard? Yes, absolutely. I have no relatives or friends nearby, I don’t have any help. But I remind myself that I do have an extremely helpful husband. You always have to look for the blessings. And somehow society has convinced us that we are what we do. That our job makes us worth something – well that’s a crock. There’s a Ted talk you should see, it’s got over 1 million views, they did a Harvard study for 75 years and at the end of everyone’s lives… What mattered was… Well I won’t ruin it for you go see the Ted talk and you will be so happy and you will realize that what you are doing matters more than anything you could possibly do. When you come to the end of your life, when you die, it will matter how much, and how well you loved and were loved. That’s it. Love is the true measure of success. It’s life. It’s all just life. There is so much goodness in it. In the simple things. And we’re not supposed to be whistling Dixie or going bungee jumping for thrills every day. I can look out the window at the beautiful trees on our property and I am in awe of the beauty and my good fortune to be surrounded by it. Sometimes if I feel lonely or get the winter blahs, I just remember, I am more loved by my baby and my husband and I have ever been in my life. You don’t know lonely or numb you’ve really been lonely or numb! Look at the simple things. Read a great book or article, I squeeze in a few pages of a book every day, it reminds me how grandiose our universe is and makes me feel alive and engaged. There is so much life to appreciate on any given day. You don’t have to do much at all to feel alive.

  5. December 2, 2016

    Megan Reply

    Thank you for being brave enough to say this and to it. You are not alone.

  6. December 4, 2016

    Jacki Reply

    Great post and great timing.
    Your posts are always inspiring. Wishing all of us moms a day where we do something that scares us, and makes us more ourselves.

  7. December 4, 2016

    LizR Reply

    I’m in a place right now where everything scares me. All of it. And trying new things just seems too hard, and doing the same things just seems to crush my soul, and being brave everyday is just terrifying. I’m convinced I can’t do it. I’m certain of all the things that will go wrong. I’m skipping over the search for all the things that could go right. I’m ignoring all the things I could learn through taking a chance, through changing it up, through listening to my inner voice. Thanks for encouraging me to cut the bread differently. It has made a world of difference in my turkey and mustard world.

  8. December 4, 2016

    Kelley Reply

    Thank you for your posts. I’ve been reading a few here and there over the last few months and all are so relatable. Lately I’ve been reading, and sometimes rereading, them every chance they pop up as some really emotionally devastating life events have made them hit so close to home it hurts. But it’s a good hurt, a more peaceful hurt than the other pain in my life because it makes me feel a little less alone. Thank you and keep writing.

  9. December 5, 2016

    Michelle Reply

    Rachel, You always inspire me. It is brave to share the hard stuff. We all have it and if everyone keeps it hidden away we have nothing but crickets. Thanks for sharing, writing, and being real.

  10. December 5, 2016

    Keri Reply

    You have no idea how much your words mirror my heart. Sometimes being a mom is all-consuming and I often wonder if people know my name or if I’ll forever be known as, ‘Karleigh’s mom”. Not that it’s a bad thing. Keep the encouragement coming. Your articles are a bright spot to me.

  11. December 5, 2016

    Amy Reply

    Numb – too often the way that I feel as well. But I’m trying to be brave too.

  12. December 11, 2016

    Nicole Reply

    Rachel, thank you for your encouraging words. I remembered your site tonight as I was getting the kids to sleep and feeling like an utter failure in my mothering lately. I remembered a post of yours that I had pinned a long time ago, about feeling like a failing mom. It encouraged me so much as I read it tonight.

    Our family has gone through a difficult two years of lay offs and hardships, and I understand the numb feeling. I have been too physically and emotionally exhausted to be enthusiastic about life. I thank the Lord for getting us through it. Jesus’ words about coming to Him, burdened and heavy laden have kept me going.

    I identified with what you said about our dreams being shoved to tomorrow, and how each day you realize its another day you haven’t done anything about your dreams. One of my dreams about music almost feels more like a burden than a blessing because of the frustration of not trying for so long – for years, although I think about it everyday but don’t know where or how to start.

    Anyway, all that to say thanks so much for your post. I appreciate it so much.


    • December 11, 2016

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      You are very very welcome Nicole. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. With joy.

  13. January 4, 2017

    Erin Jennings Reply

    I never have exactly the right words to say, but your posts always reach me deep in my heart. So, no crickets. We’re listening and absorbing, and taking and accepting your words and using them in our lives. Thank you.

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