The Fear/Faith Principle

I’ll never forget what my mother did when I was twelve years old. She volunteered me to teach a¬†ladies Sunday school class. She thought it would be fun. She was in the class. ūüôĀ

It was youth Sunday,¬†but¬†still …

I was furious. And scared to death.

On the way to¬†¬†church I felt like throwing up. My hands shook as I clutched the fear/faith poster I’d made. The poster was half black and half yellow. The yellow part represented faith. The black part meant fear.

At the bottom I wrote:

“Faith means walking to the edge of all the light you can see and taking one more step.”

That day in 1972 when I taught the semi-circle of ladies, a miracle happened.

My poster worked!

I didn’t pass out. My heart slowed down. My words¬†flowed.

I saw a softening around their eyes, a tenderness, a look of understanding.

We experienced the awe and humility of God’s Presence.

This weekend, I’m flying to Massachusetts to lead a ladies retreat on Surrender.

I’m packing my carry-on now. The goofy shoes and hat are part¬†of a skit.

I’m bringing the¬†Daily Guideposts 2015¬†. It contains a¬†Surrender Series I wrote.

On the inside, I’m still the same little girl. Forty-two years later,¬†right before I speak, my heart does that¬†same skippity thing, and my hands turn clammy.

But the fear/faith principle still works.

When you take one tiny step¬†out of all the light you can see, and your foot is coming down into darkness, you don’t realize it, but you’re landing in faith.

Are you stepping out into faith about something?

My church lady shoes for the skit–my mother wore them 27 years ago at her second wedding.

Please say a prayer for us this weekend.

Here’s my blog about the Ladies Surrender Retreat in South Carolina.

“Fear not, for I am with you.” Isaiah 41:10 NKJV

So much love,



Confessions From the Oldest Child of the Scared Family

One of my brothers used to say were the Scared Family. He had a dry sense of humor, and mostly, he was talking about my mother and me. Anything and everything was reason to be afraid. Very afraid.

Easter morning, forty years ago…

Mother’s hair was a little scary looking, don’t you think? And what about her tie?

Seriously, my brother was right.

Most of the things I’ve been afraid of never happened, but I lived through them just the same.

Hospital waiting rooms were particularly scary. But after fifty years, the Scared Family is changing.

Remember when my mother had her¬† biopsy? My sister made fudge and we had a party.¬†We didn’t do this years ago–combine biopsies with fudge and sunglasses and silliness.

The other day, my sweet step-father Gene fell taking out the trash and broke his hip. After being rushed to the hospital by ambulance, he had surgery. He’s¬†in¬†a rehab facility recuperating.

And look!¬†Mother’s smiling in the waiting room during surgery. FYI, this is¬†not the woman who raised me. ūüôā

I’m sure I’ll have more scary times, but this much I know is true:

Fear doesn’t change the outcome. It’s exhausting, addictive, and leaves no room for good thoughts.

So what’s bringing change to the Scared Family?

1. We’re laughing more.

If there’s anything you can laugh about, laugh.

After surgery,¬†Gene was confused¬†coming out of¬†anesthesia. “Why are we in the hospital?”

“We’re having a baby,” Mother said.

“Oh. Then why am I in the bed?”

“This time you’re doing the work.”

2. Take a break. Do normal things like fold the laundry, go to the grocery  store, or even paint your toenails.

3. Pretend you’re not afraid. It works. Courage becomes real in your heart.

We’re told 365 times in the Bible not to be afraid.

So do not fear, for I am with you…” Isaiah 41:10 NIV.

Have you battled fear too?






Ignoring the Mean Monster

Everyone won’t understand this, but for those few who do–this one’s for you. Last Sunday night, I was having the best time reading in my favorite chair in the den, covered with my favorite blanket. Comfy and content. And out of nowhere, these bossy thoughts came.

Get up!

You shouldn’t be wasting time! Your blog’s not ready. You only have a blip of an idea, and who writes about lipstick anyway?¬†That’s stupid. Nobody’s going to understand. If you don’t stop dilly dallying, you’ll never get it done. It’s Sunday night and you haven’t written one single word.

Panic lurched across my heart. I raced to the stairs leading to my office.

Before I put my foot on the first step, I stopped.

Wait a minute. This is how the old Julie acts.

Wearing myself out trying to make things happen. Force life into cooperating.

Doubting God.

Another thought came–a gentle whisper–something my Father might say.

Haven’t I been faithful so far?

Yes, but I only have a seed of an idea. I haven’t even started…

Do you trust Me?

A tiny yes rose up.

I didn’t climb those thirteen steps to my office that night. Instead, I turned around and¬†walked back to my chair, covered up with my blanket, and finished reading my book.

Monday morning, I knelt at my desk. “Lord, You’re going to help me again, aren’t You?”

I sat in my familiar desk chair, put my hands on the familiar keys, and began typing as fast as I could.

The mean voice had vanished. ūüôā

Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you…” Isaiah 41:10 NAS

Can you relate?