What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?

This summer, I was very blessed to not only take a vacation but to take a vacation where I did absolutely NO work. Aside from answering 2 work-related emails, I was able to unplug, relax with my family, shop, watch movies and read.  Deciding WHAT to read while on vacation wasn’t an easy task, as I wanted to read something that wasn’t related to Children’s Ministry but would be enjoyable and hold my attention.

Earlier this year, I watched an interview that Oprah Winfrey did with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO.  I was so intrigued by the interview that I ordered her book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead before the interview was over.  When I glanced at the huge pile of books that have gotten a tad dusty because I have been busy with other things, that one stood out to me.  So I grabbed it and placed it in my suitcase.  While on vacation, I read it cover to cover in just a matter of days (it’s been a while since I’ve done that)!

Photo Credit: leanin.org
Photo Credit: leanin.org

Today, I want to share some of my favorite quotes from the book as well as a few thoughts about a project I feel God is calling me to.

  • “We [women] hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling back when we should be leaning in.”
  • “Fear is at the root of so many of the barriers that women face.”
  • “Opportunities are rarely offered; they’re seized.”
  • “Taking initiative pays off.  It is hard to visualize someone was a leader if she is always waiting to be told what to do.”
  • “In order to continue to grow and challenge myself, I have to believe in my own abilities.”
  • “Owning one’s success is key to achieving more success.”
  • “Authentic communication is not always easy, but it is the basis for successful relationships at home and real effectiveness at work.”
  • “The ability to listen is as important as the ability to speak.”
  • “Long-term success at work often depends on not trying to meet every demand placed on us.  The best way to make room for both life and career is to make choices deliberately – to set limits and stick to them.”
  • “Instead of perfection, we should aim for sustainable and fulfilling.”

This book was not written from a Christian perspective, but I found it to speak to me in so many ways.  The one chapter that I had to really contemplate was the very first one.  It asked, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”  Let that sink in for a moment.  How would you answer that?

When I put my book, highlighter and pen down and really thought about that question, I had a few thoughts pop into my mind.  I have shared in previous posts how fear almost prevented me from starting this blog for fear of failing.  Stepping out in faith comes easy to me in some areas but it petrifies me in other areas.

For the past year, I have felt God speak to me about birthing a resource for kidmin leaders but I have always pushed it aside because it has never felt like the ‘right time’ or I didn’t have the ‘right resources’ or *gasp* the ‘right knowledge’ to pull it off. But I have once again felt God say, “Do it.  The time is now.”  So, it is my desire to develop my idea a bit and share it with the kidmin world later this fall.  I can’t wait to share it with you!

But for now:  What would you do if you weren’t afraid?  How would you answer that?

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