Saying Yes {31 Days of Self-Care}

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Welcome to Day 29 of my 2014 #Write31Days journey! If you are new here, you can read a little more about me in the sidebar. ;)

I’m not known for being a yes-mom, yes-wife, or yes-anything. I lean toward the pessimistic, and tend to evaluate all possibilities (even extreme ones) before saying yes.

Saying Yes | AmyLovesIt.com #write31days

I really don’t mind change, but I am set in my ways. Being an introvert means that being in the middle of things is not just something that puts me out of my comfort zone, it is also exhausting, both mentally and physically. For many reasons, I prefer being behind the scenes, and I certainly don’t like being the center of attention!

These are some things I definitely need to work on, so lately, I’ve bent toward the optimistic, and surprised a lot of people with my, “Yes.”

God has also put me to the test, so to speak, with several opportunities to get outside of my comfort zone and my “set ways.”

Sunday nights

My husband is the youth pastor at our church, but he is also the associate pastor. This means he fills in for our senior pastor when he is gone. It also means preaching for our Sunday night church crowd is his responsibility. The last few weeks, Shane has implemented something new, and it is going quite well.

The basic gist is a small group-type setting where Shane is more the facilitator with the Scripture and questions, and we as the audience are participating.

Now, you must know that I’ve always attended and supported my husband, but there is something about going somewhere where you don’t have to talk (aka, a sermon in a church) for an hour! While I was excited about the new way of doing Sunday nights, my participation never even crossed my mind. I would show up and smile and be there for Shane and go home.

One thing about me that may not apply to many introverts is that I like to talk. I can talk to a brick wall and get it to talk back. {wink} Despite this, I don’t show my talkative side in public settings; certainly not ones where I am the only one talking. But guess what? That first night, halfway into the lesson, my mouth opened and words came spilling out. And then, it happened a few more times.

Yes. I know. I’m getting a little anxious just thinking about it! {Somebody pass the Stress Away!}

I figured it was accidental and it would not happen again. The next week came along and lo and behold, I made two comments. Here is the kicker: every single time I spoke, it was without trepidation. Normally, I am anxious and sick when I speak out loud in front of a crowd, even a crowd I know and love.

I’m not just showing up, I am participating. And I love it.

Sunday Morning Prayer

I may be a pastor’s wife, but I rarely pray out loud. It’s not that I am uncomfortable or embarrassed (I’ve done it a lot), I simply don’t feel like I have the authority or experience compared to other people. {Yes, I know… this is one of those, “Oh puhleeeze,” type statements. Believe me, I feel shame over these feelings because I know they’re wrong.}

It’s my husband’s fault, really. He’s easy to blame. Haha!

Actually, Shane beginning a new prayer ministry on Sunday mornings was needed for both our church and our family. We’ve always had an amazing group praying for our service, but I’ll be honest when I tell you I don’t know when or where they meet. I should probably pay better attention! However, the addition of a new prayer meeting was not to overshadow or disband the current group. (I am not sure they even meet on Sunday morning, but I know they meet at some point during the week. ) After all, what church couldn’t use more prayer these days?

Two weeks ago, coinciding with the new change of going back to one service, Shane opened up a new prayer ministry, inviting everyone and their families to join us in praying for our church. It is a little early – 8:30 – so we were thrilled when we had two members show up. The first meeting was in the parlor, a small room, and little Cam decided to begin talking loudly during the prayers, so he and I left the room. Meleah followed. She was not having it, either.

I’ll be honest. I was disappointed that I missed out but also, seriously relieved. I wondered how I could get out of praying aloud every week like I had that week! I knew that was the wrong thing to think, but I really don’t like talking in front of people.

I peeked into the window of the door and saw my Abby Grace’s mouth moving, her sweet head bowed in prayer. Three things happened: I was incredibly moved. I hated missing hearing my precious girl praying for the first time in a group that included adults she was unfamiliar with. I was highly convicted; here was my 10-year-old daughter not blinking an eye about praying in front of a group. Sure, it was made up mostly of her family, but that didn’t matter.

When the participants emerged, my Abby Grace and Reese were beaming. They were so excited!

The entire point of the new prayer ministry is to encourage families of all sizes to join us in praying for our church service and staff, and that the Word would be preached, hearts would be opened to receive the Word, and ears would hear. So, instead of me keeping all of my kids out while the adults prayed, we encouraged our girls to sit in the room with everyone. That first week, I didn’t know if the girls would be asked to pray or not. It turned out, it was never even a question. When Reese’s turn came (they were sitting in a circle), she simply prayed. And when Abby’s turn came, she also prayed.

Last week was our second week, and we moved to the main youth room, which is larger and more open. This time, we had a third person join our group! I surprised myself, after being humbled all week long over my feelings from the previous Sunday, and requested to start the group off, as I didn’t want to miss out again if I had to leave with Cam. I did, and like the Sunday night study, I felt nothing but peace; no worry or anxiety.

Reese and Meleah were on either side of me, and I quietly asked Meleah if she would like to pray. She declined, saying she was praying in her head. She stayed in the group the entire time, though, and I was so proud of her for that. Reese, of course, began praying, and this time I got to hear her. While it isn’t the words that matter, it is the heart behind the words, I was still blown away by the maturity of my 8-year-old’s prayer, and again when Abby Grace had her turn.

Shane and I are both wondering what on earth God is doing to me. Ha! But in all seriousness, I am amazed at the happiness, peace, and excitement I feel from doing something that normally brings me such anxiety.

How is God encouraging you to “say yes?” How is God encouraging you out of your comfort zone?

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photo credit (top): Photosightfaces via photopin cc

photo credit: A Guy Taking Pictures via photopin cc

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