4 Days!! And 4 books we loved…

Lee Anne’s sister (our Matron of Honour, though she prefers to be called Best Woman) arrived in Orlando yesterday to be helpful and present for this week leading up to the wedding.

Lee Anne’s best friend Caryn (also a bridesmaid) arrives from Austin, Texas tonight! It’s FOUR DAYS AWAY!
Can’t believe it!!!

Four books we loved:

Lee Anne’s list:

  1. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers (currently my all time favorite. read it 3 times. the book of Hosea from the Bible turned into a novel by an amazing writer. HUGE book, fastest read ever.)
  2. Eat. Pray. Love. by Elizabeth Gilbert (great writing, great stories, disagree with almost every concept in the book especially when it comes to the religious beliefs).
  3. The Shack by William Paul Young (read it twice, helped me to see and understand the truth that God is good – even when there’s pain & despair. helped me see & understand the unconditional love of God in a way that I hadn’t before.)
  4. A Painted House by John Grisham (read it YEARS ago but it sticks out in my mind as having been a favorite.)

John’s list:

  1. Oh! The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss (Also, the adapted version by Lee Anne Rankin!)
  2. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Lee Anne had me read this to understand her story and the grace Jesus is working into her heart. Such an incredible story of hope in marriage and the healing power of pure sexuality.
  3. Jesus For President by Shane Claiborne (Also a LA fav.).
  4. Ideavirus by Seth Godin (Lee Anne and I used to read Seth’s blog every day – it’s really great for inspiration)
  5. Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McClaren. (One extra since we overlapped) This book was a big question mark but really made me think about my theology and personal religious upbringing. A great place to start for anyone who is a regular church goer, a “seeker”, very religious, hopeless about the church or just curious about who Jesus really is.

There are so many really good books but these are ones we had somewhat top of mind.

Four days was gone so fast but lots was done and we had fun. 😀

Fear

What you need to know before you read this post:
Creative Writing Prompt:
“List 10 things you’re afraid of. Pick 1, write about it.”
10:36 am

.

In the order that I thought of them

1.   Loneliness (not having true community)
2.   Rejection
3.   Snakes
4.   Spiders & crawly things
5.   Losing people I love
6.   Darkness (sometimes)
7.   Being stuck (in life)
8.   Public Speaking
9.   Sex
10. Selfishness

I think I need to write a bit about some of these and then maybe write more about just one.

Loneliness & Rejection: Elaborated.
This summarizes what I almost put as 5 different fears. I’m afraid of alienating my community by being too intense: too idealistic or too awkward. My fear creates in me an insecurity that I’m then afraid will alienate my community further.
Maybe I’ll be too opinionated or too challenging, if I actually speak my mind. Maybe my insecurities will make me stutter when I go to speak my mind, then I won’t want to speak at all.
I think this fear boils down to one main thing: I’m not secure in my identity: who HE says I am. I don’t rest in that most days. On the rare occasion that I do: it’s unbelievable how different things can be. Still, I forget. Still, I don’t trust. Still, I rest in my insecurity because it’s more familiar. It’s easier to be afraid to succeed than to embrace change that calls for more change…

Snakes, Spiders & Crawly Things.
Not much needs to be explained here. Snakes creep me out beyond words. Spiders are just gross, but I’m about to get married and will have a sweet husband that will do any and all bug killing necessary. If he’s not home, I’ll have to ‘man up’ and kill the little terrorists myself.

Losing People I Love.
This fear can sometimes be an extension of the first one – losing people I love by alienating them myself. Most of the time, however, it presents as a fear that those I love dearly will disappear or die. Even more than that, I think it’s often a fear that they’ll suffer greatly and be in pain before they die.
Still, it’s deeply connected to my fear of loneliness.

Darkness.
I think this one is only a fear when it’s accompanied by complete silence. I’m more at ease with darkness if there’s music or a familiar voice or sound.
However, if I’m outside & can see the stars, I prefer complete darkness & complete silence. 😀

Being Stuck. (in life).
This is one that John mentioned when I called and asked for his help thinking of my fears. He mentioned it in the form of my fear that I won’t travel.
I think it’s a fear of failure more than anything else. Now, how I measure success is rather different than the normal yardstick measurement for success (or so I imagine). For me, success is not measured by goals reached as much as steps taken to reach those goals.
:
I am not a failure if I never write a best-selling novel.
I am a failure if I never write.

I am not a failure if I never see every country in the world.
I am a failure if I don’t explore what’s around me now.

I am not a failure if I don’t have all the children I want (adopt babies from third world countries).
I am a failure if I don’t open my home to those that the Lord puts in our life.

I am not a failure if I don’t make lots of money.
I am a failure if I make money the priority.

I am not afraid of the things that would be the norms for failure… (My life not going just how I’d like for it to go.)
I am afraid of the things I consider to be failures…
I am afraid that I’ll give up or let fear or insecurity control whether I try.

Failure happens when you don’t try, when you give up.

Public Speaking.
Never had this one so bad until I took my College Speech class. Thanks, Gen Ed Requirements.

Sex.
Man, oh man. When I couldn’t think of anymore fears on my own, I called and asked John what he thinks I’m afraid of. After he went through all the ones that I already had, he said, “Sex.”
I hadn’t thought of that. I hadn’t thought of it because I’m not actively afraid of it as much as I’m just nervous that it will never be something that heals my heart and redeems me.
Because of the sexual abuse as a teenager, I fear that my heart won’t connect, that I’ll be cold and distant, that I won’t know how to enjoy with my husband. More than I fear this for myself, I fear this for him. I want what’s best for him in every way.
Only Jesus can redeem and restore as is needed for just such a circumstance.

Selfishness.
So many of these other fears can tie into this one.
I am afraid that I will not be intentional about my love. That I’ll be thoughtless and inconsiderate, (selfish) which will lead to the loss of people in my life whom I love dearly.. Which will leave me rejected/alone. I fear that I’ll let my emotions own my heart and not see Jesus, in doing so, I’ll fail at loving well the people around me.

Fear.
I pray that I never let my fear take control, I pray that I never let any of these things keep me from seeing Jesus and loving well those in my life… especially my soon-to-be-husband.

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Author’s Note
I may still come back and write more about a specific one. Not today, though. 🙂