How to Get Ready for a Brave New Year

I opened my first Christmas present this year almost a full 10 days before the 25th of December. Giddy with childlike anticipation, I just couldn’t wait so I tore the FedEx box open to reveal a bubble mailer, ripped a hole in its plastic walls, extracted a green and red box tied with a velvet ribbon and found a charming Christmas card with sophisticated ladies carrying packages from snowy boutiques and expressing the happiest of holiday greetings from my sweet blogging friend in sunny Florida.

The gift she sent was a teal leather cuff stamped with a sentiment from a shop she wrote about visiting during Thanksgiving. We had exchanged comments over her pictures exclaiming that we wanted to live there among all the pretty things- think Anthropologie meets Noonday.

I was humbled and thrilled that she thought of me… and so early in the season no less! Much like my Christmas decorating I don’t often figure out the nuts and bolts of gifts until the pressure is on. It’s an annoying habit I’m working on, believe me. I immediately texted her my thanks and proudly donned my new turquoise treasure while I seared some chicken and chopped peppers for the fajitas we were having that night.

I lead an exciting life.

And while I stirred those ordinary ingredients in the pan I kept looking down at my wrist and pondering over the word she chose for me…

 

BRAVE.

 

She thought I was brave.

brave cuff

Boy have I got her fooled.

But isn’t that always the case? The thing we think we don’t posses- in my case, bravery- is the very thing that someone else sees modeled in us so clearly. Maybe for ourselves it’s hard to see the forest for the trees because we’re so up close and personal with our own preconceived notions and failures everyday. Our personal peripheral vision isn’t nearly as developed as our dear friends, family and heavenly Father who are able to see us as a whole.

Sometimes it takes that special soul to come along side us and share secrets about ourselves we didn’t even know we were longing to hear.

 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

The mere fact that Jesus lives in us should be all the bravery we need but yet we still curtsy to fear on so many occasions – like it is the royal ruler of our heart instead of Jesus.

Fear of not being good enough. Fear of not doing the right thing. Fear of failing.

I’m in the middle of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, “Big Magic” and she had some pretty funny and succinct thoughts on fear and how to live with it. Click here for just a taste of how she challenges the way we think about our fear.

Because the truth is, we can never really separate ourselves completely from fear- it’s a constant companion. Even the most ‘brave’ people we admire don’t live in the absence of fear, they simply do things afraid.

So I pondered over the year thinking about all the things my friend and I shared posts and emails about and I came to realize maybe I really was brave… I mean last year alone found me stepping into a multitude of new things: a slightly different musical role, making a video, joining forces with a prayer partner, becoming a vendor at a vintage show, building a sewing business and then taking a break, new haircuts, letting go of a precious pet, a trip outside my comfort zone and a new 30 day commitment

Imagine what more we could accomplish if we took to heart the beautiful encouraging things people said about us (instead of replaying all the discouraging tapes in our head both from our own voice and the memories of ugly words from the past).

Do you want to abandon the bad and keep the good? Me too. Do you want to believe, like really and truly wholeheartedly without a doubt KNOW that you are loved and cared for?

That you are beautiful and cherished?

That you are brave and strong?

All the courage we’ll ever need is here for us in God’s word written in black, white and red.

wearing brave

And sometimes stamped in metal on a teal leather cuff.

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. ~ Joshua 1:9

Out with the old my friends. Let’s be remade- brave and new- this year.

braveNewYearChampagneGraphicsFairy1

{image via The Graphics Fairy}

Do you have your word for 2016 yet? I’m betting you can guess what mine will be!

P.S. Looking for more ways practice brave and forget fear? You’re not alone. It’s my pleasure to create connection, community and sometimes cute stuff just for you! I’d love it if you’d join our little tribe – you’ll be the first to know of all the soul satisfying surprises in store. Click right here to receive a set of free printable scripture cards and I’ll see you in your inbox soon!

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14 thoughts on “How to Get Ready for a Brave New Year

  1. Heather, I experienced something similar this year … someone called me courageous and adventurous, two adjectives I never would have used to describe myself! I agree completely that such affirmation from another person can be powerful and life changing. And based solely on your list new things you did in 2015, I think your friend is right … you are definitely brave! Thanks for this encouraging post. I’m so glad to be your neighbor today at Coffee for Your Heart.

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    1. Hi Lois! So happy to have you stop by and leave your lovely comment of encouragement. Here’s to an adventurous new year in your corner of the world as well! May God show you new things everyday!

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  2. Heather,
    I am sitting here (in my cubicle) enjoying a cup of spicy anise tea {because it smells just like my aunt Charlotte’s pizelle cookies she made every Christmas} and I opened your post to read and . . .. oh my — what a surprise and how lovely your words are!!!! I loved hearing how you tore open the box! Isn’t it something how sometimes others see in us the very things we think we aren’t? And isn’t that how God sees us? I love how he speaks over us what he thinks we can become! And friend, you don’t realize how brave you already are!!! Praying for brave new things for you in 2016! Thank you for this treasure of a friendship! xoxo

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    1. Awww girl thank you ♥
      I have never heard of pizelle cookies so now my interest is piqued! Yes packages (ok mail in general) never cease to excite me. I remain a die-hard fan of written communication! Thank you for speaking over me such words of encouragement this year! I can’t wait to see what 2016 has for both of us- I know it will be good! xoxo!

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  3. Well, you already know how much I love this word from visiting me. My “brave” verse was 1 Corinthians 16:13 – “Watch. Stand fast in faith. Be brave. Be strong.” That word and verse was written all over 2015, is scrolled on my laptop, adorns jewelry, and is honestly a permanent piece of my heart. And yes, yes – bravery is not the absence of fear, it’s obedience to God in spite of it. It’s not brave, unless you’re a little afraid. Ok, I’ll spare you any more quotes. Brave is good, and so is God. And that’s all. 🙂

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  4. Even better the second time round Heather – such good truth here. That scripture from Timothy has saved my life many a time when fears had me gripped. Enjoyed the post from Elizabeth Gilbert too. I read her novel The Signature of All Things over Christmas !?! but didn’t know she wrote non fiction. Is it one to add to the reading list? God Bless my friend, Happy Easter!!

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