Fearless

Teyla’s bedtime routine right now is as pure and sweet as homemade ice cream.

I give her a bath and snuggle her into pajamas. She makes the rounds to the rest of the family and delivers sloppy goodnight kisses. Then she turns to me, arms outstretched, and we close the door to her room and read books until she’s tired.

Some nights, she falls asleep in my arms, while I rock us both past the state of drowsy. Some nights, I put her in her crib and she breathes out a deep sigh and wiggles under the blanket I tuck around her.

Either way, I end up staying in her room a while, listening to the fan blowing on her dresser and the symphony of a tree frogs and crickets outside her window.

It’s during those quiet, tranquil moments that I let myself soak in the last 24 hours. Sometimes, I’m at peace. Sometimes, I regret. Sometimes, I’m too tired to do anything but let the memories wash over me.

Inevitably, within five minutes, I’m filled to bursting with love for my family. I’m freshly aware that we are blessed – incredibly blessed – to live together under one roof, to eat regular meals, to have access to education and medicine and technology. How great is our God to give this gift to me, a sinner? How rich are His blessings and His love for his own?

“But it’s a little too perfect, isn’t it?” whispers a voice in the back of my brain. “After all, anything could go wrong tomorrow. What if you lost one of your children? What if your family was fractured? What if? What if? What if?”

I’m not a person prone to fear, but I think all mothers know this drill. The icy tendrils of fear creep into our souls and threaten to paralyze us with the unknown.

Max Lucado’s new book, “Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear” addresses this very problem. And he offers the best solution: Fight fear with faith. Feed your fears, and your faith will starve. Feed your faith, and your fears will. It’s really that simple.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you about Lucado. He’s a master storyteller and a prolific author. The tone of “Fearless” will be familiar to you if you’re familiar with his work. It’s genuine and witty, heartfelt and hard-hitting. Reading it is like having a deep conversation with a good friend – which is especially helpful when discussing something as personal and hidden as fear.

We fear we don’t matter. We fear we’re disappointing God. We fear not protecting our kids. We fear the worst-case scenario. We fear the end. We even fear that God isn’t real.

With wisdom and tenderness, Lucado forces us to face our fears. He reminds us that, because of God, we should not be intimidated. He teaches us to make faith our default position instead of timidity. He shows us that it’s possible to be less afraid tomorrow than you are today.

I’ve been so encouraged by this book, I’m going to pass it on. And that’s saying a lot for a book lover. But it just doesn’t feel right to keep this one to myself. Fear is at epidemic levels in the Western world right now. Consider this an inoculation. Leave me a comment on this post (make sure I have a way to contact you), and I’ll draw a winner on Friday night.

As for me, I’m relishing my evenings with Teyla even more these days. Thanks to a fresh infusion in faith in The One Who Knows, fear can’t make it past the nursery door. And both Teyla and I are sleeping like babies.

19 comments:

  1. I grew up with a mom who trusted. And trusted. She may have had few fears but they were not telegraphed to us. She would often quote her mom (another truster) that 90% of the stuff we worry about never happens anyway. It's only now that I realize what a gift that was to us as kids.
    I have more fears than she did (trust is hard) but I am so blessed not to be paralyzed by it as many are.
    I hope to be able to pass the blessing on to my kids.

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  2. I would love this book. Not only because I could learn something from it, but I have a friend who I know would also benefit greatly from reading it. Thank you for sharing!

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  3. i've really struggled with fear since having my 4th child...in a way i never have before...i'd LOVE to read this book! thanks for sharing!

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  4. You hit it right on for me...this year I've really struggled with fear of disease and sickness. And it's irrational, I know. I needmore faith! I'd love to read this book! thanks!

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  5. I love Max Lucado. I haven't read this one yet, but I keep hearing good things about it. Thanks for sharing your review!

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  6. I've been where you are...thinking life is just too perfect. I come from a long line of worriers. But I am learning to let go of worry and just trust. It isn't easy. I am one control freak!

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  7. Oh, Kelly. You make me want to have another baby just so I can have our own sweet bedtime routine like that. I miss those days!

    (And the book sounds lovely too!)

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  8. I have heard a lot about this book, and I really want to read it. It sounds great.

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  9. After reading your review I'll throw my name in too--I can see why you said it would be a good thing for me to read right now.

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  10. I could really use this book as well. I struggle with fighting back fear, daily.

    It's ridiculous. For example, we had a truly blessed, amazing, beautiful, fun, happy summer. Can I sit back and relish the memories? No. I keep thinking that it was God's way to give me something fond to hold on to when things go bad, because they will. Life can't stay happy for long!

    Grrr.

    I need a kick in the pants.

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  11. I've been reading about this book, and I was glad to see your review. I'm looking forward to reading the book. Thanks for sharing it with us!

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  12. I read this post with chills, Kelly! You have a gift - your comments on snuggling in with your daughter are exactly what my heart's cry has been lately. I saw this book at the bookstore recently, and wondered about getting it. It would be an honor to be the next recipient.

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  13. Dee from Tennessee

    You are the second blogger that I've read that has liked this book. I fail at trusting. Went to a new dr today and one of the questions was: What is your philosophy of life? Well. Well. I scribbled something about trying to trust God more and not be overwhelmed with anxiety. On the drive home, I pondered about that question.

    If asked again, I will state: "This world is not my home." That is my philosophy. Sorry for rambling...I'm purchasing the book. I need all the help I can get :) Sorry for rambling...saw your comment at QueenB and moseyed over.

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  14. Oh my goodness. I read your other comments and now I think that I won't enter the drawing as others need it more. I do struggle with fear, but I have other things that are more in the forefront right now. So don't enter me in the drawing, but just accept this as a comment--great post, Kelly. Really enjoyed it.

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  15. Would love the book! My Mom had a rough summer and this book would help her too.

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  16. I love this post. Not just for the sweet Teyla fix it gives me but for the reminder that we don't have to fear. It is so easy as a mom to walk down that "What if" trail. Sounds like a great book.

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  17. I had that exact conversation with Dan last night. That EXACT one.

    "It's all too perfect,isn't it?"

    In other words, this post spoke right to my heart. Thank you.

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  18. I've heard nothing but positive comments about this book. As a parent letting go is so hard. But necessary. We need to give God our fears because nothing is bigger than Him!

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