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Just Practice, You’ll Get it

Just practice. You’ll get it.

Some of the most powerful words ever spoken to me.

But I’m an adder.

I add, “if you practice, you’ll get it right.”

When I don’t, I get discouraged.

Because I can’t get it right.

If I did, I could stop practicing, but that is not the way.

So I try again, because trying it, and not just intending it, is how I will get it.

Oh, I could wait until someone else figures it out.

I could watch from my hiding place until it was safe to come out.

And I’d emerge, victorious.

There! I can do it, too!

But there would be no triumph.

I am not a hider, not just a survivor, I’m an engager.

In the engagement, I practice.

I got it.

Exchanging Fear and Worry for Thanks

015512546cdbd9f6c77eba5e46a668d8b143bf3424New every morning. Or after a nap, a good run, a walk around the lake. It’s not the rising and setting of sun that sets my mood, it’s the respite. A time to let the mind wander and tippy toe over the field of neurons who happily spark and ignite one another on their merry way to thoughts, images, expressions and feelings. Completely unguided by the slave driver who, the rest of the time, cracks the whip….

Get with it! Shape up! You have a deadline to meet! Conference is coming, you know! People are gonna expect things from you! Are you gonna be ready? Heck, is anyone gonna come?

Oh my goodness, why do I talk to myself that way? Take a seat, will ya, and come back a bit later when a swift kick in the pants is in order.

Funny how that guy doesn’t take orders. He’s all about giving orders, but he uses every trick in the book to get his way. All of sudden, he’s got me moving but my motivation is fear and worry, not excitement and energy. Lord, I don’t want to row this life with fear and worry as my paddles. I want to set out to sea with oars of steel and a good strong stroke, waves take me as they will. You call the strokes. You be my Coxswain.

How good it would be if all I had to do was put some muscle into it and not have to keep looking up for land or landmark or buoy.  But there are reefs out there and sharks, you know. There are swells that would swamp me and ocean liners that would smash me to smithereens. Who in their right mind would set out into that on their own?

Oh yeah, me. But the dangers that surround are not nearly as ugly as the ones within. The ones who question whether I should have set out in the first place. Turn back! While you still can!

And then the dark settles. I can’t see a thing, can only feel the muscles pulling at the oars. Stroke. Stroke. Stroke. And I am strong and growing stronger. I am! I am capable. I have a body that listens and works with me, that recovers and tries again, that coordinates itself. Good grief, think of all those neurons and their signals to all those muscle fibers that contract in complicated sequence to choreograph a single pull. What an amazing feat is one stroke. And then another.

I can do this.

And I AM grateful. What an opportunity I have before me. How exciting this all is. Who would have ever thought this would happen? To me.

Suddenly the slave driver’s voice is different. Not shouts and commands but instructions and direction. My thanks for the miracle of muscle and motion has turned the tide. I see and hear anew. And the sun rises.

Looking Our Best

LeBolt 029HRThere I am, in all His glory.

Funny, when the book needed an author photo, I thought, really, who would want to see me on the cover of this thing? But it’s a coaching and fitness book, and don’t you want to know who you’re taking advice from? Does she look like she practices what she preaches? Can you trust her? Would you want to get to know her?

So, there I am, with the high intensity lights shining on me, the background screen fixed just so. Tilt your head this way, says Mark the photographer. Look that way. Cross your arms. Now, that did it, because give me a defiant posture and I’m on.

All the while I’m thinking, this photo will go on the work You are doing in me, Lord. How can I possibly say that in how I look? Will your light shine when all I see now are spotlights and all I’m hearing is instructions?

It was a nice day so we moved outside. And wouldn’t you know there was a soccer field just down the hill, so we traipsed over there, past the middle-aged guy playing his guitar in the parking lot, by himself, to an empty soccer field. Now, we have a new source of light, the sun. But instead of au naturel, we will be using a large reflective screen that looks very much like the one I put in my car window on very hot days. My photographer’s assistant positions herself to reflect the light of the sun onto me, standing alone on an old soccer field, and Mark clicks away.

I worry out loud. You know my eyes tend to close when I smile, especially the right one. Try not to get my pants, they don’t match my shirt. And sneakers! Why didn’t I didn’t think to bring my turf shoes? Or a ball? Thank goodness they have a ball.

I don’t actually see what the photographer sees. I see me, the me who really doesn’t belong on a book jacket, who can’t believe she has hired a professional to take her photo and is right now at a photo shoot like some kind of movie star.

“Oh, I can open up your eyes later,” Mark tells me, “and air brush out the pants.”

Really? He can take away the imperfections?

It’s amazing how just knowing that takes away your reluctance and shelves your inhibitions. This guy is going to make me look just right! No external assurances, no ‘oh, you look fine’s’  or ‘don’t worry about it, people won’t notice’s’ or ‘you’re just being silly’s’  would have done to me in that moment what his words did. His ‘I will perfect you’ released what was inside of me to be just me. Nothing else would have done it and yet, it’s the promise we all have and the gift we are all offered.

I’ll touch up later what’s not quite perfect yet. Trusting that is what gets us ever so close to what He intends for our now.

LeBolt 014HR

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