Sunday, October 2, 2011

Attitude and Effort

This weekend has been all about softball and we skipped church so that we would be on time for the tournament.  But knowing that God can speak through any situation, I've been listening to what He's been saying as I've sat in the bleachers, lugged sports equipment, and offered encouraging words to my daughter through the net of the batting cages.

The key phrase that has been resounding in my heart and echoing from the chamber of my mouth has been this:

Attitude and Effort.

You see, my daughter can swing a great swing in the comfort of the cage, when it's just her and her coach.  But when she steps out onto that field, when she's the one upon whom all eyes rest, when the ball seems to transform itself into something other than a ball, her swing gets listless and weak.  She lets the fear of being hit and disappointing her team sap her of her attitude and her effort.

Have you ever let fear cripple you?

I tell her -- it doesn't matter if you hit the ball.  What matters is that when you walk out on the field, you show up and you give your best.  What matters is that you try, that you try your hardest, and you don't let the fear rob you of what you know you have within you.  You can't let fear win.
And then, gloriously, His voice resounds in my heart and I hear this verse from Philippians chapter 4, verse 13:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
And so, in the car on the way home from Chick-fil-a, we begin practicing, digesting and absorbing and planting these seeds into our hearts, that He is the one who conquers our fears.  He is the one who gives us strength to go out and do the things that we set out to do.

Jesus is the one who makes you strong, Abigayle.  Jesus gives you the strength to go out there and face your fears.  With Him inside you and with you and right next to you, you do not have to be afraid.

So to you, sweet ones, who read these words on this page, even though they didn't come from the pulpit, or even on a Sunday, I offer the words He gave me for my daughter for you, too.
Jesus is the one who makes you strong, ___________.  Jesus gives you the strength to go out there and face your fears.  With Him inside you and with you and right next to you, you do not have to be afraid.
Linking with Michelle at Graceful and Laura at The Wellspring.

Would love to see you back here starting Monday night for Soli Deo Gloria.  Come see the power of God work through an amazing community of women.


  1. Life lessons at the baseball diamond. Good job, mom.


  2. Fear can cripple me everyday if I let it. The world can be a scary place full of sin and pain. But we are meant to live fully, love fully, and trust fully. It is a daily exercise to give my fears to Him and trade them for his peace, strength, and faith.

  3. I've had to had a similar talk with my son...and to myself many times. Fear will paralyze us and that is not what the Lord has in store for us. We need to step out and trust Him.

  4. Thank you for this beautiful, much-needed reminder. Fear is a fighter - he doesn't like to let go, but when we start fighting back, God shows up and fights for us.

  5. As the daughter of a coach I can attest to the validity of faith lessons that happen on the field of play sometimes with more frequency and potency even than church! Good for you to show your daughter the connection--this will not be the last spiritual truth she'll be able to learn from her athletic pursuits!

  6. Jen.. love this post as always. Thank you for speaking to my heart!

  7. I have to have this talk with myself... a lot! I'm so glad that He is inside me and with me, so I never have to go it alone. Blessings Jen!

  8. I ace this everyday. I thanks you so much for reminding me.

  9. Grateful to read these words today, Jen. Rowan has a similar problem on the soccer field. Now I have the tools to help him, thanks to you (and God!).

  10. Jen, may I just thank you for the way you always encourage us? This post, combined with your email reminder almost brought me to tears because of its beauty. Women need to encourage each other. We had some hard talks about fear this weekend at Laity Lodge and it is such a powerful tool of the enemy.

    Just, thank you.


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