Monday, January 16, 2012

20 Seconds of Courage & Soli Deo Gloria Party

It's time to pull up your chair.  Do you know you have one here in this space we call Soli Deo Gloria?  You do.  It's reserved every week only for you.  This place would be different if you weren't here and we miss you when you are gone.  This is a place filled with women who seek to honor your words, you heart, your tears, and your laughter.  Scooch in close.  You won't want to miss a word.

To read more about the Soli Deo Gloria community, please click here.

*****************************************************************

Clearly, I am still processing life through the lens of the movie, We Bought a Zoo.  One of the key life lessons that the main character, Benjamin Mees, learns from his brother is that he can do anything -- all he needs is 20 seconds of courage.

How many times have I felt the Lord nudge me to do something, but instead of gathering my courage and just doing it, I rationalize, I over think, and then I talk myself out of the whole thing?  But what if I heard the call and realized that all I needed is 20 seconds worth of courage?  When I think about delving into a new adventure (mundane or not), the hardest part is just getting started.  Can you relate?
Last Sunday, I knew that God wanted me to ask my priest if he would consider donating money toward the Soli Deo Gloria retreat to help defray the cost for those wanting to attend.  I saw him across the parish hall, finishing up a conversation with two other men.  Could I ask him for money in person or should I hide behind an email?  My stomach was filled with butterflies (oh, how I hate asking people for things!), but I knew that I needed to start the conversation and now was the time.  All it took was about 20 seconds to walk over him and start opening my mouth.  And do you know, after that conversation and one more follow up conversation on Wednesday, he told me he was sending me a check for $500 out of his discretionary fund?

20 seconds of courage in this case ended up being worth $500 -- and so much more.  Not only am I closer the goal of raising $3000, but I also have more confidence, further confirmation that this is a worthwhile pursuit, and even more courage to go on asking.

So, what about you?  Is there a task or adventure or conversation where if you thought, "All I need is 20 seconds of courage..." and I could do this?  Tell us about it in the comments!

SDG Community Builder:  1)  As you visit, is there a way that you could inspire courage and confidence as you leave your comment for the author?  2)  (summoning up my 20 seconds of courage)  If you feel led, would you consider making a donation (no matter how small or large) to the SDG retreat?  If so, you can donate by using the ChipIn widget that is now housed here? (thank you Nancy!).  Funds are securely processed by PayPal.  3)  Grace for me this week?  I might not get around as much as I'd like.  My first class of the semester that I am teaching at my church starts next Monday and on Tuesday I really need to prepare.  Thank you, sweet ladies!

29 comments :

  1. Jen, yes there have been so many times I've longed for that courage. Your story is inspiring. Great to see how God is raising up the funds as you step out in faith.

    Melanie

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love that confirms what He wants us to do over in over, just in case we go back to doubting what He is asking. He is so good. Way to go in being obedient to His prodding! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Those 20 second of courage will make the next time - much easier. I used to shake, face got red, it was difficult to find my voice, but the more I got up the easier it was. Now I share a couple time each Sunday at my church. Usually an edited version of one of my posts. And people are blessed! Go with what God has shown you and do not doubt! He will give you boldness and courage.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just LOVED that line about the 20 seconds of courage. And way to go, girl, on making those 20 seconds happen - bravo to you...and to your pastor for having faith in you and taking a bit of a risk. God is GOOD!

    ReplyDelete
  5. God is rewarding your obedience. I too have not been able to get to all the links on my hop. I am teaching a ladies bible study and have been spending so much time studying. Yet, that is where God is leading me to spend my time these days. The blog is a matter of trusting that when we put him first, he will take care of the rest as He sees fit in His will.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good for you, Jen! It's fun to watch your progress in making this happen!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Praise God for the wonderful reward He provided for your courage and obedience to the Holy Spirit leading! May we be bold to follow Him and to witness about His grace.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is the hardest type of bravery--stepping out with our everyday. And, wow. HOw God is faithful. Praying for all of this, Jen. Praying for you. You are such a blessing, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Woo Hoo Jen! I hear there is a little CAbi fundraiser brewing for this cause as well? I will be in touch and will send all the shoppers I can muster! Prayers for your girlfriend!

    joy

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your title from your post yesterday made me smile because that is one one of my favorite phrases...and now you mention my favorite quote from the last movie I saw. I absolutely adored that scene.

    20 seconds of courage.

    It changed my thought process some that night...after hearing that line. 20 seconds of courage. It just seems so much easier to muster when you think of it that way.

    May it help many of us take the steps we need to! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Such a faith builder -- not only for you but for those of us who are privileged to read about it. Still praying for your retreat,

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Jen, I missed not being here and now I know why, God really does speak through you and your warmth and sincerity is much needed. I can totally relate to courage, I need it every day to get out of bed and go outside.

    Thanks for blessing me

    ReplyDelete
  13. The courage to do what GOD asks of us...not for the faint hearted. GOD bless you with more than 20 seconds friend...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Amazing what 20 seconds of courage and obedience can accomplish, right? Beautiful post and encouraging.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Such an amazing post - thank you for the inspiration of your courage, your words and the graphic too! There are so many things I hold back from saying or doing out of fear of what the person/people might think do. I think my 20 seconds would be better spent doing than guessing about the outcome. I think the post I linked up with this discussion fits with the courage theme. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh...well you know our journey. I am so thankful that it has all come in steps and that, by God's grace, we keep being challenged for more faith, courage and determination to pursue this calling. You have a GREAT BIG cheerleader here:}

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow, amazing. 20 seconds of courage. I'm remembering a time of confession after years of hiding. 20 seconds led to huge relief...

    I've missed being here...it's good to be back.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Love this! I think I can muster up 20 seconds of courage! :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow I have been missing this community.. Have taken a little hiatus from blogging due to just taking soe time to process through 2011-- the year I am so grateful to the things the Lord taught me but would not really want to relive it.. so have been doing a lot of reflectig/dreaming about what is next for me. I am starting my ministry comingaliveministries officially this year.. and this was the perfect post for me. It brought tears to my eyes. Wow. thank you thank you. Especially your picture of the runner with the saying the miracle isn't that i finished its that i had the courage to start. Wow. I love that.. having run a marathon as an absolute non runner this meant the world to me! glory.. thank you Jenn

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow God!! What a wonderful God we service. Thank God for your courage.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Somehow my first link is connected to some newspaper article that I've never seen before in my life....??? You can delete it if you need to.

    ReplyDelete
  22. 20 Seconds of courage was my absolute favorite line of that movie!! Yes, that's all you need to get your mouth moving! Love the encouragement today, Jen!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have missed this community...took a blogging break over the holidays, but glad to be back! Thanks for being such a motivator!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I had better watch that movie! Serving in the jail ministry requires more than 20 seconds of courage, but God definitely provides whatever we need when He calls us to serve Him! A wonderfully blessed new year to you and your family! Patsy from
    HeARTworks

    ReplyDelete
  25. visiting here from Amy Sullivan's... what a great thought-20 seconds of courage. in my fitness class, we say, you can do just one more of anything. perserverance and fortitude... after all these years, i'm still working on those. lovely post, and wishing you well on your retreat. it sounds wonderful! {i used to live 45 mins from austin, and visited at least 1x/wk... love that city!}

    patty@www.findingserendipity.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Jen, you inspire me! Gosh you are a wonderful writer and beautiful soul! I need to practice those 20 seconds of courage.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Practicing courage produces BOLDNESS! Go Girl!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. hey Jen!

    i loved this insightful post on 20 seconds of courage...only 20 seconds needed for so many ..things...just 20 seconds for introducing yourself to someone at church that may become a kindred spirit sort of friend and help to relieve fears of meeting people (one of the items on my #1000 gifts list in this submission), 20 seconds to greet someone who may be visiting for the first time and you may be the only one who speaks to them and shows the love of Christ...20 seconds of courage for getting out of the bed in the morning and facing the day with all of its demands and my illness...courage needed for so many things...thank you for this. i always enjoy coming here...its such a comfort and wanted you to know that i so much enjoyed your vlog where you talked about pride...what a raw, vulnerable, humble thing to do. it truly touched my heart. you are such a treasure!

    blessings in His grace,

    Nacole

    ReplyDelete
  29. Awe, yes. I saw that movie but never applied the concept to my own life and so I am so glad you have reminded me. I am going to reflect on this and consider where and when I could use just 20 seconds of courage. Thanks, Jen! I love that this retreat is coming together one step at a time. How cool!

    ReplyDelete

Don't go yet! Leave me a note with your thoughts.