Do your thing


Carny started out in our family as a tiny goldfish Noah won at the Barboursville Fall Fest more than a year and a half ago. He fit nicely in a tiny bowl, with a tiny plastic plant. No filter required, just a fresh bottle of water every other week. We haven’t had a fish last longer than three months except our miracle fish, Moon. Carny continued to grow, so we upped his tank to a  2.5 gallon tank, still just changing the water as needed.

**Side note – Moon, the miracle fish, happened when Noah and I had walked through Wal-Mart one day, looking at the pet supply section, with Noah asking for a fish. I told him we would need to discuss it as a family, rather than just getting one and going home with it. Noah must have talked to Someone above me, because late that night, there was a ringing of the doorbell. I ran to see what it was, without considering how unsafe it is to just open up your door at 11p.m., and found a water-filled-baggie with a tiny goldfish. I still don’t know who did it, but I’m pretty sure I know Who told them to do it.

Carny kept living and growing. So with little room to function in the tank, we decided on a 10-gallon tank, complete with filter and light. Carny didn’t adjust well. He had all this new space to swim and explore, but he kept himself in the back corner. It was like the light and the buzzing of the filter were too freaky for him and he couldn’t handle it. So here was this huge space for him to enjoy, relax, explore, and navigate in, and instead, he stayed hunkered down near the back corner floor, only coming up for food occasionally. It was hard for me to understand… If only I could speak “fish” I could’ve told him it was safe, it was better for him, that he would love it! I would’ve told him to trust me.

I can just imagine that God would love to tell me some similar things at times, if only I would listen. 

Often it takes me too long to get on board with what God wants me to do. I like to be sure 🙂 But I waste so much time and miss out on so much because of fear. Sometimes I wimp out completely and don’t do it at all. The times I haven’t let fear hold me back have been so meaningful and beautiful that I should never let fear bully me again.

I mentioned in a previous blog that God had been nudging me to open my home to neighbors for a Bible study, get to know them, involve myself in my community He has placed me in. I prayed about it for more than a year, and finally got the nerve to do it earlier this year, passing out flyers to every neighbor in my subdivision. We just finished our first book study, and these four ladies mean so much to me. The conversations we have had, things we have learned from each other, prayers prayed over our families and our problems, and friendships formed – I couldn’t be more thankful. We are starting a new book this week!

I would’ve missed out on all of this if I had stayed hunkered down in my corner of the tank.

God didn’t make me swim out alone. He was there right beside me, giving me what I needed, when I needed it. He said in Isaiah 41:13,

“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.'” 

Is there anything God is asking you to do? Know that He won’t make you do it alone. God has purposes for each of us. Sometimes it’s a big thing… Adopt a kid, teach a class, change occupations. Sometimes it’s a seemingly smaller thing… make dinner for someone, babysit, cut someone’s grass, smile. Each one of them is important.

Whatever it is, do that thing. It’s your thing. It’s the thing that God has planned for you right now. Don’t miss it. There’s a whole 10-gallons out there that God wants to share with you.


About Jen Chapman

She is a wife to Shawn for 22 years and counting, and a mom to Noah, and together they live out their story in their tiny town of Barboursville, WV. She is a freelance writer and a blogger at Flowers, bookstores, and people are what make her smile. She has seen God’s grace redeem her big-time and wants everyone to know it and experience it for themselves. She wants more than anything to give praise and honor to Jesus, and point people to Him.

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