Tag Archives: guts

What I learned about being wimpy – Ecuador, Part 5


I would make a terrible salesperson. I hate the feeling that I am inconveniencing someone or that they are doing something they don’t want to do simply because I asked.

Some people are naturals at this. I had a friend say of another friend that “He could sell ice cubes to an Eskimo!” (I apologize if this is in any way a racial slur). It’s a gift that some have, and I did not get.

I have tried even hosting Pampered Chef and Longaberger parties in my past, and you can imagine how well I did when my invitations went something like, “Please come! You really don’t need to buy anything.

Seriously, don’t feel like you have to buy something. Just come. I really don’t need you to make a purchase, just come for fun!”

Even if I love the thing that is being sold, promoted or offered, I automatically think of 10 million reasons you might not and I feel terrible inconveniencing you by asking and putting pressure on you.

And don’t get me started on school fundraisers. If Noah makes any sales at all, it is because we bought something ourselves. I can’t bring myself to peddle it.

So you can imagine how great I would be as a 2-week missionary.

I know people need Jesus, but I would just imagine that they were tired of getting flyers, they were skeptical of our nail painting, and wondering why in the world we wanted to give them oatmeal. I assumed they were cynical, which made me feel wimpy when it was time to interact.

Well, God can provide the guts for us as we need it. It seems that when I see other people not being wimpy, it makes me have a little more courage too.

Our job ultimately was to pray and to represent Jesus in everything we did, whether it was nail-painting, passing out oatmeal, or passing out 1 gazillion flyers.  Noah and I were even encouraged to be a little less wimpy when passing out the flyers – “Be bold!” a missionary said to us as he assertively exemplified giving this piece of paper to a stranger. He rocked passing out flyers.

And another lady we were with was so good at this! She would go to car doors at intersections and excitedly hand them this invitation to an event ultimately designed to connect that person with Christ! You could feel her excitement.

I saw a lady accept Christ during a simple flyer distribution. I saw, and cried, as a woman and her daughter were so thrilled to hear about this new church that they hugged us as we finished talking to them. I saw an answer to prayer as a guy riding past the church on his bike, stopped  because he wanted to know more about it, asking a lady who, at the very moment, was praying for that very thing to happen.

People want to know. People need to know.

You need to believe in what you’re selling.

When we finished up the two week trip, we had some reflection time to consider the things we had seen and done, what we had learned. And we were given some questions to think about. One of them was, “What have you learned about yourself.”

In my journal I wrote this –

“I’ve learned I’m wimpy at home sometimes…Knowing I’m offering them the best gift ever – that is nothing to be wimpy about, or to feel like I’m inconveniencing them. They need this. I’ve learned I can be brave when I need to.”

In a place far away from my home, I was able to catch the excitement other people had about sharing Jesus with people, and I don’t want to lose it now that I am back in Barboursville.

And I know people here need Jesus just as much as the people there. We all need Him. Do your part where you are to talk about Him. There are people who want to hear it, I promise.

Our group offering oatmeal and prayer

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…”
Romans 1:16a

Noah offering oatmeal to a stranger

Shawn preparing oatmeal to be handed out

Me with a friend I made during the free nail-painting 🙂

Praying for guts


Standing in line for the Gatekeeper, I could feel my stomach turning. It was the first ride my husband, son, and I lined up for at Cedar Point last weekend, and I wasn’t sure I was up for it. I have ridden my share of coasters in the past, but the older I get, it seems the emptier my courage is becoming. Noah was being pretty brave about it, but I was afraid that any sign of weakness from me could result in some added fear for him, which I didn’t want. (Turns out that wasn’t something I needed to worry about, as the next day at Kings Island, he rode the Diamondback so many times, he began posing for the camera during the ride, making goofy faces, and at one point forming his hands into the shape of a heart as a message for me to see on the screens in the gift shop).

I had a plan to back out of it. I thought I could just stay in line for the ride, then as I start to climb on, I would just keep climbing through and wait for them at the exit… Maybe he wouldn’t notice I had gotten off. But I didn’t want to do that. So I prayed for guts. Lots of guts. At one point I even had to ask myself if I was sure I wanted God to give me guts, because then I would have to ride it. But probably 40 minutes into the line, I decided I did want the courage. I wanted to be able to face my fear. God did it. I had the courage it would take to get on, get strapped in, and with tears in my eyes, face the Gatekeeper.

Here is what one article said about this ride…

“The GateKeeper is indeed a record-breaker. It is the longest (4,164 feet), fastest (67 mph), has the longest drop (164 feet), and has more inversions than any other wing coaster (six). Moreover, each inversion is different than the last. It also features the highest inversion of any roller coaster in the world.”

Sounds fun, right?

The guts I needed to make it through the ride, climbing up the enormous first hill and then twisting and turning through the rest of the 2 minutes and 40 second ride, were there.

I realize this is just a ride, but it was a big deal for me that day. And if it was a big deal to me, it was a big deal to God. I’m so glad He feels that way.

There is something a little bigger that I am also praying for the guts to do. I’ve had it on my heart for a while to have a Bible study for about a year now (I guess I don’t like to jump into things?). God has kind of gotten specific about it in a way only He can do.

Not feeling sure about whether I wanted to try it at my home, or at church, I put it off, and undoubtedly questioned my qualifications to lead one. But lately God has put my neighbors on my heart.

I’m not a social neighbor. At all. I can probably count on one hand the names of the neighbors I know. I’m not proud of this, just stating the facts. I’ve lived in this house since the 1900s (Christmas of 1999, to be exact…). That should be enough time for anyone to get comfortable enough to introduce themselves, but not me.

But God isn’t letting me out of this one, and I don’t want Him to. It started with a feeling that I should pray for my neighbors. So I took a walk around my neighborhood, asking God to work in each home with whatever situations were going on there. Then I see on Facebook, without searching for it, a daily guide to praying for your neighbors – their salvation, knowing God’s love, grace, that they would have the peace of God, forgiveness and healing, and wisdom.

Then, in His not-so-subtle way, we get a package delivered to our house, but it was for a neighbor, mistakenly left on our doorstep (big bummer, by the way. I LOVE getting stuff in the mail).

Shawn takes it to the neighbor’s house, and gets into a lengthy conversation with them. The man is super friendly, and tells Shawn he and his wife have recently started a Hispanic church in Putnam County, and that he wants to start a Bible study in the neighborhood. Wow.

So, I will ask for your prayers as I attempt to figure out details of what God wants me to do with this. I’m excited about it, but am nervous, and a little scared. Especially scared I will chicken out, or find excuses as to why I can’t do it.
The writer of Hebrews says this as he finishes out the book in chapter 13…

20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

So I’m praying for guts. And just like He equipped me with the guts to climb aboard the Gatekeeper, He will supply the guts for this as well.


Obviously, this isn’t us, but you can take a peek at what the GateKeeper is like right here…. Yikes!