Assumptions

The fear that stops us doesn’t have to be about something big or super scary…sometimes we’re just afraid of offending or having a conversation that could turn into a confrontation.

I assumed a non-response to a follow up email about swapping a class with another instructor meant the answer was NO. In fact, the non-response was because the instructor did not see my follow up; I found out later, she had anticipated and planned for the swap but forgot to communicate with me.

A simple follow up text or phone call on my part could have yielded the answer I wanted, saved me some energy and allowed me to do what I wanted and needed to do.

I didn’t challenge the assumption so I didn’t get to do what I wanted. I have only myself to blame.

Inhale Affirmation, Exhale Assumption…
Inhale Surety, Exhale Speculation…
Inhale Confidence, Exhale Conjecture…
Just Breathe

#Fear
#JustBreathe

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Untethered

I had visited the University of Alabama campus many times with friends, but the first time I went to stay, my parents drove me. After that, my younger sisters and I would pack up the station wagon and make the trek to Tuscaloosa, about 2.5 hours away. There were long stretches of just trees…sometimes we wouldn’t leave in time to make the round trip in daylight…cell phones were a thing of the future…

Now my youngest sister, who was possibly 10 when she used to ride along, characterizes our trips as risky, even crazy.

Yet I don’t remember us being afraid…

Children learn to navigate risks—not through discussions or TV shows—but by actually taking risks.” ~ Tim Elmore, Growing Leaders.

Inhale Risk, Exhale Timidity…
Inhale Fearlessness, Exhale Hesitation…
Inhale Independence, Exhale Inaction…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Evolution

I was looking through a carefully constructed album of pictures of me put together by my mom and I noticed how my smile seemed to evolve over the years.

The introverted book worm who felt compelled to read everything, even cereal boxes, evolved into the ambiverted cheerleader who needed to express herself through movement, who turned into the military officer known for smiling, actually laughing loudly and frequently.

And since all of those versions of me sill exist, maybe the evolution was my confidence in and comfort with all aspects of my personality.

Inhale Growth, Exhale Fear…
Inhale Awareness, Exhale Fear…
Inhale Confidence, Exhale Fear…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Tested

In my early 30s, I experienced some major disruptions in my life. I left an abusive marriage and took my toddler out of the country to a new assignment in England, courtesy of Uncle Sam. And then DESERT STORM happened.

At first it, was difficult to get my footing. I had to find a place on the economy that wasn’t looking for a man to guarantee the rent. I beat myself up for thinking my daughter would easily transition to a big-girl bed. Why didn’t I bring the crib? I worried about deploying; should I send my 3-year-old to the States? I wondered if I could juggle all the demands…

But we survived. In fact, we didn’t just survive, we thrived! And I learned some things about myself…

If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong
I am invincible
I am woman…” Helen Reddy, I Am Woman

Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” ~ Philippians 4:13, MSG

Inhale Strength, Exhale Fear…
Inhale Invincibility, Exhale Fear…
Inhale Faith, Exhale Fear…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Happy

Never, ever again will you tell me it takes you to make me happy.” ~ Carly and Martina Shipp.

These are some of the lyrics from a song I recently heard called “Make Me Happy.” Now fifteen, the authors, musicians Carly and Martina Shipp, wrote the song when they were thirteen. Watch the video here!

Like a lot of the songs I discovered when I visited their website, it is a call to chose empowerment from two young people who are very clear about who gets to make that choice. And I just marveled at their ability to recognize this powerful concept…they are responsible for their own happiness.

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.” ~ Aristotle

Inhale Clarity, Exhale Confusion…
Inhale Happiness, Exhale Discouragement…
Inhale Peace, Exhale Chaos…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Renewal

Today I am grateful for the resurrection that gave hope to the hopeless. In this season of renewal in the midst of confusion and fear, I am praying for sufficient strength to be hopeful, effective faith to believe, and enough compassion to be loving…

Inhale Faith, Exhale Hopelessness…
Inhale Inclusion, Exhale Exclusion…
Inhale Compassion, Exhale Separation…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Older

I was accused of being set in my ways because I chose not to do something I didn’t want to do.

While it may be true that some people get “set” or stagnant as we age, I believe many of us get wise…we know more about who we are, we better understand what works for us, and we avoid what gives us gas.

We learn how and when to say no.

Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding,” Proverbs 3:13 NIV

Inhale Wisdom, Exhale Wavering…
Inhale Understanding, Exhale Uncertainty…
Inhale Confidence, Exhale Confusion…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
#Wisdom

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Self-Assured

A really self-assured person once told me something I knew was wrong but he said it with such confidence, I doubted my own knowing. I verified the truth, yet he remained unconvinced. Which led me to the question……is it wrong to let the self-assured be wrong?

Asking for a friend…

Inhale Confidence, Exhale Cockiness…
Inhale Assurance, Exhale Arrogance…
Inhale Knowing, Exhale Knowing-It-All…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
#Energy

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Confidence

I’m a part of a mentoring program that did a session on courage. It was a reminder that God commands us to be courageous and gives us the reason why: God! Tweet this now!

So it led me to muse…when we think we are acting courageously, are we really being courageous or obedient? Are we being courageous or faithful? Is courage, obedience and faith all the same reaction based on our confidence in who God is?

“…because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Donʼt be afraid.” Mark 6:50 NIV

Inhale Courage, Exhale Discouragement…
Inhale Obedience, Exhale Disobedience…
Inhale Confidence, Exhale Disbelief…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
#Courage

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One Step…

“If I take,
Just one step,
He will do the rest…” Donald Vails

Every version of “The Hero’s Journey” story, features a scene when the hero takes one giant, scary step of faith into the unknown or battles his fear in the face of a tremendous, potentially life-ending threat. In “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, our hero is guided to a deep chasm with no visible way to get to the other side. He calls on his faith, steps out into the abyss… and on to the bridge, which magically appears underneath his foot. crusades1

That’s the kind of courage that can force us forward in the face of fear, the kind of confidence that can compel us to step into what we can’t see… the kind of conviction that we can trust what we know to be true despite evidence to the contrary.

It’s the kind of faith we’re asked to have in order to live the lives we’re called to live.

Inhale Courage, Exhale Hesitation…
Inhale Confidence, Exhale Doubt…
Inhale Conviction, Exhale Fear…
Just Breathe

#JustBreath
#Faith

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