Is It Time To Step It Up?

Jen’s Gem: You were not created for complacency.

When I lived in my house, my morning routine included a brisk walk through my neighborhood that consisted of everything from flat parking lots to steep streets and even a bit of rocky terrain. It was a nice combination of a cardiovascular and muscle-building workout without having to go the gym. (Yay!)

After I moved to my condo, I developed a new route so that I would achieve the same results. Somewhere along the way, likely due to work demands or weather, I shortened my walk to a few laps around the condo parking lot. Something is better than nothing was my rationale.

This week, I noticed that my walk was becoming well…a walk in the park. I was barely breaking a sweat. “What good is this doing me?” Oh sure, I was getting some fresh air but that’s about it. I decided to revisit some of my previous course. Here’s how I know this was a good decision.

I huffed and puffed up the hills. I broke a sweat. I slept like a rock that night.

Yesterday, I ran into a friend of mine who lives in the condos across the street. She reminded me of the stairs behind the complex, which used to be part of my walk.

Hmmm… dare I try this again? Why not?

Since you are reading this blog, you know that I’m ok. I did not pass out. No 911 calls were made. But wooo-eeeeee! All I can say is “Jennifer, you’re not in Kansas anymore!” I was proud that I accomplished this feat, but sad that it was so difficult.

Perseverance. That’s a word we don’t hear much of anymore. Sticking with something until it’s completed. Not giving up when the going gets tough. Waiting for the end results. Patience is a close cousin of this word of yesteryear.

Both words are hot topics in the Bible. From the Old Testament to the New, our ancestors also struggled with these important character traits. Yet we see that the rewards or goals we seek are in the waiting. God’s timing is not our timing.

When we pray for healing, we expect it to happen in that moment. When we pray for our dreams to come true, we want them now! When we pray for financial security, we want money to fall from the sky like the manna and quail fell for the Israelites in the wilderness.

“Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1:3 NKJV)

Many moons ago, I attended a workshop for my job. As I sat in the audience watching the speaker, I thought – “I want to do this. I want to speak in front of an audience.” To make that dream a reality, every time there was an opportunity to lead a meeting or run a training, I volunteered. 

When I had my baby gift business, I regularly led workshops on a variety of topics. I can’t tell you how many of my friends told me (and still do) that I should be a speaker. I’m comfortable in front of an audience and I can’t help but wonder if it’s in my DNA as my father was an accomplished musician who performed in front of hundreds.

In recent years, I’ve had a few opportunities to be front and center. I teach a workshop at a local community college. I’ve led a few Bible studies at my church and even hosted  webinars. God is slowly reawakening this long-ago dream. My  job is to be patient, persevere and then take a step out in faith.

Recently I asked some friends of mine to help me develop a one-pager that I can send out to

 secure speaking opps. It was the first step in taking this step of faith. Like the apostle Peter who stepped out of the boat and walked on water, we must be willing to let go of our comfortable routines and shake things up a bit.

This week, I’d like to encourage you to step up and step out. Take one action towards the dream that’s been buried in your heart. Do something new to ignite the fire in your belly.

You were not created for complacency, but continuous improvement. Sure it might be scary, but so what! You might even fail the first time, but so what!

 “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’” (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV)

It might not happen when you want, but be patient and don’t give up. God will be with you. When Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and began to sink into the water, he did not drown. Jesus was right there with him and he went on to become one of the greatest apostles.

Let’s be like Peter this week. Let’s all step out of the boat towards our dreams.

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