When the Fear of Failure Distracts You From God’s Call

fear of failure pinteret cover

My only child starts Kindergarten in a couple short months.  Excited to start this new adventure, she will be spending most of her day with new friends, a new classroom and a new teacher.  As I will miss her being home during the day, I know this will be a good transition for her – it’s what she needs.   Although, it will be hard to let go of her still small hand on that first day, I realize that this is a new phase of life for me as well.  Having to let go of her hand means that, for a least part of my day, I get my hand back.

To be honest, that terrifies me.  For the last 5 years, I have been Morgan’s mom, caretaker and advocate (aka Mama Bear), during some very rough times.   I will always assume those roles even when she is grown, although they might look a little different.

People are always quick to ask how I will spend “all my free time”.  One person asked if I had thought about “getting a job in the real world”.   As much as I’d like to share more about these fun interactions, I digress.

As I have prayed about how to spend my time when she starts school, I have been encouraged by sweet friends but most of all have prayed that God would show me where He wants to use me.    In true Karin fashion, I’d love for him to give me a detailed agenda, flowchart and even a promotional video about what the future holds.  That’s not what I’m getting though.  As I pray about it, God keeps answering with two words: “Just write”.    I ask Him why I am writing or what it will lead to, and his response is always the same:  “Just write.”  I’ve even “informed” God (the Creator of the UNIVERSE) that this could be a very wasteful use of my time but again He gently, mercifully tells me the same… “just write.”

In Genesis 12, Abraham was confronted with a similar command but on a much grander scale.  Abraham and his family, lead by his father Terah,  were initially from Ur, an idolatrous country, and later settled in Haran on the way to Canaan. Haran was known as a city of pagan worship and it was there God commended Abraham, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.  And I will make of you a great name and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.”

Abraham was comfortable in Haran.  By that point, he had an established way of life, financial stability and his family was there.  I know multiple questions would have swirled through my mind: “Where is this place you want me to go?, How will I know its “the” place?, Will it take a long time?, Will others be cooperative on the way there?”  I can’t imagine Abraham’s friends would have thought his new monotheistic calling would have brought him much “success”.  God didn’t tell Abraham what land or its location, but God tells Abraham to “go” and he follows with an implicit faith.

John Wayne once said, “Courage is being scared to death…and saddling up anyway.”  I’m sure Abraham had fears as it would have been so much easier to conform to his comfortable status-quo.  By following God’s command he had to swim against the stream in every area of his life.   Yet, He responded by faith and immediately left everything to follow God’s plan.

Abraham’s departure started a chain of reactions, causing Abraham to be known as the Father of the Faithful, not Terah.  If Abraham would get out of Ur, God promised his calling had a purpose: his obedience would bring great blessing.   Abraham’s departure was an unparalleled act of faith.  What others perceived of his life falling apart, was actually God’s plans falling into place.

Staying in Haran would mean following in his earthly father’s footsteps – never making it to Haran and dying there while serving false gods.  His heavenly Father’s plan was full of promise and blessings.  If we follow God, He will not fail to deliver on His promises.

Sometimes God puts an insanely uncomfortable calling in the lives of His children.  We can try to avoid it at all costs, but the calling is always there.   At times, I have put so much energy in trying to postpone or sidestep his calling to write.  It would have  been so much easier to surrender to His will in the first place.   My questions are similar to those Abraham might have had: “Where are you taking me?  Why are we headed there?  Will others support me?”

Most often, my fear of failure is my greatest obstacle in trusting God. The thick irony is that the only way to avoid true failure in life is to trust God.  Trusting God means walking out in faith as only a real risk tests the quality of a belief.

Often times the calling God puts on our hearts is so huge that we are in disbelief.  That’s about the time God’s bread crumbs show up.  God’s bread crumbs are those little hints and nudges of encouragement left by the Holy Spirit that make one realize “Maybe this really is God’s calling for me.”  They are those random instances where God thrusts you in a situation you thought you couldn’t handle.  Soon, you realize He never intended you to.  He simply wants you to take that step in faith and let Him take care of the rest…

 

Is there an area of your life where you fear failure?  Is this possibly a call God has put on your heart?  What is your first step of faith in answering this call?

 

 

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Light and Airy Master Bath Makeover

Of all the rooms in our house that needed a makeover, the master bath was the worst.  Underneath that purple-hued, mauve paint and brass towel bars was a room crying out for renovation. I knew this would be my “sanctuary” at the end of the day so I wanted it to be light, airy and peaceful.

fullvanity

This isn’t just bad photography.  After staring at the sad state of our bathroom for months, I knew I couldn’t procrastinate any longer.   Notice the taupe cabinets, trim and door that had just a tint of mauve to coordinate  with the mauve walls.

horizontal before

Our house was built in the 1996, the same year this mirror and fixture were installed.  Is it me or does this picture make anyone else nervous?  It reminds me of one of those pics going around the internet where a ghost decided to reveal itself.  I think the light fixture is just as scary though.

The first task was to paint all the cabinetry, door and trim.  This was quite an undertaking but using Floetrol in my paint (Behr semigloss in pure white) helped the paint to settle well for a smooth finish.  I used this roller which is the best I have found for trim and cabinetry. Look for the roller with green lines.

lighting before

I procrastinated on this project because I knew I had possibly met my match – the shower frame!  The 20-year-old shower had horrible corrosion and no matter how much I cleaned it, that nasty shower frame still looked as gross as the first day I saw it.

Our ideal solution was to replace the shower completely with a frameless shower but we needed room in our budget for the countless other projects on our my list.    Making the shower painless to look at was my objective and I think I achieved it.  To attain this lofty goal, I reached for one of my favorite tools in my DIY arsenal – spray paint!  Yes, I decided I would spray paint the shower frame.   It only cost $80, which included spray paint and blue painters tape, but it was pretty work intensive.

shower

 

After committing to the idea, I removed all the old caulk (fun times!) and taped off with newspaper all the glass and surrounding tile.  I did not tape or cover the shower floor because any spray paint will be really easy to scrub up with soap and water, right?   WRONG!

The difficult part of this project is that you MUST cover every single square inch of your bathroom with tape, newspaper, old sheets, etc.  What you don’t cover will have a fine black powder adhered to the surface.  This is a great project to do right before you replace your flooring, like we did.

After covering and taping everything but the shower frame, I put on my respirator and started spraying the frame with automotive primer. (You have to have a respirator for this project and open all windows.  The smell dissipates quickly but its intense during the process.)

The primer wasn’t completely necessary but I wanted good adhesion to the corroded parts of the frame.  Then, I sprayed with three coats of Rustoleum Universal spray paint in Oil-Rubbed Bronze.  24 hours later I took down the sheets that I could, but I waited a full 48 hours before taking the tape off around the frame.

Be sure to score the frame edge with an exacto-knife before you take off the tape.  There were a couple places I had to touch up with spray paint remover as the spray paint got everywhere but overall it turned out better than I thought.  We will eventually get a frameless shower but this will work for now.  Rebar and Kallie seem happy with it.

vanity side view

The next task at hand was to paint the mauvish-brown trim and walls.  For the walls, I decided on Behr Ozone in Satin to achieve a relaxed, spa-like feel.

over tub

After contemplating what to hang on the wall over the bathtub, I knew whatever I displayed should be relaxing and enjoyable for the end of a long day.    Although a flat screen tv was very tempting, I decided to frame some verses that meant a lot to Jeremy and I.  We each picked two and I wrote more about what these verses mean to us and the process in a previous post.

after wall

We replaced the builder-grade mirror with two framed mirrors to give the area more interest.  The light fixtures, faucets and new knobs in satin nickel made the space more sophisticated. Notice how much better the shower looks bellow.

before after

Did I mention we built a door too?  Actually Jeremy built and hung it and I finished it with two coats of Gel stain in Minwax Walnut.  It was a nice alternative to taupe bifold doors with brass knobs.

door

I had a lot of fun accessorizing.  I made some basic white curtains out of sheets from Walmart (cheapest sheer material you will ever find).  I also enjoyed decorating with some apothecary jars and old silver of my mom’s.  It is amazing what a little silver polish can do!

As I mentioned, the framed wall verses mean a lot to me.  I picked this verse in particular because it is the heartbeat of my blog.  No matter how many or few read it, I want every word, picture and project to reflect the renovation He has done in my life.  He has fully transformed me from the inside out and I’m so thankful for His great love for us.

single pic

pinterest lead bathroom

So what do you think? Do you like it? I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out, and more importantly, it did not break the bank. And now that I have the bathroom done, I can start working on the bedroom again. Hopefully I will have another reveal for you soon.

If you like this reveal, you might also enjoy my Landscape Makeover.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I always appreciate your visits and sweet comments. Have a great day!

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Source List:

  • Mirrors – Target.com
  • Light Fixtures – Lowes
  • Pictures Frames – Target
  • Sink Fixtures – Home Depot

 

 

My “Little” Sin

Last night, I forgot to put cooking spray on the baking sheet for Morgan’s favorite food – tater tots.  This caused them to stick to the pan, making little holes in the surface of each.  This was a horrible transgression in the eyes of my very picky 5-year-old daughter. Naturally, she started crying as she was already sick, hungry, and had determined her tater tots were no longer edible

As I fixed her something else to eat, she leaned over to feed them to our already-stuffed dog, Kallie.  You know where this is headed…after cleaning up an unbelievable amount of dog vomit, Jeremy walked over to console Morgan and slipped on the wet floor where I had just cleaned!  After a few minutes questioning my life path, I realized all the chaos was a result of breaking a little rule in our household: “Thou shalt spray all tater tot pans with cooking spray.”

Sin often has the same correlation.  2 Samuel 11 shows us how small sins can be a “gateway drug” to much larger ones because sin always breeds more sin.  The passage explains that after a big victory over the Syrians, King David decided to stay home when the rest of the kings would customarily go to battle.  That was his first mistake in that He wasn’t where God wanted him.  Then, as he was lounging around the house, he saw Bathsheba bathing.  Seeing her is one thing but the Hebrew word suggests that he “examined” her.

If David had stayed in step with God’s Will, he would never have seen Bathsheba in the first place.  His lust and abuse of power lead to sleeping with Bathsheba, whom soon become pregnant.  Instead of fessing up, he felt the need to “fix” the situation by requesting that her husband Uriah be put on the front lines of battle.  Not only was he placed at the forefront of the most heated battle, but David also gave instructions for the rest of the army to pull away so Uriah would surely be killed.    When his plan to kill Uriah succeeded, he immediately married Bathsheba.

The story of David and Bathsheba illustrates that all sin should be avoided at any cost.  The Bible shows that some sins are greater than others but small sins make us vulnerable to larger sins by design.  This is the case when David neglected to go out with his army.  Stepping out of God’s Will made him vulnerable to sin and ultimately the murder of a loyal soldier.  Sin at its core is always consuming and leaves us wanting more or something it can never provide.

Carelessness with sin includes the way we approach the sins of others.   Our Christian sub-culture has a habit of rationalizing the economy of sin, often posting on Facebook about the large sins while simultaneously wallowing in the small ones.  Unfortunately, I’m equally guilty.  Often times I think I overlook the “small” sins in my life but the reality is that all sin has the same penalty, no matter the size.  All sin is deadly.

On the contrary, the truths of God’s Word satisfy our soul like nothing else can.  We are drawn towards sin because of our sinful nature, but we often think we can achieve through sin what only our God can provide.  For example, in high school I had low self-esteem, a poor body image and wanted to feel validation and self-worth.  However, I sought the wrong sources for validation.  I thought I could achieve it through looking a certain way and “dieted” to the point I was obsessed with losing weight.   This fixation soon spiraled into something ugly   I desired validation but I looked for it in how others perceived me and my own self-image instead of the only source of my validation – Jesus Christ. Except God doesn’t only give us validation; He gives us something far greater – Redemption!

lewis quote

We are most contented and satisfied when we walk in God’s ways.  C.S. Lewis once said “ Look for Christ and you will find Him. And with Him, everything else.”  God wants nothing more for us to follow Him because of His extravagant love.  This is where our hope lies, where our humanity meets his divinity.

It’s difficult to comprehend the full weight of his love, compassion and grace that He has bestowed on His children – that He would send His only son to die for us individually.  For those who trust in Him as Savior, He gives the right to be children of God.  I am learning that when I am careless with my sin, it belittles the overwhelming sacrifice He paid for me on the cross.   Sin damages our relationships with Christ, strains our ability to abide in Him and even decreases our effectiveness in ministry.  Sin always leads to chaos and pain.

In spite of David’s sin, He was still referred to as “a man after God’s own heart” in 1 Samuel 13:14.  Even though David screwed up, He continued to seek the Lord.  David knew God was his only true source of love, satisfaction and contentment, that everything else would fall short.  Sin only distracts us from walking with Him as should. The only one who can truly satisfy the human heart is the one who made it.

cherry pic

Filling the Void

before wall

After removing a brass towel bar and painting the bathroom, I contemplated what to hang on the wall over the master bathtub.  I knew whatever I displayed should be relaxing and enjoyable for the end of a long day.    Although a flat screen TV was very tempting, I decided to frame some verses that meant a lot to Jeremy and I.  We each picked two.

These verses are special to us because they are not just informative words on a page but they serve as directional markers on a map, pivot points that show us how to find our true North.  The world and even our hearts can be very deceiving, but one thing holds true – no matter your country, social status or salary, the Word of God pierces our hearts the way nothing else can or does.

Along with countless others, these truths represent defining moments in our lives where God illuminated His Truth to us.  We carry them with us, not just on the wall of our bathroom but on the wall of our hearts to know the depth, height and breadth of a loving God who actively leads His children along life’s perilous journey.

When my heart betrays me, I find solace in the truth of His Word that is alive and active, sharper than any double edged sword.  God continually works in the hearts and minds of His children through the truth of His Word.  Not just initially as a book laid on the coffee table of eternity, but God perpetually uses His Word in the DAILY lives of His children to guide them as a shepherd watches his sheep.

When I look at these transparent frames, I know these verses are not just words on a page to merely be read.  Their purpose is to be embraced – they are to be trusted, knowing the Author will catch me every time I fall.  One thing I know for sure…”My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” – Psalm 73:26

after wall