Fight, Flight or Freeze


Monday morning I awoke to a thud. I glanced at the clock (5:20) and at the same moment noticed our bedroom light was on. Buzz. I felt around for my glasses, put them on and got up.

Our bedroom door was wide open and he was standing just outside of it in the hallway, facing the front door. He had his new shoes on—the ones his mom gave him on Saturday—and he was holding his favorite hoodie sweater in his arms.

“Are you OK? It’s still dark—time for sleeping. What’s wrong?”

He pointed to the door. A little startled myself, I went to check it out. Nothing there. I went back and turned him  toward his bedroom. He reached up for me to pick him up so I held him.

“You probably heard the ice maker. It makes loud noises sometimes.” It has scared the crap out of me plenty of times.

I carried him through the house.

“See this, buddy? It’s our security system. No one can come in or out of our house at night without setting off loud alarms.” I remembered my sensitive social worker sister-in-law had recommended this and had made a point to talk to him about our security system when she was babysitting once, too.

I carried him  to his room, removed his shoes and covered him up with a blanket as he curled up with his hoodie. I went back to my room to attempt to sleep for another hour.

Poor little guy. I can only imagine what kind of things he’s experienced in his not-quite-3 years that would make a strange noise trigger this kind of response: jump out of bed, grab shoes and jacket from the closet, get ready to run…

I’m thankful that this time he stopped to flip on our bedroom light to get my attention. (The jingle bells on his door handle failed to wake me.) This hasn’t happened in 3 weeks. I’m glad he’s feeling more and more comfortable at our house. But, it was a reminder that fear is still close to the surface.


This picture is not directly related but I love this monster hoodie. I wish I could show you his cute little face.

“Have fun!”


I come from a long line of worriers through my mom’s side. When my mom was growing up, every time she’d leave the house her parents would call out one last warning, “Be careful!” The world is a scary, dangerous place. Because of the fear it instilled, my parents made a point to be different. When we’d leave for school in the morning, go out on a date, or take off with friends for a sleepover, instead of saying, “Be careful!” they’d smile and say, “Have fun!”

I’ve always made a point of doing the same. People often tell me, “Be careful!” when I’m leaving… my boss, friends, Jason’s boss as Precious and I were leaving for the Tampa airport last week. And I answer back, “Ok… Have fun!” Because, really, we’re always careful, smart, calculated, paying attention, right? But what really helps to counter the anxiety that starts creeping up before a big adventure is a reminder to have fun.

So, wherever you’re going: Have fun!

On the Precipice


Have you ever been on the brink of something huge and felt simultaneously excited and inadequate? A couple weeks ago Jason and I made an important decision about our future. I feel without a doubt that it’s the direction God is leading us — it’s something that’s been in our hearts for a long time but lately has been stirred up to the point that we can’t ignore it. Immediately after the decision was vocalized and we were in unity about it, I started getting overwhelmed with fears about my shortcomings and worrying whether or not this is something we’d be able to pull off. As Christ-followers, we recognize this as a spiritual attack. Obedience with passion and excitement to move forward is met with resistance in the form of fears and concerns. I tossed and turned that night, wrestling with my thoughts.

The next morning, I cracked open my short daily devotional book, Jesus Calling. It is a 2 minute read of encouraging words from the prayer journal of missionary Sarah Young. What it said on March 11 is exactly what I needed to hear that morning to squelch the burning feelings of inadequacy that had plagued me the night before:

“Walk by faith, not by sight. As you take steps of faith, depending on Me, I will show you how much I can do for you. If you live your life too safely, you will never know the thrill of seeing Me work through you. When I gave you My spirit, I empowered you to live beyond your natural ability and strength. Thats why it is wrong to measure your energy level against the challenges ahead of you. The issue is not your strength but Mine, which is limitless. By walking close to Me, you can accomplish My purposes in My strength.” (based on 2 Cor 5:7 and Gal 5:25)

I’m sharing this hoping it will encourage someone else as much as it did me (not just to make you wonder what’s going on with us.) I can’t reveal what it is yet; for now we’re still holding it close as we figure out the next steps. (Hint: I’m not pregnant. I know some of you were thinking that.) If God has put you on a precipice with a view of what’s ahead, be strong and courageous! Though I may not be capable of what will be required of me, I know that He is with me and He will make me able.