I come from a large extended family. I have several aunts and uncles, and a ton of cousins. Our family is big and sometimes loud and very supportive. I grew up seeing a few of my cousins and relatives daily at school, and many of them regularly at my grandparent's farm. However, we're older now and get together a couple times a year for special events.
When I met and married John, I was welcomed into a different kind of large family. John has seven older sisters, all of whom live in Iowa. We see them regularly, sometimes a couple times a week. It's guaranteed that every gathering with John's sisters and their families will be big and loud and very supportive in nature.
I look up to John's sisters for a variety of reasons, and what they might not know is they are teaching me to live fearlessly. In the next few months John and I will be doing some crazy things that we've never done before. This requires fearless living.
You see, John's sisters are mothers, wives, and followers of Jesus. They are business owners and leaders. They are community role models and advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. My sister-in-laws have overcome many hardships, and are strong, independent, resilient women.
They. Are. Fearless.
For instance, my sister-in-law Julie started a small business many years ago. Following her heart and God, she decided to sell her small business, which later led her to work in a field that is even more aligned with her values.
My sister-in-laws Mary Jo and Linda started a non-profit a few years ago with a couple other friends. This non-profit is dedicated to supporting women (and men) share their stories and walks with Christ, and to build their spiritual capacity. I had the honor of speaking at A Place 4 Friends a few months ago on the topic of honoring God through honoring our environment.
It was my sister-in-law Dawn who built her own yoga studio from the ground up. Dawn and I have collaborated on a variety of Young Living Essential Oil and yoga hybrid classes, which helped me grow as a small business owner as well. Dawn has transformed many lives through her practice.
Enne and Cheryl are two of my sister-in-laws who are incredibly kind and humble. These two women are amazing mothers. What I most admire about Enne and Cheryl is their calm demeanor and joy for life. They are always smiling, even in situations that would make most of us cringe.
The youngest sister-in-law of the group, Ann, is one of the most resilient women I know. Period. I really look up to her in many ways. She is a small business owner as well, and manages to run her busy household single-handedly. Ann is beautiful and funny, and has a charming spunk about her.
It was really hard for me to 'make it official' a couple weeks ago when I told you John and I were moving. I am still not ready to give you a lot of details yet (simply because many details aren't resolved yet!), but I do want to share a few lessons I've learned from these ladies on fearless living.
- Take risks! Knowing every.single.variable. isn't necessary. Put trust in the Lord and the process. Trust the skills you've been given, then just do it.
- Failure and struggles are inevitable. Perfectionism isn't realistic.
- It's ok if you fail or falter. Don't dwell on it. I've learned recently what no one is really paying attention to us anyway, even when we fail. People are (justifiably) concerned with themselves and their own lives. They care about us for a hot minute, then they move on.
- Skepticism isn't the way. My sister-in-laws are joyful women. They aren't condescending or skeptical. They live with a joyful heart. Whether it makes their days brighter or not, it sure makes them fun to be around.
- Fearless living doesn't mean being tough all the time. Jesus has our backs, especially when we're scared and tired and losing hope.
How do you live fearlessly? Tell me about some of the risks you've taken and the amazing things you've done. Dig deep. Don't be shy. Leave a comment!
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