Brave: verb. to face or deal with (something dangerous or unpleasant).*
Well, today wasn’t dangerous but it wasn’t ever going to show up on my Top 10 list of things that are easy to tackle.
I’m tentative to even label it brave because what stretches me beyond my comfort zone may seem completely ordinary to someone else.
Brave is all perspective.
When I tell people I have seven children they will often drop their jaw and – after asking some fun questions like “all from one husband?” and “do you know what’s causing that?” – they will say something along the lines of never being able to do that.
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I’m sure I once thought that of moms of seven, but now? It’s my normal. Cooking for a large family? Totally manageable. Homeschooling them through high school? Love it. All the laundry? I’m on it (most days).
But there are other tasks that paralyze me before I even start.
Often, because those tasks are outside my normal and out of my skill set, they get pushed to the very bottom of the to-do list. And the longer they stay there, the harder it gets to start and the bigger the tasks seem (or really do become).
But this week, I took a deep breath and pulled one of those hard tasks out from the bottom of the pile and circled today to take care of it.
I loaded up my mini-van with my youngest two kids, packed snacks, lunch and drinks for the day and headed out of town to work on a rental house.
It’s not that I can’t do it. It’s that over the course of years, over the years of managing our home and family and life, Dan took on certain tasks and I took on others. The rental house was his.
I used to think I was fairly brave, but that was because I leaned into Dan’s strengths, his know-how and his capabilities. And because we always brought two minds to decisions, he leaned on mine.
What used to feel so usual has felt so formidable.
I needed to put on my brave and move off status quo on this one.
Ten hours later, the girl who pulled the mini-van back into the garage is different from the girl who left this morning. Decisions have been made, there is progress and a punch list has been started.
The task hasn’t gone away and there is still work ahead of us but it no longer feels intimidating.
I’ve realized that brave IS all perspective.
Taking the first step makes the formidable feel altogether feasible.
I see that kind of brave all around me.
- Forging a never-expected life as a single parent
- Caring for aging parents in a grieving role-reversal
- Shouldering unwanted responsibilities
- Advocating for a child with a diagnosis
- Fighting hard for a hard marriage
- Stepping out to follow God in the unknown
There will always be plenty that requires our bravery. Every time, it’s a trust that God who gave us the task will help us complete it.
It requires us to take that first step in weakness and lean into God’s strength.
The origin of brave is bravo. Its feminine is brava.
Brava: used interjectionally in applauding a woman.
synonyms: well done, splendid, congratulations, attagirl.*
For all of you walking in weakness today and leaning into God’s strength to do what feels hard – brava.