Daring to be Restless by Sarah Elizabeth

written by Sarah Elizabeth, the Restless Bird

What is this life of daring?


I believe it's living life as a restless bird. One who's longing to be more. This year God has been speaking to me over and over again about how I need to be a more daring young woman. Earlier on this year I was the proverbial "restless bird," but not in the right way. You see, I was restless in that I didn't dare to believe in myself and the gifts that God had given me. Instead I chose to let my fears and my worldly worries consume me. These negative restless behaviors were weighing me down, and they kept me from letting go and just flying.

After much pruning by The Master Gardener, many whispers to my feathery heart and going through the stretching motions of my comfortable secure, the Lord has made me once again restless. But this time it's in all the right ways.


Over the past few months I've found myself longing to become that restless-daring-more-than kind of young woman. I've become the daring one who longs to do more, to be more, to inspire more, to love more, to minister more, to know Him more and to pen more words than ever before. These are the things that have made this life of mine a daring one...and the restless spirit within me is now starting to take it's hold.


This kind of daring living requires us to live off of hope, to drink of the living waters constantly and to consume the bread of life, which fills our souls. Daring is found in the letting go, the releasing and living out of sweet dreams, and in the chasing after of everything more. A daring lifestyle will never be found in an overly complacent person, or the one who is too comfortably secure.

We've got to realize that it's okay to live life daringly. In fact I'm pretty sure God would endorse it, don't you? We must let our fears perish, and decide to live a life uncaged.


So, what are you chasing after?


I'm chasing after my dreams of becoming an author. (Wow. I actually said it!) Though I may sit here in front of a blank computer screen some days, not a word of inspiration to be found within my muddled brain, I dare to write anyway. I chase this daring restless venture, this seeking of more and this release of living out a story not my own, so that I might be a clearer reflection of Christ. I choose to let God be the One to write my story, though He never needed my permission of course, every day. Then I sit down and I write a story all my own and posts for you to read about this heart that wanders hither and yon.

It's in this everyday scrambling to chase after my word-filled watercolor dreams that I find myself desperately daring to be more.

Will you choose to be daring, too?


This everyday pursuit of my dreams, and my Jesus, is how I choose to live out this restless life of mine...daringly.



I'll admit that the daring life isn't always an easy one.

There are those days when it seems like it would be easier to just pull the covers over my head, and be content to only dream about the days I long for, instead of living them out. And I'm learning that anything worth living for will be hard to strive after.

But living a daring, eucharisteo filled, dreaming-every-second kind of life is one that satiates this hungry soul of mine, and it's the kind that calls this restless bird back home to nest, at the place where peace resides. My nest is found at the feet of Jesus.

So here's to the restless ones, the dreamers and the worriers...
let's live a life of daring together!

Daring To Get Wet

The reason I adore country music? Story songs.

Since a lot of my road trips to the store, to the library, to the school are solitary, I'm the girl you see driving down the road, belting out a song only she can hear. I keep myself entertained.

I'd listen to story songs all day long. Even the ones that make me cry (you know, like when they don't get together or someone dies or something). I hate when there's no happy ending. And yet I'll listen to it 'til I know all the words and can sing along.

For this reason, I am glad for the genre-police that make sure every book I pick up that is Romance ends with a happily-ever-after or a literary equivalent or something-that-makes-me-smile-and-think-that-was-worth-the-read.

What does all this have to do with that crazy title, Daring to Get Wet?

The fact that I could have titled this post When Tried-And-True Sing-Along Drivers Ride In Silence.

I rode home from the library in silence today. Something I never do.

I don't know what others' library routines are, but I have a little system. I go with an idea of what I want (or a list as the case was today). I park and amble up the walk reverently.

The Entrance:

I shoot for the back as fast as these legs will carry me (which is pretty fast, thanks to my puppy's training). The new books rack, the tables full of students doing homework, the line of computers stretching across the room like icing on a cake, all a blur.

My goal is the shelves.

I dart into the first available empty aisle and breath in the loveliness of being surrounded by paperback, hardcover, big, small, wide, tall words.


After gaping for a minute this afternoon and surrendering to the giddy smile that came to my face, I gathered the items on my list (and a few extras that beckoned) and hunkered down in a quiet corner.

There I sat for about an hour, jammed into an uncomfortable chair that has got to be older than the library itself and looks it. Totally uncaring that my knee would hardly allow me to hobble out the door when I stood, I became engrossed in a YA tome, oblivious to the sky darkening in the window behind me.

And, oh, did it darken.

Shutting the book, I realized my mistake.

It was either stay or flee.

On my way to check out my books, I stumbled upon the DVD Gone with the Wind, which I have been wanting to watch anyway.

It went to the top of the stack in my arms, because it's plastic and wouldn't be ruined by the torrential downpour which met me as the doors slid open.

With flip-flops slapping (now you know I live in the South--flip-flops in December) and jeans turning to plaster, I walked across the parking lot.

Laughing.

The entire time.

A year ago, no, a month ago... okay, probably a week ago, I would not have reacted like that. Upon seeing those big, angry clouds crying on my town, I would have high-tailed it back into that library so fast, Gone with the Wind would have thought itself watched.

But I didn't.

Even though my truck sat over yonder, clear on the other end of the parking lot.

I only got scared once. I'm a clumsy, klutzy, trip-if-you-talk-to-me girl and about halfway to safety (i.e. silver truck with my initials in the back windshield) I realized me + driving rain might not equal a happy equation. Glancing down at Scarlett and Rhett, I mused that I could seriously injure myself falling trying to transport them to my truck.

Even then I kept laughing.

Raindrops pounced on the books, on my arms trying to shelter them, in puddles in front of me, and...

I tasted raindrops.

They tasted sweet.

When I finally jumped into the driver's seat, laughing, shivering, drying off the books with that washcloth Daddy said would be a good idea to keep in the glove compartment and I didn't believe him until today...

I realized that daring isn't about the safe, the comfortable, the routine, or even the happily-ever-afters.

"Going around under an umbrella interferes with one's looking up at the sky." -- J. Kosinski

Daring is getting wet and tasting the sweetness of the rain.

And daring is turning the radio off and listening to the music the rain makes.

Courage by Rose Holman


Written by Rose H.

When I was young I wanted to do something big, something scary, something amazing. I wanted to prove to others (if not myself) that I was brave and strong. This was hard to do since I was short, scared of my own shadow half the time, and didn’t like taking risks. I wasn’t even sure what I would do to prove myself. Yet I desperately wanted be brave, overcome the odds, and make a name for myself.

As the years progressed I thought I had missed my chance. Other people got the chances to be brave and daring while (or so it seemed) I got left behind. I would be the cheerleader, not the one on stage. It hurt. I felt like a failure. I wanted to do something big, but I was stuck.

It didn’t stop me from dreaming though. In my dreams I was the shining actress, the beautiful socialite, or the brave woman who is overcoming all odds and saving the world (a girl can always dream right?).

Then God began to work on my heart and the attitude that I had. “I love you for who you are, not what you do,” God would tell me. “I want you to do what I have called you to do for now. Not try to 'prove' yourself.” It was hard news to hear. Would that mean that I would have to give up all my visions of being an actress? Saving peoples' lives? Making the big headlines? I realized that so many of these dreams were about me...my wants, my perceived needs, and my desire to do something great.

God's desire was that I love Him and let Him love me.

It was a hard battle. But God helped me to realize that the most important things are not what we do, but the relationships that we have with others. This lifted a great weight from my shoulders. No longer did I have to do anything to validate myself. I was loved for who I was.

Still, there were dreams. Dreams of being brave, doing something out of the ordinary, or having great courage. Now however I had given them to God. They were His to do with as He pleased. I tried to follow His lead. Sometimes I did better than at other times.

So this year God made some of the dreams come true. I got to write some plays, star in a play, sing at a small music festival, and travel (I’ll put off saving the world until later). But you know what? All of this is God working in my life. I could never do anything good.

Through God’s power, He is enabling me to be brave, strong, and daring.

He has filled the hole of my needs and wants with His love, grace, and peace.

There are still times when I shake a little. The future is uncertain. What if things don’t go the way I want them to? But then He reminds me of His promise, “In this world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have overcome the world.” There’s that word courage again. Taking it is hard sometimes, especially on “normal days.” There’s work to get done, to-do lists to accomplish, rooms to clean, blog posts to write, and family that wants to be thrown into the mix. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and want nothing more to run away. It’s on these days that God wants me to live with courage. To stand tall and work for God, knowing that He will make my hands strong for the task. He wants me to look upward and know that whether I get all of these things done or not, I should do them for Him.

So I’m trying to live each day in the courage He provides. It’s been an amazing journey so far. And I look forward to the years to come of learning how to live courageously, bravely, and daringly.

Why not join me?

A Daring Destiny: An Interview with Sarah Holman


What first inspired you to become a writer, an author, a wordcrafter?

I have always been a story teller. From a young age, I would create stories and tell them or act them out with my siblings. It wasn’t until I was eleven that I started my first novel, with the encouragement of my mom. I started it because I was having a hard time finding good books. When I finished that first book at age fourteen, I had found my passion. Ever since then I have always had something I am working on.

Who do you look up to as examples of courage?

Courage to stand up for what you believe in is one of the things I admire most in a person. My mom and dad are two of the most courageous people I know. They both come from non-Christian families and they not only have they chosen the path of faith, but are never afraid to make the right choice, no matter who tells them it is wrong. I will always be grateful for them being willing to dare to do the right (though sometimes hard) thing. What better example could a girl ask for?\

About becoming an author, was any part of it frightening?

Yes! Telling my extended family. Although my parents and siblings were supportive when I told them, I knew my extended family would not be happy with my career choice. There is also the fear that people won’t like my books.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse that encourages you to "live daring?"

I do! Whenever I am feeling down, I read 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

These verses remind me that no matter how hard things get, God will give me the strength to press on.

How did you come up with the name of Maria's friend, Quint?

Ah, Quint. He is one of my favorites too!! To be honest, I don’t remember where I came up with his name. Most likely I heard a similar name and played with it in my mind. However, his character came from my love for the comical, tough-but-likable characters in movies. Thank you so much for having me, Rachelle!

What I Loved

Just as with The Destiny of One, Sarah's latest installment in the story of Maria Morris's adventures is packed full of action and intrigue. I love a good book with a twisting, turning plot and The Destiny of One delivers!

Also, the characters are real, believable, with moments of victory and moments when they don't think they can go on. In The Destiny of A Few, Maria must stay one step ahead of the USF, who are intent on sustaining the openly anti-Christian government. With help from a few hilarious and heartwarming friends, she is able to travel to the planet of Rio to begin the next part of her mission.

However, she is confronted at every turn with conflicts and opportunities to exercise her courage.

With precious few confusing clues she must decipher and evil lurking in every corner, will Maria discover the secret to the Secret in time?

Will she come to realize that it is only when she comes together with those fighting for the same goal that victory can be theirs?

Or will the destiny of a few... be defeat?

The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson


An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice.

I was super excited about receiving an Advanced Reading Copy of this book because I loved, loved, loved Dickerson's The Healer's Apprentice. My favorite genres are historical, fantasy, and romance. This author beautifully blends all three and adds a dash of... fairy tale.

What could get better than that?

The Healer's Apprentice gives a whole new meaning to the fairy-tale of Sleeping Beauty and her latest release, coming just in time for Christmas this year, features a twist on my favorite fairy-tale of all time, Beauty and the Beast!

The Merchant's Daughter is a faithful portrayal of life in a medieval village and contains a balance between historical accuracy and the Disney rendition. Historical lovers will enjoy the glimpse into the fourteenth century and Christian readers will rejoice over the fact that the Beast learns the meaning of true beauty in an un-cliche way.

There's not much I can complain about with The Merchant's Daughter.

Except for the fact that it ended.

I thought the faith element was woven in expertly, though a bit heavily. Also, the ending might have been a little rushed, in my opinion - but this can chalked up to I didn't want to say goodbye to Annabel and Ranulf just yet.

An entertaining story that is sure to get you thinking...

The Merchant's Daughter transcends the traditional and offers a grown-up version of Beauty and the Beast for those of us who fell in love with the movie at age five.

Simple storytelling and a lovely plotline combine to form a classic I'll be keeping on my bookshelf and re-reading.

About the Author

Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer's Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader's Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor's degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Alabama.


Disclosure: The publisher provided me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

Being Daring in the Everyday Moments Part Two by Rachel Phillips

To read Part One, please click here.

written by Miss Rachel

David's example is one of full-out abandon to God. He doesn't run and hide under his bed. He doesn't stand by and wait for someone else to make the first move for God. Many times we say, "Not me, Lord!" and miss opportunities to be used for Him. :( I'm sorry to say, I have, too.

That girl standing by herself in the corner...I don't talk to her. The neighbors next door who don't know Jesus Christ as Lord of their life...I never open my mouth. The opportunities are everywhere, right in front of me, and because of fear and pride, I am silent. For you it may be another thing. Maybe you are bold for Christ when it comes to telling others about Him, but are slow to help others who need a helping hand. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses.

God puts many of us in everyday circumstances to perform simple, little, and sometimes menial tasks for His glory.

Never underestimate what God can do through these little things!

Daring to step out in faith to do what God desires you to do is being brave, courageous, strong, and daring!!! :)

I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty and joy to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble.
Helen Keller

To be fearless in the Lord does not require us to be great and powerful men, but only to believe in the great and powerful God.
R.J Rushdoony

We have lots of people in the Bible (and throughout history) who can inspire and encourage us to be daring: Look at Daniel in the lions den, the three men in the fiery furnace, Noah and the ark, Abraham with Isaac (daring to kill his only son because God told him to), Esther coming before the King to save her people, Moses following God into a wilderness, leading an entire nation of people and trusting that God would provide for them.

There are also stories of forgiveness like that of Peter. When Jesus needed him most, he turned and fled and denied he knew his Lord.

God will always give us the boldness to act when we need it most and He is always ready to forgive when we run and hide.

I take great comfort in that and I hope you do too. :)

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant
With just a sling and a stone...

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says, "Do not be afraid!"
And the voice of truth says "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth


"According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him."
Ephesians 3:11-12

"The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion."
Proverbs 28:1

Together, we can be daring.

May God grant all of us the desire and the power to be daring for Him.

P.S. - Thank you, dear Rachelle, for inviting me to be a part of this! I enjoyed it and was challenged myself by what God had to share with me and what He wanted me to share in this post with you all. :) You are such a blessed friend and I'm so glad God has brought us together to be sisters in Christ! Love you so much! Hugs! -Rachel

Being Daring in the Everyday Moments Part One by Rachel Phillips

written by Miss Rachel

I was introduced to this girl last year...as soon as I saw her blog title I was like, "Oh, one of those girls." You know, the kind that say life is an adventure of living for the Lord? ;) Yes, it was my dear friend and the author of this blog, Rachelle! :D HeHe! Little did I know then how much this girl was going to be an inspiration and encouragement to me to be daring & bold in living for the Lord! {Love you Rachelle!}

I've never been one of those "daring girls." I don't like heights, I don't like sports, I don't like adventures. I like to live safe and quiet at home. I'm not a quiet, shy kind of girl, I just don't like change... or things where I have to step outside of my comfort zone. ;) God has had other plans for me over the years, though. He's turned my desires to have a quiet life into something I never would have sought on my own! Through blogging, church activities, His Word, my sisters-in-Christ, and other things, God continuously pushes me outside "my box" and into something that always challenges me to be a more godly young woman "after God's own heart."

God has His own perfect timing in everything I have found, and just as Rachelle asked if the MOHL ladies would be interested in writing for this event, I had been reading Max Lucado's book "Facing Your Giants."

Perfect.

It fits right in with what I want to talk about today. ;) Thanks once again God! :D Love You!

...In the first chapter of the book, he begins by talking about young David. Now just a shepherd boy, later to be a king. As the giant Goliath roams the battle field, David is coming to bring food to his brothers who are in King Saul's army. Just another ordinary day... As David overhears the giants threats against the army of Israel and against the Lord God, he is not complacent nor is he quiet or fearful.

***

"And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid....And David spake to the men that stood by him...'For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?'"
1 Samuel 17:24-26
"David shows up discussing God. The soldiers mentioned nothing about Him, the brothers never spoke His name, but David takes one step onto the stage and raises the subject of the living God."
Facing Your Giants by Max Lucado, p.4

"No one discusses God. David discusses no one else but God."
Facing Your Giants, p. 5

***

"And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came, and drew nigh to meet David, that David hastened, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine."
1 Samuel 17:48

Unabashed, unafraid...David "hurries"...he doesnn't take his time, nor does he turn and run the other way. He runs to meet the enemy in the name of the Lord. No sword does he carry, no armor does he wear. A sling and only one stone, his God with him, he runs full on to meet his foe.


I had to ask myself after reading about David running to meet Goliath, How often do I run away in fear of what God has placed in front of me? How often do I remember my big God and run toward the battle?

Daring means to be bold and courageous for the path God has put before you. But not all of us have these moments set before us for "greatness." Things don't always appear so black and white in this world. There are a lot of gray areas.

What I have learned is that God calls us all to forms of greatness, and it is different for each person.

Rachelle goes to college... I stay at home. :) We are as different as night and day and yet I know that God is working and using both of us for His kingdom. God puts each of us in different circumstances each and every day where we will have to make a choice to be daring and stand for God's way or to turn, hide, and run from fear.

Please check back next Thursday, December 8th, for Part Two of Miss Rachel's post.