Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Who me, scared?
After reading Margaret's blog about scary things, I have to admit I'm pretty much scared of everything. Which is why I've tried to teach my children NOT to be scared. This is hard for a mother who wants to protect her children, as we all do of course. But my mother (bless her) sheltered me to the point of not allowing me to find courage on my own. She meant well, I know. But I felt stiffled at times. I'm not a very good swimmer because she was afraid of the water. I've had to learn how to swim mostly on my own but I made sure my two children knew how almost from birth. I'm terrified of spiders but I can't blame this on my mother. We both were terrified of them when I was young because we lived in a rickety old farmhouse and the creatures and critters were just a part of life--bugs, spiders and snakes, you name it. I saw it. One morning when I got up early to go work in the tobacco patch, it was chilly. My mother told me to get a jacket from my closet. I did so and when I put my arm through the sleeve, out came my hand with a big brown spider clinging to it! I can still to this day feel the touch of that spider on my hand. Naturally, I screamed and danced around and threw that jacket across the room. And even now, when I go to get a jacket out of the closet, I open the sleeve first and peer down into it to make sure nothing is nesting inside. That kind of clawing fear can surround us and cause us to close ourselves off from life's grand adventures. I make myself try new things so I won't miss out on the fun of life because of the fears in life. These days, my fears and worries seem to stem from making sure my children are safe and healthy--and I mean the big ticket kind of safe and healthy--safe in God's love and healthy in all their choices. And that can be even scarier than a big hairy spider clinging to your hand. But God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of hope. Writing about scary things in our suspense books is fun, but trying to get through scary things in life is tough sometimes. So I always look first, just to be sure. Then I take that leap of faith.