Double Dog Dare

Today, I am daring myself to do some hard stuff. I am challenging myself to just be happy.

Gosh that sounds so simple and silly when I write it out and say it out loud. But I think it’s more than that. There is more to happiness than just a smile and a happy heart. I think there are steps to take, choices to make, a certain outlook on life that leads to happiness.

So today, and everyday these are some of my new dares for myself. Wish me luck ~

Today I am daring myself to care. Maybe care more than anyone else, maybe care too much, maybe I’ll be the only one who cares but I am going to. I am going to reach out to people, ask questions about their lives, give them my undivided attention. I am challenging myself to care more.

Today I am daring begging myself to lock fear out of my life. There are days that fear walks into my heart and wrecks it. Literally my own fear comes and breaks my heart. The saddest thing is, I don’t even put up a fight! I so easily give fear the reigns of my life and that obviously hold such a grip onto my happiness. It stops me from caring, loving, showing up. I am challenging myself to suffocate fear as soon as it creeps in and instead, I will flood my heart and mind with thoughts of love and power and peace. Remembering truths and blocking out fears and insecurities completely.

Today, ya’ll- I dare myself to dance over small triumphs! I want to be so excited about the little things in my life that people think I am crazy! I want to look around at all that is falling apart but only actually see what is beautiful and blessing me. I want it to be so outspoken too. I want to literally dance over the fact that my crazy lion mane hair looks good today or these jeans aren’t too tight or my coffee tasted perfect this morning. I want to say and believe that yeah my car may break down in a few minutes but I have better music to jam to than anyone else on this road. I want to be over joyed about little compliments and friends and just where I am in life. I want to stand in this desert  and know that there is a river somewhere. And i won’t stop until I find it. And then I will dance in that river!

This won’t be easy- these dares and challenges I have for myself will not be a piece of cake by any means. It will be an uphill battle. But if I can just conquer one of these ideas today, well I just think that would be something to sing and dance about!

Sooo here I am, determined to find reasons to dance.

xx. Austyn


My Favorite Disciple

This is an excerpt from Kisses From Katie, a book by Katie Davis (go read and be changed). I really really love this. I love how relevant the Bible is thousands of years later. I love how I can relate to people Jesus walked next to and had face to face conversations with. I always thought Peter was the coolest disciple. He jumped out of the boat and walked on the water (already writing my take on that incredible act of faith, stay tuned). He denied Christ three times, I feel like I deny Christ  more than three times a day, but Jesus being the grace-filled Savior that He is redeemed him and me (and you). He was such a go getter, just willing to jump up and get going and spread the Good News, I can so relate to that, probably on a more selfish level like- get me out of here Jesus I am seriously over this place! haha. But anyways, I feel like everyone has a Peter part of their heart. So this is awesome. I didn’t write this, Katie Davis is amazing. And I just really wanted to share her words.

I am Peter.

Peter is the rock which God built His church, but first, Peter was probably the worst disciple ever. I am Peter.

Jesus tells Peter that he (Peter) will deny Him 3 times, Peters says “No! I love you, I could never deny you, Lord” yet we all know that Peter does in fact deny Jesus 3 times. I know in my heart and my soul and the core of my being that I love the Lord, that I would do anything for Him, go to the ends of the earth for Him, but how often do I forget to give the glory to His name? How often do I take compliments without giving Him the credit? Do I, like Peter, deny Jesus the glory that is His?

Jesus told His disciples that it was God’s will for Him to be arrested. He went willingly when the soldiers came to take Him, but enthusiastic, loving Peter raised his sword and cut off a soldiers ear. “Put your sword away,” Jesus commanded. “shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” I am Peter. I have my own time frame. When I don’t see things happening, I try to make them happen. And Jesus says “put away your sword, put away your plans. Shall we not do what the father has asked of us?” So, like Peter, I put away my plans, my defenses, and watch as everything happens perfectly in Gods own timing!

After Jesus had risen, He appeared to His disciples while they were fishing. When Peter saw His beloved Savior, he excitedly jumped out of the boat and began swimming to where Jesus stood. Needless to say the boat probably reached the shore before Peter.

I am Peter- excitedly jumping into things and then standing, sopping wet at the feet of the Lord, smiling at my stupidity! I get excited, forget to think things through, and end up doing them the long way. Every time though, just as with Peter, Jesus welcomes my soaking wet self into His arms and is simply happy to see me.

I am Peter who made many mistakes, but I am Peter for whom God had great plans, whom God established to do His work. Peter is the rock on which Jesus built His church. The very night Peter foolishly jumped out of the boat Jesus reinstated Him in the presence of the other disciples.

“Do you truly love me?” He asked. “then feed my lambs” “Do you really love me? Take care of my lambs” “Peter, do you love me? Feed my sheep and come follow me”

For each time I deny God the glory that is His, for each time I follow my own will instead of listening to His, for each time I jump ahead without first consulting my Lord, He asks “daughter, do you truly love me?” and I do. “feed my sheep. And I will. And I do. “come follow me” And I am, or at least I am trying.

I am Peter. I mess up. I make mistakes, I am far from perfect and God will use me. God will establish great things through me.

You are Peter. God already knows that you will make a mess, but His plan for you is great. Go. Feed His sheep.