When I was in elementary school, I used to checkout every book I could find in the library about dogs. I knew so much about different breeds of dogs, their temperaments, their care needs, even their ‘ideal’ climate to live in. To say I was a dog nerd would have been a complete understatement. Not much has changed as I’ve grown up. I’m still a complete dog nerd and could talk about my pooches for hours on end. However, I’ve become more aware of my obnoxious tendency to talk about my dogs too much. I even created a separate Instagram (@KC_and_ellie) for my dogs so that I won’t feel guilty about how many dog pictures I post to my personal account. Some would argue that that’s still ‘too much’, but I find myself asking, “Why do I care so much about what people think? Am I afraid it’s not ‘cool’ to post pictures of my dogs all the time?”
When was the last time you were excited about something? I mean like, geek-out, borderline obnoxious, stupid-excited about something?
At some point in our lives, usually around the same time girls and boys start finding each other attractive, we also start downplaying what makes us excited, for fear of being seen as ‘uncool’. I am so bummed by this fact of life. There is something so inspiring about a young kid totally geeking-out about something that’s actually pretty nerdy. Doesn’t their excitement just captivate you, though? Even if you’re not into whatever it is they’re talking about, their ability to be unhindered in their excitement is so cool.
My brother, Drew, is someone who is constantly excited about something; a book, a recipe, a task management app. Literally, almost anything & everything. That might seem funny to you, but it’s actually one of my very favorite qualities about him. He is literally never afraid of being ‘too excited’ about anything. If he has experienced something great, he wants EVERYONE to experience it too. I’m finding it hard to say this in a way that sounds complimentary, but I promise it is. I so much admire the fact that Drew gets people excited about stuff. Because of his enthusiasm, about any given subject, he gives permission to everyone around him to also get excited.
Excited people light fires in other people.
I’ve recently been super jazzed about what God has been teaching me. Visit my last blog, Quiet before Courage, and you can read all about it. Last week, I was at coffee with a couple of new friends from church. This was the first time I had been to coffee with one of them and the second time with the other. Needless to say, our relationship was very fresh. I felt God nudge me to be brave in sharing about what He has been teaching me, without fear of what they would think.
“Am I coming off too strong?” “Am I little too excited about this?” “They hardly know me, maybe I should just play it cool.”
I heard these doubts and almost instantly watched them disappear from my heart and mind as I kept sharing. I left the coffee shop that night with a new realization.
1. I have let what other people ‘might’ think of me, dictate what I say and what I do way too much.
2. God makes me brave.
That story might seem like just a small, simple thing to you, but it was a huge victory for me. I probably won’t ever know how my vulnerability impacted my friends that night, but it certainly impacted me. I’ve been ‘downplaying’ what God has been doing in my life for way too long. Our stories, our experiences and what God is teaching us through life, our friendships and His Word are exciting and we should be inviting others to share in that excitement! Now, I feel like I have to clarify, there is a time and a place for vulnerability. Not every single person is the right person to share so openly with but, when you feel God’s nudge, be brave.
Brene Brown offers up this question in her book, Daring Greatly,
“What are we sacrificing for the sake of being cool?”
The answer is, a lot. Including, becoming our true, authentic selves and inviting others to do the same.
I want to invite you to take a look at what God has been teaching you lately and encourage you to get excited about it. Try to understand what that actually means. God, the creator of the universe, is so near to you that he is teaching you, offering up wisdom and granting you clarity. That is AMAZING.
If you haven’t been learning much from God lately, I’ve been there too. Are you making yourself available to Him? Are you positioning yourself in such a way that you can receive from Him?
Drew once told me to picture myself leaning over a sink, trying to get a drink of water straight from the faucet. Am I positioning myself in such a way to receive everything God has for me, like sticking my head under a sink faucet to get water? If so, eventually His goodness and love will overflow from me. But first, I have to be willing to position myself to receive all that He has for me.
That might be a weird analogy, but Drew was really excited when he shared it with me and I liked it so much, I’ve adopted it. My brother has been a huge source of encouragement for me in my faith journey and I credit a large part of that to his willingness to get excited about seeing God move in the hearts and lives around him.
We have a huge opportunity to encourage one another in our faith by simply allowing ourselves to get stupid-excited about what God is doing in our lives and in the lives of others. Will you join me in being brave in your obedience to God by telling someone about what He’s doing in your life? Sharing has the ability to spark change in them, but I guarantee that it will change you first.
Be encouraged, friends ❤