What If…


If you’ve spent any time here poking around through past posts, you’ve likely seen me write about faith, joy, depression, community, fear and how going it alone not only stinks, it’s not the way things were meant to be. (side note: I really, really wanted to put a comma after “fear”, but I’m told we no longer put commas between the last two items of a list so…)

All that to say, these ideas – of faith and community – have been rattling around in the ole noggin for awhile now. And I’ve been doing some introspection, and retrospection, of my own heart and life and it got me thinking: what if…

Image by Minhquan_0810

What if I ring that friend who just lost her baby? I know I don’t know what to say. She knows it. What if I just put the fear aside, and her heart in front, and say something like, “I don’t know what to say. I know you’re hurting. I love you and I’m here.” What if…

What if I stopped worrying what the widow down the street would think and just invite her over for dinner once a week already?

What if I sacrificed an extra hour of sleep once a week to make those treats  to sneak into the teachers’ lounge at my kids school? I’ve only been thinking about it for three years now…

What if I looked the lady at the cash register in the eye and gave her a genuine smile for 2 seconds instead of griping at my kids, fumbling with my wallet and trying to do mental math to check her arithmetic?

What if when I was cutting my grass I went ahead and cut the grass of my neighbor across the street? I know he has heart problems.

What if I stopped worrying that I would some how step on her toes and just go over to that homeschooling mom’s house and offer to help sort papers? Or re-shelf books ? Or cook dinner so she can sort and shelf and grade?

What if I stop when I meet that other mom in the shop I always seem to bump into? The one with the tired eyes and four kids under 5 years old. What if I told her she’s doing a great job, and none of us are in this alone. This motherhood thing. It doesn’t matter if I don’t know her name. What if I just said something nice. What if?

What if I leave my thoughts and judgments about that person’s lifestyle on the back burner and extended a handshake hello and bought a cup of coffee?

What. If.

What if I get off this merry-go-round of cookie cutter “faith” and stepped with a shaky, unsure foot onto the wavy, watery ocean upon which He walked? What if I let His radical love so radically burn in my heart that I can’t help but love others more than myself? My comfort? My time?

What if…

I’m linking up with Your Thriving Family! Momma Made It Look Easy The French Bird Blog The Better Mom The Miss Elaine-ous Life These Five of Mine Plus Two Raising Arrows Time Warp Wife Growing Home Commit2Write Some Girl’s Website Goins Writer

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Posted on February 17, 2012, in Faith, Family, Life Lessons and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 65 Comments.

  1. Oh, how you have captured my heart this morning! These types of simple ways to give of ourselves are so undervalued and easily passed by. Thank you so much for inspiring us to reach beyond ourselves!!

  2. What if…we became exactly like Jesus.
    What if…we put aside pettiness and loved.

    Great job taking us along the mental journey with you.

  3. What if…oh what a beautifully convicting post. It’s a joy to follow your blog! : )

  4. Beautiful…. You wrote what has been on my heart. I posted ideas for Acts of Kindness this week! :)

  5. Love this. I’ve been thinking so many of the same things lately. Like I need to step it up and do something a little harder. It is easy to pay for the order of the guy behind me in the drive-thru because I don’t have to talk to him. But I’m pretty sure it is time to go beyond easy.

  6. I love it! I have a belief, that gratitude is a verb…and FAITH is a verb. It’s like a gift. To hold for sometime, then release back into the world! Thank you!

    I posted it on my fan page. https://www.facebook.com/whatmattersthebook

  7. Good stuff, Jennifer! I think I need to make my own “What If” list and do it, too.

  8. Love this post. I was going to say, “What if…I managed to leave you an interesting comment?”

    But, no. That’s not going to happen today. But maybe, just maybe, I made you smile. Which would be a good thank you, because you made me think.

  9. Sharing on FB…I LOVE this one!
    That’s how I want to live–
    acting when the Holy Spirit nudges me. :)

  10. Phenomenal! Bless your loving heart. This is a wonderful breath of fresh air. xoxo ~Tanya

  11. I love it, my friend. I’m making my list now.

  12. So glad I clicked over here today! This was beautiful and I am in a season right now where I’ve been thinking and praying about some of these very things. Or maybe I am just being really convicted. ;) How do I really live? Do I show Jesus’ love to others or am I more worried about myself? Sometimes I seem to come up with excuses without even thinking about it. Going at it alone IS hard…I’ve been there…and I wonder how often I’ve passed up the opportunity to blessed by linking arms in even the simplest of ways? I know there are many of us (or most) who feel alone at some point or another. I wonder if ALL of us where to step out in the ways you mentioned…that maybe THAT is the love and unity Jesus was talking about that He so desperately wanted for us?

    Anyway :)

    Praying I would be led by His Spirit to reach out…THANK YOU for this today!! It was perfect. Going to share this one! :)

  13. Thanks for participating in the blog hop!
    Wishing you well on your bloggy adventures.
    Tried to follow via RSS, but something appeared to be broken.

    Kelly
    http://www.livelaughrowe.com

  14. Found you through the Grow Your Blog hop! Showing you some bloggy love by following you via email.

    Tera
    http://www.eccentricleopard.com

  15. Stopping by from the Grow your blog {blog Hop}! http://queenofsavings.com

  16. This is a great post for me personally as we head into Lent. (I am Catholic) These are the kinds of things that I want to be better about all the time but especially at this time of the year… wonderful post, my friend.

    • Thank you, Elaine! I want to be better about these things, too (hence the post ha!), and I’m learning more and more I can’t do it in my own power. It’s only by relying fully on Him, and getting myself out of the way, letting Him love through me that I can be anywhere near the loving person He wants me to be.

  17. WHAT a convicting post! I love everything you wrote here!!! I definitely need to branch out more! So often I don’t do things like mow the neighbors law even thought he has a heart problem because I get insecure. What if he doesn’t want it? What if he thinks it’s rude or it’s awkward?? I so often am motivated by insecurity and feeling awkward like I don’t know the person well enough. But that’s Biblical Hospitality. We are to show that love to others.

    What a beautiful post!! Thank you so much for sharing today!! :)

    • Yes, I let my insecurities drive me sometimes, too. A lot of the time. But I know how much I appreciate when people reach out to me in these kinds of ways, so I’m sure most would appreciate it, too. :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  18. You can put the comma there if you want. It is fondly known as the Oxford comma and is alive and well, although I believe it is less commonly used in British English (oddly enough) so that may be the reason for the confusion.

    I, for one, am a firm supporter of the Oxford comma and will continue to utilize it.

  19. Usually the “what ifs” are a list to avoid, but I love the direction you’ve taken this list. What if we stepped out of our comfort zone and reflected Jesus to those we come into contact with – and became intentional about increasing our sphere of influence for His glory?

  20. WOW! I have just come across your blog today and I am truly inspired. This post has really moved me and I’m so glad to have stumbled upon it (although I am beginning to see that few things are coincidences!)

    I am relatively ‘young’ in my journey with Christ and in a typical Irish fashion, I am living in fear of people’s reactions to my good deeds. I can relate to other commenters’ fears of awkwardness etc. Thank you for encouraging me to put my self consciousness aside and serve others in a Christian way.

    Beannacht Dé Ort

    • Wow, Katie! Cead Mile Failte romhat!! Can I ask how you happened open my little corner of boggy land??

      Yes, it is so crazy how hard it can be to do something you know will bless someone else, or be a tangible expression of Jesus to them. And how much easier it gets when we see, and walk alongside others, who ARE doing just that. I’m so happy you stopped by, and I hope you’ll stick around!

      • I’ve been trawling various blogs trying to learn as much as I can about Christian living and I saw you were a contributor to Better Mom. It’s funny how I was raised and formed in school as a Catholic but I know so little about actually being a Christian. I’m finding more answers in the Bible and on blogs like yours than I’ve ever learnt from mass or school.

        Thank you for your kind welcome, I will most certainly be sticking around!

      • Wow, I’m so encouraged by your story! I’d love to hear more at some stage! I’ll drop you an email later,if thats ok?

      • Please do by all means! I’d really appreciate the opportunity to share it :)

  21. Damn girl, talk about some inspiration! Found you through the Commit2Write linkup and this was just the dose of “What If” I needed to do some of the things I’ve been thinking about doing for so long now, but haven’t found the guts to do it. Strange how hard it can be to do the right thing, just for fear of it being weird. Sad, really… Let’s spread joy together!

    • Haha, Torie!! Yes, it is amazing when you step back to give it a think, why we should be so nervous just to do something good. And, like I said to Katie, how much easier and less awkward it is when we are surrounded by other people doing just that. So, yes, let’s start a movement! A What If movement! ;)

  22. Sarah Koci Scheilz

    Amen, sister! When I work past fear and actually do all of those things, it is always amazing to see the beautiful results. Share some stories of what happens when you do too, okay? :)

  23. Hey Jen!!!! This post is amazing! It made me think of SO many different things that I hold back from because of fear. Thank you so much for opening your heart and for linking up on sunday!!! =D
    XOXOXO
    Pame

  24. Wow! Awesome post! I need to ask myself a lot of these same questions! Thank you for sharing your heart!

  25. No idea how I missed this post originally but glad to be reconnecting with it today :) Thanks Jen – love your musings and then the practical call to action.

  26. I love, love, love this post! Found you through Jeff Goins’ link up. So glad I did. It’s like these words have lived in my heart for so long but I wasn’t paying enough attention to get them out. Thank you for being obedient and sharing this brave post.

    • Wow, Jessica, thank you so much!! Those words were rumbling around in my heart far too long before I acknowledged them as well. Now that it’s out there mid probably better start living it. Ha!

  27. Yes yes yes! Thank you for encouraging all of us to take those “what ifs” and make them into action. Beautiful.

  28. What a beautiful post! It’s so easy to put off doing the things that are difficult or take extra time. This is a perfect post to reflect on – and hopefully act on – during Lent.

  29. Love these! We all need to do a “What If” every day.

  30. What if we abandoned everything- home, money, etc. and gave it all away for the cause for Christ?

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