March’s Encouragement of the Month post is all about, The Art of Showing Up, and why showing up scared is better than not showing up at all.
A few weeks ago, I stepped way out of my comfort zone and asked you to join me on a Zoom call. I had no idea if anyone would even be interested much less show up.
But on Monday, Donna and Mary heeded the call and it was an absolute pleasure to speak with them both.
What I never told you about that invitation was I had been praying for a deeper way to connect and serve The Crowned Goat community outside of social media, DIYs, painting, organizing, decorating, and seasonal posts for MONTHS.
I just didn’t know how or in what capacity it should be in.
As an introvert who struggles with anxiety so intense, I’ve yet to be able to be around crowds big or small without sweaty hands and feet, the idea seemed overwhelming.
So late last year, I started practicing.
I practiced going to the grocery store, then dinner, and before I knew it, I was going on short day trips and feeling more normal in public.
It truly felt like I was on a roll!
By the time we got home from my Mom’s birthday party in Savannah, an event that changed me in more ways than I can articulate, I found myself regressing though.
So, instead of showing up and embracing imperfect progress, I chose the safest route I could find.
I threw all my efforts into getting back on track at home and in business and put the TCG Community Zoom Call on my Q2 goals list.
I’ll be honest, it felt like a setback.
Then two of the ladies in our blog group, Paula, and Michelle, died days apart in completely unrelated events, and their passings shook me up all over again.
Paula’s because of the way she continued to inspire by showing up even when her cancer treatments were incredibly difficult.
Michelle because her death was utterly unexpected.
Couple that with 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and war looming in Ukraine and things started to feel extremely heavy.
It felt weird to talk about home décor and DIY when so many people were hurting, exhausted, and weary.
Again, I felt an overwhelming need to check-in and connect in a deeper way, but I had no idea how, if anyone would show up or if I could work through my anxieties enough to follow through.
A few days later, I was gently reminded while reading my morning devotion we’re taught to be faithful in the small things because as the demands of life, our circle of influence and our integrity grows, we’re expected to be equally as faithful when entrusted with the big things.
Truthfully, showing up on camera and speaking in front of others always *feels* like a big thing, but I knew it didn’t have to be.
So that morning, I opened my laptop, stepped out of my comfort zone, and extended the invitation.
The weekend before the Zoom call, I unexpectedly found myself back at Bliss Barracks helping my Mom create a bistro-style brick patio complete with a set of flower beds she’s been dreaming about for years.
I knew my Dad, middle sister, brother-in-law, and nephews would all be there to pitch in.
But I was completely caught off guard in the best possible way, when I opened the door from the lanai to the backyard, chocolate donut in hand, and saw my sweet aunt who’s been battling an aggressive form of breast cancer for almost a year now, down on the ground helping my Mom dig holes for her beloved petunias.
What struck me about that moment was how ordinary it all seemed.
My Dad, uncle, and brother-in-law pounding away laying the bricks for the patio. The littles planting tomatoes, finding worms, and chasing the dog. My sister chipping away bit by bit at the hole for a new tree.
A random Saturday that brought extraordinary joy, and with it, tiny lessons in integrity and the art of showing up.
It’s really easy to fool ourselves into thinking it’s only worth showing up for the big things. The big birthdays, the big trips, big promotions, product launches, book deals, the big new house, new car, the big game, a life-changing diagnosis, or other big life events.
But the truth is, it’s the little things we’re faithful in – those seemingly small and mundane integrity tests we’re tasked with daily – that bring golden nuggets of goodness, joy, and harmony to our lives.
They can unexpectedly make someone’s day, bring peace to a broken heart, wisdom to a difficult situation, or speak life, encouragement, and hope in a dark season.
The opportunity to embrace the art of showing up happens minute to minute, hour to hour, and day to day whether you realize it or not.
It takes place in the choices we make and the actions we take where we choose to do the right thing whether one person sees it, or no one does.
We can show up with sweaty hands and feet, healthy, with an illness, curious, weary, purpose-filled, grateful, faithful, scared, or hopeful.
That’s the true beauty of showing up, we get to choose how we heed the call.
As we enter a new season, my prayer is that we’re able to show up in big ways and little ways. Not only for ourselves but for the people who have been placed on our paths as well.
After all, there’s no better reminder of faithfulness than spring flowers in bloom.
Cheering you on as you choose to show up this season and always,