Raising Magnolias

Because it's never too late for happily ever after…

“Do it Afraid”

My husband who wakes at 4:30 a.m. is out of town.

My children who wake at 6:00 a.m. are at their dads.

I don’t work until 9. You see the opportunity, yes?

Yes. It’s  4:15 in the morning.

Bless my own dang heart and tiny bladder.

When my husband and I were first married, he and Coulter were sitting on the couch watching football. Mike had this glazed look on his face as Coulter described a movie that he had seen over the weekend.

It wasn’t that Mike was bored.He was confused. And a little scared.

There were so many words. I’m guessing Coulter alone uses 3 times as many words as Mike and his youngest son from his second marriage, combined!  Add Emma Claire and I to the mix and Mike is confused by all the words.

All the talking.

Doesn’t anyone just sit quietly and watch football?

He joked in bed that night. “We could’ve watched the movie and it would’ve been quicker.”

I love all the words. I also love it when they are at school and there are less words.

On the short trip from the ladies’ room back to my bed, words started swirling.

That’s the real reason I’m awake.

And I say ladies room as an attempt to be polite about the massive amounts of water I’m supposed to be drinking and the havoc said water is having on my 6-hour nightly minimum.


Ok, 9.

But it’s not a ladies room at all. It’s a family room. We have 4 bathrooms in this house and the only one anyone can find is mine.

Or as my husband strangely calls it, ours.

Always. With the words. And the not sleeping. Words from the weekend keep swirling in my head. The grab and tangle and wrestle and I’m like a 1st grade teacher, “OK, children. Let’s use this word in a sentence.”

I have to find a category for each word.

Like debris. From yesterday. I’m not finished with that word. I wrote selfishly how the debris scatters.

You can’t control it. It doesn’t hit just you.

My entire family probably needs therapy for the crazy I put them through. But therapy is expensive, so I recommend exercise.

And dogs.

And Mike. But he’s mine, so you can’t have him. Not that my family would take him, but in general if you, my readers, need therapy, I’m offering up exercise and dogs.

Not Mike.

Words have power. This makes sense.  The greatest Truth is called The Word. God used words. There’s art and music and dance and so many glorious ways to communicate and they are all gifts from Him, but he used words.

And he chose scared, broken, flawed people to write them.

They not only thought they didn’t have what it took to conquer kingdoms and lead armies and, ya know, birth a baby that would be the Savior of the world, they knew.

Fear. That’s one of my words.

What if they don’t like me? What if it doesn’t work? What if I’m raising entitled children? What if I’m not spending enough time with them? Too much time with them? What if they’ll have body-image issues because they are being raised in a gym.

Good grief, y’all! It’s not a gym. That’s another  of my words. I strongly dislike that word. Not for the word itself, but because we don’t have one.

We have a training studio.

Studio is much more cosmopolitan, yes? And yet, sometimes.

A lot of times.

I say gym. Our grand babies were here for the weekend and I told them we were going to visit Mimi and Papa’s gym.

All day, little #1 kept asking when we were going to see Jim?

Fear. It’s my word. And I’m not alone.

So here, my gift to you (even though it’s my birthday week,):

“Do it Afraid.”

Three glorious words that I hijacked from my word-porn weekend.

It turns out, I didn’t need Bible verses tossed around like confetti. I didn’t need flawed, sinful speakers’ own personal interpretations of Bible verses. I didn’t need theology. I didn’t need sinful, flawed speakers’ personal interpretations of theology.

I needed this.

“Do it afraid.”


I don’t have to swallow up, stomp down or crush out fear. Fear of getting right. Fear of getting wrong. Fear of looking stupid. Of not being liked. Of not being right—

I can simply, do it afraid.

Wifey afraid. Parent afraid. Build a business afraid. Write a book.


One day Perfect Love will return and cast out all fear. Woot!

Until then, I’ll sit back and listen as Coulter uses all his glorious words to explain to Mike how “Grover is Percy’s best friend even though he’s a goat. Well, not really a goat, but his feet are goat hooves and he has horns, but he has a brain like a human except that he can send dreams to Percy in his sleep, and regular humans can’t really do that. I mean we have dreams, but we can’t really send them to anyone. Wouldn’t that be cool?”

My heart will be happy as I watch the glossing-over and yes, the fear in Mike’s eyes wondering if his own dreams will be filled with goat boys and endless story telling and I’ll laugh out-loud at the blessing of this gloriously, scary life.

Do it afraid, y’all.

Do it afraid.










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