Saturday, January 4, 2014

No Fences in 2014

Last year I told you about a little orphaned deer who somehow found herself living with a herd of goats a few miles from the ranch where we work. Here is the pic I took that day:

Not long after I took that picture, the farmer who owns the goats sold the herd. But he must have a soft spot in his heart, because he kept one mama goat and her kid to keep company with the deer, who obviously couldn't be sold along with the rest of them. Here is a picture of the little family I took just the other day:

She's grown, and so has the kid. Hubby and I look for them each time we pass the farm on our way to town. When our boys come down to visit, they look for them too. It always makes me smile when I see the three together. Like I said in my original blog Not One of Our Own, these goats allowed someone different into their world. They accepted her even though she didn't look like them. It truly is a picture of how all of us need to be a little more goatish when we meet people who are different. 

But there is one thing that is sorta sad about her story.

Because this little deer believes she's a goat -- I am convinced of that! -- she has no idea that she could easily leap over the fence that has her boxed in. She's never seen anyone jump a fence, so it's not something she would even attempt. She has no idea of the freedoms that await just on the other side of those barbed wires. The company she chose to keep -- the goats -- definitely became her family, but they've also, in their very nature of being goats, prevented her from learning the skills her mother and deer family would have taught her. It's a safe life, to be sure. There's no fear of her being hit by a car or, hopefully, no fear of hunters. She'll live out her days as the spinster aunt of that ornery kid who tried to headbutt her when he was younger. 

Yet I can't help but wonder what life would be like for this little deer on the other side of that fence? What would happen if she left her comfort zone and leaped into the life she was meant to live as a deer? 

I don't want "fences" to keep me from living out the glorious life God has planned for me. I don't want to stay in my comfort zone and miss out on some truly wonderful blessing that would have come had I taken that leap of faith. My fences may not be wire with sharp barbs, but they are just as real. 
  • Fear of failure is one of the biggies. I've struggled with this my entire life. Self-doubt kept me from doing a lot of things I now wish I would have tried. And it still has a hold on me at times.
  • Another fence is worry. I come by worry honestly. My mother was the World's Greatest Worrier. Although I try not to let worry eat away at me -- worry about my kids, our health, our finances, etc. -- I wake up a lot at night, worried. Yes, I pray about them, turn them over to the Lord and trust Him to take care of us...but the worry never completely goes away.
  • Procrastination is another fence of my own making. I think this sometimes goes back to my fear of failure. If I don't attempt something, then I won't fail at it. But...that's failure anyway, isn't it?

So even though I'm not one to make new year's resolutions, I'm claiming the phrase, "No Fences!" for 2014. I don't want anything to keep me back from experiencing God's richest blessings for my life. Not fences of my own making, or fences that someone else might unknowingly (or knowingly) put up. God doesn't fence us in. He's given us freedoms and talents and blessings beyond measure. It's up to us to take that leap of faith and go after them. 

How about you? You wanna jump the fence with me this year?

This week's prayer Shout-Out countries are:
USA, Russia, China, Ukraine, Germany, United Kingdom, Indonesia, South Korea, Poland, Australia, Canada, Philippines, Slovenia, Netherlands, France, Malaysia 

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