Breaking Fear: Part 7, Fear of What Others Say/Think


“She’s ineffective,” she whispered in ears.

“You shouldn’t be involved, she’s going to run that place into the ground,” her voice warned willing listeners.

“She’s a fraud. A phony. It’s all smoke and mirrors,” she repeated over the phone.

This isn’t a short story.

This actually happened to me last year. A professional adversary. And for three months, the attacks nearly crippled me.

The third-hand accounts of the accusations led to constant self-doubt. Panic. Insecurity. But more than anything: FEAR.

Fear about what others would think. Would they believe her words?

Fear about how to respond (or whether to respond). Do I try to fight back? Defend myself or attack in return?

Fear about whether any of the accusations might be true. Was she on to something?

Then a circle of dear friends called my attention to this truth: Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. (Exodus 14:14) {===> Click to Tweet}

I still cling to these words on the days I feel like it’s up to me to win the battle I’m facing. When the fear wells up in my throat and threatens my air supply.

Listen dear friend: God. Holds. Your. Reputation. He has you in His hands. {===> Click to Tweet} Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, So a curse without cause shall not alight. (Proverbs 26:2)

You do not need to respond. Counter attacks only serve to give credibility to the original attacker and taint your reputation. This is so hard. Instinct is fight or flight. Fight or flight comes from FEAR. Once we trust, way deep down, He will guard our reputation, then the fear dissipates and is replaced with confidence to move forward.

It will always hurt. No one is immune. We can feel sad or frustrated or confused but we shouldn’t live in a state of fear.

Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong;
or like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
Psalm 37

When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God will be with you… Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory. Deut 20

This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s… You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you. II Chron. 20:15-17

I wonder if the scripture is SO FULL of promises of protection, defense, and freedom from fear because God knew how hard this would be on us. How our instinct would run contrary to His promises. He understood and so He promised over and over that He has this: See, I will defend your cause and avenge you (Jeremiah 51:36); When they cry out to the Lord because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them (Isaiah 19:20); Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you (Deut. 1:29).

Hang in there. This will pass. He will fight for you. Be still.


  1. Read Psalm 109 – David gets this. Years after the Exodus, you hear David’s cries from his accusers, but he recognizes God has it and he will praise Him even in the middle of the attacks. Follow up by reading Psalm 37. There is such freedom in his songs.
  2. Release whatever fear you have been holding over what people think about you. Forgive those who have gossiped or attacked or spread a negative storyline against you. Write out a prayer using any of the dozens of scriptures where God promises to protect you, fight for you, defend you, and hold your reputation.
  3. Share what you’re learning in the comments or on Facebook. Thanks for journeying through Breaking Fear with us this fall.


Leadership Lessons


It was so frustrating to him.

It was the exact same item but priced $30 higher. He had the points to get the $30 pricier item for free, but the principle of it sat on him like a burr in a saddle.

So he talked to the customer service representative. Calmly. Patiently. She said there was nothing she could do. They didn’t price match. He asked to speak to customer care, politely. She remarked, “but you can get this item for free.”

“I know,” he replied, “but points equate to dollars and this item $30 higher than if I went to your competitor. You can understand that, right? It’s tough to swallow the same item would cost $30 more.”

“Yes,” she replied, “I can understand that. Okay, we’ll drop the price.”

He emerged from his office victorious sharing his news. I agreed it was impressive and mentioned his experience showcased some impressive leadership qualities.

“You’re going to blog about this, aren’t you?” he questioned.

“Well YOU could blog about it,” I responded.


Well, there you have it. So darling, here’s the leadership lessons your telephone interaction teaches us all:

  1. Show respect. No matter who you’re dealing with, they deserve your respect and polite engagement.
  2. Appreciate the value. Here, even though the item would have technically been “free,” it would have cost him the equivalent of $30 more in points for the exact same item offered elsewhere for less.
  3. Negotiate. You never will know if you can get a better deal if you don’t ask.
  4. Make it relatable. “Can you understand that?” Such a great leadership question. You’re asking if the person on the other end appreciates value as much as you do. Make sure it’s a question folks can relate to, but basic questions appealing to human decency, appreciating value, and understanding a predicament can build a bridge to common ground where far more can be accomplished.

Thanks for the leadership life lesson, babe!


Friends Like Family


I never had a sister.

I love my brother, but I always thought it would be wonderful to have a sister too.

There’s this quiet little verse in Proverbs which says, “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

I love that image of friendship. No matter how strong the bonds of family, sometimes God faithfully gives us dear friends who STICK.

I’m headed back to my 20 year (gasp!) college reunion this weekend in Arkansas. It’s made me reflect over the seasons of friendship I have had in my life and how richly I have been blessed.

I grew up all over the country. I went to a different school every year except fourth and fifth grade and high school. I struggled maintaining friendship as I moved from pillar to post and my relationships turned upside down.

Yet no matter the season, God delivered friendships. I am still in touch with my best friend from Kansas even though I don’t believe I’ve seen her since her wedding more than 20 years ago. My high school best friend lives a few hours away, and thanks to Facebook, I’m watching her two sweet boys grow as mine do. My two college roommates, one from the first two years and one from the second two years, are still incredibly dear to me even though we haven’t seen one another in ages.

I’ve lost friends too. Whether to time or life circumstances or lack of effort, but they still hold portions of my heart because of the role we played in each other’s lives for the season.

And here, after turning 40, God still gifts me with deep friendships. My best friend of over a decade is local and I have the chance to see her every month (when we work really hard at it). We cheer each other on and cry together when life hurts.

My two best non-local friends have been some of the biggest surprises ever. Nothing but God could have knit us together. Kristin and I just vacationed together on the beach, and we still talk almost every day to the third member of our cord of three (Eccles. 4:12).

I’ve worried a little this year as my little bit has so few girls around her. She has almost no girls in Kindergarten at her school and you can see, even at the age of five, how she craves heart sisters (since she too only has brothers). Even there, God has gifted us with precious neighbors on either side – a girly-girl to our right a year younger and a sporty fun girl to our left a year older. As I watched them swim and laugh and play on Saturday morning, I prayed for the blessings of rich female friendships throughout the course of her life.

I know girls can be hard, especially during certain seasons, but the gift of female friendship is such a treasure and I only pray I’m the kind of faithful friend so many others have been to me.

A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice. Proverbs 27:9

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. I John 1:11


Fashion Fridays: Rock the Runway

Y’all, yesterday was SO fun!

I was named a Role Model by GHWCC (one of my favorite recognitions ever, because that’s really all we want to be – a good role model for those coming up!), but they didn’t tell me before I accepted the award the Role Models have to actually model. 

That’s right. 

Ballroom. Runway.  Spotlights.  Music thumping out a beat. 

I am a particularly uncoordinated gal, so you can imagine my visions of catapulting off the stage into someone’s lunch plate.  Nonetheless, onward I went. 

It was such a blast.  So you’ll have to indulge this Fashion Friday as I blog a little about my fun fashion experience!

My best friend went with me to my fitting a week ago.  Three boutiques sponsored the show (which raised money for girls scholarships in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields), and the models were randomly assigned a shop.  So in we went to this small boutique in upscale Houston and I fell in love with the first thing I tried on – a gorgeous cobalt blue Hugo Boss dress with Etro hand dyed scarf.   

Sigh.  Yummy. 



I tried on a couple of back up outfits, but the dress was the ticket.  (Mary snapped pictures the whole time as we adjusted scarves and decided which look worked.)  While I was offered a discount on the clothing I modeled, there was NO WAY I could afford the dress or scarf. 

I did learn a couple of cool new tricks on how to tie scarves effectively.  For example, on those long scarves, hold one corner up high, grab it in the middle, put the middle at your neck and throw each end over your shoulder, cross it in back and bring it back over the opposite folder, adjust and VOILA!  It’s the way I ended up wearing it in the show.  Plus, they had the coolest (pricey) jackets with zippered insets in the blazer.  So the photo shows a cool black leather inset but they also had them in sweater materials and other interesting two tone looks – super chic and simple.  Hoping someone comes up with a cheaper version of this.    

Yesterday was the show and I arrived early for hair and makeup.  Despite my misgivings, I loved the way the look turned out.  If you had told me blue eye shadow and curls, I would have thought of Miss Texas circa 1988.  But it was more subtle than that, and the biggest upside was that it shaved 5 or 6 years off me! 

The time came for the show and we lined up according to our style section (I was in leadership style – fun little twist).  They played great music with a bold beat easy to keep time with on the catwalk.  Out I went, a little trepidatiously at first.  But then my ostentatious table of girlfriends went WILD and I completely hammed it up. 



You can see how seriously I took the walk.  I even responded to their “work it” hollers by shaking my tookus.  I love these girls. 

So I had to share my first, and last, ever fashion runway show.  I have no idea what they said the trends were, something about sparkle and fur which I don’t really tout for the workplace, so sadly I have no new nuggets for you.  However, next Fashion Friday is full of helpful nuggets so it should offset today’s little fashion update. 

 Have a great weekend girls.  And to Tracy, Rebecca, Jennifer, Jana, Stacy, Amanda, Mary, Paige, Natalie, Laura, Marianne, mmmmwahhhh.

(And then girls, with my hair and make up already done, I got to go to opening night of the ballet because a friend had tickets!  Isn’t that just a golden girly kind of a day!?!?!)


Breaking Fear: Part 6, Fear Over Your Family


As we look at the fears which plague us, and from which we can find freedom, this one tops my personal list.  Last week we tackled fears FROM our family, but this week we tackle fears FOR our families.

It’s no wonder.  The world can be a scary place – particularly harrowing for those of us with children.  Headline news blare stories about abductions, abuse so evil you have to shut the tv off, car accidents, disease, and all other manner of heartbreak.

But the fear, once it has a foothold in any one area of our lives, grows into the other areas.  Fear over the fate or life circumstances of our parents, siblings, children, spouse, and “near” kin can paralyze us.  Or at the very least keep us up at night.

Earlier, we tackled fear over things where we have no control.  This is its own unique out-of-control experience.  We want happiness, health, safety, and long life for those we hold most dear.  Yet we have no idea what tomorrow may bring.

Just this week, four of my friends and colleagues lost parents.  While one was lost to cancer, and my friend had time to prepare (making it none the easier mind you), the other three were complete shocks.  One mother hit by an eighteen-wheeler.  One beloved father and grandfather collapsed walking to get his mail and fatally hit his head.  Another daddy didn’t wake up in the morning.

No. Warning.

Families turned upside down over loss they never saw coming.

In the face of these stories, personal and public, how do we keep from holding white knuckled onto those we love?  Staring at the ceiling sleepless and nauseous over what could come?  Hearing a fall or a crack and immediately imagining the worst?

What do we do?  How can we respond?

1. We trust. 


They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.  Psalm 112:7

“He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him… you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.  From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God. (Psalm 22)

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (Deut. 31:8)

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God I have put my trust; I will not fear.  What can humans do to me?  (Ps. 56:4)

2.  We remember He loves them (kids, spouse, parents…) more than we do.

What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matt. 7:9-11)

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  (I John 3:1)

3.  We hope. 

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.  “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” (Lamen. 3:23) 

There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.  (Prov. 23:8)

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.  (Ps. 62:5)

These do not make circumstances any less hard.  Replacing fear with trust takes practice.  It doesn’t take away the unknown.  It doesn’t guarantee a perfect outcome.  But He is the hope as the anchor for our soul, firm and secure. (Heb. 6:19)

And I promise you, He can do a better job than we can.

Our worry permeates our homes and makes our children or family more fearful.  Our panic over what may come undercuts anything we say about our faith and our all-powerful God.  The Bible is clear He has a specific purpose for each of our lives and we have to trust He will accomplish it in those family members we love most even if we don’t understand how or why or when.

Do you pray for them?  Absolutely!  You and I should be on our knees claiming verses with promises of favor and faithfulness over each of them every day.  He wants us to be interceding on their behalf.  But then once we have brought our prayers and requests to His hands, we have to leave them there.  Knowing He holds each one:  He numbers our wanderings and puts our tears in His bottle (Ps. 56:8). 


1.  Read the story of Hagar in Genesis 21:8- 21 – Here’s a momma sent away from her home with her boy and left in the wilderness to die.  God sees her tears.  God provides.  Call on this God who provides when you feel fear.

2.  In your morning prayers, tell God what you are most afraid of.  Acknowledge it.  Then acknowledge that whatever comes, He is still God.  He sees you.  He hears you.  Entrust those you love most, and worry about most, to His perfect care.

3.  Share what you’re learning on the blog or in the Facebook comments.