I tried something new the other day. I went to hockey practice. I know, that sounds like something I do all the time. But this time, I didn't sit in the stands and watch my daughter. I got on the ice and played.
A friend of mine encouraged me to give the women's team a try. I've never played hockey before, and in the hour leading up to getting on the ice my stomach was queasy, and I wondered several times what I had gotten myself into.
I'm 37 years old. I can skate forwards and that's about it. I have never played organized sports in my life. I was terrified of looking foolish. I was worried I might hurt something. I had a blast.
For an hour and a half, I skated and learned. I fell down, and I got back up. My leg muscles were screaming and my hair was dripping sweat down my face. Three days later, my legs are still sore. I'm going back tonight for more.
Why would I learn to play hockey at 37, you ask? Well, for starters, I got tired of watching my younger daughter have all the fun. I love watching hockey and thought, why can't I?
The second reason is a little more complicated. I don't really have time to play hockey. Between the girls' sports schedules, work and volunteer commitments, I very well may miss more games and practices than I make. But I decided to play hockey because it's time just for me. As moms, we sometimes find ourselves so caught up in everyone else's schedules, everyone else's lives, that we forget to take care of ourselves. We don't make time for exercise. We don't make time for a break. We simply don't make time to do anything that doesn't involve taking care of someone else.
I also decided to give it a try because I want my girls to know that they can do anything. I want them to know that it's never too late to try something new. You don't have to be a certain age, a certain gender or have special talents to take on something new.
Sometimes God calls us to do something new and scary. Sometimes He asks us to go places we never thought we would go and do things we don't think we're capable of doing. If we live our lives afraid to step out and try something new, then we risk missing out on the great things God has planned for us.
The best way to teach our kids to not be afraid to follow where God leads is to not be afraid to do it ourselves. Fear is the biggest obstacle to following where God leads, but we're told that we have nothing to fear. Psalm 118:6 says "The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid." What is God asking you to do today that you're putting off because you're scared? What new adventure does He want you to take part in?
Little eyes are watching us. Our kids will learn more from our actions than they ever will from what we say. If we show them how to follow when God leads, how to try something new even when we're scared, then they will learn that true faith takes courage. And they won't be afraid to follow when God leads.