Swing Hard!

Last Saturday while grand dog sitting, Collins and I took our lab, Daisy, and Sadie, the grand dog, to the groomers for a summer shave and bath. It was quite the ordeal getting them in Collins’ car and getting them out. One loves to ride and one does not……we finally arrived and got them unloaded. We were headed into the groomer when their leashes and legs wrapped me up and I fell sideways on my fannie. It was an unexpected hard fall.

I slowly got up and untangled myself, with Collins help…but needless to say it was a very clumsy and unattractive spill. Arms and legs, purse, cell phone and sunglasses went everywhere. As I got up, my natural response was to look around and see who got to witness this “spill”…. At first I didn’t see a soul, but when I walked into the store it was obvious that the two young men who were grinning had witnessed the “Tina takes a tumble” moment. Nothing was said but it was obvious they saw. I thought to myself….”Well, at least I made someone smile today!” That is exactly how I have learned to live in the Back 9! To live, to live out loud and to swing hard! Allow me to explain……………

So often I feel I/we hold back and play it safe in life……worrying we might fail, mess up, or embarrass ourselves. Some of this we do consciously, but much of it is unconscious; it is almost hardwired into us to do whatever we can to avoid looking bad. Maybe you are reading this and don’t relate at all. After raising three children and mentoring others and have now for sure lived half of my life…I have found this to be very true. You may be in the 3% that doesn’t relate but if you do relate, allow me to encourage you to embrace the idea of “swinging hard!” in life.

You see, the idea of swinging hard means you might just “hit it”. In fact, you could hit it out of the park… a home run, and if not, then maybe, just maybe….you will hit a single, double, or triple. Of course, there is a chance you will strike out. But I have learned, “so what???” If you don’t swing hard, you will never know the experience of potentially hitting a home run. I know you are probably surprised that I am not using a golf analogy on this one, but sometimes swinging the golf club hard is not such a good thing…..Committing to your shot is……but swinging hard?….not so good sometimes…

Jeremiah is an example of someone who was willing to swing hard. He told the people what they didn’t want to hear. He then says in Jeremiah 26:14, “But as for me, behold, I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you.” He knew there was a good chance they would put him to death for his words but he was more concerned about doing what God had told him to do than he was about the opinion of man.

To live a fulfilling life I have found, while scary and challenging at times, it is essential to be bold in order to live an authentic life, the kind I feel God has designed all of us to live. Living with courage and passion. Letting go of our attachment to the “outcome” mentality and ending our obsession with the importance of the opinions of man, including our inner-self whom I like to call, Unsure Ursella.

When we choose to live what I view as a life of “FAITH,” we are allowing ourselves to grow and develop…in the way in which we were designed to in order to fulfill His plan for our lives. Stepping up and stepping out is when Faith explodes……..a wait and see approach…doesn’t part the Red Sea…nor allow you to walk on water…fixing our eyes on Jesus… will always give us a vision to step up and step out….we are left with the choice to express our faith or not……faith truly is NOT seeing the outcome but choosing to STEP and TRUST….and then and only then is FAITH allowed to flourish in our lives and the power of God to be undeniable. It is then that we can have an authentic life.

Authentic life, to me, represents the unique DNA God has given us all. Yep, we all have a specific DNA–science has demonstrated that–with that being said, the Bible clearly states we were created with God’s purpose and plan in mind…Jeremiah 29:11-12.

We have to seek HIM with all our heart…when we do that and couple it with FAITH, then we can enjoy and embrace the scripture found in Matthew 17:20, “He replied, ‘Because you have so little faith, truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard see, you can say to the mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

When we place our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith….then we can “SWING HARD” and expect to hit home runs…..always remembering James chapter one….God has trials in our paths so that we can mature and be complete……Don’t sweat the “strike outs” or “wipe outs” or whatever you want to call them…those are in God’s plan too…….I urge you to seek to live a life of “swinging hard”. God-designed home runs are the best….He has them for all of us!

I Corinthians 10:31, “…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

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