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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Eyes of the Brave

Photo Credit:  rockcanyonroom at

I was putting on my make-up when my youngest daughter approached the bathroom mirror beside me.  For a good, solid minute, she thoroughly inspected her eyes.  I finally asked her what she was looking for.  She said, “Mom…are there any sparkles in my eyes?  Can you see them?  Can you?”  I glanced at her (thinking she was looking for glitter or eye boogers…) and said, “Lemme look – no, honey, I don’t think so.”

Then, out of nowhere, she flung her little body onto the floor and threw a fit.  She wailed, “Why not?  Why NOT?!  I’ve been eating SOOO much lettuce!”  (Huh?)  Then, as she continued to groan, my mind started churning.  “Did someone tell you that you’d have sparkly eyes if you ate your veggies?”  “Yes. (sniff, sniff) Nanny said I would.”  (Aha!  Bingo!)

Then (with my newfound knowledge), I proceeded to tell her, “Oh goodness…your eyes are beautiful…VERY sparkly indeed!  I didn’t understand what you were asking.  I’m so sorry.”

Speaking of eyes…they can tell us so much about someone, can’t they?  Our eyes can scream out fear in one moment and can proudly reveal bravery in the next.  And, can’t we even fluctuate between the two on a weekly, or even daily, basis? 

One day, I’m smack dab in the middle of Scaredy Cat City in the anxious community of Chickenville and the next day, I find myself at the intersection of Brave Boulevard and Courageous Lane, heading on down to Strength Street.  Sound familiar?

Last week, during my women’s bible study of Esther, I received some profound insight from Beth Moore.  She said this:  “None of us are born brave, but we can become brave.  Even if we have a history of ‘chickendom,’ we can become brave and courageous.  No one in our lives is a bigger obstacle than ourselves.  God gives US a choice – a choice on HOW we’re going to do WHAT we’re going to do.”  We can choose bravery or we can choose fear.  Chickendom…I just can’t stand that place!

Don’t we all have a “worst fear?”  Beth chased down her “I’d-just-die-if-that-happens-worst-case-scenario” by asking, “Then what?  Then what?  Then what?” all the way to the end.  At the conclusion of her “Then what?” voyage, she said she’d eventually pick herself back up off the floor and continue her ministry.  She said that “courage is when you look IT (whatever IT is for you) straight in the eye and deny its authority over you.”

Most of what we fear never actually happens, but Beth said she assures herself that, “If my worst fear does happen, then God will take care of me.”  She reminded the group of the Casting Crowns' song (East to West) when the lyrics say, “Today, I feel like I’m just one mistake away from You leaving me this way…”  She said, “God has no intention of leaving us this way…WE are the ones who give up and tell God to leave us this way.”  Hmmmm…

Ms. Moore asked the group what the most frequent command in the Bible is.  It is DON’T BE AFRAID/FEAR NOT.  Can you imagine living without fear?  Can you imagine breaking free of that burden?  Beth asked us, “Why do we choose to die a thousand deaths dreading the one?”  She said that she envisions God saying, “It is I – take courage – I am with you.  Take it!  Take it!  Take it!” (courage, that is…)  Why can’t we just TAKE IT?  (Still working on that…)

Have you ever looked into a brave and courageous woman’s eyes?  Her eyes sparkle, don’t they?  There is something beautifully sparkly in her eyes, without a doubt.  My blog post would be much too long to read if I included all of the eyes of the brave.  But, I will share one fearless story with you today.

My husband’s cousin’s wife, Rona, recently got diagnosed with breast cancer.  Cancer picked the wrong girl.  To say that she is an inspiration is quite possibly the understatement of the year.  She is fierce.  She is a fighter.  She will go to battle and she WILL win!

She is sharing her detailed journey on her facebook page.  She is encouraging and empowering women with mountains of hope.  The Bible verse that is her source of strength is Matthew 17:20 -   “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain move from here to there and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.”  Rona says, “Say it to the mountain, say it to the mountain, say it to the mountain…MOOOOOOVE!”

Rona rocks and she is certainly moving mountains.  She is not allowing cancer to take away her joy.  Actually, she is not allowing cancer to take ANYTHING away from her!  She started losing some of her hair after the chemo treatments, so she just went to the salon and had the stylist shave her head.  SHE chose to shave it.  Cancer didn’t take it all from her first.  (Go Rona!

She shared the shaving video and of course, she is absolutely gorgeous bald!  Seriously.  I’m not just saying that either.  One of her friends commented that God only made a few perfect heads and then covered the rest of them with hair!  (hee hee)  She also posts pictures of herself receiving chemo treatments and isn’t afraid to let someone “in.”  Letting us “in” allows us to see a glimpse of what the word, brave, looks like.  Thank you, Rona.

She ends most of her posts with, “Mustard seed – move that mountain.”  I love it!  I love that she’s so brave.  I love that she’s spreading her own seeds of faith, hope, love, courage, inspiration, and bravery all around her.  I love that other women fighting the same battle have a warrior to lead them.

Rona is telling those mountains just how big her God is instead of telling God how big her troubles are.  God sees the “sparkles” in her eyes.  I see the “sparkles,” too.  And, how lucky we are that God lets all of us see the eyes of the brave through amazing women like Rona!  Her jaw-dropping, breath-taking, spirit-filled, cannot-believe-my-eyes courage is most certainly…contagious.  Eyes of the brave…I encourage you to look for them this week.  You will find them – the sparkles are easy to spot!


  1. No never knows what "challenge" awaits us to prove that courage together with faith and trust in God or maybe it is faith and trust in God that gives us the grace of courage to move mountains AND "sparkle".

  2. Heather thank you!! Our school is collecting money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society STUDENT SERIES learning to make someday today. I am going to share some of your Sips of Sunshine with my class that you have written about Sydney and myself. Love you

    1. That sounds wonderful, Rona! Thanks for sharing my Sips and I love you, too!