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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/10/08)

TITLE: Any and All Comments Welcome!
By Ann Snipes


I had been running for over a year. I even had a group of girlfriends to run with. It started out that I could run the length of about two mailboxes and now I was up to six miles. Then they started talking about entering races together. Why on earth would I consider that when I might not be able to make it to the end. But to run six miles was something I did every day, so why would I be worried. All the same, the feeling was there, somewhere deep, and I although it made no sense I knew it was that same “old friend of mine” resurfacing.
I could remember even from first grade the fear that I would sit paralyzed and be unable to circle the correct test answers. How my hands shook and almost caused me not to be able to take the communion cup from the tray on Sunday. How I had to say NO to things when I knew people might notice that my heart was beating out of my chest. This was not normal fear that other people seemed to deal with. This was immobilizing.
I am fifty-five now and it began to improve in my late twenties. Six months ago I spoke in front of my church. I could stand, and speak and not collapse-a Miracle! Was this all mental? I can tell you for sure that it wasn’t. It was physical but greatly enhanced by my mind. I am free now, or so you might think.
Because of the years of settling with less than my best, my mind still makes plans to lay low. Whatever you do, don’t get noticed. It has become a habit formed out of necessity. It was one of my survival skills. But now to let go and reach for something I’m unsure about, to believe that something really BIG can happen. WOW! For a number of years I have felt God leading me to write and I have obeyed. But these were journals and never would I leave them where anyone, not even the people I loved the most could read them.
Last week I came upon this website and noticed the weekly writing challenge. But what if someone wrote a comment, or no one wrote, or they didn’t even include it in the beginner’s section. Realizing they wouldn’t know me I put it together in about thirty minutes and without even proofreading it, I hit SUBMIT. It had to be fast before I settled for not doing it at all. What a great feeling. Even though I thought later about how foolish it was not to look it over, it was done. I didn’t have to ever do it again or even pull it up online again for that matter, but it was done.
All week I thought about what the next challenge would be. What if I couldn’t come up with a single thing to say next week? What if last week I said things wrong? I decided that the excitement of doing it alone was worth it. To my surprise on Thursday morning I received two emails. I had COMMENTS. I was not expecting the feelings I had while clicking onto them. I felt peace and freedom. No fear and no wishing that I had just stayed in my old “thinking about doing it” frame of mind. I was excited. These two people may never know how precious their time was. The first commented that she liked my title but that she was a little confused. The second called it good writing and suggested I work on breaking the middle into paragraphs. What is amazing is how much encouragement I felt. As of right now, two more people have posted comments – two more! They read what I wrote – I WROTE! This week, any and all comments welcome!

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This article has been read 418 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lisa Kingsbury01/17/08
This took a lot of courage. You really put yourself out and I appreciate that. We all have fears in writing. We feel very exposed. Congratulations on over coming your fears! This is a very encouraging piece of work.
Yvonne Blake 01/17/08
I could feel your heart beating in your words!
It is SCARY to put your writing out where others can see it, but what's the use of hiding it away?
Words are useless without readers.
You've taken a big step...take a breath, enjoy the thrill...and take another step.
Soon you'll be running marathons!
Keep it up!
L.M. Lee01/19/08
the freedom that follows when we face our fears...nothing better!
Carol Shaffron01/20/08
"We are more than Conquerors through Christ Jesus Who strengthens us." Each victory makes us stronger and bolder. Keep writing.
LauraLee Shaw01/21/08
I like the way you tie your ending in with your title. I could relate to your fears. A double space between paragraphs would take this one step up in being easier to read. Your vulnerability and authenticity is a blessing to me.
Linda Germain 01/21/08
I agree with the comments about your bravery and vulnerability. Please know we are a close knit community of Christian writers who will embrace you with love and understanding, and in order for you to move up the ladder, even instruction and help when you need it. Please don't stop taking baby steps! You are going in the right direction. Keep on Keepin' on...your're doing fine! lg
Linda Germain 01/21/08
I mean, "you're" :0)
Betty Castleberry01/21/08
I want to hug you. You've captured the emotion many of us have no doubt when we first submitted here. I might suggest that you leave a blank space between your paragraphs for easier reading. Keep sharing.
Marilyn Klunder01/23/08
May I suggest a book-- I believe it is called The Dreamgiver. I believe it is written by Bruce Wilkinson but it's been a long time since I read it. It was what started me on my journey of writing. God Bless!