Do It Scared!

Do It Scared!

Blog – 6-27-18

Last week I did something definitely out of my comfort zone. My church’s vacation bible school is called Skill School, and I felt God calling me to volunteer to lead a clinic this year. For some reason when I felt the Spirit’s nudge back in March to teach a class on songwriting and music, I said yes and signed up. Honestly, I’ve felt this nudge before but ignored it because I just never felt like I had a gift for teaching kids. But this year was different, and the nudge felt stronger than before. I talked myself into it by saying, hey, I speak before hundreds of people all the time. How hard could it really be?

But let me tell you, the weekend before Skill School began, total and utter panic started to set in. How in the world do I teach young kids about songwriting? What will I actually do with them? How will I keep their attention and keep them under control?

For all of you teachers out there, let me say, hats off to you. I totally appreciate your skill and expertise when it comes to kids. I loved raising my own children, but honestly, I felt like these kids truly might eat me alive!

I called my friend and co-writer Suzanne, who is a music teacher in Boston, and got some great advice. Luckily, my instincts were pretty on target. The ideas I had she thought would work, and she gave me some other great suggestions.

I arrived on Monday morning fearful, hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. It’s what the John Maxwell Team calls doing it scared! And scared I was! Yet as I started working with the kids, I started settling in and having fun. And they did too. One of my groups was a little rowdier than the other, but they were all very excited to learn about music and actually write a song together. This was like magic to them, to create a song all their own.

Both groups ended up writing two songs that turned out really fun, and we shared them with some of the leadership group for Skill School on the last day. They absolutely loved the songs and asked us if the kids wanted to perform them on stage for the other kids. Oh my goodness, you would have thought we were singing at Carnegie Hall! The kids started screaming and were SO excited about singing on stage! There were 800 kids there and probably 200 or 300 volunteers, so it was a huge deal for them. We practiced and got ready, and they were so nervous for their debut performance.

As they sang, the kids in the crowd starting clapping and really getting into the songs, and the smile on these 4thand 5thgraders’ faces melted my heart. Seeing the look of pure joy and excitement as they had their big moment in front of an audience was absolutely priceless.

Here is a picture from Skill School. Lots of lots of kids!

As I reflect on that experience, I can honestly say, I’m so glad I said yes. I’m so glad I did it scared. I’m so glad that I trusted God to somehow make it work.

If I hadn’t done it scared I would have missed a truly beautiful moment.

I’ve been in a bit of a funk with my music lately, to be honest. I wonder sometimes if what I do matters. If my songs will ever reach the audience I hope they will. It’s a normal pattern for us creatives to get in a funk every once in a while, I know, but it’s never fun to be feeling this way.

But as I reflect on last week, it helps me start clawing my way out of these feelings that have been plaguing me. Saying yes and spending time with this small group of 4thand 5thgraders isn’t going to change the world. We didn’t write a song that will top the charts. But you know what, it changed their world for a brief moment, and I’m grateful I was there to witness it.

So, my friend, is God asking you to do something that’s out of your comfort zone? Have you heard a prompting that you have continually ignored? Have you let your insecurities keep you from saying yes?

I know I’ve said this before, but I urge you again, the next time you feel that nudge, say yes! Do it scared! I guarantee you will be blessed in the process!

Hugs and love,

Jill

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