Wednesday, May 6, 2009

HDG: Habits Make Able

hump day


You know how people always say, "Practice makes perfect"? I think in my world the phrase is actually, "Habit makes able."

I'm not one of those people who is really all that confident in what they do. It usually appears as though I am, but deep down I'm not. When every Friday rolls around I let out a sigh of relief and am amazed that I found five more things to tell you all about, and that you all showed up to read it. Seriously. And my brain inevitably begins thinking, "Oh crap, what am I going to talk about next week?" Now, here's where the contradiction comes in: I almost instantly shrug my shoulders and know that in a crunch, I'll come up with something.

I don't start out with or end with confidence in my abilities, but I always dive in head first assuming it will turn out fine.

I'm weird. I know.

I started thinking about this the week my laptop fizzled out on me. The salesman [who lied] said a new one would be here by the end of that week, so I figured I'd just take a few days off the blog and pick back up when the computer was delivered. Of course, when I discovered that it would be closer to a month than a week, I started borrowing laptops and diving back in head first. But in those few days that I wasn't writing, when I got out of my habit of thinking like a daily blogger, I started to lose my mojo. My thoughts immediately went to wondering how long I could keep things interesting, wondering if I really had that much to say, wondering if I had any idea how to do what I had been doing.

Then I sat down at a borrowed laptop and started rambling on as usual, at which point I literally rolled my eyes at myself and wondered why my brain instantly goes to self-doubt. But now I know... I was out of the habit, and habit makes me able.

The habit that makes me able to do most things, I've discovered, is the habit of saying yes to people who need something... usually because I want to be helpful or make them happy. I will have absolutely NO IDEA how to do what they're asking, mind you, but I say yes anyway and dive in head first.

When we were in high school, I was staying overnight with my friends Katie and Sue Ann at Katie's house. At some point during the night Sue Ann had decided that she wanted to get her hair cut into a bob [they were all the rage back then]. She had long hair that went halfway down her back, but Katie and I looked at each other and decided that it couldn't really be all that complicated. She held the pieces of hair and I used the scissors, and Sue Ann went home the next day with a whole new look. We weren't confident... Katie and I had momentary looks of terror on our faces that, thankfully, Sue Ann couldn't see. But she wanted it done, so we dove in head first.

Thank heavens I got into the habit of cutting hair that way, because it's the only way mine gets cut now! :)

I didn't know how to cantor a Mass, until I went to college and my Aunt Janella was frantic because the singer hadn't shown up for the first Wednesday night liturgy. I said sure... I could sing the Mass a cappella. What was I thinking?!?!?!? I didn't know I could design a Christmas photo card until a friend needed to find a cheaper way to send them out. I never imagined I'd be doodling for a living, until a few of you kept asking me to make them for you. When my friend Susie asked me if I could make a birthday invitation of Diego for her son I said sure... it would be easy. And then had the good sense to ask, "Who's Diego?"

I didn't do those things because I have a huge reserve of self confidence. I did those things because I'm in the habit of saying yes. I am able to blog everyday because I'm in the habit of it working. More than anything, I'm in the habit of believing if I just continue to step out in faith, that God will put what I need in front of me. That He'll line my path with the abilities and confidence that I'm lacking.

"I love the recklessness of faith. First you leap, and then you grow wings.”
                                                      ~ William Sloane Coffin


So, tell me... are you naturally confident, or do you have to get in the habit of stepping out in faith?

To win today's canvas, leave a comment answering the above question before midnight CST, and I'll announce the winner tomorrow! [Only one comment per person, please!]


  1. I'm a natural chicken but it is so great to step our in faith and let Him catch me and let me soar. I love this one!

    Recent blog post: MacyDay

  2. Um, isn't jumping in assuming the best normal?

    Oh wait...I remember now...I'm weird too :)

    Fantastic quote btw...and one day, I'll win one of these and you'll have to think of a creative way of getting to Australia - haha

    Recent blog post: So much to say…

  3. I can be confident because I know WHO I am in Christ. Lately, my life has been a constant reminder of my insufficiencies. It's a humbling time, but also a really, really exciting time. Through my weaknesses (sins, humanity, etc.) I am learning of the true power of Jesus. And with that knowledge I have the confidence I need!

  4. I have made a habit of making a habit of stepping out in faith. There have been very FEW times I have actually felt confident, and in many ways it seems that you and I are similar. But, I feel that God gives us oppportunities that will challenges us to grow us and stretch us, but also to show us how much we need Him, to build faith and hope in Him.I love this post!! Reminds me of the movie "Facing the Giants". Have you seen it? There is a part that, more or less, talks about how we need to go out and plant the seeds and trust God to provide the rain, and wait expectantly. Wish I could remember it exactly, as it has been really impacting for me. Thank you for sharing. Have a great day...

    Oh, and I have a giveaway that will end on Sunday... Check it out at


    Recent blog post: Anniversary Giveaway Alert!!!...

  5. Stepping out in faith doesn't come naturally to me. I'm too much of a control freak. I'm learning to let things go and to trust to the Lord things I would normally hold on to so tightly. All this became abundantly clear when my daughter headed off to college two years ago. Now my son will be graduating...taking deep breaths and trusting in the Lord!!

  6. I am definitely not naturally confident! It goes against my personality totally... Faith is something I struggle with in my Christian walk each and every day.... I am learning to let go and trust God in ALL things... Thanks again for sharing another masterpiece... I love the colors of this one!!

    Recent blog post: ENGAGED!

  7. Oh my goodness, this sounds familiar! I teach high school science and every single year the day before my kids come back to school I tell my husband I don't remember how to teach! Then I just show up at school and start - somehow I always DO remember how to teach! :)

  8. There are some things where I'm just naturally confident. Then there are others when I step back and wonder.....what was I thinking? Blogging is one area where I am not naturally confident. Like you I wonder if it's really something anyone else will want to read. My wings are extremely small in this area, but they are carrying me each step of the way. Blessings, SusanD

    Recent blog post: I'm a Winner!

  9. I struggle daily to do what I need to. When I first started into motherhood, I thought I had it together. And I think the first couple of years I did, but as the kiddos get older and the questions and discipline get harder I feel like I am searching more.

    Recent blog post: Telling Kate

  10. Is this a new quote? How did I miss it? You have a way of saying things that speak to me at the time I need to hear them. I think it depends for me. In a lot of situations I am confident, but in some, I am stepping out in faith in a big way. I appreciate how you incorporate the idea of "habit" into this as well.

    So today, I am going to step out in faith, because you reminded me if I am lacking in self-confidence, I can still be confident in "God putting what I need in front of me." Thank-you 8-)

  11. I'm definitely not a naturally confident. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure I have immediate ulcers from worrying when people ask me to do something out of my comfort zone. But over the years I've learned to say "Yes" and step out of my comfort zone. I know if its really something God wants me to do, then He will guide me through it.

  12. I'm definitely not a naturally confident person. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure I have immediate ulcers from worrying when people ask me to do something out of my comfort zone. But over the years I've learned to say "Yes" and step out of my comfort zone. I know if its really something God wants me to do, then He will guide me through it.

  13. I really have to get in the habit of stepping out in faith.. Why is it such a hard thing???

  14. Mary Grace McNamaraMay 6, 2009 at 8:13 AM

    Another inspiring post, Sara. And a wonderful quote too! I'm not so much confident as I am arrogant, knowing that I can do anything and better than anyone else. It's one of those traits that I work hard to suppress, and of course it usually ends up coming back to bite me in the end! For the big stuff, though, I must say that having faith that God will take care of it is sometimes all that gets me through. It's a gift I pray for and am very thankful for.


    Recent blog post: Recycled Jeans Make a Great Apron!

  15. It depends on the situation. Sometimes I am naturally confident & other times I'm a big chicken and just have to step out in faith.

  16. Confidence?! What does that word mean? It's not one that exists in my vocabulary, that's for sure.

    What's astounding to me is that a person (namely me) can live half of a century and STILL not have a grasp on how it feels to LIVE that word. All of this just to say that whatever it is that comes into my life fresh and new feels naturally overwhelming and often quite stressful to me. So, when I get through to the other side of the experience and am able to look back on it, I find myself in awe and filled with joy to be a witness to just how faithful our Father is in His word to always be there for us. Throughout each new experience, I find myself praying often and listening for his still, small voice to guide me every step of the way. Again, He never fails me.

    You would think that after being given so many opportunites to see this happen first hand, the confidence would evenually just be there. It sure does give one pause......


  17. My own confidence is nil. Nada. Zero. I have always desired to be completely at ease with the way that I look, my intelligence, and my faith... but I always freak out and put myself under crushing guilt that God does not intend. I tell myself that there is no way God can use me, I'm too selfish and sinful. There is no way my husband finds me attractive, there are so many beautiful women out there and he's so handsome. All lies, and I know that. What I need to be focusing on is God's goodness, mercy and love.

    Thanks for the encouragement to step out in faith.

  18. Naturally confident, not necessarily, unless it's something that comes second nature, but ... I would say I have learned "God confidence" over the last several years. I have learned that if He says it, it will happen or I can do it and it doesn't matter what anyone else in this world thinks. God is so cool!

    And I am soooo glad you get up and use your "habit" everyday. I really enjoy being your blog friend!

    Recent blog post: Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

  19. oh dear! i love this quote so incredibly much that i hope hope hope the random picker chooses me!!! also, your new banner is wonderful! i feel inspired just looking at it.

    i'm not sure how much i leap out in faith, i try to as much as possible. but i think it is more of a process to get me to that point. however, i want to jump more often and stop being held back by fears or thinking that the Lord does not have my back.

  20. This is my favorite post of yours EVER EVER EVER. And that's my favorite canvas EVER EVER EVER. Love, love, love, love, love everything you wrote! YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Recent blog post: wasted

  21. I am definetaly the confident acting type, though it sometimes gets me into trouble.

    Love from WI,
    Kate 8-)

    Recent blog post:

  22. I'm a step of faith person with a hint of confidence. I never let anything hold me back after a long talk with myself. God has guided me so far and if I trust in him he said he would never let me down.

  23. I have to step out in faith constantly as I am not always a risk taker...more so now than ever! ha! ;)

    Recent blog post: Pulling up cute-ness

  24. I guess for me it depends on the situation. Sometimes I am confident and sometimes I have to rely on faith.

  25. What a gift you have ... the gift to say yes and literally speak before you think! I think I used to be a bit more like that, back when I was a yes-man (or woman). Sadly, I began to think that I was getting myself in way over my head with commitments, so I learned how to say no. I've been quite proud of myself for that, but now I'm wondering what I might be missing out on by saying no all of the time! Hmmmmmm .... you've made me think ..... another successful post! ;)

  26. you want the I am not confident. This past week and a half has been the most trying on my nerves that I can remember...I sent you an email on what was going on....the few people who knew were amazingly supportive, upbeat, and confident things would be fine....It was an amazing thing that the few people who knew what was going on in my life right now carried me with their own confindence...I don't know what I would have done without them....God does place people in your lives who will be the rock to lean on in tough times. :-D

    Recent blog post: Strawberry Shortcake Pie

  27. I find that if I ACT confident, and go forward without dwelling on what I think are my shortcomings, I am FINE. If I give myself enough time to doubt, I convince myself that I'll fail. I guess I just have to remember that it's ok to lack confidence, but it's not ok to let that limit what I think I can do.

    Recent blog post: Baby Buddies

  28. I haven't ever thought of saying "yes" in this way before, but it is what I do. I say "yes" to whatever someone needs, hoping that they really won't need me to actually do it. But every time I am able and I get it done. And the next time I say "yes" I am just as afraid as the time before! I'm glad that I am not the only one that struggles with the confidence to know that I can do it, whatever "it" may be.

    PS I've been a long-time reader, just from the shadows. I enjoy everything that you have to say, and that adorable puppy. He looks just like my Gizmo, and they have quite a few personality traits in common too!!

  29. I love this post - adn the quote (=
    I am one who leaps into things and then figures it out...
    Shena (=

  30. Oh, you are so inspiring, because I am the opposite! I tend to wait and not act, partly because I don't have confidence in myself, and partly because I have a hard time trusting Him. But it's something I'm working on :)

  31. I think a difference between us is that you say yes, and get it right. I say yes, and after falling flat on my face a few times, manage to survive.

    I did have to be a substitute speaker at a business conference and, to this day, I have no idea what I said.

    I grew up with zero confidence in myself. To get by in life I had to develop my ego. Of course then I went overboard into arrogance. I have spent the last part of my life trying to seek a balance.

    Recent blog post: The Flu Claims Another Victim In Mexico - Cinco de Mayo

  32. Honestly it depends on what the situation is. For the most part I am a jumper and just do. When I look back, I can't imagine how I even did what it was I jumped into.
    This past year, the opportunity came up where I could go to a bible school. It meant putting my life on hold for a whole year. So without thinking, I just applied (later suffered a ton of anxiety), and now am going in the fall. I think I leap, because I know that even if I fail, God will catch me no matter how bad the situation is.

    Recent blog post:

  33. I'm definitely, definitely, definitely not a naturally confident person. I look for concrete answers and assurance before I do much of anything, so faith can be tough for me, but so necessary. It is one of those things I must do, b/c I just can't NOT do it. Great post.

    Recent blog post: Charlotte is 5 mos!

  34. I had a lot of confidence as a child, in fact I was always the leader of the neighborhood pack! When we played school, I was the teacher. Then during those teen and 20's and 30's, I seemed to have lost the self confidence altogether.

    I got a job at a big charity organization to be an area director. On my WAY to the first event with volunteers, I was told I had to give a speech! I sat in a total panick thinking what will I say? I wasn't even really sure what we did! I was brand new! Than in my mind, I decided that no one there knew that I didn't know what I was talking about and that if I just pretended I was an actress playing a part, I could do it.....and I did! After that, I decided I could at least talk! I am much more confident in my 50's!

    And just how did I get to be in my 50's anyhow??? =-O

    Recent blog post: What happened to the weekend???

  35. I am SO right there with you, creatively! :) I'd never done a baby announcement until someone asked. Never scrapped digitally until someone asked. Never created a 50th wedding anniversary announcement, graduation party postcard, birthday party invitations, bridal shower invitations, wedding invitations, wedding thank you cards, party favors, cookbook illustrations, Easter bonnets, you name it. I never think I can until someone asks and I yip, "Sure!" The anxiety kicks in too late for me ;) I'm happy (but not at all surprised, really) to find you're the same way! :D

    P.S. I think Marla should win on enthusiasm alone ;)

  36. I have to get in the habit of stepping out in faith. I'm a wimp most of the time, but like a fine wine, I like to think I'm getting better with age!

  37. This may be my favorite ever! I'm confident but never 100% sure. so glad it's not just up to me!

  38. Confident? No. Do I just go ahead and do it yes. I too will just say yes and do whatever needs to be done. And it always gets done.

  39. I would have to say that I'm a little bit of both. It totally depends on the situation and I need to remind myself that God is in control of EVERYTHING and just give it ALL to Him. However, I tend to struggle with that! :) So, I have to go with both today!!

    By the way...I don't think I've told you...LOVE the new look on the blog!! Super cute and I also am hooked on the font, sister!!! I want it, too!!!!!!!

    Recent blog post: Not Me! Monday!

  40. I am definitely NOT naturally confident! But i will admit i'm very thankful for my parents who have pushed me to step outside my comfort zone MANY times. Because of that, i'm learning to be better at stepping out in faith. :-)

    Recent blog post: Spring is in the air…

  41. Confident - NO! Expecting the best of God - YES! From me??? HUH????
    My prayer the last few days has been that I want to consciously choose to obey God! Still not sure what that will look like, but I'm working on it!

    Recent blog post: My Nephew

  42. Robin~All Things Heart and HomeMay 6, 2009 at 6:09 PM

    I am soooo NOT confident. About anything. It's annoying really and if I don't watch myself, I just naturally shut down if someone asks me to do something that's out of my comfort zone...I love the quote. Love it.

    Recent blog post: Is your outdoor space ready?

  43. I think I would have to go with confident by nature. There are things I am good at and there are times in the hospital when my fellow nursing students are nervous or anxious, but I'm not. I'm definitely cautious when I need to be, but not nervous. I'm good at what I do, so why not have confidence?

    Recent blog post: Grace in Small Things

  44. Definitely have to make a habit of it. I'm "ye" of little faith. I am trying though.

    Recent blog post: If...

  45. Oh, boy... I am never confident... I always assume the worst and never think I can do anything new; but, then I started to let God take care of all the "what ifs" and "why nots" and I feel that I am able with His help to continue ... thanks Debb

    Recent blog post: Quilting Sisters

  46. You are so right Sara - in so many ways habit becomes reality and will. I see it in lots of areas of my life - and for sure in my blogging!

    Recent blog post: Meet my new friend

  47. I'd love to think I step out in faith a lot...however, i look back and see that I sit comfortable a lot...perhaps this quote hanging in my home will remind me often to step in faith!

    Recent blog post: Birthdays are buzzing!

  48. Hi sweet Sara...this is a difficult question for me to answer. I tend to be black and white on things, which is different than naturally confident. However, when I truly believe something is a gift from our God that needs to be used, I walk in confidence that He will provide and work in me. I think we are all gifted in different ways--you with your canvases and voice and personality; with the uncanny ability to draw us in to your world while helping us, your peeps, to examine our hearts and relationships all the while. You are a woman who exudes confidence, and for this I thank you. You challenge me to boldly step out in faith and confidently face the world around me. My thanks are beyond measure.

  49. Sara,
    Please stop by my blog and read my Golden Heart post. There is something there for you!


    Recent blog post: Golden Heart

  50. I'm inconsistant, but learning to make that leap!! It's kind of natural for me, at times.. I guess I'm just in the habit, too!

    Recent blog post: Computer Surroundings Week!!

  51. Oh my -amI ever glad to have happened upon you! What a great blog you have and such a wonderful witness to others of the beauty and love of Jesus that he sooo wants to be shared. You are amazing! I am excited to get to know more of you and I'm SURE that I will learn so much from you. Now the ? Since the birth of my children, and my ever growing faith in God, I have become more confident to face the challenges that arise. I know I couldn't do it without Him! And am truly loving every minute! Until next time...blessings to you :)

    Recent blog post: Wordless Wednesday...