Taking Risks, Turning Heads

by | Jan 2, 2012 | Uncategorized

I look down at my watch during conversation and realize the time. Grab my purse to pay the bill for our tuna burgers and squash ravioli in order to get to a store with my friend before they close. Its a few days before Christmas.  On our way, we pass by store windows decorated with snowflakes, furry sweaters, tall boots, and make jokes about getting older.

I push on the brass handle of the glass door, realize it is locked.  Cup my hands around my eyes to peer inside because the overhead lights shine bright and I see movement.

A short, stocky woman with wide eyes, hair in the beginning stages of dreadlocks walks toward us.  I talk to her through the thick glass, “Please let us in.  She has never been here before,” pointing to my friend who is smiling big.  “We’ll just look around for a minute and I am sure she’ll buy something.” We’re girlfriend giddy.

She doesn’t respond, just turns around and walks away. My friend notices a red cross sewn into the neckline of her shirt. So we wait there.  My friend shakes her head, thinks I am bold for asking.

And when she returns with keys to open the door, we start a silly conversation – the two salespeople, my friend and I – like schoolgirls reunited. The whole store of flowy night gowns, furry robes and lacey underwear all to ourselves. And they tease my friend about it being her first time in the store and that she better buy something since they let us in after hours.

We talk about God, husbands, our kids and then about lingerie.  And right there, behind the cash register, the manager that let us in pulls up her top to show us the bra she wears.  To make a point that the merchandise is worth buying.  My friend and I look at each other and laugh.

I don’t even want people to see the gooey, brown spots from my sick dog dotting the carpet at home, much less the sagging skin around my mid-section or the bra I am wearing.

After they let us out, my friend turns to me and admits, ”I can’t believe we just did that.  That you asked her to let us in. I would have never done that. And I can’t believe she pulled up her top to show us the bra.”

As we walk away, I think about how easy it is to get stuck in the mundane, the comfortable of life and avoid risks.  How most of the memorable moments of my life happened when someone or something challenged me to push into the unknown, expand my faith, grow deep.

Like Mary saying yes to carry the Savior of the world in her womb and Ruth leaving home to live as a foreigner only to birth a child who would be the grandfather of David, I want to take risks that please God, expand perspective, invite opportunity.

How are you taking risks? Pushing beyond your comfort zone? Do you have someone in your life motivating you to be more, experience more?

Let’s take risks together and keep the list of thanks in 2012.  Won’t you join me?

Joining Ann to count the gifts and Laura at Playdates with God.

  • For liquid soap that isn’t messy
  • A shower that comes out soft and rainy.
  • For individual bathroom sinks.
  • A comfortable, cozy bed.
  • A quiet neighborhood without traffic noise.
  • Neighbors that take care of your sick dog because they care.
  • A husband who warms my side of the bed before I crawl in.
  • Wireless internet that works when we all want to be on at once with numerous tabs open.
  • Meaningful emails from subscribers at Christmas that make me teary.
If you have been reading Redemptions Beauty for a while, may I just whisper a suggestion? One that would make this heart beat a bit faster today. Can you enter your email address in the box “Follow Redemption Beauty” in the right hand column and join me on this wild journey of faith? It would make me happy if we could make it official, so I can include you in special emails I won’t share with everyone in the blog. I look forward to growing together in 2012!

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  1. Kelly

    a great shower head is a true gift! love when it feels rainy 🙂 thanks for your list today! Happy New Year!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I have had some pretty meager showers in third world countries and in the US. I know the difference and don’t take it for granted. Happy New Year to you too!

  2. Andria Eddy

    Shelly you are soo right. I have been blessed to have a husband that is willing to take chances and, even after 27 years of marriage and 32 years together, continues to push me forward.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Andria, H is the one who gives me legs to stand on when they feel wobbly and together we have stepped through some amazing adventures of faith. We are blessed to have such wonderful husbands!

  3. Pamela

    I love my comfort zone. :-/ 2011 brought some times of discomfort when I found myself wayyyy out of it. But those times were the highlights of the year. I think it was taking God with me that made the difference.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Being out of our comfort zone is always a challenge in some way. Guess it strenghtens our faith to step beyond where our ability ends.

  4. kelly lee oconnor

    I think of the courage and confidence the stocky women had showing her bra and panties without hestiation. We see airbrushed magazine covers and very thin models and compare ourselves. Well at least I do. I pray that I would be bold in my faith without hestiation just like the saleswomen stocky and all.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Kelly, you are so right and I didn’t really think about that as much at the time. I think her impact was far beyond what she realized that night! You might go see her again sometime. I went back in to try to take her photo but she wasn’t working that day. Bold in our faith, without hesitation sounds good to me friend.

  5. KathyRobbins

    Cute story. I hope the Lord blessed that saleswoman deeply. Amen.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Kathy, I went back in a few days later when I was walking around with my camera and unfortunately she wasn’t working that day. I wanted to thank her for making that time so special for us. I hope the same!

  6. Mari

    How beautifully written! And thank you for sharing your list of simple blessings =)

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thank you Mari. I love doing this list because it spotlights what I often take for granted.

  7. LuAnn

    I love reading your life and what I love even more is sharing those daring adventures with you. I feel stirred to step out this year. I will join you. Thanking God for
    early morning light beams streaking through the woods
    heat on a cold day
    clear sky’s in winter
    the color and silkiness of my dog’s fur
    college daughter at home on break
    the gift of sight
    hot tea

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Lu, Your joining me and this list, it made me teary. Love you friend. So glad to have you walking with me – anytime!

  8. Denise

    “How most of the memorable moments of my life happened when someone or something challenged me to push into the unknown, expand my faith, grow deep.” Have you read Donald Miller’s “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years”? It has a lot of the same themes you girls discovered on your lingerie adventure 😉 Thanks for sharing!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I have read that book. Love Donald Miller and Blue Like Jazz is a favorite. Glad you took the time to make a comment Denise. Thank you.

  9. Laura Boggess

    Shelly, this post is in the true spirit of Playdates with God. That’s what it’s all about–stepping out of the comfort zone. What fun! And, I can’t help wondering…did your friend buy a bra? 🙂

  10. Dolly

    Loved how you were bold and that you got to share this time with your friend…blogging this past year has been out of my comfort zone, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my husband and God’s encouragement 🙂

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Me too Dolly – out of my comfort zone and my husband’s encouragement. And now I am hooked. Because I love this on-line community so much. Thanks for stopping by.

  11. kelli- AdventurezInChildRearing

    sweet – funny how God can use such everyday things like a shopping trip with a girl friend to show us something he wants us to know – glad you’ll be taking risks – awesome!

  12. momentcherishedTiffany

    Oh, this was so fun to read! Thank you for sharing.Taking chances, taking risks for the glory of God – yes, this is what I desire!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      It was one of the funny, girlfriend moments we will file in our memory as being a sweet time together. Amen to your wanting to take risks for Christ! Me too.

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