Rise & Shine; It's Butt Falling Time...

(Watch the 90s classic film, “Cool Runnings” to see where this week’s post title came from)

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Last night, my husband, Brian, came home from his respectable day job as a middle school principal. Our kids excitedly brought their play costumes into the living room to make preparations for their upcoming Halloween school parties. A long, tangled, brunette wig was placed on Brian’s head.

And then something magical happened.

I turned on some Bohemian Rhapsody and my left-brained, stoic man started lip-syncing and moving around like he was a rock star.

Our teenage, Taiwanese, exchange daughter was laughing hysterically. Our three year-old sat mesmerized. The other three kids were anxiously trying to be part of the performance. I filmed the whole thing and told our kids to get out of the way. Their daddy looked hot. LOL.

The truth is, we were all laughing and enjoying ourselves— at Brian’s expense.

And funny thing, he seemed to love it, too.

I asked Brian if he was going to wear the wig to middle school today and he said maybe with a twinkle in his eye.

You know what’s awesome?

You know what’s inspiring?

You know what’s often attractive?

Being willing to risk being a fool to bring someone else joy. 

Our world tries to sell a lie that you have to be perfect to be awesome, inspiring or attractive.

It’s not true.

In fact, the pursuit of perfection isn’t just boring— it’s one of those striving things that can suck the life right out of you.

A couple months ago, a friend on Facebook shared an article about how similar Instagram feeds were beginning to look. In the article, picture after picture was laid side-by-side, so many images eerily replicating the next. Perfectly curated Instagram feeds appear to just be perfect imitators of what the world says looks good.

Who wants that? 

We can try to be like someone else and perfect imitators to fit in. Or…

We can take a risk and be different. 

Ephesians 5:1&2 says, “Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” 

Instead of imitators of this world, we can be imitators of God. We can choose to risk on the side of love and not perfection. We can choose to surrender our striving and trying and just pursue loving on purpose.

You might make someone laugh today by being original. 

Instead of posting a picture and asking yourself if it’s good enough or looks like another one you might admire, you can choose to ask yourself if it will encourage someone else because you shared. 

Being able to laugh at yourself and make mistakes along the way is a great skill set.

This past week, I hiked up and down a steep hill. Nearly 4 miles each direction.  Our entire family went with some friends. We love them and we love our exchange daughters. We thought this would a fun memory. 

But honest confession: I am not much of an outdoors person.

I prefer airconditioning, cozy chairs, warm drinks, and indoor plumbing. I have strong aversions to bugs, snakes, poisonous plants, uneven terrain and extreme weather.

God, in His infinite wisdom and grace, allowed me to live in a time and place where opting outside is just that, AN OPTION.

 So, choosing the option of climbing a big ole hill when I’m out of shape and prone to knee injuries, butt landings, and being ridiculously out-of-breath? Guess what? That’s a risk.

But it was worth it. 

There were no bugs, no snakes, no plants, the weather was cool but beautiful and I only fell once. I did have to walk a couple hundred yards of our six hour tour backwards. We may or may not have almost teared up when we retrieved our jackets waiting for us about a mile from the end. And my knees hurt so bad I was afraid I was going to end up trying to sled downhill— but eventually we returned safely to our vehicle with about 30 minutes of daylight left to spare. 

The risk of being a fool was worth the reward. We saw sights we may have never seen. We made a joy-filled memory. Now, we probably won’t be making that same joy-filled memory again anytime soon, but I’m thankful we took the risk.

Last week, I sent my book proposal to an agent I admire. I spent hours trying to make it perfect. I pressed send. Later, I realized I mistakenly left the name of the person who created the proposal format in my proposal.


 So I slid on my butt.

You know what?

Butt slides happen.

We can fall and laugh at ourselves. Or we can play it safe and never fall. But if we play it safe, we may never feel the deepest joys or triumphs.

So go big, or go home. 

Dance like you’re a rockstar and your wife might post your craziness on social media.  Go ahead and make ‘em laugh.

Hike when you have the ability to do so and love those around you while you’re at it. Go ahead and walk backwards if you have to, but keep walking.

Do your best, press send and accept that none of us are perfect and things happen for a reason.

If your goals are to love God and love the people around you then sometimes that’s going to look like risk. We aren’t responsible for the outcomes. We don’t know when we’ll fall.  But by the grace of God, He’ll always help us get back up for His glory. 

And maybe, just maybe, there’s someone watching who’s laughing and enjoying watching an awesome, inspiring and attractive journey. 

Go be original friend.

The world needs you. The world needs your imperfections. The world needs His joy and grace. 

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

Janell Wood