Monday, October 3, 2016

9 Ways to Face Your Fears by Mary Connealy

1.      Write down a list of your fears then study them. This is literally facing your fears. Just by identifying them, you make them smaller and more manageable.

2.      Tackle your fears. What are you literally afraid of? Finishing your book? Or if it is finished are you afraid of declaring it really DONE? The dark? Public speaking? Your mother-in-law? What can you do to face that fear. Stand up and ask for prayers in church--that's public speaking. Make a habit of visiting your mil for coffee, simple, brief—unless she’s really scary, then you’re just being smart to be afraid!

3.      First world problems. Ask yourself if what you fear is big and real. Do you have a roof over your head and heat on a bitter cold night? Do you have food to eat and clean water to drink? If you’re afraid of air travel, ask yourself how you’d like riding a covered wagon across ten states at ten miles an hour through cold and heat, rain and hail. Maybe what you fear is a luxury many in this world would love to have.
4.      Accomplish something. Assemble a small shed in your back yard. Figure out how to set the clock in your car. Tackle some new program online, how to fiddle with images on some free sight. Write everyday for a month. Take it on, even if it’s NOT a fear, because success makes you feel great.

5.      Teach someone something. Unless you just started writing today, you know stuff beginners don’t. I remember the first computer I ever had, phoning for tech support and this guy talked me through things like, “Do you see the START button in the lower left hand corner? Put your mouse on that and this window will open.”
And I’m all, “Wow you’re a genius, how do you know all this?”
Later, I realized this was the most basic possible knowledge and … I showed my mom how to do it when SHE got a computer and she said, “Wow, you’re a genius….”
Do it, help a beginner, it feels great, it reminds you you’re learning and improving and it makes you feel generous and happy. Tell someone what POV means. Tell them about starting their story with a BANG. Show them how to create an ID on Blogger. Tell them about the ‘black moment’. There is SOMEONE who needs to know what you know.

6.      Step outside your comfort zone. I try to do this but I’m not sure how successful I am. But I do know I’ve developed a ‘comfort level’ with public speaking. I’m not saying I’ll ever like it, and I do know that I could be better at it if I’d work harder, hone speeches, search for ways to inspire and more order within the speeches. But what I do, well, I do okay. Now what else is my comfort zone? I know it when I feel myself ducking for cover.
If you can’t think of any comfort zone you need to break out of, good for you, you’re an adventurer in life. But just in case you’re so deep in that zone you don’t even know there’s a world outside, practice. Go to a different restaurant and order something weird. Here's a trick, in honor of Seekerville...order the NINTH thing on the menu. (Unless it's gross, this isn't an order, it's a suggestion with some leeway for you) Change the route you drive to church. Go explore neighborhoods in your town....and try to guess what they pay in property taxes!!! Little things and practice will help you face change, so when you DO find a need to step out of the comfort zone, you’ve had some experience.

7.      And know that, as sure as I’m giving you excellent advice, there is NO WAY I’m going to start playing with mice until I get used to them. Oh my gosh, I’m a little dizzy and slightly nauseous as I type. I’m going to go look at pictures of Princess Kate’s clothes in Canada until my mind clears and my stomach settles. (this probably shouldn't count as one of the nine but it is extremely important to me!)
8.      Learn something new. Take a class in accounting. Join a Judo class. Volunteer for the funeral committee at church. Sign up to drive for Uber. Go to a safari park and see if you can buy elk antlers and make a coat rack.  Rent a guitar and play it for a month. Get nylon strings, not steel, your fingers will thank you. (a friend and I rented a banjo once. It was pretty fun. We could only play like...Deliverance!) Write a book in a strange genre. That’s right, a fairy tale or a gothic romance or set the book in Biblical times. Write a children's book or a song or a poem.
It’s exercise for your brain. It’s a creative workout. The change will bring energy back to your regular work or you might discover you LOVE some new genre. I didn't start with cowboys you know!
9.    I will say here that so much of FEAR is rooted in the devil. Have you ever lain awake nights worrying, or angry or FEARFUL of what was to come? Or arguing with your husband about something he did six years ago? Or listing all you have to do tomorrow and worrying about how you'll get it all done? I truly believe that is the devil. He comes into our thoughts and stirs and stirs up fear and worry and anger, all the negative emotions. DRIVE HIM OUT. Recognize it. FACE IT AND REPLACE IT. Refused to be part of that ugly negative thinking. Once you become aware of who is the father of the lies we stew about, we can knock it down by simply changing our minds. DO IT. And you'll conquer the source of so many fears. FACE IT AND REPLACE IT. I'm claiming that as a Mary Connealy quote, too!


This year in Seekerville we've been talking about facing our fears. Have you done that? 

Has anyone taken a chance with something you fear? If not, what's
out there, what LITTLE thing that is new and different could you do to get exercise in taking a chance.

We are giving away prizes all month and BIG prizes every week and a GRAND prize at the end. Leave a comment, today I'm giving away THREE prizes. 
A copy of No Way Up. 
A copy of 12 Brides of Summer, a novella collection
I'm in.
And a copy of Cowboy Christmas Homecoming, releasing Oct. 15....SOON!
With Ruthy, Julie and Anna Schmidt. My book is called Longhorn Christmas and guess what??? It's a western. 


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Marianne Barkman said...

I stayed up past my bedtime so I could check what Mary was posting. And WOW it was worth it. I come with enough thoughts to keep me going through the night!!!! Thank you, Mary!

Mary Connealy said...

As long as you don't FEAR insomnia, Marianne!!!
At this point in my life I consider insomnia a superpower...I can WRITE or READ

Sally Sharp said...

Hello, my comfort zone has changed now that I'm at home full time caring for my husband. I started a closed ladies group on FB back in January and God has truly blessed it. His plans are the best. It's called Inspiration Cafe. A place for ladies to come for encouragement, edification and of course, humor.

mary ellen goodwin said...

Really good advice to someone who hates to leave her comfort zone. Don't know if I'll ever do any of it but it did make me think about it. You do great at giving advice. Love your books and have read most of them. They are a joy to me.

Melissa Jagears said...

Yay for birthday, and insomnia works....might not make you the best person to be around but it can get you lots of words. :)

Connie Brown said...

I've had insomnia for so long. I think it stems from being a night owl anyway. Graveyard shifts were easy for me. I do not like to leave my comfort zone but I took a chance this year and attended a writing class. Now I'm working on my story. It may never see the light of day but I'm working on it. Happy Birthday Seekerville. Love your stories Mary.

Missy Tippens said...

Great post, Mary! We're going to have to gradually expose you to mice. I'll help. ;)

Connie Brown, I'm glad you attended a class! I love taking them and always get inspired.

Melissa Jagears said...

I think it's time for one of my bestest photoshop creations to come back to haunt Mary. Behold!

Mary Preston said...

I'm not very good at stepping outside my comfort zone. It's called a comfort zone for a reason.

Pamela Lunsford said...

Thank you for the post. I am a late night worrier and I can't stop. Things are always popping up in my head about the past with my grown children. Should I have done this or done that. I realized tonight it is satan putting these thoughts constantly in my head. I'm worrying over nothing and driving my husband crazy. Thank you and I'm facing it and telling Satan to get behind me !! I am going to FACE IT AND REPLACE IT!!

Jackie said...

I must be part of the insomnia group this morning. Probably because my husband and I are trying to put aside our fears to follow God's will for our life in a huge way. Great post, Mary!

Cindy W. said...

I loved this post Mary. I liked #4 & #8, accomplish something or learn something new. I have always tried to learn something new every day. I haven't always been successful at doing so but I have tried.

Fear is the absence of faith and when we begin to fear anything, the enemy takes a foothold and moves in. Fear is a viscous thing that can actually be debilitating if we allow it to come in and take root.

May you all be blessed today.

Happy Birthday Seekerville.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Ruth Logan Herne said...


This is BEYOND marvelous, my friend. And you used delightful memes, so many of which should be hanging on my wall! I loved Aristotle's quote, it's always a wake up call to realize for as far as we've come... we're really not ahead of the game in some ways because sages bore witness to brilliance a long, long time ago.

Kicking our fears to the curb is a cornerstone of success. And not letting the devil incite more fear, or stir up old wounds is huge... because it's so easy to let him get that little bit of control (especially if we think the anger/concern is justified) and he's never happy with a little bit of anything.

Wonderful post, Mare!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Sally Sharp, what a brilliant idea!!! You took a rough situation with limits and turned it into an opportunity!!!

Can I use the name of your "cafe" in a book?

I would love that. "Inspiration Cafe"...... Welcome to Seekerville!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Mary Ellen, thinking about it is the first step. Feeling that nudge... and then tiptoeing into a new situation.

It's amazing how one step forward leads to another!

Jill Weatherholt said...

Fantastic post, Mary! I'm an early morning worrier. Often I'll wake up at 2:00 a.m. and my mind races with worries. Face and replace it! I love that...thanks!

kaybee said...

MARY, I want to be entered in the drawing for Cowboy Christmas Homecoming. I LOVE Anna Schmidt! (I mean I love you and Ruthy too but you already know that.)
RUTHY, congratulations on the Published Maggies!!!!!

Michele K. Morris said...

Great post, Mary! This year I've worked hard at conquering my writing fears. I've study the craft, entered contests, and met lots of new people. All with success! Thanks for the encouraging post!

CatMom said...

LOVED this post, Mary - - your tips and all those great quotes are worth saving (AND applying, of course!). :)
"Face it and replace it" - - brilliant! You're a very wise lady.
As for the fear of might be good NOT to look at the image Melissa J. created - - LOL!!
I like hamsters and gerbils - - - but mice and rats (yuk - - can barely type that word!!) NO thank you!!
Happy Birthday to Seekerville! :)
Hugs, Patti Jo

Debby Giusti said...

Mary, great blog! Such wonderful points about this writing life!!! Love your memes.

I've brought birthday cake, ice cream and chocolate to celebrate our Seekerville birthday!

Is it too early for cake? Nope!!! I'm digging in right now. Cake and ice cream are perfect with morning coffee!!!

Hugs to all!

kaybee said...

I'm afraid of not being good enough. That's what it all boils down to.
How funny you should write about this today (not really, it's Divine), because I do Sandy's devotional series in October and the second and third entries are about facing your fears. Which I guess I need to do.
Her first entry was about what we could give up to have more time for writing. All I could come up with was TV, sigh.
By-the-by, I just read "No Way Up." Courtesy of my local library, first Mary C. book they have ever purchased. Nice job Mary!
I am on vac so will be here more through Friday morning, yay, and then not at all because I'm going somewhere without internet.
Back later,
Kathy B.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, Mary! Thanks especially for #9. I needed that this morning. When I'm exhausted, I'm most vulnerable.

kaybee said...

DEBBY, birthday cake is my favorite Thing except for wedding cake. I love the icing.

Stella Perry said...

I enjoyed your post this morning. Many times I feel that my fears are innumerable. The only way that I can conquer them is by turning them over to God (and that is easier said than done).

Stella Perry said...

I enjoyed your post this morning. Many times I feel that my fears are innumerable. The only way that I can conquer them is by turning them over to God (and that is easier said than done).

Kelly Tyree said...

What great advice. Thank you so much.

Dawn Leonard said...

Great post Mary! Fear is something most people have. I agree that sometimes it's hard to recognize what we're afraid of and that fear is from the devil not God. I agree with Stella Perry and others that turning my fears over to God is easier said than done. Sometimes I think I've turned a fear over to Him only to find that I am still worried about it.

Happy Birthday Seekers! Thanks for creating Seekerville and for inviting us to join you! Please pass me a big slice of chocolate cake with the extra yummy chocolate frosting and a rose. Thanks!

Rhonda Starnes said...

Oh my, I love this! Excellent advice, Mary!

#6 really spoke to me. My goal for the past year, starting with attending the Writer's Police Academy last year, has been to step outside my comfort zone, which I have done multiple times. And you know what the result has been? I've survived. And met new friends. You know, if I hadn't stepped outside my comfort zone and attended ACFW for the first time this past August, I wouldn't have met you! And I would have hated to have missed that!

#9 is spot on! God gave us talents that we're supposed to use, and the Devil is trying to stop us from using them.

Debby, it's never too early for cake!

Waving to you all!! Have a marvelous Monday!!

Kav said...

Bwahahahahaha!!!!! MELISSA JAGEARS -- that's hysterical!!!!!!!

Ahem...great post, Mary. True and hard and just plain not always fun to think about but so important. I've been dabbling my toes in out-of-comfort-zone areas quite a bit lately and you know what? It doesn't get any easier. Seriously. Sometimes you just have to grin and bear it and cope because that fear just isn't going to go away any time soon. Gah!

Linda Bodenschatz said...

Thanks for sharing this great post. One great thing about the writing community is that everyone is always supportive and willing to help each other.

I am currently facing a fear in writing about an uncomfortable subject, yet it is a story I feel called to write. It's a struggle, but cathartic at the same time.

It's difficult to face fears and step out of the comfort zone, but worth the effort.

Have a great day!

ohiohomeschool said...

Great post, and I loved all of the quotes you included. I really like the Louisa May Alcott one. I am going to try to sail today. Facing fears this year. . . I have with my son with Autism and multiple issues. I continue to as well.

I would love to win your new Christmas book, or any book for that matter.
Have a good day.

Connie Queen said...

Mary, I struggle w/meeting new people.

My husband and I started a BBQ concession business on Saturdays in a nearby town this past July. We only know a handful of people in this town. And did I mention I haven't worked fast food where I had to wait on people since I was like 19 or 20 years old? No, no. I know what you're thinking--Connie that was only like 10 years ago. But you're wrong. That was like 28 years ago! Yes, I'm that old.

So all these strangers come to window to try our food and I have to take their order and pretend I'm happy to do so. I'm scared to death and I'm not even sure of what. That they will hate the food? Yes. That I will totally mess-up the order? Yes. That they will leave a scathing review on Facebook or some Google-map link thing. Yes.
Did I mention the first week we were open my husband would make this beautiful, piled-high bbq sandwich, but kept forgetting to put the top bun on. Only one sandwich actually made it out the window w/out the top, but the customer has never been back.

This adventure has been more stressful for me than my husband. He loves every minute of it. I'm getting better.

Dana McNeely said...

I think the gist of this article must have been, "Overcome your fears by taking them lightly." Go to a Safari Park and try to get antlers and make a coat rack! hahaha! Write in a strange genre--set your book in biblical times! (My first book.) hahaha And then MELISSA JAGEARS chimes in with her hilarious meme!

Audra Harders said...

Mary, you listed fears I hadn't thought of, but can confirm, yes, I would be afraid of that. LOL, should I say thank you??

You speak wise words, my friend. Worry and fear are not what God wants for us. Joy, excitement and a sense of adventure, those are the things we should look forward to. You've kicked off our birthday month in style and very appropo. FACE THOSE FEARS and kick them out of the picture!

Hmm, I think I'll go try number 9 on the value menu at McDonald's. Baby steps, right?

Josee Telfer said...

What a thoughtful list you compiled Mary! Thank you.

I love every single point you made but #9 for me, changed everything. I lived in fear for years. Truly. Then I committed to renewing my mind. Every time I had an ugly or scary thought, or fear began to creep, I'd say one of 3 phrases: "I will take my thoughts captive to Christ", "Whatever is lovely", and often times, just "Jesus."

The opposite of love is not hate, but rather fear. "Face it and replace it." Love it, Mary! There is SO much we can accomplish when we live in freedom.

DebH said...

hi Mary
this is a great post. may I say your advice sounds a lot like my mom? and that the older I get the SMARTER she is? I haven't really written down my fears, so I guess that's on the list to do before I can start FACING and REPLACING them.

As for trying new things... does helping coach a 5-7 year old t-ball team count? eight boys, 5 to 7 years old learning to whack with a bat or throw a ball accurately. Herding cats. Thankfully the coach is awesome. I'm just there to guide the strays back to the herd. Of course, Guppy loves having momma there to throw with him.

My writing fear is that I'll never be able to actually allow myself time to do it until I'm say... ninety. Seeing how that's still 40 years away, I know I'm being stupid, but some days, it just feels like I'll never get to it. Gotta face that feeling and replace it. thanks Mary. You're awesome.

p.s. would love to be in the draws for either of your novella collections.

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

STRANGE genre? STRANGE you say? says the Middle Grade author! ;)

Great list, Mary.
Your humor shines through as always, which is why we enjoy your books so much.

#5 - check. I do my best to book school visits and teach a lesson on... POV! HA! Going teach an adult by request today too as a matter of fact! She sent a private message on Facebook yesterday complimenting my writing (?) and asking me to show her how I do this. WHAT?!
We'd already planned to rendezvous at the filling station in between our homes so I can delivery book 4. (We live about 6 miles apart, so it seems logical. Especially since inside the shop they have hand-scooped Mayfield ice cream in a dozen flavors... Your choices for $1.50 + tax. They stuff as many flavors as you want into a 6 oz styrofoam cup and heap it on top too... But I digress...) So that should be fun for coffee and ice cream right?!

#6 - my hubs and I had about 45 mins to spare so we drove around exploring some roads less traveled on the east side of Nashville yesterday afternoon. It was fun. Found all kinds of interesting places, including the TN School for the Blind campus. :)

Great post today and HAPPY HAPPY BARKDAY, Seekerville. You're such a blessing to us all.

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...


That's just evil!!!
(ICYMI - )

Debby and Kaybee - no kidding. Love this kind of cake. YUMMO! (I'm sharing with Cass. He needed some to celebrate too!)

Judging from the comments, Mary... Ya done good.

I'm working on #1 for sure today. Maybe that's it, a 9 step program. I'm starting today with #1.

Y'all keep up the good work. I have a two crazy days ahead of me, the entire week really but we'll get 'er done. Perhaps I can knock out the other steps all in a week. HA! (I wish.)

cathyann40 said...

I enjoyed reading this post.

Sally Shupe said...

Great post! I would love to win a copy of Cowboy Christmas Homecoming. I love Christmas stories, and Mary's stories, and westerns. Need I say more lol. Fear: putting one word in front of the other. And I could never go to a restaurant and just order Number 9, whatever that might be. I go to the same places and order the same things. Yes, I love my comfort zone. But God calls us to greater, and you can't get to greater without leaving. I'm working on that. Happy birthday month, Seekerville! I've learned so much over the years.

Janet Dean said...

MARY, identifying then facing our fears is the first step toward conquering them. Though some fears are logical. Like your mice. ;-) There's something creepy about those tiny feet scurrying about, leaving their droppings.

Thanks for the inspiring quotes! And the reminder that fear is not of God.

Happy birthday, Seekerville!!! Tossing confetti! Nine bags full!!


Cindy Regnier said...

My fear is plotting. I've never been able to do it. I've tried but the words just come out sounding like I plotted it. Maybe I will try a short outline for a chapter this week. Start small right? Mary, I love your westerns (all your books) and especially want to read the Cowboy Christmas Homecoming!

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI Mary, Great post. Fear is something we all have to deal with. Living with a type A extreme sports hubby, I learned to deal with fear a long time ago. However, tech stuff on the Internet still terrifies me. I haven't overcome it, and that is probably because I have such mixed emotions. On one hand, I need it to survive the writing business but on the other hand, I really don't like it or care. Such a conundrum. LOL

Loved the memes. Need to do more of those. I was scolded by Tina. Need to do them in my post. sigh. See, I told you. I'm so not a techy on the Internet and that is terrifying.

Mary Connealy said...

SALLY SHARP I think that's such a great idea to use Facebook to gather a group.
If you check back, I'd love to hear HOW your comfort zone has changed. Has it gotten so you're LESS comfortable in situations you used to not fret about? Or are you trying new things without it bothering you like it used to?

Mary Connealy said...

MARY ELLEN GOODWIN I am so great at giving advice it's SCARY. No idea if its GOOD advice. But that doesn't slow me down. :)

I kind of like the idea of trying new things when you DON'T need to because I think it's like PRACTICE for when the moment comes that you DO need to.

Mary Connealy said...

Melissa the great thing about insomniass is, no one is ever around them when they're awake and probably slightly CRAZY, because all sane people are sleeping at that time!

Mary Connealy said...

CONNIE BROWN, honestly you did make me Laugh Out Loud. Your one step outside your comfort zone has now led you even more completely INTO your comfort zone.

Well, except for the writing....there's a challenge for you!

Mary Connealy said...

MISSY YOU STOP THAT!!!!! If loving mice is wrong i don't wanta be right.


Mary Connealy said...

Mary then ignore that advice and go do something else different. I once built one of those tiny metal sheds in my back yard. You cannot BELIEVE the number of bolts they had in the little misc. bag in that box.

It gave me such an amazing sense of accomplishment!

Mary Connealy said...

Pamela, this is something I really DEEPLY believe. And I've gotten so I can FEEL that assault on my calm and my reason even. Because it makes NO SENSE to worry about stuff you can do nothing about. It's torment and that's to me one of the quietest and most constant signs he roams the an age people want to believe he doesn't exist.
If you want to WORRY, then at least pick something you have a shot at fixing.

Mary Connealy said...

Oh, Jackie, I'm praying for you right now.
I hope you find peace with such a huge decision.

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Cindy W. Does learning something every day including what Kate Middleton wore yesterday? Because if it does......then I am totally with you.

Of course I learned I can take the whole BACK off my laptop with a screwdriver our of my eyeglasses repair kit.

I suppose, like it or not, I had to learn that!

Mary Connealy said...

EY RUTHY!!!!!!!

That is such a sweet comment.

People are going to think we don't like each other anymore.

Did you all know Ruthy got inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend???

.....or no, wait, it was her high school hall of fame........but that's nice too.

LOL honestly it's a thrill it happened for you, Ruthy. The closest my high school comes to a 'Hall of Fame' is a trophy case nailed up on the wall, 99% for sports.

I always thought that was pretty cool until somehow once I was allowed into a storage room somewhere in that school and here are boxes and boxes and BOXES, so so so many, full of trophies.

What are they doing there, I asked.
They don't fit in the trophy case.
Why don't you offer them to the people involved in winning them?
We do.
Can I have one?

It gave me a very jaded view of those trophies. HALL OF FAME IS WAY BETTER, RUTHY!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Jill do you wake up than lie awake? That is the WORST. I do that sometimes, mostly for me it's falling asleep in the first place but I HATE when I wake up and can't get back to sleep.

Hmmmm...hate might be similar to fear. I need to reflect.

Mary Connealy said...

Anna is a sweet heart, KB it's okay if you love her. LOL

Mary Connealy said...

I wish I was braver. My life is so routine I can convince myself I don't have TIME to try new things.

Which is so WIMPY of me.

Myra Johnson said...

Timely advice for me, Mary! Not so much in my writing life right now but regarding some family concerns. Fearing the unknown and not being able to do a thing about it. Why is it so much easier to worry than to trust God to work everything out according to His plan???

Mary Connealy said...

Patti Jo you are a sympathetic heart.

I'm a little weepy with the loveliness of our affinity.

Margo Carmichael said...

Really good and serious thoughts from a funny friend! Yes, face your fears, ask, "What's the worst that could happen?" It usually won't.
I've taken up something new--for the last two months, I've been taking lessons on my new red violin! It's not true, though, what they say about it being God for the brain. My teacher's exploded.

Margo Carmichael said...

Good for the brain, I mean!

Margo Carmichael said...

Good for the brain, I mean!

Margo Carmichael said...

Really good and serious thoughts from a funny friend! Yes, face your fears, ask, "What's the worst that could happen?" It usually won't.
I've taken up something new--for the last two months, I've been taking lessons on my new red violin! It's not true, though, what they say about it being God for the brain. My teacher's exploded.

Rose said...

I face a fear every time I cross the bridge to get to Decatur to see Mary! Yep, an old metal bridge you can see the river through with narrow lanes for passing traffic. I have to talk to God to get over it and my knuckles are white on the steering wheel...and do you know what Mary tells me...they get out and walk on this bridge. WHAT???????

I will say, I make myself drive to Decatur that way because there is a back road I can take that doesn't have a 'see-through' bridge over a river, BUT that doesn't make me grow as a person, right? And silly as it sounds, I feel like I've accomplished a great feat every time I make it across.

Which I will do a week from today. See you then, Mary. Hopefully, my knuckles won't be white!

Kim hansen said...

Heights is my biggest fear and its a challenge every day since I live on the 8th floor apt I chose to live that high for the view and to try and overcome my fear of heights.

Becky Dempsey said...

I have always been a worrier. I will start to think of problems (real or imaginary) and I have to remember the verse that says "Taking captive every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II Cor 10:5)

Sally Shupe said...

And I fear insomnia. I feel so out of place here lol. 99% of the time I have no trouble falling asleep within moments and sleeping for 7-8 hours. Lack of sleep is a migraine trigger, so I guard my sleep well.

Marianne Barkman said...

I love that insomnia can be called a super power. I don't have those times often, and last night I have no idea what was behind it. I don't think I was worried, though I am stepping out of my comfort zone and buying a house...well a condo, actually. Some days Mom is moving with me, and some days I have no idea what she's doing. At 90 you can do that, I guess. I will be moving 12 hours away from here (road travel) so it is a big deal. I have a job there, though, that lets me read all I want AND go to Arizona for the winter.

Jan Drexler said...


My new life motto, compliments of Mary Connealy!

I can always recognize when I've encountered a fear...I start stalling. I put off calling that person. Or I put that task on the bottom of the list. Or I push it to the back of my mind.

And then my life starts falling apart and the writing doesn't get done.

So I've learned (I hope) to eat the frog - do the fearful thing first. Get it out of the way. Then it isn't sitting at the back of my mind like an anchor...or a yucky dead frog...weighing down every other thing I'm trying to do.

This morning's frog is facing the load of laundry I started Friday morning and then left in the washer over the weekend. Yes, I fear opening that washing machine door.

But I'm doing it. NOW!

Thanks, Mary. :)

Connie Queen said...

Jan, I hate it when I forget about the laundry!!!

So funny!

Rachael Koppendrayer said...

One of my favorite books growing up was Ronia the Robber's Daughter by Astrid Lindgren, about a wild robber's daughter out in the mythical Swedish woods. She learned that if you're afraid, these nasty little goblins can smell it out (who would, by dint of overwhelming numbers, surround, attack, and eat you), so she practiced not being afraid. Giving them the boot on occasion. Leaping into the rushing river so she wouldn't be scared of water anymore. Eventually.

I, recognizing wisdom when I saw it, practiced not being afraid of heights by climbing trees (and occasionally relying a brother to fetch a ladder), and such perhaps less-than-safe activities like climbing out the haymow window and dropping 6 feet to the shed roof below, then skidding down the sloped roof to the edge where I could just reach the legs of the bale elevator, where I fireman-poled it down to the ground another 7-8 feet below. I still don't love looking down from great heights, but I don't freeze up anymore. Especially since these days my brothers would probably just laugh and not bring a ladder. But that's what sisters-in-law are for.

Mary Connealy said...

Debby! The great thing about cyber-cake is it is NEVER too early to eat it.

One thing we do NOT have to fear!!!!!!!

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Great post, Mary! If I went to visit my MIL regularly for coffee, the bill would rack up into the thousands with each visit. She lives in Hawaii. ;) I know . . . what a great excuse to go to Hawaii--to face my fears! :)

But seriously, my biggest fear I'm working through this year is the fear of rejection. My MS was rejected early this year, in the nicest possible way. I've spent the rest of the year on a journey to improve it and to work on an area God decided needed some healing in me. It's been a most unexpected journey. But I am working on it.

Mary Connealy said...

kaybee, of course...especially as a are afraid of not being good enough. I'll tell you that after 48 books...I fear the same thing.

I always know I could do BETTER. This book isn't as good. I can surround myself with seld-doubt and, in fact, I think that is almost required for a writer. It's what goads us on to try harder, to FINISH, to tackle revisions. That fear of not being good enough.

God bless you and I think you are GREAT!!!!!!!

Mary Connealy said...






Mary Connealy said...

GLYNNA, isn't that so true, when you're so tired you think, TONIGHT (for me the insomniac) I will drop right off.
And then your mind starts going. I picture the devil stirring a pot of liquid hate and fear and anger and spilling it onto the lives of people. But it can be hard to recognize because, like Ruthy said, we think our anger is justified.

Mary Connealy said...

Stella such a perfect, simple solution and, just like you said, NOT THAT EASY

Mary Connealy said...

HI KELLY! Welcome to the birthday party. Glad the advice sounds good to you.

Mary Connealy said...

Dawn I know just what you mean, turn it over to God, lay it at His feet.

And then BAMMO somehow we've picked it back up and are toting it around again!

Mary Connealy said...

Rhonda it was so nice to get to visit with you at ACFW, thanks to our early bird Ruthy coupled with my insomnia WHICH WOKE ME UP AT 3 AND I WAS UP FOR THE DAY!
I'd been down in the lobby writing for a long while until you and Ruthy showed up!

Mary Connealy said...

KAV you are NOT referring to that horrible nightmarish picture Melissa Jagears linked to are you?

You know I had a job once where it really WAS Raining Mice.

I'm not kidding. They'd get stuck and die in some insulation and fall down once in a while. I worked at this place, a plant building semi-trucks...the back ends not the actual truck...and it was the mouse center of the universe.


Mary Connealy said...

It was a summer job. Blazing hot at all times, raining mice and I was surrounded by a bad caliber of people. If this is not a description of HELL then I don't know what is.

It paid well though.

Mary Connealy said...

Linda that's such a great point but WRITING out of our comfort zone.
I suggested writing something DIFFERENT but I wasn't thinking of it as writing where we feel most vulnerable or where it's too close to home and with real honesty.

Excellent point.

Mary Connealy said...

Becky the thing is, I think we are 'sailing our ship' all day every day whether we want to or not. :) But maybe to sail it with more courage, more daring.

Okay now I'm trying to think where my comfort zone is and I always consider public speaking an act of bravery, but where else can I go?

Hmmmmmm....take a walk? Exercise of any kind appears to be outside my comfort zone!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Connie, good for you! Remember you are INSIDE the window. You can probably lock out anyone who poses a threat.
I am really proud of you, starting a new business is so BRAVE. Also I am now starving for BBQ!

Mary Connealy said...

Dana between making fun of situations and making fun of myself, I can face most things. (or run fast enough I don't need to!)

Wilani Wahl said...

I am facing one of my fears this week. Lord willing on a day when the vertigo is at a minimum so I can think clearly. I plan to set up a blog a first step towards a Web site when it is time. I'm thinking about going with Word press. From what I can gather, it is free and I can also do a web site with them that would also be free so that would be easier to switch when it is time.

I'll admit after the disaster on Saturday when I decided to set up an Instagram account and getting upset that everything I post has to come from my phone and not my laptop. I don't use my phone camera I use my digital camera for the pictures I take so they are all on my laptop. The only reason I wanted to do Instagram is because a lot of the authors are using it as means to promote their books. I am going to try to conquer Instagram which is difficult for an old lady like me. I will also conquer the whole blog thing as well. Any advice on this will be appreciated.

The vertigo is beginning to calm down praise the Lord after 6 weeks of extreme vertigo is about time. I am even wanting to write.

I finally decided to take my non fiction book that has been rejected many times and break it up into smaller books and try to self publish another big fear for this lady who is not computer savvy. The original title was Effectively Reaching Children. The purpose is to help Sunday School teachers etc have tools and ideas for teaching children at church. I want to get it out there before technology totally changes and I have to rewrite the book again. This is my 50th year teaching children so some of my methods and visuals are obsolete. I have feeling I will be checking the archives of Seekerville a lot.

Another fear I am facing and planning to conquer is to write a historical book instead of contemporary. My Nano book will be this one that I have done research on for over a year. I think it is now ready to be told.

By the way, Mary, I read Clueless Cowboy this weekend and loved it. Hope to get the review up later.

Mary Connealy said...

I should do this, too, Audra. Pick #9 on the next menu I get close to.

I rarely get close to a menu but I'm ready if I ever do!

Mary Connealy said...

Josee Teller that is so wise of you. You've put that little saying into action years ago!

I suppose I should invite someone over for coffee. That sort of scares me!

Mary Connealy said...

Fortunately I live so far away from people it never comes up.

Cynthia Herron said...

Mary, ohhh, my goodness! Where to begin? I LOVE your encouragement this morning-- the quotes, your tips, your inspiration. Just the way to kick off a Monday! I think #6 resonated the most (although ALL your points struck a chord). Stepping out of our comfort zones is huge. I find, though, as we mature (sounds better than "age"-- HA!), trying new things does get easier. I'm more apt to try things now than I might not have ten years ago. There's freedom in knowing, too, God does have a plan and it doesn't include failure. We may try new things and maybe have to relaunch or go again, but He's equipped us with what we need to succeed according to His will, plan, and purpose. Yaaaay!!!

...Um...raining mice? YOU are a brave, brave soul. :-)

Caryl Kane said...

Great post, MARY! The Lord is NOT the author of fear! I MUST keep my eyes on Him.

Laurie Wood said...

Mary, if you didn't start out writing about cowboys, what did you start out writing? And how did you end up with cowboy books? I loved all your memes throughout your encouraging and inspiring article.



Mary Connealy said...

Of course it counts. I coached a softball team for a couple of years when my kids were little.

I'm sure you won't find it humiliating and make you squirm with horrible memories for the rest of your life. I don't think I can even blame the devil on this one.


Mary Connealy said...

KC I always wrote sweet contemporary romances at first, but for a time I'd just write whatever sounded good to me, since nobody was ever going to publish me anyway!!! (ignore that bitter comment!!! I am so over that!)

And that's how I found romantic comedy with cowboys. And I had so much fun. I wrote about four middle grade novels.

And one song called "I've Got Bambi on My Hands - An Ode to Buckskin Gloves"

I could see that song making it BIG in country music.

Mary Connealy said...

KC a Nine Step Program. LOL Most troubled people need twelve steps but we are SO MUCH COOLER than them.

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Cathyann40, that's for stopping in!

Mary Connealy said...

Sally that Order #9 thing is probably for someone who can't decide what to have, right?

It never happens to me.

Mary Connealy said...

Thanks for that image, Janet. I'm still trying to stop shuddering from Melissa J's.

Mary Connealy said...

Cindy, unlike the fears I've been talking about 'fear of plotting' is NOT the same.

If it doesn't work for you, then it doesn't work for you.

There are many different ways to write a book.

How about instead of exactly plotting, get a huge big picture, the characters, the trouble, the goal for the ending. Then write a chapter and try 'plotting' the next chapter. Or the next things you want to accomplish. Just three or four sentences. A sentence can sometimes take a sentence or two in a book and sometimes they sort of grow on you and take three chapters to tell about.

So in the sense that I do NOT plot, I often, when it's time to quit for the day, write a few sentence about where I'm planning to go with the story tomorrow.

Mary Connealy said...


My real worst trouble with tech stuff is, I try to get something done and it doesn't work and doesn't work and doesn't work and then.....finally it works.

On try #80

So then you wait one year and try to do it again and YOU CAN'T REMEMBER WHAT WORKED!

sigh. Techno-phobe at your service.

Mary Connealy said...

Myra, family is always in our hearts and in the front of our minds. Sometimes worry is wrong and unproductive but I've had times when 'worry' was more I think God putting a burden on my heart for someone. It reminded me to keep them always in my prayers.

If you handle your worry that way it is more productive. (I hope)

Mary Connealy said...

Margo, I could have a mouse run across my foot. And I'd have to boil my foot, then limp for the rest of my life. And live with the memory of that horrid mouse touching me.

When people say, "What's the worst that can happen..." well to me if the worst isn't all that bad all it means is you don't have a good imagination.

Me? I can make almost any worrisome scenario end in a slow painful death for myself. :(

Mary Connealy said...

I heard of someone who had a small fire in their basement and went down and almost had it out, no big deal, fire extinguisher. A rat run past them. He/she (it's not ALL women!) screamed, the fire extinguisher flew out of her hands and smacked into a gasoline can, broke it open and exploded. The screamer was fortunately already running from the rat and got out of the house. Her hair might've caught on fire though. The whole house burned and she ended up in agony in a hospital.

I read that and thought, that is a perfectly reasonable scenario. It would absolutely happen to me.

Naomi Shores said...

Okay, since God has given me 8 weeks of time here lately, I need to stop fighting my fear and write the book that is running around in my head. By the way I love all of your stories both fictional and about your posts about your cowboy.

Mary Connealy said...

I'm mostly not afraid of things. Mice and Rats being the exception.

I can crush a spider with my bare hands, no problem.

I picked up a snake I found in a basement (not mine) when some kids were around. I let them pet it and talk about it's little red tongue.

Then we went outside and released the neighbor's yard which now I wonder if that was the right thing to do. There are some snoopy neighbors in that area.

It wasn't a RATTLER of course.

Mary Connealy said...

See?????!!!!!! I'm not afraid of EVERYTHING!

Keli Gwyn said...

Thanks for the great post, Mary!!! You wrote it just for me--or so it seems. My middle name could be Fearful. Seriously. I blame my fearfulness on my dad, in part. He worked for the US Forest Service, so we often lived in the--you guessed it--forest. Every spring, my younger sisters and I would get The Lecture. It went something like this: "Be careful out there, girls. Always wear shoes. You never know what could be lurking under a log. There are rattlesnakes, scorpions and other things in the forest."

Being the obedient oldest child, I took those lectures to heart. I kinda went overboard, though, and became ultra watchful, fearing that many things in life were out to get me. Some of them you mentioned, like air travel. I could go one better. I feared driving a car, riding a bike and even walking down the side of a busy street. And there's riding an elevator, too. People get stuck in those, ya know. Plus, if there's a fire... (Remember, my dad was a firefighter, so I know things burn down.)

I've spent much of my adult life battling my many fears. One of them was writing. It wasn't until I was 47 that I finally typed the first words of my first historical romance. They were lousy, and I typed waaaay too many of them to be in one story, but I did it! And then I wrote another story and another and another and one more after that before I got good enough to capture a publishing pro's attention. (Plus two-thirds of a contemporary romance that was so bad I didn't even finish it.)

Facing our fears can be hard work, but it's work we need to do if we're going to enjoy the lives the Lord wants us to have. He doesn't want us cowering in fear. He wants us to embrace the gifts and talents He's given us. He wants us to experience the satisfaction of discovering what we're capable of, in Him.

Yup! I needed this post. Time to face a fear and return to my latest story, which my fearful self believes won't be any good. Not to worry, though. My brave self is taking over! =)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Mary is weepy???


She's foolin' youse. She's a stinker, that one.

But this was a great post and I must recognize the rare and occasional glimpses of brilliance I see in her...

And then insult her later.

Which is (glances at clock...) Oh, yes, I can see that it is Now Time to Insult Mary.

Hey, did I forget cake today? Where's Patti Jo, let's do PEACH UPSIDE DOWN CAKE!!!!

Love it!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Margo LOL. You exploded your teacher's brain? Well, hmmmm at least the violin is a pretty color.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Mary, Rhonda and I were happy to work/talk/laugh with you.

I was in my jammies.

So was Rhonda.

Mary put on clothes.


Beth Erin said...

Mary, Thanks for the great encouraging post! Stepping out of that comfort zone is HARD but oh the blessings are sweeter when you realize that you could have missed out completely for the sake of comfort.

I don't like driving big vehicles, I don't like driving in congested city traffic, and I would never attend a group function alone, HA! I had the opportunity to knock out all three of those fears in one day! Drove my husband's F150 Crew Cab through Nashville traffic to attend a reader's retreat with a bunch of people I had met on the internet or never met at all and I'd do it again for the wonderful experience of we had at CFRR!

Staying in my comfort zone is easy but anything worth having is worth working for!

Mary Connealy said...

ROSE I can't wait to see you!!!!!!!!!!!

There are rumors of a bed of concrete for the bridge deck.

It used to have one but finally they got sick of repairing it and tore it back down to the metal deck.

I am feeling so BRAVE right now.

You should talk to Erica Vetsch. She is also a bridge wimp.

Just Commonly said...

Mary, awesome post. Love the quote memes. Fear can be debilitating if one lets it. I really like one of the quotes from Julie Lessman's Isle of Hope, stating that God alone is the Alpha and the Omega, He is the strength in my bones and there is no hope in anything except Him. When I worry or when I am scared of something, I try to remember that.

I have both the 12 Brides & No Way Up. (Loved them!) So please enter me for the Cowboy Christmas Homecoming. Cowboys!


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jan, I'm totally with you on that.

Eat that frog. Do what we must.

If I do that, then I know whatever else I do that day will seem easy peasy!

But if it's something I really hate.... boy, I grit my teeth!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Kim, I once climbed on my roof to help My Cowboy fix our antenna. He Hates Heights and makes no bones about it, but he just gets tough and goes on up.

Me? Nope, no fear. I used to climb around, as a kid, on my house roof for fun.

I got up on that roof and suddenly it's like the roof is a GLUE TRAP. I could NOT move. Meanwhile My Cowboy is going up a VERY Steep roof standing up.
He looks back at me and said to my clingy self, "I thought you weren't afraid of heights?"

"I'm not." (myself thinking maybe I am not correct about that.)

Mary Connealy said...

Becky that's a great verse. A great reminder to us all! Thank you for sharing it.

Mary Connealy said...

Sally, I'm sorry sleeplessness makes the migraines come. I used to have bad migraines and they are AWFUL.
I've grown out of them, mostly.
Nyquil is good for insomnia. Some

Mary Connealy said...

JAN DREXLER I DO THAT TOO. I've learned to recognize the mind games I use to avoid things I don't want. It can be pretty subtle! But I am ON TO THEM! (on to me?)

Mary Connealy said...

The GOOD thing about forgetting the laundry is, if you forget long enough it starts to smell bad and you can solve your laundry problem but just running the clothes through the washer again. This can put off working on the laundry for a few MORE days.

Mary Connealy said...

Rachael, I'm going to find Ronia the Robber's Daughter. Maybe I can give it to my grandchildren and they can grow up to be fearless. (Or grow up to be robbers???)

Mary Connealy said...

I'll tell you something a writer you have to get tough. Grow a rhino hide. Take criticism and forge onward. It's never gonna stop.

See one star reviews for huge bestsellers for reference!

Mary Connealy said...

PS Jeanne I would also like to have coffee with your MIL

Fedora said...

The most recent fear I can point to conquering (of sorts!) was agreeing to a brief solo in last year's dance recital. I'm no spring chicken, so it was an act of faith :) Been enjoying your stories for a long time, Mary! Thanks for sharing some real-life wisdom on facing down the things that prevent us from living our lives to God's fullest!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Good stuff, Mary.

Not sure what my fears are.

Yes. Mice for sure.

Must think on this.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I know. Fear of double chins and jowls and no money for a face lift. Serious stuff.

Mary Connealy said...

Wilani, I load my digital camera pics on my computer and from there I can email them to myself, then open the email on your smart phone and save the pics there and use them to load to instagram.

I know there are other ways. Dropbox. The Cloud. Ways to store your photos and access them from any device. So that sends them to that online storage and you can access them with your phone and use them from there.

Mary Connealy said...

Wilani have you ever tried csspublishing?
They buy sunday school material, sermons, plays. I got my first published work through them.

Not much money but still the most thrilling $75 dollars of my life, for one Sunday School Christmas Program Play. I ended up selling five in all and I still cherish that. And I have never heard FIRST HAND that my plays cause a church split or nuthin'.

This is another link. I'm not making it live. I'm just trying to prove it exists.

Mary Connealy said...

Cynthia, your comment is even more encouraging than my post!!!!!!!

That's fantastic that you get braver as you age. By the time I'm ninety I might finally ... no mice'll never happen.

But maybe other things. Didn't George H. W. Bush jump out of an airplane, sky diving, on his 90th birthday?

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Caryl, great way to put it. The Lord is NOT the author of fear. PERFECT

DebH said...


you crack me up. I have to be careful because sometimes I read this on break at work and then have to explain a sudden burst of laughter. Is it bad to say you're hard to explain to people?

I love Seekerville...

Mary Connealy said...

I started with sweet contemporary romances aimed at a much SWEETER Harlequin.

I didn't even know Christian Fiction existed, though I'd read Grace Livingston Hill and all the Love Comes Softy books. I just didn't get it that Janette Oke had a special kind of publisher.

And I had no internet. Google wouldn't be invented for about nine years, well maybe four. I didn't have the internet at home. I'm not sure my first computer could be hooked up to the internet. I had four kids still at home. Money was NOT easily come by as far as getting a cool, up to date computer and getting a monthly bill for the internet.

Mary Connealy said...

Laura, I meant to add, I think Petticoat Ranch, my first romantic comedy with cowboys, was about my fifteenth book.

Mary Connealy said...

Are you better Keli? Are you less fearful?

And keep in mind that though you might be plagued with fears, you've never once been eaten by a bear or bitten by a rattlesnake, so not all that fear was wasted.

Mary Connealy said...

I try to keep my brilliance modestly under wrap, Ruthy.

It is surprisingly NOT THAT HARD!!!!!!!!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

I should have left my jammies on?

Ruthy you need to sent out a memo!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Beth the carrot that dangled was worth facing your fears. That's great!

Glad you proved to yourself that you can do it!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Just Commonly you are in the drawing.

Yes, fear is a burden that we can let crush us.

Mary Connealy said...

I'm not much of a frog eater.

I've never cared much for that saying because, wise as it is, still, FROG?????!!!

Megan Besing said...

Ohh, I want in on the copy of 12 Brides of Summer, a novella collection or the Cowboy Christmas Homecoming: which releases on my daughter's bday!!! :)

Fears...Well, I'd much rather entertain a gym full of rowdy kids for 12 hours, than have to make it through a 30 minute meet and greet with adults I don't know. Not sure if that counts as a fear...?

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Fedora! You DANCED? A dance solo?

That is so cool! I'm so impressed.

I need to go do something NEW. Just drive to the nearest state park and walk around, SOMETHING. I'm in such a lovely, comfortable rut!

Mary Connealy said...

Tina I have solved my double chin probably with NO SURGERY.

25 watt light bulbs near all your mirrors. Surprisingly affect. And NEVER look at your face in full sunlight.

Mary Connealy said...

Deb H. I have never made sense to anyone.
I feel your pain.
Should I send to a stack of books so when someone asks you can just hand them a book.

Mary Connealy said...

OR WAIT! Maybe you could draw their attention to my free novella on Amazon, The Boden Birthright.

(this is a much more affordable plan!)

Mary Connealy said...

Megan it helped some of my public speaking fear when I realized I'd been teaching Sunday School for about ten years. I wasn't afraid of THEM, the little kids. And that IS public speaking.

I realized in a different arena I had a ton of experience with this. Like you said, it's waaaaay different with adults but some similarities help me smooth over some of the dread.

Vince said...

Happy Birthday Seekerville!

You have the Birthday but it's us who get the presents! With a Comfort Zone like that, Who'd want to leave?

Hi Mary:

Fear is a topic that spurs my muse into action like no other! Just a few of her comments generated in this morning.

"Opportunity actually does knock, the problem is so do millions of crackpot time-wasting boondoggles."

"If you don't entertain your fears, they will leave for a better audience. "

"Fear dies from want of attention. "

"Fear only has the power we give it. "

"Fear feeds on itself. "

"The devil is never more real nor your fear stronger than when you wrestle with him."

"We spend a lifetime building comfort zones only to be told to leave them. That's like never spending your reward money. "

"We cannot solve our problems using the same thinking we used to create them."

The problem with the above Einstein quote is that it assumes we create our own problems and it was our thinking that created them. Oh, if only that were true! How easy life would be!

My favorite fear quote:

"I rather tell thee what is to be feared
Than what I fear, for always I am Caesar. "

Act 1, Scene 2, Julius Caesar.

Be like Caesar!

"The best way to deal with the problem of insomnia is to just sleep on it. "

Thanks again for all the years of Seekerville!
May there be many more!


Dianna Shuford said...

Hi, Seekers! I've been under the radar for a long stretch while I've been working on a graduate degree, but I've popped in on occasion to read the awesome encouragement you ladies do so well.

Mary- this was the perfect post for me to read right now! Thanks so much for your insight into how to beat fear because whether it's recognized or not, fear's still there. Fear is like that...sneaky, slimy, and destructive if not identified and beaten. This was a splendid post!

Mary Connealy said...

Vince, LOL great list.
This one made me laugh. "Opportunity actually does knock, the problem is so do millions of crackpot time-wasting boondoggles."

This is so so so so true!

All of them are great. Thanks for using your philosophy to help us all think.

Mary Connealy said...

Thanks Dianna and wow a graduate degree! Way to go, girl!

Such a great accomplishment. It's even better than assembling a shed. (and you're probably doing a better job of it, too, that shed was NEVER QUITE RIGHT.)

Jan Christiansen said...

As always, a great post, Mary. Mice, huh? Every house I lived in until I graduated from high school had mice. My brothers used to fish for them. No kidding, they'd rig fishing poles with a trap on the end and lower it down behind the stove, then go watch TV until they heard it snap. When it did, they'd all charge into the kitchen to see what they'd caught. Crazy boys!

I can't think of any fears I have at the moment. I've been through enough crud in my life that I've learned that no matter what happens, God will walk through it with me and lead me out, so not much scares me anymore.

Happy Birthday to Seekervile - wishing you many more years of encouraging writers. You gals are SUPER!

Janet Dean said...

MARY said: When people say, "What's the worst that can happen..." well to me if the worst isn't all that bad all it means is you don't have a good imagination.

Me? I can make almost any worrisome scenario end in a slow painful death for myself. :(

I'm laughing, Mary, because you nailed it. Part of the problem for us creative types is an overactive imagination. Good when writing our stories but some of the stories we write in our minds are scary!!

I think most of us have a bent to one sin or another. Fear is natural for me, but natural isn't what God wants when He has all the things and people I'm concerned about in His care, while I'm powerless to control any of it. So like your #9, I'm learning to let go and let God. That doesn't mean I don't fail upon occasion, but I choose to not live a life that leaves God out of the equation.


Janet Dean said...

DEBBY, thanks for the birthday cake! I love cake and ice cream. For lunch, I brought tomatoes stuffed with chicken, tuna and ham salad and pumpkin bread.


Dianna Shuford said...

Thanks, Mary, for the encouragement! I'm not done with the degree yet, and I may not be quite right when I'm done! LOL.

I'm trying to get back in my writing groove so naturally I would start with you ladies at Seekerville.

bonton said...

Thank you for that fun post, Mary - wonderful advice for everyone, no matter their profession or lifestyle!! I so relate to your comments on learning more about using the computer - at this point, it's probably a life-long study for me, LOL!! Love that quote: "have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it." Amen - good to keep in mind, and also the fact God is not the author of fear. Realizing from whence fear comes and staying close to God in prayer is the best cure for any fears I've had.

Paula Mowery said...

I am currently in the middle of facing a bit of a fear. I have a children's chapter book coming out. Oh my! Kids are very brutally honest. I did get a preliminary review from one second grader today. She liked the book and enjoyed how it reminded her of when she was in kindergarten. Whew. Swiping my brow.

Mary Connealy said...

Jan that's so nice, to reach a place of peace like that.
And I grew up in a small farmhouse that always had mice. Then I got married and we had mice, but my MIL really taught me some tricks to fight them. She was a genius (and lived in a farmhouse even older that mine or my mom's, so she knew how to fight them.
So I have seen PLENTY of mice. We finally have this house under control enough (hate to jinx it, but....) we haven't had a mouse upstairs in years.

We have localized where they get in in the basement, blocked all we can and installed big old glue traps in the spots they can get in.

Mary Connealy said...

Ah...Janet that's so nice and wise. Good for you for fighting the good fight!!!!!

Barbara Scott said...

Wasps. I'm afraid of wasps. I kill them. Mike thinks it's fun catching them in a pseudo fishing net, taking them outside, and letting them go. I've tried telling him wasps are not a catch and release creature like fish. Death to the wasps! (My new meme.)

My other fear is marketing. I sweat in panic when I think about putting myself out there. I'm definitely out of my comfort zone right now hocking Sleigh Bells Ring!

Mary Connealy said...

You'll do it Dianna! Most people who start writing ... Just can't stop no matter how hard they try.

Mary Connealy said...

bonton, very wise. It seems like we should just understand fear and worry is not of God and it'd go away, but it comes back over and over.

Mary Connealy said...

Paula, of course you're afraid of those brutal little children. That's just common sense!

Try and flip this fear, think of it as EXCITEMENT--very emotional, even overwhelming and of course with some fear included, but excitement is energizing and it honestly feels a lot like fear, the pounding heart, the twisting gut, the SWEAT.

Let's see if calling it EXCITEMENT works.

Mary Connealy said...

I actually made an exercise of trying to figure out why why why God made some of the more objectionable creatures on the earth.

Bees? Honey.
Mosquitoes? Well a blood-filled mosquito is a food source for some birds.
Mice, bottom of the food chain. Cat food, dog food, coyote food, wolf food.


I could never figure out wasps. What hole in the circle of life do THEY fill?
What eats wasps that couldn't eat something else?


Sally Shupe said...

You can grow out of migraines? That is wonderful news! I've done away with the triggers I can control, including caffeine, chocolate, certain foods, etc. The ones I am left with are weather related, stress, and the ones that just pop up for no reason with the worst pain ever. If I could choose, I'd prefer the ones that don't hurt much, but my vision is messed up and I'm weak than the ones with the sharp pain on the side of my head. Yes, Nyquil works wonders! I make sure Tim is home and I tell him what I'm doing. I'm like do not wake me up during the night. I am sleeping! He's usually really good about helping me.

Trixi said...

Did you know when you're on vacation, you get very little sleep?? I'm discovering this while in San Fran, so by the time 7pm comes around, I'm ready for bed!! Or maybe because I'm getting older by the day, lol! Or maybe I'll blame a strange bed, or traffic noise, or the people above me wanting to party in the middle of the night, or any number of other things! Whatever the reason, I wasn't able to comment last night, too tuckered :-)

Great insightful post Mary! No need to enter my name this time, as I have two books, and will have Cowboy Christmas Homecoming after the release day. Which, by the way, I'm quite excited about!!

Barbara Scott said...

Mary, I was so curious about where wasps fit in the food chain that I felt compelled to Google it. I found this on Wikipedia:

"They hunt a wide variety of prey, mainly other insects (including other Hymenoptera), both larvae and adults. The Pompilidae specialize in catching spiders to provision their nests. Some social wasps are omnivorous, feeding on fallen fruit, nectar, and carrion such as dead insects."

Well, that's lovely. A New Zealand website said they also eat flies and bees. BEES! We need bees to pollinate!! Okay, so they eat spiders and flies. So what. Surely those icky insects have other predators. Sheesh.

Cara Lynn James said...

Great post, Mary! It's hard to leave our comfort zone but sometimes circumstances force it on us. When that happens we have to sink or swim. I'm not much of a swimmer but I won't let myself sink!

Moving out of our comfort zone gives confidence and that's so important to everyone, especially a writer. But I still hate public speaking.

Phyllis Wheeler said...

Well done, Mary!

I don't know of a need for wasps either.

Please enter me in your generous drawing for 1 of your 3 new books :)

May God bless you and all of Seekerville!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Wasps eat pesky garden bugs... weevils and caterpillars and things that ruin crops.

I did not know this.

I don't like wasps.

But now I know this because I looked it up.

You're welcome. :)

So this fear thing.... it's brutal on folks. And fear isn't of God, it's never of God unless it's like NORMAL fear of attacking bears, sharks or home invaders... it is A-OK to fear them!

But I really don't think God wants us afraid. He sees the beauty of his earth and his people and he longs for our happiness... but he must sometimes wonder why we're somewhat hard to please!!!!

Fight those fears.

We must link arms and fight those fears.

Chocolate helps. :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Barb, I'm laughing that we both GOOGLED wasps!!!!

Pinky-swear, my friend!

Mary Connealy said...

Sally my vision blurs, too.
It still blurs but the headaches don't come or not so fiercely. I can fix it with Excedrin Migraine now. and PS Excedrin Migraine fixes EVERYTHING.
You dont' care about NUTHIN' when you take that stuff.

But it used to be terrible. Vomiting. I had to go to bed, dark room, sick, sick, sick. For about a day.

When the kids were little, too, if that wasn't a bad deal!!!! Poor neglected NOISY BRATTY KIDS!

Mary Connealy said...

TRixi I always feel like I need to go home and HEAL UP from vacation.

Mary Connealy said...

Barbara that is a ton of useful information and all I came away with was that Hymenoptera sounds really really dirty.

Mary Connealy said...

Cara the unfortunate truth is, we usually don't GET to sink. We have to swim and sometimes it ain't easy or pretty.
My MIL, mother of seven boys used to say, "I'd've had a nervous breakdown but I just didn't have the time."

Mary Connealy said...

Phyllis you're in the drawing for my books, the weekly prize and the MONTHLY prize.
This is one stop shopping here.

Mary Connealy said...

Ruthy, Since I can't do anything about this wasps, I guess I'll let them exist.

I'm glad they're of some use. I guess it figures they have to eat something.

Mary Connealy said...

I think challenging people to do research, even if it is on wasps, is a good thing.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

I still don't like them. They keep stinging the kids!!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Have you got one of those cans of wasp spray that shoots like 20 feet, Ruthy? We use those on nests.

But we had to give up on a play house because the wasps moved in and they just kept coming back.

In the end it was like we built a WASP HOUSE in our back yard. We oughta collect rent

Julie Lessman said...

WOW, MARE -- EXCELLENT POST, my friend!! The whole time I was reading it, I kept thinking about one of my favorite Joyce Meyer sermons -- "Do it afraid!" Because the truth is facing your fears (#1) and tackling them (2) is exactly what that's about -- facing/tackling them in the face of your fear because frankly, fear won't leave till you do, so you may as well "do it afraid."

And I'm jumping up and down over #9 because YES, I would say ALL fear is from the devil and I especially like "Face it and replace it" - you preach it, girl!!

I can verify that # 4 works for me because I always feel better when I accomplish something -- anything -- just check things off my list, even if it's shaving my legs. :)


Julie Lessman said...

ANNIE SAID: "Fear can be debilitating if one lets it. I really like one of the quotes from Julie Lessman's Isle of Hope, stating that God alone is the Alpha and the Omega, He is the strength in my bones and there is no hope in anything except Him. When I worry or when I am scared of something, I try to remember that."

Thanks, Annie, I do that, too, because it's a truth we all need to focus on so fear doesn't run us over! :)


Julie Lessman said...

MELISSA JAGEARS SAID: And insomnia works....might not make you the best person to be around but it can get you lots of words. :)

HEAR, HEAR!! I've written many a book that way, and it does work. :) And your Mary/mouse meme??? Girl, you are a HOOT!!


Fedora said...

Mary, I hear you! Ruts can definitely be comfortable!! It's the getting out of them that can be terrifying! But yes, do it! Go to that state park!! Put it on the calendar right now and do it!!!

Valri said...

Hey, Mary! I'm always up for a lecture on how to face my fears!!! Thanks for the help, even though I'm not a writer!!!

I'm in New England right now on a trip of a lifetime with my hubby and having a great time. It's our last day and we're sad. Time to go home to Oregon! We've had a great time though!!!!

Happy Birthday, Seekerville!!!!!

Barbara Scott said...

Right back atcha, RUTHY! Pinky-swear!

MARY, scientific words always sound slightly dirty. That's why I was an English major and delayed taking biology until my senior year in college. God is so good though!! That was the only semester they substituted ecology for biology. I got an A instead of barfing over a dead frog. It was fun testing river water instead.

Pam Hillman said...

Maybe what you fear is a luxury many in this world would love to have.

This really caught my attention. A lot of what I fear with my writing, somebody would love to have the opportunity to experience.

And volunteer for the funeral committee right after signing up for a Judo class makes perfect sense! They'd have to bury me after the class!

Nicky Chapelway said...

Who me? Afraid?

Yeah right, I just prefer to stay away from heights, sleep with a nightlight on, not watch horror movies that will keep me up all night, avoid all diseases and obsess over ones that are practically obsolete (i.e. the Black Plague and the Spanish Influenza of 1918). And don't even get me started on zombies...

... I call them my survival instincts. Who knows? That time in which I look constantly over my shoulder to make sure no one is following me might actually save my life. My knowledge on the plague that struck Athens in ancient times might one day prove useful. And I DEFINITELY know what to do in the case of a zombie apocalypse!

Sandy Smith said...

Oh my goodness, I'm late arriving today and there are 185 comments! Won't catch up with those, but this was a great post, Mary. I really do need to face my fears when it comes to my writing. These are great tips.

As for leaving my comfort zone, I would have to say that initially coming on Seekerville and declaring myself as a writer was a bit out of my comfort but necessary to propel me forward.

I would love to win Cowboy Christmas Homecoming since my book group is going to read it, so please put me in the drawing for that!

Pam Hillman said...

My greatest fear would be deep sea diving ... or worse, diving in a cave. Right up there with it is mountain climbing.

Anything that requires oxygen is off limits. I fly, but I don't have yo like it.

Wilani Wahl said...

Mary, Thanks for the heads up on a publisher. I will check them out. I will try your suggestion for Instagram. I saw on facebook where someone had written out a quote from a book on a note card then set it next to the cover of the book and took a picture. I thought would be a good way to help promote a book.

Wilani Wahl said...

I can handle spiders and lizzards fine, but mice, snakes, and chickens are a whole different matter.

Jan Hall said...

I have always been fearful in some way or another. I was afraid a couple of years ago when my dad was put on hospice. I was afraid that I would go to town and my husband would have some kind of accident and I would come home & find him hurt or dead. My dad is still living but my husband had a heart attack on July 29. I was at home and did CPR but it didn't help. Now I have times when I am fearful of the future and sometimes the present. I know God is in control and his plans are better than mine. I try to count my blessings daily.

Beth Erin said...

By the way... I have No Way Up but I'd love to be entered for the other two titles, no such thing as too many Mary Connealy titles on the shelf!

Janet Dean said...

JAN, you've had a shock, a terrible loss. God can help us get through heartache, but it's only normal, at least to me, to feel fear after losing a spouse, especially expectantly. God bless you.

Hugs, Janet

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

Y'all are cracking me up.
What a great way to start off (nearly) the b'day bash...

Did you ever do anything with the MG work?
You WERE just in Nashville. Pitch your "I've Got Bambi on My Hands - An Ode to Buckskin Gloves"?
Add a dying dog and a broke down truck, definitely make it BIG in country music! HA!

JJ said...

Great post,thank you!

Rachel Dixon said...

Over this past year I have had to deal with some panic attacks. After being a hermit for so long because my son had a compromised immune system. Going out into public by myself was terrifying and remembering being in the hospital with my son would make me panic. But talking about it more and easing into public activities again helped. He is also much better now! Praise God!

Amy Tyner said...

Awesome post Mary! It's a challenge to us all especially #9. Sometimes I think I'm just not up to facing that fear, however I can't alone but with Christ and his help I can.

Dana R. Lynn said...

Great post, Mary! I really felt convicted by it. I'm that person who could very easily allow herself to work herself into a panic. And so often the fear is of things that may never come to be.

Stepping out in faith is great exercise in stretching ourselves, but it sure isn't easy! This post is definitely getting bookmarked.

Pam said...

This is great advice, Mary. We all are fearful of something and need that extra nudge to try to overcome the fear.

Janet W. Ferguson said...

Such a great list! I love the reminder about first world problems. I get nervous at book signings, but that's really a good problem to have. Happy birthday Seekerville. I'm so thankful for you all!

Jackie Smith said...

Great post, Mary!! Guess we all have fears....I am working on mine...but as you say, "we pick them back up"!! Please count me in for all the nice giveaways except your book No Way Up...I have it next to me to read!!

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