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Archive for June, 2011

Today’s Phobia of the Week winner comes to us courtesy of Nichole Parks. Congratulations, Nichole!

You Know You Have Philemaphobia (the fear of kissing) If: 

  1. “Puckering up” strikes fear into your very being.
  2. Those X’s Grandma lines your birthday card with look like threats.
  3. You know better than Hans Christian Anderson that it wasn’t the witch that locked Rapunzel high away in a tower. Oh, no. Rapunzel had Philemaphobia and barricaded herself in from Prince Charming’s advances.
  4. Movies with kissing scenes are more gruesome to you than Rambo, and you always cover your eyes.
  5. Your fantasies of ever marrying are crushed by the words, “You may now kiss the bride.”
  6. French kissing and Russian Roulette are synonyms in your book.
  7. The thought of kissing booths at the carnival makes your stomach turn worse than a ride on The Scrambler.
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First off: sorry guys! It’s been a while since I last updated you on how my fear of driving is going. I’m so behind I don’t even know where to begin!

Let’s see… the week before last I went driving twice again, which marked a total of five weeks I have been driving regularly! It’s such a small accomplishment, but boy, it feels good. It’s not a lot of driving, but for me it is. I don’t know if I ever thought that was possible-five weeks! That’s more than a month of driving! It’s kind of like a milestone for me-a way of being able to see progress.

Even better, my dad says I’ve made a lot of progress. On one of our drives, my dad took me to an empty parking lot where I practiced driving in reverse. I had to make figure eights around two islands. It was a little frustrating at first, but now I feel like I know a little bit more about what the back end of my car is doing and how it works.

My dad and I did the same “driving drill” once before, and as we were driving home my dad said I’d remarkably improved since then. Whereas before I was a two, my dad said, I had now moved up to a five on a scale of one-to-ten. That was really encouraging for me to hear because it’s so hard to know if I’m making any progress at all. I’m driving more, sure; but am I getting any better at it? My dad assured me I was.

I also drove my little sister to a friend’s house. Of course, she had no idea where that friend lived exactly, so I had a lot of fast stops and quick decisions to make, which my dad said I did very well on. Later my sister even came up to me and complimented me on how I’d done. I was very shocked. I must have done well, because it’s not like my sister to just randomly say something like that. (You know, sibling rivalry and all that. It goes against the rules to compliment your sibling, people.)

So all that made for a really encouraging week. I only went driving once last week, however.

It’s a little distressing because it feels like a step back, but I’m going to follow the advice I’m about give and not let it stress me out too much. I’ll just go driving three days this week to make up for it!

Ready for that advice? Here ya go:

Fear Tip: Have you ever noticed the slogan here? “Facing my fears, one day at a time”? Or have you ever noticed that when I blog about facing something on my list I always mention what day I’m on? Have you wondered why that is? It’s because the only realistic way to reach goals is to take it in small increments. You’ll never accomplish your goal if you go for it all at once. You’ll get overwhelmed quickly and defeated just as fast. Instead, take it one day at a time. Make your goal big enough to challenge you, but small enough to reach. Then, when you’re ready for it, make your goal a little bigger.

For instance, right now I’m driving two days a week. At first my goal was to just get behind the wheel. As I grew and accomplished that goal, my new goal became to drive two days a week. Now I’m feeling like I could realistically change my goal and make it three. I could have begun by saying, “I’m going to learn how to drive, and drive five days a week.” However, if I had done that, I know I would have gotten burned out and given up. Instead, I’m making sure I can realistically reach my goals until I get to being 100% comfortable driving and can get my license.

So set up realistic goals, and celebrate each accomplishment. It may be small, but every small step takes you closer to that end result. And if you miss a day like I did last week, don’t let it defeat you. Just pick it back up again tomorrow. Instead of looking at how far you have to go, look instead at how far you’ve come.

You can do it, friend. I believe in you.

P.S. Don’t forget to submit your entries for POW Competition II! The competition ends tomorrow night, Tuesday, June 28th. If you have a funny line for Philemaphobia: the fear of kissing, send it in! Check the post below this for more details.

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Dementophobia: The fear of insanity.

Dude, if you’re that concerned about it, it’s probably already happened.

 

*******

POW Competition II

Have you ever wanted to write your own Phobia of the Week? Here’s your chance!

Beginning now until Tuesday, June 28th, I will be accepting entries for the funniest line(s) or joke to go along with the following phobia:

Philemaphobia: The fear of kissing.

The joke that makes me laugh the hardest will be featured as “Phobia of the Week #40” on Wednesday, June 29th. Send your entries to the email found on the “Contact Me” page of my blog with “POW Competition II” in the subject line. If your email is not addressed with that title, it may be mistaken as junk mail and will not be opened.

Please also make sure and include your first and last name.* The competition is open to anyone and everyone, so feel free to tell your friends!

Okay, readers, you ready? Good. On your mark… get set… GO!

*In the event that you send in the winning entry and would feel uncomfortable having your full name disclosed, please simply sign your entry using only your first name.

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I am very excited to have Michael Perkins as a guest writer today! Michael’s blogs was one of the first I found on WordPress, and I have enjoyed reading his posts ever since. He has a refreshingly unique style, and I never leave his blog without feeling I have gained something of value-whether that be encouragement, something to think about, or a new perspective. You can check out that blog at www.theperkinsblog.net.

And now, please join me in welcoming Mr. Perkins!

Afraid of the Dark

by Michael Perkins

I’m 29 and I’m afraid of the dark.

I know that isn’t something that a grown man should be afraid of, but I can’t help it.

It’s so bad that I won’t take the trash out after dark.  And if by chance I have to go out in the dark, I take a flashlight with me.

 Being able to see my next step makes me feel safe.

 The dark is the great unknown.

 Often times we come to points in our lives where we have to step out in faith into the unknown.  But we hesitate because we cannot see what is out there.  We don’t know what’s next.

 But as long as we carry a Flashlight we will see the next step.  We may not see the whole journey, but we’ll see the next step.  Which is good enough for me.

The next time you are going into the unknown take your Flashlight.

 Are you afraid of the dark?

———–

Michael is a husband, dad, pastor, and blogger. (In that order.) Michael loves to show how brilliantly God moves in our everyday lives. Check him out at www.theperkinsblog.net.

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Athazagoraphobia: This phobia refers to the fear of being forgotten or ignored.

………………………..I feel like I’m forgetting something.

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On Friday of last week, I was getting ready to drive but feeling really unmotivated. I just wasn’t looking forward to driving and was really dragging my feet. I was dreading getting out there. A little while before we headed out, I received a package. The address looked unfamiliar to me, so I couldn’t imagine what it was or who it was from. Upon opening it, I realized it was from a dear friend of mine.

This image came from etsy.com

Inside was a little golden box. Curious, I carefully lifted the lid. Inside, I was surprised to find a beautiful key chain my friend had sent to encourage me.

Fingering each little charm on the key chain, the tears came to my eyes. A cross. An antique key and spoon. A bead angel complete with halo. The words “wonderful” and “beautiful.”

Could she have sent it at a better time? My heart warmed at the thoughtfulness my friend had shown me. She’d taken time out of her day just to think of something to encourage me. And what a perfect gift! Something I could take with me on drives and remember I was not alone. I had God and my friend on my side.

It was amazing what one little gift of kindness like that could do. After receiving the key chain, I couldn’t wait to go driving! I felt re-energized and ready to face the roads. I had the new key chain to try out, after all! More than that, the key chain was visible proof someone out there was pulling for me and wanting me to succeed. I wasn’t alone in my fear. Knowing that, I felt strengthened.

The drive was all town driving and went really well. It seemed like everyone and their mother was out, but when I started getting stressed, I just glanced at my new key chain for a quick dose of courage.

That same week, I also received a really encouraging card from another friend. She’d even included two little pull-out cards with comforting Bible verses on them. Once more, I found myself touched beyond words. Who am I to be blessed with such friends?

I’m still not sure I can answer that.

It’s been a trying journey sometimes, facing my fears. Hard at times. Rewarding at others. Always scary. But there’s something I’m beginning to realize: I am never alone in my fear. Never once has my God abandoned me or left me in my fear. He’s always been with me in the fire, and will always be present to deliver me:

But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, ‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.'” (Isaiah 43:1-2.)

He’s also blessed me with friends who love and care for me-who aren’t interested in judging me, but in simply being there for me. That’s a gift I do not take lightly.

For all of my readers, for every one of you who have prayed for me or left behind your encouraging comments, I thank you. With your love and support behind me and pushing me forward, it’s not hard for me to believe I can win this. Your love and friendship continually strengthens me.

Today, I don’t look at what I don’t have, but what I do. And what I have is you.

Fear Tip: Proverbs 11:25 says, “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed,” and Proverbs 16:24 says, “Kind words are like honey-sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” In need of refreshment? Try encouraging someone else today. Something as simple as a kind word or a small gift can mean the world to someone. When you’re thinking about someone else’s problem, it’s hard to think about your own.

P.S. How can I be a friend to you today? Is there anything I can pray about for you or any way I can encourage you?

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Ew. Well, it is actually pretty creepy...

Zemmiphobia: The fear of the great mole rat.

…I think I missed that bedtime story. 

What is that-the next scariest thing after Big Foot?

Camper #1: “Let’s go camping!”

Camper #2: “But what about the M.R.O.U.S’s?”

Camper #1: “Mole rats of unusual size? I don’t think they exist.”

Relax, people. The worst it can do is nibble you to death.

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