Fear Not

Blog post in German here / Blogbeitrag in Deutsch hier

Hello dearest blog readers!

In March my mom and youngest sister were visiting and besides NYC sightseeing and shopping at Michael's (a big craft store), we also went to Connecticut to a birthday party. Church friends hired me for the second time to make greeting cards at the birthday party for one of their three daughters. I really feel so blessed that they gave me the chance to come and teach the kids - thank you tons Chin family! :-)

Usually it works the way that the birthday girl or boy and their parents can tell me what theme they would like to have for the class. And I design paper craft projects and prepare it so that kids can craft it easily and can be content during the process and happy about the results. The birthday girl Renee wanted to craft something with "Disney Tsum Tsums". In the beginning I was clueless what "Tsum Tsums" are, but after a bit of research I found out that I already had seen them (the Disney Store isn't my favourite store at Times Square for nothing!).

Disney Tsum Tsums are collectible stuffed toys based upon popular Disney characters. The name is derived from the Japanese verb "tsumu" meaning "to stack", because the toys are designed to stack on top of each other, forming a pyramid shape.

On the pictures you can see the collection of Renee and her sisters - quite some Tsum Tsums!

Renee's favorite Disney characters are from Winnie Pooh and that's why I designed the craft projects around them (how cool that I also find them super adorable!).

The kids crafted the Winnie Pooh card and the personalized Piglet book mark. The Eeyore card was my gift for Renee. I think it is so cute that I had to share it with you guys!

The group(s) consited out of eight children and three teenagers. Daniel and my sister Sonja assisted me with the younger children and that was great. The kids were elementary school age and we had to take care that ink and glue arrived rather onto the craft project and not onto their hands and clothes. ;-)

Here you can see some of the creations of the kids:

My very first Tsum Tsum

I also got a gift bag at the end - with my very first Tsum Tsum. I was clueless about who this character should be, but the kids told me that it is Fear of the Disney movie "Inside Out". (To-Do-List Kati: Get this movie and watch it!)

First I was thinking "Oh man, why did I get Fear and not the cute little Piglet?!", but eventually I prefered Fear, because it speaks more into my life right now.

What do I mean with that?

For this you have to know that I am quite an anxious person. I fear a ton of things, because of not knowing how to do them or what people would think about me. Actually that's insane and maybe some of you think "You have fear? You took everything you had and moved to another continent, you are brave!". And yes, that's also true. Being brave is part of me and when I want something badly I have a lot of courage. But Fear is still my everyday companion. And it's not that it is bad, it's legitim. Fear wants to protect me from the unknown, from the dangerous things that might happen. And it makes sense to listen to Fear, but not for everything new and unknown out there. If I listen to everything Fear warns me from, I am so restricted that I can't live and grow as a person.

For example I was very afraid from those two classes at the Chin family. I wondered if I am able to teach so many kids at the same time and if the kids would enjoy what I planned for them. I also feared if they would be nice to me. On the other hand I knew that it would be a fantastic chance to grow my business and to try out something new. If I look back I have 15 years of working with kids, teenagers and young adults. Did I forget all about that? Of course I remember with my brain, but somehow my emotions don't. It seems if I haven't done something in a long time, Fear kicks in and I am paralyzed. At least that what is happening to me. Every person is different, but I seem to react that kind of way. Of course I can do it and I also know how it's done. The only thing is to overcome Fear and just do it again and remind my emotions that I know how it's done.

And I did. The kids had a great time and the parents were happy and all of that made me very happy and grateful. And I knew they wouldn't have hired me again if they didn't like my work the last time. So in the end I am glad that I didn't listen to Fear, but that I took courage and tried my best and God helped me in the process. And yes, it was challenging to figure out how a Tsum Tsum card could look and how very young kids could do it themselves and have a enjoyable result in the end and not just a hot mess. Stepping out of my comfort zone isn't comfortabel, but very unconfortabel! But if I wouldn't step outside that zone I wouldn't be able to grow. Usually I do flower cards, but not Winnie Pooh cards. Well, but now I can do both and that's a pretty cool thing. It might seem small to you, but for me it's a big deal. You have no idea how big my Fear has grown in the past years. It's not just that fuzzy sweet palm size purple fluffy ball, but a way bigger thing with quite a loud voice.

When I had to fly back to NYC in January I had to do it all by myself, because Daniel had flown back 1.5 weeks earlier. And the very thought of flying back all by myself was scary. That's so crazy, because when I was 21 I went to live and work in Argentina for a year and then later I went to Chicago and South Dakota all by myself. How was it then that I was scared to just fly back home alone? The years before I've met Daniel I did it as well and that was just five years ago. Again it seems that in my nervous system Fear is getting bigger and bigger when I don't do something on a regular bases - like teaching kids, flying alone etc. So the answer for me is to remember what I used to be capable of and be brave and do it again. I don't want to let Fear restrict my whole life. I want to grow. I don't want to stand still and let Fear overpower me.

Do you want to know what Fear is warning me right now? To put my self out there and open an Online Store. Fear is screaming "Noooo, don't do it, what if nobody wants to buy your products?". But I want to do it anyways. I take my little purple friend on the hand (he's actually sitting on my desk as a reminder) and take a jump. I know that he just means it well with me, but I am the grown up and not he. Fear is overly cautious in my case. It's my life and I want that growth is part of my life.

So dear friends, be sure that I will let you know when the moment is here to open the doors of my Online Store. :-)

Is there something in your life in which Fear holds you back? Please take some time and reflect if Fear really is protecting you from something harmfull or if it's actually stopping you from a new step of growth. And if it's the latter shush Fear and take this step! If I am able to do it, you can do it too! Feel free to share in the comments what is your next step. Share it and put your self out there. Be brave and trust that God will be also in the area that isn't your comfort zone. My next steps are to learn more about Online Stores and to deal with the frustration it brings to step outside my comfort zone.

Sending you a big hug and many blessings!


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