About the Author

I'm the mother of two little girls, the wife of an amazing husband who'd rather play the guitar than anything else and I love to write. I spend my weekends watching my daughters ride horses and play soccer. I blog daily and my greatest wish is to see women healed...

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  1. “Courage is sometimes just walking right up to a new situation and simply being there”… YES!!! This is real-life for me right now and was so (in)couraging! Loving this site…

  2. Feel like I jump off that board everyday. Sometimes, I am still swinging from the edge of the board, holding on with one hand, hollering ‘nasties’ at everyone within earshot and someone needs to go stand on my white knuckled fingers to get me in the water.
    So why are people confused when folks see my dazed look when they declare that I’m some kind of hero for mothering ten children. Like you said …. I just show up.
    But each day, my faith in my swimming coach [that be God] grows.

  3. i wil have to remember that 90% tip… just being there. sometimes it is hard to even do that. but i will think of the One treading water…waiting for me. thank you!

  4. “just showing up” and “mama-courage”… I like how you include that in having courage. And that someone is waiting for us, treading water for us. Wow. Thanks for this early morning inspiration.

  5. Sarah-This was so beautifully written! I have been dealing a lot with fears and anxiety and this piece just spoke straight to my heart. Thank you!

  6. Wow, this post was beautiful! What I loved is that I was your daughter too…. …6 years old and standing on the edge of the diving board. 🙂 It just made me smile knowing that I wasn’t the only one! 🙂
    Thanks for giving a dose of encouragement Sarah!

  7. hmmm, beautiful.
    tugs at my heart, as i have been pushed off the diving board in these past few days, called to be courageous, called into waters i don’t know that i can swim, but my Father is there treading water, and He can and will carry me.

  8. Courage is waking up in the morning and resolving to try to clean my house and not yell at my girls when they destroy their made beds and organized bookshelves.
    ——————
    Substitute “girls” for “boys” and THIS IS MY LIFE!
    Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  9. Thank you Sarah for this lovely reminder. I could not agree with you more. Sometimes courage is just showing up. By simply being there for our husbands and children, for our co-workers or our church community, to listen to encourage, to be the face of Christ to them on a particular day is what Our Creator asks of us. He will not forsake or abandon us on this journey. He will not let us drown. Ever.

  10. Oh you have no idea how desperately I needed to read this. Especially the line “Allowing God to restore my marriage…took courage”.
    I’m definitely in the ‘kicking and screaming, arching my back, panic on my face’ mode.
    Thank you so much for (in)couraging.me!

  11. I feel like I’ve teetered on the edge of that diving board many many times in life … thank you for putting into words how it feels and how courageous it really is to even be standing on the diving board with screams of terror — so rarely am I the one bravely jumping off!
    blessings!
    Melissa

  12. I can so totally relate. This brought back memories of when my now 18-year-old son took swimming lessons and would scream when I made him get in and do it. The final day he played and had a ball. The other mothers told me how mean they thought I was all week, but they saw in the end that he was just playing me. 😉

  13. I would have to substitute boys in this scenario and your post was just beautiful. Just what I needed to hear on a day when my heart was a bit discouraged. Thank you.

  14. It was so refreshing to hear words from a mamma like me, who would stand aside and let her children be thrown into the waters of the world sometimes. I still do. It isn’t always the popular thing it seems . But I see their growth, their sense of empowerment, and their faith in themselves and in the mystery of letting Will be done.
    I am learning it too, getting pushed out of comfort zones and holding my breath. Thank you.

  15. way to show up and rock, Sarah Markley!
    beautifully and artfully said.
    arching and screaming is something I relate to, LOL. I like her style!

  16. Thank you for this post. It contains such a great message.
    Though, I also have to ask, will your daughter now jump off the board willingly? 🙂

  17. I have been thinking about this post all morning, wondering if I should kick in my two cents. I have decided that I must, even if my comment never actually shows up. Courage develops best in an atmosphere of trust and safety, with a timing that can vary. I do not believe that the end justifies the means here. My heart aches for this child, little more than a baby, who was shown that she is not in charge of developing her own courage, in her own timing and in her own way. I understand that this little girl was never in physical danger. But to sacrifice my child’s spirit is a danger I cannot even fathom.

    • Carol, I’m reading this over a year later and thank you for having the courage to write your comments. How inappropriate to force a three year old child off a diving board. She will never forget and not in a positve light. The results of this inhuman exercise will not be a couragous child or adult. So many comments from adults praising the post – geez people you are adults…this was a three year old child. I see this as abusive and self-serving. Perhaps you should rethink your motivation behind this act. Wasn’t this more about you?

  18. This is beautifully written and so TRUE! I am finding out about more and more of God the more I time I have to raise my children and this is a perfect example. Sometimes He says- Jump- and we just don’t want to do it or are scared. And all He is asking us to do is show up.
    Love it!! Thanks so much!

  19. I needed that reminder about courage being sending my children off to school – my baby starts in a few weeks, and I’m scared silly. It’s not as if I haven’t been through this before with my two girls, but for some reason it just feels different this time. Maybe because this is the last first day of school. Whatever it is, I just need to remember to just be present, whether I want to or not!

  20. Sarah, I love the way your beautiful words make us feel like we are with you…because that’s totally where I’m wishing I could be right now, friend!

  21. I really needed to hear this! I have a hard time jumping off the board into the water of the unknown. It is a scary thing to do; even if there is someone waiting for me. But like you said, someone is there, he is waiting for me to take that leap of faith and jump in with both feet to follow him. 🙂
    Thank You!

  22. Isn’t that so true about courage. I have been there more times than I want to count. In fact, we are there in a different way right now. And, He is there, treading water and waiting to swim us to the side. Thank you for sharing.

  23. Well written, Sarah. Today it feels like I’ve been thrown in the deep end. It’s interesting how sometimes we are so focused on “falling” that we don’t acknowledge the Arms we fall into. Thank you.

  24. I love this post, I love your message and you put your thoughts and feelings together so beautifully.
    One of my favorite quotes is “Courage is fear standing still” and now I can relate to, “courage is sometimes just showing up.”

  25. absolutely loved this story. it came across my phone in the night and i couldn’t sleep so took time to read. brought back memories of childhood so vividly as well as familiar feelings of fear, anticipation, God’s assurance that he is there to catch us. “being present” is truly courageous and so uncommon these days. so many ways to try and escape what we fear. i ran across this quote yesterday and it spoke to me too:
    “courage does not always roar.
    sometimes courage is the quiet voice
    at the end of the day saying,
    “I will try again tomorrow.”
    Mary Anne Radmache

  26. We took the cheap swim lessons this year too! I wish we had a go off the diving board day.
    I jump off every day when I wake up and was blessed by your word picture of our Jesus treading water and never getting tired.

  27. Thank you all for your amazing comments! I’m floored, truly.
    Carol, if you would like to send me your email address, I’d love to respond to you personally.
    sarah at markleytech dot com

  28. miss sarah, i’m SO proud of you… i have yet to read something you write that i don’t leave being glad i took the time.

  29. Such a great post! I remember those days— I can see myself shivering on the side of pool… the smell of the chlorine, the rough, scratchy floor against my feet, my shivering, goose-bump arms wrapped tightly in a fresh cotton towel.
    I too had to to be pushed…
    but don’t we all sometimes?
    I am taking on leading a ladies bible study at my church next month…
    Nothing terrifies me more than standing in front of a crowd, speaking.
    But I will listen, and I will obey… the voice of Him who is calling me to do this very thing.
    I know that he will be there, waiting for me, treading water below me….
    and HE won’t let me drown!
    Thanks for the reminder!
    Love your sister in Christ,
    Traci

  30. Wow. Just what I needed! Courage might be just being there. Kicking, screaming, but being there.

  31. I feel like I’m standing on that diving board just trying to conquer my fears and take that first big leap! With God holding my hand, I can do it…
    Thanks for such a meaningful message today!