This is my mom. She’s an amazing woman. She’s smart, beautiful, wise, and witty. You can discover that about her right away. But there’s an unexpected quality about her that doesn’t show through in a first meeting or even a second. You have to know her well to see it clearly, and since you may not get the chance to meet her in real life, I’ll fill you in. She’s brave.I’m not talking about the kind of brave that parachutes out of airplanes or even stomps the occasional uninvited bug in the house. (Trust me–you don’t want to be on the phone with her if she spots a bug–she screams like her life in is danger.) I’m talking about the kind of brave it takes to face tough challenges & overcome. The first time I began to see this side of her materialize was when she decided to go to nursing school when I was in high school. She had always been a stay-at-home mom, but she knew, in order for her kids to go to college, there would need to be a second income. I remember well the challenge it was for her to go back to school. She was the oldest in her classes. We each had to take turns quizzing her for her upcoming tests & I learned more medical terminology than I ever cared to know. We had to ban her from discussing her adventures in clinicals at the dinner table in order to save our weak stomachs. It was a huge obstacle for her. But she did it. And she graduated as valedictorian of her class.She’s been brave in lots of other ways, too. Like accepting the reality of my dad having terminal cancer. And facing the fact that she may have to live without him someday. (You may have read about our story here.)And recently she has amazed me again by overcoming another fear. It was her fear of computers. I know it may sound silly. It wasn’t like the fear of something dangerous or life-threatening. It was the fear of something new. The fear of something you don’t understand. She wasn’t interested in learning anything about them because, deep down, I think she was afraid she just wouldn’t get it. But then my dad talked her into doing something brave. They bought each other an iPad just before Christmas. Within days, my brother had given them both a crash course & {wonder of wonders!}, she not only began to be able to use it, but she actually started a blog! And then, because she liked that idea so much, she started a second one! The first one is written especially for pastor’s wives or other women who serve in a ministry, but the information she shares can be helpful to all Christian women. It’s called Counsels of the Heart, and it may be of help to you.And the second one is perfect for teen girls. She’s calling it Letters to Abigail, and she’s writing it to my oldest daughter, but really for all 6 of her granddaughters as they grow & mature. It’s really good information written from her wealth of experience and knowledge.I’m sharing these with you because I know many of you will benefit from her writing. I hope you’ll follow her & share them with your friends as well.And I hope her bravery is an inspiration to you, too.The vision of my mother in an Apple store still makes me want to laugh a little. But, really it’s the perfect picture of brave. It’s right up there with those people who climb Everest. Sort of. What is that something you’re scared to face? Let 2012 be the year you’re going to be brave.