Learning to Trust Your Instincts {Guest Post}

Learning to Trust Your Instincts by Suzanne Woods Fisher @ AVirtuousWoman.org

Today I want to welcome guest poster and author Suzanne Woods Fisher. She’s written a new book titled The Revealing about a young woman who listens to her intuition despite the backlash she will face. Plus, at the end of this post you’ll find a great giveaway for some of Suzanne’s books! 

Trusting Your Instincts

Years ago, when I was in college, I interned on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. The basement apartment where I lived was just a few blocks from work—an easy walk though it wasn’t a safe neighborhood. Lots of burglaries and break-ins, even in broad daylight.

One day I noticed a homeless woman on the street corner. I smiled at her and she smiled back. The next day, we chatted. The day after that, late in the afternoon on my way home from work, I invited her in for a cup of tea.

Now, this wasn’t something I normally did. Ever. Not before and not since. I’m still not even sure why I invited her into the apartment. Something just seemed right about it. Gut instinct, perhaps?

Minutes after setting the teapot on the stovetop to boil, we heard a crash at the front door. Then another. Someone was trying to kick the door in. The homeless woman bolted from her chair and shouted at the man to stop—but he didn’t hear her. He kept kicking at the panels of the door. One panel started to crack. I was no help—I just stood by the window, watching something terrible unfold, frozen with fear.

Suddenly, the young man must have heard the woman’s shouts and realized there was someone in the apartment. He turned and ran up the steps—right into two policemen!

In the next instant, they were handcuffing him and jamming him into a squad car. In the chaos, the homeless woman slipped away. I never saw her again.

I know what you’re thinking. I know because I’ve had the same thought. Could the homeless woman have been an angel? She was at the right place at the right time. There and then gone. This side of Heaven, I’ll never know more about her identity. But I did know something about her felt very…safe. And that was one of those instances in life when I was so glad I trusted my instinct.

The topic of instinct is such a curious thing. It means different things to different people: intuition, premonition, listening to the heart, heeding the conscience, feeling vs. thinking, second sight, sixth sense, or just plain common sense. I think of it as Something More. To me, it’s a God-given resource for safety and well-being.

According to many researchers, intuition is far more real than it seems. Hope College social psychologist David Myers, PhD, found that the intuitive right brain is almost always “reading” surroundings, even when the conscious left brain is otherwise engaged. The body can register this information while the conscious mind remains unaware of what’s going on. Maybe that’s what was happening to me on that afternoon on the street corner when I invited the homeless woman in for a cup of tea. Something inside of me sensed that I shouldn’t be alone.

keep calm and trust your instincts

Listening to Your Instincts

Before I began the ‘Inn at Eagle Hill’ series, I happened to watch a segment on the Today show that showed how women needed to learn to listen to their instincts to keep them safe in social situations. The point of the study was that a woman’s first instinct in a dangerous situation was probably the right one. Unfortunately, trained to be polite, women tend to override or ignore that internal warning system.

The Revealing by Suzanne Woods Fisher

So I wanted to create a character who listened to her intuition and acted on it. That character ended up being Naomi King, an essential but background figure in the first two stories of the series (The Letters, The Calling)—which was just the way Naomi liked things. But in the third book, The Revealing, Naomi has the spotlight turned on her and we find she is a woman of great depth. Early in the story, she listens to her intuition despite the fact that doing so creates all kinds of conflict and turmoil—for her and for others. Standing up against societal pressure is never easy, especially when it involves those you love and respect. Even more difficult for a quiet and compliant Amish woman. But Naomi holds firm—and it turns out, her intuition is spot-on.

What Do You Think

What are your thoughts about intuition? Do you think of it as a hunch, a gut feeling, common sense, a learned experience, or Something More? Perhaps you’ve had a moment like mine . . . when you heeded your intuition. Or wished you had.

I think of intuition as that still, small voice that takes practice to listen to and to recognize (John 10:4). But what a difference it makes.

The Book

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of ‘The Stoney Ridge Seasons’ and ‘The Lancaster County Secrets’ series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is a Christy award finalist and a Carol award winner. Her interest in the Anabaptist culture can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne hosts the blog Amish Wisdom, and has a free downloadable app, Amish Wisdom, that delivers a daily Penn Dutch proverb to your smart phone. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can find Suzanne on-line at http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com. She loves to hear from readers!

Now About the Giveaway

Suzanne has generously offered two different giveaways to you guys! So, I’ll be picking TWO WINNERS on August 1 at 8 pm.

  1. A copy of The Revealing
  2. One complete set of the Series – The Letters, The Calling, The Revealing

How to Win

There are 5 ways to enter:

{PLEASE NOTE: leave a separate comment for each entry – i.e. go follow and come back to comment.}

  1. Like A Virtuous Woman on Facebook
  2. Follow me on Instagram
  3. Follow me on Twitter
  4. Like Suzanne Woods Fischer on Facebook
  5. Answer the question below.

Have you had a similar experience where you listened to your intuition or maybe wish you had?

Click Here to Purchase The Revealing by Suzanne Woods Fisher @ AVirtuousWoman.org

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.

She hath done what she could.

She hath done what she could... {Honoring Your Mother or Mother-In-Law} @ AVirtuousWoman.org

Honor Thy Mother

It’s been ten days since my 88 year old mother-in-law passed away.

My husband was the very best son ever. I truly mean that. If you’d known my mother-in-law, you’d know that she was a difficult person. In fact, difficult may not be a strong enough word. And yet my husband honored her. He took care of her day in and day out for the last 15 years even when all she did was complain or yell at him.

She loved the Lord with all of her heart. And I don’t want to disparage her in any way by talking about the truth. She made her peace with the Lord before she died and I know we  will see her again in Heaven. However, her love for the Lord did not translate in a sweet or joyful spirit.

She was a very broken person. I used to say the Lord gave me my mother-in-law to teach me patience. Because I am the nicest person you’ll ever meet, but you don’t mess with my husband and you don’t mess with my kids – because when it comes to them – I am a mama bear. I am very protective of my family.

And there were many times it was difficult for me to hear how she would talk to my husband when he was so faithful and always did his best.

And I had to learn patience.

Because I had to accept the fact that, aside from a true miracle of God, she was not going to change. I had to learn to love her despite her harsh exterior. I had to learn to love her not because she was lovable but because she was my husband’s mother.

Because I love my husband. And he loved his mother.

I hear women complain about their mother-in-laws often – and with the abundance of mother-in-law jokes apparently mother-in-laws are often hard to deal with.

Over the last 15 years I’ve had to take care of my mother-in-law {broken bones, illnesses, and more} often without a word of thanks and even more often just the opposite.

My husband had the worst childhood of anyone I have ever met. He never heard his mother say she loved him – not even as a child. He never received hugs or kisses – just a harsh hand. He was very often hungry – to the point of digging through trash or sneaking dog food out of the bins at the feed store. He had almost nothing and he was often forced to leave behind what little he did have when they would suddenly move.

He suffered every kind of abuse imaginable from abusive step-fathers and a harsh mother. And yet he stood by her, caring for her like Jesus would.

My husband often said to me, “She hath done what she could.”

Do you recognize the words of Jesus? That verse is found in Mark 14:8.

He spoke this of his mother, a broken woman whose life was harsh, mean, and often brutal. He said this of a woman who was abused by men and scrubbed toilets to put food on the table. He said this of a mother whose tender hand he never knew.

She hath done what she could.

In other words, she was a broken person in need of a loving savior. She was so broken that for whatever reason, even though she found the Lord and wanted to spread the gospel to everyone, she had places of her heart that were never opened to the healing touch of her Savior.

She did the best she could with what she had. She didn’t have the emotional resources to give more than she did. And my husband loved and honored his mother everyday of her life by doing what he could to make her life easier.

She hath done what she could.

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.

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