Thursday, April 20, 2017

Swallow Your Fear

This is Sydney. She is five. Yesterday I was sitting in the car with her while her mother was shopping. We were having a very lively five-year-old discussion when out of the blue, she said, “Nana, did you know you can swallow your fear?”

Me: “Swallow your fear? How?”

I watched as she inhaled, expanded her chest very wide, and exhaled very dramatically.

Then Sydney said, “That’s how you do it. You take in a big huge breath, swallow, and blow out the fire.”

Me: “Fire?”

She gave me that look. It’s the look that glares, “You are the adult and should know all these things”.

When I didn’t respond, she shrugged her shoulders and explained, “The fire is fear.”

Me: “Who told you all this?”

Scrunching up her lips in total exasperation, she announced, “Mommy tells me to breathe when I get upset. When I do, I swallow my tears. Then I feel better. So when I get scared at night, I breathe in the fear, swallow it, and then I blow the fire out. That’s the scary part of fear. Then it’s all gone.”

Sydney immediately diverted her attention away from me and on to something else. I sat back and pondered her words. Yep, leave it to a kid to put you in your place.

Swallow your tears. Swallow your fears.

The Bible tells us, “For God gave us not the spirit of fearfulness, but of power and love and discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

I think my granddaughter gave Nana a little lesson here.

Sydney listened to her mom. Her mom lovingly demonstrated to Sydney how to control (discipline) her emotions. She used that strategy to control her fear.

Maybe Sydney’s strategy has some credence. Breathe in deep, swallow the fear, and blow it out. When we blow fear out we get rid of it. It no longer consumes us.  

I turned around and got Sydney’s attention. “Do you think God grabs that fear when you blow it out?”

Shrugging her shoulders again she declared, “Who else would get it?”

Sometimes it pays to hang around children. You never know what good advice you’ll get.

God bless you


  1. Love that little girl and for all the crazy stories she tells and things she says, sometimes she speaks jewels of wisdom. Out of the mouth of babes, right?! I love this. Great post!!

  2. Out of the mouth of babes. Angela, such a wonderful story. If only as adults we could have the faith of a child. You know, the thing is, we can. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    1. Thank you so much for reading Sydney's philosophy on fear! Kids! I love them! And I listen. God bless you!

  3. I don't think Sydney gave you a "little" lesson, I think she gave us ALL a BIG lesson. I agree with you, it's great to hang out with kids because they teach us in such an innocent and loving way! Thanks SO much for sharing.

    1. It was a very big lesson. She does that a lot. I think she's going to be a philosopher. Sydney is a mess, that's for sure! God bless you! Hugs and prayers, Angela

  4. Your precious Sydney can teach us all! Jesus wants us to be just like her! What an angel she is!

    1. She is such a royal mess. Every day I'm with her is a new experience. I shake my head a lot, but more than not, I'm listening to her. She's an intriguing little girl. God bless you! Hugs and prayers, Angela

  5. That child is demonstrating what she is learning from the influences around her! Great job Sydney for teaching us a valuable technique that can help us all!