Riding Along…

Hey! So… I’m going to be doing something pretty random and incredible tomorrow. I’m going on a ride along!! In an ambulance. With a buddy that’s a paramedic. WHAT?? WHY?? Well, because I CAN. And because somehow a few months ago when we were all talking about our work and whatnot I somehow probably said something about […]

2017 is Tricky so Far.

I still turn around and surprise myself all the time. Time and again I realize that I have this assumption that I’m going to get to a point where I’ve got this ‘life’ thing all figured out. It’s both comical, annoying and not really surprising.

I figure things out, God shows me something new, I learn something about myself and so then I’m like; “Okay, I got this!,” only to turn around and realize I lost it again. Life just gets so tricky. Each new year or season comes with its new level or different type of responsibilities, challenges, and situations. And I didn’t really lose it, it’s just a lot of moving targets. We have a lot on our plates and a lot of areas of our life that we’re growing in (hopefully).

That’s why I know his word says in Matthew, Chapter 6;

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendorwas dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

We lose the focus. We forget that it’s about our relationship with our Heavenly Father instead of just running around trying to accomplish all these tasks. Yes, we have some incredibly awesome things to get done. We have been commissioned to do a great many, amazing things! But if doesn’t start with the Father’s Heart, then it’s all for nothing. If we start from the wrong place we’ll get proud, greedy, jealous, all sorts of ugly things will start growing in the garden of our hearts. If we allow ourselves the proximity of being in his heart, then when things don’t settle right or we begin to have the wrong focus we’ll discern it.

So I have some big things I want to accomplish this year. 2017 is supposed to be a year of release! Get launched out into those big beautiful dreams and soar! Except not really. Kind of. He put it on my heart in December that he’s established us here in this new home, freed us of our debts and burdens, to settle us here and be founded. In order to build a truly authentic and impactful business, ministry or whatever it may be, there has to be a strong foundation. 14650477_910032716763_8228108285412353503_n

So what is my foundation? What’s your foundation on?

Jesus. Seek first his kingdom. 

My aunt sent me a book this past fall before all this titled More. It’s about finding your calling and purpose. I’m all excited! Yes! I’m going to finally get this all figured out. I don’t have any more financial excuses anymore. I can run after this thing! Only to read the first half of the book and it’s all about starting with Jesus. Your relationship with Jesus. Honestly, I started getting a little annoyed after the third chapter of this. I’m like, I know, I know, I know. But the Lord was asking me, but do you really?

I’m like my kids. I start giving them directions to do something and they run off before they even hear everything I had to say! Here I am running off excitedly to do these great things and then I get annoyed and surprised that they’re not working. Like, what am I doing wrong? I know how to do this.

It was never about going at it alone. That’s what we try to do. Tell God, I got this. In truth, this was all about you getting to know your incredible Heavenly Father, and in doing so finding yourself. The entire journey is simply the arena that we get to experience all of the vast and infinite measures of his character of who he is. Where we get to grow and become who we were destined to be. It’s a beautiful, hard race.

Lord. Father, keep reminding me of what this is all about. Let me always seek your heart in all that I do. That your name and glory would be known. I can’t save the world. I can’t heal their hearts. But you can. Keep molding me and directing my steps. 

Become a Child Again.

Children should be loved, guided and protected. They have constant needs and it requires enormous amounts of energy and input to take care of them properly. They remind of us that daily with their constant needs and wants. Any parent or adult that’s around any child for more than 2 minutes knows this.

But what about you?

I know your desire is to be pursued and known. Maybe your job is super overwhelming right now, or you’re in the middle of raising little ones, and man it’s just tough right now. There just doesn’t ever seem to be enough sleep or time in the day. Maybe even more than that you’re feeling really slammed with life, feeling beat up or forgotten and no one seems to care. No one’s helping you. And it just doesn’t seem to be getting better.

Romans 8:35 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?”

Psalm 147:3  “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

Psalm 27:10  “For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in.”

John 14:18  “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

If you’ve grown up in situations where you had to hold your own, or fend for yourself either physically or emotionally, you learn quickly not to rely too much on others. Unfortunately this affects how we interact and trust others and since we don’t, well then people don’t get too close. They might mean well. We might mean well, and maybe you don’t even realize that you do it. We learned this behavior as a child and now as an adult FullSizeRenderwe struggle to figure out what the problem is. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I just be consistent?

The problem is you don’t understand who you are, who’s child you are. Sweetheart, you’re not an orphan. You’re a child of God and he absolutely adores and loves you. Maybe you know that in your head, but your heart just gets shook every time someone talks like that. I don’t hear God. I prayed to him to help me and he didn’t show up. I’m struggling and no one cares. 

Learning to become something you’ve never experienced is this intense striving against yourself, against everything you’ve known, thought, or acted upon. Habits can be extremely tough to brake because it’s not just the behavior, it’s the mindset that’s been wired and created over a lifetime. We live out of the reality of our minds. Don’t you ever wish we could just download stuff into our brains like in the Matrix? No, just me?

1 Peter 1:3-7Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

I know this is a lot of text, but I pray that you would ask the Holy Spirit to move your heart, to show you what God desperately wants you to see and understand…

1 Peter 1:13-19; “13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”

2 Corinthians 3:18But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”

me&adambikesGod says you are His. It’s okay to be needy. You get to rely on him and surrender all that you are; the good, the bad, the crazy, and lay it all in his hands. He’s going to transform you and your future. He’s going to build you up and breath new strength and life in you. It’s going to be great, I promise you. He’s preparing you for greatness. To shine your light so bright in this dark world. You’re going to learn how to be a child all over again.

You’re going to learn how to be his kid…

You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
and I will stand and sing
I am a child of God

Growing in the Dark.

God has created you with amazing treasures that he’s already instilled in you. Like the seed, it has all of the nutrients that God designed it with to grow and become this amazing tree or flower. In the darkness, hidden, when no one else can see what’s going on God will water it and give life to it and the seed breaks open and grows. However, there’s a bit of time before the outside world even sees it shoot up from the earth.

I don’t know what darkness you’re coming from, or still in the middle of. I know you may be desperately trying to find your way out. I’m sure you’re asking a lot of tough questions like;  Why would you let this happen to me, God?   What’s going to happen to me?  Will this ever stop?  Sweetheart, God doesn’t hate you and he isn’t beating on you because you’ve failed. You are caught in a huge battle going on and whether you realize it or not we’re a part of it, caught in the crossfire, and we are the precious ones being fought for.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

2 Corinthians 10 “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”

Please listen to me. There are a great many things we don’t understand or aren’t seeing clearly right now. When we have full faith and believe God in all that he says we are, and all that he is, we start seeing life and what’s going on around us clearly. You are being seedgrowingpursued, whether you see it or not. You are loved more than you will ever comprehend, even though you are in the midst of great despair and darkness right now. You have great value and power given to you by God through Jesus Christ because of his death and resurrection. God wants to be close to you and shine his glory through your life. We get to hold on to his word because it will stand and stay true while everything else falls away. You get to hold on to victory but we have to fight for it to. We get to choose what we’re going to agree with. I know it’s so hard. Keep pushing through it. 

Baby, hold on. God isn’t done with you. He is mighty and great. He is holy and righteous. His love and jealousy for you burns so deep. Allow his living water to fill you. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you and fill you, to strengthen you and to equip you. You are going to grow. You are going to break through that earth and bloom so beautifully. It will happen. Stand on God’s word. Cry out to him in the midst of your great pain. He will come to your rescue and you will see mountains crumble under his truth and word.

Where’s the Adultier Adult?

I’ve joked a couple times this week that after 30-some years I finally feel like I’m #adulting well. Somewhere along the line in the last two years I feel as though I finally hit a good stride in who I am as myself; a wife, a mom, and how my giftings are lining up with my work and ministry. A very dear friend of ours says that the epitome of adulting is
wholetmeadultIdentity, Decision, and Ownership. So know who you are, make intentional decisions based on that identity and then take ownership of it all.  After reading a stack of books expanding entrepreneurship, business development, team building, leadership, spiritual
growth, and marriage… I’ve found that it all pretty much lines up with those three key ideas right there.

So how did I decide or find out who I was? That’s a lifetime achievement guys. It’s a process but I do believe there are basic fundamentals that we can build the initial foundation on first and then begin to see this beautiful thing emerge and build over our lifetime. How do I make the right decisions regarding business, work, marriage and relationships? And how in the world do I take full ownership of something (like a dream or vision) when I haven’t even figured out all of the pieces yet? Some days it seems like a big huge gray area and I’m just making my best guesses. That’s legitimate.

So I’m going to start with this. If you’re building a house you need a blue print and even more so you need to know the builder. God has created you for a purpose. First to love you and restore you back to himself. He’s going to take you on a marvelous journey to find him and in doing so find who you were always meant to be. He breathes new life into you and makes you come alive in a way you never knew possible. So in finding our identity we look to our heavenly father. We are God’s children; he calls us son, he calls us daughter.

1 John 3:1 “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”

Matthew 3:17 “and behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.'”

God gives us the freewill to decide whether or not we believe or agree with what He has said about us. We get to decide what ‘truth’ we want to operate from. His Word (the Bible) ashsleepingwhilereadingor what the world tells us? Who do you want to be? What kind of impact and legacy do you want to leave your family, your community, the world? Ask yourself the tough questions, work that out, and commit to it. Fight for it and contend for it. Own it. Wake up every day and say Here I am Lord, choose me! I don’t know how today is going to go, but I’ve made the best preparations that I can and I trust that you will guide me and lead me in all your great love, grace, and wisdom.  In and through our lives he wants to display his love and glory to the world.

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

2 Corinthians 5:20 “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

I don’t have all of the answers and I don’t feel fireproof every day, but I have never felt so at peace with where I’m at in life and who I am, as when I’m agreeing with what God says about me and running after him and the dreams he’s put inside of me. That pretty much sums up how my life has been so completely different these past two years and it all alotofchangesincestarted with me. My heart and head started lining up with what God said about me and his plans for me. I decided that I agreed with my identity in Christ even though my life and heart didn’t feel like it was matching up. I just decided I was all in and believed it because if I didn’t I had nothing else. Then I started making all of the crazy decisions we felt down in our hearts we were putting off because they seemed counter-intuitive to
everyone else. Things started falling into place. I forgave the folks I had been putting off forgiving.

So adulting isn’t so much as having it all perfect yet, or faking it well, but rather being okay with identifying parts of your life that need adjustments or growth and doing it instead of avoiding it. I choose to continue to push through the hard stuff. We get to either grow or escape remember? I choose to grow.

And you know what? The best part is that at the end of the day if I’m honest with the attempts I made and the room for growth I need, I gain the humility required to allow God to sort all the rest of it out. He’s big enough for your crazy train. He’s big enough, gracious enough, and wise enough to lead me. Are you brave enough to listen?

Processing Mother’s Day

Perspective changes everything and how we process and experience life is very different based on the seasons we each go through. I have found myself extremely intrigued by my experience of loss and grief now and how my perspective on life seems more accurate and far more extensive than it did before. I look at older generations that have lived 70, 80 years and some still have such a depth of joy and life in them despite having seen many loved ones go or have gone through very difficult times.

Not that I wish all of us to go through suffering but I do believe it adds a depth of character and of life if we allow it to. There’s a rather interesting book called Irregular People written back in 1989 and it talks about how we as people have two options when we go through conflict; process through it or avoid it. Those that avoid it or escape through addictions for example stop maturing. Those that allow themselves to be shaped and molded and process through those hard experiences find growth.

1 Peter 4:12, “12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.”

I spent so much time asking God, “But why do we need to experience this hard stuff? It’s not your will is it?” And yet here we all are with free will. One freely seeking to help his community heal and another freely destroying his family with abuse and neglect. It’s just nuts. Other times I’ve just been so confused by the hardships that came my way.

Now read John 17:6-26. It’s Jesus’ prayer for his disciplines and all of us that would come after and believe in him. He prays protection over us, maturity, that we would know him and know the Father but all connected to the fact that we would face trials, hard times and suffering. Jesus was the ultimate example of maturity and he wholeheartedly accepted suffering and trials.

momatthelake.jpg

The other week three families I know in our surrounding communities lost someone they loved. Two of them were young adults and the news came out of nowhere; one on Mother’s Day itself. I pray comfort over those families as they begin to process the very different future they had intended, one day at a time. At the same time I find myself hesitant to wish my own mom an excited Happy Mother’s Day! as she experiences her 2nd Mother’s Day without her first baby boy. She texted me a lovely and wonderful note a couple days before and then didn’t respond to my text I sent her on Mother’s Day itself. I imagine they escaped to the lake house for the weekend and she turned off the mobile devices to get away from life for a little. She’s an amazing woman, still working through trust and love with God, like many the rest of us. She has an incredible story but not mine to share today.

I went to one of the viewings. For the friend that lost his brother. I just couldn’t not go. It’s hard typing this now without suppressing the urge to cry. I feel both at peace in my soul and yet an arresting capacity to feel. For the first time in months I wept after leaving. I sat in my car for a few minutes afterwards and just sobbed. The kind where you can’t breath in between bursts of 8thgradegradtears. I almost canceled the appointment I had after. And with both constant experiences of joy and sorrow happening around me I can’t believe the fullness I have to really feel life. Life shouldn’t be all emotions but they’re so much of what God equipped us with. Because I have been in such low places and have allowed God to heal, restore and work through me I haven’t hidden from trials. Maybe momentarily but not permanently. I have a higher level of emotional intelligence, a higher ability to connect and emote with people, and a much greater effectiveness in impacting the world around me. I want to continue to gain a wider and deeper understanding of God’s heart and character. That’s not going to come in this world without the ups and downs.

Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Romans 8:34, “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”

And did you catch that? Your perfect Lord and Savior is contending for you right now. And by my watch he’s not giving up the fight for you or me, any time soon…

Good Friday

Jesus gave us an incredible example in his life, ministry, his leadership and death. He washed the disciples feet during his final hours, knowing he was leaving soon to suffer. He commands us to love one another, that the world would see who we are through our acts of love. What an incredible example and call.
It takes great courage to step out and love. To be who we were called to be, especially when we know if we stick our necks out there for all to see, at some point they’ll see how fallible we are as well.
But that my friends, is where character, integrity, authenticity, and credibility is produced. When under pressure, things don’t always go right, or you don’t always handle things right, and you seek to restore, grow, and make right.
Trust God. Seek his heart. The joy of the Lord is our strength. He’s blessed us to be a blessing. Abide in him. This isn’t all on you. You have an amazing Heavenly Father that goes before you, covers you, loves you. He’s wise, faithful, and steadfast. Let us stop hiding from him, making excuses as to why we don’t ask him for help.
We got a lot of amazing work to do, and abundant life to live.
Let’s do this.

goodfriday