Monday, August 25, 2014
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Do you know who you are? You are the child of God - chosen, freed, forgiven, equipped. You have gifts, which have been given to you by your father in Heaven, so that you may run in his race. He's got the path set, the course laid out and in the end there is victory. All you have to do is move.
"God's story changes every one of our stories, every one of our lives."
- Jennie Allen
You were made for more. It's time to accept it. There are people and places who need you. There are passions, birthed through suffering, that are unique burdens for you. Why? The mission is clear. God wants you to move with him. He wants your story to be aligned with his.
God is alive. He is active. So, we must be too. Although we may not be able to see the finish line, or even the next mile marker, we must step out with confidence, as if what we believe about God - his faithfulness and unfailing love - is true. Because, God always gives us enough to sustain us for this day, for this task, and this moment of obedience. He wants us to be dependent on him, every day. And, tomorrow he will provide again.
My friends, I believe you will do great things. I am excited to see what God had planned for you and for me. If you do not yet know what it is, ask him. He will show you. It may not be today or tomorrow but the answer will come. In the meantime, explore your passions, embrace your people and places, continue to dream, and...do something.
"God doesn't change the world through grand visions; he changes the world through surrendered people hungry for his glory."
- Jennie Allen, Restless
Thursday, July 31, 2014
But, that's not life, at least the way I see it. And, that's not me. I'm a storyteller. I write my story with the hope that other people will be inspired to create their own how-to's. If you can connect with my stories and learn from them, if they make an impact in even one moment of your day, then I will be satisfied.
Whether I like it or not - and most of the time I don't - fear is a part of my story. As a result, I read a lot about what other people think about fear and their perception of bravery.
One of my recent favorites is Let's All Be Brave, by Annie Downs. I finished this book within 24-hours and was so sad for it to come to an end. Although there are many differences between Annie and me - she is single, younger, lives in Nashville, was a missionary in Scotland, and has published several books - she, like me, understands the importance of being brave, of saying yes even when you're scared and of saying no despite the fear you might be missing that one important thing.
"You want to change the world? Be brave. Be you.
Don't try to be someone else or do someone else's brave thing." (p.175)
"Okay, E. Even if you feel like you're going to throw up right before the play starts, don't worry. Once you step onto the stage, it's like you went through a portal...because you won't be nervous anymore. It's great."
I'm not sure where the word "portal" came from. (Possibly The Lego Movie, but the lessons we have learned from that movie I will save for another post.) However, her perspective is right on. Once you step onto the stage, once you send that email or take that first step, you feel brave. And, that changes everything. It doesn't mean the fear is gone. It just means that you've done something about it, instead of letting it paralyze you.
"That's why we have to start. It's why we have to go first. It's why we have to be brave -
so that others will be inspired to be brave as well.
...the real joy is when we get to be the ones who lead others to a new level of bravery." (p.171)
There are several things, personally and professionally, that I desire related to telling my story:
I want to get my book published.
I want to tell my story in front of people.
I want to be quoted.
I want others to learn how to be brave from me.
At times all of these things seem selfish to me. That's when I hesitate. When I wonder if I should pursue any of these things. I get anxious and overwhelmed by these thoughts, wondering if any of these are really in God's will for my life or if I'm just searching for recognition. If you've known me for any length of time, you know that I tend not to be selfish and the last thing I want is to be noticed or applauded. It's just embarrassing. But, writing my wants here, seeing them in print, still makes me wonder.
"The road to courage is lit by God's wisdom" (p.120)
It is only when I am still and listen to the only voice that truly matters that I am able to hear the truth. God's voice says,
Tell the story I have given you.
Encourage and disciple other women with your voice.
Speak and write truth, so that others may know me.
GOD made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I cleaned up my act, he gave me a fresh start.
Indeed, I’ve kept alert to GOD ’s ways; I haven’t taken God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works, I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step.
GOD rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.
- 2 Samuel 22:21-25 (MSG) -