Are you making a difference with your life – or playing a patch of grass?

Over the weekend, Jeff and I got to see a live theater performance “The Lion King.” The cast was spectacular and the outrageous effects made me feel like I was actually experiencing scenes from the animated movie coming to life!

And then “they” took the stage… On several occasions during the performance, perfectly choreographed dancers took the stage “dressed” as patches of grass.

As I watched those graceful dancers create an incredible illusion of being
somewhere deep in the grasslands, I wondered “When asked about their current career path, do these professionals proudly exclaim that they are part of the Lion King International Musical or do they merely reply “I’m play a patch of grass.”?

Without each one of these dancers the stage would not be magically transformed into the captivating musical that is “The Lion King.”

In the same manner, God chooses to use each one of us to bring about spectacular change and powerful transformation in the lives of His children. It sometimes may feel like the part we play in kingdom business is the equivalent to a patch of grass. What we don’t always realize is that no matter how big or small our part may seem, God is the Author and Finisher of all things. He decided that every part matters.
So… are you playing a patch of grass or providing the necessary backdrop for God’s grace to grow in the hearts of those around you?

“I planted the seed in your heart and Apollo watered it but it was God who made it grow.” 1 Cor. 3:6

What do you value most?

No – wait. I’m not asking what you think you should value or what you’d like to value. (Go ahead… read the question again. I’ll wait. 😎)
The easiest way to figure out where our priorities are is to check two things – your bank statement & your calendar. How we spend our hard-earned money and our limited time speaks volumes of what we value.
A few years ago I caught the “minimalist” vision from Joshua Becker, a well known author & blogger. I’d heard of the concept before but the reason it stuck with me this time is because of how Mr. Becker applied it to his life. He said that as a family with small kids, they were deciding what their version of minimalism would look like for them.

I liked the concept of tailoring this concept of “freedom from owning too much stuff” to me rather than trying to mold myself to a certain pre-made standard. I’ve gotta be meee! 🙃
Now, please don’t imagine my life as bare white walls and one fork per person because that’s never gonna happen, my friend. 😛 We HAVE paired down our possessions considerably and choose a lot more wisely when we shop.
I’ve decided what I value:

– choosing how I spend my time

– making a difference for Jesus

– inspiring others to walk out God’s calling in their lives
How I spend my resources is telling of how I’m choosing to spend my life. It all comes down to our individual bottom line. Please don’t compare your journey to others. Only you know what you value and only you can decide the choices (and sacrifices) you’ll make in order to honor those values.
Keep at it & don’t waiver. It’s not always easy but it’s always worth it. ❤️
“Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Luke 12:34

God loves butts!

I love bread butts! I’ve been staying at a hotel while on a work assignment and, every time I go to the breakfast area, I find little bread butts that have been cut away and left by other patrons on the bread-cutting board.


My immediate reaction is “YESSS! These are for me!”🎉

I’m not sure whether it’s proper etiquette or simple preference that causes folks to cut off the MOST delicious part of the bread and leave it there but – that concept got me thinking… God loves butts too! 😍
God seeks out the left behind, the discarded, the ones others have given up on, those of us who don’t quite measure up to the standards of others… He welcomes us as HIS and says “YESSS! You’re mine!” 🎉


Feeling like a bread butt – rejected or out of place? Maybe you’re not quite measuring up to the expectation of those around you.


Great news! You’ve always been God’s FIRST choice!

He looks at you and says “Yes! I chose YOU! You’re my FIRST choice, not an afterthought. I have a plan for your life and it’s much more amazing than you could ever imagine!” (Ephesians 3:20 – mercy paraphrase 😍)

Father’s day status: It’s Complicated

Father/daughter relationships aren’t always easy…

I don’t know what it feels like to be “daddy’s little girl.” My relationship with my dad has never been like that.
I thank God, though – for my father. I’m thankful I exist & I know that my relationship with my dad has helped shape me into the person I am today.

Sometimes we hold our parents to impossible standards and when they fail to measure up, we crumble in disillusionment.

Here’s the thing: my dad doesn’t have a perfect daughter, either.

So, most of all, today I celebrate my Heavenly Father who IS perfect AND forgiving – and whose unconditional love changes us daily. ❤

This prayer is the perfect outcry of my heart. I love you, dad – and I want to thank you today because I know you’ve tried your best to love me too. 💗

When there’s dirt in your water pitcher…

When you fill a pitcher with water then pour that liquid into a cup – what are you expecting to drink?
No, it’s not a trick question. 😊

It’s something I ask myself when I’m put in a negative situation and I want to react – well – negatively. 😎

This week I’ve had several opportunities to react in a less than godly fashion. These challenges have given me a chance to pause and notice what my initial reactions have been. (Not pretty) 🙄

They’ve served to remind me my vessel is not filled to overflowing with the right stuff!
Thankfully, they’ve also drawn me closer to Christ as I realize I need MORE of HIM and so much less of me. I want the overflow of my heart to be JESUS so that my words (and reactions) are drenched in God’s love. ❤

How about you, my friend? How’s your week been? What have you been pouring in to yourself? What’s been flowing out?
His mercies are new every morning and His grace is overflowing in us! Let’s draw closer to our Heavenly Father and allow Him to do His work in us! 👑

There IS a battle but it’s not mine…

Recently, something happened to me that hadn’t happened in ages – I was made fun of, ridiculed, and judged because I’m overweight.
I gotta tell you, it caught me by surprise. I’m a whole bunch of years old! I would completely understand if someone doesn’t like me because of a personality trait – too fabulous, maybe? 😎 – but, because of my size?
It’s no less ridiculous than not liking someone because of their race, their accent, or how they dress. There’s no telling how many amazing friendships are missed because someone is letting silliness separate them from fabulous people.


As tempted as I am to dismiss this individual from my life, I’ve chosen to walk out my faith, live out God’s grace, and let the Holy Spirit fight my battles. It’s not easy but it will be worth it.
What about you? What or who is the enemy using to make you feel “less than” this week? Don’t fall into that trap. You’re a child of the King! We haven’t attained perfection but we’re relying on God to see us through and fight for us when we’re too weak to stand.


Let’s pray for each other! God’s grace is sufficient! He loves us madly, deeply, and completely! What more could we ever need? ❤

It’s either Him or me…

I’m really feeling it now…The anxiety that wells up within me when I’m THIS far out of my comfort zone.
What’s rattling my confidence this much? I’m scheduled to speak to a women’s group tonight – in Spanish.
So, what’s the big deal, right?

I speak in front of groups for a living AND as part of my Christian calling. Spanish is technically my first language. Why the freak out, you may be asking. Good question. 😊
Here’s the deal: several months ago I was contracted by a Latin American firm to create training curriculum and train a new hire class for their call center. It was all to be done in Spanish.

I was interviewed (in Spanish) and got the assignment. I successfully created the curriculum and facilitated the new hire class as agreed.

On the day I completed that assignment, the director sat me down and said he had a second training assignment (to conduct leadership training to the executive team) but he could not offer me that opportunity because my command of the Spanish language was not sophisticated enough. He proceeded to explain that he couldn’t risk the embarrassment if I fumbled over words or couldn’t properly express myself.
Basically, I completely allowed his evaluation of me to make me feel “less than” when it came to my Spanish speaking skills.

And then, as God would have it, I was contacted by a fabulous sister in Christ who said I’d been recommended as a speaker and she wanted to book me to speak to their women’s group – in Spanish. 😱
I agreed. The date was set. I prepared my talk. And I waited for God to miraculously deliver me from the overwhelming dread I felt. Still waiting. 😇
I’m choosing to share this NOW (before tonight’s event has taken place) because I want you to experience this with me. We all have anxiety, insecurity, and self doubt. We all wonder if God will actually show up and deliver us from (fill in the blank.)
The awesome point for me is this:

Even if I fall flat on my face tonight, stumbling on every word. Even if I freeze and have to ask the audience how to say “no” in Spanish (you’ll get that in a minute 😎)

GOD WILL BE GLORIFIED because IT’S NOT ABOUT me.
Tonight will be amazing because God has a grace filled message for His girls and His Word will be my words. (Here comes that peace, in Jesus’ name. ✅)
Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” Exodus 4:10-12

Hanging out in the hallway…

Not long ago I was chatting with a friend, expressing my frustration (whining) about a “perfect” opportunity that fell apart at the last minute.I was explaining how it seemed ideal and just like what I’d been praying for.

She then expertly landed what I lovingly call the Christian one-two punch: “God’s got something better for you. When He closes one door, He opens another.”

My first instinct was to answer with something from my Grumpy Cat repertoire.

 

The only problem with that is… I know she’s right. God’s plan for me is always better than whatever “perfection” I can conjure up. The closing and opening of doors is not only best when left in God’s hands but in His timing.
I’ve tried to pry open some fabulous doors in the past but all that netted me was a snarky attitude and a bad manicure. Not recommended. 🙄
So what do you do when you’re “between opportunities?” When a door has slammed shut but no other knobs are turning in your favor?

Well, THAT I’ve learned, is one of God’s favorite times with us. That’s when He and I get to sit in the hallway of my life and sort through all my nonsense and dig into that character building stuff He loves so much. 😎

Are you hanging out in the hallway right now too? I can tell you from experience this too shall pass. One day soon another door will open and a new season will begin. Don’t miss the RIGHT NOW blessing, though. Hang out with your Savior. Sift, sort, and celebrate the awesome fact that the One who made you is also making a way for you. ❤

A life worth imitating…

When I first began speaking at women’s events, I felt the need to be less like me and more like “a woman in ministry” because acting like ordinary me would be so very, well – ordinary.

I tried to imitate some of my favorite speakers and quickly realized two things:
1) I was a really poor imitator of these fabulous women and
2) trying to be like someone else is exhausting!

My innate laziness finally won out and I just started being me – Whew! That took much less effort!

Interestingly enough, I started having much more fun as I ministered to God’s girls. I’m the right person for the job because it’s what I’ve been called to do.

You may not be called to be a speaker but God HAS called you. Your role in God’s kingdom is unique and fabulous in that, although many other people may have a ministry similar to yours, only you can put your YOUness into the work to which God has called you.

Let’s face it, the only One worth imitating is Christ! We cannot go wrong there! 🙂

“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”
Ephesians 5:1,2 NLT

20140324-194922.jpg</a

>

Time for a Checkup?

There’s a popular saying – you don’t know what you have until you lose it. I’m feeling that way tonight – about my thyroid.

I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer several years ago. After complete removal of the gland and massive doses of radiation, I was cancer free.

That was supposed to be the good news, and it certainly was. 😊

What I didn’t know was the ongoing battle that lay before me as the doctors tried to arrive at the correct dosage of medication to simulate the unbelievably immense job the thyroid gland does at keeping one’s body functioning well.

After a year and a half & 70 pounds gained, I was told my TSH levels were “normal” but I’d have to get them checked often to ensure they stayed that way.

I quickly learned to identify when my levels were faltering. Hypothyroid (low thyroid levels) symptoms often resemble symptoms of depression. Things like lethargy, desire to isolate, not thinking straight, a “sinking” feeling, etc. become quite familiar.

A few weeks ago the fog began to descend and I knew it was time for a checkup. Sure enough – time to increase my meds.
I’ve been on my new levels for a week now and I’m already feeling a bit better. The fog has begun to lift. 😊

So… What does this have to do with our lives as God’s girls? I’m glad you asked.

Your struggle may not be cancer or it’s after effects. Your stuff may be a soured relationship, mourning a loss, feeling alone, or something else completely.
Whatever you are dealing with, if you’re not checking the levels of God’s influence in your life, your stuff may threaten to overtake you.

The important thing is to stay accountable. Have people around you who can recognize your “symptoms” and help get you reconnected to your Heavenly Father. Our God is able to help us overcome our “stuff.” His grace is sufficient! ❤️

P.S. God created the people who created medication so if you, like I, need medication in order to stay well, let’s praise God for that too! 😊

“I lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip– he who watches over you will not slumber.” Psalm 121:1-3

IMG_4201-1.JPG