Monday, October 15, 2018

Moving Past Good Intentions

We can dream and we can plan and we can hope for the best. 
But everyone knows what road is paved with good intentions.

Business books and self-help books are my favorites (well, cheesy mysteries run a close second.)  I’ve read so many that I can recognize which authors read each other and which ones are just repackaging last year’s top hits.  With each book, I just knew it would be the way forward—the key to opening that last door to real success.  Each time I would write notes in my bullet journal and plan and think about how to apply whatever the new insight was.  And then I would get a new book and do the same.  And again.  And again.

Some might have helped.  Some might have been a waste of time.  And some might have been actually harmful, but I’ll never know.  I wasn’t ready to lead with my heart.  And I wasn’t ready to let go of my fear. 

Fear of failure.  Fear of success.  Those are two sides of the same coin.  What if I fail and everyone sees?  Or worse, what if I succeed?  What will people think?  What will I do then?  Will I be the same person?  Better to keep my head down and stay in my lane.

Except this: 
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 

My witness to the world is to show what is possible… through Christ.  I know what I need to do.  I just need to do it.  

Prayerfully.  Joyfully.  Completely. 

What is that one place for you, friend?  That place that feels empty and undone.  The one that you think about, but stuff back into the corners of your consciousness, until it pops up again.  That’s the one, the one you should consider.   What will it take to feel success in that place?  You know you’ve thought about it.  You know you’ve planned for it, prayed about it, and then ignored it. 

Start today.  Figure out that first step.  Make it easy.  Make it doable.  And then do the second step.  And the third.  So many times when we finally get something done, we discover we have spent more time planning and dreading the thing than it would have EVER taken to just do it. 

Take hold of your thoughts and make them work for you.  
You’re ready.  
You can do this thing.  
Go make your world a more a beautiful place.

Sunday, October 7, 2018


I had a birthday last week.  Not a big birthday.  Not one of those that end in a zero and feel like a step into a new stage of life. But this day, like most birthdays, made me pause and remember the year past. 

Did we dream audacious and outrageous dreams together?

Did we make the space for each other to travel toward those places that seemed so out of reach?

That’s my job as a mama and a wife.  To be the dream catcher.  To catch the bad dreams and watch them disappear in the light of day.  To keep the good dreams and help them become real.  To believe in a bigger reality.  To believe in hope.

This year we have added new ventures, moved on to new places, stopped doing old things and started doing new ones.  All of us.  We have helped each other grow and cheered each other on.  We’ve held hands during disappointment and listened to each other while we worked through some tough decisions. 

This is what family does.  This is what I dreamed of when our family grew.  To be a launching pad for new adventures and a soft place to land.  In this world that can be so hard and unforgiving, I want our home to be a refuge.  I want it to be a place to be honest and raw, but to know we are always loved.  Always. 

Our faith in our heavenly Father; our hope in all that is possible; our love for each other, for others, for Him.  These are the things that made the past year a success.  These are the things that make me look forward to another year.  "And now these three remain:  faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love."

Monday, April 2, 2018

Go Be That

"You know what you are.  Go be that."  

Those simple words jumped out at me and grabbed my heart's attention.  

In the middle of an errand run, I was listening to a string of podcast episodes I had downloaded, running at 1 1/2 times speed because who's got time for regular speed?  

In the middle of the busiest season I can remember, making sure all the boxes are ticked, forms filled out, checks mailed and my people making it to all the places they're supposed to be.

In the middle of worrying about making sure I am teaching my children to not just do their best but to be their own best selves.

In the middle of all that, I heard those two short sentences.  What does it mean to know "what you are"?  Who I am is my identity, my essence, my values, my soul.  What I am?  I don't know.  

I play a lot of roles, but I don't know if I'm ready to define what I am by what I do.

I'm a traveler.  I'm a musician.  I'm a writer.  I'm a dreamer.  

So much better than "I like to..." or "I wish I could.."

I'm trying to remember what I am.  And I'm going to go be that.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Walk This Way

I’ve been thinking about new beginnings, these first few days of the new year. This go round, I think I’ll take a different path.

I've been thinking about the Wise Men.  The Christmas decorations are still out as we wait for Epiphany and still search for the One who came to give us freedom.  I think about them leaving their homes and setting out on the ultimate road trip to find Who the star was leading them to.  Did they think about being remembered in homes and churches two thousand years later?  Or did they just set out to do what they were called to do?  They looked.  They listened.  And sought.  And obeyed.

I've been thinking about goal setting and productivity.  Instead of striving, I’ll try to do more seeking. Looking for ways of shining even one small beam of light in this dark world. A little less cynicism and a little more hope. 

I've been thinking about inner peace and outer calm.  Our world is a bit heavy on Justice and a little light on Mercy. We could all use more love and understanding. Let me be a reflection of that this year.  Let me extend the same grace that's been given me.  Without expecting it.  Without demanding it.

I've been thinking about journeys.  Finding my way hasn’t always been easy. I've stumbled and gotten lost and at one time didn't think I'd ever find my way home.  Funny thing about traveling is that it's more fun together.  I think it’s time to walk this world with a Friend.

Blessings to you in this new year, friends. I wish you all the peace, love and joy meant for you.  Reach out with your heart and receive it.

Hear the cry from Bethlehem 
O children come 
Son of God now born to men 
O children come 
Bring your troubles, bring your fears 
Bring the needs that draw you near 
Find the hope of all the years 
O children come 
O children come 
Peace on earth good will to men 
O children come 
Righteous rule that will not end 
O children come 
Lay down all your bitterness, 
Turn from sin's toil and distress 
Find His grace and perfect rest 
O children come 
O children come 
Where the Father's grace has walked 
O children come 
Where you see the hurt and lost 
O children come 
Show the mercy shown to you 
Gifts of kindness to renew 
Love from hearts sincere and true 
O children come 
O children come 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Backroads and Alleys

I love backroads and alleys. 

They're the forgotten places, the faces we don't show to the world.  They're not shiny or perfect or polished but often they seem more real in this pre-packaged world we live in.

I accidentally came across this alley while driving around a little town in west Texas.  The name of the business stopped me and OF COURSE I had to snap a quick photo.  I love that they painted the building, the whole building--doors, garage, drainage pipes--a vibrant turquoise and then in big tall letters they proclaimed to the world who they are. 

They didn’t fix all that needed fixing on the back side of their store.  But they are calling you to them, welcoming you into their space.  They’re ready for you, if you’re ready for them and I love that. 

Maybe we need to take a cue from this small store in this small town.  Maybe we need to remember that people aren’t asking us to be perfect.  That we don’t have to be social media ready at all times. 

We need to be comfortable with WHO we are and WHOSE we are. 

Let’s not wait too long to get to that point.  Let’s do the work and spend the time to be who we are called to be and welcome the people God places into our lives into that space we are creating.  Don’t package yourself into looking like and sounding like everyone you see on the tiny screens in your hand.  Be you—be bold—declare who you are in giant letters and encourage others to join you and do the same.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Writing Your Life In Pencil

When you think about your life story, how do you see it?  A pre-printed script that was handed to you at an early stage?  A book that you don’t find very interesting, but feel like you should finish all the way to the last page?  What if we decided to write our lives in pencil, not pen?  With a big fat eraser to erase the mistakes.  And what if we understood that we can cut and paste and move the parts of our story around to suit where we are today.  That we can dream and envision the ending and write our own plot to get there.  And if we don’t like what we’ve written, we can erase the bad parts and begin again.

I want you to think about a manuscript.  A handcrafted piece of art that you are writing every day.  These words are important:  you are writing every day.  The writer, and that’s you, darling, decides on the main characters, the plot, the setting, and the overarching theme.  Is the plot one of daily disappointment?  Or one of embracing your season of life and seeing the beauty in it.  Is it a story of trudging forward on a path that seemed right twenty, thirty years ago?  Or is it choosing the best parts and fitting them into the person you’ve become and following another thread. 

We seem to forget sometimes that we get to choose these parts of our story.  What do we want the ending to be?  Everyone’s story is different—what is yours?  How will you get there?  What steps do you need to take today to make it come true tomorrow?  It can be a little overwhelming to think of the whole, so take it in chapters. 

“I want to grow old with my love.”  Then take care of the two of you now, so, that your relationship grows with time and care. 

“I want to go on grand adventures and see the world.”  Then plan how you can do that with your resources.  Is it the fancy hotels and resorts you want to see or is it the heart-stopping beauty of God’s creation?  Those are two very different things and one is much easier to attain than the other.

Who are the characters going to be in your story?  Are there people in your life that you wouldn’t want to include in your manuscript?  Is there anything you can do to change that dynamic?  If not, then begin to release them, with love.  If your interactions with them are hurtful to you, chances are they are not a good thing for the other person, either.  I know there are some relationships that are harder to disengage with.  Prayerfully consider how you should proceed.  Make sure those people are not affecting how you love and treat the people who love you. 

Not everyone should be in your core group of people.  Choose wisely.

Where does your story take place?  Is most of the action at work?  Is that where you spend most of your time and energy? 
Or is it taking up too much of your heart space and you’ve been neglecting the home where you long to be, with your people? 

See if your reality aligns with your manuscript.  Work is a blessing from above and fulfills a proper space and purpose in our lives, but it’s not the whole story.    Make sure the setting of your life is appropriate for you and for the story you want to tell.

And, lastly:  What is the theme of your life’s story?  What do you want people to think of when they think of the places you’ve been and the things you’ve done and the people you’ve loved?  This should direct all the other components.  This is what matters.  Fortunately, we have an Editor who has given us all the prompts we need to write a life story that matters and that will be a legacy we truly want to leave.  Seek Him and He will show you the way.

If you feel stuck, I pray you will find a way forward towards better and brighter days.  

If you love your story, I hope you will cherish it and share it with the world.  

And if you’re just beginning to write your story, I hope you seek His wisdom and plan for you.   “…for your Father knows what you need even before you ask.” (Matthew 6:8)   

Monday, March 6, 2017

Make Your Dreams Come True Tomorrow

Will you start that new project you've been putting off?

Will you finally finish the work that has been taking up all your bandwidth?

Are you ready to share your heart and wisdom and love with the rest of us
or will you hold it close, worried that it's not good enough?

Today, take that chance.
Make that leap.
Let go of what's been holding you back and start something new or finish something old.
We're all counting on you and waiting to see what only you can share.

All the
, friends. Go out there and be brave today!