When You’ve Had a Stinky Week

Years ago, a woman in our church, just a few years older than me began a battle with breast cancer. I admired her so much because rather than waiting until the battle was done, she invited our church family into her journey.

She was honest with the pain. Honest with her fear. Vulnerable even.

Now breast cancer’s not an easy one to hide. You lose your hair. You feel terrible. You need help. But I’ve seen plenty of people facing crisis just kind of pretend that everything’s fine.

Or they spout Romans 8:28 platitudes. Or they “trust in God’s plans,” rather than saying, “This really stinks.”

I’ll admit, there are time when I have had a really stinky week. And when someone asks how I’m doing, I answer, “Great!”

I’ve asked myself why I do this.

What we really need is a demolition.

A Wendy’s is directly on our route from home to school. And one day we noticed construction equipment parked in the lot. And the next day we noticed a sign that said “Wendy’s is Renovating.”

 

But over the next few days, it looked like much more than a renovation. It looked like a demolition.

And I had to laugh.

Sometimes we think what we need is a renovation, but what we really need is a demolition.

Welcome to my mess!

So, I’ve got this fancy self-hosted WordPress site now. But it feels like I’ve moved into this unfamiliar house.

I feel a bit like I did when we left Charlottesville three years ago.   We loaded the Penske truck,

Penske

gave our last hugs,

Adelyn and Savanna

tossed the dog in the van.

Tanner

and headed down the road.

On the Road

And now I’ve moved into a great big unfamiliar WordPress house.

Do you want to significantly impact your world?

Significant impact.

When Josiah was just a little guy, he became aware that he was made for impact.  We pulled up in the driveway and as I got out of the driver’s side and walked around to the passenger side, I heard him saying to himself,

“I am awesome.”

As I came around the corner, I saw this blond-haired superhero balancing along the running board of our van.  Teetering, arms stretched out, one foot in front of the other,

“I am awesome.”

And he is.  And you are too.

 You were made for impact.  No matter

your stage of life,
your financial situation,
or any other barrier.

You and me … we were made for impact.  We are all made to

create ripples,
leave a wake,
be a force for good.



We are all made for impact.  But how do you know the impact you are made to make?  

Making impact starts with your personal why.

Not what you do.  Not even how you do it.  But why you do it.

I want to be tell you that I’ve been significantly impacted by Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk from 2009.  I’ve read Start with Why.  And I’ve wrestled alongside nonprofit leaders as we have worked to nail down the why for our organizations.

But why is not just for businesses and organizations.  Why is for you and for me.

Because as you identify your personal why, several things will happen:

  • You’ll be empowered to filter the clutter out of your calendar.
  • You’ll be inspired to choose the important over the urgent.
  • You’ll gain focus, clarity, and vision.  
  • You’ll have a sense of purpose driven not by what you can produce, but by who you are.  And, I believe, who God made you to be.  
  • You’ll gain understanding of your worth, your unique contribution to the world.
  • You’ll stop comparing yourself to others and start celebrating their accomplishments.
  • You’ll give up competition in favor of collaboration to advance a greater cause.
  • You’ll have deeper satisfaction regardless of your circumstances knowing that you are motivated from the inside-out.

Most satisfying … You’ll begin to significantly impact your world.

You’re awesome.  And you were made to significantly impact your world. 

We are God’s masterpieces.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, 
so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2:10



Do you want it?  Do you want this clarified life?  This inspired focus?  Do you want to significantly impact your world? The key for impact is in your personal why.  Leave a comment, ask questions, and maybe even share your personal why… 

Pearl of Wisdom for Relating with the Male Species

In the car on the way to school this morning Piper, my 14 year-old daughter, asks me,

“Mom, are you coming to my soccer game today? It’s at 5:00.”

“Absolutely!”

Cameron, my 15 year old son asks, “So, is it at home or away?”

Piper answers, “Home.”

Cameron very succinctly responds, “Oh.”

(This is Piper and Cameron with their amazing piano teacher, Miss Mary Jo)

Piper sits up a bit straighter in the front seat (It’s her front-seat-day) and kind of turns her head in Cameron’s direction.   “What did you mean by that?”

Cameron, a bit confused, “I just said ‘Oh.’”

Piper continues, “Yeah.  But you sort of said it with a going down kind of tone at the end. Are you upset that my game is at home?  Because if you are upset that my game is at home, I want to know why.”

Cameron, more confused than ever, “I just said ‘Oh.’”

Oh. my. GOODNESS.  I thought I was going to die.  And before I dropped her off at school, I gave her this pearl of wisdom for relating with the male species which I will now share with you.  

Honey, you have got to let his “Oh” be oh.

Let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no,
so that you may not fall under condemnation.  
James 5:12 


What pearls of wisdom have you shared today?  Please do tell!

One Thing You Can Do for the Girls in Nigeria

Each of these sisters, each of these daughters has a name.

And while our hearts break and we feel helpless, we can DO something.  We can pray for them by name.  

There are some that will say, “Praying is not enough.”  And I would agree.  It’s not.  Faith without works is dead.  But, I am not capable of cutting through the woods with a machete.  So, I pray.

Although these are the names of all the girls, they are the names of some.  Would you print out this list and carry it with you today?  Would you pray for the girls by name, and for the mothers, and the fathers?  Would you pray for God to lead the rescuers to find these girls and deliver them safely back to their families?

Praying is not enough.  But it’s what I can do.  What about you?

Because He Didn’t Leave Me Alone

“Leave me alone!” my daughter shouts.

Fear and anger bubble over. “Just leave me alone!”

People did leave her alone.  And now four-and-a-half years into it, she still chaffs at family.  At parents. She thinks she’d be happier if we would just stop pursuing and let her go her own way.

And to be honest, sometimes I want to.  Because I get tired.

And last night I did, because I got so tired.

But this morning I read about what happens when God leaves us alone, when he gives us up.  When people …

push down the truth, and
put their hands over their eyes, and
praise the created thing rather than the Creator.

And I shudder that God would leave me alone.  That he would let me go my own way.  Given over to

my emotions,
my thoughts,
my passions,

I would die.  I would die.

And I remember that for me, it was God’s mercy, his lovingkindness that opened my heart.  He didn’t leave me alone. This hound of heaven, he pursued me.

He pursued me.  He didn’t leave me alone.

I walk up the stairs and pause in her doorway.  Early morning sun streams in.  Deep breath. God’s mercies.   “Good morning, honey.  It’s time to wake up.”

Is there someone in your life who is hard to love?  Who wearies you with her pursuit of “her own way?” How can I pray for you today?

Does your heart burn for the issue of human trafficking? I have a great opportunity for you!

Okay, girlfriends, I have to tell you that three passions are intersecting for me right now:

1. I am passionate to see people freed from sex slavery. 

2. I am passionate to see women mobilized to impact their world through Christ. 

3. I am passionate to see people put feet to their passions.  

So, when a my friend, Kent Williamson, told me about this FREE online course that Moody is offering on Human and Sex Trafficking, I had to tell you about it.

Take a look at this trailer.

So,  [updated 4/18] I’m not sure why the trailer is not working.  If anyone knows, I would SO love it if you would fill me in.  In case no one can figure out why the trailer is not working, you’ll just have to take my word for it…

Christine Caine is a rockstar. From the ashes of her own story, God is bringing beauty.  I LOVE this.  Because this is my story too.  And, I’m guessing it’s yours.

Lots of people care about the human trafficking issue in a vague kind of way.

“Oh my goodness! I can’t believe there are 27 million slaves in the world today. I want to DO something, but what can I do?”  

They look at the enormity of the problem.  They see how small they really are. And so they do nothing.

Or, they think that doing something means big, grandiose, starting an organization, writing books, speaking around the world, busting up brothels, caring for the rescued… And, eventually it could mean that.  But it’s not step one.

Step one of mobilization is LEARN.  Educate yourself.  Not so sexy and glittery, but oh so very important.  And look, Moody is giving you this opportunity for FREE. 

Eight online lessons of really good stuff.    

If your heart burns for this issue and you want to do something, here’s your chance.  Step one of mobilization is LEARN.  

So, check it out.  And let me know if you sign up.  I’m signed up and I’d love to do this thing with you! 

I’m already hearing from women, “This is AWESOME!”  Please share, tell, and spread the word!

How to Resist the Provocateurs

Fomentinginstigating or stirring up a violent course of action.  This is what is happening in Ukraine.  At least this is what it seems to me.

Provocateurs being directed by Russian leaders are stirring up unrest.  They’re making something of almost nothing.  They’re creating discord between two groups of people whose biggest difference is their language preference.

People in Ukraine, like everywhere, want a better life.  And, with the fomenting, some are deciding that the way for a better life is to return to Russia.

They look to Russia and think they’ll have food, and health care.  They imagine that they will have education, and shelter, and stability.  

While we fuss and fume, Putin picks the lint off of his jacket and waits for Ukraine to fight back.

This is happening today.  And I’m guessing that Ukrainian boys holed up in police stations, swearing loyalty to Russia …  will be killed by Ukrainian forces.

And when this happens, Putin will have all the reason he needs to step in and “rescue” the separatists.  What else would a good mother do?

This week as I watch events unfold in Ukraine, I’m also remembering another fomenting.

This one happened nearly 2000 years ago when a group of religious leaders, provocateurs, stirred up a restless crow.  “Crucify!” they cried.

And the crowd, who had just days before lay down palms, and robes, and graced him with a chorus of “Hosannas!” changed their tune.

Within days their allegiance turned from the Son of David to the provocateurs.  They responded to the fomenting. “Crucify!”

“How could they turn so quickly?” we wonder.

I like to think that I would have had the discernment, the courage to wave my palm branch all week long.  But I know how tempting it is to follow the crowd.  To be swayed by the provocateurs.  They’re loud.  They’re scary.  They’re persuasive.  So many turned.

But not everyone.

Standing by the cross of Jesus 
were his mother 
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, 
and Mary Magdalene.  John 19:25

Standing by the cross were these three women.  While the provocateurs derided, and mocked, “Save yourself!”

These three women stood by the cross of Jesus.

As darkness covered the land and his pure heart became filled with sin, these three women stood.

As the Father turned his gaze and the curtain of temple and flesh was torn top to bottom, they stood.

Their allegiance was with Jesus.  In spite of the threat.  In spite of the confusion.  In spite of it all.  They stood by the cross of Jesus.

They followed Jesus, not the crowd.  They didn’t respond to the pressure, the threats, the angry voices.  They stood.

What about us?  Regardless of our differences, our varying views, can we stand by the cross of Jesus?  Can we say that this is what matters?  What really matters?  When the provocateurs get tired and go home, or work themselves into a destructive lather, can we join hands and stand by the cross of Jesus?  When the world seems to fall apart around us, can we stand by the cross of Jesus?

What would it be like if you and me together stood by the cross of Jesus?  What would it be like if we considered him instead of the provocateurs?  What if we didn’t respond to the fomenting?  What would it be like if we simply stood by the cross of Jesus?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Would you leave a comment, please?  And would you consider sharing this post with a friend or two who craves the simplicity of standing of by the cross of Jesus?  And one more thing, would you join me in praying for Ukraine?