Walk Out Your Inspiration

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How do we manifest ideas to things? Actually, the more important question would be.. Why don’t we exchange ideas for reality more often?  Does money hold you back? Courage? Skill set? Are you praying for confirmation? If so, how long do you wait until you give up, or the idea fizzles?  How often have you been in prayer only to see someone else have the same idea and run with it?

I have been there too, folks, on more occasions I care to admit!  Why do we wait so long for confirmation, when the idea itself was the green light to move our feet in the first place? My prayer is typically about logistics.  What do I do? Who do I call? Where do I go?….. Yet, I’m still standing in place(duh).  Tragically, I have waited so long, I have literally felt an idea pass through me, and watched it manifest through someone else.  I wasn’t trusting myself to be trusted, and there it freakin’ went! (Cue “Dust in the Wind lyrics here)

The idea IS confirmation you are being entrusted with greatness!  The first clue your idea is divinely inspired? An overwhelming sense of love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness… (Gal 5:22-23). If you are on high-octane fruits of the Spirit… It’s not only a good idea.. It’s a GOD idea!

You ARE a ministry! What you put into this Earth is exactly what you are supposed to be doing, so please put your Big Ideas into motion!  Give them the life only you were specifically designed to do.

MOVE your idea! Share it, make it, do it, be it!! Still not sure?  Second clue… If your idea is bigger and smarter than you… If your idea flies so far out into left field it requires you to race out of your comfort zone to retrieve it… Yeah, it’s definitely a God thing! Prayer is our backbone as believers. So pray away if that is what you feel compelled to do, by all means!! Keeping in constant contact while in motion is necessary.  Stationary with doubt causes trouble.  When Jesus went into the desert for forty days, he walked. HE WALKED… When he was tempted, He didn’t stand, mouth agape, eyes clamped shut, praying “why” and wait for the devil to move on! He DIDN’T STOP MOVING! Forward motion is essential for MOMENTUM!

Stationary with fear is crippling. Oh, I know this well, don’t you!?  Anyone fear failure? Judgement? Embarrassment? Fear paralyzes from the hands, down!  Fear is so toxic, we make a B-Line right back to doubt!  “NO, you don’t want me….”  And, to tell you the truth, we fear how we make look to others, when it’s not about us in the first place! What if failure was a part of the lesson line-up?  Wisdom typically doesn’t come from a constant string of success, folks!

Anyone fear success?  Oh, crap, what if your big idea works!!! What if it requires more work than you thought?  Cut the “what if” crap already!!  If God gave you the idea, He is also equipping you for it!  Abraham, Noah, Moses… Do we need to go there!!  Here’s the thing y’all, if we sit back and allow our divine inspiration to turn stagnate, we are being disobedient.  Disobedience is not rewarded with greater or better ideas! Seriously. We clog our own spirits up so much we couldn’t possibly be conduits of Spirit.

This idea of yours is not just for you. This brain baby your carrying, is about its divine effect on your sphere of influence and, perhaps beyond it!! Our ministries are crucial for our place and our time! Ester 4:14 “……Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as THIS?” One of my top 5!!

God is pure creativity.  Wouldn’t it be safe to venture, God is eagerly sparing no expense to bless those who are willing to create?

Your time has come, Friends!

A Product of Change

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Lately I have come to appreciate the seasons of life.  Change allowed for it.  When rolling around in the box of current change, it is so difficult to see or even anticipate where your current season is guiding you to… In moments of stillness, as wounds are healing, and fog clearing, perspective shifts and clarity happens. With clarity, storms settle.. It’s a pretty amazing thing!

It’s a Sunday morning, and I am not at church. At the beginning of this season, it was due to people and the unmet expectations of people.  This kind of thing happens so frequently, and I had promised myself years ago that it wouldn’t happen.  It did anyway. Separation and a feeling of almost condemnation and judgement of others didn’t help.  Is it really that bad that I chose to stay home in bed on a Sunday? Not to mention, I was condemning myself, because I was pretty sure God was not pleased. Someone once told me, FROM THE PULPIT, attendance is not something to keep score of.  Yet, we still do, and I still was…

My love for God has not diminished because i don’t go to a building every week.  And His love for me has not diminished either.  One of the many things I cherish in my relationship with Him. AND, I believe God is perfectly fine with me not going to church (for the time being), IN FACT, he knew before I did, this season would be coming.

When I was saved, I was at church every time the door opened. It was fun, and blessed beyond expression. I did everything possible to be in service to the church… (See where this could lead?) I fell in love with service, and people, and programs, and studies.  Immersion can be so necessary and wonderful!! It can also get dangerous if you are not paying attention…

And, I wasn’t.  Pride became the driving force instead of  God. Need for status and recognition, and the approval of others was what I was worshipping.  miracles were still happening. Growth and faith was still happening.  But this pride of mine was beginning to dull out the true power of these things.

AND, I was becoming institutionalized by RELIGION. I was trying to earn my way into grace, instead of KNOWING i already had it. I was using church buzzwords like candy, and saying things like “bless their heart” in that condescending way. You know what I’m talking about. I would tell people I would pray for them, and then.. NOT pray for them. I was getting legalistic. I was becoming the Christian I had avoided all of my life! Without thinking, I slipped right into it. Then, the bottom fell out (as it should).

The last three years have been an interesting lesson.  When God fires you up, the dross that blows away can be devastating. People blow away. Position blows away.  Your left with some stuff that MUST be dealt with. In moments of stillness and clarity, you can rest and be healed. Perspective is brighter and forgiving. One of the best parts is coming to terms with loss, because the gains are exponentially more powerful.

It’s Sunday morning and I am not in a designated building of worship. I’m good with it! Not to say I won’t go back, because most likely, I will. Today, I sit in my bed, sharing a cup of coffee with my husband, playing with our infant son, overwhelmed with blessing and clarity. Because I AM part of THE church, I don’t feel condemned or judged by my God for it.  He’s doing something new and amazing, prepping my family for a new season of ministry. Whatever that may look like.  It most likely will NOT look like the expected. THAT is exactly why I came to Him almost eight years ago… He assured me that, though RELIGION stays ever tightly taped up in a box, RELATIONSHIP is and forever will be limitless.

Change… It is a miraculous thing!

Happy Sunday Friends! Where ever you are, however you are doing it, raise your hands up with gratitude and love for where you are! Things are happening within your Change!!

Change Never Knocks… It Lets Itself In

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Dun, Dun, Dun!!!! The fear of change is so laughable sometimes… Everything changes, it’s just a question of when.  It’s easy to make peace with change you see coming, change that is gradual and predictable, change that is…. comfortable.

The changes that knock your feet out from under you! That’s the scary stuff. Painful change. Uncomfortable change. Hard left-turn changes. Kind of changes that leave marks. Change without our permission! How dare it!

Catching on? Of course you are. You’ve been there!

The last three years in my family were interesting to say the least.  Muddy, rocky, landslides of stuff. It started in our home, spread out to our church, found its way into extended family, our jobs, and right back to our home. So many things so fast, we all had whip-lash! Add family and friends embroiled in their own tornadoes of change?  There’s a lot of debris! Separation. Misunderstanding. Loss. Regret. Bitterness. And back to Fear.

Short Story Time:  Three years ago there were a tribe of people in our life that scattered to the four winds. The moves hurt, the circumstances made it worse.  Two years ago, I was laid off.  Three months later, we found out I was pregnant. Having a baby wasn’t bad or disappointing. It was having to redefine life, and bring someone else in, when I was just getting comfortable with the uphill climb we were already on.

I could write a dissertation on details, and apologize for these changes not being desperate or dire, but the story isn’t as important to you as it is to me.  These things, as well as a few supporting cast issues upheaved my happy-go-lucky circumstances, and turned my rose-colored glasses into very gray ones.

Mulling through change is a very hard thing. Like being in a boat on the ocean.  If you don’t see ANYTHING on the horizon, your hope of land begins to wane.

BUT!! THERE IS HOPE!  BECAUSE CHANGE HAPPENS!!! Change is inevitable, remember? Here’s my very short-order cook Random for change.

– Forgive it.  Reconcile with it.  It’s leading you somewhere fantastic.

– Embrace it, let it show you the kind of person its leading you to be.

– Thank it. It’s brought you this far, and you’re still here. I bet if you took stock of where you been and where change has brought you, you would be impressed.

Take heart where you are and KNOW, something is happening. Change moves, we can rely on it.

 

Three years later… our children are striking out in life on their own.  We have this amazing baby boy who enriches our lives.  Jobs are happening! New friends are being made, old friends are being loved.

As the sun comes up and we are able to see land, we are more ok with the muddy and we are making peace with old wounds.  Now that I can look back, connect dots, and breath, change in it’s forms looks optimistic and promising.  No glasses required.

xoxo

 

Long Overdue Random! – Hearts

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This has laid on my heart for some time now, and starting the conversation is not a strong suit, so I will jump right in. K? Awesome.
There is a lot of pain going on lately. Disease, heartbreak, divorce, drugs, drama, sick babies, lost jobs, family feuds, and on and on and on… If this is you in any capacity, I am so sorry.
If you are anything like me, you get so ensnared in your own stuff, you feel ten times worse when you find out a loved one is in dire need. “I just let my first world problem take control of me, and  ________ is hurting…. Awesome!” (Obviously, some of these issues are not, in fact, first world issues and I am not downplaying any one’s situation in the least.)
Now your stuff still remains undealt with, with a nice frosted layer of guilt. Again, awesome.
This Random is blue, but stick with me here!
Luckily prayer supply can always outrun prayer demand!  Christians know the church is an extended family.  Not only that, my friends, the human race is an extended family!  Pray it up for everyone.  There is a light inside us all needing to pour out, for the sake of Spirit.  How are you pouring out?
Seems so daunting… When I see a challenge like this, I immediately make it a legalistic charge to save the world single-handedly.  Which will exhaust and piss me off in about a month.  Been there?
So here it is folks, a little guide-book of stuff handed to me in quiet time.  Stuff that is in process for some, and already processed by others. Go get ’em, Dear Ones!!
– Where do you put your energy when you pray?  Are you praying for the pain/sickness to leave, or are you already declaring health/recovery?  Prayer for cancer to disappear, is still praying about the cancer… Make sense?
– Everything has its time… Including your junk. Bitterness, unforgiveness, pain… It’s all there as a part of the lesson plan too.  So, identify it, acknowledge it, own it, and let it run it’s course.  Pushing too hard to get rid of it usually makes it worse. And for goodness sake, do not get too comfortable with it!
– What is it you are holding on to? Sometimes the thing is so buried we don’t know What our junk IS.. Start vomiting your crap on the page.  It will come out eventually.  When you see it, you will know. It’s almost magical how your heart will lighten!!
– Everything has it’s time… Holy Crap, do we ever have an issue with patience!  If you are in a first world trial, keep this in mind.  You are not going to get to the next lesson, if you do not let this one penetrate. And that takes process.
– And process isn’t necessarily organized in linear steps. Everyone is different, so don’t be mad when freedom looks different on someone else.  Envy will take you back a pace or two, so be glad in the progress of others!
– Fear is Freakin’ TOXIC!!! Trust in your maker. TRUST IN YOUR MAKER that everything is worked out for good. Perspective in the bubble is always distorted.  Once the bubble you are in bursts, things get so much clearer!!
– Be Real. Being pissed, ugly cries, fits of rage, where stupid tends to show up.  Ugly as it may be, it’s still authentic. Suppressing is unhealthy, obvious, and dishonest.
– Be grateful for what is in front of you. Remind yourself always of gratitude. THIS, right here, can get away from us so quickly… ALWAYS be grateful for your blessings.  THAT is where we need to keep energy invested.
– Randomly pick 5 friends/family members to connect with and encourage during the week. Most of the time we have no idea what others are going through.  A text that says “hello, I love you” can make a person’s lifetime!
– SMILE as often as possible! Look strangers in the eye, Allow yourself to laugh as loud as you can.  Cook someone dinner. Blindly pick someone on your contacts list and send them flowers. DO something that gushes out love.
– Keep in mind this one thing about yourself… YOU ARE AMAZING.  YOU ARE AWESOME. YOU ARE PURE LIGHT AND POWER. YOU ARE LOVE.. YOU ARE LOVED!  ok, that’s many things.. So, now you know you are more than you believe.
Never EVER give up hope, Friends! Fight for yourself, Fight for others. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!
Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your life.  It has been a weird and wonderful ride so far. May your today be amazing, may your tomorrow be even better!
I love you!
ps.  if you are reading Random for the first time, it is, simply a flow of thoughts posted at completely random times to completely random people on my contact list, and posted here on the blog. Usually there is nothing random about who Random reaches.  Thank you for reading!

Kenya Lesson 2 – Breaking Ground

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I don’t suppose it was a coincidence that my trip to Africa began on the fifth anniversary of my salvation… Seems so story book, but the benchmark was not lost on me.  It was time for new eyes and a graduation of sorts.

I met with 3 more strangers in Atlanta, a rep (more like THE GUY) from 410bridge, and another group headed to Kenya who would work with the Daraja Children’s Choir. I had the choice between the two groups and had adamantly chosen the Kwambekenya project to the surprise of most of my family. I wanted to be beyond a city, and I wanted to get dirty!

In Washington DC we climbed into the belly of a very beastly Boeing 777 with 2 more strangers, and lifted off to chase the daylight across the Atlantic Ocean for Ethiopia. I think I saw the sun for a total of 3 hours in a day that kept going and going.

The Airport in Ethiopia

Picturing Jenna, Jen, Soc, Micah, Kelly, and Molly was futile, because none of them looked anything like I’d pictured. But the friendships began quickly and I was already in love with my new friends before I went to sleep in a seat that actually wouldn’t recline. 13 hours is a long time to be upright folks.

Crew

Another plane ride and a night in Nirobi found us finally at our destination hotel and our first trip into Kwambekenya, where we would meet the community and start breaking ground on a primary school building.

Normally when you “break ground” on a project in the West, we get to have big scissors and pretty ribbon, and leaders with shovels that have never been used before cheesing it up for the camera while they move dirt that has already been dug.  Recently there was a ceremony not far from my home, for an overpass that cost more than it should because they brought a sand box in for the photo-op (Not to mention the pretty ribbon and so forth).  Money that could have been used for something with way less narcissism.

Kwambekenya took our money seriously.  Part of the cost of the trip is contributing to the cost of the project. We didn’t just break ground that morning, we started digging the foundation of the building.  6 women in dresses (and Micah, but he wasn’t dressed to get dirty either) with hoes and shovels and a lot of Africans looking at us in both amusement and appreciation. The Chiks could dig!!

overdressed

We didn’t just begin a project in the dirt. We began relationships with dozens of people who came to the site to see  and thank the Americans.  We were in complete awe of each other.  When I stepped off the bus into this community, there was not one moment where my hands were not filled with at least 4 little hands, with the exception of the times I had a shovel in them, or a camera to capture every face I laid eyes on.  Their beauty was so stunning I could hardly keep from bawling and crying out “Thank You, God for this!”

Just like five years earlier, my heart burst in a way that broke away so much junk that had sat there, and filled it with an overwhelming peace and joy that is hard to articulate even the second time.  A new relationship with God and the planet I live in broke ground in Africa!

Where Were You, Where Are You?

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Where were you on September 11, 2001?

I was seven months pregnant, sitting in the office alone and MSN.com browsing.  The picture of the first plane hitting the twin towers was unbelievable!  The crash, as frighteningly tragic as it was, still seemed no more than a freak accident.  Then, it all came to pass. The second plane hit the second tower. A Plane crashed into the Pentagon. Another plane, meant for the White House, crashed in Pennsylvania.

By the time the last plane crashed, the world was already changed. We walked around like zombies, unable to comprehend what had happened. Watching the TV of people scattering, screaming, trying to find loved ones, photos of people jumping out of  burning towers, and losing them all when the towers collapsed… I watched Peter Jennings crack, Diane Sawyer buried in paper at Ground Zero. People were devastated EVERYWHERE for our nation. The entire world (almost) mourned with us, we mourned with each other and we came together as a country in a solidarity that had not been recognized since World War II.

Now, we remember this day. It’s just a memory. You know how I know this?  Because there is no solidarity in this country anymore.

I understand that the people who were directly effected by tragedy of 9/11 will never forget.  It’s not just in their brain, it’s in their character, their everyday, a scar that runs deep and thick and jagged.  They live on in varying degrees of survival and they all have amazing stories.

We came together as a nation post 9/11. We looked into each others eyes and genuinely asked questions like “How are you?” “Do you need anything?” “What can I do for you?” We said, and meant “I love you” way more often.  We cared, we were grateful for the unity, and we were brought together to mourn and to celebrate each other. We smudged out the lines because the lines just didn’t matter anymore.

Now the lines are many and they are deep. Gay vs. Christian, Democrat vs. Republican, Church vs. Church, and the ever tiring Black vs. White, and so on. We claim those who think differently are un-American. Really? There are people scouring Facebook to start fights, and arguments never seem to stop even for a crazy dude who shot OVER 60 PEOPLE IN COLORADO!!! At least the politicians stopped for a second to recognize it! THE POLITICIANS actually set a moral freaking example while the rest of us kept whining about what other people do.

Have you ever seen the world change by whiners?  You think Gandhi was a whiner? How about Martin Luther King Jr.?  I’m sure the Suffergates were a bunch of whiners. Oh wait.. No, they weren’t.

The world needs to change.  It’s not going to happen taking pot shots at each other.  It’s not going to happen by whining.  Snarky comments are not making a difference! LOVE CHANGES THINGS. Unity makes a dent. We were awesome post 9/11! We need to be awesome again without the world ending before we get there.

This country, despite what some underground overlord in a country most of us can’t pronounce thinks, is worth saving. There will always be a hater out there waiting for our weakest moment.  Sorry to say folks, that moment is now.  Be the change you want to see in the world.

Whether you believe it or not you are here at this moment for a very specific purpose to be a part of a big thing. Believe in God or not, but know there is SOMETHING out there waaaay bigger than you, who made sure you exist in this moment in a very long timeline. What are you going to do with your time? Create or Destroy? Whether you take on the world in a showy way like running for president or a personal way like raising a family know that creation is happening and you are apart. Make it good.

Do more than remember this day. Celebrate the unity is created for us, and practice it.

Love to you all, family.

RANDOM DOM DOM DOMMMMM ! Mother’s Day Redux

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Hey Fab Folks!!

 

Is your neck of the woods as GORGEOUS as ours, in North East Texas?  We have been blessed with a pretty awesome spring so far!  It should be hotter than …, but it’s pleasant enough to make me home sick for Good Ole CA.  (No jokes, sneers, or jabs, please and thank you)

 

Weather is beautiful! Flowers are in bloom, there’s a freakin bird nested in one of my ferns on the porch, and everything is still GREEN! Even the fern on the porch! It is really difficult to water a plant with a bird in it… I’d like to wring her little neck, but it could be cool to have Lil babies.  She’s trying after all.

 

Moms…. They’re awesome!  It’s hard to believe we can cram gratitude into one day for the women who gave us life. This may seem late to you, This Mother’s day Random. You may think this doesn’t apply to you because you are a dad, or a kid… This is for you too!  Father’s day is coming (so this will apply soon) and one day you may become a parent, so get this. GOOD MOMS NEED TO BE CELEBRATED OFTEN! Life giving Ladies,

WE NEED TO CELEBRATE OUR MOTHERHOOD ALL OF THE TIME!!

 

I am a CRAZY blessed mother and step-mother… Step… Can be a difficult, and sometimes ridiculous obstacle, but it has tremendous opportunity and implication. And it still ends with MOTHER. We are all involved in putting life into our children. Life is not something that JUST happens at birth (Not that squeezing them out wasn’t important!)  It is a continuous process, taking our time, emotion, intention, money, patience, love, cooperation, compromise, and talents. Motherhood doesn’t just TAKE those wonderful things, it BUILDS UP to incredible things!

 

WE SHOULD BE WEARING CAPES!

 

Intense Holiday highs are freakin fantastic! Then comes Monday, when that pretty pedestal gets kicked right out from under us. Today, it is imperative for you to have joy in your motherhood. And tomorrow, and the next day! SO, continue to celebrate the moms who do the stuff it takes to lead.

 

Its about the women who make a difference.

 

10. Take time out to be grateful for those kids! – Make a list of how awesome they are. Give it to them, or keep it for yourself. I like to thank them for letting me be thier mom.  It just happens to be a privilage of my family dynamic.

 

9. Moms who make a difference –  For me, there are many! How about you? Let them know their impact.

8. Go on a Mom date.  Often! – Nothing like praising eachother, unpacking baggage, and having a big glass of wine with the ladies who are paddling the same boat.

7. Be a Mom Mentor – New moms need some help.

6. Give your man some love! – Any man who can hang with MomCrazy deserves his own day.. Oh Wait… He also deserves more than one… And a man-cave.😉

5. Take stock  – There are Moms standing behind us, there are Mom’s standing beside us. We stand behind Moms. We are not standing alone!

4. Be Your Own Person – Sometimes we get a little too fixed on the Mom Title. Strip that, and who are you? She still has influence, so enjoy her too!!

3. Solo Mom Date – Nuff Said

2. Get some Freakin Sleep! – We brag too often about how busy we are… Please. recalibrate the schedule and add some naps and a full nights rest more often than not.

1. Take a Bird’s Eye View – When life feels like it’s about to crush your sternum, step back, breathe deep. Take in a bigger picture, letting in more light.  You didn’t just give life, you are sustaining it, cultivating it, shaping it, influencing it, protecting it, and allowing it to fly without you.

Pretty good stuff!

Thank you for being a woman who makes a difference. You are a truelly amazing gift!

Love you something feirce, my friends!