Friday, January 31, 2014

Hero: #FiveMinuteFriday

As women we spend most of our lives waiting for a hero to come along. Be it a loving father, a faithful husband or any other who can rescue us. But for most of us our hero never shows up and if he does he doesn’t live up to the "Prince Charming" standards we’ve imagined or been fed by society.

And even in the day to day aren’t there times you wish someone would come and rescue you? From the minutia of day to day life? From troubles, loss, and suffering? Or just take you away for a few brief moments? But our hero never comes.

We find ourselves looking for validation in relationships and careers and sometimes even ourselves. But we are still lost. Still waiting for rescue. Still wandering about like a princess in search of her prince. And he doesn’t come.

So it is true. That there is a God-sized hole in all of us. And all our searching, working, waiting, and striving will never fill it. But He can. He will. He does. When we stop looking for rescue and start looking toward The Rescuer. When we stop looking for escape and start looking toward Him.

We can fall into His arms. He is always waiting. The Hero we’ve spent our lives longing for. 

Five Minute Friday

On Fridays I work on developing my writing voice by writing on a prompt with a community of writers that encourages one another. You can join us here.

Monday, January 27, 2014

IF:Local - #Orlando

Have you ever said "no," to something God was specifically telling you to do? Well I did this Fall. When I first heard about IF: Gathering I knew God was calling me to play a specific role in it. When the call came for local women to host gatherings in their own cities and communities I knew God wanted me to signup to be a hostess. And I told Him, "no."

At the time I had some very good reasons for feeling like I shouldn't lead IF:Local in Orlando. If I stated my case you would likely agree with my reasoning. But the fact remains that God had a plan that included me whether I came easily or not.

After registering for the gathering as an attendee (not a hostess) I decided I would contact the Orlando hostess and offer my help. My logic was that I could sort of obey God and that would be ok, right?

Shortly after I finally got in touch with her and began planning details, she became unable to be the Orlando host. So I was back where I started (only this time two weeks away from IF: Local) and I finally answered God and committed to what He had been telling me to do for months.

I'm so glad I'm the only person who ever ignores God's voice...

All that to say if you're in the Orlando area, here's what you need to know:


If you're not familiar with IF:Gathering here's a little more about them:

  • The IF Mission: We exist to gather, equip and unleash the next generation of women to live our their purpose.
  • Description: We are starting a raw authentic and community-driven movement. We are a generation (of women) who craves the uncomfortable – we will wrestle with hard questions and not know all the answers. We will invest in one another and represent the Church to a generation that needs God.

IF:Gathering is lead by some amazing women including Ann Voskamp, Jennie Allen, Jen Hatmaker, Lauren Chandler, and Shelley Giglio, to name a few.

On February 7-8 (less than two weeks from today, yikes!), women from around the world will gather locally participating in a simulcast that will answer questions like "if God is real, then how shall we live?" and seek what God desires to do in our generation.

Because I've just become the Orlando hostess, this first gathering will be small and intimate (unless of course God has other plans). We'll meet Friday from 6:00-9:30 PM and Saturday beginning at 9:00 AM (I'm still finalizing Saturday's schedule).

If you plan on attending please register here. I'll receive a confirmation of your registration and will email you the address of the gathering, info about meals and more detailed schedule info.

Phew! That was a lot. I'm excited and scared but I really hope you locals can join me. If you're not local to the Orlando area, find or host a group in your area here.

I'm excited to see what God will do with our generation of women and I'd love to here if you plan to join this movement in the comments below.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Visit: #FiveMinuteFriday

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Breathe in. Mountain air in my nose. Cold wind on my skin. Don't we all need this? A getaway from life to remember what this living is really all about. Simplify. Dream big.

He planned a surprise mountain escape. And I wanted to runaway to that place and never come back. Hoping, praying that hope makes a bigger appearance in 2014 than it did in 2013.

I hope to leave our worries and cares always on a mountaintop but it is "joy and pain that flows through the same vein."

We need both as Brene' Brown so wisely put it. So I come back to home. Sunny. Usually hot. Not a mountain in site. But I'm hoping to hold on to those big dreams and simple ways found in a mountaintop visit. I want to rest in the Almighty's arms each day. Through each moment. All of 2014. And that is the thing. It is these moments I try to push past that make up this living.

Already I see the fruits of hope. Of it springing up in my heart. I want to hold on to the place where it found me in the winter mountains. I want it to grow in my heart. It's visit not be temporary but eternal.

On Fridays I join a community of writers that encourage one another. Want to join us? Learn more here.

Five Minute Friday

Thursday, January 23, 2014

My Tribe: @MissionalWomen

Missional Women

You may have noticed that in December I had a guest post at Missional Women. I am so thankful to be a part of this amazing group of ladies. For too long the missional conversation has been missing women's voices. I often felt alone in my writing on this topic as a women.

At the heart of Missional Women is the desire to help "women of all ages and seasons of life be intentional and think through how God has built you so you can steward your life for His glory." The writers and resources "help you discover how to live out and use your gifts and strengths for making God known and expanding His kingdom."

I'm thankful that I'll have a post featured on the site each month but they have lots of other resources to help you on your missional journey. Here are a few of my favorites:
What I love most about this community is their diversity and authenticity. They've been incredibly welcoming  to me as the new girl on the block. I hope you'll visit Missional Women and be blessed by all they offer to help you fulfill your personal role in The Great Commission.

After you make it to the site I'd love to hear what you find helpful or encouraging about Missional Women in the comments below.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What I've Learned After 5 Years of Marriage

This Friday, January 17th, is my five-year wedding anniversary. These past five years have been full, fast, and filled with both great joys and great sorrows.

After being married six short months Jason and I moved to Downtown Orlando, in July 2009, to plant a church. God took us on a much different and more winding path of ministry than we had planned. During the same time I was unemployed for eleven months while Jason got offered a job without even trying.

In October of 2010, we reached the point that most everyone does...It was our line-in-the sand moment. That time in marriage where you are forced to decide if you'll keep going or throw in the towel.

I don't remember 2011 very well. Perhaps because it would prove to hold the least tragedy of all our years of marriage? I did begin this blog as I finally discovered what my part in Downtown ministry would look like.

2012 was a hard year that included unemployment again, along with depression, and a devastating personal trajedy.

I'm still processing 2013. I oddly have a somewhat positive perspective following another very hard year that left us suffering two great additional losses.

So what have I learned?  


In October 2010, by God's grace we made the decision to honor our commitment to one another and keep moving forward. It wasn't easy. It took lots of professional help and we still have lots of work to do. But I'm so thankful God saved and redeemed our marriage.

Eventually in every marriage (if you're honest with yourself) you'll come to a place where you must decide whether to continue or not. You'll ask yourself if the positives really outweigh the negatives. As someone who has come out on the other side my answer is a resounding, "YES!" It will not be quick or easy but it will be worth it.

If you're feeling particularly brave today, I'd love to hear your story, in the comments below, of choosing to continue with marriage even when it would have been easier or even acceptable to divorce. What have you learned during your years of marriage?

(Note: if abuse or infidelity exists in your marriage please seek a trusted friend, a professional, or the proper authorities.)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Meeting With God Morning, Noon, And Night

"If you read and study four verses a day, every day, it will take you twenty-six years to study through the entire Bible. Twenty six years. That's all! Chances are, most of you will live that long; there's no need to rush through it." -Dr. Ronald Sauer of The Moody Bible Institute, on really studying the Bible, not just simply reading it

For the past few months my season of life has allowed me to meet with God first thing in the morning. I do best when I eat breakfast right away with my Bible in hand. This is new for me. I have always met with God in either the afternoons or evenings.

I don’t feel like a better Christian or even more accomplished because I’m spending time with God early. Honestly my time in the afternoons was richer because I was more awake and had both more to offer God and more patience in waiting on Him. For me the one bonus of meeting with God in the mornings is that I'm not tempted to push this time later and later in the day until time has run out.

I know lots of people swear by (ironic, I know) meeting with God in the early morning. Many pastors preach it as the only option for mature growing Christians (look hard, but this is not in the Bible). There are merits to meeting with God first thing and some seasons of life will only allow you that time. But if you feel any type of guilt for meeting with God sometime other than early morning or if you feel any type pride from meeting with him at 5:00 AM, you have missed the point.

God wants to meet with you. He’s always available and waiting. Don’t feel guilt or shame for when and how you meet with him. Don’t worry about how much or how little you read or how much time you have to offer. Just meet with Him. Give him five minutes or an hour. Read two chapters or two verses. If you give God your time, any time, you will grow. It’s that simple.

If meeting with God regularly is one of your goals for this new year, take a deep breath. Take the pressure off. God wants time with you. Whatever and whenever you give it, He will be faithful to meet you.

When do you find time to meet with God and read his word? How has it impacted your spiritual growth and the rest of your life?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Fight: #FiveMinuteFriday and My #OneWord365

Five Minute Friday

It's what I need to do but am finding so hard. When the last weeks of December left you excited for a new year with dreams and ambitions, but January 1 found you afraid to get out of bed...And January 2nd left you ready to flush 2014 down the toilet already.

And no amount of positive thinking or preaching the Gospel to yourself seems to be doing the trick. This would-be-fighting has been left on the sidelines for fear. Fear of the past, of the future, of what might come and what might not.

So with trembling heart and hands I whisper my One Word: hope. I've been sitting on it all quiet. Afraid. And not fighting. But the truth is 2013 left me in desperate need of it...

Thank God that for me 2013 went by at lightening speed. Because if I would have had time to dwell on the numerous losses and pain I may have surely given up the fight entirely. And so I step tentatively into 2014. But stepping just the same.

Hope. I pray I can have more of it by the end of the year. I pray that planting it early and in fear leads to growth of more and of myself.