Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hurry & Scurry

This morning was wake up in panic mode. Had a good long girl talk till 1am with my dear friend, well worth it! But then overslept and it's go time in the morning. Which automatically puts this heaviness in my chest. Rushing, hurrying and scurrying.

Big boys are all out of the house at a somewhat decent time, not too late. I set to make a plan. I realize a plan will help me to set goals, priorities, and hopefully lift this heaviness! And this isn't pretty plan-making in a cute notebook. It's hiding in my closet because baby is happy (unless he sees me) and make a plan on my phone. 

Then I get him to nap and take a way overdue shower. And again heaviness sets in of thinking there's no way I can get it all done and please all the people. 

I scurry to fix myself a bowl of cereal something fast to keep going. Then feel this nudge of, "hey-- wanna have breakfast together!?" So I remind myself what I always say #slowisgoodforthesoul. I make myself a nice breakfast to sit down with my coffee and the Truth-teller and this is what I read. 

"Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind."  (Proverbs 21:5 MSG)

Hello God! Thank you for your voice in my life in the big and small. I love walking with You! 

The chapter ends with this beauty— 

"Do your best, prepare for the worst— then trust GOD to bring victory." (Proverbs 21:31 MSG)

Good day friends! You've got this! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Gratitude Game

Having a rough day? Stuck in the middle of a total mess? Feeling like a total failure?

That's where I find myself sometimes. I don't think I'm alone. Today's scenario was what felt like the longest two and a half hours with my two oldest. Nap time at 12:30pm and still finding myself disciplining to stay in bed at 2:30pm. While trying to stay sane, calm, not lose my temper and take care of the baby. After multiple visits to their bedroom I was feeling so defeated. God, am I doing this right? Are you with me? 

This day is not going as planned. Today was supposed to be fun with mom day and we had an appointment this morning and now spent two hours fighting. 

When I found my first moment of reprieve, I grab my phone and go to default mode of scrolling through my feed. I automatically see a mom who made a felt Christmas tree for their toddler... "Oh now she's got it figured out. Surely she doesn't have moments like this." And I automatically caught myself. 

Do. Not. Go. There. 

The world of comparison. Don't do it. So here's a trick I play on myself and my invitations to pity-parties or all out defeat-fests. I go to Instagram... (You thought I was going to say the Bible huh?) And I play the gratitude game. I look through my own feed and cannot help but be so grateful for this beautiful life I'm blessed to live. 

So note to self-- when you're feeling down... It can be a slippery slope if you don't catch yourself. So turn up the truth in your life of all you have to be grateful for. Your beautiful mess. 

So in between some of the discipline I got to return to this smiling face who was laughing with joy to see me! 

Then the cherry on top was one of my dear friends stopped by and hand delivered this cup of joy! 

The peace lasted long enough for a short convo and then my arms were full again... But now with a perspective shift and the victory of the gratitude game!!! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Some Good News

With Monday quickly approaching and as we prepare a special evening for the girls in Juvenile Hall, I came across the article published in Capital Culture about our last time with the girls. I realized I never shared it and thought-- why not share some good news. So often we get bombarded with the bad news and we carry the heaviness of it with us throughout the day.  Be encouraged to know God is on the move in our midst and we welcome prayers for our time with these girls on Monday night.

There is something special happening across our city where believers are working together to love and serve our community. There is a gathering of women-- young and old-- under the umbrella of "Leading and Loving It". Where local area women in leadership and ministry are gathering to connect and encourage one another and then serve together.

An opportunity arose to bring hope and light into a place deemed as hopeless and dark. The Youth Detention Facility (aka Juvenile Hall) is right around the corner from Capital on Kiefer Blvd. Chaplain Dan Thompson has served there for many years, loving and bringing the message of Jesus to those young people in need. He had the idea to host an event for the young women to feel loved and special. Jackie Guzman, founder of The Glass Slipper, quickly joined forces to make this special day happen. Glass Slipper is a non-profit that provides life-changing programs for girls in foster care and group homes. Then I got thrown in the mix, with the idea of reaching out to other women in leadership throughout our city and voila the planning began. I've heard it said in reference to the church, "we are beautiful when gathered and unstoppable when scattered." I think this opportunity was a perfect combination of both beauty and power. Simultaneously gathered and scattered amongst these young girls-- and what happened was nothing short of miraculous.

At the mention of the event these girls were so excited, they took the time beforehand to come together and make special banners welcoming and thanking these older women. As the girls began to enter the gymnasium-- which had been transformed into a beautiful gathering place-- many of the "walls" began to fall down. They sat and shared tea and desserts with Sacramento area female Christian leaders. The program began and everything was prepared especially for them. A song ewas shared that was written for the girls declaring who they are, dancers danced a prayer dance they wrote filled with hope, powerful testimonies shared through cardboard testimonies and turned into the message of Hope Floats. Pastor Karen Hagan shared a message of hope with the girls with the message of Jeremiah 29:11 weaved through it all. "'For I know the plans I have for you', declares the Lord. 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" Then came the fun fashion show! Models of all ages and sizes walked the center aisle with beautiful clothes the girls could later purchase with certificates they were given from the Glass Slipper boutique.

There were many smiles, tears, laughs, prayers, hands held, hands raised and hope shared. God moved powerfully in the hearts of all the women involved-- young and old, incarcerated and free-- True freedom was encountered by all.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Life is a beautiful mess, but of course normally we only post the beautiful (after multiple photos taken and edits) and we leave out the mess. I think we all know the danger of this and what it could be creating in our cultures and in our hearts. A constant comparison to someone's highlight reels and not realizing they also have behind-the-scenes and bad days. So today my own #turnuptruth...

Life has #nofilter to make it look pretty, but we choose what filter to apply to our perspective.
Truth or lies. Gratitude or greed. Humility or haughty. The list goes on.

This morning was a total scramble, which isn't rare in our household with three littles and all. We had to rush to drop of my grandparents to the airport at 7am, get one to the dentist by 8am, the other to school by 9am and feed and care for baby. (As well as make lunches, pack bags, etc.) So let's just say I brushed my son's teeth, but not my own today. One of those kind of days. A woman dropping off her son at preschool saw me and said, "you look so cute!" My auto-response (I had no coffee yet) was something like, "Oh really? I was just thinking I can't believe I'm out in public like this." It's not like she knew those floral leggings were yesterday's apparel and pajamas, I hadn't washed my face, brushed my teeth and I threw on my husband's hat to try to hide my dirty hair. What she saw was "cute" what I saw was a "mess" and it reminded me that the mess is beautiful. I love observing other people's messy lives-- they inspire me! So embrace your mess today.

Currently sitting in my inbox from fellow sisters are messages asking: things like how do I juggle three little boys and ministry life? or how do I study the Bible? How do I have time to shower? lol... no but really. All of this was juggling around in my mind (and sorry I haven't responded yet) because as I was thinking on these I was feeling like a total train wreck. My hubby and I had some "heated fellowship" by the fire last night (it wasn't hot because of the fire). We disagreed. We shared ways we'd hurt each other. We tried to reconcile and figure out how to be better for each other. But I woke up with this weight of... hmmm... really just not wanting to do it all.

"But God" (yes it's one of those) He always has me. I woke up and saw the gorgeous sunrise. Did my yucky feelings go away right away? No. I've been processing them and praying about them all day (while running errands and doing laundry and attending a luncheon). I asked for help. Something that is personally so hard for me. I asked a woman I've never talked to for prayer. I ended up then receiving multiple words of wisdom and encouragement from people. I left with a better sense of my identity, my calling, an assurance that I do hear from God, I left full of hope.

So this is my "no filter" day. I will remove the sense that "everything is perfect" and say I'm not perfect, but I'm in love with someone who is.

Here's #truthfortoday for you and me, it always seem to speak to where I am at. I hope it encourages you as well.

I'm ready to make a clean break with everything that distracts me and to focus on my "within". What does that look like to you? 


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

You Had Better Be...

So there's this Blogger app which is just simply amazing. I can sit in my car with a sleeping baby and write. Yes! #thankyoutechnology

Now-- my whole mantra of "turn up truth" is something I remind myself of daily. It can be done even in the chaos of life. Waiting in line, waiting in the car (like me), and then of course we should make intentional time... But we have no excuse. 

So while I wait... I opened to this #truthfortoday!

Whoa! What awesome reminders and challenges in this word! 

1. He has me where He wants me! 
2. He showers grace and kindness on me. (Thank you! I can feel that shower today!!) 
3. It's all HIM! (I have zero bragging rights!) 
4. I GET TO join Jesus in His work. (not  have to) 
5. Work I'd BETTER BE DOING! (Here's where I'd like to sit a minute...) 

I have the amazing privilege to join Jesus in His work, He's gotten it prepared in advance for me. Specifically the way He's created me, my gift mix! Now-- there is a lot stirring about slowing down and taking Sabbath and finding breathing room in our hectic lives. And I need to hear and respond to every word of it. BUT... When I find myself getting into a funk. A "woe is me" or "I don't care" or any kind of funk-- I'm normally not engaged in the work He's prepared for ME! Yea I might be "working"-- but it's to people please or to keep up with the Joneses. But when I'm truly engaged in the season of life and what He asks me to do with Him-- there's no room for funk! 

So ask yourself today if you're engaged in working WITH Jesus (not for) in the area He's calling you! I believe it will make you come alive. I was in a funk this week and trying to evaluate why and asking God why? I immediately felt the funk lift when I was preparing to gather people (unite the body) for a cause (teen girls in Juvy). Which is most definitely part of my calling in this season of life. 

So what work "had you better be doing"? It's good work & it will make you come alive!

"Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." -Howard Thurman

This is Me

It's 1:00a.m. It's a new day and a new and refreshed me. I think real is refreshing. And I'm ready to be real.

I think obedience is the place to live and I'm ready to live there.

I think caring less about what people think and more about what my Creator/Father/Friend thinks, is what it's about.

You know when you KNOW something, just deep inside. Well I just realized that almost all of my KNOWING moments had a lightly penciled in ????? after it. Like these lies that had crept into my thoughts and began to filter every moment, every truth, every KNOWING with a ????

"Do you really know that?" "Do you really believe that?" "Do you really hear from God?"

Wow... and I'm ready! To erase the ????? and to add a !!!!!!!!!!

Yes! I do know! I do believe! I do hear! 

I know I am supposed to write. He's made it clear it so many ways. Specifically in an undeniable way-- having a total and complete stranger, come to me in a dark crowded room and He gave her the words to speak directly to my heart to where I was at and that I needed to write. And that it was meant to be shared.

There is a part of me that feels like vomiting every time in the past that I've felt the need to write and then share something I've written. What could be more gut-wrenching? To write down something and share it and feel like every word could be scrutinized over, picked apart? I'm a perfectionist as well-- who would like to write something and then proof it a hundred times before anyone else's eyes would see it. I do not have time for that. Repeat (to self). I do not have time for that. By the miracle chance that I get the time to sit and write. That's it. one and done baby. And that's what's going to happen.

It's an obedience walk. It's going to be real... which means it's going to be messy. If you prefer to not join the mess-- then please refrain from reading.

These are my 1am ramblings after an incredible eye-opening experience with my lover (Cole) and the lover of my soul (Jesus). 

I will not be afraid. I will just write and share as I believe I know I'm supposed to.

And now my baby is awake and needs his mommy to feed him. Thank you Jesus for this sweet boy AND the fact that I can stop this writing now. :)