God Made You Special…thank you Veggie Tales

“God made you special and He loves you very much” – veggie tales

Those vegetables remind my kids of this at the end of every episode. So simple, so true and sometimes so hard to remember. Maybe not the “He loves you very much” part but the whole “God made you special” thing can get us some times (maybe I am speaking for too many with the “us” and should just say “me”).

This is all without getting into how we are all different shapes and sizes…lets talk personality. Yes, when God made you He got specific. I remind myself of this at times….even when it comes to my children…they are individuals for sure 🙂

I’ve known introverts who think God made a mistake in making them that way. Like there is something wrong with their quiet. I’ve even heard people talk to them as if there was something wrong with them. Then there is me. I’m pretty much extrovert defined. At one point in time, I wondered if God had made a personality mistake. As a man at the church I spent all of my teenagers in used to say to me “God broke the mold and hurt his hand when He made you”. I know for sure God did not hurt His hand…

Ever prayed “Dear Lord, help me to not talk so much, not be so loud”…um, I mean no, me either! I remember wondering if I was too much to handle. Too loud, too quiet (not me, other people), too emotional, too non-emotional. To quote Stasi Eldridge “too much and not enough all at the same time

I do not at all underestimate the necessity and power of listening and quiet. I’ve said before that I am grateful for our differences in strengths…thank God we are not all the same. Surprisingly, I’ve learned (and continue to learn…if only it was a mastered art) when and when not to speak…my teenage years were full of my opinions getting me in trouble. I also outgrew the hyperactivity of childhood…even though I still run everywhere like a 7yr old. We grow…as we should. However, I am still an extrovert, that has not changed with age 🙂 I now know that that was no mistake.

So all this to say “God made you special and He loves you very much”!

Trust or Panic

I sent a text to a dear friend last week about trusting in God. It was one of those moments where I had to laugh at the honesty that came out of my finger tips. I said “amazing how easy it can be to remember only God can make this thing happen…the alternative is panic”. I laughed as I typed but the statement couldn’t have been more true.
Trust or Panic…one of these two wins…every time.
What I am experiencing is this…the more you follow the grand purpose that God has for you, the more your definition of obedience will be challenged and the greater your obedience must be.
I started thinking about Peter. Yes, the thoughts of sitting in a boat or walking on the water came to mind. What must that moment have looked and felt like? I like the Message translation “Peter, suddenly bold, Master, if it’s you, call me onto the water”. If you don’t know the story, you can read here.
I imagine that if the writer had known the impression using ALL CAPS can make on a reader, there would have been a lot of THIS. I also would love to know Peter’s exact verbiage and tone of voice…but that is just me. I can imagine…it requires ALL CAPS.
Obedience is what led him out onto the water, panic is what kept him from experiencing the fullness of it.
I can’t blame Peter for taking his eyes off of Jesus, that would make me a hypocrite. How often do we take our eyes away from God, realize where we are (or where we are going) and panic?
We all have our bold moments of surrender. Then, there are the moments where we are standing in the middle of the water. This is not the time to get scared and lose focus.
May we always be at that place of radical obedience. When Jesus calls us onto the water, a new job, a new city, plant a church, sharing your faith, actually acknowledging those desires in your heart…whatever your “water” may be….We go, our eyes set on who has called us and loves us far greater than a love we can give back.

A Smidge of Honesty

I have tried to be as honest as possible in my writing. Honesty in my strengths, weaknesses, excitement, fears and the hats that I wear…it does not benefit anyone when we put on a mask.

Today, I ask you a question about fear. No, not the fear of the boogie man or the economy but about your hearts desires. I have them, you have…the question is, are we afraid to be so bold as to confess them. Sometimes our present circumstances cause us to pretend (at least sometimes) that those desire aren’t there or they never were.

Insert song – liar liar, pants on…you know the rest

Sometimes it is easy to pretend, at least for the moment that those desires aren’t there. It’s almost easier that way. We read a book, get inspired, then we look around and don’t like what we see. We see reality. We don’t see our ability to help the hurting and broken. We see them but because of life, we don’t see how we can play a role in helping. We hear of people who are on the front lines, standing up in our cities, in our government, in other countries, making a difference, changing lives and instead of doing something, we sit heartbroken…yet again, pretending those desires aren’t there.

On my way to work last week (keep in mind, I am here to plant a church and I work at a Chili’s), I got honest with myself and the God of my hearts desires. That was the kicker, the God of my hearts desires. Sometimes we forget where it all came from. Don’t let me lead you to throwing me a “woe-to-me” party (reference My Big Fat Greek Wedding). Life is not in a place where I feel detached from dreaming or pursing the vision God has seared in me.

One hard week made me realize a few things, if I were honest with myself, what would I say? And what do I have to be afraid of?

 

Psalm 37:4 – Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart

 

I hope this provokes some thought and a reminder of those “secret petitions of your heart”.

 

What I didn’t miss…A Weekend Update

Of all the things that I can write about this past weekend, I have to start with this.

I have said before that there is a group of students (and some incredible parents) in a small town in Oklahoma who will forever have a piece of my heart. These people are like family. This weekend, we had the opportunity to be with them, Ray preached Sunday morning and Sunday night and we were given the opportunity to cast vision for Revive Church. We were exhausted by the time we drove back into Austin but it was worth every second.

This Sunday, I got to be a part of something that was a first. I had no role to play during any service. Gasp! This is a season that I refuse to lose focus in. It is different but the Lord is allowing me to see things I may not have had the opportunity to see had I been focused on what I wasn’t doing. I’d be lying through my southern accent if I said this came automatic.

If I had lost focus, I would have missed this…

I used to lead these students in worship. Then, they led with us. This Sunday, they led me.

This is one grateful heart! I am so glad I didn’t miss this! It was an incredible time of worship, a room full of adults, led by teenagers. I dare anyone to dismiss them because they are young. I just may have to fight you. There was an authenticity in that group of students that you don’t see every day.  They are walking in the gifts God has given them and it is beautiful…

There will be future posts about this church family in Tonkawa, OK. I have learned so much through them and our time there.

On our way back, we got to stop in Dallas and have lunch with dear friends, Pastor Jaycee and Anna Jennings. It is ALWAYS good to spend time with them. We are grateful for their investment in our lives, friendship, support, prayers and wisdom over the years.

We arrived home spent but encouraged and refreshed.

The best really is yet to come!

 

Martha and Mary…Stewart and Poppins

I have a confession to make. Sometimes I wish I was part Mary Poppins and part Martha Stewart. My house would be perpetually clean and all it would require from me is a song, a song so lovely that even birds sing a long (and not the exploding kind like on Shrek). My organization and decoration skills would have others stand in complete awe. My children’s art projects would be used as home decor because I would have all the tools to make it looks like a magazine.

Notice all the “would”.

I am neither of those women. Yes, I know one isn’t real, she is Disney fantasy (talking about Mary Poppins here) but she exudes something I wish I had.

It may have taken me a little while to realize this but I have come to one important conclusion. I’m not any part of Martha Stewart or Mary Poppins…and THAT is OK!

I like my house clean but it is not perfect. I love to cook but don’t worry about the perfect table setting. There will never be a women’s event at Revive Church where I am responsible for the center pieces or table settings! Ever! My kids color on construction paper, coloring books and on a magna doodle, not elaborate art projects.

While I travel well with my children, don’t even say the word “post office” in my presence unless I am child free. I will do airports, security, youth camps, mission trips and 16hr car rides but not the post office (there is more but you get the idea).

As women we tend to think that when we reach adulthood, or become wives or mothers, we must do every womanly thing with absolute perfection.

It got me thinking about strengths and weaknesses.

We are not all the same. Thank God for that! There is a reason for it. Insert perfect song (here). I believe that it keeps us reminded that community is important. We really do need each other.

I thank God for the people in my life who have different desires, gifting and abilities. I am reminded of a youth girl’s event I put on a couple years ago. I had the vision for it, surrounded myself with some amazing women who took aspects of that vision and took it places I could have never imagined.

We need each other!

Oh…and if you are a “Martha Stewart” or “Mary Poppins”…the world needs you cause of people like me!

 

Happy Friday!