New Year…New Post and the Thoughts That Swirl ‘Round My Brain…

I’ve been a bit of a blogging slacker. New Years Resolutions are supposed to fix this through at least mid February. I’ll blame a pretty significant change in work schedule (due to an answered prayer of a new job), the holidays and the fact that sitting down to write what is swirling in my head may not yet be blog material. Somethings are meant for personal journal writing….some questions are good for online…and some need much prayer before going public. I’m learning the difference.

The last month has been a whirlwind…

Our Christmas backpack and taco outreach was awesome. Not a single person left empty handed. For those wondering what was a huge hit…bus passes. We also had McDonald’s gift cards and backpacks. This year in comparison to last was night and day. Thanks to Mike Vogt, we were organized and were assembled and ready to roll within minutes of pulling into the parking lot. Conversations, kids passing out cookies,  warm smiles, full bellies, Tracy singing with a guy who brought his guitar…that all happened.

There is so much to be done. Let’s love our cities!

I just finished reading Undaunted by Christine Caine. If you need a shot in arm, kick in the face or a good, healthy dose of reality and the purpose of our faith. Read it! If a books intro is written by Max Lucado and says “our generation has a Paul, an Esther and a Mary and her name is Christine Caine”. You should probably see what its all about.

We just started our James bible study. Fact – Beth Moore is crazy and I want to be a little bit like her. We are in week 2 and loving it. Women, study the bible with other women. In fact, if you are in Austin…join us. We are only scary if you don’t appreciate crazy.

My grandmother is 98 and still possess the same stubborn streak I have always known her to have. With this information, I don’t allow certain arguments to happen in my house. My kids are stubborn and I want them to use it for things that matter. Jackets when it’s 30 degrees outside is not worth fighting for, so we don’t. It’s a healthy dose of perspective. Thanks Grandma.

Every time I watch The Avengers, I say “my favorite Avenger is Tony Stark (Iron Man), I’m not sure what this says about me”. Help me folks.

My husband and daughter are frighteningly similar at times. He is NOT dramatic, diva-esque and in love with Justin Bieber…but other than that…I look at them and they are kind of the same.

A real wrestling thought has been about churches in general. The camps we are in, what we are for, against and how it wrongly divides us. This has been on going for a little while. Forget one blog post on this one. It may take a book.

Why do people say “well, you can do that in Austin”? I’ve heard it since we said “we are planting a church in Austin”. Most of those questions have come from dear friends. This is not a jab. I want to know the difference. It makes me use words like “sub-culture”. Pray for me. LOL.

The purpose of the church is great. Something about a new year excites me…and this year has a whole new list of prayers, expectations and believing in what God is going to do.
While my list of thoughts is long, my heart is not troubled. It may be a tad uncomfortable but not troubled. I’m learning that it’s His kindness that leads to repentance. I’ll wrestle with the stirring and know that God is at work. I will not allow condemnation to lead to inactivity. Let’s do this church! 

Ladies – A New Years “triple-dog-dare”

This thought lingers in my mind often. I’ve judged much by how I’ve seen this unfold. I’ve seen it in the church. I see it on tv. I see it in my kids movies. I see it everywhere. This has gone on for far too long.

Ladies, let’s step it up and show the world (and more importantly our daughters and other young women in our lives), how this is done.

This all came to a head on Christmas day. Yup. Christmas.

We were watching Brave. Yes, that cute little Disney movie where everyone has a thick Scottish accent. Cute movie. Strong women.

The strong is awesome. How it is portrayed is my HUGE issue.

Women – our purpose is beautiful. It is not weak. It is not passive. It is strong, beautiful, God ordained and grace covered. It requires leading and guiding from the Holy Spirit because it is indeed far greater than we can do on our own. We have much to offer to a room and to the world. To quote Stasi Eldredge “we speak to others that all is well, because of God all shall be well”. Proverbs says that a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised and she is clothed with dignity and strength. Psalms says that “surely goodness and mercy shall follow”. Thanks to Pastor Shelly Nelson, I am constantly reminded that I leave goodness and mercy in my wake.
We are fierce. We handle trials. We handle heartbreak. We weep, we comfort, we are loyal and we feel much pain. We know that joy comes in the morning. We live as an example of God’s heart. He made us on purpose.

This is all true. I speak this with much passion and a desire to live that example and speak this to others. We as women want to offer dignity back to other women who are broken.

There is more.

This strength doesn’t have a camoflage. At it’s rawest state, it is evident.

Raw – not a fun word. It’s exposed. No hiding.

We have strength to offer. We are pretty much awesome.

Here is my beef…

When the men in our lives feel belittled, out to be the idiot, a constant failure and disrespected by us; we have failed.

I’m not just talking about our husbands. This goes for brothers, boyfriends, co-workers, men in our community…um…our SONS…

Imagine what could change if we modeled this for our daughters.

Imagine a shift in a whole culture of men, when our dignity and strength treats them as such. When it invites instead of nags, encourages instead of belittles and recognizes our differences as gifts instead of a curse that we don’t understand.

How does this sound for a New Years Resolution?