Thursday, May 5, 2011

Follow The Yellow Brick Road

We just finished another Leaders Advance this week. This is my most favorite event that we have at Bethel. We get to have two a year- and I love that. Leaders from all over the world come in to connect and gather together for worship and wisdom. It is really special to me to be able to see people again that I’ve connected with from all over the world. It is family time. It fills me up!

The other day, I was running on the river trail and this little pheasant hopped out in front of me and started to run. It was the funniest view I have ever seen. The little guy couldn’t make up his mind…. He looked panicked and unsure of where he should go—to the right? No, wait- to the left!! And on and on… He was frightened and looked so silly. I laughed to myself and then heard the Lord say… “That’s what you look like when you are afraid of your future.” Wow.

I began thinking about how true that is. When I am panicked and out of peace, I make decisions that are not right. When I am out of trust and afraid and let my mind run away with me—I feel like I am running to the right and to the left and in reverse and I am afraid to go boldly and confidently in the direction that He’s called me to go.

We have to begin to really trust that He knows what He is doing. When we walk in peace and trust in the Father, nothing can stop us. Fear is such a tactic that the enemy uses to stop you on your yellow-bricked road. Rest assured that when things pop up to stop you in your tracks, you are most likely going in the right direction… If things were easy in that time, I would be more concerned that I was going the wrong way.

On my run, that day, I noticed so many butterflies flying around… They remind me of the hope and promise that are there for me along the way. As long as I can see them, I know I am okay. I make an effort to recognize them and breathe in what they create. May you begin to do the same…. Just follow the yellow-brick road with trust and confidence and may hope and promise kiss you along the way.

Monday, April 25, 2011

What to do with Disappointment.

I stole some of this from Wikipedia’s description of disappointment: Disappointment is the feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations to manifest. Disappointment is one of two primary emotions involved in decision-making.

Decision-making is a regular part of everyday life. I don’t know about you, but I definitely weigh the feeling of disappointment against the feeling of accomplishment when I am thinking of making a decision. I have learned to guard my heart in these times because the blow of disappointment causes pain. So I don’t get too into either side of a decision before the outcome comes. I call it being neutrally aware.

Everyone experiences the feeling of disappointment at some point in life. It is what you do with it when it happens that matters the most. I remember learning this at my first women’s retreat- when I was 15 years old. You see, we can choose to shove disappointment down inside- like a trash compactor… and pretend that it isn’t there or act like it didn’t happen. Or you can work through it and let your heart experience it. Grieve it- talk about it with a friend… Talk about it with the Lord. If you choose to shove it down, and then you keep shoving down disappointment upon disappointment- eventually, it is going to explode one day and it won’t look or feel so great. You won’t be able to work out where it’s all coming from.

For example, the other day I was chatting with a friend on the phone and something happened while we were talking and I completely lost it—sobbing and I felt like my world was falling apart. Only to realize that it was only the icing on top of the cake to a hard week… So I had to look at the main reasons for this good cry that was taking place. I should have been taking better care of my heart that week- and making sure that I was on top of what I was feeling. Luckily, I had someone right there on the phone to talk me through what I was feeling… It helped me so much to externally process and get it all out in the air. It was a blessing. One of God’s kisses to me.

I feel like I am learning the basics again this week. Or at least I am being kindly reminded of them. My goal is to keep my heart soft and open… to breathe in every moment- to be fully awake- no matter how beautiful or how cloudy the moment may feel. It is never all for nothing.

Another big part is learning to take care of me in all of this. Am I sleeping enough? Am I eating the right things? Have I been drinking enough water? Simple but impacting… Beni’s blog helps me learn, too- how to take care of me.

HAVE A FANTASTICAL WEEK! Take care of you…


Monday, April 18, 2011

The. Heart.

“And if you make it to the next season without getting offended- you will get promoted.” ~Julie Meyer

Ah—Don’t ya just love that quote? It hits you right where you need it. At least it did me…. Wow. What a whirlwind the last month has been. I can hardly believe that we are half way into April. When I think back to December, I definitely do not feel like the same person. Who was that girl?

I remember sitting at a pizza parlor with some great friends in January… We were talking about this 2011-year… Discussing how it “feels like” a shifting, transitioning time… and a time of change. We all only thought that we knew what we were talking about… and now here we are, 4 months later, rolling our eyes and wishing we had only known what we were getting into.

For me, this year has been a definite heart-defining year… Discovering what is in my heart when the pressure is on… When disappointment comes, when I feel alone, when I feel excited… etc, etc. In some ways, it has showed me how far along I have come and some things that I have been able to conquer… on the other hand, it shows me how far away I am from where I want to be.

The last couple of months have also taught me to be extra careful in the plans that I make when my heart is out of alignment. It has taught me that the “I just don’t care” attitude, never works out very well. For example, when I don’t have plans for a certain night of the week and I start to feel alone, I make sure that I make plans for myself--- like trying to cook something new… or renting this movie that I have been wanting to watch… or writing a new blog with Ella playing in the background with a glass of wine. I have control over what I do, when I do it and where I do it… There are no excuses.

I don’t know about you… But it seems like God’s eye is really on the heart right now. In the things that I am going through, I have decided to not get offended. When everything in me would want to freak out, question, or run away- I have decided to stay in it and get all that I can get out of it…. Because I refuse to go around in a circle in these areas—I am believing that when my heart is changed, then I am changed… and that’s when everything around me begins to change…

My challenge for you is to just TRUST… To be BRAVE, to take His hand and walk this out. Remember, if you make it to the next season without getting offended, you will get promoted!!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011


“When did the choices get so hard? With so much more at stake. Life gets mighty precious when there’s less of it to waste. “ ~Bonnie Raitt

I felt the season of spring for the first time this morning. It was actually walking around in the airport in Harrisburg. The light outside just felt different than usual… and I began flashing back to memories of Easter Sunday when I was a little girl. Wearing those matching ruffle dresses with my sisters- with the giant bows that overtook the top of our heads… Lining up on the porch to take Easter pictures. For some reason I had to make some awful face… Never a normal smile. And then there was church and the Amarillo Club for lunch afterwards- with MamaLiz and Biggie with an Easter egg hunt and always a Cadbury egg. Oh to go back to those days of innocence… No decisions to make- everything was made for you. Part of that was frustrating and now I think it would be nice. Ha! Typical, I guess. Now, some years later, I can never relive those memories. It’s so interesting how I didn’t even think about that then- that these moments are not forever’s.

Moments really are precious. I was just at a women’s conference in Harrisburg where Anne Stock showed an amazing video. One of the phrases in it was something like “Ohh if I could learn to be fully awake in every moment.” I love that.

This year has felt like one of the most challenging years for me. I feel like I am being stretched like a frog. Just when I figure something out from some decision I have to make and learn from… in that time of resting and getting myself back together- something else comes up. And they don’t feel like little things- they feel like HUGE life altering lessons where I have to be an adult and figure things out of my own. And they aren’t horrible traumatic events- just times that I have to decide what I’m going to believe and make a choice on it.

I’m not going to lie- sometimes running away sounds really appealing and seems like it would perfectly solve how I feel. But I know it wouldn’t- really. And somehow I know that this season of life is monumental for the life I am made to live. So I must get through it with a smile on my face. And trust me, I will. I have not come this far to not keep going and learning and living. It would be easier to see the conclusion- but I guess that would lose the adventure of it all. Life is all about perspective. How are you viewing this season of your life? I am taking mine by the horns and I am going to get all that I can out of it… So I don’t have to go around the circle again.

Be brave. Be bold. Conquer your season with fearlessness. Live your season with trust.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Round Two

"WE ALL HAVE INSECURITIES... They piggyback on the vulnerability inherent in our humanity. The question is whether or not our insecurities are substantial enough to hurt, limit, or even distract us from profound effectiveness or fulfillment of purpose."

Yes, here I am-- going through Beth Moore's book- So Long Insecurity for the 2nd time. Let me just tell you about the first time I picked up this book randomly at Barnes and Noble. You see, I had a hair crisis... Never in my life has this happened to me. But it did.. and that one little thing... brought out some deep issues in my heart and in my soul that I was clueless about.

For the last 5 years that I've been at Bethel, I have fully embraced Pastor Bill's word about "No naval gazing"... I refuse to go inward and search for what is the matter with me-- it is depressing. But when Holy Spirit brings things up for me to work on (and let me tell you HE DOES)I am game. Because I know that if I ignore it, I will go around the circle repeating things until I decide to let Him help me fix it.

So I found myself at Barnes and Noble- in the Christian book section- frustrated and yelling HELP ME on the inside. Fully feeling insecurity dominating my emotions... I mean, I was so insecure that I was feeling insecure about my insecurity. POP- saw a title... So Long Insecurity- You've Been A Bad Friend To Us. I bought this book and took a chapter every morning. This book completely changed my life. I am not kidding... FULLY changed me.

And so I thought I was through with all insecurity and about a month ago- POP- something happened and here I am going through it again, but in a different area of my life. Let me just tell you, I am going to beat the crap out of insecurity... and fight until it's not a part of me any longer.

So... as I was reading through chapter 2 this morning, I thought I would share some of what Beth says in my journey of re-reading this book. Thus the blog re routing.

Here's what I got the most out of chapter 2.. I have a strong desire to make amends when I think I've done something wrong. I have a strong desire to make amends even when I haven't done something wrong! I dread the backlash of people. Having someone upset with me is very unsettling even if I was on the right side of the conflict. Beth says, Loss of favor and approval and harmony is excruciating for people with insecurity. THAT IS ME and I fully admit it ha. I am excited that as I am reading this book, different things are hitting me than what hit me last time...

More later from Chapter 3... Thanks for letting me vulnerable and real and adventurous with you...