Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I can't believe it's almost Christmas! I haven't started my shopping at all, but it won't take long as I don't intend to buy much. I wonder if I was wealthy would it be different? Would I go overboard on my family and friends? Or would feel the same I do now, not wanting the focus to be on presents but rather on the present we've all been given?

I didn't grow up going to church and honestly there are many Christmas memories I have that lack talk about Christ and what He did for us. By the time I graduated from high school there was no more "Christmas" programs, it was called a winter program; there was no more prayer allowed in school; there was no more reminder of why we celebrate Christmas at all. Why do we celebrate Christmas?

Christmas isn't mentioned in the bible at all. Paul didn't celebrate Christmas, neither did Peter. Mary didn't even celebrate Christmas and it's about HER son! Yet we do and we do it lavishly yet void of why. I don't hear Merry Christmas, I hear Happy Holidays...that use to offend me but now, well now I think maybe it's what we should say because our "Merry Christmas" isn't really about Christ so why does it matter? We say it matters, but do we ACT like it matters?

Do we sit our kids down and explain to them the birth of Christ? Do we talk about God daily with our family and friends? Do we talk about the sacrifice God made for us as part of our normal language? Or do we only flirt with this stuff at Christmas time cause we feel guilty if we don't?

This Christmas I challenge you to not go into debt so you can buy a bunch of stuff that will be played with until the next new thing comes out, but rather to take a risk and be an out loud Christian, be the voice that remembers the birth of Christ that led to the death of Christ that led to the birth of us.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

To Be Thankful

Every person has a storm of sort to endure, every person has much to not be thankful for; yet every person has plenty to be thankful for if they just change the way they see. I've been siting in my house, alone, for well over an hour and my mind has been flooded with reasons why I should be thankful so instead of sitting here crying over what I cannot control, worrying about what I don't even know to be, I shall focus my mind on what I know is true, on things that I have to be thankful for...

I am God's daughter regardless of how I "feel"

My children are well regardless of how they "seem"

My future is certain regardless of what I don't "know"

I am loved regardless of what I "lack"

We are safe regardless of what "was"

This thanksgiving I am thankful for healing, I am thankful for love and I am thankful for those at the center of my life. This thanksgiving I am thankful for Truth and I am thankful for the promise of brighter days.

Take a moment to change your perspective this Thanksgiving and see just how lovely the life God created for you really is....

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

1Peter 2:19

1Peter 2:19 ...you are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests, God's holy nation, His very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light.

Yesterday, November 15, 2010 at 4pm the very first board meeting for Vulnerability Ministries was held. Six people gathered around the table with me, discussing what exactly is the ministry, what exactly does God have in mind for VM? There was a moment though that I looked around the table, listening to them try to reflect what they feel my heart is and I truly wanted to cry. I've been crying a lot lately, for various reasons, but these tears were tears of joy, relief, and disbelief. It all started with a letter, actually it all started with God waking me in the middle of the night telling me to write the letter. I remember that night as if it happened last night and here we are, five months later, forming a Board of Directors!

For the most part I am saying "Me? Really God? You want ME to do this?" And then I come across scripture like in 1Peter, so you can show others the goodness of God...call you out of the darkness...and I'm reminded of why He's using me. I am the very last person who should be starting a ministry, especially at this point in my life. But I am. And God clearly reminds me it's not about me, it's not about my comfort, and it's certainly not about making others feel comfortable. It is though about learning to make God the center of our life, our true Healer. It is about finding comfort through admitting the wounds that lay beneath the surface. It is about being real, seeing the beauty in being broken. It is about being vulnerable...in a good way. It is what God has asked me to do.

Intellectually I am capable of starting a ministry, of understanding the business side, of doing all that. I am capable of standing on a stage and being totally vulnerable in sharing my own life, my own wounds. I am also desperate for God to use me in ways that bring Him the praise. So, when I say things like really me? God says only so you can show others My goodness, only so together we can bring them out of the darkness you once knew so well.

We all have feelings of inadequacy, we all wonder why God loves us even a tenth let alone fully. We all have times of knowing we royally screwed up and we most certainly all have doubt in our decisions. And that's exactly why 1Peter 2:19 totally rocks. Read it. Think about it. You are a chosen people. Just camp on those five words for awhile...chosen. Vulnerability Ministries was chosen...oh how that makes me smile.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Money. It's not something many like talking about, unless it's how to make more. I have a friend that's always looking for ways to make more money...to have more stuff. I have another friend that's always looking for ways to save more money...get rid of more stuff. For years I avoided money, as crazy as that sounds, I did. I saw how money changed people and I saw the stress money brought. Money can make people become who they were not meant to be and it can hurt a lot of people. My dad once said "who ever said money can't buy happiness was rich cause money sure would make me happy"; I watched him get the point where he had a little extra money (though he'd never admit that) and he still wasn't happy...my dad missed the whole point of happiness.

We think that when we make more money then our trouble will be gone, we'll be able to pay our bills and we won't stress any longer. To a degree I suppose that is true, however that also implies we think money is the key to being happy and that is a very dangerous thought. Today I am broke. Plain and simple. Yet today I am beyond rich. I never know from month to month how my bills will be paid, yet they always get paid. On the outside some would say that I'm being irresponsible. They haven't taken the time to talk to me. They assume wealth equals money. I don't. They assume responsible equals money. I don't. They also assume they are in charge of providing the money they need to survive and thrive. I don't.

Over the years God has proven Himself to me over and over that He will provide for me. It's not always been in comfortable ways, ways I'd like for it to be, but He's never failed me. In fact, in Malachi 3 (from the old testament) God says to test Him in this area..."Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do, says the Lord Almighty, I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Test Me! Let me prove it to you!"

Everything comes from God, whether or not you believe that doesn't really matter. It is what it is. Your money isn't your money, it was a gift from God. And He says that if you test Him, if you trust Him with the money that comes into your house, He will bless you with more than you can even imagine.

Today people are suffering from lack of. Today people are wondering if God has forgotten them. I want to encourage you, no matter what your situation is, no matter how much or how little money you have, each dollar that comes into your hand if you give the first 10% to God by tithing it at church you will be blessed. If you don't go to church then give it to a worthy charity. Where you give it at this point, in my opinion, isn't nearly as important as the actual giving. Test God. Take a step of faith and write the check to give the FIRST 10%...even if that means you won't have enough money to pay your bills. Test God and then wait and see....He will show up. I have no doubt. Write the check even if your hands are shaking...I've so been there and I have seen God show up in outrageous ways!

Monday, November 8, 2010


I need a list to keep track of my lists...that was a statement I made this weekend to a suggestion that I need to have lists so I make sure and get all my stuff done now that my hands are in so many different areas. But I've thought a lot about it, about that whole conversation actually and as crazy as it sounds, that's exactly what I need to do.

I'm probably one of the most unorganized people I know, yet the flip side to that is I know this. So, now that I know it, how can I work with it to ensure things aren't falling through the crack and I'm not loosing my mind. A list of lists, that's totally me.

Are you feeling overwhelmed just like I am? Do you feel like everything is equally important and you aren't even sure where to start? I hate to admit it, but I've even gotten to the point where I feel so busy a guilty feeling comes over me if I think about taking time to spend with God, "doing" nothing, because I keep thinking of all the things I need to be doing. That's not God's plan at all for us, He doesn't ask us to be with Him after we've done everything else, to give Him what's left of us. He wants the best part, the beginning part...why? Because then He can be at the center of our thought as we begin our day thus we'll be better able to sense His guidance and maybe, just maybe, not feel so overwhelmed.

So, the deal I've made with myself is to get up 15 minutes earlier, not get out of bed mind you, but wake up and spend those first 15 minutes with God...before my brain kicks into full speed and the day starts spinning around me. I am also going to take 15 minutes at night, just before bed, to go over my agenda for the next day. I'll make my list for the next day, go over whatever list I already have, and review what I did for that day. It all sounds so simple, so logical, so easy. Yet I'm fully aware it's not going to be, I'm going to have to remain conscience of this goal and force myself to truly do it, truly stick to it.

It's so much easier to float through life, to not have a lot going on, to ignore all that's going on around me. It's so much easier to whine, eat some cheesecake, and then take a nap. But as I tell my kids life isn't about doing what's easy, it's about doing what's right. It's also about doing things in a certain order because in the end that is what will help relieve the overwhelming feeling.

So, even though right now I feel as if I'd just added something else to my list, I am going to choose to change my thinking and know I've just taken a major step in helping myself out. Let the list making and time taking begin...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Through prayer....

I've been a Christian long enough to know when a verse or topic surfaces often in a short period of time, God's trying to tell ya something...and prayer has been surfacing a lot lately for me. For the longest time I was terrified to pray out loud, in front of others. I'd tell my grandma no, I'm not praying when it's time to eat. I'd tell my small group no I'm not praying at the end of our time together. I'd even tell God no I'm not talking to you out loud. It just felt weird, to be talking to "someone" who wasn't even here. To talk to air...really? I think that was one of the major issues I had with becoming a Christian, believing in what seemed to be air.

Over the seven years I've been a Christian I've come to have a different view on prayer and a different view on talking to air. I now ask for people to pray for me and I offer to pray for others. I don't feel weird saying to someone well, lets pray right now about that. I believe in the power of prayer, the power that comes from centering our minds and hearts in the moment and truly seeking God. I also believe we will get little accomplished apart from prayer. Which is why I'm so puzzled as to why I've let my life slip from prayer.

I pray, don't get me wrong...actually what I do is talk to God throughout my day. What I have seemed to let slip is starting my day by focusing on God, the kind that comes from sitting still and truly seeking Him through prayer. The kind of prayer where I'm not saying "please do this...amen", but rather the kind of prayer that says "I'm here, what would you like me to do?" The kind that focuses on the needs of those in my life, the needs of those in this world. The kind that says I know what I want, but what do you want? I've let that kind slip.

We're all busy and it seems that as time goes on we become more busy. We long for more hours in the day, but if we step back and seek God's idea for us it actually involves less hours in the week. After all, the Creator even took a day off!

Last night I went to bed spent and overwhelmed. I wondered how I'm exactly going to pull all this off. How I'm going to be effective at everything I need to do. This morning though I felt a strong sense to just sit and be with God. I journaled during that time and this is what came out "I have not continually invited You into my moment". The path I'm on is very full and I'm not meant to do it alone. It's filled so that I remember I need God, it's filled so God's light shines..not mine.

As my day has gone on I've felt a peace, I'm re-centered. I encourage you to seek to invite God into all of your moments...I'm willing to bet you haven't and I'm also willing to bet you're feeling overwhelmed just like I was. Start your day with true prayer, true time of focusing and seeking His will. End your day knowing you did all you could and you trust God to do all He can.