Monday, September 22, 2014

On Preparing and Practicing for the Battlefield

Sometimes I catch myself praying zealous, ambitious prayers I truly mean with all sincerity, until I see God answering them in ways I did not expect. It happened yesterday.

I prayed for God to send me in. I'm pretty sure "Put me in coach," slipped out of my mouth.

I was being serious. I want to play the game.

But almost within the hour, He showed me I'm not ready. I am not trained to run the field for 90 straight minutes. I am not prepared to fight this battle yet.  My armor is falling off me. It's rusty, it's heavy, and any movement I make forward looks like a tripping duck.

I need some preparation. I need to be trained to use the equipment and armor I've been given.

Sisters, God will not send us into battle unarmed and unprepared.  (Click it to tweet it!)

He loves us too much.


When I pray things like, "Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, that my faith would be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior," I can almost see God the Father raising his big ol' eyebrows, placing his giant gentle hand under this chin and with a soft grin saying, "Well then Sweetie, we'd better get to work." 

He loves us enough to work with us, work through us, work in us. Oh how He loves us.

So that trial, that struggle, that annoyance or sin you and I are fighting to get passed, well honey, it's just some good ol' fashioned practice.

Embrace it. I will too. And I'll see you on the field.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hey New Mama's, It's Your First Birthday Too

In the month where I feel like I've questioned every decision I make as a mother, this was a welcomed release. I cried because I resonated. I laughed out loud with the girl who said, "On my child's first birthday, I remembered I hadn't slept properly in a year." 

Today I'm reminded that it's okay to be faulty at something so new. We're learning. Whatever it is you're new at, you're learning. 

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If you're new to this space, I usually reserve Mom talk for Thursdays. This isn't a mom blog. But I do blog and I am a mom. So naturally, it leaks through. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

If We Were On a Coffee Date | No. 8

If we were on a coffee date, I'd invite you to my apartment. I started using our espresso percolator again to make lattes and Tyson is going coockoo for them. I need a second opinion.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd offer you some green crunchy grapes, brie cheese, and rosemary cranberry crackers because I'm probably starving and I love cheese. The crackers and grapes are just to maintain "balance."

If we were on a coffee date, I'd be apologizing for taking a phone call in the middle of our visit, but with tears in my eyes, beaming about how God really does provide. I'm not sure why I doubt it anymore. It's really getting silly.

If we were on a coffee date, there'd be a big long story about how I'm overwhelmed about getting a sitter for Symphony for the two days I work at the office. I don't know the first thing about interviewing a nanny, what I should be looking for and how to spot a crazy one.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd explain that phone call was from a co-worker who is quickly becoming a good friend, and her sister, whose baby girl is Symphony's age, is looking for part-time work! WHAT?!

If we were on a coffee date, I'd be a mess. A straight up mess of relief, thanksgiving, and wonder.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask you to tell me a story about how you've seen God work in your life this week.

And of course, if you'd like some more cheese.

Monday, September 8, 2014

23 Pieces of Advice for College Freshman

You've made it. The time you've been anticipating for the last four years has finally arrived, and while your Mom has been holding back her sobbing for the last couple days, you are out of your mind excited and nervous.

You pack your bags and secure your graduation gift Starbucks cards securely in your new totally hipster wallet. You and Mom make seven more Target runs and go over all the check lists you found on Pinterest, making sure you don't forget a single necessity. And by necessity, you know I mean those wedges you saw on sale. Duh.

Everything is new. Clean. Fresh.

Your un-inked college ruled notebooks giggle things like, opportunity, freedom, imagination.

What do these next four years hold exactly? Who will you be at the end of this tunnel?

You will be different. 

I don't know the details of your experiences ahead, but here is my big-sisterly advice to you:
  1. You will meet people who will change your life forever; some will make it better and some will make it worse.
  2. Be nice to everyone but choose your friends wisely.
  3. Professors are professional pushers. Don't be offended when you get your first F. Do better.
  4. Some study nights are just too intense for coffee. Insert Red Bull.
  5. Talk to your roommate. You'll be together for 9 months.
  6. Also on roommates, remember they might have been raised differently than you. "Doing laundry" might mean Febreze-ing. #dontjudge
  7. Everyone puts on a good show the first few weeks. The cute boy you saw in orientation might be really bad news.
  8. Also on boys, don't rush into it and it's okay to say no.
  9. Group dates are the easiest way to get to know a guy. No pressure.
  10. Take your vitamins.
  11. Call your mom. She's worried about you.
  12. Get involved as soon as possible. Clubs, groups, sports, committees.
  13. Study your professors. Listen for hints on what they like and always be on time to class. It will go well with you.
  14. Sit in the front.
  15. "Freshman 15" and "Ring by Spring" are real things. #dontfreakout
  16. Don't be afraid of $8/hr. Minimum wage has gotten many of us through college.
  17. US History might not feel very practical, but the A or B at the end of the semester is.
  18. Grades aren't everything, but they are something.
  19. It's okay to change your major. More than once. Or twice.
  20. In three years, Senioritis will return. With a vengeance. #highschoolflashback
  21. Make memories.
  22. Every decision you make will affect your future. Think ahead and think beyond the school walls.
  23. You can be anyone you want. Don't settle and dream bigger.

Get ready to think differently, feel differently, talk differently, dream differently. This is the beginning of a wonderful adventure.

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Original photo via
This post was originally written by me for last year's Freshman. Congrats, you're sophomores now! Be nice to the Freshman.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Messy Legacy of Love

This is what happens when you take too much footage of your child and you get super emotional about her growing up.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Leave it All at the Altar and Don't Take Any Leftovers Home

It's rare that we sleep well on Saturday nights. 

Nearly every weekend for the last five years, we've sung, played, led worship somewhere in this country. Together and apart from each other. We love what we do. Every time we step foot on any type of platform, be it a dirt lot or a big stage, we are acutely aware of two things: 1) we are living a big calling and 2) we don't deserve to be doing any of it. 

Maybe that's what keeps us up at night. 

It's basically an expected habit at this point, possibly a small annoying tactic of the Enemy to distract us from vision and excellence, but every weekend we push through and remember we are best at our weakest. 

Because then it's not us. It's Jesus. 
Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, 
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness. 
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become." 
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
And I'm so grateful that I have a man, a co-laborer, that inspires me to leave everything I have at the altar, taking home no leftovers so that I might be filled again.

And so I encourage you, whatever you do, do it to the fullest. Leave it all at the altar. Take home no leftovers so that you might be filled again too.
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30

Saturday, August 30, 2014

If We Were on a Coffee Date | No. 7

If we were on a coffee date, I'd skip the small talk and tell you I've had one of the best weeks as a worship leader and the hardest as a mother.

If we were on a coffee date, I wouldn't be wearing mascara, but instead, my faux glasses to cover up the bags under my eyes.

If we were on coffee date, with tears in my eyes, I'd describe to you the night I had with the women of my new church community. It was supernatural. And I try not to use that word lightly. 

If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you I know I'm exactly where God wants me at this place in time. No doubts. None.

But, if we were on a coffee date, I'd confess that I don't know how to be a mother and leader and I'm not sure how to start learning. Maybe it's a trial and error season of life, but that freaks me out because my job and my family are what I'm trial and erring through. 

If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask for wisdom. Maybe you have some, maybe you don't. 

If we were on a coffee date, I'd apologize for talking too much and ask how your week was.

If we were on a coffee date,  I'd hope that my mess made you feel comfortable and safe enough to share yours. Then we'd probably feel less alone. 

What would you say if we were on a coffee date?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Office Hours

I like predictability and routines. And I like adventure and irrational donut runs. But let's not get distracted. 

Every morning we do the same thing. Get up. Eat breakfast. Get ready. Head out. Drop Sym off with the nanny. Drive thru Starbucks. Go to work. 

Our work depends on the day and week of the month we're on. There are a lot of shifting variables that cause us to stay on our toes; pounding energy drinks, coffee and a whole lot of Chipotle.

What I love most about my job these days is the culture of open discussion in freedom. We openly give push back on ideas, good and bad, we ask a lot of questions, we poke fun and we still love each other at the end of the day. Mostly.

So thankful for the human and pioneering leadership of this guy. He admits when he doesn't know what he's doing and is constantly reminding us of vision and purpose. His voice is a'ight too ;)

Andy Stanley wrote, Often, stepping outside your comfort zone is not careless irresponsibility, but a necessary act of obedience.” 

Yes, he pushes us. Yes we are uncomfortable. But we are charged up and expectant to see what God might do with a band of misfits like us. 

And we have play dough. So there's that. #winning

^^^Opinions, two-cents, questions and ramblings are welcome. And go above. Go ahead. Try it.

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