Friday, August 31, 2012

A "Service" Non-Profit I've been doing a ton of thinking. Ya, what's new. ;) I'm quite the visionary mind, so ideas are constantly flying through my head. I'm used to most of them not sticking because I'm a bit of an ADD visionary, so I've learned to pay attention to the ideas that keep coming back. ;)

I think I've found one!!!

I've always had a conviction that humanity is wonderful, beautiful, magical and POWERFUL...that our world's problems aren't so much that people are "human" but that people often choose to live "less than human". I think Jesus' life...a life of being "fully human"...shows just how wonderful our humanity can be.

With that has come an internal nagging that most of us...if we were to take a serious inventory of our priorities...could really stand to invest, give, build, steward, create, serve, inspire, etc. MORE than we currently are. Certainly, the entitlement training of our culture could use a course-correction to an outward-focused way of life.

Following that belief has come a real heart for people working together regardless of religion, denomination, or political affiliation. Setting the arguments aside for a moment of betterment...sounds good to me!! And more than that...acknowledging and releasing the strengths in each other because collectively we accomplish more than we do as individuals. A complimentary team with a world of assets to share...

So...I met a couple last month that has chosen to serve their city more intentionally...adding this sense of community mission to their normal, everyday life. I was so inspired!!!! And, I officially want more!!

I'm tossing around some ideas of what this could look like. A service-oriented non-profit that alerts people to service opportunities of all shapes and sizes from other organizations and creates service opportunities consistent with the mission?? I think I like that! really has me dreaming... ;) Thoughts?

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” Mother Teresa

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Change the World

I have to be honest. As one who madly loves the God who madly loves me, I get frustrated with my fellow "loved ones". So many are still talking about sin and heaven/ it's the only thing our faith is about. Important...yes...but the only thing???...NO! The "good news" is SO MUCH MORE!!! This clip is a snapshot of what could be. Believers...who step into their identity as His children...experiencing real, NOW relationship...well, those "kids" change the world. It's so exciting!!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

10-Year Depression

Haha! I think that's what I'm calling it! I just can't explain the sense of relief...and new life!!!...that I'm experiencing since the completion of my thesis! It's SO BIZARRE not having that weight on my shoulders. I feel so much possibility all the time!! I sit sometimes and ponder all the directions I could now go...all the things I could do next. It's so much fun!!!

Life before that...the 10-Year Depression...all done!!!!

Friday, August 24, 2012


Who doesn't have these moments? Friends, family, loves of our lives... Goodness, we are the perpetrators too! And, it's hard to let those things go. Forgive. But, God's been showing me...there's still life around the corner. Hope. Peace. God's good like that. :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Missing Jack


And then there are the things that you don't (beforehand) think will ever be hard on the heart...and then (in the moment) find harder than you ever thought.

Que sera, sera...

Monday, August 20, 2012


I got the call that my thesis is finally bound!! first little book. 55 pages!! Haha! So awesome!


Oh my goodness!! It's on the calendar!! One of my Life List items is to see the song 'Nessun Dorma' performed live. It's a song from the opera, Turandot, that Pavarotti sang AMAZINGLY. Well, the opera is coming to the Ordway (I love that place!) in April...and WE HAVE TICKETS!!! Sigh. I'm in heaven...and trying to wait patiently... ;)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Blessed Assurance

I've been revisiting some of the old hymns lately. Wow...some powerful stuff! "Blessed Assurance" has been rolling around in my heart, so I decided to youtube it. I think I would have loved being in the audience for this performance. I like powerhouse vocals. I honestly have no clue how that audience just sits there through it...I would probably consider the know...swinging from said chandelier. :)

Keep On!

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. - Matthew 24:12-13

I stumbled across this verse yesterday, and it really got me thinking. The battle of love and evil...and how the increase of one can threaten the other. As the words point out...and as I experience in my life...when evil is running rampant, it's hard to keep on loving. Unfortunately, it's love that is the very weapon against evil...the wall that holds it back, the extinguisher of the raging fire. Thus, the decision to let our love grow cold only perpetuates evil's existence. And, the world suffers...hearts suffer... Tragic.

Oh's why I love the charge to "stand". We all need those reminders to KEEP ON LOVING. We have to nurse our wounds, but we don't stay down. We get back up...and we love.


Boy...and it also serves as a fantastic reminder...while it's true that it was humanity that unleashed hell's war against the human heart, creation, relationships, etc., it's also God's design that divine love expressed through humanity would bring its end. His Love coming through us? Or are we leaning on our "bullet points", our "opinions", our "must have's and can't stand's". Perhaps, His Love is flowing in those things...but perhaps, it isn't. We need to ask Him!!!...because, if we aren't fueled by His heart, we just may be working for the wrong side...


Friday, August 17, 2012

Ships In The Night

Exploited Beauty

Here's the thing...I've been noticing how women present the degree that I actually get concerned sometimes. I see pictures that some of my students, former students, friends, and acquaintances post on their social networking sites. Many are very lovely, but some make me...cringe. 

I know every woman has her own sense of style. Personally, I'd like a wardrobe assistant to put together cute ensembles for me. A mix of the costuming from "You've Got Mail" and "Secretariat" would be really nice. Unfortunately, this girl has no clue how to do it herself, so I'm not the kind of gal that criticizes the hair and clothing styles of others. I think that's basically rude. But, this posting isn't about style. It's about beauty. The beauty of a woman.

It wasn't so long ago that I had a limited view of beauty. Our culture, reflected in the media, quickly educates us all regarding a purely physical definition...a severely flawed perspective at that. My own journey with body image issues led me to a deeper and fuller that sets me more and more free every day! John and Stasi Eldredge wrote a wonderful book for women called ,Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul, that became a real help in the midst of my struggle. Some of the quotes speak to their message:

“She is the crescendo, the final, astonishing work of God. Woman. In one last flourish creation comes to a finish with Eve. She is the Master's finishing touch.” 

“Her soul is Alive. And we are drawn to her.” 

“What if you have a genuine and captivating beauty that is marred only by your striving?” 

Here's the thing...a woman's beauty is...but is so much more than...physical. It's spiritual, it's intellectual, it's's full of strength and's all of her. Beauty is soulful...essence. Somewhat of a mystery, God designed it to be discovered...unveiled...unleashed. All of that in the context of respect, honor and challenge. From the basketball court to the dance floor, from the kitchen to the board room...she brings it wherever she goes. It's "who" she is brought to whatever she does. 

Some women cherish themselves well. Others...likely from wounding or insecurity or flawed education...seem to more exploit their physical loveliness...all the while, marring their own holistic beauty by their own striving. 

It's sad to me. So very sad. 

Now, don't get me wrong. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not pushing an uber-conservative image of "pretty"...the "baggy" costuming. That's a choice, not a rule. Be sexy. Be saucy. Be classy! Be confident! We have a design that's meant for celebration. 

But slutty? The rabid predator?'s beneath beauty. In fact, it restrains it. 

No woman deserves that. No man does either...he deserves the full, rich beauty of a woman as much as she deserves his full strength. 

It's mysterious. It's messy. A ton of debatable "gray" for sure. One thing, though, is undeniably was never meant to be exploited...not even by its owner.  

*** Oh...and if you are a beauty in hiding...a woman who doesn't yet know she is or a woman who fears the power and authority of her own essence...there's a message for you too. The world desperately needs you to share your shine. Without you, we are less. So, get moving. Your heart is worth it too. :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Face Fear

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face." - Eleanor Roosevelt

This. Is. So. True!!! Having been a fear-ruled person, I know the prison...the facade of safety even...that fear creates. No more for this girl. It's a terribly scary thing to do, but staring fear in the face and confronting it with truth is well worth it! Greater strength, clearer vision, wise responses instead of reactions...always take fear to task. To not is to not offer the world your truer, purer humanity. 

5K Training

Sis and I are going to start training to run 5K races. Ya, I's only 3+ miles.'s a milestone for us!! My friend recommended a site "The Couch-to-5K Running Plan". We'll see how we do!!

Couch to 5K

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The First and the Last

We had an awesome worship time in church today...from the singing to the sermon...beautiful. :) The purpose of the singing aspect of worship was focusing on Who God is. Wonderfully, how we view/know God directly impacts how we see ourselves. God's identity births ours.

As we were singing, I was reminded how important it is to live with declaration. Speak out God's Identity...those things that are true. We bless...and we act in accordance. It brings Life to life.

To praise...we affirm how amazing He is...that it is because of Him that we are forever changed and will never be the same.

To blessing...we affirm how amazing He is...that it is because of Him that we are forever changed and will never be the same.

To the resolve...we affirm how amazing God is...that it is because of Him that we are forever changed and will NEVER be the same.

It's true He is the Alpha and the Omega. He spoke the first words, and He'll have the last. A life of declaration lets His words have life in our moments. Oh,'s a wild ride. :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Free to Dream

I'm in this bizarre place. It's so strange how different everything feels right now. Finally finishing my thesis has released me into a world of so much possibility. I guess when I look at everything else that was wired into that writing project...burnout, grief, depression...and the ways that God helped me face those things in the truly is a whole new world.

For the first time in a very long time, I don't have the burden of not finishing something I started hanging on my back. He has helped me to be be a good steward. As a result, I'm completely free to dream.

Get ready. This girl is in full flight. :)

So with of my life theme's message is back in business!

Fall of Leader

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. What a terribly sad reminder to keep ourselves in check. A naughty little behavior, when left without accountability, can really spin itself into insanity. I was going to go on and on about how embarrassing this one is...a Christian leader who colossally screws everything up. Truly, it is pretty sad. Then I realized that it's no more sad for him than anyone. Deceptions to cover struggles...spiraling out of destruction.

Repentance is the path home. God is good like that. I hope this guy is still facing the consequences and finding the healing he needs.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Eyes on the...Buns's a strange one. ;)

A group of us went on a bike trip to an awesome park. Beautiful day, fun trails, great people. The only frustrating part was that the trails weren't well marked. We had maps, but the size of the park (and lack of marking) made it a unique challenge at times. I was cool with it until the last leg of the trip. Specifically, the moment I was separated from the pack.

At first, I was fine with it. I was bound to end up somewhere familiar, right?

After a while, though, I started to worry. Well, more like panic. If I took a wrong turn, I'd be heading an another loop of many miles without knowing.

Enter the hero.

Sure enough, I came around a corner finally and found Paul. He was looking at a map trying to figure out where he was and should be going.

SIGH OF RELIEF!!! I figured, at minimum, I wasn't going to be alone if I was lost in the woods. And if you know Paul, you know that he is a peaceful soul. I bet he could calm a stirred-up bees nest. ;)

So, Paul thought he knew where we should go (and he was right!!!), so we got back on our bikes and headed for the end.

Next challenge...biking the rest of the way.

Yep...after maybe 17 miles, I was exhausted!!! With 6+ miles to go, I was struggling. Then I was reminded...I wasn't alone, and Paul was leading. All I had to do was keep my eyes on his...well...back end...just focus and we'd be at the end in no time.

HAHA! Yep...Eyes on the buns. Of course, if you know Paul, you also know that I changed diapers on those buns decades ago. Supposedly, that makes things less creepy. ;) Whatever, though...we made it back!

Yep, there's a life application in that. Apparently, I'm keeping my eyes on the Hero's buns too. 'Where you lead me, I will follow." Strange, I know, but a good reminder for this girl. :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Introvert Manual

I wish there was an Introvert Manual that I could give to just a few people. Usually, it doesn't matter...most people seem to roll with people's personalities and not react to someone's extrovert/introvert tendencies with self-deprecation. Goodness, though!!! There are some who absolutely can't understand a personality other than their own and completely freak out at someone's need for space. Somehow...usually because they are more shame-based, sadly...a need for even 30 minutes of "alone time" turns into an insecurity flare-up. The over-reaction makes the situation worse. 


Just 30 minutes, people! 30 minutes!!! 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

First Day

Yep, it's the first day of the rest of my life. I wonder what I shall do... :)



"Give 'em hell. Turn their heads. Gonna live life 'til we're dead. Give me scars! Give me pain! And they'll say to me, say to me, say to me...there goes a fighter! There goes a fighter! Here comes a fighter! That's what they'll say to me, say to me, say to me...this one's a fighter!"

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Long Battle...FINISHED!!!

After TEN's official. I finally finished my master's thesis! It's been a crazy that totally caught me off-guard. Writing papers is not a difficult thing for me, but this project...because of so many other things...ended up being one of my hardest challenges. I started it right-smack at the beginning of a job change...a totally impossible work situation (but that's for another book. Hehe.). Add to that deaths of two grandparents and one Board member within months of each other. To say that I instantly burned out...understatement of a lifetime. I just couldn't do it. Time, emotional coping skills...I had none. The following year brought my Mom's cancer. Burned out and brokenhearted. After that, it just became easier to NOT do it. had to be God's provision...the college allowed me to give it another try after so much time. 

The writing process was so difficult because it actually brought up a lot of that old stuff. It became a journey of writing a paper, processing (and grieving) the past and shaking off some nasty habits of cowering in the face of challenge. There were times that it was so difficult to write that I had to actually make it into an act of worship. "I'll write this sentence for You, God.". And then another and another. 

When it finally came down to it, God helped me to see that it wasn't that the degree was was about being a good steward...being faithful to finish what He and I had started.  

After all this time...we did it. :)

Oh...and by the way...God whispered that my time of time of done. Time to fly. :)