August 23, 2012

My Worth

1 Peter 2: 9-10
"But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people.  You are
royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession.  As a result, you can
show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness
into his wonderful light.
Once you had no identity  as a people; now you are
God's people.  Once you received no mercy;
now you have received God's mercy."
Often people (me) base their (my) idea of themselves (myself) on their (my) accomplishments.  However, our relationship with God is far more important than our achievements, wealth, or knowledge.  We have been chosen by God, personally chosen, as his very own.  And we have been called to represent him to others.
I regularly wonder how I come across to others, but not for God's sake, but for my own.  God called me as one of his own...for him...not for me. I need to constantly bring my focus back to God because my values, my worth, comes from being ones of his children, not by what I can achieve.
This has been made clear to me after such a humbling experience.  I've built my life on what I've done for myself so that I get the praise and recognition, not God.  Ugh...just seeing it here in black and white breaks my heart.  I wasn't chosen to have the world recognize me, but for the wold to see Christ through me, so that HE gets the glory.  By leaving my former employer to take a job that is less pay, but better for my family, I've felt like all my worth, all my accomplishments, all my everything went down the drain.  And here I've "known" my life isn't for me, but selfishly I say it is.  God had a different path for me to take, one he knew all along, to bring him the glory because he can and will do amazing things. 
I have worth  because of what God  does, not because of what I can do.
Come join me starting September 5 to walk with Liz Curtis Higgs online.

She'll be kicking off her new Bible Study Blog. Every Wednesday this autumn she’ll be walking through The Girl's Still Got It with us, one chapter each week. She’ll offer her answers to some of the Study Guide questions, and hope you’ll jump in as well.
Liz Curtis Higgs
   For  busy girls like us, this is a Bible study that works—at home or on the  road, at your computer or on your smartphone. Read the chapter when you can, check the blog when you like, and share your thoughts when you’re  ready. Just sign up for her blog and we’ll start rocking!

August 14, 2012

Beautiful Things

I wanted to share this video this morning as a little reminder that God does make beautiful things.  He can take our broken nothingness and make it into something wonderful beyond our comprehension.  He can turn tears of pain into tears of joy. 

I love that I'm still a work-in-progress.  I choose to let God continue to mold and grow me everyday.  Some days it's more difficult to let him take charge, but those days that I don't, seem to be the most difficult.

Thank you Lord for taking my "dust" and making me into something more beautiful.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

 11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.

August 12, 2012

The Strongest Link

Last Thursday and Friday I was blessed to be able to attend the Global Leadership Summit 2012 with family and friends. This is my third Summit and every time, EVERY TIME, I walk away just completely blown away.

Here is a clip from last year:

This year has been no different.  I can't wait to see who will be at next year's Summit!  But for now, I will revisit some of the amazing speakers.

I was immersed by Condoleezza Rice's "No Higher Honor: A Life of Leadership." Her passion about leadership and how to create stronger leaders were truly GLS material. Here are my take-aways:
  • The opportunity to lead helps to show others their calling to lead, too. Help others become leaders.
  • The characteristic of a good leader is "irrepressible optimist."
  • Out of struggle comes victory. When you are struggling, you are not doing it on your own. God is walking with you through it all.
  • Friendships can be the place that lets you have difficult conversations.
  • Don't ever accept the world as it is, but as a world it should be.
Jim Collins spoke at GLS a couple of years ago about "From Going Good to Great."  This year he emphasized "Great by Choice."  He summed up his talk with 3 points:
  1. Fanatic discipline
    • Focus on the "20-mile march" and turn good intentions into great results.
    • Commit to consistent, consecutive performance.
    • The true signs of mediocrity is not an unwillingness to change, it's the chronic inconsistency.
    • Discipline is not enough.
  2. Empirical creativity
    • Blend creativity and discipline
    • Creativity is not the hard part.  Creativity is natural.  You want the discipline to amplify the creativity.
  3. Productive paranoia
    • Take the paranoia and figure things out before times are tough.
    • If you are only strong when conditions are good, it's malpractice.
And the one who titled this blog for today, Craig Groeschel, who had the privilege to introduce a speaker at last year's Summit, Steve Furtick, spoke about blending generations and having them work together.  He had everyone rolling.  I think his "how airbags were invented" (the time before seat belts were invented and grandmas would throw their arms across people and their "airbag" get the picture) just threw it over the top.  I loved how he spoke to the both generations. 

He told the older generation (I'm not there yet...) to "not resent, fear or judge the younger generation.  Believe in them."  But the greatest thing he wanted the older generation to know was that they have an asset to pass on and that if they are breathing, they're not done [teaching].  We can learn so much from the older generation.  We, the younger generation,  need to be open to learning and stop feeling entitled to everything.  I am guilty in some aspects.

When he spoke to the younger generation, I felt more guilt associated when he said, "Respect is earned, but honor is given."  I know that I have confused this fact for years.  My most recent form of dishonor was towards my old boss.  I did not honor him and barely respected him.  I did neither based on pre-conceived thoughts about what kind of superior he was to the group and from prior personal interactions.  I did like him as a person, but I did not truly honor his position.

We are to serve those over us faithfully.

So for the generations to work together, both sides must be intentional (there's that word again that God has been gently putting in front of me).  We must:
  1. Create on-going feedback loops.
  2. Create specific mentoring moments.
  3. Create opportunities for significant development.
Oh Summit...thank you for another great year.  Our family will be reviewing our notes and learning and growing together to implement as much as we can to have a greater impact in this world.

August 9, 2012

Global Leadership Summit

I am soooo stinking EXCITED for the Summit today!  I've been waiting for this since last year.  If your church or nearby church hosts a Summit, you should definitely go.

This will be my third Summit.  Look at the schedule:

Session 1
9:00 - 10:15 a.m.
Bill Hybels
The Privilege of Leadership
10:15 - 10:45 a.m.
Session 2
10:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Condoleezza Rice
No Higher Honor
Jim Collins
Great By Choice
12:30 - 2:00 p.m.
Session 3
2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Marc Kielburger
Against Apathy
Sheryl WuDunn
Half the Sky: Leadership in the Face of Oppression
3:30 - 4:00 p.m.
Session 4
4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Craig Groeschel
The Strongest Link

Last year, the mayor of New Jersey, Cory Booker spoke about "doing sump'n."  And let me tell you, my husband and I took that message and we did a few "sump'ns" this past year.
  1. We prayed about getting out of debt...and we did it!
  2. We prayed about where we should be. We ended up purchasing a house in Wenatchee and committed to staying here, foregoing any possibility for me for any moves up the corporate ladder.
  3. We prayed about new jobs for the both of us.  We both left our corporate jobs to work for local companies.  The pay is significantly less, but our family life is happier. 
So again, I'm excited to see what God has planned for these speakers to share with us today.  Yay Summit!

August 6, 2012


Yesterday was part four of the sermon series: The Book of Uncommon Prayers. Our focus was on Psalm 103, a psalm about gratitude.  Tim's main points regarding this topic were eerily on track with what I've been working on recently.  Well, not eerily because this is just one of the many ways God has been speaking to me.

  1. Be thankful for our past
    • I started counseling at Open Arms last week.  For those first 85 minutes, I was brought back into a past that I don't care to look back on, but it was good to discuss those ghosts.  I learned a lot about myself in that short time.  But like Tim said, "God is active; constantly."  He was active then, when I didn't even know it and he's active now.  I will continue counseling and share about what I am thankful for about my past in future posts.
    • Keep tough times in perspective (and be thankful for them...just a reminder)
    • God gets the final word with all that has happened, not me.  Every laugh, smile, tear, hurt that I have ever had, God has been in control.  He has ALWAYS been in control, even when I thought I was alone.  Now THAT is something to be grateful for; that I don't have to go through the times times alone.
     2. Be thankful for today
    • 1 Thessalonians 5:18

      New Living Translation (NLT)
      18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
    • This pretty much explains is all. 
     3. Be thankful for the future
    • This is the leading to God's goodness.  Do I believe in God's goodness?  Yes, I do.  I don't know what's coming, but God does.  And whatever is it is, it's laced with his goodness. 
    • As a child that lost her mother at the age of 9, I couldn't tell you that I was thankful for any of that.  God knew what my the future held for me.  This future is a part of my past.  I am grateful for whatever he has planned for me and I pray that I will continue to be grateful for the path that has been chosen.

July 27, 2012

He Listens

(Please excuse whoever created this with their minor spelling error.)

I saw this the other day on Facebook and it was a little reminder from Tim's sermon on Sunday.  We're currently going through a series "The Uncommon Book of Prayer"  (i.e. Psalms).  The last sermon was titled: Lament (Psalm 88). 

This prayer is full of sadness and darkness from beginning to end.  Tim pointed out 3 things:
  1. Reality: The writer, Heman, was rejected and/or felt rejected by God.  Who likes to be rejected?  I certainly don't.  So what does one do when they feel rejected?  Well we tend to immerse themselves in "things."  I know that when I feel rejected, my "thing" is to shop.  Window/internet/physical shopping so often fills that void.  It's when I'm thinking, "What the heck do I have this for?" that I realize that I'm compensating for something:  Time with God.
  2. God's grace (reflected through verses 8-9, 14, and 18): Heman is broken.  He throughout his cries, you can feel just how broken he is, thinking that God is rejecting him.  When I pray, I usually don't take the tone Heman used.  I can be pretty vague with my prayers.  But why?  God knows ALL!  As Tim noted, God is okay with us praying this way because it comes from the heart.  He doesn't want us to hold back, just like in any sort of relationship.  He wants us to be open, honest, and real.
  3. God's presence: In those times that we feel like we're in the darkest of dark, God is ALWAYS there.  "God is POWERFULLY present when we think He is isn't."  God never left Heman and he'll never leave us.  He's there walking with us, holding our hands, even carrying us when we can't do things alone. 
          For example, consider Job 1:6-12.  What if God decided to take everything?  Everything that we treasured here on earth would be gone, what would you do?  Would you continue to praise God? Tim said it best, "God doesn't serve you."  Period.  End of story. No further discussion needed.  We are people that want everything because we feel like we're entitled.  We've put in the long hours, we give, we help out occasionally and we deserve to be rewarded.  Wrong.  We don't deserve a single thing.  We owe everything to God for giving us life.

So to wrap up this rambling, Tim closed us with 2 points that have resonated throughout the week:
  • Sometimes disappointment with God turns Christians angry, unloving church goers. 
    • How often do we encounter this in our daily lives?  How often is this us?
  • Angry prayers aren't the problem.  No prayers are the problem.  When you cut God off because you feel like he's turned his back on you, that's the problem.  So essentially, don't stop pursuing a relationship with God.  He wants it all, good and bad.  He can take it.  He wants this relationship more than anything.  What do we want?


July 22, 2012


This is my post that got lost from last night.  I suppose that's what happens when you're sleeping and typing...

A couple of weeks have passed with many questions and those questions have been answered...for the most part.

With today being Friday we can finally rest. While watching our daughter struggle to get ready for bed, I thought, "Why are you fighting this? Just go to sleep. I'm tired and want to rest,too." After about 5 minutes of her crying her eyes out, I went back to her room to comfort her and help her get down for the night and explain the importance of sleep. As I was talking with her, it was in that moment that God gently spoke to me.

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light." (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)

He seemed to say, "See? You're trying to teach your daughter, a 3-year old, the importance of rest. What do you think I have been trying to get you to understand in these last couple of weeks (and then some)? I want you to rest in Me. I know what's best for you. I want you to experience true peace and rest. I want you to trust Me and undertand that I know what I'm doing and that I've got everything under control.  Give it ALL to me."

The cool thing about it all is that unlike me, a mere human, God will never tell us He's "tired" or that He doesn't have the time.  He wants our everything; good and bad.

So what has been going on?
  1. We decided to step out and listen and obey.  That, especially for me, has been very difficult because it requires me to lean on God and not on myself (I'm pretty sure that's a good thing!).
  2. Mark put in his 2-week notice at Lowe's and will be taking a position with Stemilt.  He starts in a week and we're anxiously anticipating what is in store for our family from this new opportunity.
  3. On July 31st and August 1st, there will be more transitions in our household and I will have to write about those at a later date out of respect for those that it will also affect.  But what I will say is that this is me stepping out and letting God be in control.
  4. The Global Leadership Summit is coming up August 9-10.  I'm ecstatic about the lineup: Patrick Lencioni, Jim Collins, Bill Hybels...and 9 others.
  5. Mark will get to celebrate a guys weekend in San Diego with his best friend.
  6. Women of Faith: Celebrate What Matters will be in Spokane the following weekend for the girls.
God is ALWAYS faithful and ALWAYS has open arms.  He just wants us to rest in Him.  So THAT is what I choose.  To rest.  And speaking of rest, it's 12:10 AM...I think I should rest...

Till next time,