Last June I sat preparing for a publisher meeting I had coming up. I was scheduled to attend a conference for authors and speakers. I was on the phone with my friend Kim as I watched my youngest son splash down inflatable water slides. Kim was helping me put together last minute business cards for networking purposes while at the conference. I was having trouble with how I was going to present myself on my business card. I had already seen some of the cards from other attendees. They looked professional, like they had some experience to back up that shiny title. I got nothin. I’m technically not an author. Aspiring, sure, but you can't put what you are aspiring to be, right? What if you received a business card from a contractor that said aspiring contractor. You’d likely not be throwing your money at him. Some had multiple titles. Author, Speaker. But I don’t do speaking events like some of the more seasoned leaders who would be attending the conference. This was my predicament. The whom it would concernwanted to know my experience, my qualifications. Publishers wanted to know my social media numbers, my influence. Truth be told, I spent my days cleaning up messes, spending absurd amount of hours in the kitchen and folding laundry. Any other title I added would be an embellishment.
Last month, I was captivated by a sermon that Pastor Mark gave titled “What Book Are You Writing?” (If you weren’t there to hear it, I encourage you to get the sermon recording.) There are many things I hope I am writing with my life, but if there’s one message I want my life to convey—a life song if you will—it’s that God can completely heal brokenness. We all have things in our life that come along and break our hearts, our minds and our spirits. We lose a loved one. We get rejected. We’ve been abused. But there is real, tangible healing that can make us truly new, completely whole and fully alive. Let me be clear: Healing is not magic. God will not breathe magic fairy dust over your brokenness and make it whole in one night. It will take weeks. It might take months. It may even take years.
I hate bugs, like, a lot. They terrify me. Yes I know I am much bigger than they are and I can hurt them much more than they can hurt me, but still. They're fast and ugly and they pop up where you least expect them at the worst times ever. In fact, there's a really great story about me and a candy wrapper that would cause way too much judgment if I shared publicly, but you can totally ask me about it if you're curious, and I MAY tell you. The worst place for me to find bugs is in our basement. There's just nothing worse than running down the steps to throw a quick load of laundry in only to find a huge bug waiting for you when you got down there. When we first moved into our house a little over a year ago, that's exactly what happened, more than once. Talk about giving a girl a heart attack! It got to the point that I would be "on guard" every single time I walked down the steps, looking around everywhere before I even made it to the bottom of the steps just to make sure there weren't any down there. As time went on, thankfully, they disappeared; and with that, so did the fear of them. I no longer scanned the floor on my way down the steps, I just trusted that nothing was there.
I’m going to be honest. I don’t care about the Superbowl. There, I said it. I have a friend who all through growing up hated tomatoes. She used to say, “I see people eating tomatoes on their burgers and in their salads and they look like they taste so good. I try to like them, and I keep trying them, but every time....nope. I still can’t stand them.” That’s how I feel about the Superbowl. It looks like so much fun. I see everyone getting into the game and all the pre-game hubbub and it looks so exciting. I try to get hyped up. Then it’s always the same thing. I’m still staring at the TV bored out of my mind.
For a few years now, I’ve been wrestling with the idea of emotional purity (i.e., being pure of heart) and what it really means to guard the heart. One of the most prominent things I’ve realized is that it’s a really unpopular and misunderstood subject. The Bible tells us to watch over and guard our hearts, but do we really know what that means?
There's been this craze going on for several years now with bacon. Have you noticed? Culinary professionals and novices alike have been topping everything with it. Bacon candy, caramalized bacon in cookies & cakes, bacon-flavored drinks, ice-cream, you name it. But listen. Unless it's beside my eggs or the B with my LT then please leave it out of my food. Now enough about that. Let's talk about what's really important here. Coffee.
If there’s anything I’ve learned about my place in this life during my walk with God, it’s that He doesn’t want me to get comfortable—because this life is not about me. I’ll preface this by saying that I don’t we think we necessarily have to be constantly stretching ourselves, but I think we need to always have a sense of awareness of others, of what God is doing and what we can be doing about it.