Tag Archives: Ephesians 3:20

Infinitely More

Today, I get a gold star for bravery. Two nights ago there was a shriek from my daughter’s bedroom and she came flying out the door proclaiming a GIANT spider had just run across her floor. She declared that until it was found and killed she was vacating the premises. Since Dad has been out of town she has been sharing my bed at night and she has been taking her phone calls in her brothers room due to the hazardous conditions of her own. GIANT spiders are serious business.  Today (only because laundry needed done I didn’t really want to find it!) I went on a hunting expedition through the discarded blankets and dirty clothes on the floor.  I picked each piece up gingerly and shook out away from my body so as not to die if touched by the GIANT spider unknowingly.   As I neared the closet I found the GIANT spider at the same time as I knocked into closet door, knocking it off the track and sending it clattering to the wood floor.  Let’s just say I might have jumped and let out a bit of a startled yell…maybe…just a little bit…before slowly backing away, finding a large wooden sign and smashing the GIANT spider. The room has now been declared clear and safe for re-entry and as I said, I get the gold star for bravery.

Seriously though, brave is a really hard thing to be some days (even when spiders aren’t involved.)  Following God in obedience is not for the faint of heart. BUT, I am seeing first hand that this is the place where the “Infinitely More” of Ephesians 3:20 lies.

“We aren’t having a store.  A store doesn’t make sense. We just can’t do it.” I can’t tell you how many times in the short span of the life of Do Good Studio that I said these words to my sister.  Man plans…God laughs.  do-good-coming-soon

Guess what is opening in less than two weeks? Yes. The Do Good Studio in their very own storefront and God could not be more in this. I just simply said “Yes” and moved out of the way for Him to work.  I didn’t make a spreadsheet and calculate the risk and hedge my bets.  I prayed, “God if you are in this work this out.” Since then, I have discovered the Infinitely More and it doesn’t look anything like I thought it would.  In just the last week alone He has used the store to answer the prayers of two different families.  Each with the same thread of obedience behind their prayers of wanting to use their gifts of furniture making for His glory, each seeking Him for an outlet for their inventory, and us, needing help to fill an entire store.  He had woven us together long before we even knew what was happening and man, do we have some really amazing pieces to compliment the rest of the Do Good inventory.

Today, on the day I signed the lease for the store, my phone rang and I said “Yes!” to speaking to a group of 250 high school students from around the state at a Teen Leadership conference the same week that the store will open.  They wanted me to share our story of turning “What if?” into “We can.” and “We have.” They want us to tell our story and show these kids how service can just look like loving on people. This group wants to know how THEY can come along side us and help US with volunteers, with collecting items for donation, with the potential for a Love Runners/teen mission trip on the horizon. I just can’t even…INFINITELY MORE.

I am humbled by a God who is so good and so big.  A God who cares so much for our hearts and our dreams.  A God who, when we get brave and follow His call, introduces us to the Infinitely More.

What is God asking you to do? What have you said “No. Never.” to? What would happen if you said yes? Can I encourage you to pray about it and if God continues to stir your heart over it put your Grown-Up-Spider-Crushing-Bravery-Pants and go for it! It’s scary but…

“All glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20

He just needs you to say Yes.

If you want to come visit us please do! I would love to have a cup of coffee and introduce you to the Studio.  Get all the details at our website or like us on facebook to keep up to date on all of the happenings.

Would you like that Super-Sized?

It was dark when we finally got home last night and it was still dark when I again walked back in the door this morning.  The sun just hinting at it’s coming glory as it began to lighten the eastern horizon.  I wonder if it’s as tired as I am, and I know that’s ridiculous, and yet I still wonder…

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Sunrise. Sunset. And a question…What did you do in My Name today?

Well God, I had some great ideas, I made some really Big Plans. We could change the world you know.  But that’s a lot of pressure, changing the world and the Big Things.  I have to get this right.  Maybe tomorrow I will know what to do.

Sunrise. Sunset.  And a question…What did you do in My Name today?

Um, today just flew by, what with the time spent in the “in between” and the kids and the cooking of the dinner…and well, I sang some songs to you.  We had a great jam session in the car and I thought  some more about those Big Plans.

Sunrise.  Sunset. And a question…What did you do in My Name today?

I made some mental notes today.  I think I could write about this…maybe that will be launching point of our Something Big. I am going to do Something Big Lord, I promise.  I just have to figure it out.  I know I was made for Big Things.

Wash.  Rinse.  Repeat.  And the cycle continues and nothing changes and I long for Big Things and I make Big Plans and I chase lightning in a bottle and I get tired of trying so hard to make something happen.  I get tired of peering around corners, knowing and expecting, that Something Big is just around the bend.

Aren’t we supposed to want Big things?  Aren’t we supposed to leave a Big Mark?

And then this question straight from the car speakers…Why are you striving these days? Why are you trying to earn grace?
Why are you crying?

I don’t know…I honestly don’t know…

I am a person of action words.  I don’t sit still.  I desire to be “doing” and I feel like Small isn’t Big Enough. But I am wrong, and I know this, but it doesn’t make it any easier.  I am trying to see Small for how Big it really can be.  And when my heart tells my brain, “it’s not enough,” I remember these words from Ann Voskamp that I have read so many times in recent days.

You don’t have to worry: We all get to make one unforgettable mark. And every day, with every word, we get to decide: Do we mar the world, or mark the world?

Why in the world disdain the small? It’s always the smallest strokes that add up to the greatest masterpieces.

Because the thing really is: Do we ever really know which mark we make — that will matter the most? The extraordinary things happen nowhere else but in the everyday and today can always be the beginning.

I know you’re brave … and you’re scared. Because you keep doing big things that seems so small and you wonder where all this is really going and you only get one life here —

And though you’re weary, you do hard things and you keep getting out of bed, and this is always the hardest part — you keep believing that Christ didn’t leave this world until He showed us His scars — and He won’t ever let you leave this world until you leave your most beautiful mark. To show Him.

We will probably have to be scarred.  In leaving our mark it will probably be messy and it probably will hurt, but maybe this is how we do our Biggest Thing.  Maybe our scars, bravely worn, show a hurting world His Glory and Comfort.  Maybe our stumbles and struggles handled honestly, and redeemed mercifully, show Love and Hope.

So Just For Today — listen: you’ve got to keep going.

His Kingdom is Upside Down and in Him your part is large and lovely and needed and art.

So go get the milk and take out the trash and throw in the laundry and wave giddy to the neighbors because there is a plan and there is a purpose and there is a God in heaven who didn’t just ink you onto the palm of His hands but etched your name right into Himself with nails and He’s hasn’t just got your number, He’s got your heart.

So really — you’ve got to believe it…really, it’s all working out okay.

Because God’s writing your story and He never leaves you alone in your story, and His perfect love absorbs all your fear and His perfect grace carries all your burdens, and your story is a happily ever after because Christ bought your happily ever after so you always know how this story ends.

Maybe my Biggest Thing, isn’t a thing but instead living presently in the daily grind of life. A life filled with scars and struggles but also Love and Joy and I have been missing out as I have searched for it elsewhere.  I am understanding that my Big Thing doesn’t look like I thought it would and that’s how I have missed it for so long.

But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus–the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God. (Acts 20:24)

in Him your part is large and lovely and needed.  It is the true meaning that I had confused for so long in Ephesians 3:20.  “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work withing us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”  We have no idea what Big looks like from the other side…

Sunrise.  Sunset. And a question…What did you do in My Name today?

So, What Have You Been Up To?

I know it’s been a long time…too long. Let me bring you up to speed on what I have been mixed up in. Oh September, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

1.) Birthdays – 7 of them that we celebrated to be precise. Including a slumber party for my now 12 year old daughter and 5 of her nearest and dearest where the conversation swung from ISIS, to music, to “Did you see what she did/wore/fill in the blank” and back again in the blink of an eye around the breakfast table. (Breakfast is one of my favorite times for conversation with my kids and their friends. Maybe it’s because they aren’t quite awake yet or aren’t in a hurry to go off and do “things” but I have found that if I feed them good food they will hang around and keep eating and keep talking and you can learn a lot! And they never fail to make me laugh!)

sports2.) Sporting events – which means practices, and feeding the team, and ticket taking, and ticket selling, and lots of cheering, and even more prayers blasted heavenward for protection. (Thankfully our only ER trip has been on a Sunday afternoon for an infected cut that looked pretty nasty and had gone from 0 to oozing and disgusting in the span of 36 hours.) Then there is a little job I got my husband and myself into this year called Visiting Locker Room Ambassadors. Trust me, not as fancy as the title sounds. In all of this I am considering buying an RV and living in the parking lot at the football field. It would make life much simpler.

3.) Travel – I spent the end of August and beginning of September getting ready for my trip to New York where I made some wonderful new friends and had the opportunity for some real “life” conversations. This was a mid-week trip which meant all the members of my household realized how much “behind-the scenes” work goes on that they were unaware of and yet even out-of-state I was the go-to middle man coordinating rides and pick-up times, and last minute changes of plans.

4.) Homework, Homecoming, and House Renovation – Back to school…back to homework. All I will say is that sometimes a new teacher’s expectations of their students aren’t quite realistic. We are struggling through the work load and learning great life lessons while we do it (says the mom confidently out loud even when she don’t always agree with it in her head.) Then there was the first homecoming and the flowers and new dress clothes (to coordinate with a specific dress color) and the honor of being the freshman attendant and the stress of which group to go with and the parties…which brings me to the house renovations.

I snapped this when the furniture guys went out to "get some tools." I am not sure what tools they thought they had that would have made this fit.
I snapped this when the furniture guys went out to “get some tools.” I am not sure what tools they thought they had that would have made this fit.

“Have a homecoming party” mom says. “We’ll reno the back room in the basement” mom says. “It’ll be great” mom says. So I watch a few hours of HGTV and suddenly I am an expert and have my husband and son removing load-bearing walls and installing header beams and we were all pulling crazy hours in the underworld of our home. (There were only a few tense moments and sleepless nights when my husband was convinced our house was caving in…the things he does for love!)  The furniture delivery guys just got the couch “slightly” stuck in the doorway and had to develop a Plan B (Pivot! Pivot! for my fellow Friends fans) but the basement was finished (enough) in time and my house was full (and loud) and we loved it! (And I think the kids did too.)

The month of September was packed full of craziness, and great experiences, and as always lots of fun. But because of that I have all of these thoughts filling my head, bouncing around off of each other and I can only hope that as they begin to pour out I can make them make some logical sense. (I kind of feel like my head is a balloon that is filled too full and about to burst.)

Here is a taste of some of what is going on up there and headed to you in the coming days…

I am loving getting older (yes, crazy) but I am finally confident in me for the sake of me and not anyone else. CS Lewis said, “The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become – because He made us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be…It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.” Love that!

In New York I talked a lot about moments and I want to share some of that with you too. When you think about your life what are you really thinking about? What defines our lives? It’s the moments…the snapshots of memories that are framed like pictures in our minds. These are the building block of our triumphs and our tragedies. Some of my most treasured moments have occurred in the everyday. Moments also frame the pain that leave us breathless and forever changed. I have learned that God’s most gracious gifts are delivered to us exactly in these moments. Steve Maraboli said, “Sometimes it’s the same moments that take your breath away that breathe purpose and love back into your life.” YES! Who isn’t searching for purpose and love?!

And then, I am a fan of the big gesture. I have shared that before. Go big or go home. I have big dreams, big plans. God has been teaching me a lot about the small lately though and I am beginning to understand on a deeper level Ephesians 3:20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” “Infinitely more” to me means huge, big things happening here in the infinitely more place, but I am learning that God is a fan of the small. The small is what, through His mighty power, turns into something big, and chances are we don’t even have a clue.  The words of Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjold come to mind. “It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for…the masses.” Christ left the ninety-nine for the one. So I will challenge you as I find myself challenged to embrace the small.

So much to say…so little time to say it!

Dear Me – Get out of the way

Dear Me,
Remember when this used to hang on your refrigerator? At some point you took it down and put it in a box.

Today, it’s a good reminder to quit meddling. God has heard your prayers and will answer them in His way, in His timing. It may not look like what you have been praying for (re-read the 3rd arrow point) but you know that God is at work, even when you can’t see it. He has plans for your good, hold onto that!

Remember what Moses told the Israelites as they faced the Red Sea…Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. (Exodus‬ ‭14‬:‭13‬ NLT). Hey busy body…Get out of the way, be still, quit trying to do this your way!

You know what, self? Because I know you, I know how hard this is for you. Doing nothing when your brain is screaming, do somethingcan be scary. But remember that going rouge never works out well. Maybe you should hang the sign back up.

Father, you know what every single one of us is facing today. You know our struggles and our heartaches. You also see our dreams and our desires. In all of these things, help me to get out of your way. Help me to sit on my hands and quit manipulating things in an effort to speed them along or fix them. Lord, align my heart with your plan. Fill me with patience for your time table. Help me cling to your promise that YOU are able to do more than I could ever dream possible when I surrender all that I am and all that I have for your glory. Amen.

I Will Be A Subway Preacher

start where you are


If you gotta start somewhere why not here
If you gotta start sometime why not now
(TobyMac, City On Our Knees)

Start something…do something…be something.  It’s a pressure I feel on a daily basis.  One that I quite admittedly make much larger by my obsessing on questions like…Am I living up to my potential?  Am I following God’s leading and teaching? What is God’s will for my life?  Start something…do something…be something.  My self-talk mantra.

In trying to answer those questions I continually fall short in the answer department.  I have had this image in my mind, the way I have felt lately and I haven’t been able to  reconcile what it, until just recently.

I find myself standing in the middle of the subway station platform during the early morning rush.  Frenzied chaos with people swarming, rushing, getting on trains and headed out.  Confident people who know where they are going and how to get there.  But not me…I am standing, jostled, stuck, and confused, not sure which train to get on because I don’t know where I am supposed to be going, but I really feel like I should be moving,  going somewhere, anywhere.  I start towards one train and stop, second-guessing.  I am feeling helpless, another face in the sea of people.  This was me, inside…

If you know me at all you will know that I am a fan of big gestures.  Go big or go home.  So part of what I was looking for in my subway destination was influenced by this.  I was ready to embrace Ephesians 3:20, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” To infinity and beyond…God definitely knows how to accomplish the “big gesture.”  This is the pressure I was putting on myself…Start something (big)…do something (big)…be something (big.)  Instead I have felt like I was languishing, particularly in regard to my book and this nebulous idea of a “ministry.”  But recently the sand under my feet has begun to shift and I am seeing things in a different light.

Have you ever heard the phrase “grow where you are planted?” That is where this change began.

If standing in the middle of a subway is where I find myself then I will become a “subway preacher.” I say that in jest, however, the “ministry” that I am so desperately searching for has been right in front of me.  It just doesn’t look like what I had pictured in my head so I overlooked it.  I have also realized I need to release myself from the burden of “greatness” (that is founded in my own definition) and just be who God has created me to be at this moment, with these circumstances, in this place.

There is a Part B to that as well.  Not one that is particularly pleasant to admit.  That is releasing God of the expectations that I have for Him, the quiet undercurrent in the self-talk.  You have big plans for me God, right?  We are going places, right?  Surely we haven’t come this far to just hang out here, right? It is putting my agenda on God’s plate and I know that isn’t how it works.  Chalk it up to being a slow learner…

So I have begun pouring myself into the here and now instead of looking ahead to the future and waiting for it to happen.  I need to throw out the idea of “ministry” by my definition and walk in faith.  Maybe I will walk in place for a little while.  Maybe I will feel like I am walking in circles but God is in control.  He has me exactly where I am supposed to be right now.  I can’t second guess that.  Maybe someday we will jump on another train and head out, but for today I am going to grow where I am planted.  And suddenly, I have found myself at peace in the subway.

Today, I challenge you.  Are you growing or are you spending your time wishing you were being re-planted somewhere else? Are you giving God your best in the here and now, wherever that may be?  Have you placed expectations on God that He isn’t meeting and you find yourself frustrated?   A lot of questions that dig a little deeper than we are sometimes comfortable looking.  I have one last one…do you believe the words of Jeremiah 29:11?  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  God has plans for us, sometimes they line up with ours, sometimes they don’t.  But He knows what is best, His plans are for our good, even when we can’t see it and we don’t understand it.  I challenge you to trust God to do what is best for you and to use you for His purpose and for His glory.  And if you do, look out.  You may get to experience “more than you could ask or imagine” and never have seen it coming!

If you gotta start somewhere why not here.  If you gotta start sometime why not now…even if it’s in the subway!




Oh! Happy Day!

AMEN! The day has arrived and I have a real book in my hand! What an unbelievable feeling of achievement but I am also humbled beyond belief at what God has accomplished already through this. It’s been an adventure and I have a feeling it is only the beginning. Books will begin shipping 10/7/13. To pre-order an author signed copy or learn more about the book visit our bookstore or the Run and Be Still book page.

I have had this quote marked for a long time because I loved it. Today, I leave you with it…

If someone writes a great story, people praise the author, not the pen. People don’t say, “Oh what an incredible pen…Where can I get a pen like this so I can write great stories?” Well, I am just a pen in the hands of The Lord. He is the author. All praise should go to Him.