Tag Archives: faith in action

The Year of the Yes

Very quietly last week Run and Be Still celebrated it’s 3rd birthday.  It’s amazing how fast time flies and how much can change in the span of a year.

Life is fluid.  Like the waters constantly meeting the shoreline, shaping and molding, so are our days.  Sometimes they pass gently and lazily.  Sometimes with such ferocity they steal bits of us as they go, washing them away, reshaping who we are.

This has been a majorly reshaping year for us. So many changes, forcing us out of our comfortable routine and into this grand new adventure.

Isn’t it ironic how the future and the passing of time makes us desperate for our memories? At least that’s where it finds me.  Milestone markers open the archive of memory banks and old photo albums and I try to hold on just a little longer, remind myself so I’ll never forget, the way things used to be.  I don’t want to go back, I really like the “me” I am becoming, I just want to remember.  And it would only be fair to admit that the memories I cling to are most certainly revisionist, glorified, and edited.  Even (probably especially) the bad days.  The passing of time has dulled their sharp edges.  Their bitter taste comes part and parcel with the sweet ones.

This past year has found me trying to answer the question, “What am I going to do with myself?”  I suddenly found myself with extended blocks of time on my hands. (No more kid shuttle bus duty.  It’s all very bittersweet and as you know I am working though it.) Then there came a deep desire to really make a difference.  Someway, somehow.  I needed to do something. There was a hole that needed filled.  I don’t think this is some mid-life crisis. (Although you may be reading this thinking, “Sister you are kidding yourself.  That’s exactly what this is.” I’ll just keep pretending, thank you.)


Move. Touch. Share. Love. It’s my new mantra. Love in action has become my cure.  Love Runners and do Good have become the vehicle. They are my “Just Do It.” I have a tendency to become intense and obsessive when I am passionate about something.  One of the biggest lessons that I have learned in trying to get this off the ground is that this isn’t everyone’s dream.  This isn’t everyone’s cause.  But oh my, the opportunity to be God’s hand and feet in this endeavor makes my heart beat faster and I am not going to give up on that! And so it was with great anticipation that I launched the online studio last weekend.  We are officially Open online! Will you please check it out and pass the word? It would mean so very much to me! Love Runners and The do Good Studio.

do a little

Launching Love Runners and The do Good Studio reminds me of the days when Run and Be Still was brand new.  Stalking the analytics and statistics, wondering if anyone has visited and if anyone even cares.  And then here we are in the blink of an eye, 3 years later, and you’re here and I’m still here.  When I started out I didn’t know what I was going to write about, how long I could keep this up, or if anyone would even read it. To date, there have been 237 posts, 17,525 views, and 9,188 different visitors from across the globe!  It’s amazing to me.  Humbling. We’ve shared a lot of life together and over the course of those years the continuous lapping of the water has reshaped me and the course I thought I was on.

In Love Does, Bob Goff says, “Accepting the invitation to show up in life is about moving from the bleachers to the field.  It’s moving from developing opinions to developing options.  It’s about  having things matter to us enough that we stop just thinking about those things and actually do something about them  Simply put, Jesus is looking for us to accept the invitation to participate. Each of us gets to decide every time whether to lean in or step back – to say yes, ignore it, or tell God why He has the wrong person.”

That, has been in a nutshell, what the last year has looked like. From opinions to options.  From mere thoughts to real actions. Big family milestones. New house. New mission. New adventure.  I guess you could say year 3 was the “Year of the Yes.”

Happy Birthday to us!  Let’s do Good this year!



My Memory Problem

this is the dayI want to remember today.  I want to pluck this ordinary morning memory of trying to rouse sleepy kids, of packing lunches and searching for missing shoes and belts, and breakfasts grabbed on the go and just put it away for later.  I want to remember the promised prayers for what their day held, for the anxieties that worry their hearts. I want to remember the way they looked on their way to the bus with their backpacks and lunchboxes and sports bags because this is what makes up life.  Day after day, like building blocks, moment after moment of the ordinary that creates a life. That’s what I want to remember. I want to be able to tuck these ordinary moments away in my pocket to be pulled out on a day when the everyday doesn’t look like this anymore.  I want this for me…

I have recently found myself struggling to remember the days when these big kids were babies, trying to remember how we filled our then seemingly endless hours. How many times we would laugh at something they said or did and say, “We should write that down” but never did and the moment passed leaving us with vague recollections of everyday moments.

How many prayers have we seen answered, the big and the small? How many times has God shown up, in the chaos, in the crisis, in the mundane, in the everyday? It’s not the numbers that are important, it’s just remembering the reality of the realness in it on the days when we feel alone and find it so hard to believe, for us, for our children, for our families.

As I see how fast my babies have grown my heart becomes full and overwhelmed and I want them to know their stories from their mother’s heart.  But more than that, I want them to know the prayers I have prayed.  I want them to see and remember, on the days when jaded adult views cloud their vision, that God has proven himself over and over to them as a very real and loving Father. I want this for my kids…

And this suddenly got real for me, real like a sucker punch to the gut, as I read these words from Elisa Pulliam, “Although I have journals scribbled full with pleas and petitions to the Lord, there aren’t enough of those pages filled up with prayers for my children. I think I’ve pushed praying for my children aside because their needs feel so easily met by me at the moment.  In light of other circumstances we’ve faced, like family tensions, life-changing decisions, and health crises too many to count, my children are doing just fine.  Fine is fine.  But for how long?  Their lives will only get more “un-fine” as they grow up which is why they need their momma praying for them on purpose…now.”

“So, as I turn to face the next decade of being a mother, I want to invest my time in bringing more than passing pleas to the Lord  I want to pause long enough to reflect on their needs and pray for them the way I’d want to be prayed for by others.  I want to give to the Lord what I see in their personalities that need His touch.  I want to talk to God about the struggles they face and the fears they feel.  I want to hand over to their Maker my concerns about their relationships. I want to yield to the Lord His plans for their lives and get out of the way of the story He is writing.”

Today, I begin.  I begin praying with a purpose and recording their stories. Today, I am going to stop beating myself up for not starting earlier and while I don’t know exactly what the end product is going to look like I am not going to get caught up in that. I am just going to look to right now, to the things that I am thankful for, prayerful over, or laugh about and I am going to share my heart with them for a day when they will need to remember. And I am going to do this, one step at a time.

Maybe you will be compelled to join me, for a child, for a friend, or maybe you need to begin to see more of God in your everyday just for you.  Maybe you need to become more purposeful in prayer and in building your relationship with God.  Let’s do this together! Make today your day.


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!




What if…

20130815-081150.jpgMartin Buber, in Tales of the Hasidim, tells the story of Rabbi Zussia. Rabbi Zussia said, “At the Last Judgement, I shall not be asked ‘Why were you not Abraham? Why were you not Moses?’ I shall be asked, ‘Why were you not Zussia?’ ” So, I ask you today, why are you trying so hard to be anything other than what God created you to be?

Galatians 5:25-26 says, “Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original (MSG, emphasis mine).

Be you! Stop comparing yourself to others. God created you uniquely. He created you with specific gifts and for a specific purpose. There are things that God has planned that without you, your gifts, your input, will not be fully developed. We can so easily get caught up comparing ourselves to others, where we excel, where we fall short. In our personal quest to “measure up” we can easily sideswipe opportunities that God has planned for us. This is what happens when our eyes are on others, not the God who created us. God will meets us, where we are, with remarkable opportunities specifically suited for our talent set. You must only make yourself available.

We are needed to be the light in a broken, dark world. God does not call the dark to be light, he calls the light to be light. The light, you and I, we all must do our part. There are so many corners and nooks and crannies that need lit up. It doesn’t matter how big or small our part may be. And I speak personally when I say sometimes that is hard. I want to do big things, see big changes, big results. But it is all important to God, the big and the small. They all play a necessary part. Mother Theresa writes, “God will not ask how many books you have read; how many miracles you have worked; He will ask you if you have done your best, for the love of Him. Can you in all sincerity say, “I have done my best”? Even if the best is failure, it must be our best, our utmost. ”

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. (1 Corinthians 12:4-6 NLT)

You can sit and complain about the way things are, in your church, in your school, or in your community, but there is another option. Today, linger on this question…What if the change is supposed to start with you? What if instead of complaining you are supposed to take action?

This world needs God
But it’s easier to stand and watch
I could say a prayer and just move on
Like nothing’s wrong
But I refuse
‘Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care
I don’t want to say another empty prayer
I refuse to sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose
Not to move, but I refuse
-Josh Wilson, “I Refuse”

What if God is waiting on you?