Category Archives: Inspired Inspirations

Keeping Still In A Frenzied World

inspirational scriptures

The past several months have been brimming with activity. Much of life for everyone these days feels like this – a frenzy of hustle. In my younger days, hustle and flow was my routine – push it until it is done or it breaks me, whichever comes first. But the Lord has been taking me down a new path, teaching me that there is a time for everything, and everything in its time. Not that I still do not get after things, but He has been showing me to put more of a strategy and wisdom into what I do, when, how, and who.

Relocating to our new city of Austin is an adventure and exciting, yet intermingled with the sadness of moving on from our beloved Dallas home and community. And then there’s just sheer exhaustion. But the joy of even sitting in a home of boxes, and the peace of a beautiful yard that was lovingly planted before our arrival, it makes all the sacrifice and struggle worth it. The yes to the open window and desiring a home where more blessings can be outpoured outweighed the tears in closing the door that was no longer where we were called to be. I still miss my Dallas friends and family very much. And my Louisiana and Michigan friends and family for that matter. #sigh

Bigger picture though, there is one. I’ve become a student again (Teacher = God), being taught a lot lately about something that I don’t do very well, keeping still. And keeping silent (or at least trying harder to) when there is every desire and reason not to be. I come from a line of people that work hard and are industrious, and we are not afraid to tell you what is on our mind, so raw hustle is in my nature. But it can become at odds with the humility with which the spiritual life needs to be nurtured.

Inside it is like a tug of war most days. Ego: I want, I need, me, me ME! Spirit: Relax, surrender, let GOD do it!

If my Grandma called you a hard worker, you had won her respect. It’s in my DNA – go, go, GO! If I don’t know how to do something, I work until I figure it out. If I set a goal, I chase that sucker down. If I am on a mission, kindly move aside or you’ve been forewarned.

And then boom, a week from moving, a silly distraction and I misstep into a badly sprained ankle. Noooooooooo.

Years of horseplay and sports, and I nab my first sprained ankle comes right when my hustle was in full swing. Now I realize that there are far greater physical sufferings that my community may be dealing with (I am praying for you!), but I do not like to compare, as I’ve read and it’s resonated that “comparison is the thief of joy.”

I’ve had on my big girl pants for a good deal of the past five weeks, yet the inability to walk for me right when that big dream we’ve been readying ourselves for at least the past five years to enjoy, well, it has brought me to the cross in a new way. Even after only experiencing just a taste of it temporarily. I have deeper understanding and appreciation for the suffering of the immobile, particularly my Mother when Bone Cancer robbed her of even being able to cross a room without aid. #deeprespectandprayers

It becomes even more painful when the noise of our age comes into play. The world tells us we need to work harder, faster, better, stronger. We need to stretch and press and go after everything and be more. You need to accept, go with the flow, do not question the world but be accommodating and always be whatever is the current thought or expectation of the day. Pull yourself up and make yourself something that the world cannot deny. Get after it!! And yes, we need to do our part. Yet what did the Lord tell the Israelites in their fear and complaining.

“The Lord himself will fight for you, you have only to keep still.” – Exodus 14:14

God wants to do everything for us, but there are moments when we must keep still and allow Him to do it. How must we participate in this act?

By giving our consent, “Lord, fight for me.”

There is a discernment as well as spiritual + mental maturity that comes into play here. Knowing when to move, when to be still. When to speak, and when to be silent. When to fight for something, and when to walk away.

I’ve had to fight my way through many things in life, and as the only girl in my family with three older brothers, my brain programming says, “Fight for it.” But in reality, the surrender to lay things down and leave them in the Lords hands to do the bidding is the source of my true battle. Can you relate?

The Lord has shown his glory and power many times throughout history, but people take it for granted. There is so much happening in the world right now that reveal deep woundedness that is festering and bleeding out. There is a darkness that can feel as oppressive and obstinate as Pharoah and the Egyptians.

But was it not the Lord that raised up Moses? Didn’t he take the Israelites, HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE, through slavery, forty years in the desert, and through the Red Sea? And in the end, HE TRIUMPHED!

Much has been in my mind and heart these days. The time for writing is scarce, yet the Lord moved in my heart to share a bit for now.

Holy Trinity, Sweet Mother Mary, fight for us!!

Taking on one more thing whenever I feel stretched often may feel like a monstrosity, but in these times, God has been moving in mysterious ways. I look forward to sharing more about a great work that has been developing out of established partnerships with a small, faithful, uber talented group of people that I deeply respect and admire. Stay tuned for that.

Until then, I pray that God will remind you of his power and glory, and that you will allow him to fight for YOU.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , ,

Lent: My 40/40/40 Prayer Pact

lentAlthough this whole Lent deal is far from a new season to me, I somehow fail to properly plan until Ash Wednesday springs upon me in its dusty, stark, post-Mardi-Gras-glitz-and-sugar-hangover-way. This year I am working on being more intentional about starting my Lent with a sense of readiness. Nevermind the fact that an assortment of ideas and distractions ambush my brain while I sit at my desk attempting to do my business tax prep for my CPA, but this idea I knew was inspired…

But let me interrupt this inspiration banter with: This is your 9 DAYS until Lent starts countdown!

Now back to what the Spirit stirred up. This isn’t a give up chocolate kind of Lenten offering (and yes I love chocolate). I wanted to dig deeper in prayer, giving people the assurance that they were specifically being prayed for, their intentions, by name, during this Lent.

So, I am starting a LENTEN PRAYER PACT 40 for 40 in 40:

40 prayer intentions

For 40 people

In 40 days

Each of 40 days of Lent will be dedicated to one of the 40 specific prayer intentions from 40 different people. Whether you are a friend, or I have never met you, that makes no difference – sign up and you are on my 40/40/40 list this Lent and I will commit to praying for you. Note, I will never share or publish your prayer intentions, unless you want me to and give me express permission.

WHAT IS THE 40/40/40 LENT PRAYER PACT?

Over 40 days, I will be devoting a day to prayer for each participant and your prayer intention during my Lenten journey. A pact is defined as a formal agreement between individuals or parties, and I formally agree to pray for 40 people’s intentions over 40 days.

WHY DID YOU CREATE THE PACT?

There is such a power and gift in intercessory prayer. Offering prayers on the behalf of others is also a way to be focused on the needs of others. It reaps graces for those in need. My hope is that the 40/40/40 will help me focus on others more, create a positive prayer movement, and help others along their Lenten journey.

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO HAVE YOU PRAY FOR ME?

If you’d like to be included on my 40/40/40, fill out the form below. The first 40 I will commit to pray for you by name, lifting up you intention – simple. If you are late signing up and the list is full (there are only 40 spaces after all) I may be able to coerce my husband to take you on 🙂 Or, I would encourage you to do the prayer pact with your friends and relatives yourself.

SO, HOW DO I START MY OWN 40/40/40 LENTEN PRAYER PACT?

  1. Easiest way to compile your list is to create a sign up form, like the Google form I am using below. For help, here’s a YouTube Lynda.com tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IxFeVXBwaQ, then embed it or share it with others.
  1. Share information (you have permission to use my verbiage and graphics in this post) on the prayer pact with your friends and family. Share though email, Social Media, and a blog if you have one. You can use my 40/40/40 Graphic too.
  1. Begin your prayer challenge on February 18, 2015 (Ash Wednesday) and continue through April 4, Holy Saturday. To keep yourself on track, your participant signups through Google forms can be compiled in a Google document. Next just print out and either keep your list with your Bible, tape to your mirror, or wherever/however you’ll remember to pray for your 40 participants.
  1. This takes bit of coordination, but how nice if you take the time to remind your participants on the day that you’re praying for them. That could be an email, text, post-it note, Facebook message/Tweet/Snapchat/whatevs, or something to say, “I’m praying for you on this day of the 40/40/40 challenge” or send them my Ephesians graphic at the bottom.

It’s a pretty simple concept, but I am excited to invite 40 other people along on my Lenten journey through praying for your intentions.

UPDATE: FEBRUARY 13th, I have my 40/40 for my 40 already signed up, so my form is no longer accepting submissions, sorry! 

FREE DOWNLOAD – LENTEN PRAYER PACT CALENDAR!
Click link below to download & print. Fill in the names of your participants on each of the 40 days and hang in a good reminder spot!

Lenten Calendar 2015

NEED TO GET PEOPLE TO PRAY FOR? USE THIS GRAPHIC IN YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA WITH A LINK TO YOUR SIGN-UP FORM:

lent prayers

HERE’S A FACEBOOK COVER TO USE:

Lent Facebook Cover

HERE’S A TWITTER COVER TO USE:

lenten twitter cover

LET PEOPLE KNOW YOU’RE PRAYING FOR THEM. HERE’S A “PRAYING FOR YOU” GRAPHIC YOU CAN EMAIL/TEXT/SHARE WITH THEM:

lenten prayer pact

Invite other to join the prayer pact for their Lent.

Lent prayers

Finally, you can do something special like this for your participants to remind them of your prayers during the next 40 days:

40 days of Lent

 

 

Tagged , , ,

True Leadership

Leadership quotes

A big takeaway from this past Lent was forming better habits. I was focusing on making better decisions with my time and working on being more intentional on where I spend my energy. As I work on growing myself personally and professionally, I’ve been pondering leadership lately.

There are many elements that comprise a great leader – this quote nails the basic essentials. Just because someone is charismatic and can work a crowd like a rib, or is sitting as the head Honcho who calls all the shots, doesn’t necessarily make him or her a leader.

Confidence, courage, compassion, being a good listener, equality in actions – and here’s the biggie: INTEGRITY of his INTENT.

These characteristics flow out from a servant approach to leadership – being attentive to the NEEDS OF OTHERS; however, one thing I’ve learned, even in the Divine order of things, leading at the expense of taking proper care of yourself is not good. I’ve struggled with balance in this area – putting everyones needs and problems before my own. After all, we are called to love as Christ did, which is sacrificial and selfless. It can be challenging to navigate at times.

I’ve found that above all, I need to keep myself first rooted in Christ. God has taken many opportunities to teach hard-headed me about holy order: I need to take care of me and my relationship with Him, and then let the rest flow out from there.

Tagged , , ,

Inspiration for the New Year

new years day quote

“May Light always surround you;
Hope kindle and rebound you.
May your Hurts turn to Healing;
Your Heart embrace Feeling.
May Wounds become Wisdom;
Every Kindness a Prism.
May Laughter infect you;
Your Passion resurrect you.
May Goodness inspire
your Deepest Desires.
Through all that you Reach For,
May your arms Never Tire.”
― D. Simone

Tagged , , ,

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” – CS Lewis

From “Mere Christianity” this is a powerful illustration of what it feels like when God is at work deep inside. With my husband and my nephew last night, we were talking about life, pain, faith, and purpose — this quote really hits home today.

This Advent – as painful as it may be, allow Him to rebuild you into a majestic palace and come and live inside.

palace

“Imagine yourse…

Tagged , ,

Feeling Underestimated?

Several years ago, a co-worker gave me one of those little inspirational Hallmark books for my birthday. The title seemed a good fit, “Laughter & Latte: Joyful Inspiration for Women”.  I never really cuddled up with it to read many of the reflections. To be honest, it quickly settled among my “bathroom books”. You can even see some of the dust still left on the cover.

Image

But this week I could really use some “joyful inspiration”. On Sunday, I got that Holy Spirit urging to go and pick up my little Bathroom book. I now know better than to write off or question those little promptings, so I did.

“Feeling Underestimated?” was the title of the excerpt from Laurie Beth Jones’ book, “Jesus in Blue Jeans.” OK, you’ve got my attention. Here is the short story across those two pink and brown pages:

The media escort who accompanied me on the Los Angeles stop of my most recent book tour was a woman about five feet, two inches tall. A petite blond with movie star charisma, she disclosed during our conversation that after she had been mugged and later car-jacked in Los Angeles, she had become a black-belt kickboxer. Now, when she and her husband encounter rough situations, her six-foot one-inch husband whispers, “Go ahead, honey, get ’em. I’ll hold your purse.” She says she actually enjoys the feeling of being underestimated.

Unless you are dealing with people who daily recognize and acknowledge the miracle-working power of God, chances are very good you are being underestimated, and more significantly, chances are you are underestimating yourself.

When we have access, through prayer and meditation, to all the gifts and knowledge of God, we can be relatively confident that whoever is challenging us is underestimating us. Our responsibility in difficult situations is to harness the power of God in us and the power of God everywhere.”

When I later shared it with my husband, we laughed through the part where the husband says, “I’ll hold your purse…” After all, who more than my partner, and my Confessor, knows what “kickboxing” the spicy passion of this five-foot three-inch Tomboy can unleash. God help us.

Yet it is not about believing and proving what we are capable of. Even Jesus was and still often is grossly underestimated. But, what if we embraced everything as a gift — recognizing that all we are, have, and can do is because of our Maker. After all, as His children, do we not have access to the miracle-working power of God?

This verse was shared with me this week, and I have since paid it forward; but take a moment to reflect on great power of God to work in and through you.

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the HOPE to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his INCOMPARABLY GREAT POWER for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty STRENGTH, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.”

– Ephesians 1:18-20

Tagged , , ,

We Remember

statue of liberty

 

Photo Credit: Mike Martinez

We all remember exactly where we were on this day, 9/11, twelve years ago and what we were doing. How surreal it was — that those were not images in a movie, or in a foreign war-torn nation — but right on our soil… The emotions…especially fear, and the helplessness we felt as we watched but could not even reach our loved one to be assured of their safety.

It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.  ~Author unknown

Just taking a moment to pause, rounding out the Hour of Mercy now, reflect, and to be in solidarity with my fellow Americans. To remember. To not take anything for granted.

Tagged , , , ,

Daring to Begin

GloryShakespeareQuote

It’s Monday…again. Woke up and tried to start it off right making Nutriblasts (today = Spinach, Blueberries, Banana, Strawberries, and Maca Powder) for me & my Guy, then putting together one of my favorite quotes to share.  As someone who works hard to overcome my tendency to procrastinate, this is one of my go to quotes for motivation.

It’s time to re-focus myself in prayer, and then really get after it.  Let’s make it a great week!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Be Willing to Risk

GoAhead

This felt right for a Monday morning post.  Depending on whether you’re a half-full or half-empty kinda person, this may either be a spark to inspire or a little kick in the pants at the beginning of the week. Reflect on the image for a moment. It embodies that feeling of teetering on the edge of risk. How sound is this decision? Where does it lead? What if I fall? What will I do once I get there?

If you were to divide up what your efforts are spent on, I wonder how big the pie would be in the area of “being comfortable”.  As a person that holds my fears and insecurities close to my chest and navigates carefully to avoid having them exposed, I’m not here to cast stones, but rather am trying to work on sorting through them all in order to become the best version of myself. Honestly, I’ve struggled with perfectionism for years, thinking that my accomplishments, jokes, skills, etc. would hopefully secure people’s good opinion of me. But God help me, life is so restrictive and exhausting when I can’t make a mistake and need to please everyone all of the time. I am one who cares often too much – the lot of a passionate temperament, for better or for worse.

Like my friend in college used to say in his best Gospel preacher voice,

Jesus did not say pick up your lawn chairs. He said, “Pick up your CROSS.”

While one can apply this “GO AHEAD” to stepping out in big ways, like me leaving my job recently to pursue running a start-up business; to say it’s only about taking big plunges is missing the point. There are so many little ways (yes, like my favorite Little Flower, St. Therese would say) to risk…

Go ahead and take the initiative to learn something new by just beginning to do it, and don’t give up.
…and not beat yourself up for making a mistake.
…and call (not text) that friend that has been on your mind, but you haven’t talked to for so long.
…and make some time to really unplug, be silent, and really try and hear God’s voice.
…and dust off your resolutions, writing 3 goals in a place you see daily that you want to achieve between now and December 31st.
…and begin to take control of your health, make time for yourself and work on implementing at least one healthier choice.
…and ask that troubled person if they are OK, and REALLY listen.
…and think of your biggest dream, and map out 1 step towards getting closer to it.
…and tell that person you hardly ever do, an incredible compliment of something you admire about him/her.
…and ask that person who eats lunch at their desk everyday if they’d like to join you today.
…and tell your partner that thing that has been pressing on your heart that you’ve been avoiding.
…and [INSERT YOUR OWN HERE].

It’s true, you never know what could be on the other side – until you try. Perfect joy may await you across that daunting trek…

Tagged , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: