Colorado Is Super High

When you think you have nothing more to learn - surround yourself with experts who can teach you. 

Not that I have ever felt I have nothing more to learn. For anyone that knows me knows well that I often doubt my steps and question what I "know".

This past week I was surrounded by experts. Like, cream of the crop experts. 

Pat Quinn and Pete Vargas. Basically, the entrepreneur and Speaker's dream come true!

I sat in a second story conference room in Colorado Springs for two full days drinking from a fire hose of invaluable information. These two have experience, knowledge, and levels of expertise beyond what my mind could comprehend. 

I took 17 pages of notes. I probably would have taken double that had I not experienced altitude sickness on the second day. Boy, that was trippy.

Going back through my notes this morning and I am even more inspired and challenged. I was laser focused on these two. Well, except when Colleen walked in with stellar eyeshadow on.

And then I might have been distracted by this view a time or ten...

Last week in Colorado was a game-changer for Brent and me. And I cannot thank Save The Storks enough for this gift! And thank you Jeff for bringing me on as a Storks Ambassador - lets do great things!!

One last thing! I totally missed Brent's 46th birthday on the 2nd because I am the most amazing wife ever. So, Happy Birthday Brent! I love you more than Oreos!!!

What's Your Story?

"I want to write a book someday, but I don't have a story like yours." I hear this a lot.

I want to encourage you all with something...Just because you may never have had an affair, or you're not widowed, or you've never had an abortion, or have never been cheated on, or whatever other "ohmyheart I can't believe that happened to them"moment... does not mean you don't have a story to tell or worth sharing.

It's not all about doom and gloom. A good read doesn't have to be all shock and awe.

It's about hope and freedom. And I believe that's a story we can all tell of.

I remember early in our marriage Brent said to me, in response to my life, "I wish I had a testimony". Well, not "having a testimony" (in terms of stories like mine) is a testimony.

We all have something to offer that is valuable enough to pour into others.

 

Honestly, outside of the Bible, the best books I've ever read are of the lives of the people around me. Some traumatic, some comical, some sad, some mysterious, and all of them worth reading and learning from.

You have something to offer. Should your offering be in book form? I don't know. Is your offering laced with hope and encouragement and worthy to be shared in some capacity? Most likely, yes.

We all have something to learn from one another. I don't care who you are. You don't have to be popular to have a voice. You just need a voice. And you already have that. And you're free to use it without permission. So, use it. In whatever capacity you're capable of.

I am a better person because so many have been willing to share their stories. In them I have felt enlightenedfreechallengedconvictedinspired, and less alone in this big world.

We need each other. All our highs and lows, our beautiful and our uglies, our brave and scary, our brilliant and not-so-brilliant moments. It's what makes us human and keeps us on the same playing field.

You, and whatever your story looks like, are important. Never believe anything less.

Never, ever, say never. Ever.

At the beginning of the year, when we knew we were going to have to step down from full-time ministry at our church, a friend asked me if we'd ever become missionaries. I was like, you mean... sell all your possessions and move to another country and adopt all the babies type of missionaries? No. I believe wholeheartedly that some are called and gifted to do that - but that is not our calling. Also, I told her, I could never raise support like missionaries do. I have several friends who raise their own support to live in other countries so they can serve others full-time - I admire them greatly!

Never say never. Ever. Never.

Because here I am, 10 months later, choking on the word never. But gosh, I had NO idea God was going to place a calling so great and so needed on our hearts! He always surprises us.

You may have seen me post a video online about the work I'm doing with Save The Storks. Long-story short... I have devoted my full time, as well as Brent, to creating a resource for churches to plug into that will be a tool for them and a safe place for their members considering abortion or who are post-abortive. This is the very briefest of descriptions but let me tell you... it is desperately needed and I am completely in awe that God decided I am to be a part of this. I'm honestly shaking my head in disbelief while my eyes fill with tears.  

A part of what is so daunting in all of this is that Brent and I are responsible for raising half of our support. We have been contracted by Storks for 5 months at $4,000 a month. They've fulfilled their portion and we received their last funds on October 1st. The rest of the support is on us to raise. It will fund us, and allow us to continue devoting our full-time to creating this much needed resource/website, through the end of the year. 

As of now we have raised $334.00. Praise GOD! For someone who said never and can't even promote her own book without feeling slimy - this is a big deal. However, we have a long ways to go. 

Yes, we are prepared and willing to apply at Aldi's and The Home Depot if needed, but we also are aware that that will limit our time needed to build this resource for churches. At the end of the day we feel obedience is number one, with trust tying that position. 

So I am humbling asking you to pray and consider how you might partner with us. Obviously our greatest need is financially. And yes it felt slimy typing that out. You could also help by sharing this online with your friends. Perhaps you know people who are gifted in giving who also have a heart for the abortion conversation and the people affected by it.

This is what I can promise you, when this resource is completed and gets into the hands of churches and its leaders, post-abortive women will finally have a safe place to go within their churches. They will find their brave and they will rise up. We believe the way to reduce the number of abortions in our country is to provide hope for the post-abortive community so that theirs will be the voice that so greatly needs to be heard.

There. I did it. I asked. And now I must nap for many hours because that was hard, folks!!

You Don't Need To Tell Me I'm A Murderer

That is crazy.

Wow! That's insane!

Oh-my-word - I totally look "special".

These are phrases I have said more often than I care to admit. You see, I have become much more aware of my words. I am mindful to measure my words daily. Words are powerful - you can't take them back. But most of us say things that are hurtful and we don't even realize it. Take for instance my phrases above. I have a good friend who has a mental illness. After a late night talk with her I was deeply convicted by my own words - words I throw around as if they're harmless. Words like crazy and insane.

When my son went to Haiti two years ago he came back home and vowed that he would never say again that he was "starving". He realized he had no idea what that even felt like... to be starving. It broke him in all the right ways.

You may know that I am working on a project for churches that will provide them resources to engage the abortion-minded and post-abortive community. I have spent the last several weeks researching and creating surveys to get a better pulse on our culture and its way of communicating in this dialogue. Sadly, I have been shocked by how often abortion is referred to as murder and a sin. Yes, in the church it is such. Abortion is ending a life. We know that. But let me tell you... as a post-abortive woman who sat in the church, silent and dying inside from the abortions I had, hearing that what I did was murder only caused me to shut down more. I already knew that - I did not need to be told that time and time again.... It only perpetuated my guilt, my shame, and my fear of being found out. Those words did nothing to make me feel safe in my church home.

So, I have dedicated this season of my life to ensure that every woman and man, who sits in their church will be met with a new narrative. Because Church... you need to be their safe place. No one ever changed their mind by being yelled at or condemned. Do not assume that your congregation is unaware of their depravity... they are aware. Your job is to make them aware of a God who can redeem them - remind them of a God who is full of forgiveness, grace, and mercy. Empower them with Gods truths instead of devaluing them with polarizing rhetoric. It is time for a change. And this change is what I am committed to.

If you would like to learn more about what I've been up to you can visit HERE. I would love any support you can give... especially prayers!!!