Big, open-ended, philosophical questions can have a way of getting to the heart of you, if you let them. So stripping away all of the "it depends" scenarios, what is the first thought that pops into your head when asked... what is my biggest challenge in life?
Of all the things in the world where we could dig in our heels and not waver… it should be about the truth. We are called to stand firm. Let’s make sure we know what we’re being asked to stand firm in. Spoiler… it’s not politics.
If we want to change outcomes we often start with trying to change our actions. But what if we have to go back a few more steps? Because if you start with actions, you’re going to run out of juice and burn out. But if you believe something at your core, the downstream impacts are longer lasting.
Day 2 Recap... God is a long term planner. Beyond the 90 Day Roadmap. Beyond the 3-5 Year Strategic Plan. Maybe we shouldn’t expect people to have a 3 second or better website load time when it comes to every day life.
We seek epic moments. We search Pinterest boards for ideas and long for Instagram worthy pictures, but what if joy is in between the layers of the mundane? Between the crosswalk, the pile of dishes, layers of laundry, and in between the cheese and meat of the sandwiches you made this week? What if joy only happens if you notice, and realized you have LOTS of chances to notice?
Give careful thought to your ways. This includes coffee, kindness, bravery, sunscreen and listening skills.
I love to present. And I used to do it a lot. On a personal level I presented to college students and fellow alumni. At my job I traveled around to small groups and big groups to lead discussions, introduce concepts and help with technology. My favorite was presenting from a stage to a roomful... Continue Reading →
My Most Recent Lessons: Sub Zero Edition... (1) Sneezing (2) Self-Doubt (3) Beer (4) Marketing and (5) Mourning
Yes, I am the weirdo in a lawnchair in my front yard, in 4 inches of snow, wearing a snowmobile suit and drinking a beer in front of the snowman I built. It takes bravery to put yourself out there. Do brave.
Some lessons stop you as you're walking to the parking deck and present themselves as opportunities. Other lessons come from endless scrolling and regret. While others are realizations that not everything needs to be improved upon. It's okay for some things to be fine and enough. And in case you haven't heard it lately. You are amazing. You are enough.
Jesus... without u, there is only Jess. And she’s a mess. Imbalanced. But this week, in between the home cooked meal and the burnt frozen pizza there were sunrises, Dolly Parton, local coffee, squirrels and 90s grunge. There was balance. There was Jesus.
Some things never seem to have an end. Work. Email. Information. It's overwhelming. So I stepped away, and remembered it's possible. I remembered it's okay. And I stayed.
Today I am thankful for a little salt shaker. A little reminder that not only should I not be salty, and not pour salt in a wound, but that we are called to something more. We are a key ingredient in every interaction in this life. We can bring out the best in each other.
Digging around the internet trying to piece together my family tree has been a scavenger hunt like no other. Deciphering handwritten census lines, attempting to translate Danish baptism records, and sheepishly reaching out to strangers to ask if we just might be related somewhere down the line. Finding your roots can be a challenge. As... Continue Reading →
I wanted to use a filter. To brighten the shadows, bump up the contrast, enhance the saturation. I wanted to click edit and adjust the tint on my face to better match the lack of color on my neck. To shrink my nose. To make my eyes more blue and my face more smooth. I wanted... Continue Reading →
I sit here at the tail end of a cold, head pressure filled, mouth dry, teeth oddly achy, nose plugged (and yet miraculously runny at the same time). Laying in bed no longer felt good, so I made some coffee and cleared some space at the table for time with God. I open the Bible... Continue Reading →
The clouds are still rolling in, at 30 mph apparently (so says the weather channel app). It was worse all night, sustained ridiculous winds that never ceased and kept me up. My cup of coffee is pretty important this morning to get me going. And despite my whining over being tired, I am so thankful.... Continue Reading →
There is a lot of background noise (and foreground noise) in life. A lot of things going on that want or demand our attention. And when we're in the middle of a tough time, a tough relationship, a tough job... (fill in the blank)... every ask seems louder, every task more daunting. So what are... Continue Reading →
I love fall. The trees go through a season of change every year. They don't freak out when their leaves fall off. The world is not ending. This change sets them up for something beautiful next year. Next year they will be taller and stronger than before. We have the opportunity to be stronger after... Continue Reading →
I love (understatement) the food at Epiphany Farms restaurant in town. They switch the menu every season based on what is fresh at their farm. I never want to look at the menu. I just order the multi course tasting menu and ask the waiter to tell me nothing about it. You could call that... Continue Reading →
I complain that I'm too busy. Too many meetings. And now I laugh. Jesus was ridiculously busy. Everyone was scheduling meetings with him, speaking events, miracle performances, one on one sessions, interrupting his day... and yet he made time for God. Relationships require investments of time. Invest time every day with God (and bring coffee)... Continue Reading →
He changed. I changed. We're not the same people we were when we got married. He is a better man than he was when I met him, and he will tell you I am a better woman. So what changed? The advice that we listened to. There was a paralyzed man who was told that... Continue Reading →
This morning I wrote down the following prayer before I opened my devotional, "Thank you God for the morning & the sun. Quiet my heart and my mind to focus on you and not rush through you like a checkbox on a to-do list." Then I open my devotional and the title for today, "The... Continue Reading →
I am a talker. I know this is a shocking revelation to many of you. I believe that words matter a lot, and should be chosen carefully. Our words can confuse, clarify, anger, hurt, help, encourage, support or repair people. It's part of why I loathe curse words, and recoil at myself in horror when... Continue Reading →
I've heard it said a few times that you become a reflection of the five people you spend the most time with. So if you want to become more kind, patient, loving, giving... it seems logical that we should ask whether the people we surround ourselves with exhibit those qualities or not. We walk through... Continue Reading →
I switched tables this morning to move closer to the sun. I feel closer to God when the sun is out. I wonder at times if that's what he looks like. The sun, bright and blinding yet warm and beautiful at the same time. And as I sit here blinded without sunglasses, I read a... Continue Reading →
I looked up from my reading this morning at the empty chair across from me and smiled at the thought of what it might be like to share a cup of coffee with Jesus. How would he take it? Black? Sugary latte goodness with whipped cream? When you talk with him does he look you... Continue Reading →
Truthfully I have mixed emotions about my birthday. I don’t want to be the number that I am. At breakfast this morning my husband tried to convince me age is relative. If there were only 183 days in a year I would be 66 by now. If there were 730 days in a year. I’d... Continue Reading →
Some people love the cake, or the ice cream, or the frosting. Some prefer syrup, or whipped cream, while a select few gravitate toward nuts. But me… I’m the girl that can’t bypass the bowl of colored mini-twigs of sugar at the end of a build-your-own-sundae line. I keep extra in my freezer just in... Continue Reading →
No, not those kinds of bullets. I mean the bullets you use to organize lists in documents on your computer. The ones where you can pick if you want to be a circle or a square or a checkbox or one of those sassy Wingding options.These little symbols helped me organize my otherwise scatterbrained thoughts... Continue Reading →
push pins. thumbtacks. tiny weapons that prick fingers. or something more? in the gray walls of my cubicle they are the holders of memories. the reminders of promises. the keepers of laughter. they are the one object I am thankful for today. at a conference in Austin I saw some of the most amazing presentations... Continue Reading →