Thursday, March 29, 2012

Always a Gift

Every Friday, I link up with the Gypsy Mama and other writers and write for 5 minutes flat. We set a timer, throw caution to the winds and try to remember what it was like to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.

Today's word....


Every week I meet them - women from all walks of life, all ages and stages. Friend. Stranger. Family. Teen. Adult. Outwardly strong. Keeping it together. But inwardly questioning...

"Do I matter?"

And it breaks my heart, because no matter the age the question remains. Women - caught between a contrary culture telling them to be strong, independent, self-sufficient and a history and faith telling them to be submissive, gentle, and dependent on God. The teen wrestling with image. The young adult wrestling with status. The adult wrestling with routine.

"Where's the line?"

I see them throw themselves at men, desiring affection, craving affirmation...

"Am I worth it? Will someone love me?"

Every time, I assure them, they are a gift - beautiful, strong, unique. They are daughters of the King. Created in His image.

Always, always, always a gift. At some point, I hope and pray that they embrace the confidence that comes with the realization that they are loved beyond measure by the God who makes wretches His treasures.

In Him, they have purpose. In Him they are worthy, deeply loved. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dream Big - Purpose

"Where my gifts and abilities meet the world's needs, that's where God 
wants me to be." Albert Schweitzer

I remember the inevitable moment - the moment we all face at one time or another. The moment when I felt pointless.

Then came the inevitable question - the question we must all face. The fears and traits we must evaluate. "What breaks your heart and baffles your mind?"

I was told the question would haunt me. I was told to give it thought. I couldn't have known, didn't know that the question would do just that. Not only was I forced to dig deep to answer this question, but I found the answer to my perceived "pointless-ness."

I found purpose.

I am willing to bet you have asked one of these questions. Maybe you ask them daily: "What's the point? Why am I here? What am I supposed to do?"

Three years ago, I began asking these questions. I wrestled and doubted. I attempted to control. You know what they say about the best laid plans? They fall short in the hands of a BIG God. In fact, I fell flat on my face and then wondered why God didn't do things the way I planned.

Then, came that moment. The moment that comes after feelings of futility. The "aha" moment of clarity. I surrendered. I identified what breaks my heart and baffles my mind.

And, in that moment, I committed to do something about it.

Call me idealistic. Call me crazy. Call me an over-achiever. Call me what you like...but here's the deal - I truly believe we are created for a purpose. Genesis 1:27, says, "So, God created man in His own image." I don't know about you, but our purpose, our intended design is wrapped up in that statement. We were created to be the visible image of an invisible God. An image-bearer. How are you upholding that image?

Not only that, but I truly believe God wired us with specific talents, interests, abilities, passions, etc. so that His name is made more famous. Are we using them well? Have we even identified them? Purpose comes from understanding the One we were created to emulate and then understanding how he created us uniquely.

So, how has God wired you? What breaks you heart and baffles your mind? Identify that and then change the world! If  we truly act according to the purpose God has given us, we can make a greater impact than we can see or understand. That's at the heart of my big dreams.

Next time, instead of asking, "What's the point?", ask "God, what would you have me do?" The first is self-focused. The second is sold out submission.

Exodus 9:16
But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. 

Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

How will you be defined? What's your purpose? Leave me a comment below! I would love to hear from you!

"You were born an original. Don't die a copy."

Friday, March 23, 2012

Loud and Proud

Time to stop, drop, and write with the Gypsy Mama and other writers. Today's word...


We argued and squabbled. His foot's in my face. She's crowding my space. Overnight car rides were always a pleasure.

We'd square off, Lynch eyes blazing. Shooting bullets. Never sure who would win.

My brother. My sister. Me. We could argue with the best of them.

But, you didn't cross us. Our anger spoke loud. Our love spoke louder.

I can insult them. I can tell them they're wrong. But you better not. My eyes will immediately change targets. The cross hairs are an ugly place to be.

We are family. Blood. We laugh together, cry together, push each others buttons, and encourage one another. They've seen me at my best and at my worst.

Our eyes speak a different message. One louder than the discord. A blood bond. Proud of one another. Loving one another. Protective. Instinctive.


When I look in their dark eyes, I don't seem intimidation. I see challenge - to be better, love harder, share deeper. A dangerous dare against ever breaking what exists between us.

That look speaks volumes.

Friday, March 16, 2012


It's time to link up with Gypsy Mama and other writers to write for 5 minutes flat - unedited, unscripted, purely for the joy of the craft. And, I need to get my creative juices flowing. So, here we go. Today's word?


I stepped to the ledge. A pebble skittered beneath my feet and down the rocky cliff. Red rock ensconced me. Heat waves danced off the majestic stones.

The Grand Canyon.

I made myself step to the ledge. My foot slipped and a friend grabbed my waist and yanked me backwards. Away from the edge. Away from danger.

Bravery is a trait held by few and craved by most. I would like to count myself brave, but I'm not. I force myself to place a toe to the edge, scared to pear over. Yet curious.

We miss out when we refuse to embrace the risk with the reward. I saw the river, the canyon where God's finger traced the dirt. I saw colors and shades I never dreamed possible, patterns in the rock only designed by the hand of a mighty Creator.

Bravery is stepping up to the ledge, acknowledging the possibility of defeat, but knowing life is too short not to embrace the full picture of what God desires to show us. Abundant life. Freedom. Beauty. His masterpiece.

Maybe bravery will define me. One day. For now, it is a daily choice to stand on the ledge and peer over.

Your turn! What does bravery mean to you? Leave a comment below.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Dream Big - Impact

"All those who have achieved great things have been great dreamers."

My manuscript sits in front of him, ready to bleed red at the slice of his poised pen. My heart races, pounding through my wool sweater, and I study the snowy mountain peaks through the window behind him. Deep breaths. I can do this. I can do this.

The pen rattled to the desk. I could hear him thinking. And, I will never forget his words. "This story fascinated me. You know, the mindset is so different between my generation and yours. My generation throws money at trips. We send the missionaries. Your generation? You don't want to sit still. You want to go."

Jerry B. Jenkins nailed it on the head. And, he's right. While different desires may exist between generations, the heart is the same. When dreaming big, we desire to make an impact.

The greatest artists, musicians, and writers of our time desire to leave a memento behind that will change the world. Athletes and public figures want to leave a legacy, be remembered. Civil servants, the military, and the rare few sincere politicians desire to leave an impact for generations to come. Business men build an empire. You fill in the blank.

As a writer, my job is to influence and persuade. If I focus on building my own platform, then my influence will be skewed. If I realize my platform is just another tool to promote what the Lord has placed on my heart to say, then I'm no longer promoting myself but the message.

Impact. By definition, the word is loaded with implications and possibilities. It isn't a question of whether or not your dream will make an impact. The litmus test comes when asking the direction your impact will have.

Even the worst individual, aka Hitler, left an impact. He had a goal, a dream, albeit, extremely misguided. He made a name for himself. But, few recognize him for greatness. His agenda was selfish, unconcerned with the lives of others. His legacy is ugly.

Mother Theresa made a mighty impact. She is known around the globe for focusing on those with great needs. Her impact is raised awareness, a spirit of sacrifice, and a mission to those who cannot provide for themselves. She changed the world. Hers is a legacy that is eternal. She influenced lives for the Lord. She fulfilled the call of aiding the poor, the orphan, the widow. Her dream was others-focused, and thus her legacy is beautiful.

We all have a dream. Some of us have more than one. Are we pursuing a dream that will make an eternal impact or a temporal change? Make no mistake, you WILL effect others. Will your impact be positive or negative? I truly believe some of you reading this have the ability to be the next Mother Theresa, the next Jerry B. Jenkins. I truly believe you have the ability to impact the world for Christ. Will you be the catalyst? Will you brave the critics to pursue a Christ-centered calling? If you are faithful, the Lord will make your impact greater than you can imagine.

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, your dreams should align with His commands. Our call is to make disciples. To impact culture, not abdicate it. To influence rather than be influenced. To instigate rather than follow.

Do you see the greatness of your opportunity to impact? Seize it with me!

As you pursue your dreams, how can you change from temporal pursuits to dreams of eternal significance? How can you change your mentality? Will your dream be better or worse for it? Leave a comment below, and journey with me!

"Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." John 14:12-14

Friday, March 9, 2012


Every Friday, I link up with the Gypsy Mama and other bloggers to write for five minutes flat - unedited, unplanned, purely for the joy of the craft. And, now that I work in a writing position, it serves as a great warm up for me.

Today's word...


I live in a concrete jungle. Busy paces, empty gazes, cold faces. And I long for the college life of west Texas where everything is slower, simpler, beautiful.

But this is where I am meant to be. My mission field. We are called to GO, but I also know the call to stay, for this is my Jerusalem. The girl behind the counter, the man on the street, the young adult at the Porch searching for answers - they are just as lost as those in Africa or India.

Maybe more so. Many know the truth. They just can't move past their own knowledge or experience to accept it. Empty.

I want to shout, "Hope is over here!" I have the solution to the ache. I know One who fills the emptiness, heals what's broken, binds up the hurting, and loves what everyone else has stamped unloveable.

I'm more conscious now. I pray for His eyes, that I see what He sees and love what He loves. I pray they know the peace and hope I know. For my God fills the emptiness with His heart.

His loving hands never leave scars.

 “Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:1-3

Monday, March 5, 2012

Dream Big - Celebrate Milestones

Mrs. Baird's Bread was my favorite place once every six weeks as a kid. We didn't have sugar in our house so trips to this sweet smelling haven highlighted every report card day. We each picked a treat, barely waiting to tear into it until it was paid for. Each bite was its own reward.

At the time, each grade was a celebration of hard work and a job well done. Much like the smallest accomplishments were rewarded as children, every milestone on the way to our dreams should be celebrated, as well. Last week, I talked about setting goals to achieve our dreams. This week, it's time to party!

For all the writers/readers out there, you know that every chapter must begin with a great hook and end with a bang that makes you want to keep reading and see what's next. Tomorrow, I will celebrate the ending of a chapter in my life and the beginning of another.

For those who follow me on Facebook or have kept up with me the last couple of years on my blog, my journey has consisted of one part time job after another. Each was a blessing from the Lord for that particular season. Each provided me with the ability to write my book and spend a year in a class that trained and equipped me.

I have enjoyed the flexibility of acting when creativity strikes me. But, all that is about to change. On Leap Day, I signed the acceptance for a full time job with First Baptist Dallas as the new writer for the Communications team. I will end my last day as a nanny tomorrow and begin a new adventure on Wednesday. Those who have journeyed with me celebrated the answer to prayer after several years of uncertain direction. But never for a second was the Lord not in control.

My dreams haven't changed. This job will allow me to pursue them in a greater and more effective fashion than I can currently accomplish. I celebrated the completion of my book. I celebrated the interest of agents and editors at my Colorado conference. My life is about to change in a big way, and I celebrate what the Lord will do. I'm excited about the ability to expand the gift the Lord has given me, as well as minister and hopefully make an impact in the lives of a different audience. Goals that go unrecognized rarely bring motivation or a sense of a job well done. Monotony and pushing through without the acknowledgement of success or change stifles a dream rather than breathing new life into it. Don't get so caught up in achieving your dream that you overlook the victories along the way.

I can't wait to get started. Welcome to my new chapter! I can't wait to see what the Lord has up His sleeve. He clearly writes a better story than I could ever hope to pen. I pray you will journey with me. And, I pray you will stop to celebrate the answers to prayer and the successes along the red carpet to your dreams.

How can you celebrate a recent event in your life? What do you need to do to spur you on to the next step in pursuing your dreams?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Achy Breaky Heart

Linking up with the Gypsy Mama for 5 Minute Friday. We write because we love words and the relief it is to just write them without worrying if they’re just right or not. So we take five minutes on Friday and write like we used to finger paint. For joy in the process. No matter how messy the result. Today's word:


They come and go. Faces flashes across my screen, names across my phone, words across my heart. There are days I physically hurt from missing them, ache for the short time allowed with them.

Some share my DNA, others should. They are those who have left footprints on my heart and fingerprints on my life. Some relationships run thicker than blood. Some blood surpasses simple DNA.

And I ache that life changes, ache when it doesn't. Love when new relationships enter my life and ache when time seperates us again.

I thank the Lord that so many of these dear ones are eternal friendships. The ache is temporary. The joy is forever, ever grateful, ever craving the presence

...of the childhood friends spread across the country. We are linked by shared nursery toys and the idelible memories that only come from sharing the journey of a lifetime, every stage.

...of those who walked in during childhood, sharing victories, defeat, and the life-altering decisions of boyfriends and college and all in between.

...of those in college. My fellow Red Raiders. Linked by loyalty and by love, now spread out all over Texas. All in different life stages. Changed but we still bleed red and black.

...of those who shared a life-changing summer. Who laughed and cried and traveled. Getting lost, finding ourselves was all part of the journey.

...of those who have entered since the west Texas sunsets. The community, teammates, colleagues. Those who made the choice to share their lives, every piece for the sake of loving others.

...of those who have always been there. Blood thicker than water, who share my DNA and my history. They are my past, present, and future.

And I ache that they will always be part of me but not always with me. Their memories, their imprints continue to shape my life.