Category Archives: Uncategorized

Maybe Church is What You Do

It’s Sunday, and I missed church. Again. This time it was so I could sleep in, though usually it’s because of soccer.

I used to feel like I needed church, because I was seeking something… God, belonging, friends… I no longer need church for those reasons. I’ve found them all by following my calling.

I’m reminded every single day that I’m part of a bigger plan, and all I have to do is show up so the Universe can make the magic happen. I don’t even have to be confident, qualified, or have the right words. I just have to show up and everything falls into place. That’s the beauty of being called. God doesn’t call the qualified; God qualifies the called.

I think most people believe that following a calling means everything will be easy, though, and that isn’t at all the case. Showing up means vulnerability. For someone who would prefer to be invisible, it means visibility. It means taking risks, messing up, getting uncomfortable. It means allowing your heart to break wide open when tragedy happens, and trusting others to hold your heart tenderly when you expose it to them. It means learning to have patience and/or thick skin when others don’t understand your journey.

Following my calling also means that every night I get to go to bed knowing I’m living in my purpose. And SOMETIMES, when I’m lucky, I actually get to see the impact of my willingness to show up.

This week contained all of the ups and downs. I started the week in AWE and humbled by the opportunity to mentor three interns who chose to learn from me, because of the way I show up in the world. Later I cried so hard at injustice that I literally pulled a muscle in my neck, and showing up felt almost impossible but I did it anyway. Then I ended the week once again in awe after seeing the generosity of people who believe in our work.

One of my interns who is a kindred spirit and is just beginning to follow his calling asked me why he and I are so awkwardly awkward, and I told him, “It’s because we choose to live authentically. Others are wearing a mask that I refuse to wear,” and he found that profound and empowering.

So I might have missed church this week, but I saw God, created my own belonging, and was surrounded by friends who believe in me whether or not they believe in God and callings, so basically, I still did church.

Not the Right Person

“You are not the right person for this.”

The words were mine. Silent thoughts challenged the calling I felt tugging at my heart. I believed them. I stayed small and quiet.

The tugging at my heart became so painful I had no choice. I understood I was not the right person, but if I don’t act, who will? I looked, listened, waited. There were no other volunteers.

“Who are you to think you can change anything? You are nobody.”

Doubt was powerful, but I was born obstinate. I defied the doubt. Magic began to happen.

Continue reading Not the Right Person

Living Abundantly in 2018

I know a lot of people are choosing a single word this year to focus their 2018 goals. I have a friend who’s chosen “simplify” and several others who’ve chosen “intentional” for their words. For them, this single word will become a mantra, a guide, to lead them through the year that they want to have.

As I ruminated on what word I would choose if I chose only one, the word “abundance” came into my brain space and wouldn’t leave. I could SEE and FEEL the abundance of positive energy the Universe contains that I want to tap into, like a Jedi learning to use the Force. Continue reading Living Abundantly in 2018

Growth, Change and Belonging

Several months ago I realized I’d stopped hearing God. I’d gotten so deep into the busy work of my calling that I just didn’t notice the absence until the silence became deafening. I began to occasionally pray for some sort of indication that I wasn’t alone and that I was still on the right path, but things were going fairly smoothly, so I wasn’t too concerned. Weeks passed and still, radio silence.

In the meantime, awful things happened. The Pulse massacre. The shootings of Philando Castille and Alton Sterling. The shootings of Dallas Police officers. I was strong for friends until there was nothing left. I felt tapped out, emptied, and still God was nowhere to be found. Continue reading Growth, Change and Belonging

Please Let Me SEE

As a seeing person, I imagine if you are blind, you must rely on the experience of others to tell you about the appearance of the sky. You must trust that there are infinite visible differences between day and night, sunrise and sunset, all without being able to witness the heavens for yourself.

Similarly, if you are colorblind, you might have to trust other people’s truth when they tell you that shades of color exist that you cannot perceive with your own eyes. It’s not that your experience of color isn’t also valid, it’s just not the whole picture. You can’t even be aware of what you cannot see if you rely solely on your own perception of color. At some point you might realize you need to be open to the idea that you cannot see what many others experience in a different way, and you might decide to let them teach you about the way they perceive color.

Now hold on to that understanding of depending on others to see and understand the world more fully as we shift to a different type of seeing. Continue reading Please Let Me SEE

Room for Everyone to Fly

A woman stood by her truck taking pictures of the gathering crowd. She smiled proudly and waved to our group that was trying to take a photo without a selfie-stick – not an easy task. I jogged over to her and asked if she’d take our picture. She excitedly obliged. When I went to retrieve my phone from her, her dark eyes glistened as she handed me my phone and pleaded, “Walk for me, please. I have a bad hip, and I want so badly to march but I can’t. March for me.” Continue reading Room for Everyone to Fly

I’m Taking a Knee

It’s hurting me that the majority of what I’ve seen from my white friends or other people on their posts is condemnation of peaceful protest by Colin Kaepernick and victim blaming for Black men who are shot by police with statements like, “He should have…” or “He shouldn’t have…”

Friends, that’s not how this works. If your feathers are ruffled about a peaceful protest but you’re not furious, hurting, or at the very least curious about the REASON for the protest, it’s time to check yourself. Continue reading I’m Taking a Knee

Fear and Loathing and Respect?

I finally decided to plant my flowers (that I bought on sale a couple of weeks ago) before they totally bit it in their little containers. While we were in the yard, digging in the soil, I scattered a few grass spiders from their hiding places among the rocks. Now, if you knew me more than five years ago, you might expect me to FLIP OUT. But the first spider to run across the grass in front of me tucked itself in a little hidey-hole and just watched me. I realized it wasn’t bothering me so I wouldn’t bother it.

When my husband came over to help dig the hole I told him to watch out for the spider and gestured at it with my muddy gardening glove. He, thinking he was coming to my rescue, raised his spade over it to smash it and for unexplainable reasons I put up my hand and made a loud negatory noise. (You know, the one you make to your spouse and kids that isn’t really spell-able, but sounds kind of like a buzzer.) He looked at me incredulously and I, as surprised as he was, said, “I don’t know why the hell I just did that, I guess I’m just tired of all of the killing, and it’s not hurting anything. Let it live.”

He shrugged and we carried on. For the rest of the planting I pondered how my phobia, my EXTREME fear and loathing had somehow over the past few years mellowed into respect for a fairly interesting creature.

Once upon a time I was about as arachnophobic as a person can get. When we moved into this house it was crawling with the biggest grass spiders I’d ever seen in my life. (Just ask my parents or best friend, Andrea.) I didn’t sleep for the first four nights in the house because of the fist-sized spider we found in the bedroom just before we moved in! Somehow over the years, though, I learned to be brave for my kids when they’d ask me to catch a spider and let it go outside. If there is one thing kids can do, it’s make you a braver, stronger person. I learned to not fear them but be intrigued by them. Before we’d let them go in the rocks we’d watch them in the little bug catcher. I started finding myself admiring the orb weavers that came around each summer with a little trepidation and a lot of awe.

So I pondered Glennon Doyle Melton‘s post about how proximity makes us less afraid of people and I thought, “Huh. Whaddya know. It even works with spiders.”

So there ya go folks. Get close to someone you’re afraid of, someone you loath and start to learn about them. And if you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your kids (or the WORLD’S kids). I promise keeping them in mind will make you braver and stronger.

P.S.- My newfound mercy for spiders does not extend to black widows, brown recluse or spiders that fall on me from anywhere. That would just be asking too much.

It Could Have Been Us

I know I said this week I wanted you to hear from voices of my LGBTQ friends and their parents, that my thoughts and feelings needed to wait, but sometimes my thoughts and feelings consume me until I can express them. Last night I couldn’t sleep so I posted the following to FaceBook. Many friends asked if they could share and I’m more comfortable sharing it this way than making my post public. So, stay tuned and I will continue adding stories from friends this week, but first, I had to get something off of my chest:

_________________

It’s 3:40am. I’ve been awake since 1:30am. My mind can’t rest. I toss and turn in bed and think, “What can I do? How can I help?”

Straight friends, I know many of you don’t understand why the shooting in Orlando was such a big deal to me and LGBTQ people outside of Orlando. Even my husband didn’t quite understand at first, bless him. When I told him I would be postponing my plans to go shopping on Sunday so I could check on my friends and take care of what I consider to be MY community, every bit as much as my church community is MY community, he gently asked me why we would be so devastated and physically distraught when it didn’t happen here. I knew empathy is not his strongest point and sometimes he has to have feelings explained, so I gently looked at him with tears brimming and said, “It could have been them. It could have been me. It could have been here.” Continue reading It Could Have Been Us

Show Love, Take Action!

Dear Kansas Friends,

People need your help. I’m begging for your help (and I don’t often beg). At the end of this post I will give you some concrete ways that you can help, but first, let me explain:

I awoke from a dream this weekend in which I was crying hot, angry, frustrated tears. In the dream my face was drenched in them and I couldn’t wipe them all away. In the dream I felt completely and utterly defeated because despite my every attempt to advocate for people, many of my own friends didn’t see many of my other friends as people who deserved the same rights and freedoms that they themselves took for granted. I was beyond frustrated that I didn’t know how to help move more people toward action. Then I woke up and I was still heartbroken and frustrated, because it wasn’t just a dream.

Today I have great news, though! News that makes me hopeful! There is a chance for you to show love and take action right now! Continue reading Show Love, Take Action!