The unapologetic, raw, unedited interpretation of living life. Each of us is the artist of our own life, constantly remolding, reworking, and roughing out the details and applying what we've learned to the changing canvas. There are no do-overs, no take backs...just rough cuts that release what lies inside us.

I saw the angel in stone and I carved until I set him free. - Michelangelo

Friday, February 3, 2012

Can I get an AMEN?

People who  have a mission just walk a little different.  They talk with a purpose and are overly concerned with details, because they believe it matters.  I work for an amazing church that has grown from 50 people to over 3200 in 8 years.  Everyday I get an up close and personal view to see lives change.  We have volunteers and passionate staff who are some of the most talented and committed people I have ever met.

I don't normally write on Fridays, but I am fired up today.  Fired up becuase I know the greatest mission on the planet...Jesus.  The following conversation is one of the most impactful moments in my experience at Waters Edge Church and it's Friday. Why is that significant? While most of our Sunday staff do not work on Fridays, our mission doesn't take a day off...

I was at one of our campuses dropping off some supplies for Sunday and our cleaning lady was there, finishing up the men's room, her AM/FM radio tuned to a preacher shouting "Can I get an AMEN?!"  I gave my usual Friday greeting of "Hey there, Miss Valerie!" She waved back.  As we worked, we chatted.  Then she said:

"This is a beautiful building.  You all do so much for these people."
Me: We love it.  It's all worth it on Sunday!
"I am part of it too!  Here I am wiping baby hand prints off the windows, but it's good they are here."

Do you get it?!  She gets it!  She knows the reason why those hand prints are there is because there were people in this place on Sunday!  She feels part of changing people's lives on Sundays while she's cleaning up bathrooms, vacuuming doughnut crumbs, and wiping down windows during the week.  While she is taking out a garbage bag full of coffee cups, dirty diapers and mint wrappers, she is thinking about the people God is changing!  Do YOU get it?

When she cleaned our building the week of spontaneous Baptism, she paved the way for 399 people to make a significant decision.  Those decisions changed lives, changed families, and will change a community!

She gets it.

What's your mission?  What is your excuse for not having one?  This isn't soft serve ice cream people, this is about God and it's about getting a mission.

Think better. Feel Better. Live Better.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

It's a Process, Enjoy it!

My sporadic posting is a testament to what you are about to get today.  My plan for the new year was to launch this incredible vision of how to live life to the fullest with 3 simple principles:  Think Better, Feel Better, Live Better.  I truly believe these all work in tandem and anything can be over come with placing these in the right order.

"So what Happened?" you may ask. 

I put them in the wrong order. I was ready to Live Better because I Felt Better about where things were going, I just hadn't Thought it all 100% out, very unlike me.  I am a thinker, I will toil over things for great lengths of time before diving in to new territory or even revisiting the familiar.  2011 was full of me pushing this comfort zone: I launched my blog in April, saw significant changes in myself, my family, and my marriage over the course of 3 months.  Not accustomed to the fast track, I did what any other awkwardly uncomfortable person would do in that situation - I jumped on the flying train and rode out the thrill!

Enter the last weeks of 2011. I saw the earth flying past and a door flying open and yelled, "Whoa!" Though my voice sounded more like reality setting in, "We haven't got all this together yet." 

I am so thankful for the joy ride of 2011.  My life is in a place beyond my wildest dreams and the momentum just keeps taking my family and I to new levels of living.  I am not talking rags to riches, I am talking about closed eyes to open, fearful hearts to ready, from what about me to how can I make it better for you. 

The conception would be for some once you think better, then you feel better, then a leprechaun jumps out of a rainbow and 'Poof!' live better!  As great as that would be, it just isn't so.  We get them jumbled, we stick around in Feel Better and don't want to leave.  We get trapped in our thoughts and can't imagine our way out of them again.  Worse yet, we live and forget to feel or think about anyone else.

The pursuit of Living Better is just that - a pursuit.  You sometimes need to engage some flexibility, accept the detours, and move beyond your past to get to the destination.  Along the way, we know we need accountability, people to share the feel good times, and just time to ponder and plan what to do with the "present".

Your life is a gift.  Your heart is a sponge, the more it gives away, the more it can absorb.  Your mind is an amazing place where you can go to tap into the power of your dreams.