God is Good...Thanksgiving 2015

As I sit here in my chair at 1:32am, unable to sleep for too many reasons to count, I find that it is in these quiet moments of solitude that I can see all of my reasons to be thankful…and not just on this one day of the year that the country pauses to gorge themselves on food and football, but every day of the year. God is Good

This year I celebrate and give thanks for the many miracles we have been able to witness through the trials of this Fall. In the midst of a cancer diagnosis and the unknown results of a major surgery to remove that cancer, we have seen time and again, God move in ways that none of us have been able to imagine. While we are not yet out of this season of trial, we are still able to see God move and bring each of us to the “spacious places” (Psalm 118), where is continues to minister to each one of us right where we are at in that moment. God is Good.

Looking back, in the immediate past, I was afforded the tremendous luxury to going to a conference for Women’s Leadership in Nashville, Tennessee. The 3 days of the conference were literally life changing. God used those days to pull me closer in to Him. He showed me what true ‘leaning in’ was supposed to look like, and began to give my heart the true and full vision of what ministering to women, not just in my church, but in the rest of the world, was to look like. It was in those sweet days, in the in between moments, where He showed me what “walking worthy” was to look like in my life (Eph. 4). He was ever present in a way that I needed Him to be more than ever. I fact, there were many moments that I felt Him and heard Him, very clearly say to me, “Here I am…let go of your fear and let’s go!” There is a post for another time – but I was given a clear vision of moving forward (my “stepping into the Jordan” moment. Joshua 3). It was thrilling on so many levels. God is Good.

On that same trip, I was blessed to be able to stay an extra day and visit with some very sweet friends, who have really become like our family over the years. They are those rare people who come along every so often, and they know you, and your heart. They pray with you, rejoice with you, grieve with you, just do life with you. They have been in Nashville for 3 years, and we miss this horribly. To be able to spend hours just talking and catching up was the sweet balm that my soul needed. God knew that and He provided in a HUGE way over those 18 hours. God is Good.

We were able to celebrate our sweet grandson’s 1st birthday in a ‘Suessical’ fashion. Being able to not only watch him grow, but to be an active part of his life, has been the sweetest of blessings. To watch as he now knows fully who we are, and that is a good thing in his eyes, melts my heart on a daily basis. I honestly never knew how much my heart could love until I had a child…that is magnified tenfold with a grandchild. God is Good.

While my business has been slow to get going, it is not for a bad reason that has been the case. I have been blessed to be called into ministry service this year as the leader of our church’s Women’s Ministry. While I would love to be able to devote some more time to the business (and the Rocket Scientist and I are working that out as far as when and where time gets devoted), I am blessed beyond measure to serve these ladies and look to a future when God has us serving outside of the church doors as well. God is Good.

Even though Snigglefritz & Me isn't where I thought it would be at this point, I was blessed to be chosen as the community leader for a nationwide group of creatives. We have the only Pursuit Community here in Tucson and I'm thrilled to be a part of it and honored that they selected me to bring together the many creatives in our community who desire to have Christ in the center of all they do. To inspire community over competition. God is Good

 

In spite of 3 pretty significant medical procedures/surgeries this year – healing has been swift and life resumed it’s normal pace quickly following each. No complications and only the desired outcome for each! God is Good.

 

 

We have been overwhelmingly blessed to see the addition of 2 new pastors at our church. For different reasons entirely, we have become close to, and blessed by each of them. It has been a true honor to get to know all of our staff better and better over the past several months. Indeed, we are blessed as a family by these men and women, and our church body is blessed as well. I am excited to see where 2016 takes u as a church with this amazing leadership! God is Good.

Going back to the Nashville trip, and not all people will see this as a blessing (many will think I’m crazy – that’s ok), during several moments at the conference I felt the nudge to get out of my service comfort zone. Over and over it was repeated that “you are responsible for your own development as a leader in your family, in your church and in your world.” Multiple times I heard that, in leadership, you need to get out of the US to serve. The tugging has been constant. While I don’t know when, certainly right now God has not said ‘go’, I do know that it seems my heart is being pulled in a very big way, towards Asia – specifically India (ironic, since these are the people with whom I had much interaction with when I was in my last corporate job). This prospect doesn’t scare me – it excites me in a way that I have never felt before about missions (save for our single days in Mexico). God is Good!

We have been blessed to see babies born and rejoice with those families. Blessed to be a part of friend’s lives as they walk through losing a loved one: coming alongside of them in prayer, in tears, in laughter and in the reality of the beauty that their loved one immediately experienced as soon as they passed. God is Good.

Yes, this year we have been blessed over and over again. In ways both seen and unseen.

So…on this day, when we gather around our tables with friends and family, may we all take a moment to recognize the incredible blessing of, not only the table before us, but the table of life. May we each see in our daily lives the fullness of that table before us, filled with all of the blessings and goodness God has to offer. May we savor each moment, treasure each memory, store each minute in our hearts. May we fully understand that, in the midst of good or bad times, illness or health, happiness or grief, that the God Who sets the table before us is, indeed, good…all the time.

Wednesday Wisdom & Wonderings - Women Supporting Women

I mentioned last week (or the first part of the month…I can’t remember, the cold in my head took away some of my memories!) that I would be changing up the Wednesday Words. They will now be Wednesday Wisdom…and really, it’s just time babbling on. The thing about blogging and such is that it needs to be real. So…what you read on these pages is me – raw, real and just as you would find me if we sat together over guacamole and margaritas!

I wanted to work through some things that I know all women go through and I figured I would start today with the idea of - Women Supporting Women.

That is a fairly hard concept for most females to grasp in our day & age…and that fact is a sad one.

I have been thinking a lot about what it looks like to be a female in business, especially in the creative world (music, art, sewing, painting, photography, event planning, etc.). If we are each honest with ourselves, we would say that deep inside of us, while we want to support other women in our same field – or even another field – it can be a difficult process to walk out in practical ways.

I wondered what it might be like to have a community of women who are in, or desire to be in, their own business in the creative world, who come together and lift each other up. A group of women who come together and talk about our struggles, openly and without fear of judgment or ridicule. Can you imagine? To sit in a room with women who, at their core, are like minded and who have embraced the fact that we may create similar products, but we are each unique and there is room for us all in the tapestry that makes up our community.

So, in the midst of all of this wondering about how we can support each other, and what that would look like, I came to the conclusion that so many of us don’t even know what our heart’s desire is as far as support goes. We go through our daily lives and have our family, and maybe a few close friends, who say ‘yay you’ or ‘you can do it’ or ‘that’s amazing’. In turn, we may offer those same words to friends and family in the same positions. However, the voice that is so loud, and that we listen to the most, is the one we have inside our heads.

I mean, let’s face it; the internal voice of a female is probably one of the meanest and harshest on the planet. It is no lie when someone says “we are our own worst enemy.” To put is plainly,,, we are our own ‘Mean Girls’. We see the imperfections in ourselves, in our work, in others. Given an opportunity, stick that voce in a fighting ring with the latest Ultimate Fighting Champion and the words that come forth would crumple that champion into a quivering ball of tears on the mat! I’m only writing the reality that we are all well aware of. We can cut our spouse, kids, family and friends to the core with just the tone of our voice – never mind the content of the words that are spoken.

We don’t want to be that way. I know we don’t. Personally, I struggle daily with the words that come out of my mouth and the tone in which they are said. Sometimes (and my mother would agree with me because we have had this conversation before) I feel like that is one of the curses that comes with being brought up by very driven women. I am in a family full of them. When we have wonted something, we figured out the path and moved forward…up and over any obstacle in the way, real or perceived, be it person, place or thing. That is a great quality – in good combination with compassion and sincerity. I feel like my tongue and the thoughts of my heart bring me the most shame. I find myself continually drawn to the Word that I try so hard to live my life by. See the following that are brought to mind when I mess up:

“Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not incline my heart to any evil thing.” Psalm 141: 3 & 4

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29

“For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell…” James 3:2-10

Um…hello! Pretty pointed words…

Again, back to what it would look like if a group of female creatives could come together, lift one another up, encourage each other, brain storm with each other and be partners in helping each one become a better version of who we are. To work side by side under the knowledge that there is room for each of us, and the gifts we bring (even if they are similar talents), at the table in our community. To do all of these things together and not let jealousy, comparison and ego get in the way. To have only positive words spoken…even in the midst of critique that has been asked for. No judgment of those we have heard about, no mean words against those who have spoken mean words against us.

What would that be like? Maybe it has already happened somewhere around the country/world. I hope so. I just know it hasn’t yet happened here in my community.

Oh how I long to see something like this in my own city/community. A ‘re-setting of the rudder’, so to speak...turning the ship to set sail on a new journey instead of the same one, with the same ports of call. I think it would be like a wildfire.  

Who is with me? I think it could be exciting and as I walk through what that should look like, to possibly set the jib and set sail, I hope you will bear with me as I put my very real feelings about the struggles I find myself facing in the midst of becoming the woman I am meant to be…in my personal life and in my business life.

Here I to the rest of the week ahead – make it great.