It’s been just over three months since I got back from China. That trip was the first time I’d been out of the states since my junior year of college. (Entirely too long!!) And my first trip that wasn’t just traveling. It was traveling with purpose. I went because not going didn’t seem like an option.
Coming back home was nothing like I thought it would be & everything like my friends warned me it would be :) Endless questions. Processing that seems to simply spin me in circles. And an aching in my heart to go back. When I say I want, with everything that I am, to be here in Nashville doing exactly what I’m doing, & at the same time that I want, with everything that I am, to be “there”…somewhere on the other side of the world simply loving on people, I mean it. I know that may sound impossible, but it’s the best explanation I’ve got.
Being back home means living in the tension between here & there. Between community & justice. Between comfort & risk. It means loving what I get to do for a living my heart is breaking because I see the faces of those still in the darkness of unbelief flashing through my mind.
How does one live in this tension? What does that look like? I don’t know. I still ask myself that question every day. But in the meantime, I’ve learned to try and embrace it…most of the time. God gently refocuses me & reminds me that it’s not about me, about my processing, my time, my not understanding.
No, it’s all about Him. His plan. His time. His grace. His knowledge. His purpose. I’m learning that sometimes in order to prepare my heart for what He has next for me He may need to plant some questions..ignite some mystery. And if there’s anything tension does, it’s ignite mystery. A mystery that if I’m just willing to have a little patience, can be quite beautiful.
Have you learned to fight beauty in the mystery of tension?
Seldom do I get emails that are exciting enough to postpone a scheduled post. But, I got one of those today & can’t wait to share some news with you!!
A “blog friendly little bird” let me know that the folks at Renewed Vision will officially announce the release of ProPresenter 5 on October 1st.
I’m a big fan of ProPresenter & the quality the team at Renewed Vision has consistently released. I’m excited to see what new features they have in store for the next major version of ProPresenter.
Follow @propresenter on twitter to catch feature information on the “Road to ProPresenter 5” beginning Monday. You can also find them on Facebook here.
Do you use ProPresenter? If so, what features are you hoping to see in version 5?
I always thought it was strange when people commented me on my question asking ability. I would usually kindly thank them & move the conversation on. But, lately, I’ve been reminded of the value of asking good questions…the right questions.
My favorite line from “Finding Forrester”, one of my favorite movies, comes after a dialogue between William (mentor) & Jamal (mentee) about the purpose of questions. William’s response to a question Jamal asks is simply “Not exactly a soup question, is it?”
See, William believed that good questions are those meant to obtain information that matters to us. We all want the answers, the information. And most of the time we want the “right” answers & we want them now. But, too often we don’t want to take the time to ask the questions necessary to get the answers we’re looking for…or need.
Asking good questions is hard work because we can’t ask just any questions, we have to ask the right questions, ones that will help us obtain the information we want. And those questions often take time. Asking those questions is often messy. But I think it’s worth it.
Are you asking the right questions?
Over the last year I’ve been learning the need for & value of honesty. The kind of honesty that’s uncomfortable. That causes “opening a can of worms” moments. But the kind that is also life giving in friendships. That allows us to feel the freedom we have in Christ. And gives life incredible richness. I’ve come to realize that if I’m not living honestly, then I’m not fully living.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want half living. I don’t want to fear honesty. And for me, that requires a shift from “What will people think?” to “It doesn’t matter what people think, who I am is enough.” Because fearing what people will think keeps me from being honest.
That shift requires choosing to practice courage, living honestly, & risking vulnerability. I read recently that courage originally meant “to speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” I’m committed to living that way because I’m beginning to think it’s the only way to really, truly, fully live. If we’re not honest it seems we’re living in a false reality of sorts.
Yes, honesty will bring hurt. It may ruin friendships, make business inconvenient, and force some tough conversations. But, if it means being fully alive…being alive to experience every single bit of the joy life has to offer, then I’m in. Even it means taking the pain along with it.
Who’s with me?
“I needed to spend more time focusing on my relationship with God and not what I was doing for Him. What I was doing was becoming more important than being in relationship with Him….” (full original post)
I may no longer be on staff at a church, but that doesn’t mean that fighting my addiction to doing for God is over. I have to remind myself often that He doesn’t need me but rather that He blesses me with the opportunity to join Him in the work He’s already started. That ultimately it’s about living in relationship & working with Him, not for Him.
The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. – Acts 17:24-25
Do you know one of those people? Someone who lives & breathes their dream? Who is pursuing & living out their God given purpose with character & integrity. Who is boldly walking in faith pursuing their dreams with charisma & resilience because not doing so isn’t an option. Someone whose dream oozes from every fiber of their being. They live it. They breathe it. And they are fully surrendered to God’s purpose for them.
Those people inspire me. People who are deeply passionate about whatever it is they are doing with their lives whether that be writing a novel, painting, blogging, making coffee, printing signs, putting on a conference, building websites, being a mom, publishing books, marketing records, and the list could go on.
Interactions with people like that remind me of God’s goodness & provision. They remind me of His love for us in giving us the freedom to pursue the desires of our hearts as they align with His plan.
If you are someone who lives & breathes your dream, thank you!!! Thank you for sharing life as you come alive living boldly & faithfully.
Who is currently inspiring you as they live out their dream?
“Don´t ask what the world needs. Rather ask – what makes you come alive? Then go and do it!
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive” – Howard Thurman