Tag Archives: risk

Resolve to Live a Life You Can Be Proud Of

From the very first post I ever wrote about Nashville, to deciding to take a giant leap into the unknown just a couple months later,  this city has been home.

When I say the day I moved to Nashville is more of a reason to celebrate than my birthday I truly mean that…I don’t care how cliche it sounds. That move was the start of truly living for me. It was completely unexpected but has truly transformed me more than any other event in my life.

I have found healing …both physically & in my heart.
I’ve discovered the intersection of justice & community.
I’ve learned to live life in all of its messy layers.
I’ve learned what it is to savor life in relationship.
I’m learning what it means to embrace the beautiful mystery of tension.
I’ve learned to sit in the space in between rather than being distracted by the next thing.
I’ve learned to love more deeply from the community of people I get to live life with.

This city has wooed me. And celebrating two years here today is just as incredible & unreal as celebrating one year was. When I look back on my story of my life I see how He has connected all of the dots…how everything that seemed random to me belonged in His plan.

When I stop to think about life over the last two years it is so full my heart is overwhelmed. By His goodness. His plans. His provision. The community He has surrounded me with. It is a story I never even imagined or dreamed, and for that I am grateful beyond words. Sometimes He asks us to go simply so we can find life…so we can come alive. All we have to do is respond.

So if you feel like you’re going through the motions, like you’ve lost the person God created you to be; if you’re frustrated with what is & feel like He’s given you a dream for what could be, take a step out of the boat, live in a place where miracles are necessary, & trust that He wants you to do more than survive. Resolve to embrace every bit of the risk & vulnerability of failing & bring hurt by love in order to live fully awake to the joy of life.


I Want to Know…


“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it. 

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human. 

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy. 

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence. 

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children. 

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back. 

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away. 

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.” 

Oriah Mountain Dreamer

A little inspiration as we start another week. I don’t know about you but I get lost in the rhythm & details of life without knowing it until it’s too late. I wake up to find I’ve abandoned adventure for certainty. That I’ve stopped seeing beauty. Given up on risk because it’s just too hard. I need to ask myself the questions this poem brings up often to remember who I was created to be & what I was created to do.

On the Other Side of Surrender – One Word 2011 Recap

Little did I know when I chose “surrender” as my one word for 2011 what the year would look like. One thing I did know for certain was that surrender wouldn’t come without pain. And I was right about that. But it was the most “good pain” I think I’ve ever experienced. Pain that comes from pruning. From the Gardener cutting away more of me to make room for more of Him. On the other side of that pain…on the other side of surrender…is life – a fuller life.

It’s been a beautiful discovery to see how the Father, in His grace, tenderly loves me to surrender. Surrender that can only come from a position of humility which is perhaps the best perspective from which to view this wonderful gift of life. The beautiful paradox is that on the other side of surrender is freedom.

Standing at the end of 2011 looking back, I know now that perhaps the greatest gift which lies on the other side of surrender is peace. Before I even realized it, I was walking by faith in spite of fear…taking each step as I choose daily to trust. And as a result, even in the midst of the storm & the pain & the suffering & the questions & the doubt there is peace. Peace because I am surrendered to His plan. The plan of the one who created the universe & holds it together.

Surrendering means letting go. Opening your heart to healing. Doing the work of forgiveness. Living honestly. Risking love. And accepting, with open hands & a grateful heart, whatever the Giver has in store. It isn’t easy. But I happen to think it’s worth the life, freedom, & peace that is waiting on the other side.

 Did you have a word for 2011? What lessons did you learn from it?





Living Honestly

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?




Be Passionate About Something

Please don’t settle. Don’t settle for complacency. For simply surviving life.
Live it. Enjoy it. Savor it. Treasure it.
Anything less and you are cheating yourself.
Cheating yourself out of joy. Of experiences. Of memories. Of relationships. Of laughter. Of beauty.
And if you cheat yourself I believe you are cheating the world. Because the world won’t get all God created you to be if you’re settling.

Be passionate about something.
Whether it’s photography or mowing lawns, writing stories or making jewelry, building houses or making coffee, playing music or singing or cooking, being a parent or preaching or traveling.
Whatever it is, be passionate about it. Care about it. Refuse to settle.

And invite other people into your dream for life. Share your vision. Give the rest of us the joy of seeing you come to life when talking about your dream.



All this will not be finished in the first hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first thousand days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.
-John F. Kennedy

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need to be reminded that I cannot do everything but that shouldn’t stop me from doing something. That just because I might not see the end of something doesn’t mean I can’t see the beginning.