Advent Conspiracy, December's Challange

If you saw my sneak peek video, you probably figured out what our December challenge is.

Our challenge is to re-think Christmas and begin to celebrate it differently. I want to ask the hard questions and be willing to face the hard answers. Do we celebrate in a way that truly honors Jesus’ Birthday? Do we prepare for Christmas the way Jesus would have?

Honestly, I struggled a little with picking this topic as our first challenge. I have been re-thinking Christmas for last five years or so and I will be the first to admit it is hard. It takes courage to change. I am telling you this because some of the ideas I want to present to you could be tough to hear. I hope that you will hang with me and give this challenge a chance. Changing the way we think about Christmas is a big deal and it is a step by step process. My hope is that you do at least one thing differently this year, even if that one thing is just thinking of celebrating Christmas in a fresh way.

So, I want to begin by introducing you to Advent Conspiracy. [AC] Advent Conspiracy is an international movement restoring the scandal of Christmas by substituting compassion for consumption. It is a genius movement put together by some great pastors and followed by thousands of people. I wish I could take credit for thinking of it. Instead, I will ask you to join it with me.

Advent Conspiracy  focuses on four things,

Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, Love All

[Worship Fully]
It starts with Jesus. It ends with Jesus. This is the holistic approach God had in mind for Christmas. It’s a season where we are called to put down our burdens and lift a song up to our God. It’s a season where love wins, peace reigns, and a king is celebrated with each breath. It’s the party of the year. Entering the story of advent means entering this season with an overwhelming passion to worship Jesus to the fullest.

[Spend Less]
Before you think we’re getting all Scrooge on you, let us explain what we mean. We like gifts. Our kids really like gifts. But consider this: America spends an average of $450 billion a year every Christmas. How often have you spent money on Christmas presents for no other reason than obligation? How many times have you received a gift out of that same obligation? Thanks, but no thanks, right? We’re asking people to consider buying ONE LESS GIFT this Christmas. Just one. Sounds insignificant, yet many who have taken this small sacrifice have experienced something nothing less than a miracle: They have been more available to celebrate Christ during the advent season.

[Give More]
God’s gift to us was a relationship built on love. So it’s no wonder why we’re drawn to the idea that Christmas should be a time to love our friends and family in the most memorable ways possible. Time is the real gift Christmas offers us, and no matter how hard we look, it can’t be found at the mall. Time to make a gift that turns into the next family heirloom. Time to write mom a letter. Time to take the kids sledding. Time to bake really good cookies and sing really bad Christmas carols. Time to make love visible through relational giving. Sounds a lot better than getting a sweater two sizes too big, right? Need a few ideas? Just click here and see what others have done to give more during the advent season.

[Love All]
When Jesus loved, He loved in ways never imagined. Though rich, he became poor to love the poor, the forgotten, the overlooked and the sick. He played to the margins. By spending less at Christmas we have the opportunity to join Him in giving resources to those who need help the most. When Advent Conspiracy first began four churches challenged this simple concept to its congregations. The result raised more than a half million dollars to aid those in need. One less gift. One unbelievable present in the name of Christ.

The story of Christ's birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love.

What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists.

And when it's all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling of missed purpose. Is this what we really want out of Christmas?

What if Christmas became a world-changing event again?

I plan on taking the four areas and focusing on them week by week. I hope to offer stories, gift ideas, inspiration and more. I also hope you will share your thoughts and ideas too.

Welcome to Advent Conspiracy

The information above is from the Advent Conspiracy website. http://www.adventconspiracy.org/

Please forgive the bland post. Blogger is not letting me up load images at the moment.


Exciting New Changes

The CLASS Christian Writer’s Conference I just went to gave me all kinds of fresh new ideas. I feel a little like a kid examining all my new school supplies. I can’t wait to for the chance to use each one.

The first place I am going to start is this blog. For the most part itwill remain the same,but I am  going to add some new and exciting elements. It won’t happen all at once, so be on the lookout.

My first addition is a monthly challenge. Each month I will issue a challenge that requires a little bravery. I will explain it step by step, so that we can all participate in it together. This will give us a chance to encourage each other and witness all the cool things God does in each of our lives.

My plan is to give the challenge on the first day of each month. Since this is our first one, I am giving a sneak peek.

This video is your clue.


I am sure you have tons of questions.   I will explain in detail on December 1.



CLASS Christian Writers Conference Ghost Ranch, New Mexico

Whew, I am back, and no, I didn’t fall in the remains of the well located a few feet from our front door. Instead of a pit, I was on a mountain top, literally and spiritually. A precious person in my life gave me an all expense paid trip to the CLASS Christian Writers Conference in New Mexico. It has taken me a week to process my time there, and the only description I can come up with is, it was AMAZING.

For starters, I got to experience some feelings I haven’t felt in since high school. No, not raging hormones, but raging emotions. Emotions, that centered around me and what God was/is doing with me. I hate to admit it, but there is a name for what I experienced and its called, All About Me. I am guessing I’m being about as clear as the water in the well I mentioned, so I will elaborate. The conference felt like church camp for adults times ten. For the last 15 years, all the similar trips I’ve been on, I went  as a sponsor. I’ve been blessed to watch God move, speak and change teen’s and adult’s lives. I’ve been a witness to numerous answered prayers and even miracles. This time, instead of watching, I received and it was AMAZING.

                                                                                                                             My room, #8
I stayed up late giggling and dreaming in the bunk house with my new friends, then tore thru the cold for a morning shower in our “shared” bathroom. Good food just appeared without any of my menu planning, grocery shopping or cooking. I attended remarkable chapel services that required none of my greeting, set up, tear down, or ministry skills. I sat for hours at the feet of pro’s learning the ins and outs of writing. Editors, agents and authors shared their wisdom.I even got published in another book. I was loved on, encouraged and prayed for. Best of all, God’s presence was there. If for some reason you couldn’t feel it or sense in the people, all you had to do was look up. His beauty was everywhere and it was AMAZING.

Me and Bruce Wilkinson

The bunk house I stayed in (far right corner)

God opened some huge doors for me and spoke clearly about the direction He wants me headed in. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. All I can offer in return is my obedience.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. . .


The David Crowder Band's New Video "Shine" (a great piece of brave)

One of my favorite things to use as a piece of brave is music. There are tons of song lyrics out there that remind me how big God is and that he already has everything under control.  Sometimes I play the music to get pumped up before I have to do something scary, like Rocky did when he was getting ready for the big fight.  I can hear the theme song now.......

The David Crowder Band is one of my all time favorite worship bands.  I love David's voice and the style of the music.  Their songs have been a source of strength for me during hard times.   I got to go hear David at his church in Waco this summer.  It was amazing.  The church is geared towards college students. Since it was summertime, only a few people were there.  I secretly pretended I was at my own private concert.

Besides an amazing time worshiping God, the best part of visiting the church was seeing how humble and real David is.  He held open the doors, greeted people and hung out drinking coffee just like everyone else.  When it was time for him to lead the music, he and the band played as if they were playing a concert for thousands.  It didn't matter that only a handful of us were in the audience.  The Band just wanted to honor God with their best. I don't know about you, but it feels good to know that David is the real deal.  Just a regular ole' person.

The David Crowder Band has just released this video.  I LOVE it.  I know you will too.

I chose to post it on my blog because it's a great example of using a "piece of brave".  Did you notice how the couple used a flower as a symbol throughout their lives? The words are incredible too. The band and people from the church made all the light bright scenes themselves. I love that David leaned on his church family for help.  So great. Did I mention I LOVE this video?



I Admit it, I Stole From My Kids

 Getting ready for the first day of school is hectic for our family. My four children and I usually scurry around town like squirrels, anxiously gathering everything we need. This year was different. My husband’s lack of a job, meant we didn’t have money for school supplies.

Since shopping wasn’t an option, I decided to prepare for our first day, by registering the kids early, so the paperwork wouldn’t delay us the next morning. We drove to the school, met the teachers, and checked out the classrooms. The secretary seemed kind, so I hid my embarrassment, gathered my courage, and asked her if there was anything left from the fill-a-book-bag-for-needy-child program. She told me it was doubtful, but she would give us whatever she could find.

That night, I gathered the few supplies we already had and tried to sleep. Even though I prayed and asked God to provide for us, I tossed and turned, trying to come up with a solution. It made me sad to think of my kids missing out on the sharp points of new crayons and the chance to enjoy the new plastic smell of a back pack before it’s filled with sweaty gym clothes. I could still see the fear on my kids’ faces when they told me they were worried everyone would know they were “poor”.

This arrangement was too much for my motherly instincts to allow, so I took matters into my own hands. I drove to a 24-hour superstore and bought their 4 cheapest backpacks. I couldn’t buy anything to put in them, but at least it was a start.

That morning, I heroically swooped into each child's room and surprised them with a backpack. Their smiles said it all. When we got to school, the secretary was wearing a huge smile too. I saw tears in her eyes, as she told me the staff had gotten together and dug up backpacks and supplies for each one of my children. God had provided.The kids were ecstatic. I was relived.

Oddly, on the drive back home, I didn’t feel like smiling. Instead, I felt guilty. I wondered if the secretary was disappointed when she saw my kids already had backpacks. I realized what I had done. I had allowed fear and anxiety to seep into my life again. Playing the hero by buying backpacks had stolen a huge blessing from my kids. I had robbed them of a lesson on trust. I had also stolen the joy of giving from the secretary.

If I hadn’t stepped in, my kids would have experienced a direct answer to prayer. They would have understood how much their teachers cared for them. Most of all they would have known they could put their trust in God, instead of me.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7 (NIV)

God is good, so even though I messed things up for my kids, and their teachers, He allowed me to learn an important lesson. From now on, I will try to let go of my pride and let God do things His way.  I will trust Him to meet our needs.

Lord, open my eyes to see when you are at work. Help me resist taking matters in my own hands. Instead, allow me to humble myself and trust you completely. In Jesus name, Amen.



Family Night Out with a Human Trafficking Gang and a State Trooper UPDATE

     Children are amazing creatures aren't they?  Kaylee, my 11 year old daughter, showed me her journal entry about our stolen truck ordeal.  Her perspective on that crazy night left me speechless.  I wanted to turn it into a devotion, so she gave me permission to share it with you.

     Incredible.  She wasn't scared.  She wasn't worried. She didn't see any reason that she needed to be. The stolen truck was a side note in her mind.  She focused in on a "little thing".
     Despite being one of four wiggly kids, squeezed into three seats, for over an hour, she chose to treasure the memory of her irritating little brother falling asleep on her shoulder.

Thank you Kaylee for reminding me what is important.

4Whoever will humble himself therefore and become like this little child [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving] is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.    Matthew 18:4

Lord, forgive me for being too distracted with worry to see your blessings.  I must have missed out on thousands of them over the years.  Thank you for allowing me to see your world through a child's eyes.  Please help me hold on to that kind of faith and innocence. Amen


Family Night Out with a Human Trafficking Gang and a State Trooper

     Life is always exciting when you hang out with the Clancy's.  My parents learned that lesson the hard way Friday night.

     We love dollar shows.It usually costs our family $52 to see a movie.  If we get crazy and add popcorn and drinks, it can run us a much a $75.  So, you can imagine my excitement when I  recently discovered a dollar theater outside of Austin.  This past Friday seemed like a great night to try it out, so we invited my parents to come along.
     Since we were going to save so much money on the movie, we decided to go out to eat a local Mexican restaurant before the show.  The food was great.  We took our time, savoring each nacho and every last drop of free ice cream. 
     When we finished, my parents and daughters headed for my Dad's truck and the rest of us piled into our Odyssey.  As we backed out, we noticed my parents standing awkwardly in the parking lot and the girls  looking around as if they had forgotten where they parked. We pulled the van over next to them and realized the problem wasn't that the parking spot had been forgotten,  it was that the truck was just flat gone.

     I have never had a car stolen. To me, that is something happens to people on T.V., not to a random, country family like ours. It felt strange.  Why us?  Why our truck?  It wasn't even new or fancy.  Just a quality, useful truck for my cowboy Dad. The only distinguishing feature on it was a American Paint Horse Association sticker on the back window.  So weird.
     Of course, we immediately called the police.  My kids were super excited to hang out with a state trooper. Who needs a movie when real life is just as interesting? There wasn't much the trooper could do for us at the time, except file a report. So, we squeezed in the the van and went on our way, feeling a little creeped out.
     Amazingly, the next morning, my dad got a phone call saying his truck had been found.  I personally thought we would never see it again.  Apparently, a seasoned, professional human trafficking gang had stolen the truck, driven it all the way to Mexico, brought immigrants over the border, then abandoned the truck near Laredo, TX., after a high speed chase.   We were told that the gang was probably sitting there waiting for us (or someone just like us) when we pulled up.  Chances are, we saw them and didn't even know it.
     The truck itself is trashed.  The border patrol said the back seat had been ripped out (a typical thing that happens) and the truck had been driven hard and far across open country.  The front is wrecked and scratched from barbed wire and brush.  The suspension and anything else under the truck is shot. The insurance will more than likely total it out.
     Some family night together!  Our savings at the dollar show turned into a $20,000 deficit. I have to confess, I don't have a profound spiritual thought for this story. I just wanted to share it with you. I don't know why this happened to us, especially with everything else that is going on in our lives right now. There was a time when I would have spent a lot of brain power trying to make this event make sense, but in this case, I think we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. We wern't special, it could have happend to anyone.
    There is one thing I do know, God can and will use all things for good for those that love Him. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
I will keep you posted!



Yellow Jackets, Wasps, and Hornets, Oh My!!!!

     If you have read my bio, you know that my family and I are currently living in my parents tiny, old, farmhouse, which is completely surrounded by cornfields and cows.  It is beautiful and quiet, like a scene from a gas station postcard.
     I am thankful to have a place to stay, but living in the middle of nowhere has its downfalls.  See, although I am a Texas girl, I am not a country girl.  There are  many more things I don't like about the country than I do specifically, bugs.  I hate, hate, hate, bugs.  Especially, ones that have nests and stingers. There are tons of them here.
Yellow jackets, wasps and hornets  Oh My!
    A few days ago, I was summoned to battle my flying foes.  My children were in dire need of their pool toys, which we store in a garage type building, behind the house. (yes it's October, and we are still swimming)
    Unaware, of the danger that lay ahead, I opened the door and stepped inside.  Instantly, I was attacked by dozens of wasps.  They dive bombed my shirt and swarmed  my face. I quickly stepped backwards and slammed the door. Thankfully I was able to escape without injury.
     Obviously, I couldn't let these nasty little creatures hold our pool toys hostage.  This meant war.  I had to rescue those toys or get stung trying!
     I needed protection and weapons.  I found the OFF, and doused every inch of my skin in it . Then, after digging through my weapons cabinet, ( the underside of my kitchen sink)  I armed myself with  long range wasp spray.    
     This time I gently sneaked open the door, stepped inside and began shooting (spraying) my way over to the floaties.  My spray can wasn't enough.  I could only shoot one wasp at at time. I was forced to retreat. I needed something more like a machine gun.... no more like a bomb!
     As entertaining as it was watching mom battle her fear of wasps, my four kids were loosing their patience, they were ready to swim.  So, I grabbed a bug bomb and a bandanna for a mask. 
     Protected, armed, and looking a little like a crazed bandit, I opened the door again. I pulled the pin on the grenade (pushed the plastic button on the can) and hurled it across the garage. I waited five minutes, for the smoke to clear and marched inside. 
    Ah Ha!! Victory was mine!  No wasps in sight! I grabbed our beloved noodles, goggles, and kick boards and dashed out the door.
     My family danced and cheered!  My son even awarded me with a kiss for my bravery!
Okay so whats the point of this silly story?
     First, I just needed to brag about  facing my fear of wasps.  Oh the things we do for our kids......
     Second, all the battling reminded me that God gives us weapons to fight with.  We don't have to be afraid to forge through tough circumstances, face our fears, or stand up for what is right.  God always with us and He gave us a cabinet full of weapons with instructions how to use them. How great is that?

Lord, thanks for taking care of us and giving us the tools to fight against evil. May God guard, guide, and direct you us as we battle our fears.  In Jesus' name, Amen

The Armor of God
Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)

 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, ... Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Blessings my sweet friends and family!



Another quote to add to your pieces of brave....

I use this quote when I am building up courage to take a risk. Jumping off an edge is easier knowing that even if you crash, it is worth it. In this life, falling is inevitable, so we might as well learn how to tumble gracefully. 


"Hi, may I speak to someone in the customer service department? I would like to trade my circumstances in for a new set".

"Hi, may I speak to someone in the customer service department? I would like to trade my circumstances in for a new set.  The ones I have are not a good fit. What other packages do you offer?  I am looking for a bundle that includes:

a great job
a nice house
healthy kids
good friends, that live close by
a good marriage
great church
and a good school

Oh, I can't have all that? Okay...... well, I would be willing to trade a great job for a good one if it's stable. I will take an okay house if it has great neighbors, but a good marriage, health and a good church home are non-negotiable.

Oh.. yes, currently, I have the Quality Family Time package. Yes, it has delivered lots of precious family time, but I didn't realize it came with un-employment, an un-certian future, squeezing into my parents house, moving away from friends, and homeschooling.

Yes, I am sure I would like to trade these circumstances in for different ones.  How long will it take before I receive my new set?". . .    

     Do you ever wish you could just call up heaven, speak to the customer service angel and order up the exact set of circumstances you want? There are many days I wish I could. I've spent a lot of time curled up on the couch, wrapped in my snuggy blanket of self pity, pouting. I enjoy it too. It feels much better than handling my present issues.

     Thankfully, God is in control and He has a plan. I don't have to be afraid, because He knows exactly what He is doing. Actually, it is my rotten set of circumstances that keeps me close to Him. He is using them to mold and make me into the woman He wants me to be. Even though it is painful, ultimately, being mashed and pounded around by my trials will make me into a useful jar of clay.

7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:7

     After all, who am I to question God? He is the creator, I am the created. He is the shepherd, I am the sheep, He is the potter, I am the clay.

20But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' "[h] 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? Romans 9:20

     So, today, instead of pouting, I am going to do my best to be thankful for my circumstances. I will bravely get off the couch, drop my blankey, and walk hand in hand with my maker, right through the middle of my chaos.

Lord, forgive me for feeling sorry for myself. I know better. I know you have a plan and I can trust you. I also know that you, the potter have a better plan that I could ever think up on my own. Please give me the strength to live it out even though it's hard. Lord please distract me from the pain by keeping my heart occupied with gladness. Thank you Lord, for loving me. Thank you for using my messes for good. Thank you for making it all have a purpose. I love you. Amen



"I hope you last a long time Daddy"...Kaylee age 5


Happy Birthday Dan!

I can’t have a blog about being brave without honoring the bravest person I know,
My husband Dan

Dan’s life puts flesh and bones around the definition of Bravery. He is my living breathing example of living a life without fear.

Years ago, Dan surrendered his life to God. He told God he just wanted to serve Him, and he would do it whatever the cost. Any of you that know Dan, know that he meant it. Whatever Dan does, he does all out, full force. Now, Dan has a novel’s worth of stories about the amazing things God has done in his life, each one, the result of Dan being brave.

When he proposed to me, he promised me a life of love, security, and adventure. Only my Dan would put security and adventure in the same sentence. He has delivered on that promise and now I have 14 years worth of amazing stories too.

Dan’s risk taking ways are infectious. He rubs off on every life he touches. Dan and I are overwhelmed when we look at the lives of the people Dan has gotten to minister too and with. Again, the stories are countless about these precious people taking a lot of risk, mixed with a little faith, and turning it into sold out, purpose driven lives.

Dan insists on bravery from our kids. I am incredibly thankful he has taught them to live without fear. (Even if it’s caused some very uncomfortable social situations, and a few narrowly avoided heart attacks).

Some of my favorite brave acts Dan has done are;

• Follow hard after Christ

• Accept the call to ministry

• Sky Dive

• Live single for 34 years

• Conquer lots of raging rivers armed with a raft, an ore, and brute strength

• Marry me

• Stand up for what he believes in

• Gamble in a poverty stricken, gang run country

• Tell the truth… always… (even if it means admitting that my butt does look big in these jeans)

• Give up everything for God. All of it, money, reputation, safety, comfort, friends, you name it.

• Invest in “real” “deep” long-term relationships. The kind you get hurt from.

• Drive 30 hours with 1 wife, 4 kids, 2 cats, and 1 mouse

• Walk away from a job and into unemployment, during a bad economy because morally it was the right thing to do.

• Work with teens for over 27 years!

• Confront those who need to be confronted

• Love those who need to be loved

• Have 4 kids in 5 years

• Start over from scratch…. Repeatedly

• Put his neck on the line just to give someone a second chance

• “Hook up” people which led to tons of marriages! Whoo hoo!

• Pave the way for youth ministry and missions in many churches

I could go on and on….. Instead I want to invite you to help me celebrate Dan’s Birthday by leaving a comment for him. If you have a story about something brave or risky, funny or serious, that you got to experience with him, or that you are thankful for, I would love to hear it.

Thank you Dan, for being you. Thank you for being a strong tree of support, protection, and provision. Thank you for teaching me to be brave.

Blessed is the man who trusts the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes’ but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit

Jeremiah 17:7-8


Rules Worth Singing About

My smoke’n hot aerobics instructor once told me, she would trade her body and the grueling work she had invested in it, just for a nice voice. I have to say I would do the same except, I am missing a hard body to use as collateral.

Technically, my voice is okay. My problem lies in the area of pitch. Thanks to my husband’s gift of honesty, I am aware I have a tone deficiency. My mind knows songs require specific notes, but my vocal chords prefer to choose their own.

My grandmother tried to help, by funding voice lessons during my high school years. To her dismay, my one and only concert was terrifying for me and the audience. Consequently, I decided to implement a set of rules regarding acceptable singing practices. I adhere to these rules religiously, they have served me well.

1. Never, under any circumstances, sing without back up music unless you are alone.

2. Happy Birthday completely is off limits. Mouth the words instead.

3. If you must sing in the presence of other people, do so quietly.

4. On the rare and wonderful occasion a band is blaring, you are standing next to family, and no one is in directly in front of you, you may sing loudly.(ex: an actual concert or the youth group worship service)

5. Under all costs, avoid risky conversations about favorite songs that could require a rendition of the song in order to jog the other person’s memory. (They wouldn’t be able to identify it anyway)

6. Only lullabies, Sunday school and silly kids songs, sung to children under the age of 10 are acceptable.

A few Sundays back, God decided I needed to fine tune my thoughts on the whole singing matter. Worship service had just started. Following the worship teams lead, I opened my mouth to sing, when I heard a woman’s voice screech the words “Holy, Holy, Holy”. I almost choked on my gum. It was obvious this wounded crow was unaware of “the rules”. Once I regained my composer, I felt sorry for her. She was embarrassing herself and making me uncomfortable. "Merciful and Mighty" bellowed over my shoulder causing me too long for a purse size BB gun, so I could put her out of her misery. Then, during “All the Saints Adore the” God had a talk with my heart. He let me know, if there were actually singing rules, I was the one breaking them. The precious soul behind me sounded like a lark to Him. He was beaming at her decision to praise Him full force, despite what people might think. I softened and pictured Susann Boyle singing her heart out in front of the entire world. Suddenly, the bold voice coming from behind sounded like a lark to me too. I want to be a lark.

I have a new hobby. I thoroughly enjoy shocking unsuspecting church go-ers with my squawks of praise, despite the red faces of my family.

 Worship the LORD with gladness;

come before him with joyful songs

Psalm 100:2

Lord, forgive me for being full of pride. I was so worried about what others thought, I didn’t give you the praise you deserve. Thank you for placing a beautiful lark behind me, teaching me what true worship is. In Jesus name, Amen



The Weekly Challenge: Pastor’s wife admits to lifelong addiction

The truth is I am scared to start a blog on being brave. This is how I know God has a sense of humor. He loves to ask us to serve or minister in the very area we need the most help with.  

My fear is due to a lifelong addiction I have been hiding. Confessing this addiction will be my first act of bravery. So here goes…

Hi, my name is Leah and I am addicted to approval. Yes, I am a true blue people pleaser.

Nothing makes me feel better than a nice cocktail made of complements, praise, and flattery poured over high 5’s and hugs. I long for it, I dream about it and I can’t get enough of it. I got my first  taste as a little girl. People were easier to please then, all I had to do was sing the Texas state song for my Grandparents, dress up like a princess, or hug my daddy. As I got older, I realized I had do things I didn’t want to in order to get the approval I needed. By the time I hit High School, I hardly knew who I was anymore because I had given so much of myself away…. all in the name of approval.

There it is, my secret is out. I am however, pleased to say that have been working hard to overcome my habit. I have come a long way since high school, thanks to my precious Savior and my awesome husband.

Unfortunately, I am not yet approval free. I worry, what if this blog doesn’t work? What if it doesn’t inspire us/you to live full force for Jesus? What if I drop the ball and I don’t follow thru? Worst of all, what if you hate it? Can I deal with all that rejection?

My best friend says I can. He says that the only approval I need comes from Him. He says that as long as I am following Him and His will, everything else will fall into place. I trust him completely, so today I am poking my head out of my safe little turtle shell, opening my mouth and asking all of you to join me on my quest for bravery.

My  Challenge for this week is to trade my people pleasing ways for Jesus pleasing ones.

What will your Weekly Challenge be? What are you afraid of that God is leading you to overcome? Ecclesiastes 4:12 says though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Will you join me? Together with Christ as our fearless leader, we can overcome the fear, anxiety, worry and depression that Satan uses against us.