There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. – Albert Einstein
Share Four Somethings is a monthly tradition for me in 2018, a blogger link up begun by my friend Heather. This is the space I land on the last Friday of every month to share recommendations, updates, observations, and the ways God is working in my life. If you are interested in reading my other Share Four Something posts, you can find them here: January, February, March.
The quote above beautifully encapsulates the things I loved, heard, learned and read this month. Here are some of the miracles I noticed this month:
Last weekend, I had the privilege of talking about Being Brave with 70 beautiful, brave women in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Doing these retreats is my favorite! Because this was my third retreat with them, the room was filled with old and new friends. Here are just a few of the things I LOVED about our time together:
- women who attended Being Brave last year and came back this year dragging along friends, sisters, moms and daughters with whom they just HAD to share this BRAVE journey,
- the private moments with individual women who pulled me aside to share their brave struggle or triumph (including someone who got a BRAVE tattoo!),
- the incredible energy in the room as we all connected with nods, glances, amens, furious scribbling, laughter and tears: the things that connect us are so much more powerful than the things that separate us,
- the vulnerability, courage and trust as we shared the challenges we face and our desire to move forward in chasing the dreams we have for our lives,
- the bold intentions declared, the support and accountability promised, the prayers offered,
- the BEAUTIFUL decorations and yummy food lovingly designed to celebrate our time together,
- and, last but certainly not least, spending quality time with my precious friends Neil and Jenny who keep inviting me back and naming me brave.
I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that doing these retreats is the highlight of the work God is allowing me to do in this season of my life. Everything else I am doing supports this message. Bottom line, it all goes back to the magic and miracles that God creates through our time together at the retreats. I am so grateful I get to be part of it!
Local friends, I have opened registration for my next Being Brave retreat here in the area. Read more about it and Register HERE.
Friends in other place, contact me if you want to talk about hosting a Being Brave retreat at your church or in your community.
The other highlight of this month was seeing my daughter Brooke’s play, Moon Walk. Brooke wrote and directed this original play highlighting issues of mental illness, isolation, intimacy, vulnerability and the joy and risk of living in our beautiful, broken, miraculous world together. It was heartbreakingly sad and laugh out loud funny, just like life. Brooke wrote these words about why she wrote the play:
“Moon Walk is the result of a goal of mine to write a funny, fun, real play that honestly discusses issues of mental illness and loneliness.
This play is a love letter to so many: the friends who have held me, those of us who struggle with feelings of isolation, all of my mothers, the men in my life who I watch beat their hearts silent every day, Funyons lovers, the women that carry more than their share, Shrek, artists who struggle, Barry Manilow, anyone who has ever felt worthless, my father, people who laugh at funerals, the brave women I live with, corgi butts, my pop, and the soft hearts who have helped me make this happen and breathed life into my clumsy words.
Most of all, this show is for my sixteen year old self, who didn’t think she would ever turn seventeen. Your pain had purpose.”
Your pain had purpose. Her pain had purpose. Our pain has purpose.
Many of you know Brooke’s story, so you can imagine the joy and tears we experienced as we witnessed the beautiful, heart-wrenching work of art she created out of the fragments of her suffering and triumphs; the lessons learned, the pain experienced, the brave struggle to the other side and the ongoing battle to create a life of meaning and purpose despite the challenges. God is in the business of miracles and watching this play felt like a miracle.Our pain has purpose. Click To Tweet
Here are the questions for all of us: how will we allow God to redeem and restore our pain? What is our part in the process? What gifts will we offer to the world as a result?
This is getting long so I’m going to make this one short: THIS truth is saving my life in one thousand ways and I keep re-LEARNING it over and over and over again. My job, in every area of my life is simply this:
Show up. Do the next right thing. Trust the process.
Specifically this month, I am seeing this confirmed in the work I am doing to be healthier and stronger physically, but I can also see its simple truth in every other area of my life and in the lives of my people. I am trusting this process for myself, my kids, my husband and my coaching clients. We are in charge of the process, God is in charge of the results. We can trust our good God to work miracles, if we keep showing up.Show up, do the next right thing and trust the process. Click To Tweet
If you would like to hear me talk about these three things for about 25 minutes, here is a link to a teaching video featuring this topic:
Here is something else I’ve discovered about myself this month: Apparently, I really enjoy Christian writers who use a fair amount of….shall we say, colorful….language. Simply put, if I had to list the spiritual memoirs I connect with and most enjoy, they often include prodigious use of the F word. Not sure what that says about me, but that disclaimer leads me to this month’s book recommendation.
I loved reading Jamie Wright’s The Very Worst Missionary: A Memoir or Whatever. Jamie says out loud what many of us are thinking about church, faith and life, but might not say because it is “not appropriate.” Think of your favorite person with no filter, and then picture them telling you the story of their faith journey with all the raw, real, honest details. I laughed out loud, I shouted Amen (yes, out loud) and I was deeply moved, often to tears, by both her criticism and love for the church. As a naturally “glass half full” kind of person, I didn’t entirely identify with her level of cynicism, but I think she gives voice to the very real disconnect many of us have experienced with the way we do missions and the Christian culture. Bottom line, I love the heart of this book and I want to hang out with Jamie. But warning, if you are easily offended by salty language, you might want to pass on this one.
If you want to hear from my very wise friends about their Four Somethings, go visit our linkup HERE! Thanks for hosting us, Heather!