I have so much to tell you I’m not sure where to start. Perhaps with gratitude. Gratitude for this community. For this place of knowing and being and loving each other just as we are. It’s so good to be in a place filled with so much encouragement, grace and love. Thank you for being that for me and for each other. If you’re not following along on my Facebook page, you should! I try to share something there at least once a day if not more, so even if I’m not writing here – you can find me there.
I also wanted to let you in on a few things happening in my world with a little fall update:
First, I started speaking! Well, perhaps I should say I started speaking formally to an audience! Ha! Last year I felt God pressing it on my heart to step out into a deeply scary place for me and say yes. So every single opportunity that has presented itself over the last eighteen months I’ve said yes. Even through tears. It’s no exaggeration to say that a place that brought up every single insecurity and fear deep within me is being healed. In and through every yes, God is stitching together the places of my heart that were torn and making something new. It’s a beautiful, redemptive, healing process and YOU are a huge part of that journey. So thank you.
If your church or group is looking for a speaker, feel free to contact me and see if I’m available! I’d love the opportunity to meet and know each one of you by heart. I’m also leading a weekly Women’s Bible Study at my home church, called Abide. It’s so beautiful and rich and deep and I just love every single woman there sharing her heart and her story and learning through God’s overwhelming, uncommon grace.
I’ve also been traveling a TON. There’s a tension between doing all the things God has laid on my heart and still doing my highest calling being a mom. In September I was invited to a very unique and beautiful retreat for women sharing the hope of Jesus with their lives. I’ve been sharing some of those amazing women with you over the last few weeks and can truly say I left that weekend changed. A few days after that retreat I flew to Minneapolis where I spoke at two different events and was able to go “home” and see my family and some of my oldest, dearest friends. It was a time where I was able to look back and see how much God has done in my life over the last fifteen years. There is no other way to describe my time back in the midwest other than wholly and deeply redemptive. How He takes the broken stories of our lives and puts them back together. He is so good.
This last weekend I flew to Atlanta to attend the Writer’s Bootcamp with Jonathan Merritt and Margaret Feinberg. It was nothing short of amazing and I learned so many beautiful details for making my writing stronger – and, more importantly, serving you better. It truly is my heart’s desire to serve you well. That somehow, someway, through the shared pieces of my story we might find healing together. Without even knowing it, you have done that for me — and I know this is just the mysterious way God works in our lives. Behind the scenes, in the details, and between the lines. It is my prayer that somewhere in the spaces between words and sentences you would find Him speaking to you.
I also got to spend two days with my incredible agent Jana and begin preparing for the next book I’m writing. Yes, you heard it here first: I’m writing another book! My first book, Pretty: Breaking Free From The Illusions of a Superficial Life, met me right where I was and carried me to a new place. A place less concerned with what others think about me and far more interested in God. Discovering who He is, and how I follow after Him with my whole heart. Even when I don’t know how. Even when I fail. Even when I falter and stumble and wish I could do better. But can’t. Giving Him my flimsy faith and my small obedience, believing with every beat of my heart that it is enough. It. is. enough.
So that’s where I am, and why it’s been a little more quiet around here. Travel, reading, planning messages instead of blog posts, speaking, learning, writing a new book proposal and chapters has tied up far more than the free hours I have each week, and then my kids and husband are still clambering for more. At my retreat this week I heard: Great things come out of places of tension. I’m fully embracing this truth in my life right now. Leaning into the tension, trusting that His greatness will rise out of the chaos. He is holy.
I’m grateful for you. And since I’m writing this next book for both of us, I would also LOVE your feedback! I know that together we’re so much stronger than any of us standing alone. Have a blessed weekend my friends! You are loved. xoxo