Tag Archives: community

Asking for Help


My post is a little different today. Today I’m asking for your help.

My son Sam, as many of you know, is home from college on medical leave and likely unable to return. He’s whip smart, word clever, wildly creative, quick witted, deeply loyal…and losing hope.

You can read about his days in his own words here.

My son is longing for purpose.

He’s been writing, working on spoken word pieces, and game development (two of his games released in Apple’s App Store, one retired, one still for sale), and most recently creating original designs via 3D printer.

Yesterday, Sam launched his Etsy store, Phenix Emporium, the name chosen from Middle English, because that’s just how his mind works.

Creative. Clever. Always with meaning and purpose, because, in his words, “here is where the phoenix’s signature ability to be reborn from the ashes is fulfilled in a slightly different manner, from the ashes (the empty print board and the plastic from which objects will print)….where the creativity of the mind is allowed to be set free, to be born from the melting pot of plastic, to rise like a phoenix, creativity reborn from the mind into the physical planes of reality.”

Will you help, Friends? For under $10, you can purchase a unique, made-to-order (from 64 possible color combinations!) spinning top or an adorable Balancing Bunny, or even an entire Fluffle.

Yellow Top Being Spun

Black Top Front View

Yellow Top Side View

Balancing Bunny Stack

Balancing Bunny Pyramid

Together we can lift my son, flood him with orders, and allow hope to seep back into his soul.

Will you join me?

Thank you, Friends! You are far more appreciated than you will ever know.

To order, click here: Phenix Emporium.

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Filed under Something Different

Thirteen — A Story of Community


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A little more than two years ago, I packed my secondhand cheetah print suitcase, boarded a plane and headed for a remote Texas canyon cut by the Frio River. I was excited to be attending my first writers’ conference, and nervous. I wasn’t an author, wasn’t writing a book, had no plans to write a book, and wasn’t published, but I do love words, write a blog and a little poetry, and love photography.

The days in the canyon were good and hard, challenging and encouraging. I was rooming with a woman I’d never met (who turned out to be lovely), was missing my daughter’s first high school homecoming dance, and also desperately needed this time to heal and remember how to breathe.

Something happened in the still of the canyon. God spoke and invited me to trust Him again.

He spoke through twelve, fierce, funny, wise, compassionate, slightly irreverent, deeply encouraging, sword-wielding women. Warriors steeped in Jesus.

Community.

Twelve women who rallied around and prayed me through surgery two days after leaving the canyon and we’ve been praying together ever since. An unlikely band of thirteen and my heroines of the faith.

We are young and old, mothers and grandmothers through birth, marriage and adoption. Black and white. Big city and small town. Affluent and just getting by. We are teachers and lawyers, authors and social workers, singers and nurses, poets and cooks, crafters and pastor’s wives, editors and homeschoolers, businesswomen and photographers. We are young women and empty-nesters, coast-to-coast, north, south, east and west.

We are Louboutin pumps and flip-flops, cowboy boots and baseball caps, business suits and feather boas. We are spired churches and expansive auditoriums, and we are sports fans.

We are thirteen brave, strong, broken, grace-filled women sharing this journey through life – celebrating, weeping, laughing, beseeching, cheering, groaning, ever and always praying as we wield the shield of faith.

Microcosm of The Body. Lived out. Life-giving, life-changing community.

These are my incredible heroines of the faith – twelve, faith-filled, courageous women – gifts from the Father’s hand straight to my heart, and I am forever changed.

Next month, I’ll once again be packing my second-hand cheetah print suitcase and boarding a plane to a remote Texas canyon cut by the Frio. This time, I’m ready. And I can’t wait!

*This blog post is part of Michelle DeRusha’s #MyFaithHeroine contest, in connection with the release of the book 50 Women Every Christian Should Know. Find out how to participate here.

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Filed under Devotionals

Truest Wisdom


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When I’d first heard of the event, I knew I wanted to go. Maybe needed to go. Just because I knew a little bit of the artist’s story, enough to believe her life might speak to mine.

So I put a ticket on my birthday list.

Just one.

I wasn’t going to ask any of my friends if they were going. I just wanted to slip quietly into the back and let the evening happen.

Then I thought of my friend. We’d attended this event together every year since her husband died. Even that first year, just weeks after his death, tear-stained, arms wrapped around each other, holding on, getting through.

I wondered if she was going. Felt a little selfish for not asking.

So I sent her a message.

She was going. With a small group of friends and relatives. “We’d love to have you join us. We’re going out to dinner first.

“I think I’m at Children’s Hospital that day,” I messaged back. “Can I let you know?”

Absolutely.”

But the truth is that I didn’t want to go to dinner or be social or engage. I just wanted to sit quietly in the dark and breathe.

Tuesday evening, late, less than 24 hours before the event, a friend I hadn’t seen for a few of years sent me a Facebook message.

Hi, do you know of anyone with extra ticket for tomorrow night’s event?

“Why?” I wondered. “Was it sold out?”

Yup. Two weeks ago.

Immediately I thought of my ticket. My one ticket. All she needed. Yet somewhere deep inside I heard, “No, you need to go.

“Let me check,” I messaged back, “and I’ll let you know.”

In the morning, I contacted another friend, because if anyone would know of an extra ticket to any event, anywhere, it would definitely be her.

She immediately texted back, “Yes!

Moments earlier, in a staff meeting, a co-worker had mentioned that she had an extra ticket — one extra ticket — for the Laura Story event that night if anyone knew of someone who needed one. Wow!

Only God.

This whole unlikely group met in the lobby that evening – my beautiful widowed friend, her friends who’d gotten there early to hold our seats, the friend who’d asked for an extra ticket, the friend who’d found one…and me.

God had ensured I’d be there that night, if for no other reason than to facilitate this ticket exchange.

For while I was retrieving the ticket from one friend, my sweet widowed friend was discovering that the friend who’d asked for a ticket, also a young widow, was there…alone.

Oh…

God had brought us all together in that space at that time, on purpose, to lean close, grasp hands and cry together in the dark.

It’s hard to raise sick kids.

Hard to lose your person.

It was hard and lonely and dark that first week. So, so hard.

Grace.

Grace spilled raw as we slipped through the doors and into the dark. Gathered in, leaning close, voices rising, tears splashing in the candlelight.

Hope flickering into flame.

Love washing over weary souls, long and deep and high and wide.

Wrapped in the arms of community. Beautiful. Perfect. Unearned.

And without end.

We love because He first loved us. ~ 1 John 4:19

There could be no truer wisdom than that.

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Filed under 28 Days of Love, Photos and Quotes

We All Have a Story


“Come and listen…let me tell you what God has done for me.” (Psalm 66:16)

We all have a story to tell. I do and so do you, and every story is integral to the whole, each one a beautiful, necessary piece of the mosaic, incomplete on its own, insufficient, disconnected, but together a masterpiece, exquisite, finished, complete.

Think for a minute about what happens when we sit down to coffee or dinner with a friend. What do we do? We talk. Share. Catch up. Discuss what’s happening in our lives, what we think, how we feel. We work through struggles, celebrate victories, encourage, laugh, cry, and love one another through life. That’s friendship, good and right and necessary, but there’s more. God designed us to live, to “do life” together as one body, the Body of Christ.

That’s where our stories fit. Without God, our lives are empty and shallow, and sometimes hopeless, but as we begin to see God at work in all the details, personally and intimately, and as we step out in faith and begin to share those stories, the hope of Christ, with others, God begins to work, and others begin to see God at work in their own lives. That’s what made the disciples so powerful, not because they were extraordinary men, but because they told of an extraordinary God. They told what they knew – what they witnessed, heard, tasted, smelled, and felt – and they rocked the world.

When we begin to share stories of God at work in our lives, others begin to see differently, noticing Him in brand new ways in theirs, and we both grow, a beautiful picture of community.

How amazing that God chose us – ordinary, everyday women – to simply share what we know, tell others what we’ve experienced, how we’ve seen God at work in our own lives – God’s story – passed heart to heart to heart – one story at a time, knitting us together into the beautiful, intricate, diverse, extraordinary Body of Christ here on earth.

So this year, be a disciple. Step out and share your faith one moment, one heart, one story at a time, for our extraordinary God still rocks His world!

“Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.” (Psalm 105:1-2)

*Written for the beautiful women of We Used to Be You Ministries — sharing life experience, providing wise biblical counsel, and sharing the love of Christ with girls and young women.

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Filed under Devotionals