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Hey you! Yes you on the other side of this screen. You with the coffee mug, taking a break from “the real world” by scrolling through social media.

I was just wondering…

Would you consider yourself creative? Maybe an artist of some sort? A dreamer, teacher, planner, organizer, designer?

No, this isn’t a job application. But if you’re a maker of any kind—food, songs, events, babies, words, gardens, ideas, conversation—it’s because there’s something planted inside of you; something in your soul that’s dying to bust out.

Well guess what? He started it.

God was the first creative—our Creator. “In the beginning God created…” (Genesis 1:1) and He never stopped. Not only did He sling planets into the galaxies and purposefully design each unique fingerprint, but He also created us to keep creating.

I’m not talking about mere paintings or the hundreds of DYI projects you’ve pinned but probably won’t ever get to. I’m talking about how our individually-constructed minds were created SO THAT we might bring glory to God and draw others to Him—in our own unique ways.

Can I tell you about my friend, Kristin?

Kristin is solid and steady with a bit of sass—which I appreciate. She embodies what it means to be a sold-out follower of Christ and continually lives a life worth following. She and her husband serve like crazy, are willing to do whatever it takes to bring people to Him, and have helped start multiple churches. All of these things are great, but there’s something else I want to highlight:

Kristin goes to a strip club every Monday night.

That’s right… A strip joint, a nudie bar, a gentleman’s club (although I’ve never understood that phrase).

Kristin and a handful of other gals take dinner to some women working at this particular place of employment every Monday night. They hang notes and Bible verses next to the dancing schedules on the bulletin board in the break room. They also bring gifts around the holidays and have even thrown multiple baby showers for some of the women who were expecting.

And no, they don’t stick around for the show (in case you were wondering).

Many of these “dancers” have found themselves in desperate places—just trying to make ends meet. It might not seem like much, what Kristin and her friends are doing, but it is. Every single week, they have the opportunity to show up. To show up once again and shower these ladies with food and consistency and love and the hope of Jesus.

“We live in separate worlds,” Kristin told me, “but still fight the same battles and are loved and forgiven by the same God.”

And that is the bottom line, y’all. God doesn’t discriminate. “We” are not better than them and “they” are not worse off than us. In fact, there is no us and them. We are all lost and broken without a Savior to pave the way home.

And while the futures of these women are uncertain, we know God is working. There’s a lot of planting going on. A lot of watering and praying and continuing to show God’s relentless pursuit of them in the meantime—because God often works miracles right in the messy middle. And I truly believe that one day there will be fruit and a harvest and souls who have a safe eternity because someone wasn’t afraid to show them the love of Jesus in an out-of-the box way.

So here is my question…

What are you doing? What am I doing? What are we doing—collectively, together—to get creative, think bigger, get our hands dirty, and love on those who need Him most? God gave us brains, after all. How can we leverage our passions and convictions and wild-card ideas for Kingdom gain?

Some of us are visionaries, some developers, some make-it-happeners, some evaluators, and some encouragers. But we ALL have something to give.

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Philippians 2:13)

I just love that verse. He gives us the desire AND the power. It’s all Him! And by His design, He uses His people to reach even more of His people.

So what do you have to give away? And I don’t just mean stuff. What part of you do you have to offer? A hug, a smile, a compliment? A second chance, an invitation, the gift of forgiveness? What talents are you sitting on? What passions are hiding dormant, collecting dust on a shelf of excuses somewhere? What can be used for the sole purpose of bringing glory to His name?

One of my friends is fostering the sweetest baby boy, on top of raising her other three.

Another is in the medical field, shining light into the darkness every single day.

Another is using her coffee-maker to unite and encourage tired momma’s in her area.

Another is using her past brokenness and present redemption to inspire married couples who have found themselves in a tough place.

Another is using her stilettos and #girlboss status to make a Kingdom dent in the corporate world.

Another is using her passion for fitness and worship to teach Holy Yoga classes.

Another is donating ice-chests of her frozen breastmilk to a family adopting a newborn.

Another is using her kitchen table and love for food to make Biblical community happen.

Another pays for the person behind her every time she goes to Starbucks, and includes an invite card to her church.

Another teaches her kids about serving by handing out water bottles to the homeless.

Another sends a handwritten note of encouragement to one friend, family member, or stranger every day.

 

The possibilities are literally endless.

 

So what do you have? Give it away. What are your gifts? Stop hoarding them. What’s your passion? Do something—anything.

Take the step. Make the move. Create, cultivate, and give it away.

Entirely for the glory of the One who started it.

 

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Ah, Spring Break. A reason to strap your kids in the car and listen to them repeatedly ask the universal question…

Are we there yet?

My husband and I seized the opportunity (and low gas prices) and headed toward the mountains for some serious family time and ridiculously sore legs—as we’d be teaching the littles to ski for the first time.

Road trips are their own thing, aren’t they? After 26 bathroom breaks, 42 snacks, and a zillion songs, the kiddos were silent. I use that word loosely, of course, as they were probably sleeping or watching a movie (thank you Jesus for modern technology and headphones).

With rare peace on earth, or at least in our SUV, we decided to do some leisurely reading. And by reading, I really mean listening—because HELLO twenty-first century and audio books.

Take the Stairs is a popular book by author and inspirational speaker Rory Vaden. The main idea is that successful people take the stairs (work their tails off) while others are still looking for the escalator (searching for a shortcut/handout/leg-up). It’s a good read, or listen, if you’re into that sort of thing.

One metaphor from the book that stuck in my mind was strangely about a cow, a buffalo, and a storm.

“What cows do is very natural. Cows sense the storm coming from the west and so they start to try to run toward the east. The only problem with that is that if you know anything about cows you know they aren’t very fast. So the storm catches up with the cows rather quickly. And without knowing any better the cows continue to try to outrun the storm. But instead of outrunning the storm they actually run right along with the storm. Maximizing the amount of pain and time and frustration they experience from that storm!”

“What buffalo do on the other hand is very unique for the animal kingdom. Buffalo wait for the storm to cross right over the crest of the peak of the mountaintop and as the storm rolls over the ridge the buffalo turn and charge directly into the storm. Instead of running east away from the storm they run west directly at the storm. By running at the storm they run straight through it. Minimizing the amount of pain and time and frustration they experience from that storm.”

 

  • Cows run away from and with the storm.
  • Buffalo run straight into and through the storm.

 

Like it or not, we ALL have storms. We’re either coming out of a storm, going into a storm, or smack in the middle of a howler at any point in time. While storms are inevitable, we do get a say by our reaction.

It seems like it would be easier, doesn’t it? To simply turn and run. I’m a peacemaker and an includer, so my initial reaction is likely to bolt, to hide, to avoid it altogether, or possibly to cry alone in the shower. But like those silly cows, I end up sopping wet and miserable for a prolonged amount of time.

Responding like a buffalo, on the other hand, takes bravery and courage. It’s hard and intimidating to face a storm head on; to bear the brunt of pain. But that’s how we can get through it.

Maybe you made a huge mistake. Let someone down. Hurt someone you love.

Face the storm.

Maybe you’re sinking in unknowns. Scared of what could happen. Terrified of the “what if’s.”

Face the storm.

Maybe you’ve been running or hiding from your choices, a broken relationship, or an ongoing issue.

Face the storm.

The key is: we’re never alone—even when all seems to be thrashing and swirling and pounding around us. We can face the storm with confidence knowing that God cares even more about our situation, kids, marriage, job, friendship, fill-in-the-blank than we do. He goes before us, sticks beside us, and guards the way after us.

All we have to do is call on His name.

And with Him? We really can face any storm. 

“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves.” (Psalms 107:28-29)

 

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