Monthly Archives: October 2013

Wise words from a budding principal

So last night as I tucked my son into bed and as his limbs calmed down, so then did his heart and mind. This is my favorite time of day because when his body stops moving, which is a rarity, his mouth starts moving, talking, telling stories. It seems like every mom is trying to suck some tale out of their kids day besides words like “fine” and answers like “recess sucked” or “the galaxy pizza was awesome.” As a mom, you are desiring for the real stuff and when you get it, it’s like putting a quarter in the slot machine and Jackpot!

Aidan laid there last night and began cascading story. He said “I did something today I probably shouldn’t have.” It is this kind of opening statement that makes you wonder if finally your kid’s inner hellion came out to play at school. I said “What did you do?’ He hesitated and was being shy about telling me, which made me all the more nervous. He said he was in the principals office. It was then that I thought this really is bad! But then Aidan reminded me he was in there because he was going to be principal of the day and they had to discuss his plans. Aidan’s name had been drawn out of a hat of names and for some crazy reason he won! This happens once a year at our school and the kid who gets to be principal of the day gets to shape what the day will look like. So Aidan sits across from the actual principal and suggests his dream day. It included everyone wearing sports jerseys, hats, chewing bubble gum, and watching the Guinness Book of World Records movie as an entire school. He was rather proud of these choices and thought they were way better than PJ’s and free choice in classes, which in his words, were the usual requests.

As Aidan and his principal shaped this epic day for elementary school kids, a younger boy came into the office because he got in trouble on the playground. As that boy walked in, Aidan walked out. He looked at his principal and said “Is there anything else I need to do?” Apparently she looked at the naughty kid and asked him if he wanted to be a good boy like Aidan and the boy responded favorably. Then she said to Aidan, “Would you like to give this boy advice on how to stay out of trouble on the playground?” This was his first assignment at trying out being principal! What would he say….. I wondered!!!

Aidan looked at that boy and quoted anall too familiar line we have used in our home that finds its roots in the Bible. He said “Flee from temptation. If you sense you are going to do something bad or get into trouble- run! “ Aidan quoted scripture that I have quoted him most his life. Flee. Run. And might I remind you, he hasn’t heard these ancient words because his life has been trouble free. Now for some reason my son who is in fifth grade was given this opportunity to be a leader in his school and he walks out of the principals office leaving a young kid in trouble with spiritual wisdom! I love it!

Aidan was worried that he shouldn’t have spoken scripture in his principals office to this kid because he said “It’s school and everything.” And I looked at this kid who wants the entire school to wear sports jerseys and said “Are you kidding me? That is is like 100 touchdowns in my book!” Aidan responded, “No Mom, it’s maybe, like one touchdown.”   Sweet! My kid scored 7 points at school today! I prayed for Aidan last night as I always do. I prayed that God will use Him as a leader to do amazing things in this world. If that boy can be so bold as to when put on the spot as a budding principal- point people to Light of the World, then there will be a lot more days where everyone gets to chew bubble gum, wear hats and run sprints from temptation right into what is good. My hope is that we can not only listen to Principal Weston’s advice, but more, that we can be inspired to boldly make the most of every opportunity we have been given!

Another Collide is coming!

If you live in driving distance of beautiful Bellingham, Wa – you should register for this day for women! This next Collide is going to look at Jesus and the stories He told as He invites people into His story. We will spend a day listening to women share their stories of what God has invited them into. I expect to be inspired and transformed! Don’t miss out!

What do you tell young people about OLO?


I am headed out this weekend to speak to young people about Only Living Once. What would you say to a room full of enthusiastic, vibrant, intelligent, dreamy young college students about this one life they get to live?

have been thinking a lot about this term YOLO (You Only Live Once). It has quickly become an excuse to do whatever we want, even if it’s stupid and will win us a Darwin Award. Living once can be taken in two different directions.

One is, “am going to do whatever the heck I want” and the other is “I am going to pickle, preserve, and save up my life. I am going to make it last forever and savor it as safely and as comfortably as I possibly can.” Neither
direction that we take YOLO is where Jesus is headed.

Jesus said in Mark 8:35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.

Please pray for me as I am challenged by these words and am called now to challenge young people who think they have their whole lives ahead of them to lose their life so they may find it.

You only live once #YOLO

You only live once. Just once.

Remember, O God, that my life is but a breathJob 7:7

Now my days are swifter than a post; they flee awayJob 9:25-26

Man that is born of woman is of few days….Job 14:1-2

They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow. Psalm 144:4

For all flesh is as grass...1 Peter 1:24

You carry them away as with a floodPsalm 90:5

Just once. You only live once.

What then will you do with this one life you get to live?

in shark infested waters, whose in your boat?


So I sat down with this kid the other day. When I say kid, I mean young adult and I must be feeling old today. He has been through so much in life and we meet on occasion to check in and he knows he can count on me to speak truth into his life when he is flailing.

He so desires to grow in his faith and to know Jesus. In this desire he is surrounded by every temptation and invitation to hand over his faith and pick up something entirely other than.  He lives with and around people opposed to Christianity and is always being chased into scenarios that invite him to give up what is important to him for a moment of pleasure, fun or “what the hellness”.  It is not as though these are benign friendships that could careless if he goes to church on Sunday as long as he is the fun friend the rest of the week. He is actually surrounded by people who antagonize, laugh and mock Christianity. Not only that, but they are encouraging him to be and do what he doesn’t want to be and do. So, we caught up after not seeing each other over the summer. He shared with me that he hasn’t been doing well and his turning toward red wine rather than Jesus is becoming his new norm. He described himself as on an emotional roller coaster up one day and down the next. He feels unhealthy and wounded and longs for God but is very overwhelmed at how to get out of this rut.

As he was talking, I got this image of the woman who made it her goal to swim in shark infested waters to get where she wanted to go. She had a goal! She had a destination! I just pictured her taking on this grueling journey. Imagine her, if she were to pick people to ride in her boats that were
not encouraging her goal. Imagine them yelling “This is a stupid goal!” “You suck and you’re going to die from a jellyfish sting!” ” A shark is going to eat you alive!” You aren’t going to make it!”

Literally, watch her video and imagine those kinds of voices.

If you can just picture her training and hoping and risking and those kind of voices yelling at her….What chance would she stand? There is no
way that woman would have made her goal, which she does, if she had a crew of people telling her she couldn’t get where she wanted to go or
she shouldn’t even try.

looked at this young man and said you are like that. You are swimming across rough waters trying to find emotional healing from your family’s
pain, you are wrestling through identity issues and in the midst of all that, you are trying to swim to God and yet you drowning. And you are
drowning because you have people in your boat who are yelling at you to quit right there in the middle of the shark infested waters. You need people in your boat who will yell things like “You can do this!” “God is with you! ” “Keep getting back in there!”   You need people who will support you- not sink you. You need people who will encourage you -not discourage you. You need people who will walk with you- not drag you down. You need some fellows in your ship. (I remember an old boyfriend used that on me once. So I used it on this young man.) What he needs is what we all need.

Having some fellows in your ship is called fellowshipWe all need some fellows in our ship to help get us where we want to go.  If faith is important to you than you need to make it important by having fellows who will cheer you on in life and faith when life and faith are wading through rough waters. If beating an addiction is important to you than you are going to need some fellows in your ship telling you it’s possible when the sharks are trying to clench their teeth into your back and drag you down to become bottom feed. If following your dreams is where you want to go and yet, what you have been following is everything except dreamy, its time you get some people in your boat to scream at you “You have what it takes to get there!” It’s not so much that you won’t incur rough waters, jelly fish, sharks, naysayers, temptation, sunburns, rejection and mockery. You will. Because you will, it is even more imperative to get people in your boat who will encourage you all the way to where you want to go! May this young man and you and I make sure we aren’t just desiring a destination, nor just training for a goal, but getting fellows in our ship so we are sure to step foot on the shores of our dreams!


Last Saturday, around 200 women gathered in one room and we spent the day being quite real and raw about wounds. We learned that wounds, if not healed continue to wound and wound and wound. It was incredible to see God’s Spirit begin to help women open up and recognize how their wounds are still bleeding, getting infections and are toxic.

It is in naming our wounds that we can begin to seek healing. In the way that only Jesus can, He collided with us and women were changed and made more whole!

I came across this quote in a book.

Jesus clearly values and loves women. If for some reason you have heard otherwise, think again. You can see His collisions in the New Testament were often with women. He ran into them because He cares about women and values their lives. Collide this past weekend was a living example of that!

Jesus met women! It was a beautiful day of stortelling, prayer, reflection, self- analysis, community and support, faith challenges and collisions with the only One who can heal us all.


be inconvenienced

The other night we went to a party of sorts. It was a birthday party meets reunion party meets goodbye party. It was a buddy’s birthday, some old friends were in town and some other friends are returning back to Africa. So we gathered and it ’twas good.

Our buddy Ron walked his wife and kids out to their car to head home for night night because he decided to stay later and hold captive all these old friends in one big house. He asked if he could catch a ride home with us when we left and we gladly said yes.

When it came time to go home, my husband Rob drove, Ron rode shotgun, and Aidan, my ten year old son, and I sat in back on top of sour milk smelling, coat ridden, toy abundant seats. On the way to Ron’s, we got a text message from the birthday boy. Wouldn’t you know it-a selfie from one of our craziest friends with my son’s hat on! Apparently Aidan left his hat at the party and this picture was Colin’s way of trying to get us to come back and get it. “Ah we thought, it’s late…we can get it later.” We almost got to Ron’s street when he said, “I forgot Loa’s sippy cup.” Rob rebutted, as if that statement needed a rebuttal with “You have other sippy cups right? You don’t need us to drive allll the waaay back. Right?” Ron didn’t want to be in the doghouse any worse than staying later at the party might have put him there. Both Rob and I agreed that Ron should keep his wife happy because she took on bedtime so he could stay at the party….so we drove all the way back to for a silly sippy cup.

On our way home on a busy intersection in the dark, flashed the hazards of a car. It was stopped just short of the light with a young girl standing outside looking scared. We rolled down our windows and asked if she had help coming. She said “No, my phone died.” We pulled over and I switched with Rob so that he and Ron could push the car out of the way and I could move our car off the road. I circled our car around and we were all standing on the sidewalk outside of these apartments that people call the CrimeScene apartments. They are really called the Crimson Apartments. This neighborhood’s reputation might be an indication of why this girl looked a bit scared and unsure what to do. We surveyed what could be wrong. My husband said “You probably ran out of gas.” She said everything stopped working, her steering, everything as if to elude that it must be more than gas. Of course Rob says “It’s gas, it’s always gas.”  So we look at her and say “You might not trust us, but we can give you a ride to the gas station and you can get a gas can and then we will bring you back and you can try that . Unless you feel uncomfortable?” I said “I used to work at a college ministry in town, maybe you’ve heard of it…I swear I am not creepy, but I understand if...” She peered into our back seat and said “I believe you guys are fine especially since you have a kid in the back” and in she hopped! (Note to the young ladies: Never trust someone who tells you they worked for a church. Run for your life. That’s creepy. And just because someone has a kid….hmmm) So here she is in our (might I remind you) sour milk smelling car. Only this time, Ron, Aidan and I are squished in the back and our new friend Margaret is riding shotgun. She starts telling us about the apartment she just moved into with a bunch of girls, how she is from Alaska, what her major is and how her first week of classes were.  She explained she was just babysitting, her phone died and she knew she was low on gas but thought she could make it. (We always think we can make it. What is that E for anyway?) It is clear that Margaret is a sweet, pretty, kind college student who was just on her way home on a Saturday night and found herself in a pickle.

We took her to the gas station, where Rob filled the can. While we were waiting for them, my often beyond his years in spiritual wisdom and before his years in common sense son, says “Hey- we wouldn’t have been here to help this girl if it wasn’t for the sippy cup.”

Rob and Margaret hop back in, we drive back to her car and they give the tank a sip as if to hydrate. In no less time, Margaret’s car starts and out the open door, she yells “Thanks!”  We say “You take care!” and run across the street, get in the car and return Ron home to his beloved wife, sippy cup and all!

What Aidan observed really struck me. We honestly were tired. It was late. Our kid needed to go to bed. Sippy cups are a dime a dozen. But we bent. It’s not a big bend. It’s not monumental. But a friend wanted to run back for something and so we did it and honestly should have done it more obligingly. But because we were inconvenienced once, we got inconvenienced twice. And those inconveniences turned out to be a blessing. A blessing to others and to us.

It reminded me of the scripture where Jesus says in Luke 6:

To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tuniceither.Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

Elsewhere Jesus says:

And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.”

Jesus, Himself says here Be inconvenienced. If someone hits you, offer them another punching bag to strike, it’s called your cheek. If someone takes your ipod, offer them your ipad. If someone stands in front of you with a sign that says “420 God bless, anything helps”, Jesus says give to those who beg. If someone takes away your books, don’t demand them back, even if it’s the entire Harry Potter series. If someone forces you to go one mile, go two and push a broken down car across an intersection, drive a girl named Margaret who you don’t know to get gas and then fill her tank and send her home with a smile. Jesus said do that. Do that because you should live this:

As you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

Jesus doesn’t say only do that if you like the person. Or only do to others who can give back, only do to others who don’t smell, only do to others when it’s not bedtime, only do to others when people will see, only do to others when it will be returned, only do to others when its convenient. No, it is as if Jesus says: Be inconvenienced because you will be standing one day in the middle of an intersection with your hazards on, no cell phone power and no help and you will hope someone will be inconvenienced too.

We dropped Ron off and I yelled out the window “That was the best part of my night!”  I didn’t say that because I didn’t have fun at the birthday reunion goodbye. I said that because there is no better feeling than helping people. Why is that? Because helping people is what we are made to do. And when we are doing what we are made to do, we feel good, alive, purposed! But you can’t help people if you are unwilling to be inconvenienced. So if you want that feeling you were made to feel, that “alive, my life has deep meaning and this moment was meant to be feeling” then you have to be willing to drive out of your way for sippy cups and Margarets. I am not always willing, but I am so grateful that our hesitation didn’t win out, but instead we gave in to the “out of the wayness” and we got to see through the eyes of a ten year old, just how God can use inconvenience. I am thinking Jesus knew what He was talking about and Maybe Aidan did, too.