Love the ones you’re with… (Guest post)

I’m giddy this morning, because I have a guest post over at KaysePratt.com! Kayse was one of the first bloggers I recognized in person when I trekked to Charlotte, NC this past summer for a speakers & writers conference. I had become acquainted with her through her blog and through our facebook networking group, so spotting her (in the bathroom!) was kind of a celebrity moment. I don’t even think I introduced myself, because at the time I figured rushing a girl in the bathroom and telling her how much I enjoy her blog would be tré weird.

Kayse and I have both lost our moms to cancer-that’s what stuck out to me when I first read Kayse’s blog. I rarely have an opportunity to bond with anybody in this respect, and I had never read about such a thing on anyone’s blog and seen it put out there like that. So, needless to say, I was immediately interested in everything else Kayse had to say. She’s as real as she can be for her readers, and I can’t get enough of that kind of approach.

I’m nervously excited to share some of my real life step family drama with you today over at Kayse’s blog. Who knows, maybe you’ll pick up a tip in the post for dealing with that problem relative you’re dreading seeing over Christmas. It’s taken a lot of prayer, tears, grace and effort to get where I am with my Stepmom, but I wouldn’t trade her for anything. As you’ll read in the post, this wasn’t always the case…

I had liked my Stepmom when we first met her, when she and my Dad were just friends, but once she and Dad developed their relationship she and I were at odds with each other. My poor Dad, he was stuck in the middle two women he loved and felt compelled to protect! She and I would bicker, and at times it was very un-pretty. I was convinced that she was the problem. After all, what kind of woman would try to come between and a father and daughter that had such a close bond?

You can read the rest here. And if you’re feeling a little un-excited about dealing with problem relatives over Christmas, consider leaving a prayer request in the comments on the full post. I promise to pray for your family relationships over the Christmas holiday, and I’m thankful for each and every one of you.


Can we be real?

I’ve just got to share something with you today… My friend Lee wrote a great post on being a ‘real’ Christian woman and I think it’ll really hit many of us in a tender spot… But first some back story:

In preparation for an upcoming message, speaker Lynn Bell gathered statements from some of her friends in response to this statement:  “I would have more close relationships with the women at my church if only…”

Lynn and I were in the same speaker peer evaluation group at this year’s She Speaks training conference. I had the pleasure of hearing Lynn speak twice for peer evaluation. I was impressed by her gentle delivery as a speaker, and I was not now surprised that Lynn was putting such thoughtful preparation into her upcoming message.

Lynn’s question resounded strongly in my heart, and my fingers typed and sent a message in reply to her inquiry almost before I could process my thoughts. “If only we could be real with each other, instead of being a ‘Sunday best’ version of ourselves”, I added to the exchange. And as I sat there processing my own words, and the flood of similar responses from other women across the country, I became very sad.

I’m sad that we do this, and that it makes other women feel alienated and never quite good enough. I’m sad that we feel a burden to display a facade of perfection. I wasn’t the only one feeling this way about women in the church. Our friend Lee Merrill (another She Speaks alum) felt the same grief. She posted her transparent thoughts about it on her Prayer Gifts blog and I as I read it I was  moved by her words.

“Help me to believe I can be a godly woman and flawed at the same time…
I must be real because hidden wounds miss the hands of the Healer.”

Here’s a link to Lee’s post, a great read for women in the church today. I’m grateful she shared her heart with us. And if you’d like to get to know Lynn Bell better, she’s over at The Gentle Savior.

If this strikes a chord with you as well, feel free to add to this discussion in the comments.

She Speaks

She Speaks

Lexy and I at dinner Saturday night

I’ve been home from She Speaks for a little more than a week, and I still feel like the “fairy dust” hasn’t worn off yet. The conference was a great experience of being equipped and encouraged for ministry, and meeting others with the same calling as I have. I am so beyond thankful and blessed to have attended, to have met so many women with a heart for God. I was so impressed by those in my evaluation group. I was also re-energized for young adult ministry, something I’ve been doing for years now that I thought was in its waning time in my life at this point but I now know differently!

As I’m sorting through thoughts and praying through ideas and plans this site and this blog will be further developed. Thank you so much for checking out Shatterproof Ministries!