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The Heart of a Community

Photo credit-The Tennessean

Images like this have made me cry this week.  By now, you know all about the great 500-year flood we had in Nashville over the weekend.  The damage is heartbreaking.  The stories of lost friends and family members, ruined homes, and flooded cars is gutwrenching.  We have a long road ahead of us to get Nashville and many parts of Tennessee back to what it was.

But beyond the loss, was something amazing.  A community rose up immediately.  Folks were putting boats in the water and risking their lives to help those stranded.  Local media teams were taking chances in volatile weather to keep us informed. Within a 24-hour period, over 7,000 people had signed up as a volunteer at Hands on Nashville.  And even still, there are teams of people who will spend at minimum, the rest of this week helping folks get back into their homes, but more likely, weeks and months.

Many tears have been shed and hearts ache as we watch those we love struggle with what will be a long road back to “normal”.    I can’t help but wonder what the silver lining is in all of this.  One thing is for sure…residents of Nashville and surrounding counties will never again wonder if we are a real community.  Lifelong friendships have been borne and faith has grown out of the muddy waters of this flood.
I am so proud of this city and thankful to be Nashvillian.

If you’d like to donate funds, here are two (of the many) reputable sites: Hands on Nashville and CrossPoint Church.

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Is the lesson in the waiting?

Waiting Pete Wilson, one of our pastors at the Nashville campus of  CrossPoint Church has been doing a series on Shattered Dreams.  Today, the lesson was on “Waiting on God”.  There were so many good nuggets in the message that it was almost hard to keep up with my notetaking.  I kept thinking about things going on in my life-even right now-where I really need the words he spoke today.

In my last post, I talked about some radical things I’m going after both personally and professionally.  And since writing it, I’ve been actively working on each thing.  My body definitely feels the effects of more rigorous exercise.  And the career pursuits are moving along. It’s been an exciting time all around, as I feel the inertia of moving forward.  The hardest part has been in asking God for a radical assignment.  Because the “homework” I’m doing right now…sucks.  My little girl has been struggling for 22 straight days with migraine-like symptoms.  We’ve been to countless doctors; she’s been poked and prodded, she’s had fluids put in and blood taken out.  And she’s been put on medications that have made even our pharmacist nervous.  And Nothing has worked.  At this point, I’m emotionally exhausted.  It has noticeably altered our lives, and has caused me many tears as I watch her struggle with the pain. There are moments here and there of her sweet, happy personality.  But the first and last words I hear each day are about how bad it hurts.

Pete asked a really hard question this morning.  When times get tough, will we trust or control? Though I’ve been saying that I was believing God for a change, and have been asking Him daily for a break in the pain, I’ve mainly been aggressively pursuing treatment and “driving the bus” to try to find an answer for why this is happening.  Don’t get me wrong–I absolutely believe in doctors and medicine…but first and foremost I know I should be looking up for guidance.  In our sermon notes today was this point: Hope does not come only from believing God’s power, but also from accepting and trusting His timing. Nothing about what’s been happening with her is normal.  I think it’s time for me to move from trying to control what’s happening and truly trust Him to protect her and heal her.  Because I know that God heals. And I have to trust that He made her for a purpose that’s not going to be destroyed by this pain.  I asked for a radical assignment, and this ordeal has definitely tested my faith.

Does this hit you in any area your of life?  Where do you need to let go and let God?

P.S. If you are running low on hope, or feeling that life hasn’t turned out the way you thought it would, please check out this website about Pete’s new book, Plan B.  I’m reading it now, and it’s the perfect message for this journey.

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It’s Time to be Radical

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Some people hate change.  They get nervous about rearranged furniture or unplanned travel.  Not me.   I need new seasons in life–new responsibilities, and challenges.   For about two months, I’ve been feeling the need to “shake things up”, but just couldn’t figure out where the “itch” was.  I realized it wasn’t just one area of life–it’s everywhere.  I’m ready for an Overhaul.  And you know what?  I’m excited!

Here are just a few things I’m doing that will Definitely challenge me in this next season:

I ordered Insanity. Yes, I am insane.  Let’s see if I’m still breathing the week after it arrives.  Clearly, the results will be immediate.

I’m reevaluating my work life. I love where I work and can’t imagine leaving. I know I have to be intentional-it’s not change just to have something new.  It’s change to see how I might positively impact the company in a new way.

I’m taking the next step on a business idea. I have strong entrepreneurial tendencies and know what I’m capable of when it’s my butt on the line.  The big win?  It’s something that will be successful while also allowing me to keep my career.  Can’t beat that.

I’m asking God for a radical assignment.  Call me crazy, but from the time I was a little girl, I’ve asked that God ask me to do something big.  And when I look at my life, all I see is a place where things have become comfortable.   For others, that’s likely the picture of perfection.  For me, it means I’ve really missed it somewhere.  I  don’t need to lose it all to think God has used me, but I do think big faith means change, and I don’t want to look back on a life that was just comfy.  I want to know I really made a difference.

Your turn.  Are you doing anything radical these days?  If so, do you love it or does it stress you out?

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The challenge with being consistent

In most areas of life, I’m pretty steady.  I’m dependable.  And I like knowing people count on me to keep things moving.

But I have a weakness when it comes to this blog.   At least twice each week, I think up a good idea for a blog post.  Looking at my dashboard, I have five in progress right now.  Yet, it continues to collect “dust” while I run through life.  I still scratch my head in wonder at how other people find time to be consistent in updating with new content bi-weekly or daily.

If I’m honest with myself, there are days I wonder if what I have to say will stand out against the thousands of other blog posts posted each day.  And, as I sit here at 8:30 pm typing this post, my kiddo is reading a book by herself, and I’m on the computer.  There are clean dishes in the dishwasher that need to be put up.  Laundry in the dryer to be folded.   10 emails waiting for me to wrap them up and hit “send”.  Four open Word docs I need to complete and email.  And two excel files I have to format.

It would be easy to continue putting my blog on hold, because life is crazy and there are a million other things that need my attention.  But there’s one question I keep asking myself :”Do I love doing this?”  The answer is Yes.  Which means that I need to be as creative in finding time for this as I am in getting everything else done.  Thanks for coming along for the ride while I gave myself a swift kick in the tail.  I needed that.

What about you?  Do you find it hard to maintain your blog? Any tips you’d like to share?

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