EPIC Fail At Work

Okay, so yesterday was going great…until I failed in an EPIC way. Now, you might complete disagree with me, but just wait until after you hear it all… I even talked with a couple people about it, as they could tell I was “off” at an evening event…and they didn’t think it was epic…so you might not. BUT, it is to me.

At around noon I was invited to a meeting that started at 2:30pm concerning a project I am help with. I hit “attend” and didn’t think twice. When I arrived, there weren’t many people, and we weren’t waiting for many more per the leaders of the meeting. I thought it strange the leader of the project hadn’t shown up, yet, as he is fairly prompt.

I felt the nudge to call and see where he was.

I ignored it.

The meeting was about to start and I felt the nudge again.

I ignored it.

As they said, okay let’s get started, everyone is here – I felt the nudge…

Guess what?

I ignored it and thought he was probably called in to a meeting with people more important. (That can happen).

So, the meeting got started.

At the end of the meeting I went down to find the project leader and tease him for not being there.

He had not been invited.

UGH. Immediately I felt horrible. No, I wasn’t the one in charge of calling the meeting. No, typically I wouldn’t have looked at the invite list as I assume everyone is on the same page, BUT, it was very difficult to see the upset on his face and in his posture. Righteous frustration. I could understand that and I hurt for him.

Now, people have said, I had no epic failure here. A) I didn’t set it up. B) I wasn’t intentionally doing something wrong. The “miss” wasn’t mine to own.

I disagree.

The Holy Spirit was nudging me, and I ignored Him. I was being given clear instructions, and I wasn’t listening. I kept feeling that nudge and KNOW that 100% of the time, I am better off following through with whatever I’m getting nudged about it. I didn’t so missed an opportunity that hurt someone else.

Yes, my heart hurt for the frustration of the situation for my co-worker. But I felt even worse that I ignored GOD, who was trying to get my co-worker in to that meeting.

I failed.

What I learned today…Follow what the Holy Spirit is nudging me to do regardless of what I think. I am obviously not in the “know” like He is.

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Don’t Feel Loving?

If you’ve stopped feeling love, the first step is to remember what it is like to act with love and then do it.  The Bible has the perfect verse to keep handy in these times.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galations 6:9)

I know I go through waves of not “feeling” like loving some of the people around me. Can you relate? Are you suppose to be loving that person? Spouse? Parent? Child? Sibling?

Don’t skip over this as you grow in your walk with God! I know it’s hard, but I bet God is putting someone on your heart who applies…”we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”. The more we are learning, getting closer to God, the more He will give us chances to be the loving people we are meant to be.

The challenge today is to pray that God will help you be more loving to whoever He put on your heart. Don’t expect a response from them. Don’t do it because you want anything reciprocated. Do it because God does it for us every day. When we are unlovable, He still loves us. Our goal is to be the best “lovers” of God and His people that we can be. Sometimes that means humbling ourselves in relationships and becoming better at loving.

Pray for your relationship with God to grow. It will! As that happens, you will automatically see those relationships around you change.

What I learned today…I can’t let a busy lifestyle rob me of growing in my relationships. Life is all about relationships.

I CANNOT BE SORRY for Who I Am

We know, from past posts, I battle the feeling of being inadequate a LOT. Sadly, I didn’t battle this in such a life altering way until I joined the church. Within the church, I started feeling like I wasn’t enough. I don’t have a memory that retains Bible verses as quick as others that can recite the whole Bible from memory. I don’t have the theological PhDs that others have. (I didn’t even finish college!) I could go on and on.

Thankfully, God didn’t call me for all of that. He would have given me a better memory if He wanted to.  He could have given me the drive to get a great education if He wanted to. Now, to be fair, I am in seminary as I do believe being educated regarding the Bible is very important. That way I am not going only off my interpretation of the Bible and/or what others tell me, but truly digging in to it and hearing a variety of opinions.

Another battle I face is being born a leader. You might think that is a super sexy role, so why would I think it was a battle? Outside of the church, it wasn’t hard. I could use my skills and they were celebrated and affirmed consistently. Within the church it is different. Well, within the churches I know about, it might be different at yours.

I came in to our church knowing that there was never a ladder to climb. We do not have female pastors. Fine. Our church does not have a female elder. Fine. All of that is absolutely fine. I knew what I was walking in to. I took a position that used my skill set and I absolutely love. I know I will upset some of you, but I do believe that men should be the lead pastors in the church. I also believe, leading the church on the team of leaders, a woman is NEEDED. When women make up over 1/2 the church, their voices must be represented at all “tables”. Not to push the “women” thing, but to work side by side like we were built to do. To help each other and promote GOD through it all. The challenge I have found when working with both men AND women in the church is when I use my gift of leadership. Now remember, I did not ask to be a leader. It’s a gift GOD gave me. In John 15:16 we read “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you.” This is a hard life! Being a “good” Christian is HARD. I don’t think I would’ve chosen to walk in to the craziness it is. But GOD chose me for it. I trust Him.

I battle knowing that He gave me this gift, while others who want it so bad, and strive for it, and educate themselves to become better skilled at it…don’t. We can say that about a lot of gifts. If you have the gift of organization, the rest of us hide and get upset because we aren’t skilled in that way. If you have the gift of teaching, the rest of us hide and get upset because we aren’t skilled in that way….I could go on and on. YOU have a gift the rest of us yearn for. The battle is knowing that God created us all perfectly to do what HE has for us. Though we might want another gift, if we didn’t have the one we uniquely have, there would be an absence in the world.

Romans 8:28-31 says –

 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

SO GOOD!!!! Let’s lean on this Biblical truth when we doubt, or battle opposition!

I like what J. Oswald Chambers has to say about it in his book Spiritual Leadership Principles of Excellence for Every Believer.

“I am here neither by selection of an individual nor election of a group buy by the almighty appointment of God.”

We need to be confident as Christians in the gifts He has given us. An even BIGGER step would be to not only be confident in it, but to celebrate others gifts as well. To those who have the gifts we don’t have, celebrate them! And we all need to continuously vow to do our best to enhance and improve the gifts we have been given. It’s not a use it or lose it situation, but it is like a muscle that you have, but can get SO MUCH STRONGER the more you work on it.

What I learned today…I have SO much to say on this subject, I should learn to write more short and sweet blogs.

The Ideal

We all have an ideal we’d like in all situations.

The ideal family.
Job
Kids
Parents
Grandparents
Friends
Vacations

As we sit and wish things were different…lets remember –

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life– and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” (Romans 12:1 MSG)

I have the ideal life in my mind…the ideal family, the ideal house, the ideal friends. It pops up around the holidays the most. I tend to want the situation I’m in to be perfect. My kids smile at me warmly as they self-sufficiently finish their homework, my maid lovingly doing the laundry, while my husband gets home excited to try a new recipe he’s heard of…while I read (to better myself of course) walk with friends – who have the same wonderful families at home – down our tree covered, quiet streets that lead to a pretty stream…. Okay, so this is not reality. I have to CHOOSE not to be upset when my “ideal life” is no where close to where I am. How would I grow if life was “perfect” like that??? God wants us to be happy today, right now, with what we have. Again, living in the U.S. we are BLESSED with all we have. Today…look at your healthy family. If you have sick ones in your family, I’m sorry…enjoy that you HAVE family. Do you have a roof over your head? Enjoy it! Even if it’s mortgaged to the gills and you might loose it…enjoy it TODAY while you are still in it. Is your car broken? Enjoy the fact you have legs to walk or a wheelchair to get you where you need to be. We could go on and on. Enjoy the blessings God has put in your life TODAY.

Today I learned…to look around and be content. Right where you are.

Pruning not Punishment

 

Pruning

Let’s think about something today. Do we think what God is doing or letting happen in our lives mean He is punishing us for something? It is much easier to think that way, right? We call out to Him, Why, God? Why me? What did I do to deserve this?

If you are feeling this way, write it down. It is absolutely the best thing you can do in these circumstances. It enables us to go back during the tough times and see how God used them as times of “pruning” not of punishment. Sometimes He has to cut things in our lives way back, to the point of pain, so we can flourish in an even bigger way.

There is an exercise that I have done in that I’d LOVE for you to do at home sometime. Trace your hand…now on each of the fingers write a time in your life where it has been HARD….a time where you were so sad or alone, it was tough for you… it could be ANYTHING. Now, make lines showing how God changed you through those things. How did you grow? If you still haven’t let go of one of the hurts, why not? What is holding you back? God was with us in all those hard times, as he still is. Think of seeing life through a peep-hole in your front door. You can kind of see, but it’s not really clear. God can see the WHOLE picture…we can only see a tiny fuzzy little bit. Trust in Him EVEN THROUGH THE PRUNING.

What I learned today…This is a great exercise I need to do throughout my life as a reminder that God is with me. He is not punishing me, He is preparing me for the next leg of the journey.

Mamas with Attitude

I have enjoyed 2 meetings in the last 3 weeks with mom’s with kids in high school and with parents at a soccer meeting. Years ago, I had the privilege of leading PTA, being a room mom, soccer mom, etc… anything I could do to be a “Super Mom” when I wasn’t working. During that time, I had my share of attitude, judginess (that is now a word) etc… At one point I was so bad, I actually approached a women who looked like she’d be fun to hangout with and said, she seemed like a blast, but I could never hangout with someone who married a guy that drove around in a T-top Camaro. I. Was. Horrible.

Since I decided to give my life to Christ and truly work on becoming a follower of His not just a fan, He has been working on my heart and attitude. When I went to the first meeting, I was floored to not have 1 person welcome me with a smile. I watched has snarky comments were thrown back and forth between a couple of the moms and was FLOORED when 2 of them were HORRIBLY rude to another woman who just lost one of her children tragically. She hadn’t called them back regarding a silent auction basket. An auction basket!

WHAT?!?!?!

Second, at the soccer meeting this morning. There was a woman who consistently interrupted the coach at the day 1 parent meeting for the spring season. Every time someone would ask him a question, she would answer. He was VERY gracious each and every time. It got to the point where a couple of the parents, stopped looking over at her when she would speak because it was disrespectful.

Both times I was saddened and realized that each case there was obvious communication problems. At the high school, it was the lack of communication, heart and understanding, and at the soccer meeting it was over communication, heart and understanding.

Something I try to do in these circumstances is to try and imagine what might be on their mind to make them act this way. For example, the ladies who were so hurtful in the high school meeting, maybe they have never dealt with death. Maybe they had just found out one of them has cancer and they just can’t wrap their brains around someone else’s problem Maybe they know a million people and have no idea about the tragic loss this woman was dealing with. Maybe their identity was wrapped up in how well the auction went and they couldn’t look past it.

What about the soccer mom? What if her whole identity is in her kids activities? What if no one at home listens to her, so when she is out at meetings, it’s her time to shine?

Rather than become part of the problem by not asking questions and/or pushing in, what if we actually talked to these people? We can be bold and taking time to help in these situations. Maybe pose a question like, “I’m not sure if you had heard, she just lost her son. I can’t imagine the pain that must create and how she could even find the strength to come to a meeting”. It is a gentle reminder and gives the woman a chance to collect herself and apologize to the one in pain.

I am still working on not being judgy. It is hard. But I have to remember, it is my job to love God AND love others. I am not responsible for their actions, but for my reactions.

What I learned today…we ALL have a story. Before we judge others for their actions, we need to remember they have a story, too.

 

I Am Not Who You Think I Am

I am a perfectly ordinary women, bent on spreading Jesus in any way I can.

I am not hip. I am original. Just like you.

I am not a special “chosen” person. I am a child of God. Just like you.

I am not a well connect person. I have the same Holy Spirit Guiding me as you do.

I am not striving to be a leader. I influence those around me. Just like you.

I am not striving to be a pastor. I just want people to see the hope there is in Jesus. Just like you.

I don’t want to climb a ladder. I want to honor God where He has me. Just like you.

Last night I was invited to a Vision Night for our Women’s Ministry. As the night began, I introduced myself to others that had been invited because of their heart for women, or their status in the church. As we broke in to focus groups, it was beautiful to see how God orchestrated who I was with. During our time of discussion, you could see the hearts of each start to focus in on their calling. One woman mentioned the need for prayer half a dozen times. Another one brought up reaching ALL God’s women not just the married ones. Another, how we need to market it all well.

It was beautiful. Why?

Everyone in that circle prays, however God gave one of the women an extraordinary passion for prayer. We all believe all women should be represented, God gave one of the women a passion to reach a certain people group. We all believe we should be communicating what we have available, God gave one the passion to get the word out.

Though we all believe in each area, God truly gives us a unique passion for different areas. That is why we A) Need to be confident in who He made US to be and B) Honor and listen to each other. When we do that we are allowing the WHOLE Body of Christ to work in the way they were fashioned to work. Just because one of the women was intent on making prayer a focus, that doesn’t mean the rest thought prayer was useless. Does that make sense?

We have the heart for Jesus. What we need to acknowledge as that each heart beats in a different way. When we acknowledge it, and work as a team, we are a POWERFUL force!

Can you imagine, if we allowed everyone around us to use their God given gifts in the way they were made to be used??? SO EXCITING!

Read 1 Corinthians 12:4-7

Who do you have around you? As a leader, you should have people around you who are strong in all the areas you are challenged. A baseball team would be useless if all they had only pitchers or only catchers. Each position is needed to make a winning team.

Read all of Romans 12  Here is a taste of Romans 12: 3- 8

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with youra faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,b do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

What I learned today…I am NOT who you think I am. I am who God says I am. I don’t need to worry about labels, good or bad. I need to remember the best label is a Child of the Most High, Daughter of the King.

OWN WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST! YOU ARE NEEDED, YOU ARE VALUED AND NO ONE IS ABOVE OR BELOW YOU IN THE EYES OF JESUS. HE WAS SENT FOR YOU, SO YOU COULD HAVE ETERNAL LIFE!!

 

 

Authentic

In our staff meeting today, we talked about authenticity. It was phenomenal. I loved when it opened because our pastor acknowledged that this generation, is calling for authenticity in it’s leaders…JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER GENERATION! Throughout time, people have yearned for authenticity, it’s nothing new.

We all have something in us that craves to be noticed, because it is only God that can truly fill that need, yet we don’t go to Him to fill it. When we aren’t getting that need filled, we have a hard time being authentic, as ….

We are worried of being exposed as different and broken.

We worry that we will be rejected once people see the real us, beneath the mask.

We worry that we will be hurt by those we let in.

What we need to do is remember who we are in CHRIST. Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

He calls us His masterpiece! I know I sure don’t feel like a masterpiece 99.9% of the time. (Okay, being authentic, maybe 98% of the time.) But, it also says, he created us anew in Christ Jesus. I can believe as a new creation of Christ’s I would be a masterpiece. I can believe if God planned me to be HIS masterpiece so I could do good things He planned for me long ago then I am.

The more I believe and feel confident in the way HE made me, and continues to develop me, the more authentic I can be. The more secure I feel with my relationship with HIM, the more confident I can be with others. If I do well, it’s because He is leading me to. If I fail, it’s because He wants me to learn something and I know He’ll “have my back”.

During this meeting, I was asked a question regarding how many people attended our class this weekend. Embarrassingly, I blurted out, that it was attended better than one of the other classes.

** Now, to give a history behind this comment – When I was hired I was told that the first class always had a huge attendance. 3/4 of that class would move on to class 2 and 1/2 of that would move on to class 3…with 1/2 of THAT moving on to class 4!  Being quite competitive in nature, I said, “We will change that”. AND, since changing the class 3 up a bit, we have BEAT class 2 in attendance 4 times!!!! Not only that, but we are having even higher numbers in class 4!! **

Okay, back to it.

As I blurted out that our class was better attended than class 2, I heard a couple people say that it was prideful to say such a thing…and a couple people say, I was being authentic.

If you don’t really know me,  you think pride. If you do know me, you think excitement and are reminded of my competitive nature.

I am comfortable in how God made me, 75% of the time. I am working on raising that number. I know that I know, all of our classes are absolutely remarkable and I think everyone in the world should go through them. It would be dreamy to be allowed to be able to steward and teach each one because I believe in the power of spiritual steps! I get so very excited of the thought of people growing in their confidence of who God is and who He made them to be, I can’t help but want everyone to feel it!!

A HUGE point that I learned today regarding authenticity was that when we feel very devoted to something, and things aren’t moving in the direction we feel they should, even if it’s a good direction, God is still at work. Sometimes we need to feel the hurt and learn and grow from it…and sometimes others need to go through the hurt so they can grow and learn from it. God is at work regardless.

What I learned today…Truly trust God, when things are running smoothly and when things get wonky. His work is being done through it all. Hang on and keep your eyes open to what He is saying to you through all situations. And be authentic with what you are learning and what you might have missed along the way.

What About Me??

So the BEST day of the month for me is when our church has a class called 301. It falls under the umbrella of the team I am on, and I have been beyond blessed to have been allowed to teach it for the last 3 years.

Why do I love this class so much? Because it goes through the process of showing people 2 things.

1 – How beautifully and specifically God made you for a purpose.

2 – How intentionally and specifically God made those people you don’t really like for a purpose too.

There is WAY more to it than that, but those are the 2 things that I can say are huge within the class.

The class has been laid out so testimonies can be shared, and everyone can dig in to what their Spiritual Gifts – Holy Spirit given, Heart – what do you LOVE, Abilities – what can you do, Personality – shy, extrovert, bossy, empathetic, etc… and Experiences. Throughout the class we walk everyone through each step as they dive into a personal inventory of who they are through Christ. In the end showing them they are God’s army on earth. When they are mobilized into the ministry God built them for, they are blessed beyond their imagination! When they are in the right ministry they are fruitful and fulfilled and it helps GROW THE KINGDOM which is the whole reason we do what we do!

Anyway, we have had anywhere between 2 and 5 teachers teaching it. Because I love it so very much, I REALLY like when there are only 2 of us as that means I get to teach more. (Seriously…and selfishly). Generally I will be teaching the majority of the time.

Not that I’m the best at it, I just REALLY love walking people through the process, and watching their eyes light up when they realize that though people called them a cry-baby as a kid, GOD made them have a big heart that feels deeply! That is OKAY and it can be used to help others! (There is so much more, but I’ll save that for another time).

Generally the week before the class, I pray for God to help me with who will be teaching and what they will teach. The easy given, is my new boss will always be teaching, so he’ll take a chunk…and then I prayed…and prayed…and God led me to having another pastor AND another person from our team teach. WHAT??? That means less for M E.

So, I listened and broke the 4 hour class up between the 4 of us. As I prayed over which section…God changed MY plan. I ended up with 3 smaller parts. Again, WHAT?! Doesn’t He know how much I love to teach this class?!?!?!

I was faithful and separated the class the way I felt He was leading me. To be honest, the whole way driving up to class I was praying He’d change His mind, so I could change the teaching schedule to have me talk more…but nope.

What happened, was when I arrived, I said hello to our amazing team of volunteers and fellow staff members, had a gal from our team pray for me… it was WONDERFUL.

Until, God asked me to give away ANOTHER section! Are you kidding me?!?!?! Why was I even there?!?  Sigh, so I did. Even though I didn’t want to, I did.

Remarkably the other teacher from our team came up to me and said, “You know…the whole way to class today I was praying about how I really love to teach this class, but I am so thankful for the other areas God lets me teach, so I told Him I was coming in “palms up” for whatever He had for me.”

Isn’t that beautiful. God heard her prayer! Though I wanted to do so much more, I had to listen to the Holy Spirit and change my plans. I didn’t need to understand why, I just needed to listen and follow directions.

In the end, I was able to see that it was an answer to someone else’s prayer!

Are you able to hear God? If not, I would suggest listening a bit differently.

1 – Go to church…for the WHOLE service. From hello and first song straight through the prayer, last song and goodbye. It’s a WHOLE experience.

2 – Read your Bible. He will talk to you A LOT there. It just takes a bit of practice and prayer.

3 – Serve Him by volunteering somewhere in your church. “Iron sharpens iron”. Prov 27:17

4 – Listen to the Godly people around you. Sometimes He can use others to direct us.

It is worth it. Pray and then listen.The class eneded up going well and I can say I was able to follow God’s direction. Do I always? No, because it is hard and I am human. But I do my best.

What I learned today…Though I don’t always get what I want or understand why things happen, I am so thankful God directs me in such strong ways. Though I really felt the loss of teaching more, I am so thankful a prayer was answered for another teacher. And in it all God still worked! I love my job!!!

 

Women? Yuck. Part 2

Okay, so there is (soon to be was) a traveling conference called Women of Faith. It’s a group of highly gifted women preaching to thousands and thousands of other women around the country. Think of a GINORMOUS Pep Rally for the ladies.

My mentor invited me to one a couple years ago and I was VERY nervous…as that is a LOT of women. She was invited to pray with and for the speakers before they went on stage so it gave me some time to hangout with some of the other ladies.

After the event, I was invited to go back with all the speakers. As I talked with God as I walked, I remembered all the stars and politicians He had put throughout my life and asked that He guide me to let this moment be about my mentor. I was able to get some great pictures of them and ended up taking one with myself in it as well.

Soon after my leader told me the speakers would all be coming to have a live web event filmed on our church campus. They would be having lunch off location and she wanted me to come.

Wellllll…I didn’t hear anything all the way up until the day of the event. I was discouraged and feeling left out. As I went up to the Main Worship area where the event was going to be held, I was once again yelling at God. WHY did He have me in this ministry any way? I obviously was needed, liked, or LIKE any of them. What did He want from me?!

I prayed this as I stood by the side door of the center by myself. All of the sudden the door opened and the whole group of ladies walked in, obviously all coming from lunch. I received “quaint”, “Hi, Sweeties” as they all came in and walked by. The speakers…and ALL the other leaders. I wanted to hurl as they walked in to the green room and once again left me alone with God. I internally flipped out on Him, again. WHY did He have me there?!?!?! I wasn’t like them!!!

After a few moments of me stewing and yelling and yelling and stewing, the ministry leader walked out with a study leader and asked her to pray over the worship center, and find others that could do the same. She needed me to bring the speakers water. The study leader, said she could take care of the water if I wanted to pray. **That sounded GREAT to me! I was already praying and didn’t need to be given a “token” job.**

The ministry leader, in her wisdom, said she’d rather have me back with the speakers. So she and I walked back, grabbed water and delivered them to a room that housed the speakers. Right outside the room their was a couch where I was asked to hangout in case anything was needed.

As I sat there, in a slouched position, I asked God AGAIN, WHY ME?? Half listening to the people behind, I looked over and saw a Bible sitting on the table. When I reached over to grab it and put it on my lap, I blindly opened it and started reading…

Jeremiah’s Complaint

12 You are always righteous, Lord,
    when I bring a case before you.
Yet I would speak with you about your justice:
    Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
    Why do all the faithless live at ease?
You have planted them, and they have taken root;
    they grow and bear fruit.
You are always on their lips
    but far from their hearts.

I started talking to God again…

What?!?! That is awesome!!! You put that in here for me! I do believe you are on all these ministry women’s lips but not in their hearts! WOW! I can’t believe you put this in here!!! They do bear fruit, they do live in ease and prosper! Why, Lord, why!!!

And then I kept reading….

Yet you know me, Lord;
    you see me and test my thoughts about you.

I started talking to God again…

UGH. What. Stop the presses. Double Ugh. Wow. I suck.

I am so very sorry God. What an ugly heart I have. I apologizing for ever thinking anything negative about your servants. About your daughters who give so much to you. I don’t know their hearts, I don’t know what they are going through. I am so sorry for not seeing them as your kids that need love and direction, too.

Please Lord, test my heart and redirect me when I get ugly thoughts. I know they are not of You. Please remind me, every time I start to judge someone else, to pray for that person instead. Please help me constantly look within anytime I feel like pointing a finger and see that my job is to work on ME and MY challenges, not worry about others.

I am sorry.

As I finished, I knew God had changed my heart. After some time, I shared this story with the ministry leader, my mentor. She asked me to not give up explaining that every time someone walks in to a ministry and decides there is no one like them…they should STAY to encourage others LIKE THEM to join. Otherwise the group in the room would never change. We want to make sure we are representing the WHOLE body of Christ in every ministry, not segregating because we don’t feel we fit in.

She was/is brilliant and a gift.

What I learned today…to keep remembering these stories so I stay on track. Remember, we are all unique, and we need to all be represent throughout the church…so it can continue growing with OC Housewives and the not so glamorous. It doesn’t matter how we see ourselves…what matters is we belong to God’s family regardless of what culture and society tell us. It’s our job to be the best “ME” we can be so that we can represent all of His family better.