The Post About Learning to Teach, Lead and Speak

Marty was the youth minister at my church when I was a teen. He was kind and funny and invested his life in a group of rural kids who needed to understand how God could transform their lives.

He also taught us how to sell "toilet paper insurance" to raise money for missions. Families bought the policy and then we cleaned up their yard if it was TP'd at Halloween. If they didn't buy the policy, we rolled their yard.

Praise God.

In this group was a guy a few years older than me who we'll call Sam. Sam was confident, charismatic, and so very smart about the Bible.

Marty believed in growing up leaders within our group. Each year, he took extra time and resources to pour into a smaller group of students. This group would then lead small groups and teach other kids at retreats. It was no surprise he picked Sam, but it was a HUGE surprise he picked me.

As a young woman who had grown up in a fairly conservative Baptist church, the idea women could teach peers, much less lead groups was foreign to me. Being a part of this leadership group was exciting and empowering. 

Until it was time to take theory into practice.

As we prepped to go out and do and make disciples and pour into our own groups of people, Sam spoke up. 

He didn't think girls should be teaching. Or leading. Or even speaking in front of a crowd. 

The excitement and empowerment was exchanged for frustration and hurt.

Thankfully, Sam's wasn't the voice that lingered over me that day. Marty was speaking truth into our group. Truth for girls and for boys.

He talked about how leadership isn't determined by one's sex, but by one's capacity to do the job. God will send anyone who is obedient and prepared. Marty referenced women in scripture like Deborah, Esther, Miriam, Mary, Anna, and Phoebe. They weren't on the sidelines, but they were used powerfully by God to lead, to teach, and to speak.

Sam passionately disagreed. He said this should be a deal breaker.

I taught my first small group just a few days later. I've not stopped speaking since.

Who has been a Marty in your life?


The Post About My 2014 Annual Report

2014 was weird and wonky and wonderful.

It was 12 months without a regular full-time job and discovering God can be trusted in word and in deed.

It was 52 weeks filled with road trips and coffee shops and new friends and learning you can still eat out at fun restaurants if you stop eating out at crappy ones.

It was 365 days of laughter and gritting my teeth and discipline and understanding the beauty of the unplanned.

It was a year of sabbath for a very weary heart.

This is a little recap and celebration of chasing rabbits again in 2015.

2015 will be different. Not because I have concrete plans, but because I don't.

Let's wander through this year together.

Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest / Top Secret Rabbits


The Post About Instagram Commentary

Here are a few additional thoughts on some Instagram photos I recently posted. 

Sometimes, I make amazing choices that benefit my health. Sometimes, I make amazing choices that benefit my mental health.

As I checked out with these four items in tow, the cashier said "You must have had a hard day. But you're about to have a great night."

Tru dat.

What's your go-to comfort purchase?

This is my friend Hannah and her brand new daughter, Adelaide. A is one month old and weighs FOURTEEN POUNDS. Can I tell you something? All babies are beautiful, BUT fat babies win the prize. Having recently eaten with three new moms, I've noticed how anxious they can get in public. The potential for screaming and pooping and drooling is high which is rare in a restaurant (unless the joint serves happy hour wings.)

These parents apologized because their babies whimpered or slept or didn't sleep or needed feeding. One even said "I'm sorry he wasn't more entertaining." I want to publicly ask for forgiveness if I ever made a mothering friend feel nervous about how their baby may perform. This isn't a soundstage on a studio lot, it's Chick-Fil-A. Your kid can cry.

Are you an anxious mom? Are you someone who makes a mom anxious?

Do you have a Jimmy John's where you live? There are more than 2,000 so let's pretend you do. They sell "day-old" bread for $0.50 every day. The best part is they consider "day-old" to be anything older than four hours. Hence this delicious cinnamon french toast. JJ's even has a Pinterest board full of recipes for this slightly aged masterpiece.

What's your favorite fast food restaurant?

My bathroom just got shiny new tile floors and a gorgeous new commode. Can I tell you how much I love that toilet? With its elongated bowl and water efficiency. Adulthood. However, the color of the tile was more beige and less gray than I expected so painting the walls seemed necessary. I prepped the room, taped the trim, set down drop cloths, picked out a cute paint shirt and got to work. That lasted 20 minutes. I'm 5'2"-ish. I can't.

Thankfully, Katherine from Grass Stains offered to paint the room in exchange for cake pops.

What would you do for me in exchange for cake pops?

{images: Jamie}


The Post About Why The Internet is Not The Worst

I took the summer off from blogging. Now I'm back.

Enough about that.

Often, the Internet can be a pot to boil all of our bitter and our furrowed brows and the steam that rises is SO DRAMATIC.

However, the Internet can be better than that. Learning and sharing and connecting.

The Internet is where I learned:

**cloud pics

The Internet is where I shared:

  • The best part of the recent Emmy Awards ceremony.
  • Bill Cosby's response to Victoria Osteen's comments about God's greatest goal for us.
  • Ann Voskamp's eloquent words about what the church should about suicide and depression.
  • A goat who may or may not be me in the first grade.

The Internet is where I connected to:
Just a sample of folks, like you, whom I adore.

What has the Internet done for you lately?
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