Monday, August 29, 2011


Welcome back!!
I’ve missed sharing more with you last week. It was a GREAT week, full of newness.
I was busy planning, shaping and executing.
It was a busy week, and an even busier week-end. But oh-so-worth-it.

My Monday thanks:
•The beginning of a season of learning to want what has been given
•Out-of-town trips in yellow school buses
•Left-over socks littering, literally left over here and there
•Youth and young adults unashamedly encouraging, inspiring, approaching, seeking
•Honest life stories that peel the layers of pretense off.
•Declaring that I’m the BEST.
•Don’t worry, so are you. You’re the best at being you!
I couldn’t do you the way you do you.
•Hearing with the ears of the heart. Seeing with HIS perspective. Hearing the deeper questions of the soul that are hidden between the angry, blistering words.
•Choosing love, the hard love. The love that hurts to give.
But that is the very thing needed to muscle hearts; the only offering required.
•Telling her she has value. That I value her.
It was one of the kindest yet hardest of things.
•The voluntary turn of the other cheek, to offer mercy. Undeserved mercy.
But is that not the only way of mercy?

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood” – Ephesians 6:12

•The heavy eyes telling a tale of rest and restoration to the rest of the body
•Getting backpacks ready for back to school
•The bittersweet promise of grade one. Less time to play, but so much to discover
•Tight good night hugs
•Blessings given over e-mail. Thank you
•Broken homes and families within the reach of redemption. It's never too late
•Thinking, really thinking of what is needed to make the world a better place
•The intentional plucking from the very best of me to give something of worth. After all, how can one learn unless showed?
•Home-made cake & clean kitchens

What are your Monday thanks?

Monday, August 22, 2011


This week, Monday came way too fast.
The alarm was happily ringing as if to spite me out of sleep.
The day started on a slow pace; grumpiness
consistently at my heel ready to wreak havoc.
I flirted with the idea of not writing my thanks today.
But isn’t that the first step towards locking the heart in a bitter cage?

Today, I am intentionally thankful for:
•Moments like this
•A week-end spent building bridges
•Taking beliefs out of the box to wear them as convictions.
•Backing my words up with actions.
•Big and small surprises coming our way
•The weak courageously facing a week screaming uncertainty and instability, because all things are indeed possible
•Paths running straight & crooked, leading us in different directions
•Quick meetings in train stations
•Randomly running into friends and savoring time spent reconnecting
•The things that do not come easy
•Ironing - one of my favorite chores, by the way.
(I know you don’t get it, but it’s ok.)
•Heated debates over how to properly pronounce the word “iron”
•Growing up inside; the insides growing stronger really
•Learning from my mothers, the women that went before me. The ones that lived well, not perfect.
•Friends choosing the best for each other
•Learning that I am third, that others come second, and He is first
•Him, the hero of my story; His story
•The freedom to admit that “Yes, I am a mess. A huge one.” But the beauty is that He isn’t, & I am in Him.
•Guarding my heart

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
~ Proverbs 4:23

How are you giving thanks, guarding your heart today?

Friday, August 19, 2011


n e w
I spell it out shyly, hesitantly
Is it really true?
How can it even be?
Surely, it's not for me?
Don't you see the mess & decay?
What about the stench?
Don't you hear the foul, sword-sharp words?
They're LOUD. They break; things, you, me.
No, you say.

new. New. nEW. NEw. neW. NeW. nEw
new YOU. NEW you. nEw YoU. NeW yOu
yes. Yes, it's true. It's true for me. It's true for you.
Whoever you are, wherever you are. You are new.
That is your new name.
Let me say it again. “You are new”
I can say it out loud because I know it's true, in spite of me.
I know that every day is is FREEDOM DAY.
Days to declare my new identity that is settled, sure and secured.
Days to wear my new identity like an armor, because I am a warrior princess
Days to proclaim liberty to the captive and whisper in your ear that you are new.
You ARE.
You are new because you can let go of the hurts, the fears
the doubts and the shame.
You can take your troubles to His very heart & open the door for him to break
Bre-ak to uproot, & transform.
Transform to make new. The new you. The REAL you. Remade
The broken made beautiful

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Grateful

Welcome to a new week!

To start it off right, let’s take time to choose & count joy.
Counting joy doesn’t come naturally, I know.
Instead, our default is to grumble grumble GRUMBLE
like the Israelites.
Be thankful? For what?
Be grateful because that is how we hold on to truth.
Truth: Only good comes from his hand; even that thing you think is bad
It’s a lesson I’ve had to tightly hold on too; especially this year
I keep forgetting. Do you remember? I need reminders. Daily reminders.
The simple, complex, easy and hard moments we choose to be thankful result in our awakening to God’s intimate touch in our daily living.

So, this soggy gray-ish day, I’m thankful for:
-Mornings even though I wouldn’t be described as a “morning person”
-Life’s pesky things that reveal the ugly parts of me I try hard to hide
-Daily trials (the stuff that drive you & I crazy) because through them God consistently seeks to create perseverance, then character, then hope. Then, better you and me.
-A missed express bus that results in a short drive and time to listen
-Hot red shoes like Dorothy’s
-Wishing happy belated; you’re never forgotten
-Budding pink rose boldly opening itself up to the world; true beauty
-Piled emails
-Cocoa butter hand lotion ‘cuz I wash my hands a lot
-Being present in each other’s lives; just being there
-Courageous people that spill their hearts out for others to grow strong
-International calls
-Unexpected opportunities masked as hard work
-Answers to come for the people of Somalia; for Mama Africa as a whole
-People that fearlessly accept to become world-changers.
(The fear is always there but it is simply silenced)
-Strong legs that work hard so that weak hands can eat

What joys can you count this Monday?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Five Minute Friday: BEAUTY

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14.

Today, I accept TheGypsyMama’s 5-minute Friday dare: yet a new tradition here on this blog
BEAUTY is the topic
Today, I forgot to remind myself that my identity is rooted in beauty.
I forgot to begin the day centered. I only saw the flaws in the mirror; the lies.
The irony is that as a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant, my business is centered on making each woman that crosses my path see and believe that she is beautiful.
But does beauty come from makeup, hair accessories, the latest fashion – outside adornments?
Or is beauty hidden in plain sight?
Is beauty church-gals catching up over coffee and laughing hysterically over the re-counting of scary experiences? Is it in the discovery of each other?
Is it the various shades of green found in nature & the bright hot sun?
Is it in the joy of a little girl who is happy to be picked up?
Is it in sampling letting go and being; being myself and living the life I am given now.

Beauty is here. Beauty is a choice to see what has already been there with new eyes.
See that you are beautiful. Just as, I am. Just as HE is, really.

How do you make your world more beautiful, simply by being you?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What do you mean I can’t have it all?

Welcome back on the journey towards becoming better leaders.
This week I learned about priorities. If you’re like me, you’re thinking “prio-what?”

PRIORITIES: working smarter, organizing, choosing, planning, 1st best, effectiveness

As I was reading John C. Maxwell’s words of research and wisdom, I realized that I have too many “must-do’s” that become “would-do’s” and “didn’t do”.
I have a hard time choosing the most important tasks and goals.
This results in me not accomplishing half of them: paralysis.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE organizing, making to-do lists & planning things
It’s the most important part I dread; the action.
I spend a lot of my time doing the easy prep work instead of doing IT
The slaying of dragon-fears, the scaling of mountains, the taking of first and next step.

Too much time is spent doing things right instead of doing the right things; there is a difference. One simply gets things done; the other is the foundation of success.

“The petty and the mundane steal much of our time” ~ John C. Maxwell

The expert also says that “leaders know how to get what they ought to want”
Now, that takes skills!
How do I know how to get it when I don’t even know what I want?
I don’t know what I want because I don’t know what to overlook.
Things that can be overlooked: those things that do not improve the Nancy brand.

As future world changers, we must take the first step towards achievement.
That is figuring out what we want. What do I want? What do you want?

I want a world where you and I share our resources, where strong feet work hard so that the little hands can benefit; as my Father meant it.

Once what we want is clear, it becomes about
prioritizing: refusing the good in favour of the best.
We can’t have it all.

I don’t want to learn too late what is really important. As an unknown author put it, “an infant is born with a clenched fist; a man dies with an open hand. Life has a way of prying free the things we think are so important”

What aren’t you willing to give up, if you can’t have everything?

Monday, August 8, 2011


Hey you!
Here I am. Sitting down on a hardwood chair listening to world music
Here I am contemplating & reflecting – reflecting on a day half gone but not wasted
Here I am choosing to have an attitude of gratitude.
Today, I’m thankful for:
-Unexpected early risings that are really veiled blessings
-More time to get ready physically & spiritual: to nurture & be anchored
-Morning high fives that chase away grumpy moods
-Love that stands firms forever (yeah, it’s f’real!)
I know. I need to remind myself of this every day.
My bucket constantly needs re-filling
-Faithfulness established in heaven itself.
He is a credible Father full of integrity
-“Good mornings” & the sharing of wild weekend adventures
-Coming to my desk to find a lunch-style brown bag surprise.
(I thought it was a muffin)
-Just bunches cereal (yum!)
-Difficult relationships smoothed over and made easy through perseverance
-Tackling the hardest tasks first; facing the giants to find that its’ only mirage
-Silencing procrastination (Yes, right now.)
-The happy laughter & chatter of co-workers
-Discovering that sometimes professed
enemies & frenemies are but a figment of the imagination.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope & love. But the greatest of these is love.” -1Corinthians 13:13

-Mastering high heels & punctuality (I know I make it sound easy)
-Being trusted to plant-seat

Jump in! What are you grateful for today?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday Grateful

A new tradition is starting on the blog
Mondays will be devoted to express gratitude: for the easy & complicated
So here it goes
I’m thankful for:
-Dreams remembered with an insistent déjà-vue feeling
-Bright shining warm light
-A new day, a new month, a new life season
-My morning devotional. Taking time to open my well-worn Bible
-Mondays that bre-ak the office routine
-Living simple. Simply being. Or at least learning to be present now.
-Intentionally taking time to nurture, even the ones with thorns
-Cooking up a storm, just because
-Traditional foods like oxtail (trust me it’s real good!)
-Time outs to talk with sisters about everything and nothing
-Trial and error. I didn’t appreciate the concept quite as much in my chemistry days!
- Festivals celebrating heritage & elephant ears
-Teenage boys wanting to become men…such bravardo
-Little girls learning to be daring...yes, you can
-Coral Rose lipstick because it’s pink & girly
-Friends that are there for each other; especially in the messy times
-Grace wrapped in its mysteries
-You. Just for being special you. I mean it!

Your turn! What are you thankful for this Monday?