Monthly Archives: January 2012

Who Wants To Carpool Kids To Scout Camp With Me?

Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Came across this quote the other day & it struck a cord. This adorable lady above is the one who said it.
It makes me want to carpool some kids to scout camp. I thought I would pass it on to you.

“I don’t want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car,
wearing beautifully tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and 
with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a 
station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout
camp. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from 
making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children. I want to be there
with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone’s garden.
I want to be there with children’s sticky kisses on my cheeks and 
the tears of a friend on my shoulder
I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.”
Me too, Marjorie. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.

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I Am OH SO Wrong

I have been wrong about a lot of things. Really. I think we all have our creative bend. I have been very wrong several times about what my being creative looks like. Mine is perhaps hidden a bit deeper than others… In the journey of discovering where I am creatively gifted I have had many strike outs!  Here are some of my biggest ‘wrong’ creative moments.
  • Painting my bedroom in college bright blue. It was like living inside a goldfish bowl. 
  • I got inspired one day on a whim. Grabbed whatever random paints were in the house & went outside to paint. Unable to find any blank paper, I grabbed my blow dryer. I painted the entire thing, even the cord. It still worked, but everywhere I went I had to explain the my strange creation.
  • When I was 12 I was living in Siberia. I just knew that deep down inside there was a fantastically choreographed dancer. So I took Russian folk dancing lessons. ‘Cause that’s real cool when you are 12. 
  • Having always had a flair for the dramatic, I realized that I should give the theater a go. My high school was doing a production of Oklahoma. I tried out. I was in the chorus. In one song. That didn’t go far.
I am not a painter, not a dancer, not an actor…Maybe I need to get more creative? Maybe I should get real creative & pretend I am an athlete. I finally got up the nerve to try running. It felt kinda good for a bit. This picture pretty much sums up that phase.
Now that I am in my 30s, I realize that ‘creative’ is a broad word. It doesn’t have to mean a skill or something you would see on a Pinterest board.  Being truly creative is a mindset. An attitude. Seeing the world differently than others. Inventing and imagining. Thinking of an issue in a different way. 
We are all creative. Maybe not in the obvious ways. We just have to get over our fear of being wrong. Picking the wrong color. Choosing the wrong word. Running the wrong direction. What ever you are afraid of, get over it.
Get creative. Get inventive. Get imaginative. 

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Nobody Ever Made A Greater Mistake…

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do little.”
            -Edmund Burke

You are greater than you think. Your life can make a difference. 
I gasp when I see landfills, but don’t stop to pick up the straw wrapper that flew out of my window when I opened my car door. What difference does 8 inches of paper make? I am quick to count myself out based on the minimal impact I feel I can have.
 I was thinking about the issue of slavery- which has become a daily task for me.  What can I possibly do? Sure, I could throw myself in front of the moving train of trafficking, but it would just run me over. They wouldn’t even feel the bump. I’m too small. There are 27 million slaves in the world today. Staggering problems, small person.
Then I think about the child working in tobacco fields in Argentina. Or the woman being trafficked in Florida, and the 14 year old boy who is forced to kill as a child soldier in the heart of Africa. How lonely they must feel. Sitting up at night realizing that they are just a shadow of a human to those surrounding them. It must be eerie when that moment hits. That moment you realize you might be forgotten. Invisible.  Hidden forever. 
I bet it matters to them. I bet they care that I extended my voice and shared. That I told a neighbor about these people who are invisible. I bet the 12 year old girl in Haiti who is forced to clean houses for no pay would have a glimmer of hope if she new someone remembered she was there & prayed for her.
Then I realized that it matters. It matters to them. To those who feel buried alive, it matters that I dug an inch…even if they are feet deep. Perhaps if we all dig an inch…
Our inability to act based on our feeling inferior to the problem is backwards. Don’t forget these powerful words that were spoken with you in mind…
“…greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4
There are giants in our generation. But, the precedent has been made…the people of God can slay giants. And here you are today. Reading words but doubting their implications for you. Don’t doubt. You are greater than you think. You carry Greatness within you. 

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I Want To Make It Magical

I Want To Make It Magical.

I want to paint in red. Flinging bold expressions of myself & leaving scarlet markings along the way. I want to get lost on a motorcycle somewhere in Italy – stopping only for picnics of pizza and every other form of carbs. I want to speak before Congress. I want life to be memorable.
I want to sit by fires at friends’ houses watching the time pass. Sharing tender moments with the people I love. Hearing stories of pain, loss, victory and anticipation. I want to be a contributor in a conversation that is life changing. I want my friends to borrow my clothes. I want to invite you over for dinner…even though we have most likely never met. I want to be family.
I want to walk the wrong way on the sidewalk while talking inappropriately loud on my cell phone. Read a book on a bus – round, round and around all day until I finish. I want to watch YouTube videos in my kitchen and laugh so hard no sound comes out. I want to wear false eyelashes for no apparent reason. Yelling in the library and going for a stroll in the rain – I want to make a scene. I want to be free.
I want to write because I have things to say, not because I want to be read. I want to love my husband so hard that people are inspired to risk on love again. I want to pick the ‘last-kid-picked-in-dodgeball’ first. I want to talk to God about hard things without demanding He give me the answers. I want to fill each crevice of each day with memories. I want to live – really live.


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There Are Two Of Me

Hello 4th Grade Elizabeth. Not my favorite portrait of me, but I embrace it anyway.

There are two of me. One is Too Much and one is Not Enough. No, I am not having mental health issues with a sudden onset of personality disorders. I think what I feel sometimes is what most of us feel from time to time.

One of me is Too Much. Way to much. I am overbearing. I get pushy and demanding. This type A kicks into overdrive and scares people. I leave meetings thinking of all the people I cut off, all of my opinions I shoved down people’s throats, and stayed an irritatingly intense level all day. I really don’t like Too Much me. I lay in bed thinking of all the ways Too Much Elizabeth freaked people out. I feel the lie roll into my head telling me that no one can handle me or wants me around. I am simply, too much.

Then there is Not Enough Elizabeth. I sit silently in a conversation listening without giving any input. I don’t say what comes into my head. If I do offer a thought it is with an awkward apology or a note of insecurity. I don’t get in the game or even the sidelines. I sit in the nose bleed section. When I lay in bed I think of all the things I never said, all the ideas I kept inside and the generally boring vibe I gave off.  I feel this lie creeping in that no one sees value in me. I am simply, not enough.

It drives me nuts. I feel torn between these two broken versions of myself – one crippled with pride, the other crippled with insecurity. I swing back and forth hoping to land in the middle, but missing it more days than I would like.

Some of you swing back & forth between anger & passivity, being an dictator & not leading at all, full of vision & lacking any focus, disciplined & easily swayed. Maybe you go between being completely unfeeling and having emotions that could win an Oscar. We all have our ‘too much’ and ‘too little’.

I can think of funny examples that are entertaining on paper, but truth of the matter is it feels crippling. Frustration builds and I just feel stuck. Thankfully Paul felt the same way. See if his emotion rings a bell with you.

“I do not understand what I do. (umm. hello. me all the time.) For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do….For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out…”
 – Romans 7:15-18

Paul, buddy…I feel you on this one. What is wrong with us??? Why do I give myself a pep talk to go into a party and be normal & then suddenly turn awkward? Ugh. 
I know that God has made a way for me to walk in the true identity of who I am. Not pulled between extremes of personality, gifting and communication. He didn’t make Too Much Elizabeth or Not Enough Elizabeth. He just made Elizabeth. Fearfully & Wonderfully made Elizabeth. 
You are fearfully & wonderfully made too. Read Psalm 139:14 if you don’t believe me. The things that embarrass you about yourself, the weaknesses you can’t seem to overcome & the strange personality bumps you seem to hit.
How do we get to that Fearfully & Wonderfully made version of ourselves? At the end of Romans 7 it says:
“Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Christ Jesus our Lord!”
Despite our extremes and imbalances, Jesus makes a way. Instead of reacting in self-hatred for doing what we don’t want to do, we run to Jesus. We listen to His voice, we rest in His presence & we allow Him to complete His work in us. He makes all things new. 
Too Much Elizabeth and Not Enough Elizabeth melt away and Elizabeth comes to the surface. A daughter of a King. Confident in her making. 
Stop trying to auto-correct yourself. Sit in His presence. Hear your identity spoken by a thundering voice that stills the waters. He makes all things new. He makes you new. 


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‘Hip’ Church vs. Simple Church – don’t judge please

I read an article today from a lady who was criticizing ‘hip’ and ‘trendy’ churches. Calling the worship a show, describing the people as ‘cool’, and suggesting that the churches that use apps are more concerned with marketing than really loving people.

I don’t know the lady who wrote it or what her experiences are, but it really bothered me. Most things don’t get under my skin, but this did. Probably because I hear/read things like this regularly. Sometimes both ‘simple’ and ‘hip’ churches can be more concerned with how they appear than who they are & that’s a bummer. But, mostly, I think everyone is trying to love Jesus the best they know how.

Here is the truth. Some people like traditional worship, liturgy, technology, acoustic worship, light flashing during worship, stage design and various sizes of groups. Some feel comfortable when the pastor wears a robe & others connect with a pastor wearing jeans and a t-shirt. What seems sincere to you may not seem sincere to me, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t.

If a church doesn’t have an app it doesn’t necessarily indicate that they are out of touch with culture, they just don’t want technology to complicate things. Churches that do have an app aren’t trying to be ‘cool’, I mean Clorox cleaning products have an app…its just the way the world is communicating.

One group of people love ‘simple’ services with minimal lighting & design. I get it. They connect with God in a place that feels very intimate to them in that way. Other churches have a bit more production involved in their services. But before you judge lighting & sound, I suggest you read a bit from Revelation 4. Heaven has some bling.

Both are fine. Cool people don’t go to one an uncool people to another. One group is not more effective at loving people than another & I guarantee that God attends both.

So, please be careful when you listen to people criticize a church or a style. Don’t bash one way of doing things just because it isn’t your preference. Lets be the Church. One that is beautiful, diverse, accepting and attractive to the world around us.

I think the Church should do a world-wide Bible study on the tongue from James. Imagine if we gave our voices to sharing Jesus rather than bashing the church.

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
-John 13:35
We need each other. Tattoos, robes, lights, King James Versions, democrats,  republicans, acoustic guitars and drum circles…The world needs us all. God uses us all. 


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