Cake Pops

If you haven’t met Bob Goff or heard him speak yet, do yourself a favor and get him on your 2016 calendar. He will inspire you to love extravagantly and to send more cake pops! He is full of energy and life and spends his professional days as an author, a lawyer and a professor at Pepperdine Law School. He is an amazing Humanitarian spreading love through Uganda and worldwide through Restore International.

A friend sent me Bob’s bestseller Love Does and it was sitting on our family coffee table at the exact moment that my friend, Lain, came over and invited me to go to Storyline, where Bob would be speaking. I call it nothing short of divine intervention and who am I to mess with that!

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Yesterday I had one of those Sunday mornings when I really didn’t feel like going to church.

It was one of those Sunday mornings when it felt right that our entire family was home in our pajamas relaxing after coming off a week’s cruise vacation with extended family.

It was one of those Sundays that I would normally be okay staying put.

Something in me really wanted us to all go though.

I threw myself together quickly, knowing I should’ve washed my hair, repainted my chipped up nails and chosen an outfit that I felt better in. Not feeling like myself, I was happy that we were even making the effort to get to church and not getting caught up in our comfortability.

Today was the day I was supposed to get baptized.

This summer I told my family that I wanted to be baptized this exact weekend in November. I was planning to throw a party with good food, yummy drinks and connective fellowship. I wanted to thank all those who have inspired my Christian journey.

As it turned out, I wasn’t going to be able to get baptized this Sunday after all. The classes at Scottsdale Bible Church fell on days that I wasn’t in town. Even though I was disappointed, I figured I had my timing off and told God, next time. I’ll proclaim my faith next time….

Pastor Jamie’s sermon yesterday was short and sweet, but very relatable to me. He talked about those “good people” who live moral lives, but are far from Jesus. That was me most of my entire life. I never saw a need for Jesus as I was a “good” girl. I’m beyond grateful for all of my friends who led me to my understanding of my need for a relationship with Jesus.

It came time for the baptisms and Pastor Jamie said something that I’d never heard in my time at Scottsdale Bible. “Anyone who feels called to commit their life to Christ today, can head out of the sanctuary and meet with a pastor to be baptized after the service.”

He was speaking to me. I knew that today was my day. But, wait. I had wanted a party. I had a guest list even written out. I am not prepared to do this today. I’ll do it next time. I also didn’t want to have to get out of my seat in that middle row at the front of the church. I kept trying to tell myself, this can wait. I’m not ready. I can always do it next time. But, I knew in my heart that it was my time and I wanted to honor God by showing up today, as ill prepared as I felt.

I made my way past my four children, my daughter’s friend and my husband and walked all the way around the congregation and out into the lobby. I was shaking and on the verge of tears in awe of what was happening. I came out and saw a friend of mine crying. I thought she was there to be baptized as well, but it was her husband who had decided to. We wept and hugged and it was beautiful.

Our church is amazingly organized as they had shirts and shorts for us to change into because obviously the handful of us who decided to do this were not prepared. I asked for our Worship Pastor Troy to baptize me, as we are friends through our shared mission trips to Mexico. As I walked toward him into the baptism pool, I could no longer hold back the tears. I was in awe of how the Lord had put this entire morning together.

It was in His timing and it was perfect. I saw several dear friends still in the sanctuary to witness my baptism. None of them knew that I was going to do this, but they had been called to stay. I heard a celeberatory scream as they announced my name and it made me smile inside. God had known my guest list after all.

What I realized is that we don’t need the party. We don’t need the right outfit or the manicured nails. We don’t need pictures or even video to commemorate such an important moment. What we need is to just say YES and put our faith into action.

When you have a daughter with an iPhone, you at least get this shot of your monumental moment.

God didn’t want me to wait to have everything lined up perfectly. He likes to make me uncomfortable and I like that about Him. He had chosen today as my baptism day long ago. I had felt that, but then let go of the plan as things seemed to not be falling into place like I had wanted. Today was yet another amazing testament to how God will move in your life if you just let go and let Him work things out in His perfect timing.

Living a great story involves changing the way we approach life. Attending the Storyline Conference helped me clarify what a meaningful life looks like and how life is my story to create.

I wasn’t familiar with Author and Storybrand founder Donald Miller until a friend introduced me to Storyline. I gained a lot during my time with him and I want to pass along that wisdom to you my friends.

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What makes a life interesting?
My friend, Kelly, worked a profitable direct sales business with me for a few years, until we both quit when it no longer served our souls. Her new passion involves making homemade kombucha and baking super healthy, gluten free baked goods for Fermentation Farm in Huntington Beach. When she talked about her new interest, it was like she was speaking in tongue. I didn’t understand what she was saying and really why she would even have an interest in all of that. I had to get over to Orange County to spend a day with her just to see what in the world she is doing. Her passion for her new venture was contagious. Now I’m ordering jugs of coconut oil off a truck that delivers from Oregon.

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“You can’t take us to the mall, Mom? It’s ok, we can just UBER it,” says my almost 13-year-old. Excuse me?

Come to find out, this is really going on in the area where we live. Today teens need to get somewhere and Mom, Dad or Grandma isn’t available or willing, they can just press the black U icon on their little iPhone X. In a matter of minutes, a willing stranger appears to transport them wherever their little precious heart desires to go. Even better it’s all conveniently billed to Mommy’s credit card so they don’t even need to have a bit of cash on them or bat an eye at the expense.

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Just what do you say to a Veteran to honor the sacrifices they have made for our country?

Does “thank you for your service” come to mind?

Do you know how those 5 simple words make a veteran feel though?

“Really awkward,” says Rico Roman, a retired Army Staff Sergeant who had his left leg amputated above the knee when wounded by an improvised explosive device while serving his third tour in Iraq in Feb. 2007. “I don’t go looking for that kind of recognition. I just say thank you back to people because I know they are sincere, but sometimes I feel very awkward.”

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Isn’t that quite the question? Just what does it take to live a great life story?

I know it takes more than money, a beautiful house, comfortable lifestyle or high performing kids. None of that means a darned thing if you aren’t living for a greater purpose.

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I wouldn’t say last week was one of my better ones.

My throat is scratchy from all the nagging and raising my voice (otherwise known as yelling) in frustration with my family. Every last one of them has been driving me nuts. Maybe you can relate? We are on each other more than normal and I’m going to own that it’s my negative energy leading the charge. It’s no way I want to live.

So, I called a Family Meeting.

It’s time to regroup as a family unit because when Momma isn’t happy, ain’t nobody going to be happy. A Family Meeting is a great way to stop and talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly and comes up with a plan to get back on track.

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When our kids were little I read every parenting book I could get my hands on. I took classes, went to seminars and looked to friends for wisdom, all in the hopes of doing this mothering thing the best I could. I have found that as the kids grow up, we don’t seek out as much guidance as we did in the younger years and really we need positive tactics now more than ever.

One lady has been influential in guiding my parenting since we met back in the preschool days in California. Susie Walton is a mother of four grown sons and teaches her own curriculum, “The Joy of Parenting” to families live and online. Susie is also the author of the book, “Key to Personal Freedom: How Myths Affect Our Family Lives.”

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Did you know that Make A Difference Day always falls on the 4th Saturday in October? Tomorrow’s nationwide event is the largest day of community service and volunteering across the USA. I hope you are scheduled to do something fabulous in your community! But, if you’re like our family, what happens if your Saturday is already booked solid?

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