Bittersweet

This post is bittersweet. I’m excited, grateful, and sad all at the same time.

Family Life Services

This letter was given to all of the WOC partners and resident families I serve at Family Life Services this week. Family and friends who have walked with me this year know that it has been a difficult but transformational one. This next step is essential in my personal growth and calls me to be obedient to a faithful God who has never ever failed me. Ever.

Thank you for your continued prayers as I transition. I love the ministry of FLS and truly believe in what goes on there to transform families. I will forever be an advocate of this nonprofit. It is hard to leave something you love so much but next spring I will be transitioning out of my ED role there after five years of service. This letter lays out the details.

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Gaining Ground Is Inspiring And I’m Giving Away Two Copies

Inspiration for work can hit you in the most unlikely places.

Times of rest, reading, long walks taken away from my actual place of employment have helped me over the years to problem solve. It is uncanny how I almost always have to get away from work to get my head around tough issues and get clarity. Recently, I found inspiration for my work through a surprising source.

I found inspiration for what we do for families at Family Life Services through book about farming. Yes, farming.

Gaining Ground

You see I have this 4-H friend from back in the day that just happens to be a agricultural super hero. I’m not exaggerating. Forrest Pritchard, of Smith Meadows in Virginia is one amazing guy. Over the last 17 years while most of my friends were getting business degrees and moving to suburbia land, he was busy saving his family’s farm and becoming a national advocate for sustainable farming.

A year ago, when our family quit Mickey D’s and actually started eating real food, I was introduced to a foreign world. The farmer’s market. I even wrote a post on being a Farmer’s Market Virgin. My husband and I reconnected through Facebook with Forrest and his witty blog. Forrest was able to chime in and give us some sound advice for shopping local. A year later, he has written a book.

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This Has Legs

This has legs

It is a strange saying. One I use often. A saying I can identify with.

It reminds me of when I was in junior high and my friends called me Bird.

Kids called me Bird because I had long knobby ostrich legs that didn’t quite fit the rest of my body.

The nickname stuck.

Thanks to Facebook sometimes the Bird reference resurfaces.

Like I said, I don’t mind because it reminds me where I am right now with work, and my work is personal. So there is a connection. Hang with me here…

I’ve got several projects in the cooker that I find myself saying to myself and others~ This has legs.

Projects and ideas that  God willing, have the potential to get up off the couch and walk down the road. All on their own. Ideas that could inspire others.

Honestly? These ideas scare me a bit. But those are the best ideas to feed aren’t they? They ones that intimidate you, stretch you? The ones that you know once they start moving forward will change you, change others, and give hope. The ones that require sacrifice and determination.

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What Are You Going to Do About It Today?

Our communities are going through hell.

Being a parent, spouse, employee and citizen has taken on a new demand for our level of engagement.

Watching the news this weekend, I just kept thinking what am I going to do about it?

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To Forge A New Trail

This verse always seems to creep up on me when I find myself in any kind of season of change or new opportunity. I know that I am not the first pilgrim who has walked this earth who has drawn strength and excitement from the words of Isaiah the Prophet:

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43: 19 NLT

I got a visual picture of this a few weeks ago when I was in Pennsylvania on a trip to the Laurel Highlands Jeep Jamboree. Jeff and I got an amazing opportunity to go to this event and represent Jeep as band advocates. There in the middle of a tree dense forest, our Jeep Rubicon started making a new pathway through the wilderness. [Read more…]

Abiding in Praise ~ A Psalm for Vocation

Yesterday I posted this status on Facebook. As I read over it later, and talked with folks who inquired privately about my passion for my work something dawned on me. I realized what I had posted was kind of personal psalm to the Lord:

The stillness of this house and the beautiful light that comes shining through on Fridays when I am here by myself is rest for my soul. I know the calm comes after an evening of intense ministry where hurting families have gathered to find peace. The ticking of the clock serves as a wonderful reminder to me of the rhythm of ministry that has taken place here for 70 years. I am thankful to be apart of it ~Family Life Services.

Let me explain… [Read more…]

Leader Use Your Vacation Time

Today I am sharing an archived post I did a few years ago on the importance of using your vacation time. Recently I was at a state-wide meeting with non-profit leaders and they were talking about how they rarely feel like they can take time off. How sad! Many times ministry leaders personally have a hard time justifying taking time off. I don’t have that problem and this post explains why. 

Recently some friends had to decline a vacation condo in Pagosa Springs, CO due to prior work commitments. They knew that Jeff and I love exploring our home state with our family and asked if we would be interested in going in their place. Hum…give me two seconds to think about this…SURE!

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Leadership Lessons From The Cairns On My Pikes Peak Climb

This weekend I crossed off a huge personal goal by hiking Pikes Peak. Tomorrow over at Jeff’s Crazy Idea I will be sharing what I did to prepare and insights into the physical and mental part of this adventure.

Today I’m talking here about a very unexpected leadership lesson I learned while climbing my first fourteener.

My friend Deb went with me on this journey. She is an experienced climber who I trust and asked to go with me. My goal for her? Don’t let me die and drag my butt up the mountain even when I want to quit.

Deb was awesome. She helped me prepare weeks in advance and the day of the climb she kept me safe, focused and aware of what was going on around me. She also is a wickedly smart business woman, so I had 5 1/2 hours of personal consulting time on this trip. I’m smarter than the average bear when I pick my traveling companions.

At one point, we got to a part of the trail where she yelled over her shoulder, “Watch for the cairns”.

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Sometimes It Is OK to Play Hookie

I had a fantastic week at work. We mapped out  the next fiscal year’s budget, I wrote new grants and made great contacts for Family Life Services. I had wonderful meetings with staff, and was excited from the great progress we are making with so many of our families. We also hosted energetic work groups of teens that came out to serve. This week was jam packed.

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When The Problem Is Fixed But You Forget

The ice maker in our refrigerator was broken for what seemed like forever.

We are extremely busy and because we didn’t have time or energy to get it fixed, we adapted. We bought ice cube trays and we made ice the old fashioned way for months. It be came part of the kitchen routine.

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