How to lead when you’re not in charge

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The only thing I am the boss of is a jar of Nutella. (The big jar, not the small one.)

Maybe you’re like me—you’ve had some leadership roles and some supervisor experience, but you aren’t in charge of a flock of underlings typing frantically from their cubicles.

You may not be the one in charge at your workplace, church or other group, and you certainly can’t control whoever is, but you can still make an impact no matter your position.
Read the rest at RELEVANT!

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Singleness is not an excuse for selfishness

singleness

As I move into the last year of my twenties, even the thought of owning a houseplant still seems like too much of a tie-me-down commitment. As a single, I want my life to be my own.

And I must confess: I love it that way. In fact, I love it too much.

Read more at Converge Magazine.

10 lessons I’m still learning in my 20s

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At 28, the only thing I’m sure about is that I’ve stopped growing — in inches that is. As I reflect upon my near three decades on this earth, I’ve realized I’ve forgotten a lot, learned a little, and am still discovering even more.

In a culture where our 20s have become the be-all-end-all decade of our lives, we’ve become more obsessed with being there than getting there. And while I may have plateaued at 5’10 in kindergarten, God’s not done with me yet.

Here are 10 lessons I’m still learning in my 20s.

Where feet may fail

G:

I’ve been listening to that latest Hillsong song a lot. You know the one. The one that goes on somewhere between 8-12 minutes. And everyone that’s singing is Australian.

OK, it’s the one about oceans and feet failing and being called to step out upon the waters into the great unknown.

I’m a good hour and a half drive from the Atlantic right now, but I feel like you have me ready to jump onto some mighty waves before the ocean reaches optimal summer temperature.

And I’m nervous.

And I’m not ready.

So instead I worry. I worry about taking the wrong step, hopping onto the wrong wave, feet failing. Sinking. Sinking into the great unknown. Where there are probably sharks.

But just like the song says, You are there in the unknown:

You call me out upon the waters

The great unknown

Where feet may fail

And there I find you in the mystery

In oceans deep my faith will stand

My faith is like my arm muscles. They don’t become strong unless I put them to use. My faith isn’t going to get stronger if I’m sitting in the safety of the boat. My faith becomes stronger when I actually listen to the call to get out of the boat and step onto the waters.

You didn’t let Peter drown. I know you won’t let me either.

Your grace abounds in deepest waters

Your sovereign hand will be my guide

Where feet may fail and fear surround me

You’ve never failed

And you won’t stop now

Help me choose not to waste a single hour of my life worrying about the mystery of my life, because it’s not a mystery to you.

My great unknown is your great known.

So lead me. Call me out from the boat and onto the waters. Wherever that may be. Whatever the temperature. (Preferably with Flipper not Jaws.)

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever you would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior

Your child,

m

Because ‘seriousness’ isn’t a fruit of the Spirit

G:

I’ve realized two things lately:

1)     This blog has become more stale than a loaf of bread three months past its expiration date

2)     Christians are way too serious

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I can blame my busyness for my blog’s dryness, but what excuse do Christians have?

We can’t blame it on our expiration dates.

For a people that have been redeemed through a sacrificial act of extravagant love, we seem to be walking around like our puppy keeps getting run over by a truck every single day.

I’m not sure if You can feel the chill all the way up there in the clouds, but it’s pretty cold down here.

If the “Frozen Chosen” were a brand of popsicles, it would probably be a lot cooler than what they actually are.

My friend went to a Christian concert the other day and told me that the band, in an effort to get everyone to loosen up and enjoy themselves, said: “We’re going to have fun tonight because seriousness isn’t a fruit of the spirit. Joy is.”

I know it was written on the stone tablets, “Thou shall not steal,” but I’m totally stealing that saying.

Somehow we’ve forgotten the joy. The laughter. The happiness.

Yes, there is a time and season for everything. “A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance” (Ecc 3:4). But we seem to be forgetting to laugh and dance.

We seem to be forgetting that seriousness isn’t a fruit of the spirit.

Like a spiritual fortune cookie, Solomon sums it up well in Proverbs 17:22, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

I’m not sure what’s crushing our spirits as Christians. The world. Money. Jobs. Relationships. Suffering. Depression. Illness. I’m sure it’s a list that rivals an exhaustive phone book of New York City.

And I’m sure our joy-less spirits are drying up our bones.

I wonder what would happen if we stopped being a stale people and started being the ones that displayed joy amongst love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Turns out laughter may be the best medicine after all.

Your goofball,

m

Sunsets are like chicken nuggets

G:

I’ve decided sunsets are like chicken nuggets. No two ever look the same.

I’d like to consider myself a “sunset chaser,” if you will. I’ve been chasing sunsets over the ocean like storm chasers stalk tornadoes in a field in Kansas.

And you blessed the socks right off me when I finally saw the sun set over the Pacific Ocean (because the sun setting in bays over the Atlantic just doesn’t count).

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Somewhere between creating day and night you decided to create this amazing transition between the two. And no two sunsets are ever the same. You just keep me guessing. And keep me chasing the new, the different, the beautiful.

Kudos, G. Kudos.

In awe, your child,

m

I ain’t my Momma

Upon turning 22, my friend declared that “22 is halfway to 44 which is halfway to 88 which means you are halfway dead.”

(We are clearly no longer friends.)

Birthdays are kind of like New Year’s—they make you reflect on where you’ve been and where you’re going. You’re another year older. And another year closer to 88.

On the day of my 28th birthday, I couldn’t help but compare myself to those I love and admire more than anyone else in the world: my parents. I think about where they were at 28. And at this age my mother was married for 6 years with a two-year-old and another on the way.

If my life was supposed to follow those breadcrumbs, the birds clearly had a 28-year feast and unknowingly I stumbled upon the long, scenic route up the side of a steep mountain.

While I would be blessed if I had even 1/100 of the character my mother has, my life has not followed her blueprint.

I ain’t my Momma.

Chatting with another single friend the other day, I decided expectations for young adults are like kitchen cleaners under the sink to little kids. It’s just not fair that the blue stuff that looks like a huge jug of blue raspberry Kool-Aid is locked away behind childproof cabinets—seemingly unattainable. But here’s the thing: turns out that stuff may not be the best for us anyway.

My life and the lives of my single friends are not the lives of our parents. But our lives aren’t wrong. They’re different.

I’m single. I’m living on my own. I’m pursuing my passion for writing. I’m really great at making cereal for dinner.

I can’t help but compare myself to those I love most—and I pray that I have even a fraction of the love, faith, and character that my parents do. But I know You have different plans for me than you had for my father and mother.

I ain’t my Momma.

I’m me.

Your child,

m

Singleness is the new black

G:

Like the president of Russia deeming the Olympic ceremonies open, I deem singleness the new black.

Cue torch:

olympic torch

Because let’s face it: singleness is like glitter at a crafts table.

It’s everywhere.

Now more than ever, people are getting married later in life. Now more than ever, articles about singleness are spreading like the bubonic plague. Now more than ever, singleness isn’t a curse. It’s OK.

And dare I say it, it’s COOL.

Sure, there are a host of reasons why our culture is seeing a plethora of singles: couples are already cohabitating, marriage isn’t viewed as necessary anymore, college grads are crippled by student loans, etc. But there are a host of different reasons You love singleness: we have unprecedented amounts of time to serve You in ways you created us uniquely for right now.

While our culture may view singleness as cool in their own eyes, I see singleness as cool from Your eyes.

I’m sensing a Paul revival a la 1 Corinthians 7:34-35 in light of 7:8:

Singleness: it’s all good.

Your happily single child,

m