There I was, knees on the floor in a crowded room, singing (crying) out to God. The band played on and those in attendance continued to worship, yet somehow I found myself disconnected from the stage and intimately connected to the song of the spirit. The song that I sang as I worshiped the Lord.
Has that ever happened to you? One minute your up, standing with your peeps, and the next minute you are overwhelmed by the gravity and power of the words that you are singing and you find yourself down on your knees before the Lord (Physically or emotionally.)
That is where I found myself. I don't exactly really remember the moment when I decided to walk off the stage, but I do remember this... I remember the voice in my spirit saying "We don't need you to usher in the Holy spirit. We don't even need you to stand on this stage, so get off!" (The Lord always has to be very direct with me...I'm pretty stubborn.)
So, off I went to stand with the congregation, to worship with them and not AT them. Off I went as God simply took the spotlight off of me to refocus our eyes, all of our eyes, on what really mattered. You see what the congregation, what I, at that moment really needed wasn't someone standing in front of them, what we all needed was a sweet intimacy with no distractions as we, all together, in one voice, cried out to him to "Flood this place and fill the atmosphere..to be overwhelmed by his presence."
There is a tender place that we stand in the work of God. A place of acknowledging that we are not necessarily needed, yet we still answer the call to be used. God doesn't need me to sing on a microphone and stand in front of people, but you know what, He sure does use me for his glory as I say "Yes, Lord, I will sing."
Even as the call is answered, there are the moments, when God reminds me that He is fine with out me and we can stop hogging the stage. And, at the same time, He delights in using me... you, to shine a light on what matters, His glory.
May we stand in that most holy, intimate and beautiful place of being used by God because we say "Yes" to Him, not because He can't do it without us, but because He loves us and wants to do it with and through us.
What happens when three (Anita Renfroe, Melissa Spoelstra & Mia Koehne) ill and sick women roll out of bed, jump on an airplane, slap on some makeup and lipstick and deliver a night of learning laughter stories and music? Lives change!
Melissa had a days head start on feeling a little better, but Anita and I rolled out of our beds, sucked it up, got on a plane and we all did what we were created to do.
I can already hear people saying “Mia, you need to rest, Mia sometimes God has to knock you down to let you know you need to slow down” to which I say. "I hear you, but do you hear me?”
Honestly, I don't think people want me to publicly post and write about all the times I rest during the week? If I did, the readers would probably tell me to get moving and stop slacking!!
You see, what I do is what I was designed to do, and not necessarily what others were designed to do. Lord knows I could NOT hold down a 9-5 job or a 7am-9pm job like my husband.
So, for me, calling in sick, not jumping on an airplane and staying home if I am able to move for my 1-3 day a week “job” is NOT an option and for that I am thankful. WHY? Because of what I witnessed AGAIN at an event I went to even though I was sick, on meds and barely able to function.
A women came up to me and said “I want you to know, I was contemplating suicide. Someone called me and said they had an extra ticket, so I came. Then you shared and sang a song and reminded me that I am not alone. Thank you.”
THIS IS WHY I DON’T STAY IN BED. This women in her pain reminded me that calling in sick is not an option. The doctor who wanted to write me a note so I could stay home, who thought I was crazy when I said “It’s not an option” ... kinda makes me chuckle.
It is times and instances like this when I am reminded that what I do is life or death ... and by the grace of God I am reminded of that weekly.
Sadly, this women’s story is not new, I hear these words often, but it’s when I am so very tired, when I have absolutely nothing, when I am worn down and all I have is the strength and grace of God that I realize more fully how powerful His Spirit is in His weak servants that simply show up.
I am glad that I have people that fervently pray for me. Those prayers are heard as evidenced everyday of my life especially when I am ill. I love that I have people that “get me” and walk through the trenches to deliver the Gospel of Jesus Christ and hope to the lost and suicidal.
I am thankful for a husband that loves me deeply, sacrificially, and unconditionally sends me out weekly to shine a light on Jesus. He is the best!!
And to my sick ("crazy, cool and insane" as defined by Urban Dictionary) chicks, I'm so honored to serve alongside them in our weakness so that the name of Jesus continues to be lifted high!
May you, too, press on to be a light even in your weakness in the wonderful and creative way that God has designed you to.
Today is a new day and another fresh start. I just came of a month straight of taking part in the Minimalism Game, the Minimalists 30 Day (or in my case, 31 day) Challenge. #MinsGame
Here's how it works, you "get rid of one thing on the first day. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on."
It's starts off easy, but I tell you, finding 20+ things to get rid for days in a row can prove to be quite the challenge.
But, I did it. Some days I struggled to let go, and dreaded what was to come. I became anxious about the impending reality of opening the drawer of treasured VHS tapes, you know the ones I was saving for my grandchildren... the grandchildren that will have no idea what a VHS tape is...Yep, those grandkids that don't even exist yet.
Going through the process of letting go, although stressful at times, proved to be exhilarating. I found such freedom in loosening the grasp I had on things that I had not looked at for years, things that I didn't need, and things that I realized actually had their grasp on me. Less was becoming more in my life.
By the last day, I found myself sad that it was over, because I still had "stuff" that I didn't need, things that just took up space and served no purpose.
These past 31 days, as I see it, are just the beginning. Letting go has also curbed my appetite to accumulate more. I think more deeply about why I am buying "things" and as I process these decisions, I find that most of the time, whether in the store or browsing online, I simply pass and walk on by the extra stuff.
My home is happy and my bank account is not sacrificed because of my shopping impulses.
And really, it's not about the "stuff." It's deeper than that. As I tossed the objects, the weight on my heart became lighter as well. It was a great mental discipline and a freeing exercise for my soul.
Letting go! What a workout!
Here is a link to the the challenge if you are up for the task. If you do it, let me know how it goes! I'd love to hear! http://www.theminimalists.com/game/
In the meantime, Enjoy the snapshots of my past 31 days of Letting go!
Here's the thing, I try to be transparent as I present myself on social media, through my writings, on stage and through song, but the reality is that you will only see what I allow you to see through those platforms.
Yes, I share my struggles, my failings, my joys and my victories, but in truth, there is a small circle of people who really truly know me, who really truly "get me". And of those people, many of them would tell you that it's a lot of work. Apparently I can be a tad "high maintenance" and possibly, so I'm told, like to be the center of attention...I don't know, that just what "certain people" say. Go figure!
When I write or share my struggles, it's normally for the purpose of asking for prayer, sharing what I have learned though it and how I trusted or struggled to trust the Lord through it all. Those are all wonderful words to share. And we all need to hear them and be reminded of them.
But the people closest to me don't get to the end of the story that easily. They get the Mia that is actually going through it, the Mia that fails, can't hold her tongue, the Mia that snaps and gets impatient. They are in the trenches with me waiting to be on the other side of the pain. And sometimes, it just ain't so pretty. Sometimes, it downright sucks to be a part of my life.
But, what I also believe, is those same people in my life that walk through the mud with me, would also tell you that there is no place they would rather be.
It's good to have people like that and it's good to BE people like that. Sometimes, you may feel so alone like you have no one...and maybe, you don't.
Dare to let someone, even if it's just one person, in. Dare to allow someone to see you, to really see you for who you are, the good version of yourself and the not so good version of yourself. Dare to ask God for that person. Dare to get burned and dare to be let down, but also dare to be the kind of person that you want in your life.
People that know me and still choose to follow my "crazy" via social media know a few things, unless I am talking about Jesus, hiking or my family, most everything else is subject for sarcasm and should not be held in too high of regard.... For instance, just this past week I shared the stages of my journey from meat-eater to vegan to vegetarian to partial meat-eating vegetarian to full out meat-eater again. It was an intense 8 hours and each phase of the journey was met with an unrivaled passion.
Some people along the way cheered me on, some people laughed, some people told me I was crazy and ill-informed and some people just sat back quietly watching the show, that is my life, unfold. That last group of people... yep, it's best to be in that group, because in time, it all comes back around again.
So this morning, as I sit, writing and reflecting on the roller coaster that I take my family and friends on, I do it over a non-vegan sugar-filled, butter-laden chocolate chip cookie (yes, it's breakfast time) and a reheated cup of coffee from last night (didn't feel like wasting it.) Feel free to judge, feel free to relate, feel free to sit back and watch the show.
And when it's your turn, let people know what channel your show is on, so they can sit in, watch and be a part of what's going on in your life. I dare you!
Love you in the Lord, Mia
Fool may be a little harsh for what I am, but... "if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck..it's a duck!"
My middle child, Aaron, has better labeled the phenomenon in our home as "Constant Ridiculousness" and he simply doesn't want any part of it.
"Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor;
only fools insist on quarreling"
Our constant "quarrels" aka ridiculousness come from two insanely competitive people (my husband and me) that draw their son into the middle of these "discussions" to help prove and win our own points.
Now, it would be one thing if it was a debate over something life changing or worthwhile, but ours tend to be over topics like "Which athlete best transcends their sport and is bigger than baseball?" The correct answer (of course) is simply, "any athlete that I have heard of because I don't follow sports, so even if no one else has heard of "said athlete" they must be bigger than the sport itself... this solid reasoning (in my own mind) stands firm, but not so much for my husband.
Hence, the call for Aaron to come in and settle the debates that we find ourselves in, tends to be pretty constant.
I could go on with examples... but suffice to say, these conversations and this "passionate ridiculousness" occurs on a daily basis. And at the end of the day, it truly does keeps us laughing.
But still, Aaron chooses to take the high ground and not even put his gloves in the ring. He chooses honor, while my husband and I choose to act a fool.
Either way, it is a choice.
Is our ridiculousness hurting anyone? No, but suppose it was about things that actually mattered.
What if it was a daily barrage of fights, nitpicking, complaints and quarrels? Those are the acts that become habitual, deliberate and detrimental to relationships, especially in a marriage.
The same way my son chooses to not be drawn into the crazy, we choose to be the crazy. We all have the ability to choose.
We have the ability to choose joy, to choose praise, to choose to encourage, to choose to listen instead of complain. We have the ability to avoid fights and quarrels and to set ourselves in a place marked for honor.
Next time you feel the urge to be drawn into the fight, remember, and remember quickly, to avoid it, to remove yourself and communicate in love from a place of honor that honors and respects those you care about... (and even those people that you don't much care for..yes, even them!)
Let's choose to NOT insist on quarraling. It does a body good! It does friendship good! It does a marriage good!
Love you in the Lord!
PS. Aaron Koehne is still one of THE most competitive AND silly people I know. Go figure!
There is a good chance that these wrestling matches with his older brother, Chris, started over the debate of who had a better haircut, cleaner room or bigger muscles. (True fact) LOL!
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.