My weekends tend to be pretty full with traveling, music, airports and hotels (I know, I know, life is hard.) It's not strenuous, but I do pour out everything I have and being away from home and on the road consistently can be mentally exhausting. So, when I am home during the week, I tend to hunker down, throw on my yoga pants, hibernate and refuel.
Today, I slept in late...really late... had my coffee, did my Bible study, answered emails and now all I have to do is learn 3 new songs for this weekends services that I am worship leading at.....again, I know, I know my life is so hard (in case you missed it, that was sarcasm.) My husband finds it quite amusing as he typically works 6 days, sometimes 7 days a week...He feels no pity either as I'm sure you don't and shouldn't.
However, today I do have errands to run, things I have been putting off for WEEKS, mostly because I simply do not feel like moving myself out of my house where it feels so safe. SAFE....this is the word I use as an introvert who has trouble being out in public around people in mass and would love to be a hermit who simply came out of her cave to eat, hike mountains and sing songs! I think this is another reason why I have an unhealthy relationship with Amazon Prime...but that's another story.
Still, the fact remains, I have to get things done...TODAY. In order for that to happen, I had to verbally psych myself up, talk myself out of my pajama's and say outloud "COME ON MIA, GET YOUR BRA ON, STRAP UP AND LET"S DO THIS!"
And that's what I did! As ridiculous as the method sounds, it works for me! I'm strapped up and now I'm heading out the door!
In life there are times where it's easier to simply stay home and stay out of the game that God is calling us to. God will give us the strength to do things, that on our own seem difficult and impossible. For some, it's a simple errand, for others it's packing up and moving across the country, and for many it's learning to go, serve and love wherever God tells us.... near or far.
Whatever it is, strap up and get going. Peace out friends! I got my bra on and I'm getting things done!
"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13
I love you in the Lord, Mia
We are called to listen, love, and obey. I am fully aware that we may not always see the fruit of our love and the fruit of our obedience, but what I marvel at today is how God sometimes allows us little glimpses of the seeds we plant and the investments we make in others lives as we live out Jesus.
Today was such a day for me. I decided to run into the Fry's store near the high school where I was making my after school pick-ups. I normally don't go there, mostly because I like my local Frys, the one by my house where I know how to find everything, but today I did.
After grabbing a few thing and loading my car, I was approached by a man selling his jewelry. He asked if I wanted to buy any. I looked at him with a big smile and said "I know you!" Confused, he asked me how. I shared with him how some time ago, I met him in a different parking lot and he was asking for some money so he could purchase some inventory to sell.
Since I typically done hand out large amounts of cash to strangers, I offered to meet him at the shop and buy the perfume for him as an investment into his business (an investment into his life). Suddenly he remembered our fleeting encounter.
He was able to then share with me what that meant to him and how important that investment was. What I did not remember was the fact that at the time he was homeless, struggling to make ends meat. That little investment in his life was pivotal when he needed it most.
Today, he is no longer homeless, but thriving, working, creating art in jewelry and still smiling BIG.
I was reminded today that sometimes we are called to pour into other's lives simply because God says so, even when it is inconvenient and others think we are crazy. Sometimes, like today, we get to see a bit of the fruit of our obedience, but most of the time we don't. But still, we obey, love and pour into other's SO THAT they can turn and pour into someone else.
I feel blessed to have gotten the opportunity to see that Aaron is doing well. If you ever see him, may sure to say "hi" and grab a bracelet.
Love you in the Lord, Mia
There are a few rules of etiquette that I have learned for hiking. For instance, hikers going uphill have the right of way, if you hear someone on your tail, step to the side and let them by, keep your music confined to your headphones and it's always a good thing to acknowledge those you pass.
Not everyone follows these unwritten rules, but when they do, it makes for a great experience.
I was making my way up the Piestewa Peak Summit trail in Phoenix yesterday morning. For those of you that are not familiar with this area, it is a nice 1.2 mile, 1,200 ft climb to the top. As I hiked, I was reminded that not everyone is aware of hiker etiquette, as evidenced by the fact that I found myself giving the right away to hikers that had already made the climb and were on there way down with no intention of stopping for those of us making our way up, panting and dripping with sweat.
Others, though, kindly stepped to the side as I made great strides and stretches over the uphill rocks. For that, I was grateful and squeezed out a smile in the midst of my exhaustion.
There were moments when I thought, "I have gone far enough, I should just turn back now" but, the fighter in me doesn't like to quit until I make it to the top (which last week almost got me into some trouble). After making the 1,200 ft ascent, I was able to rest and take in the view.
There is that exhilarating feeling when you make it to the top, when you reach your goal and have survived to conquer your mountain. For me, I think about the fact that 1.5 years ago, I could barely make it to the top and if I did, it took me twice as long with many stops along the way. This day, though, being in better shape and living a healthier lifestyle, I pushed through without stopping. I made it and I made it well.
After a nice break on top of the summit, I made my way, with the grace of gravity pulling me back down to where I started. I smiled at those making there way up and I stepped to the side to give them the right away as they struggled upward. I allowed those who were descending faster than me the opportunity to go on by and at times I was afforded the same courtesy, as those who were going a bit slower than me, let me pass.
And then it got me thinking (as hiking always does) about the difficulties in life that we have, the mountains that we climb and the "etiquette of struggling" that we so easily forget.
There are times when I, one who has been through the fire, see others going through the same battles I once went through and wonder why they are not conquering it as quickly as I did. There are times when I know people are struggling and I fail to give them the "right of way" in their pain and I expect them to move out of my way and "get over it" so that I can continue living my life. There are times when people are making uphill strides in their situations and I forget to acknowledge them.
There are times when I, because I already made it to the top of a certain mountain, forget what the struggle was like to get to a place where you have a birds eye view and greater perspective.
There are so many times that I am simply the worst hiker in the world.
It is good to be reminded that we all hike (through life) at different paces, we all have mountains to climb and battles to win. When I am more conscious of those around me, it makes this hike of life a little more doable, a little less difficult and a lot more encouraging for everyone.
I can't climb someone else's mountain for them, but I can step out of the way and not be a stumbling block in their journey. I can reach out a hand and give encouragement. I can allow them to feel their pain so they can move to a position where they can see the view of the joy to come.
I pray that we all will be a bit of the grace that gravity brings in someone else's life as they are struggling uphill.
Let's go hiking! I love you in the Lord!
April 1st means more to me than April Fools Day. It's the kick off of my annual Birthday Month. And just in case I'm not clear, let me clarify......it's MY birthday month, celebrating ME! No, it's not just ONE day, like my husband gets for his birthday (which is ten days after mine), it's a WHOLE month.
Now if you don't know me well, let me just say that I am the baby of seven children and any stereotypes that one would generally associate with the youngest child all apply to me. Yep, I'm the baby...even at the age of 43, (I mean 29) it still is very evident (at least that's what my family says.)
Now....back to me and my birthday month.... (you see, youngest child syndrome). Another characteristic about me that some people find surprising is that I am extremely shy, introverted and really struggle with a bit a social anxiety. Going out of the house and into social settings is terrifying for me. I hesitate too admit the amount of events I have ducked out of, left early from, or just all out avoided because of the anxiety of being around people.
I think this is hard for people to understand since what I do for a vocation calls me to be in front of people, on a stage, talking, sharing and ministering to people. Yet, here I stand, touched with a bit of anxiety.
What does this have to do with my birthday. EVERYTHING! Like I said before, my birthday month is all about me. It's all about me getting outside of me, all about me loving, all about me serving, all about me reaching out to others even when every ounce of me wants to hide in my home where it is safe and stress free. So, just a heads up...someone check in with me in 20 years and make sure I have not turned into a hermit! Is my social anxiety rational?...NO, yet, it is something that I have to battle consistently.
So there it is. Birthday month IS all about me, not thinking about what holds me back...making the steps to be social...socially awkward all be it, but still social. It's all about me celebrating the life God has given me and the joy that overflows so that I can fellowship with the amazing people God has put in my life.
This is that month that it's all about me catching up on the "Let's do coffee sometime" conversations and actually make a date to do coffee!
This is the month that it's all about me giving of myself until it hurts.
This is the month that it's all about me loving the way God has called me to love.
This is the month that it's all about me going to that party I was invited to and not making excuses.
Yes, friends. This is my birthday month. This is the month that it's all about me!
Sometimes we need a pivotal month to remind us how God calls us to live each day. Maybe it's just me, but I have a feeling others may struggle with the same thing!
So Happy Birthday Year to all of us!
Love you in the Lord!
I have two elbows and chances are that you do to. Let me tell you a little about my elbows......
Recently I was on a photo shoot with a friend and brother in Christ that I admire. No matter what, I can always count on him. For instance, I was suppose to meet with a photographer early one morning and because of certain circumstances he had to cancel 60 minutes after we were suppose to start. Well, I was showered, dressed, make up on and hair done. I was still good to go! Naturally, not wanting to waste a good hair day, I called my buddy, Randy, and he packed up his gear, scouted out areas with me and we shot at four locations.
At the last location he asked if I had any CD's to give to the people whose space and property we LITERALLY invaded (in fact we did that at all three sites, but that's how we roll) and I said "No, I don't have any, I normally have them, but....." As I continued to explain to him the reason He said "Mia, those are just excuses. Excuses are like elbows everybody's got two of 'em." That shut me up. He was right. I was unprepared. For all the times I pack my CD's just in case I have an opportunity to share them with someone, I failed. I was NOT prepared and what I needed to do was NOT make excuses.
But, now, every-time I walk out of the house I think a bit more quickly to myself about grabbing some spare CD's in case the lady at the grocery store tells me she likes music and I am able to just give her a CD. When people speak the truth to me, I may pout my lip for a moment, but my heart hears, receives and becomes all the wiser and more aware.
Some people thrive on affirmation, I thrive on loving reproof. I thrive on people pointing out my weaknesses so I can be better. Several years ago I was at a place in my life, music and ministry where I desired so deeply to have someone who would just tell me the truth and stop telling me that everything I did was good. By the grace of God, He sent those people in my life...... people that recognized I needed help, guidance, direction, honest feedback and a swift kick in the butt.
Some of it came from my friend, Mark, who is a gifted songwriter. He saw that I needed stronger songs to sing. And so He allowed me to sing my heart through his music. He offered to work with me on the songs I was writing so we could make them better. My ministry needed someone like him and I am so grateful.
Some of it came from my producer who worked with me on the last two Tree Hill Collective Recordings. OK, he may have made me cry, but that's mostly because He speaks so much truth, pushes me harder than I have ever been pushed, challenges me on the words and notes that I sing and does not let me slack. He tells me to deal and accept certain things and face others things head on. He does not let me cower.
I thrive on that. Last week as I was leading worship at a church. I could hear His voice in my head "Why are you singing that song" "What does that mean" "Who are you singing to" "You sound like you don't care" "Did you just belch in the microphone?" Having him speak truth in my life challenges me everyday to stay focused on why I do what I do and who I am doing it for. It keeps my eyes fixed on Jesus the author and perfector.
I am a better worship leader, piano player, singer, writer and leader because of what the people in my life have dared to do for me....speaking truth in love, the hard not so fun truth. I love it. I need it. Do I accept it easily all the time? No, sometimes I pout my lip, sometimes I walk out, sometimes I cry, (my husband, Bob, knows this best as He is my biggest truth-giver) but just about every time, I come back a whole lot stronger and a whole lot wiser than I was when I first started.
For that I thank these brothers in Christ. I could not walk this road without them!
So it leads me to this. If I appreciate truth so much and the fact that people dare to give it to me, am I loving people the same way by speaking truth to them? For me the answer lately has been yes, but it has been hard. And when it is difficult, I just remember how much I desire truth and desire to do the same for others as God leads me. #LoveGodLoveOthers
Who loves you in truth and who are you loving the same way?
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.