As I was walking home from the gym today, I came upon this flower. It was outside a fence, next to the sidewalk, no garden, no other plants, just this lone, rogue, beautiful flower. It sprouted up in the middle of the rocks near a busy main street.
What was it doing there? Why was there such a beautiful thing all alone in the rocks? What if someone walked by and stepped on it, what if some kids passed by and pulled it out? How was this flower going to survive?
Yet, there it was. I wondered if it had been there the other day when I walked by? I couldn’t remember. How could I not have noticed it? But today, as I walked home in the Phoenix heat, tired after working out at the gym and fatigued from my battle with #ValleyFever, I stopped. This flower made me smile, it made me pause and it reminded me of Jesus and His love for me in the midst my exhaustion.
This flower chose to bloom. This flower didn't care that it was alone. This flower didn't say "I want to root in a better location." This flower didn't worry about it's own safety. This flower did the only thing it knew how to do.... bloom and grow.
What I was reminded of today and what I so joyfully want to share with you is this: it's not always the best and prettiest place, it's not always the safest place and it's not always the place we pick to root and grow, but may you (and I) always remember to bloom where you are planted because you never know who will be blessed because you grew roots in the rocks in the middle of the desert.
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.
Someone asked me this past Sunday if I knew how many weekends I am gone a year. My response was "Hmmm, I don't know."
This question made me a bit curious, so this morning I sat down and looked at my calendar and tallied up all the concerts, events, and tours that I have had in the first 6 months of 2017.
It was eye opening. I think I have done a bit more traveling than I suspected. But, the thing that struck me most was this.... There were only 10 Sunday's in the past 6 months that I have NOT had a commitment to serve outside my home church. And of those 10 Sundays when I could be at my home church a few were spent at another church or my husband may have had a commitment to speak at a neighboring church besides our own.
I am thankful to have the opportunities and I am ALL IN to travel as the Lord sends me out. I embrace the journey and with my Pastor's blessing, I press on to serve the way God has designed me to. The people God has connected me with and the ability to sing and speak of His grace across the country overwhelm me!
The sad part for me is not sitting next to my best friend each Sunday. So how do we make it work, because for now, this is our reality as a married couple.
The main thing, above all, is that we fix our eyes on Christ first, seek Him, listen to Him and obey. We both work hard to keep a proper perspective that the traveling is simply a season in our life. It hasn't always been this way and it won't always remain. So while we are in it, we serve in this capacity with all of our heart, trusting God and continually seeking Him for such a time as this.
We talk, we share our schedules and our calendars. Any time that we are able to travel together, we do.
We work hard (and I mean it, we work hard because it is difficult) to guard our Yes's and deliver No's when necessary to the many requests that we both have that take us away from home and family.
The time we have with each other during the week, is precious to us, so date nights are a must! Finding things that we can do and enjoy together, like hiking and also making sure we do those things that fill us individually, like going to the gym, a relaxing round of golf (for Bob, not me) time in the Word and prayer keep us healthy together and healthy apart.
Time flies and we will never get back the moments apart, those Sundays in different churches, but, those moments in this season are filled with the opportunities that the Lord has given us to love, to serve and to encourage.
May we never grow weary, may we treasure the moments, seek first His kingdom and then watch everything else be added.
I originally posted this on the Deliberate Women blog. Lately God has been leading me to share this same encouragement, so I thought I would re-post.
I am a Wife….I am a Mother…. I am a singer/songwriter.
It has always been very easy for me to say the first two, but for some reason when I first started writing music, I found it hard to say that I was an actual songwriter.
Being a wife was clear, I had legal documentation, and the mother part- well, I have several stretch marks and stress wrinkles I can show you to prove that one. But, the songwriter title was a little harder to chew because I had no credentials, no college degree, no training and I wasn’t even sure if my songs were any good. All I knew is that I liked to make stuff up and sing it. The songwriter and singer in me was chomping at the bit and burning me up inside. I couldn’t stop it.
Over the next few years, God surrounded me with people that would encourage me and spur me on to write more, master my craft and find the freedom to name the pulsating passion in my heart….music!
I dont hesitate anymore to say that I am a singer/songwriter. I love what I do, I'm driven to sing, write (still have to work hard at it) and share music. It’s not just a title, it's my calling and the powerful vehicle God uses for me to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
You might wonder why I’m telling you this. Well, here’s the why. Maybe you have a passion that drives you, a desire that burns in your heart, but you're hesitant to name it out loud. Maybe the calling you're feeling is a bit scary and you feel completely unqualified. Maybe you think this “thing” you want to do, this title that you only dream of bearing, is way out of your league.
Today, I want to encourage you to dream big, to answer the call and the God-given desire that is running through your veins. I'm asking you to dare to respond to what and to where God is calling you with open arms, open hands and an open heart. You are a child of God and because of that, He has plans for you.
I would love to hear the new thing God is doing in our life. Would you dare to share?
" 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord,
'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' ' Jeremiah 29:11
Love you in the Lord, Mia
“Dream big and plan for how God might use you, but submit to God’s will and seek His blessing in the outworking of your plans.” ~ Steven J. Cole
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.