February has me back out on the road... And I am LOVING it. It's tiring, exhausting, my sleep is disrupted, I miss my husband, I fall off the wagon trying to eat healthy, I don't get enough water and I get too much coffee (not that that's a bad thing-I LOVE coffee), I get coughed on at every airport I'm in, my back gets all jacked up from flying... shall I go on?
With all of that, why do I love it so much? It's because of the people I meet, the stories I hear and the honor of seeing lives change.
This past weekend was so exception. I'm just going to jump into two quick stories.
First, a women who was passed a "random" Compassion International Child Sponsorship packet to hold shared with me that her son, who passed away, had married a women from the Philippines and his birthday was in December.
When she received a packet of a little boy from the Philippines who shared the exact same birthday as her deceased son, SHE KNEW it was not by chance and so she responded by committing to support, pray and encourage this young boy. It blows my mind!
Second, another women came up to me and shared that through the words I spoke (honestly, I have no clue what I say half the time..but, God!) God used those words to speak to her. You see, she was struggling and had a bag packed by the door and she was ready to walk out. But instead, after the ASPIRE event, she was going home to unpack the bag and put in the work with the grace and strength that the Lord would give her.
So yes, while being on the road each weekend, jumping from plane to plane, sleeping in different hotels each night and missing my family is difficult, I count it as a privilege to answer the call that God has placed on my life.
My question for you is this: What is God calling you to do? I'm NOT asking "What do you want to do?" I am asking you "What is GOD calling you to do?"
Whatever it is, wherever it is, DO IT! Go! Don't hesitate!
"From Paul—an apostle [chosen] not by any group or individual but by Jesus Christ and God the Father who brought him back to life —and all the believers who are with me." Galatians 1:1-2
This post originally appeared on the Deliberate Women site September 26th, 2014. I am excited to share it with you now, here and continue the conversation.
I am so thankful that I, as high maintenance as I can be, am never too much for God. It seems like a no brainier statement, but the reality is that there have been times when I have thought that the junk I have is too much for Him and because it's too much for Him how on earth could anyone in my church or my circle of friends handle the truth.
I often share about the disaster that I was because I know that God has done a mighty work and I love what He is molding me into. Yes, still flawed, but a work in progress and a new creation through the power of Christ Jesus!
It took a lot to get me there, but one of the biggest assets I had while being molded was an amazing ministry called Celebrate Recovery, a Christ centered recovery program that started over 20 years ago at Saddleback Church in California. Now, in over 20,000 churches world-wide, Celebrate Recovery addresses that we have hurts, hang-ups and habits and that alone life is hard, but in community and with accountability rooted in the foundation of Jesus Christ, we have healing, recovery and fellowship.
When I thought that what I was going through was too much, that the world would judge me and even now when I struggle, I know that I have a place that is safe, free from judgement and quick fixes. A place that will walk alongside me in my struggle, not trying to fix me, but allowing God through the power of the Holy Spirit to speak, reveal and heal each hurt, habit or hang-up that I am going through.
The lie that what I am going through is too much for the church seems to be a device of Satan to keep me (and you) from reaching out, to keep us in isolation. I don't know about you, but that seems like the worse place to be in the midst of a struggle.
So sisters and brothers, let's remember that we are not alone. There is a place and there are people that are safe that can totally handle the crud that we carry. That same crud that God will turn to victory when we surrender to His will.
I pray that God would reveal those people and places to each of us so that we will feel safe confessing our sins, growing together and watching God do amazing things with our stories as He uses them for His glory!
Here is a song that I wrote for the Movie, Home Run, "You Are Not Alone" Remember that there are people that will walk along side you.
You are not too much, You are not Alone!
Blessings, Mia Koehne
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!
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.