It came down to a matter of faith, really. Did I trust God to fight this battle for me? Was I prepared to let the matter go and believe that somehow, some way it would be made right? Did I believe God?Read More
Connecting God to Your Everyday Life
It’s as if I was aware I was in a funk but I was powerless to pull myself out of it. An accident, a disagreement, a diagnosis, and an unanswered prayer fell like an Acme Anvil on my already lackluster life in the last few months. It’s not that I was bored, I was just uninspired.Read More
Hey! Welcome! I love that you somehow saw the title and thought, “I really need to check this out.” Thanks for that.
Badass for Jesus is a phrase that I feel God gave me a few years ago. No, seriously. I was sitting in a speaking critique group and after a particularly rough week and was not in a mood to make small talk. Still, our leader asked us to go around the room and say something interesting about ourselves. (Stab me.)
I listened to the women share their desires, stories, and situations all the while wondering what I would possibly say when suddenly it was my turn. In a random act of NO self-control, I blurted out that I was exhausted with all of this trying and I just wanted to be badass for Jesus and was that so wrong?
I would have instantly regretted using such language in a solidly Christian circle (I didn’t want to get kicked out) but before I could even think, one woman started clapping. Then another. Then another. Pretty soon the whole room was clapping and one woman even jumped up and said, “I’m with you, sister!” I admit to a flood of relief and gratitude and I did actually sit up a bit straighter.
Later, during that same conference, I tested the waters with my new signature phrase and got just about the same reaction. It didn’t take long to figure out how much it resonated with women. We are all, on some level, so tired of trying. Trying to be good, trying to figure out our callings, trying to please everyone, trying to start a blog or speaking career, trying to fit with the Christian ‘in’ crowd and more.
How does one be truly badass for Jesus when we are exhausted, fearful, worried, insecure, lacking open doors, unsure, tired, left out, and more?
I used to think the answer was ‘do it afraid.’ Whatever the day brought, push feelings aside and do it afraid. It’s the old 'fake it til you make it' theory. Except that isn’t quite the right take on being badass.
I figured out recently what badass for Jesus really means is DO IT ANYWAY.
It’s so simple but so nuanced. Regardless of how you feel (feelings are liars) just do the next thing. Wanna write? Go ahead! Wanna speak? Send out inquiry letters to local churches. Wanna start a ministry but too afraid? Do it anyway.
Here’s what I’ve learned. I am never going to get over my fear, my worry, my second-guessing or my insecurity. At my age, it’s a bad habit now attached to my DNA and it’s not changing anytime soon. It may be disobedient but I’ve already spent too much time trying to alter it with little to no luck. So if I can’t cure or get over this series of issues and it’s holding me back in every way, how do I move forward?
I do it anyway.
I can’t wait to be perfect. I can’t wait to go viral. I can’t wait for a magic call from a publisher. I can’t wait for a major, worldwide tour to contact me. I can’t wait for a ‘celebrity’ Christian to notice me. All I have is what is in front of me today. The very best I have to give the world is to do the next thing, regardless of the outcome.
Do it anyway suggests that I will press forward, believing that obedience will always outrank anything that holds me back.
I want to be badass for Jesus every day of my life. No matter the task before me and no matter how I feel about it. Like the musical artist, Pink says, “Don’t let me get me.” I cannot keep getting in my own way by caving to things I can’t control. Instead, I am going to just move forward in obedience. I expect sometimes I will succeed and other times I will go down in flames but I will always walk away knowing I did the job.
Because that is what a badass does. To God be the glory!
There is a difference (apparently) between joy and happiness. I’m sure it’s some nuanced definition thing and one is eternal and one is superficial. I’m pretty sure that I am chasing the wrong one all the time. But can I tell you a secret?
I don’t care.
I am so worn out by trying to figure out if I am chasing the right thing or the wrong thing or the Christian thing. It’s SO MUCH WORK.
And hey, just to juke you a little bit, Jesus said his burden was light. Not this twisted, over-analytical, bang-your-head-against-a-wall thing I keep doing.
I just want to be happy. I want to feel happy. I want to laugh and sing and dance and be silly. I want to have so much of it that when life punches me in the nose with ‘reality’ that I can fight back without losing the self-esteem battle. Again.
So I hunt joy. I hunt fun. I hunt laughter. I hunt funny people because they make me smile. Ok, so that’s a little creepy sounding but whatever, man. It’s the truth.
It’s simply too tempting and frankly, EASY, to wallow in self-pity.
For example, I am frequently around a group of women (because we all have kids) who I think are joy suckers. Like Dementors in Harry Potter, they walk around sucking all the joy out of the air with their hypocrisy, self-righteousness, and teenage selfies. And every single time, I feel bad about myself after being with them. WHAT??
I used to sit around and try to figure out what I could do to fit in. How could I change myself? Would the right hair or jewelry make the statement I need to gain their acceptance? Would the right words, enough grace, or even ignoring them protect me from feeling pain from them? The answer was surprisingly simple.
Since the third grade, I have tried to manipulate people into liking me by becoming what I think they like. I have no idea why I have kept his up for the last thirty-something years. Even as I write this I see how it’s utterly ludicrous. There must have been some kind of positive reinforcement somewhere that kept me in this insane quest for acceptance. Or I’m just thick as all get out. Either way, I’m so over it.
I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.
So I’m hunting joy. Joyful people, YouTube videos, books to read, Pinterest boards to follow….You name it. If it makes me laugh, I’m in.
So to bring you all some joy, here are a few favorite things.
The new ad campaign by Cigna.
This new book by Melanie Dale.
These tee shirts I saw on The Profit.
I am loving following my kids on SnapChat and Twitter because teenagers are hilarious. I also am loving America’s Got Talent and practically die every Tuesday in anticipation. The finale is next week, people!
I’m looking for a tribe of joy hunters. Are you in? You just need to be sick of striving to do this. What things bring you oodles of joy and laughter and happiness right now?
If anyone has ever told you you’re funny, we need to be friends. No seriously, inbox me.
(I’m giggling at the irony of the ‘Seriously, in-box me if you aren’t serious’ thing.)
I’ve been told before that I’m funny and if I could wave a magic wand, I would be funny ALL THE TIME and surrounded by other funny people that I never feel the need to compete with. (Hilarious in and of itself, right?)
Funny is my love language. The truth is that if you can make me laugh, you own me. Friends for life. If I know you, we’ll hang out more. If I don’t know you, I’ll stalk you on social media. You'll notice an obscene amount of 'likes' on your stuff. Bravo to you for being funny.
Humor is my favorite hobby. Laughter is the drug to which I am addicted. If I could, I’d meet people in dark alleys for a gram. It's the best anti-depressant I know. It’s the best feel-good emotion and the time when I least mind my laugh lines (a.k.a., wrinkles.) I watch funny movies until I learn the lines then quote them obsessively. I forward funny blogs to friends and family. I laugh at inappropriate stuff and videos of cats. I take any average issue and search it on Pinterest with the search tag ‘humor’ added. I hunt humor. Straight up.
Here’s the deal. I struggle with depression. You know, the kind that comes from being bullied as a kid, insecure in your own skin, etc. That progressed into post-partum that morphed into anxiety that led to chronic illness that brought us right back to depression like Do Re Me. I’ve tried the counseling, exercise, diet, meds, books, journals, etc. It's all wonderful, helpful and good but, for me, nothing comes closer to healing than laughter. I’m sure there are a lot of scientific reasons for why but it would be so boring to look them up. (For fun I did look them up and there are charts and stuff so if that's your jam, knock yourself out.)
Laughter is how I cope. It’s how I heal. It reminds me not to take life so seriously. Even when life is smacking you upside the head with serious. I believe laughter is holy. Especially the kind where you are laughing so hard that no sound comes out of your mouth and tears literally drip down your cheeks.
There's one little trick to laughter, though. It's so much sweeter when you share it. Women who can laugh together can do anything! Overcome anything. When we laugh together there exists a few glorious minutes when all is right with the world. Joy.
So if you are funny, we need to be friends. Especially if you quote movies and song lyrics. I am currently obsessed with the Broadway musical Hamilton and memorized all the songs with funny lines first. It’s an added bonus if you love Hamilton, too.
I’m being totally serious. (Ugh, that again.) The world and I need more laughter and fun and happiness and joy. I am desperate for that kind of community. Let's laugh until we cry or cry until we laugh. Can we be those people for just a while?
A few requirements: must be able to laugh at self, must love Jesus and must be able to be your full on real self even when it’s not funny. Funny is our goal, not our lives. Community means we do life even when it’s not funny. Especially when it’s not funny.
I won’t ask you to leave a funny comment because pressure like that tends to dry up all hilarity. Comedians say the hardest part of their job is when people walk up to them and demand, “Say something funny.” It’s like the cold shower of funny moments.
Instead, I’ll ask you to leave a comment about something that makes you laugh. A movie quote? A joke? A Pinterest meme? A kid you have? An author you follow? A funny blog or podcast? What fills your funny cup? I can't wait to laugh with you.