May 3, 2012

Excuse Me

So this thing with saying “Yes” is that it’s hard y’all. Sometimes it feels like I’m all roots and no wings. How many reasons can we find to say “No” versus reasons to say “Yes”? Think about something  you’ve been wanting to say Yes to. Why haven’t you?

Fear. Insecurity. Doubt. Apathy. Laziness.  {Fill in the blank.}

But truly, saying “No” tends to create more of these negative emotions and weighs us down. Yet a prayed over “Yes,” well, that can make us touch the sky!

In four days, I’ll be taking-off into the clouds with a “Yes,” which for a hundred reasons almost didn’t happen. Next Monday evening my feet will trod the dusty streets of El Salvador with Compassion International.

Ironically, this trip is a result of my saying “No.” Last time I was in El Salvador, two beautiful funny kiddos gave me this token of love. It was their only trinket. Only. One. Uno. Solo.

The next day I felt that familiar nudge from heaven. I was to give one of my own beloved bracelets away to any mama who God pointed out to me. But it was special. No way was I giving away what meant so much to me. No one would be receiving this gift my dad bought me over 20 years ago in South Africa. No, my bracelet was truly irreplaceable. No no no.

Y’all, I stepped off the plane in my hometown two days later with both bracelets in hand. One bearing selflessness. The other, selfishness.

My lack of “Yes” dragged me down. It nagged at me. Tore at the corners of my heart till it unraveled and fell apart.

Two years later, I shared this story of my misplaced treasure and Compassion picked up on it. They asked if we could create an advocacy video based on my “No.” Would I travel back to El Salvador to film?

This time I didn’t hesitate to say “Yes!” Because this film will be shared at concerts, events, churches to hopefully inspire others to connect with a child in need. And I’ll be asking those who see this short video to say “Yes.” Yes to giving a child wings to fly into their own happy sky, with a full tummy, brain, and heart.

So, excuse me “No” and your hundred reasons, I am preparing to take-off into my “Yes.” As I do, I want to leave you with this encouragement . . . if one too many “No’s” has left you bogged down. If you are fearful you’ve been left behind or left out because of saying “No” one too many times, chin up and wings out friend.

God has remarkable ways that He redeems all things… even a hundred “No’s.”  Seek His wisdom for the step you should take. I’m believing with you that your time to take-off into your “Yes” is now!

{Just  a hint of a whisper for you to include in your prayers today — might your “Yes” today be sponsoring a child? Think about it, please? Grateful if you do.}

{SugarBoo Designs via Grace Interiors & Design}

xoxo,
Sam

April 9, 2012

A Prayer For You

Hey friends!

I don’t know what you’ve endured, what’s crushed you. Not sure how long you’ve been in the ashes. There is only one thing I am positive of…

Christ is for you.
Jesus is with you.
God is yours.

And He will never leave you. He won’t leave you stuck in your past. He won’t leave you in your pain. He won’t leave you all alone.

Yet while He may not leave, He does ask us to go. To come away with Him; away from the pity and relentless memories. Might today be the day you say “Yes. I’ll take a first step out of these ashes”?

I know you may be tired and weary; dreading the thought of even thinking about hope. May I pray for you?

Dear Lord, only You fully know the angst and devastation faced. You are aware of every grain of ash that makes up this heap my friend is in. God, today, will You please fight for joy on her behalf? Polish her mired view of the present . . . so she can rightly see what good lays ahead. Please be the lifter of her head and the giver of hope. Unexpected, decadent, refreshing hope. And Lord, I ask that You please soften her heart to receive all You have for her and for courage to walk in obedience. Thanks so much Jesus. In Your Name I pray, Amen.

 

Today, I’d love to do something kinda unique. Might we leave a prayer for someone we know needs help to see the beauty from ashes? Please leave as a comment. Many thanks~

xoxo,
Sam

February 25, 2012

When Life Squeezes Us

The chair creaked as my friend shifted her weight. I never liked that scrawny chair in my office in the counseling center. Its arms, too close for comfort, seemed to intentionally squeeze the pain right out of my clients. Seemed to be having the same affect on my friend visiting me. This chair was too lightweight to carry the load of hurting people and heavy hearts. I sat across from her, hoping her tears shed were lightening her load.

For a week she’d carried the hopeful joy of what she thought was an unexpected pregnancy. But this was a hope to be deferred. It wasn’t time; not yet.

Not for quite a while. And then one day she joined us for dinner; we feasted on good news as we stood in the kitchen. Arms and elation entangled, we cried again. This time, it was time.

I remember the day she was born; a day when life was squeezing the pain right out of me. I shared my hurt with a friend on the way to the hospital. “You must believe He’s faithful. Don’t let the days slip by in doubt, no matter how long this hope is deferred.” I held that truth and I held that sweet baby, Sophie Brooke.

Her name means Wisdom and Peaceful waters. And aren’t those the things we need when the load is painful and hope is put on hold? Wisdom reminds us of His faithfulness to ease our load. And peace calls us to a place where pain doesn’t squeeze us so hard. For every season and stage of life. For when wombs are barren – to when cribs are full – to when the nest clears out … and every moment in between. Because the days are fleeting and I need Him every hour. I need to say yes to seeking His wisdom and resting where He guides me. Even when — especially when — life closes in and hope seems distant.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
Psalm 23

{Sophie’s Sweet Feet}

xoxo,
Sam

January 31, 2012

A Year of Yes!

No, I am too shy to go to that small group I don’t know anyone.

No, that country is so far away, I’ll skip this missions trip.
No, I gained weight since I last saw them. I’ll just skip that reunion.
No, not hanging with them. I’m still single and feel like a loser.
No, my writing is inadequate. I won’t submit to a publisher.

No No No

Tearing the hole wider until isolation and doubt and fear swallowed me whole. Some legitimate concerns hold me back. Others? Nothing but weights anchoring me to a stagnant present and future.

Dismal? Yes. Hence my desire for change. I’m saying no, no more, in order to say Yes.

Yes, Lord, I will take Your hand
Take You at Your Word
Take Your promises

Take a chance on life, love, hope. Because years of saying “no” have led me nowhere.

This is my year of saying Yes. Yes, I am a bit nervous. Yes, I’ll be pushed beyond my boundaries, my fears, my laziness. But I know there are things I want to say yes to in the future that will require me saying yes in the present.

Yes, I will go around the world on missions with you Lord.
Yes, I will publish my book with you Publishing House.
Yes, I will be your wife Mr. Husband-to-be

I’ll be posting once a week of something I said Yes to, that for one reason or another I would have said No to. And by the end of the year, I hope to have a new revelation of the greatness of God and a tale of adventure with the best person I’ve ever said yes to, Jesus.

Will you join me in saying Yes?

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xoxo,
Sam