LIFE LESSONS: Courage to Begin

I'm an artist, writer, speaker. An initiator, leader, dreamer, visionary. All of these require Courage. Courage to begin. But sometimes I get stuck. Lack of vision, opportunity? Occasionally. More often than not, I'm overwhelmed with all the possibilities. When I find myself in that place, indecision grips me. Indecision promotes procrastination. Procrastination opens the door to fear and failure. I am frozen in space and time. I feel frustrated. I've allowed fear to steal my faith. Paintings wait to be painted. Words long to be placed on paper, to be shaped into sentences. Sentences expect to form paragraphs, destined to build a story. Such is life. Not just the life of a creator, but of being obedient to The Creator. He is shaping a story through each of us. Our story is just waiting to be lived, to be shared, to take form and shape, to bring beauty to the world and glory to God. But fear can get in the way of His work. We lag behind, afraid to take the next step. We lack faith. It's like taking an exam you haven't studied for...and all the questions are essays. The white space on the page is so blinding that any potential recall is irretrievable. The fear of taking [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:14+00:00 August 21st, 2014|, |0 Comments

Woven GNO: Self-Image

Our August Girls' Night Out rocked! 62 women from 6+ churches came together for worship and the word. Here's a sample from my notes: Can you remember when you were first aware of your weight? I was in 2nd grade. My mother would send me out the door, but just as the bus was reaching the stop, I was suddenly ill and ran down the hill-- into my mother's arms. A few days of behaving this way demanded a confession: I refused to go to school because the boys chased me at recess. I was tired of running and afraid of what would happen if I didn’t! The grand finale? My Mother loaded me into the car and marched into the classroom to talk to my teacher. From that day on, a boy in my class began taunting me: “Your mom’s fat!” That had never occurred to me. I should have known that if MY MOM was fat, then HIS MOM must be fat too! They were practically the same size. I realize this was his way of flirting, but from that day on, I was embarrassed of my mom. Along with that embarrassment, I felt ashamed of who I was. It attacked my self esteem. It changed my body image. To add to that, my mother was in a constant search for the right diet [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:16+00:00 August 18th, 2014||0 Comments

Woven Girls’ Night Out 1-2-3!

WE ARE LOVING OUR GIRLS' NIGHT OUT!! Yes, there is a double meaning intended in this statement because LOVING OUR GALS and LOVING GOD is what we're all about!! AND...When we have an entire evening devoted to exactly that? Well, it's pretty amazing!! Yes, it is! Our 1st WGNO was in June, but in my heart it began as early as January. STORY NIGHTS. That's what I kept hearing from God. An opportunity for women to gather and share their personal stories, to be real, transparent, and to know that we are never alone in what we are facing, that there is no shame in where we have been, no secrets that need to be kept in the closet, no skeletons worth preserving. And lo and behold, THE GLORY of our Girls' Nights! (yes, men, you should be a bit envious of this!). The schedule is consistent, but all else is a work of the Holy Spirit. We begin at 6:30pm by coming alone or bringing a guest. You won't be a loner here! None are able to escape our embrace. Food and drinks await you; love greets you at the door. The fun begins! Arrive at 7pm, and you are awakened by the sound of [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:21+00:00 August 7th, 2014|, , |1 Comment

Woven Women JAPAN UPdate

We love hearing from our Woven sisters in Japan. Leader Tash Horner (the blonde in picture) recently sent this update on her group... We have completed the fourth Woven evening! We've had a shift in the group with one lady leaving and going back to America and two lovely new ladies joining us. I've found that are connecting more and more this year through this program and I look forward to leading it monthly. We have had gracious hosts who very kindly open up their apartments and (it has also been the trend for them to serve delicious food - a gift I certainly DON'T have). One of the most beneficial things has been the ice-breaker activities where we get to relax and have fun in a safe spiritual climate. I've also enjoyed hearing the various hosts tell what's going on for them. As I explained in my first update, we all live in close quarters and know quite a bit about each other, but Woven allows us to share what's happening spiritually. Woven recommends working together to bless the community. Here is a photo of 4 of the 7 women singing a song for a community Easter program we hosted. We put on a mime about the prodigal son (read [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:22+00:00 July 23rd, 2014||0 Comments

Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty. I have loved this woman since the day I first knew of her. Even as a child, she fascinated me, stirring a longing deep within for "Liberty and Justice for All." Her beauty astounded me. Her majesty--I could not escape!   No matter how many times I've spied her via photo, freeway, ferry, boat, from the sky above or from the shore ~ She stills my spirit in silence and reverence, stirring my heart with a longing for more.   Lady Liberty: A sacred Mother who's values birthed a Nation-- the greatest nation ever born. A search for Purity -- Equality Liberty & Justice for All. She speaks the very heart of Jesus with her words, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”   How did she become so tainted, so tarnished? Weathered by the works of human nature. Can we resurrect this Lady, this Liberty again? Can it be accomplished without judgment or division or hatred or exploitation? Can we honestly proclaim forevermore: "One Nation Under God, Indivisible, With Liberty & Justice for all". As it is written, "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." ~Eph. 5:14   Happy Birthday!  I love [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:24+00:00 July 4th, 2014|, |0 Comments

Woven: It’s Girl Time!!

I was up with the birds this morning~ they were very chipper and chirping at 4am! I couldn't help but share their joy, their songs of expectation. After a long vacation, I feel like a solar-powered Energizer Bunny! I've stored up lots of energy and Vitamin D: ready to roll with Woven Women! I've truly missed communicating with you. Last night our Woven Team put our heads and hearts together, planning for our upcoming event: GIRLS' NIGHT OUT! Monday, June 23rd, 6:30-8:30pm at REAL LIFE, Newark Naz, 24 Mill Street. We're super excited to share REAL LIFE with YOU! Personal stories, a CHORUS OF PRAISE for our Maker and His work in our lives, and coming together to PRAY for our needs and the concerns of others. At the same time, we've set some dates that you'll want to RESERVE FOR GIRL TIME THROUGHOUT THE YEAR! Here's our tentative schedule of events: Monday, June 23rd, 6:30 GIRLS' NIGHT @ REAL LIFE Tuesday, July 15th, 6:30 GIRLS' NIGHT @ REAL LIFE August/September GIRLS' NIGHT to be determined Monday, October 6th, 6:30pm, WOVEN KICK-OFF November WOVEN MARKETPLACE to be determined Friday-Sunday, February 6-8th, WOVEN QUIET RETREAT @ Sts. Peter & Paul Retreat [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:27+00:00 June 17th, 2014|, |0 Comments

I Will Not Be Silent…

I apologize for being silent. The past 30 days have taken me to Williamsburg, Virginia to speak at the Secrets Conference, then to Las Vegas for the Arbonne International Global Training Conference, and this past weekend to Washington D.C. for the End Exploitation Summit. These events have left me somewhat speechless: not for lack of thought but for lack of time to process the multitude of thoughts. This attempt feels like a tiny stab in a vast darkness, which has produced a more grandiose gratitude in my heart for the grace of God. Grace that sheds light. Grace that exposes darkness. Grace that is greater than sin. It was an honor to be the closing speaker of the Secrets Conference, to shed light on the problem of childhood sexual abuse. I was blessed to be among a team of eight presenters, each bringing a different angle and aspect of this social problem...out of the darkness, into the light. Even greater to be the speaker who's role was to offer HOPE to others. The End Exploitation Summit came as a bookend to the Secrets Conference. A group of about 200 leaders from across the U.S. and a few other countries gathered to grow in our understanding [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:29+00:00 May 22nd, 2014|, |0 Comments

White Flags: I Surrender “My Children”

  White Flags is a new series stemming from our Woven Weekend 2014: FREEDOM. I will be discussing some of the heartfelt needs that our women wrote on their flags, carried to the altar, and surrendered to the Lord. Maybe the answer to someone else's need will uncover your need! TODAY'S FLAG: "I give you my children. They are yours. You are theirs. I release my hold & control."   I remember it so well. My daughter was away at camp. I was home alone: worrying, begging God to take care of my girl. After all we had been through together, I couldn't bear it if anything should happen to her. After all, just one year prior I had lost my husband to suicide. Everything in my life had changed. It seemed I had every reason to be concerned about Nicole, she was only fourteen and a victim of sexual abuse. Suddenly I was confronted with God's response: Don't you trust me with your daughter? Wow! That hit me like a brick! Do you not realize that she was MINE from the beginning. I gifted her to you. Hmm...that put a whole new spin on things! I never thought of that, but TRUTH revealed my inner fears, [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:31+00:00 May 6th, 2014|, , |4 Comments

Secrets: Exposing and Preventing Child Sexual Abuse

  Secrets: we all have them. We call them the "skeletons in our closet" of life. They stir shame, guilt, emotions that we can't control or label. We're afraid of "what others will think" if our secrets are exposed. The skeleton is a great metaphor: we feel naked to the core. But when we speak it? It loses its grip. Its power diminishes. We are mobilized toward freedom. We can overcome! The most amazing thing about sharing our story is the discovery that we are not and were never alone. Though we feel like we are the only one, we uncover the truth that EVERY one has a secret, a story; and often, our stories have a common theme. We are WOVEN into a tapestry. Threads of our past intertwine, provide common ground for conversation, for understanding our present situations. As we weave our tales and share our journeys, hope is awakened, freedom comes to light, healing is in sight. I'm inspired by you. I pray you are inspired by me. I don't know what you're specific situation is, but because of my life situations, I can empathize with you. This weekend, I'm both humbled and exalted for this opportunity to [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:33+00:00 April 22nd, 2014|, , |0 Comments

Holy Week: Love Is the Greatest

  "And now these three remain:  faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13   "AND NOW!"... This subtle, yet dramatic conclusion to the legendary chapter of love brings us to our destination of Holy Week. Today, we still grieve the bloodied, empty cross. Tomorrow, we celebrate the empty tomb, the resurrection of Jesus Christ! This trio of virtues will not only prepare us as we await Christ's return, they will accompany us there. Hope keeps us focused on God and His promises. It's not dreamy imaginings or wishful thinking. Hope is solid confidence in the Lord. Faith is hope in action. Faith is our belief in Christ. Faith reaches fulfillment when we enter our heavenly home, when we see Him face-to-face. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Heb 11:1NLT)." Jesus said, "Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these... (John 14:12NLT)." "The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love (Gal. 5:6b NLT)."  Love is our motivation. Love is the greatest of virtues; the greatest commandment. Love will last forever; it is the governing and uniting [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:35+00:00 April 19th, 2014|, , |1 Comment