Care for Those Who Care for Your Soul

So October is Pastor Appreciation Month and it has me thinking about why pastors and others in roles of spiritual leader and mentor (from hospital chaplains, to counselors, to that friend who always seems to become the nurturer, prayer warrior, and “spiritual mom” to everyone in her life) might need some extra appreciation and encouragement.

Ok…. so next time you’re around that person, watch how others interact with them. Yes there may be a person or two who walks up to the pastor and genuinely asks “How are you?” (pausing for an answer even). But much of the time, pastors are being approached with needs. “Pastor, can you pray for me about this”…. “Pastor, I just lost my job”…. “Pastor, my Dad’s in the hospital”…. and so on and on and on….

And even if someone doesn’t approach giving a spoken request, those in pastoral roles are strong in the areas of empathy and insight and may sense heaviness and a burden to pray for someone who – to the rest of us – seems to be just passing by Pastor to say hello. And even at times a need hasn’t been mentioned – there is the knowing that there are some people who will not even approach a pastor or darken the doorway of a church unless they are facing a crisis. So pastors are learning of and responding to spoken and unspoken needs during a good percentage of their waking hours. It makes my soul tired just imagining the weight of that!

Some of you may be asking “Well, I thought that was their job! Why should they get extra appreciation?? The rest of us don’t?” …. Well, your vehicle’s job is to drive but it’s not going to do that so well without gas and maintenance, is it? And if your vehicle encounters unique circumstances – like a big tough Jeep encountering extra rugged terrain and a lot of mud – it may need some extra care specific to its task. Like a good realignment and de-mudding. So since pastors are not just giving of their physical time and labor but giving up their very soul and spirit to nurture yours – it’s safe to say they are more than worthy of some extra support and appreciation. Like my “one-day” monster off-roading Jeep will, pastors tackle muddier areas of life than the rest of us. And sometimes it takes a little extra time and attention from the the rest of us to “get the mud off”.

And although there are the obvious forms of appreciation like financial gifts and support and maybe an extra note or kind word during Pastor Appreciation Month – I challenge us to take it a step further. Not just during this designated months or days – but all year long – let’s make a point to remember that “Pastors are people, too” and take time out to send that unexpected note, text, or say “Hello, how are you?” and actually take the time to listen without always adding our own prayer request or personal need to the conversation.

Oh, and let’s all just show up to our church’s events that our pastors work so hard to prepare. (For some of us this means when it’s not Easter, Christmas, a wedding, or a funeral). Believe me, the encouragement and necessary life-strengthening that comes from you attending church goes both ways – to the pulpit and back!

“The elders who lead the church in a good way should receive double honor —in particular, those who do the work of counseling and teaching.” – ‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭5:17‬ ‭ERV‬‬ (Easy-to-Read Version)

So, if you’re a pastor or spiritual leader, know that you are appreciated even when it’s not Pastor Appreciation Day (and sometimes feels like Pastor Depreciation Day) and those who have entrusted themselves to your spiritual care aren’t so great at showing it.

And if you’re blessed enough to have someone in your life who nurtured and leads you spiritually, don’t forget to care for the one who cares for your soul.

And if you don’t have someone like that in your life – be quick to ask your Good Father God to lead you to where you are to gather to worship. Because, I know I say this a lot – but only because it is so very true and has even been life-saving for me – Don’t do life alone ever!

Let’s continue to become who we already are…. together!


PS…. Of course I can’t end this post without a “shout out” of thanks and appreciation to the pastors and leaders who have poured so much into me. I love my home church, Amazing Church in McKinney, Texas!

Help Me Bless a #StrongMom!

I am blessed with incredible friends. And one of my friends is such an example to me of strength and indepence that she doesn’t like to ask for help herself – which is why I am not naming her here. 

She’s selfless (when I asked if she had requested assistance from her local church – she said she would save that as a last resort because she wants them to be able to help others who may have more needs than she does). She’s a smart, compassionate, hardworking single mom of kids ranging from school age to college age including an incredible special-needs child. 

She has experienced some recent financial hardship and I would love to be able to help. I don’t have the ability to give the whole amount on my heart – but I bet if a bunch of us gave a few bucks we could really help lighten her load right now – just as she has helped lighten the load of others. 

Simply click here to to check out the GoFundMe page I created for her so you can share her story on your own social media, pray, and/or give.

Thank you, in advance, for your support, prayers, and anything you can contribute financially! And remember, “Don’t do life alone!”…. EVER!

What Do You Hide Behind?

An #InstaPrayer for deliverance from the perfectionism we hide behind….


It’s the messy and imperfect times in our lives that mold us the most and sometimes bring the most beauty. So why is it that we work so hard to create “perfection” (whatever the heck that is)?

These thoughts began during the #WeekendExperience at my Amazing Church. It was a beautiful morning full of #GodEncounters as we took the time to #HearGodSpeak with and through each other. However, I had a little angst when something was spoken to me and in resonated in me instructing me not to “hide behind my words”. As I pondered this (a.k.a. pouted over it) I was thinking, “I don’t hide behind hide words! I’m a communicator and a writer! Of course I use a lot of carefully crafted words! It’s one of my gifts!”. However, the more I thought about it… the more I realized that your gift can become your curse when – rather than using it authentically – you use it as a tool for unhealthy perfectionism in vain attempts to create “perfect” moments or to self-protect (“skirt around” the real issues) during difficult conversations.

I’m blogging about this because I have a feeling I’m not the only one who has struggled in this area. Your gift may not be words. It may be fashion or culinary creating, for instance. But the fashionista becomes a captive of her own craft when it becomes more than her creative expression and she refuses to leave the house or FaceTime with a friend until she has that “perfect” look. And the chef loses joy in his creating when he tosses a well-loved recipe aside because of one harsh review.

Oh, and then there’s the fact that your gift can become a god/idol to you and God’s really not cool with that. (See Exodus 20:3. And while you’re in your #BibleApp, check out all the times in Psalms when God is referred to as our rock and our refuge…. Not anything we do or have or anyone we know…. #GodAlone).

So… let’s just live, love, and share our gifts… perhaps before that 100th rewrite or rework in our heads of that conversation, outfit, or meal. Or, as it’s been said, “Don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good”. When you allow your gift to become your source of security – you’re risking it becoming a clumsy, uncomfortable, even destructive crutch rather than the beautiful life-giving blessing it’s meant to be.

And, as I do through my Amazing Church, professional counseling/life-coaching, and in support groups with others on journeys similar to mine, be sure to position yourself in places of authentic connection where you can learn more about yourself through relationship with God and others. It takes the eyes of others to see yourself clearly sometimes.

Ok, that’s enough words shared for now. And this time I’m not hiding behind them – but revealing a part of my heart through them. That’s what words are for.

Let’s become who we already are… together.

My #Instaprayer Project…. Join me??

Today I started posting on Instagram a short prayer to go along with the Scripture focus on my heart for the day. Feel free to join me in applying God’s Word and praying it back to our Good, Good Father. Here’s today’s post:Today’s #instaprayer is inspired by James 2:1-4. “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ while you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there,’ or, ‘Sit down at my feet,’ have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”

The Gift of Tears

God collects the tears of the hurting (see Psalm 56:8) and weeps with those who weep (see John 11:33-35). And nothing is quite as beautiful as when His people do the same….. very rare and completely counter-cultural in a society that avoids pain and idolizes comfort…. but beautiful. May we have our #FathersHeart toward the hurting. Sometimes it is OK to weep with them and be present in their pain rather than sing the same old #PressOnAndBeStrong song.

Don’t Let Disconnection Silence Your Song (A Parable from #AmazingBand Practice)

So…because I knew I was going to have to go directly from work to band practice at Amazing Church tonight, I loaded my keyboard and amp into my Jeep this morning. I thought I was so prepared.

However, when I arrived at rehearsal – I was unable to add any sound to the beautiful music coming from the other team members. 

Why? I had prepared everything – except what I needed to be connected. I left just one little bag at home. But that bag contained the power adapter for my keyboard along with the cables that connect it into the speakers. And without those connections, the keyboard and amp I had with me were absolutely useless.

Isn’t that how it is with life sometimes? We run around focusing on what we think is important. We think we’re prepared because of the big important-looking things we carry with us. However, when it’s our turn to play our part – we end up with an emptiness and a disconnected silence that chills the soul. When we stop doing what we need to do to stay connected to God and to each other, everything else is absolutely empty.

So, just like I am going to make sure I have everything I need to be connected to power and sound at the next rehearsal – let’s not forget the things we need to stay connected in life. Those little connectors can seem like the smallest things – like the offering of a smile, a listening ear, or a few moments of your time. But the result of taking the time to make sure you aren’t disconnected is absolutely worth the effort.