The Gospel According to my Bubble Bath

If you’re a fan of bubble baths like I am, you probably would never add fragrant oils or soap to still water. You either add it when the water is running or you fire up those jets on the whirlpool tub. Why? Because as fragrant and lovely as that oil or soap may be while sitting still, its full refreshing, relaxing, fragrant, and bubbly impact is not released until it is stirred.

It would be sad if I sat in my big old tub and added fragrant oils and soaps, but never fired up the whirlpool jets to spread their healing beauty throughout my bath. Well, how much sadder still if we never fully release the fragrant life-giving beauty our Maker so lovingly crafted into us because we avoid the very things (often in the form of painful or challenging decisions, situations, or relationships) that were designed to stir us up in order to release us into our full potential.

So I challenge you… I challenge me… not to be so busy about avoiding the pain of life’s stirring that we miss having our full and intended impact!

Think about that the next time you’re in a bubble bath. Or, think about it the next time life’s circumstances try to get you stirred up. The stirring that rocks our predictable “safe” little worlds sometimes may not be such a bad thing after all.

Growing better together,

Know Yourself. Lead Yourself. Lead Others.

Perhaps much of our struggle lies in that we attempt to lead others when we haven’t yet learned how to lead ourselves.

My new life coach/counselor is having me read the book, Better Than Before: Master the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, by Gretchen Rubin. In this most worthwhile read, the author proposes that there are 4 basic tendencies: the upholder, the questioner, the obliger, and the rebel.

These tendencies cause us each to have different styles of doing everything: living, loving, habit formation, absolutely everything….

And if we haven’t taken the time to assess ourselves – we may just be attempting to apply someone else’s habit-system-solution which may actually be counter productive in a person with our particular design.

So as I’m reading this book in an attempt to finally conquer a life-long struggle with procrastination and become more productive, I am learning that I am a rebelwith just a touch of obliger.

And… I must confess. At first I thought this odd combination of tendencies was just a bit unfair. Perhaps God was expressing a warped sense of humor when He created me. I mean, how the heck am I supposed to get myself to do anything when my natural tendency is to resist outer expectations and inner expectations… mixed with a touch of people-pleasing tendencies!

Oh, and to top it all off – my professional background and passion for changing healthcare for the better tends to land me in positions that are typically filled by the 100% obliger type. (You know, the “You say jump – I’ll say how high” follow-every-rule type?). So… I work in the most highly regulated industry ever in roles that are supposed to enforce those regulations and create structured frameworks to bring about positive change. Yet I have the tendency to want to do the exact opposite of what I’m told. What’s up with that??

So….. This morning I was talking to Father about this. (The Maker-of-my-soul-Father – not my earthly father, Dad, a.k.a my most faithful blog reader who I’ll call later!). And, since Father’s ok with His kids being real with Him, I let Him know my frustrations in a “What were you thinking when you designed me like this?!?” kind of way. And He lovingly and graciously asked me, “You want to lead and make a difference for me, right?”. Yes, of course. Then He softly spoke this simply profound truth to my soul:

If you can lead yourself, you can lead anybody.

So, in other words, if I can convince this stubborn-rebellious-wild-child-wrapped-in-a-sweet-submissive-compliant-looking-shell to do what she’s supposed to, I can lead anyone??

EXACTLY. (If God texted, I am pretty certain it would always be in bold, italicized all-caps).

Huh. What about that. Maybe my Maker knows what He’s doing after all.

So let’s stop over-complicating things and just get to know and love Him, ourselves, and each other. Then we can simply live and love well as we walk out this crazy adventure called life!

Falling Forward through Seasons

So…. a nature photographer’s dream shot is to capture a bird in flight. I didn’t realize until I looked back through photos from this afternoon that I captured a single beautiful autumn leaf in flight on it’s journey to the ground! Just another beautiful reminder from our good Father that life is so much sweeter when you embrace seasons rather than fighting the newness they bring. 🍁

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.”

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:1-8‬ ‭

It’s Not Up To Me Because It’s Not About Me


A beautiful and freeing thought is resounding deep in my spirit this morning: It’s not up to me because it’s not about me.

“God is so passionately committed to having a people for his own possession who live forever for the praise of His glory that He is not about to let our eternal destiny depend on our native powers of willing or doing.” – John Piper

“In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.” – Ephesians‬ ‭1:13-14‬ ‭

What God is telling us through these verses: “I have sealed you by My Spirit. Your inheritance is sure, because I am passionately committed to magnify the glory of My grace in your salvation.” (From the @YouVersion Bible App plan ‘Live By The Spirit: Devotions With John Piper’

Learning to live #ForThePraiseOfHisGlory. #GodsStory is #ForeverAndEverything and #MyStory is #WrappedUpInHIM. #AlphaOmegaSemicolon. AΩ;

Tap the picture hear the song that gave us these beautiful lyrics!

When We Learn to Keep It Simple….

abe team of rivals insty

When we learn to keep everything we do simple, focused, and intentional – we are in the company of the some of the best and most brilliant thinkers and achievers in all history.  Of course, because President Lincoln was leap years ahead of his time in so many ways… it is not surprising that he ran his campaigns and his country in a highly efficient manner.  Lincoln implemented a highly productive team approach to provide maximum value for every U.S. Citizen long before business and industry defined Lean and other methodologies.

Good Advice from Greatness

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.” – President Abraham Lincoln, after being asked for advice on how to become an attorney.

This is not likely to be the last Abraham Lincoln quote you see from me as I am reading Team of Rivals. It is my drive time audiobook listen right now. Although I am only several hours in to over 40 hours of listening – I am learning so much already! I am gaining a new appreciation for this great leader and the incredible team he selected.

Teamwork Simplified

In my industry, Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety, there are many programs that teach team training. And that’s a good thing. In this and many other industries such as air transportation and manufacturing, the high reliability produced by great teamwork does much more than create successful popular businesses. It can literally save lives.

My idea of a high functioning team is one in which miscommunication rarely occurs and when it does it is quickly clarified so all members are working from the “same playbook” and “dancing to the same beat” once again.  This correlates well with the research coming out of the Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality arenas which aggregate data from adverse patient care incidents across the country. The most commonly identified causitive factor of adverse events in healthcare is breakdown in communication, a.k.a poor teamwork.

However, I sometimes wonder if we spend too much time teaching complicated methodologies on what it takes to be a winning team.  I saw this simple acronym come across my LinkedIn feed today (unsure of original source of the quote) that summed up great teams in one little square on my cell phone screen.

A Call to Refocus in this Instagram World

So, after posting some God-given encouragement on Instagram this morning, I found myself distracted from the #GoodGoodFather I had been communing with just moments ago by obsessively counting likes on my posts. I was shifting from finding my worth in Him to attempting to ascertain my value from that! Thankfully, He intervened in my soul once again with these words:

“Place your full focus on Me rather than gazing at yourself. Don’t let even My blessings and the beauty I’ve placed in you distract you from the Strength and Hope I AM.  This can block my ability to flow through you to others in need of Me.”

Our Father wrote some words in the Bible a while back as a reminder for moments like these:

“[looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].” Hebrews 12:2‬ ‭AMP‬‬ (Amplified Version) 

Let’s continue to listen to the sweet voice of our Father and become who we already are….