Tag Archives: Mark Batterson

Living An Adventure.

Jett haybale

Now that the kids are back in school, and I’ve stopped celebrating my freedom, wiped my tears, I’m going to try to get back into the habit of writing everyday. One thing I’ve learned is that the more I write, the more I have to write about. The less I write, the more I stare at my computer and try to remember how in the Sam Hill I did this everyday. When we don’t use our gifts, they lie dormant. No good for anyone. (Thank you, dear friend, Susan Harp.) So, here is my attempt to use it, and hopefully along, the way make you laugh or feel all the feels or be reminded that life is good, and YOU matter.

My kids started a new adventure this year at St. George’s Episcopal School. Anna even started a new adventure taking ballet. Who would’ve thought that my girl who insisted on dressing like she was trying out for the NBA would decide she’s a dancer? Or John Henry would decide one day, “I want to learn the cello.” Then, there is Jett where every day is an adventure. So much to do, to explore, to learn, to grow. Kids just get it. But, sometimes, along the way, we grown-ups don’t get it anymore. We stop imagining ourselves doing something new. We stop imagining the life we really want to live. We stop imagining, we stop being thankful, and we stop living an adventure.

I started reading Mark Batterson’s new book, A Trip Around the Sun: Turning Your Everyday Life Into the Adventure of A Lifetime. Batterson writes, “Kids get adventure. Its innate. They live life free of worry, full of faith, and with their eyes peeled for the next big adventure. We should live with holy anticipation of what’s around the corner.” I began thinking about how God wants us to become like little children. When the disciples asked Jesus who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven, He called a child to Him and said, “Become like him.” Become like a child. Forgive like a child. Love like a child. Seek adventure like a child!

As I read, I began taking inventory of my own life. I have seasons I stop living an adventure. I honestly think I’ve been in one. It’s not that I haven’t necessarily done adventurous things lately. Doing a helicopter tour in Hawaii this past July was a definite stretch for me in terms of adventure. However, it’s been more of the absence of observing life and being truly thankful for it. I believe our imagination is birthed in our observation of life around us. It’s birthed when we slow down our minds and slow down our motions to breathe in Him. To look intently into Jett’s eyes when he is taking ten minutes to tell a two minute story. To notice how his eyes get so animated and to appreciate how passionate he is about his story. It’s birthed in sweet conversations with Anna when she asks questions like, “Tell me more about how we hear the Spirit within us.” It’s birthed in moments like last night when I begin singing a song, and John Henry says, “I can play that on guitar.” So, he does, and we begin singing these words together:

How do I say thank You, Lord
For the way that You love
And the way that You come

For all that You’ve done
All that You’ll do
My hearts pours out
Thank You

You don’t have to come
But You always do
You show up in splendor
And change the whole room

How do I say thank You, Lord
For the life that You gave
The cross that You bore

For the love You poured out
To ransom my soul
My hearts pours out
This thankful song

A life of adventure may not always be climbing Mt. Everest or taking some big risk. A life of adventure may be in having that hard conversation. It may be in noticing God in every moment. It may be a moment where your heart pours out thanksgiving for a life that is just so good, and a God whose goodness never stops pursuing after you. That’s the environment, those are the conditions, where imagination is birthed. And, imagination is what sets our life up for the adventure of a lifetime.

Be aware. Slow down. Notice. And, above all, let thanksgiving be your language. Because, there is no greater adventure than a life filled with gratitude.



Filed under gratitude, life, Motherhood, Uncategorized, Writing

Raising Lion Chasers.

My dad is preaching a series this month on becoming a lion chaser.  He’s using Mark Batterson’s “In the Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day” as a foundation for this series.  Well, that and the bible, of course.  Dad and I have talked a lot about this series.  Mostly, what it means to be a lion chaser.  As a mother of three, yes THREE, children, I am thinking constantly of how to raise my own lion chasers.  Because, our greatest regrets in life will be the lions we did not chase.

Can I just pause right now and insert how much I LOVE being a mother right now?  Today.  In this world.  In this culture.  In this chaos.  In this uncertainty.  In these times labeled as scary.  Uncertain.  With echoes of “this world is going to hell in a handbasket.”  Because, I know that it’s in these times that God does His thing.  HIS thing.  He always prevails.  It IS His world, by the way.   And, I’m so pumped to be raising my children in a time where seeing the glory of God is just inevitable. 

Okay.  Close insert.

Back to chasing lions and kicking, well, kicking tail.

See this awesome kid?

He is my very cautious seven-year old.  He looks before he leaps.  He analyzes his moves long before he makes them.  So, I found it very uncanny that he would be the first kid out of six to leap off of a 25 foot drop into what’s called the “Blue Hole” on a recent vacation to Bahamas.  That right in the middle of our many talks about being a lion chaser, my very reserved son became a fearless….warrior.

So, now?  I’ll tell him the story of Benaiah. 

And, I’ll remind of him of this obscure story for the remainder of his days as long as he lives down the hall from me.  Because, I know…..

I just know. 

God has called him to be a lion chaser.  To conquer his fears.  To conquer the chaos.  And to make known once again that we do not live in uncertain times.  We live in certain times. 

Paid for over two-thousand years ago.

Benaiah chased a lion down into a pit. Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it. II Samuel 23:20


Filed under God Stuff, Kid Stuff, parenting

Don’t Make Noise. Make A Difference.

Why yes, of course, I missed you.  Did you miss me?  Taking the last week of the year to spend solely with my family just seemed like the right thing to do.  I’m glad I did.  But, I did miss talkin’ to y’all.

There are plenty of photos from this season I could post, but this one is my favorite.  It’s Anna Takle, day one, at my parents’ house, in search of gifts that read her name.  One day, I’m going to miss little bodies under a Christmas tree, shaking their presents with smiles planted across their face.  It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

But, I’d like to experience many wonderful times of this new year.  I heard my dad recently share on how many of us make New Year’s resolutions to work out, eat less – even though, it profits us little.  However, resolving to pursue Christ above all else, love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind profits us much.  I’m letting that be my New Year’s resolution. 

So often, we focus on things that bother us.  We let those things take up more space than our love for God.  How wrong is that?  A couple of days ago, Mark Batterson posted this on Twitter:

“quit criticizing and start creating.   don’t focus on what’s wrong.   do something right.   don’t make noise.   make a difference.”

Wow.  That’s what it’s all about.  The only way we are ever going to get to that point is to stop being so dang negative and start loving God.  Really loving God.  And, pursuing Him as relentlessly as Anna pursued her gifts. 

I bet we might just discover a few gifts, too. 

That’s my resolution. 



Filed under God Stuff, Kid Stuff, Love, Spiritual Journey

What Are The Odds?

The 50 to 1 odds for Mind That Bird to win the Kentucky Derby have certainly not been over-looked in the past few days.  Wow.  What an incredible under-dog (or horse) story.  These kinds of odds remind me of how often we want God decrease the odds in our own life.

But, that’s not usually how God works.

In the book, In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day, Mark Batterson addresses this very thing.  Take the story of Gideon, for example.  Gideon started out with thirty-two thousand men, and they were still outnumbered by the Midianites.  They were the underdogs with thirty-two thousand!  But, God tells Gideon he has too many men.  And, He orders Gideon to let go of the scaredy-cats.  Apparently, he had a lot of scaredy-cats, because two-thirds of them went home to momma.

Still too many men, God told him.

If I were Gideon, I’d be like, “Do wha?”

So after a drinking contest.  Wait.  No.  After Gideon discharges his men that drink water like dogs (per God’s instruction), he gets down to a measly three-hundred.


Talk about pretty stinky odds.

But, ya know what?  Israel wins.  Midianites lose.

So, why did God not decrease their odds?  Actually, why did he INCREASE them? 

Simple.  Because, He wants all of the glory.  ALL of it.

Judges 7:2 says “The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength.”

Mark  Batterson writes:

“Maybe that is why God sometimes invites us to defy impossible odds.  Maybe it is one way He can show His omnipotence.  Maybe God allows the odds to be stacked against us so He can reveal more of His glory……..

Too often our prayers revolved around asking God to reduce the odds in our lives.  We want everything in our favor.  But maybe God wants to stack the odds against us so we can experience a miracle of divine proportions.  Maybe faith is trusting God no matter how impossible the odds are.  Maybe our impossible situations are opportunities to experience a new dimension of God’s glory.”

If the odds are stacked against you today, do not lose heart.  Remember Who is in control.  And, remember, He not only wants, but deserves all of the glory for your victory.


Filed under disappointment, God Stuff

The Drifter.

Sometimes, I am a drifter.  A God drifter.  I didn’t know the name for it until Pastor Craig enlightened me this past Sunday.  It’s not that I haven’t prayed.  I have.  But, for the past few weeks, it’s really been more about me than Him. 

Then, I realize.  It tends to be about me when I don’t make time for Him.  Not a time for me to tug on the proverbial robe for requests.  Because, if that’s what this thing is all about it, then brothas and sistas, I have it down.

I’m not sure how you do it.  But, I can’t just always sit in silence and wait for God to speak to me.  I’m just being honest.  I do find that I tend to grow in Him – and spend time with Him – when I read various books by certain authors.  Many times, those books lead me to a silence where I hear Him.  I just struggle cultivating my own.  Read me?

I just picked up Mark Batterson’s book, Wild Goose Chase.  The subtitle is what caught my attention:  “Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God.”  Hmmm.  Adventure?  I’m game. 

“An Geadh-Glas” is name the Celtic Christians gave to the Holy Spirit.  Literal translation – “the Wild Goose.”  Batterson writes, “much like a wild goose, the Spirit of God cannot be tracked or tamed.”

He goes onto to explain that the “promptings of the Holy Spirit can sometimes seem pretty pointless, but rest assured, God is working His plan.   And if you chase the Wild Goose, He will take you places you never could have imagined going by paths you never knew existed.”

Can I evah relate to this one.  How often we struggle with wanting to know His will.  It’s as if we think we can put him into the confines our conventional wisdom….of our tiny little minds.  {Some, tinier than others.}

Batterson says, “Add Him [Holy Spirit] into the equation of your life, and anything can happen.  You never know who you’ll meet, where you’ll go, or what you’ll do.  All bets are off.”  If we are bored in our walk…ahem, that’s me….then perhaps, Batterson says, I am inviting the Spirit to follow me instead of following the Spirit.

And, that’s the “difference between spiritual boredom and spiritual adventure.”

I think I’m up for the adventure. 



Filed under God Stuff, Spiritual Journey

Guest Blog – Brittany Thoms: “Free Throw Shot”

I’ve known Brittany (B Shaw) Thoms since she was a tot.  Throughout Britt’s adolescent years, she considered me a mentor.  Now, we mentor each other.  You’d be hard pressed to find another girl with greater passion for Jesus.  And, I couldn’t be more blessed to call her my friend.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Brittany Thoms.

“Free Throw Shot” by Brittany Thoms

It’s hard to imagine thinking the way God thinks.

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts [higher] than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:9

But I feel like every now and then, God gives us glimpses of what it really means to be made in His likeness. Parents know this very well and as a soon-to-be mom (November), I’m crazy excited about learning more about God through my son. J

In his book, “In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day,” Mark Batterson writes:

One of my most memorable moments as a parent happened during my son Parker’s rookie season in little league basketball. His team hadn’t won a single game all season … [and Parker] had a 98 percent air-ball percentage from the free-throw line.

So Parker got fouled and went to the free throw line. And to be perfectly honest, I felt bad at first because I knew my son had a 98 percent chance of being embarrassed. But I prayed like it was the day of Pentecost! I wish I could say that I prayed that Parker would make the free throw, but I didn’t have that much faith. I just prayed that he would hit the rim. But Parker stepped up to the free throw line and renewed my faith in the power of prayer. Parker defied the odds and made the first free throw of his career.

                And I cried.

There is tremendous joy in watching someone achieve greatness.  Why do parents rejoice when their children do something right?  Why do moms carry around “brag books?”  Because, our Heavenly Father is no exception.  Don’t you think God rejoices all the time when His children operate in the gifts He placed inside of them?

The other side of this coin is sorrow.  I think of God more and more every time I consciously forgive someone.  Forgiveness isn’t second nature.  It hurts.  And what’s worse?  We are constantly reminded of our wounds and have to forgive the same person for the same thing multiple times – whether it was 20 years or 20 days ago.

And I think, “Wow. God, you REALLY love us … because we do stupid things that hurt you all the time.”

Consider this:

                My sins nailed Jesus to a cross.

                I bet that hurt REAL bad.

                Yet, He still loves me.


So, when I’m reminded of wounds where others have scarred me, I think of the scars on Jesus and how it drives His love for us to an even deeper level:  unconditional.  And when I catch someone being great, I’m equally reminded how much God gets excited over us.

But most of all … I want to love like Jesus loves.




Filed under God Stuff, Love