Saturday, February 28, 2015


As a "Student Success Coordinator",  I'm constantly defining and redefining what success means to me. And what it means for my students. 

At the basic level, in my position, success means academic support. Making sure students don't fail classes. That they graduate. That they are prepared for a job or graduate school. And that's an important part of my mission. I don't devalue that. 

But, really, to me, that's not success. 

Success is... 

Finding and pursuing your passion. 

Knowing what makes you unique and how to use that to better the world. 

Knowing God and desiring His purpose in each day. 

Finding a friend who makes you stronger, who makes you feel safe. 

Doing your best and working hard - whatever the task may be.

Being happy with who you are. 

Respecting yourself and respecting others. 

Finding a partner in life who is your best friend & favorite person, and loving them well. 

Noticing others, encouraging others, caring about others.

Feeling content and settled, yet inspired and challenged. 

Knowing your weaknesses, accepting them, overcoming them. 

Using words to build others up. 

Appreciating your parents, laughing with your siblings, calling your grandparents. 

Learning when to say yes and when it's okay to say no. 

Having the best job in the entire world...for you. 

Monday, February 23, 2015


I just returned from an amazing couple of days away in Pinehurst. Such a peaceful, beautiful place. And I was very humbled to get to go there through work. 

From the moment I stepped onto the grounds, everyone I met from the resort was very kind. Genuinely kind. They offered smiles. Asked how you were - and listened to hear. And showed enthusiasm for their job - whether it was serving coffee, carrying bags, emptying trash, setting up the sound system, etc. 

As I befriended the bubbly barista (which isn't uncommon for me) and got to know the lady at the front desk with the unusual name, I was reminded how important it is to be genuine. To do your job with joy and purpose. To pause with a smile and care about someone. Both of these ladies made my day a little brighter. 

As the gentlemen in the restaurant offered to make my coffee exactly how I like it (see a theme here) and the lady served us lunch with a smile, I was humbled by their servant's heart. I didn't deserve this treatment. I had done nothing to earn it. Yet, they were happily giving it. 

Another moment caused me to pause over the weekend. While my coworkers and I were greeting guests and helping them check in, one of the businessmen said "Thanks, ladies, I appreciate you."

Hmm...I've often heard people say "I appreciate it." - But how unique and heartwarming that he was looking past what were doing for him - and was noticing who was doing it. 

So, this post isn't about Pinehurst or my great weekend. It's a reminder to live every day with joy and purpose. And take time to appreciate people.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Ministry Moments

I often feel guilty for not serving more. For not giving more. For not being more. For not doing more. I am always aware that God has given me far more than I deserve, and I have a responsibility with that which I've been given. I also am aware that I like to be lazy and comfortable and selfish. 

So my prayer is simple. 

I pray that my marriage will be a ministry to others. That I will minister to Derrick through truth, grace, and encouragement. That we will minister to others as partners and that others will see Christ in the way we love one another and do life together. 

I pray that I will speak wisdom, truth, and love to anyone God puts in my path day to day. That I will know when to listen, when to speak, and when to offer a hug. That I won't be too busy with tasks to notice and love on people. That I will be used to show God's love to someone who needs it. 

I pray that our current home and future home will not only be a peaceful haven for Derrick and me, but will also be full of life-changing conversation, side-splitting laughter, words of encouragement. A place where all feel welcome. 

That I will be blessed. Moved. Used. Daily. 

Life isn't always about waiting for the next BIG thing. 
But it is always about being faithful in the next LITTLE thing. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Women: Failure to Fit

So many times I talk myself out of typing my heart and putting it out there - all big and bright and loud and quiet and messy - for everyone to see. But this afternoon I will put it out there. 

So many times, moments, seasons I struggle to feel like I fit. 

I think part of it is being a woman. Now, I am not one to often stand up for the plight of women. I am traditional. And I believe women can now do anything they dream. And that's where some of the conflict comes in.  

In general, men - in the church and in society - work full-time. In construction. In ministry. In the corporate world. 9 to 5 or more. Like it or not, no matter what that looks like, that's the expected path for a man. 

But women...women can work full-time. Women can stay at home with kids. Women can work part time. Women can climb the corporate ladder. Women can homeschool. Women can take years off of work to return when the kids go back to school. 

And I don't know where I fit in that. 

I work a full-time job. And I love it. It's my ministry. It's my community. It's my calling. It's my challenge and my growth. And I would go stir crazy without my job. 

But I don't know if it's my forever career. And I don't know that it's not. I don't have the utter ambition to want to take over the world and fight the glass ceiling. But I find pride in the privilege and power I have in my position. I want to grow and learn and do and make a difference - and I don't know what that looks like long-term. 

Many of my friends, the women I love, and those who surround me in my personal life, have a heart to spend time at home and be amazing moms. To work in more flexible positions and part-time jobs and focus on family. They have time for play dates, boutique shopping, Hobby Lobby trips, and talent for creative crafts that become their income. And sometimes I am jealous of them. 

But I don't know if that's my heart and skill-set either. I like kids - but I'm not ready to give myself up for them...yet. I'm not crafty. And I'd rather stay home or work late than go shopping. 

So I don't know where I fit in that. 

Sometimes I feel like I'm sacrificing time with my family and friends to focus on my career. And I struggle with that. And sometimes I feel like I'm not there enough for my students and my career, because I'm taking time for my family and friends. And I struggle with that. 

I have no idea what the next season of my life will hold. And that's hard. And sometimes it's really hard to connect with other women. The stay-at-home-moms. The corporate ladder-climbers.Those juggling both. 

So, why did I decide to share this? 
Because you might struggle to feel like you fit too.

Maybe you're passionate about your career, but you're struggling to reach the top because of sexism and disrespect. 

Maybe you're a single twenty or thirty something, feeling like there must be something wrong with you, as you attend wedding after wedding and baby shower after baby shower.

Maybe you're a stay-at-home-mom who secretly misses your job outside the home.

Maybe you're a mom who works full time and hates missing time with your kids, but you don't have a choice.

Maybe you're mourning a marriage that died too soon. 

Maybe you're staring at a positive pregnancy test, and you feel guilty that you aren't excited about it.

Maybe you're in your 40s and trying to find love again, in the midst of married friends and bad E-Harmony connections.

Maybe you're been trying to get pregnant for years, hiding the tears as all of your friends announce their pregnancies.

As hard as it is to be at peace with, God has you in this season, in this place, in this position for a purpose. Your life - today, as is - is your ministry. Your moment. Your mission. Your situation is unique - on purpose. It may be hard to accept, but it's your time to embrace. 

And maybe, as women, we should be more accepting and more open about talking about how we're feeling, how we're fitting, what we're going through. 

You're not alone.