Archives For co-connivers

Editor’s Note :: Today you’ll hear from my dear sister-friend, Brandy. We’ve only known each other for a little while and we’ve never even met, but we connect in all the ways that matter and I’m super excited to share with you what she’s been brewing over in her corner of the world. 

It was a whim. Like most things in my life. Elora offered her first online class and it intrigued me. Story 101, an invitation to learn more about our own unique stories and how to share them with the world.

I love stories. I love Don Miller’s idea that we can “write a good story with our lives.” And I love Elora. I love her story and the deep and true friendship we’re building even though we’ve never actually met in person. I wanted to support this exciting new endeavor of hers, but more than that, I wanted in. I wanted Elora’s guidance into the art of the story.

I fell in love quickly. Two things became very clear. First, many of the women in the class were God-lovers. They wore that love on their sleeve, speaking often about the intersection of God’s story and their own. I was wary at first. I am a self-described “recovering Christian”. I love Jesus. I know that God moves in my life daily. I feel most sane when I make time to pray. But patriarchy and Christianese weighs heavy on modern American Christianity and my heart. Many of the church services I’ve attended in my town to try to find home ring shallow and borderline arrogant.

It was the second thing I realized that it took my breath away. I needed them: more holy women in my life to commune with daily. I needed to pray for them. And to ask them to hold me up in prayer also.

I haven’t even gotten through the first assignment (I’m a slacker like that), but I feel that I’ve more than gotten out of it the money I put in. In this class, a seed buried deep in my soul began to sprout. An idea, a desire, for more holy community. In the past, it had taken the shape of a house church, but this time it came to me as an online class. My own creation. Lent: the eCourse.

In our Story Coaching session, I gushed to Elora about this scheme and my many fears. What if it’s dumb? What if I’m trying to do too much? It feels God-inspired, but what if it’s not? How do you know? She listened patiently and encouraged me in her gentle way. Her confidence in me gave me permission to have confidence in myself.

It started to come together almost immediately after we got off the call. I literally launched a blog and an ecourse in a weekend, allowing myself to get swept up in the Spirit. Risking failure and vulnerability for the sake of Something beautiful.

I think these classes are the ultimate partnerships. Joining with God and the people we’ve set out to bless. This is one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I’ve given birth in my living room and auditioned for a TEDx conference, so that’s saying something.

I owe so much of it to Elora and the wild, sweet, inspiring women I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know through the Story Sessions. I hope my class changes lives. Elora’s has already changed mine. I hope God surprises my students with Joy and each other. I hope you’ll join me for Lent: the eCourse. So be it (amen).

this is part of my series on brandy walker’s eBook saving the worldcheck out the rest of the posts here

i first saw the video posted on facebook. at first, you’re not sure what you’re watching. i’ve heard of these windows in amsterdam. i’ve heard of the women beckoning men through the glass, scantily clad, promising a good time.

i also knew the implications of these brothels and trafficking.

it’s less than two minutes, but it only took two minutes to completely break me. the girls break into a flash mob dance, the men looking on in hunger. once the dance ends, you hear whistles and clapping and hollering…until a sign above the girls lights up and reveals truth.

every year, girls are promised a dancing career but end up here. stop the traffick.

and then there’s silence.



the first time i watched it, i crawled into our bathtub and wept. the situation was all too real to me – the injustice blatantly in front of me.

i knew i’d just intersected with my purpose.

in dan allender’s book to be told, he says that our greatest pain within the story God’s written for us will point to our greatest purpose in life. i’ve known this for awhile. i’ve even experienced it. there’s nothing that gets me more ruffled than hearing of girls or women taken advantage of…

but this video? it did something. it rooted deep and rearranged all i had organized in my heart. knocked a few “important” things off the list in order to settle in nice and snug toward the top. it snuck in so quickly and unobtrusively that it’s been weeks for me to even be able to find words to describe the experience.

what i know is this :: our purpose, our dreams, they aren’t meant for us alone. we didn’t find ourselves in this moment so we could be self-serving. our passions, our talents, our leanings, they all point to Him.

we have been reconciled so we can turn around and be reconcilers. 

think of your gifts. think of what angers you – where you find you just can’t stay silent.

where are you called to reconcile? 

this is part of my series on brandy walker’s eBook saving the world. check out the rest of the posts here

where do you want to be one year from today? 

people ask this question a lot when you start talking about dreams and goals. it’s a good question. forces you to think, narrows your focus, makes you set reasonable benchmarks to get where you want to go.

it’s difficult for me to think that far in advance, though.

don’t get me wrong – i have a picture in my head of where i would like to be on may 2, 2013. i think the difficulty lies dormant in the speaking out of this dream. like, once i say it, people know it and some may even hold me accountable…

…or, now i’ve said it and people know so i’ll seem a failure if i don’t make it.

this is why i created my 50 before 30 bucket list. i have a little under three months to complete quite a few of those goals, but the most important thing?

i never would have completed any of them had i not written them down.

by writing them down, i declared myself willing and able. writing them down provided a space for me to think and pray and dream, allowing some of those dreams to morph into something bigger than i ever anticipated. when i started, i wanted to finish my novel. i did. as i began to work through that process, i knew i wanted to get it published. it will. when i first started talking with rhizome, they mentioned it would be sold as an ePub, through nook and kindle and iPad. if it sold over 500 copies, they’d consider paperback.

in editing, we decided to scratch that idea and go straight to paperback as well as nook, kindle and iPad.

i’ve also completed a 5k, shared my writing in an unexpected place, gone dancing, got another tattoo (or two), and spent time spoiling myself with massages. by the time i turn 30 in july, there are quite a few others i expect to have marked off the list, things  i never anticipated being able to accomplish.

i wanted to write an eBook. i did. i wanted to take the leap and publish it. it’s on amazon. i promise you. this time last year, i never would imagine i’d be where i’m at today. ever.

and it’s because i’ve taken to the notion of declaring yourself worthy of fulfilling dreams. there in us for a reason, you know.

so this time next year? i plan on having a child – i imagine we’ll be placed long before may of 2013. i’ll be in the throes of writing and editing my next novel. i’d have published my book of short stories, come alive will be out and {hopefully} still selling, and i’ll be preparing for the next stage in the adventure our little family has embraced {how’s that for vague}. by that time, what’s most exciting is that i’ll hopefully have planned and executed my next big project :: an eBook on why story is so important and why you should share your own.

and this is just the beginning.

you’ll find that once you start, there’s really no stopping you. ideas will suddenly come and you’ll wonder why you haven’t taken the step needed to complete that goal. and it will seem really, really easy to go ahead and make that step now.

so…think about it.

where do you want to be in a year? 

let me know in the comments. i’d love to hear from you.

this is part of my series on brandy walker’s eBook saving the worldcheck out the first post here and the second post here

Do what you were made to do. Throw your heart, soul and skin into it. Breathe life into your dreams. And they will breathe spirit back to you – brandy walker

i still remember settling into the chair at my desk as a little girl. the desk, a white and yellow-trimmed canvas, held scribbles and doodles from years of wear and tear. i would situate myself, grab the nearest dr. seuss, and breathe deep before opening to the first page.  i’d read through the story, making my own comments where i thought necessary.

i taught myself how to read. i remember the joy i felt when i scrawled the word s-t-o-p on a spare sheet of paper while sitting off to the side of my grandmother’s aerobics class, entertaining myself. i don’t ever remember a time in my life where i wasn’t reading or writing or thinking – it all just came to me.

almost as if it was second nature, as if i was meant to live my life through words.

here’s a hint :: more often than not, our child-selves know what we’re meant to do in this one wild and precious life. we just get too busy with the shoulds and forget our purpose.

my challenge for you today – listen. really listen. 

what was it you wanted to do when you were younger? how is this different than what you’re doing today?

this is part of my series on brandy walker’s eBook saving the world. check out the first post here.

Magic exists. Anyone who has ever given birth, played in the Super Bowl or visited the Olympic Peninsula can attest to that. Belief has the inexplicable quality to illuminate reality. Sometimes, we can’t see the truth until we allow it to dwell in us – brandy walker

i’ve always been an idealist. 

i believe a story can change the world. i believe if given an opportunity, story moves others to action. like when i sat behind the computer screen and watched my husband perform song and dance outside of oprah’s studio, singing in the name of love. it was story that brought these vagabonds together, and it was story that catapulted the fire-starters to fame a month ago when they launched kony 2012.

i believe in the power of your story.  

i believe rescue is always possible. i know where i’d be without the One who rescued me and i hope and believe in this type of rescue for those who’ve known any sort of pain.

i believe love wins and no, i’m not talking about the book. i have been known to write love on my arms as well as my students’ so we can remember. the love of Christ flows deeper than any wound, and whether writing over razor scars or the invisible ones that run deep, i’ve found the felt-tip of a sharpie does wonders in helping you keep perspective.

i believe anyone can be creative. i think we do ourselves a disservice by working, not resting, and assuming status quo is sufficient.

i believe young people can do infinitely more than we expect from them and because of this, our schools are suffering. i’ve always wondered what would happen if we instilled a belief in students to accomplish the impossible rather than anticipate discipline problems. i have a feeling many of our teenagers in society would surprise us with their lack of apathy when given the chance to care.

i believe in magic. i’ve seen miracles and have met angels and know this world is not our reality. and like brandy, i think God uses dogs more often than we care to admit.

i believe i do not know enough about God and that i’m learning more and more how to fall in love with Him. i think this is all He really wants, too – me resting in Him and letting Him love me. i’m pretty sure i could do nothing more for the rest of my life and He would still love me the same. because of this, i’m moved to do more and am more willing to let Him mold me to the woman He created me to be for His glory.

i believe He chose me. i know all things work together and to say anything opposite would be to completely negate the darkness i’ve seen and would completely take away my hope. because He chose me, because He knew me and still loved me…even then…i am filled with gratitude.

i believe i cannot do it all. 

but He can.

and i’ll rest in that Truth.

these are just a few of the things that make me who i am – there’s more and i’d venture to say these really just scratch the surface. but. writing them down makes them real and helps me not forget. 

and if you do the same, looking closely, i believe you’ll begin to see your purpose.

so…what do you believe? 

also, if you haven’t yet ::

sign up for my mailing list – i’ll be sending out some exclusive content here in the next few weeks.

check out my eBook on amazon