5 Questions About…Risk

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Sharon is a dear friend who both inspires and intimidates me with her amazingness.  She has guest-posted here before.  I’m so thankful that in the midst of a busy, stressful time, she was willing to share some more of what she’s learning.  Here’s the next in our 5 Questions About…series.

1. Recently you took what must have felt like a huge risk. Can you tell us about it?

Eight months ago, I resigned from a job I had loved and made the leap to running my own business. This happened after an extended season of prayer and discernment, so by the time I made the change, I felt certain it was the right thing to do.

Yes, there were practical risks involved: leaving a certain income, benefits, 401K; losing the familiarity of my office and team. And as a single person, I didn’t have a safety net of a second income, back-up insurance, or a support person to pick up slack in other areas of life. But I was also very clear about why I was making the change: 1) to be faithful to what I understood God was putting in my hands; 2) to learn and grow through a new challenge.

So when I framed it that way, I realized that even if my business failed (and I had to move into my parents’ basement), I would experience God in deeper ways and learn things I wouldn’t otherwise. Continue reading

Two Steps to Take When You Realize Your Prayer is a Fake

For a couple of weeks before Christmas we prayed a lot for our daughters, Maggie and Katy.

Maggie said she was afraid she might fail her statistics class in grad school because our family doesn’t do math.  This is the Instagram she posted.

math blackboard

And Katy was under a lot of pressure at work because, well, she had to coerce motivate people to do what they didn’t want to do.

I mobilized pray-ers.  Family.  Friends.  The occasional stranger who looked bored. Continue reading

Two Phrases to Frame the Music of our Days

My husband, John, has gotten into the habit of listening to the Brandenburg concertos as he spends time with the Lord in the morning.

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The other day we were sitting at Starbucks together and he said, “Did you know that a lot of people talk about how Bach put ‘SDG’ – ‘Sola Dei Gloria’ at the end of his compositions meaning ‘to God alone be the glory’.

But most people don’t know that he also put ‘JJ’ – ‘Jesu, Jusa’ – ‘Jesus, help me’, at the beginning of each composition.” Continue reading

When Practice becomes part of Personality

I am a pray-er, but I don’t feel like I’m a very good one.  I don’t keep lists of prayer requests for others or date them or write down answers when they come, and I feel guilty that I pray on the fly a lot.  I journal prayers, but honestly they’re pretty self-centered.  I think I’m inconsistent in my intensity and devotion to this practice.

The thing is, I (and I think many of us) compartmentalize prayer like a word picture I read recently.  We can see prayer like little squares of syrup in a waffle that don’t spill over into other squares.  Prayer is in this square, and not that square.  We’re precise.  We follow guidelines.  We’re, dare I say, stingy with our syrup.

But I have the privilege of being friends with a man who is a drench-the-waffle-with-syrup-and-have-it-sog-up-everything kind of pray-er.  Literally, anytime and ANYWHERE you see him, he will ALWAYS say, “Let’s have a prayer.”  He prayed with a friend of ours over the broccoli in the produce section of the grocery store.  He huddled up with a bunch of half-dressed men in the locker room at the pool.  He jogged around our church praying for us when we first moved to Minnesota.  He prays with our daughters in the middle of a crowded room, oblivious to all around him.

Here’s the thing.  For Roger, prayer is not a practice.  Not a thing he does.  Not a square of his waffle to be filled with syrup.  It’s part of who he is.  Because who he is is someone deeply in love with and constantly in conversation with his heavenly Father.

Who Roger shows me someone with…

  • A posture of humility and dependence on God.  Someone whose life says “My God is big and I am small.”
  • An understanding of the character of God – His power, mercy, sovereignty
  • perspective – an affirmation of who is ultimately in control.

Roger is about 587 years old, so he’s had lots of time to practice, but I wonder, at what point did this practice become a part of his personality?

What are ways you’ve found to incorporate prayer into the moments of your day?