Ready or Not, Here We GO!!!


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Ready or Not, Here we go!

Have you ever watched those labor and delivery shows where the women are screaming with every contraction, panicking at the thought that I’m not ready…I haven’t finished the Nursery yet! All the while the doctor is calmly instructing “Breathe, Relax, Breathe and then finally PUSH, PUSH, PUSH!!!! ” Maybe you have been that woman yourself?

Whether you’ve heard the stories or lived them in real life, there is something significant about the birthing process! I always remind new parents, you will NEVER be “ready” for that new baby. No matter how diligent you were in that 9 month gestational season, there will always be something you didn’t plan for…but don’t worry, you will figure it out! And no matter how detailed “moms to be” are in their “nesting stage,” there still might be things that don’t get done. At the end of the day, as the due date approaches…your body says “it’s time,” and there is no turning back. You are about to experience the most intensely painful and beautiful moment of your life!

It is uncanny how similar church planting is to having a baby! The dream is conceived and given life, then it begins to grow. There are signs of nauseas and fear of the unknown mixed with the excitement of what is yet to be born. You are stretched in unimaginable ways as you learn to carry this dream that grows inside of you. You attend classes and training, prepare everything in advance to welcome this dream to life and then before you could ever be ready enough, the contractions start and the due date approaches!

In just 10 days, we officially start The Movement Church. I can’t sufficiently express the excitement, anxiety, expectancy and fear that go along with the birth of this dream! As Romans 8:22-25 (MSG) explains, We’ve been enlarged in the waiting with joyful expectancy for what is to come. We have prepared to the best of our ability and now the contractions have started. At any moment, I feel I could hyperventilate but I hear the voice of my father, God reminding me “Breathe, Relax, Breathe!” So for today, I will be still and know that He is God and joyfully enjoy the countdown until I hear Him say “PUSH, PUSH, PUSH!!!”


*I can’t wait to introduce The Movement Church to the world, but until then…here is a “sonogram picture” of what she will look like!  To meet her yourself, join us Sunday, September 9th at the Kalidescope Theatre in Mission Viejo, CA!

Navigating Life’s Disappointments


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Life is a journey, kind of like a cross-country road trip. It is full of beautiful scenery, exciting pit stops and fun memories with people in your car! Along the way there are also endless deserts, steep mountains, inconvenient car maintenance, an occasional blow out and frustrating moments with your travel companions.

One of the greatest lessons I have learned in life is to choose my way forward. I don’t know about you, but on my life’s “road trip” I have encountered a large amount of disappointments. Moments that have left me questioning, why? Times where I couldn’t make sense of the detours, traffic jams and flat tires! There have been many points where I felt like giving up and times that my travelling companions have changed and I’ve felt overcome by loss. In spite of all the moments of frustration, sadness, anger, loss…I’ve also experienced the beauty of the journey surrounded by great friends, gorgeous scenery and the incredible thrills of the twists and turns along the way. These moments of excitement and joy have been the propelling force in choosing my way forward.

To choose your way forward is simply to choose to move past how you feel and make the most of what might not be “the most ideal” situation! To make lemonade out of lemons and to not allow a flat tire or engine trouble to hijack your trip!

You see, this beautiful life we live is a gift from God and He has entrusted us to live it well. He’s given you a well written road map and created you with a purpose that only you can fulfill. (Romans 12) Our job is to put our eyes on the destination he has called us to and press on in the journey. When life throws you a detour, hit re-route and enjoy the new scenery along the way. Don’t think that you are the only one who has ever had “car trouble,” that’s the enemies way of getting you so consumed with yourself, you lose site of the big picture.

When you are hit with overwhelming disappointment, my challenge to you is to choose your way forward. In moments of loss, take a moment to cry…but then wipe your tears and keep moving forward. If you keep running into the same road block, it’s time to re-route your car and get your life back on mission. If you are frustrated about where you are at…maybe you have stopped living your life with purpose. Don’t blame others and certainly don’t blame God….just look up and remember why you are here and where you are going! Eternity hangs in the balance. God has called you with a purpose and it’s all about Him and nothing about you.

As you navigate this life that God has entrusted you with, remember that the objective is not that you never experience heartache, loss, pain or disappointment; the objective is that you arrive at your final destination and finish well!

Enjoy the Journey & hang on….it’s gonna be a wild ride!



Life’s little interruptions


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Somebody emailed me an article a few weeks ago about 9-11. It was talking about many of the men and women who didn’t make it to work that day and because they were out sick or running late, their lives were spared. It shared many of the little frustrating stories and inconveniences that happened to each of them to keep them from getting to work. Everything from lost keys to sick kids….The list was remarkable and made me remember that everything in life happens for a reason and to count life’s interruptions as “unknown” blessings. Who would have known that the time I took to read that forwarded email (which I never read) was the exact nudge I needed to remember to be interruptible.

I think one of the most fascinating details about the miracles we hear about from the Bible is that many of them took place when Jesus was on his way somewhere or in the middle of doing something! I don’t know about you, but even in my “spontaneity” I have a PLAN for everything! My husband can vouch for the fact that I don’t do very well when the “plan” in my head is changed! 🙂 So, the idea of being interruptible and slowing down to be aware of the people around me is a concept I am still working on.

Twice this week I have been reminded of just how amazing God is. He directs every single step of our life and if we are willing to have an open mind and heart to what He might be doing then we will always find ourselves in the right place at the right time!

This morning I set my alarm for 5:30 a.m. to go hiking with my friend Kristen. I hit snooze several times but managed to roll out of bed, throw on my clothes, brush my teeth and pour my coffee. Just as I was about to leave I got a text from Kristen. She was exhausted and not going to make it. The thought crossed my mind to climb back in bed but I was already dressed so “why not make the most of it?” I jumped in my car, turned on my worship music and tried to decide where I wanted to go. Out of habit or routine, I found myself at The Strands, one of my favorite work out beaches in Orange County. Staring at the ocean, sipping my coffee, I paused to reflect on how much my Dad would have loved this place. This February is the 5th anniversary of his passing. Fighting back tears, I hopped out of the truck. (And I do mean hopped…over to the passenger side door because the driver’s side is broken! 🙂 ) I walked to railing and stared at the waves, mesmerized by the beauty. I was about to turn and start my run when I heard a voice saying “Isn’t it just beautiful?” I turned to find a woman watching the waves with me.

She dove straight into her story and in the back of my mind I thought, I’m on a time crunch here. But then, that simple nudge of the Holy Spirit prodded me to stay and talk. When she found out we were pastors starting a church, her eyes lit up and she said “I need to come back to Jesus!” I gave her a card and listened to her tell here story. She lost her Dad a year and a half ago. I teared up sharing that I had lost my father too and the raw emotion from my morning just oozed out! I prayed with Julia and can’t wait to connect with her again and help her find community and reconnect with God!

What would have happened if Kristen hadn’t cancelled? What if I didn’t go to The Strands? What if I didn’t have that sudden gut wrenching memory of my Dad that kept me in the car for a few more minutes? What if I had been to busy to stop and have that crucial conversation?

I believe that God is directing our path. Proverbs talks about it. It says that in our hearts we make a plan, but it’s the Lord who determines our steps! God’s getting you to the right place at the right time. The question is, how open are you to an interruption? Maybe God has a divine connection, a great friendship, the man of your dreams or a person who’s life could be forever changed because of yours, all on the other side of your willingness to be interrupted.

It’s not always convenient. It’s not always comfortable. It doesn’t always yield an amazing story…but when we are willing to be flexible, obedient, and interruptible, God can do remarkable things in and through us!



Who needs friends?


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Everybody needs friends! I don’t care who you are, how independent and tough you may be, how great your marriage is; everyone needs friends to offer color and depth to life! Unfortunately I have not always felt this way. I think I was burnt far to often as a teenager and young adult by relationships that left me wounded and discouraged. I learned to put up walls and find my confidence in who I was in God and not in the approval of others.

Finding my identity in God was the exact right step. I was able to grow in confidence into the woman that God created me to be. Putting up walls, however; that took me in the wrong direction. For so long I was convinced that my relationship with God and my relationship with my husband was all I really needed. Sometimes I even took pride in that status. Then when I had kids, what more could I ask for? I wasn’t even sure I had room in my life to invite anyone else in. I wasn’t sure I felt comfortable removing the walls that were keeping everyone out. I hid behind my busy world of family and ministry and thought I was happy and content.

You see, letting people into my safe, secure world was a risk. It meant I might get hurt.   Come to find out…it was a risk worth taking. When Carey and I moved to Arizona in 2007, we left everything and everyone we knew. Any relationships we did have were miles and miles away. It was here that my sweet friend Valerie pushed through my walls and made it possible for me to finally let people in. Because of her persistence, God gave me some of the most amazing girl friends I have ever had! They allowed me to be “me” and loved me for it.

I learned that my walls were put up with the objective to avoid the hurt, pain and rejection that relationships often bring but they had also kept me from experiencing the laughter, life, tears and joys of real meaningful friendships.

Friendship...the power of the blonde and brunette;) for you stef...

I’ve also learned that there are all different types of friendships and not one of them will ever look the same. I’ve learned to not place pre-conceived expectations of friendship on the people in my life.

In this season, I’m so grateful for the colorful pallet of friendships that God has blessed me with. My life is richer for all of the wonderful women in my life. In my next blog I’m going to discuss all the different types of friendships one can have…but for now, I’d like to know how you feel about friendship?

Is it easy for you to make friends? Do you think relationships are a necessary part of your life? Do you struggle with putting up walls?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!



“A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same”

~E. Hubbard