Making ‘Change’ your Playground of Life

She who wants to have right without wrong,change11
Order without disorder,
Does not understand the principles
Of heaven and earth.
She does not know how
Things hang together.

-Chuang Tzu, -fourth century B.C.

Although we don’t admit it, change is a feared enemy. Stability, security, and balance are what comforts us.

Take a look at the definition of equilibrium from the American Heritage Dictionary.

1. A condition in which all acting influences are canceled by others resulting in a stable, balanced or unchanging system. 2. Physics. The condition of a system in which the resultant of all acting force is zero…4. Mental or emotional balance; poise (Wheatley, 2006).

Did you notice that the result of balance of all activities is zero? In all of our efforts to balance and protect our world we are actually limiting any chance we have to breathing life into this world. If you have given birth to a child, then you will immediately understand the gift of this concept.
As we become entrenched in our day-to-day lives and to-do lists, trying to keep all the balls in the air, we forget that learning, growth and innovation only happens through change. We forget to trust anyone but ourselves and our lives becoming dull routines instead of God-given adventures.
I have had to ask myself these questions and maybe after reading this post, you will too.
1- Why do I desire balance and security over change?
2- Am I depending on my own control, or have I freely given my life to God to do with it what He may? Do I trust Him? Do I trust myself to hear His voice and be guided by His wisdom?
3- How do I let go of the fear and make ‘change’ my playground of life?


Wheatley, M. (2006). Leadership and the New Science.   In M. Wheatley, Leadership and the New Science (p. 76). San Francisco,   CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Just Do It Now

Just do it nowJust-Do-It-Now
Everywhere I looked last week, I kept seeing the mantra…Just do it now.
It was written on the side on a Lululemon lunch bag, in two of my leadership books and on the last Nike commercial I watched.

The repetition of this phrase was somewhat of a persistent nag on my mind, annoyingly so might I add since I don’t consider myself to be a procrastinator.
But with further reflection, I realized that you don’t have to be a procrastinator to put this motto into motion. You can be like me, a self-proclaimed distractinator. (Yes, I did just make-up that word.)
It is true, I am distracted my many things, and not just things that sparkle and shine. I am distracted by every detail, thought, email, outside input, task, cause, child, husband, friend, phone call… that comes along.
My sister-in-law calls it attending to the squeaky wheel. I attend to whatever makes the loudest noise and has the most immediate need, not necessarily in order of importance or priority. For example, I walk into a room to get my book to study for my master’s class (my priority for the afternoon) and realize the bed isn’t made, then I notice a light bulb is out, and see a large pile of laundry on the floor. I think to myself, no problem, if I multi-task, I can get it all done and then study. As I go to put the laundry in the washer the phone rings and that reminds me that I was supposed to return a call for our awards ceremony coming up….45 minutes later, I still haven’t opened my book.
Not only does this bad habit put my priorities at the bottom of the list, multi-tasking has been proven to make you less efficient at every task you attempt. Success of any goal takes time, focus and attentiveness.
Have you been there? If you have, maybe you would like to join me on my new quest to JUST DO IT NOW.

Here is my 3 step plan to DOING IT NOW:

  1. Choose a day of the week to review your calendar and create a weekly priority list.
    a. What relationships do you need to build?
    b. What projects do you want to accomplish?
    c. What appointments do you need to keep?
    d. What fun are you planning?
  2. Make a space under your priority list to write distractions as they come up.
    a. When you find yourself side-tracked from your priority, don’t let the distraction control you, you control them by simple writing them down to accomplish later. This way, the small stuff will not take up creative brain space that can be used on priority projects.
  3. Be released from guilt when you are consumed with trying to do it all and fail. Pick yourself up and try remember that it is your priorities, not the laundry that matters.

What makes you grimace?

baby-grimacing_i-G-49-4913-PXJ9G00ZLast night I was watching a segment on 60 minutes featuring David Kelley, the founder of IDEO. IDEO is a global firm that incorporates human behavior into product design. David Kelley says that when they design products, they simply watch people use everyday items. With empathy and intuition the IDEO inventor looks to see when the person grimaces and then the IDEO inventors know how to go to work to re-develop the product to take away the customers frustrations and make them happy.

In my job as a resource, teacher and coach for leaders in ministry, the question that keeps me up at night is: How can I design training, events, and outreach that will encourage, equip, and empower leaders in the mission that God has given them to fulfill?

If I take David Kelley’s advice, I should simple observe what is making you grimace in your ministry or business. But since I can’t walk beside each and every one of you every day (as much as I would like too) I will ask you to answer the question. What makes you grimace?

I believe we will all find your answers beneficial and with these answers we will find a way to design ministry and business that will put a smile on your face.

Most Read Blogs of 2012 – Its all about success and body image

Last week on a trip to New York I was reading an article from Alina Tugend’s Shortcuts column in the NY Times. Tugend looked back on the year of 2012 to see which of her columns had the biggest impact on her readers. She found that the overwhelming response and comments were received for an article she wrote about success and the endless pressure people feel to “be – or at least appear to be – successful, exceptional, and happy” (Tugend, 2012). The article was titled, Joy of the Ordinary.

I did a little digging and came up with similar results. My highest rated blog post was written about the relationship between success and loneliness. Just for curiosity sack, I pulled the stats for my second highest rated blog. It was titled, No More Fat Bible Thumper and was written about struggles with weight and self-esteem. I am confident that if Alina Tugend would have written about body image in her column, this also would have topped the charts in ratings.

As we enter the New Year, many of us will make resolutions that revolve around the themes of creating more success and thinner bodies. Before you get too deep into your resolve, take a moment and reflect on these two articles from the past. I think they will encourage you.

May your New Year be filled with joy, peace, and love.


Are you Really Supposed to be Lonely at the Top? leader-alone

While at a ministry leadership retreat recently, I overheard two women having a conversation about friendship. One woman asked the other if anyone ever invited her to have coffee or dinner, or to attend any event, for that matter. The other responded sadly that, although she had received 89 birthday messages on Facebook, she had not received even a single phone call to wish her a happy birthday.

The conversation continued as these two leaders tried to decipher who was at fault. Were they indeed too busy for others to be a part of their lives? Or did other people have a wrong perception of them? One of the women even broke down, asking the other woman, “Is there something wrong with me? Am I boring?”

Personally, I was glad not to be caught in the conversation because I would have had to confess to my own very recent pity party in which I was lamenting to God about how no one ever called me either. My own mother had neglected to call me during a crisis she was having because she thought I was too busy! I could completely understand where these women were coming from. Sometimes it can feel so lonely in leadership positions.

But then I was knocked out of my emotional stammer and reminded of John Maxwell’s book, Leadership Gold: Lessons I’ve learned from a Lifetime of Leading. John Maxwell opens his book with this quote: “If it’s lonely at the top, you’re not doing something right.”

I know a leader who is doing something right. Her name is Brandi Dorsett. One day Brandi called and asked me if I had time to join her for lunch. Knowing that Brandi worked a full-time job for the city of Bellevue and volunteered much of her vacation time to be a presbyter for the Northwest Ministry Network, I jumped at the opportunity to spend quality time with my dear friend. When we met, I asked Brandi if we were having this special occasion to meet for lunch because she had another meeting at my office, or maybe she was working in the area on a job.

Brandi replied, “I took the day off to build relationships with people that are important to me.” Do you think Brandi is lonely at the top? It is impossible for her to be lonely because she is an intentional relationship builder.

God has called us, especially as leaders, to be intentional relationship builders. We are to become encouragers of others and we are to be in relationships where we are encouraged by others. It is imperative to our spiritual and emotional growth. Scientists have proven that it is even crucial to our physical health as well.

Our relationships will influence the next generation and the world. It is understandable why the writer of Hebrews emphatically stated, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25 NIV).

What action will you take to become an intentional relationship builder today?

No More Fat Bible Thumperwhy-i-quit-dieting

A friend who recently lost weight and got a make-over asked me if I felt noticed when I had gone through a similar transformation many years ago. She also wanted to know if people’s complements made me feel uncomfortable. I was surprised at how long it took me to formulate an answer to those questions.

First, if you don’t know me or haven’t known me for long, then you are unaware that I
struggled with weight issues for most of my youth and young adult life. When I was in middle school and high school, the popular kids called me the fat-Bible-thumper. A title I was happy to dispel by throwing out my Bible, any sign of my religion and going on a starvation diet to lose the weight and gain the approval of man over God.

But what I found in my efforts to be thin was exactly what my friend described. I was uncomfortable with the attention I got. So when my friend asked me those questions, I had to ask myself why. I thought about why I ate (always a good place to start.) I came to the conclusion that I ate to comfort myself and find a place of security in the loneliness and the worthlessness that engulfed me.

When the comfort and security of food was gone, all that was left was the insecurity, the loneliness, and the worthlessness that I felt and believed about myself.  When people noticed me, it was very uncomfortable for me because I was afraid they would eventually realize that I was a fake. The outside of Angela had changed but the inside of Angela was still the same.

It wasn’t until I re-dedicated my life to Christ, and took the time to find out who He was, and who I was, that my identity changed and then the opinion of others didn’t matter anymore.

Now, I have a different view of what it means to be thin. I believe in being healthy. If you are a Christ follower, be healthy because the King has chosen you to take up residence in you.  The physical Temple in Jerusalem is gone, YOU are it! Think about it, there was no expense spared when building the original Temple that housed the holy of Holies and there was no expense spared when it came to God choosing you for a great purpose and a future!

If you are a person of a different faith or religion, I have to say the same applies. God created the world and all that is in it, so that you would know Him and how special you are (Acts 17:27-28). That is a BEAUTIFUL THING! Go for it! Get to know who God created you to be and start being healthy today. One step at a time you can shed the old you and start new. I am with you!



How to Become an Everyday Hero

heroIt is hard to get past the tragedies of this week. I would like to write about something warm and fuzzy, maybe a new puppy or a Chia Pet. But that would not be the reality that any of us are living in at the moment. We are faced with unanswerable and raw questions.

One prominent rhetorical question that has been spinning in my mind is: How does good triumph over evil?

The answer is you and me. We are the ones that will become everyday heroes and triumph over evil.

This morning, I was listening to Erwin McManus teach from the book of Exodus. In this story of Moses and the Israelites, it is clear that when God has a mission to accomplish, He works through people to achieve it. God’s plan is still the same today; He wants to work through you and me to move the world away from evil and closer to Him.

Steps to becoming an everyday hero:

1)      You must be willing (Exodus 35:5). Heroes are not perfect; but they are willing to bring whatever they have to the table.

2)      You must utilize the skills God has given you (Exodus 35:10). So many of us are trying to be like someone else instead of who God created us to be. Or we are just plain lazy. We are each called to be who we are, in the place that God has put us; no more and no less.

3)      To be a hero, your heart must be moved to action (Exodus 35:21).

4)      When there are days filled with fear and uncertainty, everyday heroes trust in the power of a Holy God that they are filled with “skill, ability and knowledge” to accomplished the tasks in front of them (Exodus 31:3 NIV).

What would happen to our world if everyone who had a heart to trample evil and was willing to give of their time and abilities while relying on the Spirit of God to accomplish this mission, moved into action?

Exodus chapter 36 tells us the exciting outcome. When people gave there was so much abundance, Moses had to “restrain the people from bringing and giving more” (verse 6-7)!

Can you imagine a world where there is so much good happening you are turned down for your offer of generosity? If you can imagine this world of hope, will you join me in become an everyday hero that brings this world love instead of hate? I dare you to give until you get turned down!

A Feminist and a Gambler

My grandmother was a feminist and a gambler.

I remember the Christmas I won my first game of BINGO at the local community hall in the small country town where my Grandparents lived. My prize: A Christmas turkey. My Grandmother was so proud; she cooked my “prize” (in addition to the one she had already purchased) just so she could brag to the guest about what a great BINGO player I had become.

I knew from an early age that my Grandmother was different than other Grandmothers of her time. While other Grammys were home-makers and care takers, my Grandmother held a position at the local bank and worked beside my Grandfather on the weeknight and weekends on the farm. Somehow in all of her daily tasks, my Grandmother still had time to teach me the art of pie making.

My Grandmother believed in partnership, not role designation. My Grandmother was not opposed to home-making and care-giving, she just believed that a person should be who God created them to be, and not someone another person decided they should be. My Grandmother was not the best housekeeper, or a world class chef but she upheld diversity and unity in one hand, always hosting a house full of people on any given night that the opportunity arose. My Grandmother was opinionated but honoring and accepting of others ideas and life choices. She would have called herself a modern-day woman and a feminist for her time.

Like many other words in our vocabulary, the word “feminist” has taken on many definitions; Defined by emotion and experience instead of fact. Think of the word, “Christianity”. How do you define it? How would your neighbor define it? It is probable you came up with two different definitions. The word, “feminist” is one of those words that carry both a definition and meaning. But in the story of my Grandmother the word means exactly what the definition defines it as: The doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.1

Consider Jesus. Was He a feminist and a gambler (by definition only)? Gambler is defined as: Someone who stakes or risks something of value. When I study the life of Jesus, it seems evident that he consistently risked something of value to elevating women to a place of equality, partnership, and unity with others in the Scriptures. Here are three examples.

The woman at the well: In the account of the woman at the well in John 4, we know that Jesus goes out of his way to meet the woman at the well. Jesus risked his reputation and well-being to be alone with a woman in a land that Jesus and the disciples normally avoided due to the hostility between the Jews and the Samaritans. In this story we see the woman’s eyes opened to the truth of who she is and to the truth of who Jesus is. She leaves Jesus – accepted, redeemed, saved and elevated to become the messenger of Jesus to the people of Samaria.

The story of Mary and Martha: Luke 10:38-42 tells the familiar story of Mary at the feet of Jesus. The interesting part about this story is that Jesus invited Mary to sit and learn in a room that was normally designated as the “men only” room. Historically, women took care of the household chores and children and the boys and men were taught by the rabbi. In the story of Mary and Martha, it is clear that Jesus desired that women are included in the right to learn and participate in discussion.

The woman caught in adultery. In the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11) Jesus brings forth social justice and equality for the woman who will be stoned to death for her actions while the man will be set free. Jesus becomes the woman’s defender and after the accusers leave, the woman understands the meaning of acceptance, forgiveness and new life.

In all of these scenarios, Jesus is a feminist and a gambler. Not only does Jesus risk his reputation as a Rabbi to include women as equals in discipleship and in service, he redeems them with new life. We see his sacrifice for our freedom when he gave up the most valued gift of his life and took the gamble that you and I would one day follow him in love and unity with each other.


1 (2012). Feminist. Retrieved from




Giving Up On Teams

The words “team building” was originally based on the age-old metaphor that people are like building blocks (Sibbet, 2011). When I hear this analogy, I immediately think of the Legos or primary colored wooded building blocks my boys played with over the years. A person stacks one on top of the other and eventually, with some patience and ingenuity the builder has their finished masterpiece. But in the real world of team building, I would use the metaphor of dancers coming together for a Broadway production.

Imagine dancers coming together for the first time to learn and perform a professional Broadway production. Meeting with anticipation for the mission that lies ahead, all looking at the tasks and end result through different viewpoints, strengths, and experiences. Some dancers are professionally minded, goal driven and structured, others are relational, a few are power and ego driven, yet most are driven by the inner story, beauty, and ritual that the production and theater holds for them (Bolman & Deal, 2008). As the dancers are introduced to their group, they struggle to find their footing and not step on anyone’s toes during rehearsal. In the beginning, it is hard to know which role each dancer will play. Questions arise: Who is strong enough to throw and catch the dancer and who is courageous enough to trust a stranger to catch them? Which dancers want to lead and which ones want to follow? But once each person’s strengths are determined, a rhythm is found and the dancers’ steps begin to move in correlation with one another towards the creation of a beautiful Broadway masterpiece.

The idea of teams and what they can produce can seem magical, but we have all been a part of groups in which we felt we could have easily arrived at the same destination on our own in half the time and without the headache. Poor meeting, poor training sessions, poor brainstorming, they are all led by poor organizers. I read somewhere once, it is not the process, it is the manager you are frustrated with. I knew that author must have been talking about me! If I was frustrated with the productivity of our teams, then it was my fault as the leader.

Here are things I have learned from my failures as a team leader:

  1. Always have a roadmap, timeline, and production benchmarks. Make sure you are clear about people’s commitment, time restraints, and ability to complete the tasks on time.
  2. Ask clarifying questions about people’s expectations and about people’s strengths. For example: If a person claims to have the talent of putting together high-level power points, ask the question: “Do you have an example you could share with the group?” or “Does that mean you will commit to making the background slides or are you committing to entering the information for the presentation as well?”
  3. Encourage team members in the skills and talents they bring to the team. Accept people for who God created them to be and allow them to work in those God-given areas. Recognize your team, by word, deed, mail, and email for their accomplishments in person and in front of others.
  4. Invite a “team commentator” to observe your meetings and give feedback on team interaction. This person should be a neutral person who can sit quietly in your meeting and take notes on your team dynamics and strategies that may or may not be working. For example: The team commentator may note that one person dominates the conversation or that another appears bored and uninterested. When brought to the attraction of the group, the team can start a healthy process of working towards a given goal.

I truly believe that God created us to solve the world’s problems by entering into a collaborative community with others. As hard as it may seem at times, I am not giving up on teams and I hope you won’t either.


Bolman, L., & Deal, T. (2008). Reframing organizations. (4th ed., ). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Helgesen, S. (1995) The Web of Inclusion: Architecture for Building Great Organizations. Washington, D.C: Beard

Sibbet, D. (2011, June 13). Building a better team metaphor. Retrieved from

My Crash into Humility

When I was 22, (of course, just a few short years ago) I was running in the wrong direction, trying everything to fill the emptiness inside me. I tried everything from partying to over-achieving to fill the emptiness. Life was boring and mundane. I lived for Fridays and my next retail therapy opportunity. I lived for myself and no one else.

But then, one night driving home from work, God intercepted my life through a car accident that left me with a head injury, two years of rehabilitation, and a seizure disorder.

When I tell people this, their mind often jumps to a scene in the show ER or Gray’s Anatomy. But for me, my story didn’t read like this at all. Although I was in the middle of a five car pile-up, there was no blood on the windshield, no dramatic ambulance rush to the hospital, no coma. Many people have much worse traumatic injuries than me.

But what did happen was that the tire that was bolted down in the back of my car came unbolted and hit me in the back of the head. This caused the head injury that left 15% of my brain damaged (which is okay because people only use 7% anyways), making it hard for me to focus, read more than three or four words at a time and of course, writing was a challenge as well.

From the outside, I looked normal, but from the inside, I was pretty messed up. For the next two years I went to rehabilitation at the Virginia Mason neurology clinic. The program included physical therapy, help for reading and writing, and physiological therapy. But if I am honest, the transformation that was and continues to happen through this experience is more a work of the heart than of the body. In the book, Lead like Jesus, the author Ken Blanchard says, “Effective leadership starts on the inside; it is a heart issue” (p. 39) I believe this is a true statement.

In his research for the book, Good to Great, Jim Collins identified circumstances that develop personal humility in leaders. He says, “Under the right circumstances – self-reflection, conscious personal development, a mentor, loving parents, a significant life experience, a Level 5 [leader]…they begin to develop” (Collins, 2001, p. 37). Collins also notes “a strong religious belief” (Collins, 2001, p. 37) as a prime motivator.

In my case, the compost to grow my personal and leadership life was the significant life event that led to my relationship with God. I knew that if I was still alive, God must have a purpose for me.  Faced with the fact that my inadequacies far outweighed my strengths and stripped of the ability to depend on the approval of others for my confidence, I had to depend solely on God for my approval and validation. I became aware that I could do nothing without His help, now that I was no smarter than a fifth grader.  My life verse became, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Brennan Manning once said, “Humility grows through a stripping away of all self-sufficiency; It is accomplished by the hand of God” (Wilkes, 1998, p. 48). Today, when people ask me how I feel about the car accident, I will tell them I would be lying if I told you that being stripped of self-sufficiency is not painful, but I would never trade the reward of authentic relationship with God and others that have developed on this journey for anything. I am truly thankful for my crash into humility.


Blanchard, K., & Hodges, P. (2005). Lead like jesus: Lessons from the greastest leadership role model of all times. (p. 39). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Collins, J. (2001). Good o great why some companies make the leap..and others don’t. (p. 37) New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishing Inc.

Wilkes, G. (1998). Jesus on leadership. (p. 48). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.



What is Mutuality?

“Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding” (Rom. 14:19, NRSV).

Mutuality is not competition.

Mutuality by the Webster definition is a reciprocal relation between interdependent entities; a relation of mutual dependence or action or influence.

Mutuality in the church is the ability to be one Spirit and one Body (Ephesians 4), using whatever gifts God has given to bring the world to an understanding of the love, grace and salvation of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In Christ,” there is neither, male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:16) because we were made in the image of our Father (Genesis 2). As Christians, we are all parts of one body with equal value and dignity.

I am thankful to participate in a denomination that believes in the mutual empowerment of both men and women. This is not always the case. The question of the role of women in ministry continues to be a major controversy. Even though the Assemblies of God has been credentialing women since before women had the right to vote in the United States, the Executive Presbytery felt lead in 1990 to assign to the Doctrinal Purity Commission the task of preparing a position paper based on the best scholarship and explication of controversial scriptural passages.

After examining these passages, the position paper observes:

[W]e conclude that we cannot find convincing evidence that the ministry of women is restricted according to some sacred or immutable principle.

We are aware that the ministry and leadership of women are not accepted by some individuals, both within and outside the Christian community. . . . The existence in the secular world of bigotry against women cannot be denied. . . . We acknowledge that attitudes of secular society, based on long-standing practice and tradition, have influenced the application of biblical principles to local circumstances. We desire wisely to respect yet help redeem cultures which are at variance with Kingdom principles. Like Paul, we affirm that the Great Commission takes priority over every other consideration. . . . A believer’s gifts and anointing should still today make a way for his or her ministry. The Pentecostal ministry is not a profession to which men or women merely aspire; it must always be a divine calling, confirmed by the Spirit with a special gifting (Bicket, 1997).

The General Council of the Assemblies of God has recognized from the beginning that “the Scriptures plainly teach that divinely called and qualified women may also serve the church in the Word (Joel 2:29; Acts 21:9; 1 Corinthians 11:5),” and “are entitled to whatever grade of credentials their qualifications warrant. . . .” (General Council Bylaws Article VII, Section 2,k.)

My question is this: What does one do when faced with a controversial subject like women in ministry? What if you are a woman who finds yourself being told “no” for a position God has designed for and you feel it is because of role designation and misguided biblical beliefs?

I believe you have three choices on how you can respond:

1)      Stay with the status quo. (Bury your head in the sand because the topic is overwhelming and you don’t like controversy.)

2)      Become outraged, bitter, broken, and angry because you see this as clear oppression. (Telling everyone you know how awful the church is, breaking the unity of the body as you go.)

3)      Choose mutuality, the pursuit of peace and building each other up (Romans 19:14) through awareness, sound biblical exegesis, advocacy and partnership with every person in the body.

When we think about the roles people play in the church, we should always think about Jesus first. How did he treat people? What was his purpose? Wasn’t his plan for us to love God and love one another and share the gospel with every person, holding nothing back? To do this, it is clear, we need everyone’s participation. Wouldn’t you agree?

*I invite you to join this month’s conversation on mutuality on our HER VOICE blog and Facebook page as we discuss more thoughts and ideas of how to partner, mentor, and address issues that you might be facing in your church, work place, or community with a hand and heart of love and unity.

Bicket, Z. (1997). Dealing with questions on the role of women in ministry.  Enrichment Journel, Retrieved from


So you are already tired of the Seattle weather and it’s only November 1st!

So you are already tired of the Seattle weather and it’s only November 1st!

How quickly we forget that it was sunny for 48 glorious days and over 70 degrees for 19 consecutive days, hitting 90 degrees five times during the six week streak (Sistek, 2012).

We are fickle human beings. And understandably so. Just look at the contrast between these two pictures. The baron, gray, and dormant trunk that lines the driveway leading to my son’s school are a disparity next to the breathtaking beauty of the fall leaves of yesterday. The difference is dramatic.

But, there is something to be learned in this season of change.

There is a simple reason the trees shed there leaves for the winter. In winter, the soil gets cold and hard making it difficult for a tree’s roots to find enough water to produce food for the leaves or more fruit.  By shedding the leaves or fruit in the fall, the tree has enough water to survive the winter. The bottom line:

The winter is a rest season for the tree.

If we look around us, the season of fall and winter is ushering in a rest season for us as well. The shortened hours of daylight, the colder temperatures, and yes, even the rain. They all beacon us to a slower, cozier, warmer, more reflective lifestyle. Instead of hating Seattle weather, we can choose to embrace the opportunity to slow down and match the rhythm of nature.

Think of the things you love: A down blanket and a good book. A pile of crafts with your children.  Building relationships around fireplaces and comfort food. The smell of apple pie. A walk in the rain in a pair of new rain boots. Your first sight of snow.  Instead of resisting a nap on a dark rainy afternoon, try giving into it and forget your to-do list.

If you are a Christ follower, let this season be about resting and listening to God instead of doing for God. Second Corinthians 3:18 says, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” Another word for beholding is attentiveness. Scripture tells us that our transformation comes from nothing less than beholding and being attentive to the Lord. This comes from the Holy Spirit, not from anything we do or earn.

Next time you look out your window and see rain, take it as an invitation to put down your to-do list and your sunny expectations and decide to rest and receive what this season has for you. This is my challenge to you today.

Sistek, S. (2012, September 10). 14 minutes of rain. Retrieved from

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