Posted on 13. November 2011

Martha Stewart’s daughter and a lesson in PRIORITIES

Martha Stewart, your quintessential homemaker, picture perfect crafter, gourmet chef, amazing hostess, and gardener. 

We all have someone we look up to, and for so many women it is Martha Stewart.   When our days are stressful, dinner is burnt, and the centerpiece we tried to craft for thanksgiving looks more like a preschoolers art project, we close our eyes and think, “How does Martha do it?” 

According to her daughter, while Martha was pretending to be betty homemaker to the world, she ignored her own family. 

"If I didn't do something perfectly, I had to do it again," writes her daughter. "I grew up with a glue gun pointed at my head." source

1B1BE895 Photo credit

She goes on to say "There was never anything to eat at my house," and despite Martha’s seemingly love for the holidays, her daughter said she was quite “humbug” about them in reality. 

While Martha was pretending to be perfect, her own daughter suffered.  I’m not trying to dog on Martha, she was running a successful TV 'show and magazine, writing cookbooks and who knows all of her other million obligations, there is now way she could DO IT ALL. 

She was never designed to DO IT ALL.

This my friends, is point of Imperfect People.

So many are wearing the masks of  “I have it all together” when families are falling apart. 

When the stress of the world tells us to go here, do that ,and be the leader of this, we have to KNOW what it is we are designed to do and don’t apologize for saying no to something that doesn’t fit into the mission God has given us. 

How do you know your mission?

List out your top 5 priorities.  The things that take up the majority of your time, talent, and treasure.  If all else fades,  if money didn’t matter, cross out your obligations one by one until you are left with the TWO that are most important.

Go ahead write them down.

What are you left with?

Hopefully it is family and faith. 

Of course we cannot ignore those other three priorities but i hope that shed light on the things that TRULY matter. 

Another way to help decide your mission is discovering what are you passionate about.   What gets you up in the morning and gets you excited? What are your gifts talents? 

Once you know what is most important, develop a family mission statement.  Deciding what is most important as a family helps you to say NO to the good opportunities so you can say YES to the best opportunities.  Example here.

mission statement

Martha Stewart has talents no doubt, and I don’t think it is wrong that she had a successful career using those talents.  I just think she may have lost sight of what is MOST important. 

While loving the Lord with all our hearts is the MOST important, I believe family certainly comes way before career, hobbies, and fame and fortune. 

How do you keep focus on the most important priorities?

del.icio.us Tags: perfect,imperfection,mission statement,family,faith
Posted on 7. November 2011

Rich People problems

US and Canada represent 5% of the world’s population but almost 30% of the world’s wealth.  Africa is home to double the world’s population yet only 1.5% of the world’s wealth. (source)

Yet when polled, 98% of American’s considered themselves NOT rich. 

Rich is a moving target one that apparently only 2% of Americans (the richest countries in the world) feel they ever reach. 

If you were to ask me if I were rich I would have said no...but I think I had a perspective problem. 

From Craig Groeschel’s book “weird” he met a young man who heard “stories” of rich people that lived like this:

“There are some people who are so rich, they own a car!  I think it’s only 3 to 5% of people in the world so not many, but some people are so rich, they own TWO cars!  Some of these people even have a house for their cars!  It’s called a garage, ...then they get in their cars and they eat at restaurants, they are so rich they pay other people to make their food and serve it to them!...Some of these people are so rich they have special rooms in their home just for their clothes!  Nobody sleeps in there, only clothes on hangers and shelves like a store.  Some are so rich they have a closet for the man and for the woman.  Clothes for hot weather, cold weather, some for work, some for church.  It’s crazy! “

What’s crazy is how blind I have been to how MUCH I have compared to how little so many others have. 

What’s crazy is how I sit here in my comfy pajamas and type on my computer, the hum of the TV in the background, a full belly, and pretend I don’t have it made!!

I am realizing how BLESSED I am and thinking twice before I complain about ANYTHING.   I am shifting more toward living in gratitude instead of want. 

Here are some things I could be prone to complain about lately:

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  • I backed my husband’s car (because we have two cars) into the side of the garage (because we have a garage).
  • I can’t decide what to wear because I have so many choices! 
  • And my house could use another de-cluttering.  Because we can afford “clutter.”


I will take these “problems” any day over not knowing where I will sleep or if I will eat tonight.


Check out Rich Word Problems.  It’s a blog dedicated to all the humors stuff we complain about like:

  • I lost my phone and it’s on silent
  • I just updated my status with important news, one hour later, no comments. 
  • My computer is operating at least 1 second slower that it did yesterday. 

unhappy-person-computer

  • I just got used to the old facebook and then they changed it again!

Let’s encourage each other to live in gratitude and laugh at all of our “rich people problems.”

We have a LOT to be thankful for.

What is something silly you have complained about lately?  

Posted on 26. October 2011

Kisses from Katie

Today’s post testimony of Katie Davis.  Recently Catalyst conference couldn’t keep her book on the shelves!  It  has become a NY times best seller.  Read her story to find out why:

Katie Davis, beautiful girl next door from Tennessee.  She was homecoming queen, drove a convertible, and planned to go to college.

After high school she went to Uganda for an opportunity to teach kindergarten at an orphanage in a small village.

It was supposed to be a 10 month commitment.

She experienced  poverty, hurt, and oppression on a whole new level.  She knew she had to do something, anything, to help. 

“Mothers feed their children dirt or the dregs from the local alcohol distillery, or they sneak out at night and sell their bodies in order to put a little food on the table in the morning. Babies are left in pit latrines. People are degraded, robbed, raped, and lied to, and a large yellow sun sparkles on the vast expanse of the Nile River. It is horrifying. And yet God is before all things and in Him all things hold together, and even in the hard and the ugly there is beauty.”

-Katie Davis describing Uganda (source)

One night, in January 2008, a mud hut down the road from the orphanage collapsed on three small orphans during a rainstorm. Davis couldn't find any living relatives willing to take any of the girls, and she refused to send them to an overcrowded orphanage.

Three days later, the youngest called her mom. 

Davis then rented a house to accommodate the three girls. Over the next 18 months, 10 more girls moved in, all from different circumstances. 

Today, 22 year old Katie is the mom to 13 girls and living in Uganda.  Believe it or not, that is just the beginning of Katie's ministry!

Katie_Davis_4 katie davis

She has established a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization called Amazima Ministries International.  In the Luganda language, Amazima means "truth."

Amazima offers a child sponsorship program, matching orphaned and vulnerable children who are unable to afford schooling with sponsors anywhere in the world. Sponsors pay $300 per year to send one child to school, providing school supplies, 3 hot meals each day, spiritual discipleship, and medical care.

Originally planning to have 40 children in the program, today the program sponsors over 400 children.

Katie also reached out to the Karimojong people of the Masese community. The poorest of the poor, and losing their children to malnutrition and starvation at an astounding rate. She started a feeding program to the community, nourishing over 1,600 children. This allows the children to attend school and therefore not go to the street to beg. Also provided is medical care, Bible study, and general health training.

As friendships developed with the Karimojong people, Katie wanted to help the women in the village provide for their families. She initiated a self-sustaining vocational program to empower these women to make unique Ugandan magazine bead necklaces. They are also taught money management skills. The necklaces made by the Karimojong women are purchased and sold in the United States. (Christmas gifts anyone??)

kisses from katie 

Katie says, "People tell me I am brave. People tell me I am strong. People tell me good job. Well here is the truth of it. I am really not that brave, I am not really that strong, and I am not doing anything spectacular. I am just doing what God called me to do as a follower of Him. Feed His sheep, do unto the least of His people."


If you would like to win a copy of her book share this on your facebook or twitter and leave a comment to let me know you did!  Find out more about Katie at her blog, Kisses from Katie

kisses-katie-book

del.icio.us Tags: testimoniies,uganda,missions,missionary,faith,orphans,adoption
Posted on 25. October 2011

Faith like a child

We just got back from a trip to the land of oz!!  Bryan and I took the girls to visit Great Grandma and lots of family we don’t get to see often because of the many miles between us. 

Bryan and I packed up the car and tried our best not to forget anything.  We had warm clothes, pajamas, toothbrushes, snacks, coloring books,  plane tickets and gas in the car.  We were prepared.  We knew where we were going and a good idea what to expect. 

When we got on the airplane I watched Hannah (our almost 4 yr old) happily apply stickers to every surface of her coloring book.  Ava (our two year old) enjoyed the little window going up and down, and up and down and up and down and.... they had not a worry in the world about our trip. 

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(not so great pictures taken on the airplane after a long day of travel)

Despite our attempts to explain it they really had no concept that we were traveling several hundred miles away.   They didn’t pack anything, and they did nothing to prepare. 

They didn’t have to check their calendar when we said it was time to go, They just went.  They didn’t worry that they wouldn’t have food, clothing, or a place to sleep that night. 

We have proven ourselves faithful to take care of them.

Sometimes God has an “adventure” planned for us.  And He simply says, “let’s go.”

As silly as it would be for our 2 year old to say, hold on mom, let me check my blackberry to see if I can schedule in this trip.  How silly would it be for me to tell God the same thing?  When God is calling nothing else matters. 

It is hard to trust He has all the details worked out but He does.  “Don’t be afraid little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32-33

In tomorrow’s testimony, a young girl heard God’s call and simply said, Ok God, let’s go! Her story is a NY times best seller!  If you haven’t already, make sure you have Imperfect People delivered to your email or RSS feed so you won’t miss it! 

I love your comments!  How have your children taught you about faith?

del.icio.us Tags: parenting,faith,christian
Posted on 11. October 2011

Jesus needs a better advertising campaign

The Barna Group, a respected Christian survey organization, recently asked young people to identify which perceptions they most strongly associate with Christianity. The three most commonly agreed-upon were: anti-homosexual, judgmental, and hypocritical.

god hates fags

Westboro Baptist church has made headlines with their “God hates fags” philosophy where they protest soldiers funerals.  Also making headlines are abortion clinics being bombed & protests for nearly everything under the sun.

At almost every event with a large crowd you can find “the megaphone man” yelling about hell and eternal damnation. 

All in the name of Jesus?? 

If this is the Christianity the world sees than no wonder many people are not interested. 

My dear friend Katelyn posted this awesome quote:

I have decided to stop letting political and religious organizations represent me on the issues. I have decided to represent myself, and in so doing I hope to accurately represent Christ.

-Mike Foster “Unchristain”

Dear friends, Forgive us. Forgive us for the embarrassing things we have done in the name of Jesus.


We are imperfect people for sure.  Our attempts to model Jesus are clumsy at best.  He calls us, imperfect and broken, to transform us so we are no longer the same.  We just don’t always leave the old us behind. 

Please don’t reject Christ because of Christians.  We are still trying to wrap our head around the God of the universe wanting to make disciples out of us. 

Despite our misrepresentation, Jesus was a pretty amazing guy. 

He was the preacher of all preachers yet you could find him dining with some of the worst “sinners” of his day.  Mark 2:15

He was the King of all the universe yet he was born to regular people in a palace no wait, a manger.  Luke 2:7

He deserved servants and crowns, yet he washed his disciples feet. John 13 1-17

He is the only one that was or ever will be worthy of all the fame and fortune of the world, yet he was a servant. Mark 9:35

He spoke love into the people no one loved. John 4

He would touch those no one else would touch. Mark 1:40-45

He did nothing wrong, but he never tried to defend himself. John 18:28-38

He could have had a thousand Angels come to take his place on the cross, but he took mine instead.   John 19:28-30


 I want to invite you to consider that maybe the televangelists and street preachers are wrong — and that God really is love. Maybe the fruits of the Spirit really are beautiful things like peace, patience, kindness, joy, love, goodness, and not the ugly things that have come to characterize religion.

-Shane Claiborne


The Jesus I know is turning the world upside down with his love.  The less I get in the way the better he can “advertise” through me. 

Have you ever witnessed a not so great "advertisment" for Jesus?

-Katie

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del.icio.us Tags: christian,jesus,PR,advertising
Posted on 26. September 2011

ROAD TRIP!

Several years ago Jesus said “come follow me.” After looking at the mess I made of doing life my way, I happily jumped at the chance to go on an amazing journey with the God of the universe.  He promised a truly abundant life where I would never have to search again for meaning or belonging.  In a modern version of our story Jesus and I are on a road trip.  But I’m afraid I am a terrible backseat driver. 

I keep telling Him to turn when He should go straight, I keep asking, “What’s next?  Are we there yet?  What time is it?  What’s the next stop?  Can I see a map?  Are you sure you know where we are going? I really think I should drive instead.” 

 And if that wasn’t annoying enough I have a TON of luggage.  I brought a duffle bag full of worry, a suitcase of insecurity, three bags of selfishness and we are pulling a trailer behind full of fear. 

It’s heavy, it’s a burden, and it’s so much less than what He is offering me. 

road trip

I just returned from a walk to Emmaus.  An amazing journey where I saw the face of Jesus in so many ways. I learned God loves me more than I can possibly imagine

It sounds trite.  We have heard forever that Jesus loves us.  But I don’t think I knew that Jesus loved the REAL me.  Sure he loves the me that seems put together.  But could he possibly love the me that gets horribly impatient when I’m in a hurry?  Me that is selfish?  The me that secretly wishes really bad things to happen to Barney the dinosaur?  (sorry he is annoying).  The messy, unorganized, and forgetful me? 

Believe it or not he does.  HE MADE ME IN HIS IMAGE.  Despite as often as I forget this, and think I know better. The designer knows best how to care for his design. 

He knows where we are going on this journey, I don’t.  He knows what stops we will make, I don’t.  I keep trying to take control but the truth is I never had it anyway. 

He only asks me to trust. 

He’s got this. 

It’s time for me to toss out the luggage, sit back, crank up the radio, and enjoy the trip. Thankful that I know no matter what the next stop holds, I am in very good hands on this journey.

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del.icio.us Tags: christian,faith,trust
Posted on 19. September 2011

Picture Perfect Life

Perfectionism is a moving target.  It looks differently for everyone.  It even changes form considering your stage of life.   Our facebook status is usually about the wonderful day we had at the park being super mom, and the blogs I read are about making perfect meals with 6 kids running around and singing happily all the way. 

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As i just got done taking care of my two year old who took off all her clothes and pooped in the bed AGAIN, I realize my life isn’t always a perfect picture. 

Thankfully I know what we “advertise to the world” isn’t always the real us.  We put on our best, talk about our best, and even try to ignore our own flaws. 

I don’t know about you but that is not my REAL LIFE. 

My husband and I sometimes have “discussions” AKA arguments, my desk is usually a mess, and I am not often sitting down doing crafts with my kids either. 

We need to understand that the “perfect picture” we often see online isn’t the whole story (or even the “real” story sometimes). What others choose to show the world is usually the best of their lives (or what they wish their lives looked like and the rest is kept behind closed doors.)

How great it is to hear the words, “I can relate, and i know how you feel.” 

What would happen if we were just HONEST with each other.  Not complaining, just honesty and support for one another.  It is such a relief when I know others don’t have everything figured out either! 

Some of the most powerful stories are people who have walked down a very dark and difficult road, yet God has redeemed it.  What a bummer it would be not to share the miracle God has done!

My encouragement today is to be you! 

The worst that can happen is someone will think they are better than you, and let them have that temporary joy as you know the TRUTH.  God doesn’t judge our outside appearance, he judges our heart.  But more often that not, people will be relived and thank you for your honestly.

When we realize that we’re all just trying to find our way through LIFE together, we can stop comparing and start encouraging.

Share your thoughts.  What do you think?

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Don’t worry this is not poop...this is our latest lipstick incident. 

del.icio.us Tags: imperfection,grace