Imperfect People

Imperfect People in love with a perfect God

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Imperfect People - Imperfect People in love with a perfect God

The power of saying NO. A people pleasers guide

Last year I got in way over my head overcommitted in pretty much every area of life.  My philosophy was if it is something I want to do then do it! I truly enjoyed everything I was committed to, volunteering for great organizations, church ministry leadership, working from home, volunteering at the girls school, and just the regular trying to have a life in there too.  But I left myself no margins.

If my life was a piece of paper there was writting in every corner  even circling around the holes to the left hand side.  My former self would say there was nothing wrong with this.  You can sleep when your dead I would say.  But the reality is when you leave no extra room you are a time bomb waiting to explode.  You get cranky and leave no time to enjoy anything.

I was faced with a overwhelmed schedule and an overwhelmed soul -Lysa Terkheurst 


Fast forward to this summer.  I had a meltdown, quit pretty much everything and I found this life changing little book, “The best yes”

This book has taught me so much!  I am still in “people pleasures recovery” But I am learning a lot along this journey of discovering my best yes.
We all have different skills, connections and talents but we all have only 24 hours in a day.  There are a host of things competing for our time and we are the ones in control of those precious minutes that equal our life.

Saying-NoSaying NO to something, even a good thing, gives room, gives MARGIN for us to say yes to something GREAT.

This is not to be a pass to say no to everything that just inconveniences us.  I am a strong believer in pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones but there is a difference in the command to love verses overtaxing yourself with the disease to please.

The struggle is real.  Us people pleaser folks really DO want to hang out with you, we really DO want to be part of that committee, volunteer for this ministry AND have a clean home complete with a homemade healthy dinner.  But we simply can’t do all of those things.

Take the parable of the two sons found in Matthew 21:28

There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered.


But I love the powerful message it also gives about saying no.  The son who said no, but later realized he had time and was able to fulfill his fathers request was so much wiser.  The second son said yes and then didn’t show up!  How often am i that second son?  I am asked to fill a commitment, faced with the pressure to please I say yes, then i find myself too busy, grumpy about it trying to fill my commitment or worse having to cancel!

It’s not always wise to say no right away, but can you see the wisdom the second son had over the first?  Are you picking up what I’m throwing down here?

So how is a people pleaser to say no with grace? Lysa Terkeurest suggest
10 ways to graciously say no when you feel pressured to say yes.  My favorite are:

1. While my heart wants to say yes, yes, yes, the reality of my time makes this a no.

2. I so appreciate you asking me, but I must be brave and decline this opportunity. Saying no is hard for me but necessary in this season. Thank you for understanding.

3. I’ve promised my family not to add any new commitments to my schedule right now. Thank you for our friendship that allows me to be honest with my realities.

The bottom line is this: Speaking no with grace to protect you and your family gives you room for your BEST YES.  Giving you margin to be your BEST YOU.  And the world would be at a loss if you were too taxed to be your best.

Go forth and be awesome.

Realigning my focus

I’m a big hot mess y’all.  Seriously I have got in way over my head.  I have overcommitted, under delivered and exhausted myself doing “good things.”

I was talking with my husband this summer about how I feel my gifts are to work with young women and write.  He was astounded, “Reallly? I don’t disagree with you but what in you life reflects this?”

I felt like I had been punched.  Mind you, a well needed perfectly timed punch back into the reality I had created.

Here’s the scoop.  Back in January of 2013 Yes WOW it has been almost 2 years ago, I felt like God almost audibly whispered my FOCUS needs to be with college/high school girls and writing.  I was excited about my focus and dove in with two feet as I do pretty much everything.  But somewhere along the ay I got totally lost.  stece-jobs-focus-1024x675

I have gotten involved with lots of “good things” I have said YES to pretty much anything anyone as asked of me.  I am leader of this committee, contact person for that, volunteer for this, and coordinator of everything else.

Last semester I quit leading a college group because I was “too busy” I haven’t written anything in months and guess what…I have been a an un-focused un-joyful disobedient basket case all coming to a head when I realized my FOCUS was totally off.

One of my dear friends pointed this out to me last night.  She simply said you are all stressed out because You are not doing what you are called to do!!!

How funny/annoying/ironic is it that I was told by the creator of the heavens and the earth, the one who knit me together, the one who knows every minute of my past and future what my focus should be and it took me TWO years to come back to it?

Apparently I was like, “Oh good idea God, but look this is pretty and shiny let me go over there, this looks fun let’s do that too!” Sometimes I feel like my faith is about as mature as a 3 year old.  I’m reading Lysa Terkherst new book, The best Yes.  This has been another perfectly timed eye opener for me.  The main thing I am learning is there are a lot of GOOD ways I can spend my time but there are only a few BEST ways. I realize this may not sound revolutionary but sometimes you just need to be reminded.

So I’m reeling my chains back in.  Trying to FOCUS (lord I love that word) on where I am supposed to be.  Narrowing down my commitments and
learning to feel the joy again of being in the will of God.

We really and truly are all different parts of the body called to do different things and my obedience will look totally different than yours.

I’m writing this here for accountability and to see the journey of what it looks like when I come back to the feet of Jesus.

Have you ever gone astray from where you should be focusing?  I love your comments! Please share!

3 steps to avoiding the comparison trap

So there’s this thing…this ugly, strangling, ever-present annoyance that just won’t leave me alone, it’s called comparison.

I’ve read the books, shared the quotes, heck even written the blogs about how to stop comparing myself to others.  But no matter what I do I just can’t become immune to comparing myself to other women. I don’t think I’m alone in this.

I mean have you seen her?
Have you seen super mom who is team mom of everything her child does?
Have you seen her who is on top of her industry and published in all the trade magazines?
Have you seen her who cooks all organic, made from scratch masterpieces?
Have you seen her who has 8 children and home schools, and is sane?
Have you seen her who can still pull off wearing a bikini after having kids?

I’ve seen her.  She is everywhere and in every town.  But the shocking thing…the thing I NEVER notice is every once in a while…when the starts are all aligned.  I see her in the mirror.

I know what you are thinking, What??!! Who is this crazy self righteous blog writer?  I know, I know, Stay with me for just a second.

After my years of blogging about “imperfect people” I have come to realize one very important fact.  The comparison trap problem lies in me comparing my behind the scenes to her highlight reel.

somone else

To read the rest bounce on over to where I am guest posting today.  At Imperfect Women.  

9 New Year life challenges with a free download!

It is so wild how we can just “do” life with no plan. You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint, how crazy am I to think we can build the life we want without a plan!??

I’m all about living with intentions.  The idea of looking back on my life and having no idea what I have done with it makes me sweat and determined to do better than that.

All that being said I am also NOT, by nature, a planner.  But it doesn’t take long to learn when you aim at nothing, you hit it every time.

Realizing that life is too important to waste without a plan, we have come up with a series of “9 New Year life challenges” made up of very basic questions to help even the worst non-planners develop a script for their life.  These questions will help you determine what you feel is important in life and ways to MAKE YOUR GOALS HAPPEN.

I listed out the challenge questions with details below on how I am using them.   If you would like to do this on your own feel free to click on the picture below to print out your own list of just the questions.
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Priorities challenge:
What are my top 7 priorities? In order of importance
Put this list up in an area you can see on a regular basis (on the fridge or bathroom mirror for example).  The decisions that we make throughout the year will be based on keeping these priorities in order.

Friendship Challenge:
Who do we want to invest our time with more this year?
For us this meant putting a once a month dinner date on the calendar.  This dinner date will usually involve inviting another couple over to our home for dinner.
We are also making a point to be more involved with a couple older than us.  There is soooo much to be learned from those that have already “been there and done that”  investing in a couple who already has grown children helps us learn so much about how we can live life better today.

Financial Challenge:

What is one (or more) habit(s) we can develop to be wiser with our money? These goals may be different for everyone.  I HIGHLY recommend Dave Ramsey’s Total money makeover.  There is a series of baby steps toward financial freedom.  We are currently on baby step 7.  His system has changed our life.  I wrote a whole post on Dave Ramsey Stuff.  If you are not currently following his principles it may be the single best thing you can do for you and your future in the new year.

Marriage Challenge:
Do we Pray together?  Do we have a regular date night? Do we regularly ask each other, “How can i help you?”
Even though I am super cheap and don’t always like to pay for babysitters I have found the absolute best way for us to stay in love is to have date nights and/or just time alone..without kids.  We love them, we really do but having time away really recharges your marriage. Be sure to check out 17 Cheap (and romantic date ideas).

Children Challenge:
What character traits do we want our children to have and how can we help develop them? What areas do our children need help to grow?  What is the example we are setting for them?
My challenge is to have a character word of the month that we will discuss as often as possible throughout the month.  Honesty, Respect, etc.  Our school and church both have character words so that makes it easy to choose.  If you would like to incorporate this in your family here is a great resource.
I am also going to better implement our chore chart by setting a timer on my phone to go off everyday at “clean up time.”

Ministry Challenge:
Who will know Jesus because of me?  How will we be connected in our community?
For me, this year my ministry challenge is to FOCUS.  Deciding where God wants me to be for this season of life and making the best use of my time talent and treasure in this ONE area instead of spreading my self thin in several areas.

Health Challenge:
How much will we exercise weekly?  How much sleep will we get?  What will we eat?
My personal challenge is to exercise more.  I have found a kick butt video from Julian Michales on Amazon Prime that will do just the trick.  I like working out in my living room where if I don’t hold for quite as long as I am supposed to know one can see (confession is good for the soul).

Learning Challenge:
What would I like to learn more about this year and how can I incorporate this into my schedule?  Do I have an area of expertise I can use to help teach others?
Our book club has already picked out our reading schedule for the new year and my goal is to ACTUALLY READ each book….baby steps.  I’m also excited about teaching a few more gardening classes this year at our local tech school.

Setting Goals without a plan are just wishes.  So how can I realistically work each of these goals into my life?  

For me this is getting better about scheduling my day the night before.  And setting weekly goals/plans on Sunday nights.


In the upcoming months when you find yourself living intentionally and your plans are turning into reality please share on social media with #hashtag INTENTIONAL LIVING and I would love it if you tag me @imperfectpple

Cheers to a new year lived with INTENTION!  Let’s do this!

Do what is right in your own eyes….really?

There is the crazy bible story that takes place in Judges that is seriously “stranger than fiction” (Judges 19-21) I’m listening to the current sermon series on this by Andy Stanley and it it blows my mind how stinking relevant it is to our day and time.  I just can’t get over it!

But here is the gist:

In those days there was no king in Israel; each person did what they thought to be right Judges 21:25

They were living in a day and time where there was no King in the land who they depended on for moral authority.  So people were left to themselves to govern what was right or wrong in their own eyes.

They all lived by the philosophy of, “Do what feels good, No consequences” Hmmm seem at all like a culture we live in today?


Today popular songs on iTunes have lyrics like:

I crashed my car into the bridge.
I don’t care, I love it.

Commercials for upcoming shows have a couple in the bed together with no clothes and the man asks, “What’s your name again?” And the audience laughs.

God is pushed out of our schools, our government, and in many homes.

Do what you want it’s all fun and games…no consequences.  This is what our culture is preaching.  But does it look like it is working?

  • The average US household credit card debt stands at $15,216 
  • The majority of marriages end in divorce
  • U.S. teen pregnancy and birth rates are nearly double Canada’s, at least four times those of France and Germany, and more than eight times that of Japan.
  • Abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs is costly to our Nation, exacting over $600 billion annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity and healthcare source

I don’t know about you but I think having a “KING” doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.  Yes we have a president but…it doesn’t really count as the same type of KING.   Nobody likes to be told what to do but I think it’s pretty obvious having no rules (God) is not a good alternative.

God gave us the Bible not just as a rule book because he wants us to stay in line, but because He loves us too much to let us live in the mass chaos of a nation that does what is right in our own eyes.   And too much of a gentleman to force his rules on us.

Would we be okay with no traffic laws?  Would I be okay letting my kids eat lollipops every night for dinner? NO

Then why in the world have we come to a point where we are so pretentious we think we know better than the God that put us here?  

Father forgive us for what we have become…lead us back to ONE NATION UNDER GOD.  Where we realize our place and are thankful for your leadership.


All changes start with the (wo)man in the mirror so today I am realizing my own eyes are not only not very good at, but not even capable of determining what is best for me.  Father you are in control…not me.  The quicker I get this whole, “You are God and I am not thing down.”  The better off we will all be.

Teaser: Right In The Eye from North Point Online on Vimeo.

10 great reasons to start a garden this year

So you want to have a garden but need a little extra motivation to get started this year? Spring is here and if you ever thought about gardening now is the time to get started.

I compiled the top 10 reasons to get out there, get digging, and grow your own produce this year!

  1. Cost/Savings:  The average family with a vegetable garden spends just $70 a year on it and grows an estimated $600 worth of vegetables.  (source)  Thats a 850% return on your investment!! Try getting that at the bank!


Today I have the privilege of guest posting for one of my favorite bloggers.  To see the rest of this post please follow me today over to remodeling this life.  

 Come join the garden chat and please feel free to ask any gardening questions! 

Imperfect People take two

Well Hello there poor little neglected blog.  I have been so distracted,  I forgot about you.

hey blog

The truth is my heart has just not been in blogging for the past few months.  I was pretty sure I was done with this little venture.  But as my last post mentioned FOCUS has been a key word in my life lately.  In one of those rare and precious moments, I felt the Lord say so clearly I need to FOCUS on college ministry and this blog.  So I guess I’m not done blogging after all. :)

I’m excited about adding some new ideas, and more than anything a renewed dedication to write.  I am no author, and not even particularly good at this whole thing but I know God is not done with this yet. There is still so much to be said.   I am just thankful to be a part.

Thanks for sticking with me and especially for your encouragement along the way!

Please invite a friend to join us in this renewed adventure!

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Top posts for 2012

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I can’t think of anything clever or alluring to say here so let’s just go ahead and list what you clicked here for mmm-kay?

The top posts for 2012 on Imperfect people are as follows:

#10 This is a little…uncomfortable

#9 If as first you don’t succeed (or get laughed at)

#8 Losing your life

#7 Im an Imperfect Christian

#6 Where is God when bad things happen

#5) 17 Cheap and romantic date ideas

#4) To all the Imperfect Ladies

#3 A personal story of love and loss through Adoption

On a side note: So proud of my sweet friend Bessie for sharing her story, well God’s story written in her life. And I’m so glad you liked it too. Her newest addition became OFFICIALLY a part of their family just before Christmas!! WOO HOO!!

#2) Kisses from Katie

Love this story. I want to be her BFF really bad.

And your #1 favorite post this past year from Imperfect people??…… Drum roll in the form of the Griswold family please…..

#1 Following a Rock Star

I’m not gonna lie I think people google it with totally a totally different idea in mind but, hey, whatever works.

In other “imperfect news” Facebook “likes” went up a lot this year to a current total of 733 which I’m pretty pumped about

And don’t forget “imperfect People T shirts are still available!

Happy New years to my perfectly imperfect friends!

myWPEdit Image

myWPEdit Image

They are $15 each and 50% of all proceeds go to charity (this month they go to IJM)


When you are not in control..on worry

It has been a crazy couple of months. I wrote about our terrifying adventure to the hospital with Hannah. In addition my husband had a skin cancer removed from his nose ,and I found I out I have a genetic condition that makes my body hold on to more iron than it should.
I kinda freaked out
I know Christians are supposed to no worry, we should rest easy knowing that God is in complete control. But my faith can be so weak.

I think I am driving everyone around me (especially my poor husband) absolutely crazy with my worry.
What if they didn’t get all of the skin cancer from Bryan’s nose? What if I eat too much red meat (loaded with iron)? And don’t even get me started with all the worry I have been doing over Hannah’s exposure to too many X-rays from her skull fracture.

During the middle of all this I have a dear friend who sent me this scripture:

A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. And Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping!
They roused him, saying, “Teacher, is it nothing to you that we’re going down?”
Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?”
They were in absolute awe, staggered. “Who is this, anyway?” they asked. “Wind and sea at his beck and call!” Mark 4:35

“This is so amazing to me. There was a huge storm. The disciples all thought the worst, they were (like me) FREAKING. And what was Jesus doing?? SLEEPING.

While I am thinking, “JESUS!!! Wake up!!! What in the world is going on!!?? Do something!!”

He is saying, “BE STILL Don’t you have any faith? I am in COMPLETE control here. This event is no surprise to me. The storm will pass, you are in good hands”

The storms are not fun. But they are inevitable. They come and they go, some are strong and terrifying. 

Storms get in the way of “our plans” and are usually very unwelcome.

If you’re like me you try to “control” the storm. After Hannah’s fall I am still a little skittish. I have seriously considered constructing a giant hamster wheels for our kids to live in where they would be protected from life. I’m sure they would be socially adapted don’t you think?

As crazy as that would be, it is just as crazy to think I am in any type of control of the storms of life. I have two options:

1)Live in fear of every possible storm: Lay in bed at night playing out worse case scenario. (not that I have ever done this…just sayin.)

2)Let my fears BE STILL: Rest knowing that I am NOT in control. Take joy knowing I am promised an eternity with Christ no matter the length of my life. And enjoy the present.

Most days I am NOT in a storm but worry is stealing the joy of the present.
Jesus knows what he is talking about when he said,

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew 6:34 (FYI this is one of the most searched verses in the bible…good to know I’m not the only one).

Jesus took on the pain of fear and worry(and anything else you struggle with) 2000 years ago. He painfully nailed them to a cross so we wouldn’t have to feel them anymore.

Thank you Jesus for such an amazing gift. And thank you for this present moment, where everything in life is just right. Let me enjoy this day, and let tomorrow worry about itself.

myWPEdit Image

myWPEdit Image

Cheating when it matters most

I have the wonderful opportunity to guest post over at Life Lived fully today.  

Lindsay, the heartbeat behind the blog, has quickly become a dear friend.  She is beautiful, hilarious and is all about keeping it REAL (which I love).

Some come check out her blog and read “Cheating when it matters most” 


And as a little order of business…CONGRATS to Tina who won the Spirit Led parenting book!