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Hey Cozy Fans! Thanks for your interest in helping my daughter with her fundraising efforts. Here is the link to her page. She will email after you make a tax-deductible donation to get your mailing address.

Can I Get an AMEN?

I hadn’t felt this nervous since I was waiting in the wings of the Miss America pageant 20 years ago. If I hadn’t wanted what was on the other side of that door so badly, I would have bolted.

Just behind that door was the person who could say one word and make all of my dreams come true.

I was at a Christian women’s writing conference this past weekend. Imagine, 750 women just like me. My husband says that’s a scary thought. I was in heaven.

Learning, worshiping, and loving up on other writers was amazingly fun. We all wanted the same thing… to be filled with God so we could pour out into others through our words.

Then Saturday came. That’s when I found myself sitting on a chair in a hallway, staring at a door that would lead to my future.

Actually there were two doors. Two meetings with editors from prominent publishing houses. Two people who could say “Yes! This book on kindness is amazing! Yes! This book on breast cancer is groundbreaking! We’ll take them both!”

The meetings went well. The people behind those doors were just… people. Not even a tiny bit scary. The pressure was all in my imagination.

Have you ever done that to yourself? Built something or someone up to be so big and so powerful that they become larger than reality?

I got the same answer from both publishers. Basically, they said, “Interesting. I’ll take this info back to the team and see what they say.”

Not a no. Not a yes. Just a wait.

I walked out of those rooms and immediately knew what I needed to say to my tribe– to you. Ready for it?

IT’S NOT PERSONAL.

Whatever rejection you face in your mind or in your life, is not about you. In my case it’s about what that publishing house needs at this exact moment. For you, it’s about the baggage that someone else is dragging into your conversation. Or maybe a rejection from a boss or a husband or a girlfriend is God’s way of protecting you from whatever is coming down the pipeline.

IT’S NOT PERSONAL.

God created you perfectly. Seriously. You may be a work in progress, but He still thinks you are simply wonderful. Isn’t that beautiful?

Live free today of other people’s expectations and judgements and know you are right where God wants you, and right where He can use you most at this exact moment.

And all the people said, AMEN!

Perfectly Imperfect Kindness

I woke up this morning in Charlotte, North Carolina. I guess that’s a good thing since that’s where I went to bed last night.

It’s a little confusing trying to keep up with myself this summer. During the month of July, I’ve been in New York, Wisconsin, and North Carolina. I have spent six nights in my own bed in Ohio. I love to travel, but even for me, that’s a bit much. Add to that the intense emotional toll of each trip and I have to say, I’m a bit weary.

I’m weary, but I’m pressing on because this is the trip that I have been anticipating for a year. I’m in Charlotte for a writer’s conference called SheSpeaks. I have my book proposal tucked carefully into my bag, waiting for Saturday when I’ll pull it out and try to convince a publisher that Borrow My Brave should be in the hands of breast cancer patients across the country. In the meantime, I get to learn all about writing and podcasting and posting on social media.

Have you ever noticed that when you’re fatigued, you’re more likely to listen to the lies that float into your brain? When I’m alert, I’m ready. I have trained my mind to reject negative thoughts and replace them with something more productive. But when I’m tired, lonely, or over-extended, sometimes the enemy wins.

I attended a dinner last night with 30 other women who are here to improve their craft. One by one, we stood up and shared a bit about ourselves and our ministry. It was amazing. There were some powerful stories in that room.

This morning, I should be reflecting on the beauty of each woman’s calling.

But instead, before my feet even hit the floor, the circle of self-doubt began swirling through my head. I started questioning myself. Why do I always over-share? Did my comments come off as rude? Or worse yet– unauthentic?

It took a few minutes for me to realize that thoughts like these could derail my whole weekend. I had to get out of the pit.

So instead of thinking about what I coulda shoulda woulda shared, I started thanking God for his grace. Even if my words did come out upside down, God’s grace will cover me. It always does.

We all second guess ourselves or occasionally act more self-serving than we should. But don’t worry, God’s grace is big enough to cover us all.

If you happen to be a person who is prone to self-criticism, let me encourage you. None of us has it all together. And actually, a misstep now and again is a good thing, because when we are humbled, we have more room in our hearts for people who aren’t perfect. People who are just like us and could use a little kindness.

Instead of focusing on what you’re not doing right or should’ve done differently, spend your mental energy figuring out what you can do to make the day better for another person who might desperately need your perfectly imperfect kindness.