How To Respond When Life Isn't Fair

Our culture seems to be obsessed with equality, but really fairness evaluations are just bizarre. They are all about comparison and self-pity and low self-esteem. If you've ever seen kids fighting over whose portion is bigger or better, you know what I'm talking about. You might even have been that kid.

As a mom I am convinced that it is good to parent each child individually according to their own needs. Life is not fair. Period. We do our kids a disservice when we help them to think otherwise. 

I'm so thankful that life isn't fair, because if it were I would have to have all the same skill sets as everyone else on the planet.  Can you imagine if you had to go to college to get every single type of degree available to be had. Or what if there was only one degree type, and every person had to get it so that no one else felt left out? That would be really boring.

I have been to a country where the end goal was to have everything be completely equal. The thought is that no one should rise above the rest, but that everyone should contribute equally. It simply doesn't work out well. The end result is the government deciding every person's career path so they can assure that society is evenly provided for. This means that if the government decides you should be a teacher, you don't have any choice in the matter. You just have to do it for the good and overall "fairness" of the whole.

Each person is unique. We each have a specific personality with a gift mix all our own.  We each have unique needs with different love languages to give and receive love.

God is the best Father and He is really good at giving each of us exactly what we need at just the right time. We can rest in Him.

Key Idea: Everyone ends up poor and losing when we make equality our highest goal.

"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 12:1-3

We really do not need to worry about if someone else is getting more than we are. We have a really good Father who really loves us, and that makes it completely normal for us to be filled with peace and contentment instead of striving and comparison.


I was a guest on DOVETALES Radio Show yesterday. Check it out!

3 Ways to Shift Your Mood

It is totally possible to live in peace and joy even in undesirable circumstances. When you find your heart drifting towards negativity, you can make a choice to redirect it.

  1. Sometimes just changing your physical activity or location is all it takes to shift your attitude. This is one reason why physical exercise is so important. I really enjoy walking. When I get moving either on the treadmill or on my favorite path, my mind kicks into positive mode. I can literally fight off mental attacks and get into agreement with God’s promises if I walk long enough. It usually only takes ten or fifteen minutes for the shift to kick in.
  2. Watching a good comedy can be very spiritual. Laughing is so good for you. I particularly enjoy watching old sitcoms. They tend to be very wholesome and really get me laughing. 
  3. Cloudy weather can start to negatively affect my mood after a couple days. There are special kinds of lighting you can get to help with this. I find that closing all of the curtains and turning on all the lights helps me a lot.

The Bible tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. We need to stay in joy so that we can be strong to live out our lives as shining lights in our families and communities. It is impossible to represent Jesus well if we walk around frowning the majority of the time.

If you are living with a lack of joy, determine to do what it takes to get into peace so that it can overflow into joy that spills over everywhere you go.


Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance.

2 Thessalonians 3:16

Do You Think It's Ever Ok To Judge?

When you hear the phrase, "You are different than everyone else." What tone do you hear it in? Is it a positive thing or a negative one?

If you hear it from the loving voice of your Father, you will be strengthened to stand firm in your arena.

If you hear it through the lens of your own insecurities, you will be tempted to agree with the accuser and back off from taking your place in the world. Don't let your internal disqualifications hold you back.

Have you ever heard anyone say that comparison is bad?

Look at these two glasses. One is a mug, and the other a glass....obviously. Oops! We just compared them!

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Did our comparing them make one of them better or more valuable than the other? Of course not. They were each made for a different purpose. If you are craving a cup of coffee you will want the mug, but if iced tea is your heart's desire you will go for the glass.

If we never compare ourselves to each other, how will we recognize and honor the unique gift mix that each person carries?

I would like to propose the idea that comparison is not bad at all. Where we get into trouble is when we turn our comparison into unrighteous judgement.

  • When we judge other people's weaknesses against our strengths we side with the accuser and fall into pride.
  • When we judge our weaknesses against other people's strengths we also side with the accuser and fall into condemnation and insecurity.

People talk about not judging, the fact is we judge all the time. Judging in and of itself isn’t bad. People don’t get upset when you judge them positively. It’s when you confront their sin that they get tend to say, "Don't judge me!"

How can you compare without judging ?

  • Believe the best.
  • Recognize the need for diversity in the body of Christ
  • Celebrate the fact that we all have different gifts, styles, and anointings
  • Remember that every position has value and importance

The word diversity has come to mean a lot of things in our culture today. Sadly people use it to affirm sinful lifestyles, but God really is a God of diversity. He doesn’t approve of sin, but He is the author of different personalities and gift mixes.

We are all different, and that's a good thing. God is not looking for clones.

For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body? 1 Cor 12:14-15

Which part of the body are YOU?

This post was co-written with my husband, Christopher Olson. An audio version is now available.

How To Pray Against Terrorism

It seems like almost every day we are bombarded with images and stories of brutal attacks by terrorists. I think that we can tend to either get really scared or become numb. What if we were to avoid both of those options and pray powerful prayers instead?

Let's start by reading what Jesus had to say about it:

In fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. John 16:2b-3

It really all boils down to a lack of love. People who have hateful, murder filled hearts have not yet received the love of God. They go through life thinking that they have to prove something to God, not knowing that they can turn to Jesus and have a good Father who loves them so deeply. They live like orphans, fighting for every scrap, when they actually could have a relationship with a Father who wants to bless them with every good thing.... They just don't know it yet.

Let's start to pray faith filled prayers that God would visit terror minded people with His great love. Let's pray that He would visit them in their dreams or in any other way He sees fit, not just to protect ourselves from attacks, but so that these orphan ones can experience true love and freedom.

Jesus died because they too were valuable to the Father. Let's value what He values, and pray that the lost ones will come home!

Your Daily Drink

Do you ever feel tired or unmotivated? It turns out that Jesus offers a very simple solution to this common problem. He instructs us to simply come to Him and drink.

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast,

Jesus stood and cried out, saying,

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.”

John 7:37

In case this sounds too mystical, let’s look at some practical ways to “come and drink.”

It’s really nice when we feel a sweet longing to spend time with Jesus, but even when the feeling is absent, the coming to Him is still powerful.

When you do feel a stirring to “come” to Him, drop what you are doing and go with it. As you respond to the smallest nudge of His presence, you will be filled with His love and peace.

Discipline yourself to come to Him daily whether you feel anything or not. You might want to set a daily reminder on your phone to pause to talk to Jesus and meditate on His Word.

As you read the Bible, don’t rush. When a verse stands out to you, stop and chew on it. Don’t worry about getting through a certain amount of reading. Focus on mediating on the Lord and the verses He is highlighting to you.

Close your eyes and take a deep breath as you let His Word go deep inside. This is a great way to “drink.”

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said,

“From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.”

John 7:38

The more you spend time letting the truth of Jesus go deep into your heart and mind, the more powerful you will become. Let God take you through a process of mind renewal until you truly believe that you are one with Him.

This is the place that powerful ministry stems from. Ask Holy Spirit to come more and more until your entire being is saturated with His presence. Be aware of the fact that you are a spiritual being at your core.

Release the rivers of living water within you by opening your mouth and letting the naturally resulting praise and prayer flow.

When you take time to cultivate God’s presence in your own life, you can begin to release His Kingdom everywhere you go.

As you go to work, school, or shopping be aware of what you are carrying. You truly are a supernatural being who has the power to shift the atmosphere simply by showing up and releasing love.

A very practical step is to practice looking people in the eyes, smiling, and making small talk. This does not come easily to all of us, but it is the pathway to deeper conversation and connection.

You can do it! You are not alone; You are powerfully connected to Love!

Is Someone Undermining Your Leadership?

I am concerned that a lot of leaders lose their platform of trust by not following through on their promises. It's kind of like shooting yourself in the foot when you don't mean what you say.

Can the people in your life really trust you? Do your spouse, kids, and friends believe you when you talk to them?

Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. Don't leave room for confusion. When you say something, mean it, and follow through.

Remember what the Centurion in Luke 7 said? It was amazing enough that it impressed Jesus!

For I also am a man placed under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” Luke 7:8

When the people under your care trust you, it makes it much easier for them to follow your instructions.

Sticking to your word means that you will need to take a moment to think before you speak. Don't let words and promises just fly out of your mouth, or your promises will be empty.

Empty words are a sure way to undermine your influence.

Action Point: Make a choice today to strengthen your influence by being a person of your word.

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Hidden Provision

I've been really wanting to replace the carpet in my bedroom, hallway and stairs for a few years now. Every time I got close to saving up the money, something else came up to spend the money on instead. It's not like I spent it on emergencies, but on fun stuff like going on trips to Cuba and Washington DC.

Anyway, I finally got the money together and decided that now is the time to get this project done. We're inheriting a complete bedroom set, so it seemed like the right time to change the flooring since we have to move everything anyway.

I did my research to make sure I had enough money saved, picked out the new flooring, and had the company do the measurements. It seemed like everything was coming together until the sales person from the store sent me the quote. It was almost double what I had figured!

I was busy, so I just sat on it a couple days. Before many days had passed, I found myself on a longish drive to an appointment. This meant I had plenty of time to think. I was starting to get stressed about the whole situation (first world problem). Should I forget about replacing the flooring, only do part of the project, or what? I was committed to paying cash upfront, so financing wasn't an option.

Thankfully it wasn't too long before I caught myself losing my peace and decided to ask God about it. I told the Lord that I needed Him. I told Him that I needed His wisdom and help, and that I know He really loves me and wants to give me my heart's desires. Then I decided to stop thinking about the situation and move on with my day. My peace was back!

God is so good. Within a couple hours I received an email from the sales person apologizing that they had done their figures incorrectly! Wow!

I had been hoping to pick up some extra work to make up for the discrepancy, but when it came down to it, I actually already had all that I needed.

I wonder how many times in our lives we stress about things that we think we need, when we actually already have them.


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Have you had a chance to check out my newest book?

Get your copy here

Get your copy here

What Brand Are You?

As children we tend to absorb labels. Our parents should be the ones who brand us with good words, calling us up into our destinies. In many cases our parents carried negative labels themselves and had no clue how to brand us or that it was even part of their job description.

Some common labels are:

  • scatterbrained
  • shy
  • dumb
  • lazy
  • below average
  • dramatic
  • stubborn
  • clumsy
  • accident prone

Maybe a doctor or other "professional" labeled you with:

  • ADHD
  • DID
  • PTSD or some other series of letters

These labels do not have the power to define you forever unless you let them.

  • You can move beyond your childhood and be a powerful adult.
  • You were a child then. You are not nowYou are an adult.
  • You really can throw off all of those old labels from when you were a child and embrace  new labels.
  • You have generations of ancestors cheering you on!

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.  (Hebrews 12:1 NASB)

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Key Idea!

Key idea: You do not have to be who you have always been.

Key strategy: Who do you need to be in order to do what you want to do? Put it into one sentence. Put it in your reminders in your phone and set the alarm to go off at a certain time each day. Read it out loud each day. Do it until it feels true and natural.

When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.  (1 Corinthians 13:11)

How to Move Forward

I really want you to step fully into the call of God on your life. If you are in Christ, you have access to all kinds of heavenly wisdom and power. Here are some steps to help you move forward.

  • Sometimes the first step is sitting quietly, waiting on the Lord.
  • Sometimes it is a matter of meeting with a life coach to work through issues and make a plan.
  • Sometimes it's a matter of having a hard conversation with someone or setting some healthy boundaries.

If you ask the Holy Spirit, He will clearly show you.

  1. Make sure your connection to God is firm.
  2. Ask Him for wisdom and power.
  3. Do something with what He gives you.

For Jesus' perspective on this, read: Matthew 25:14-30


How is your digital presence going? It used to be that your store front was the most important thing you had, but these days people always look you up online (probably multiple times) before they ever decide to visit you.

We have launched Creative Visioneering to help you make your digital presence powerful so that you can put your dreams to work!

Our first online course is ready for you now. In this course we walk you step by step (video) through the process of setting up your professional email newsletter using MailChimp.


Don't Spew On the Ones You Love

I bet that if you had a stomach virus, you would never intentionally walk up to your loved ones and puke in their faces. Gross! Who would ever do that to anyone, much less than to the people who really matter to them.

Reasonable people try to stay away from others when they're sick. They do it out of mercy and kindness. They stay away until they are well, and no longer contagious. If the sickness doesn't seem to be passing, they get to a doctor to do their best to resolve the situation. Being sick is no fun for the one who is sick or for the rest of the family.

Why is it that we let emotional issues go unsorted for years and years? When the emotional pain buttons in our lives get pushed, the fallout hurts the people around us at least as much it hurts us.

You know the secret areas of pain that you keep hidden and hope that no one ever finds out about? I have news for you, people may not know the specifics, but they certainly feel the painful symptoms.

If you aren't willing to get healthy for your sake, at least do the hard work of getting yourself sorted out for the sake of the people you love. You really don't want people around you to feel like they have to spend their whole lives walking on eggshells.

Don't delay. Get the help you need. Make an appointment with a counselor or reach out to get with a mature, trusted mentor.

Action point: I recommend you follow Danny Silk - Loving on Purpose

If you don't deal with your issues, everyone around you will have to.


I'm moving from a Facebook page to a Facebook group so we can have better interaction. I'd love for you to join!


Get a copy here

Get a copy here

Moving From an Idea to a Plan

Whatever God is calling you to do, He will always provide everything you need in order to follow through on it. He is a good Father, and He will not ask you do something, then leave you to do it on your own. Here's where to start...

  1. Get clear on your mission. What problem in the world makes your blood boil? What is your dream testimonial?
  2. Make a short term plan with a few things you can start on right away to get you headed in the right direction.
  3. Imagine what you want your life to look like in five or ten years. Are you putting the right things in place to get there?

It's not enough to get a vision; we need to ask Holy Spirit to help us walk it out. Feeling overwhelmed? You can do this! It's time to cooperate with God.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22


Would you do me a huge favor and take this one minute survey about where you are on the journey to your destiny? This will help me know how to help you.

The Time My Son Almost Had A Brain Tumor

A few years ago our oldest son started experiencing bouts of extreme dizziness and ringing in his ears along with some hearing loss.  After consulting with doctors it was determined that he needed to have an MRI.  Basically they needed to check to see if he had a brain tumor.

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Wow, that was unsettling.  It is so hard to go through these kinds of tests when you have to do so much waiting.  It's like they say, "This is really serious; go home and wait and wait and wait until we find time to help you out."

I remember ironing clothes and fighting this mental battle at the same time.  I had to choose to put the thought of cancer aside and think about other things.  It's like I actually imagined in my mind pushing the worrying thoughts over to the side and bringing thoughts of things I could control into the center.

The MRI did come back clear, and he was diagnosed with Meniere's disease. Miraculously his hearing loss has been restored!

Jesus gives us peace as a gift.  He also commands us to not let our hearts be troubled. Sometimes not letting your heart be troubled requires you to fight.

Peace is not the absence of war.

If you fear, you can't hear.  If you allow your heart to be troubled you won't be able to hear the whisper of Holy Spirit as He guides you in your life choices.

John 14:27  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Have You Ever Been Seasick?

How To Live Free From Dread

Do you have a tendency to worry about what's coming next? Maybe when you have a good day and you're starting to feel hopeful you notice a nagging voice saying, "Yeah, you're happy now, but just wait for what's coming next...things can't always be good."

When I hear this voice it usually feels like it comes from someone speaking from behind me just over my right shoulder. We can safely identify this voice as the voice of the accuser. He is constantly working to get us discouraged or distracted.  He is scared to death of what will happen if we find out how much favor and power we really have, much less learn to live in that reality.

In the book of Proverbs Wisdom says:

"But he who listens to me shall live securely,

and will be at ease from the dread of evil."

Proverbs 1:33

The fact that the enemy is working so hard to lie to us proves that it is 100% possible to live free from dread. It is 100% possible to live in peace and hope for the future.

When you follow Wisdom, you can live free from dread!

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I'm going to be digging into the book of Proverbs over the next few weeks. Why not join me? You could aim to read a chapter each day. If you get to a verse that jumps out at you, don't push past it to finish the chapter....stop and soak it in. Ask Holy Spirit to read with you and to teach you as you read.

Special Announcement!

If you would've told me a couple of years ago that I would write a book, I wouldn't have believed you. It barely feels real today. I feel like all the stuff I've been learning and producing lately has happened almost by accident. So, now for the special announcement....

My second book is now available in paper back and Kindle! I really think you are going to like this book.

Here's what I put on the back cover:  Have you ever felt like everyone around you is more spiritual than you are? No matter where you are on your spiritual journey, the practical keys in this interactive book will help you go deeper. Get ready to unlock the next door in your spiritual journey over the next 30 days!


My daughter, Zoe and I will be signing books at the 5th Annual Ankeny Author's Fair on Saturday! We would love to see you there!

What Will Your Kids Create That Will Change The World?

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Parenting is the ultimate way to raise up disciples. We're not all called to full time ministry, but we're all called to make disciples and feed our Father's sheep.

It is time to get a vision for the next generation. What will your kids create that will change the world? Whatever it is, they will have a very difficult time accomplishing it without your care and wisdom.

Be intentional in raising your kids. Your kids are your story. Ask Holy Spirit what your child's destiny is. Then take time to get to know your child well. This way you can start to form a strategy to prepare them for their future.

Try to think outside the box in raising your kids. Every child has a unique personality and learning style. It is better to work with their individuality than against it. 

It's helpful to think of the parenting journey as raising adults, not taking care of kids. If you don't have kids, or your kids are grown, ask Holy Spirit to highlight some young people that you can reach out to and encourage.

The nurture and training you give out now will affect generations to come. Your kids are your inheritance. Pour your whole heart into them!


Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127:3-5)

7 Things "The Shack" Made Me Feel (no spoilers)

 

7 Things "The Shack" Made Me Feel

  1. It made God seem more real to me; like I can talk to Him more freely than before.
  2. It made me feel that heaven is real and close by.
  3. It made me feel that God really does love me and is really fun to be with.
  4. It made me feel that God is working for my best.
  5. It made me see that (Tweet This) it is always possible to forgive and move forward. 
  6. It reminded me that I can do anything when I'm with Him.
  7. It made me impatient to get to heaven. 
 

I enjoyed this movie so much, that I went to see it a second time. I hope that you go see it too!


Did you already see the movie?

I'd love to hear what you would add to my list!