All Posts By

Caroline

Faith

My New Book Just Released!

December 12, 2019

Hi friend!

I’m so excited to let you know that my brand new book, Good Things Come: Encountering God in Seasons Between Promises Given and Promises Fulfilled, just released!

I still remember sitting on a bunkbed in India 11 years ago and telling two of my closest girlfriends that one day I was going to write a book. At the time I had no idea how long it’d take or what it’d require. I just knew that some day it would happen.

Now, all these years later, it’s officially out and I’m so excited to tell you about it!

 

I wrote Good Things Come because no matter what season I was in, whether I was living wild adventures abroad, navigating newlywed life, or entering parenthood, this place of waiting remained. Over time I realized that the tension isn’t something that can be overcome or bypassed.

Rather, it’s the powerful ground where we encounter God with us in the middle of what is and isn’t. It’s where we meet him and it’s where we change, mature, and arise.

The book is an invitation to reconsider our waiting. Maybe the seasons of not yets, pauses, and delays are less about what is being withheld from us. Maybe, instead, they are more about what God is offering us—the encounters with him that change us to live purposefully, boldly, and presently no matter how the next season unfolds.

So who’s the book for?

For all those friends out there who are navigating the tension of what isn’t going as planned, looking as you imagined, or meeting expectations. And yet the ones also resolved to keep showing up no matter when it changes, like…

  • the student wanting to impact your campus
  • the professional discerning next steps
  • the adult seeking out community
  • the parent feeling overwhelmed
  • those wondering where God is, when he will move, or why he is so quiet

What will you learn?

There’s so much the book digs into. I share tons of personal stories about God meeting me in extraordinary ways in the middle of my normal days. And I dive into the Bible to unpack moments where God moved as his people waited.

You’ll be equipped to…

  • Channel disappointment into expectancy for what God is doing
  • Breathe in the presence of God in the middle of daily life
  • Overcome lies you’re believing by the truth God is speaking
  • Declare words of power that affect the people, relationships, and places around you
  • Arise into who God has made you to be right where you are

Click this link to learn more about the book and to order it! Or find it available on Amazon!

I’m so excited to share this offering with you. I fought for each word and firmly believe it will breathe life into your season. It will fuel you to do hard things, to show up in the middle of what is, and to live your days grateful, powerful, and just as God has created you.

So much love!

Caroline

Mamahood

Lessons in Mamahood – I am not static.

October 22, 2018

It was the final few minutes of my barre class and I was laid flat on my back staring up at the ceiling. The lights were off, music low, and we were stretching to finish out the hour.

That’s when it hit me.

I had this odd realization that I am not the same person I once knew.

My mind flashed with all kinds of past seasons – like college days or mission adventures or newlywed months – and I became so acutely aware of how much has changed. Not only around me, but in me. I’m so different, I thought.

My friend Erin emailed me a few months ago asking the question of how I have found myself since becoming “mom.”

I thought on it for a few days and then sent back these words:

I’ve gotten to know myself today. I came to realize quickly – but also over time too – that I am not the same. Things are not as they were before. Just like my body isn’t as it was, so I think there is a part of me that is different too. Maybe the same pieces, but it all sits a little differently. The stretching, tearing, expanding of preparing for motherhood has left me changed.

So I take time to learn who I am now. I sit with my thoughts. I take note of what goes through my mind. I let me be me, as I am, in relationships and friendships even when it’s a slightly altered version from before. I decided I didn’t need everything to go back to “normal.” There is a “new” and I decided to get to know the new.

Erin later posted words on social media that powerfully summed up what I was trying to say, which was this:

I am not static. So I am befriending my becoming.

I find this realization equally freeing and terrifying.

So much of me has changed and I am thankful for that. I want the God who moves us from glory to glory to move in and through me as well. I want such moves of him to be evident and tangible. Not all of them will be, of course, but I know there is beauty in the realization that things are shifting, resettling, and redefining.

But then it’s just as uncomfortable. Who really am I, so I wondered as I stared up at the barre studio’s ceiling. What do I dream for? Who am I becoming? What stirs or frightens or activates me most?

Those are powerful questions. At times it’s easy to answer them from what I know to be true based on prior seasons. The challenge for me, though, is to consider my answers in connection to who I find myself to be today.

Allowing myself space to wrestle with those questions reveals what I didn’t know about myself — the new, surprising, and not so pretty too.

Motherhood is teaching me that I am changing. Just as I am getting to know with wonder the little ones in my care who are growing and maturing each second of their lives, so I must befriend myself.

I must get to know who I am today as I am now.

Because ultimately, to surrender to the truth that I am not static necessitates I hold space for myself to grow in the process.

The new things God promised throughout Scripture are those that begin in us. He is changing, renewing, and upgrading us. Resting into the truth that we are different today frees us not only to know who we are through past history but also through present moments.

Here is where we meet God. This is our sacred ground where where we learn what he is doing and who he is making us to be.

So allowing ourselves the opportunity to change and become keeps fresh life flowing from us. It holds space for God to do in us what we could not know or imagine apart from him. And it keeps us breathing, dreaming, and living with him what comes today.

 

Faith Life

Why You Want to Take a Risk Today

October 9, 2018

 

A year ago my daughter, Eloise, and I walked into our local Target to pick up some groceries. I probably showed up at this Target at least twice a week because, well, it’s Target. Eloise was just over one at the time and we were in the sweet spot where she thought sitting in the top of the grocery cart was the best thing ever.

So I put her in, turned to go on our normal route around the store, and locked eyes on a woman nearby me who was limping into the store. She was young, fit, and with a bandage wrapped around her left foot. There was no question that she was in a lot of pain.

I turned back to Eloise not thinking much of it until I felt that inner pull from the Spirit suggesting that this wasn’t a situation to take note of but one to go participate in. God instantly reminded me of when I watched him heal a young woman’s knee in South Africa years ago. In the clearest whisper I heard the words, “What will you do with what you see before you right now?”

There was no mistaking the moment I was entering, with God leading me to consider how I might partner with him in changing the environment in one of the most ordinary places, our local Target. I’d love to say that I instantly headed off to pray for her, but the truth is that I fought this nudge the entire shopping trip. I wanted to step into what God was doing, but I also felt unsure and awkward.

So around Target Eloise and I went. While on the outside everything looked normal, inwardly I was conflicted between God’s leading and my own flesh and fear meshed together.

I had an intense conversation with God as I walked the aisles of Target. I was trying to assuage this urge within me to participate in what was before me and what he might want to do with me. He was, in turn, encouraging me that whether I stepped into this or not didn’t determine his love for me but could showcase his love through me.

What added comedy to the situation was that I ran into this woman at least six times as we walked around the
store. Time and again I would turn down the clothing, home, shoes, or skin care aisle and there she was.

Finally I got to the point where I had wrestled long enough. “Okay,” I resolved, “when I see her next I will go up to her and ask her if I can pray for her. This time I’ll do it.”

Sure enough I ran into her in the vegetable aisle, strolled up to her and said, “Excuse me. Hi. I’m sorry to bother you but I haven’t been able to stop noticing that you’re limping through the store. I actually have witnessed God heal people in the past of ankle problems and was hoping it might be okay if I quickly prayed for you?”

Kind of stunned, she let out an exhale. “I literally have tried everything and I just came back from getting X-rays today. I’ve done acupuncture, physical therapy, everything. I don’t know what’s wrong with my foot.”

“Well, would it be okay if I prayed for you right here and asked God to heal your foot?”

Click below to download my new (free!) ebook where you will find the rest of the story on page 17!

Faith Leadership

4 Steps for Catching — and Keeping — Vision

September 18, 2018

I recently talked with a friend about how we will be those seventy-year-olds still auditing classes. We share this common desire to consume new information. While some people can’t wait to be done with the classroom, I love it. The work load, not so much. But the discussing and engaging with ideas that interest me, I hope I can do that my whole life.

So what am I in the middle of learning?

Well, I’m trying to listen to some new voices about how to launch a concept. It’s not that natural to me. I used to say I’m not “wired” that way, but now I think that was a copout because it seems hard and uncomfortable. So instead I’m trying to learn from people who know a lot about how to get an idea off the ground and moving.

I can’t tell you much about how to do that just yet, since I’m freshly in the space. But I can tell you what they all say, which is this:

Catch the vision and know where you’re going. Because where you look is where you’ll head.

It sounds easy enough and like something we’ve all heard. But if I were to ask you what your vision is for the dream you want to launch, how easily could you tell me? Would you stammer through words that perpetually circle the point without ever landing on it? Or could you clearly, succinctly, and confidently articulate what it is?

Asking myself that question has challenged me to clarify. Because even though we can learn techniques of how to get somewhere, if we don’t know where we’re going then it’s not that helpful. The how doesn’t get us far if we haven’t settled the where. But once we do, how becomes crucial.

So in an effort to move myself somewhere intentional, I’m giving it my best shot to implement this advice.

And if you’re there too, here’s what catching and keeping vision practically looks like for me these days:

1. Get specific.

A few weeks ago I pulled out my large white sticky notes and jotted down words on vision, mission, and values. I asked myself pointed questions. Where do I hope to be in the next few months or years? What is most important about how I get there? What compels me to do the hard, hidden stuff today?

Getting specific has been important in catching vision. I’m leaning in to hear what God is whispering about where he is leading and what he is doing. This has helped me not only know where I’m going, but to see and believe for it. And ultimately, knowing what and where always informs and inspires how.

2. Rehearse the vision. 

I’m reminding myself consistently of why I am doing certain things, especially the ones that are stretching, overwhelming, or totally mundane.

When David boldly said, “I’m remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of God” (Ps 27:13), he didn’t necessarily know all the how-tos of it. But he knew where he was heading — to taste God as good — so his present decisions were fueled by his future vision. He was reminding himself of the greater vision in the middle of his surrounding challenges.

3. Align decisions.

Our present decisions make all the difference to where we find ourselves down the road. They determine where we go and what we harvest. This always matters for that. Today is always connected to what comes. So we build momentum through our small and purposeful choices right now.

Because of that, I’m considering how my present decisions help me partner with God in future dreams. The main questions I am asking are: What’s the fruit of this choice in coming seasons? Does this choice lead me off course or keep me on it? What actions best align with the larger vision?

4. Pray by faith (not sight).

In the New Testament the people of faith are encouraged to fix their eyes (2 Cor 4:18; Heb 12:2) and in the psalms it is repeatedly sung about the lifting our heads and eyes (Ps 3:3, 24:9, 121:1). Both hit on the point that we are to raise and keep our eyes set beyond what we see. Then, from there, we declare, prophesy, and trust that God will do more than we currently see.

So I’m believing that God is working in wild, unimaginable ways. I’m not constricting the vision with expectations about how it must come to be, but with expectancy that God is faithful and he will move.

So what’s your vision? How can you catch and keep it so that what you do now propels you towards what God has ahead?

Faith Leadership

How I Got to Work and Wrote My Book

September 6, 2018

Brené Brown shares a powerful story in her book, Braving the Wilderness, about when she decided to write herself a permission slip much like the ones she was signing for her school-aged daughter at the time. She was about to tape an episode with Oprah and was a bundle of emotions (I’d be too). Instead of allowing the stress, pressure, and anxiety to tell her who she was or how’d she do, she wrote herself permission to have fun and enjoy it as it would be.

She granted herself the opportunity to belong in her moment, and to live it both fully and boldly.

After years of letting my book proposal sit on the shelf, God’s whisper spoke life into my dream again. Not only did he remind me of what he had planted in me years ago, but he did something else too.

He invited me to pursue my dream to be a writer, no matter what those official voices had spoken. Ultimately, what I heard after years of letting that book proposal sit was this:

Go write the book.

It was a total shift for me. Instead of waiting for an outside voice to allow me the space to pursue this dream, God was the one asking me to release what was in me.

I approached the dream completely differently. This was about stewardship and giving away what God had put in me. So I changed my source of permission from external voices to God’s internal whisper. I traded my concern for what others around me were saying for what God was stirring in me.

And then I got to work — because the book wasn’t going to write itself.

To date it is probably my most calculated pursuit of a dream yet. I literally counted out the number of days I had to write it, which was about 90. I researched the word count of a typical non-fiction book. Using my snazzy mathematics degree from college, I figured out that I needed to write 500 to 600 words a day for 3 months.

Then you know what I did? I showed up, day by day and word by word.

That’s the key in all of this, no matter what dream you’re wanting to pursue. Passion is important and clarity is necessary, but ultimately you and I have to decide we’re no longer willing not to show up. One day has to be the first day — of many days — that we do the thing. It’s the day we choose that all the reasons we usually give for why we’re quitting whatever we sought to accomplish don’t count this time. They don’t carry the weight to sway or distract us.

We do the mundane and purposeful rhythms, every day for countless days, and through the ordinary something extraordinary takes place.

So last May I decided that all the reasons I usually give myself weren’t going to work this time. Then I wrote the book. I edited it and had others read it, and now I’m pitching it.

What feels amazing about where I am on this journey is that I’m not seeking the validation from publishers to write, as I previously was anxious to receive. I wrote the book. I am a writer.

Now I’m looking for the best place to entrust this offering, which demands I keep working though the path isn’t clear and there are plenty of obstacles along the way. Even still, I’m choosing to show up.

What I hope you hear in this story is this — don’t give others the power to keep you from running hard after what God has put in you. If you know God is calling you to do something, do it. Launch forward by his leading and in response to what he has done in you.

So how do we live this out? We show up each day, steward well what is before us, and allow what flows from us to reflect God’s deposit in us. We partner with the dreams God has placed in us, one decision at a time.

This all means that if you dream of writing a book, write the first chapter. If you want to buy a house, save the first thousand dollars. If you want to grow community, sign yourself up for an activity that puts you around new people. Stop waiting for a perfect time or some heavenly sign to pursue what dreams God already has placed in you. Simply take the first step.

Also, write out that permission slip. I’m not even kidding. Grant yourself the permission to be right now the person who you hope to be when you ultimately step into that dream.

So what’s the dream you need to show up for today? And what kind of permission do you need to grant yourself? I’d love to hear below!

Live Here. Love Now.

Get your free copy of
Live Here. Love Now.

6 Practices for Cultivating a Life of Presence, Purpose, and Power

You have Successfully Subscribed!