Shine Brighter- July Life Out Loud Event

Shine Brighter

Many of you have probably seen the Facebook and Instagram pictures and read a few of the details for the event. Have you wondered what we actually do at these events? Have you questioned if this is something you would like?

Life Out Loud events are a once-a-month time to get together, meet new people, laugh together, and navigate life’s issues together. No one is alone in this journey of life- but sometimes you don’t realize that there is a community of women that want you to succeed and are willing to walk through the process with you.

In the “About” section, the description of Life Out Loud is not just about this blog. It is the purpose for what we do, whether in our women’s small groups, monthly events, or blog posts. It reads:

“Life Out Loud” probably seems like a catchy phrase that has no real meaning. But, in fact, it is the very essence of what I feel God has placed in my heart to accomplish. We see women all around us, through social media, that are living seemingly perfect lives. Their husbands are perfect. Their children are polished and polite. They constantly have #proudmom moments. We see their highlight reels. Then we look at our own hot mess of a life and wonder why we are failing at this. Over the years I have found this to be even more true within the church. We see the Sunday perfection and we have our mid-week friendships. We laugh together, we smile at everyone, but on the inside we are crying for someone to know the real us. The real person that is hurting, that wants to walk out on her marriage, that feels guilty because she yells at her kids when no one is around. Many of the life issues we face are not unique to us alone. Countless other women have struggled and overcome. But we don’t always hear about that side. We only see the amazing end-results. Life Out Loud is about addressing those “secret” parts we try to hide from others out of fear of judgment or condemnation.  Real Women= we are authentic. Real Lives= we are hard-working, busy, emotional, imperfect. Real Love for God= we are passionately seeking a loving God and doing our best to walk out our destiny for this life.

This month’s theme is SHINE BRIGHTER. We will discuss how we can shine brighter in a darker world, but we will also talk about how to find our strength in our dark moments of life. You will hear about real journeys from real women who have overcome. You will find a place where you can engage, be encouraged and leave empowered!

Join me every last Friday of the month.

July 31st ~ 7pm

San Marcos Golf Resort

One San Marcos Dr, Chandler AZ

Open to ALL women

FREE event!

Life on the Wild Side

Hike the Grand Canyon

At first, I was scared to write this. I felt people would read this and begin to judge me based on the typical, Christian prejudices. How often do we, as a whole, judge a person’s credibility based on the size of their ministry or their worldwide impact? There are a lot of faithful people, that are exactly where God has placed them, that fly under the radar all the time. I don’t have a large ministry. My “worldwide” impact looks different from others. My calling might look a little different, too.

From the outside, nothing about my life says “Wild Side.” I have a great family that I love very much and they love me. I am blessed with the opportunity to do work that I enjoy. We go to church on Sunday; we have a small group; kids do well in school; we eat dinner together almost nightly; we are supportive parents of all our kids sports activities.

I mean, I drive a minivan! 

I chaperone school field trips and teach art masterpiece. I am part of the PTO. I run the children’s classes at church and host a women’s event every month. No, nothing from the outside screams “Wild Side.”

But things aren’t always as they seem, are they? I look calm, grounded and put-together. However, on this inside…that is where the action is! If you could step into my brain, my heart, my insides, you would think you walked into an action-adventure movie! I am constantly battling giants, defeating fears, and chasing big dreams. There is never a dull moment. Sometimes, I am about to walk off into the unknown. Sometimes, I run headstrong toward the giant in front of me. Sometimes, I am so overwhelmed with the greatness of the dreams God has placed inside me. But I have seen miracles. I have seen God do impossible things. I am too far into this adventure to give up now! I am alive! I am excited to wake up everyday and win my battles!

I have too much purpose, too much destiny,

too much at stake to stop!

We often see the big things that others are doing. We feel that our small contribution isn’t enough, so we give up. We can give our selves all the right excuses to justify giving up. Our circumstances. Our inability. Our insecurities. Our time. Our lack of discipline. Looking at the work of others, we think our adventure must be grand in order to be fulfilling. I thought that, too, at one time. But I have learned that I cannot do everything and I am not called to do everything. However, I can be faithful with what I have been called to do. I can say “yes” to God, whether it be big or small

There are too many women that reach a point in life where they feel dull. They have lost their “wild side.” They want action. They want adventure. They want mystery and wonder. And, no, I’m not talking about with their husbands! Unfortunately, they begin to look outside for those things. I’ve met too many that walk away from God to seek out those adventures. Little do they know, their “wild side” is inside them waiting to be explored. We all have a “wild side” in us just waiting for us to tap into it! I love the saying , “Wherever you go, there you are.” You don’t have to leave your family to find your adventure.

Are you looking for a little adventure in life? Do you long for something “wild?” Do you want to do something that seems so audacious that people think you’re a little crazy? It’s easier than you think. It starts with a simple “yes” to God. I know, I know. That seems too easy. But try it. It’s harder than you think. Often, it will take you out of your comfort zone. It will stretch you. It will cause you to grow. It will test your limits. Saying “yes” to God may cause you to pack your car and move to another state. It may cause you to start a new job. It may cause you to seek Him everysingle day of your life because you can’t do it on your own. It may cause you to live a life that is fulfilling and exciting!

Live on the WILD SIDE!

“PINTEREST MOM” FAIL

I am a far cry from having it all together. Sure, sometimes I appear to do this mom-thing with ease. But then there are the moments behind the scenes that no one sees (except my hubby!). In fact, I had one of those failed mom-moments just this past weekend. Gasp! I know it’s shocking! You see, I have a Pinterest board specifically for the 4th of July. It’s filled with wonderful crafts, recipes and DIY decorations. This is my second time the 4th has come around and nothing from my Pinterest board can be found anywhere in my house. The only “decorating” that happened was the window clings the kids put up. How does this happen? Looking back at my week, how could I have failed at this one?

decor2

Sometimes I am hardest on myself. I expect so much out of me. But I would never hold others to the same, impossible standard. I love planning big, elaborate parties, yet I beat myself up because the house wasn’t patriotic enough for Independence Day. My children have never skipped meals for lack of food, yet I am kicking myself for not having a spectacular cake on display. And all those crafts I pinned? We don’t even have construction paper!

Where did my time go? Why didn’t I get everything done? I’m a full-time mom. And a full-time student. And I work. I made it to the gym 5 times. I did 6 loads of laundry. I cleaned the house, repeatedly. I cleaned the pool. I made meals each day for the family. I prepared a Sunday brunch for the whole church. I took one child to gymnastics everyday. I took another to archery. I spent an entire morning with a family from the church. I did the grocery shopping. I spent time in prayer. I spent time reading my Bible. I spent time with my kids. I spent time with my husband. As I reflect on my week/weekend, my time went exactly where I put it. We can beat ourselves up for the things we didn’t accomplish or we can appreciate the things we were able to do.

This Fourth of July may have been another Pinterest Fail, but it wasn’t a Life Fail. It was filled with memories made with my family. We had a movie night and everyone stayed up extra late. I made an apple pie for the first time. That pie with ice cream was a big hit with my kids. We picked out fireworks together and had a blast setting things on fire. We laughed, we played, we were happy.

Making memories
Making memories