Because it’s a very special day!
(I apologize for the freeze frames in this video- but you get the idea!)
I’ve read this passage so many times.
I memorized it as a child.
It was given to me in cards and notes over and over again after Leisha died.
God has plans to prosper me- not harm me
God has plans to give me hope and a future.
But I today I read the verse in context of chapter 29.
This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.
First thing I notice is to be in exile is the condition of someone being sent or kept away from their own country, village, home, etc. CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH DICTIONARY
The Lord tells them through Jeremiah to:
Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.
Hmmm? Sounds like God is saying make the most of the situation you are in – whether it is good or not, whether it is where you want to be or not.
Then in verse 10 the Lord says; ”
When seventy years are completed in Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.
And that is where Jeremiah 29:11 comes in.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I am quite excited about this word. Over the last 10 years my words have been Hope- Hope & More HOPE! I had that word for several years. It’s a great word, but it was a desperate time for me.
One year the word was TRUST, another year it was BE STILL. (I know technically two words, right?) Last year my word was FINISH which was appropriate since my goal was to complete the Lovely Traces of Hope book.
These were all great words and they were significant to me at the time, but they all had a urgency to them, desperation is still the better word. Even being still was a challenge word at the time.
But this year, the word that keeps coming to me Continue reading New WORD for a New Year
This weekend, I attended the TRIBEWRITER conference in Franklin, TN which is a “marketing conference for people who don’t think of themselves as marketers. It’s a gathering for writers, artists, and creative entrepreneurs to grow their craft, share their work, and get the attention their work deserves.”
In my previous post, I shared some of the effects of last years conference; the primary one was the completion of the “LOVELY TRACES OF HOPE” book which I had been working on for several years before committing to finish it.
This year, I am still sifting through the ‘one thing’ i will do because of what I learned. But…Jeff Goins, founder and host of the Tribewriter event kicked us off with a great reminder.
Jeff introduced us to his superhero son, Aiden who is 4. Aiden is Batman. He wanted Jeff to be – not Superman, like Jeff was last year, not Spiderman or The Hulk. You guessed it, Robin, Batman’s faithful sidekick.
Jeff reminded us that often, as business owners, authors and creatives of all kinds, we think our purpose is about being the super hero to our clients and readers.
In reality we are there to be a sidekick to the stories in our tribe. My story is only truly effective as I influence the reader engage with their own story.
I do that by:
- Being Present- show up, yes, but more than that- engaged!
- Being Helpful- Give first, often you will benefit, but help anyway.
- Being Brave- learning to do that next hard thing afraid.
Think like a sidekick and make it about ‘them’. The act of being allows activity to follow identity.
As I sat and listened to Jeff’s comical, but motivating challenge, I read the words on the card at my table. The picture below may be easier to read.
Ok! This is exactly why we need to be present, helpful and brave. If we dare to look into the depth of the world’s darkness, then people will be willing to listen to us as we dare to shine light into theirs.
I’ve never been very good at the super hero role. How about you? Are you a super hero? Sometimes we become one in our story out of necessity. But often it is not because we are super great – it is because we were present for someone, or helpful to them at a time when they needed us to be brave.
But who are you a side kick too right now? Is it your family or a close friend? Maybe it is a client who is counting on you to help them do what they need to do.
Well, I am Kathy, and I’m your sidekick!
So…how can I help you? What’s going on in your story? Leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wondering if Kathy knows what it means to struggle to find hope in a dark place? Get Kathy’s new book called Lovely Traces of Hope?
Below, I am REPOSTING a post from a year a go. I wrote this during my first ever writer’s conference- TRIBEWRITER’s in Franklin, TN last August 2015. I remember being scared, excited, sick to my stomach and sure this was my next right/write step.
Today as I prepare to attend my second Tribewriter conference, I read this post agin. I am in awe of all that has happened in a year.
A year ago, I spoke the words “I am a writer” for the first time. A year ago I declared that I would finish writing and publish a book.
Now it is done. It took a great deal more to complete this task than I ever dreamed, but I have a book to show to the Jeff Goins as I thank him for helping me own who I am and for introducing me to Christine Niles and others who inspired and challenged me through this process.
I don’t know what I will learn this year at TRIBEWRITERS, but I’m scared, excited, sick to my stomach and sure this is the next right/write step. Pray for me!
I did often. It had everything to do with being a mom, and working with music and worship in the local church. And if I happened to be married to a pastor, that would be all the better. I never wanted to be anything else.
But today I sat in a room full of people and realized that is not who I am anymore. I still have the same gifts and abilities. I still love music and prefer to use it to lead others in worship. I still have a husband who thinks about ways to teach God’s word and loves to talk about church leadership.
The fact that I am not what I once was used to feel like failure, then just loss. But today I came to see in fresh ways that all that WAS is part of all that IS. All that I have learned is part of all that I now share.
From the memories of all that I am from to the discovery of the voice that has always been within me, I am still me.
I’m more aware!
I’m more raw!
I’m more real!
And that is good.
Today I came closer to identifying and becoming content with who I am!
I am an entrepreneur. I own a business.
I am a coach and a speaker.
I am part of a tribe and I am a leader of tribes.
I am also a writer!
It is out of who I am now that I will write. It might suit you and it might not. I might speak to the core of your issues and I might not. I might write out of the suffering more than the healing and I might not.
But I will write because I must. I will continue to explore who I am coming to be because I will not go back. I will continue to share the truths that I am being taught.From the memories of all that I am from to the discovery of the voice that has always been… Click To Tweet
I will not count the past as lost, or wasted. I will see it for the training ground it has been. I will not fear the present or the future because I have known the hand of God in bringing me to this point. I will trust it as I continue on.
Today I have seen more of me.
And it’s ok!
So are you!
Who are you today? What do you need to embrace in this day?
Join me in the journey to be, won’t you?
This past week, I have been working intently to finish up details for publishing the Lovely Traces of Hope book. I had one of those moments as I sat late into the night reading/ editing/ proofing yet again through my own story.
For the umpteenth time, I was reading through Chapter 14, Turning East, which I have sent to many of you already. (Click here if you haven’t read it yet.) In that chapter, I share excerpts of Jerry Sittser’s book called A Grace Disguised. Jerry literally led me through much of my grief through the sharing of his own story.
Several months ago as I was reworking that chapter for the book, I sent Jerry a letter to thank him for being bold enough to share his story because of the influence it has had in mine.
Here was his reply…
There is a sacred space
Between life and death
Hope and doubt
Faith and fear
A space that leaves you feeling as if each foot is in a different world
And the whirling of emotions leaves you either paralyzed in or running
To or from, in or out
It sometimes doesn’t matter
You find yourself wrestling in a moment of crisis Continue reading Sacred Space