Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Listen To The Spotter!

In spirit of the NASCAR Chase season, I give my "burn out" to those who climb in those cars each weekend.

Last year I had the chance to experience the full view in driving a real race car!  This had been a life long dream from my childhood days of being a true Race Girl!   Growing up, I would spend many nights with my Dad, out and about in the local race team's shop.   I remembered the rumble of the engines as they would roar throughout the area as they cranked for the first time after being built by this crew of proud engineers!

I remember watching the race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for the first time with my Dad and dreaming of what it would be like to go that fast.

Here is a little recap of my experience!

  • I listened intensely to every detail the trainer taught me.
  • I bought the extra insurance so I wouldn't have to give the track the cash in my hands if I hit something or someone.
  • I needed 2 cushions to boost me close enough to the pedals. (I'm vertically limited!)
  • I was scared to pieces.
  • I had to listen to my spotter.
  • I finished my laps and smiled the biggest smiles possible.

The whole time during our training course, the instructor kept saying - "Listen to your spotter!"  This hit me hard as I climbed in the car, the head devices restricting me from seeing fully around me, no mirrors to help me. Headphones on.  Mic check.  Sound check. The spotter was ready.   

You see - this spotter is located high above the track and his main role is to watch for anything that would put me in danger or to tell me when I'm putting others in danger. He's positioned up above and has a view or perspective that I can't see.  I had to depend on this spotter to help me out. He was my only way of living through this experience.   Cars going 180mph all around me, I had to listen to all he told me to do, and not do.  My life depended on it.  My wimpy 115mph experience had nothing on the pro's.

That is much like living life as a leader.  I have to depend on the Holy Spirit to guide me, show me, correct me,  warn me, train me, watch out for me. My listening to the "spotter" and the Holy Spirit both involve my actions bringing harm or health to so many people around me - my family included.   Hitting a wall at high speeds brings the same result as not listening to his warning when a situation needs His presence.

Throughout this high speed adventure and dream come true, I was gently reminded - I must allow my "spotter" to help me.  I can't do this alone.  Too much is at stake!   No insurance coverage can take care of that.

I'm thankful for the Holy Spirit and how he gently directs me each day.  Watching every detail.

What are way's God is showing His presence with you? 

Are you allowing Him the chance to be your "spotter"?    


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Are You A Super Mom?

I hate to break the news to you, but I don't wear the "Super Mom" wardrobe under my normal attire,  nor do I have the "Wonder Woman" boots in my closet to pull up on any given day.   I do happen to own a very well worn "Super Woman"  t-shirt that has met my best 5K running days.  Other than that, No super powers here.   Just a lot of grace,  loads of laughs and tons of failures to hop over.

I am not entitled to wonderful super powers or potions to help me maneuver my kids to the car in time to get out the door to an appointment or class, nor do I have cryptonite on hand to squelch the radical "eye rolling" replies when I ask the kids to clean their room.   Surely I do not hold super powers that help me interrupt, referee or suddenly stop those sibling squabbles that we have had the luxury to experience. 

I'm a normal wired Mom. I'm a protective Mom.  I'm a working Mom.  I'm a non-stop Mom.  Just like many of you!

Over the last few months, I have had a few people ask, "How do you do all you do?" ... here is the answer.   It's really simple.   When God asks  you to do something, He provides the grace to do it,  He provides the wisdom to complete it and He gives you the strength to complete it.

I pray. 
Without His wisdom and direction,  I fail.  I need His grace.  I want His presence.  When I have spent time with Him,  all can tell - especially my family.   I want them to know of His faithful love, not just mine.  I want to know His heart.  When I have spent time with Him, I can do anything ... including taking on the most ferocious villains.

I prepare & plan. 
Time is made up of moments, and moments are manageable.   This means managing & preparing every thing I can to care for our family well.  This means menu planning, school lessons, cooking days for the week ahead and reading every resource I can to stay alert to seasons our children are in developmentally & spiritually.  We have to grow ourselves as parents to be ready for the seasons approaching for our kids. I want to grow our kids greater than anything we have been or could be. I want them to know how to enter into their world with confidence!  I want to grow them well. This takes preparing & planing well!

I protect.
When you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something else. Don’t let it be your family.  We don't say "yes" to everything -  we can't!  Unfortunately, we will occasionally have to say "no" to events & gracious invitations, in order to savor the quiet moments for the Haas' sanity.   I have also learned the importance of "detaching and engaging" so I can be solely focused on seeing their smiles.   I protect their hearts and mine when we make this simple commitment.  I protect by sometimes saying no to them too. It's ok.  They are ok.  They survive our "No's".  They haven't melted into green slime by our "No's".  I may not get the "Cool Mom" vibe or return eyes, and it's ok.    

I play.
I make time to play.  When I play, I wanna play free & exhaustively hard.  I like play time. I like having times with my husband on dates where we get to keep our romance kindled.  I cherish the time with my "girls" who I keep accountable with laughter and grace! I love to play with my kids, taking them on adventures and watching their eyes intensely in the quiet moments too. I make time for play time now like never before. It keeps me healthy.  It keeps me smiling. It does wonders for Super Powers!

As you obey what God has asked you to do,  in parenting, your job or school - whatever He has asked - He will give the grace to you to do it.   Super Powers Unite!

Now, I'm off to fight the villains once again!

Fight On!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It's A Family Business

I know some families may not understand or can't comprehend,  why we choose to do what we do & how we do what we do.  That's OK.   Some may take a big gasp when they see our "normal" schedule ... but ... as for the Haas', we have decided to do this adventure together.  We make it work.  We choose this. We do this as a team. We see this life intertwined with ministry and family a normal, our normal, and one without hesitation, that we are the biggest cheerleaders for!

You see ...

We get to serve.
We get to serve together.
We choose to serve as a team.
We are called to do this together.

Before Chris & I both came on team, into full time ministry roles, we did this for years,  Almost 14 years! This has been our normal since the kids were born.  We were talking recently that we recall Daniel playing in the "pack & play" at 7am while we worked at the church, setting up "mobile church", on Sundays, and his first ministry experience was youth camp at 7 weeks old.  Our kids have seen most area's of the church at work - youth ministry, administration, church planting, outreach, worship, life groups, kids ministries ... they have been there through it all.  Our kids have had the extravagant benefit of seeing ministry at it's rawest forms.   Seeing broken people, just like us, be fully healed, freed and cared for by God's church and God's love.

They get to learn principles of leadership, grace and care from the front lines.

They get to see forgiveness in it's most treasured view - when they mess up and when we mess up.  We practice grace often and freely.

We get to watch God grow talents and passions in our kids that we could have never dreamed of. 

I would not change a thing of choosing to do this as a team with our kids!   I love seeing our kids on the front lines of ministry each week!  We have never allowed our "kids" to be an excuse, to not to serve, or to limit our serving in church. We love having them with us as we love others. They are learning how to care best for others and learning of sacrifice and grace each day. We have always wanted to put deep roots down with our kids to understand the value of serving others, what better place than the church!   After all, Jesus as a child, was found in the temple, "about His Father's business".   It's been a purposed choice to provide a place for our kids (and many others), to serve at church.     We believe that destiny is attached to serving & giving.  We believe that gifts and abilities are developed in each of us as we serve others.  We believe leadership can be developed and given at young ages.   

Over the last 5 years, I can recall weekend after weekend,  Eliana pulling the set-up & tear-down carts in from the Set-Up/Truck Team as we had lots of mobile church prep happening.  Every Saturday morning at 9am, our girl would help unload, set up classrooms, tape down where the tables were located so they can go back to their "correct" place,  then she would do a "walk-thru" the 5 kids classrooms to make sure all the pieces were in place.  I'm sure our girl will one day run the show for mobile churches everywhere!  She's an expert church consultant now at age 9!   She not only got to see the details behind the scenes in preparing the areas, but she learned early her role in helping to prepare the atmosphere by her prayers.  Many weekends she would walk through the halls of our mobile church and pray the greatest of simple but strong, faithful prayers over the families who would enter our doors.  That's something I will never turn my back on!  She understands that God can use her!

We've seen Daniel learn almost every skill needed to run a full worship experience,  and we have seen him gain relationships with leaders in his life that will forever prepare him for ministry that God has ahead.  He is a faithful champion who loves the local church!  Seeing him love God's house and the people of God's house will be forever a part of our heart. The dreams that God has put in him couldn't have taken the form they have if we didn't do this as a team.  I may not understand the "camera functions" or angles they need to capture, nor may I understand the "riff" of a section of a song, but the conversations we have frequently of what God is teaching him through honoring others, caring for others and serving well - I get that!   The plans God has put in his heart as a teen, are a direct result of serving as a child.   He is devoted to his serving times, and loves to see God's love become real to others.  He has big dreams to lead in worship, what we remind him of is that he already is.   

Of course we are proud of our kids and all God is teaching them, but more than those pieces, we are thankful.  Thankful to have the opportunity to have a front row view to see what God can do in them and through them.  Their faith is big.  Their grace for others is relentless.  Their hearts are ready.    

At first when they were little ones, of course - they had no choice to go with us.  They were right alongside us serving as we served.  As time has passed, they want to serve. They want to be at church.  They want to serve.  (I won't even start on this post of the complaints Chris and I receive if we take a weekend and go on vacation - "Mom, I can't miss church. I don't want to miss church!  ... is just a little glimpse).  They want to be in God's house.  They want to be leading people to God's love.

If you are not serving in your local church.  Start. Now.  This weekend. Serve.  Find a way to serve.  Someone is waiting on you to say YES.    Find a way to involve your kids. Bring your family with you.   Bring someone with you. God purposefully created the two greatest forms of community - the family and the church.  God designed these to work in partnership together.  These are the most powerful institutions God has designed. Get on board with His design!

Now get moving  ...

Continuing the family business ...

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I Think I Like Who I'm Becoming

I had a hard time with this one.  I had found this "favorite quote" on Pinterest a few months back and I hesitated for such a long time to even consider posting this.


I had always been taught that it could be interpreted as arrogant, conceited and frivolous to say that I liked myself.   I'm stripping that off.  That mockery is done.

A few weeks ago I had the courage to finally share this simple, but powerful statement.   It's freeing to share this exclamation.

Why? ...

I like me.  
I like that I've released myself from a place of contrite criticism of myself.  
I like what I am seeing God consistently correct in me.  
I like that I have given up places, circumstances and seasons I previously needed to control. 
I like the healing that God has brought to me, my spirit and my hope.  
I like that I'm growing through failures, weakness and fears - everyday.
I like the strength that surprises me, when I see His Holy Spirit direct me - quietly and quickly.  
I like the choices I've made to trust what He has asked of me.  
I like the hard days, hard relationships and hard decisions, I didn't think I could come through, or step away from - His grace was there. 
I like me, knowing without His Word and His presence, I am nothing.
I like that I am sweetly His,  still learning to be His.

It's simple.   I like WHAT I'm becoming.   I like WHO I am becoming,  more of His!    It's good (and painful, hilarious, exhilarating, adventurous, a little scarry too),  to see what God is growing.   I'll take it.  Every detail.

It's OK for me to like me.  It's OK to give myself a chance.  It's OK for me to watch Him create a better me, and consider it good.  I like me, because I'm His.

I want Him to be seen.  I want His love to be known.  

What are you becoming?  
What is holding you back?  
What do you like about you?   

Answering these three questions can share a lot about your story.  What pieces are hard for you to answer?

Continuously Becoming ...


Monday, July 14, 2014

Make Room!

This summer has flown by and I have no idea how it's already mid July without my permission!  I didn't plan for time to go this fast!  Whoa!

Over the last few weeks, I've experienced an echo throughout the days that simply reminds me of this simple ask ... Make Room.

This summer has been pretty much non-stop and our calendar's have been quickly, but intentionally,  filled up - with not a lot of  room to budge.  You see, both Chris and I, like to have a plan.  We like to know the plan.  We prefer to plan for the plan, and we like to live with the plan.   We are plan people.

We have also been given all of the necessary "leadership tools" in the kit to know how to invest our days well and to always make sure we are #1. Making time for Jesus.  #2.  Making time for our marriage and kids,  and #3. Making sure our time does not get sabotaged.    Over the last few years, we have also been taught well to "pick our day off & protect our day off".   We do take time to rest and recover together  - we do that well and the others as well.

Here is where I need to "Make Room" ... with the spontaneous!  I've been guilty of having such a bad rapport of denying the spontaneous.   I am the one who has a tendency to sabotage my days by not making room for the spontaneous.    Am I so consumed by the "the list", "the plan", that I am forgetting to allow the surprises to arrive for me? 

I must evaluate ME and my reply.   Am I "making room"?

  • Do I reply to that surprise invitation to sit by the pool,  on a wonderfully warm Memorial Day? ... Even though I had no food prepared to take for a 1 hr arrival time, and against all social etiquette norms that was in me, I brought deli items to share, not a standard  home cooked item from my recipe repertoire!  Oh my!  Or lest I mention the excuse of my white Irish legs that have not been touched by one sun beam in over a year?  Oh my!  ... I chose to arrive, smile and laugh - while using SPF 50 on the legs.  I needed this day - to connect pieces of my heart!  5 weeks later, I'm still applying the SPF 50 thick!  I'm Irish!

  • Do I reply to a faithful, 23 year friendship, with an excuse when she surprises me while being in town from Orlando and wants a late night dinner chat?  Or do I take on the heels that have been worn through a long day, throw those things back on my coral colored toes and make this night count for my friend  -  and for me?   Yes!  ... And the best discovery is to see how God orchestrated the details to bring both of us together, on this night, to answer both of our prayers for specific dreams as women leading in ministry!  Do I dare mention the laughs shared and the reminders of what God has done over these years that will carry us on into this new season?  Or what about the laughs of "can you believe we did that"???   It was worth every second!  I needed this spontaneous moment!

  • What about the moment on a busy Sunday morning, when my daughter's heart was broken, all because she had to stay farewell to her beloved little lizard friend Henry, as she had to return him to the wild?   In that moment I had a choice ...  "Do I busily get back to work - pushing aside her heart, or take a moment to hug her heart and let her cry?"  People needed me.  Tasks needed to be done.  The morning prep work was calling.  I chose to stop.  I chose to listen to her heart.  I chose to "make room" in that moment to allow her to be the wonderfully creative & spunky 9 year old little girl, who loves with all of her heart, every little slimy gross green creature, beetle & critter.  I chose to make room for her share the pain of letting go.  I had to make room to heal her heart, and in return, my heart was healed from the rush of the day! 


I must make room for the spontaneous joys & interruptive moments that God has provided for me to live in, learn by and laugh with!

I know that there is no way I can never reply to them all.  I may have to decline to a few invitations as time comes, but I will clear the space - on my calendar app, on paper and in my heart.  I will make more room.  I've got to leave space for the spontaneous!   I'm learning calendar entry by calendar entry, to "make room",  watching how He directs my days.  

Watch out for a spontaneous invite from me - you never know where the adventure might take us!   As long as we pursue it together - there's no ending the fun!

Make Room!  Lots of adventures await for us!


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Let It Go!

This morning didn't quiet start out how I had hoped or planned. 

The day began as normal with my quiet conversation with Jesus.  Then here is the view ...

Getting the face, hair and wardrobe just right for the day.  Let's go!  
Grooming done. Teeth brushed.  Let's go!   
Bag's fully packed for my trek to the office, complete with my calendar set, planner filled and project list updated.  
Lots to do.  
Lots of passion to give to my day!  Let's go!  
Sitter arrives.   Let's go!  
To the car I go.   Start car.    
No go!

Insert adjustments ...  Car refuses my commands.  Grrrrrrr ... Plans now to be adjusted.

As I sit here waiting, for the faithful AAA rescuer on the way ... here is my honest view.

I wonder.  
I think.  
I grumble.  
I take a deep breath in complete frustration again ...  
"Let's go!  I want to get it all in today! I gotta go. We gotta get this day started".  
Insert grumbling again.   
Deep breath.  
Check time. 
Roll eyes at the car.  
Grab another sip of coffee.
Think about saying not so nice things to the car.  
Cancel meetings.

I'm interrupted, gently - but with attention.  "Let it go!  Stop & Watch.  Hear Me.  Trust Me". 

This time, in this moment, it's a different view. 

I'm listening ...  How to LET IT GO.
I'm watching ... How He directs.
I'm learning how to LET IT GO,  and trusting that's He's got me ... and this crazy car repair day!
I'm waiting.  Anticipating.
I smile.

When He asks you to "Let It Go", will you trust Him?

Luke 17:33
If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.

Monday, April 7, 2014

You Haven't Been Dropped!

Have you ever been dropped?   I have!  I can imagine the laughing comments now of "oh now that explains a lot about her!"... Ha Ha!  I can handle the laughs!  Bring them on! 

I remember being a small girl, probably around 4 years old, riding on my Dad's shoulders and walking up a huge hill by our house!  He felt horrible when suddenly he lost his grip and I decided I wanted to let go and tumbled off his shoulders!   My dad didn't intentionally let me go.  I am sure I was the cause in the tumble.  After all I had a huge, 4 year old need, to wiggle out of his secure arms & wanting to get down and run run run!  I was 4!  My Dad still feel's horrible many years later for this incident, so please laugh along with me (and Him), next time  you see my Dad!

Here is the point ... This has been sticking with me over the last few weeks and I just have to share what God is depositing into my view!

We all have a little 4 year old person inside of us that get's impatient!  We want it "our way", not understanding that the Dad is wanting to keep us secure, protected and provided for.  If we stay on His shoulders, not only is the ride a little more adventurous (and more secure), but His view also offers a more tremendous view! 

Here is what I've seen from the view of His shoulder!

  • I've seen that when God asks me to take on an assignment,  when He pick's me ...  I'm His & He doesn't back down from choosing me.  I wasn't the last to be chosen on the playground. I'm His.  Even with all of my short comings, failures and potential embarrassing laughs, wiggles and falls - I'm His.  You are His.  Be assured that He has chosen YOU!  He knows what He is doing!

  • I've seen that His shoulder view is a place of great protection.  His shoulder is a place where He will provide everything that is needed.  He will provide grace when I lack.  He will provide strength when I feel torn.  He will provide courage when I feel threatened.  He will provide peace when there is panic.  When I try to wiggle out, He's got a grip on me that cannot be distracted.  I've seen that He hold's me steady & firm.  I'm His.  There is safety when I'm with Him.    When you obey what God asks of you, you are under His protective guard.  Even when you feel like you are tumbling away from His grip, He is there.  Let him hold your hand.  He's not gonna let go.  Don't let fear bring the tumble.  Enjoy the view of how He works for you!

Hold on tight!   Laugh & wiggle all you want!  He's got this!  

Enjoy this new view!   He picked you!

Isaiah 41:8-10 MSG
“I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you. Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you."