When I’m Famous

Tiny tiaraA question from a beautiful young friend sent my thoughts into overdrive. The question was this… “Why don’t more people follow me on Twitter?
My answer was robotic,
“Well, is your account public or do people have to ask to follow you?”
“Do you post 1-3 times per day or just occasionally?”
“Do you complain a lot?”
“Are you saying things that interest, inspire and/or encourage the people reading?”

I then realized, as she stared blankly back at me, she didn’t want a generic answer from a marketing perspective. She wanted me to reassure her that she is worth following. To look at her and say, “You are worthy of being heard and seen. You are worthy of acceptance.”

Has it really come to this? Do we measure our worth by how many people follow or unfollow us each day? Do we evaluate the meaning of our experience by how many “likes” it receives? Are we grading our worth by how many views our creativity brings? I look at my stats multiple times per day. Views on my blog, likes on my Facebook posts, followers in my Twitter feed, repins on Pinterest.

I’m an affirmation junkie! I would bathe in affirmation. I would eat it for breakfast, take deep breaths of it during meditation and swallow two pills of it before bed.

I’ve said it before…my insane thirst for approval is one of my most glaring character defects. It’s a monster disguised as sincerity. It’s sneaky and cunning. It says, “I want you to like me even if I don’t like you.” Because that somehow makes me feel as if I matter.

How many followers are enough? If I become famous and all of you know my name, is it enough? If my face is plastered on magazines and talk shows as “the next big thing” is it enough? If the richest, most well-known people on the planet call me their friend, am I satisfied?

No darlings. I’m not satisfied. I want more. My appetite only grows bigger and more insatiable. What a hideous thought!

So what’s the solution?

A daily reprieve. That’s right! Each day, returning to grace. In the morning, before the day begins, saying, “Today, I will not measure my value by the numbers in my feed. Tomorrow, I may. Yesterday, I struggled. But today…Today, I am measured by the One who created me with great purpose. (You knew I couldn’t finish this without playing the God card!)”

Is it hard? Yes! Will I fail? Yes! I’m the worst offender at this. I wish I couldn’t even see how many of you read my blog today. However, there is no better way to combat my internal monster than to acknowledge and confront it.

So, here is my declaration. For the next 30 days, I will focus on promoting others more than myself. It will be difficult when fear says that without self-promotion I will fail to achieve. Here’s the cool part, truth says, “All that matters is what my heavenly father says.” And He adores me. So you’ll have to excuse my lack of concern for your approval. I’m focused on emanating a light that long outshines that of worldly fame and recognition.

Don’t know where to start? I’ll help.
Read “Love Does” by Bob Goff. Download the audible version (it’s read by the author whose enthusiasm is contagious.)
Help end exploitation of others by joining the efforts of organizations like Wellspring Living.
Experience redemption and grace in action with POTSC.
Support efforts to reach those who need it most with Sole Hope.

I would love it if you came back here and told us about your experience, but that is not a requirement. The important part is that we do it. We get outside of ourselves and our numbers, discovering more than we ever would have otherwise.

What are you waiting for? Start now. Begin anywhere. Blessings and light go with you.

The Day I Stopped Pretending

I just closed facebook after looking at post after post of smiling faces and documented moments of bliss. Multiple pictures of the same child and blurry pics of someone’s dinner. Enthusiasm over the seemingly mundane and the incredibly exciting.

So I understand, when you tell me that you get to a point where you can’t bear looking at your timeline. I do. I empathize when you say that it makes you depressed and borderline resentful.

Do you know what else I see on Facebook? Opportunity to keep it real. Opportunity for outreach. A platform, not a pedestal. Community that is all-inclusive.

I read several posts requesting prayer for… a family of five answering the call to minister in a third world country, abused children, a sister who’s only been given weeks to live…a daughter mourning the loss of her mother to cancer…a mama who had a baby pulled from her womb and less than 24 hours later whispered her goodbyes.

There are pleas of desperation as well as glimpses of newfound hope. Sometimes you have to look for the light and other times you have to be the light, breaking through the cynicism.

Here is my challenge for you. Use social media today to post something hopeful. Encourage someone by tagging them or recognize a group of people fighting for positive change. Then come back here and tell me about it. I want to know. This community wants to know.

As Anita Roddick put it, “If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.”

If you’re fed up with your news feed, try following some of these rock stars.

In the midst of change…Hope

It’s time to check in with one of our favorite family’s.

The Collie’s wake up everyday with the intent to change the way things currently are. So much so, they are moving to Uganda.

In previous posts, What Does Hope Look Like and The Hands, Feet and Faces of Hope we focused on what Sole Hope is as a whole. I want this post to be all about the family.
Family1.~ How are you feeling right now, in this moment, about the move?  I think each person in our family is handling this change differently.  Overall we are excited, nervous and full of anticipation for the upcoming change in our lives.  

2.~ How have you and Asher prepared the children for such a drastic lifestyle change?  We talk about where we are moving-a lot. We have shown them pictures of the house we will be living in, videos and had many, many conversations about what will be different. I don’t think they will be able to wrap their minds around AFRICA until they experience it first hand.The Children ~ 4 1/2, 7 and 5 days

3.~ Have you been surprised by the support you have received? Is it more or less than you thought possible? In some ways, YES! We love to see when people show us support who were never on our radar. The encouraging words and financial support from our friends and even acquaintances has blown us away. We have learned that you cannot lump your friends and family into a category of givers, because they are your friends and family their support is not guaranteed.Community of supportIt has also been disheartening to see which friends and family really don’t show any sort of support…but we have to remember we are not doing this for them or even for our own ego. This is really not about us, but we do have to continually remind ourselves of that. We are so thankful to God for just providing for our needs daily and teaching us humility and patience through this!

4.~ If you could only list one way for people to get involved and support your mission, what would you say?  Host a shoe cutting party. This gives you a hands on way to get involved while spreading the word about Sole Hope30 pairs of shoes.Baby Shoes

5.~ How does Asher feel about taking a newborn to a country with less than Asher, Silasadequate healthcare?  

Well, scared and excited. I am excited that I get to raise this baby in a culture that I love and that he will know nothing different. There of course is also a fear of the unknown, and in some cases the known! We know of several diseases that plague Africa and we will take all the precautions we can. But, at the end of the day we know we have to trust ALL of our children to the Lord. Crazy to think-but he loves our children more than we do.  Ultimately the decision is about surrender. Surrendering our fears, our lives, our agendas and trusting in the One who called us to this special task.

Be the change6.~ What is the biggest challenge facing your family?  Change. Change is good, but change is also challenging. We also have needs that we are just trusting the Lord will meet once we get there. For example, we need a 15 passenger van to shuttle the teams that come to help Sole Hope, provide medical relief from jiggers and other daily needs. Sometimes trusting the Lord’s will is a challenge…but it is one we feel like we all should take on-even if we are not living in Africa!

7.~ Do you have any expectation of what the transition will look/feel/be like? We are trying not to have too many expectations, but we know everything about this move will be different. The weather, schooling, our work schedules, lack of family nearby, a different church family, how we prepare our food, the precautions we have to take against water, mosquito’s and other things…the list could go on. We have to remain flexible and positive.
Children of Uganda
These are a few of the precious faces that changed Dru and Asher in a way that could not be ignored. There are so many ways to get involved. You don’t have to have an extra pile of money lying around. I’m not going to be polite and say, “If you are unable to help at this time, please commit to praying.” Prayer is of the utmost importance…yes. Faith in action is even more important. So if you are hesitant, lazy, indecisive or indifferent, I’m going to pray that God moves you to action and breaks your heart for what breaks his.

In the meantime, check out our faithful family on our favorite social media
Sole Hope Facebook page. (while you’re there, click the “Like” button.)
Follow them on Twitter
annnnnnnnnd Pinterest

Now that all of our excuses have been eliminated I’m going to make it easy for you to remember the mission. Here is a downloadable PDF Sole Hope Reference Card that will attach perfectly to email, is printable for posting on the mirror, dashboard, under windshield wipers, various places in the community, on your Pinterest board, and makes for a wonderful screen saver.

So tell me, What are you waiting for? Now is the right time.”