Fashion Made Simple for the Non-Fashionista

Simple Capsule Wardrobe for the Non-Fashionista

I feel drawn to share on fashion, not because I'm a fashionista with knowledge to drop on the subject. Quite the opposite actually. I'm a non-fashionista and that's precisely why I'm writing this.

I'm guessing there's others like me that have felt lost in stores, stuck with finds from slim-pickins sales racks, drooling over Pinterest photos while feeling uninspired in our own closets. Seasons of that can come-and-go, for sure. But overall, I'm no longer stuck in that rut.

Over time, I've embraced a simple wardrobe and with that found the joys of owning less.

Finding Joy in a Minimal Wardrobe

Joys of a Simple Wardrobe

Here are some of those joys of a simple wardrobe in case you don't believe me...

1. I wear more of what I own.

Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? It works in a lot of scenarios, but in the closet it simply means 80% of the time we wear only 20% of our wardrobe. But choosing clothes sparingly and carefully, I'm finding my percentages are evening out--I wear closer to 80% of my clothes more like 80% of the time.

2. I no longer settle for the clearance rack.

Clothes are expensive. Because of that, I used to be in a habit of buying good-enough clothes off the clearance rack, then struggle figuring out how to make them work in my closet. Now, I have a clearer idea of the specific void I'm seeking to fill in my closet, so I look for that item. And I don't always find it on the clearance rack.

3. I'm freer to splurge.

Ten good-enough items off the clearance rack are not worth even one quality staple item at full price. If I need a quality black cardigan, I'll shop around, sure. But I've also found myself paying close to full price if it's an item that fits me and my need perfectly and will be a go-to staple.

4. I'm more comfortable and confident.

Most of us, especially us non-fashionistas, put high value on comfort for our clothes. By limiting my closet to what I know I like and what I know I'll wear, I'm actually building a wardrobe full of comfortable options. And, no, I don't mean oversized t-shirts and sweats. Slow and careful shopping means I buy only items that fit and flatter lending to better confidence in what I wear and how I present myself.

5. I'm content with simple.

I'm a simple person and as a non-fashionista I'm okay not having a lot of options. As I build a wardrobe with quality staples and add in versatile accent pieces, I'm finding I'm actually content with my closet. There's usually an item or a few on my shopping list because items actually get worn out and I wait to buy what I really want at a price I like. Even with a few items continually on my want/need list, I'm still content with what I wear regularly and no longer feel the need to keep up with fashionistas.

6. No more decision fatigue.

There are scientific perks to wearing a simple wardrobe or "uniform." We've seen it in high execs like Steve Jobs who wore repeats of the same simple outfit. It's less about being boring, and more about focusing limited time and energy on the more important decisions. Simplifying throughout life can benefit in this way, for instance in incorporating a simple go-to meal plan. It's true of our closets, too. We don't have to completely do away with options or variety, but sticking to some go-to wardrobe basics can free our time and energy for more important processing later in the day.

My Go-To Wardrobe Staples

This does not represent everything in my closet, but is rather those go-to staples or "uniform" that I tend to wear on a daily basis. I also have extras like a black blazer, chambray, some dressier pieces, necklaces, and more. The following however currently gets more wear in my day-to-day as a stay-at-home mom.

Minimal Wardrobe | Summer Uniform

Summer (Warm-Weather) Uniform

Tank | cotton neutrals or blousy
Shorts | a grey pair that can look a little dressier or a basic jean cutoff that can be cuffed
Sandals | a neutral pair or a colored pair
Sunglasses | prescription because it makes life easier
Accessories | diamond studs earrings if my hair is up, dangly gold leaf earrings if my hair is down
Bag | neutral to match everything and large to hold essentials--for me, the kids, and even my husband

Simple Fashion | Winter Uniform

Winter (Cool-Weather) Uniform

Tee | cotton neutrals, long- or short-sleeve
Pants | skinny jeans
Cardi | black or colored
Closed-Toed Shoes | brown leather boots or tennies or flats
Glasses | I wear them everyday, so they're part of my outfit
Accessories | cork skinny belt, stud or dangly earrings, pashmina scarf
Bag | ditto above

Capsule Wardrobe Tips for the Non-Fashionista

Capsule Wardrobe Tips for the Non-Fashionista

Whether you call it a uniform, capsule, minimalist, or simple wardrobe doesn't really matter. There are a few things to remember that can help us own less and actually wear what we own.

1. Can't go wrong with neutrals.

Most articles I see about creating a capsule/simple wardrobe mention choosing an accent color. As a non-fashionista and a lover of simple, this kind of paralyzes me. I've found that starting with the basics and neutrals that mix and match easy is totally okay. Blacks, tans, whites, greys. They may seem boring, but they can actually look grown up and sophisticated easily and mix well with a variety of patterns and colors when you do decide to add accessories or a bit of color.

2. Build up staples first.

If you're ready to do some clothes shopping, make sure you're good on staples before adding accessories or colors or occasional use items. How are your everyday shoes? Do you have a couple neutral bottoms (shorts, pants, skirts--whatever is seasonally appropriate for your climate and life) that can be dressed up/dressed down and go with most of your tops? Do you have a few basic tops that can be mix and matched with your bottoms and current accessories?

3. Add interest through the small details.

I'm usually a pretty plain/basic clothing girl. Getting sandals with a simple gold strap doesn't seem like a big deal, but it was a little out of my element and turned out to be just the detail I needed to pep up my otherwise plain/basic outfits. Same with the cotton tank that has a little lace at the top, the black tank that has rouching on the back, the gold leaf earrings that go with everything, the mustard tank with a braided collar. The little details can turn boring into simple beauty.

4. Go with what you love.

Try not to overthink the mixing-and-matching or the choosing of an accent color. Chances are the things you love (not just kind of like or work), will likely end up mixing-and-matching well or be in a few colors. Do you feel good in it? Does it resemble the go-to items in your dresser/closet? Do you love the color? Do you currently have items it could be worn with? Does it make you happy? Then it's likely a good fit for your simple wardrobe.

5. Stick mostly with a uniform.

This tip is specifically for the non-fashionistas. Some people are born with an eye for fashion and a desire to try new trends and experiment. Make peace with the simple if that's not you. It's okay to embrace a few types of clothes that work well for your build, lifestyle, climate, etc. (Tees and skinny jeans are my winter uniform, and tanks and shorts are my summer uniform.) Don't feel like you need to buy trendy wedges if they just won't get worn. Of course, there might be a couple exceptions that you keep on hand for special occasions. But most of us know how we spend our days and can be honest with how often special occasions really come up. Stick with the go-to "uniform" that fits who you are. Include go-to accessories (scarf, belt, earrings) as appropriate.

6. Choose new fashion icons.

Don't be inspired by every fashionable person out there. You'll get overwhelmed and won't be able to keep up. Choose one or no more than a few fashion inspirations. They should be people that consistently wear things you love and you can actually see yourself wearing. My main inspiration is Jennifer Anniston. The main criteria when I'm looking for and Pinning inspiration is simple, easy outfits with lots of versatile neutrals.

7. Get ideas for what you have.

I played around with my striped thrift store dress and found 7 new ways to wear it. I came up with 5 ways to wear my trusty white tee and skinny jeans for fall. And when I can't think of how something could be worn, I look up ideas on Pinterest. Searching something specific like red pants, black blazer, striped maxi, or chambray can help take the guess work out of creating outfits with key pieces you already have. Sometimes you might notice one item that might help pull a couple outfits together. But most often, I realize what I already have works great together.


also read:
striped dress 7 ways
tee + jeans 5 ways for fall
what to know about warby parker glasses + sunglasses
fashion, simplified

We're Not Done Learning to Love Our Neighbors

Baby Steps to Learning to Love Our Brothers + Sisters
I've been praying over this post for months. I have this confusing "gift" of fully agreeing with both sides of a conversation. I feel what you're saying and I feel what they're saying, even if it's opposite words.

I've been quite content to sit back and listen and pray and share in safety with my husband and maybe a couple close friends. I've been okay with that. I'm not qualified, so perhaps quiet is a good place for me. It seems it's time to whisper in a few words. Well, a few times a thousand, but who's counting?

I pray these words form a bridge or creak open a door or soften a heart or whatever metaphor fits what we most need. If you don't read any further, I pray you'll know this: Jesus has enough love for us all and room for us all.

There's a video going around this week of cops breaking up a pool party in McKinney, Texas. Can you even bear to read anymore about it?

In case you haven't seen the video, here's a quick recap of the seven minutes: The video picks up with a police officer chasing some teenage boys and trying to get them to sit down on the grass. He ends up handcuffing a couple. Someone's trying to explain their version, and the cop says that's not his problem with some expletives in between.

He keeps telling everyone standing around to go to the other side of the street or he'll arrest them, too. They're generally lingering and talking, even as he walks toward them and cusses at them to leave. The cop and a few girls are just out of sight of the camera when there's a commotion and we see on screen the police officer whipping a bikini-clad teenage girl to the ground by her braids or her arm or a rough combination of both.

A couple guys come up behind him to get him to stop and he pulls his gun on them as they run away. A couple fellow police officers come up and chase after them, while he goes back to detain the girl by putting both knees into her back. She tries lifting her head and saying he's hurting her and calling out for her mom.

It's all a terrible visual. Of kids not listening because of fear or injustice or whatever causes teens to tune out authority they don't agree with. Of an officer who snaps and reacts in a way not fitting even for back-talking teens. And it's all documented on camera, cemented in millions more viewers' minds than were there that day.

I realize to say I kind of identified with the officer a little, at this point, puts me in a terrible place. We can all see a girl armed with only her mouth doesn't require nor deserve a cop's bodyweight plus "30 pounds of gear" pressing his knees into her back.

Yet, identifying with his guilt is this humiliating place I've found myself. And I can't write about what's going on in America and elsewhere in the world without admitting where I'm coming from.

Last week, the kids were having a non-listening day. I've shared my struggles with motherhood before, and it's always worse when the kids push my patience. I'll say everything 15 times with them still not listening and I just can't handle it. It was one of those days, and I knew I needed my daughter to go to her room.

There wasn't really a good reason, I just knew if she stayed in front of me not listening, I would lose it and do something I regret. She knew my demand was unjust, so she turned to me and firmly insisted, "No!" She would not go. I said it firmly and directly again, to which she stomped in the direction of the stairs then turned and shook her head defiantly.

When I had first sent her to her room, my patience was already spent. I could feel my blood pressure rise and my teeth clench. On the third time when she turned on the stairs and screamed at me, I shot up toward her, my heart pleading that God wouldn't let me hurt her, and He didn't.

Something took over me and I picked her up in a big bear hug, firmly holding her in front of me on the stairs, instructing one last time, "I understand you don't think this is fair, but sometimes when mommy and daddy tell you to go to your room it's so that we can catch our breath and be rational and loving. We know we're about to snap and we don't want to. Even if you think it's not fair, you have to obey. Then, we can talk about it later."

She asked what "snap" means. I explained the loss of control that occurs in a heated moment, which she later experienced firsthand when she snapped on her brother. In retaliation to his pestering, she gritted her teeth and started punching him. Ah, sibling love.

That officer snapped and I saw it coming as I watched the scene unfold on video. Teens claiming innocence but making cops run after them instead of obeying and just sitting down, unfair or not. Boys telling their version of the story when he's out of breath and it's not time for that yet. Girls lingering and back talking instead of getting out of his way.

It's no excuse. It doesn't make it right. Yet seeing him snap felt like a mirror being held up to my own struggle with my own kids. That I had a little guilt of my own to address before demonizing someone else with that same tendency--albeit his played out on a larger scale.

That's obviously not the only perspective, and certainly not the "right" perspective--that doesn't exist. There's a whole group of people that sees a mirror in various ones of the people in the video. The boy innocently saying "please, sir" while getting cussed at. The girl being dehumanized as she's thrown to the ground. The onlookers with adrenaline pumping wondering "how long do we keep our distance and at what point will it be too late and we've stood paralyzed while a raged police officer takes an innocent life?"

Those are very real perspectives, very heartfelt concerns. Ones I haven't had to work through.

My friends and I got picked up by a state officer once when I was a teen. He was on a power trip and we thought the whole situation was hilarious. When he said to "wipe those smiles off" our faces we tried and we didn't say much unless he gave us a turn to speak--he didn't. Even when the two oldest of us got tickets we thought none of us deserved, they took them. I remember thanking him, because he phrased it that by doing his job he saved our lives. Maybe he did. We were making bad choices.

That experience held little real fear because I, and generations before me, have a different history with law enforcement. There isn't a past--post-slavery, mind you--telling the horrors of police officers abusing their power against people of my race.

While we'd all like to leave that horrific history in the past where it belongs, the stories linger. In some cases, history even repeats itself today. The '50s were an improvement from slavery times, and now is an improvement from the '50s. But it doesn't mean we're done growing and learning to love our neighbors more fully. To care for each other like brothers and sisters. That involves admitting our own guilt and taking on each others oppression.

We recently watched the movie The Good Lie.  Three Ugandan siblings, Theo, Mamere, and Abital, along with a few other kids are running for their lives after soldiers attack their village and kill their parents. At one point, soldiers see Mamere stand up out of a grassy field. When he ducks back down in panic, his older brother Theo stands up in his place. The soldiers take Theo away thinking he was the same boy and that he was alone.

A repeating theme throughout the movie is Mamere's guilt that his brother was taken away and not him. Years later, Mamere, Abital, and a couple others make it to Kansas City. Carrie, their job placement agent, talks with Abital one night sharing the difficulty of her sister dying from cancer. There's a pause when Carrie can't find the words, and Abital, knowing from experience, fills in, "You wonder why it was her and not you."

Those words halt and haunt me. Why them and not me?

Why wasn't it me born in a place where I'm running from Kony and his army or from the horrors of ISIS? Why isn't it me being sold into sex slavery so my family can afford food?

And, yes, even in our country, why wasn't it me abandoned at birth or mistreated by my moms boyfriends or living alone in homeless shelters? Why wasn't it me born into a race with a heritage still carrying inherited burden of its ancestors? Why am I blessed to have the Spirit intervene to turn a snap of frustration into a big ol' bear hug?

The question usually lands at a big fat, "I don't know." Then, God circles it back around us all pointing me to the oppressed in all areas of life and the world and says, "But they're still your brothers and sisters. And without me, your guilt isn't any better than theirs."

I'm not a trafficker or a slave owner or a member of ISIS or Kony's army, but I carry a guilt not too different from theirs. With a snap of impatience I remember my sins are born in the same darkness as theirs.

And though I'm not starving or discriminated against or forced to give my body in sex, I carry a bit of the oppressed's pain. With any struggle that sends me to my knees, I remember the salvation I need is the same offered for all of us.

The girl from McKinney on the hurting end of a cop that snapped is my sister in Christ. And the cop himself, is my brother in Christ.

I saw my brother when I watched that video. Mostly in the cops that didn't really get the spotlight. While I know he's not perfect, he's put his life on the line for people in the margins as a cop for the past several years.

I love hearing his stories when our family gets together. Sometimes I feel heavy by the sickness and darkness in this world that he had to look in the face daily, sometimes without break. Other times his stories make me laugh about the mishaps he's experienced, because some accidental mace in the eyes or a door that won't bust down is funny when you know everything turns out okay.

But it doesn't always turn out okay. Assuming the good in people isn't exactly in a cop's training or experience. Mistakes are made, and unfortunately the errors get the spotlight. So instead of talking about race in productive ways, we're getting caught up in the details of specific trials.

Media and misinformation causes everyone to go on the defense. Suddenly there's no room for hearing each other out because heated emotions about #copslivesmatter and #blacklivesmatter makes us think it's either-or and is putting literal lives at stake.

A white cop sent to patrol a multicultured ghetto was once a struggle, and now... Well, now some districts are rumoring about coming down with the "blue flu" because good cops might call in sick when doing their jobs is almost impossible. Or they de-police--parking for their shift instead of patroling. Because why show up if they're not wanted?

#blacklivesmatter. #copslivesmatter. #All.Lives.Matter.

All lives. All races and income levels and family histories and sexes and sexual orientations. I realize I might have offended someone putting those all on the same line. Each life is one Jesus created, then died and rose again to give true, lasting life.

He came to set the slaves free, and I trust He's still doing that today. Freeing the slave from a mental and physical bondage, real or perceived. Loosening the reigns of the slave owner, whether the grip is real or even unrealized.

He came for all oppressed. (Isaiah 58:6)

And we have part in that work for the oppressed.

We're not told to tell them they aren't really oppressed, so buck up. We're not to tell them we don't love their lifestyle so we can't share their burdens. We're to lower ourselves from our high horses to see the world from their eyes. To stop talking and listen. Being the voice for the voiceless. Echoing their pains, not downplaying them or saying their struggles are of their own making.

Oh, all the fine print and stipulations we put on our love and service!

When I do this I will see that we're not just neighbors--he is my brother, she is my sister, and God is Father of us all. Boy, is that comforting to trust.

Baby Steps to Loving Our Brothers and Sisters

I'm hesitant to add to the noise without sharing some practical ideas for moving forward. Here is some small start:

1. Stop talking and listen.

There is so much noise online and in real life. Opinions are blurted and often people are hurt in the crossfire. How often do we spend someone else's talking time articulating our rebuttal? Do we even hear the cries of the oppressed anymore? Listening to and acknowledging someone else's experience doesn't negate our own. There's room for all of us in the conversation. The more we're quiet and listening to a variety of voices and seeing different perspectives, the easier it is to a. wade through the noise to find nuggets of hope, b. acknowledge others for the experience-filled people that they are, and c. end on love.

2. Pray, pray, pray.

Sadly this has become a mantra easy to say and few of us follow through on. When we read the news: Pray. When we're feeling our blood pressure rise: Pray. When we walk away from a frustrating conversation: Pray. When we think someone is wrong: Pray. When we want to speak up: Pray. It has to be the beginning, middle, and end, otherwise we'll lose our humility, our love, our ability to forgive and apologize, and our open hearts. Which is the only way any of us can change for the better. Hardened hearts are a dead end road; open hearts form a bridge.

3. Speak experiences only.

We are so tempted to share our own opinions as universal truths. Maybe we go as far as to lay out x, y, z of a situation which becomes our ammunition. It's time to put the weapons down. When I share my experience, I'm acknowledging it's just one tiny piece to the whole. It's valid and worth sharing, but only surrounded in endless listening and praying. That's how conversation works.

4. Use loving words.

If we're going to speak, let's speak words of love. Love tells personal stories and listens and prays. And love acknowledges some words or phrases are off limits except for people within that group. I've heard overweight people call themselves fat, but would take great offense at being called fat by others. I've identified myself as a Bee with an itch, but have been driven to tears being called that by someone else. Those are just two narrow examples, the list goes on between races, sexuality, and more. Sure, maybe some of it shouldn't be used even within our own groups, even more so we absolutely shouldn't say them about others. It comes off as unloving and alienating.

5. Seek out voices of unity.

It's worth seeking out people that talk about the tough stuff with a vision for unity in God. Deidra Riggs, Ann Voskamp, and Jen Hatmaker are just a few that come to mind. There are many others. People speaking for the oppressed and seeking unity for God's people. Read words from these people in addition to or more than the mass media. And pray with them.

6. Trust in Jesus' salvation.

So much of the battling involves sticking up for opinions over people. I see it especially around lifestyle issues, but it happens with just about every disagreement. People "guarding the gates" so to speak. As if it's our job to tell people which choices are keeping them from Jesus. Or defending our own ideals as if they're the right ones. We are to experience Jesus and point others to Him. The saving and converting and changing hearts--that's His job. All of it.

News flash: We aren't meant to save the world. In light of ISIS and endless wars and America's differing opinions on hot topic issues, I am so thankful for that.

We are called to love, and some days that feels just as hard. So I'll approach it with baby steps. Shutting up and listening. Praying. Sharing my experiences in love. Seeking voices of unity. And trusting in Jesus.

It's all I can do, it's all I'm called to do. Love my brother, love my sister, love our Father. Amen.


also read:
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online interactions + the people they represent

If You've Quit Church, Read This

If you've quit church, read this...
People quit attending church for a variety of reasons. I can only tell my experience, and for me, quitting church was never about quitting God. Initially, it wasn't really about intentionally quitting anything.

A sequence of inspired readings pointed me to Jesus as I had never met Him before. I prayed prayers realer than I had ever experienced. And as I drew closer to the heart of God I saw His power unleashed in places I never thought to look.

The closer I got to Him, the more I saw Him freely moving beyond the humanized structure of church--and I wanted to be part of it.

I wrote about this realization of quitting church >> here a couple years ago.

It wasn't all because of sickness or Daniel's travel schedule or the impossibility of keeping a stubborn 2-year-old quiet for over an hour. Those were good, sometimes even legitimate, excuses, but the deeper truth was my frustrations with church. I shared that story and encouraged others like me to view that frustration as a gift, to be courageous and not quit.

The follow-up to that post is simple: We did quit.

We unintentionally quit the sanctuary rituals of praise music and congregational prayer and a weekly sermon. We returned a few select times--like the dedication of our third baby along with several of his cousins. Or the weekend my parents kept the kids, when we decided to show up to church for the first time in a while.

It didn't seem we were missing much in our absence. Largely because we didn't quit God and we didn't quit living with and for Him.

We continued showing up at home. Taking on the humbling task of training our little arrows to be courageous God-followers (based on Psalm 127:4). Or at least love each other and stop yelling "I don't like you" when they're upset. We're making slow progress on that last one. I pray they experience faith and life beyond the mold of safe Christianity.

I continued showing up to our church's Mom's Cafe. Teaming up with other moms as we serve each other and encourage each other in that arrow-training mentioned above. Taking my turn to make brunch and finding a miracle in broken eggs, or sharing about how God sends Jesus-notes to help on the hard days of motherhood. Simply talking and sharing life as we attempt to raise courageous God-followers. Making our best attempt in God's grace is all we can do.

We continued showing up during Sabbath School. A time when the kids get the story of Jesus in language they understand with their own community. Meanwhile, we mingled with other young-hearted adults wondering if we're still arrows--is it too late for us to be courageous God-followers, too?

Lately, a few of us meet, chat, drink coffee, and take turns reading a book. Then we discuss from the context of life, where we hint at the challenges of finding courage in our play-it-safe and by-the-rules church.

I can sense it, though we don't always discuss it directly, we all want the same thing--more of Jesus. More of His power unleashed in real ways in our lives. More of His free movement--where His limitless Kingdom sets the rules, not the limitations of our humanity. I know He has a courageous call for His followers, and I believe I'm not the only one that wants to be part of it.

Between showing up and getting involved in conversations, I see ripples of this movement all taking place outside of traditional sit-stand-and-amen church.

I'm not ashamed of that, although maybe a little confused by it.

I'm told traditional church is where we worship and where we fellowship, and I must be missing out on both if I don't attend. But I've found that's not true. It's only after we tried that on for ourselves outside of church, that we've started attending again.

We've spent enough time figuring things out outside of church. I've faced my frustration--that if my time is limited, why not opt for an interactive, alive time with and for Jesus, rather than whatever church had become. Which seemed to be loved-people hoarding more love.

I wondered, what about healing (which requires admitting we're sick) and experience-telling (which requires room for us all to speak) and teaming up in Gospel-sharing (which happens with "outsiders")?

I unintentionally discovered some of that with Mom's Cafe, casual Sabbath morning readings, mastermind meetings, conversations with friends, and personal devotional time.

Now, we're showing up at church again. Making some small effort to be part of the team. Bringing some of that power of God we've been experiencing with us. Courageous God-followers showing up makes a difference, and we've barely just started seeing what that really means. Sure, in church. But everywhere else, too.

It's kind of like my husband's softball team. The team started now 5 years ago. I think one of their only wins the first summer was when the team they were scheduled to play had to forfeit. The next year they might have won a few, but didn't make it past the playoffs.

By the 4th year, their game had changed. They were beating the good teams. They were winning by a lot. They were undefeated. My husband even hit his first couple homeruns. Watching their games was exciting--a true underdog story--and they made it to the championship game.

Then, they lost it.

It was the first game in 4 years that several key players all at once couldn't make it. The one game that really mattered. The one game they'd aimed for each season. And they didn't even have a fair chance because their team wasn't all there.

Church... God-followers... People on the fence or those who have flat-out given up: We've made it to the championship game. Whether Jesus comes in our lifetime or not doesn't really matter. Either way, we only have one life. This is it. Jesus has brought us through the playoffs. We can't afford to lose this one on account of not showing up.

Spoiler alert: showing up wins us, mere underdogs, the game.

And I'm not going to lay out what showing up specifically means, because that will look different for each of us and evolves throughout our lives.

What I've experienced, showing up isn't a repetitive motion just for its own sake. Showing up involves heart-felt prayers for God's Kingdom to show up here as it is in Heaven. It involves seeing God's power where it is and not trying to limit it with textbook religion. It might feel awkward or heavy at times, but we have the hope of a reward we can only imagine because we trust its Creator.

Showing up happens with our own families and in our own homes. It takes place with the neighbor kids or that group we formed in real life from online connections. Showing up is 24/7 wherever we are and with whomever we interact.

It might require some trial and error as we figure out where God's calling us. My experiences lately are just the tiny-step beginnings of showing up in my own life.

I'm finding it might even mean getting our butts back in church because there's a whole generation of arrows waiting for permission to be courageous God-followers. And maybe we're just the testimony they need to know it's possible. Or maybe we need encouragement from each other to know its possible.

Did you think you were the only one feeling this way? The only one being led to something more?

I've made that false assumption before.

It's time to think again, and look around us. The conversation is going on everywhere. The ripples are moving everywhere. The feelings are, more often than not, mutual.

It's no secret what a power our testimony is and what happens when we join together in Jesus' name. There's a sneaky snake that would like us to believe what we can do on our own is enough. That if Jesus' power was seen outside of church then we have every reason to not return.

I hope we start to see those thoughts as they are--lies attempting to dilute the power of the Truth.

And the truth is this: All of life is about love for God and love for others. Not just one of those, but both together. Our devotional life is an important start that must ripple out. Meeting Jesus and experiencing His power leads to action. It leads to ministry that touches lives--working with and for people.

Wherever we experience Jesus' power, it must be taken where it is lacking in this world--our homes, our towns, and, yes, even our churches. Showing up with our testimony of Jesus' love and with the invitation for others to experience it, too.

It will be frustrating at times. It might even feel like we're alone in this.

But we can't give up.

We are His arrows. Let's courageously follow His lead. In our home, in our town, in our churches, and beyond.

We're in the championship game. Let's show up in the power of Jesus and win this thing. Shall we?


also read:
if you feel like quitting church, read this first
your family needs you to be courageous
the power of his love