The Lord replied, "I will personally go with you...and I will give you rest--everything will be fine for you." Exodus 33:14

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Who is a Leader?

People have been trying to define leadership for as long as there's been more than one person on earth.  Who's the boss?  We don't want to be told what to do.  We do want to be told what to do.  We want to know how to get where we're going.  We want to pass the buck.  Humanity has a love-hate relationship with leaders.

Definitions of leadership abound.  Plato was writing about it in 380 B.C.  My sister calls it bossy (though I prefer the term "gift of administration").  So who is a leader?

I love reading about leadership...always hoping to save myself from having to learn a few lessons the hard way...but it also can leave me feeling overwhelmed, so aware of what I am not.  Then I remember my own personal baseline definition of leadership:  I am one who has seen, tasted, heard...and I'm so full of the wonder of it that I'm compelled to beckon, "Come!  Taste!  See!"

"Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did!"

"Come, let us tell of the Lord's greatness...taste and see that the Lord is good."

"Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles he performs for people!"

"He has given me a new song to sing...many will see what He has done...they will put their trust in the Lord."

That's the starting point of leadership:  you've seen, tasted, and heard and cannot be silent about it!   You don't have to be someone who has it all figured out, just someone who is willing to take the first step and beckon for others to come along. Definitely study, learn, find a mentor...just don't wait til you feel you've arrived.

You may not have an office with a fancy title on the door--or have an office at all--but if you've tasted, seen or heard and cannot contain the Good News, you're a leader.

Then the angel spoke to the women.
"Don't be afraid!" he said.
"I know you're looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  
He isn't here!  He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen...
And now, go quickly and tell...
Matthew 28:5-6

John 4:29; Psalm 34:3, 8;  66:5; 40:3

Monday, December 2, 2013

Now go...

Time for me to be bold and say it out loud:

This blog is shifting to a focus on lessons being learned in leadership.  Not expert advice.  Ruminations.

I knew when I was inspired with the title of this blog that the wild obedience would be about more than homeschooling.  I've been having a lot of thoughts about leadership that I think I need to share...  But it's risky.  Wild obedience for sure!

Is there anything more risky than saying, "I'm a leader?"

It's like making yourself a target.

It invites scrutiny.

It raises the question, "Who do you think you are???"  From within and without.

None of that is particularly inviting to me!

It's obvious to me why some people are leaders--they're so talented, creative, full of ideas, super intelligent, global thinkers.  Ah, comparison, you are my enemy!

In general I don't feel that Moses and I are kindred spirits, but I empathize with him in his beginnings.  He was no suma cum laude graduate of the University of Super Spiritual Leaders, but he was called.

God sets a bush on fire that doesn't burn up.  God speaks audibly.

Moses protests, "Who am I to lead the people...?"

God speaks again.  Moses protests.  Again.

God turns Moses' staff into a snake and back.  God makes Moses' hand leprous and then healthy.  Signs and wonders yet Moses protests.  Again.  And again.  Moses explains how unqualified he is and suggests someone else.

Ha!  I get it, Moses.  I too can think of others way more qualified!

Finally God says, "Now go!  I will be with you..."

Who can resist?

Unqualified, knees knocking, irresistibly drawn by the promise of His presence...

Then the Lord asked Moses, "Who makes a person's mouth?
Who decides whether people speak or do not speak,
hear or do not hear, see or do not see?
Is it not I, the Lord?
Now go!  I will be with you as you speak,
and I will instruct you what to say."

Exodus 4:11

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Blind Curve Ahead

This poor neglected blog deserves an update...

When I began homeschooling I thought it might be one of my greatest stretches into wild obedience, but it turns out that releasing my kids back into the education system was just as big a stretch.

I started off homeschooling with the thought that I was making a two-year commitment.  Once I got into it, I understood that homeschooling wasn't just an educational decision, but a lifestyle.  And I liked it.  Yet there were signs that it was a gift for a season and that season might be coming to an end.

I sought the wisdom of the Voice I know so well, but it was so hard to hear.  A lot of emotions clamoured.  Not the least of which was fear.  Human wisdom wasn't such a helpful resource as die-hard homeschoolers will tell you one thing and non-homeschoolers can't believe there's actually a question! I'm so thankful I have a praying friends who know about the God who doesn't fit in a box.

Space opened up in a charter school, a school that was the only option I'd seriously consider.  That seemed like a green light in a certain direction, but....but, but, but, but!  What if?  Sigh.

Mercifully, I had a couple months to decide.

Every time I opened my Bible I would come across a verse that said words to this effect:  I will lead you...I will guide you...I will instruct you...  Every.  Single.  Time.  Apparently, it's a theme.

Ultimately, with only a tenuous thread of surety I registered the kids for school.  It was only after the step of wild obedience that the confidence came.  Strange how certainty didn't come until after the leap of faith.

We want to have faith, but we dislike the unknown.  Yet one requires the other!

We find in the Hebrews 11 catalog of faith heroes a theme of the unknown.  Faith involves not seeing.  Yet believing.  And this...this fragile, timid stepping out into the unknown with a determination to keep eyes fixed on God...pleases the God of the universe.  "For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust."  He knows how short-sighted we are!  When we step out in faith, following His call, trusting that He sees a much bigger picture than we do...we bring joy and delight to the Father's heart.

And I need to remember that every morning when I put them on the bus...  I believe He takes that trust as a gift and a treasure.

A small, tremulous step into the unknown bring joy to a great big God?  Absolutely.

For that is what God is like
He is our God forever and ever,
and He will guide us until we die.

And it is impossible to please God without faith...

Psalm 48:14; Hebrews 11:6

P.S.  Wild obedience continues...and so will this blog!  :-)

Monday, October 15, 2012


I've mocked the children of Israel, oh, yes, I have!  They get delivered from Egypt, have the Red Sea parted for them no less.  Food falls from the sky.  Water comes from a rock.  And they complain!  They craved the "leeks and garlic of Egypt."  Seriously, people.  You'd rather have a buffet than freedom?

You should never mock others.  Unless you like eating crow...which would probably taste better if cooked with a few leeks and a little garlic.

Things have gotten a little better in the homeschooling department since my last post, but it's still been uphill.

A friend was going to come visit, but she fell asleep and had a lovely, long, well-deserved nap.  Another has been getting amazing, creative things done while her kids are at school.   I spend my days trying to explain fractions and percentages to less-than-thrilled munchkins.

I find myself craving...if not leeks and garlics, quiet.  Craving easier.

Every wild obedience is bound to encounter some long, wearying, faith-demanding stretches.

The pitfalls in those stretches are much like they were 3,500 years ago.  The biggest danger is in falling prey to a lie...

~  That somewhere along the line we've been abandoned.  He promises that He will never fail or abandon us.

~  That He won't provide all we need to sustain us.  He promises to create rivers in the dry wasteland.

~  That we should never have started on this journey in the first place.  He who has called us promises to take us by the hand and guard us.  He promises to provide wisdom along the way.

~  That the Promised Land He's called us to is unattainable, that the giants along the way are unbeatable.    He promises strength and courage for those who place their confidence in Him.  He promises that they and their children will possess their full share of that land. 

When I remember the truth of who He is and what He's promised I'm not afraid any more.  I'm inspired to press on.  I don't want any other path.

There's strength in remembering what He has done--the seas He's parted and the manna He's provided.  He will do all that He's promised.

Craving an awareness of His glorious presence along the way.

Numbers 11:4-6
Deuteronomy 31:8
Isaiah 43:20b
Isaiah 42:6
Proverbs 4:11
Joshua 1; Numbers 14:24

Saturday, September 29, 2012


If you've never been truly frightened that your children might possibly chew you up and spit you out, please stop reading.  Now.  Please?

I've been feeling that way this week.  Every roll of the eyes has felt like it might crush my soul.  Every huff and puff at the most basic instruction has sucked the oxygen out of my air.  Every stomped foot has rattled my foundations.  The effort of speaking calmly and firmly has sucked the marrow right out of my bones.

I thought Bill Cosby was hilarious when he said, "I brought you into this world and I can take you out!"  I'm not laughing today--I'm afraid they might take me out.

How does a mother quit?  When they were preschoolers it was the thought of keeping them out of foster care that kept me going.  Yesterday I came this close to taking them to the nearest school and dropping them off.

They know better.  Why on earth have they been circling like wolves preying on the weakest in the herd?

Clearly I'm not up for this challenge.  Can't do it.  Ready to admit defeat.

I sit here sorting thoughts while my son is at gymnastics.  Trying not to break into sobs and freak out the other coffee shop patrons.

Thoughts of Jesus' disciples begin filtering through my mind.  Twelve awkward and uneducated men--outspoken, devious, doubting men--charged by the Son of God to go out and change the world.  And they did.  Clearly, He's not big on picking the qualified.  Yet the impossible happens.


The Holy Spirit gave them power they did not have on their own.

He told us that His plans would not be accomplished by might or power, but by His spirit.

I'm all out of might and power.  His Spirit is what I need.

I've told Him many times that I want to be like that tree planted by the water, whose roots go down deep.  That tree that never fails to produce fruit regardless of drought and storm.

How does a tree get roots that go down deep?


Roots seek water.

I have need of more.  More of His refreshing Spirit to empower me to do the impossible, to love without expecting anything in return, to be faithful in times of difficulty.  

I have tasted and seen that He is good...which gave me an appetite for more.  The only way to contain more is to be stretched.  He's drawn me, called me, irresistibly into a place of wild obedience...stretching me...enlarging my capacity to carry His life and bear much fruit.

My roots are seeking more of Him.  And finding.

But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank 
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.
Jeremiah 17:7-8

Acts 2
Zechariah 4:6

Saturday, January 14, 2012

More Precious than Gold

I have a confession to make:  In the difficult post-Christmas-break reentry I thought of my friends who were home enjoying the quiet solitude of back-to-school...with envy.  I coveted their undisturbed quiet.  Honestly, how bad would it be to send these stubborn, ungrateful children back to school?  (Please excuse my frustrated emotions--they're really great kids.)

However, those sorts of questions are never the issue when pursuing wild obedience.  Never.  "Hath God said?" has gotten humanity into a whole pile of trouble.

I called one of those lovely friends and she enthusiastically agreed to use some of her happy solitude to pray for me.  She really is a wonderful friend and whole-heartedly supports me in this adventure. 

Wild obedience cannot take place successfully without the support of loving community.

I'm sure it was because of her prayers that I began to remember the ways He's helped me.  Songs of praise began to lift my spirits.  I was renewed in my vision. By Friday we were back on track.  The kids even said it was the best day ever.

These few sentences sound so light-hearted and simple--I don't want you to be misled into thinking this faith walk must be a piece of cake for "some people".  This forging of faith is something deep and precious that happens in the secret place of your relationship with God.
Whatever your adventure in wild obedience, I pray that you'll be encouraged.  Your faith is incredibly precious--your determination to obey not taken lightly--by your Father who delights in you.

So be truly glad.  
There is wonderful joy ahead,
even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.
These  trials will show that your faith is genuine.
It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold--
though your faith is far more precious than mere gold.
So when your faith remains strong through many trials,
it will bring you much praise and glory and honor
on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

You love him even though you have never seen him.
Though you do not see him now, you trust him;
and you rejoice with a glorious, in expressible joy.  

1 Peter 1:6-8

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Back to School...Again

I have this idea that good elementary school teachers change up the classroom a bit after the Christmas break.  My good friend and expert elementary teacher Rose had the flu so I was on my own...

Okay, so I don't really think this is inspiring redecoration...for the kids.  I'm hoping that having this gargantuan machine sticking awkwardly out into the room will inspire me to actually use it.  I'm thinking that five minutes here and there while the kids are working will be better than absolutely no exercise at all?

In case you're wondering...  No, I didn't use it today.  One of the kids did!  For more on our first day back you can check out my post on Kryptonite.