Upon closer inspection

Upon closer inspection

If you look at my calendar

you would think it is a mess.

The same could be said for my car,

the basement, my desktop, and the laundry room.

My hope is that upon closer inspection,

you might be able to look past

the insanity, the yogurt splashes,

the boxes, the piles of shoes –

and see who I am.

The messes are messes, yes,

but there’s likely a reason they are there

and they don’t define who I am.

This is also true for my personality flaws –

and yours –

they are there for a reason,

but they don’t define

who we are.

I invite you to look past my flaws –

just as you would want me to

look past yours.

I also wish for you to help

me with my messes –

just because stubbornness

and a yogurt-splashed car

are a part of my life

doesn’t mean

I can’t make changes.

We are not forced to

stay in a mold

we can change,



into people who pursue their best –

not just for their own sakes

but for the world around us.

Let’s give each other permission –

to be who we are,

right where we are…

but let’s also give permission

for others to speak

into the spaces where we

need to grow.





The song of humanity.

The song of humanity.

The trees, the dolphins, and

the mountains call to me

and demand to be seen.

I can’t look away.

The bird’s song,

the breeze, tickling the trees,

the way a flower grows

from a teeny seed.

I can’t look away.

I see their creator in them.

His design, his joy,

his creativity is in the magenta flower,

the succulents, the manatee,

the neon tree frog, and the terrapins.

They sing a song over me and

I am compelled to sing with them.

I want to join the chorus.

What are the notes?

I don’t know their song.

What are the words?

How do I join them?

Humanity has a song, too.

I can hear it

when I listen.

The song is constant –

everyone taking a breath

at a different time.

Some scream to be heard.

Some sing into a void

where no one listens.

Some are making their

own stages.

It’s hard to listen to the song because there’s

so much to grieve,

so much hurt

and righteous anger

in the song.

So much so that sometimes I try to silence it.

Headphones on.

Head down.

Just make sure

all is well in my house –

that everyone under my roof

can sing.


My song is the song of humanity.

My voice is meant to be

heard and it is meant to

amplify the song that

others are singing.

I can’t not listen to their song

and there’s no other song

for me to join in on.

I can’t look away.

They demand to be seen.

I can’t look away.

I see their creator in them.

His design, his joy,

his creativity is all

over us all.

My voice must add to

their song of long-awaited,







noise .




Be the right person

Be the right person

I was recently the recipient 

of community in action. 

I had questions about

trying something new 

and after a few phone calls,

too many not-quite-right

Youtube videos and 

articles I found 

the right person.

She patiently listened to my questions,

filled in my gaps, 

and then went the extra mile

to help me get over the 

obstacle that was before me. 

I had never met this person

before but that didn’t matter

to her because she is 

committed to community. 

How do I know this?

Well, it turns out she was

the owner of the establishment

and their website says 

they are ‘committed to 

community before anything else’. 

She helped me before 

she knew I had a different

skin color than she did, 

she didn’t ask my

religious affiliation,

and she didn’t ask my 

stances on political issues –

she just knew she had

the answer –

she knew she was the 

right person to help me. 

This was not a life-changing 

moment for me – 

meaning her assistance

was not helping me get access 

to safety or food,

but it did help me 

make progress on 

a goal that I was thinking

I was going to have to

let go of.

Pursuing community –

just for the sake of community 

can have a huge impact

in someone’s life.

It’s likely happened for

you in either big or small ways…

the right person 

stepped up for you.

Being the right person

and showing up  

can save lives

and it allows us to be

agents of God’s kingdom.

Being the right person

doesn’t necessarily mean 

you possess all the right answers,

have the most money, 

or are the most eloquent.

It simply means you see a need

and you meet it. 



Be loud.

Be loud.

A friend shared that

there are voices in her life

that are discouraging. 

She told me that my voice is

an encouragement to her.

I kind of jokingly said, 

“I will keep being loud!”

And she replied,

“Yes. Be loud.”

Who needs you to



Someone does.

Or a group of people do.

And you know what?

They may not be able to 

say to you – 

“Yes. Be loud.”

They may not know your name

or where you live. 

Your significant other may 

not be able to be vulnerable 

enough to say what they need

and yet the truth remains –

your voice is needed.

We shouldn’t need a request

in order to speak

into spaces that 

need our voice. 

We need to be loud

in order to be heard 

over the deafening 

noise of 





The world needs your voice

and my voice.

We’re gonna have to shout. 

There are those who routinely

try to silence other voices –

even elected ones –

and say that they have no place

and should have no voice.

We must be louder.

There are voices telling your

friends that they are

insignificant and dispensable.

You must be loud.

Our kids are blasted

with noise –

we must be louder

than the chaos.

Use your voice.

speak up. 

Be loud.

Someone needs to

hear from you.



A turning from.

A turning from.

Here’s what we forget – 

what I forget – 

sometimes Permission Granted

is a turning from

versus a turning towards.

Sometimes it means

we have to own something, 

and dig in and grow.

Sometimes Permission Granted is

turning away from 

what you’ve always 


and turning towards

what’s always actually been true. 

Sometimes it’s admitting




Often, Permission Granted

isn’t a warm fuzzy feeling. 

I know. 

It is my favorite thing, too.

Permission Granted can

take us to hard places,

challenging moments and

often requires an honest 

evaluation of who we are

in comparison to 

who we are made to be. 

This is the genesis of growth.

And it’s not always fun.

However, it is always necessary

if we want to be all 

that we are made to be.

Why does this matter?

Our world depends on it. 

The world you and I 

live in is created 

by who we are –

by what we do. 

Don’t run from 

Permission Granted.

Don’t avoid hard, challenging

issues or conversations

because they aren’t

warm and fuzzy.

How do you tell your kids, 

the child down the street 

who is hungry every day, 

or the sweet baby at church with

mocha-colored skin

that you are

unable to effect change

because there aren’t warm fuzzies

each step of the way?

We can do hard things. 



What do you need to turn from, friend?

What do you need to learn more about so that you can know what is actually true?

Live Your Life: Take Up Your Space

Live Your Life: Take Up Your Space

I overheard your comments to your friend

about the woman across the room.

She, the woman you are 




wasn’t doing anything wrong. 

She said nothing wrong.

She is just living her life, 

taking up her space 

and your insecurity got in the way.

Oh, pardon me, 

I don’t mean to offend. 

Well, actually, I’m okay if I do. 

Everyone has permission

to take up their space 

and just because you 

aren’t thrilled with her choices,

her outfit, 

her boisterous personality

doesn’t mean that you can

take space from her. 

Please refrain from expressing

your insecurity this way.

PermissionGranted is for everyone.

Please recognize that if 

someone rubs you the wrong way, 

has a personality that you 

struggle to appreciate, 

wears clothing that you would

not or has the

audacity to choose

to pursue her 



and purpose…

she is simply giving herself

permission to do so,

just as you are, 

in your own way,

pursing PermissionGranted.

There’s space for all of us. 

All of our creativity, 







There’s enough room for us all.

So each of us have 

a choice to make:

take up our space –

without apology, or 

spend energy making

ourselves small by

attempting to infringe 

on another’s space.

It is kind of a 

easy choice, 

don’t you think?