Nov 5, 2014

I Woke Up Like This...

I woke up like this. Fifty Three on Monday. Not quite like Beyonce puts it... some of her words spot  on, while others fall far from the mark. But the name... I woke up like this. Today, the day after... we're gonna wake up. Like This. You get to chose what THIS is.

For me... This will be a year, to let go, give up my ideas, my desires, my ways.

THIS will be hard.
But I feel I'm moving in the right direction.

I spent the day at a conference, surrounded by mostly thirty something women. Ideas, work, words  shared, with the desire to encourage women and the process of finding their voice. I think. At least that would have been my goal for the conference.

I listened hard to a few speakers as they drew me into their lives.
One spoke her life long desire. To be married. That is what she has dreamed of... husband, white picket fence, sweet babies at her feet. When this happened, her life would be perfect. Complete.
This has not happened yet.
She wakes up like This each morning. Single.
Yet, she is a gifted writer, funny, inspiring speaker.... I want to be her.
She shares with thousands of women the wisdom she has learned, to be content in the life you have been given. To be Brave.

I introduced myself to her. I said, "I want your life, and you want mine." She smiled... I clarified that I love my life, my husband and family. But, there is a deep place in me that desires to share with women. The passion, purpose, plan that leads to freedom. To have a voice at the table.

It's hard to be honest. She made it easy for me because of her transparency.

A new friend, many years younger recently said, "You seem to live in freedom."
Mind blown. Freedom was the word I chose in January and stated that I would chose to live in this place. She will never fully understand what her words meant when she spoke them to me. It was confirmation from God.

If my heart truly desires to share freedom, that is what I should do, instead of looking around corners
for a platform, a plan, a way. Hungrily investing in the person who comes into my life. I am never more content than when I sit in the presence of someone who desires truth and freedom in Christ.
When someone is willing to let you invest in them, get in their life... a responsibility and an honor. It makes me shudder sometimes in fear... it is that big. Then I remember, I am Free.

I started thinking.. I am fifty three today. What is the call I am answering. What is the message I send to these twenty and thirty something women I meet?

There was an absence of my age group at the conference. I was surprised by this and I think of how these young women need to hear the voices from those who have made the journey, who embrace the skin you take on, scarred from the battles you fight for others and sometimes with others. The wrinkles you learn to respect knowing many were caused by smiles and joy so big.

We recognize the path is hard and embrace these younger women, to look ahead to the goal, not being caught in the small details, that quickly drag you down under tumultuous waters.
Dance, sing, play. It goes quickly. Embrace the freedom in the moments of This. 
This is where you are today young woman.

I thought of the women in my life who I looked to for direction. My mom, my grand mom. Women who lived well, worked hard and I doubt... sat around thinking about their calling, the next move, how to build a platform... "what the heck is a platform anyway", they would have said.

These women had platforms, they just didn't know it. They were platforms of hospitality, generosity, warmth, laughter. I have learned much from them and I am grateful.

I'm not suggesting we live in deference of finding our calling, our role, recognizing that He has given each of us gifts, significant and unique to each other. No one can play your role. I see lives wasted in the trivial matters of life. Lives lived without concern for the eternal, never investing in another person, staying in their lane, not getting involved. Surely we are not called to this kind of life.

But the opposite is true also. We easily become self absorbed when overly concerned about our platform. We don't have to dig far to find pride lurking on the surface. It's like sand we can never quite rid ourselves of after a day at the beach. A piece here, another there, gritty and rough. It reminds us of our true selves. A good reminder, keeping us uncomfortable.

I desire a platform, one that looks deeper and reaches farther than my own flesh and blood. I can build on what my mentors gave me and pass it on, finding women who want to live in freedom. This is how I want to wake up...  a platform rooted in love, generosity, hospitality and warmth. It may be a simple platform but it will be real.

Yesterday I went to see a friend. She is twenty three, a beautiful young woman. She was having chemo for stage four Hodgkin's. She is trying to get healthy, eat well, rest...  and she is now faced with the possibility of losing her job, which also means health insurance.
She is a social worker who helps people with disabilities.
She is exhausted and exhausting her sick days...
Yes, she is awesome and inspiring and she wakes up like This right now.
This is part of her platform.

Sunday I listened to a girl who is beautiful and sings like Carrie Underwood. She belted out Carrie's song... Must have been something in the water. She sang as seventy people chose to be changed by the waters of baptism. My body was dry but my eyes were wet... tears of emotion, hope, and trust in a Savior who loves us enough to die for us. He knows the waters she walks through. He is there with her, with you, with me.
On Monday she walked in to the hospital to begin chemo for stage four colon cancer. She is 30 yrs old. She wakes up Like This each morning. This is part of her platform.

I will wake up like This each day this year, if I am allowed. Fifty Three. I will find my platform where my feet fall each morning. I will minister, encourage, find freedom, and be loved by those who walk into my life. I will accept God's ideas, desires, His ways for my life.
I will wake up like This each day... Grateful.
I will wake up like This each day... because this IS where Freedom lives.

We all have a platform... what is your platform and what does This look like each morning for you?


  1. You really made me think about my platform Dale. I believe mine is, I will never give up on anyone. Sometimes people frustrate me, anger me, and let me down. I never want someone to give up on me in life. I will continue to look for the good in each person that comes into my life. I pray that they will do the same for me. Thank you for your deep thoughts lovely lady. As like goes, I knew you briefly. But you were always fun to be around. Try to guess who I am.

    1. I'm glad I got you thinking... And I think that is a great platform. I need to remember that! Hmm, as far as who this is... That's a tough one. Glad I was fun. I love fun. It's one of my favorite things to do! :)

  2. So true! We all have a platform...and it makes a difference, no matter how big or small :) Thanks for the beautiful reminder!!

    1. Theresa.... thanks dear girl. I'm thinking of you this Thanksgiving week and for how grateful I am that you are in my life.


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