Free Flying Faith

Faith and all the wonder and terror of it. Not so much anchored…more tied to a kite or a wild and friendly dolphin.

I believe in Jesus

I believe in Jesus. His is the name I use to describe the loving, present, meaningful Presence of God here with us.
Let’s just get that out of the way.
I believe that the purpose we all look for is found in Him.
I believe that the freedom from shame that we look for is found in Him.
I believe that the meaning behind all of life is found in Him.
I believe that the Oneness with the universe we want is found in Him.
I believe that the order and mind behind science is found in Him.
I believe that the love we seek is found in Him.
I believe Jesus is NOT what anyone tells you He is… He is not what I tell you he is. I know what Jesus is to me today, right now. And tomorrow, that will grow, expand, soften, harden, change shade and nuance, blow up and cover me.
Jesus is beyond definition. It is why the Bible is so infuriating and invigorating.
But there are a few things about Jesus that I can hand you to hold so you can try out the fit in your palm and the weight of His glory in your life… things that tie to real life so that as we learn about Jesus, our lives change and as we live our lives God makes more sense.
Jesus’ power and spirit are constantly available everywhere and at all times to anyone who wants access. Access feels like peace, hope, love.

Jesus uses His power to remove shame, standards of perfection, guilt, and contempt.
Jesus loves you unconditionally and the best way to experience Jesus’ love is to love yourself the way He does.
Jesus’ story involves the goodness of the soul and the body, both.
Jesus […]

Life is a freakin miracle

(this post has sound. scroll down to pause it if you want)
We are toddlers in our eternal lives. We’re just getting started.
Sure, it’s hard. We fall and cry and throw things. We want our way, right away.
But, it’s also hilarious and wondrous: This discovering as we learn. This loving and being loved.
Good God. It’s all a miracle. A difficult, scary miracle.
Breathe and listen as I read to you one of my favorite creation stories ever. It is an adaptation of the Jesus Storybook Bible – a Genesis One Reading. Let’s fall in love again.
 

 

 
Life is a freakin miracle

 

 
Read more of the Body full of Soul Series.

When Little Girls Preach

Hey Friend!
What do you do when your dreams come true?
What do you do when your dreams are controversial?
(This post is all about me, but I hope it is somehow all about you too.)
Ten years ago, I said I would speak from my heart on stage about God and life and love.  My dream was to preach.  It was something that sparked in me and would not let go.  This summer I did just that.
You could say that I lived my dream years ago at my first speaking “engagement” or the first class I ever taught.  There have been people who noticed and believed in me for years that gave me chances to learn and grow.
My dream of speaking words shaped like keys that unlock cages for the people who listen, has been coming true for years. 

But this summer, there was a moment that checked all the dream criteria boxes and felt like a graduation to a new place.
This tiny girl preached in the main church service. It was no big deal to the millions and billions of people who went about their days ignorant of the fact that Life was blowing my mind… but for me, this was a huge deal.
See, I believe in a world where each voice matters.  I believe in a world where men can learn from women and women learn from men (and men learn from men and women learn from women too – to be fair) regardless of race, height, income, or education.  I believe in a multifaceted God who needs to be described from different angles by people gifted with a talent and the determination to speak in the open. But not everyone believes this.
I believe in a multifaceted God
who needs […]

Finding Your Voice

When I wrote this piece on “finding your roar” for The Story Unfolding, I had no idea what was headed my way.  All I knew was that my desires and my rebellious voice were waking up.  What about you?  Are you finding your voice? Is there something in your gut that is calling for change?  Is the voice in your heart demanding to be heard?

 

The Lion Inside
There is a lion inside me and she is going to get me in trouble. She is loud, and too proud of herself. Her rumbles in my chest make my voice shake. I can’t keep steady. Her large, soft paws land firmly on my heart with a pat, push, pat, push, pat, push, pat, push. I want her to leave so I can keep hiding; people notice lions. I really want her to leave but I think she is pumping my heart.
The lion inside stretches each morning and hunts with restless energy. She stalks in the light making words her food. No fear is in her. There’s still some in me, but there’s none in her. Her lack of fear actually terrifies me. She could do anything, ANYTHING.
As a child, I remember her laying inside my heart. When the dishes flew and the words spun like ninja stars around our yellow house, I could crawl inside my ribcage with her and be safe. Her coarse fur against my skin, a reminder that some feelings are good. Her throat just above my head; a gentle purr soothing me to sleep.
She never roared. Not once. A quiet strength protecting this scared girl until I was full grown. Her fur muffling the screams and shouts of dangers in the […]

Wives Submit to Your Husbands

Submission.
It’s a dirty word to some.  It’s a holy word to others.
but can I tell you something…?
I have found new life in it. Let me explain.
*****

“Wives, it should be no different with your husbands. Submit to them as you do to the Lord.”
– Ephesians 5

Submit.
^^That word burns^^
It burns because it seems to go against every other thing I know about our freedom.  Jesus is supposed to bring a new kind of life:  A free life. A life of fullness and joy and grace and love.  A life where there are no power struggles because all people are equal and valued. A life where sharing a meal with your enemy or allowing the lowest to have the highest honor, is THE WAY. This is the life I want to live.
“Submit” feels like control and loss of identity.
“Submit” feels like a foot on your neck and a gag in your mouth.
“Submit” feels like a kennel you whimper in while your owners go on vacation.
“Submit” is the exact opposite of freedom.
 
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Gal 5:1
 
So, how do I submit and still live the full, free, wild life of joyful rebellion?
The key came to me just a couple weeks ago and it has blown wide open my relationship to God and to my husband.

 
As a writer, performer, actress, speaker I SUBMIT my work and my art to companies and publications that I admire.
I put my heart and soul into my presentation, proposal, or piece of writing and I SUBMIT it.  
I am submitting to that website. I am submitting to that magazine. I am submitting […]

One Word Rebel

{{New LOVE and MAKING IT course now open for registration! GET THE SCOOP HERE!}}
*****
v. Rebel
This one’s for the good kids.
The good girls with their modest shirts and shorts under skirts.  The good boys with their zipped pants and respectful words.
The ones who bent over backwards to save another. Did their homework. Did all the group projects themselves. Said no to drugs and yes to Jesus. Or mostly no to drugs and mostly yes to Jesus.
This one’s for the kids who missed their chance to have “wild days” of sowing their oats. Who never yelled back at their parents, never came home late, always played by the rules. This one’s for all those good kids who are now adults and the stakes are just too high to go wild, when you have bills and a family and a job you desperately need.
I am one of you. I missed my chance to rebel. My family needed stability and had been through enough turmoil. I decided, deep in my bones, to be a good girl and not make anything harder for anyone else ever ever ever. I would make life easier and better for all the people. I would get good grades, do as I’m told, show up on time, and smile when I was mad.  I would save myself for marriage and stay sober while others drank beer and ate live goldfish.
I was a good girl.
Then I had kids.
And my own beautiful children are teaching me to rebel. Quickly, in the first year of motherhood, I used up every ounce of responsibility and goodness I had artificially created. I used up all my stores, all my reserves. Those kids and their wild selfishness drove me straight […]

Own Something Beautiful

Beautiful.
I fought that word. Beautiful. We wrestled and she broke open. Her guts spilling everywhere. I never meant to break her, I just wanted to own her. Own something beautiful.

Breaking Beautiful turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me. God is like that. He takes the broken things and says, “Now that’s better.” At the age of 30, I finally broke open my idea of how Beautiful was allowed to look and be.  And now Beautiful is everywhere, spilling all over, even in me.  When I stopped trying to own her, Beautiful was mine.
*****
A woman of strength and tenacity, Bethany Paget, offered me a place to share my story – A place to show my work on how I finally reached the answer that I am ALL GOOD.
Come, read the rest of it here. 
 

****

****

 
Our bodies are sacred. God uses them AS THEY ARE to make the world more beautiful. If you are married or in a committed relationship and want a different way to approach sex and your body, check out my ecourse starting February 1st.

Forget the size of your body

 

 
I am more and more convinced that we decide too early what we are worth and what we are capable of doing.  You are so much more able than you think. Our abilities are buried under layers of fear.  They are also buried under many hours of practice and routine; as each practice uncovers a bit more of the treasure already in you. 
Each hour of training is like being an archeologist as you uncover the clues and beautiful treasures that have been in you all along.
Start doing whatever it is you wish you could do. Write. Kiss. Sing. Build. Run.  You will uncover the ability to do it as you try.
Forget the size of your body. Remember the size of your guts.

God is here

God, when I sit in this room, I can feel both alone and the opposite of alone.
I can be aware of the table and my coffee. I can feel the air moving in and out to my nose. There is a chair beneath me and a black cat walking back and forth around it all.
I can choose to be aware of You, too: The I Am, The Presence. The One who is always here. I can choose to feel you in that air and in my bones.
God, when I sit in this room, I can feel both alone and the opposite of alone.
I can choose to see you as separate from me. In this way, you are here and yet different from the Me I consciously know. You are a loving relationship that requires space between us. I pray and you come. I request and you give.
I can also choose to see you as essentially in me. In this way, you are here as surely as I am here. You are a loving Presence in my cells that requires a connection with my own mind and body. Here, to love myself is to be loved by you. Here, to accept the body I am in, is to accept that this body is Us. Here, to pray for peace is to know that the peace is here waiting to be accepted already in my guts. To ask you to be with me would be like asking myself to go hang out sometime.
You are here. You are more here in and with me and available to me than my own thoughts and emotions and needs. You are the beautiful, quiet option that I don’t always know […]

Never Been Kissed

Advent. We wait. We wait for God to come down here and be with us. Just hurry up and be with us.
Yesterday, I felt it, that dull discomfort of waiting for things to be RIGHT – To feel God with me and to feel Him making all things comes together for Good.  I wanted it, bad.  
This incredible waiting that is called LIFE drives some of us mad.  We get short burst of fun, joy, beauty, and meaning and then we wait again. This incredible waiting, like watching intermittent shooting stars when what we really need is dawn.
We wait for heaven and the Light of the World to come.  Heaven will not just be for our souls. Heaven involves our bodies too.  This is the gift of making love.  
God, your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven – not just in our hearts but in our bodies too.
In honor of Advent and Love and Making It coming together this week, today we have the gift of reading a personal essay from a woman who has never been kissed and is beginning to let herself feel the desire and hope of what will come someday.  May all our waiting and longing be this vulnerable and brave.
-Nicole
****
 
I dreamed a few months ago that I had my first kiss.
Yes, I’m 25 and I’ve never been kissed – or even been on an official date. I was a little too “mature” (and obnoxious) in high school to stoop to “chasing boys,” and I was a little too driven in college to take time out for life. Which is strange, really. I’ve always wanted the support of a relationship and the chance to build a life with […]