This week has been a big one for our family. We made some hard decisions that were messy, but they were ones we believe were necessary in order to keep on living our meaningful life, wisely. There is nothing clean, easy and absent of pain in this life; even the events that bring incredible joy and beauty – like childbirth, bring with it a stretching that marks you and may never fully heal in this life. We celebrate life anyway and make it the headline of the story, but we also make space for the scars to tell their side of the story too.

It’s all grace, really. None of us deserve to be a part of something so miraculous as witnessing new life – we’ve all made a mess of things on some level. It is out of God’s sheer love alone that He gives us glimpses of His goodness, He lets us touch it and hear it and feel the wonder of it too – in countless ways.

Our decisions this week were made in the closet of humanity where we can point no fingers really – it’s where we all sit together in the dark of sin trusting only in the light of Christ to open the door and consume us. God granted us our petitions this week, we found favor in His sight and He was mighty to help us in our time of need, but we are humbled by our mutual brokenness with others. A door opened for us but not on our merit, it was only on the merit of grace and by faith we are walking out through it.

 

One of the ways we are walking out of this new door God has opened for us is by claiming my name. I started this blog on my 40th birthday. It was my gift to my self – to have a voice again. After years of fear and healing from grief and trauma, I trusted God could use me even in my weakness and began writing and speaking again. This year I have used my voice, a lot in fact, but I have not yet used my name.

Fear is a liar, but a pretty convincing one.

My new book is launching September 1st and we are up to our elbows in preparations for this “new life” coming into the world soon. We are excited, we are humbled, we are nauseas, but we are hopeful that God has good things in store for us and readers, and this hope is fueling our courage to embrace new levels of vulnerability in this space and in our relationships.

We will never lean into vulnerability without hope that God can redeem pain, heal us, and lead us along our meaningful life.

So in that hope, one of the changes we are undertaking is here on this website. This week I was asked by our marketing team if I’ve ever “claimed my name” (in Facebook terms). I had no idea what she was talking about, but was struck by the question, the timing of it with our week and the deeper implications it held for me. No, I have never claimed my name – not on Facebook and not in my writing or speaking. But it’s time.

In July this space will have a new look, and a new name. That name will be mine.

This move is taking all the courage and hope I have in God, but I’m continuing in the same way He has led me all year long:

plant small. root deep. bear life.

I will still write here, but I also speak and will have more information about that here as well! When I founded A Mother of Thousands it was – and still is – to release women to nurture women. But over this year I have seen God do so much more with it than I originally imagined. Women feel tired, and often they feel like they are chasing the wind while all they want is to live meaningful lives. You don’t have to be a barren woman to feel like you are living an empty life. More than ever I see A Mother of Thousands serving women as a mission-minded enterprise that champions the ordinary woman living her meaningful life. What is meaningful for my life is different than what is meaningful for yours, and that is as it should be. It takes courage to claim our name, to be ourselves in our story, and to live our meaningful lives. God calls all of us to be who He created us to be, to live our lives and our lives only, with Him. It won’t be clean, easy or absent of pain, but, “He who calls you is faithful…” (1 Thessalonians 5:24a).