Deadline for Brave Girl Boot Camp!

Brave Girl Boot CampConference

God asked us to trust Him about this conference and He did as promised.  Every room is filled for our Brave Girl Boot Camp Conference September 9-11, 2016.   We prayed for God to invite the women He wanted to invite and He did.  Women are coming and we are so humbled.

We have a few openings remaining for anyone living local to Holland or anyone wanting to attend but will have a hotel off-site.  For $100 per person, you’ll receive entrance into the conference (3 main sessions and two break out sessions) and three meals on Saturday and one on Sunday morning.   We have a discount code that will save you $10 off each registration.  Savings code: SAVE10BRAVEBOOTS .  As of right now we have six openings remaining.  Deadline is August 26th, 2016 at midnight.  Book here! 

We’re believing with such expectant hearts for God to use this weekend as a game changer for so many.  Bring your broken hearts, your disappointments, you fears and what fuels them… bring them to the feet of your King and let’s give Him full access, give Him all of it.

Oh, sisters… this is about to happen!


Who is braver: Superman or Clark Kent?

A note of brave for you on this Monday afternoon.   Let this blog post written by Barb Stanz sink in a bit. Grab a coffee with an open heart and mind…

Who do you think is braver: Superman or Clark Kent? superman

Superman flies around Metropolis saving its citizens from all types of disasters.  He sounds brave to me. Clark Kent is a mild mannered guy; at times he is even clumsy and awkward.  Clark doesn’t seem so brave.

It’s easy to see Superman’s courage as he saves Lois Lane from Lex Luther.  But when I think about it, being bold is being like Clark Kent.  Clark does not go out and save the world. Instead, he makes daily, morally correct decisions. That is its own type of courage.

Listening to God and obeying Him can be scary.  Putting His will before mine is hard, and at times even alien.  Sometimes God wants me to put the blue superhero suit on, but usually He wants me to do simpler things. Things like helping someone, giving to another person, or praying more.  Simply stated, He wants me to love more. That can take a lot of courage.

Recently God put a person on my heart and told me to love them.  I thought “I do love them, why tell me that?”  Once I got over the surprise of being told to do what I was already doing, He revealed to me that I may love Chris with my words, but not with my thoughts.  Prideful thoughts were affecting how I saw Chris.  Thanks to God’s great timing, I was with Chris that same day for an hour or so.  Sure enough, my words said one thing while my thoughts said another.  Because of God’s earlier prompting, I was aware of just how “loving” I was being.  This enlightenment helped me focus on my thoughts and take some captive.  I didn’t get all the thoughts, but the awareness of my judgmental attitude altered my behavior.

At first glance, this may not appear daring, but truly allowing God to reveal to me my innermost thoughts took courage.  I could have simply continued on my merry way and not allowed Him to shine a light on that filth in me.  He opened my eyes to my judgment, and it was ugly. Looking at it took strength.

Every day we are given the opportunity to be heroic, to love others as we love ourselves.  My kryptonite is different from yours.  The issues that test my bravery are not necessarily the same as yours.  But we all have issues, and each day can be full of little loving acts where we have to leave our comfort zone and do the right thing.  Let us not dismiss the small acts. Obedience in them allows God to grow us so we can be obedient in bigger things.  That way when God asks us to run into the nearest phone booth to save the world, we are prepared.


Christmas Bravery.

Brave Girl.

I know most of us are in the midst of writing lists, checking them twice…

Flour flying,  kids crying…

Welcome to the Christmas countdown. I don’t know about you but I told myself I wouldn’t over book, over commit or overindulge (who thought up peanut butter fudge anyway?!  Not sure if I should thank them or spank them!) this holiday season.  I firmly declared war on being weary during this wonderful, blissful season.  What about you?

“So, how’s that working for ya?”  

As I awoke this morning to a kitchen that looked like some pretty crazy reindeer games took place last night, I felt the weariness creep in.   Creep over me as the thoughts of not only tackling this baking aftermath but also the wrapping and last-minute shopping left to do.   For a brief minute, I wanted to check out for Christmas.   Maybe I’m the only one.

Turning on the news, it made the weariness seem to overtake my soul.  The darkness in this world is so tangible you can almost taste it.   It’s easier to check out and keep focused on the Christmas busyness than the evil that dwells in this world.

Romans 5:8 came to my mind, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, 
Christ died for us.”

In the middle of my chaos I was made aware of the beauty of grace in a more profound way.  The Grace offered to us through Jesus Christ is for all who sin.  If you meditate on that for a few minutes, grace becomes more beautiful and more scandalous.

Those men who slaughtered the children in Pakistan, Christ died for them. It’s their choice to receive or not but the hand of Grace is extended to them. Pondering on this makes me cherish grace all the more. None of us deserve this wonderful gift of Grace. Not one of us. Who is this God that He would know us and invite us? Fully knowing the evil that hides in the heart of mankind, Jesus came to this earth to rescue us.   All of us.   Let’s be brave this Christmas. Brave enough to believe.

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder, 

    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, 

    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6 ESV

Merry Christmas, Brave Girl.  

Cage Match: Faith vs Fear

It’s on Brave Girl!  

It's on Brave Girl!

Whether you realize it or not,  you are in a battle today.    Faith vs. Fear.

Faith will guide you to unknown trails,  sometimes asking you to be the trailblazer for others coming behind you.   Faith asks us to be brave.  That can be unsettling.

But Faith will always walk you towards Life.

Fear will sell you that comfort, playing it safe,  is your friend.   Fear is a liar.   

Fear keeps relationships broken.

Fear extinguishes the flame of dreams.

Fear keeps pride at a premium leaving no room for transparency and authenticity.

Fear keeps you scared but we call it comfortable.  I call fear a thief.

Jesus never called us to be comfortable.   Not one time.

What He said was this,  “Follow Me”  to real living.  Life more abundant.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  John 10:10

FAITH will always walk you toward LIFE.


God Space.


Brave Girl,

As we move forward  from being ankle-deep into knee-deep book writing water I want to challenge your thinking.  Challenge you on the way you live and love.

Our ears are filled with “find balance”  “are you setting margins in your life?”  and my current favorite “less hustle more love.”   Which are all true and equally all hard to do as women.

My challenge today isn’t about changing how you fill your days.

It’s a question that we can ponder and answer honestly or we can hurriedly brush past with an answer  “of course”…

“Do you have God Space in your goals, dreams and the way you live and love? ” 

This is a lesson I keep learning.    You’d think as much as I’ve seen God work through my personal life, CGgirls and my tribe, this should be second nature to me.

When I felt God nudging us to expand the platform of  Brave Girl Boots to include a published devotional, I immediately went into strategic leader mode.

If you are wired for leadership you get that.  You can’t help yourself.

A vision for a published book + no provision =   Time to Plan.

Nothin’ wrong with planning,  nothin’ wrong with putting some action to your faith, no ma’am …that’s all good. 

Except I initially didn’t leave God Space in my plan.    We came up with the idea to sell shirts and set an obtainable goal.

(Ding! Ding! Ding!  First clue you aren’t leaving God Space in your plan is if you know how to pull it off without Him).

We needed the revenue of selling 200 BGB shirts but I knew we could sell 50 (mom, aunts, friends, Pastor’s wife…)  — I know LAME!  Totally lame!   What kinda visionary am I?

As I started to move forward confidently with our goal of 50, I felt that familiar nudge.   You know the one.  Yep.

Conversation flowed like this, “Have you left room for me to work?”  BOOM!   “No, God I haven’t. ”   whispers the woman who absolutely knows better.

Seriously, Brave Girl,  sometimes I am pathetic.  

We moved forward with the goal of 200 shirts.   The fundraising campaign was wildly successful.

We ended up $200 short in our funding;  however on the day we called to seal the deal with the publisher a sale was running.   Wait for it…$200 off !  Paid in full!

I laugh at this now, because really I could cry if I let myself.

Had we not trusted God by making God Space for him in our plan, we would have missed out on this provisional blessing,

not to mention spinning our wheels to raise more funds.   We would have settled for a quarter of what God could do.

I’m tired of settling for what I can do.  What about you?

God Space.  

Are you leaving room for Him in your dreams, your plans, your family, your relationships?

Or do you have it all tucked in your grip.  Closed. Controlled.

Brave Girl, that ain’t no way to live.   What we’re left with is what we can make happen and guess what ?   We get short-changed, every time.

What has your heart’s attention today?   Is it a wayward loved one?  A dream that needs to be dusted off and followed?  The physical estate of someone you dearly love? Is it your marriage or lack of one?
What about that hard to love person He keeps bringing in your path to love well?

Today is a day of exchange.   The burden of self-sufficiency, worry, fearfulness for God Space.

God isn’t afraid to get His hands dirty in your mess.   He gets personal, His hands eagerly ready to transform us from mounds of nothing to what He desires for us.   Christ-likeness.

But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.  (ESV)  Isaiah 64:8