We hope you’ll see (in)courage as a bit like a beach house. You can put your sandy, dirty feet on the coffee table, laugh late into the night with friends, and also hear God’s voice clearer than perhaps anywhere else. Life just feels more vibrant and real, as if you’ve stumbled upon a glimpse of heaven and it’s nothing like you ever imagined but everything you’d always hoped.
When we wrote those words before (in)courage even launched, we knew one part of the beach house would be always having an open door. Yesterday we shared how Stephanie Bryant has discovered God is calling her to step through that door in a different way. And today we have some very exciting news about someone who’s serving up goodness at the beach house in a new way!
You probably know Lisa-Jo (aka The Gypsy Mama) for her encouraging heart, amazing writing, and fondness for food analogies on twitter. She’s been hanging out in the (in)courage kitchen for several months as a contributor and we’re thrilled to let you know we’re giving the girl a fabulously cute apron and turning up the heat. In other words, we’ve asked Lisa-Jo to be the Community Manager for (in)courage!
We’ll let her tell you more about what that means. (It’s good, ladies, like hot-fudge-brownie-sundae-whipped-cream-and-a-cherry-served-right-to-you-on-the-beach-house deck GOOD.)
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Three weeks ago I got to spend three days with Stephanie (left) and Holley (right).
It was some kind of deep fried Southern special. Do you have any idea how much these women just love you all? Something fierce! I think it was over mango sorbet (for me) and peanut butter soft serve (for Holley) that we got to talking about it. How God had brought us to this moment.
I’m South African and my husband is an all-American guy. We have two boys, one born in my home town of Pretoria, South Africa and one in the great state of Michigan. After years of living in the “in between” we have become convinced that no matter what the zip code, God is intimately interested in who we are and where we’re headed.
I’ve lived on three different continents in the last ten years. And I’m learning that home is much more than four walls and a familiar neighborhood. Home is the God who understands each of the unique languages, thoughts, hopes and dreams of our individual hearts. Nothing can separate us from His love. Not time zones or cultures or the things we wish we could change about ourselves.
Christ is the bridge.
He brings us back into the deep heart of God. No matter where we’re coming from. Out of emptiness or loss or disaster, Christ brings us back to His Father. And after working for the last nine years in international development/human rights I have become convinced more than ever that God’s heart beats just as passionately for the women of Springfield, Virginia as it does for those living in Soweto, South Africa. The stay-at-home mom, the working woman, the student – with all the modern comforts money can buy – can be just as lonely and quietly desperate as the Swazi basket weaver.
We all crave encouragement and understanding. That’s what (in) courage and my little part of it has meant to me this last year. It was like coming home. To discover your voices, your passions, your senses of humor, your stories – oh my, the joy that you all radiate! And how you connect your faith with your callings, whatever they might be – home, travel, kids, marriage, motherhood, human rights, art, teaching, cooking, photography…. I could gush till the cows come home!
We all need a safe place to decompress from our busyness, take a deep breath, and be heard by a community defined by its generous, welcoming love.
(In) Courage is that place and space. And I’m delighted to be the new Community Manager, so that I can cook up new ways to make you feel even more at home here.
We’ve said from the start the beach house isn’t ours. It belongs to God and we’re its caretakers. In the first year, we built it, started decorating, moved in, overcame obstacles, got settled, and invited people over.Now we have the opportunity to do some new things and really turn it into God’s dream house. Starting now!
Because it’s your house, we want to hear your suggestions for ways you would rearrange the furniture, remodel rooms, or repaint walls. Go ahead, get crazy; tell us your dream ideas for improving this space. We have some thoughts, but we really want to hear from you!
Leave us a comment with your suggestions by midnight on Sunday July 11 and we’ll be giving away two expressions of our gratitude for the last year to two randomly chosen commenters.
This community favorite – the Memo Board from DaySpring’s Ever Grateful tableware collection.
And this reminder that With God All Things Are Possible.
So go ahead, tell us what you love, what you’d change, and any other ideas for how you’d like to redecorate the place ~ we’re all ears!Leave a Comment