"Because" {...Join Me in Italy in 2018...and create your own "but God" story...}

   

 

 

When you choose a lifestyle of encouraging yourself in the Lord {as opposed to encouraging yourself in "your own dreams"}, when you choose a lifestyle of investing your gifts, when you choose a lifestyle of waiting on the Lord, a  "qavah" kind of lifestyle, {to wait on the Lord means to "gather" with Him, and the only way to truly gather with Him is to be gathered with His body}...

 

...when you do those three things sincerely, without a hidden agenda, you end up in places you should never be able to be.  You end up meeting people you would otherwise have never met.  You end up breaking bread with leaders you "should not" be breaking bread with.  Because

A (wo)man’s gift makes room for her and brings her before the great.
— Proverbs 18:16

I am more clear than ever on my mission these days.  I am here to mobilize an army of middle age women whose metric is grace, an army of middle age women who celebrate for no real reason...simply because we've made it this far.  If that is you, if you are middle age, or someday hope to be, or even if you used to be...I know you.  

I know you, and it is time for you to invest in your gifts.  You do that by first investing your gifts in the service of someone else's encouragement.  And then, you invest in your gifts by making time to...well...do something that seems like a frivolous investment in your gifts.

 

In other words, it is time for you to play.  Because

The heaven, even the highest heaven, is the Lord’s; but the earth He has given to the children...
— Psalms 115:16

The earth He has given to the children, and you and I are His children...His daughters.  Thus, if you haven't yet heard the Lord tell you to "go play", please allow me to introduce you to an aspect of the Father Heart of God that you haven't yet considered.  

What father has never said "Go play, daughter." ?  Our human fathers may have said that to us to get us out of their hair, but our heavenly Papa says that to us because He loves to put nations under our feet!  And He can put nations under your feet, under the guise of play, if He wants to.  He's God.  

Asking the Lord for "the nations" doesn't have to always feel hard.  Because

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom; and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
— 1 Corinthians 1:25

The "foolishness" of God is wiser than human wisdom.  God-play is more educated than our PHD, richer than our sweat-equity, more effective than our most serious effort.  

I can testify to the power of God's "foolishness":  If you knew me, you'd know that there is no thought more foolish than  Sheila Atchley in Paris, France ...

or NOW,  Sheila Atchley in Bellagio, Italy

But God.  I am so glad for the foolishness of God.  God-at-play through me can accomplish more in one day than a whole lifetime of Sheila-at-work through God.  {All those years I spent trying to "create myself", trying to establish myself, trying to establish a righteousness of my own, "in His name"...}  I'd never in my life be able to go to both France and Italy...but God.  

So, yeah.  I'm headed to Italy in October of next year.  And part of me is scared to death.  The other part of me is locked and loaded, and ready to see God do miracles in Bellagio in the lives of some women.  I am ready to speak, and like Peter in the book of Acts, watch Holy Spirit fall on open-handed girlfriends.

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Won't you come with me?  That's right.  You just got invited.  You didn't have to hope for the invitation, or wait for the invitation, or jockey to position yourself for the invitation, or be insincere in any way.  {Which is good, because you can't reverse-engineer sincerity...that is a core message of mine when it comes to building an online platform;  but that is another class for another day.}  

Sure, there's a cost involved.  Or rather...there's an investment involved.  But girlfriend...my God is able.  He can make a way where there seems to be no way.  Ask me how I know.  For now, there's just a deposit to be made (at the invitation link above).  If the Lord is tugging at your heart at all...can I tell you... just do it.  Invest in your gifts.

Go play.

 

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I can't believe I am about to say what I am about to say:

I hope to see you in Italy next year!  Ciao!