what's on the other side of obedience: a 10 year old story

3,650 sunrises. That’s my story. It’s the side I’m standing on and there’s no going back. You know that moment you tried french fries in your frosty and you’d never dip them in ketchup again? That moment you laughed so hard you snorted, the embarrassing moment passed, and you knew your friendship just went to another level?

Life is the way it was intended to be lived on this side of obedience.

Well, how do I get there?

What will it cost me?

Is anyone else doing it?

What’s in it for me?

Let me check my calendar.

If I’ve got nothing else to do, I’ll think about it.

Yeah. You’re not ready.

The basic definition of obedience is submission to another’s authority. Our another being the Perfect Son of God, who, “being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8)

You’re ready when you submit. Submission - it’s been deemed an old-fashioned word because our world gets more and more selfish, so anything requiring obedience or submission gets ridiculed. So you have to get over that first.

But standing on this side of obedience, submission is worth it! It’s the most freedom I’ve ever experienced. If you know Jesus, you know He does everything backwards and upside down from this world. He says bow low and He’ll lift up. He says last will be first. He says to be rich become poor. I’m still progressing on my faith journey learning from my Maker, but I’ve gotten a few years behind me to taste and see that the Lord, He is good and He is worth following. He’s worth obeying.

And since obedience is active, to stay bogged down with our self-filled questions keeps you on the side of disobedience.

Are you ready now?

Let me tell you a story.

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look who's moved into the neighborhood?


i can’t believe it! meet my new neighbors who will help launch Love Where You Live into the world on january 22, 2019:

patti, washington

rachel, california

jessica, georgia

natalie, michigan

cole, louisiana

brittany, hawaii

caryn, virginia

katy, california

mary, california

kathy, alabama

lindsey, california

laura lyn, tennessee

candace, california

rachel, illinois

praise, california

debbie, georgia

denysha, florida

elizabeth, california

stephanie, georgia

brittany, arizona

lauren, virginia

michelle, california

brenda, georgia

jenn, hawaii

lisa, california

rebekah, montana

abi, quebec

jenny, missouri

rhonda, california

mary, california

harris, georgia

layne, hawaii

ken and kellie, california

rachael, california

kayla, virginia

marissa, california

katie, georgia

hannah, california

ben, california

christina, quebec

frances, california

alison, georgia

lauren, district of columbia

didn’t see your state represented? there’s much ground to cover in the coming months as we get ready to launch this book into the world. let me know if you’ll represent your state well in the comment section below!

If time and commitments didn’t allow you to join the launch team, know that I still hear you cheering and that means so much to me. You can still show the world that you see & love them because you’re committed to the people and place you call home. and in your own way, own style, and own network, you can help get as many people informed about the book and get a head start with intentional living for 2019!

today, especially, i’m grateful. grateful for you. you’ve made this writing journey worth it and have fueled my faith on days i felt so alone and wanted to give up. and you must know, God sees every effort you are making to give love and show kindness and make a difference and He’s well pleased.

happy thanksgiving from my family to yours. from our table to yours and from our neighborhood to yours. it’s profoundly us!


what is LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE about?

discover why you’re exactly where you need to be

Despite being part of one of the most mobile societies in history, it's easy for us to feel stuck where we are. Whether because of a recent move or because we're still in the exact same place we've been for years, many of us just aren't where we thought we'd be or doing what we thought we'd be doing. Sometimes we may wonder if God knows what he's doing. How can this be part of his plan?

With enthusiasm and contagious joy, Shauna Pilgreen assures readers that, yes, God does have a plan and a purpose for them--right where they are. In fact, he sent them there. She invites readers to "live sent," showing them how to see their surroundings with fresh eyes and renewed energy. Weaving her own remarkable story with biblical habits readers can incorporate into their daily routines, Pilgreen equips us to reach out into our communities with God's love, knowing that our efforts are never in vain.

This is what Amazon says! And here’s what I say…

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I haven't always been this way

I believe God set up life to pick up friends along the way. You too? So many of you, God has given to me in this San Francisco season and I’m so very glad you’re here. But I see you and you and you and know that our paths crossed in the town of six traffic lights, in the hills of Virginia, in college ministries in Louisiana and Alabama or in the oasis of Missouri. Perhaps you already know I haven’t always been this way…

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how do you pray? {an interview with an author}

“As intercessors, we speak from having been with the Father….For we are storybooks contained in flesh personified.” - Love Where You Live (releasing 1.22.19)

my friend, rachel dodge, releases her book, Praying With Jane, today! while we are new friends, i’ve walked the whole journey with her from the creation of this idea to the surrendering it to the editor and all the in betweens. i’ve listened to rachel pray. i’ve seen her pour her heart out in this book and watch her trust God with what He has in store! i’m always inspired by the sweetness she shares with God. she really has that aroma about her! it’s my delight to have her here today. she’s going to talk about prayer, her book, and how her prayer life fits into the message of my upcoming book!

please welcome my friend, rachel dodge. and after the interview, enter to win her book in the comment section below!


Me: Rachel, prayer is strong within you! It’s a discipline you have nurtured. For those of us who are new to faith in God, are in a dry season, or are here to learn, tell us how you pray?

Rachel: I see prayer as happening in different ways and places. But, for me, two areas I try to nurture and activate are:

  1. The daily-never ceasing-consistent-always talking to God-kinda prayers.

I see God always in my thoughts. But there’s a difference between knowing God is with me and actively communing with Him. It’s a conscious effort - to ask the Lord into my thoughts and my to-do list, things I’m thinking about, people I’m concerned with. To take these thoughts and lift them up to God throughout the day while I’m doing chores, writing, and teaching. It’s a steady communication that I’m mindful about inviting God into everything.

2. Set aside-extended times of prayer.

For the most part, this is a regular part of my mornings. I start the day with my Bible reading. Sometimes I get to pray then too, but with my family, there are times when I get my Bible reading done and prayer happens later on. It’s also a regular part of my evening routine as I get ready for bed. I don’t do any of this perfectly, but I get on my knees and pray about all that stuff that’s still heavy on my heart at the end of the day. It’s good to get it off my shoulder as I close out the day.  

Me: What are benefits to a praying life? What did you see in Jane Austen’s prayer life that we can learn from?

Rachel: For me, prayer is the most vital part of feeling close to God. Everyone wants to know He is near. The two ways I mentioned to the previous question help me feel close to God. I feel like I know Him better and that He knows me and that we’re sharing the day together.

There’s a fellowship that comes from prayer. He gives me eyes to see situations. He takes my burdens away. A life of prayer draws us close to the heart of God and we get to understand how He works and gain His perspective that we can’t get otherwise.

Another benefit from consistently spending time with God in prayer, is that more of our hearts are open to Him. The more still we can be, the more our minds start to calm down. We can hear Him. Yes there are times when I receive immediately from Him as I call to God in prayer, but for the most part, it requires a stillness in His presence. And that’s certainly a benefit!

A new way I’m praying these days is because of what I’ve learned from my writing this devotional book, is writing out my prayers. I’ve been doing this consistently and daily this year. I used to write down these thoughts in the margin of my Bible. Now I have a prayer journal and I write out everything that’s on my mind. I write out Scripture verses and I pray those very verses in my prayer time. While I strive to develop this discipline, I really am liking this way of praying.

“Intercessory prayer is drenched in hope because dwellers pray believing God for the impossible.” - Love Where You Live (releasing 1.22.19)

Me: What does intercessory prayer mean to you?

Rachel: I’ve studied and taught on this subject alot. It’s this wonderful action we can take to partner with God. To intercede is to come on behalf of someone. It’s such a beautiful picture of coming to God and presenting requests that aren’t for ourselves but for someone else. The Lord is going to touch that person because we took action to pray. One of the coolest things for me, is praying often for someone who is ill, often on my knees, and then I sense in my spirit that God has released me and told me to get up. That He has heard and He has answered!

I want to be very specific when I pray for someone. “Lord, I pray that You will make a way for this person to know Jesus. I pray that You will open their eyes. I pray you will bring people into their lives who will speak truth.” And things like that! Another amazing thing is that we get to help them and we never know what will come from it. We might not ever even see it! We get to be a part of this amazing spiritual ministry of bringing them before God Who has the power to help them with anything.

When someone is struggling with something and we feel helpless, we feel like our hands are tied. But when we intercede, our hands are not tied! As we pray for others we are bringing them to our glorious Creator Who works miracles! He is a God of redemption, our Comforter, our Counselor.

We get to pray for people that no one else is praying for! I’m praying for my students in my class, students in my kid’s classes. My husband’s co-workers. Friends that are closed off to Jesus. Maybe someone else is praying (awesome) and I’m #2 or #9! But it’s an exciting conviction that I’m doing something for someone that maybe hasn’t been touched by God before. Intercession is a partnership with God!

Me: You’ve been right along with me as an intercessor through my book journey the past 18 months. You’ve read through my early proposals and manuscript submissions. What you write about is also woven into the message of my book. How does prayer help you love where you live?

Rachel: Prayer helps us have the mind of Christ. If I don’t take time to pray, I’m less likely to be invested and will be more into myself rather than others. It’s easy to be wrapped up in our own lives and ministry. It takes prayer to love people and see opportunities around us, to see the people for who they are. If I start to pray for someone, my perspective changes and God gives us insight and His heart and compassion for them. You get invested. I am more invested where I live because I pray.

Rachel, thank you. We are to be lifelong learners and participants of prayer.

Friends, how would you answer one of the questions I asked Rachel? Let’s learn together. List your response in the comments below.

Plus, everyone who comments will be entered into a giveaway for her book, releasing today! Winner selected Saturday, October 6 at midnight pst.


You can find Rachel at racheldoge.com and follow her on instagram as kindredspiritbooks.

The book available wherever books are sold!

Let her know you’re praying for her and the effects of this book today!

a conversation with a perfectionist

I'm a clear and definite Enneagram #1 (perfectionist) though I much prefer to go by improver. That has far more of a positive connotation than perfectionist...don't you think? The perfectionists do...I mean, us improvers do!

I've been fairly quiet here about personality types and how we're each wired, but it certainly comes up in conversations I'm a part of. If you're new to this or not sure what I'm even talking about, The Enneagram is a powerful tool for personal and collective transformation. Stemming from the Greek words ennea (nine) and grammos (a written symbol), the nine-pointed Enneagram symbol represents nine distinct strategies for relating to the self, others and the world. Each Enneagram type has a different pattern of thinking, feeling and acting that arises from a deeper inner motivation or worldview.

{taken from https://www.enneagramworldwide.com/the-enneagram/}

It has been helpful for me to learn that who I am is not for me to blame on my parents, my upbringing, my childhood, or my culture on how I live. Nor do all of these get all the credit! I have a unique personality and specific calling upon my life because of the love and grace of God and knowing who I am in my strengths and weaknesses, is helping me internalize how I can be the best, most honest, me I can be. I'm recognizing the level at which I expect too much from others, especially myself, and am having healthy self talks when I'm too critical and judgmental. This has certainly ramped up my prayer life and time of solitude and reflection at the start and end of the day. 

Basically, I'm learning to take much needed deep breaths and not feel guilty for it!

I invite you into this conversation I discovered between Jesus and a perfectionist.

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3 ways to keep growing where you live

hi there! while most of you are ready for the summer heat to be gone, me and my citizens are ready for our indian summer! bring on the 75-85 degrees! that’s a heat wave for us! and bring on the harvest in the wine country and the football on saturdays and the changing of the leaves and the pumpkin spice lattes! let me tell you…

i'm flossing and doing the orange justice over here in my living room because of you! (those are dance moves by the way) you all wowed me with how you set off to learn to love where you live this summer! thank you for downloading the summer series grid. for treating the person behind you to ice cream. for inviting your neighbors over for dinner. for literally walking across the bridge to explore a different part of your city. for making the most of your stay-cation. 

as we enter into a new season with the change of weather, the change of routine, the change of family dynamics, i want to show you how to keep growing in the midst of a new season right where you live. 

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visit a friend at work {a summer series}

how does visiting a friend at work help us love where we live? 

kathleen bakes cakes in her apartment. katie edits books downtown. stan cleans teeth. carla works with numbers for a global clothing company. chase makes your coffee choice as he saves for college. 

over small talk we learn what our friends do in our cities. we hear of their promotions, long hours, office drama, board meetings, how long they've been with the company, and how they landed the job in the first place. but what if we stopped by? what if we showed up in the very place where they are making a difference? what if we met their co-workers and they got to prove they have a life outside of work!? 

we can picture their living space and places we've dined together, but can we picture where they are most of the week?

the next time you schedule time together, meet where they work. invite them over to your headquarters. even if headquarters is home! 

perks of visiting a friend at work:

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