The Value of Mentorship

Mentorship has been a key thing to me. I receive mentorship from parents, pastors (Erwin McManus being a main), authors (Beth Kempton, Robert Greene), business people (Ed Mylett and Grant Cardone), podcasters (the Bossticks from TSC Podcast) and instructors (Anna Bey and Elena Cardone). I adore wise people who share, write and create courses for the rest of us to learn.

Growth is difficult. It is everything but comfortable. Growing is like doing a cold plunge. In the words of Michael Bosstick, when the cold water starts moving, “it makes you find Jesus in a different way.” Discomfort either stops us or creates resilience.

Some words I heard from some women this week were:

My career has been built on all the ways I failed but refused to be denied.” Beth Kephart

Elena Cardone, quoting someone else: “You can’t take down a woman who uses the worst things that ever happened to her as fuel for her greatest victories. A woman like that is unstoppable.”

It can be easy to look at people who are accomplished and feel behind and wonder why one doesn’t have the emotional discipline and ability to deal with things as they do. But so much of our emotional discipline and such comes from years of life. It comes out of the discomfort moments and resilience built.

I was curious about one of my mentor’s ages, and when I searched it, I realized she was about 20 years older than me. A whole life, marriage and world apart. She often shares the mistakes she made when she was about my age. Seeing that gap reminded me of how blessed I am to be able to learn from the experiences of others. We all have our arc.

Mentorship is a gift. It is something I feel privileged to have and encourage others to seek. I am in no way perfect, but in my valleys– when I am down (and I have been a lot recently)– mentors have offered wise counsel that uplifted me. We must cling to our purpose, as Cardone says. Even in your darkest times, it is what helps you push through.

It helps to see the people who have kept pushing through rain and storm. Like the refinement of gold in Scripture, out of the fire comes out something pure and incredibly valuable. Grateful for the people I get to learn from in the fire– for the time they invest on calls, videos, and pages. That is currently my gold.

Seen on the Train

I am on the train today. It is actually moving. Yesterday morning was a whole different story. I literally had to walk through a train tunnel and climb out and find a way to get to court. Today, the train is moving.

There is a man taking up almost the whole bench, and he is sleeping. He has his sneakers off on front of him, and he is curled up on the bench. Most people are avoiding him and this side of the train car. I sit across from him. As my eyes dance around the train while I listen to a podcast about gut mucus, the doors open and a man with a ponytail walks up to the sleeping man and sticks a bundle of money in his curled hand, and he walks out.

I was moved by this. This man gave to someone who didn’t even ask. He wasn’t even awake. The man on the bench will wake up later and wonder how the wad of money ended up in his hand. This man defined what it is like to be seen. The man with the ponytail was the see-er. He saw him. He didn’t avoid him. He came close. And that was beautiful.

I think God sees us and comes close in the same way. We are seen. And hopefully, we can be like that ponytail man and see others, too.


A bit later, before I hopped off, the man woke up slightly. His hand tightened, and he then felt the wad of cash. He rubbed his eyes and looked. His expression changed. He clutched the money tightly and held it to his heart as he drifted back asleep.

The Choice of Rest

Jane Austen wrote in Persuasion (my favorite book of hers) that “None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.”

The truth is, while this may be true for some, some of us are desperately seeking calm waters because it feels like we have been in that boat the disciples find themselves in, in the middle of the storm, for far too long. Some of us wonder— do I get a shot at calm waters— like, ever?

I have shared before that rest is a true challenge for me. I don’t do it well. I rest during the hours of Sabbath, and even that has been reduced to hours because I have found myself working into the early hours of the morning after Saturday sundown in the most unsustainable way. I am still sort of like the little me who found the rest hours of Sabbath boring and wanted her parents to wake up from nap to play or something. That is still me, deep down inside. I can’t just be still. I want to be onto the next thing.

This week, I think I heard Edie Wadsworth in a YouTube presentation say what I have also heard my etiquette instructor repeat a lot, which is that how we spend our time marks our priorities. I know that deep inside. That is why I like to plan things. It marks priorities. That said though, when I get sucked into things I can’t shake off that affect my only hours with my partner, this reflects poorly on boundaries and priorities.

This week, I have been reading Brady Boyd’s writings on being Addicted to Busy, in devotional form. He touches a lot on Jesus’ rhythmic way of resting. God didn’t just rest on Sabbath. He often retreated. You notice that depicted accurately a lot in The Chosen. Suddenly, the focus is on the disciples because Jesus has disappeared to some place, and they await His return and rallying of the troops.

I have been chewing on this a lot lately. Jesus, God of the universe in the flesh, retreated and found rest and recharging to be worth His time and necessary. He left people waiting to be healed in encampments and disciples freaking out and bickering because He understood something about us that we still have not grasped. He wasn’t just leaving. He was showing us something.

Boyd writes, “What has always been most notable about Jesus’ voluntary withdrawals is not that He rested but when He chose to rest. He withdrew to rest when people still needed Him and also when His ego would have been tempted to stay.”

He who could perform miracles and quite literally fix everything and anything didn’t have an ego or lack of boundaries where that meant He was forced to stay uninterrupted helping people. I think when you have a job of helping people, you feel that incredible pressure to always keep going, striving and doing. It’s for the people, after all. Rest seems somehow wrong— until you are pissed, resentful, and physically depleted. And then, when you arrive to that point, you realize you have made a terrible mistake.

In Toward Rest, by Alabaster, I found these thoughts:

“We can’t say yes to everything. We can’t go everywhere and see everyone. We can’t have it all. We aren’t indispensable. We are beings who need rest. And that is not a bad thing. It is a Godlike thing.” Adele Ahlberg Calhoun

“Rest is at the heart of being with God.”

God models rest as a choice. God does not solely rest from tiredness or necessity, but because it is simply worth it.” The fact that it is a choice forces us to take ownership and not just be victims of people, systems or life. It points to control we have to focus and prioritize.

“We are citizens of another kingdom— a kingdom not ruled by the clock and the tyranny of the urgent.” Adele Ahlberg Calhoun

“In rest, we acknowledge that God works when we do not.”

“Relearning to rest is relearning dependence.”

There is a lot to process here.

⁃ We are not indispensable;

⁃ We are not God— but the best way to be Godlike is to rest not to work yourself to death;

⁃ We were created for rest;

⁃ Rest is a choice we must be intentional about;

⁃ Urgency is no way to live; and

⁃ We are supposed to live in dependence to God.

Dependence is another thing I struggle with. I often loath the level of dependence this city forces me to have on people, broken systems and others’ chaos. If there is any place where you can get sucked into someone else’s chaos not wanting it— it is NYC. Stabbings and mental illness stall trains, block off streets and shatter your own movement and time ALL THE TIME. It drives me nuts.

But that aside, while dependence often means chaos and being stuck, the truth is we must distinguish it because with God it means rest and true freedom from the tyranny of the world and its systems.

I haven’t cracked the code or any damn thing. So don’t take this as some message from some high horse. Because there is no horse. I lost the horse, ok?

This is just me acknowledging that I have totally screwed up, and I desperately need rest. I have been trying to wear clothes that are too big for me, and I look and feel tired and ridiculous.

I am telling you this in case it strikes a chord with you, having just made the decision that I am not working this weekend (or other weekends to pick up the slack for others). I have plenty I could do that others are demanding or neglecting, but I just decided this doesn’t reflect the values I want to have and the life I want to live. It is draining me of the joy I should have now. I also know and crave that I want time in nature and beauty. True nature and beauty. My body physically craves quiet green spaces. I am drained by the gritty gum spotted sidewalks and the one park that exists next to the highway and under one of the largest suspension bridges in America where you can barely hear yourself think. (Though I do love the squirrels there). Every park in my neighborhood is loud by the water and highway. It is wild. There is no quiet space.

This city, whether it’s nature or work— whatever it offers, it is the very opposite of what our minds need. It leaves me personally on edge (and others too. Why do you think people fight all the time and yell at each other— strangers yell at each other all the time!). And I will have to find a way around that while I remain here to stay sane. Serious adjustments are coming. I still am not sure what that will look like. That is ok. I guess the first step is discovering that whatever I am doing isn’t working. Additionally, once a person lets go of the myth that you have to get something done because you are the only one who will do it (even if it is true you are the only one who will) — once you realize you can calm down because no one made you Jesus, then you have space to work with.

I need the space. I desire the calm waters. Maybe another mistake was thinking the calm waters would just come magically in a manic world that rages to the brim with problems and dynamics. Jane Austen was idealistic in an unhealthy way, let’s not forget. Maybe some people are born for calm waters and others aren’t. From what I can tell, life is like NYC, where everyone’s chaos gets thrown your way, and yet, God models that we have a choice. Time to steer this little boat out of the many storms that rock it. Or at least sit and tell Jesus to take the wheel, so to speak.

Or maybe, the storms remain and Jesus wants us out of the boat completely. Right? Maybe the boat is all the stuff we pretend keeps us safe and moving. Like if a train won’t move from the station, you get out and walk. Hell, Simon Peter was overwhelmed and testy— not too far from how I have felt in recent time. And what did he do? He stepped out of the boat. He showed us faith can have us ride out the storm on foot. He showed us that, as I read this week, “proximity to Jesus” is the only thing that keeps us from drowning no matter how wild and out of control everything else remains. Because He is love. And He is the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

I am figuring things out like the next person. So yeah, maybe the storms do remain and no one knows what the hell Jane Austen was talking about— but maybe the purpose of the stormy waters is to keep our eyes on Him. To keep us clinging to Him, because Rest is “at the heart of being with God.” Because there is one thing I do know about life: it is one hell of a ride where hearts break and bones shatter, as they say. And the other thing I am sure of is that this ain’t it. There is so much more beyond this, and our hearts should remain anchored in that. He is all. He is enough. He is still the God who fights while Israel sleeps.

Keep Back Nothing

“Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him. Does that sound strange? The same principle holds, you know, for more everyday matters. Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.

The principle runs through all life from top to bottom, Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.” C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


I was mesmerized by this passage I read by Edie Wadsworth today. I wanted to share it with you. It stirred my heart.

“Above all, this is a story of my homecoming; the demons that are always holding me back and the legions of angels that keep me safe along the way; the way everything was always falling apart and the beautiful ways God has been piecing it back together; the dark and lonely parts and the parts where God dazzled me with His light shining deep into my heart; the way I was always trying to hide and the way He never stopped finding me.” All the Pretty Things

The Wellness Goals

Photo by Diana Light on Unsplash

By: Gabriela Yareliz

I am back with my wellness goals list. I compiled this list from the Dr. Amen podcast with Melissa Wood Tepperberg (Move With Heart) and from the most recent solo episode from The Skinny Confidential Him/Her Podcast titled Solo Show – How To Transform Your Life By Making Small Changes With Massive Impact.

I do some of the things on the list, and some I don’t or I need to improve. Sharing the list in case you spot stuff you want to incorporate. I highly recommend listening to both episodes. This is just a cheat sheet.

The Habits

  • Start the day with gratitude, prayer and the Bible;
  • When ending the day, think about what went well;
  • Cook at home more (eat less hot food out of plastics);
  • Every morning get light, movement and hydration;
  • Cold showers (do hard things and reject comfort);
  • Don’t check phone 1-2 hours after waking or before going to bed;
  • Strength training;
  • Go on walks;

The Home

  • Change cleaning supplies and self-care products (including toothpaste) to non-toxic (suggested brand of Branch Basics, vetted by TSC Pod);
  • Set up air purifiers;
  • Change the look and feel of your home (make it peaceful and uncluttered);
  • Get rid of toxin candles;
  • No TV in the bedroom;
  • Have a corner where you can pray, reflect or think;
  • Wake up gradually without a cortisol-inducing alarm;

The Lifestyle

  • Turn off all phone notifications;
  • Don’t go to sleep/wake up with/near the phone;
  • Slow down to speed up;
  • Pay attention to cortisol and try to reduce the stressors;
  • Don’t drink alcohol;
  • Supplement;
  • Eat right (think about whether the stuff you love “loves you back”);
  • Have a prominent wellness drawer with your supplements;
  • Heal damage from high cortisol;
  • Go to bed at 9:30 and wake up early (get circadian rhythm working well).

Habits and lifestyle-building take time. It’s not about strict rules that cause stress but about healing and optimizing.

The thing that really resonated with me from the TSC Podcast was “slow down to speed up.” There is wisdom in that. I am taking notes.

Why is it so Hard to Relax?

By: Gabriela Yareliz

I need to be held accountable, so I am doing a full on confessional today. I am currently studying my habits and trying to fix them. I am gathering some of my favorite pieces of advice from books and podcasts and assembling them into an action plan. (I need to find a more relaxing way to plan to relax).

Last month was brutal on my health. I wasn’t ‘wellness me.’ I was stressed, exhausted, worried and running on empty. I barely had time to sleep much less take care of myself toward the end of the month. I skipped lunch about 85% of the month. It was horrible. And now, I am recalibrating.

They say March is the month of balance because the hours of darkness and light are almost the same. Neither is really longer than the other. I am going to take that message to heart.

I am wedding planning and getting things done in every spare minute. (There are few). This past week, thanks to many heavy files and boots with a heel, my lower back was killing me after many consecutive court days. I decided it was time for a massage. I was long overdue. Massages are like heaven to me.

I walked over there today, and the lady told me it would be a 15 minute wait. I didn’t mind. These women are magical. They are like mind readers when it comes to pressure points and pain. I started getting ready in the little room. I walked over to the restroom and pulled my hair back and walked back over to my room. My clumsy self hit the edge of my glasses frame against the door frame. I stumbled with that whiplash as I walked in. I started cleaning my coat pockets and checked my phone (for what I thought was) one last time.

The lady walked in and told me to just lie down and rest while she finished up. I smiled and nodded, signaling I understood her broken English, and she disappeared behind the curtain like a quick mouse.

I lay down on the massage table with the blanket draped over me. I stared at the ceiling. I saw my coat pocket light up. A text message. I stared at the ceiling and wondered why I was so antsy and couldn’t just unwind and forget about the world.

I sat up and leaned over toward my coat pocket. I laughed internally at the fact that I was trying to be as quiet as possible. I was sneaking around into my own coat pocket, ashamed at the fact that I couldn’t just pass out for a power nap. I guess the lady heard me because she flung the curtain open and looked at me like “tsk tsk.” She shut off the lamp and light in my room, and said, “SLEEP NOW.” She gave me a pillow and rolled me up in the blanket like a taquito. She disappeared, and I looked up at the ceiling like an ashamed puppy, hands bound at my side like a mummy thanks to the blanket. It was then that I decided to rest. I relaxed my feet, and then my legs, and then, the rest of my body.

When it was time for the massage, I was so tight I thought I was going to cry. She raked my muscles with zero compassion. I left like a new person. She berated me while I paid that I need to relax more.

I know she is right. Why is it so hard to relax? I type with my back feeling the delightful soreness of having been cracked open.

February 2023 Favorites


Chapter two of 2023 is coming to a close. This month was so busy. There were many deadlines and long days in court. It was also celebratory. It was my love’s birthday month. We ate yummy food. I was also extremely spoiled for Valentine’s Day. #spoiledrotten

Despite the sleepless nights while drafting until 2 a.m. and rare highly caffeinated mornings, I feel a very solid satisfaction with my personal life, even though there is still room for improvement with how I am handling my work hours.

They say it is going to snow tonight and into the morning. This will be our first snow. We’ll see. I am skeptical.

Wedding planning is coming along. This week, I hope to tick two more things off of my list. My dress has shipped, so I am excited about that. I am meeting with another potential officiant this week. Hoping he isn’t some rando. Some aspects of wedding planning have been more challenging than others. It hasn’t been what I expected. I wonder if it is more fun to plan a stranger’s wedding. You know, like J.Lo in The Wedding Planner. (I love that movie. It is her best).

Tenor gif

I sit here staring at some pink roses my fiance got me. They are so pretty. Flowers really do make the world a better place.

I started a Book Proposal Class this month and read some good books. One of my favorites was Surrounded by Idiots (it’s not what it sounds like). I also finally got around to reading some Robert Greene. I also learned most people in the professional sphere don’t know how to use a semicolon.

My current favorites include my wool Abercrombie trousers and the Gisou Honey Lip Oil. In my very little spare time, I find myself binging tea, the Battle Ready Podcast and daydreams. Some of those daydreams include flowers and spring. It’s coming. I can feel it in my bones. I went down more Zillow rabbit holes than I can count.

This month’s motto was:

This month’s top post was Inconvenient Edges. And below, you will find the other things that enthralled me.


People often say ‘life is meaningless.’ No it is not. That is wrong, because if it was meaningless and easy, you could just sit there and do nothing. If you do not have a lofty ambition, then you suffer miserably. Jordan B. Peterson

The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will make you an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass, God is waiting.” Warner Heisenberg

Do you see that evidence that God is for you?” Erwin McManus

At the present moment in world history, nearly every nation must choose between alternative ways of life. The choice is too often not a free one. One way of life is based upon the will of the majority and is distinguished by free institutions, free elections, freedom of speech and religion… The second way of life is based upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio, fixed elections and suppression of personal freedoms.” Pres. Truman, 1947

Nature does not hurry and yet everything is accomplished.” L. Tsu

A library is a hospital for the mind.” Anonymous

I would like to be judged on the validity of my arguments, not as a victim.” Ayaan Hirsi Ali

What our eyes linger on, our hearts will learn to love. What our hearts love, our eyes will linger on. When Christ becomes our hightest prize, He becomes our supreme focus.” Tony Reinke

Pain or love or danger makes you real again.” Jack Kerouac

Since this is an era when many people are concerned about ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice,’ what is your ‘fair share’ of what someone else has worked for?” Thomas Sowell

Pressure is a privilege. It means things are expected of you.” Bobby Bones


The Chosen Season Three Finale was WILD

People Who Intrigue Me

Iris Chang

When she died, she left a note that intrigued me, saying:

There are aspects of my experience in Louisville that I will never understand. Deep down I suspect that you may have more answers about this than I do. I can never shake my belief that I was being recruited, and later persecuted, by forces more powerful than I could have imagined. Whether it was the CIA or some other organization I will never know. As long as I am alive, these forces will never stop hounding me.

Days before I left for Louisville I had a deep foreboding about my safety. I sensed suddenly threats to my own life: an eerie feeling that I was being followed in the streets, the white van parked outside my house, damaged mail arriving at my P.O. Box. I believe my detention at Norton Hospital was the government’s attempt to discredit me.

Iris Chang

She is most famously known for her book The Rape of Nanking.

Dr. Daniel Amen

I loved his conversation with Melissa Wood Tepperberg. He talks about brain health in such an accessible way. One of my favorite things that he says is, “Sometimes, we love things that do not love us back.” We should adjust our behavior and love the things that help us thrive.

March awaits…


By: Gabriela Yareliz

I watched the season three finale of The Chosen, and it was stunning. I loved seeing how Jesus handled conflict, Simon’s real anger, the boy who gave up his lunch for the feeding of the thousands, and Jesus in the storm.

When the Roman Atticus sees Jesus’ silhouette in the middle of the storm, I was reminded of when King Nebuchadnezzar exclaims:

“Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They (his council) answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”

I walked away with three reminders from this season. Ones I struggle with because like Simon, I am sometimes distracted.

One is that whether we find ourselves in fire or rain, God is always with us in the chaos. And not only do we see Him, but people around us (like Atticus and the Babylonian king) also see Him standing there in the storm with us.

The other reminder was that invitation from Jesus that I know by heart, but so often forget and do not live by.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

I am not good at rest, and yet, this is a clear invitation from Jesus to all of us who find ourselves weary. Like with Simon in the storm, He asks us to focus on Him and not our circumstances. I struggle with this invitation. I am constantly striving, but He invites me to stop. Every Friday as Sabbath begins, when I close my computer, I am reminded of this passage. Sometimes, it frustrates me. I continue to seek His rest and peace.

The last thing that stood out to me was just how real everything becomes when watching it versus reading it. Yes, the tension between the disciples is real but also often their tension with Jesus is felt. More than that though, I sit and watch and wonder what it was like for, not just the disciples, but every person who witnessed Jesus and His miracles.

When you finish season three, you walk away knowing that this was such a remarkable time in history. A secular person might say that this was a mystical time in Israel. Many miraculous wonders were happening constantly and publicly. It was a time of awakening and dramatic healings and events that happened in quick succession.

Jesus speaks of power that He gives His followers. This idea that if we have faith and believe, He can work through us. The fact that we may feel life feels so ordinary is sort of a reminder to me that there is power untapped. Something is missing. Life could be wildly more dramatic and adventurous than we ever dreamed if we take Him at His word.

The miracles of the past are not locked up in some box to be kept there. As someone who has a pretty “religious” following on Instagram, I must say that Asbury’s revival is making waves at the moment. The news is everywhere, including on secular news channels. I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit is being poured out there over the students and those coming from near and far to see what is happening. God has always told us that when we seek Him, we will find Him.

But that is the thing, it isn’t just a past in Jerusalem thing or an Asbury thing– it can be a here and now thing. If we believe in Him, He dwells in us.

Walking away from this third season of The Chosen, I am reminded that He is still waiting to be encountered by many more. Our hearts are collectively hungry and weary. He sees us. He is by our side, even today. He doesn’t let go. And when we find Him, we are, just as the people in the past were, forever changed.

“Your ways, God, are holy.

What god is as great as our God?

You are the God who performs miracles;

you display your power among the peoples.

With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,

the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.”

Psalm 77:13-15

Inconvenient Edges

PSD Graphics Image

By: Gabriela Yareliz

We are only three days into the new month, but so much is racing through my mind. These are the mains that stand out (and yes, I am quoting T.I.). I absolutely loved Ed Mylett’s book on The Power of One More. (I am a big fan of his generally). These quotes struck a chord because of what I have been meditating on elsewhere.

Our unofficial class song was Live Your Life by T.I. So yeah, we were an ambitious bunch. If there is anything in me that I feel has not changed, it is that. I am always hungry. I am always ready for change and challenge. I don’t like being bored. I am always striving to maximize potential and carve out new systems. The motto is always how can we do/be better to help others do/be better. We live once, and what a shame to waste that one life.

I’m the opposite of moderate, immaculately polished with
The spirit of a hustler and the swagger of a college kid
Allergic to the counterfeit, impartial to the politics
Articulate, but still I’ll grab (one) by the collar quick

Life is full of levels. People are different. We reach points of satisfaction in different places. That is fine and normal. We are all so different. People I admire say that those who keep achieving and transforming reassess their lives constantly, not annually. I like to sit down weekly and take inventory. When I sit down, think and dream, I am constantly asking myself… what is next? And don’t get me wrong, I am always grateful. If tiny me or high school me (or even law school me) saw me now, she would be proud and grateful for God’s incredible blessings. But the lives I have found most interesting are those that have about 20 lives in them. These kinds of people carry an interesting worldview because they have seen and experienced so much. Full life and an ability to move past fear.

Something I have been reflecting on is what makes a life great? Jesus lays out some of those parameters for us. Faithfulness, love, and service. Beyond that, what is an indicator of greatness as we shape our decisions and choices?

Ed Mylett had some thoughts that resonated with me:

Convenience and greatness cannot co-exist. When you decide to do something great with your life, get ready. You’re going to be controversial. Controversy is inconvenient. Inconvenience ruffles feathers. […] When you live a life of convenience, you are at odds with living a life of greatness.

Convenience or ease will never be a part of a life of greatness. And apparently, equanimity is an ingredient for those chasing greatness.

“Equanimity is achieving serenity and mental calmness in a world filled with stressors,” Ed Mylett wrote. I was listening to Erwin McManus today, and he was talking about how reactivity is what the world is filled with, but calm in crisis is a superpower. It beats talent and elevates leadership.

Also, shameless plug for the Battle Ready conference conversation. It moved me so much. Aaron and Erwin always make me laugh and think. Erwin has a way of communicating that always clicks with my soul. We are on the same wave length or something. One of my favorite parts of his talk was the idea of what he is reclaiming in this time:

“I started Mosaic because I wanted to reclaim a space for people who didn’t fit. The church likes round edges. It doesn’t like sharp edges. The church likes people who are good people, nice people, compliant people, cooperative people, safe people. The church doesn’t like people that are edgy, questioning, different, and I am married to a very different person. She is very unique. I have never met the drummer that hits the drums at which she travels. You know when they say people march to the beat of a different drummer? I have never met that drummer. Kim is just out there in a whole different way, and she is going to want to touch the world in ways that I can’t even predict. I want a church who has room for someone like her.(…) I want to reclaim the edges.”

Erwin McManus

I am grateful to people like McManus who make space for those of us with edges. The ones who never fit in with the community at large, even the communities we were “supposed” to click with. Growing up, I felt that deeply, and I don’t know why, but I thought that was going to change when I turned into an adult. What a joke. Maybe that is why I feel something when I hear Erwin speak. He was the first speaker who made me feel like I belonged and was understood in the fullness of my life experience. And that, reminds me of Jesus because in Jesus, I have always felt belonging.

I am on a journey like the next person. Learning a lot with each passing day. I have a feeling it is the edges who are inconvenient and in their eccentric experiences and spaces, they hold storms and calm within them. They are one in the same. It is no surprise Erwin McManus and Ed Mylett are friends. I feel like they both communicated the same thing to me, this week.

I don’t know what 2023 has in store for us, but we keep moving, praying, seeking and paving.

In T.I.’s words:

“And I’m not goin’ away
So keep on gettin’ your paper, and keep on climbin’
Look in the mirror, and keep on shinin’

Until the game ends, ’til the clock stop
We gon’ post up on the top spot”

I am not stopping.