So Long Self Day Seven

Things I don’t know yet
When, exactly, I’m going to get to the beach
What, exactly, it’s going to take to motivate me to get back to the gym


What I’m learning
How valuable it is to work as a team and feel productive (Hi, Lindsay! Hi, Lori!)
How to relinquish control and let others rise to the occasion.

Things (people) I’m praying for 
Danny Buetow.
Bob and Jeanne.

Things that annoy me
A zit. I have a big, painful zit.
I wish I could get more sleep.

Things that scare me
Not much, right now.

Things that make me happy
Finally got my bangs out of my eyes.
Sydni Brawley’s voice. The girl can SING!

And thus ends the week-long experiment.

The message is written and rehearsed. Brian has spent a few hours editing, coaching and today listening and giving great feedback. I practiced speaking to the cameras today.

I’m fine. And this was incredibly productive.

So long….

So Long Self Day Six pt 2


Things I don’t know yet
Only the things I don’t need to know yet
Things I’m learning
How to be content with who I am and what I have
Things I’m praying for
Taping a message on Wednesday

My friends Bob and Jeanne
Things that are getting on my nerves
My own inability to relinquish control
Cancer. Cancer is stupid.
Things that scare me
God’s not given me a spirit of fear, has he?
Things that make me happy

Making an incredible mirepoix and ending up with a great meal for my family

So Long Self Day Six

From Seth Godin’s blog, emphasis mine:

Shipping is fraught with risk and danger.

Every time you raise your hand, send an email, launch a product or make a suggestion, you’re exposing yourself to criticism. Not just criticism, but the negative consequences that come with wasting money, annoying someone in power or making a fool of yourself.

It’s no wonder we’re afraid to ship.

It’s not clear you have much choice, though. A life spent curled in a ball, hiding in the corner might seem less risky, but in fact it’s certain to lead to ennui and eventually failure.

Since you’re going to ship anyway, then, the question is: why bother indulging your fear?

In a long distance race, everyone gets tired. The winner is the runner who figures out where to put the tired, figures out how to store it away until after the race is over. Sure, he’s tired. Everyone is. That’s not the point. The point is to run.

Same thing is true for shipping, I think. Everyone is afraid. Where do you put the fear?

The point is to run.

I’m running. Since Saturday, I am passing mile markers of watershed moments with blazing frequency. My second child graduates from high school, and it feels like a sucker punch. (I finally figured out that it was the chronological nature of Kid #1 and Kid #2 that made this second graduation harder than the first. They’ve always been “SarahandShannon”.  Sarah provided the first split last year; Shannon’s graduation completed the exodus. And I really felt it this year – personally. I felt my age, my future, the changing of the guard. I sort of felt old.)

So anyway: Saturday marked a momentous occasion. Sunday brought another. PCC baptized 34 people in Cartersville in the James River. My friend Lindsay was ready to take that step, and she asked me to do the honors.

It was incredible. I haven’t found words yet; to try to create a story out of the experience seems like it would devalue the moment.

I will say this: I was fully present in that place and time, with Lindsay standing in the water between me and her husband. The time came to say the words and they freely slipped out of my heart.

There’s something planted in me, this firmly rooted seed of faith, and at times I am stunned by the depth of the roots. Seems like it just happened, somehow…

The point is to run. Just do it. Go for it. Ship it. When I read Seth Godin’s post, it resonated. And I was thrilled to see something that connected so tightly to my current circumstances and my recent series of posts.

Here’s the story: This weekend, I’ll be delivering the message at PCC. I’ve spoken before, and although I’m more comfortable behind a piano, I’m okay with speaking the message. I feel confident in the content because of the process; Brian is heavily involved in editing and coaching. He’s good at that.

But this time it’s different. Because we are a mulit-site church, we prepare a DVD of each week’s message. We shoot it early in the week, edit and have it ready for Sunday at Westchester. That means that I have to stand in front of a camera on Wednesday afternoon and deliver this message. To an empty room.

It just plain freaks. me. out.

And you know why? Here’s the confessional part, the thing I’m really not proud of.

I’m all jacked up about this because of how I’ll look. My hair. My clothes. The ten pounds I wish I’d lost last week. Etc.

It’s all about me. And it makes me so nervous and uncomfortable. And I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it is RIDICULOUS.


It’s distracting, it’s wrong, it’s prideful. It’s human nature.

Last week I decided that I fight fire with fire and do a little proactive battle with my self-image. The daily photos have been the first shot – no taking six or seven poses until I “looked good”. No edits. Raw answers to the questions.

Not for any response, but to allow me to get comfortable with me. To feel the fear and do it anyway. To raise my hand and risk the criticism.


Just to run. 


Odd to do it on the internet, I suppose, but it’s been a very helpful process for me.


And there you have it.

So Long Self Day Five

Things I don’t know yet
What song we’ll be singing at Jackie’s dad’s graveside service
Why I ate ice cream AND four Oreos tonight
Things I’m learning
That it’s an incredibly moving honor to baptize somebody
That if it’s natural, it’s easy
Things I’m praying for
My family
That I’ll DO what my pastor SAID to do in church today when it comes to sacrifice and my kids
Things that are getting on my nerves
I. Feel. Fat.
My neck hurts
Things that scare me
That our days are numbered
That I am wasting more money than I should be, rather than giving it away to those who really need it
Things that make me happy
Lots of time with my daughter Sydni
Being married

So Long Self Day Four

Things I don’t know yet
Exactly how tomorrow’s service will go; I missed rehearsal Wednesday night…
How to baptize somebody.
Things I’m learning
How to baptize somebody…
To see what’s there and quit worrying about what’s not.
Things I’m praying for
Shannon’s future
My friend Jackie and her family
Things that are getting on my nerves
My hair
The pain in my neck (literally)
Things that scare me
What I can’t control
Not fitting into my clothes
Things that make me happy
Memories of an awesome party for Shannon with a lot of my favorite people together in one place
An extended family that gets along and lives out grace as best they can, to honor God
Relaxing with the family by watching “The A-Team”, which I never thought I’d like, and laughing my head off

So Long Self Day Two

So long self, day two.

I cooked a great dinner tonight; just threw it together and something amazing happened.

Made a new friend tonight, due to miscommunication. She was there for a meeting that didn’t happen, so she came to my meeting instead. And something amazing happened.

Via Ben Arment, just discovered some guy named Josh Garrels. No words yet, except that it’s been a while since music felt this fresh. I hear some Peter Gabriel and some sort of demented David Crowder-ish stuff happening. And a funky Duffy-esque accent. Like disco shuffle meats bleugrass indie. Love it. Something amazing happening there for sure.


Things I don’t know yet
What’s lies ahead for my friend Bob.

What time Tony will be home.
Things I’m learning
That 15 minutes of harmony can put huge smiles on the faces of some very special people.
I have to let go of Shannon.
Things I’m praying for
My friend Jackie and her family.
The next few days; busy, lots of extended family and an interesting mix of personalities.
Things that are getting on my nerves
My constant craving for food.
Not getting enough sleep.
Things that scare me
Letting go of both of my oldest girls and having to trust that they’ll be back.
Feeling so out of control when it comes to my friend’s illness.
Things that are making me happy
David Brawley, growing up.
Daniel Brawley, becoming a young man.
Sydni Brawley, blossoming into herself.

So Long Self Day One

If you’ll indulge me…I’m going to do a little experiment for the next week.

I’ll be making a daily post that’s about me. Of course, blogging is pretty much about the blogger, but, you know. This series of posts will be to the extreme of self-indulgence.
I tend to wear one of two hats when I blog here; either Church Leader Worship Person or Mom Of Awesome Kids.
But for the next seven days, I need to do an exercise of sorts, one that will require some navel gazing.
The good part is if you don’t like it, you can simply click on by.
Easy, right?
For the next seven days, I’m going to take a photo of myself with my Mac and post it here on this blog. I have my reasons, which will be revealed in a few days.
I’m also going to think through a few questions.
You can watch if you want to.
Things I don’t know yet
Where we’re going to live
When Tony will finish school
Things I’m learning
How to trust my friends
How to be a pastor
Things I’m praying for
Clarity on what to do about our housing situation
Healing for my friend Bob
Things that are getting on my nerves
The bad news that seems to come every single day
The BP oil spill
Things that scare me
Cancer
The impact of all that oil in the ocean
Things that are making me happy
Sleeping beside an amazing man every night
Watching my 18-year-old daughter enjoy the last few days before her high school graduation

By the way, this little exercise was inspired by a blog post found here.