Redemption & Rescue {Coffe for Your Heart}

For the next few posts I’m looking at the thread of redemption found in some of my favorite musicals. First up is Annie and yes, I am in fact referring to the little red-headed orphan girl Anne Marie Fudge (you’d have to be a die-hard fan to know that is her full name) And let’s be clear right from the outset, as far as I’m concerned there is only one movie version worth talking about and it’s the 1982 version. The other movie versions, including the one coming out later this year, don’t hold a candle to the original one. I mean, hello Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan!! Enough said 🙂

annie_v2I first fell in love with Annie when I was 10 years old (yes I am that old but shoot I still look good 🙂 ). We put on the stage version for our 5th grade graduation show. The movie version had just come out and as a special treat they took us into the city so we could see the movie on the big screen. I was hooked from the opening scene and to this day, this movie instantly takes me to my happy place. I may or may not carry it around on my iPad for those days when I need immediate access to my happy place.

Annie has taught me a lot over the years. Here are just a few of the lessons to be gleaned from this amazing musical:

Dare to Dream

The opening scene of the movie shows Annie sitting on a windowsill high up in the orphanage dreaming about her parents who she believes will one day come for her. She didn’t know where they are or when they will come but she dreams of that day anyway.

But dreaming is tricky business. Getting a dream is the easy part; holding on to the belief that a dream will come true, now that’s the hard part. Dreams have a way of feeling tenuous and fragile at times. We try so desperately to hold onto them but there are days when it feels like our dreams are slipping through our fingers. Life throws some things our way and we feel as if giving up is the only option we have. But my encouragement to you today is don’t give up. Hold on to your dreams, even when it feels like it’s never going to happen because as Annie also reminds us the sun WILL come out tomorrow.

No Apologies

The thing I love most about little Ms. Annie is she never apologizes for who she is. Despite Ms. Hannigan’s relentless efforts to squash her spirit, she never let go of her enthusiasm for life. She took that enthusiasm with her when she went to stay with Mr. Warbucks and her infectious smile and wonderful spirit won over the staff. They loved her from the minute she walked in the door. It took Mr. Warbucks a little longer but he eventually got there too.

In life and in business, it’s easy for us to think we have to be like everyone else to be successful. In fact, our world seems dead set on getting us to buy into the idea that we have to look and act a certain way to be loved and approved. That’s a lie. I believe it is when we are our most honest selves that we shine the brightest and attract to us the people who are meant to be a part of our tribe. Just do you! Anyone who wants to change you, is not someone that needs to be in your world. You are wonderful just as you are.

Redemption & Rescue

It has taken me a long time to name why I love this movie so much. I recently figured out that it was the story of being rescued that won my heart all those years ago. I grew up without my father really being present in my life and the idea of this orphan being rescued by Daddy Warbucks made my heart long for something I didn’t even know how to name. As I have gotten older I have seen that it wasn’t just Warbucks that rescued Annie but she also rescued him. She rescued him from a life that was only about “money, power and capitalism”. She helped him learn to open his heart and love, which he had somehow forgotten how to do.

The thread of redemption and rescue is why this movie means so much to me. My own heart’s cry to be rescued and loved drew me to this movie when I was just a little girl and it has never let me go. I believe redemption is possible for all of us. No matter how bad your story might be, no matter how ugly parts of it might feel to you, your story can be redeemed. The idea that you have a story worth telling, a story that NEEDS telling is resonating so strongly in me right now. Don’t let anyone or anything diminish your voice or your story. Tell your story, be you and let your life shine and watch how the Father will take what feels nonredeemable and turn it into something beautiful. He’s not done with you yet!

 From my heart to yours,

Makeda Coffee-for-Your-Heart-150

This post is part of the Coffee for Your Heart link up with the lovely Holley Gerth, sharing a little bit of mid-week encouragement to help you get through the day.

 P.S: If you haven’t heard already. I’m starting a new adventure and I’d love for you to tag along for the ride. You can read more about it here and sign up for updates here.

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Finding Stories of Redemption in Unexpected Places

I watched Saving Mr. Banks this past weekend. Given my love of Mary Poppins, it is odd that I have not watched it before now. I had meant to see it in the theater when it was out but never got around to it. But being a believer in Divine timing I sense that I was not meant to see it until now.

I love Mary Poppins and in fact I am a lover of all things musical. This is not new news to those who know me but I have never been able to name what it is about musicals that draws my heart so strongly. Watching Saving Mr. Banks I think I’m beginning to understand the pull.

I have always loved how Mr. Banks turns around in the movie but seeing the connection with P.L Travers own father made this part of the story so much more powerful. My heart was deeply, and unexpectedly, touched seeing her desire to make him a better father than he might actually have been; to see him redeemed from the man who drank and failed to take care of his family into a man who makes his family a priority.

When I heard Tom Hanks, as Walt Disney, say that Mr. Banks would be redeemed in the story of Mary Poppins, I realized that there is a thread of redemption that runs through all the musicals that I love the most. Redemption of heart, of character, and of life story.

I am drawn to the idea of story because I recognize our inherent need for redemption. Redemption from the things in our past that have kept us tethered and unable to move forward. Redemption from the lies that label us as less than. Redemption from the stories that have played out generation after generation in our families but stories that we are so desperate to see play out differently in our own lives. Redemption! This is what draws me to my favorite musicals including Mary Poppins although I have only just been able to see that thread of redemption.

For the next few blog posts I’m going to share a few of my favorite musicals and pull out the story of redemption that is hidden in them. I will share other life lessons gleaned from their stories but without having to think too hard, I see the thread of redemption and I want to name it and pull it out.

Redemption is indeed my heart’s cry and I’m thankful that I serve a God who specializes in redemption. There are parts of my own story that need redeeming and as the echo of redemption has been showing up for me in unexpected ways this week, I feel hope rekindling in me. Hope that my story of redemption is being written and will continue to find expression in unexpected places.

You can click here, here and here to read the other stories in this series

Taking Risks

I’ve been a little AWOL from my blog recently. It hasn’t been intentional but it has been necessary. I’m in the middle of a major change in my life and my bandwidth has been a little lower than normal. In a few of my other posts I have alluded to the fact that I have been in transition and today I wanted to share some of the details. My OneWord for 2014 is Risk and boy am I about to take a really big risk.

OneWord365_RiskIn 2002 I moved to Charlotte, NC, where I currently live, to help plant a church. I had no idea what I was getting myself into but I had a very clear directive from God that moving here to help was exactly what I was supposed to do. The last twelve years of my life have been the craziest, most insane years of my life. Folks, let me tell you, church planting is not for the fainthearted. But God is good and through His faithfulness the church has grown from 4 people meeting weekly for prayer to a thriving church serving hundreds of people every week. During that time my role shifted from that of Church Administrator to serving as the Executive Pastor, a role I have been in for the last six years.

At the end of 2011, I started to sense that a change was coming for me. I didn’t know what that would look like but suddenly my life stopped making sense and I went through a long wrestling period with God to figure out what was going on. It has been a long journey filled with lots of praying and fasting but now after 12 years, I am stepping down from my staff position. As of June 1, I will be transitioning into my own coaching and consulting practice.

I have this passion to help people live the stories they were born to live. I believe there is a unique seed of Divine greatness inside each of us. I want to help people learn how to rise into their unique greatness. In my coaching practice, I hope to serve those who feel as if they are meant for more but can’t figure out what’s keeping them from stepping fully into that more. The consulting arm of my services will be for churches and possibly non-profits that need an outside voice to help establish the systems and leadership structure they need to fulfill their vision.

The common thread for me in all of my services is people owning their voices and their story. People, business owners and even church leaders are prone to looking at those who are successful around them and then trying to imitate what that person, business or church did hoping to duplicate someone else’s success. I want to challenge you to discover YOUR unique seed of greatness so you can rise fully into that and become the best version of YOU possible. This principle works for businesses and churches too.

My website is in the works and as soon as it is ready I will share it with you guys. In the meantime, if you would like to be among the first to hear how things are coming along, including when my website is live, I would love for you to subscribe to my mailing list. My goal is to provide once a week updates to my subscribers until I’m done and then I will send you unique content before it hits my site so you can always be in the know.

Click here if you’d like to sign up. Thanks for following along with my musings so far. Hope to see you on my new adventures too 🙂

Musings from Around the Web 05.09.14 Edition

05.09.14 weekly roundupI missed last week’s Musings and this week I’m posting a day earlier than normal although I’m thinking I may move these to Fridays anyway. It’s not a long list because it’s been a full on week for me but I found a few gems I wanted to share with you guys. Enjoy!

Letting go is hard to do, especially when we feel led to let go of something that has been a big part of our lives for a long time. Boy, do I know what this feels like as I’m in the middle of a major transition in my life. But this short video reminds us that sometimes we have to let go of the good in our lives to make room for something even better – When you really say goodbye to something, mentally, and it’s time to end that chapter and start a new one, so many amazing things can happen.

I was completely inspired reading the story of these six women who paid off over $440,000 in debt. I am doing a lot of work this year on my relationship with money and these stories stoked that fire even more – “Arianne Fisher, a single mother who paid off more than $40,500 in the past year and a half, went from feeling “completely defeated” to having “a beaming outlook on life.” she says. “I feel proud of my accomplishments and optimistic for the future.” “

This post by Danielle LaPorte is just plain brilliant. She offers a different perspective on how to handle anxiety. You know that crippling feeling that keeps you stuck and unable to move forward. Danielle offers up an idea that I think is potentially life changing for those feeling trapped by anxiety – “Anxiety doesn’t come bearing the solution. It’s just there to direct your attention to the problem.”

Finally, as has become my custom here on the Weekly Roundup I leave you with a video that I hope will inspire you. This one is from a couple seasons ago on Britains Got Talent (evidently I have a thing for the Brits 🙂 ).

I wept watching this video because I’m so sick of people being judged by what they look like without taking the time to get to know them (listen to Simon’s comment at the beginning). Simon and most of this audience dismissed this young man because he didn’t “look the part”. But then he sang and reminded them to never judge a book by it’s cover.

I don’t care who you are or what you look like, the world needs your gifts and your talents. No one is served by you playing small so DO NOT let anyone diminish your light. But most of all don’t YOU diminish your light because of someone else’s voice in your head. *stepping off my soap box now*

You’re Not Alone {Coffee for Your Heart}

I wasn’t sure if I was going to get a post up today because I am in the middle of an insanely busy time. But this song has been on repeat in my head and heart for the last few days. It’s not a new song but somehow I have only just found it. They lyrics are so powerful.

I want to share them with you as part of Holley Gerth’s weekly Coffee for Your Heart dose of encouragement. My prayer today is that if you are feeling alone and forgotten these words will remind you that you are never alone; there are always a second set of footprints walking with you.

Footprints In The Sand – Leona Lewis

You walked with me
Footprints in the sand
And helped me understand
Where I’m going

You walked with me
When I was all alone
With so much unknown
Along the way

I heard you say
I promise you
I’m always there
When your heart is filled with sorrow
And despair

[Chorus]
And I’ll carry you
When you need a friend
You’ll find my footprints in the sand

I see my life
Flash across the sky
So many times have I
Been so afraid
And just when I
Thought I lost my way
You gave me strength to carry on
Thats when I heard you say

I promise you
I’m always there
When your heart is filled with sorrow and despair

[Chorus]

When I’m weary
Well I know you’ll be there
And I can feel you
When you say

I promise you
I’m always there
When your heart is filled with sadness and despair

[Chorus]

[Choir]

When your heart is full of sadness and despair

[Chorus]

From my heart to yours,

Makeda  Holley-Gerth-Button-250x250

Five Minute Friday: Mess

5minutefridayI’m linking up for another Five Minute Friday post with the lovely Lisa-Jo Baker. Still not sure if I’m going to do this every week but I’m giving away a copy of Lisa-Jo’s book this week so I thought I would participate and help spread the word about her fabulous book.

Five Minute Friday is five minutes of unedited, unfiltered writing. This week the prompt is Mess. Ready, set, GO!

START

Several times this week I have broken down in tears. I am in the middle of major transition in my life (more of that in another post) and I have had all these emotions unexpectedly rise to the surface, almost out of the blue. I don’t do emotions well. I label them good and bad. Joy, happiness, peace, those are good emotions. Anger, pain, sorrow, these are bad emotions. I want only the good, I don’t have the time or the energy for the bad and I just assume not have to deal with them.

The problem, as Brene Brown points out, is you can’t selectively numb emotions. If you numb the bad, you numb the good. But the bad ones are so messy, so out of control and I like control. I don’t like messy (although if you saw my house today you wouldn’t believe that to be true). But I think I may need to learn to embrace the mess. Learn to be okay with the tears that come and sit with them to hear the lessons they want to share. Learn to embrace the sorrow and see in it a gateway to true joy.

Tears are messy, especially for me since I don’t let myself cry often enough so when I do cry, it’s often the messy snot-inducing kind of crying. But I think maybe I need to give myself permission to feel the ache I’ve been numbing because maybe the ache is a clue to my heart’s true longing. Maybe the ache is an invitation to come discover what I truly want or, more accurately, what I truly need.

So today, I think I’m going to risk embracing the mess. I think I’m going to let it be okay that I don’t have it all together and that life is messy because from what I understand, if I’m willing to look for it, I just might find the beauty in the mess.

STOP

SurprisedbyMotherhood

One of the most wonderfully messy joys in the world is being a Mom. Few things disarm you like the overwhelming emotions that come along with being a Mom. In honor of Mother’s Day I’m giving away a copy of Lisa-Jo’s book Surprised by Motherhood. To enter just share in the comments one of the biggest surprises you discovered when you took a risk and trusted your heart. You can post either below or in the comments of the contest post. Contest stays open until Monday at 11:59 EST.

Congratulations Carol Craft! You won a copy of Lisa’s book Surprised by Motherhood. Check your email for details.