Faker, Table for 1.

I’ve been pretty quiet as of late. Not if you’ve been inside my house, because there, I’ve been pretty loud. Perhaps too loud. But in the publishing my thoughts for public consumption, I’ve been quiet. Vulnerability does that to me. I like to have things in a row…my ducks, my sweaters, and my spices. And when I don’t, I’m not fan of showing it. I especially like my faith to look like it’s in a row.

Cue the timely Bob Goff tweet:

Well. Doesn’t that just make sense.

The truth is, I’ve been faking it.

Faking like I have everything in a row. Shocker, I don’t. But putting that out there feels a little scary and a lot risky. But it’s honest and it’s mine. If I learned anything while on staff at a church, it’s that each of us is on a faith journey and none of them look the same. And this morning, I did have an epiphany about why I feel so, well…stripped.

Before I tell you about my “dream,” let me explain that I am fiercely independent. Because of this, I have always wanted to make sure that I could “take care of myself.” Taking care of myself meant that I could fix my car when it broke down. My dad owned an auto body shop (shout out to Jim’s Fender Rebender fans) during my younger years. I grew up smelling paint and playing with windshield adhesives. My dad didn’t necessarily teach me the business, but I learned a lot by watching him and his employees. Maybe I’ll even tell you all about Mookie sometime.

But today, I needed to give you a little background on me and cars. My dad didn’t understand my determination (he calls it stubbornness. potate-o, potah-to) to fix things, but always encouraged me to “settle down” and “we’ll figure it out.” He also handed out nuggets of wisdom on everything from checking your oil each time you fill up to how to whip a shitty on a frozen lake. He also taught me how to change my tires and remove the lug nuts.

That lug nut thing, it’s important for this story to make sense. Because if you try to take off a lug nut that is over tightened, with too much force, you can strip the lug nut. So here’s a picture of what I’m talking about:


I had a semi-lucid dream/talk with myself this morning. It was kind of outta body and kind of inna body experience. It was strange.

There I was, looking at my car and my tire; telling myself that I, have a stripped lug nut. I was telling myself that my life was just like that stripped lug nut. I had tightened my life and my career so tight, that when I needed to change the tire, I ended up with a stripped lug nut.

My faith was like a lug nut screwed on too tight. I had been trying to shut out any doubt and know all of the answers, that when it came time to leave my job, it was actually so entwined with my faith and who I was and keeping it all together, that in the process of leaving, I pushed too hard to keep it all together and I stripped the nut.

In the “dream,” I cussed at the tire, the lug nut and the stripped bolt. Tossed the tire iron across the yard, sat down defeated, and wept. And then, when I was done throwing my tantrum, I got up and called my dad. He knew exactly how to get that lug nut off.

I think what I needed to see and understand from this “dream” was that I know how to do this, but sometimes I need to ask for help. Which means not being a faker, inviting someone to join me at my table. I’ve been trying to hear God and figure out where my next steps are, but I haven’t actually asked him for help yet. I need Him at my table. So, that’s what I’m going to go do now. And then I’m gonna call my Dad and thank him for all those lessons in changing my own tires.


Being Brave and Saying Yes

There are a lot of words that you could use to describe me, and I’m sure if you asked my family and friends they’d give you a laundry list of descriptors, among them surely would include things like “sassy” and “funny.” I doubt, though, that “brave” would make the top 10.  I don’t think I’m what you would think of as “traditionally brave.”

I think the bravest thing I’ve ever done is say “yes” to Jesus.  Saying yes to a life that might look different that anything I would have expected. Saying yes to the messy of the world. Saying yes to deeply rooted relationships. Saying yes to be part of something so much bigger than me. It has changed in me in ways I’m still discovering.

Everyone’s brave is different, but no less important. Some yeses have led people across the world to serve people who speak a completely different language. Others, have made space in their home and heart through adoption. Still others reach out in their community, building deep relationships with the people down the block.

I’ve realized that bravery is: being open and willing to let your life be changed through God.  Saying yes to what’s God’s asking. Saying yes to love people when it’s hard, when it’s messy and when it’s inconvenient.

This weekend at Crossroads Woodbury and Cottage Grove we have over 30 Non-profits and organization who will be in the auditorium willing to help you say your next yes. Come and meet the people and places that are making positive differences in lives both locally and across the world. Come and ask questions, get inspired and be brave enough to say “YES” to something.  Don’t forget to grab a Missions Catalog as well, for even more opportunities to serve.

Crossroads is excited to have these organizations with us this weekend. We believe in the work their doing, we love how they are saying yeses in hard places and we are all invited along on their adventures.

I can’t wait to hear about all the ways you’ve said yes to being brave and how it’s changed you and the world for the better.

Excited to blaze these trails with you!


Nicole Case
Web Administrator