(Why you need your very own YES Day)

Hello, dear friend.

How are you doing today?

A bit of news before I share today’s story with you: due to some scheduling issues, Fortress Press has opted to delay Hiding in the Pews by two weeks, from July 6th to July 20th.

Honestly, I’m a bit relieved. I was NOT looking forward to launching a book on the cusp of the 4th of July weekend.

But I did want to let you know, if you’ve pre-ordered, it’s going to arrive a couple of weeks later than originally planned. Thanks so much for understanding!

(And if you haven’t pre-ordered, you can snag the Kindle version here and the paperback book here.

The Kindle version is currently $5 off the retail price!)

So, about that story…

You Can Go Your Own Way

This weekend, my best friend (Lindsey affectionately calls Mandie my “girl buddy”) and I took our two daughters to the fair and the movies as part of my Caroline’s “YES Day!”

(Have you read the book or seen the movie? They’re magical!)

Taking a third grader and a first grader to the fair? On a YES Day? #amazing

You want to take your best friend and her mom? YES!

Oh, you want some lemonade? YES!

To paint your face like The Joker, while wearing Matilda Jane? YES!

Sticky cotton candy? YES!

Chicken nuggets and a frosty? YES!

Raya and the Last Dragon at the movies? YES!

Conquering a couple of fears? YES! YES! YES!

A day filled with laughter, haunted houses, Tilt-A-Whirls, and people watching? YES, PLEASE!

(Side note: If you’ve never seen someone actively conquer their fears, it’s pretty amazing. And it wasn’t just the little girls. My bestie Mandie had never been on a Ferris wheel. And she ended up riding it twice. Pure joy!)

Which leads me to my point: What do YOU want?

On a coaching call this week, one of my clients (who is becoming a dear friend), confessed that she was having a really tough morning. I responded to her MarcoPolo call and challenged this dear friend to get out a sheet of paper and write, “What I need today,” across the top of the paper. Then I dared her to call me back and share.

In her reply, my client admitted feeling really guilty about the current struggle, because (in her words), “I don’t have the traumas some of these other people have! My life is really good! I honestly have everything I need!”

But then something shifted. I could see it on her face as she shared a revelation with me.

“What I realized I needed is to admit what I want. I needed to admit what I want, Steve.”

Well, isn’t that just the most selfish thing you’ve ever heard?

How dare this hard-working, single mother ever stop to CONSIDER what SHE wants in life?!

Take up your cross and follow Me, right?

But what if that isn’t the whole story?

  • What if you do actually have the FREEDOM to consider what YOU want?

  • What if you didn’t have to live your entire life only for the approval and pleasure of others?

  • What if you could seriously slow down and consider what YOU want from this one wild and precious life you’ve been given?

  • And what if you could do all that without hurting other people?

How freeing might that be?

Raya and the Last Dragon

Our final celebration of Cara’s YES Day was watching Raya and the Last Dragon, enjoying Slurpees, candy, and a really awesome movie. As my girl buddy says, “Raya is a badass Disney princess!”

What I loved about this movie was the theme I walked away with: Just trust and take the first step.

So, maybe you’ve found yourself in a rut over the past year of #pandemiclife.

Perhaps it’s your marriage.

Your job. Parenting.


You’ve been serving others.

Caring for the kids.

Looking after your spouse.

Working from home.

And somewhere in the process, you’ve lost yourself.

My advice?

It’s actually 3-fold:

  1. Get out a sheet of paper. On the front, write: WHAT I NEED TODAY.

  2. On the back, write: WHAT I WANT TODAY.

  3. Just trust, and take the first step.

Here’s what I know: if you always tell the truth about what you want, you’ll always get an honest result. And who could ask for anything more?

May Divine Love bless and keep you,

Make Their face shine down on you,

Be gracious to you,

And give you peace.



P.S. Could you use some help getting clear on what you want? Click here to download this free coaching exercise right now. It will open in Google Docs, and you can click “File” and “Make a Copy” to save it. If you’ll email your completed worksheet back to me, I’d love to send you some feedback!

What Do I Want?


To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, for the month of May, I’m offering ANYONE a free one-month trial of the Faith + Mental Health Book Club. If you’d like to join, we’ve just started reading Try Softer, by Aundi Kolber. Just reply to this email and I’ll get you all set up!


Join thousands of pastors and church leaders virtually on May 21-22, 2021 for Thrive & Cultivate Summit ‘21: A Mental Health Event for Church Leaders.  I can’t wait to speak at this online event alongside so many other amazing speakers. We will be sharing helpful advice about how to take steps to improve your mental health, and tips on how to better care for your community. My session will cover Mental Health for Church Leaders. Here’s the link to sign up for free. See you there! #ChurchMentalHealth