The Morning After

(Photo cred gillianleigh on flickr)

Today is Election Day. In the morning who knows what the landscape will look like. My hope is that no matter who wins, those of us who call ourselves lovers of Jesus will help to reconcile our country.

A large group of Americans are not going to be happy at the end of the day; I daresay most of us aren’t too excited right now anyway. But one thing remains if you say you love Jesus:

He is still risen.

He still died for all of us–Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals–and he is still risen.That is a pretty solid foundation on which to place our trust, no matter how your team does today. The President does not rule over heaven and earth; he or she will have fairly limited power as kept in check by the separation of powers (i.e., three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial) that existed since some really wise guys drew up a little document called the Constitution. 

So–Jesus lovers unite. 

Let’s focus on what’s going right, what we can do to actually help on the Morning After. I spent a good six-and-a-half minutes coming up with a few suggestions, please feel free to add to these as you see fit:

1) Pray. Maybe you think I’m crazy but what if we Jesus lovers all prayed for our country? The Bible says the prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective. Instead of grumping about our lack of choices in this election, I have come to the conclusion that prayer will get me farther down the road than griping, sniping, put-downs or commentary.

2) Invite someone to dinner. Is there a single mama or military family or college student that you can bless? One dinner can take the burden off those who are struggling for just a moment and make them feel human again. 

3) Invite someone to church. Sometimes people just need an invitation–who can you invite?

4) Give something away: time, talents, money, encouragement, a smile, those kids’ clothes clogging up closets. It will help you remember what it feels like to be blessed as you bless others.

5) Serve others in some capacity. Give a ride, give advice, serve a meal, take someone shopping or refill their prescription.

6) Volunteer someplace. When you see a different batch of people than the ones you normally associate with, you often get a glimpse into new or different circumstances.**

**Warning: this might make you grateful for the life you’re living.

7) Reconcile with someone. With all the hate and anger and ugliness spewed forth this year, we could all use a little more reconciliation. Do you need forgiveness? Do you need to forgive? Throw away your bumper stickers and lawn placards (they’re outdated as of tomorrow anyway), and shake hands. Cross your neighbor’s lawn or your coworkers’ cubicle and mend fences.

If we actually want America to be amazing again we’re going to have to start doing a better job of loving our neighbors as ourselves. Jesus lovers, it’s up to us to lead the way.

No matter what tomorrow brings. 

No matter who is in the White House.

Tomorrow isn’t nearly as big of a deal if we actually believe what we say we do. God is still on the throne, which makes the Morning After only a Wednesday in November.💗❤️💗

©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2016. Connect with me at


Grownup Jesus

In the midst of the embarrassingly juvenile political atmosphere America has descended into, I have been looking around my world, trying to sink my teeth into something that makes sense to me.

Don’t worry, this isn’t a piece about politics. I’m just trying to anchor the beauty I have witnessed over the past couple of weeks into the strange and surreal November landscape we are collectively experiencing.

You know how if you love Jesus you’re supposed to be fishers of people? To actually tell others about God’s love? I’ve been on this extraordinary journey with my Jesus ever since the Treehouse three years ago. If you were to see me running around town with any of my four kids you would see smoke trailing behind me, not because I run fast, but because God has lit a fire under my booty to tell everyone I can about our story, how he miraculously saved us, and that he loves them. (Photo cred

This is some kind of Grownup Jesus thing I’ve got going on. Before 2013, before life fell apart, I was super comfortable to let people go on about their days without talking to them about God’s great love. Why?

Honest answer: I was lukewarm.

Lukewarm is no longer comfortable for me. Which brings me to my point about something beautiful. I have had the opportunity to share our story in several ways and places over the last couple of weeks and because God can use you when you’re open and vulnerable and airing your dirty laundry, I got to see a friend of mine that I’ve been praying for for over a year invite Jesus into her life.

I told the eight year old about this Grownup Jesus situation and he just couldn’t wrap his mind around it. How could a grownup not know Jesus? And then, in typical this-kid style, he told me that was the best thing he had heard all week.

I couldn’t agree more, buddy.

I got to teach my Tell Your Story class to a fantastic group of 14 and 15 year olds. If you want to truly be encouraged despite the state of the world right this minute, go hang out with these world changers. I promise, you will feel much better about the way things are going when you see what capable hands we will be leaving our country and world. 

Sharing my story at my ladies bible study–and don’t you know my knees were knocking a little?–made me realize that it’s quite a different thing to share your filthy moldy mildew-ish laundry with complete strangers than it is to air it all in front of family.

And to top it off, today I was in and among my people–other caregivers who are just trying to navigate caring for their loved ones while still trying to do life. Maybe I should say while trying to have a life. Hoping that this caregiving season of life won’t last forever. These brave souls deserve to be saluted during National Caregiver Month-they are sacrificing much now that their loved ones  who sacrificed for our country are back home.

All of this reminds me of the beauty in this Grownup Jesus caregiving blessed life. Vulnerability leads to blessing. Exposing your wounds to the Light means the healing can continue. 

I am humbled that God would use someone like me to do his work, someone so exquisitely human in my mess that I fear he may have made a mistake in calling me to this. That he uses my human flaws and weaknesses to point people back to him just makes me weep with gratitude. Not only did he miraculously save our family, but he is bringing something beautiful out of all the pain, trauma, and drama that our family has been through these last few years.

If you have a story–and I’m pretty sure you do-would you consider letting God use it? Your story might be the absolute difference in someone else’s story. If you are willing to let him take all that junk that you pretend isn’t even yours, he can do something glorious with it.(photo cred

Make a difference with your story, despite who you’re voting for or what your political affiliation is or who ends up winning this election. Seriously, someone just wake me up when it’s over–I can’t bear to look.

Give hope. 

Be vulnerable.

Tell your story.

©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2016. Connect with me at