Category Archives: Random Stuff

Bootleggin’ and grievin’.

boot leg

I didn’t even cry the day my doctor told me that I had a stress fracture in my fibula and that I would not be running in the OKC Memorial Marathon. I didn’t have a quivering chin when he gave me a sad face knowing I would have to pull out of the race just five days away. I had talked myself into an “it’s only a race” perspective.

The day of the race came and I hopped onto Instagram and saw a video from a friend. And it made me sad. Because this person was doing what I had trained for several days a week come rain, wind, cold, or strained muscles. He was crossing the finish line after running his half marathon.

And the next thing I knew, I was wiping tears off my cheeks. Not because someone had been diagnosed with cancer or because my child was hurt. No, I cried because I wanted to run for and remember those who couldn’t run. To accomplish a goal at age 43 that I never imagined I could. Nothing huge in the grand scheme of things, but still, a loss.

So I grieved.


Maybe you have the most amazing life, like me, and yet you still have those moments where you feel sadness over small things. It’s hard to accept this because we feel so petty complaining over losses in our lives that are small while others are writhing in pain from the loss of something so much bigger. But those little things do hurt us even if we tell ourselves they don’t.

So we should grieve, but not for long.

We shouldn’t grieve as those without hope. And we certainly should not stay in a never-ending pity party. No, we should recognize our small loss, grieve it and then tell God we trust Him to do what He promised: Use it for our good and His glory.


My running partner finished the race in record time. She sent videos to us on GroupMe. And when she crossed the finish line, she sent me a text that simply said “Done.”

And I rejoiced.

“My heart and my flesh may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

Do you find yourself getting over little losses easy or does it take a while? I’d love to hear your heart and see how you walk through small disappointments in life.


Ministry Monster

monsterPosted by Tiffany Cooper

Monsters! Children have dreams about them hiding in closets and the entertainment industry earns millions preying on society’s fears simply because we allow our minds to believe in the possibility of the creature in the closet. (I know this because my youngest often turns on his bedroom light in the middle of the night for fear of the unknown.) Unfortunately, if we’re not careful, we sometimes allow ministry to prey on us and a ministry monster is created. Instead of having a outlook of hope and faith, we let the challenges of ministry overwhelm us, leaving us with negatives feelings and fears.

Just like a child grows to realize monsters are created in their imagination, we too can defeat the creation of the ministry monster. Here are a few suggestions:

  • KNOW and ACCEPT that YOU can’t do it all. You are one person and you alone will not solve all the problems in your sphere of life. Do what you can, nothing more, and say to yourself, “I’ve done the best I could today.”
  • Set realistic boundaries. Life in the ministry is unique from many other schedules. STILL, I encourage you to create time to STOP and refuel yourself from all you give out each day. BE REALISTIC about your schedule, BE PROACTIVE about carving out time and BE COMMITTED to following through! Most importantly, seek the Lord for strength, wisdom, and rest.
  • Be honest and let go of things that are draining you in a negative way. Many times there is another solution to a need if we take the time to analyze and think about it. The solution may come immediately or through a process of transition. You may be investing a great deal in an area of ministry because there is a need, not because you feel passionate about it. I celebrate you for that! Stay faithful in your season while searching for a solution.
  • Keep your spouse and friends accountable and vice versa. My husband is super great at letting me know when he thinks I am doing too much. He notices when I’ve let too many things on my plate, when I feel overwhelmed and when I fail to give myself time to refuel. We keep one another in check in regards to the personal health.
  • Have fun! I like to think that monsters have a hard time surviving in an atmosphere of fun. The more you ENJOY LIFE the more you’ll ENJOY MINISTRY!!! And, the more your ENJOY MINISTRY the more you’ll enjoy LIFE!!!

We want to hear from you! What are other ways we can prevent the monster of ministry from creeping into our lives? Thoughts?

A little update …

Posted by Tiffany Cooper

… Leading and Loving It has been in full force this week! Why? We have been working on some amazing projects for women in ministry. We are so excited about what’s happening and can hardly wait to share it with all of you! It’s truly a privilege and honor to serve in ministry with you, our Leading and Loving It family. God is so awesome to connect our hearts and cross our paths. We love you!

My right turn …

Posted by Tiffany Cooper

… Until a month ago, I had always taken the same route to church. It never occurred to me that there might be a more efficient route. One day, unexpectedly, a staff member said, “You know there’s a faster way to go if you turn right instead of left?” What? No, I didn’t know that! In fact, I would never think to turn right because that points south and I need to go north. It goes against my instinct. You can probably guess what happened next. I decided to try the new route, I turned right and it was completely more efficient. I laugh to think of all the years I bypassed the better option without knowing it.

The same is true for all of us in life. We can get so used to doing something one way that we bypass a better option. For instance, I spent 10 years entering all my family’s expenses into a spreadsheet by hand. Then one day I finally threw away my spreadsheet system and starting using a recommended online system and my task became much easier. On another occasion I discovered how to search for an email without actually searching through all the emails. Yep, I was the technologically challenged individual who overlooked the simple search box for years. Now type in a name and all the related emails pop up on my screen, genius.

In the same way, it’s easy for ministries to overlook newer solutions and tools because they’re so focused on what they’re already doing. This involves both complex and simple matters. My recent example from the simple side: I enjoy hosting events for the staff wives and female staff of People’s Church. It’s always a challenge to find a time that’s good for everyone. I originally planned evening events but felt like I needed a better way to connect the ladies. After receiving encouragement from Carmen Meeks, I now host lunches for the staff ladies and wives at the church and it’s been fantastic. The combination of daytime and evening events is a perfect combo to connect the ladies. I just had to rethink my original plan.

A few suggestions:

  • Talk to someone who does things completely different from you. They may have insight that would be beneficial to your life.
  • Isolate an area of your life and think about it from every angle. Flip it upside down and out of your normal zone. You may discover a helpful change to implement.
  • Answer the questions: Why did I start doing a task this way? Did I come to my own conclusion or did somebody tell me to do it that way? What do I know now that I didn’t know then?
  • Be flexible to try something new and then be flexible if it doesn’t work.

After examining your life, you may discover that everything is just as you want it to be. But, what if you could actually make areas of your life more efficient? Wouldn’t that be fantastic? I know that I smile every time I turn right instead of left on my way home from church!

Have you ever experienced a moment like mine when you realized you could do something in a more efficient way? An easier way?

Rewind & Replay

Posted by Tiffany Cooper

I really enjoy unexpected moments that occur in the middle of my usual routine. Last week, while taking my daughter to gymnastics, I reconnected with a friend from my teaching days. Stephanie and I taught at the same school and we both had a passion for God and his church.  I was married with no kids but I was head first into a brand new church plant. She was single and involved at a church in the city.  Now, almost 10 years later, we both have 4 kids and very full lives.

It’s easy for days to clump together as years collect one after the other without much thought. Seeing Stephanie caused me to rewind and replay what the Lord has done in my life. An overflowing abundance of moments I would live again and a few that I wouldn’t have chose to live the first time. As I stand today, I’m thankful for how every experience has shaped me.

Here are a few of my Rewind & Replay moments:

  • God chose me to be the mom to four of his awesome creations. They were born without complications and fill our home with fun, laughter and lots of love.
  • 1st year of People’s Church: I still remember how excited I felt each Sunday as we set up People’s Church in the AMC movie theatre. I was a sweaty mess by the time service started but my heart was full of expectation as I waited to see who would show up.
  • The crazy morning when my husband and I realized that doing an overnight “getaway” in our city without the kids was not the best idea. (This is a crazy ministry story!) Thankful we now know to “getaway” a little farther from home.
  • My first trip away from my babies was my first to Vegas to meet some of my newest friends for the first time! As I waited at baggage, Lori and Brandi walked up to greet me. It was a surreal moment…I remember standing there almost in shock at what was happening.

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Have you taken a few minutes to rewind and replay the moments that God has provided in your life? I think today is a perfect day for reflection and a great day to share with your Leading and Loving It friends!!! So, go for it, share one rewind moment with all of us!