Love Fast Broadcast Episode 4

Love Fast Broadcast: Mini Prayers with Ellie Boline

(LAURA): Hey guys! We are here for our fourth Love Fast Broadcast. I started this series thinking I needed to have makeup on, I needed to have lighting, and I have to look appropriate from the waist up.

Well, by the fourth round, you guys get more of me, so, true to form, I am wearing my year-round Christmas pajamas. No makeup, in glasses, no lighting, because this is me. Very low maintenance. And this just makes me comfortable for conversations, so I am so glad that you are here.

I am going to invite my girl Ellie, you guys are going to love her. Ellie is a friend of mine that I met at the book proposal bootcamp that I did. Hi! How are you? Can you hear me ok?

(ELLIE): Hi! Yes, I’m good. Can you hear me?

(LAURA): Yeah, you look beautiful!

(ELLIE): Thank you, miss you!

(LAURA): I miss our zooms.

(ELLIE): I know, it’s weird. We’re finally seeing each other virtually again because that’s the only way that we know each other, which is weird. I mean, clearly, we talk and what not, but not in the same room.

(LAURA): I know! I was just telling the people who are listening in that you are someone that I met at the book proposal bootcamp with Lysa TerKeurst and it was amazing.

We had this group of 12 amazing people, and we would zoom and discuss all of these ideas, and it was amazing. But something stuck out to me about you, Ellie, and it was your passion for being honest, first of all.

I loved how real and authentic you are. Now granted, I don’t know you in real life, but I feel like I do.

(ELLIE): Well, thank you.

(LAURA): Well, enough where it’s not just like, ‘Hey, I Instagram stalk you.’ But, ‘Hey, I’ve seen your heart and I’ve seen you walk through grief. Even in that ten week period that we were in.’

So I can’t wait to dive more into that because I know that a lot of people will relate and will be blessed by your strength. But here’s Ellie, yay!

(ELLIE): Thank you so much for saying that.

(LAURA): I will jump right in because I don’t want to tell your story for you, everyone kind of knows a little bit about you. So my first question for you, my friend, is your love story with God.

How it started, the progress of where God has you, and how it’s currently going? Just a little bit about your story. 

(ELLIE): Yeah, for sure. Well first off, thank you for having me. I would say, really, so much of my story, especially my relationship with Jesus, started because of my mom. Just the example of my mom.

Her name is Jane, and she actually became a believer because she was told she couldn’t have kids. So she calls me and my sister her miracle babies.

So when we were younger we really just saw the example of what it was like for her to not just believe that she was a Christian because of tradition, but instead to really find what a walk with the Lord is, and understand that it really is a relationship.

And so when I was little, I think she really just fostered that environment of prayer, of reading Bible stories, of worship music. My sister and I were talking about it not very long ago, she used to make her hands into a basket and tell us to put the things that we cared about, even as little kids, in a basket, so we could give them to God.

So we called them our basket prayers. It just really was that example that was constantly around. We were just, more than anything, exposed to what it was like to live a life walking with Jesus.

And she would be the first to admit that she was learning as she went, just as much as we were. So I think it was really just watching her and observing her. And I actually wrote about this in my book proposal, but I remember distinctly the day that I accepted Jesus into my heart.

I am a dancer and I was dancing around listening to a way old album of Mercy Me called “Almost There”, like way back there. I think that “I Can Only Imagine” comes from that album.

(LAURA): Oh, I am older than you by like a year at most, right? And I remember that coming out. I don’t remember if I was in middle school or high school, but it was like the song. Amazing!

(ELLIE): 100%. So we lived, at the time, in this really tiny apartment. We were renovating our house and we just always had worship music on and would dance. Like dance until we could barely breathe.

And I remember dancing all these songs and then falling down and laying down on the ground. And it’s a song that wasn’t really popular, at least to my knowledge, on that album.

But the lyrics say, “Teach me to think how you think. Show me the things that are true. Finish the work that you have started in me, because I am on my way to you.” And I remember laying down, out of breath after dancing so much, and taking that in.

I was in the third grade, and I really just remember thinking, ‘Yeah, that’s what I want. It’s not just some family tradition. It’s not something that I just see, but it’s something that I want.’

I remember running to my mom in her bedroom and telling her that I wanted to know Jesus like she knew Jesus. I wanted to understand what that’s really like. So we literally got on our knees at the end of her bed and just prayed that the Lord would be invited into my heart.

That I would know Him the way that she knew Him, because that was just my biggest thing, that I knew her life was different than mine was. So really, I got on my knees, and from that moment, accepted Christ. And I remember being so excited and wanted to call my dad.

It was just this joy thing, that I just knew my life was going to be different from that point forward. And so, like everyone, I think that salvation is that moment where you find the freedom, and then the sanctification takes a while, and there are a lot of things that you learn.

I think that becoming a believer so early was so great for me in so many ways. It certainly gave me freedom and understanding of who I really was, despite what friends at school, or social media at the time, would tell me.

But it also kind of made me feel a little different than a lot of people. But I think that I just watched the example of my mom, and her friends, and the way that they lived their lives. And it really just became not just an idea, but just absolutely my identity, if that makes sense.

I have really just been a believer since then. And I have had ups and downs for sure. I mean you know, Laura, more of my story. But my mom was diagnosed with a really rare and aggressive form of lung cancer, which was really out of the blue. She never smoked or anything like that.

That became another kind of cry of my heart, that I just believed the work that He started, He was going to finish. Ultimately she went home to be with Jesus, almost 2 years ago.

But I would say that she still is, absolutely, 100%, my greatest example of what it looks like to walk with Jesus.

(LAURA): I love that. And you’re right, that is something that you were vulnerable enough to share with our group.

You know how you’ve probably heard that it’s ok to be sad or to grieve, but hearing even your testimony, I just see the strength of Jesus through you. And it’s just a testimony of the process of grief.

Like there’s zero explanation of your, or anyone’s, ability to carry on, except because of Christ in them. And I just think, ‘How in the world could there be any other solution but that?’ So thank you for sharing that.

(ELLIE): Thank you, I agree. I mean it’s one of those things that scripture tells us, that we grieve, but we grieve with hope.

And definitely, for sure I will not be the one that says like, ‘I just know she’s with Jesus, so it’s fine.’ There are days when it’s absolutely not, like whatsoever, and I just want my mom.

But I think that example of like, ‘I know that she is in heaven with Jesus, and I know that one day I will be there too.’ And sometimes, that’s the only thing I can hold onto for a day.

That is the hope that we have as believers, that this is not home and this is not the end. 

(LAURA): That is amazing. It is so true and so hard for someone to even understand until you have walked through it.

And I trust that you sharing that is going to hit home with someone and they are going to say, ‘Wow, I needed to hear that.’ Because maybe someone feels very alone in the midst of their loss.

(ELLIE): Right. And I think that has been true, even of this last year, so many of our fears or our grief looks different. 2020 was a year where everyone lost a lot, where, as a world, we were grieving.

And I think that my heart has been so heavy because really, I can’t imagine what it’s like to feel that hopelessness without having some sort of faith in anything else. And to know that our faith is in a person, and work of Jesus, an event of him resurrecting from the cross.

You know, that’s the hope we can live for.

(LAURA): Absolutely. And it’s one you can’t explain until you know, and you have that feeling, and that real relationship.

I want to know how, Ellie, not just with your beautiful words to paper, because they are beautiful, I have read them, you have such a gift. But also how do you put love into action in real life, in the midst of you working full time, and balancing all of life’s responsibilities.

You know your stage of life, you are pulled probably, I know I was, in one thousand directions, as we all are, but how do you in the midst of that put love into action in a practical sense that could make it easy for someone else to say, ‘I can do that, I can love others like Jesus loves people.’

(ELLIE): Yeah absolutely. I think that is such a great question. I think we can get really distracted by what love looks like in the every day.

And I think of the example, honestly, that my mom set for me. And then it’s one I think we see in scripture too. It’s just really so fitting with your work, and your book, which is to live slow. I think loving slow is true too. I think, really, one of the greatest ways that we can love people, is to listen.

I think that’s a really simple, approachable, easy thing that you can do with anyone around you. It says in the famous Corinthians love verse, “Love is patient.” And I think that we would equate patience and unusually slow together. And there are a lot of times when Jesus was not in a hurry, He was not in a rush.

I mean even when he heard that his dear friend Lazarus was dying, or dead, He didn’t rush and jump off to the rescue. Which I probably would have wanted Him to, but He stayed. He wasn’t in a rush.

So I think one of the things that I saw so clearly with my mom, and one of the ways that I try to love people well is just to simply pause and listen. Because I think that so many people, just in the rush of the overload of information we’re constantly getting, or like you said, the rough schedules, everyone is busy with 18 different things on their to-do list.

And that’s just the high priority ones, there’s really 34 other things that they need to get to. But the more that you can sit with people and really have a conversation, to listen and understand what they really need.

And then beyond that, just to take that love into prayer. I think one of the things I learned the most, especially in walking with my mm in cancer, is prayer is an action, not a reaction.

I think that we are really quick to say, ‘I’ll be praying for you.’ But to actually take the action, even if its just 4 words, like, ‘I pray for Laura’s schedule.’ You know?

That’s something that matters, and that, honestly, is loving a person well. Because it’s an honor to take someone else’s name to the throne.

So I think that the more that we sit with people, and get a little bit slower as to what’s really grieving them, what’s really changing them, we learn a lot about each other. And I think that intentionality is how we would love people well. 

(LAURA): Girl! Yes! Just 4 little words, by saying someone’s name. Sometimes I think that when I say, “I’ll pray for that.”

I feel like the right thing to do is to sit with my journal and have a moment, light a candle, and be like, ‘Dear God, I pray for Ellie….’ And if I don’t pray lengthy enough, if it’s not intentional enough, like will God really hear it?

But every effort we make towards listening to a need and bringing it to God, even like while I’m walking out the front door, fussing at my kids to get their seatbelts on, I could have this thought come into my mind.

I don’t have to reserve it for a special time. I could give it to God in that moment. And that’s loving people. That’s so powerful.

(ELLIE): Absolutely. I think what kind of goes along with that, I was listening to a sermon once and they were saying that there are people on this Earth who may never ever be prayed for.

Because they just didn’t grow up in a home where that was a priority. So even sometimes when I see people on the street, instead of being distracted by my schedule, or thinking about what’s next, or what I’m running off to, or if there’s traffic, it might be seeing someone homeless on the side of the street and saying, ‘Lord, I don’t know his name, but Lord he is yours.

He is as much a child of God as I am. And even if he doesn’t know you, you know him intimately, and I just want you to be with him today.’

I don’t have a single idea about what his story is, or what he’s been through, but it may be the one and only time he’s going to be prayed for.

I mean, I don’t know that for sure, but I think, like you said, even those simple short moments make a huge difference.

(LAURA): I tend to overcomplicate it, and I’ll say, ‘Ok, I’ll put that on my list.’ I have a terrible memory, I think I have a problem. I have zero short-term memory.

At 8:55 I was like, “It’s almost 9:00 and I need to get my phone ready!!” And that’s why I’m wearing my Santa clause PJs right now. I mean it’s really bad. Obviously I have been texting you all day, I knew this was coming, but I was distracted.

So it’s a beautiful thing to instantly love fast in the sense of letting it be a natural reflex in your body to just lift up a prayer for someone. To listen to what they might need or to be aware of it.

What a practical, realistic way to put love into action! I love that. That’s so cool. I have learned so much from these broadcasts.

My friends are so smart. Ok, so I told you that the third question would be a little fun and it’s about your puppy.

(ELLIE): Oh my gosh.

(LAURA): I know, but I fell in love with you, one because, in general, you. But also when you told me that your dog was Instagram famous, I was like, ‘What does that mean?’ You know? I was like, ‘Her dog?’ But legit.

Can you quickly tell me the hashtag for your Golden Retriever’s name? It’s hilarious! Is it ok for me to ask you that?

(ELLIE): Yes! Absolutely. I could literally talk about her all day long, Laura, you don’t understand.

If you could see the texts or snapchat threads between me and my sister about her, you would think that she is a real person, which she kind of is. So her name is Little Miss Annie B.

She has so much personality, it’s unreal. She absolutely does not think she is a dog. Like we go on walks, and she does not care that there are other dogs approaching her, she goes straight to the humans.

I always say that she’s a people person because she’s not even a people pet, like she 100% believes in cuddling on the couch. If you were sitting next to her, she’ll start to fall asleep, so she has to wake herself up to be present.

She’s just a mess and a half. So I started her Instagram mainly because I thought she was so cute. I couldn’t handle it and other people needed this.

(LAURA): Yes, I need it. 

(ELLIE): Exactly. And it’s one of those things where she totally took off because she is that cute and she is that funny. But I think what people are searching for is joy. And you totally see that in her.

We actually had her for like one year before my mom passed. And she just came in a season of intense darkness, and grief, and loss. She just is everything. She is just so joyful, and sweet, and so much energy, and she’s really been such a gift.

It’s funny, we got her and they named her litter the ‘celebration litter’, so they wanted all the puppies to have a registered name that was more with the title ‘celebration’ versus their family name.

So we named her Resurrection Sunday because we just believed that she was going to bring hope and new life to our family in a time of hardship, so she’s really been that. She’s such a gift. 

(LAURA): That’s amazing. Little Miss Annie B. Ok, that is quite the name.

(ELLIE): It is, it really is.

(LAURA): Quickly, can you tell me the beauty behind that?

(ELLIE): Yeah, so our family took forever to decide on a name, and we actually decided over Christmas dinner.

We were just throwing out all these different names, and our last name is Boline, so we loved Annie B, it just sounded cute. And when we first picked her up, she was so tiny, definitely the runt of the litter, but that didn’t stop her personality.

So we kept calling her Little Miss Annie B. I think I just picked up the name, but the other thing is that there are so many dog accounts out there that you have to get a little creative.

But it really just stuck, she has a thousand nicknames since, but that’s really the one that sticks.

(LAURA): I love that, it’s adorable. It’s quite the name. You literally say that every time you call her? Or is it just B? Little miss? Annie? What does she hear?

(ELLIE): Oh my gosh, I can’t even tell you how many she hears. I say Annie B a lot, we’ll just call her that. Or Miss Annie, because she’s kind of a priss and funny, She’ll cross her paws sometimes. 

(LAURA): Like I’ll call my kids different things based on the mood that they are in. 

(ELLIE): Oh absolutely, 100%. Yeah, because she has so many other names. She can be super mischievous, we used to call her the Houdini, because she could get out of anything.

So we did a lot of nicknames with that, like “cutie Houdini” or “stinky Houdini.” Just so many things, you really just never know. 

(LAURA): Ok, don’t tell my children ever, I don’t think they can hear me or I would ruin their lives. And if there are children on this, get off.

Leland today, in the car, was like, “Mom, did you know that you can ask Santa for a pet?” I was like, “No you can’t! “

(ELLIE): It’s against the rules. My mom definitely thought that there was something truly wrong with my soul, because I asked for a puppy for so long and would like cry myself to sleep.

And she would come in my room to console me, and she’d be like, “I just need you to go to bed, count sheep,” and I’d be like, “I’m going to count Golden Retrievers.” So dramatic. 

(LAURA): There’s going to be a day and a time where I’m going to be like, “‘He sure does!’ But when he said that today, I almost hyperventilated.

(ELLIE): It’s ok to hold it off for a little bit, for sure.

(LAURA): I mean, I grew up with pets. Nick and I had pets. That’s a story for another day, but girl I laughed out loud when that happened. 

(ELLIE): But you get to make the rules. Maybe his policies will change in a few years. 

(LAURA): Exactly. I have so enjoyed our conversation, but I do want to be respectful of your time. I just love that we still have people listening, even though our conversation went longer than intended because it’s just so rich.

Full of what Jesus has done in your life, why He’s real, and how we can love others. Quick prayers, listening to others, and being intentional. I love how you explain prayer as an action and not a reaction.

Think ahead of time, have the intimacy with God ahead of a trauma, ahead of the dire need, because He’s always there.

(ELLIE): Exactly. I’m so guilty of it, even now, like, ‘Oh my gosh, Ill pray for you!’ Yeah, I’ll pray for you, but it is one thing, too, that when we are so intentional, even in that moment, even with just a few words, barely even a sentence.

It also comes back in our memory more because we have already taken the action of praying so it doesn’t fall on that to-do list, instead it becomes an action. I’m going to pray right now and then it comes back.

(LAURA): Yeah, I do that too. I actually have to have this reminder to keep the conversation open, like to keep the back and forth open to God. What do you want me to do right now? What do you want me to do with this thing?

I have this back and forth conversation with Him, like, “The kids are crying.” “Chill.” “I really don’t want to do the laundry.” And He’s like, “But Laura…” It’s really minute, and it seems meticulous as a homeschool mom to ask God every 5 minutes ‘What was I doing? What should I be doing?’

Because I need Him to manage my time and energy that tediously, because I only have so much of it, and I really want to be wise. So keeping the constant conversation is a wonderful piece of advice, thank you for that.

You guys, go follow Ellie if you don’t already. Go follow her dog. You will love what she is sharing. She is so fun. And I would love to have happy hour and watch a sunset one day

(ELLIE): I mean we are both in Florida, so we just have to pick a time and a place and make it happen. 

(LAURA): Yeah! I don’t want to keep you any longer. You are awesome and I love you to pieces! Thank you guys, bye!

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