Friday, December 26, 2008

just friends

My good friend has had her heart hurt in a similar way to me and this writing is a continuation of her blog...

I had someone tell me in the past to lower my expectations in regards to dating, but what about friendship? It seems like there are varying degrees of friendship and I'm lost as to how to navigate my way through this. I thought dating was crazy, well friendship appears to be just as complicated. Actually it's when you're friends with the opposite sex that is the problem. Can you really "just be friends"? I hear all the time people say they would like that, I'd like that; I think that I have that to some degree....but then I come across situations that make me stop and remember when you get down to it we are still male and female and all that entails.

I hate being guarded. I hate having to not totally count on someone because they simply look at things differently than me. Why is it so hard to just say it like it is? If you don't want to hang out with me then why can't you just say no, I'm busy? If you like me for more than a friend and want to try dating then why can't you just say that? I can't stand vague and it seems vague is all I get lately.

I've been through to much to play games with anyone. I've worked my butt off to get to the place I am and I don't apologize to anyone for it. If you don't think you're good enough for me, well I'm not going to spend my breath convincing you that you are...the mere fact I want to be with you should tell you! And if I've actually lowered my wall enough for you to get in...*sigh* can't you see what that means?

I chase no one. I beg no one to be with me. And I certainly don't wait by the phone in hopes you'll call. I put myself out there for so long and then, if you don't do your part, I'm done. Period. Because I'm WORTH loving OUTLOUD.

So, I say why should I lower my expectations? Why not raise them and trust I will find someone that will rise to the level, hmmm maybe just maybe he'll even challenge me to raise to his!! No, I won't lower my expectations...if you want to be in my life and maintain my respect you'll be a true all that entails.

Friday, December 5, 2008

every other weekend

My kids all just left for the weekend to visit their Dad. Erica was playing when her dad got here and I could see the look on her face that she didn't really want to leave. She had just gotten home from school and already had to leave. I remember that look, that feeling.

My parents split up when I was just a baby so I don't know what it's like to not travel between homes. Every other weekend for eighteen years I traveled to my dad's house. I love my dad so very much and was always happy to see him, but I have to admit there were many times when I just wanted to stay home. The trip to my dad's house took just over an hour and on those long drives I'd have talks with myself, saying "I'll never ever make my kids experience this life". And tonight I said good bye to all three kids, going to two different homes because I've divorced twice.

In the big picture I've moved on from that, accepted it is what it is. But there are moments that creep in, moments like tonight that hit me and the little girl comes back out. The little girl in me was starring at me in the little girl of my youngest child tonight. As I bundled her up to go outside she looked up at me with a matter of fact look, kissed me and walked out the door. Tonight I'm reminded that I didn't hold to the promise I'd made myself, to my children. Tonight makes me sad.

But I know they will survive this. I know. Doesn't make it any less painful to watch. I wonder if that's what God feels when He looks at us struggling. He watches us bundle up and walk outside all the while knowing His child will get hurt. How in the world does He cope with that, because sometimes it's just too much for me to bare. Maybe it's because He sees the bigger picture and I tend to get lost in the moment.

I know this much, I pray ALL THE TIME my kids will not marry until they are ready and sure! Divorce never ever gets any easier!

Till next time...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

enjoy the process

When any of my friends find love my advice to them is always the same...enjoy the process of falling in love. No one ever told me that. I didn't realize that it was a process, not an arriving point. I thought "whew, we've fallen in love. now we can get on with life." I missed it totally! Falling in love should be just that, falling. A little more every day. After day. After day. After day.

The very advice I give to my friends, sucks when it's turned around on me!! I'm not good at slow. I'm not good at process. I'm good at "do it and move on". But for three solid years God and I have been talking about this very topic and for three solid years He's been slowly teaching me how to enjoy the process, any process for that matter. He's been teaching me to "let it happen" rather than "make it happen". He's been teaching me to trust the process even when it hurts.

Falling in love is scary for me. I've loved and lost too many times. But I've also always jumped in and thought later, I'm sure that has something to do with it! :)
I very well could fall in love again and still have it end. There are no guarantees, I know this. But for the first time I'm feeling the process, I'm finding comfort in the process. For the first time I'm truly simply "falling" in love; day by day. And for the first time...I hope I never find the destination because the process is amazing!

Till next time...

Monday, November 24, 2008

all of Him

I haven't been on here to write in several days, well that's kinda true. I've been on here and started only to stop and log off. When I started this blog the conversation between God and I went something like this...ok, I'll do it but I will only write when the words come from you, when they flow and I know at the end it's peace between you and I. So, I get on here and start to write but just feel uneasy. For a time I thought that meant God was saying to me, 'not yet.' However, I've come to realize that uneasy feeling isn't so much a lack of God's direction as it's my own every day life getting in the way.

The other day I had counseling and we ended up talking about the fact I've been on the verge of a panic attack for nearly two weeks. I'm just completely stressed out. We talked for several minutes about what exactly has me so stressed and I ended up saying out loud I am still unsure if I can trust God to take care of me. The tears streamed down my face at the sound of those words. I said it out loud. I couldn't believe it. I felt total shame. My counselor said "congratulations, you're still human" with a smile on his face. I of all people should know that God takes care of us. I can give you story after story of being clearly taken care of by no one other than God. My life is filled with evidence of God's love and grace and commitment. And in that room I said out loud can I really still trust Him to take care of me, to not simply get me going only to leave me hanging. We talked through all of this and I must say I felt so much relief in just being able to share my worries. My counselor gave me scriptures to look up that talk specifically about anxiety and God's trustworthiness. I left feeling so much better.

That night I got a call from my ex-husband telling me he has lost his job. Do you see how God works? If I had not had that conversation with my counselor earlier that day and remembering I felt a panic attack right around the corner, the news of the job loss would have surely sent me over the edge. God prepared my heart, reaffirmed in me that yes I can trust Him knowing full well this news would be coming to me.

Then in church on Sunday our sermon was about having conversations with God. The illustration used was a jar of water and when asked what it was we were finally told, after much guessing, that "it's Lake James". To clarify the pastor explained that although it's not all of Lake James, the water inside is ALL Lake James. Do you see the difference? Then when you think about the Holy Spirit taking residence inside us we are carrying all God, just not all of God...cause we'd probably explode! LOL

Apart from God I really can't endure the trials I'm going through right now. I knew this. I did. But somewhere among all my busyness, I forgot. It can get confusing when you talk about God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Honestly I don't think they sit up there getting all bent out of shape over one getting more attention than the other; however, I do think we need to remember they are all three available to us and in us. The spirit inside of me is ALL God. So, this morning I sit here reminding myself to take a deep breath, slow down, and remember that although times are stressful and I can't imagine how I'll make it through the next six months God is in me and He alone will do it for me!! Whew!

Till next time...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Getting Married

I have a friend who's marriage is on the rocks. When I was a kid I wondered why people would use that phrase, I know now. When you're trying to walk on big rocks that are different sizes and jagged it's a little scary and definitely unstable. Her marriage is just that...scary and unstable. Listening to her makes me glad I'm still single as I don't miss the days of ups and downs. Being single I know that no one can come in and pull out the bottom on me and my children. Being single brings lots of safety!

So why then did I cry last night the whole way home from class? Why then do I still have these stupid moments of fear that I will be alone forever? We've been talking about fears in church the past few weeks. Sunday hit mine on the head...fear of failure. That is for another post, but for now I'll say this...I fear letting someone in only to realize I made yet another mistake--another failure.

I took shelter in thinking that this time will be different for me because this time I'm different. I follow God, something I didn't do in the past. This time I'll find a man that also follows God. So, to me this time I can breathe easy...apparently I was wrong. I know of a couple who's been married for 30 years and are truly Godly people--they are getting divorced. My friend loves God with all she is and she married a godly man--they are falling apart. So now, now I don't even have the notion of Godliness to hold onto. Again I ask why on Earth do I still long to be married?

Because I believe in it. I believe in the reason as to why God created Eve for's not good for man to be alone. We are relational creatures, we aren't designed to walk alone. And there is no greater escape from life than falling into the one you love with every fiber of your being. That's why I cried last night, because I was coming home to an empty house with no one to fall into.

till next time...

Friday, November 7, 2008


The holidays are coming. My whole life I have had to travel over the holidays, going between my mom and my dad's house. At 32 I'm still having to travel, only now it's more complicated due to having kids of my own and divorces of my own. Requests have already started for marking my calender to attend parties and my schedule is already looking like there won't be enough days to complete everything. *Sigh* However, between Thanksgiving vs. Christmas I will share with you Thanksgiving is the hardest for me and not for reasons you may think.

Thanksgiving 2000 was the first year I didn't have my kids for the holiday, due to my divorce. They were 3 and 5 and as the day approached all I could do was cry, literally. My family knew it would be hard for me and both my mom and dad invited me to spend it with them, but I didn't want to. I didn't want to see the look of pity on their faces, the look that says "I know all too well how you feel". I didn't want to be reminded that I had done exactly what I swore as kid I wouldn't do...force my kids to experience the life I had lived. What I wanted to do was hide in my tiny apartment, hide from the world, hide from my failures. Instead, I spent the holiday with Kevin a man who, over the course of seven years, stole my heart and then shattered it into pieces. But that day, that Thanksgiving, he was exactly what I needed.

It was his first thanksgiving without kids too, so he knew right where I was. He truly felt my pain and together we got through the day. We cooked an entire thanksgiving meal and then sat on the couch and watched football all day. It was the first year in my life I felt no stress from family means well, don't misunderstand me. But it is stressful bouncing back and forth between homes, feeling guilty for being at one and not the other. It is stressful listening to one talk about the other and feeling somewhat responsible for the pain that is so obvious. It is stressful feeling like it's never enough--you're never there long enough or often enough. Holidays suck for children of divorce.

To this day that Thanksgiving was the most relaxed thanksgiving I've had...ever. I missed my kids, trust me. I had moments of sadness come over me, but I also knew I'd see them in the morning and that we would have our thanksgiving then. That day, that true Thanksgiving Day, I felt calm and accepted. I felt I was enough.

Thanksgiving, 2008 is in just a few short weeks. This year isn't my turn to have the kids, I will get them the next morning. My family still invites me to be with them, knowing how hard it is to be away from your kids on a day talking about giving thanks, but just as so long ago I'm not sure where I want to be that day.

Eight years later I no longer speak to Kevin. I haven't seen him in a very long time. I have no idea how he is or if he's any better than the day things ended. Eight years and thousands of tears later I have moved on from that season of my life, but find myself asking what will this thanksgiving bring?

A lot has changed in eight years. I have come from darkness and stand now in light. I have felt no sense of belonging and now know that I have true purpose. Eight years later I have found me, apart from any man but completely within the Son of Man. I don't know what I will do this year on Thanksgiving Day, my options are plenty. I do know I will be reflecting on the past and saying over and over how thankful I am for the life I have lived and will live. Eight years later I much to be thankful for, even if we deal with the pain of divorce.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Writing out loud for others to see creates a storm within me. My favorite description of Jesus in the Bible is when he was in the boat with the disciples and the storm came. Jesus was sleeping and the disciples freaked out, waking him and He responded "Why do you still fear?" But the part I love the most is the beginning...Jesus got in the boat first and then asked the disciples to join him.

You see, He knew the storm would be coming. He could have said lets wait, there's a storm coming. He didn't. He climbed in that boat and then said follow me. I guess you could say He led them into the storm. So what did he do when He woke up? He calmed the storm with the raising of His hands. What comfort I get from that picture.

I remember hearing this story at church a few years back. I remember sitting there listening to Pastor Bill talk about if you're in a storm right now and thinking "hey, I must have this Christian thing down cause my life is good!" Then he quickly followed up with "If you're not in one now, brace yourself cause one is coming." Crap! And he was right, it came. I can't even tell you how grateful I am to Pastor Bill for pointing out that Jesus got in the boat first!

That storm has passed me and once again, my life is great. Another one is coming though. I know. But what is just as comforting as knowing He's in my boat is knowing He calms the storm and gets me through to the other side. Storms aren't always bad, if you change the way you see them. Don't look at the wind around you, look at the one within you.

Sometimes our storms are big, like what's happening right now in our country or divorce or the death of a child or rape; sometimes our storms are small like meeting deadlines at work or being the parent not the friend or breaking ties with unhealthy people. Regardless of the size of the storm, the fear that surrounds it is still alive and still overwhelming. Regardless of the size of the storm Jesus got in the boat first and when you finally turn to him, after freaking out, listen to Him..."Why do you still fear?"; trust Him "I will never forsake you"; lean on Him "Nothing is impossible for God".

Till next time...

Friday, October 24, 2008

getting in...

I love to tell stories, so kids, here's a story I heard the first time I attended church after having sworn it off for nearly 15 years...

Suppose you leave right now and someone hits you in the parking lot (My thinking at that moment...that's just great!). You get out to talk to the person only to realize they have no insurance (just my luck). What's the first thing you want to do (remember, this was before I renewed my relationship with God...cuss em out!)? JUDGEMENT would say they get their punishment which is to pay out of their pocket. The pastor then went on to say but MERCY would say you tell them it's ok and you pay for the damage to your own car (WHATEVER!). GRACE, according to God's law, says you take out your checkbook and not only pay for your own damages, you pay for their damages as well. My thought at that moment...are all these people nuts?!!

Fastfoward nearly six years and I find myself explaining the same concept to various people in my life, hearing them say the same things I was thinking that first day in church. When I am asked if I think I will go to heaven I never hesitate and my answer is always the same, "yes but not because I deserve it". You see I've come to understand getting into heaven isn't about "being good enough" because that will never happen. Getting into heaven is about accepting the gift God has given to us, freely. It's a gift. Honestly. We as humans get caught up in the fine details and because of that we get lost, loosing sight of the bigger picture.

Will murderers go to heaven? I used to cringe at that question, because I struggled with that notion as well. Not so much lately for two reasons...1) Jesus either died for all of humanity's sin or He didn't; 2) My destination doesn't really depend on some murderer's destination. That's God's choice. All that matters to me is what God thinks of ME, not the guy living next door sinning out loud.

Ok, let's talk about that for just a minute. Sin is sin people, there is no "one sin is greater than the other" if you go according to the bible not according to what makes us feel good. Parts of Christianity are truly not about making you feel good. No where in the bible are we told that when you become a Christian life gets good. Oh and just in case you didn't realize this...WE ALL SIN EVERY DAY! For one reason, we are still breathing! Only Jesus was perfect, even Mother Theresa sinned. We just didn't see it.

So if we all sin, everyday, then how can it be that God will allow us into heaven when we die? Aren't we suppose to be perfect once we become Christians? This is my lame attempt at solving the problem in one moment in time...ready? Deep breath....

When my kids do something wrong do I stop loving them? No. Never even occurs to me. Did my kids have to do something in order for me to love them? Nope. It's just there. My kids will forever be apart of me. God's family works the same way. There was a time when we were separated from Him, the old testament which is kinda freaky reading I must say, and that is why Jesus came down here. God did all the work for us! Just before Jesus died he said "It is finished." That means there's nothing you or I can do, no one last detail to cover. Nothing. It is finished. You are're part, well that's easy, tell God you want Him to be apart of your life. That's where it's different than our kids. Our kids don't get to choose us. But we get to choose God. Or not. The coolest part, in my opinion, is once we choose Him it is finished. He doesn't leave because you do something bad, or think some lust full thought, or even worse. It's in the bible, I'm not making it up! :)

If you are struggling with the notion of are you good enough or even worse do you feel you have to get better at this life before you walk with God, then I say this to you my friend...He is waiting for you right now just as you are! I'm sorry to burst your thinking, but you'll never be good enough. Oh and that voice in the back of your head that says your too bad for God to ever want you...tell it to shut up because just as I said earlier our kids are never too bad for us to want them! All the other details, all the other questions you have, I promise will work themselves out over time. For now just know you can get into heaven, but not because you deserve it!

Till next time...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

you are enough

I love you just for who you are. Those are words I long to hear. Words that haunt me. Words that God seems to whisper to me and I respond surely not me. I chased after someone to love me for most of my life. My heart asking " Am I enough?" They said yes, and then they hurt me. Hurt comes in all forms, not just brusies you can see. Why is it so easy to believe hurt that is hurled at us, but we find it so hard to believe good that is lavished upon us? If God was mean to me maybe I'd be quicker to believe sad is that? And where did this come from? Feeling not good enough. I used to think it was just me and my crazy thinking, but over time I've talk to enough women to realize most all of us struggle with this notion. Actually I think men do to, why else do they feel the need to be the best?

I am a single mom. I left. Many nights I remind myself that I did this, I caused this pain on my children. I beat myself up more than any man ever could. How will I ever be able to trust my heart again? How will I ever be able to believe God truly loves me just as I am? I am a mess. And how will any man ever ever think I am enough for him?

The other day I sat on my bed, closed my eyes, and said nothing. I just sat there. I slowly began to rock back and forth as if someone had their arm around me gently swaying with me. And then I realized that God loves me in my heart, my heart. Not my head. My head is full of mess, doubts, fears. My head is full of racing thoughts and numbing memories. But my heart, in my heart I long to simply love God, feel God, be with God. In my heart I love my children deeper than there are stars in the sky, I feel passionately for those who are recovering from addicitions and habits and I deeply love others. In my heart I carry the Son.

I love you in your heart...that's why you are enough.

And that's what grace is. Grace says you my child are enough for me. Grace says I see the things you do wrong, I hear the words you use, the patience you lack and I accept you just as you are. Grace says my child why are you trying so hard when all you have to do is let me carry you?

I guess I have to learn that I am enough for God before I can ever feel I am enough for you.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Jobs jobs jobs

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a veterinarian, until we took the cat to the vet and I had to listen to her cry. Then I wanted to be a lawyer and my family told me there were to be no lawyers in our family because they are all crooked. I wanted to be a dolphin trainer but didn't think I could due to the fact we don't live near Sea World. Psychology and writing have always been my passion, but by the time I reached high school I was completely confused on what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I'm all grown up now and I have wore many many hats all because I was just trying to find which one fit ME. Who am I? I thought that what I did, my job title, defined who I was. Every new job I had I fell in love with and would say, this is it! This is the job for me! And then for one reason or another that job would end and I'd start the process with another company and usually another field. I haven't worked a full time job for over a year now. I am learning to find amusement in telling people that and watching their reactions. Most people say "must be nice" and my response is always the same...It's been the hardest blessing I've ever endured. Hard because of the lessons I've learned over the last year. Blessed because of the lessons I've learned over the last year.

When for so long your identity is wrapped up in what you do and you suddenly have literally nothing to do, you're faced head on with the question that haunts all of us in our quiet moments...who am I and does it even matter?

It was about this time last year that I laid on the bathroom floor and gave up fighting. I no longer wanted to "keep it together", pretend I was ok, or fight for my next hour. I no longer wanted to feel. Anything. So I crumbled on the floor, cried for hours, and finally said to God "Either take all of me or leave me alone because I don't want any part of me." It was as if God said to me "Finally...I've been waiting." And then I began to see...

Over time I have begun to realize that I was completely wrong in my thinking. What I do is merely that...what I do. Who I am, well that's different. Who I am is an imperfect Christian Mom. I am a woman who loves deeply, thinks deeply, and fights for what I believe in. I am strong in heart and soft in hand. Who I am is complex and beautiful. I had all those job titles and I was good at each of them because of who I am, not because of the job. For a time I was embarrassed by the twisting path I've taken, but I'm over that now. I have let go of others definitions of who I am to be and I have in a figurative sense not gotten up off the bathroom floor. God has me. All of me. Because I truly still don't want any part of me...I have proven that when left to my own hands, well it's not pretty. But when left in God's hands, beauty comes in ways I never dreamed.

Yesterday I was a sub for a local high school for the first time ever. Yes, another new path. The difference between this path today and the path of the previous years...I sought God's desire with all that I have in me and then I went where I was lead. It's not about pleasing any person, or boasting about any title. I sat in that class room talking with the students about their life, their dreams not because I wanted to be a teacher when I was a kid but because it's a door He opened and I walked through it regardless of the thoughts of those around me.

I know that not everyone can take a year off work. Not everyone can simply quit their job. But EVERYONE can seek who they are outside of what they do. Your path doesn't have to be the same as mine in order to discover why God made you the way you are. Your path is designed just for you...learning who you are will be the hardest blessing you'll prayer is that you have the courage to do it.

Till next time...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Choose on purpose

I will teach my son that God made you strong for a purpose. God made you superior for a reason. You, my son, are created in the image of God. The warrior. He has called you to greatness. No you will not simply walk into the greatness, no you will earn it. As His son you are required to bear the pain of the world simply because you are called to be the leader of all that has breath. Do not take that power lightly. Do not abuse that power.

Ezer kengdo, my daughter. Come along side is your identity. You were created in the image of God's beauty. You are His princess; the crown on all of creation. You bear His heart, His passion, and His ability to walk beside. No, my daughter, you will not win the war or be in control. As His daughter you must know that you are weaker. You must remember to duck low enough so that God can give sound direction to your husband. I will teach my daughters that God intended us to be below man. He intended us to be able to trust man. But God also says guard yourself at all times, my daughter you must be careful who you let inside your castle.

Life happened. The Fall happened. Trust broke. Roles became confused. The wall went up and God was on the outside of the wall. I will teach my son that yes you are stronger than the women you meet, but respect that instead of using it. I will teach my daughters to listen to your gut, just because he seems nice doesn't mean he was taught to respect you.

How I wish we didn't live in a fallen world. How I wish I didn't have to worry when my daughter goes on her first date. When my son starts to see women in a different way. How I wish I could bare their pain for them, the pain that they are unaware of but I know all too well.

Teach your sons sex can wait. Teach your sons no means no regardless of how far in the process you are. Teach your sons why God created them the way He did. Teach your sons to be proud of who they are and what they do.

Teach your daughters sex can wait. Teach your daughters to fight and never give up no matter who it is or what they say. Teach your daughters why God created them female and the beauty that lies in them. Teach your daughters to be proud of who they are and what they do.

God is with us my friends. But God allows us the freedom to make choices. Choose wisely. Choose on purpose.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


This morning I woke up to the news of the state of our economy falling further. My son and I sat on the couch watching the tv, hearing the debates going on, and began to discuss what it all means. Let me tell you right off that I have never talked "politics" up until this point in time in my life. I've never really taken a full interest in politics for several reasons, but that has to change. No longer can I just sit on the side saying nothing and more importantly doing nothing. Not just for my own self, but because I have three kids looking to me as their leader. They want to know what I'm thinking, why, and what I'm going to do. I must say I'm no different than apparently the rest of the country...I don't know what the right thing to do is. We are so fragile right now, but to do nothing is not an option.

As I have said many times before I'm interested in why I'm a woman and what it means. Part of what it means is coming to light through this election...I have been reminded of how far woman have come in this country and how long it truly took us to be able to have a voice. We've come from not being able to vote to having a woman run for vice president! Regardless of political views, please see that for what it is...beautiful progress. Some would argue that a woman can't be a leader and I guess my response to that is we lead every single day.

I have two daughters that I want to know they are not hindered by being a woman. They are not less important, less intelligent, or less capable. I want them to stand tall simply because they are God's daughter and in His eyes they are perfectly beautiful. I have a son that I want to know should not be intimidated by women, but feel confident in his strength, know that he has what it takes to do what God calls him to do, and to know the difference between influence and bully.

I hope that this time of year is going to spur conversations in families that would normally be silenced by watching tv. I hope that communities unite and help one another out during this time of lay-offs, high gas, and the bottom falling out of the $1. I hope that we as humans finally see things for what it is...just floating from day to day if you don't have God's wisdom in your life.

Continue to pray for our sons and daughters because the day is coming when we are going to hand this country over to them. Pray for our current leaders to put aside their pride and do what's right not what's easy. Pray for yourself that you have the wisdom to see God's grace when you look in the mirror and the courage to accept it.

Till next time...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

To forgive

So we hear all the time that we are to forgive those that hurt us. We are too seek them out and ask forgiveness. Let me be honest and tell you there are people that have crossed my path I've yet to do this with. The number one Lately I am coming across people and circumstances that are making me jealous, making me sad. I am facing regrets over decisions I've made and directions I didn't go. I have been in a serious funk for over a week now and I think this is a big part of it. I have been beating myself up, silently at first, but lately out loud. God has brought it all to light, making me stare face to face with myself. He's refusing to let me look away, refusing to let me take my next step until I work through this one. We have been wrestling for sometime now and you'd think I know better.

I didn't see it. I didn't realize I was doing it. But everyday I beat myself up more than any man ever could. I thought that if I have "this" I'll feel better. If I do "this" I'll get further. If I please "this person" I'll feel loved inside. Always looking for something to wash away my hurt. But then Friday night, while attending a Greg Smalley seminar, I was hit smack in the face...what do you do that makes you feel safe with you? Uh. Hmm. Quick, shut down and hide. Seriously, those were my thoughts. Thankfully I wasn't called upon to see what I wrote down. Cause it's blank. I had no idea. All week I've thought about that sentence. All week I've come up with one thing...I sleep. I sleep because I don't feel safe with me. I'm always beating myself up only I didn't realize it until now. I mean I did, but not to this degree. Not to the sense of not feeling safe with myself. I knew I slept to avoid, much like an addict smokes, but I thought it was to avoid others not me.

If you know me at all you know the value I place on safety. But I've always thought of safety in terms of "do you make me feel safe". I looked to someone else to provide that for me. Never did I think about it in terms of something I could give myself. Sure protection and shutting down is safe and believe me I've done plenty of that. But true safety, healthy safety involves feeling and living..and it starts inside my heart not yours.

The other day I sat on my bed, closed my eyes, and said nothing. I just sat there. I slowly began to rock back and forth as if someone had their arm around me gently swaying with me. And then I realized that God loves me in my heart, my heart. Not my head. My head is full of mess, doubts, fears. My head is full of racing thoughts and numbing memories. But my heart, in my heart I long to simply love God, feel God, be with God. In my heart I love my children deeper than there are stars in the sky, I feel passionately for those who are recovering from addictions and habits and I deeply love others. In my heart I carry the Son.

I love you in your heart...that's why you are enough.

It's starting to become clear to me. Starting. God accepts me just as I am, past and all. I need to do that too. I need to make peace with all that I've said and done, decisions both good and bad...and I need to live for who I am today, not who I was. I think a part of my heart was stuck, hung up on what I could have been by now, it's time to get unstuck to forgive Carla and love who I am if no other reason than the fact that God totally loves me.

I've made mistakes. I've caused pain. I've felt pain. I am forgiven. I

Friday, September 19, 2008

life with trials

I've heard the phrase be careful what you wish patience. People will be quick to tell you not to pray for patience because instead of God poofing patience on you, He makes you endure trials that teach you to be more patient. I will admit I'm one of those people saying oh don't pray for patience! But I quickly follow it up with I'm definitely a more patient person now! So I guess in a way what we're saying to you is through your wanting to be more patient just know you'll feel pain first, then patience.

As I've mentioned before I'm on a quest to discover why God created me a woman and what my role is in His plan. Last night I took a bath and cried, harder than I've cried in a long time. I just let it all out..finally. I cried because today I am going to the doctor for a third procedure to be done since I've had my hysterectomy in March. I just can't seem to heal completely. Today is not a fun day to be a woman. I cried because what I really wanted last night was for my husband to hold me and pray with me. I long for a godly man to come alongside me and be my best friend in times like this. I cried because my kids are moving into the teenage years and I'm entering it alone, being Mom and Dad. I cried because I don't have any job offers coming in and Christmas is right around the corner, but I can't even pay my rent this month. I cried because I am overwhelmed with life in general.

Part of being vulnerable is allowing myself to be weak in the presence of God. Allowing myself to say I can't take another step and trust that He doesn't shake His head at me and say "How can you be so weak?" Instead He scoops me into His arms, holds me close, and says "It's ok, I'll am strong enough for us both."

So, today I say be careful when you set out on a voyage to discover who you are because you'll endure pain first. And I quickly follow that with this statement "The idea of being lost and then found has such profound meaning for me. The pain I am enduring along this journey in discovering who I am is nothing in comparison to the feeling of not belonging which I felt the first part to my life. I would walk this path any day over the path I was on, including today. I love who God is molding me to be, I love being a woman, and I absolutely love being His princess."

It sure would be nice if He could just poof things on us though!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

christian words

The other day I got into a tiny debate with someone over the definition of sanctification. There was a group of people around during this little debate and I wondered to myself how many of them had ever even heard of the word, and furthermore did it really matter? I mean I doubt when you die and finally see God face to face He's going to say "Ok, YOU, what's the definition of...". So why do we as Christians feel the need to throw around these "big" words? Is it to make ourselves look important? Scholarly? Is it so we look more Christian? Or is it because we hide behind those words hoping no one sees just how shallow our relationship truly is with Christ?

I wrote the other day about learning to be a partner and it's occurred to me I have yet to learn to be a partner, a true partner, with God. God is to be the leader of my family, meaning I must give up that control; God is to be my best friend, meaning I am to tell Him my secrets and desires; God is to show me the way, but I am to have the courage to actually do it. It's a side-by-side, yet being lead all in one package. A true and deep relationship.

I know way more "Christian words" now than I've ever known and there's still so much I have to learn. I am comfortable talking about my faith and about the Bible yet there's so much of the Bible I've yet to read. I'm not ashamed of either of those statements. But I am bothered that I allowed myself to get so worked up over a word, when the point is relationship. Community. Togetherness.

So as Christians maybe we should check our "words" at the door and simply talk to people, meet them where they are not where we are. Maybe we should open up more, to others and too God. Maybe, just maybe we should ask ourselves why we feel the need to hide behind words...

If you don't feel you have a relationship with God, a true side-by-side relationship, I encourage you to admit it. Just admit it. Then sit down and talk to God about it because I promise you He wants a relationship with you more than anything else in this world. Promise!

Oh and if you are throwing around the big words, please know the correct meaning or else we're all gonna be really if this life isn't confusing enough.

Till next time....

Monday, September 15, 2008


I have been single for awhile now and during that time I've tried really hard to work on myself, understanding my failed marriages/relationships were not all their fault. I put up a wall, shut myself off from feeling, and looked inward to begin the healing and growing I so desperately needed. I know that someday I will marry again and when I do I want to know I'm the best wife I can be, I want him to be proud to say he's my husband. I've worked so hard on becoming a better person; there is no wrong in that, but I think part of my motives were still wrong. I want to grow so God can use me, absolutely, but I also must admit I want to grow because I'm still focused on "my husband" and making "my husband" happy. I didn't see it until this morning. My friend wrote to me that she had to learn to be a partner, not the boss and it suddenly hit me. I've said many many times I want a man that is strong enough to lead me, yet respectful enough to walk beside me; but every time someone tries to do that I freak out and take control or walk away (which is taking control). I've said I want a partner, but I haven't been one. As much as I've worked on taming some of my traits, I've missed a huge one! Or did I? Maybe I needed to work on those other things first, peel some superficial layers off before I could get to this one. Maybe this is the next step in the journey, a deeper level. Deeper---vulnerable---there's that word again. I should have picked a different word. :)

I want it. Desperately. More nights than I care to admit out loud I've cried for a husband. I pretend I'm ok being single. I say it's no big deal. God's all I need. But it's a lie. God is not all I need, because God didn't make me that way. The shift has happened in me though, I went from having a relationship being the center of my world to God being the center of my world. I no longer look to a man to fill that hole in my heart. God is there, and now I am whole. But I still long to be married. Truthfully I thought to myself "ok, got "God is your center" part down now where's the man?" Silly girl. I'm sure I make God laugh often by my thinking.

Today I realized there are more layers to work through and learning to be a partner is the next one. I realized today that I won't be "exactly like I should" when I finally get remarried. I won't ever be where I know I should be. And neither will "my husband". Maybe the first step in becoming a partner is allowing room for humanness. This partner thing is gonna take awhile....

till next time :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pray for me...

When I was a little girl my mom and I lived with my grandparents while my mom finished college. One night I didn't feel well and I remember my grandma and grandpa coming in my room and laying hands on me and beginning to pray for me asking Jesus to heal me. That moment is forever burned in my brain...the feeling of love and devotion was amazing! So of course I wanted it again and therefore would pretend to be sick so they would lay hands on me and pray again! :) Growing up I never forgot what it felt like to have hands laid on you by those who love you and go on your behalf seeking God. When I was in 8th grade my grandpa died and that set me on a path of not speaking to God anymore for nearly 14 years. You see, my grandpa was a minister. He was the best person to ever cross my path and I could not understand how God could take the life of a man so devoted to living for Him. Over the course of the next several years my family would, at different times, tell me they are praying for me for various reasons. Inside my response was always the same...pray for yourself. I didn't want anything to do with prayer. I didn't want to feel that feeling from when I was a young child ever again.

I am starting a recovery ministry at my church which qualifies me as staff at the church. Yesterday was staff meeting and we did something that caused me to remember being that little girl from so long ago, and it also caused me to remember why my grandpa loved God so passionately. We took turns laying hands on each staff member and praying for their ministry. It was powerful. Moving. Loving. When it came my turn I stood in the middle of all these people that I know love me, accept me for who I am and who I long to be, and people that I would absolutely fight for. One by one they laid their hands on me and began to pray for me and this adventure God has called me to. I was, for a brief moment, that little girl all over again.

Many times over the last 5 years I have called upon various people simply saying "please pray for me". I understand the power of prayer now. I understand the power of being covered by the blood of the Creator. And I understand the power of being loved by those who are walking in this journey with you. God waited on me, patiently whispering my name all those years I refused to turn my face to Him. Not once did He turn His face away. Not once. I know the things I have said to Him. I know the feelings I had towards Him the morning I woke up to the sounds of my mom crying because my grandpa died. I know the devotion I have towards Him this very minute and I can say with no hesitation that when I pray He listens, when I cry He cries, and when I seek I ALWAYS find Him.

I am amazed that God wants anything to do with me. I am more amazed that He seems to think I'm good enough for Him to work through. Yet today, I received an email from a dear friend asking me to pray for her. Me! I couldn't help but smile remembering all those times I didn't want anything to do with prayer and now someone is asking me to go before God on their behalf. Funny how things come full circle...

till next time, oh and please pray for me...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Today my youngest turns 6!! I woke her up this morning singing happy birthday to her and the giggle that came from under the covers was priceless. It's hard to believe it's been six years! So much has happened already in her short time on this Earth and this morning as I watched her get on the bus to head off to school I felt such pride to be her mom. E is strong-willed, funny, and at times very shy. She loves to give hugs and kisses and can count to 11 in Spanish! Thanks to Dora! :) But above all of that, my little E loves God.

Each night I tuck her into bed and we say our prayers. Hers always starts with "Dear God, thank you for this BEAUTIFUL day. Help us to have good life, good food, good dreams..." Sometimes she prays for her dad while he travels the country, sometimes she prays that she will stop fighting with her sister and brother. And sometimes she just prays those two sentences and says Amen. She then opens her eyes and says ok mom, your turn. So then I pray and during my praying she rubs my face and plays with my hair. But the best part of the whole thing is when we are both done she hugs me and says those were great prayers Mom!

I started taking my kids to church when E was just seven months old. Up until then I wanted nothing to do with God. I can't even begin to describe how different our life is now compared to where I know it would be if we didn't start seeking out God. In many ways being a Christian is wayyyyyyy harder than I ever expected it to be. But each night as I pray with E I am so thankful He welcomed me home with open arms.

So today, September 9, 2009 I pray that my daughter Miss E will grow up knowing how much God truly loves her, knowing how beautiful she really is, and will always know that I love her regardless of the path she follows. I pray that I allow her room to explore and grow. I pray that I allow her to become the woman God wants her to be, not the woman I want her to be. Above all I pray you have the chance to know her because I promise you will truly be blessed!

:) Till next time...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

tiny steps are all that's needed

I'm starting to think this quest to discover who God intended me to be and feel beautiful is one that will never end. Something I didn't really think about when I set out on this particular journey. Honestly. I thought God would give me a few life experiences that would in turn show me His plans for me, the way He sees me, and would show me once and for all who this lost woman really is. Nearly three years later I feel like I have only taken one step forward.

Last night while laying in bed I got a picture in my head of very tiny feet taking a BUNCH of steps in order to match my one step. And in many ways my heart sank. Three step. Man. I have heard our Christian walk be compared to that of a child growing up. Infancy gives way to toddler, then adolescent into teenage years, adulthood into what we hope eventually becomes true maturity in Christ.

The picture of tiny steps reminds me of infants learning to walk. Is that where I still am? Seriously? Cause I don't think so. I think I'm so much further in my walk with Christ than I have ever been, but maybe I'm looking at it wrong. Maybe I am still thinking "whew! That's over. What's next?" When really it's a serious of moments linked together by His's never really "over".

I think my journey is a process of tiny steps, running, jumping, falling, and flying on His wings. I guess instead of looking at it in a sense of finality, I need to look at it in a sense of we're still stepping! No matter how big or small, it's a step. Whew!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I wanna be....

I rarely watch the Oprah show for a multitude of reasons but the main one is I think she's of the opinion she is above us. Anyway, I happen to turn to her show the other day and the author of Eat, Pray, Love was on...again. I have yet to read the book, although I must admit my curiosity is peaked, but there was a comment by an audience member who said the book is her bible now. I felt everything inside of me cringe. But immediately I asked myself why. Why does it bother me that this woman, who said she was an atheist until reading this book, is now using the book as a spiritual guide? Why does it bother me that this book is getting so much attention? And for that matter why do I have such a grudge against Oprah?

And then the answer came. I'm jealous. OUCH!! That little thought hurt so badly as it passed through my pea-size brain that I literally stopped walking and just stood there for a moment, letting it sink in. In the quiet of my house, with no one around, I sat down on the floor and said out loud that I am jealous of their success, their experiences, their influence on others. I want that.

Ok, back to the bible thing for just a moment...I need to clarify that I, in no way shape or form want someone to view what I write as their bible. Never would I even in the quiet of my being want to replace God's Word for one reason...He is our Creator. I'm glad to hear she is now seeking God, or a "spiritual connection" as she called it, but I'm sad to hear that she's stopping at this book. Someones opinion.

Now, back the jealousy thing...deep desire when I was growing up was two fold, 1)Be like Oprah and 2)change the world. Seriously, that's what I wanted to do. I watched Oprah ALL THE TIME, until I became a Christian. I think I've pulled away from her because in some sense she was my direction on how to think and feel and live. My lens was clouded by my desire to become something great; therefore, I didn't see her as someone who made mistakes, I saw her as someone I wanted to BE in every sense of the word. As my faith has deepened and I've begun to learn what it means to "be" I see life through a different lens, including Oprah. But if I'm to be honest, I still like her and I guess what I'm learning now is that my view of her is just like with everything else in life...learning to live with boundaries, filtering out what doesn't belong in my life and keeping what does.

I love to write. I love to challenge people. I love to make us squirm, pushing the line to see where we all truly stand. I also love to be on the stage, the center of attention. Some would say it's the only child thing, I say it's just part of how God wired me. At times I feel I must apologize for those characteristics, but I'm beginning to understand that God doesn't give us gifts only to make us feel we must apologize for having them. Someday I would love to have a book published. Someday I would love to be on the Oprah Show and have her tell everyone they MUST read this book, blah blah blah. But I can tell you my reasons have changed from when I was a kid with those same dreams. I want the chance to tell people how having a relationship with Christ has changed my life. I want to tell people that He wants to have that same encounter with them. I want my mistakes, my hurts, and my at times crazy thinking to somehow be used for good by positively influencing others to become who they were created to be, before life happened. I don't want it to be about ME.

So, I'm jealous but as I sat on the floor God's voice comforted me by saying jealousy in its self isn't good, but my intentions behind it is. I'm not anyone else. My experience on this Earth will be like no one elses. My challenge, God pointed out, is to learn to be comfortable with that. Learn to own my own life, own my path, own my dreams, own my past. And then lay it all down and let Him light the next step.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Yesterday our church service was about perseverance, something I'm not that great at. When I went to bed Saturday night the thought of skipping church entered my mind, not because I knew what it was about and wanted to avoid it, just simply because I wanted to be lazy and stay home. I woke up Sunday morning with a strong sense of "you're going to church young lady" milling around in my brain. I'm trying really hard to listen to that little voice, the one many call your gut instinct but I call God, because things seem to go much more smoothly when I do. So, I went. And then church started and as we were singing I was so happy I did. And then Pastor started talking; I had to smile because I knew the service was one God wanted me to hear. The whole things was packed full of good stuff, stuff I needed to hear, stuff I didn't want to have thrown in my face as if to say "Yoohoo, you need to work on this!"

Do you struggle with hanging in there when the going gets tough? Maybe you're like me and have a history of quitting. As a kid I quit gymnastics, I quit the swim team, I quit piano. I quit two marriages and countless jobs. I blame the last two on a number of things, some of which are totally true, but mostly it was because the tough came rolling in and I bailed.

There were four things Pastor said to do in order to develop perseverance...

1. Give your life your best...regardless of the hurt.

Ok, not so easy! Give LIFE your best? All of life? All of my best? Then I was reminded that you develop this by living by your commitments not your feelings. For a huge part of my life I had that backwards. I had no idea it was the other way around, honestly. As a Christian was are told that we have joy. It's important to note that joy is NOT happiness. I have found myself many times over the last few months making statements like "I have a great life!" and "I'm so blessed". Just so you know...the last year has been the worst year of my life, ever. But regardless, I have a peace in my soul because no matter what's going on I am still a Christian. That is joy.
2. Do the right thing...keeping integrity no matter what
Man, this is getting harder. That's what I was thinking while sitting in service yesterday. I am prone to do and think later. It's that whole feeling thing I guess. But I'm working on this, trying to think about things before I simply react. I'm seeking counsel from wise Christians and I'm spending time in prayer and silence with God. I tell my kids all the time to do what's right not what's easy, understanding we sometimes fall short.
3. Actively resist bitterness
I wrote in my notes yesterday to spend some time seeking what I am bitter about. I mean really sit down and give it some thought, dig deep. Write it all out. Cry over it. And then...accept what I can't change, make peace with my choices, and instead of crying over what I don't have be aware of what I do. I see bitterness in so many people in my life right now. It makes me sad. But if I were to be honest, it's in me too. And bitterness only hurts the person who's bitter.
4. Trust that God is at work...always!
The last two years I have had to walk many times in pure faith. I have been put in situations that went against every ounce of who I am simply because I felt God asking me to. I didn't know the outcome. I didn't know if I would be ok, if my family would survive, if I would lose everything. Sometimes I'm good at remembering that God is in control even when I don't feel it. Sometimes I'm not. The verse we ended on yesterday is a verse that has gotten me through many dark days...Colossians 1:11 God will strengthen you with his own great power so that you will not give up when troubles come, but you will be patient.

Looking at all of this at once, trying to work on it all at once is very overwhelming. If you struggle with perseverance, like me, I encourage you to pray over the list and ask God to point out what to work on first. Break it down into bite size pieces. Talk to your accountability partners so you will not walk through this alone. But above all remember that we are running a marathon, we are called to be Christlike not Christ and we will not "get it right" until we die and He makes us right.

Till next time...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My son

Today my son told me that he scored the highest math score in the 8th grade class for the NWEA testing!! My kid! I know...gasp! I look at this boy in true amazement that he has turned out to be the person he is because well, I was less than ready to be his mom.

At the age of 18 I discovered I was pregnant. One month after I started college. Nine months later, one month after I turned 19, he was born. I remember when the nurse handed him to me I just looked at him, waiting for that overwhelming feeling of love to pour out of me that everyone said happened. It didn't. I cried instead. I had no clue how to be his mom. Life as I knew it was gone and a new life was plunked in my lap and I was told "good luck". Good luck? Seriously? He came with no directions and that was not good for a person like me. He would cry for no reason, puke for no reason, and laugh for no reason. He had me completely baffled. I was more scared than I'd ever been and wished every night I could change that one act, that one moment in my life back. But day after day he and I learned how to blend and I learned to be comfortable with the title Mom; but I made one gigantic mistake after another.

In his short 13 years on this earth my son has endured the addition of two sisters, two marriages and then two divorces, the addition of step siblings and then the deletion of step siblings, nine moves and several broken up relationships with very unhealthy men. Yet today my son scored the highest score in math, tells me his favorite subject in school is a tie between math, science and history, rubs my back every time I ask, can carry an intelligent conversation about events going on around the world, and brings me countless compliments from people who know him. Everyone loves him. My son!

For many, many years I insisted he had to be perfect because I feared if he wasn't people would be quick to declare me an unfit mother. I have matured in that thinking, somewhat. I'm still working on that. It's hard for me to let my kids make mistakes and not see it as a reflection on me. But having a relationship with God does things to your view of people, it softens you in ways you never imagined. Two years ago my son asked me to pray with him to ask Jesus to forgive his sins and to live in his heart. ME!!! He didn't want our youth pastor who lived down the street from us, he wanted me. Then last summer he was baptized during our church picnic and when asked why he wanted to do it he said "because I saw the change God has had on my mom and on our life."

Apparently my mistakes aren't too big to keep God out of our hearts. I've often wondered why God allowed me to be a mom and I'm beginning to see's not about me at all. God needs my son and my girls as a part of His plan and I'm just the vehicle used to bring them here. I can't begin to tell you how honored that makes me feel.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Congrats! Here's your award...

At the end of my senior year we gave our awards for things like "most likely to succeed" and "best attitude" as well as one that I won..."most talkative". I talk. Alot. More than I listen because even when I'm not talking, I'm thinking of what to say.

I set out on a quest nearly three years ago to discover what it means to be a woman and why God created me the way He did. My journey has been anything but smooth, but I've learned more than I ever expected in areas I didn't even think about in relation to being a woman; like patience and talking. Growing up I think I talked so much because I wanted so desperately to be liked. I wasn't the pretty one, the smart one, or the athletic one. But I found that I, at times, was the funny one so I ran with it. Funny isn't always appropriate. But inside I was the one who feared if I shut up I'd become invisible. So, I talked. That award hurt me because I knew it wasn't something to be proud of. I just didn't know how to turn me off.

Fast forward to today, I read the verse from Proverbs 18:2 that says "A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions" and must say I smiled because right there is the answer I sought. If verses make you squirm let me put it to you this is better to understand than to be understood. Ahhhh. Many times I can be heard saying things like "I'm working on that" or "I've worked really hard to over come that" and that very phrase falls under the "I'm working on that" phrase. I think I'm getting better, my heart is in the right place now. But I still have moments I reflect on and think I really should have just stayed quiet because I totally made that about me.

My reason for talking,I think, has changed. I no longer feel the insecurity I felt for so long because I know who I am now and I know the direction of my destination. I no longer feel the need to impress because my value comes from God alone. I do however want desperately to help those who are hurting in whatever way I can; and let's face it I'm still me...talking and all.


I titled this blog vulnerability for one reason, it's the one word in our language that frightens me more than any other word. Even more than failure. I gave it that title because it's a word I need to overcome, a word I need to find peace in. My goal, my prayer, is that I will find healing in being vulnerable enough to write; understanding not everyone will like my words or even respect them. The truth is though, it's not really about my writing, I'm seeking the ability to be vulnerable in my friendships with those I love and I'm seeking to know how to instill healthy boundaries with everyone, even those I love.

Growing up boundaries wasn't a word used in my house. Nor was failure or vulnerability. Success, strong, endure...those are words I know. The concept of healthy boundaries was totally foreign to me and truthfully a concept I ignored for many years. God has a way of getting our attention though. I was stripped of my life as I knew and left empty handed, literally. The words I knew and depended on, success and strong and endure were words I couldn't even remember how to say because I was on the other side of the fence. But in that time I was still a Christian and through His love I began to climb the fence first standing upright on it, balancing if you will because I was unsure if I really wanted to be on the other side. The whole time God just kept talking to me, whispering, calling my name over and over. He was patient with me, gentle with me, but the whole time never letting me sit back down on the fence so I could put my feet one on each side. Soon it became too much to balance on the fence and I cried louder than I've ever cried, begging him to just pick me up...make the decision for me or let me go back to where I was. Where I was might have been painful, but I knew it. I understood it. All the while He was patient with me, gentle with me, but the whole time whispering my name. Finally I fell to the other side of the fence, the fall was unbearable. And then...I felt His arms around my whole body. All the time He was whispering my name.

What I've learned from that fence moment was that I had to be vulnerable enough to stand and then to fall. I had to trust Him. Many times I've tested God and EVERY time He's caught me. I've also learned that mankind is not the same. Many times I've tested and MANY times I've been let down. With God vulnerability is actually safe and trusting God is actually amazing. With people it gets a little complicated and that's where boundaries comes in. Fence walking is painful and scary, but being vulnerable to let God bring you to the other side of the fence...that is strong and success and true endurance.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Saying Thank You

The other day I was told "I can really tell you've lost weight", my response "whatever, shut up." Nice right! But that's how it goes, someone says something nice to me and I either say oh it's no big deal or make some sarcastic remark to cover up my insecurities. When did that happen? When did I become unable to simply say thank you and believe they are telling the truth. Honestly, that's what the problem is...I don't really believe someone could genuinely be nice to me just for the sake of being nice. I think there must be some hidden agenda...maybe they will follow the compliment with a laugh, or maybe they are only saying it because they want something in return. You know, like when someone says "nice hair" is it because they want you to say "oh thanks, you look really cute today too"? Ugh.

I'm currently going through a bible study with some fabulous women involving a book called Do You Think I'm Beautiful? Let me just tell you, not a book I would have chosen. But I'm doing it and dare I say I'm learning from it and I believe they would tell you the same thing. Each Wednesday night we get together and search to find out why God says we are beautiful. After they left this last time I got to thinking that maybe God is trying to tell me I'm beautiful and in ways not so beautiful I'm replying "whatever, shut up." I know, gasp! But don't we all the time say that God works through people and circumstances? Maybe all those times someone has said something nice to me, it was really God dropping love notes for me. Maybe each time I look in the mirror and shake my head in disgust what I'm doing is dropping notes that tell God I don't like the creation he made.

The world fills our head with images, voices, clothes that say one size but mean another. The world is fallen. If for one minute we lose sight of that, take our eyes off the Truth, then yes we begin to see ourselves as anything but beautiful. What I'm beginning to learn is that beauty, in God's eyes, doesn't mean physical at all. The physical will be taken care of, the Bible says that when we die we will receive a body just like Christ...that means we can do the happy dance because our bodies will be perfect! woohoo! For now though we need to view ourselves, our whole selves, not as wee see, but as Christ sees us. So how do we do that?

By taking compliments, saying Thank You, looking in the mirror and seeing the person God thought so highly of to create. He could have changed his mind you know. He could have thought of you and then said "Whoa! Lets not do that!" But he didn't. He made you and He made me. And the Bible is clear that he sees us as beautiful. They say you can see a person's soul through the gateway of their eyes. Instead of wondering what God sees when He looks into your eyes, what do you see when you look into His? That my friend is where the beauty lies.

So, my hope for us is that we will begin to say "thank you" without reading into the compliment, we will begin to say good things about ourselves without the need to put us down, and we will begin to look into His eyes searching for His soul not ours.

Till next time...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

and we're off

Well hello! I must say that as I begin to type these words my hands are beginning to sweat. It's very scary for me to think of sharing my writing with people I've never met, people that may not understand my heart and misunderstand my words. But I also know that this is the next step God has been calling out to me.

For sometime I've felt Him saying it's time for your next step. For sometime I've answered by simply saying I don't know what that is; and it's the truth. I've been torn over what exactly that next step should be. I got so worked up over trying to figure out what it was He wanted me to do that I lost sight of the very concept that the One who said move would also be the One to provide the light for the direction. All I had to do was be patient and willing.

And here I am. The next step I'm learning doesn't mean God will tell me the next hundered steps that will happen over the next six months. It doesn't mean God will send me a letter in the mail and it will say "DO THIS" in red bold letters. It also doesn't mean the next step will be totally clear. Then one night while journaling I began to pour out my fear that I will make the wrong decisions, go in the wrong directions and screw the whole thing up. I also realized that I am still trying to control what that next step should be. I have my own ideas, my own adgendas, and my own dreams. I ended that journaling with this sentence.. "God, please tell me what to do. Please show up in a way that I know it's you, giving me peace in the decision and leaving no room for question."

I've come to see once again that when I finally lay it at His feet, surrender my desires and regain focus on what truly matters it is then that He shows up. Blogging is one of those ways. It is my prayer that each of the eyes that read these words will not see me but will see God's light shining brightly. I hope that over time you will begin to hear my heart and remember that my deepest desire is to get out of the way just enough that I am merely a vehicle through which the Creator shines.

So, this is my next step..what is yours? I'll be praying He shows up clearly and loudly!

I look forward to learning about you, hearing your stories, and hope that together we will grow towards the men and women God intended us to be.

Till next time my friend...