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.