Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I am starting to see a major pattern in my life that I need to figure out how to combat...when things start getting uncomfortable my creativity seems to leave. I feel it building, I sense something's not right. I'll sit here, starring at the screen and have nothing come out. It's frustrating. One thing after another has been coming lately, for several months now actually. Just when I think "whew, we're done with that" something else comes, only in a completely different form. All the while though my writing starts slipping until eventually it's been days since I've written anything.

Yesterday during a conversation with God I told Him, "You've got to do something! Please, you've got to show up in this!" Other times I've said "help where I don't believe". Did you know that's biblical? A man asked Jesus "please help my unbelief"...that man believed enough to know that Christ could break through where he didn't believe, the areas of his life that lacked faith, the areas of his life he wanted to still control.

Today someone told me they believed in me...enough to support me in out loud ways financially for an upcoming missions trip. "I believe in you my friend"...I typed back saying "I need people to believe where I lack" and it suddenly hit me, I remembered all the times I ask God to show up out loud and outrageous, to help my see, when I prayed that I thought He'd give ME what I needed, inside, but what He's doing is helping that unbelief by sending others who believe in the areas I'm weak! He's answering my prayers, just not in ways I expected (no I shouldn't expect anything less I know!). Please help my unbelief...someone says I'll believe for you.

So my writing to you today, outside of the explanation above, is simply sweet it is to have a friend in you. Thank you for supplying my unbelief.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sex or....

This morning the news talked of a man who survived an in-home invasion, his two daughters and wife were not as lucky; although I'm not sure you can say he's lucky as he will now forever live with the sounds of torture. I watched him on the tv, looked at his eyes and saw nothing but hollow. He'll never be the same, forever changed because of the evil that exists in this world.

Later in the news they talked about the female newscaster who's causing some issues due to the way she dresses, or lack there of. A panel of women were brought on to talk about this "outrage" and to analyze if her clothes are ok, if they way the football players reacted to her is ok, if this is something we want to portray to our children, blah blah blah.

I've thought about this all day. I can't shake the image of that man, a widowed man who is also childless now. I am shocked at the amount of time and energy spent on the newscaster over the fact that this man's family was murdered and he heard every single word. Sex over death.

I saw a commercial for a local station going out and asking the public what they'd like to see on the news and one man said "not so much bad stuff". I bet he'd also tell you he'd rather hear about the newscaster over the murder. Sex over "bad stuff".

I watched my daughter cheer last night, I sat starring at her and wondered "what exactly is the point of having the skirts THAT short, especially for girls that are only 12 and 13 years old and don't understand the implications that go along with revealing your body?" The NFL cheerleaders wear basically fancy bras instead of shirts and no one seems to find a problem with that. Sex over clothing.

It makes me sad that we as a society value sexual crap over feelings, over a person's life. We seem to think sexual is what's at the center of who we are, if we're attracted to someone then it's ok to act on that in whatever fashion we see fit. Women wear revealing clothing and then wonder why they have low self esteem. Men have meaningless sex and then wonder why nothing ever completely satisfies them.

Sex is good, don't misunderstand me; God made us to be sexual beings. It's just not meant to be the heart of who we are.

So today I wonder how exactly I'm to raise my girls with class, to teach them to embrace their body, be proud of it, yet respect it. Teach them that just because "they" wear clothes with all their junk hanging out doesn't mean you should...and why you shouldn't. To teach them that men will look, it's how God made them, but it doesn't mean they can touch. To teach them real men will make you feel like the daughter of God you are, not an object to make them feel like a man for a moment. Value over sex. Value. Over. Sex.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I read a blog just now that talked about impossible prayers, the author challenged us as the reader to leave a comment with what our impossible prayer is so I started to do it and then stopped. I starred at that blank box for what felt like eternity and then as I started to touch the keyboard I felt fear sweep over me. Doubts filled my head, what if it's another one that doesn't get answered? Remember how He didn't answer that ONE? What if you're just wasting your time, being silly? Who am I to ask for this? All the while my fingers never left the keyboard, I let them lay there as I starred out the window as if searching for some sign that it was ok to start typing, to start praying. There was no miraculous sign, no great movement inside me, I didn't hear God's voice telling me it was ok. I simply took a deep breath and said "I trust you" and started to type.

I had an impossible prayer once, a prayer that was the very cry of my soul and I believed with all that I had in me God would answer that prayer. He didn't. At least not in the form of my prayer. The surface part of me can reason with it, justify why and brush off the pain, but below the surface the hurt is still very much alive...I discovered this a few weeks ago when I blurted out while alone in my car "You didn't do it! You let me down!" Tears fell as I realized that all those times God asked "do you trust me" and I replied "yes of course" I didn't fully. There's still a part of me that stays protected from Him because I don't feel I can fully and truly trust Him. It goes much deeper than that one prayer honestly, maybe I'll write about it tomorrow, but for today that particular unanswered prayer wounded me greatly.

As I began to type I recalled the tears that fell that day in the car and the words that followed, I asked for forgiveness and in that moment between God and myself I forgave myself for a lot of things including my unbelief. God didn't just not answer it, there are reasons some of which I know and some I do not. Regardless, His no is a form of protection not a rejection and His yes is not merely for enjoyment but for growth. So, today as I was challenged to pray another impossible prayer I knew it was God's way of saying "do you trust me", a moment of truth had crossed my I? I wish I could tell you of course I do, I trust God in ALL areas of my life, but I would be lying. I still struggle. I WANT to trust Him, I'm working on trusting Him, and I'm much further than I ever have been. My impossible prayer has changed a little over time and even grown in depth. My impossible prayer still seems very impossible to me, yet God has proven himself to be a God of the impossible. My answer to God as I began to type was "I do trust You, help the part of me that doesn't."

The prayer is out there, for Him to do with as He chooses. Some would counsel "well, now you wait and see"...I say "now I have faith that He'll answer me" and what He answers is for my best interest.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

answered prayers

When I pray for something, when my heart is really in it and I earnestly seek God, seek His wisdom, lay my desires at His feet and just want clarity on my next step...when I do all that I KNOW God will answer, I never doubt that. It's how He answers that I don't know or more importantly when and what He'll say. Guess that's the patience part.

When I need to make a tough decision, I wait for the calm I feel in the eye of the storm. That inner peace of knowing regardless of what it looks like on the outside, regardless of what anyone else says, I know the decision is the right one. It's not about what feels right, or what looks right, or even what I think is right, it's about that calm that I know comes only from God.

Today I woke with more peace than I've felt in a very long time, the calm has arrived. It's been coming, little by little, I've gotten more clarity and started to understand what the answer was going to be. Others were telling me their opinions, all of which I shared their desires, none of which I felt in my heart was the answer. They said go, my heart said wait. And happened. It's interesting to me how God answers my prayers in ways I don't expect and usually involve some sort of heartache. Every decision we make means we said yes to something and no to something. Every time. Sometimes, as in this particular case, the yes and no both bring a little sadness and a lot of relief.

The answer isn't the one I'd hoped for, yet exactly what I'd prayed for. Lord, please show me what to do, if I'm not moving in the right direction please make that clear...and He did. We need to remember that just because we don't get the answer we want doesn't mean we don't get answers. We also need to remember that when we don't get the answer we want, it wasn't what is best and though it hurts for a moment, God has something MUCH better in mind.

Today my clarity is here, my calm in the eye of the storm. It brings disappointment, but it also brings freedom. I no longer wonder. I now longer need to stress over it. I no longer need to talk about it. "I was blind and now I see"....yep, now I see.

I thank God for answered prayers that come in out loud and outrageous ways. I also thank God for answered prayers that come in the form of no because that means yes to something else.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Romans 12:12

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12).

It seems that when I have a lot of good things going on, there's always gotta be that bad thing that creeps in. My bad thing has been around for weeks now, looming in the background, whispering just loud enough I don't forget it is there. And then suddenly it takes center stage and my focus shifts from all the good things to the one bad thing. My attitude changes from grateful to worry which then leads to anxiety, frustration, and tears. Then the whole thing finally breaks, I work through the moment, and the elephant is removed from my chest. My focus comes back and I suddenly find myself saying what was that!?

THAT was not remembering Romans 12:12. That's exactly what that was. Last night I did a lot of journaling and kept asking God to please show me what to do, how to feel, where to step. I woke with Him reminding me that He already has done that. This morning I came across Romans 12:12 and it hit me squarely....these three things I don't do well or regularly. I can break each down and say oh I do that...but not like I should. I talk to God often, but prayer in its true form (which is for another writing) I don't do often. I am joyful in hope but not through every single circumstance. And I'm certainly not patient in affliction, the last few weeks are proof of that.

Each time something not so fun comes across my path, it's a test of Romans 12:12. A test to see if my heart and my words really do match. I long to be more godly yet when I'm tested I am often more Carla. So maybe instead of lamenting when the bad comes, when the test begins I should pause and remember why I'm being tested. Afterall, I'm the one that prayed "God use me", I'm the one that prayed "make me more like You", I'm the one that prayed "help me remain focused on You in all circumstances". Yes those are truly my hearts desire so those are the areas I will be tested in. Each test, regardless of passing or not, brings me closer to God. Each test shines light into my world and helps me see more clearly.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12).

Sunday, September 5, 2010


The other day I was talking on the phone and used the phrase "she has really good character", apparently Erica was listening to my conversation because later she asked me "what is character?" My mind, which is usually racing, screeches to a halt and I had no clue how to explain it to her. When I talk to someone about character, I just assume they know the definition, but what if I'm wrong, what if they are wondering just like Erica, only don't say anything.

We like to say we're a good judge of character, we like to say we have good character. It's easy to point out bad character that's glaring, such as someone that steals. But what about someone that tells you that you look nice yet thinks you don't, or someone that goes to church on Sunday and then slanders his boss all week long under the guise of "just water cooler talk", or what about the parent that says to the child "how can you be that stupid?" What about the guy you go on a date with that refuses to pay for your meal because he wants to make sure you're not going to try and rake him over the coals later? And the lady at work that says it's ok to take the stapler, they have plenty because it's corporate America; the man who works his way up the ladder all while stepping on people to get there.

Character...I told Erica, "well, it's how we can tell if it's someone we can trust, are they who they say they are" to which she says "and if they're not, we shouldn't be their friend". Ah, if only it were that easy, that cut and dry. Or is it?

When I look back on my life I can see weakness in my character, some because I didn't know better, some because I did. I had moments of knowing the truth, yet not speaking it. I had moments of knowing the right decision yet not choosing it. I also had moments of wanting more than I needed and giving in to my desire. Character.

Honesty. Respect. Loyalty. Integrity. Are you who you say you are? Can you be trusted, do you show respect, are you loyal? Do you have integrity? Are you who you want to be? Character.

I have put a lot of work into the person I am today, it's been a very long and slow process. I am still so far from where I long to be, yet if I died today I would be honored to stand before God, my creator. There was a time in my life that would have been different. Will you be honored or will you be embarrassed?

I wrote this in my journal a long time ago, "People that have good character, they work at it. They are conscience of it. They are deliberate with their words, their actions, and their promises. They aren't worried about winning you for the moment, they are worried about influencing you for life. People with good character aren't perfect, they are merely seeking a better way." and followed it with I want this.

Character....become who your heart whispers you really are.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Today's List

I can't believe the summer is over and fall is around the corner! I also can't believe I'm living out my dream, that dream that I've had longer than I dare recall because to me it was just that, a dream. Today it is reality. I am a stay at home mom, working full time from my home; I am a writer, a speaker, a vessel. When I was finishing up my degree at Indiana Wesleyan, more than one professor told me "don't get hung up on titles" and it is only now that I'm truly beginning to understand what that means.

It's Thursday, my day to devote to the ministry. Today I need to work on letters to be sent out, update the database, send thank you cards, work on the book, and do some research. That is MY plan, what any Christ follower will tell you though is the best way to make God laugh is to make a plan. So, I have all those things on the To Do List, yet I sit here drinking my coffee and listening to it rain outside and have paused to invite the Holy Spirit to be a part of my day.

So, when I reflect tonight on the days events will it consist only of the things on my list? I know better. I also know it'll consist of things added that brought moments of simple fun, moments of deep thought, and moments of peace. There is a lot of uncertainty in my life right now, but what joy it brings to be certain He shows up, to be certain He provides, and to be certain He says don't worry about tomorrow, I've got it covered.