Saturday, December 31, 2011

Clarity through endurance

"I will not quit" that's a phrase I said many times in 2011, actually I've shouted it, I've whispered it, I've wrote it, and I've felt it in my heart as I cried uncontrollably. I. Will. Not. Quit.

Endurance is a word I learned as a little girl, playing the Indian game with my grandma as she would say "Endure, Carla, endure." Endurance is a word that I've stood on this year though I didn't understand why until recently. Romans 5:3-5 says "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love."

I know God loves me. I know I am saved through Jesus. I do. But if I'm to be totally honest there are times that someplace inside me I still doubt. It's like my brain (my knowledge) and my heart (my belief) don't connect. And this year my faith was challenged in deep ways and it seems as if the waves just keep coming, I barely catch my breath. How often do we say "man I can't catch a break?" or "I have a black cloud over me"? How often do we feel others are getting "blessings" and we're getting nothing? Read Romans again. Read and read and read until it sinks in...

Trials produce endurance (don't quit) and endurance leads to stronger character (don't we all want to have more noble character?) and that all leads to confidence in our salvation (yes He REALLY does love even me and you)...all this is wrapped in God's love. Trials lead to a stronger understanding of God's you haven't looked at it like that before! I sure hadn't.

So, today, on this last day of 2011 pause and look back at the year and all the ups and downs you've been through...can you see God crying out to you? Can you see God whispering "I love you, don't quit"? Can you see how getting through the trial led to stronger character and stronger faith? I can and I'm so thankful I didn't quit.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Clarity in hope

The Extraordinary Women's Conference was earlier this year. I wanted to go, there were several speakers coming that I wanted to hear but I had no money for a ticket; the desire to go was a fleeting thought at best. Then, I received a phone call from a friend telling me that if I wanted to go with her someone was willing to buy my ticket. I wasn't sure why and I didn't know who, but I was sure God was up to something.

Hope is a word that started popping up earlier this year. I viewed hope as "I hope I get..." in other words hope for me described something I wanted just didn't think I'd get. Let's not get our hopes up was my thought. Hope was everywhere, random conversations, tv shows, and friend and I walked into the room for the conference and hanging on the back of the stage was a huge banner that read EVERLASTING HOPE. I laughed out loud; I started praying a long time ago for God to be out loud and outrageous when talking to me so I would know it was Him...He was speaking, loud and clear.

I began to pay close attention in the weeks to follow, trying to figure out what God was saying to me. Why was "hope" such an important lesson for me to learn? As the year ends this is the clarity I've gathered thus far about HOPE:

As a Christian we have confident expectation (a definition given at the conference) in the God we serve. The bible says to approach the throne boldly (Hebrews 4:16) and it also tells us that God wants to bless us (Genesis 1). I discovered that when I would pray about something for someone else I was filled with confident expectation, but when I prayed about myself I was hesitant, almost doubtful. I also discovered that if much time passed and I didn't clearly "see" God working I was quick to want to give up, assuming He didn't want to answer that particular prayer (even though I would challenge someone else for thinking that way about themselves). In essence, I wasn't believing for myself what I was believing for others.

Hope for me this year has been about learning to apply that same confident expectation to myself, at all times; this is a journey that I will be on for awhile, but I'm so thankful God loves me enough to shout that He wants me to have His version of HOPE. May we ALL have confident expectation when we talk with our Father.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

clarity through friends

I asked for this year to be a year of clarity because of a certain situation I was in, a friendship. I needed to know which side of the fence do I stand on and what does that look like. God took that prayer and showed me that I need this type of clarity in several relationships in my life, some with men some with women some with family.

2011 has been a year of clarity in my relationships.

I have learned that honesty is often painful and many times this year I've been required to draw a line the sand that I did not want to draw. It's hard to walk away from someone we care about, especially when we think we could be a good influence in their life. It's harder when you love them.

When I prayed for clarity I didn't expect it to hurt so much. I also didn't expect it to cover so many areas of my life. Clarity has forced me to see people for who they really are, it has forced me to see what my motives really are and it's forced me to see who God really is.

At the end of the this year I can say that God was faithful in showing me which side of the fence I needed to be on, clearly, and He also provided opportunities to make that happen. God was faithful in giving me the courage required to continue the process of having healthy relationships. Clarity in relationships didn't happen at all like I expected, but I'm so thankful it happened.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Clairty through poverty

It was a ritual between my mom and I to eat our dinner sitting in front of the tv watching Little House On The Prairie. When we first moved to Fort Wayne, that ritual was one done on top of two huge, white, floor pillows. Those pillows were our only furniture for awhile. In the moment I loved every minute of it. Eating pancakes (which we did often and I loved), watching my favorite show, and being with my mom...I could have cared less that we sat on the floor. Looking back I can tell you we were truly broke.

As a parent who often is broke I can appreciate what those days must have been like for my mom. It's one thing to go to bed hungry, it's another to put your child to bed that way. A parent's natural instinct is to provide and protect. That's what we do. My worst financial memory as a parent is when we looked in the couch cushions for change to go buy milk and couldn't find any; I had to explain to the kids we couldn't get milk for a few days. We were truly broke.

January 2011 I went out of the country for the first time in my life; I traveled with a medical team to The Dominican Republic. I was told to prepare for culture shock, I felt I had especially since my aunt and uncle are missionaries. Day 3 a mother came to the clinic, her 3 month old baby had chronic diarrhea. Through investigation the team realized she was giving the infant juice not milk...she couldn't afford milk. In that moment my world collided with her world only it was magnified 100x because I just had to wait until Friday, payday, she had no idea if relief would ever come. She wasn't broke she was in poverty.

And then...

I had the privilege of speaking with a room full of women who were eager to learn their rights as women, to bond as women. When it was over I sat at my seat and clarity descended upon me. "You are part of something bigger than you see" that's what I heard in my heart. God took that moment to remind me that we ALL are bonded by HIM, for HIM, and through HIM regardless of how much money we have, nationality we are, or house we live in. Clarity came in the form of being grateful to be a women, being grateful to be a Christian and being grateful to be a visitor.

To my friends in the are loved, you are missed, and you are prayed for daily. Hold your heads high because in His eyes you are not broke and you are certainly not in poverty. You are part of something bigger than you see.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Family

I've decided to write a spoof about Christmas time, the observations I've made. Below is the story of my "family" I've created....

Christmas is fast approaching. Do I have the right gift for Aunt Edna? Gasp, of course I don't! I've been looking since Dec 26th of LAST year and I've yet to find it! You know how she is, insisting that she have exactly what she wants but refusing to tell you what that is. And if you screw it up she emails the whole family behind your back about how selfish you are.

We also have fifteen places to go and we CANNOT celebrate any time other than Christmas Day because that would just be sac-religious; should I inform all these people getting drunk isn't a religion? Guilt is apparently a religion in my husband's family. They start in July talking about what time we are to arrive at their house and what time we are allowed to leave; trying to explain that I'm not an orphan is not helping.

The kids have announced they no longer want to celebrate Christmas. The oldest is mad because everyone refuses to give her just money, the youngest had a brief meltdown because her great grandpa informed her Santa isn't real. I informed her that her great grandpa is grouchy and old and no longer makes the nice list. The other two kids are fighting over who gets to sit in the front part of the minivan, what they don't realize is you won't be able to see them by the end of the day because of all the gifts.

Gifts. They seem to be the main focus of Christmas. My husband and I just got married over the summer and we want Jesus to be the main focus. His mom said "ok, then I'll not buy gifts I'll just buy you a 'smile Jesus loves you sticker'", my response...sweet, we need one of those. I thought the children were going to strangle me. My side of the family is no better. My cousin who we haven't seen in 12 years has decided to come celebrate with us, which is fine except the reason he hasn't come is because he steals from us...large items like our tv. But instead of confronting him about it, we just smiled and said Merry Christmas then decided to lie the next year and tell him we weren't having a gathering. Facebook ruined it for us this year because my sister posted "can't wait to see what I get from Mom and Dad at our Christmas gathering". So now I have to go to my parents house and help them hide the valuables before Christmas Day. I've considered explaining we aren't helping out Timmy by ignoring his problems, in fact we're enabling him, but I knew THAT would not go over well. We prefer to sit on top of the elephant in the room.

By the time the 26th comes we'll have traveled 902 miles, said Merry Christmas 1200 times, gained 7 pounds, accumulated 1 ton of things we really don't need and will be broken/thrown away within a month, my husband and I will have "stopped speaking" roughly 7 times, we'll be in debt $10,000 and we'll have threaten to "give all your gifts to children who will appreciate them" at least 3 times.

But by golly we're going to do this Christmas thing because after all that's why Jesus died for create more stress, more work, more tears, and more debt. Hallelujah praise God!

*I wrote this because we enter the holidays saying "I hate the holidays" or "I can't wait for Christmas to be over" and it makes me sad. Somewhere along the way we've forgotten why we have Christmas and bought into the lie that Christmas is about stuff and schedules not people and love; we also forgo any sense of boundaries.

The bottom line is Christ came to this Earth because He loves us that much, not because He felt we needed one more thing to do. We are alive because of Him, not for others.

Merry Christmas :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


The LORD is the stronghold of my life...Psalm 27:1

The definition of stronghold is a place of refuge, a place having strong defenses. A stronghold can be good...or...bad. I came across this verse today while doing research for something else; actually it's a sentence in the middle of the verse. However, in reading it felt as if that sentence was jumping off the page at me. God is speaking...


I pray often for God to take away certain things in my life, like my unhealthy views of my body. And yet, I still have them. It's been really stressing me, making me question is God really still working in my life. I know better, I know He is even when I don't "see" it, I'm just being honest. When change doesn't happen I begin to wonder.


Reading that sentence today it hit me. Is Jesus the stronghold in my life or is my junk? Honestly, it waivers. Oh how that makes me sad to admit. When something, anything, is consuming my thinking, my conversations, my writing, my prayers...that's my stronghold. Lately it hasn't been Jesus, well, not in the ways it should be.

The LORD is the stronghold of my life.

That sentences literally means Christ is center, the fortress, the place of refuge of life, all of life, my life. If we aren't "feeling" that then we need to readjust because if there's anything I know for sure it's that Christ didn't move, we did. Somewhere along the way I apparently moved.

So, I shall stop making excuses like "I can't help it", "I know I shouldn't but...", "but what if...", "I don't want to...", "I know but..." and replace it with "God promises...", "The LORD is the stronghold of my life", "I can...", "I trust God to...".

I want Christ to be the stronghold of my life. Do you? Be honest because you're going to have strongholds...good or bad.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


For several months now I've had really weird dreams, some make me cry and others make me laugh because they are so outrageous. Last night I had a dream that my oldest daughter told me she's pregnant; this is the second time I've had that dream. Needless to say I woke in a panic and crying.

When I was growing up I went through many different occupations when someone would ask "what do you want to be when you grow up?" It started with veterinarian, then moved to pilot, teacher, actress, beautician. The list was long and today I'm none of them nor have I ever been any of them. They were merely dreams that have not come true.

God often spoke to people via dreams. For me, I tend to be woken in the middle of the night with the urge to write and through that writing His words take shape and I begin to see what it is that is floating inside of me, the "dream".

This morning I have been writing. I'm working to finish my book (it's long over due) and I'm starting a new project, a small group study about our identity as women. I'm home, writing. That I can tell you is a dream I never thought would come true nor did I speak it out loud for many years.

So, what have I learned about dreams? As the song goes, you gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em...this ministry is a dream I will hold, the fear of what my children "may" do I will fold.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Any parent will tell you a major key to successful parenting is consistency. I think any parent will also tell you this is a key that is hard to uphold. Consistency requires effort, planning, and doing what you don't always feel like doing. Consistency can be draining because frankly sometimes you just don't want to fight.

Money was a topic Jesus talked often about. In fact, the concepts surrounding money is dealt with more than any other topic in the bible (according to my google search). Money is also a word that few link with consistency. Recent history has proven money cannot be dependable, consistent. What we once felt confident was, is no longer. So to give consistently regardless of the way we feel can be overwhelmingly scary...maybe even seem down right wrong.

Vulnerability Ministries was created 18 months. I have not had consistent full time income for 18 months. Most say I'm being irresponsible. Some say I have courage to follow my gut. Few say I'm right where I should be, remain consistent in my walk. We as Americans equate happiness with financial security. We equate success with bank accounts. We compare dreams with what WE can do. We Americans are also far from being consistent.

Malachi 3:6 "For I am the LORD, I do not change..." God is consistent. God is dependable. God is who He is. He never gets tired, he never changes His mind, He never doubts or fears or lies. God is NOT American.

When this ministry was laid on my heart it was made very clear that I would live off donations, in fact I wrote in my journal "all money comes from Me, whether it be corporate America or private checks, it's Mine and I choose whom to give it to". For 18 months God has provided for my family through awesome and outrageous ways. For 18 consistent months!

Please join in this journey with me, take your next step of faith, and go beyond "considering" making a donation to the ministry. Commit the year 2012 that you will consistently give beyond your comfort level, give beyond your tithe, give even when it doesn't make sense. If you don't donate to VM, please donate to something! After all, if we all work together we will finally get it right! And just so you know, there's much more to "giving" than just money ;)

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Ephesians 6:7.

I just got done cleaning the bathtub. We have well water and I don't always remember to add salt to the water softner so at times our water gets rusty. It doesn't take long before the bathtub has a lovely orange tint to it. While cleaning, this verse came to mind; interesting because while I was cleaning I was not feeling enthusiasm.

I think I would be described as a person that has enthusiasm. I'm certainly a passionate person, an expressive person so I think it's safe to say enthusiasm could also describe me. However, I don't do ALL THINGS with enthusiasm and I certainly don't clean with it. Honestly, the only time that word describes me is when I'm doing what I WANT to be doing, what I ENJOY doing. I doubt that's what Paul was talking about when he wrote that verse.

We all work, the job title is the only thing that separates us. We put our hours in and we all wonder at times if it's even worth it. We all lose sight of WHO we're working for. Even me and my whole career revolves around God.

As this year comes to a close and we start to think about a new year, we often start to think of new goals. I want to encourage us to view our "work" differently this next year...let's work (whether it's at home, at a job, or as a volunteer) with enthusiasm remembering we work for the Lord, not for people. Let's have enthusiasm even when no one stops to say "hey good job", let's have enthusiasm even when we feel unappreciated. Let's have enthusiasm in all we do because it'll make our lives a lot more enjoyable!

I'm off to do laundry...with enthusiasm...and the help of Pandora.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Show Praise

Praise. A word that's crossing my path lately. At first I thought "I do praise you God" but as the days have passed and more clarity has come I've come to a different conclusion.

Praise isn't always about saying "thank you God" or "you're so good God"; praise is about attitude and about actions too.

When I get upset with someone do I seek God, praising Him that I can come to Him for direction? When I worry about something do I seek God praising Him that I can find safety in Him? When I start to make a decision do I pause to praise God that He will give guide my steps? Lately, that answer is no.

Guilt is not of God. Nothing God brings to light is meant for us to feel guilty about; it's simply brought to light for us to acknowledge and then allow God to change. Guilt is not of God.

So, today, on the eve of Thanksgiving I encourage us all to pause and question how much praise are we giving God, how much praise are we showing God and how much praise are we receiving from God? Seek the Truth and then allow it to take root deep inside so true change occurs.

Let's be thankful for our God, for our families, for our lives more days than just tomorrow. Let's show our thanksgiving with the lives we live each and every day.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I really dislike asking for help...of any kind. I hate having to admit I can't do something, I don't understand something, I need something. And yet it seems to be right where God likes me...needing to ask.

When I said yes to Him and started Vulnerability Ministries I knew it would mean asking for things, including money. But honestly I was hoping I wouldn't have to do that very often, I was hoping I could just tell people what I do and they would feel "led" to donate. And that's happened, but God is also making it clear I'm to "ask and keep on asking". Ugh.

Things are definitely happening in VM. More lives are being touched, more people are starting to be honest with themselves and God, more doors are opening. And money is needed. Money. Ugh.

I want to be able to help people, do what I do best (tell my stories) and just have money appear. I want to be able to accept money without asking for money. I don't seem to be getting all that I want. So, apparently now the conversation goes like this "here's my story, are you willing to make a donation so I can tell others the same stories".

Ask. Keep on asking. Yes God I hear you.

Well friends, here's the deal. I'm starting to meet with more women who are seeking guidance, seeking a sounding board, seeking someone that's like them and I want to be able to provide that free of charge. I am also working on writing material (a book, small group studies, etc) and I'm seeking churches to speak at. So, I am taking a giant gulp, swallowing my pride, and I'm asking for donations....consistent monthly I can keep doing what God has called me to do and still pay my bills (bill collectors don't seem to have the same kind of faith I do).

If you want more specifics on the ministry, I'll gladly share (I really like that part). If you would like to invest in this ministry, thus investing in others, email me and I'll give you the information for that. And above all else please pray for VM and the lives we encounter.

There...I asked. Whew.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Come to the table

I like reading about Mary and Martha in the bible; reading how one was busy cleaning and one was busy being. I like knowing that both were necessary and both were loved by Christ. I like knowing that both caught his attention and both were invited to His table. Frankly, I'm both.

I often feel inadequate. I often feel less than. I often feel. Feelings are not something we should ever base decisions on and yet, feelings are usually the first answer given when asked "why". Feelings drove both Mary and Martha. Feelings are misleading, misunderstood and misused. Christ is rarely found in our feelings.

Last weekend 100 women gathered to "be real" in the presence of Christ. There was a moment as I was talking that I thought to myself "this, this is what it's suppose look like" and I must admit I nearly broke down and cried because that moment was fully God and none Carla. I could feel Him. I could see Him in their faces.

I often have an image cross my mind of a man sitting at a table, patiently, waiting for me to come and sit with him. He never says anything, just looks at me and smiles as if to say " yes, I'm still here". For a long time I didn't understand...I'm so thankful I do now.

We all fail. We all fall so short of where we'd like to be at the end of the day. We all question and we all long. All of us. We're so busy running around, from place to place, making sure all the kids are in sports, making sure we attend all the parties, making sure we never miss an event, making sure our friends are happy, our coworkers are happy, even making sure our church is happy and yet...He sits at the table, just waiting.

He's not waiting on any THING to happen, he's waiting on US to happen. On us to slow down long enough to realize that it our own being that matters most to him. He's waiting on us to join him at the table. He's waiting on us to allow Him to lavish love upon us. Lavish...what a beautiful word.

If you don't have time, then you better make time. The last thing we should ever want to do is stand before God saying we're sorry we didn't make time for Him when He'd been at our table all along.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

In the meantime

Waiting. It's not my strong suit. I don't know that I've ever been good at it. I just simply loath waiting.

And yet the bible is filled of "wait". Why? Why is waiting so important? And what are we supposed to do "in the meantime"?

I tend to start out great, saying how much I trust in God to provide, I know His timing is best, I'm in no hurry, I'm going to enjoy the moment I'm in...blah blah blah.

And then...

I start to second guess myself, I wonder if I heard God correctly, I wonder if He hears me correctly, I wonder if He answered me and I missed it, I wonder if He ignores me.

And then...

I start to get ticked. I wonder what is God doing anyway? I get tired of hearing "his timing" cause honestly I begin to wonder if His clock is broke. I cry. I talk to friends about how tired I am of waiting. I start asking for people to pray, hoping they'll get through to Him since I'm obviously not. I cry more. I complain.

And then...

I start to give up. I begin to think about changing courses. I sigh and figure He's said no so just move on. I begin to believe the lies floating in my head. I doubt.

My "in the meantime" isn't very pretty huh? I would venture to say it's that way for most of us. Maybe that's what Paul was talking about when he said that he does the very things he doesn't want to do? I don't want to spend my time waiting like that, I don't want to begin with trust and end with doubt and yet it happens. Often.

So, why do we have so much "in the meantime"? Why does God seem to take forever before revealing the answer to us? I don't have the answer to that, wish I did...the closest thing I have is this: the journey I go through each time causes me to draw a little closer to God and God shines a little brighter.

Maybe, just maybe, the whole waiting on God thing isn't about time but rather about how we are acting during that time, what we are saying during that time, who we are seeking during that time. Maybe "in the meantime" is a point of reflection for us and a point of grace for Him.

Either way, my prayer is that my "in the meantime" is filled with more trust and less doubt...that's my prayer for you too!

Monday, October 3, 2011

I know, But...

I loved him. I wanted it to work. I thought that if I loved him enough, prayed hard enough, things would change...he would change. I knew in my heart that wouldn't happen and yet I still held on to the "I know, could happen".

We hear the's like Billy Graham who for years wasn't even a Christian and then became this amazing man of God. We meet people that talk about the power of prayer, to never give up hope, to always believe in others. And in our hearts we just don't want to let go of the idea that the one we love just might never become what we think they can become.

Where's the line? When do we walk away? How do we know we've done all we can and it's ok to move on? Are we not trusting in God if we walk away?

Codependent. Enabling. Unhealthy. Boundaries.

Those are words we don't often use in the Christian world. We need to. We need to understand that Christ did not intend for us to lose who we are in the process of trying to "save" someone else. Sacrificing all that you are over love...isn't love. More importantly, whether or not someone else decides to finally "get it" and straighten their life out is between them and God; you might love that person more than you've ever loved anyone, but at the end of the day your love won't ever be enough. It's not suppose to be.

I've finally made peace with the idea he may never change, but more importantly I've made peace with the idea that he might change and I won't be around to enjoy it. For me, that was the part I didn't want to accept; that he just might change and then someone else would be there to enjoy. How is that fair?

I've spent a lot of time learning what God means by the word love. The conclusion I've arrived at is sometimes because I love you I have to walk away...and that's ok.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Oh So Happy

Do you believe you deserve it? Do you believe you've earned it? Do you believe you created it?


A word we all strive for, a word we all crave even if only silently, and yet a word that trips us all up. A word we can't ever seem to fully grasp with our hands. Is happiness possible or is it an illusion, a fairy tale that's called the "American Dream"?

I want to be happy and yet it seems that at times I sabotage the very things that will make me happy. I've also been told nothing ever makes me happy. Is it possible I fear being happy? After all, when you're down the only place to go is up but when you're up the only place to go is down. Right?

To me there is a difference between joy and happy. Joy is peace, that calm in the eye of the storm. Joy is centered around Christ, not me. Happy is a feeling, something that we can create. Happy can be taken from me just as easily as it's given.

Regardless of what you believe religiously I think we all agree on the fact that happy is something we all want. So, how do we get it? And how do we keep it?

The saying "if you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything" rings so true; in fact, if you don't know what you stand for, if you don't know who you are then you'll never fully like the life you have and you'll never fully be happy.

I have a great life. I love being me. I also endure my share of heartache and shed many tears. I. Am. Happy. Why? Because life's circumstances don't define me nor do they dictate my future. I'm happy because I choose to be that way, regardless of what's going on. I have my off days, but I quickly get back up again, dust myself off and refocus where I'm looking. I'm happy because I stopped worrying about if I deserve it and I just accepted the gift it is. I'm happy because I'm loved.

You are loved too. You just have to decide if you're going to accept it...and be happy...or not.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Much to Give

The more research I do on not-for-profits the more I am realizing the vastness of our hearts. Money is being raised for animals, for nature, to restore antiques, buildings, kids on the street, sex-trafficking, depression, cancer, the list goes on and on. We could choose to look at it as heart breaking, to see the depth of need around us; I choose to look at it as an opportunity for compassion, an opportunity for love to be shown, an opportunity for us as individuals to get out of our comfort zone and give till it hurts.

Do we do that? Do we give till it hurts? Do we believe God when He says that He will supply all our needs? Or do we fear that ONLY our needs will be met and dang it we deserve that vacation!

I want to encourage us all to take time and really think about what we are doing with our time, our money, our thoughts, our talents/gifts. Are we using all of it to better the world we live in or are we doing it to better us? Are we teaching others our skills? Are we living outside ourselves and seeking ways to come alongside others? When we have a day off are we filling it with so much of our "list" that we don't take time to help the old lady get something off the top shelf at the store?

There's so much need around us. It can be overwhelming. I know. Listen to your heart, give where you are led. Give more than you planned on. Be compassionate. Be daring. Be a little less focused on what YOU deserve. And then...wait and see that the Lord is good.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's hard work

Since Sunday I have not listened to any music except Christian music. At first I thought it wasn't that big of deal, then I realized I miss country music all that keeps going through my head are awesome Christian songs about how cool God is and safe I am. Could be true what we listen to really does influence how we feel/what we think?

It's Thursday, typically by now I'm begging Friday to come as the week is brutal most of the time but today I just simply feel happy to be in this moment. I'm home, writing, after a busy day of meetings and taking Kaity to the ortho. I've listened to problems, prayed with others, talked about the glory of God in small things, and took a moment for just me and it's only a little after 2! Could it be when we align ourselves with God's path our path becomes less rocky/less unbearable?

So many times I say being a Christian is hard...the act itself isn't hard, following the commitment is hard. But then, having a healthy marriage is hard, being a wise parent is hard, working a job with no appreciation is hard, trusting in God is hard, doing what's right instead of what we want is hard. Commitment is hard. Dedication is hard. Our society is too "if you don't like it, change it"; that's not the foundation of Christianity at all. Staying steadfast, against the wind (family, friends, society) simply because God says too....that's freedom.

That's my word today, freedom. I have many decisions to make, fears to address, obstacles in my way yet today I feel free, giddy even.

Listen to Christian music, for more than a song. I dare you.
Embrace the moment your in instead of wishing for the next one. I dare you.
See the gifts you have and rest in them alone. I dare you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

she's so pretty

I am having a really good day and then....came across someones picture on facebook who is absolutely beautiful and suddenly I don't feel as good about myself. I instantly compared myself to her in every single way only to end the thinking with "she's much prettier than I am".

Why do we do that? Why do we compare ourselves to everyone we see? Why do we assume their life is so much better than ours? Why do we look to someone else to measure what beauty is instead of accepting the beauty that is within us?

1Peter 3:3-4 says "Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes; But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God."

A picture says a thousand words...those words can be false, my dad can manipulate a picture so much it doesn't even look like you. When we look at a picture we're seeing a single moment in time, that again can be altered. Over and over God says beauty is not skin deep and I would venture to say according to this passage beauty isn't even totally in the "eye of the beholder" because with that thinking we're still looking to someone to tell us we're beautiful, we're still comparing ourselves to the chick on facebook whom we know NOTHING about. She just has a really good photo (and she probably doesn't think she's very pretty).

I struggle with body image every single day. I hear the comments made about others and wonder what they must think of me, I see what someone "skinny" looks like and think that will never be me. I let a stupid picture alter my good mood....according to 1Peter that's just not ok.

I want to align myself with Truth, with what God says and no where in the bible does it say beauty depends on how I look in the mirror, how I look standing next to someone, how that chick looks to me. No where in the bible does it say compare yourself...what it does say is where's your heart according to your relationship with Christ.

So, I encourage you (and me) to recognize the next time we are tempted to judge someone according to their body to stop and judge where is our heart...because my friends, that's apparently the secret to being beautiful.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

sweetly broken

Sweetly broken. I remember when I first heard this song on the radio, I was so confused how being broken could be sweet in any way. Then I remember feeling total brokenness and as we sang the song in church I thought "I get it now".

To be broken, to know you have nothing else to turn to but God...well as the song say, what a priceless gift.

Today I am recovering from a 9 year old birthday sleep over. I'm recovering from a battle that lasted 10 months. I'm recovering from a heart ache that happened a life time ago. I'm recovering from who I use to be. Today I'm still broken and it's still completely sweet.

I encourage you to listen to this Jeremy Camp song, read the lyrics, soak it in. I encourage you to let yourself become broken, I mean really and utterly broken before the One who made you. I encourage to soak in the sweetness He has to offer so that you too can say it's not in person I find my joy, it's in my Creator.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Bipolar. Not a topic I generally write about, not sure I've ever written about it; at least, not for others to read. Today I can't fight it any longer, it's time to put it out there in black and white.

I'm not telling you I have bipolar as some disclosure that you didn't already know, I talk very openly about the fact that I have been diagnosed with this disorder. I'm writing about it because I've not given it the attention it deserves...and I know I'm not the only person who has it. Knowing we're not alone is half the battle.

I was diagnosed with bipolar shortly after I started counseling in 2007. I remember clearly when I first heard the words and my reaction...there's no way I'm ever going back to see THAT counselor! But I did. I also did some research on bipolar. And I cried. A lot.

In counseling I learned how to manage it, I learned how to manage me. I also learned how to embrace the person God created me to be. I think for the first time ever in my life I learned how to truly love me.

Bipolar is something I will forever have, unless God takes it away (which I pray for often). I will always be on medication and though I hate that statement, I've learned it's not about what I like or don't like, it's about being the very best I can be.

I hate having bipolar. I hate being so emotional. I hate that my brain doesn't work like it should at times. I hate when I wake up and my first thought is "just stay in bed, you don't feel good today". I hate that it's a struggle at times to put on the happy face. I hate that I have days of feeling great....cause those days aren't every day and I really like those days! I hate that I cry for no reason. I hate that I get angry over stupid stuff. I hate that I have no umph sometimes.

Now, let me be clear...those things I've listed aren't an every day kind of thing, just stuff I deal with off and on. Most that know me struggle to accept that I'm bipolar, they say they just can't see it in me. That means the medicine I'm on works and I'm managing it well. However, I also don't let most people around when the "down" part comes out. I tend to withdraw.

I also want to be clear in saying all of us have moments like I've described, so please don't think just because you experience these things means you have bipolar. I have them to an extreme, there's a difference.

My goal in writing about this today is for you to begin to better understand bipolar, so you can stop making fun of it and calling us nuts, but also hose that have it will stop living under the weight of it. I have bipolar...I'm not bipolar. It's not where my value, my worth, my identity comes from.

Bipolar is just another part of my story. Another part that I will not be victim to by being silent.

Monday, August 22, 2011


14 months ago I created Vulnerability Ministries. The past 14 months have been a learning process consisting not just of learning how to start a not for profit, but also learning what God intended when He laid this ministry on my heart. The fog is slowly lifting, I'm seeing a little clearer, and progress is happening.

Last night the high school youth group came to my house for a bonfire. I shared with them my story about earning the most talkative award my senior year and the sadness it brought me. I shared with them how I felt through my high school days...a girl who didn't know her value.

God took that talkative girl and turned her into a woman that now speaks out on His behalf. Today if I won the most talkative award I would beam with pride because it would mean I am doing what God is asking me to do...share about Him through Vulnerability Ministries.

So, today I will work on my To Do list for the ministry and actually complete the things I've been putting off. My desire is to be a vessel for God to use, that means actually doing what He asks me to do. My desire is helping people get past the hurt in their life that is causing them to keep God at a distance, that means speaking out loud. My job is this ministry and that means asking for donations.

Years ago I prayed for God to use me....He is....because it's no longer my story.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Years ago God took me through the lesson of "just be", something I talk often about, and yet I quit doing it over as much this last year. Oh I talk to God, I seek God, but I'm not stopping to just be with motive has turned to get something, not give something.

I woke this morning, early, and instead of laying there trying to go back to sleep I decided to get up (hoping to get some writing done actually). When I sat down at the computer I remembered again that phrase, just be, so I walked away from the computer and went outside to enjoy watching the sun come up and be in silence.

I prayed off and on, but mostly I was silent.

I didn't get some "revelation" and I didn't hear His "voice" but I did remember the peace I felt when I use to do this daily. By the time I came back inside I didn't feel so alone and the weight of my problems didn't seem so overwhelming to me.

My problems are still here, there are things to still be figured out, that hasn't changed in the 30 minutes I spent outside; however, in that time I regained focus on what matters, who's in charge, what my role is, and I was reminded that I don't need to keep asking when He's already answered.

Is there something you need guidance on? Have you already prayed about it, laying it the feet of the One who knows everything? Do you know deep down inside what you're suppose to do (not what feels comfortable or seems easy or what others tell you)? Have you received your answer but you keep questioning?

I want to encourage you this morning to pause and remember what you already know, remember what He's told you, and remember what your part is vs His part. I encourage you to lay down your fear, lay down your worry, lay down your need to control, lay down your need for comfortable. The three men who were thrown into the fire (if you don't know the story let me know and I'll fill you in) were not walking in comfort, control, and doubt. Those three men walked in confidence and were determined to follow God regardless of the outcome.

Today let us renew our determination so that our time, our money, our words, our actions, our lives reflect a confidence that God is in control regardless of how things appear. Determine to stand your ground and follow God...even when the fire gets hot. Determine to seek Him just to be with Him, not because you need something from Him.

Today let us begin to love God out loud and in outrageous ways!! Bring on the fire!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Heart

I have been sitting in my chair starring at this computer for way to long waiting on something to write. I don't have writers block, it happens just not currently, I have control issues. I hear inside "write your heart" and I reply "not today give me something else". So, here I sit. Why do I continue to argue with God? It's not like I ever "win"!

My heart. Today I feel like I'm beginning to rise from a fog I've been in way to long, though I'm not fully out of it. The fog is my desire to fix. I want to fix others so they will be happy, healthy, whole. I want to fix others because when they hurt I hurt. I want to fix others because I know the pain that lies ahead of the decision they just made and I want to save them from it.

My heart. Too often I speak way to much. I go to far. I don't fully think out what needs to be said, saying only that part and throwing what I want to say out. Need vs want. Speak the truth in love, that's what I'm often told...I try to do that, I fall short though. Or do I?

Are we still speaking the truth in love if we make someone cry? If we say something that causes that prickly feeling inside? Are we speaking the truth in love if we draw the line in the sand? Are boundaries truth in love...when the other person begs you to change them? Or are we overbearing, uncaring, judgmental, harsh, and lacking compassion?

My heart. With me you always know where I stand, because I want to always know where you stand. But I'm learning that not everyone says where they stand in the same ways I do and that's ok. I'm learning that change is allowed, even ok. I'm learning that to love you doesn't mean accept their actions, it simply means love you through the action. And I'm learning that "fixing" just isn't going to happen in the ways I think it should.

"Therefore, as God's chosen people whom He deeply loves, you must clothe yourselves in tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12. My memory verse this week. My heart that God longs for me to have. My heart that I long to have.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I want control

It seems to be a theme that God won't give up on...I'm not in control. It's a theme I loath if I'm to be honest and it's also a theme that covers every single area of my life.

I'm not in control of what my children say or do. I'm not in control of what others feel or say about me. I'm not in control of whether my influence really makes a difference in your life. I'm not in control of the driver next to me. I'm not in control of the woman who always seems to say hurtful things to me. I'm not in control of women healing and growing. I'm not in control of parents respecting their children, or even parenting them. I'm not even in control of me at times. I'm not in control of God's plans. I'm simply not in control.

I think we are fooling ourselves if we say we "have control of the situation" and I also think we are fooling ourselves if we say "it's out of my control". There's got to be a middle ground. There is.

The more I relinquish my control, the more controlled things become. It's not because God is controlling, it's because the path becomes less wide with less things that are out of control. But giving up control is hard. Letting someone else be in control is even harder. So we have to decide, sometimes moment to moment, who IS in control if it's not me?

I don't follow God because it's easy. I don't follow God because I have to. I don't follow God because it's the right thing to do. I don't follow God because someone says to. I follow God because I need to. Because I'm a control freak who hates the truth that I'm not in control and if I'm not in control then SOMEONE needs to be and there's not another being out there I trust more than God so.....I'm not in control, but God is...because I let him ;)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fat Christians

I think the worst excuse a person can give for leaving their church is "we're just not being fed there any more"...seriously, THE WORST! Though I must admit no one has ever said that directly to my face, which is probably a good thing. However, if they did my response back would be "because you're already too fat".

When I first became a Christian, I mean really actually following God not just saying I believed in God, I couldn't get enough information. It was like a new world opened up to me and I was trying desperately to take it all in. And then something happened. I plateaued. I remember leaving church and feeling like I didn't really get a lot out of the sermon. Hearing stories that I'd heard before. Singing songs I already knew. I noticed that I'd lost that passion somewhere along the way and now was just going through the motions. And then the thought crept in, "time to move on".

One of the names of Satan is Father of lies...."time to move on" is a lie straight from his mouth into our mind. How do I know it's a lie? How did I figure out that the problem wasn't that I wasn't being fed any longer, I wasn't growing any longer? I admitted out loud how I was feeling. I sought to figure out what was going on. I fought back with Truth. I stood my ground instead of going on my feelings.

If you believe you aren't being fed any more at your church let me challenge you with the same question that was presented to me...."what are you doing to help other Christians grow?" Be honest with your answer. Just being a greeter on Sunday morning doesn't make the list, just so you know.

We get fat when we are taking in more than we are putting out....we all understand that. Eat and don't work it off equals flab on the body. Well, soak in all the God stuff and don't turn around and share that with others equals flab on the heart. Jesus tells us to "go and make disciples"....he didn't say that to just certain people, that's a commission given to us ALL. So again I ask you, what are you doing to help other Christians grow? Maybe you should examine that before blaming your church for you being fat...after all, McDonald's doesn't make you fat, you eating McDonald's makes you fat.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Destiny

Have you ever known you were getting ready to face something life changing? Have you ever felt the fork in the road, paused long enough to recognize the implications? Have you ever realized that today is going to change your life?

A large part of my life I floated through. I moved from one moment to the next without thought about how it truly and fully impacted me. I was busy running from the last moment, hoping the next would bring relief. It rarely did. I rarely escaped. I didn't have a plan, outside of get beyond today; I didn't have a direction, other than keep moving. I also didn't have a clue who I was or why I existed.

Yesterday I was watching videos on YouTube and saw Bono speaking about another artist, he said "Others are truly living simply because she fulfilled her destiny". I played that part over and over, crying.

The past four years I've changed drastically, to me the biggest part that has changed is I am no longer floating, moving from one moment to the next. I have figured out why I'm here and I've figured out what I'm supposed to be doing. I am fulfilling my destiny. I am. I don't say that with arrogance, I say it with a confidence that I've only gained in knowing my Creator. I'm right where I'm supposed to

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I've prayed for years for someone to come into my life that would be a mentor to me, an accountability partner. I wanted someone that was wiser than me that I could learn from, someone that would love me for me yet push me to be better. Today I have several people that fit that role, one just recently crossed my path and all I can say is I only met her because of God.

I've prayed for a very long time for a man to come into my life, a man that would love me for me and yet be strong enough to lead me. Today I have several men in my life that love me, take care of me, and at times even lead me (even though I don't always like it). One has recently crossed my path and I'm pretty sure it's a total God thing, regardless of the ending.

I just got off the phone with my sister, Emily, we talked about friendships evolving, people changing. We also talked about being open to letting new people come into our life and trusting God to lead us. Over the years I have been blessed to know many people and each year that goes by I understand that blessing a little more. To each person I've ever called my friend, thank you. To each man that I've ever let close, I love you. And to those who are yet to come....welcome!

God is faithful to answer your prayer, you just have to be willing to wait and then be willing to see.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

another reason...

I sat in church this morning listening to the team the went to Nicaragua share their experiences and couldn't help but think of when I went to the Dominican Republic earlier this year...the theme is the same, "I had no idea".

I get tired of trying to explain to people why you need to go to church, not that I don't want to talk about it I just don't want to argue about it. Church is something that some see as "organized religion" and use that as the excuse on why they don't need to go to church. Others don't feel "good enough" to attend church. And then there are those that say "you don't need to go to church to have a relationship with God". Sigh.

Excuses. That's what that is. And it makes me sad.

As I listened to how these people went to another country to share the message "you matter" all I could think was THIS IS WHY!! When you don't come to church you are robbing someone the blessing of knowing you, you are robbing God the opportunity to work through you and you are robbing yourself of leaving a deeper and wider imprint on this Earth.

Could you get hurt going to church by the people there? Yep. Could you get hurt by your own family? Yep. People suck. Daily. The difference is people that walk through church doors have the courage to say "it's not all about me". Refusing to go to church says "it's all about me".

Come to church, lay down your excuses, open your heart. It's not about you!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Our Father

I remember in elementary school going to "religion" class and in that class I learned to say THE begins "Our Father, who art in Heaven..." and I remember thinking my dad isn't in heaven and why are we calling God Father, why aren't we calling him God? I also remember being in high school and going to campus life with my friend, she truly loved God and I...well, I got drunk on vodka.

Today is a day we celebrate Dad's, a day we pause to say "I love you and I'm grateful for you" to the man that gave us life but it's also a day for us to remember all the men in our life and to remember the One that gave us breath.

As I've grown as a Christian I've grown in all ares of my life, the main one I think being that I love deeper and I'm therefore more guarded of that love. Growing as a Christian also means an awareness of the fact that God didn't HAVE to make me and certainly doesn't HAVE to continue to let me breath. I was just saying the other day "it's a wonder I haven't been turned into a frog yet". The more I learn about myself the more I understand grace and the more I understand grace the more I love God.

If this Father's Day is hard for you, for whatever reason, then let me encourage you by saying this, I have never known unconditional love, deep and pure love, until I became a Christian so I challenge you, on this day, to reach out to one who knows you best, the one who simply, honestly, does just want to love you and let yourself begin to know our Father, who art in Heaven....

And to my dad's...I'm grateful for you and I love you

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I love...

I've been made fun of plenty for how much I love coffee. But this morning, as I sit here at the kitchen table, preparing to write, I'm sipping on coffee and thinking "yep, I love it!" It's just how it is.

We throw the "love" word around a lot in our society. We either love something or hate something. We're quick to post of facebook when we have a new love and we're quick to post on facebook when we have a new enemy. I dislike both of those situations. Maybe I'm getting old.

Tomorrow is Father's Day, I'm lucky enough to have two men in my life that love me and let me call them Dad. There are plenty in this world that don't even have one dad...a good friend is burying his dad today, the eve of Fathers Day. I dislike that too. Maybe I'm too sentimental.

Something has changed in me over the years of following God. I've softened in ways I didn't expect. I'm beginning to understand "turn the other cheek" and I'm beginning to understand "the greatest of these is love"...there's a lot of country music that stems from the bible, just sayin.

I'm trying desperately to figure out this "life" thing, to figure out where I fit in all of it and to figure out how much of it is up to me and how much isn't. I'm also trying desperately to raise my kids with a shield of wisdom, not life experience wisdom, but God wisdom. As a person on this earth I don't believe we are here to merely exist, to simply suck in air. I don't believe we are here to earn stuff, get ahead, or even to remind the world just how much we've been hurt. As a person that was created by a being that loves us beyond our imagination, we are here to simply love Him back, love His people back, and leave this earth better than if we'd not been here. The rest, well that's icing on the cake if you ask me....but then again, I'm old, sentimental, and love country music and coffee.

Friday, June 17, 2011

our home

When you come to our house and use the main bathroom you'll find writing all over the walls. Each morning when I go to shower I pause and look around at all the writing; people have written notes of encouragement, signed their names, wrote inspirational quotes, and left funny drawings. It's a moment of being able to see in a snap shot all the people that love us. I love our bathroom walls.

The girls are changing bedrooms, they are currently in Erica's room painting will now become Kaity's room and she needs it to be green. Tyler has decided he wants to paint his room too; he's just announced he wants to write inspirational quotes all over his walls. He apparently loves the bathroom walls too.

We rent this house, it doesn't belong to us. I'm unsure how long we will live here, but I'm certain it won't be forever. Over the years we have moved more times than I care to stop and count right now, I've worked hard to slow that down. I'm ready to settle down, to stay unpacked, to have the bathroom walls not change.

Right now I am sitting in the back part of the house, my favorite room, and I can hear the kids all laughing and talking and competing for who's music will be louder. All is right in our home right now. The walls don't belong to us, but we have certainly made this our home and when we move, whenever that will be, we will make those walls ours too for where ever we are there is our home. And we'll write on those bathroom walls too.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

wrong turn

Do I believe in soul mates? That question was posed to me last night and I quickly said no way! Cause if I have chosen wrong then that means someone else had to choose wrong and I would have messed the whole world up. But then, tonight it occurred to me some where along the way I might have taken a wrong turn, turned left when I should have turned right. Soul mates? What if you took a wrong turn?

My kids are starting to enter the world of dating, it's only going to get more serious from here. They will experience heart break, butterflies, kisses, and loneliness. I want so much for them, but more than anything I want them to live a life with no regrets, yet tonight I'm not sure that can happen. Life, no matter how careful you are, will have some wrong turns.

We make decisions that we think are right, we live a life we think is good but how do we ever really know? And when clarity does come, what do you do with it? Wrong turns can't be made right can they?

I still don't know if I believe in the idea of soul mates. What I do know is there was a moment when I clearly turned the wrong direction, but that moment has passed and life has gone on. I just hope it doesn't happen again. Wrong turns suck.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The road i'm on

The road we are on is not paved with smoothness, no it is rocky and uneven. The road we are on is not meant to make us "feel" good, but rather make us good. The road we are is not for us, but for Him.

Today I announced that I no longer think it is the devil trying to cause trouble in my life lately, no instead I think it is God trying to test me, push me, help me grow. After all, I asked for that to happen; I pray continuously for God to use me, to help me be more like Him, to get rid of the old me. And yet when He starts doing it I'm quick to say "get thee behind me Satan". Sigh, I have so much to learn.

The lesson...look in the mirror. Interesting how God lays upon ones heart to talk to others about the very thing He's going to take that person through. Mirrors, something we look into in order to make sure we look "good", to make sure the outside is presentable. But the mirror God has been using, it's looking inside, past the surface and right into the heart. The mirror is also looking into the hearts of others, looking past their surface as well.

A mirror can wound just a much as a word. A mirror can help just as much as a word.

God's love is unconditional, regardless of how I feel. His love never depends on the reflection in the mirror, it simply just exists. Maybe, just maybe, God is holding the mirror for ME to see HIM; maybe it's not about "look at how ugly you're being right now; your inside doesn't match your outside" maybe what it's really about is for the reflection of unconditional love to be seen in a way that breaks through the wounds, breaks through the exhaustion, breaks through the tears and fear. Maybe, just maybe the mirror isn't bad after all.

The road I am on consists of twists and turns and going the wrong way down the road. The road I am on is filled with unknown, unexplainable, and outrageous God. As I often say, and often forget, it's all about perspective. Tonight the perspective has shifted from "it just keeps coming at me" to "praise God for testing for that is what grows my character and godly character is all I'm really after any way".

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Flowers in the Desert

Someone asked me the other day what's happening in my ministry, my response was "not a whole lot right now." But God has been quick to step in and recall what the last year has been like for me...

I started this ministry one year ago, officially. The summer was filled with outrageous God moments that had my head spinning! In August I started in grad school. Life was grand. In Oct I learned of a situation that set everything spinning out of control and by December I felt like I was breaking. I left grad school and came close to leaving everything, even quitting God...I had entered the desert.

In January I went to the Dominican Republic (a trip planned four months prior) on a women's missions trip and spoke to over 200 women about breaking from the cycle of victim...the flower in that desert.

In February, I ended a long time friendship and felt the dryness of the desert creeping back in again. It seemed that every area of my life was a battle and I wasn't sure if I was winning. In March my computer crashed; two months later I've made three more trips to best buy due to computer junk. As a writer, the desert was starting to swallow me.

I don't know if you've ever been to the desert; there's something powerful by seeing the vastness of dry land and something so moving when you see a flower blooming in the middle of all of that. But you have to search to find those flowers sometimes, they can be so easily overlooked in comparison to what's around it.

This last year has been a year of desert, a year testing and growing...sprinkled with flowers. So, if you ask me what's going on in my ministry now, chances are the answer will be much different, because a LOT has been going on! God is at work, raising flowers in the desert...long before we see the first bloom.

Monday, May 23, 2011

El Roi

I woke this morning to learn of a tornado that hit Joplin, MO. Watching the tv I saw image after image of complete destruction, listening as the reporter became overwhelmed with emotion and had to pause to regain composure several times. Just before watching the news I watched a program featuring another country and the effects of poverty and being uneducated on basic life skills that we tend to take for granted. As my kids yelled "BUS" I was crying from simply watching the television.

It's Monday, my long day of the week but also my day to be in church working. We often say "church is just a building; we are the church" and what I saw on tv rings so true of that. The church is needed in so many ways throughout this entire Earth, we are needed. I must admit though, I am looking forward to going into that building today simply because of what it represents.

Today,I can't leave and rush to MO to help those people through the emotional shock of last night. Today, I can't leave and travel to another country to help people learn they do not have to stay in bondage to their cycle of life. What I can inside the walls of my church building and call upon the "God Who Sees", El Roi. Thank you God for teaching me yet another one of your names...for such a time as this.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pray for me

My son hates country music. He says it's just songs about "I've lost my job, lost my wife, my dog is dead" so of course I make him listen to it in the car, just to prove he's wrong. However, that's not my point is I think we sometimes disguise "feel sorry for me" moments in the form of prayer requests.

I have a dear friend who is dying of cancer, much to early in his life. Yet he doesn't flood my inbox with please pray for me, he doesn't fill out prayer request cards on Sunday mornings with this is my situation, and every single time I see him he asks how I'M doing and when I ask about how he is doing his answer "God is good".

I have another friend who has a situation that is very bad. It's been this way for years. And every time I talk to her it's the same story that begins with please pray for me and launches into how horrible other people are towards her. Please pray for me really means feel sorry for me.

We all have our "crappy" moments in life, some moments last longer than others and some moments are way worse than others. We all have things that we need to be prayed about, things that cause us to say please pray for me in this. I'm in no way saying we shouldn't ask for prayer request....I do it often. What I am saying is this,

Before the words "please pray for me" leave our lips, lets check our it so we can say "look how bad my life sucks" or is our motive purely to say "this issue in my life still needs prayer"? And if it's truly that you do just still need to know in an out loud way people are praying for you, then may just say it still sucks, keep on praying....

Actually, as I write those words what I feel in my heart is this: maybe a large part of why our "issue" hasn't changed is because we walk around going "it still sucks, keep praying" instead of "God is good, God is moving, everything God does is good"....maybe it's OUR attitudes that suck. I know sometimes I can't see God clearly because I'm so focused on the issue, so focused on poor me; shift the focus...taste and see that the Lord is good. Taste and see...pray for me yes, pray for all of us, but do it with thanksgiving, remembering first that the Lord is good!

Friday, May 13, 2011

What are you so afriad of?

I was listening to a song this morning about doing what you know you're made for, one of the lines says "Go ahead, what are you so afraid of?" The other day in conversation with a friend I said what if I write this book and it's good and then I'm expected to write more and nothing more comes? What if I succeed to a level that others deem me unacceptable of? Who do I think I am anyway?

Why do we do that? Why do we live in this constant state of fear...fear of what others think, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of the unknown, fear of what we do know....why do we as Christians allow our lives to be ruled by fear instead of truth?

When talking to others about their life I say all the right things, giving advice and encouragement and helping them not live in fear yet when it comes to my own life I can't seem to listen to myself. Why is it good for everyone else and not me? What am I SO afraid of?


I've spent my whole life trying to make someone else proud, trying to earn the "good job" award and just when I think it's within reach I quit because what if it doesn't happen? What will I have then? Disappointment. So, let's not go the full race, let's go just enough to say I did it and then move on to the next thing before anyone says "hey wait a minute, you have more to do". Disappointment.

If I believe God's word, and I do, then I must also believe He has a plan for bring me a hope and a future, not harm. I must also believe that trumps all those fears, trumps disappointment...after all, God says we are chosen and it's brought him great pleasure to call us his very own treasure. If I believe all that in my heart then apparently it's time to stop feeling that inside but not showing it outside. Does your heart line up with your life....words I've pondered all week.

Freedom in Christ has no room for disappointment or fear. Freedom in Christ has no room for going half the distance, for flying under the radar, for living according to what others "may" think. Freedom in Christ is just that, freedom IN Christ. Let's not do the "I'll start Monday" philosophy any more, let's stand up today and say right now, starting right now, I'm going to live outside like I know to be truth inside. What are you so afraid anyway? You've already been chosen and it is good!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Keep on keepin on

I've started to write several times over the last week, only to stop and click the discard button followed by a heavy sigh and walking away from the computer. It's just not been coming. As a writer I'm not sure there is anything more frustrating than not being able to write.

The whole truth though is I have been writing, it's just been a private conversation between God and myself. There's moments when I think ooo this will make a good blog entry but when I sit down to write it the feeling changes and I have nothing but a few words on the screen. I'm learning the balance between sharing and not sharing with regards to writing.

This week has been a very emotional week, on many levels. Actually it's been that way for many weeks (more than I probably even realize) but what makes this week different is I've had another light bulb moment in my relationship with God and in how I view life in general. Growing as a woman, as Christian, as a's draining, exciting, and more challenging than anything I've ever done.

To not reflect, to not try to do better, to remain stagnant well that's all much easier and in many ways more enticing. But, I don't believe we're created to remain the same, to not grow. I don't believe we're created for comfort either. We just happen to like comfort sometimes more than we like growth. Which is why we can't base life on how we feel.

When I die I don't want to be remembered as the one who made us laugh, the one who had so much fun in life, the one with the cool job. I don't. Sure those things are nice, but I don't want them to be my identity. When I die I want my children to say she actually showed what it means to have God at the center of your life. I want to be remembered as a woman that went through this life bending but never breaking, laughing but never ignoring, and getting but only because she was giving.

So, here's to writing...I will not stop. Here's to parenting...I will not run. Here's to my future...I will not miss it.

Keep on keepin on friends, you still have breath in you.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Flowers in the Desert

Someone asked me the other day what's happening in my ministry, my response was "not a whole lot right now." But God has been quick to step in and recall what the last year has been like for me...

I started this ministry one year ago, officially. The summer was filled with outrageous God moments that had my head spinning! In August I started in grad school. Life was grand. In Oct I learned of a situation that set everything spinning out of control and by December I felt like I was breaking. I left grad school and came close to leaving everything, even quitting God...I had entered the desert.

In January I went to the Dominican Republic (a trip planned four months prior) on a women's missions trip and spoke to over 200 women about breaking from the cycle of victim...the flower in that desert.

In February, I ended a long time friendship and felt the dryness of the desert creeping back in again. It seemed that every area of my life was a battle and I wasn't sure if I was winning. In March my computer crashed; two months later I've made three more trips to best buy due to computer junk. As a writer, the desert was starting to swallow me.

I don't know if you've ever been to the desert; there's something powerful by seeing the vastness of dry land and something so moving when you see a flower blooming in the middle of all of that. But you have to search to find those flowers sometimes, they can be so easily overlooked in comparison to what's around it.

This last year has been a year of desert, a year testing and growing...sprinkled with flowers. So, if you ask me what's going on in my ministry now, chances are the answer will be much different, because a LOT has been going on! God is at work, raising flowers in the desert...long before we see the first bloom.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Since February I've be preparing for today. Dreading this day actually and that made me sad because today is my birthday. I've always loved birthdays and celebrate for several days leading up to the big day, but this year was going to be different. This year my birthday was suppose to be filled with things that are far from cause for celebration.

I've been praying about this day for two months, asking for God's will to prevail and deeply longing for His guidance to get me through the day. I've asked countless people to pray for this day. Understanding that on this day something else trumps my birthday.

Now let me just tell you that I turn 35 today...a milestone in one's life. It's a big deal if I do say so myself. To some it's not a good moment, but to me it's awesome. Life for me just keeps getting better, my relationships grow deeper and I feel better in my skin as I grow older. Leading up to today I should be living it up, preparing for a fantastic day, instead I've been preparing for something else.

Then the call came.

What I've been needing to prepare for is no longer happening; at least not today, it'll happen some other day. At first total frustration took over and I kept saying "I just want it to be over!" but this morning as I lay in my bed pondering the fact that it's my birthday and I'm now officially 35 all I could think was look how God answers prayers.

This day has turned out to be wonderful, spending it with my mom shopping and being able to just focus on it being my birthday and now to end the day spending it with my children and my Charlie Brown. "On this day God thought enough of you to create you"...words spoken by the one man that has truly and unconditionally loved me, words I heard as I prepared for the day, words that God used to remind me that yes he hears how important this day is to me...because it reminds me of my value in Him.

So happy birthday to me! Thank you God for allowing me this moment and bring on the next 35 years baby!

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Little Things

Two years ago we moved into the house we currently live February. It snowed all night, the night before, and I woke up to it still snowing. I began to pray before I even got out of bed that it would stop snowing just long enough for us to get moved, then I didn't care if it snowed the rest of the day! We began to load the first truck at 9:05am 9:04 it had stopped snowing. We finished the last load at 12:00 started snowing again at 12:30. That's right, it didn't snow one flake the entire time we moved! Little on God's radar, huge on mine!

I remember hearing a story when I was a little girl about my grandpa. He was a preacher but he was also in construction. I heard the story that he and his workers had poured a foundation for a building and before it had time to set a threat of rain came; my grandpa had his workers join him to surround this foundation and begin to pray over it, asking God to keep the rain from it. It rained all around them, but not on the foundation! Little on God's radar, huge on my grandpa's!

I don't think we have any problem going to God with what we think are big problems, we don't have any trouble crying out to him in times of our deepest needs. And we don't seem to have any problem giving Him the credit when something huge happens that can't seem to be explained any other way outside of a miracle.

But what about the small things? The small problems. The small miracles. Small to do they matter to God? Should we bother Him with our "stupid little issues"? Should we think that He'll take the time to do something about ANYTHING we talk to Him about?


“The Father has loved us so much that we are called children of God. And we really are his children” (1 John 3:1). His children. If you've accepted Christ as your Savior, then you're a Child of God. And as His child, He cares about what you care about. Even the little things. Don't we as parents care about what matters to our own children? If they come to us with a worry, with a desire, with a goal don't we spend time talking with them about it, helping them figure out how to achieve it, the steps needed to make it happen? Well...again I remind us of what it says right there IN THE BIBLE...“The Father has loved us so much that we are called children of God. And we really are his children” (1 John 3:1).

So, yes talk to God about the little things. If it's important to you it's important to Him! And then, give Him the credit when it works out!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Another Holiday

Today is Good Friday. We get the day off work, off school, the day to just be...but why? How many of us take the time to really think about why we have this day off? How many take advantage of the day, but not advantage of the reason? How many of us call ourselves Christian yet do nothing more than just say "I believe"?

Sunday is THE reason. Sunday is THE why.

I've worked really hard to get to where I am today, to become the woman I am. A lot of time, a lot tears, a lot of conversations, and a lot of silent moments. But all of that pales in thinking about why I'm a Christian. All of that pales when understanding the fact that as Jesus hung on that cross I was on his mind. Christ died for me. Christ rose for me. For you. For us.

I speak because it's the least I can do. My words have nothing to do with trying to change you, win you or prove you wrong. My words are spoken because of this weekend. Just believing isn't enough. Calling yourself a Christian isn't enough. Being happy to have the day off work isn't enough. This weekend is FOR us, it's because of us. This weekend is our gift and it wasn't intended to be placed on the shelf and looked at every now and then, like on holidays because it's what your suppose to do.

Believing, accepting, receiving...that will get you in. It will. But until that day comes that you need to get through the gates, until then...that's important too. Use the gift you've been given. Talk about, learn about it, feel it. Open your hands, open your heart, open your mouth and use the gift!! Otherwise, this is just another day, just another weekend, just another holiday.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Deposit Please

I read a book several years ago that talked about making a deposit or withdraw from someones "love tank". The idea is when you do or say something nice you're making a deposit, when you do or say something not nice you make a withdraw.

Most people in my life poke fun at me. I'm a pretty sarcastic person so I think this gives the impression I can handle all sarcasm all the time. I'd like to think I can handle it, but I have to admit not all the time.

I think we get so caught up in doing what we've always done, treating people in ways they let us treat them, that we lose sight of value. Sarcasm is void of value, it just is. When you're busy making fun of someone you're not saying things like I'm proud of you, I admire you, I respect you, I learn from you. When you're blowing off something that's said through a sarcastic comment you're saying what you just said isn't going to impact me. Sarcasm is an ugly wall we hide behind way to much.

Sometimes I go into hiding from most of the world because honestly, I can't handle the poking fun, the sarcasm, the comments. I hide because it's better than saying "for just once will you act like you value me, act like your mature, act like we're not 12". I hide because my love tank is empty and if you keep making withdraws someone is going to get hurt.

Next time you want to poke fun at someone, next time you want to brush off words with your own words, next time you're tempted to be sarcastic I challenge you to stop and ask yourself when's the last time you said something nice to that person, when's the last time you built them up with encouragement and love? Get out from behind that wall of sarcasm and actually engage in the moment...make a deposit that's larger than your withdraws please.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Desperation vs Determination.

This morning I was watching tv and heard "Jesus never helped anyone that didn't ask for it"...what? He didn't? He didn't exhaust himself over those who he knew had great potential and were throwing it away in one way or another? He didn't beg people, saying "Jesus loves you! Please come to church!" He didn't talk and talk and talk and talk, throwing in crying every now and then, trying to guilt them into becoming a Christian? What?

I've known this, yet today I received just a little more clarity about it. The picture that I just wrote about, can't you just see Jesus shaking his head at us as we try and do that very thing with the people around us? Can't you see Him saying, "um, did I do that? If I didn't do that then why are you?" Why are we? Because we operate out of desperation, he operated out of determination.

Jesus was determined to make the most out of his short time on this earth. He was determined to help those who wanted it and he knew there was a lot of them! If he spent his time on the ones that didn't, a whole lot of people would lose out! A whole lot of time would be lost!

Yet, I do this. I seem to attract VERY broken men, different kinds of broken, but very broken still. And the center of that brokenness, they don't seek after God with their WHOLE heart. So what do I do? Spend LOTS of energy trying to change that, trying to "help" them. After all, maybe that's why God brought them into my life!! Or, maybe, just maybe, it's Satan's way of keeping my wheels spinning in one place because if I am let loose and actually spend time on the people that WANT Christ to be their center, GASP, then what?! Shiny objects can be so distracting.

Don't get me wrong, I will still talk with everyone I meet about God and why He should be their center. And I'll still continue to attract VERY broken men (I highlight very because we're all broken to some degree), but the difference now is I'm done wasting energy where it's not productive. I'm done being desperate for you to "please love god". Instead I shall be determined, be ready, to come alongside those that want it and pray for those that don't and trust God to help me see the difference.

And just so we're clear...You should love God, you should go to church, you should have Christ be your center. I'm not giving up on you, Jesus didn't give up on you (he died for ALL mankind), I'm just merely shifting my focus.

Monday, March 28, 2011

God, I promise...

When I was in high school I wasn't on good speaking terms with God...until I needed something from Him. I remember being in math class, getting ready for a test over stuff I didn't understand, praying to God "if you give me the answers I promise I'll study harder next time." I'd fail the test and that would just give another reason why I couldn't trust God. I'd try again, "God if you make that boy like me, I promise I'll be a good girlfriend." He wouldn't like me and I've have another reason pointing out that God must not want me to be happy.

Some of us go to church because we feel we have to, some of us follow God because we feel we owe it to Him. We make deals with God and it appears He held up his part, got us out of some jam, so we sit our happy butts in church and sing songs that have no real meaning. We walk around with our Christian faces on, only we feel indebted to God and wonder when He'll decide our good deeds just aren't good enough any more.

I wanted God to help me, only I hadn't done my part. I wanted God to fix something only it wasn't right for me at all. My focus was on me, what I want, what I lacked, what I needed to "get through the moment"; never was my focus on God, following Him, loving Him, seeking what He wants for me. I only talked to God when I needed something.

God doesn't deal. God isn't a quick fix. God isn't your safety net, your get out of jail free card, your do this and I'll do that. Shame on us for ever thinking like that...yet, here I was just the other day, having sought God for over seven years with all that I am, doing that very thing that I know better; I was thinking "a equals b." I'm in pain so I must of made God mad. Sigh, when will my brain connect with my heart?

When you deal with God, the deal eventually runs out. When you come to church because you owe it to him you eventually stop coming. When you bargain with God it lasts as long as the urgency is there, then the old you comes back out to play.

My sweet friends, join in me saying no more. No more thinking a equals b. No more thinking "whew God got me out of that, ok I better be a better person". No more going to church out of guilt. Be a Christian because you have a Creator that says I love you more than the birds in the air, I need you more than the stars in the sky, I know you better than you know yourself. Love God, follow God, seek God because without Him you are lost. If a truly equals b then...Jesus died for you and there's nothing you can do to increase it or lose it. That's Truth you can promise to accept.

Friday, March 25, 2011


"But do you trust me?" those are words I often hear when talking with God and more times than not I have to stop and admit that no, I don't fully trust Him. Though I'd much rather say of "course I do!" I would be lying and what's the point in lying to God? Trust. Not a good word for me. Kinda like beautiful.

The past four years I've loathed the word beautiful, for good reason..or so I've tried to justify. But the bottom line is it's kept me from growing, from receiving the love that God wants to give me. The wall goes up when I hear that word, though lately I've been working really hard at not doing that..writting for another time. So, this morning I sat on my bed and had to admit, once again, "I still don't trust You."

I pray for my friends, for growth to happen in their life, but it's in ways I think it should happen. I don't trust God to do it correctly. I pray for my kids to grow into healthy adults, but it's how I think that should look. I don't trust God to raise them correctly. I pray for my church to become God's vessel, but it's with ideas that I have. I don't trust God to use us fully.

I stay behind my wall of safety because there I'm in control, there I'm comfortable. There, trust is not needed. Not trusting is looking at Carla. Trusting is replacing Carla with God.

This morning I admitted all of this, out loud, to my Creator. I cried and I said aloud "please help my unbelief". Clairty also means seeing God more clearly, not for what He can do but for who He is. I want to trust God not because he's proven trustworthy to me, but because I believe He is who He says He is; I believe God is good, I believe God loves me, I believe God is trust. God. Is. Trust.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


When I was a little girl my mom and I lived with my grandparents for a short time while my mom finished college. I remember watching my grandpa do various things around the house and the awe I had for him. I've never felt more unconditional love by any person on this earth than I felt from him and as a result I placed him on the pedestal of perfection.

A few weeks ago Erica and I had a conversation that involved tears and moments of silence because neither of us knew what to say. I love my children deeper than I have ever loved any one, they've taught me what true grace looks like. There isn't another human being that I long to do right by more than my children and as a result I've placed myself on the pedestal of perfection.

It's often been said we are our own worst enemy, in my life that's definitely the truth. I'm never good enough, smart enough, patient enough, tough enough, loving enough, quiet enough, pretty enough. Many nights I go to bed asking God to forgive me for letting Him down...again. If someone else were saying these words to me I'd simply tell them to stop that, no one is perfect and God's love covers every inch of us, even the "not enough" parts.

Part of working through this year of clarity for me is to do away with the pedestals, to see clearly how God sees me and then to embrace that vision till it becomes a louder truth to me than the lies in my head. My grandpa was not perfect and I am not perfect. God doesn't ask for perfection, He asks for dedication and if I'm to learn anything from my grandpa on how I should be living my life it's that very dedicated to One who is perfect.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Flesh

I've said for some time now that I want to reach a point where I don't react with my flesh, but instead react with the confidence of knowing God is in charge. By my flesh I mean allowing anger to fly out of my mouth, allowing myself to feel overwhelmed with worry and confusion, going straight to despair instead of straight to prayer. Apparently this desire is attractive to Satan because it seems that when I really start to focus on it I get hit from all directions with junk trying my patience, testing what I long for in my heart.

Today is no different. I woke up late, well not totally. I woke on time, feeling great, having a quiet moment with God before getting out of bed...only to turn the alarm off (without realizing it) and then falling back asleep. Kaity came busting through my door yelling MOM IT'S 6:40! To which I let lovely language fly out of my mouth. Then go to work only to realize it's the 15th and the schedules need to be sent out, I thought I had one more day. Then, after lunch I sit down to an email that complicated the financial part of my a very large way. As if that's not enough I then, later on, had a conversation with someone that honestly all I could do was respond with "you're unbelievable" and hang up. And top it off...I've had to deal with some family stuff. It's only 6:38pm too.

But as I sit here, soaking in the day, asking God to please show up in all of this I'm reminded of what I recently said to someone else with regards to their junk...God is always working, even when we don't "see" it. I believe that. I do. With everything in me, I believe that. I refuse to buckle, I refuse to be "chicken little" and I absolutely refuse to accept my flesh is going to win.

I wish there was some easy answer, I wish I could really just "not worry"...I think I'd be dead if that were the case. But I can do as the bible says, as Jesus asks, and cast my worries on Him. I can be patient and wait on the Lord. I can be still and know I am God. All these verses roll through my head, competing with the other thoughts..the ones saying "how could he!", "I'm not going to finish all of this", "what was I thinking", I could go on and on. But instead of camping on those ugly thoughts tonight I'm going to camp on the promise I have that tomorrow is a new day and God promises to meet all my needs, supply all my strength, and Christ died so I may have abundant joy in this life and the next. Trials will come, that's a guarantee but I can choose to not respond with my flesh but rather with my spirit and that's a guarantee of calm in the eye of the storm.'s a tricky thing...but I can tell you the truth in this very moment I know I'm much more patient than I use to be..after all, I've yet to punch anyone in the face! ;)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

To Ask

Lately the conversation God and I have been having invovles asking. It's crossed my path several times, the pharse "ask and it will be given to you"...which lead me to saying is it really that easy? Can I really just ask? Now let me be clear, I know it is, I know that's "prayer", I know that part of the relationship with God. But do I KNOW that? Do I TRUST that? Ask and it will be given...really?

Last night in small group we ended up talking about how you know you are hearing from God. Different thoughts rose on this topic, ranging from does it match what the bible says to not being so sure we "hear" from God like we say we do. But hinging on the whole asking God for something is being able to hear the answer right?

I tend to compare my relationship with God to that of a marriage. I've often said that God and I are having a marital spat; some find this wrong to say because I'm talking about God and you shouldn't argue with God, I however find it healthy because through this wrestling that happens I learn to trust God deeper. All of that comes through communication. And any married couple will tell you communication is key to a healthy and successful marriage. I wouldn't bother aruging with God, or talking to Him for that matter, if I didn't believe He would answer.

James 1:5-6 says "If you need wisdom, if you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind."

Expect Him to answer. Ask Him what He wants you to do. Notice it doesn't say only ask about the big things. It doesn't say He only answers occassionally and you probably won't be able to hear him. It doesn't say only when you've grown to a certain level as a Christian. It simply says if you wanna know, ask, then be looking for the answer. Period. The secret to all of this asking and listening...having your will in line with God's will. Asking for things that line up with God which means we don't always get what we ask for simply because it's not good for us, not because God isn't answering us. No, afterall, is an answer.

Years ago when I prayed "God use me" as a dare from Pastor Bill, I followed it with "I promise to give you the credit". Last night God was moving among our small group, promting us to dig deeper in our faith. Last night, my friends, God was speaking and it was in direct relation to someone's asking. So, I guess the answer is yes, it really is that easy. Man I love being a Christian.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

As you are

Isaiah 64:8 Yes you Lord, our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We are all formed by your hand.

I bought a new computer over the weekend, not a purchase I wanted to make but a purchase I knew was coming. So this is my first day of actually using it and I must say, it feels so different. The keys are spaced different, the screen is different, and it's, well, new! What I like about new is that I can turn it into whatever I want it to be, downloading what I want, adding what I want. It's pretty much clay for me to mold.

God has been faithful in bringing people into my life that are good for me. People that I learn from, grow with; people that I trust. I also have people in my life that I want to see change, to see them improve. People that I pray for and ask God to move out loud in their life so they will move out loud for Him. But yesterday I was reminded that all of us belong to God, all of us were made by God and all of us can only be changed through God. I think that my desires are good, afterall it's so that they will know God deeper; however if I'm to be totally honest my desires are still self driven. I'm pretty much looking at them as clay for me mold.

As I sit and ponder this what rolls over and over in my mind is a phrase God laid on my heart years ago about my him for who he is, not who you want him to be. That was a freeing thing to hear but also troubling because it meant I had to accept my dad just as he was, even the parts that hurt me. But that was a very long time ago and I can honestly tell you it's the one thing that has healed our relationship deeper than anything else I ever tried. So when that phrase resurfaced yesterday with regards to someone else I thought oh no and good all at the same time!

As a Christian I am reassured that I'm not doing this life journey alone, as a Christian I am reassured that I am not left to try and figure it out on my own. But as a Christian I am also forced to admit I am not in control, people won't always say and do what I think they should, and God doesn't mold everyone the way I ask Him to. So when dealing with people that are in my life, for whatever reason, I must remember my only requirement laid down by God is to love them for who they are not for who I want them to be.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Price

A major part of my purpose, if not my sole purpose, is to help others admit their wounds so they can fully cry out to God and therefore begin to truly heal. I've endured my share of pain as I've walked this earth and I share my stories so that together we can grow and learn and love better and fuller. I share because I want others to know and feel the love that I know and feel from the One who made us. But sharing comes with a price.

My cousin just had her first baby. I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of her and the journey she's carving out. I held that baby on Wednesday, a day after crying out to God that I need a break from pressure I was feeling, and for that moment God said "here, catch your breath by holding my daughter; catch your breath by remembering I am in control; catch your breath by seeing what I create" and in that moment all was right in the world. I handed her back to my cousin and had flashes of when my children were born. Parenting is the best feeling I shall ever have and I am not sure a parent can ever express how grateful they are to hear the sound of "I love you" from the lips of their child, but parenting comes with a price.

The Bible is clear that Christ existed before the world began, before we were created. That means He knew when He made us we would reach a point of needing Him to come die for us. I am still healing from wounds of my past, I am still learning how to be a better mom and yet all that pales when compared to knowing God loved us enough to not only create us but to save us. Creation comes with a price.

Today as I sit and ponder over the last week and all that has gone on, God has brought me back to the basics, reminded me of what really truly matters...the price is always worth it. We endure our vulnerability because we love, we parent because we love, we sacrifice because we love and none of it goes without notice because all of it is through the heart the very One who breathed us into existence. So yes, this week sucked on multiple levels and some of those storms are far from over, but as I watch the light begin to rise outside I know crappy weeks only go so far because my God is way bigger than crappy weeks and some prices are just worth it.