Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The One Where I'm Surrounded.

Lately I've had conversions that are laced with tears and anxiety. Fear and worry.  But a new thing has happened.....

I'm part of a community that surrounds me with Truth, a soft place to land, encouragement for the journey, an ear, a shoulder to cry on, space to fall apart and people who don't recoil about it. 

I've had more than one person tell me I've inspired them. To keep going, don't give up. That they believe in me when I don't believe in myself.... Or anything.

Some of these people I've known for years, some for a few years, others only on line. 

This blog post from Amanda at SheReadsTruth really helped me to see I'm not alone and I've been trying my hardest to 'hold it together'.  This life, these kids, this marriage, this job, these chores, piles of laundry and dishes and things undone. 

I am undone and I'm finding out that undone is okay, I'm not holding it together. :)  

There at people and texts and phone calls and emails and meetings for coffee that tell me I don't have to hold it together. And it's not what I'm supposed to do. I'm supposed to be in community. Sometimes that means surrounding others and other times it means being surrounded. 

Thankful I'm surrounded today. :) 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The One Where I'm Barely Holding On

I don't know where to begin. And I'm not sure where the beginning would be anyway.....

Stress Fracture. 

Stress. A mental strain or disruption. Emotional pressure suffered by a human being. 

Fracture. The act of breaking. Something that has broken. 

A stress fracture. I have a stress fracture in one of the smallest bones of the body. Yet in one of the most important places.  

You don't think about your big toe, the function it serves, the stability it gives you until it's gone. 

But it's smaller than that. These two bones called the sesamoids. They are basically the patella of the toe. A bone imbedded in the tendon.  They act like a pulley, providing a smooth surface for the tendons to glide over. They help the big toe move and provide stability when you 'push off' during running (or walking).  They are flat, disc/egg shaped about the size of a popcorn kernel. 

Yet when they don't work properly. It feels like you're walking on a popcorn kernel!! 

I love popcorn... This, not so much. 

I've been in the boot for 6 weeks. Had a follow up X-ray yesterday.  There's some healing. So there's that.  (Forces a smile) 

But it's not enough to get out of the boot or be active again. Or keep me from plumetting into a lower and lower depression and sense of hopelessness. 

Four more weeks in the boot and then another X-ray and then talk of surgery. I can't run again until there's no pain. If there's pain, stop and rest more and contemplate surgery. 

This is week one of four more weeks in the boot. 😞 

I have cried for 24 hours straight. I'm a blubbering depressed mess. 

Some may say... It's only running. What's the big deal. You'll run again someday. Be pateint. Keep your chin up.  Meh. 

Running keeps me sane. My world is usually on the cusp of spinning out of control at any moment. Running helps me get away. Shake it all off. Handle things better. I'm a better person because of running.  Running became my life partner five years ago.  Now it feels like running has moved away.

At first it was as if running went on a business trip, an interview in a new city. Now it feels like I've waved goodbye to a good friend pulling out of the drivenway.  

I don't have to stress out about life with running by my side.  Now what's left is life and stress and the stress of life with no relief. 

And I'm barely holding on. I'm barely getting through the day. One day down. Twenty-seven to go until I know if running is ever coming home. 

I assure you, I will never again pray to learn how to Be Still and Know.  Never. Ever. Again.  I don't want to be still. And this isn't the kind of still I had in mind.  For the record, I don't find this humorous.  Although I'm sure God is getting a good laugh. 

And Know.... And know what exactly? That life is one series of disappointments after another.... A lesson I'm becoming more familiar with every day. Every.Damn.Day. 

All that's left now is Disruption and Something that is Broken. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

The One Where I Say "Break The Mold!"

Let me begin with I'm a bad blogger.  I totally need a reminder to blog or something. I dunno, I tend to be a "subject matter" blogger.  I blog when I have something to say.

Today is one such day.

It's Fall Y'all in Texas.  Well it is for today anyway.  I should probably post pix of this... I won't because I need to dust.... but my house décor is "fall" related.  Oranges, purples, deep red hues.  Because I love Fall.  I was born in September and I think some of the best things  happen in September! 

Seasons change

Baseballs annual "Hunt for Red October" (is anyone else heartbroken over the way the A's have fallen apart, or how my Texas Rangers are in last place, when did we become "The Cubs" of baseball?)

Football season begins (Go Packers, Giants, Bears and Broncos - just cuz I'm in Texas doesn't mean I love the Cowboys...that's a blog for another day)

Oh and Seasons change.

I like the crispness of the air the way it ushers in a change in our focus.  Summer is over and we make this turn.... almost like a turn home after a long trip.  For me it's familiar, it's a settling in, a cozying up with a good book and a cool day kind of mentality.  It's not hurried. 

Noticing the décor in my kitchen today, as if I'd never seen it, I have these vines of leaves, on the tops of my cabinets, ya know where you put stuff, like greenery, plastic plants, decorative stuff that only gets dusted once a year. 

Anyway, the "greenery" at my house isn't so green, it's fall colors, red and orange and purple and hues that made me think of this place we're in as people.

These leaves are changing, alive and not dead, they haven't fallen to the ground, they are clinging to their life source.  They are fiery and bold and in your face, yet delicate and in process. 

Sometimes this happens in our own back yard, and other times we travel to see the beauty of the process.  There's an entire business of seeing this process and the viewers call it beautiful, breathtaking, phenomenal, vibrant, and beyond description.

Yet when that happens in life, when we're in process, we don't describe it much like that, do we?   We don't book vacations, charge the camera, pack a lunch, post to Instagram.  We don't marvel at it as though something beautiful happening before our very eyes.  Not in our self.  Not in others.

Stop and smell the roses they say!  I say Break The Mold!  Stop and watch the process of Fall, the delicate balance of becoming, the fragility of life, the boldness of clinging.  Notice it in yourself.  Be okay to proceed, become, cling.  Celebrate it in others.  Give them permission to proceed, become and the boldness to cling when needed.

Maybe to come on Instagram will be boring pictures of my stubborn Oak Tree, the one that is the last to lose it's leaves, still clinging to the old as buds of new life push them off and into the wind. 

Perhaps I'll have something more to say about it as we go into a new season.  :)  About the tree and maybe about me.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The One Where I Received The Message

So I've had that feeling lately. The one where I'm over connected and not connecting.  And I've seen two separate posts on Facebook about the aforementioned subject. 

The one that hit home the most was the craigslist ad by the NYC restaurant.

People (read: I) don't have common courtesy in this day and age. Taking pictures of food then complaining it's cold.  Bumping into one another, wasting the wait staffs time by taking photos. Not communicating, connecting with the person across the table, in the next chair, on the same couch.  Honestly what has the world come too? 

What has my world come to?  A group (or a few hundred) of friends I've never met.  Talking to people I have no real life connection with over the ones in the next room?  This shouldn't happen. This isn't how I grew up, made friends, kept friends for that matter. 

I feel like life has become like the esurance commercial with Beatrice. 

At the end of the commercial it says, 'Welcome to the modern world'. 

There are lots of things in the modern world I'm very happy about. 

Running water. 
Indoor plumbing. 
Washing machines. 
Cell phones. 
Smart phones too. 

But I feel like I'm trapped in a Wall-E of my own doing. Unsatisfied with the ordinary life going on around me because of the life less ordinary on this inches deep and wide screen. 

And it's not about envying or comparisons as much as it is not cultivating what's in front of me.  I can't click a 'like' button or 'unfollow' those around me.  

That stuff had to be worked out, hashed out, forgiven, loved deeply and so widely that it falls into open arms of acceptance, open mouths, eyes so open and connected to others that they hear you...

Hear you with the kind of listening you do in the dark of night and there's an unfamiliar noise in your house.  A pit of the soul that only comes from being connected with your surroundings and with the people that make life ordinary.  Ordinary in a way that is wonderful.  

Where when we share a meal it's in person, not on Instagram. When we're at a ballgame it's for the ambiance, the company we keep, the peanuts & laughter. (cuz if you're a Rangers fan in 2014, you're not there for the great pitching & home runs). Where 'checking in' means being checked in.  

I think it's time we (read: I) were more checked in.  I don't think the world will miss another status update, or tweet or mealtime photos. 

And in the words of Ferris Bueller: 
Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
I don't want to miss it. So I'm signing off. 
Not completely, not permanently. But in a way that is more checked in. 

Maybe we'll enjoy the ambiance of baseball in Texas!  

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The One Where I Use Socks

Written in my iPhone while camping. 

So yesterday I read another article about Phil Robertson preaching on I Corinthians 6.  Sigh 😞 

Yes I agree this is in the bible. Yes I agree with Paul. I'm not offended by the bible or that particular passage.   I have a biblical world view. I believe Jesus is the Son of God, came into the world as a human, lived as a human among the lost & broken, performed miracles, healed the sick, raised the dead, drank of the cup (he prayed to have taken from him), sweat blood, was sold out for 30 peices of silver, beaten, bruised, crucified, sin of the world on him, buried in a borrowed tomb, rose from the dead by the power of God three days later! 

Appeared to the disciples and then 500, and then thousands.  Ascended to heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father and interceeds for us. 

This is the Jesus I know. This is the grace that draws me to Him. This is the heart of Christ for the world. 

So when I hear Mr. Robertson and others condemning entire groups of society, I take offense.  And have grown tired of the constant finger pointing. 

If you feel that homosexuals are sinning, living in sin, outside of the church, how do you also consider them brothers? 

To me it seems like some want it both ways.  

1. Outside the church, in the world, not under 'the church' 'Christian moral code, values'.  Therefore outside of the 'if your brother sins against you' 'if your brother is in sin confront him'  OR 

2. Inside the church. Like the Corinthians, who that letter was written to.  To the Church at Corinth.  People who are saved & sanctified.  Covered under grace. 

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11 ESV)

I'm not quoting the scriptures for the above, I'm on my phone, I don't know the exact verses off the top of my head... Maybe that means I'm not saved. (Cue the sarcasm) 

So if it's 1.  These people are outside the jurisdiction of the church, of the moral code, values.  Their life is honestly none of your business. They are not your brother, they are your neighbor. 

And if it's 2.  They are saved by grace. Should their sin be confronted? Yes. And so should they confront yours. In person, with love, with another brother. With compassion. Treating you the same way they would want to be treated.  How do you respond to finger wagging & accusation?  

Me? Not so well.

It's outside of my scope and ability to convict. That's the job of the Holy Spirit. 

I can trust Jesus to go into the temple with a whip & turn over the tables & not damage the people involved. Me, not so much.  

And with that I say: put a sock in all this us & them mentality!  

As well as, back to camping & fishing & hiking & family. Much less technology & tweeting. Unless it's pictures!! :) 

Friday, May 9, 2014

The One Where I {link up) for Five Minute Friday - Grateful

If you've heard me say it once  you've heard me say it forty times: #1000gifts.

Take the joy dare

Slow down to see the miracles. Because there's a little something special in every day.

I've written my three things sporadically over the past eight months, started on my birthday.  At first I wrote them faithfully, but then I didn't do it as often.  But I do it.  Every month is new I start up again.  :)

Here is a spattering of my #1000gifts

1. Life
2. Birthdays
3. Health
4. Pumpkin Lattes
5. Cake
6. Rain
7. End of Summer
8. Dishes
9. Laundry
10. Ezra 4

100. Fire
101. Burning Desire
102. Burned Dinner
103. Burning Bush
104. Sun
105. Muscles
106. Shared
107. Saved
108. Surrendered
109. Sweet Sweat
110. Leave It On The Pavement
I stopped counting in my journal and began on Instagram.  I really need to go back to the journal....

Three Things Hard:

Three Things Rising Up:
1. The sun with new mercy
2. The sun with new mercy
3. The sun with new mercy

Three gifts Stacked, Stashed, Stilled:
1. Dishes put away by the teenager
2. Chocolate
3. Quiet house in the morning... to go with my coffee

It's hard for me be to grateful, it really is.  Isn't that the jest of the garden.... of original sin..... ingratitude.  I'm ungrateful, for the smallest things... for the people around me who I love and adore (but they get on my nerves),  the fridge full of food (yet I can't find anything to eat), the music blasting on my stereo (and with Sirius XM, there's nothing good to listen to).

Todays Prompt Is: Three Gifts In The Dark

1. Sleep.  Must.Have.More! Yet grateful for good night's sleep!
2. RRC Track Workout.  I get up at 4AM to run in the dark on Tuesday.  I'm grateful for my running club that offers this kind of workout for my very low membership fee!
3. Stars.  You can't see stars unless it's dark.  There's beauty in that, both when you're looking and the stars and when it's dark in your life.  Look to the Morning Star! 

I've got to get better:  In counting my blessings. (and I don't mean stuff)In getting to 1000 gifts.  In slowing down to see the miracle.  So many things can go wrong in the course of a day, a week, a month... a life....  So many things that really in the scheme of things don't really matter.  What I was upset about last month, who can remember?  What about last year at this time?  Who knows? 

It's time to slow down to see the miracle, choose joy, pass joy onto others, teach our children to live with gratitude, not entitlement.  It starts with us.  It starts with me, the ungrateful.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The One Where I {link up} for Five Minute Friday - Friends

What a great topic.  

I'd say I have a lot of friends.  It's odd that at this stage in life I can say that.  I'm a runner and I'm a part of 3 running clubs so I know a lot of people.  But I only have 3 - 4 really good friends. 

Kat - I met her a small bible study group.  She stood up for me at my wedding.  We've been friends ever since.  I talk to her at least weekly.  We attend church together, eat together, run together, do life together, drink A LOT of coffee together!   I love her.  I love her like I love my sister.  Except she's like my older sister.  And as the oldest in my family, it's a treasure to have an "older sister".   She is beautiful and better yet, we share clothes and shoes and purses!!   She talks me off of the ledge when I'm just about over it about non sense and life.  We pray together and cry together.  Because I know her; I will be forever changed.  We were meant to be together.  She gets me.  She doesn't judge my craziness, she just loves me.  

Jen - although she's moved out of state now, I still talk to her weekly, sometimes daily.  We have children born a month apart.  Our kiddos have similar struggles, as do she and I.  We became fast friends when we met in Sunday School; 9 years ago.   She's taught me so much!  So much.  Like "everything's gonna be okay" particularly with my kiddo.  She's the first person who I met whose child has the same issue as mine.  I don't know how I would have gotten through elementary school without her!  If anything can get this momma to melt down it's her kiddo struggling in school life.  He struggles a lot, so melting down is common place around here.   And she listens to me rage against the machine!  And runs with me, and prays with me, and drink coffee with me, and does life with me.   My life is forever changed because I know her.  And she knows me.  She Knows Me!

My Runner Girls - they see my struggles, they pick me up, they encourage me, they push me, they believe in me.  We are a group of women with similar struggles, lives, goals.  The running keeps us going, but it's the life we're doing together that keeps us together.   It's the meals that show up at your door when you've come home from the hospital, it's the text that says "hey we missed you today, is everything okay." It's the understanding that today, not matter what's going on, we're gonna leave it all on the pavement.   We walk together, talk together, run together, grow together, encourage one another, cheer for one another, push, pull and carry one another to the start line of races and across the finish line… of life.  They believe in me when I don't.  And there's plenty of times I don't.  They believe in me anyway.  Encourage me anyway.  They know I'm capable of way more…. and push me to rise to the occasion!  Bless Them!!  They also like coffee, so there's that too!  :) 

It hasn't always been so… I haven't always had good friends.  I've struggled with acceptance and accepting.  But I've learned so much being in relationship with these women.  And drank many cups of coffee!! :) 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The One Where I Have So Much To Say

And need time to type it. 

Miss my blog. Lots going in right now. 
But I plan to write for five minute Friday and update my race plans too!! 

Friday, March 28, 2014

The One Where It's Not About Merit

I didn't study for my blog this week. I commented on the SRT devotional, these are my comments; I decided to share them here.

Wednesday: Jonah Chapter 3: 5-10, 1 Timothy 1: 15-16
I'm a little late to the Jonah study. It's been an interesting few weeks. But sisters I'm here to tell you. GOD IS FAITHFUL!! School situation: worked out smoothly. Work situation. Well, working out, but I received confirmation yesterday that I'm right where I'm supposed to be. God is good! 

By the looks of my bible I haven't studies Jonah all that much. I have two notes. I've watched veggie tales more than I've spent time in these four chapters. But what I do have is awesome. 

Grace: an unobligated giver giving something remarkable to the undeserving. 

I know this is chapter 3. But my notes on 2:7-9 says God uses the defeated to do great things!  (This is something I need to hear, often.  Because I feel so defeated and unqualified). 

I love how chapter 3 begins with... Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time..... Doesn't it always?  A 2nd time, a 20th time, a 245th time, a 2,764th time, or Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes times a year! 

Thank you Rebecca, I have new notes in my bible. :) repentance is about what God is doing, NOT about merit

Because I've begged to differ with our brother Paul on who's the chiefest, I feel often times that I have more feathers in my headdress than he does.  I like Paul, understood rules, and followed them (mostly).  I like Paul, have held cloaks while bludgeoning others with "the gospel rules"  Thinking of myself much higher and mightier because I'm a Christian, look at me, I go to church, I read by bible, I listen to only Christian music loudly so others can hear it, I follow rules.

I don't know how to say this other than to say it. I've felt the nudging to confess something to y'all for a while. Not because I need to confess it, but because someone needs to hear it. Because repentance isn't about merit. It isn't about earning your way into grace. No matter what you've done or what you will do, if you are in Christ there is therefore no condemnation. 

If we think gouging eyes out is bad, well then I'm going straight to hell. And I used to believe that, all day, every day, begging for Gods forgiveness. I'd read my bible. I'd try to be a good church lady, you know the kind that are so full of The Lord that they practically float instead of walk, I prayed for hours, I went to church, I watched church on television. I listened to church on the radio. Because I desperately wanted grace and mercy.  I wanted to live in the Freedom that others talked about. Even if that means I sit in the corner and wear the dunce hat in heaven. Maybe if I was good enough I'd get to touch the hem of His robe? Or like Moses (my fellow murderer) I'd get glimpse of His back? 

My former life can be described like this: 


Sex, drugs, rock n roll and 2 abortions later. 
Yeah. I said the A word out loud. And I've spent years idolizing condemnation because I didn't believe that forgiveness, that grace or mercy was for me. Then I took a class called Forgiven and Set Free, then I taught it for several years. And The Light started to come on.  (a new study is out now called Surrender The Secret and a video about it is here and if that weren't enough the phone number is 1-866-482-LIFE)
I encourage you to surrender the secret today, to someone, freedom is yours! I promise! Email me, or call the number above, find a study near you. 
Sisters, I say sisters because the statistic is 1 in 4 women have had an abortion, all women, not "those women" all women in North America, yes "church women" too. There's more than 4 of us here, I can't be the only one!

Sisters, do not wait years or another moment in the corner with the dunce hat on!! First off, that's my corner! J/K I'll share it! I welcome the company of the Forgiven and Set Free! Forgiveness is for You! Today! Right Now! Walk in the Freedom Christ died to give you! It Is For Freedom Christ Set You Free! 

It's not about your merit. It's not about what you can do or what you have done. It's not about how far you can run.  It's about His Grace! Receive it today!

Thursday:  Jonah Chapter 4: 1-11

I like the notes in my bible. I like it that someone said to me recently that my bible is the biggest bible they've ever seen. Ha! I think they must be a young person.... Bless them. ;) 

It's an ESV study bible. The notes on Jonah are so good. The theme of Jonah it says is: The Lord is a God of boundless compassion not just for "us" (Jonah and the Israelites) bur also for "them" (the pagan sailors and Ninevites). Pierced. (My words not the theme) 

I've been such an "us" and "them" Christian for so long. Not because I want to keep others out. It's that like Jonah, I've been prideful of my "status" wondering why God has mercy on "them" I mean really, why isn't "Nineveh" burning down yet? 

Ugh. God forgive me!!! 

I think for a while, although I was prideful, I was also ashamed of the gospel, because I do have compassion for others to the point of weeping. But I don't want them to see that. That makes me a cry baby for Jesus without any real substance of why I believe.

So I take the hard core theological route, well that makes me a lunatic. And if I were just real and authentic, people might see that I have chinks in the armor, it might expose my soft underbelly and I could be hurt. And I've been hurting for a long time.

Then I realized the kind of "hurt" God is calling me to isn't the kind I'd experienced in the past. He promises to take care of these things when I live authentically. 

At the IF:Gathering. Jen Hatmaker said something that stuck with me. 

Clue #1 that your life is off mission. It is costing you NOTHING! 

For a long time it's cost me nothing. Serving safe people and blessing blessed people. It's time to make the three day journey to Nineveh! Amen!!

I hope that the only thing burning is my desire for God and that it causes flames to erupt everywhere I go!  Not because of me but become of Him!

Repentance is about what God is doing, Not about Merit!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The One Where I Still Give Thirty-Five Dollars and I Don't Care

Brace yourself, here are my random thoughts that I posted on Jamie, The Very Worst Missionaries Blog regarding the World Vision controversy.

I don't care.

There I said it. Out loud. I don't care. If any kind if "sexuals" get married or are partners or aren't. I think sexuality is the least of our concerns lately (read should be). I mean has anyone seen the news lately? Jesus is coming (look busy)! ;)

What I do care about is grace and that I give it (more than ever) to those who don't deserve it, because! And to those who do (deserve it), because!

And I'm still giving $35.00 per month, and sending birthday cards and writing letters, and receiving them*, even if WV hires a one eyed one horned flying purple people eater, but only the ones with the stones in there hands. Ya know, the people eater would needs boundaries, otherwise it would eat the children in need, or the people who still care about the children in need. But he's purple, so there's that.... he might be discriminated against like the sexuals** and then WV would have to make an HR announcement about him too! Round and round we go!

*I thought only Paul talked like this.... "Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ...." Yea, that's how my letters begin from Tushar. He likes Jesus songs and stories and wants me to pray for his family.

I'm praying Tushar. I'm praying.

I'm praying for you and for this nation to... well not this nation (and that's a whole other blog)... for this generation InterWeb of Christians; The ones where Jesus didn't apparently didn't say IT is finished. IT. All of IT. The sin, the sacrificing, the stone throwing, the waiting for grace....

The Kingdom came. Somewhere along with way it went out the window. Maybe Tushar knows where it is, particularly with his greetings! :)

**I'm using the term "sexuals" to describe all people, hetero or otherwise, because sin abounds in us all. Married, single, partnered, civil union. And guess what, I still don't care.

To continue my thoughts.... There are some times God just doesn't need that kind of mouth piece.  In fact, He speaks for Himself perfectly!  Have you looked around lately? Seen a sunset? A puppy? The seasons change? A life changed?

In the words of  Jen Hatmaker at the IF:Gathering

When church becomes an enterprise, faith becomes something to prove and defend, people become commodities, Christianity becomes a contest and the world is bludgeoned.  Stop backing up around the gospel, guns blazing, to defend it! 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The One Where I Run To Tarshish

Lately I don't know which end is up.  I'm working a new job that I really like but also feel very inadequate at.  It's part time and although I'm five weeks in, I've only worked about 70 hours. I feel as though I should already know everything and be proficient at it and I'm not.  I'm constantly having conversations with my boss about the small things that are going wrong.

This is discouraging.  

I don't think I've ever had this many conversations in my entire working career about how many things aren't going well in less than two weeks of work.  But because I've been there five weeks, it seems as though I should be rolling along okay.

I've made two major mistakes.  I don't know how to handle them.  I want to quit.  I want to give up.  Maybe you can't teach old dogs new tricks.

The She Reads Truth gals are in Jonah right now.  This is what I wrote on their comments yesterday:

First an update: The school situation is better, I hope. The meeting went well. Thank you to this community for encouraging me. 

Second: fix one leak in the dam another place springs a leak. My job is just all kinds of crazy, I feel inadequate. I had many reservations about taking this job and now I feel like all those reservations were correct. I don't know how to handle it. There are several things that have come up that I honestly don't want to handle and like Jonah… 

I. Want. To. Run. Please God let me run. Let me say all of my excuses and run. I don't want to do this, I don't want to face this. I want to run. It's not about mercy, it's about fear right now. I'm scared I can't do this and I can't do it well. I'm worried about the relationships this affects. I got the job through my sister who is a client of my boss…. I just want to run. 

I'm not angry with her and God knows she could use a witness to tell her about God's Mercy. She deserves it. I have no qualms about that… I'm not asking for hellfire and brimstone on her….. But oh how I want to run from this. I don't feel peace about staying and I have less peace about quitting. I'm also not too interested in being swallowed up by a whale…. but running seems like a good option right now. 

Lord Jesus…. help me through this! I'm definitely sinking in the sand, on the waves, too far from the shore where it's not safe. 

Maybe I will rue the day I said: 
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders 
Let me walk upon the waters 
Where ever you would call me 
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander 
And my faith will be made stronger 
In the presence of my Savior. 

So I will call upon your name…

My word for the year is Trust.  I don't know how to do that right now.  I'm not sure what that looks like right now.  I have notes in my bible that say:  The definition of love is to know someone's needs and meet them.  So how do you love God?  Trust.

I definitely feel as though my trust is without borders right now.  My calling is silent.  To fearful to go forward, to embarrassed to go back.   Questioning, do I really want stronger faith?  But I'm sinking.

I. am. sinking 
I realize this isn't a devotional or a teaching on Jonah.  But this is how I've felt lately.  I wrote this yesterday while I was in the throws of feeling like I couldn't face the day.  I had a few things happen yesterday that tells me God Is Still Faithful.  As if I had doubts about it.   But don't we I?

Today I'm still shaky and trying to get my sea legs, but I think it's probably not the best idea to "flee from the presence of the Lord".  Maybe I should get comfortable in the belly of the whale; the storm is coming, or rather I'm experiencing it.  I'm in it.  Do I throw myself into the sea?  Do I trust that God has "prepared a great fish" for me?  (the girl with the dunce hat on?)

It doesn't have to be a great fish, I only need to know that God Is Prepared!  

Friday, March 14, 2014

The One Where I Love Mercy {#shesharestruth}

2 Samuel 24: A Test of David.

So, God is angry with Israel.  He tests David.  And you'd think that David fails, but there's a bigger story here.

David says let's count the people (my army).  His commander says, I dunno David, that doesn't seem like a good idea.  David insists.  They count.  Ten months later, David says I have sinned greatly in what I've done.  But now Lord, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done "very foolishly"

Isn't this the case?  We have this brilliant idea and we fight tooth and nail to bring it about and then we feel it, we feel the distance, the parched soul, the pierced heart, the anguish.

Psalm 38 A Psalm of Remembrance.

The depths of despair.  I've been there. For what I've done, what others have done, for circumstances seemingly out of my control, proceeded by that silent cry, that gut wrenching, doubled over, so ugly there's no sound crying to God.  There is no soundness in my flesh.

God gives David three choices:
Three years of famine
Three months of enemies pursuing him
Three days of pestilence in the land

David says:  I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is great, but let me now fall into the hand of man.

I read a book on this called The Holy Wild by Mark Buchanan.  I have nothing much to say about Psalm 38/2 Sam 24 than what he writes:

David knew where to rest.  He would run to God every time.  David knew that in God's hands, he might be crushed, but he'd be safer there than anywhere.  In God's hands, the breaking of the bone and the mending of it, the making of the wound and the healing of it, come joined.  God's mercy might be severe.


Always, let me fall into The Hands Of God!  To LOVE MERCY.  God Himself loves it.

A. W. Tozer said, put a lock on His wrath, but a hairy trigger on His mercy.

You've heard me talk about my heavenly dunce hat.  That's the hat I wear when I forget about mercy.  When I remember, like David, the things I've done, the pain I've experienced.  It's the one where I sit like a two year old in time out with my head down but my eyes scanning the room for a glimpse of Parental mercy.  You know the look.

I know the mercy is there, why don't I remember where to rest? Why don't I run to God every time? Why do I run ahead? Count the people (build an idol)? Am left with choices.

1) continue running ahead
2) wear the dunce hat
3) Love Mercy

Let me pull the hairy trigger of Mercy!!  BANG!   Let it penetrate my heart.  Let it be the lifter of my head that says "Let me fall into the Hand of God, for His mercy is great! 


Friday, March 7, 2014

The One Where I Am With Him, I Am Heard {Psalm 130}

So the other day on She Reads Truth, they invited the readers to write a blog about the passage of the day.   Last year I read Psalms of Ascent with them and I have lots of notes about it.  Last year was somewhat of a profound time in my life and this year there are lots of changes.  It feels as though these days, like David, I cling to His Word.

Psalm 130

Out of the depths…. I have been there, more times than I care to count.  When I was first saved and many other times in my life.  There have been days, nights, weeks, go by where I'm on my knees, not able to utter words.  From my own depravity, out of circumstances of life, things out of my control, waiting on another for forgiveness.

Depths.  I've seen them.  I've been in the ocean and in caverns.  On lakes and in valleys.

And David makes this turn (if you will) rather than being bent down, he's standing. This question.  Who shall stand?  It's not asking who shall stand, it's telling you he's standing.  Why? Because with God is forgiveness. And he knows this. He knows it, sure as the sun will rise.   As sure as Goliath is slain, as sure as battles fought and won, as sure as he danced with the Ark.  He.Knows.It.

And he waits.  He waits with certainty.  With more certainty than night watchmen in his army, who serve the King dutifully.   Now he waits, dutifully.  Too often I don't have that kind of certainty.  Too often, I'm sure I'll wear the dunce hat in the corner of heaven, sure I'm saved but I'm not always so sure of this sanctification.  Too often I'm found with thoughts of "whosoever" doesn't include me.  Too often I don't have that kind of patience, or faith.  O ye…. Anyone else who feels this is their given name?

Over the years I've learned this O ye of little faith, still implies faith!  Though it's not large, it's not moving mountains, it's steady.  Everyday I place my trust in The Lord. And if I'm a smidgen like David I'll have the sense to call out God (Jehovah) and God (Adonai) in so few words.   Seven times in eight verses.

Then he says Israel, hope in the Lord!  For with the Lord is steadfast love, with him there is plentiful redemption.  He will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Israel, is us.  It's you and me.  It's the "whosoevers" of the world.  And I comforted that I am with Him. Although I know he could crush me in His hand, it's the safest place to be.  With Him.

The study guide in my bible say this:

This is an individual lament, expressing penitence and trust in God's mercy.  The penitential element is geared toward helping worshippers see themselves as forgiven people, who's only right to enter God's presence lies in His mercy.

I like Matthew Henry, one day I will read his entire commentary, although it feels over the years I have.   I like what he says about this Psalm:

Whatever condition we are in , though ever so deplorable, to continue calling upon God.  The best of men may sometimes be in the depths.  But in the great depths, it is our privilege that we may cry unto God and be heard.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The One Where I Talk About Small {Five Minute Friday}

Five Minute Friday

Yeah Yea the story of my life a day late.  The word for the day is Small.

I have a lot to say about small.   I am small.  I was born small. Three pounds.  Two ounces.  Small.  Fighting for life.  And it seems I've done that from my first breath.   In my smallness I demand to be here.  To be seen.  To be heard.

It's easy to look over the girl who's barely tall enough to be seen.  That's how it's felt.

Because of my smallness, I've been picked last for team sports.  Told I wouldn't be good at them.  I'm not tall enough.

Now at a full grown 5' 1" I see the error in that.  I can do anything.  Small but mighty.

In some ways, I'll be honest, that's how I've seen God.  Small.  In my humanness, smallness, He's small.  And maybe not so mighty.  What kind of Savior is an infant?  How can an infant change the world?

But don't we all change it? And don't we all come into the vastness of the universe in our smallness?

My favorite movie to watch at Christmas is Its A Wonderful Life.  Because of the message, we all matter, our life touches the lives of many.  And because it was the only thing on the hospital TV when I gave birth to my first born.  And his smallness changed my life.

Let Small Change You.  :)

Friday, February 14, 2014

The One Where I Talk About Gardens {Five Minute Friday}

Five Minute Friday

So this is my first Five Minute Friday.  The topic is gardens.  I love gardens.  I wish I could grow something, anything.  Every year I think I'll have a garden.  I buy all the stuff. I till, I plant, I feed, I water.  Nothing.

I weed, I water, I till, I feed, I watch, I wait.  Nothing.

I've said on more than one occasion that I can kill Ivy. I can and have.  I've even killed cactus!  Yea, I'm that girl.

My grandmother had a garden, a big garden, a garden we ate from.
My mom had a garden, a big garden, a garden we ate from.
My sister had a garden, a small garden, a garden she ate from.

I'm a Texas, a southern woman, and like Weezer says in Steele Magnolias, I grow tomatoes because its what we do! I don't make the rules! We're southern!

I've never grown a tomato.   I've tried for years.

I like the thought of a garden.  Of growing vegetables that I'll eat.  To feed my family. I think it's a beautiful wonderful thing.   This like in many areas of life, I need guidance, and by guidance I mean "a tour guide" someone to walk me through it and help me step by step.

I think there's something Edenic about gardening, it all started there in the garden.  What in my minds eyes looks like a beautiful garden.  Where you walk through and have plenty of fruits and vegetables to pick fresh off the plant or vine.  

It leaves me wanting, that I can't grow a garden, or even a plant!   Maybe this spring I'll try again.  maybe I should start with one plant, or maybe flowers, instead of a a full garden!

Monday, February 10, 2014

The One Where It Takes A Small Town Not A Village Day 2 Session 1

IF: God is Real, Then What?

First Speaker Sarah Bessey,  I found her through blog hopping.  Following links on Facebook.  I found her.  I haven't read her book.  I just follow her.  I like her.  I like her philosophy.  I agree with it.  Yea, I agree the greater of the verses should be Submit One To Another.  I also believe in being Submissive to my husband, he is my covering.  He's a wonderful husband who allows me to be me and lets me grow. Allows The Lord to soften my heart.  He doesn't submit to me, not do we have that kind of relationship.   But Submit One To Another, I get it.  She's got me listening.  Like where Mary was the first person to "preach the gospel"  Jennie Allen addressed that they had differences and it was a sweet moment.  Women of all ages and theologies and ideas and sizes and Bible Versions are welcome. 

Sarah Bessey: 

I'm too liberal for the conservatives and too conservative for the liberals and I believe shoes should be comfortable! (everyone laughed)

I'm a Jesus Feminist.  I'm a cryer.  I still have stars in my eyes about Jesus.

Today is not about to do lists or evangelical heroes. It's about grace.

Turn to Matthew 11, I'll be reading out of The Message for all you biblical scholars! (Laughter)

After hearing Ann speak last night I got up at midnight to change what I wanted to say.   Is Jesus Beautiful or Useful to you?

28-30: Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me.  Get away with me and you'll recover your life.  I'll show you how to take a real rest.  Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.  Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.

Learn the unforced rhythm of grace.  Walk with Him.  Fall in step with the man from Nazareth.

Make your Right Now Life an Alter!  Your true being brims over into words and deeds! So. Walk. With. Him.

Is the parable of your life your own belief that you have to earn? Work hard for? Run faster to fill in the gaps?  More to-dos?   Or are you walking in the unforced rhythms of grace.

God saved you because He Loves You and Delights in You!  God doesn't want to use you! He wants to be with you because He Loves You!


God for us
God using us
God managing us
God working us
God manipulating us

When you are in step with Him, things are different. Jesus calls us friends.  Sooo, If: God is Real, Then What?

Let our life be the natural consequence of the Sacred Company we are keeping.  Our homes, our churches, our neighborhoods is where our life happens.

Prayer (as much as I could write):

Jesus we want to walk in your ways where ever you lead us.
And draw us into community where we stay - anyway
When toes get stepped on and we'll be hurt
And we forgive and stay - anyway
That we have the guts to follow wherever you lead us
Where there's messy living rooms,
Dirty Dishes, Late Nights, Friends That Show Up
That we would long for prayer and scripture
Let us be the hands and feet to every soul
In our care and in our influence for you
Let us sit outside under your sky and
Let us walk in the knowledge of the
Sacredness and Purpose of our lives
The Active leading of the Holy Spirit
Love is our Identity
Speech seasoned with salt
A Sisterhood of Grace.
Courage to face our lives as they are right now
Keep our eyes on Jesus for
Signs of your presence.

Jennie Allen interviews Kristen Armstrong.  I have a few notes, but they aren't coherent!


If we are to pursue the call that God has for us, the race we are to run, it's a Yes/And.

We need to recognize our sins. And stop minimizing our place. Let Go in Jesus Name and without doubt Run!

You can't run if you're looking back.   Release your mind from lies, Be Transformed.  In order to "throw off" the thing that hinders you need to change your thoughts.

It has been said that hurt people, hurt people.  But FREE people FREE people!

I want to free others!  How?

1) Transforming your mind (Romand 12:1-2, I Corinthians 10:3-5)
2) Think on these things (Philippians 4:8)
3) Put them into practice (Philippians 4:9)

There is a plan for you! There is a purpose for you!  Let the ruins come to life!!

With Endurance
With Patience
With Perseverance
Never Quit!


You need a come to Jesus Moment where you aren't afraid anymore!  This is NOT for someone else! This. Is. For. Me!  Remember who you are!! Whose you are!

This isn't a sprint its a Marathon!  Stand at the starting line and stare the enemy down!


What are you afraid of? Humiliation doesn't await you!!  Though my enemy surround me - God surrounds my enemy!

Our potential is unlimited because an unlimited God lives in us!!

I love all the running metaphors because I'm a runner.  I get it.  I can visualize what's being said.  Running is soooo mental and "mental".  If I've heard it once I'e heard it the snakiness 100 times…. Why do you run?! Why I wouldn't run unless something was chasing me!  

To which I reply, something IS chasing me…. Heart Disease.  High Cholesterol.  Diabetes.  Mental Illness.   And metaphorically God.  He's got a race bib for me. He's Got My Number!  And has numbered every hair on my head.  He's not counting them.  He.Knows.Them.  It's time to lace up and hit the pavement running!!  Throw OFF the things that hinder!! Run the race with abandon! 

Rebekah Lyons:

I don't know her, never heard of her until today, but her message wrecked me.  I have a… not a special needs child but a high needs child.  Easily frustrated, lacking communication, not on grade level at school, dyslexic (sorry kiddo, you inherited that), ADD (unmedicated, his decision).  Moved from the city to the country where I found God. I'd heard about God, for years. But God Found me in a small town, guess it was easier there?  Wasn't raised in church, but around church.  Saved as a teen, begged God every day after that to save me. Prone to fears and anxiety.  Panic attacks.   I too am afraid of mental illness.   I have mentally ill family members.  People to struggle with addictions. People who need help.  People who have left scars.  Mental Illness scares me.  

She talks about Parker Palmers book Let Your Life Speak.

Is the life I lead the life that longs to live in me?  We are supposed to run, but how? How do I live? What do I do?

I chuckle at her Chic Fil A Play Dates and Target Therapy.  That's me.  Right there.  I swear I'm the only one in the room… oh wait, I'm watching at home with my peeps still a sleep I am the only one in the room.  It's me and her.  And I'm just Wrecked.  

She talks about her son Cade being born with complications, how he has Down Sydrome and he's' in the NICU.  My son doesn't' have Down Syndrome, but he's born with complication and is in the NICU.   She finally gets to see him and says:

He looks at me with his smallness and peaks his eyes open to say:

Are you gonna love me, for me?  Not for what I can do? Or what I can accomplish? Or what milestones I can meet so that you think you're a good mom?   (did she just say that? yes she did! Oh…. breath out really slowly…. wipe my face, unblur my eyes, thankful for technology I can pause her and listen again…..) 

Are you gonna love me, for me? Not for what I can do? Or what I can accomplish? Or what milestones I can meet so you think you're a good mom?  (I think there, there you have it, the secret is out, this is how I think.  What kind of hoops do I need my kiddo to jump though so I feel better?) 

In praying for Cade she asks for him to be whole… a friend confronts her and says maybe your version of Whole and Gods version of Whole look Different.  (and I pray every day, after that prayer of salvation, sometimes before it, that God would open my boys mind, help him to learn, rewire his brain so he's successful and has confidence… in other words make him into who I want him to be not who You have created him to be…. I might need to turn Rebecca off….) 

Regarding moving to NYC:

I thought I was going to NYC looking for meaning, it turns out I found surrender.  

We moved from the city to a small town after I was laid off, in part to start over a bit, and in part so I could become a stay at home mom.  It required a lot of down sizing.  I thought I moved to the "country" to be the mom I always wanted to be, to go to bible studies like other moms, to go to play dates and socialize.   It turns out, I'm not that great of a mom, I was panicked about it.  And walking into a bible study was paralyzing.  And I went to play dates, but I'm the girl in the corner with the not so socially adapted child.   Panic and paralyzing fear became the new normal. 

Unlike Rebecca I didn't tell anyone about it.  I prayed and prayed to the sky with no change.  I put on my pretend face and just kept going.

Regarding her revelation/deliverance:

Sometimes you don't receive your gift, the gift of deliverance until you're interceding for someone else.

Women are gripped in fear.  One in four take meds for anxiety (i do not, why? I'm afraid of them).

The root of anxiety is unfulfilled responsibility.  You were made for more and you're not doing it!
We fade when we don't know who are are.
When we don't know what He knit in our mothers womb
When we don't know that our frame was NOT hidden from Him.
When we don't know His works are wonderful.

When He knit you, He made you with distinct birth right gifts. And believe me there is enough calling for everyone!

What is your birthright gift? That thing that makes you happy? That thing that annoyed your parents as a child?  That thing that comes so naturally to you?

Your calling is nothing more than our talents and burdens combined. Where they collide.   Running from your true self prevents you from ever hearing the call.

Burden is informed by the life you life, the family you were born into, the story you've told, by a broken heart.

Calling comes from facing your greatest fear.  What is your greatest fear?  (really, I have so many, must I pick one over another?)  Stop asking for clarity and ask to see things clearly!  Because you can be in your calling and be rescued and delivered and still not be Free!

Challenge to write first 40 minutes you're awake… you think the most clear.

Affirmation from the world will not heal a broken heart - only Jesus can do that.  When you do what you do for an audience of One it always counts!  He makes it new as if it were never broken!

So You're It!  You are my holy people whom I Love!

This rescuing and receiving and delivery, it requires responsibility.

It starts with confession.  We struggle with freedom because we struggle with healing, because we struggle with confession.   Just say it.  I don't know why I'm this way help me heal and be free.

Cast off our sin so you can RUN!

(and cue the bawling, Oh Lord, I need this, these ladies, this moment, all of this, yes really Thank You Jesus!) 

The One Where I'm Wrecked #IFGathering Day One Session Two

I'm sure I missed a few things like the phenomenal poem The Esther Generation. It was so mind blowing that I didn't write any of it down.

The persons name who spoke first in the session two, it was probably Jennie Allen, but I didn't make mention in my notes.  It just says Session 2:

Hebrews 11:39 - 12:3
Proverbs 29:18
Jeremiah 9:23-24

Be honest in your faith to God because Jesus can handle that.   You are given permission to own where you are.

After the death of Lazarus, Mary comes to Jesus with doubts, with questions, crying.  Jesus doesn't have answers to her questions, He Weeps With Her!

Psalm 88:9-13
Psalm 13: 1-6
Ephesians 5: 1-2
Psalm 141: 1-2

Ann Voskamp:

Christianity: The Short Version

In Palestine it becomes fellowship
In Greece it becomes philosophy
In Italy it becomes an institution
In America is becomes and enterprise.

Like a business.
When Christianity comes to America is becomes a Business?

And we are The Body of Christ.

If a Body becomes a business doesn't it become about prostitution?  What IF: The Body has become about transactional prostitution than about authentic passion?

Prostitution is about pretend passion, it's only a transactional model to get what you want.  Prostitution is about a guarantee upfront.

Performing is a form of prostitution.

Are you happy to love Christ based on His Return? Is there No Patience to wait for heavenly rewards? Are you living like Jesus is Beautiful or Useful?

And we've been walking around with measuring sticks for too long!  We measure The Body among itself! We measure ourself against Christ! We measure each other!

Everything isn't a marker to make me feel behind or ahead!

We measure our lives like this:

If so n sos life is a mess (compared to mine): Then I'm confident of my worthiness
If so n sos life is monumental (compared to mine): Then I cut you down to size

The world isn't a forest of measuring sticks!  When you walk through life with a measuring stick, a comparison stick, your eyes get so small that you never see Jesus!

Ask any mom, measuring sticks always become weapons!  And against The Body, a weapon so self harm!  This measuring and competing and cutting it's suicide to The Body!

Comparison robs you of joy!  But more than that comparison makes you a thug that cuts your own body!

They don't make a scale that could ever measure value, worth, or the weight of a soul!  Jesus isn't about scales because none of us is a size!  Souls defy measure.  You can't measure souls.  You can only love souls.

Come suffer with the broken, with those who have been measured all their life and we'll break the measuring stick together.

Be so moved by His Grace that we move In Grace to the world!  Let His thick passion cover all our flaws, emotions, sins and brokenness

Remember the passion that stretched out on the cross and said STOP performing for love! STOP trying to earn love! STOP trying to measure up!

Leave this Transactional Business in Christianity behind!

We break all the measuring sticks because Christ broke the bread.  As the sisterhood that is broken and made whole, we make all those broken measuring sticks into a table.

The One Where I'm #wrecked after IF:Gathering {Session 1-A}

That was the theme for me this weekend.


Ever since I found Jen Hatmaker through my running buddy Sarah, and found Ann Voskamp though a Jen Hatmaker's comment "I wonder what Ann Voskamp would do?" I ended up spending a lot of time on their blogs, reading their books, reading books and blogs they suggest.  Friends I don't know where in the Inter-Web world I've been that I hadn't known about these ladies.

I've read She Reads Truth for a year,  I started last year with Fresh Start and I read all year!  I formed a bond with the ladies of SRT.  Well I formed it with them…. I'm pretty sure they think I'm a stalker! Pretty Sure of that! I email them, I tweet them, I follow them, I like them.  If they have a stack of books, I have a stack.   Anyway.

Those ladies led me to more resources, resources that tell me You Are Normal.  We All Struggle.  Some Days Parenting Just Sucks.The.Life.Out.Of.You.  Perfection Is Unattainable.  Fix Your Eyes On Jesus.  Find One Word Instead Of A New Year To Do List, It Is All Gonna Be Okay.  And not in an I'm Okay, You're Okay kind of way, but in a real and authentic way.

I say all of that to day, one day while reading a blog, we'll give Jen Hatmaker credit. I read about IF:Gathering.  I see a lot of ladies I admire will be there, ladies I don't know or heard of, and one I held in my arms when she was born.

I read the blog, I longed to be in Austin.  Oh don't I always.  But totally wanted to be there for this.  I only know one person who will be there and well she's speaking.  It's too far out to make plans, who knows what will come our way by then.  Hope it's really good!

I follow along more and Whaaaaaaatttttt….. A Live Stream!! A. LIVE.STREAM!  Put that on my calendar.  Talk to my girlfriends.  Get ladies together.  This will be fun!

As it got closer, I just felt this anticipation come over me.  Alysa Bajenaru said it best: "There has been something stirring in me for a few years… I'm tired of comfortable Christianity, frustrated with how my faith is portrayed in social media…. I crave authenticity, messy authenticity….. Real people having real conversations.  And I'm not the only one."

Indeed, she's not the only one.

A tweet from her later that day, Strip away that which usually defines me and get to the core of how I really am I have been feeling RESTLESS!!  I am ready to be brave, ready to be bold, ready to run the race Jesus has marked out for me.  Run the messy race of authentic faith.

DITTO!  Ditto to it all!

I'll just write my notes out.  Maybe later this week I'll be able to process more of it.

Day One:

Jennie Allen

I was built to run races for God, eyes fixed on Jesus, but I was missing it.

Hebrews 11:1  Faith is the Substance!
Jesus says two things:

Repent, confess, be honest, broken, throw off your sin, don't miss this moment!

We have prayed for a movement of God, that women who are afraid, scared, in bondage, would be set free! That you would run your race. Because this is our time, this is our leg of the race! By Faith!

It's okay to be terrified, just obey!  Quit with the comparisons and just do what you are called to do!  Throw off all the junk and live like God is Real!

My biggest fear is that we would walk away and do a bunch of great stuff.  A great movement of God isn't doing a bunch of great stuff.  a great movement of God is 10,000 women all around the world on their knees depending and coming to God in brokenness.

By faith, we could be a generate that wasn't fancy, wasn't perfect, but we lived like our God was real!

Get back in the race! We are all human and we are all jacked up, just fix your eyes on Jesus!

Christine Caine:

The wilderness did not denote freedom, but deliverance.  It was for freedom that Christ set us free, but many of us settle for deliverance!

It was an eleven day journey to freedom that too FORTY YEARS because of fear, doubt, murmuring, grumbling and complaining!  It's time to lay aside the weight and the sins that ensnare us - the unforgivness and jealousy and bitterness and anger.  If we set these aside, some of the injustices of the world would be solved overnight!

Redefine your comfort zone, because wherever you go you are with the Great Comforter!  Just as he was in the wilderness! A pillar of fire at night, a cloud by day!

You came out of Egypt, but Egypt is still in you.  But God want to get Egypt out of your so we can walk into the Promised Land free!  Go from Deliverance To Freedom!! The wilderness is where you shake off Egypt!

A generation came out of bondage and slavery.  But they died in the desert! That generation is Gone!! You have to have our own "cutting away"

LET US lay aside the weight…
A weight could be anything, it could be good, but holding you back.
An anchor.
A thought.

The Weight of:

The day after they ate of the promised land, the manna stopped.  Because God is doing a new thing!  Don't become so used to the systems of God that you don't need Him!! The manna Ceases!! Don't get stuck in the past!

You allow the past to define you like the Gospel isn't True!! When you owe it to the next generation to get free!  We either believe in this Gospel or we don't!

The most potent force on the planet is not a missile or the atomic bomb! The most important force on the plant is the Blood of Christ.  It sets people free!

Many of us prefer the comfort of victimhood over what it takes to be free!! Time to move on girls, get a new problem!!

God starts with impossible!  A Virgin, A Stable, A Cross, A Risen Savior! It's all Crazy, so believe the impossible anyway!

If you want to see the promises of God worked out in your life, then you must believe the truth of God's word over your circumstances.  Yet most of us base our lives on the facts, and that's why we never go into the Promised Land, why we never walk in freedom.

Let's build our lives on the truth of God's Word, not the facts of our circumstances.

Sue Davis and Shauna NeiQuist:

Table People

This Time Matters

Toast - raise a glass says I see you.  You matter.
Prayer - every good thing we have is from God.

Where ever you are BE ALL THERE especially at the dinner table.  Acts 2:46 They worshipped together, they ate meals at home, with glad and sincere hearts.

Once a Month IF:Table
6 Women from all walks of life, some you know well, some you don't (you count as 1 so you can 5 other women)
4 Questions about God (see the website….information coming soon)
2 Hours  (Present not perfection)

Revival Starts At Home!

#SheReadsTruth - The Things Of This World

Oh how this speaks to my heart today.

For years (and I won't tell you it's not a struggle some days) I was scared of heaven. I think for me, it meant judgment (in my mind I compete with Paul for the chief sinner claim) It wasn't, isn't a love for the world so much as a distrust of heaven. Of my Heavenly Father. His goodness, plans, love, will, did I mention goodness? Or perhaps that His goodness isn't for me. It's for everyone else. 

Heaven is for everyone else. I'll sit in the corner with the dunce hat on. Love the world? I can't say no. Because I have a lot of fear of separation from it. Mostly from my family. My kids. My husband. (Who I won't be married to in heaven) 

As a bible snob, a Greek Freak, it's crazy (to me) that I've been really digging The Message (a challenge from my pastor) Nothing scholarly about it. I admit. But I'm seeing this precious word with new eyes. 

1 John 2: 15-17 Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity. 

Love the worlds ways? No. Right? That's the answer. I do not. Love the worlds goods? No? Not quite so steady, sure. Love of the world? 

But when you say.... Want my own way... Want everything for myself (not everything, right, I can really see the semantics in this and thus be off the proverbial or prepositional hook). Wanting to appear important.... (Read: mans approval) ouuuuch! I certainly have fear of rejection and a longing for approval. 

How about this: 

Love of My ways. Love of My things/people/goods? Love of My world? I can't help but be pierced and indeed isolated. 

All of that is fading away, and I need to fade away with it. And run to Jesus. Because of the previous verses. 

12-13 I remind you, my dear children: Your sins are forgiven in Jesus’ name. You veterans were in on the ground floor, and know the One who started all this; you newcomers have won a big victory over the Evil One. 

My sins are forgiven. I KNOW the ONE who started all this.

I can let go of these ways, things, and world to cling to Jesus. Then wash rinse and repeat. Daily, or ya know hourly.  The clock keeps on ticking; and I have choices to make, today, right now, and the next moment, and hour, and day and week.  It's not a one time thought, but a (romans 12) renewing of the mind.  A metamorphosis that takes place.  Eventually the caterpillar becomes a butterfly.  Let's be honest though, some days I'd settle for a moth! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

The One Where I Weep When The UPS Guy Comes

I've been reading blogs and I follow several people on Instagram and I Like some pages on Facebook.  And I see everyone's stack of books.

Last year, over the summer, we looked for a new church.  Love our old church but really needed a smaller youth group for our son.  The big, loud, crowded scene just wasn't doing it for him.   Our Life Group disbanded after several years and we were lost.  Lost at church, Lost in the crowd, feeling like we needed a home.

Before trying out several churches.  My husband and I listened to PodCasts of local pastors.  We narrowed it down to two.  We went to the first one and honestly that was it.  We were instantly home.

The pastor encouraged us to read more books, the bible in various versions (particularly if you are prone to reading the same one).  He told us to seek out books that increase our faith, uplift us, point us to Jesus.

I immediately got some books, I lived it seemed at Half Price Books, see the Blog Here: The One Where I Choose Books

I've read Desperate and I'm almost done with What Women Fear.

As I've read blogs and Facebook and seen Instagram feeds I've seen more books I want to read.  I have a wish list on Amazon so as soon as I finish a book I can order more, and actually remember the ones I want to read.  LOL The 'ole menopause brain gets ya every time!

Sooo this week the buzz is about Notes From A Blue Bike, the last week or two the buzz was Chasing God.  Because I'm already reading an Angie Smith book, What Women Fear - so.good.  So.Good! And I purchased Mended at Half Price books, and I really wanted Chasing God.  Truth be told I want to BE Chasing God!

I also ordered Praying For Boys - Thrilled about this one.  I have boys, and boy do they need prayer! Well I need prayer, probably more than them.

FYI there's a contest going on to win Notes From A Blue Bike (and two other books I want to read) from TheNester.  But if you purchase the book before Saturday the author has some freebies for you!

Anyway, this is about the UPS guy.  It's freezing here in Texas, literally.  And I ordered these books last night while tweeting about the #IFGathering and listening to the IF Girls conduct the test.  Less than 24 hours later the books are on my door step.   I couldn't believe it.  And I'm so grateful to the UPS guy who was bundled up like the kid in Christmas Story who delivered them.

And I'm wishing I had time to dive into the books but I'm hosting a few ladies for the IF:Gathering at my house. Well and even if I weren't I'd be watching this moment in God With Women time because I have come to know these women through their blogs and books and Facebook updates and Instagram feeds and I feel this is an important time in my life, and the life of the women around me.  Close friends,  Inter-web friends, friends wanting change, purpose, answers, a closer walk, not a walk and infusion.

So the books came today while I'm in the midst of waiting, in a flight pattern, waiting to land, checking twitter as all my favorite bloggers, authors, wise women, imperfect letting their vulnerable show women gather to say IF and I leak out a bit in anticipation of what God will do in our lives over the next few ticks of the clock, days on on the calendar, moments of our lives, spans of time to come.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The One Where I Watch the Superbowl and Say AMEN!

Bummer, all those high hopes for Peyton Manning and they were all shattered in the first 12 seconds of the game.  Wow.  It looked like the Broncos played that entire game in slow motion.   One bad play after the next.  One missed opportunity after the next.
It was painful to watch. Painful.
It would be nice to say that the commercials were funny, or even entertaining.  Nope.
The only one that stands out in my mind is the Doritos Time Machine Commercial. Cute.  Funny.  Original. 

Then you had the Doberuaua or whatever it was.... I can't even remember what it was advertising.

Budweiser usually has good commercials.  I liked the puppy one and the coming home one.

The Yogurt commercial was funny, off color, but funny!

Bob Dylan selling Chrysler? Can he sell anything? Even himself these days?

The Chevy commercial with the cows... that at least got a chuckle.
And then there's the Half Time Show.   I'll be honest.  I liked it.  But I like Bruno Mars and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.  I like music, all kinds. I appreciate music, all kinds.

Bruno was entertaining.  Clean.  Sang well.  Put on a good show.  His band is phenomenal.   Entertaining.  RHCP well they were entertaining too.  Clean.  Energetic.  Apparently not plugged in? They really sang, but didn't really play the instruments.  Odd.  Dare I say the Half Time Show was the best part of my day.  Okay that and the show before the preshow about the people who won tickets to the game.  Great stories.

As luck would have it there were all kinds of comments on the inter-web during the game, after the game, about the game, about the commercials, about the performances, about that painful slow death of the Broncos loss.   I don't think Peyton shouted Omaha one time.  Maybe that was the problem.  I dunno.
Driving home from work and school pick up line yesterday I heard a really good story about a Facebook response from Bart Miller, lead singer of Mercy Me.  Apparently he posted that he really liked the Half Time Show and thought Bruno Mars did a great job.   Then he was attacked, had he said it in person he may have been beaten by "Christians". Ugh.   I didn't see the original post, only his response.  And it is seriously awesome!
"Seriously I love you guys. I really do, but you've got to find a bigger cross to die on. If me saying Bruno's performance was awesome can instantly tear down my 20 years of ministry, then I've been doing something terribly wrong! Oh wait I have been doing something terribly wrong! I've lived most of my life as a legalistic, judgmental, religious person. Not anymore folks. I'm a huge fan of music regardless whether Bruno misuses it or not.
I'm a huge fan of sex, so is my is God by the way, regardless if the world abuses it.
I'm also a fan of the word of God REGARDLESS if some of you people twist it to make a point. In other words, I'm no longer living my life based on what people say or think about me. My plate's already pretty full adoring my wife and kids and relishing in the truth that there's nothing I can do great enough to make Christ love me more than he already does and I can't be bad enough to separate myself from the spirit that dwells inside.
So I'm gonna live life like I can't screw it up. I can screw "stuff" up...sure. And maybe some of you think I've screwed this post all up. Ha. But that's ok cuz grace works for even me. And as far as all of us being judged by our maker one day? That does not exist for the believer. There is and will never be any condemnation from Christ. When James talks about ministers or lead singers of Christian bands being judged more harshly. He ain't talking about in heaven. He's talking about being judged by the Jesus police who prowl Facebook waiting to pounce. Ha. So what do I mean when I say find a bigger cross to die on? Live life doing stuff that matters like finding rest knowing Christ has done the work for you! I'm telling you, when you truly taste grace, life is a freaking blast! To know a perfect messiah came so we can have imperfect moments, like my Bruno worship apparently, and still be ok may be the greatest news of all! Heck if I'd known all of this was gonna come out of what I posted, I would've posted "BRUNO MARS FOR PRESIDENT!"

I really appreciate you guys. I would not have spent 9 yrs writing this if I didn't.

Welcome To the New Bart"
All this Grammy and Superbowl talk and "averting ones eyes" and "in the world not of it" and Christians badgering their own kind like Pharisees, and living as it were segregated from the world.   Set apart doesn't mean segregated. 

Jesus didn't live his life segregated from the world he came to save.  He did call those out that lived segregated.  He lived in the world, he mingled, ministered to and medicated those around him.  Are we doing that? 

Do I know my neighbors or their needs?

I really great book that mentions some of this and has been in the forefront of my mind these days is Grace Based Parenting.  In the first chapter Dr. Tim Kimmel talks about  how we've segregated ourselves from the world.  We're our own subculture, parallel universe.  Yet our marriages aren't anymore sacred, our children are no more safe from abuse, teen pregnancy, abortion, drug addiction, pornography. 

Page 10, Chapter 1

"You'd think with all the resources that have been developed over the past forty years we'd have a little more to show for ourselves.  If we looked at where the Christian movement is on a grand scale, it demonstrates we've clearly left something out of the equation.  The Christian community in the US numbers in the multi-millions and is referred to as the "Christian Nation."  We've dedicated billions of dollars to our spiritual experience.  We have more brick and mortar commitments as well as professional paid personnel dedicated to the development of our Christian walk than any other nation.
Our churches are often an extension of our families' social needs to the point that many serve as evangelical country clubs.  We're created a parallel universe to the corrupted world system that provides all the amenities we want.  We have Christian bookstore, Christian radio, Christian television programming round the clock.  Christian concerts, Christian cruises, Christian vacation resorts.  We have our own school system, clothing lines and we have our own breath mints!

The irony is that the "secularization" of the non-Christian world has risen proportionately with our withdrawal from it.

This type of living is fear-based.  We're scared of Hollywood, the Internet, the school system, Halloween, the homosexual community, drugs, alcohol, rock n roll, rap, partying neighbors, unbelieving softball teams, liberals and Santa Clause!"

The absence of negative influences doesn't increase one's spirituality, the battle isn't on the things seen, but the things unseen.   We battle not against flesh and blood.......
The Message.  Ephesians 6: 13-18
13-18 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

For me this is where Trust comes in.  Trust the Lord with all my heart and lean not.  I Trust that God hasn't forgotten us.  We're not some third grade science project he put in the closet and forget about.  He's involved in our life, in this world, trusts His own plan, that its coming to fruition a little more, every day.  He's not shocked or shaken by The Grammy's or The Superbowl or The World He created. 

Just as he wasn't really asking for Adam's physical location when asking, "Where Are You?" He wasn't asking them their location, rather their condition.

What is your condition?  Whatever it is, you can Trust Him With It