Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Being a "Mom"...

something happened a few weeks ago that really sent my heart off into a new land. i was speaking at this tea party for little girls' at my friend dawn's church, and at the end one of the girls introduced me as "the one i'd like to have as my second mom". an extremely awkward silence followed that...probably with a look of complete shock on my face...but not wanting her to feel bad or anything, i quickly said, "oh, that's a nice thing to say."

and my heart had one of the biggest stabs it's had in a long time...

but it raised an interesting question...which i'll return to later.

what has followed has been hilarious...or not...depends.

a couple of my junior high students randomly decided to start calling me "mom". seemed creepy until i realized that i actually AM now old enough to be their wayyyy creepier.

and then...

i found this stack of 'thank you' cards from my secondary kids. and many of them referred to me as a 'mom'. one of them actually called me her "mother bear". heh?

so, here's what's bothering me...

what if i actually want to be a mom someday? (insert that this is a question i have never allowed myself to really consider!!!)

when i was going through my body image junk, i was terrified of actually getting pregnant because i didn't want to gain any weight. needless to say, that's passed...just ask my refrigerator. :) and...i've never been the girl that ALWAYS wanted to be a mom. and for some reason i thought that a career desire negated that...although my own mom did both very well, so i have no idea where i got that idea. in fact, i've not wanted to be the girl that is wholy...a..."mom". you know...the ones that have the title sum up their entire personhood. but i know it's possible because i have tons of friends (and siblings) who are moms that are totally....more? something like that anyway.

so,i'm guessing that this is related to a fear thing. probably a selfish one in many ways...probably a wound-related one too.

but today, i actually...and a little bit sadly thinking that i might want to really be one someday. and i don't even need biological teaching shows, a gal can just be one, i guess...but i think that it might actually be...a heart desire???...that i get to be a mom someday.

to be able to parent with someone and take on all that it entails...not as terrifying anymore.

dang it!

Friday, May 23, 2008

"Me" in Movies...

it's not an uncommon quandary to question one's purpose or calling. and by the end of our lives, we will still probably only have a smidgen of a picture of that wonderful destiny...not because we missed evolves as we go through life...and continues to do so in the life we were really meant for.

i can't tell if that's depressing or refreshing...depends on which life basket we place all our eggs, i guess.

but i've read that a person can begin to get a snapshot of their overall purpose...the truest passions, dreams, the messages of their favorite movies or stories.

so, here's my first run at it in no particular order...what can i say? it's hard to narrow it down sometimes.

Lord of the Rings - I particularly love Aragorn and Arwen in this movie. I love how Aragorn slowly steps into his calling...his true self...and he fights for freedom no matter the cost. I love how Arwen is so matter what that means. And how she saves Frodo despite danger to herself!!! Amazing!

Braveheart - I love this movie because the passion is set on freedom. This battle calls people out of their personal hiding places...becoming.

Kill Bill 2 - I like her strength and courage. She never quits fighting for what she lost. And...she's a force to be reconned with.

Anne of Green Gables - Circumstances don't define Anne. She is full of imagination and quirky dreaming...but she's true to herself. An original life. And, real, real love finds her in the end.

Beauty and the Beast - It's not always the bimbo that gets the prince. Sometimes...hopefully's a girl with a beautiful heart.

Forrest Gump - Love and life are so much bigger than we begin to imagine...and it's ok to just let it happen. Manufacturing unnecessary!

hmmm...well, some are right on. some, of course, point to the general desires of my heart. others point to some of my particular passions...heart freedom and personal becoming are huge on my list. maybe some of the others are things that i'm going to experience as i continue on in this journey. i'd love to be more confident...marked with strength and courage. and i'd love to be comfortable just as i am...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

You're Not In This...

here's an interesting theme i've been seeing and experiencing ministries, in life. it especially shows up in the circumstances that threaten self or the things we love. simply said, we make it about ourselves.

oprah told a story once about a time when she kept having to see newspaper headlines that were totally trashing her. she was so hurt by the ordeal, wondering why people would print such lies...especially when they didn't even know her. she called her mentor at the time, who was maya angelou, and wisely, oprah was encouraged to see that she "was not in that". everything that was the genuine oprah...the passion, giftings, the heart...did not need to be rocked by or defined by such pettiness and assault. it was a beckoning to let go, to walk away...and keep on keeping on.

as it turns out, this may actually end up being one of the most difficult battles of my life... through many ordeals, it has been very difficult to "let go and let god" actually let it be about god even at my expense.


if i may be a little strange for a moment...god did a profound thing when he created mankind. he gave us an immense amount of authority. i don't think we even begin to understand how profound that was, but sadly, through the fall, we handed that authority over to satan. the consequences of that (disease, death, a broken creation) have been horrendous. the awesome thing is that god made a way for that authority to be rested back on us...if we so choose. but it doesn't stop, no, no...because the most abundant life actually involves us presenting that authority back to god...chosing to live under his hand. and in so doing...humbling ourselves...he raises us from our knees to our feet, standing in his embrace...with backbones of steel, with hands fit for the paradox of service and battle, with hearts being mended...and like a key in lock that's been aching to be opened for all of time... we empty ourselves of ridiculous obstacles, and we open the door to the release of the holy spirit...unshackled. the trinity is unleashed...

but so few actually live that way...

...and are rocked by every wave on a stormy sea...

and here's the thing...i'm not saying we shouldn't stand up for ourselves in struggle. sometimes that's definitely called's just that when we make something more about ourselves than it truly is or needs to be, we have the propensity to unleash a whole lot more than the trinity.




*and a whole lot more.

immaturity rules the roost rather than godliness.

so maybe, we should choose other reactions. first, we should step back and ask ourselves what this really is about. i've had to do that regarding my passions and dreams lately. the things/people i love that others don't. sometimes it's lonely in loving and pursuing...but do we have to feel alone? is it even really about that? and if it's taking a stand for something or being attacked for something, can we rise above the defensiveness and make it about the issue at hand?

the cool thing is...stepping back helps us gain a far better perspective of the situation. hopefully, one that takes self off the table. what, after all, if it is spiritual attack? would we attack our brothers in this context? i suspect satan would love us to do that rather than spend time kicking HIM in the head...

after stepping back, we need to ask god what he wants done...or not done. this is the trust zone! he may ask you to lay down your defenses. he may ask you to make it about him and his will. he will certainly ask you to not sin. he will certainly ask you to with him.

and a minor note about confidants...i have found that it is so great to utilize brothers and sisters in christ to process struggles, to rally prayer support. BUT...may i issue a caution. first, assess the ability of your confidants to NOT take up your offense and NOT gossip! man, i've seen that get way out of hand...adding gasoline to candlelight. but if you have a couple of people who can stand with prayer and personal encouragement...go for it!

and with that, i just want to end with something from 1 Corinthians 1.

10I have a serious concern to bring up with you, my friends, using the authority of Jesus, our Master. I'll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common.

11-12I bring this up because some from Chloe's family brought a most disturbing report to my attention—that you're fighting among yourselves! I'll tell you exactly what I was told: You're all picking sides, going around saying, "I'm on Paul's side," or "I'm for Apollos," or "Peter is my man," or "I'm in the Messiah group."

13-16I ask you, "Has the Messiah been chopped up in little pieces so we can each have a relic all our own? Was Paul crucified for you? Was a single one of you baptized in Paul's name?" I was not involved with any of your baptisms—except for Crispus and Gaius—and on getting this report, I'm sure glad I wasn't. At least no one can go around saying he was baptized in my name. (Come to think of it, I also baptized Stephanas's family, but as far as I can recall, that's it.)

17God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what he has done, collecting a following for him.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Awesome Read...

i'm totally recommending the book "searching for god knows what". once again donald miller hits one out of the park with his real and conversational writing on god...not the god that so many have put in boxes of particular political philosophies, proper pews, and human "musts". it opens up the possibility for the experience of god...true intimacy.

if you haven't experienced his writing before, miller also wrote a totally awesome and VERY random book about finding god. entitled "blue like jazz", it's a beautiful read about true christianity. warning's not for those who absolutely are tied to jesus being a republican, among other things...:)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Stop the Drama...

have you ever noticed how much people love drama? it's really unbelieveable if you take the time to notice.

some of our propensity for drama may be related to our media. just watch the news where hype has replaced least much of the time. apparently, exaggeration is more interesting than truth. so perhaps it has conditioned us to need it...the entertainment of drama.

sometimes it seems like people need drama in order to feel better about themselves...or come out the hero...or victim. and this is what we sum up in the word 'pride'. our monuments to our false selves have to be fueled by drama...frequent consumption of hoopla is required for keeping up appearances. (ironically, being real and humble allows a person to be fueled more deeply...a life of giving as opposed to getting.)

and then it strikes me that sometimes we need drama simply because we are frickin' bored. we don't give our hearts or minds enough to chew on...things to challenge ourselves...spaces to grow and enjoy. and so rather than take the moment to stop and realize how meaningless an existence we've chosen...because we might melt into nothingness if we did...we create a "reality tv show" (haha) of other's lives to postpone decimation.

well...i'm bored of drama.

are there places where we aren't constantly discussing everyone else's affairs or analyzing each and every move? i'd love to find more places/people where ideas and passions and dreams are discussed, where adventures are shared...

maybe i'm just in transition...but i'd like a little "more"...

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Workout Class

no, this isn't about calesthenics....i wish! this is about my group of seniors who are set to graduate in 2 weeks. a very unique group, but one that has greyed my hair like no other (yes, i have a few strands in the mix...hehe.)
it's about at this time of the year that my alarm sounds...either for great excitement for the kids' new adventures on the horizon OR for sheer terror at the lessons they still haven't (or won't) learn.

and i realized today that my "danger" readings are off the charts...i'm terrified.

it's a wonder that more parents and teachers aren't on anxiety meds at times like these...or in general. and why is the government not offering sedatives at school functions??? perhaps that will now become my area of political concern...
yet when i look at my life, i realize that i have had and will continue to have my own journey. and obviously, all of the external wisdom in the world couldn't shift my path towards some tough experiences and lessons. don't we all have those stubborn areas? so, in my heart i know that it's just their turn.
it's just that i'm a little more concerned about some. you know what i mean...the ones that you know are on autopilot for a "clear and present danger"...a train off the tracks. somehow having them in my direct supervision helped me think they were less aimed and in flight...ahhh, denial. :)
so here's to a little more letting go...and a whole lot of prayer!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Little Lady Princess Party

i had the privilege of talking at a Princess Party for a group of girls at a local church. they have this great little tea party each year, and the little girls get all dressed up for the festivities. so, my friend dawn who organized the program asked me if i'd like to share something at it. since i'd been praying for more opportunities to be released into women's/girl's ministry (especially in the realm of the "princess" area), i jumped at the chance.

what a great experience!

i was praying once with a lady that mentors me, and i was sharing with her my fears about not saying the right thing or not saying enough...and the "boxes" that i've had to fight. she told me to trust the holy spirit to communicate from "heart to heart". and that wisdom has really taken a lot of the wind out of my self-focused sails... so, i really don't know how the specific speech went, but my heart felt like we were connecting. so, praise god for that!

and those little ladies, by the way, are such a delight! each so different, but so very special!

so...on to the next "whatever"...he does just drop things in our laps sometimes. what an adventure!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

When the going gets tough...

it doesn't help that i just saw "p.s. i love you"...or that it's rainy outside...but i just felt like writing about grief today.

there are all types of many people, circumstances, changes...all potentially related to a "dark night of the soul". and sometimes it's not so much about the logistics and "facts". it can come down to a shattering of hopes, dreams, plans...

and in those moments i find that i can just get stalled...having no sight beyond the horror.

i've wondered lately if it's not always just about the emotions that accompany a loss. the time it takes to "feel"...the denial, the sorrow, the anger. is the "halting of life" sometimes a way to keep a faint grasp on existence as we knew it? a way of fighting the final release?

when we get used to life as we know it and the notions we've had about how it all should look, it's terrifying to think of anything new. EVEN if new is better. the big, bad unknown. it's like we claw at whisps in the wind in avoidance of the new reality before us.

and yet we story after story...that life does go on. it's actually the promise between the lines! it CAN go on...though different, though strange... there can be a tomorrow.

and so i guess all i'm thinking for today...whatever it is we face...keep going. be real, be present...and then be!

Monday, May 12, 2008


it was my oldest niece's formal this weekend. she...was...adorable!

preparation festivities started at 12:30 at my house. she and two of her friends came over to do finger nails, toe nails, hair and make-up. oh!...and sparkles...everywhere. i had the great privilege of doing her make-up and putting these cool glass beads in her hair...and i bawled all over the place.

it's an interesting phenomenon...special little loved ones growing up. isn't it crazy how it sneaks up on you? but what i loved so much is that while my little sarah isn't that little girl so much anymore...she still has this beautiful and pure heart. and while she's not a perfect girl...thank god!...she's still got that sparkle that little girls know (and sadly too many lose to "growing up").

god's comedic flare helped me move through the "letting go" of my "little girl" sarah...stage front: clara.

we went out for a mother's day lunch yesterday. sadly, my little niece clara was developing an ear infection, and she was very, very out-of-sorts. but she enjoyed her dose of meds and pushed through the meal. and i was shocked that despite her sick little body, she was still able to keep up her commitment to the "princess in pink" persona. (picture a 3-yr-old in sparkly heels, pink dress, pink headband, huge rings...but then add in sniffles and snarls...) anyway, as she toddled out of the resturant...complete with all her "bling"...we passed by a little old man sitting in the waiting area. and much to my surprise, clara gave him the biggest wink i've ever seen!!!

both the old man and myself burst out laughing...

and clara proceded like it was no big thing...

so, as we were walking to the car...between my fits of laughter...i asked her why she winked at him. she replied, "i don't know. my eye just did it."

what would life be like without these precious ladies?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Every Girl Needs A Princess Moment

i had an awesome opportunity the other night. sarah, my adorable niece, is getting ready for her first formal. and so we headed out with her friend elise and my dad to find the perfect dress. (i'll come back to my dad in a second.)

can i just say how amazing it is for girls who've lived most of their lives "casual" to step into a gown? i LOVE it. they stare at themselves in disbelief and are tempted to beg the question "am i really this beautiful?"!

of course, beauty is something that is just innate to any woman and far more than physical, but our culture...actually satan, i should say...has worked so hard to convince us that there is a particular "mold" for beauty. thus, most women live under the false boot of ugliness. hence, the magic in those dressing room moments! the potential for a heart that's even more free...

and then there's my dad. he was so intent on coming along in this grand adventure. i'm so glad he did. while it's possible for a woman to own her own true beauty, there is an amazing power held by men to greatly affirm or devastatingly damage a girl's connection to least until she can have the courage to own it, i think. it's so true. and as a side note, the cool thing about god is that he's the grand "re-connector"! but, i just loved watching her sparkle all over the place...and see him affirm her "shine".

so, a word to the wise...if you are a gal, how about a "princess" dressing room appointment soon?...just to have fun! and to the men...especially the ones that have special ladies in their about flexing some affirmation muscle for them!


oh! and pray for me!!! now it's time to "accessorize"....ahhh!

Facing the Facts and Walking In Forgiveness

i can't offer too much background on this one because it is the honoring thing to discuss the situation only with those who were directly involved. i guess it's the way to protect each other even if we sit on opposite sides of the table...

but i must say this: there's been a major conflict over the past several months, and it has been so exhausting.

the other night, i sat with some very good friends...brothers and sisters...and together we attempted to bring resolution once again. i don't know if it ended the way we all thought, especially considering hopes for each other, but i guess things are as they are.

in the midst of it all, i was surprised by a few things.

first, all the talking in the world will sometimes never bring clarity...especially when that's not the desired end. the dialogue can then be ended, and that can be ok. in the end, it's our own choice to lay down our perceptions and realities and just listen...

second, it's hard being the "fall-girl" and giving up defense of self. but i guess if that's what brings some movement and finality, it's for the best. nevertheless, it's hard for the pride...especially just let it go.

third, i realized that i actually allowed myself to be supported and supportive of others. that's a miracle in itself. when i was in my administrative position, i was slowly being moved onto my own island, and i stopped allowing people to stand with me...letting some experiences dictate my decisions. but in this situation, i somehow allowed myself to open up to others and was so blessed to see a community stance. i think that actually became a healing experience for me.

fourth, i learned something valuable about forgiveness. when it was all over, a few of us stayed to review the situation. we cried and prayed together, which was such a blessing. one of my friends started talking about jesus' heart for forgiveness. he brought up the fact that for jesus, the worst and hardest option was to not forgive. his heart was so full of love and compassion that he had to forgive. it was a "must". it would have actually pained him not to... that just made me picture his death on the cross...dying of a trillion broken hearts all at once...yet he cries out that god forgive us... and so, in my desire to be more like him, i've been considering the quickness of his forgiveness. the god of the continuous outstretched hand.
i don't know. life is full of intense and difficult situations. and i'd like it to become more natural for me to think and act from my christ-centered heart...more and more every day. to have that be my initial reaction, as opposed to movement from an insulted pride or a bleeding wound, is something god wants to grow in all of us.
so, cheers to lessons! cheers to god's love! and cheers to faithful friends!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The LOVE I Want...

Nooma says it best sometimes...that desire and passion we were meant for...God's crazy BEST! Man, it's what I've been praying for...maybe someday!

God's Old-School Lovin'...

for those of you who actually have a recollection of the 90's (being that some who read this were actually born in that decade...oh dear), you may remember a song by a group called "go west" entitled "faithful". oh yes, we be talkin' some old school stuff here...

well, i think i've said before that one of the ways god talks to me is through music. i often will realize, when i pause long enough to listen, that there is a song singing in my heart. sometimes it's directional, sometimes calming, and sometimes god just whispering his sweet somethings to me...

so, god's been having me in a season of detachment lately. and his purpose...always springing from to get me more into the great adventure with him and to release me more in desire. this is a major faith step for wrought with discipline and practice...but isn't it true that some of our finest passions actually come from intense training? so i've been moving ahead. i've seen some major shifts in perspective. i've experienced a renewed fire inside. but i've also had to be wrestling a bit.

but my god who has this dance with my heart that i can't even put words to has been singing this old-school-lovin' song to me and i'm once again overwhelmed. i've been praying some pretty serious and stripping prayers...and my heart just hopes and hopes...but it's a god-based hope...for his dreams and plans. and then i find him just wrapping his arms around me...singing a funky 90's tune ...but his words are aimed for the deepest parts of my heart.

and i realize that the greatest romance of my life is happening right now...with him.

so here's the video...rock out or laugh yourself silly. but either way, my hottie god rules! hehe...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Remembering the Point...

it's been the 'bee in my bonnet' for so long...making the whole point of faith into a behavior modificaiton plan for sin. through a narrow definition we can force what was meant to be a 'dance with god' into a 'religion'. but the release into freedom, desire...true and full humanity...IS the point. it's the "why" behind the strategy. the interesting thing...the that this incredible journey to life in the wide open spaces often involves the path of discipline and practice.

so here's an interesting clip i found. enjoy...