Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Capacity To Love

I spent some time with my nieces tonight. Oh, how I love that!!!! They are so special to me. You know what I've been thinking about? It's something I feel whenever I'm around any of my nieces and nephews. Just when I think I understand the borders and boundaries of my heart and my capacity to love, I find my heart even bigger than I ever dreamed...and I love more and more and more. It's good to step into loving...we're meant for the vulnerable and blessed mystery.

Great Quote

“The continuous and unembarrassed interchange of love and thought between God and the souls of the redeemed men and women is the throbbing heart of the New Testament.” (A. W. Tozer)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Giggle Time


E.E. Cummings said, "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." Courage to step into becoming who we are made to be. I shudder to think how many people aren't. Think of a manufactured life that isn't the one they are meant for. A life just short of the dreams, desires, passions, adventures, missions...a life outside of one's calling and purpose. For me personally, I believe that each human life has its own unique message. A gift that each person was meant to share with the for which it's lack of release causes all to suffer. How many messages are left unread...?

Hmm. Hmm. Hmm.

The path to purpose? I've come to believe it is in surrender. In fact, I would argue that our degree of becoming is directly related to our degree of surrender. Destiny found in the laying down of all of the things we carry (burdens, idols, anger, hurts, etc.) and opening our arms to the Father's embrace. It can be a tough road, but it's one that leads to a launching pad.

Oh the fullness, peace and hope we can find...becoming.

React to the Right Thing

As I was prepping for the High School retreat this last week, a particular thought kept coming up. How much we live in reaction or response to things. It makes sense, really. Scientific sense even. Every action has a reaction. But, I wouldn't leave it just there. No, that's too small for me. I would go so far to say that it's actually in our design. A human pathway for action.

The problem, though, is that we actually don't always react to the right thing. The first thing. Instead, we live in reaction to other things...becoming active victims of life. Of course, in saying so, I have no intention of belittling the hurtful experiences that we have had. I've just been so aware that those painful moments weren't meant to drive our subsequent choices to the degree that they often do. Ones that lead us to insulation, hiding, bitterness, judgment, over-reaction, hatred...

Instead we should go back to the first thing. The first true thing. We were designed to love. Divine love specifically. And that reaction...that response...was meant to create a solidity of soul, a strength of heart and an overflow of great compassion.

I've been trying to remember this as stuff comes my way lately. I just don't want to live in reaction to the lesser things anymore. I definitely want to consider them, but I won't be run by them. I'll be run by a response to love.

Search My Heart

Hmm...not always legalism

Not all challenge to live better than we often do is legalism. we are quick to accuse that very notion though. "Don't tell me to make better choices, you legalist!", "How dare you judge me?", "Where's your grace?".

A challenge towards integrity is fed by something good...something that knows that being "human" in its original design was a beautiful, magical thing...not something selfish, greedy, lustful and proud. The difference between legalism and the call to a life of integrity is grace. One lacks it both belief and expression. The other embraces it with confidence...knowing there's hope for another way of living.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pick A Fight

Don't be baited so easily. People who need to justify their dysfunction aren't looking for a discussion or resolution. They're looking for a soapbox, an audience and a rant at your expense.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Kiddo Retreat

I'm heading off soon for my students' winter retreat. They left yesterday for the winter camping part...two nights sleeping in a snow bank. Haha!...glad I'm not on that part. ;) After their HUGE accomplishment of survival (hehe), I'll be meeting them at a rustic camp where we will spend some time talking about Jesus, playing games and eating lots of awesome food! Umm...I should mention, however, that this camp is NOT my idea of complete fun. Not only do I have to pee in an outhouse while it is in the single digits for temperatures, but I have to "shower" using a sauna and a barrel of lake water. What the??? Come on, people!!! Oh well...I'm still bringing my feminine flare, including some ravishingly hot pink toenails and fun spa stuff for the girlies in my cabin.'s how I roll...even in ridiculous conditions. ;)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Worst Crime

Ugh. I finished a documentary yesterday about the life of Aileen Wuornos. If you've seen the movie "Monster", you know about her. She was a female serial killer that received the death penalty for her crimes. Her story is so terribly sad. Not to diminish her crimes in any way, but her story reminded me of something Princess Diana once said that recognized that one of the worst crimes committed against humanity is to not be loved. So, so true.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tipped the Scales

Oh man. Do you ever have a moment where you find yourself hugely in touch with...anger?? Yowza...that's a tough spot for me. Tough because #1, I don't like to feel icky inside; #2, I don't like to feel this way towards others; and #3, I don't like feeling on the verge of losing control...i.e. going off like a rock star. ;)

It's a moment where the "crap cup runneth over"... Granted, I realize that I have so many plates spinning right now that things could seem more overwhelming than they really are. Possible. Sometimes, though, I wonder if my moments of insane obligation actually erode the insulation I have that keeps me from seeing things for what/how they truly are. Pondering.

Let's begin...

I'm tired of people not following through on obligations and commitments. I'm tired of their laziness, tardiness, procrastination, empty words, early abdication or late notice, poor communication, refusal to do the little things.... I could go on and on... And...I'm tired that I am expected and/or feel expected to bail them out... Stupid.

I'm tired of relationships that exist purely for the other. And I'm tired of myself thinking that I have to somehow make their tough stuff less tough. In particular circumstances that is sometimes necessary...that's what friends do, right? But when a pattern emerges of "feed me then leave"...nope...done. Relationships certainly bring out our patterns, wounds and junk as invitations to grow, but when it really serves to satiate that need or wound, it's not a two-way relationship that builds TWO people. No, it's a milk bar for one.

I'm tired of people who function fueled by insecurity. I'm tired of their meaningless validation techniques which really create a life and/or job performance that neglects true duties for the obvious "back-patting" experiences. All of this followed by a legitimate expectation that we all join in on the "look at me" parade when we all really want to say "how about you find some true self-esteem and just plain do what you are supposed to do". Oops.

I'm tired of the "consumer" mentality. Not the "spending" kind. I mean the "this doesn't or you don't make me happy so I'm leaving" sort. They turn people, community, causes, etc. into self-serving products. True commitment??...not really...just a "me-me" focus wrapped up in pretty paper that permits people to abandon at any moment. Ridiculous.

I'm tired of people not taking the moment that is offered to really face the deeper questions when life gets tough. They look for other, lesser answers to numb their pain instead of facing the storm and finding true peace on the other side. They choose hedonism instead of healing. They choose to be control-freaks instead of knowing what true victory and freedom look/feel like.

And...I'm tired of being the one who has to be patient, who has to bend over backwards, who has to keep opinions to myself...but more...of being frustrated.

Perhaps this reveals a heart-question or fear that I need to face too. Note to self...take time to consider. But, YEP, I'll also need to find the balance. There are times to speak and times to be silent. There are times to bail someone out and times to let things be revealed. Wisdom is knowing when....and maybe my anger is telling me that my wisdom has been assuming silence and over-doing too often.

"I am a hollow reed. I am a hollow reed." HAHA! Deeeeeep siiiiiigh... :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Year Of Change

I can't begin to tell you how excited I was (am) to get the heck outta 2011. It was such a frustrating year for me. Lessons learned...yes...but most of those challenges also brought a ton of heart ache...enough that told me that this is the year EVERYTHING is going to change.

It's my year of closing doors and opening new ones.

* Failures I had
* Situations/people I'm tired of
* Personal realizations in the face of suffering that made me sad

I have a renewed drive and sense of passion. There are new goals that I fully intend to accomplish and dreams I fully intend to pursue.

My regrets will become a resource. My losses will now help me live out legacy.

It's on.

Join the party.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A New Year's Declaration

I spent New Year's Day morning in church. What a great way to start the year, by the way!! With people that encourage me and challenge me...people who know my heart. One of the songs we sang in the worship portion was "Your Great Name" (posted below) which ends with a repitition of many of the names for God. Well, it got me thinking about God and His His names are His very essence, something we can run to, stand in and on...amazing. It also reminded me how much we live with a cognitive appreciation for God's names but in the desperate moment very little trust in Him and His identity...His heart towards us and in the situations we face every day. New Year's Declaration.

Much of the power (or failure) of humanity rests in our agreements. Our choices/actions...what we align ourselves with...bring so much life (or destruction) to the world around us. So what would happen if my year began with a conscious agreement to rest in the names of God? Perhaps a particular one or few that are a struggle for me? I suspect I would see miracles on a scale I cannot begin to of which would be feeling less alone in those areas that I currently don't entrust to His identity.

So...there it is. I'm making a New Year's Declaration over the plans, opportunities and challenges of this year to remember and to dare to enter into the reality of His name. One of particular interest is "Prince of Peace". His "peace" (shalom) means a call to, so much bigger than I have known.

We Could Change The World

I think this could be a creed! :)

10,000 Reasons

I have more than 10,000 reasons... :)