Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Follow the Music Trail

One of the avenues towards peace that God has wired into me is allowing my heart to sink into a song. Music has a way of accessing my heart...sneaking past cognitive barriers to the deeper places. Man, I've met God in those places because of it.

This song came to mind last night...right out of God's playbook regarding "Sarah"...so I've been leaning into it. Simply fantastic.

If you want to give it a try, just click play...close your eyes...breathe deeply...and see where you end up. We all have an imagination of sorts, so let it do its thing along to the music! I usually begin to picture myself with Jesus (like a peaceful scene in nature or something similar that is "you") and let it play out like a story. Before you begin, though, ask the Holy Spirit to join you in the moment. He loves these private meetings. ;) You won't necessarily get answers for your current storm, but you will gain a solidness...a surer footing...the kind that comes from intimacy with the divine.

Enjoy...a mystic moment. ;)


Monday, February 25, 2013

God, I'm so tired.

Well, it finally caught up to me. Last week can be summed up with "the weight of the world on my shoulders". My heart was so heavy that I think I actually made myself sick by the weekend. Lots of cold meds, sleep and tears.

I'm aware of so many sad or struggling people in all of my areas of involvement. Situations that seem pretty hopeless and/or have unknown endings with a myriad of potential positives and negatives. Fear, of course, has a lot of space to invade when it comes to unknowns...well, space if allowed. As a recovering fear-based person (haha), I find that I have to be really careful with fearful people. Sometimes it's no work at all to hold on to hope and share hope in the face of their storm. Other times...I have to work overtime to not join in. It's so heart-exhausting.

All of that...and BAM...grief from our pastor-loss hit me like a tsunami. Don't get me wrong...I'm a 100% believer in the process of forgiveness, healing and restoration, so it's not about that. No shame from this girl. It's the broken heart stuff. The reality of the loss. Tiredness from the work to keep things going and give people space to heal. Compounded by 1 or 2 pharisees from other churches that seem to need to punish the brokenhearted for the wounds of another...it's amazing how "Christians" can be so willing to hit the extended group of victims while they're down. And...as I've frustratingly discovered...while it's been maybe 2% of my experience with the larger body of Christ in our area, it's what a sad heart tends to focus on. Sigh. Meanies.

When my heart is pressed on all sides, it's easy to start wondering about all sorts of things that really don't need attention. Focus on the unfulfilled dreams. Freak out about my own unknowns. Yep...without some decision to put my heart in the right place, it can get messy.

So...enter God...

I was curled up in bed with kleenexes shoved up my nose telling Him how completely tired I am...heart-tired...and how cut off I feel I am from the people I'd normally express my heart to because of their own grief right now. Well He...yes, He's just THAT good...started to show me things on my "plate" that didn't need to be there. "Can I take this?" "How about this?" And then...He started to show me how He could take the things I care about so deeply...the hurts, the unfulfilled dreams...and hold them for me, with me, in a way that honors their presence but envelopes them with His Presence. It was an experience of shalom-peace.

I'm still in a spot of letting Him minister to my heart...but I can feel it...hope is around the corner...on its way back to this heart.

When my heart will finally acknowledge that "God, I'm so tired.", He responds with a care like no other. It's worth it. Absolutely worth it to be vulnerable with Him.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Wow. Do you ever have moments when you hear a song and know exactly what it's talking about? Like...know in the way words really couldn't describe. A soulful thing. This one hit me square in the heart. Sheesh. I totally understand this song.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hand-Over-Mouth Day

I'll tell ya what...I'm so glad my filter for my mouth is working today. Haha! If it wasn't...oh dear...I think I'd be shredding people left and right.

What I'd be saying??

* Do you EVER shut UP???
* I see a job title. But...what exactly DO you DO???
* Of course you are the expert on everything! Sure!
* Stop being the victim!!!
* Your drama gives me throat vomit. No lie!
* I don't want to see FOUR MILLION pictures of your cat!!!
* It ain't all about you. Heck no.
* Deal. With. It.
* ...

All that followed by...well...perhaps an expletive or four.

BUT...nope. Mouth-filter. Yep...effective mouth-filter.

Umm...for now. ;)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tired of Sad

Sigh...here we go AGAIN.

I honestly get tired of losing people. It's been a bad year for that. For all sorts of reasons...some good changes and some really jerk-oriented decisions...it's been a year of relationship loss. God's always so good...but you know...it gets lonely sometimes.

Well, I suspect it's happening again. I'm in the audience as a great friend is being baited by a super-needy person. Drawn away from others and toward yet another unhealthy situation. Alas, there's nothing I can do about it. It takes two to tango after all...

Sigh...I just really, really, really long for the day when I can find a consistent harbor of friendship for my heart. I'm tired of being the person for the moment. It makes trust an extremely hard thing...sorely disappointing.

Praying for healing...and a new day.

Goats Yelling Like Humans

Haha! Gotta love goats that yell like humans...and...I agree! ;)


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Modern Meets Post-Modern

We all have strengths. It's one of God's favorite things to do when He's thinking us up. Helping us discover and release those gifts is His next delight. :) And it's not limited to individuals. He gives strengths to communities...particular convictions, perspectives, missions, visions... A beautiful tapestry.

Here's one that I wrestle with. An asset and a challenge at the same time. StrengthsFinder calls it "harmony". Basically, I find myself analyzing conflicts, "sides", convictions, etc. for the nuggets of truth, areas of strength...realms of common ground. My hope is to understand the most basic roots of its formation to glean any original truth that can build bridges to unite otherwise conflicting camps. Why?...there is usually a unified mission underneath all of the distracting drama that is uniquely possible because of the diversity.

Maybe you can see the asset in that. I bet you can also see why it gets me in heaps of trouble. People who view themselves as proponents and opponents don't like nudges toward common ground.

They are each "right", you see. ;)

So...here's the thing. I wish...from a deeply good-hearted place...that the "modernists" and the "post-modernists" could harmonize. Honestly...left to themselves they are incomplete and as such can quickly lack substance. They don't think so, but if they really looked at themselves, they'd see that they cannot stand alone. Together...they could be a beautiful blend of truth + "real" + relationship...an amalgam that actually yields a living faith.

How to present this without the reactions that put up barriers to maturity...Sigh. Let me know when you've got that one figured out.

Oh how they need each other...and need to respect each other.

As far as I see it right now...the ones that figure out the balance of the two...they will be the living church of tomorrow.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Body Worlds

Oh WOW!! Today, I was able to see the Body Worlds exhibit at the Science Museum for FREE!! A fabulous friend works there and comped me! Thank you!

I'm sure it's no secret but for this nerd...yes, and proud of it...science is amazing. Mysteries and mechanisms. Wonderful. What science also is to me is a spiritual adventure. I feel like I am constantly discovering the fingerprints of our artist-God in the grand and broad strokes as much as the fantastically minute details.

This exhibit did not disappoint!! Bones, muscles, nerve fibers, blood vessels, digestion, fetal development...Awe...Pure Awe. I learned...and I experienced wonder.

Body Worlds

Don't miss it!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Powerful story from CS Lewis

One of my favorite authors wrote a short book about heaven and hell called The Great Divorce. In it is a beautiful snippet on what can happen when we choose to die to the lesser realities...i.e. sin...that we so easily live in. A beautiful resurrection of the true self...and true joy. Check it out...link below.

CS Lewis on Lust


A single lie discovered, is enough to create contagious doubt over every other truth expressed. ~Unknown author

Yep...this is so true. BUT...we have a faithful Father who can confirm in us what is true and what should be cast aside. WITH NO SHAME!!! THEN...we can ask Him to seal His truth in our hearts and stand on it. Don't be robbed of what He has given us for our freedom. Go big or go home! :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New Life

I'm so happy for two very special people in my life!!! Their miracle baby girls were born today!!! They had a terribly rough journey to this point, but they threw themselves into God's arms...and found Him to be so faithful to their hearts!!! Blessings to Peter, Amanda, Jemma and Haley!!

God always promises new life for our hearts...sometimes we also get little babies in the mix too! Either way...He's so good!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Come What May

Thought Chocolate, Here I Come!!!

I love being challenged to think. Oh my...it's like chocolate for my whole self. I'm not usually an instantaneous debater...I must have some time to chew on things...but the ignition of an investigative adventure into conviction, opinion and value is pure gold to this girl. My heart actually feels more alive at the challenge.

Having the opportunity to sit with great minds/hearts in my church's sermon prep group is such a gift. I learn so much from them. And today was nothing less than AWESOME! The topic revolved around election vs. free will and subsequent tangents (thanks to our series on Romans), and the discussion was so excellent!!

Obviously...I had few thoughts in the moment...Haha!...but I'm taking on this challenge! So excited. I might even have some opinions for the meeting next week! ;)

One of the other things I love about the prospect of challenging discussions with this bunch is...unity. These people certainly don't see eye-to-eye on all things, but they respect each other...they have embraced community and a culture of honor. They arm-wrestle with one hand while shaking hands with the other. They don't need to uproot and start a new church because of disagreement. They grow and broaden and deepen...because of the sharpening of brotherhood (or sisterhood). Not perfect by any means...but maturing and becoming...together.

Oh, baby...here come some thoughts!! Yum!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Flight...and freedom

I watched the movie "Flight" this weekend. Oh my...so good! (not for those who don't want to see the world of addiction and all that goes with it, and strong nudity alert in the first 5 mins.) It's a fantastic story about freedom...true freedom...and it's not just the story of one man. It's OUR story!! I so loved the ending too. Freedom goes hand in hand with becoming. God gives us the "who" of who we are when we follow him into freedom. Amazing!

Best Sign Flipper...and Dancer

Dance Like Nobody's Watching

Yep...you should too!! Fly your freak flag, baby! :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Reaction Vs. Response...and Homeschooling

The notion of Reaction Vs. Response started rattling through my brain a few months ago. It came to me one day on a "thinking" drive (something I do quite often) and has presented a great and continued challenge. See, these two positions related to a particular experience are profoundly different, and I've found that I want to be marked by one over the other...most definitely!!!

Reaction is a position prompted by the lesser realities. Our "grid", our wound-driven assumptions...moved by and bound to the moment and the feelings that are prompted by the experience.

Response is a position prompted by the truest things. Our secure identity, the truths we hold most deeply...marked by the wisdom and values that emerge when we give some space to embrace a broader or fuller perspective.

Well, lately, I've been noticing another striking contrast between reaction and response. Reaction often breeds and is consumed by judgment. Response forms and fuels conviction. While appearing similar in their initiation...the passion, the dreaming, the action...judgment and conviction proceed and conclude in starkly different places. The first validates itself in the criticism of anything/anyone different...constant comparison to feed self...degradation of "different" to support self. The second needs no validation but instead uses constructive criticism to improve, to develop, to modify. The sad thing is that judgment...in its ever-shrinking world...only indicts self in the end. Conviction releases wide open spaces of grace...and respects conviction in others.

Here's an example...one that's going to get me in a TON of hot water instantly. But FIRST...in an effort to help with confusion...let me say that this distinction exists in ALL realms of the educational world. I just happen to notice it lately in the world of...drum roll...homeschoolers.

"Response" first...my profession puts me in contact with parents who have a conviction regarding homeschooling. In response to experiences or promptings in their relationship to God, they have chosen to embrace intentional home education. They have no sense of "us vs. them"...just a call to invest in their children a bit differently. They aren't validating themselves in the process, and there isn't a sense of personal failure if the process needs to be modified for unique circumstances. They are open to their convictions changing if necessary, and we can be quite collaborative in our investments.

"Reaction" second...my profession also puts me in contact with parents who have a judgment-driven commitment to homeschooling. In reaction to experiences, they have chosen to homeschool to prove something to someone or themselves or be "better" than someone in some way. Definite "us vs. them", combative mentality. Always promoting. Always back-patting. Knowingly and unknowingly putting others down who do things differently. When it comes to a need for change though (i.e. a child who needs a different approach), they treat themselves as failures and grieve the change unnecessarily. Collaboration??...oh, heck no. They know how to do it "right".

It's in public vs. private, faith-based vs. private, and on and on and on...and it can be so irritating.

Crazy-interesting example though.

I'll be a "response" girl.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


I always watch to see who will be the first to lay down the sword and stand for peace. Fight FOR instead of AGAINST. That person...yep, that one is the hero. Someone who displays true strength...without the need to "win". Please, God...bring forth the peace-maker.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Listening to Shame

Here's to the Arena!!!!

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt

The Power of Vulnerability