Thursday, May 30, 2013

Memory Keeper

One of the things I've realized as a long-term teacher (meaning that I end up being involved in kids' lives in some fashion for much of their education as opposed to a year or two) is that I become a "memory keeper" in some respects. Sometimes it's simple stories, lessons they've learned, perspectives on experiences that have shaped them. Other times it's bigger...the painful things, the tough challenges...being a witness in those moments.

I have a kiddo graduating this year for whom I've been a bit of a "memory keeper". Knowing his dad whom he lost at such a young age...and watching him grow and develop (in the 11 years since) into a wonderful young man. So, over the years, I've tried to celebrate his dad...the funny things, what his dad loved about his mom, the much his sons were the pride of his life.

The last conversation I had with his dad was about his desire for his sons to know Jesus and to be educated right alongside kids from other denominations. "It's all about Jesus. Right, Sarah?"...

But today...well...I guess I'm wondering if I did a good job keeping the memories.

Sigh...lots to celebrate...but you of those moments.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Deep Breaths

Don't be baited! Yep...word to the wise! Here's how it is. Here's how it was. Here's how it will be. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Even if people would call your integrity into question...DON'T be baited into drama.

We make choices. We bear consequences. We move on.


It ain't a shame issue. It's not vindictive. It just is what it is. End of story.

Don't get baited into any more than that.

And...don't let the insult mean anything. It's "grown up" time.



Man...this weekend was so great! It's been so crazy-busy with work, with church, with a weekend to unplug and revitalize was so needed. It was a busy weekend but just what this girl needed. :) I think I reconnected a bit...enough to bring back to life one of my Life Theme Songs.

Here we go!!...Yep, I'm "trouble"! ;)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Out With A Bang Revisited

HAHAHAHA! Oh my. I was chatting with a couple of teachers today, and a topic came up that I hadn't thought about for years. Something I've really only talked about with a few people so...don't tell. ;)

When I finally had the chance to step back from my position at work to one that was better for my heart and sanity, I did something to officially go "out with a bang". It was a way of saying "Thank God!", "Screw this!" and "Here's to a new day!"...pretty much all in one.

I gathered a few of my trusted friends on staff one evening and had them stand guard at the doors...with their backs I streaked the hallway on rollerblades. Haha! Yep...I had my helmet, I had my wristguards, and I had long streamers on my elbows. Aaaaand...that was it.

No students. No parents. No employees. Just me and my friends...celebrating.

I guess we all need those "out with a bang" moments. At least, I do! Something a bit wild that closes the door to what was before and honors the heart as we look to what's new!

Fun to reminisce. :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Clarifying Ministry Focus

What a season of searching! For all kinds of reasons, I've been considering who I am and what I want to stand for as I move forward into ministry opportunities. Three things have surfaced as I've been evaluating...things I likely talk about a lot. Hehe.

1. Abba's Child. I keep coming back to what it truly means to be a child of God. Not just conceptually...true identity owned and unleashed. Moving from phrases like "sinner saved by grace", "believer", "follower", etc. to deeper, relational themes. So exciting.

2. Kingdom Living. I wonder if the church knows what it truly means to be an ambassador of His kingdom, bearing the great privileges and profound responsibilities of living out His kingdom life in every realm within which we operate.

3. Mission-Orientation. I'm not a very evangelism-wired gal, so when I say "mission", I'm not necessarily referring to the typical missionary approach to things. I'm talking about living with a sense of mission...impacting the world around us with our strengths, abilities, passions, and on and on and the simplest to grandest ways. Jumping off #2, it's being an intentional world-changer.

So...I'd like to be a part of something that partners with people to equip them and release them into the MORE. Of course, that begins with myself...moving more and more in my own journey...but then...oh baby...I'd love to serve in that way. :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Just When You Are Sinking...

I'll tell you what...God's so faithful. If I could tell you the list of situations that are weighing on my heart right'd agree that we all have those moments where it seems like we are sinking. Sometimes it's the stresses of normal life piling up...sometimes it's stuff you have to bear for others...sometimes it's when the sh## hits the fan and you have no control...sometimes it's spiritual warfare...

Nevertheless...just when it seems I am sinking under the weight of it...God shows up.

Sometimes it's a pure sense of His presence. Sometimes it's a miracle. Sometimes it's the kindness of people who care...wise words, loving actions, even the little things.

The problems don't always "poof" away, but my head is suddenly above water.

Yep...He's good. He's "with".

Oklahoma Help

Since the tornado, I've been thinking about heading down there. I don't know how to do much, but I can definitely clean up!! Here's a link to many organizations that are assisting. Most already have workers...they just need funds. The Samaritan's Purse site is looking for volunteers too. Sounds great!

Ways to Help Oklahoma

Samaritan's Purse

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Faster self. Hahaha! ;)


Figuring Out Where I Fit

I feel like I don't fit in. It's probably due to the fact that I'm always trying to get "sides" to see common ground, and "sides" don't usually like that. Yep, it plants me in No Man's Land all the time.

Evangelical, Emergent, Modern, Post-Modern...seeing great strengths and major flaws.

"Evangelical" can mean a whole heck of a lot more than "believe Jesus is your Savior and be saved"...politics, structures, formulas for how to address every "problem" including people...and I don't like it.

"Emergent" can mean a ton of "believe whatever you want so you can feel good"...without investing in healing and holiness...and I don't like it.

"Modern" can err so much on the side of propositional truth that it neglects divine encounter and revelation. Info without meaning. Behavior without cause. Doing without being.

"Post-Modern" can err so much on the side of relationship that it waters down truth. Love without honor. Relativity limiting maturity.

I...well...I just want Jesus.

I want to know Him more. I want to live out the kingdom life like He did. I want to be consumed with interaction with the Trinity to the degree that my identity is restored as an Abba's child and my destiny is unleashed everywhere.

Is that too much to ask? ;)

It might be true that I don't...and won' in anywhere. So learning to live with the tension??? Sigh. Wishing I had more soul friends right now...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Where Shame Reigns

I'm becoming more convinced that we need to take the issue of shame more seriously. How we purvey we are driven by we are limited by it...

What shame is's probably good to clarify because our culture tends to make all kinds of good but tough things into synonyms for shame....and subsequently rejects opportunities to grow. Constructive criticism...not shame. Discipline in and of itself...not shame. Conviction...not shame. 

What shame sadly, it's spit on someone's soul. A direct assault on identity...implicating and condemning the value of one's existence. A person's worth depends on behavior or appearance. Instead of "I made a mistake.", it's "I am a mistake."

And sadly...once's hard to uproot. Time and time again, I interact with people who are owned by a shame-based grid. They suspect, they assume, they control, they have knee-jerk reactions...all based on a lie of shame or in extreme defense of old shame wounds.

Sigh. It's a crazy vortex to be caught up in...where shame reigns.

Thankfully, it's not God's heart for anyone!!! Nor does He want us to express it as His message to the world.

So, I'm spending some quality time...especially in light of a few tough interactions...evaluating my own junk. Taking time to rest in God's blessing of identity and considering my own grid.  Opposing shame with soulful affirmation. Praying for freedom for bound hearts...and restoration of community in broken places.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


People who know me well know I'm competitive. For sure, I am. What I love more than winning though is a good game...a game where we can work well as a team and have good comradery with the opposition. If we lose but have played well...I'm cool.

Lord...there's something that gets under my skin though.

Obnoxiousness in a game.

Oh man. No freaking point...and so immature. Unfortunately, it gets under my skin. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

So...I've some choices to make. Have to survive a summer long of play against these yodel-heads. Don't want to ruin my own time.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Divine Thinking

A compilation of a few of Bill Johnson's sermons from Bethel Church in Redding, CA

Prayer FIRST

I'll tell ya what. I've never been more convinced of anything than this. Prayer...and spiritual warfare...are more effective in bringing change than any other strategy. Not necessarily the only method used in the restoration of kingdom life and purposes...but most definitely the required foundation.

Here's why I think it's been difficult for me. Well, first...I'm a "do-er", and prayer doesn't always feel like "doing". Yep, that's Productivity101 for "get it done!". The second, though, and most important and EFFECTIVE distinction is...control. One of the major steps in warfare is the giving of someone you love into God's hands. Major trust issue. Sometimes it is easier to hold on ourselves and do everything we think is wise and needed...forgetting that spiritual eyes submitted to God see better than any other point of vision. Putting us in the position of surrendering and agreeing with God's plan...yet, in our smallness, it's hard to relinquish control in the "saving" of another. Doing so, though, clears ME out of the way of the full release of the Holy Spirit to bring freedom.

Major "Ah-hah" moment for me.

Yep...this girl is convinced. Prayer FIRST...and continued.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Wrong Answer

Every human has "core questions". Some are general. Some are specific. Identity questions.

“We need to know who we are and if we have what it takes. What do we do now with the ultimate question? Where do we go to find an answer? In order to help you find the answer to The Question, let me ask you another: What have you done with your question? Where have you taken it? You see. a man’s core question does not go away.” John Eldredge, Wild at Heart

The problem is we tend to take our core questions to people or situations that aren't meant to answer them. We take our questions to a member of the opposite sex, to a career, to anything that can give us life really. Inevitably, we find a degree of dissatisfaction with those relationships or circumstances...because they aren't filling us the way we'd like (simply because they can't). So we find ourselves brokenhearted or center-stage in a HUGE mess.

“God requires a new set of questions: What are you trying to teach me here? What issues in my heart are you trying to raise through this? What is it you want me to see? What are you asking me to let go of?” John Eldredge, Wild at Heart

“Yes. True strength does not come out of bravado. Until we are broken, our life will be self-centered, self-reliant; our strength will be our own.” John Eldredge, Wild at Heart

“The spiritual life begins with the acceptance of our wounded self.” Brennan Manning

From that broken place...letting questions help us see struggles for what they are...we can access The Source. Yep...the questions are designed to be be God.

“A car is made to run on gasoline, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on himself. He himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other.” CS Lewis

To do otherwise is to live a life that repeats a cycle. Keeps us always focused on "greener grass" because it could never be about anything internal. We keep hoping to find our life in someone else, in the perfect job, in any addictable... But until we reach the place where we are willing to acknowledge our inner question...and stop expecting answers from anywhere else...we will live like a hamster in a wheel. Again...and again...and again...being dissatisfied...using others and situations for more than their design.

And what is the design of relationships and opportunities???...they are places we can EXPRESS our God-answered identity questions...places that can AFFIRM who we really are. 

There's so much more to life! 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Being Fathered

I just love movie clips that show fathers in a positive light. Unfortunately, they are too rare for Hollywood. :( Sometimes, when I see a great "dad" clip, I'm prompted to pause and consider the Father and my relationship to Him. I have to ask how much I'm allowing Him to release me into whatever He's made me for...identity and destiny. And beyond that...more importantly...I have to ask how much I am engaging in relationship with Him. Delight from and towards Him. Why do I have to ask???...because it's a desire in His heart towards all of us. And truly a desire in ours. Letting Him Father us.



Sunday, May 5, 2013

I Came. I Saw. I Conquered.

During worship today, I kept hearing the phrase, "I came. I saw. I conquered.". It was God describing the work of the cross...that He came, He saw, and He conquered. So true! As I kept focusing on that, the phrase started to change...saying that because of this..."We come. We see. We conquer." We can surrender and receive relationship as children of the good Father...we can ask to see what He sees...we can step into whatever He places before us with Him and His power, knowing He's already won.

So...what's keeping that from happening? Sometimes ignorance. Sometimes obstacles. Sometimes just a simple decision. Probably good to consider...because He sure has a treasure to offer. A treasure of Himself. ;)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Dead Poets...Speak Truth

Fantastic reminders to live your own, original story. Your calling is NOT to live out a copy of someone else's. Seize the Day and Be YOU!


Selling Water by the River

I believe I'll be taking on a new reading challenge! As soon as I'm done with Manning's memoir, Shane Hipps' book will be the assignment! The life Jesus called us to versus the lesser "religion" we often's a passion of mine too! I so want to be "a tree replanted in Eden" as the Message version of Psalm 1 states. A fuller, eternal

Sounds like it's a bit controversial. I'm sure his material will be instantly misunderstood by some...assuming what he's saying or not without their own study. Certainly, some will say he's a proponent of "all roads lead to God". I'm guessing he's not going there. But...perhaps not reaching some of the same conclusions, I'll relish the challenge to think and step into more of what God has for our hearts!

Jesus certainly didn't come to set up a religion. Likely, that's hard for some to swallow. It's a relief at the same time though! Goodness, it is! Not remotely to be relative or say that what we believe about Christ is unimportant!!!! It's just that His mission was far bigger!!! He came to release us into true Life...and I suspect we so don't understand all the possibilities of that for today.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Truman's Exit

Truman, Truman, Truman. Yep...a fictitious man whose story I can't forget. A man who grew up in a scripted original man in a fake and safe "box". It reminds me so much of the freedom that comes when we step out of religion (and by that I'm referring to our little legalisms...or big ones) and into grace. Now that's a life!

Yep, I so identify. Coming up against the walls...knowing there's so much more beyond. So much goodness right from God's heart. Walking through... :)


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Lessons from Lion King

Lessons to remember... #1 If you forget who the Father is, you forget who you are. #2 The past does hurt...but you can either run from it or learn from it.

The "New" Unity

I grew up in a church that holds a core value of unity in the body of Christ. Historically, it meant encouraging brothers and sisters in Christ from all of the different denominations to grab hands around our common, core Truth...and allowing grace for the lesser disagreements. In a day when Catholics/Protestants or Baptists/Pentacostals all thought the other was "going to hell" was a huge challenge. Still can be. But one well worth it.

Today, though, it seems that unity in the body has other challenges.

Certainly, the younger generation isn't as focused on denominations. They are more disgusted with how the church doesn't appear to "love thy neighbor" and steward the earth. They are leaving because they have reacted to the polarizing power of Democrat vs. Republican and all of the issues that fall into those camps, the pushing of propositional truth over active relationship with Jesus or legalism vs. grace and holiness...dividers of a different sort. (Note: I'm not convinced their reaction and subsequent removal has been correct. They could have brought change in profound response to legitimate observations...sigh.)

It has me thinking about how we can be a united people that once again bring true kingdom life...preserve community...with joint passion for the Christ and commitment to peace in the disagreements.

Like in the early it possible to relate to each other from the truest position of being Abba's children?? Even when it comes to our politics, our approaches to the world, etc...?

I think so.

I hope so.