“Anything which gives us an opportunity to see God is worth having.” (C.H. Spurgeon)
My eyes brimmed with tears as I sat with these words—I sat so long that my criss-crossed legs began to cramp and my heart moved from a place of utter turmoil and unparalleled mourning to a spirit of gladness; to a spirit of unequivocal praise.
In those hours, my circumstances did not change. I still find myself at the brink of the Jordan River, so to speak, but instead of fear and questioning the unknowns—and even if God will *really* do all He said He would do–I gear up to tread across dry ground as the billows of raging, deafening waves surround me on all sides. Continue reading
My parents had some unconventional ways of dealing with my siblings and me when we needed some….redirecting. For example, when my brother, Joel and I were about 7 and 8 years old, we got into trouble and as a consequence, my brother who loved to mow the lawn—was literally *obsessed* with mowing the lawn– was forced to watch me–who had never mowed a lawn in my entire life (and my OCD for all things straight and orderly had not yet taken root) struggle to mow our front yard. Continue reading
Twinkling lights cast their glow, causing shadows to dance and dreams of all things Christmas to enlighten our childhood eyes– no matter our age. If we listen carefully, we can hear our own squeals of delight from years gone by and if we listen deeper still, we can hear the cadence of a heartbeat that thumped vivaciously without restraint. The anticipation of what was to come, Christmas Day, left us giddy—a joy unmatched any other time of the year. Continue reading
So often my strength is a mirage; like an article of clothing, I shrug on each morning, covering both my nakedness and bruised spirit.
But in the quiet, dark sanctuary of my soul where only God and myself converse, where I kneel before Him as I really am, laying my impurities, brokenness, weaknesses, and reoccurring feelings of worthlessness at His feet, I have found– for much of my life– that I cannot bear to look Him in the eye. It’s too painful. It’s too embarrassing. It’s too…much. Continue reading
I’m not usually a fearful person. I can harness those lurking shadows that threaten to quicken my heart rate and rob me of my joy. I can figuratively hold fear in my hands and evaluate it; deciphering what hidden truth is being masked as something altogether different.
I’ve learned to question my fear in an attempt to whittle it down to its truthful root. Once I know its root, I can acknowledge it, face it, and deal with it. It no longer holds power over me. I learned this tactic years and years ago and it has freed me from worry, anxiousness, and fear–most of the time! Continue reading
Hot air balloons glide over my rooftop endlessly through the summer months. I can hear the distinct whooshing of the flame’s warmth fill the balloons before I can see them. And inevitably I run outside to scan the sky. I’m not just looking for the balloon and the opportunity to wave to its passengers, I’m looking for a connection to my past. Continue reading
“There’s a demon named ‘Drama,’” I heard my friend say over coffee this week. She quickly paused and then said, “you know, if you believe in those things.” I assured her that I do and had had more than a tussle or two with Drama over the years.
For me, my Drama is more internal than external. My mind creates scenarios based on half-truths and dwells on the what-ifs. My heart rate gets worked up and before long, I have lost my joy; I have lost my vision because all I can focus on is what is playing in my mind. It’s debilitating. It’s life-sucking. I’ve lost weeks of my life over the years due to Drama. Therefore, she has accomplished what she set out to do.
She not only sets out to steal our joy, derail our focus, and keep us from living life to its fullest, but most importantly, she succeeds when we look outside Christ for our identity and help. It’s easy to beat ourselves up, to see our faults, our insecurities, weaknesses, failures, etc. This is where my Drama lives and stifles me, but for some I know it’s the opposite: the need to be right, the best, the most…. Drama’s spectrum runs from the humble to the proud. Regardless, of where we find ourselves, the method: comparison and results: feeling less than, are the same. Continue reading
When I was a young girl, I was fascinated with the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. What eight year old girl doesn’t love a story about singing birds, Prince Charming, and the pursuit of love?
In reality, I was afraid of birds. I was pretty sure they were going to dive bomb me and peck at my hair! I have no idea where that fear came from, but I wanted to believe they could work together to tie a satin ribbon in my hair as they had done for Snow White, making me just as beautiful and desirable as she. I knew it was make-believe, of course, just as I knew there were no wicked witches, magic mirrors, or kisses that could bring princesses back to life. I knew that and yet in some ways I was just as ignorant as the wicked witch when she asked the magic mirror, “Mirror, mirror on the wall who’s the fairest one of all?” Continue reading
I forgot that Satan lives in the Church as much as Christ does. I forgot that he is comfortable and remains undetected as he intricately, methodically, and tirelessly attempts to weave the three D’s: dissention, distance, disgrace shrouded in truth in to the hearts of all its attenders. I’ve known this for a good number of years and yet, I still have the habit of wiping my feet and hanging up my suit of armor at the door.
Inside, my emotions were wickedly raging; an inferno of sorts– but not the kind that subsides with time, but rather the kind that silently swelters and smolders bitter anger for a long time—for a long, loooong time before it unleashes its fury. But my daughters didn’t see that. Instead, what stared back at them were eyes unable to blink; they were frozen—matching the paralytic state of my body. But my mind; my mind was restless, bouncing from right hemisphere to left and back again. Each of their words were plunked out like a single long note on the piano—played in minor, but resounding in forte.
One. Word. At. A. Time– they slowly unraveled the carefully wrapped evil they had tucked away as a way to protect themselves from further pain. But evil gets heavier with time, not lighter and they began to crumble. I wish I could say that I saw it, that there were some clues as to what had happened in their lives, but there weren’t. Their words ambushed me, just as their attackers had ambushed them. Continue reading