Apr 022017
 

I love with all that I am, every fibre of my being is devoted to those that I care for, that God has placed in my life, on my heart. And yet, it seems as though, love isn’t what defines me. No, there is so much more, a slut, a teenage mom, damaged, broken, lost.

Why is it that society can look at someone and see her horrible hair, her lack of makeup, the bad outfit she is wearing, but doesn’t look at another woman and think nice things, like she has beautiful features, her skin is flawless, she is radiant. Why is it that people will openly tell me I have gained weight but take no notice when I have lost it? Or tell me my haircut looks lovely or do a backhanded “comment” where they say “you cut your hair, it looks great but I loved it long!”?

We are told all the time that we are not defined by the vessels in which we were gifted by God, and yet our image is the first thing we see, not the Christian under the surface, but the actual vanity of it all. We are all often prejudged before we even have the opportunity to announce our faith.

Perhaps this is what makes internet life so much easier. People come together because of a cause, whether it’s political, a strong belief, justice, faith, being single, being married, having children, we all can find a way to define ourselves and join a group of others who are similar to us before a photo is ever shared. Our modesty or lack of isn’t given the chance to be judged.

I’ve heard people say things about others like “I can’t believe she wore THAT to church” and my thoughts have always been “at least she WENT to church!”

I can’t be defined as a church goer. It’s not something I do, and haven’t felt comfortable with, in about 12 years. Maybe one day I will walk through those doors again, but God hasn’t placed that on my heart. Instead, it has become more important to have intimate time with Him, studying His word, analyzing myself, reflecting, writing, watching, meditating, and of course, praying.

The people can go ahead and define me however they want, confrontational, dumb, intelligent, useless; the fact is, it really doesn’t matter. I can take the insults and pass them to God and know that I am wholly His because of His Holy Name and my faith knows that Christ and Christ alone knows me entirely –inside and out, and it’s ultimately up to Him to decide what I am, and what I am not.

I want to be defined by God. No one else. And, I don’t even want people to define me by my faith, because that’s asking people to judge and the Bible is clear, God was clear, and says “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” Placing someone in a position to judge me, define me, is asking them to do works that the Lord has forbidden.

Do you feel that the world unfairly defines you? How do you react to the negatives? Are you comfortable simply being YOU or do you feel like you have to mask yourself to be accepted?

Mar 182017
 

I sat there at the table in the rec center with a pencil borrowed from my child and the back of my grocery list, jotting down two poems in about 10 minutes while dealing with people inquiring about what we were doing there. I was just the chaperone as this was the kids gig, but I answered questions and handed out free things just the same.

The nausea is still plaguing me whenever it feels like it and the exhaustion and fatigue are definitely assaulting me. Vivid dreams in full colour are sticking with me through the days and laughing until I am crying or crying until I am laughing are also becoming a new normal.

But, today, the words flowed from me in a poetic prose that I had missed. The pain and sadness that lives deep within my soul, was eager to hit the slip of paper and is currently tucked inside my wallet. As I read the words aloud to the child who loves to listen to rap and lyrics full of suffering and pain I heard the words “that’s deep and really good. If I didn’t know you, it would almost be scary, almost.”

You see, I have a dark side, a side riddled with past pains, abuse, rape, physical and emotional neglect and loss. My dark side often finds its way out when its pen on paper, never rehearsed or even edited, just the need to hold a pen to paper and write the words that flow, whatever they may be.

I often wonder to myself, how do people who don’t write deal with their dark side? Surely, I am not the only one who has this. Certainly, I am not the only one with a tumultuous past.

I believe in God. I believe I am redeemed. I believe that Christ has already bore my sins and that I am saved. I believe that my faith is more than sufficient and yet I am human and the darkness still lives within the broken cracks of my once shattered soul. You see, you can glue a mirror back together, no matter how many pieces, but the reflection will never be the same. While Christ is the glue that strengthens me, and has rescued me from the past, it doesn’t mean the past never happened.

I love deeply and wholly with all that I am. I don’t trust easily. I break often. I hide the pain behind a smile. I am content in just ‘being’ and in knowing that the present doesn’t last forever and that what comes tomorrow will be history the following day. I’ve learned that I have to be my own best friend so that I can live the life God would have me lead.

Feb 022017
 

He sat there absorbed in his video game and me in my book and as the hours ticked by I could see he was holding his breath more often, afraid to breathe but trying to ignore the silence of the phone. No news is good news, right?

Finally, we laid down and slept for a few hours -smack in the afternoon and into the early evening, and his breathing relaxed, his stress slipped away as I watched him before dozing off myself.

When the phone rang it’s awful ringtone he shot out of bed like a cat, straight into the air and answered it quickly.

He held his breath when it was his dad and not his mom who said she would call when her surgery was over.

When his dad passed the phone to his mom the audible sigh of relief that escaped his body caused tears to roll down my cheeks, quickly swiped away by the blanket.

She was okay. He was okay. I was okay. We could breathe knowing his mama survived the surgery.

The holding your breath and doing your best to focus on the good and handing it to God thing seemed to be working through the day, it was a nice day, but lingering in the back of our minds was a part of our souls that just needed the know what God’s plan for us that day actually was.

Breathing out the negative and breathing in the relief felt fresh, new, amazing.

Suddenly we both wanted to eat and found ourselves thirsty, realizing we hadn’t done either all day as we did our best to stir our minds from the what-ifs.

It was only 2 days before that I was the strong one, standing on the stairs into the night speaking to his mama about her faith and her journey through the church, through life, and her telling me that I was reminding her to just trust God.

Why is it so much easier to say than do? Preach but not be preached to?

I hold my hands in reverence to the One who is in control of it all, whose plans I will never know until I am walking through them. To Him I give praise, because praise is deserved even in the darkest of days. Gratitude in the middle of chaos. He triumphs as I stumble. Picks me up when I fall. When the air is knocked from my soul, He breathes life back into me. CPR for the soul. The Bible my personal First Aid Kit!

Jan 062017
 


I have been disconnected feeling for so many years, from myself, from others, and worst of all, from God. And, when I have had the opportunity to connect I have pulled away, recoiled like a snake stepped on whose only reflex is to tangle up on itself.

I have purposed this year with my OneWord365 to be “intentional”. How that is going to play out, I don’t know. But, I am excited to be intentional with my children, my parents, my boyfriend, and of course my relationship with Christ -my God.

The desire to connect to myself and to others, especially the One who created me, has overridden the desire to pull into myself and hide from the world the way I used to. I want to, no I need to, live life in the love that was ordained by Christ Himself when He spoke to us saying “And a new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you…” He didn’t add in an “if, and, or, but, unless” etc to the command, so I am going to live with the intent to connect through Christ, to connect in love and to work at connecting with my soul and strive to reach my potential.

I love connecting with each of you every week as we flash-mob write. As we tweet about sports and justice and chocolate and ask for prayers. Connecting through our own words and the Word of God, the words in the books of our dear friends as they follow where they are to be lead.

I am excited to see who will join us this year and who I will connect with and what we will connect over, maybe a favorite dish, children the same age, mentors or a friendship that makes no sense to the naked eye but simply feels natural and right.

We all live with fear. It hangs around, whispering in our ears, reminding us of all we can’t do or will never be. But that’s not the end of the story. We also have a God who draws close to say, Fear not. I am with you. This Spirit transforms us into fear fighters–women breaking free of trepidation to find bold dedication to God’s peace-, purpose- and joy-filled callings.

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Nov 242016
 

Yeah so sometimes you feel hesitant at the top of the world while looking out at the sun set from 13 stories’ up, or while sitting in a window overlooking main street watching the lights into the night. And while you watch out you wonder when the bad will come because as good as something may seem you have that pit in your stomach that your very own Babylon will fall and you not so secretly hope it’s sooner rather than later because later is a waste of time.

And then conversation gets awkward. Things happen that you try and fight away but feel powerless over and maybe because you expected it since you aren’t surprised when the nice has left and has been replaced by random accusations that don’t make sense to the logical world and you hit block before you let your resolve be stolen from you.

Instead of stooping down low you bend down on achy knees and you hand it all to God knowing you didn’t do anything wrong and there is no way to make things right. I refuse to be petty because pettiness leads to being hurt and I won’t allow my soul to be destroyed by negativity.

Life shoots enough bullets at the soul that I don’t have to let someone else’s issues cause an abscess to fester and leave new open wounds. This realization has shown me that I have grown a ton, it’s also shown me I have a long way to go. Don’t we all?

I have caused pain that I can’t make right. I have apologized. I have explained. I have cried over relationships forever changed, but I have no regrets. I have been lonely. I have been tired and worn. I have been living in fear and yet there is a tiny part of me that knows that no one can do to me what hasn’t already been done, unless they kill me. So, I am trying to step out in faith knowing that the only thing to fear is fear itself. If my life was a horror movie I would be the survivor girl.

I live in love and I love deeply and completely and while circumstance may change, love never does.

Nov 172016
 

My mom is back to work and she seems to be enjoying being out again, its nice to see her happy, though she is tired after nearly 5 months of waiting in pain before a surgery and then 6 weeks of recovery.

Since we all live together I had planned to clean the house for her this week, you know, the deep clean that no one really enjoys, but needs done regardless. Instead, we’ve been dealing with a child who has mono, another with a broken wrist and now I have been sick for the last 4 or 5 days.



{My Snuggle Chicken this week after a nap!}

I felt bad today when she couldn’t enjoy her day off because she had to clean the bathroom and sweep and mop and do it all carefully so cleaner smells wouldn’t choke me and cause a major coughing fit, she even washed my sheets that I changed the other day but didn’t have the energy to wash and dry. I almost cried when she told me today that my sheets needed folded and were in the dryer today.

I am definitely feeling blessed that even though I am sick and my lungs are literally itchy and my tonsils are swollen tight, that I have parents who are helping me and kids who are being fed while I am sleeping life away trying to heal up so I can enjoy life again soon!



{Cloudy Sunset}

I’ve been so blessed by Plexus products that have prevented me from getting REALLY sick in the past two years and that have also allowed for me to enjoy foods I love, make healthier choices and be free from worrying every flu season. So I really can’t complain too much about this bug considering. Pretty sure that my 4 trips to the hospital with kids and 3 trips to the clinic with the kids has been the germs that decided to attack.

Yet, we still enjoyed the times. Sitting in the hospital late into the night (and early morning) and having a friend bring coffee and donuts for me and the girl child as we waited to find out what was wrong. The jokes told about janitors pretending to be doctors -by our family doctor no less and getting to spend extra time with my kiddos as they mend.

Once you have teens the affection is hard to come by, but when they are injured or sick they tend to need their mama’s and while I wish neither were suffering I have to selfishly admit that I have enjoyed these past weeks of bonding in waiting rooms!!

Nov 102016
 

I often feel like an outcast, like I don’t have much in common with the Christian community or the secular community. I am a single mom who has lived through hell -literally. I struggle to see other families married and having kids and being on the same page and all of that when I am co-parenting with my own parents and I was a teen mom.


And yet, I feel like I belong at the same time because Christ didn’t accidentally make me fall in line with the people in my life, He didn’t cause me to check and email, stumble across a blog post or fall into a chapter in my Bible that spoke to me by accident.

No, He invited me in, even when I feel like the world may not want me, and I am learning that rejection is not only okay, but it is often necessary, because when we reject something that isn’t good for us, or are rejected by someone or something we thought was good for us, we are vulnerable and that vulnerability allows us to open up even further to prayer and to God’s love and plans for our lives -that is, if we allow Him in!

I no longer believe in coincidences. I believe that there is a reason for everything and while a LOT of those things have hurt and hurt really badly over the last weeks, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am walking a path that the Light is guiding me down.


I am amazed by the kindness and care I have received. The things I have in common with people I never met and the quirks I have and that they have that blend us together and make us work.

I have spent a lifetime praying to a God that often doesn’t seem to answer and yet these moments of commonality and acceptance are like a big ole swat upside the head from the Father that loves beyond all, saying to me “Child, if you would just have some patience!”

Practicing patience as a virtue is hard when it’s something you weren’t born naturally doing, and yet because I was created in His image, just like you were, I know that it is something I can strive towards, I also know I will never be perfectly patient, or perfectly anything, other than His and I have learned that I shouldn’t strive for perfection, I should strive to be in the presence of the One who is always perfect!

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