Aug 182016
 

I never enjoyed team sports or even understood them. No desire to watch or learn so I find it funny when I am tweeting with Jen into the weird hours of the day and night about baseball, a sport I never played, watched or understand. Yet her passion and love for the game, for the TEAM, the players even if they are on the WRONG team, makes me want to cheer her on, cheer with her, send her crazy “outs” that look insane to anyone who doesn’t click to see the conversation and it’s totally fun.

I am the girl on the yoga mat seeing how bendy I can be. Reading with my leg up the wall while the other one is folded at my side for several chapters before I realize I should probably switch. I love being alone. I need it. It’s my soul time. My time to pray, meditate, sweat it out, think, detox the day away.

I love the idea of being a part of something, but I want to lurk in the shadows and not be on center stage. I experience community in far different ways, and that’s more than okay. Matthew 6:6 tells us “When you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

I’m not trying to get bonus points or be better than the person who is leading a huge group. I simply like to keep things small, I like to share with the page and I enjoy that the page shares back. Maybe I won’t ever be on a TEAM that carries a roster or has a starting line, but I know that I am on God’s TEAM and He is on mine!

Jul 262016
 

As I sit here loading the word document to write I notice that the sky outside looks like cotton candy and I spring to life at 9:30pm wearing my pj’s and grabbing my camera once again to capture a couple of glimpses of the sky that God painted just for me.


I have seen a lot of amazing sky’s out of this window while sitting on my bed. It’s amazing how different it can look from window to window only to be the same exact moon and stars that we all get to see. It is fun to talk to a friend 18 hours away and both be looking at the moon or hunting down the big dipper. Somehow the universe as we are able to see it, seems so big, and I feel so small and yet I know that my place in this world is exactly where I was created to belong.


I’ve been feeling more like me than I was at the beginning of the month. I think it’s fair to say I was having some sort of mini-breakdown, if they can be mini… I think I had a dozen or more cold showers in the midst of panic attacks over nothing, almost always in the night.


The past week I have been picking up the pieces here and there. I am still behind but things are getting done. I’ve been dusting and vacuuming and lighting candles again. Cleaned off some surfaces, switched my purse to a different one for the first time in a couple of years, and I even made myself iced coffee. When I am feeling bleh I don’t drink coffee for the most part, so having a homemade iced mocha made me feel human and gave me a good 14 grams of protein along with the caffeine!


I am currently burning a blueberry scented soy candle that is tucked inside of my REDEEMED holder, reminding me that “Everything is beautiful in its time” and that while I fell behind on household tasks there is no reason that I can’t just hop right back in and tidy up and do what I can while doing my best to take care of myself and not risk burn out again. You can check out DaySpring for inspirational home décor, cards and so much more. I have purchased most of my décor from them as well as a purse and makeup travelling bag! You can also earn up to 6% cashback through my Swagbucks link and right now you can save an additional 25% sitewide during the customer appreciation sale with coupon code THANKYOU

I LOVE these wooden letters and this Bible cover has enough space for me to tuck in extra papers, small bible studies and so much more!


Jul 212016
 

I was going on my own for so long and sometimes I still feel like I am fighting an uphill battle with a smooth surface. You see, if the mountain was smooth you wouldn’t have anything to grab, no where to place your feet and you would slide right on down, but God, He placed those jagged spots and crevices for our feet to stand on and our hands to hold so that we can continue up the crazy hill instead of sliding at the very bottom, never getting anywhere.

He wants us to climb the hills, especially the jagged ones because even if they are cutting into our broken hands and feet we have to trust that holding on is what He wants us to do, wants us to go through, reach the top and the best part is the other side of the mountain is jagged too so we don’t slide right back to the bottom and have to start again, we may slide a few inches or a few yards, but God has built our mountains fiercely strong, enabling us to reach the top and stay there.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

~Philippians 4:13~

Jun 252016
 

Tears are the pain my soul displays when it has nowhere else to go

Pain are the words my soul speaks, the black shroud that makes the dimmest of stars blindingly bright

I’ve needed a rest from words lately. A lot of rest. I don’t know why, maybe because I was diving deep in search of words for so much of the winter and spring.

It is exhausting to go into yourself, into the darkened depths where you have everything chaotically stashed away in mounds that would give a librarian a heart attack. Much like the wall of post-it notes that only an author can decipher and turn into a grand story.

Only life isn’t a post-it and no matter how big they decide to make those sticky sheets it won’t all fit and the darkness will creep over like fog over a marsh when the mercury rises, blanketing over the muck with a reflective dew that disappears with the rising sun and somewhere along the broken road you place your hand in the palm of the Son who has risen and you simply rest.


And yet here I am with the thunder booming in the background and the lightening flashing down on a blackened earth and my fingers are tapping away the thoughts that linger in my head and fear greets me in places I had forgot existed and I wonder who I really am?

Am I the child that hopped from rock to rock over snail infested ponds to find a place to sit and soak up the sun, the child who looked at metal barrels laying in the water 20 years ago and wondered why someone would do that to the earth?

Am I the adult who see’s a saltwater tank and grieves the loss of corals and anemones and secretly blames Finding Nemo for the tang’s and clown fish being stolen from our oceans just to beautify someone’s home?

Am I the girl who prays for the whales and the dolphins and has considered jumping ship just to land in the Antarctic whale sanctuary to protest, protect and fight for the whales whose song often falls on the ears of poachers?

Am I the 16-year-old girl who found herself pregnant and madly in love with a child growing within or am I the mother of that child whose smile is enough to light up any room and whose tears threaten to drown me because her pain are the nails through my hands and feet, the spear in my side. The pain a parent must bare in a twisted way so that their child can be fully alive?

Is that how my parents felt? Is that what Jesus told Himself as He felt the weight of His flesh tearing him apart, the sweat stinging into deepened wounds as the sins of the world separated the darkness and the light causing Him to cry out to God, “Father, why have You forsaken me?” before the sky turned angry and His flesh became Spirit?

And then there is my son, the child who nearly drowned drinking water because his laughter got the best of him and the water rushed into his lungs and sent those watching into a near panic and as he told the story he tells me “I wondered if Darin knew the Heimlich, when he pushed on my belly I knew he didn’t.” And I wonder why I worry more about the girl then I do my boy. Is that how it’s meant to be? That the boys can brave this broken world in a brotherly solidarity where the desire to protect outweighs their fear?



A world where your lungs fill with water and moments later you are playing football in the grass with a fire burning down in the background and your laughter and the sounds of your mother and your sister chatting are what fills your world because the moment you drowned you were also resurrected with a lesson learned?

Did my child really have me in stitches on the clouded, stormy ride home and did we almost hit that blur of a deer that for all I know could have been a golden shrub? Did he really just tell me that 50,000 of my cells die every day and that over the course of 7 years every cell in my body passes and has been replaced with one that is new and fresh? Did he just tell me that a sunburn hurts because the cells are protecting us from cancer and committing suicide so they don’t mutate?

How did you become so wise young children? Where did you learn these things and when? Why is it that I see so much of myself in your love for everything and then sometimes I look at you and don’t see me at all?


I am proud of you, both of you. Because you aren’t me and because you are pieces of me that I never allowed to develop and grow. You take big leaps and tiny steps and go where the wind blows, color outside of the lines and walk against the grain all at the same time. You are far more brave than I ever was or ever will be and I am so happy that you aren’t me. That you walk your own paths.

I love that you embrace conflict and hurt and pain because as the saying goes “no pain no gain” and I want you to gain. I want to see you suffer because that leads to growth. I want you to fear because that leads you to cling to the One who alleviates the need. I want you to love fully and be passionate and chase your calling, whatever it may be, whether it’s the Antarctic whale sanctuary where you take on the poachers of the world, or into a mission field learning a new culture and language and sharing your own journey with the world in the name of the One who saves you each and every day. Maybe your dream is to be a mom or a dad and never leave this small town and you want to plant your roots down deep and firm.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, I will be in the cheering section while simultaneously handing you to God, because while this may be your journey, He is the one who holds the map.

Apr 232016
 

A few months ago it was just a tweet made by a friend that she was wanted a group of us to submit a post to a book compilation that would be sold with our words stretched over the pages with the proceeds going to charity and I scoffed at her idea, thinking there was no way that I would be submitting my work because I am a blogger, not a writer, because my posts aren’t educated or thought out, they are journal entries that are the result of my fingers tapping without thought across the keyboard, often faster than I realize I am thinking.

My outlet.

When I was specifically asked by a friend who was contributing if I had submitted I said I wasn’t, because my work was not worthy of being put in a book. She nagged encouraged me to just consider it and even offered to help me select something if I needed help. I still said no.

As the deadline was already past I was reading back on some of my old writing while looking for something and stumbled on a couple of posts that I was surprised came from my fingers and didn’t belong to someone else’s. They weren’t great, but maybe they were good enough.

Maybe.

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
~Galatians 6:7~

So I reached out and sent my link and asked with the utmost apprehension if this was “good enough.” I almost immediately received a more than encouraging reply stating that it was great (it isn’t) and that she was so glad I had decided to submit something because I had been a part of the community for so long.

Every bit of anxiety I could muster up has flooded me, wondering what any of this means, mostly the negative things, though really, how can charity be negative? That’s an anxiety disorder for you right there. Fear has overtaken me on more than on occasion and silenced me, but not this time.

I hear that the book is coming along well and while I don’t know any specifics as to when it will be released or how many contributors there will be, I do know that it will be available in paperback and that means I will have a book, sitting on my shelf, with my own work in it. Not a chapter or anything more than a page, but still my words. My heart, my soul, my pains and sorrows, my love, tears, community. My faith.

That is a crazy thing to think about when everyone I know is writing a book and I have been asked to many times about the trials I have overcome, the pain I have endured and how I came to Christ. Maybe this is going to be my one and only moment published in a book, or maybe it will be a catalyst for my words to go to paper. I am a writer, I do it every day. But am I an author?

What I do know is I need to stop the inside chit chat that goes on from bringing me down and placing words in peoples mouths before they have even opened. I need to stop sowing seeds of myself stating that “I suck” and am “not worthy” because God didn’t create anyone to suck and He paved the way so that we could all be worthy if we chose to obey Him.

Sometimes we need to lean back on our six pillows (yes I have six) and let our souls exhale, whether it’s a physical release or a spiritual one that ends up being ink and paper, or a drawing, a prayer sent up. A moment of thanksgiving, or a realization that I am forgetting all about thanks-living. I need to hand it all to Him.

Amazing Grace is a gift that I don’t want to neglect or ignore or waste.

Today as my soul exhales in wondering what the future holds, it inhales the new life that is springing up all around and I am able to feel content, safe, fearless. The smile on my face not needing to be faked, no façade to break.

As I struggled to pull the deeply rooted weeds from what’s supposed to be a flower bed I was reminded that I must sow seeds of strength in the One place that they will grow roots strong and firm like those of the roots I couldn’t tear from the ground. The pot may be cracked but the earth is rich and full and the seeds I sow how more than enough room to spread and grow.

Mar 022016
 

Exhaustion set in hard and fast in February. The flu wore me down and the exhaustion took me out. Napping a few times today leaves me with a to-do list that seems to never be to-do{ne}. As many people know I have been dealing with a ton of eye pain, like someone decided to give me a good punch. If you have ever had a sore eye you know how little you want to do and how sensitive you are to pretty much anything. It really is a new level of discomfort that comes in like a thief in the night and robs you of joy.

I saw the optometrist yesterday and he said my eye likely had something viral associated with my having had the flu last month but there was no inflammation or signs of anything wrong now, just discomfort that would have to go away on it’s own. A blessing to know that my eye pain is simply pain and not something threatening my vision, or a rampant infection of some sort that would require antibiotics to mess up my gut health.

Having spent so much time in bed over the past month I have watched several complete series on Netflix and have now restarted watching The X-Files and by, “restarted” I mean I watched season one when it first came out when I was like 8. It was something my grandma and I watched each week on her 13-inch TV set across from the table in her kitchen. We would watch it and play rummy and her heavy smoke would blow into my face. She would brush out my long hair and I would brush out hers. Amazing how a show like the X-Files can bring back memories of a time so long ago, when I was a simple child just chilling with her grandma as much as she could.

Another leaf just fell from the poinsettias set out from Christmas and I am reminded that spring is on it’s way. The plants dropping their bracts are also putting out new leaves, because where there is old, there will be new. New life.

I know this is me rambling away, but honestly, putting together a bunch of thoughts on one thing sounds tedious at the moment. Definitely thinking I should perhaps use a prompt instead of doing this journal style. Oh well. Not today. Tomorrow is our five-minute free write though and that is awesome, something to look forward too, to focus on for that short amount of time. And the chat before it, the FMFParty where we talk about chocolate and books and boyfriends and husbands and kids and chores and sleeping babies and babies that won’t sleep and so much more, because that’s what community is, that’s what friends are for and the best part is that we are on Twitter inviting the world in, because in Christ there is always room for more.

Hello Mornings also started this week and we are focusing on 1 Corinthians 13 and it truly amazes me how when we focus on a verse how quickly things pop out at you in such an amazing way, a way that I had not seen before. I am using Scripture Typer to practise memorizing the chapter and so far I have memorized verses 1-2. Doesn’t seem like much, but it is more than I knew last week and the message is so much more clear.

“But if I have not love, I am nothing” v2

Such a profound statement and so true, especially when myself and many Christians consider Jesus to be LOVE. I can easily read this as “but if I don’t have Jesus, I am nothing.” I love when the Bible speaks to my heart and explains itself to me in such a jolting way. God doesn’t always cause a personal earthquake to get His point across, but when He speaks, it is impossible to not hear!

I serve an awesome God. Enough said?

Feb 192016
 

I clean the bathroom on Thursdays unless it needs it otherwise. Call me crazy for leaving it a full week before doing it again but Thursday seems to be what works for our family so that’s what I do. This week though I have been feeling sick still from the flu I had last week. Exhaustion comes simply from thinking and naps have been a must for the past 10 days or so. I did clean the bathroom last week so I wasn’t really behind. Yet yesterday I just slept most of the day and had no energy so it got moved over to the to-do list for Friday.

Isn’t that how everyone wants to spend their Friday evening?

I woke up from my long nap around dinner time, everyone had eaten and I had no appetite yet again. I sat on the bed contemplating whether or not being awake was a good thing and I wondered how babies sleep in such awkward positions without being stiff. This extremely deep thought forced me to conclude that that is why babies cry -stiff joints after a good nap.

I pulled out my planner to see what I hadn’t done this week and the list was a mile long and the bathroom stood out to me like a sore thumb. After some deep Biblical talk (yes seriously) with myself about cleaning the bathroom to serve the Lord I got off my butt and went upstairs and used that highly toxic mint scented toilet bowl cleaner and wondered to myself how on earth getting cancer was godly, then, I noted that I am only going to use natural cleaners once that bottle is gone.

I removed everything from the counters and wiped away, got mold out of the window, finished with the 7 toothbrushes and toothpastes, refilled the soap dispenser and then pulled out my trusty and equally toxic Lysol wipes and quickly gave the outside of the toilet a once over. Then, it hit me.

I was cleaning the bathroom to serve God and my family BUT I wasn’t doing it with a servants heart. Revelation right there on the floor. I pulled out a few more wipes and torqued my body around the toilet and wiped it properly, I was actually pretty grossed out by how much my once over missed and continued to clean. This time while talking to God about how I need Him to continue to work in my heart to help me make the mundane into something that can bring Him glory. Yes, I want my toilet to shine, not just for me, but to show God how grateful I am to have a toilet to clean, a family to mess it up and the cleaning supplies to get the task done.

I grabbed the toilet brush and scrubbed away while humming some of my favorite worship songs and for the first time in awhile it felt like cleaning the bathroom wasn’t a chore, but a duty asked of me by God.

When I was done with that I cleaned the mirrors in the rest of the house that didn’t have a streak free shine despite having just been done, because I wanted them to sparkle for God instead of just being half-done or done incorrectly just so they could get a check mark. I swept the floor around the dog crates, put 2 gallons of water in the fish tank and wiped down their glass.

I am still behind on my chores for the week, but I am excited to be approaching them with the mindset that I am serving not only my family, but the One who has gifted me all that I have.

Growing up I often heard that cleanliness was next to Godliness, and while I don’t believe that to be true because we all have different standards and ideas of what clean is, I feel that God is moving in my heart to do the job to the best of my ability whether I am wiping up crumbs, scrubbing a toilet, or simply taking care of myself. He isn’t calling me to be perfect, He is calling me to serve.

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