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!

Aug 112016
 

I take a deep breath and point my bottom up in the air wondering how attractive THAT has to be and sorta laugh to myself how awkward yoga can look and how good it can feel. Even though I am not feeling well I decided to hit the mat and sweat it out and lift up my spiritual energy, centering it, refocusing it on the one who created me in the very beginning and saw that I was good.


It has been easy to be down over the last few months. I have felt a ton of pressure in the little things and a lot of slippery serpent heads slithering their ways into my thoughts and creating anxiety and fear, and a lack of trust. In the last session of Hello Mornings, which I have loved for years and even lead a group with Jen from Faith Mustard Seed in for several sessions. This intimate group of people I thought I could trust and ask for prayer in were the ones I went to when I found out my cousin had another baby born asleep. Before anyone had even commented or offered prayers in the private group I was being tweeted about it and my faith in a female lead church community collapsed -hard.

At the same time I had just finished a course in ministry and had received grades high enough to earn me a scholarship. I haven’t logged back into the site since to see what I would like to take, I haven’t even requested a copy of my transcript or diploma for the first course.


Women are supposed to be building each other up, for ever we have helped one another -raise babies, pray, stay strong in faith, cook meals for other families and even offered to help cook or clean for our female friends and acquaintances when they needed it the most.

We are supposed to be lifting each other up and instead this crazy world of social media, on every platform, has become a game of trying to be better or look better or take better photos or eat better foods or pray better. A game of my way is better than your way and the most beautiful of people from Facebook to Twitter to Youtube have worked hard to cut those life giving umbilical cords to the One who always loves and always pulls us up by showing us their ugly sides.

 

It is hard to not be pulled down when in the back ground they are spreading rumors, exposing your private moments and your broken-hard is exposed for the entire world to see.


I am having to remind myself daily as I check in with my soul that my faith in Christ has not changed, but my faith in humanity is definitely in question. It is so much easier to slam the laptop closed and keep it all inside, locked away inside the confines of my mind, but like the Queen song says “I want to break free” and in order to be healthy, I need to.

I am definitely on the defensive, my stress levels high and every one who I was trusting as my “church” community whether in real life or online has fallen into this line of wonderment where my PTSD is triggered and I have to ask myself “can I trust you?”

As I raise my hands up and breath in deeply and lift my heart I know that I am being held by God. And that is all that really matters.

Aug 032016
 

The thunder shatters the sky with its lingering boom and the forks of lightening travel down grabbing giant bites of the earth and as quick as it strikes it disappears and the night returns to the black shielded by the clouds. Thick air has lost it’s stickiness as the rain wipes at the ground and everything on it, like a violent baptism and the proof of God’s touch will be evident once the clouds lift and the smell of ozone lingers in the air, when the sun rises the plants will be fed, happier, seemingly taller and more green and though they live without sin the twisted baptism done in the night cleanses all the yuck away and leaves a brighter, happier display of God’s power and might and I remember being 3 years old and my hair bobby-pinned just right and the white dress I wore and my grandma smoking a Number 7 as she tugged and pulled at my hair making it perfect only so a priest could dump the baptismal water over my head and wipe away the painful pulls and place me in the hands of a God who loves always, fiercely, deeply, completely. I watched my brother also clad in white have the water poured over his tiny skull and the sign of the cross on his forehead and the tears come out as this stranger touched him and in my childs-mind I wondered if the tears were the evil that had crawled inside leaving him.

As the storm loses it’s strength and then comes back with a greater intensity than before I can’t help but wonder if that’s how God works in me, I stray and when I become the prodigal son and stumble back home are His arms open wider? Is his love more intense? Or am I simply more willing to acknowledge and accept? Am I still saved of my sins through the baptismal sacrament that happened when I was merely 3 or was I really only saved when I accepted Christ as my saviour so many years later?

Does the child with faith and who does not understand reap the same benefits as someone who has always placed the Word of God and living in God’s love first? When scripture tells us we must come to the throne of the King of Kings in child-like fashion does this mean we must live with the reckless abandon that we had as young’uns? Does it mean I shouldn’t question and simply obey? Is this type of thought even okay? Should I read the books that pull me near or leave them down and enjoy the miracles of Noah and the Ark, Moses leading his people, GODS PEOPLE, out of slavery and into the dessert, should I imagine the parting of the sea or the burning bush? Should I stare into stained glass window panes that depict that stations of the cross and feel the pains that the Christ-child suffered for me?

And as soon as the twisting storm began it calms and I imagine Jesus on that boat taking on water and how He calmed the storm. If only it were the middle of the day I know there would be a rainbow to see!

Jul 282016
 

“I wanna play outside the grave but Satan’s shackles keep me enslaved”

I feel like a child hidden in the shadows and my eyes strain through the darkness to get a glimpse of the light. My heart races faster and faster still and up my spine climbs a goose bump filled chill.

My eyes see darkness, my mind remembers that all shadows are cast by the light, the Light -ever present, all knowing. Seeing everything and brightening a path for each of us lambs to follow. Shepherded by the crook of His staff that never guides wrong.

I am the lone sheep hidden and lost in the woods and I know the heard is safe and He will come for me and His hook will gently press on me and bring me back to the path out of darkness and towards Him.


When I need rest my eyes will close and the lapping sound of waves will wash over me keeping me safe. When I need to wander He will watch. When I fall He will lift me up. When I thirst He will quench it. When I am no longer hidden, He will shine out of me, through me, and everyone will see.

The moment I prayed for salvation I was pulled out of the grave, the shackles fell and I was no longer enslaved. I am not hidden anymore.

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~

Jul 032016
 

It’s almost midnight when I am writing this, but letter late than never. I have to say today was a fairly big flop. I woke up this morning in pain and ended up going back to sleep after taking some meds for that. I was up again at 1 for more meds and then slept until almost 5.

In the meantime while I was out like a light, my dad was cleaning the carpet in my daughters room. She has allowed her dog to pee on it so much that her room stinks, seriously stinks.

Tonight, we had a simple dinner, spaghetti and garlic bread. The weather was grey and rainy and the humidity was a lot higher than it was yesterday. I got the table and chairs all wiped down and dishes done. Definitely not an epic day.

Had the dogs out and fed at around 8 tonight and then I went to shut the tv off in the room my daughter was sleeping in to find that the brand new mattress she had borrowed had been peed through by her dog, and of course she denied it despite her having slept on the couch the last several nights, using laziness as an excuse.

I can definitely say I am extremely disappointed in her for that one. Had she been honest about it the mattress wouldn’t now be ruined and yet another thing wouldn’t be going to the landfill, and my wallet wouldn’t be taking a hit to get rid of it or to replace it, but it is.

The sad thing is that I know her dog is not very well mannered, and that’s okay. What’s not okay is the need to lie and hide this type of stuff. It kills any trust I had and it feels like just when we begin to get to an okay place lies pile on and we end up back in this place where I don’t trust her or believe her, and that sucks, it REALLY sucks to not trust your child, especially with things that are seemingly so basic.

I picked up the dishes in my room after that and washed those up and added the new things that had piled in the sink to the dishwasher.

I have been in bed most of the day and now that it’s midnight I am guessing I won’t be getting anything more done.



It was nice having dinner with the family, nice that it was Canada day on Friday and my brother has been able to come for dinner the last three nights in a row, awesome that we were able to grill out for two days and awesome that some of the stuff needing to get done has been completed.

Definitely hoping tomorrow is a better day and that I can get my pain under some sort of control and get things done around here. I am also excited to check on the tomato plants, they were blooming like crazy yesterday but I didn’t take the chance to go and see them today to know if they are showing signs of fruit!

Also, fresh strawberries are amazing and it is really awesome to be able to pluck them off the plant and eat them knowing that while they may have dirt there are absolutely no chemicals on them or used to help them produce.

I am always amazed by how God provides, and yet He never lets me down!

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.

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