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 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!

Oct 142016
 

It’s been well over 18 months since my best friends letters quit coming. The last from a jail somewhere in Nova Scotia, with a piece of artwork inside like every week. In it he told me that his health was continuing to get worse and that he feared if anything were to happen that the facility wouldn’t provide the help that he required.

I haven’t heard from him since. It’s been over a year now since he should have been released. Since I met him 9 years ago he never missed a single week in mailing me, never missed calling me when he said he would, and when he said he wouldn’t.

I know he is gone, and yet each week I open up the PO Box and eagerly go through each bill hoping that there is a letter from him in there somewhere. Yet, there never is, and hope slowly and reluctantly fades and I place my faith blindly in the Lord because while my friend was a criminal, his whole life, he was also a Christian and his letters from jail would encourage me in my walk with the Lord each week.

We would discuss the books we were reading, the studies we were doing, what we had learned and how walking the walk with God daily was better than not walking it at all and that a daily goal was far easier to achieve then one created with a form of long commitment.

His last handmade card to me still hangs with a clothes pin on my Truly Blessed birdcage from DaySpring and I can’t help but worry that he is still alive and suffering somewhere that he can’t reach me from. Lord knows I have tried to find him, but there are no obituaries or news articles or arrest records or anything that I can find. It’s like he just stopped. Stopped what? I don’t know… writing? Breathing? Living?

I trust that the Lord has him safely wherever he is, I pray that there is no more suffering and that the lack of mail is because my friend is wholly whole with the One who is and always will be Holy.

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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.

Jan 302016
 

I woke up this morning and within an hour I had made tea, had a banana, washed the dishes from yesterday (wasn’t feeling well) and put them away, moved everything off the counter and wiped it down, cleaned the stove top, changed the trash bag and swept the floor and was working up a little bit of a sweat.

My muscles started to scream at me for water. I drank 32 ounces within a few seconds and remembered that I keep forgetting about me.

More importantly though, where was God?

As I guzzled water down fast the thought that God was searching for me when I wasn’t seeking Him was crossing my mind. Then, the words, “man cannot live off bread alone” slid into my head rapidly followed by fueling my aching soul with water from God’s well instead of my own.

It was definitely one of those moments where you are like “okay God, I am listening, I get the point. Slow down, take care of myself physically AND spiritually!”

As mama’s we forget to take care of ourselves and as children of God we tend to put our Bible studies at the end of our to-do lists instead of as part of our daily routine.

I have been studying the book of Ruth with Hello Mornings the past few weeks and it has been great, but today is Saturday and there was no reading for today, but God beckoned me anyway.

“Make ME a habit. Not a chore!”

So, I am going to focus on giving God the best of my day instead of fitting Him in.

How do you keep His Word on your tongue and have you heard God speak to you without any doubt before?

Jan 212016
 

I had everything pulled off the counter and was wiping the far-to-reach corners of the backsplash while standing on a stood (short person problems) while she sat and talked to me from the table. I had planned to start dinner and then go sit down and hang out on the internet. Maybe watch some YouTube videos or scroll through social media, but instead I grabbed a rag and had started to scrub and before too long the counter was clean and even the crumb trays on the toaster had been wiped to a shimmering shine.

She talked and I talked back. We talked about school, how she finished her homework in her gym class because she can’t participate because of her knees, we talked about boys and “ships” and girls and their “ships” and all of that stuff. She showed me a few videos of what she found fun today and talked about her best friend not using his phone today while on the school bus so he could actually talk to him.

Yeah, I was present. I was present for the moments that make memories. I don’t want to be remembered for napping all the time and for being on my computer when I am conscious. I want to be present. I want to be the one that the kids talk to while dinner is being prepared. I want to help with their homework and learn about their interests.

It fascinates me that social media has given us this amazing gateway to be connected and yet we are excruciatingly disconnected from the ones that mean the most. I am not one who has their phone in their hand or beside them at all times. I don’t even have a phone. But, that’s not the point. I have spent so much time being depressed and hiding out, hiding behind the screen and fostering relationships with people I will likely never meet that I am guilty of neglecting the ones who sit right in front of me.

And while Jesus was The Gift, the ultimate Present. It was his presence that gave us redeeming grace. What would Jesus do? He would sit in the kitchen and talk over chores or leave the chores to wait. He wouldn’t say the internet is bad, but he would likely say real life is better.

Blessed be the name of the Lord!

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