Monday, December 17, 2012

The Light

I want to write about it but I don't.  And I wonder if a lot of people are feeling that way.  There are words - but not enough and maybe, not the right ones.  I want to hope but I struggle.

Maybe, it's just pen to paper, heart to heart that heals.  Maybe, it's voice.  It's listening.  Sharing.  Cleaving.

I could be wrong but it seems I've seen much more faith based commentary, postings, stories, this time around - how sad to have to say, 'this time around' - and I think it's because they were children- babies, really.  Tiny.

My kids were with their dad this weekend and when the two little ones came home, I hugged them both, hard and looked at them.  I looked long at my five year old.  My kindergartner.  At how small she is. I think of how she wouldn't have been able to grasp, really, the evil.  Honestly, I can see that she would fear, but confusion, too, would have clouded.  Looking at her, I pray that it was quick and that they didn't have time to process.  The cruelty or the pain.  And I have to believe that God somehow miraculously overrode the darkness in those moments.  And that's what I'm seeing out there in the conversation we do and don't want to end - a new hope-filled discussion on God's presence and the afterlife.  Because when it's babies, we need a heaven.  I have to believe this because otherwise, it's too much.  It is too much right now for those families.

When Verity touched my face this morning with her little hand, just that size for a short time longer, the tears came for those who won't feel or hold the little hand of their child, won't experience that child's remarkable child-like forgiveness and glee.  How will they celebrate Christmas?  How? How do they tell the kids left, anymore, that the good guys always win?  The siblings.  The twin.  How do the nightmares go away?  And the missing?  I have no idea.

We are best when we are loving children.  I think our parent sides are the best sides of us.  And when we can't protect our children  ....when the President spoke these words, and told us we all needed to help, my cynicism wanted to sneer,  no, I'm not trusting the village anymore because one person gets it wrong and this what you have.  But then the stories are there of those beautiful teachers who are martyrs and I know that children can bring out in us what is of God.  God is a father.  And a mother.  And I have to trust somehow that in the majority of us is that God given light.  And that it has more power than the darkness in one.

Could we be a multitude of light?  Are we sick yet of the dark?

This Christmas, let's bring back the light of the world.

Friday, November 16, 2012

I haven't been here in far too long.  It feels weird.  This place, once so needed, now avoided.  Because I can't come to terms with what to say or how to say it, here, the same way, anymore.

And yes, it's true.  Writing is as fluid as life.  But what once was, here, in this place is so far gone, so lost from me that I can't quite discern anymore what I ought to shed here.

It's been poetry, lately, for me. Before that, a whole lot of nothing.  Because when the pain comes, though the words should as well, often they just don't.  And truly, I haven't been in pain this last couple of months. More a state of numbness, retreat.

It's been a year. A year since it all turned upside down.  And I'm sick of not knowing what to say.  Sick of trying to analyze the grieving process.  Sick of a lot of things.  I am powerless and my life has become unmanageable   Or so it feels.  I'm in this place where I want to run away, elude, shut down.  Because I've ended up somewhere I didn't plan on being.  I didn't plan on being divorced.  Or sending my kids to school.  Or being so busy I can't catch my breath.  I didn't plan on finding my mind reverting to a state of immaturity formed from fear of the future.  The phone rings and I cringe.  Emails come across and I groan.  I want people to go away and leave me alone.  I want my old life back.  That's just where I'm at right now.

So, I'm having to take a hard look at exactly where I am and how I got here.  Ask myself how long I can sit in this without doing something about it.  How long my relationship with God can remain stale.  Because I'm dry and I'm feeling the thirst.  I'm starting to wilt.

Today, I'm extra irritable.  I want space.  And then I get it and don't know quite what to do with it.  Do I write here?  Do I work, write a paper for school, cross off any number of pressing items on the never ending to do list. I want to throw the list away and start from scratch.  I want my kids back.  I want my honesty back.  I want to voice my confusion like I  used to.  I want to purge all I've been repressing.  I want all of this more than I want to know what the future holds.  Because I've been hating where I'm at and unsure of how to get to where I'm supposed to be.  I've just known that I can't live like this anymore.  I'm weighted down with far too much, that' I've brought upon myself  I need boundaries and plans.  I need to remove certain people and activities from my life.  I need boldness of spirit and confidence to say what I mean and mean what I say.  I need to get control of my life back.  I've given my power away somewhere recently and as a result, I'm drowning in the consequences of that decision.

Will I keep coming here?  I don't know.  Will I keep the kids in school?  I don't know. Will I continue to crowd my mind with useless thoughts of tomorrow or will I find it in me to do the next right thing each day that comes my way.  That I can say I will work on.  I'm admitting that my life is unmanageable.  And that something's got to give.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Joy in Abundance

I'm all over the place today -in a good way.

I have been battling lately with what is.  And with the future (my ideas of it).  And the past (in an inability to reconcile it with the now).    So, essentially, I've just been rather discontent.  Pouty, really.

You know, the truth is, that it is hard to be single. Especially when you've been married. I get the whole "It is not good to be alone" thing.  And so I've wanted to rush to the next phase of my life where I'm not alone, the one where I'm not single.

Except that I have absolutely no idea what the future really looks like for me. Insert man is about as far as I get. But I do know that God says that He knows the plans He has for me and that He will give me a hope and a future.  I haven't been trusting this. Rather, I've been in a woe is me, I might always be lonely state of mind.  I've been catching myself saying "Fine, God", in a juvenile, snotty voice a lot, these day.   Fine, what?  I don't know what misery I think He has planned for me but obviously my trust has not been in the true and living God.

So, last night, getting ready for bed,  I told God  "Fine.  I'll be alone, but can you just give me a vision of the future so I know it won't suck?"  It finally occurred to me that maybe, I wouldn't be on such a pity pot if God could assure me that man or no man, my life could be good.

And then this morning, drinking my coffee, I realized that a weight had been lifted.  Things that had bothered me yesterday, were somehow less vexing today.  And then as I dressed to take the kids to school, I had the vision. The one I asked for. Not a full pictorial vision of where I would be in five years, but this very clear and comforting knowledge that because God has known me since before birth, He also knows my heart, my strengths, what brings me joy.... and He will not withhold joy from me.  In fact, He has plans for me that would seem absurd to anyone else.  Plans that no one but He and I can fully comprehend.  There is a shaping and shifting even now, in this time and place, that has been in the works since I was young and I would never before have imagined how it might all play out.

So on this high, I drove the kids to school and I felt His overwhelming presence.  I am not alone.  And He is so much closer than I can usually feel.  And He is the best husband.  He delights in me, He protects me, He thinks I'm funny and smart and beautiful.  I felt like laughing and crying at the same time.  Because I asked and He answered.  I prayed and then there He was, just waiting to show me what I needed to see.

All day, I have just felt Him reminding me of how much He loves and cares about me, personally.  He is showing me through the words of others, through friendships, through little surges of God-infused joy.

"See the Father, see Me, and it sufficeth you.  This is Love in abundance.  Joy in abundance. All you need."
-God Calling

"How excellent is Thy loving-kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings." -Psalm 36:7

 God is in control of each next moment and this present moment is a gift.  I have both a hope for the future and comfort and protection in the now.

Photo Friday

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Submitting to a Knowledge of a Certain Nothingness

She believed that she must now submit to feel that another lesson, in the art of knowing our own nothingness beyond our own circle, was becoming necessary for her. – Jane Austen

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Faith Which Banks on Him

Listening hard, seeking the sometimes seemingly elusive voice and will of the Lord- these practices, perhaps have been an ongoing discipline for me this last year.  And so when I read Oswald Chambers this morning on Spiritual Confusion, I am struck.

He speaks of "The shrouding of His friendship" referencing Luke 11:5-8.  Then asks, "When God looks completely shrouded, will you hang on in confidence in Him?...Will He find the faith which banks on Him in spite of the confusion?"

These questions beg reply.  Will, I, when answered only with His silence, continue to trust, refuse to lean on my own understanding? Refuse to be moved, waiting instead on His timing no matter how slow, how shrouded His face, His replies seem to me?

Faith, I am learning, requires persistence. So, may I not cease to ask, believing, rather, that an answer will come as I continue to knock.
Source: via Nicole on Pinterest

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

to remember

I can't help it. I cry ever September11th.  Sometimes I wonder if I always will.

I didn't know anyone who died that day. I had no connection to New York.  I had no relation to anyone in any Fire or Police Department.  And still it hit too close to home.  I suppose, because The United States of America is my home and because I was young and pregnant with my first child and I was glued to that tv screen with so many others. I watched the live coverage as the second plane hit and everything I thought was safe about America fell with those buildings.

Someone said, we all collectively grieved. We did.  And, that, too, was new and strange and life-altering.  We all felt fear.  We all wanted hope. We all sought and gave comfort, state to state, across the country, and for the first time in my life, I felt a surge of pride and I understood patriotism.  For a while, a hateful act created an intimacy spanning would be chasms.  In the face of hostility, we united.

And people couldn't stop talking about it.  I don't think they wanted to stop talking about it.  Because the talking helped.  And it connected us all in an astonishing way.

And so I want to remember.  I want to tell my kids about that day I wish hadn't happened.  Even though, they won't ever really 'get it', it's important.  And honestly, I sort of hope I always cry.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Highest Purpose

Have you ever wanted something and it wasn't a bad thing at all to want but you just weren't sure that it was in God's plan for you?

This is where I'm at right now.  Wanting.  And I can hear God whispering, "Calm down."  He isn't saying 'no'.  He's just telling me to relax into Him for now.

 I think.

And I read all my devotions and this message, sort of recurs in each one.

First, I read:  "Today, I will identify what I want and need; then, I'll be willing to let go of it.  I will devote my energy to living my life today....I will trust that what I want and need is coming to me.  I will let go of my need to control the details."

And I hear God say, "I will give you the desires of your heart, but for now I want you to focus on Me.  Am I not enough?"

Because I've been here before with God.  This place of release.

And then I read, "Beloved, 'Set your affections on things above' (the higher, spiritual things) 'and not on things below', (the lower, temporal things), and you will see how rich you are."
God Calling (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading): A Devotional Diary

And then the hard hitting Oswald Chambers writes, "Continually restate to yourself what the purpose of your life is.  The destined end of man is not happiness, nor health, but holiness.  Nowadays we have far too many affinities, we are dissipated with them; right good, noble affinities which will yet have their fulfillment, but in the meantime God has to atrophy them....God is not an eternal blessing-machine for men."
My Utmost for His Highest - Deluxe (DELUXE CHRISTIAN CLASSICS)

Sigh.  I don't think the message could be much more clear.

I am realizing how I am an all or nothing kind of girl.  I set my sights on something and I run.  And God has to again and again pull me back.  To the moment.  The now.  Because I will take a goal or a dream or an opportunity or really anything and my mind is three years ahead of now, planning, envisioning, even worrying.  And I sacrifice these slivers of time that are precious and real.  Actually happening and God ordained.

So, I hear Him today.  Asking where my hope comes from.  If He's all I need.  If holiness, is my highest purpose, also.  If I trust.

And today, I am saying yes.  I do.  

At Spiritual Sundays

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Writing Process

I have wanted everything as a writer and a woman, but most of all a world changed utterly by my revelations.
-Dorothy Allison

Oh, the writing process.  The bad thing about deciding you’re a writer, is that you actually have to write.

My blog writing process seems to be quite different from any other writing process in my life. In fact, my writing processes vary as my writing projects vary.  I read, recently, a writer share that she couldn’t work on more than one writing project at a time. I get that.  It’s easier to focus on wherever the flow is currently headed. But that’s not always possible.  And each process or project is necessary in its own way.  I write for school, I write for work, I’m working on my novel (which still is sometimes hard to actually say.  I always feel like I’m in a movie scene of a dinner party and that’s a line I’m supposed to deliver,  embarrassedly) and I blog.
Blogging, by far, is the hardest. Because I can’t hide behind a character.  Because I can’t employ the formality required in an essay.  Because there’s not a deadline.  Because it’s just me here, talking to you and I don’t know you or even if there really is a you. Because a lot of times, hitting post feels like publishing my journal.

The flow is different, too.  If I stay away too long, it’s hard to return.  If I have an idea and I don’t start writing about it immediately, chances are, that idea is either going to be gone by the time I’m poised at keyboard or I will have talked myself out of it. Because it’s just pure me here and I try not to have an agenda.  I don’t want to preach or teach.  I have no stockpile of lessons to share.  I don’t consider myself an expert on any one thing.  I don’t want to convince anyone of anything.  I just like to write.  And sometimes, I get to believing that maybe, just maybe, God wants to use my words to touch others.  So I come here to ‘practice’ and to share.  And the hope is that maybe, whatever’s on my heart or mind that day, might also be on someone else’s.  And if I can share the grace or the hope I’ve found, or if I can just be another voice saying, it’s okay to be human.  It’s okay to not be an expert, to not be Molly Homemaker, to not be called to preaching or teaching, to say I’m just trying to make it through the day myself. 

Whatever.  I’m just sharing me.  With words.  Because that’s what I do. 
And a lot of the time, this writing is for me.  It’s honesty and healing.  Where I sort and seek and find.  And so in that, it is similar to my other writing.  The more I do it, the more I learn about myself and the more it comes- the ideas, the inspiration, the renewing.  And when I’m willing to be here, frustrated or scared to share something but I do it anyway, it’s amazing to realize that I’ve been met.  And no matter what happens after I hit post, the process within me has already occurred.

I am certain I will continue to have the same boldness to speak freely that I always have. I will let God use my life to bring more honor to Christ. Philippians1:20 ERV

Source: via Nicole on Pinterest

At Mama Kat's

Thursday, August 16, 2012

When Life Becomes "Complicated"

I think, often, about how my two younger children have not, overall, received as much attention from me as the older two. It wouldn't be too hard to blame this on the idea that the more children there are, the less of mom there is to go around.  It's a valid argument.  Four children vying for attention instead of two, absolutely  requires more conscious effort and creativity.  It's true, also, that a brood of children have a tendency to somewhat entertain each other and yet, I know that they need individual attention.  I try to shoot for this.  I take them out alone, in their turn, when I can but not as much as I'd like.

Sometimes it makes me sad to think back to the days when the older two were younger, when it was just them.  I remember when True was in preschool and I only had Annika at home.  She and I had our little routine.  We read stories, worked puzzles, drew together. Further back than that, as a young mother, when it was only True, he and I spent endless quality time together.  Less stress and perhaps, more motherly enthusiasm meant that I dedicated hours to teaching him, playing with him and just being silly with him.  We used to sing in front of the mirror together, using hairbrushes as microphones.

I feel sad thinking about this because so much of that, the younger two have missed out on.  And when I really analyze it, although amount of children plays in, the fact is- life was simpler then.

Confession: I'm not merely distracted by four kids running in four directions.  I'm now way too easily distracted by technology. Blogging, Facebook, online school, texting.  None of this was in my life when the older two were younger.  And I might have been a better mom.

Sitting in the parking lot of True and Annika's school yesterday, waiting the fifteen minutes it takes for them to be delivered to me, Palin asleep, Verity chatted in my ear while I checked my email on my phone.  As if there might be anything that important.  But I opened A Holy Experience and read about the practice of relationship.  And it occurred to me that right now, I could spend that time with Verity.  So I did.  We played hangman. And not on my phone (though I was tempted).

This is a practice.  It's so easy to 'multi-task' to the point of losing sight of these brief moments when children are young. The now moments.  These moments when they want to be with us.  I don't want to look back and realize that this time has passed.  Will I remember any one email I opened up or anyone's status update on Facebook?  Probably not.  But the essence of time spent listening or playing with my kids- that I want to remember.  I need to practice ignoring the lure of phone notifications, these false demands, all that's far less important than just being.  Just being available and present when I'm with my children.  Practicing that which used to come easier.  Practicing because it no longer comes easy.  Practicing to get back to that place.
Source: via Nicole on Pinterest

Friday, August 10, 2012

There's A Lesson Here

The kids have been in school for a mere week.  And guess who doesn't like school? It's not the kids.  They're enjoying it.  I, on the other hand, am finding myself increasingly irritated by the system.  I'm worrying that I might not be able to hang.

But there's a lesson in this, I think.  I hope.

I yelled at Annika yesterday.  I made her cry. I don't think I've ever done that before. And it was over something really stupid, my own issues- my crap.

On the way home from school, she told me that she had a hard day because it took her longer than all the other kids to get her work done.  All the other kids were finished with their math and she was stuck.  So she told the teacher that she was 'used to easy work.  Not stuff like, 8+8'.  Well, I sort-of freaked out when she related this to me.  Because that's ridiculous.  And I had no idea why she would say that.  Clearly, she has bypassed simple single digit addition by second grade.  So, in my not very gracious way, I think I yelled something about did she want CPS sent to our house. Not my finest moment.

I still don't know why she said that.  And maybe she just felt the pressure of being in a class room setting and couldn't think.   So, after I apologized, feeling like the meanest mom ever, she told me that when she looked around every one else was already done. We talked about how it wasn't a race. Sometimes, we can just draw blanks.  I still feel like a jerk.  Because, see how much this was about me? About me worrying that she's being a poor reflection on me? Making me look bad? And that kind of pressure is just as bad if not worse than any pressure she experiences at school.

So there's that and then there's the early waking required, the two hours spent driving per day, the teachers who may or may not be old enough to have fully formed brains and the daily lunch creations which include stressing about whether crackers are 'cool' or not  This is the stuff that drives me nuts about 'the system'.  The system which includes rules, stated and unstated. Someone else's rules.  Whether the government creates them, the teachers or the 'popular' students, I feel the urge to rebel. And God is revealing this part of my nature to me.  When my kids roll their eyes at me which is a new thing, or bicker more than usual, I want to blame the bad influences, the bratty kids that of course all other kids are (my tongue is inserted safely within cheek on this) and I really have to work to keep from saying snotty things about their teachers  That's my huge confession.  I am enacting self-control on that but after the third informative letter to all the parents was sent out, I had to hold back from telling True to tell his teacher that I don't want any more letters about stuff I don't care about.  How about she does her job and I'll do mine.  And then I remembered how teachers are always reminding us that this is a 'team effort' and that's exactly what makes me bristly.  Because I don't work well in groups.  If I want something done, I do it myself.

It's hard to hand my kids over to kids all day long.

I don't want to job share.

But yes, there must be a lesson in here.  God must be trying to show me something. Maybe he's trying to teach me patience, or respect.  Maybe.... He'd even like a little humility.
Source: via Nicole on Pinterest

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Author of Peace

I know I've shared (maybe, a million times) that I'm not the most excellent housekeeper.  Which is odd because I feel like I do spend a lot of time cleaning.  I'd like to think of this as just some strange phenomenon, perplexing but having nothing to do with lack of skill.

Whatever it is, I just can't get a handle on it.  I work one room while the rest are being systematically destroyed.  We did a thorough spring cleaning and I swear, it wasn't two weeks before the results were undetectable.

When we moved into this house a year ago, it seemed plenty big enough.  Now, not so much. And I haven't done a ton of shopping. It's weird.

When I close my eyes to picture a home that's a sanctuary, I envision white, fluffy carpet, white couches, vast space and a spot for everything - nothing left out.  This is a far cry from the clutter that actually 'decorates' my home.  I like the idea that organized clutter comes with creativity, although I'm not sure that my clutter is actually all that organized.

I read something this morning that suggested perhaps outward clutter is a subconscious means of isolating - keeping others away.  I can see this, though I'd never thought of it.  I can tend to isolate. I like my own space, time alone and definitely am not a woman who enjoys surprise visits.  My mom was also this way.
She would want to cancel visits with friends, worrying the house was too messy, even though it really wasn't.

So, while I'm not a hoarder by any means, I do have my fair share of unwanted mess.  That I can't quite figure out what to do with. And last week a husband's friend stopped in to drop something off for me. I met him in the driveway.  He asked if I wanted our kids to play together.  I told him, Sure, send yours in.  Go run some errands. Well, that's not what he meant. And I kind of suspected that.  So, I reluctantly let him in, warning him that the house was disastrous.  He asked me why.  In that blunt, male way.  So, I stammered out the true excuse that I use my morning to work on homework and blog, that the kids sort of run a bit wild during that time.

 But maybe, I need a better system. Maybe, I need to think a little more about keeping a home that's inviting, that can handle a surprise visit.  Suggestions?

Solitude is good.  Time spent quietly in prayer and worship and introspection is necessary. But if there's the chance, that without knowing it, I've settled into habits that not only allow me to keep people away but also block my mind from really, truly experiencing that emptiness required for God to enter, then I need to at least look at it.

It's not necessarily fun to look at stuff like this.  It may, however, be necessary.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Playing with Words and Pinterest

So, so busy with this new schedule that I don't have down pat yet and I can't quite understand why so many moms get excited for school to start. I've been a little frantic with the commute, the lunches, homework, just the whole playing by someone else's rules.  I've been the manager of my own time for so long that I feel like the adjustment might be a little harder on me than the kids.

I feel like I've been running around all week with hardly a minute to breathe.  My house shows it.

So, I'm here.  To breathe. To slow.   To find that space where I can sort the jumbled, crazy thoughts and just get down in words some semblance of sense.

And, also, how can I not blog when there's wordcandy to play with

and Pin-terpretation!

How fun is this stuff?  Seriously, I wish I had come up with it.

Maybe I should be finishing dinner but I'm looking at my dominant colors on Pinterest to see what they say about me.   Across the (literal) board, my colors are neutral and soft. That means I'm an introvert. No surprise, there.  But my Art board  contains more vivid hues than my Dream House board.  Maybe, I'm bolder in my creative life than my real life. My Want board has pops of bright color throughout and my Wow board seems to calm down as I scroll up.  What could that mean?

Like I really need more of an excuse to go on Pinterest.  But maybe, just maybe this is brilliant.  This idea that looking at our boards, could reveal more about ourselves than we might have thought.

I could probably do this for a few more hours but alas, the kids are hungry.

You should get the book.  It's pretty cool.
Click here to view more details

Friday, August 3, 2012

Every time

Well, today was the first day of school for the two older kids.  Confession:  I cried a little  I've homeschooled for four years so dropping them off with complete strangers aka teachers was strange, to say the least.

I remember, in Jefferson, dropping True off for his first day of preschool. He was four and Annika, only one.  I put Annika in the carseat, her hand outstretched toward her brother, crying, "Du!"  I felt a little like that today.  I walked them each to their class and noticed that I seemed to be the only parent sort-of standing around, just observing.  It was hard to say good-bye. They on the other hand were pretty excited.  So we shall see.

It's been interesting to note the reactions I've gotten from different people when telling them that I had decided to put the kids back in school.  The homeschoolers say something like, "Ohhh...okay.  Well, that will be nice."  And I know they're thinking it will not be nice.  The non homeschoolers, however, have all responded with elation, as though they've been waiting for the day I would come to my senses and do what 'normal' people do.  That's a post, though, for another time.

So.... it's much quieter around the house today.  And funny that though I long for less noise, the relative silence does seem deafening.  I do miss them.   But on the bright side, I've had a great day with the little ones.  We did our first day of kindergarten, here.  And it was a success.  They are working on an art project as I write. I think they've loved soaking up so much mommy-time.

All in all, it looks like God knows what He's doing.

I was so afraid a few short months ago, anticipating this coming time.  My sponsor advised that I somehow, "get okay with the worst-case scenario."  Having to put my kids in school was definitely on that list of awful things to come,things I didn't feel like I could live with, let alone be okay with.  But now that it's said and done, it doesn't look like it's going to be so bad.  The school has a lot to offer and seems like it's going to be a great environment for them, and even the fact that my five year old won't start until next year seems to be part of the "plan".  The plan where everything is just as it should be.  I still get to homeschool. But teaching only kindergarten won't take up much of my day, freeing me to work.  Another thing I've been afraid of.

So many life changes.  So much time spent worrying and obsessing and turns out that God has it covered.  Every. Single. Time.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


I have not been able to blog lately.  I'm not entirely sure what the problem is.  I continue to start posts and then realize I'm saying nothing so I save for later.  Going back, I find nothing worth revising.

I've been more tired than usual so that could have something to do with it.  But really, I think I'm just dry.  Spiritually dry and nothing is flowing.

I was telling my sponsor the other day how incredibly busy I was.  This, my excuse for not making step work a priority.  And I believed what I was saying.  Until a few days ago when I was on the computer playing spider solitaire (which I think may need to be uninstalled) and I realized, Oh, well here's some extra time I'm just wasting.

So, is it procrastination? Avoidance?  I don't know.  But I know that the more time I spend in the Word, the more enlightened and inspired I feel.  The more I allow myself to get trapped in pointless time sucks like Facebook or Words with Friends, the more blah I feel.  Hungry but not satisfied.

And there's a million things I should be feeling inspired about.  The kids are starting school, my own life is changing in a drastic and good way very soon and I have an opportunity I've only previously dreamed about.

Maybe I feel like I'm on hold.  Or in limbo.  The kids start school Friday.  I start my new endeavor next week and my dream opportunity is waiting only for me to finish the hard work.  And I keep thinking when all that starts, I'll get a new schedule, really get down to work. But that's a bit ridiculous.  So.....I'm posting.  Crap or not.  Because not doing so seems to leave me in a rut.

Or maybe I can get a job playing spider solitaire.

So, after I posted, I even found myself motivated to write poetry.  That's how the flow works.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The only thing that matters

"I care less and less what people think."

This line from an Ani Difranco song has stuck with me for years.  And the sentiment continues to actualize.  I don't think I mean it in quite as an arrogant of a way as it sounds.  In fact, I think that as we age, we should embrace a philosophy at least similar to this.  We have to grow out of that intense self-consciousness adopted somewhere in junior high. We have to grow into ourselves.

Part of this contemplation arises as I find myself  increasingly leaving the Christian 'box'.  I can no longer write or speak from a place of conformity or necessarily, to what I think the good Christians want to hear.  And yet, I also cannot be vague about the power of the gospel. It's a bit of a conundrum because who then is my audience?

There is so much more depth to Christianity than Christians want to confront.  And as a Christian faced with the failure of a marriage, I have to be honest enough to admit what God is showing me - that, in fact, He is still with me. And this merciful reality speaks so emphatically to my heart that I can't be quiet about the love I am receiving in spite of all that is transpiring.

So I was driving and thinking about all this, listening to worship music and suddenly I was overcome with the knowledge of why "I am not ashamed of the gospel

 because it is the ONLY thing that has the power to save"

 I know that I have been saved.  I know that He is here- with me.  He has used my pain to bless me with the experience of his presence and his comfort.

 Only when you are a sinner in need of this saving can you really appreciate this.  Yes, we're all sinners but how many of us know it?  Know it in the way that causes you to fall in love with Jesus. Knows it like the adulteress who Jesus saved from a stoning?  The knowing, is what finally, causes me to say, "He is mine".  Jesus is mine.  How then can I not talk about Him?

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

1 Corinthians 1:18 NKJV

So it seems, that no matter how much my self wants to plan what I'm going to say, consider the audience question, analyze what type of 'genre' I ought to be placed in, etc, my soul which is solely Jesus' possesses a louder voice.  And in the end, the only thing that really truly matters to me is God and sharing His love.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Not About Me

The sermon yesterday was called, "It's Not About You".

 I tend to forget this simple little fact.  Especially when life is not going the way I think it ought.  I needed the reminder.

Simply put, the pastor pointed out that taking up one's cross means dying to self which equates to the peace which surpasses all understanding.  Well, that sounds good.  So, why is it so hard?

"He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." John 12:25 NKJV


"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of bondservant...and He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death..."Philippians 2:5-8 NKJV

That's the mind we're to be in.  The mind which is willing to be of no reputation, the mind which will take the form of bondservant, and be humble enough to die to self.  The Greek word for reputation means 'to make empty'.  Wow.  I empty myself of self so Christ can live within.

This dying is how we know and how we show love

The pastor said that there is an outer shell to each of us which is our 'self' and inside is the Spirit.  But often the Spirit is not witnessed by others through us because the shell covering of us is hard. We need to allow God to break that shell and then people can see Jesus rather than us.  And we ought to allow this breaking happily.

And often, the best Christians do with this notion is create a religious hard shell.  Rather than dying to self, we just become religious.  Which is probably why the religious are not overly liked by the nonreligious. God still cannot be seen.  Hey look at religious me!  Oh, you want to see Jesus?  Well, look at religious ME!

"I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, that I might gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness...that I may know Him and the power of His Resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death." Philippians 3:8-10 NKJV

The King James Version says, "I count it dung".

Yeah, I should count it such but really, I've been holding onto my petty desires in this life,well, pretty much my whole life.

2 Corinthians 4 says that we are jars of clay, "always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh."

Always - that.  Always - that.  Daily.  So that....

Sounds like there's a connection between Jesus within me and me dying to self.

Here it is point blank:

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me..." Galatians 2:20 NKJV

Tall order.

Sounds like total surrender.  And many times, I don't even want to lose a stupid argument, let alone my whole life. He asks if I will give over my rights. If I will see that He has abundant life to give to me if I will just  turn over my will.  He doesn't say it will be easy.  He knows it won't.  But He knows it will be worth it.

Lord, I do not know what to ask of you; only you know what I need.  I simply present myself to you; I open my heart to you. I have no other desire than to accomplish your will.  Teach me to pray.  Amen.

-Francois Fenelon in Little Book of Prayers


Friday, July 6, 2012

Not In Charge

So Wednesday, I'm driving to the grocery store to pick up items for a Fourth of July party we were going to that night and it's raining.  In Arizona. And I'm wondering if the store will not be packed as it usually is on a holiday.  I arrive and find that it is, in fact, crowded.  And I suddenly recognize what a hopeful people we really are whether we realize it or not.  All of these people at the store, purchasing their holiday goods refusing to accept the fact that barbecues might be cancelled, swimming might be called off.  And I started to observe stranger's faces.  One man sort of wandered in the rain with a look of wonderment as he gazed at the sky.  A woman walked with a soft smile on her face.  The store was busy but not frenzied.  Going to and from the store to cars, people strolled rather than the rain.  Because it's Arizona.  We don't get much rain, you know.  And I felt like most other places, people would be grouchy about the turn of weather.  They would be irritated that the one day it decides to rain, would of course be a holiday.  But we wouldn't dare do that here.  And I just felt this sense that people were sort of confused. How were they supposed to feel about the rain?  They didn't have the right to complain but then again, they have plans tonight.  I sensed a sort of resignation.  A, "well, that's the way it goes" attitude.

I probably read way more into all this than was really there.  And the rain stopped before the evening celebrations.  And fourth of July went off wonderfully and much cooler than we could have anticipated.  And it was a gift.

God is in charge, people.  It rains.  On the righteous and the unrighteous alike.  Well then.  Okay.  He is God and we are not.  And look at that - He just might know what He's doing.

I'm going to try to remember this when the rain comes in my life.  When it looks like God just wants to ruin my little plans, I'm going to try to recall that the rain might be a gift.  That if I just walk slowly and trust, cooler temperatures and a nice breeze might accompany a firework show that blows my socks off.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Keeping Calm

"Lord, I have gone to you for safety.  Don't let me ever be put to shame.  Save me because You do what is right. Pay attention to me.  Come quickly to help me. Be the rock I go to for safety...Lead me and guide me for the honor of Your name...Into Your hands I commit my very life.  Lord, set me free.You are my faithful God....I will be glad and full of joy because You love me...My whole life is in Your hands...Let Your face smile on me with favor." From Psalm 31 NIRV

 Today marks a new beginning and the range of my emotions is vast.  I feel both relieved and scared. I am believing that the next six months will be better than the last. I am finally trusting that God has made the path clear and yet, I know that though I have been set free, this is an inexplicable knowledge not easily translated and if I've ever needed to cling, it is now.

The 'today' I spoke of was Monday.  Today it is Wednesday.  Happy 4th of July!  

I've been doing a lot of this lately - starting a post and finding difficulty in finishing.  It could be writer's block but I suspect the block is more circumstantial than anything else.  I still find it a bit challenging to not only know what to reveal during these times of change, but also to just allow myself to feel it enough to write it.

But today, I woke up....happy. It's a feeling I haven't fully experienced in a bit. I've felt moments of peace and serenity, I've been able to laugh and I've attempted something close to hope but happiness has somewhat eluded me through this process.

But here it was this morning!  

"Weeping may remain for a night but rejoicing comes in the morning."  Psalm 30:5 NIV1984 

Maybe, it's that today is a day of freedom. While we celebrate our country's freedom, I'm also celebrating my freedom in Christ- freedom from the bondage of sin.  It could also be the weather.  I was up early and it is cool and breezy.  It even sprinkled for just a few minutes.  

"Be glad...rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness, He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before."  Joel 2:23 NIV1984

Summer showers, too!  There is a fresh season settling, and many changes already underfoot. I have that slightly giddy sensation that flutters to the stomach when you know everything's going to get turned around.  

It feels like a new year.  So, happy independence day and happy new year!

Source: via Nicole on Pinterest

Saturday, June 30, 2012

I Might Become A Nun

"And when we can say to God, 'O, You my joy!' or when you can say, 'O you the pain of my life, O you who are standing in the midst of it as a torment, as a problem, as a stumbling block!' or when we can address Him with violence, then we have established a relationship of prayer."

- From Beginning to Pray but Anthony Bloom

I read this as good news.

In many ways, it's difficult to understand speaking in such a manner to He from whom all blessings flow....and then again, there are times when ranting is our only language with a God we cannot understand.  Far better to rant than to ignore.  I believe that these crying out times are healing times as well as times of purification.  To be honest and raw means we care, that we have not given up the search.  That we recognize that there is meaning to life and we want in on it.

I got off the floor this last week.  I decided my tantrum had gone on quite long enough.  But this does not mean, I've felt no disturbance toward God.  And yes, it's been toward God.

I think that when much has been stripped from us, we come to a place with God where we say, "Fine...but now what?"  And then there's often silence.  "O, You the pain of my life!  Can't you give me a little glimpse of how it's going to be all right?"

My faith tells me that it will be.  My mind grows anxious wondering how it can be.

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.-Philippians 4:6-7

A lot of Christians jokingly say that they're afraid if they give over their entire life to God, He'll send them to Africa.  Confession:  I'm afraid He'll call me into nunhood.  I probably get a little ahead of myself in my worry.  Rather than staying in today I obsess over the Teresa's.  I remember saying when I was twenty that I wanted to be like Mother Teresa, dedicate my life to helping those in need.  And then I worry that God was recording that wacky statement to use against me later.  And now, reading bits of Teresa of Avila's story, I'm hoping God is not calling me to anything similar.

And, oh yeah....I'm not Catholic and I have children.  

But this is how my brain works.  It likes to take things to the extreme.  It has me plotting a premeditated resentment toward God for causing me to be single for the rest of my ever living life. O, You the pain of my life!  That's what you want for me?  That's what I do- take my fear and escalate it to the nth degree. 

But another confession is that I've always been drawn to the idea of complete devotion to God.  Which is ultimately a good thing.  And so I relate this week when, for class, I read,A New England Nun  and Long Day's Journey into Night

But how much of this comes from true reliance on my Maker rather than frustration with and fear of man? 

 In a way the whole thought process is somewhat silly and humorous but in another way it seems to prove how very small my speculations might be in comparison to what all God really has planned for me.

Therefore Lord, not only are you that than which a greater cannot be thought but you are also something greater than can be thought.
-Anselm of Canterbury

And yet still, it's proof that in my very heart of hearts, I know Jesus is the one for me.  This very longing for Him even pitted against fleshy fears shows me how deeply in love with Him I have always been.  That ultimately I am His.  And whether He truly calls me sometime in the future to sacrifice the notion of marital love or bestows upon me an earthly man equally in love with God, today I know that God's love is sufficient.  Today I will rest on the image of Christ as bridegroom.

Source: via Nicole on Pinterest

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Rants and Silence

"In the states that confront the world at this time the confusion is augmented if you have within you a spirit of anger and resentment...."

-Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood

Anger and resentment.  Dangerous places to be.  For me, these emotions or feelings can become places.  Places where I get comfy.  Where I take up residence. My confession is that I did not know this until recently.  I think I used to be under some deception that I was a person who forgave easily.  God has allowed such to occur that that fallacy was straight stripped. I was 'thinking' about forgiving someone recently and found myself saying to God, "How can I forgive this?"  The smallness of this question was shown me immediately.  Am I kidding? As if this person has done to me anymore than what we all have done to God.  How prideful must I be to assume that the wrongs done me are greater than the wrongs which brought the crucifixion.  Seriously.  In this perspective, I was able to see that if Jesus forgives us for all that then who am I to hold onto the petty grievances I think I've endured.  This sort of compounds something I realized while sharing at a meeting last night.  I spoke of how easily I can drift into self-pity, woe is me, my life is worse than anyone else's, no one understands, whine, complain, etc.  Sheesh. Embarrassing.

In, My Utmost for His Highest - Deluxe (DELUXE CHRISTIAN CLASSICS), Oswald Chambers asks, "How long is it going to take God to free us from the morbid habit of thinking about ourselves?  We must get sick unto death of ourselves until there is no longer any surprise at anything God can tell us about ourselves. We cannot touch the depths of meanness in ourselves.There is only one place where we are right, and that is in Christ Jesus."

That guy tells it like it is.

And if you want to read about another guy who wallowed in self-pity, check out Lamentations.  I read chapter three from that book today and got the distinct feeling that Jeremiah was placing a lot of blame on God. I tried to read some commentary but all I found were statements like this:   " As an individual expresses the grief of the community, hope and consolation are sustained by a knowledge of God’s compassionate love."

Read it for yourself but I found that only about one in twenty or so lines, expressed hope.  The rest just sounded angry and bitter.  To me, it reads like a pissed off letter listing injustices and yet one of the best verses finds its way into this litany:  "...for His mercies never end.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!"Lamentations 3:23 HCSB

Maybe the point is that we're allowed to rant to God.  Not that we should but that sometimes in our limited human knowledge, it can look like even God is against us. And far better to rail at Him for a time than ignore Him. And maybe it is in this honesty, that He will find an avenue to finally still us, hush us, where we can see more clearly who's really to blame. And in His presence we can face that truth about ourselves and accept His mercy.  Then, we can ask for the ability to extend that mercy to others.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Am I Done Yet?

Rereading Hinds' Feet On High Places, because I need those hind's feet and I need to leave the fear behind.

Realizing the need to just call on the Shepherd and cease fighting in my flesh.  Because that's exactly what I've been doing.  Fighting principalities with faulty flesh and wondering why I'm being wounded.

In Hurnard's allegory, The Shepherd asks Much-Afraid if Love has been planted in her heart. Because she knows that He sees her heart, she chooses to answer honestly, finally saying, "I think that what is growing there is a great longing to experience the joy of natural, human love and to learn to love supremely one person who will love me in return.  But perhaps, that desire, natural and right as it seems is not the love of which you are speaking?"

This is not a page I noted when I read this book first three years ago. But this passage seems very truthful now of the delusion of love I have been holding in my heart.  The mistaken notion that I can settle for human love and keep divine love on some sideline.

And too, I have not yet accepted the thorn which must be planted for True Love to grow.

I'm coming to realize that in my own quest for this human love, I was also somehow not giving love. Because though I knew God, I had not acknowledged certain truths. I was trapped in a cycle of self-protection which blocked me from loving people outside of my own frame of reference, without conditions.  It's what Walker Percy refers to as 'the great suck of self'.

" turbulent times when your mind is image making, you whip and drum up the issues to such an extent that  the excitement gets out of control and the mind and emotions race hysterically."

-Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood

I have been switching from this frenzy mode to a kind of despondence. I can feel it.  And it's a dangerous place to be.  It means that I'm caving to self-pity and then letting that woe-is-me thought life to propel me into that futile flesh fight for my own rights.

 Talking to a friend the other day, she gave me a great image of a Christian slumped in defeat on the floor but then with a mighty roar  rising victoriously.  This, she said, is when the angels rejoice.  It was a powerful image, but I see myself slumped on the floor, or alternately kicking and writhing on the floor in tantrum mode, not really wanting to get up yet.

I am wallowing a bit in that hazardous hole.  I am grading tragedies. In that absorption of oneself, I read on Facebook that someone is battling breast cancer....her husband is taking her to the hospital. I focus on the word husband and promptly decide that I would rather have cancer and a husband than be divorced.  A few statuses down I read about a man with a spinal cord injury and decide that well, at least divorce is better than being paralyzed.   And so my own pain is now the source by which I judge everything.  And this is not good.  This lacks true compassion and even true perspective.

My friend says that God observing heap that I am on the floor, only smiles and says, "Are you done yet?  We have stuff to do."

I should get up.  I'm thinking about it.

Monday, June 18, 2012


My devotion this morning convicts.  Perhaps, I read as many as I need to per day until I find one which does. I am searching desperately these days. And this one, it speaks of the silence I've been experiencing. And it suggests that maybe, when in the past I felt closer to God, thought I could hear Him clearer, it was because I was fervent about what I was praying about - but not truly fervent about God Himself.

I think about Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir and how I had become a gold-digger with God, crying that He ought to give me the desires of my heart.  And when He said no, rather than submitting, I replaced one false god for another.  I tried to include the real God in my faulty plans, asking Him to bless my waywardness.  But it doesn't work like that.  And so I have learned that God can and will pull the rug out from under me, when necessary.  And that this can actually be an answer to prayer.  The problem is only when I refuse to see it as such.  When God is answering with a less than desirable answer and I cover my ears, and like a child, chant, " I can't hear you", well, sometimes He will take drastic measures to ensure that I do hear.  This, is in reality, true love.  It is the allowance of His truth to prevail.  It is protection and provision.  The assurance, once again, that He is in control, not me.

There have been some mighty tough lessons, of late.  But I'm feeling like I'm beginning to get the message.  Beginning to understand that I cannot lean upon my own understanding.  That all I can do is for real cling.  Not cling to my own demands and self-righteous prayers but cling to the God Who works in mysterious ways and with a timing not subject to my wishes, Who sees the beginning from the end and asks me to trust that though His ways are not my ways, they are better.  And that all will be well.

Count it all joy, my brothers,[b] when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.-James 1:2-4 ESVUK

I have not been counting it joy.  And if it's been a test, I've gotten a C- at best, thus far.  Steadfastness as defined by The Free Dictionary means, steady: fixed, firmly loyal or unswerving.  Well, I've swerved under this and I have not been slow to speak nor slow to anger.  In fact, there are so many ways I have refused to accept this trial as a blessing or as a learning opportunity.

But the amazing thing about my God is that He remains faithful even when I do not. He is unchanging while I waver.  And His mercies are new every morning. And today, I am standing on His promises.  I am receiving His love and His provision. I am refusing any longer to align my thoughts in agreement with condemnation because there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  I am believing that He will turn my mourning into dancing and that I am stepping into a new season, leaving tears behind. I have to say it here because I have to say it everywhere.  I know the truth and I am not ashamed of the gospel and the good news is good news because it means that I am loved and that I am forgiven and that all things will be made new.

We sang last night at service:  "We anticipate the inevitability of the supernatural intervention of the Lord"

I have to anticipate this, stand on His word, hope, believe and share because it is the only thing which has the power to save and if this trial has brought me to that realization and these words then I will count it all joy.

Source: via Jessica on Pinterest

Friday, June 15, 2012

Clinging or Compromising

Being justified therefore by faith, let us have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ:
By whom also we have access through faith into this grace, wherein we stand, and glory in the hope of the glory of the sons of God.
And not only so; but we glory also in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience trial; and trial hope;
And hope confoundeth not: because the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us.
Romans 5 DRA

I find myself here today when I should be at my school site, answering the question of how Native Americans and African Americans dealt with the issue of Christianity as it related to White society....because my own current question of the day is how as a woman separated from her husband, I am to deal with the issue of Christianity as it relates to American/Christian society.
I went to the bookstore yesterday because that's one of the things I do when I'm crying out to God for an answer or a response or a sign of some sort and I'm getting nothing.  I browse other's words, hoping for some insight or truth to get me through. And I walked out with: Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life  by Kathleen Norris; The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth by Gerald G. May;No Man Is an Island (Shambhala Library) by Thomas Merton and the one I went in for -Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren Winner.

I think there was a theme, here.  It's not so much that I'm questioning God's existence.  It's that I'm questioning His seeming silence, His apparent allowance of my enemies to prevail,    If He is truth, why do I keep hearing the lies of the enemy?  If light has more power than darkness, why is the atmosphere dim? If I am free, why do I feel condemned?

And in a way, I know the answer to these questions. And I know that much, I have brought upon myself. That I forsook my first love.  That I allowed strongholds to take root.  I ignored the warning signs.  I became unfocused and searched for healing where there was none. Wrote words for peccary and pittances. And  out of self-pity.  I turned out of fear of my own sin.  Because as Winner writes, "my sense of myself as a Christian had become so wrapped up with my sense of myself as a wife that to question one was to question the other." 

 I read those words and I realize the dilemma in that.  The pride.  That marriage had become my god.  And I had developed pre-meditated resentments toward God as I prayed for my own will rather than His.  And so faced with my own disappointment and failure, I listened to the world's words rather than the Word.  I soaked up false niceties, stunned when they proved lacking.  

I thought I was clinging but now see that I was compromising.  And so now I confess.  

"I think of the Hasidic rabbi petitioning God for the gift of prayer, asking until such time as I can pour out my heart like water before You, let me at least pour out my words" -Lauren Winner

So I'm pouring words as prayers now rather than defenses.  Rather than cases, I'm making pleas.  I'm choosing to believe that I:

 may be able to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth, and length, and height, and depth:
19 To know also the charity of Christ, which surpasseth all knowledge,
-Ephesians 3
that Jesus loves me - as I am.  For how can I extend grace if I haven't accepted it? And the world needs grace.  It needs patience and love an prayer.  And if my pain and my new understandings have been purposed so that I might share with others, then who am I to question this?
I remember the lyrics to the Christmas song, "Away in a Manger" and I rest on the knowledge that when I sang this song year after year at Lutheran school, Christ heard me and answered.
Be near me, Lord Jesus,
I ask Thee to stay,
Close by me forever,
and love me, I pray!
Bless all the dear children
in Thy tender care
And take us to heaven,
to Live with Thee there.
And so today, as I find comfort in the words of others who have tread through that dark night and stood looking at the frightening face of a middle, I pray that God would show Himself in a real way to all those out there who are being tested now and who feel that awful silence, that they would know how deeply they are loved and that He does work all things together for good.

Monday, June 11, 2012

There are things that no one tells you, that go along with this whole mess.  They don't say, (or say,well) that there's this huge collaboration of mixed emotions, that depression sort of lurks around the corner and it requires extreme vigilance to keep her at bay, or, most importantly, that when a marriage suffers to this extent, motherhood also gets a little shaky.

Carving out the motherhood against the singleness is a whole new ball game.  Because before, something was established.  Even if only in ideal.  But what is this new ground?  How do we all fit in or around each other now?  How many days can I play the giving-myself-grace card and feed them fast food? With each tantrum,  I now wonder if it has happened because of what has happened.  What do these kids really think? What do I really think?

Carving out really, everything, against this new circumstance is tricky:  Should I write to heal or heal before I write? 

Well, I'm here.  So....

I guess I'm banking on the idea that maybe, there's just a few others out there who have tread this ground before me or someday will in the future.  And the bottom line is that it's my truth now.  It's a truth, like the need for me to write is a truth.  Another truth is that I keep coming here drafting a paragraph or so and saving, then adding later because I'm scared.  Scared to voice what's going on, to admit that I still believe God is beautifying me because I hear in my head the mockers, see their fingers pointing, screaming that women whose marriages don't work out don't have the right to talk about God.  Not in the Christian world.  But maybe I don't want part of the American/Christian world anymore.  Maybe I just want to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling, away from the voices of judgement.  And maybe, I want to just share that little sliver of truth because I know that I'd appreciate reading it from someone else.

"I know that help is waiting only for my acceptance, waiting for me to say, 'Not my will but Thine be done'"

Grateful for:

the fact that, though, "We are experiencing all kinds of trouble, but we aren’t crushed. We are confused, but we aren’t depressed. We are harassed, but we aren’t abandoned. We are knocked down, but we aren’t knocked out."

messages only for me
purple flowers
not parenting alone
childlike faith
the scales falling off
a building of confidence
believing and accepting the truth