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Less & Free

Who takes off all their clothes and stands in the middle of town?  Maybe someone whose body has it all together will do so in Europe or NYC (true story - they paint bodies on time square now) but what about the ones of us who have all the flaws and even an ounce of modesty in our bones? 
I’m not so sure it was such a good idea to get completely naked with this…in this little self-renovation-project.  All my coping mechanisms, all the things I surround myself with, all the things I busy myself with, all the drama I distract myself with, all the people I partially please…it feels like it’s all been…making me a better me somehow. Maybe the best self I've been able to be.  It definitely feels better than I am going to feel without any of it, standing here alone and naked in the world, right?
You are not alone.
But don’t we have to get all the way down to the nitty gritty?  And who I am wearing all my protective gear and uniforms may be good, but I must believe it is not better.  In fact…
Recent posts

Naked in Eden

To any who choose to read, I plead, please hold my heart so carefully in your hands, because the walls are thin and fragile today.
I’m writing to you from Eden, you know…the place where God meets us face to face, where we are naked and unashamed?  The place we are stripped of everything this world has to offer and it is just me and God in the perfectly breezy and comfortable afternoon air.  But just as Eve would have had it, you haven’t found me walking quietly in the afternoon, hand-in-hand with God.  I’m over here hiding because I’m naked and exposed. Stripped of the identities and roles I’ve worn and back to just being His, I feel completely undone. 
I took a group of youth several years ago to a conference and the week-long theme was Undone.  I didn’t get it then, but now I do.  David Crowder has always had that song, too: I’m-coming-un-done!  And I sang right through that verse.  But now I am. I am the one coming undone. 
It was Easter weekend when I knew with clarity and a pe…

2017 Forecast

It has become culturally taboo to actually set New Year's resolutions, and I have not set out to do so. It has never really been my practice to develop any, either.  I have a hard enough time dealing with my inability to reach my own expectations of perfection; the last thing I need are more unrealistic expectations for myself.  No dead-end diets here or fix-yourself-in-three-easy-steps.  However, let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.  Setting unrealistic, "change-my-life-overnight" goals is not equivalent to reflecting and processing the last year while putting skin on the values and priorities I desire for the next year.  And let's just say this New Year came at just the right time, because I was definitely in need of some refocusing, recentering, and reconnecting with the One who makes us all new.

LAST YEAR. 2016. This last year has taken it out of me.  There have been some great highs and wonderful memories, but there have been some valleys and pe…

I am the branch.

And she unloaded it on me faster than I had time to shut my door to contain it. More life in her 15 years than in my 31, and by life, of course I mean, the brokenness and humanity of it all...the pain...the "that should never have happened to you, hun"s and the "that should never have been asked or expected of you"s or just the red welling up in the eyes and the spontaneous waterfalls over the lids. It was so loud and rowdy, the spilling of the story, the sharing of life. But it was the birth of relationship and trust. Painful laboring. Bittersweet bonding. Blame, despair, then hope. Clinging to the hope. 
I need Him like that. Rephrase: I need to need Him like that. I need to spill it all at His feet without warning or restraint. I need to unload all the brokenness and humanity in me before Him. I need to make the space for the red eyes and waterfalls. I need to re-establish my safe place where I draw the joy, the strength. Because she did, she drew the hope, the j…

TOP 10 WORKING MOM SURVIVAL TIPS

Timehop told me today that it's been two years since the anxiety was wrecking me of my maternity leave ending and the life of a working mom beginning. (Thanks by the way to all of you who walked that road with me. God bless that broken road that led me straight to you.)
Upon this reflection, I realized all that had changed in two short years and how we'd made a life out of this working mom situation and how I've grown to truly love my life. 
A few minutes later, I had this.
TOP 10 WORKING MOM SURVIVAL TIPS: 
1. Accept YOUR STORY. As soon as I compare myself to another mom, I typically throw myself into a tizzy. I've slowly come to realize that the only story I can live is mine (and that I'm not even writing it)! And I've fallen in love with it. I'm a 5:00pm mommy (there's only a small club of babies picked up at the late hour of 5:00pm and mine is one of them), and I don't really love it; I accept it. Noelle is a 5:00 baby but she's also a well-love…

Boxes of People & Oceans of Grace

So, there are these boxes.  Our homes are filled with them, our workplaces, our churches, our Facebook pages, our hashtags, and most deeply, our relationships.  The boxes are what we build around the people in our lives.  We want them to stay inside; we need them to stay within the box's limits.  Letting people out of the confines we put them in is risky, dangerous, and mostly outright terrifying.  Because more than anything, we are all looking for some control and to know what the heck is going on in this world and where there is safety and where it makes sense.  And eliminate the mess.  So, the boxes.  They let us stack people neatly, cleanly, efficiently...and it allows us to keep people exactly where we want them.  It helps us feel that we are, after all, exactly who we want to be. In a room of boxed up people, the risks involved in relationships shrink dramatically because the unknown can't be explored within a box.  We won't be wrong about them if they are crammed in…

#Anything

My Anything is this transient, fluid thing that has worn many different faces over the years as I have tried (and so many times failed) to align my life with the Lord in some kind of radical obedience to His much higher Way. 
My first real encounter with Anything and living life as that prayer was more than 15 years ago when I was a freshman in high school. After close to 8 school changes due to moving, I was finally at a school I would be able to return to the next year and hopefully graduate from. But the Lord blaringly and very clearly showed me that He had a different plan and it would be best for me to follow suit. So from private to public school it was and another transition for me that opened the door to so much good. 
Years later, during my college graduation season, my undergraduate "plans" of attending seminary/graduate school to become a therapist or social worker were hijacked by Anything. Despite the acceptance letters, extensive graduate school visitations, and …