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Bravery to Wait

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Graduation Speech

To all the Graduates this Year:

It is my ten year college graduation reunion this year, and it's been ten years of running without stopping. Until now.  I'm learning a different way.  My hope is that you can take my lessons with you into your first season in the real world rather than learn the hard way.

Fill your life with the abundance of Christ and work from the overflow.  It's really the only way.  I've done some of the currently recognized "noble pursuits" of today's Christian culture, each so needed and important, but the world applauds performance and our Christian communities uphold martyrdom and a loss of healthy balance as signs of sainthood, so if you're like me, you're already set up to crash.  Don't. Cling to the abundant life.

And bring your whole self not to the world but to Jesus. When He said to lose your life to find it, He didn't mean you should lose your connection to Him.  He didn't mean you lose your self, the on…

Painted Scars

I’m more comfortable in my own skin already.  It surprises me how quickly an entire earth has shifted beneath me, and with it, my heart, desire, my very soul.  I’m learning so much every day, but it isn’t the kind of learning that happens at a conference, in a seminar, during an internship.  It’s the learning that comes from tasting life in it’s purest moments and being able to hear the soundtrack of His voice.  I don’t know how to get a degree in that other than right here where I am.  Every breath I take is no longer in preparation for the next; it is for that very moment.  A gift to me, and a gift to those around me.  Giving and receiving. Being present in a full way. I used to stop and play with my daughter, but it was beneath a heavy cloud of impending rain, dense with moisture and a heavy darkness. Now, I can stoop down and color or play with a free heart, in tune to the smallest details I may have missed before.  Because I’ve shown up to the party.  I’m 100% here, and it feels…

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…

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…