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Empire State of Mind

There’s been a failure narrative running in the background of my life for a long time now; it is one that I have allowed, fed, and unknowingly fallen prey to time and again.
There was this time in 7th grade at a new school one hundred times bigger than my last, where I tripped over my insanely dorky shoes and fell on my face immediately upon entrance to the stadium-sized lunch room.  Talk about an audience...and entrance.  And yes, if you know me, I suppose I have made a habit of tripping at inopportune times; I believe my lack of coordination also clearly defines my life. 

Needless to say, falling on my face in front of crowds is not fun.  Not only is not fun, it has become something I seriously avoid.  Even if it means I hesitate a little too long before stepping or I run in the other direction.  But what I am starting to learn is that not every failure is worn on your face … because I am just not as powerful or in control as I imagine myself to be, as much as I want to be sometim…
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organic mercies

"For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah." 1 Kings 17:16
Today is a day of new beginnings and also endings, and I'm swimming in the emotion of it all.  This sweet summer, my favorite one probably ever, has officially come to an end and with it, a new layer for me of settling into a new life.  During summer, we are all just passers-by - here today, gone tomorrow. But now, the return of normal for all is swarming around me as I adjust again to my new normal. Sending our baby off to preschool.  Sending my best friend off to teach Geometry, Pre-Calc, and a new football season. And we used to do it all just in the blur.  Last summer, it was me who had never stopped for was me inviting them back to normal along with me.  Back to the races. Not this year. The rain is falling outside the window, and the quiet is loud, and I am grateful as I reflect on the story of our summer, I am…

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…