Friday, November 29, 2013



by friends who don't judge...
who will pack boxes,
sift through garbage,
load a truck,
move furniture,
help me with the yucky jobs,
and make me laugh as I try not to puke while doing a really yucky one.

friends who didn't run
when I said I needed help.
some who stepped up
before I even asked.

very thankful for everything God is doing in my life and a chance to be a testimony that He really can help change every part of a life... even if doing so means those friends have to see the 'before' that I keep trying to hide...

Monday, November 25, 2013

One day at a time

I hear your stories
"eight years ago I decided"
"twelve years ago God saved"
"it's been twenty-nine years since"
and while I can clearly see
God's hand on my life
throughout my many years
living in "Christian Lite" mode,
I can truly only say
"nine months ago I realized"
and then admit
that I am still battling
so much
one day at a time.
Some days I don't feel
I can make it to one year
much less to eight, twelve, or twenty-nine. 
But instead of giving up
I just keep placing one foot
in front of the other,
believing there will be ground
where I set my foot down next
"He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand." (Psalm 40:2)

He is my strength for today.
Every day.
“My grace is sufficient for you, 
for My power is made perfect 
in your weakness.”  (2 Corinthians 12:9)

I am beginning to realize that struggling with my humanity is not dependent on how well life is going from one moment to the next. Just because I have been blessed abundantly by God, doesn't mean I don't still have issues and flaws and junk in me... I still need His help... daily.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

He was listening

Have you ever asked for something in passing, even half-joking, or maybe just not expecting to get it, only to be surprised when it is given to you later? God does that for me.

Sometimes, in the midst of something else I will make a comment about what I wish I could have or do. Because it is almost always something little I never really think much of it. At least, not until that moment when, down the road a bit, the thing that I wanted is dropped into my lap and the moment I mentioned it pops into my mind. Not just a reminder that He loves me, but a reminder that He is LISTENING to me... all the time.

I've quickly come to learn that just because He is listening, it doesn't mean He will give me what I want at the moment I ask. In fact, over and over God has shown me that if I am willing to wait for things, He will give them to me in ways that I have never imagined.

 This week I saw New York. I rode the subway. I visited Times Square. I ate a gyro from a sidewalk vendor. I ran in Central Park. I stayed at a very nice hotel. I made strangers smile. I did amazing things for which I was totally thankful. But that "I was listening" moment came again while I was there.

 Eight weeks ago I was feeling weak in so many areas of my life. I wrote a very unfiltered and honest blog post called "Tired" . In the post, one of the things that I said I wanted was a bubble bath. A small comfort on a day that I was feeling my lowest, and not something that is possible in our current home.

At my hotel in New York I slipped into the tub and took a deep breath and said, "Thank you, Lord." and while I didn't hear a thing, I felt the words... "See? I was listening." I knew immediately what He was referring to and tears overflowed in an instant, tears of thanks...

Eight weeks ago I was struggling through a mess of things and while He knew that all of this was going to happen, He also knew that I had to struggle through it if I was going to come out stronger on the other side. His "I was listening" wasn't just about the bath. He heard it all. He knew and understood and loved me in the midst of my tiredness, and rejoiced that I was struggling instead of giving in.

He just wanted to make sure that I knew that.

Yes, God is doing some big, huge, amazing things... but the ways that He most reminds me that He cares about me and what I'm thinking and what I'm feeling and what I need and what I want... is when He does something little... and every so often, He does that something little in a big way.

But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. 
Psalm 66:19

For they cried to the God in the battle, and He was entreated of them; because they put their trust in Him. 1 Chronicles 5:20

Before they call I will answer;
    while they are still speaking I will hear.
Isaiah 65:24 


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I can't ask

I can't ask You
to close the doors
to paths I should avoid
and open the doors
to the paths You have planned for me,
if I am going to stand outside
the open door and ask,
"Are you sure?"
"Did you leave this one open on purpose?"
"Is this a test?"

If I have faith
that You would open and close doors at all
I have to also have faith
that You love me enough
not to lead me astray,
especially when
my greatest desire
is Your will for my life.

If you give me a story,
I will share it.
However You wish.
Wherever You wish.
Whenever You wish.

But I also have to ask You
to please be the One who gives me
the right words
at the right time
to share it with those
who need it the most.

Thank You for giving me a story.
Thank You for being my strength for today.
Thank You for reminding me tonight
that You will also be my strength for tomorrow...
but I don't need
to think about that
until tomorrow.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Wanting to do the right thing

There are things in life
that you to learn to enjoy
that you learn to think are acceptable
that you even learn to think are desirable
and from time to time
you wonder why
these acceptable,
desirable things
seem to be messing up your life.

When the decision is made
to live a life
that is pleasing to God
casting off the old ways
can feel wonderful.
You know you are starting
a new journey.
You know you are starting
a new life.

The problem is
that just because God says
"I don't like that"
it doesn't flip a switch
in your brain
to make you hate
the things you used to love.

So as time goes by
and temptations arise
the new creation that you are
will not automatically
reject the old.
That comes with practice
and vigilance
and prayers of protection
for your mind and body.

Stay in the word.
Keep your mind on right things.
Keep company with those who will not lead you into temptation.
Pray that His will becomes yours.
And know that wanting to do the right thing
and choosing to do the right thing
is not the same as
hating the things of the past.

And while that may come with time
making the choice to do the "right" thing
in the face of tempation
is also learned.
So you can't be discouraged
when you are tempted
or when you catch yourself
thinking about the wrong things.
God sees the progress you have made
since you first turned your life around.

You are going to be okay.
You are going to succeed.
You can do this.
He wouldn't ask you to do it if you couldn't.
He just wants you to rely on Him.

And know that the "you" I am talking to here, might be you... but really, it is me.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4: 14-16
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philipians 4:8

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Can you hear Me now?

"What's that?
You think I'm ignoring you
that I'm trying to teach you a lesson
with My silence?
You want clear answers?
Did you really tell someone
that you think I'm being a jerk?
Just because I'm not ready
to give you an answer
doesn't mean
I'm not listening.
Just because I'm not
giving you an answer
doesn't mean
I'm not talking to you.
Maybe you aren't listening
Do you need some proof?
Do you need something bigger?
Do you need something clearer?
Here ya' go..."

I am so thankful for a pastor
who will scrap a whole sermon
at the last minute
and go a different direction
because God is telling him to.
I'm sure I'm not the only one
who needed to hear it
but I do know it was for me.

Because that's when I heard
what I needed to hear.
Not the answers I wanted...
but the acknowledgement I needed.
Because while I was asking for
big, clear answers...
neon signs and 2x4's
what I really wanted to know
was that He was really there.
That He is fighting for me.

He is. He is fighting me, for me.

I still didn't get the answers I felt like I needed.

Instead it occurred to me that if He isn't giving me an answer at this very moment, maybe it means that I don't need one. Is it possible that He has some confidence in my decision making skills?
I'm still waiting for some big answers, but I can decide to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward without worrying that I'm doing something wrong... as long as I'm keeping my eyes and heart focused on Him... so that I'm ready when the answers do come.

You know, just in case there is no actual flashing neon sign or 2x4s that smack me upside the head...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

But you would have none of it

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it." Isaiah 30:15
Oh sure, pick those...
quietness and trust.
Surely You meant that verse for someone else?
Can't imagine You would
pick two of the most difficult
things for me...
and expect me to do them.
Okay, I get it.
I think.
I'll be quiet now.
Just know I'm not very good at either one...
      but I did say anything
            so I won't just ignore this.

Friday, November 1, 2013


My codependent nature makes me seek out people when I am hurting...
and not always in the healthiest ways.
But because my promises made a lot of things off-limits.
Now, I want to talk.
I want to argue.
I want to know someone cares.
I want to people to make me feel better.
But I know that isn't the way it is supposed to work.
So I'm writing more today.
Trying to bother people less.

I've written a bunch of other posts. But tonight I am just saving them and going to sleep.

Maybe tomorrow things will look better.

My only hope at this point is that someday down the road I will look back at so many negative posts in a row and understand what it is I don't understand yet.

Tonight Francis Chan says, "The frustrating part about receiving wisdom from God... there is nothing anyone can do to make you get it."

No eye has seen. No ear has heard.

John 6:63 It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh is of no help at all.

This makes us all dependent on Him for our answers.

I hate depending on others for anything.
They never come through.
I KNOW they will never come through
but I go ahead and believe in them
give everyone the benefit of the doubt
and I pay for it in the end.
Every Time.

Stop making me trust blindly
I need the sky to open up and rain 2x4s
I need a flashing neon sign
I need something to make sense.

I don't just need you to fight for me.

I still love You

I want you to know
I still love You.
I get that everything
that happens is important
in some way,
whether it is important
to me or to someone else.
I get that You are in charge
of the universe.
So You get to make the decisions,
not me.
I'm okay with that too.
I'm not that good at it.
It's all Yours.
The reason I'm telling You this?
I don't want there to be any mistake
about the fact that I love You when I say
I just don't like You very much at the moment.

You aren't supposed to love like anyone else.
Your love is supposed to be different.
But I've been here before
and it feels the same.
This relationship got serious and
I told You everything I have is Yours.
I told You I would do whatever You want me to do.
You just have to be really, really clear...
and then You stopped talking to me.
Why? I'll probably never know...
     that's how you guys do things.
No, You don't owe me anything.
Not even answers.

I still love You. I just don't like You right now.
When You decide to talk to me again
I'll be here waiting. I'm not going anywhere.
Supposedly, I'm doing great...
but please just don't wait too much longer,
because I can't hold all of this together on my own.
Who am I kidding? "All of this?"
I can't even hold myself together on my own.