Thursday, May 29, 2014

Another vote for celibacy

He often told her he
loved her, missed her,
found her irresistible...

She had moved on,
was seeing someone else.
He wouldn't stop flirting,
stopping by, making her laugh.

To be honest, she hadn't
discouraged him enough.
"Stop" only worked temporarily.
Ignoring him only encouraged him.

Until the day he overheard her tell a friend she was very late.
Looking back, she says, pregnancy was not logically even possible
But they weren't completely innocent and there was enough doubt to scare him.

Instead of "I meant it when I said I love you. It's not ideal, but we'll get through it together."
She heard "If you are, I'll take care of my responsibility" then "I wish I could wake up and this was all a dream" then later "I feel like I want to die."

He had often told her he
loved her, missed her,
found her irresistible...

Until he realized it might be forever.

I have permission to write about this
but it doesn't really matter who they are.
This could be anybody's story.
The good news for them
is that it was a false alarm.
They are both free of each other.

Not everyone is so lucky...

Celibacy is looking better and better to me...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Under my own power

Today, when anxiety overtook me, I laid down on my bed for a few minutes and lost two hours... a friend I reached out to sent me a reminder about a verse I needed.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
 ~Philippians 4:6-7

I prayed and started to feel a bit better, though not completely, but decided it was time to get back to life.

I ran to the store, came home and made the kids dinner. For myself I made a huge plate of veggies and hummus to help counter-act the last several days of not really caring much about what I was eating. (Seriously, I ate a small cake*, all by myself, a bite at a time**, over the last four days... I wasn't going to admit that, but hey, it's a blog about accountability... I kinda have to!***)

Then, realizing I also hadn't been on the bike in a week, I took off after dinner for a quick ride.

Honestly, I don't know much about the technical aspects of a mountain bike. When I started riding again several weeks ago, I hadn't been on the bike in at least three years. I know nothing about the gears on my bike. My first time back out, I played with them a little and found a setting that works okay for uphill and a setting that works better for downhill. Since then I've pretty much stuck with them. Uphill, click click, downhill, click click.

Tonight I set out, praise and worship music in my earbuds and the GPS set to record my ride. Uphill first, click click, then a downhill, click click, followed by a lot of uphill click click. Around the one mile mark I started to think maybe I should not try to break the 5mile mark today. Maybe I should turn around and go home soon. Then, just to see what would happen I started clicking through my gears.

Click click, pedal pedal pedal, nope.
Click click, pedal pedal pedal, hmm.
Click click, pedal pedal pedal... hey now, this isn't so bad...
Lets try... click click, pedal pedal pedal... this might work...

Wait, what? I just hit two miles? I think I could really do this next half mile or so before I turn around. I kept pedaling and ended up going over the three mile mark before turning around to head home because it was getting late... not because I was tired or worn out.

As I headed back home, click click click click click (mostly downhill) I was pretty proud of the distance I'd covered thanks to figuring out those gears. Then a thought occurred to me, "Hmm, how long have I been laboring up these hills on this trail under my own power when I had help right there that I wasn't using?"

I had the power of the gears right there, at my disposal, but I was comfortable with the way I had been doing things before. It wasn't that I didn't have faith the gears would help, I just wasn't even trying to use them.

That's when I heard it. "You do that a lot, you know... try to conquer life's hills under your own power, when you have Someone else right there, waiting for you to ask for help."

Really? I mean, can't I just go for a bike ride without learning a lesson? Apparently not today.
(That's not really a complaint though.)

I often think God is getting me through things, up and down life's hills. I tell others that God is getting me through, when really, I've just become so comfortable where I am with Him that I say "Yep, I've got my gears set right" and then I pedal harder

Today when that anxiety hit me, I asked for prayer and gave my own, "please make this go away" prayer for myself before I started focusing on those verses.

Still, I wasn't just letting Him handle it. I was trying to handle it myself. Find some comfort food, put on a warm sweater, crawl under the comforter in my bed, pray with my eyes closed and my head on the pillow... It wasn't until later, out for a ride, that I realized I had definitely been in the wrong gear.

Do I have an answer yet as to how to get myself in gear? Not really. Starting in the best place I can think to look... the instruction manual.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  
So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 
But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.  
Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 
Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them.  
10 And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field.  
11 The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.

12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
~James 1:2-12 
Don't read these disclaimers:
*It was a quarter sheet, fluffy white cake with heaps of butter-cream frosting.
** Sometimes three or four bites at once.
***Totally worth it, just sayin'.

Monday, May 5, 2014


All my life, I’ve had a desire to connect with people. I’ve often tried to fulfill it in all the wrong ways. I still struggle with that at times. It fueled my co-dependency, driving me to cling to people who were bad for me because we had a connection. As I’ve broken ties with a lot of those people over the last couple of years, and even just held back from others, it has often left a void that I wasn’t sure how to fill.

We have three identical services at my church every weekend. Every weekend I go to at least two of them, often all three. It’s not because I need to hear the message again, not just because I LOVE our praise and worship. It’s because I love people. I want to be around them. I want to connect.

I spoke at an event for single moms on Saturday. The experience was amazing. Afterwards I was stopped again and again by women who wanted to tell me how my story touched them. Each time, I felt a connection. It wasn’t even just about being a single mom. Sometimes it was a look in their eyes or a comment they made, but when they stopped me I knew that something I had said connected with them.

When a friend recently confided in me about how someone else’s porn addiction was affecting her, my own experiences gave me the ability to understand the pain they both go through. I hope to be able to continue to encourage her in a way others can’t because of that connection.

When I talk other parents who have children with disabilities, though our children may have completely different issues, we understand each other about a lot of things. There is a connection.

This weekend I was reminded again and again that there is a purpose in everything. There is a reason that I am doing all of this, that I have gone and am going through all of these things. Over and over, as I interact with others, I am seeing the connections.

He isn’t just reminding me “You aren’t alone in this struggle.” He is saying, “Your fight in this is connecting you to these people, enabling you to touch their lives in a way you couldn’t before.”

I’ve suddenly become aware that God has put this desire for connection within me. I may have been doing it wrong, but He had a reason for making me who I am.

I can doubt. I can tell Him He’s got the wrong girl. I can say, “I’m not special...” But when I do work for Him and walk away feeling fulfilled and connected, it reminds me that all of this is for a reason. Seeing Him use me for His purposes and fulfill the desires of my heart at the same time reminds me that I was created for this.

Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
Psalms 37:4-6