Friday, September 28, 2012


You know those train wrecks that cause you to turn your head and look? You know you shouldn't stare so you peek through covered eyes trying to turn away yet your eyes fixate on the wreckage.

Maybe you feel like you are the train wreck.

Accidents happen while the world keeps spinning. Life tries its best to move right along when all you want to do is scream "stop." I think we fix our eyes on the devastation because the hope is to see signs of life among the wreckage. We gasp holding our breath for a small glimmer of hope that says, "Yes, I'm broken and bruised...yet my heart is still beating."

Where there is breath there is hope because love doesn't leave you stranded. Love comes to you. It always does. Love refuses to leave you alone even when your heart needs a break and your attitude needs a spanking. We have a God who loves without limits and runs to us even when we are the train wreck. Truth be told, we've all been wrecked by something.

After surgery the doctor will often say, "You'll feel much worse before you get better." Yet after the pain medication fades to nothingness, you trace the scars that remain and remember his words wondering why he didn't use a few more descriptive words. Because "worse" just doesn't cut it.

You linger in a state infinitely greater than "worse" with scars that you feel will never fade.

I was one of those who tried to rush the healing process and often that landed me right back in the emergency room. My strength in spirit didn't always reflect the way I felt physically and my body took a beating until I learned the fine art of waiting during the process of healing. I've learned to do the same thing with my heart.

You can't rush the healing stages. The pain takes you back layer-by-layer to the scene where it all began. Your personal tragedy. The dust settles slowly and everything within fades out in slow motion. And God is the hand pulling you out of the wreckage placing you gently on the gurney. He straps you down, not to trap you but to protect you. For he knows exactly what you need and how to cushion you from further sustaining injuries.

Where there is breath hope remains because love doesn't leave you stranded so don't rush this thing called healing. Relax into it and put your feet up. Even if you've made a mess of everything and feel like you are not worthy of a life free from the wreckage. God has made a way for you to find Him and step into a place of blessing.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him." (Luke 15:20)

When God sees you He doesn't see a train wreck, or a prodigal. The Father sees His child coming home from the wreckage. All God really wants is you empty-handed. He runs to you so that your hands are no longer empty but wrapped up in the sweetest embrace that says, "You've made it home. Let's have a party."

You are not a mess; you are a masterpiece in the making!

Much love to you,


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Fishbowl and My Twirl

Do you ever have those moments where you say too much? Where you didn’t have to go there, but you felt safe and that your words wouldn’t be wasted or used against you? So you lay your heart out on the table and wonder if they will take a bite or try to do open heart surgery by telling you all the things that need to be extracted out. If they love you, allow them permission to sharpen you with the words of truth. You can cry later.

And so you speak, sometimes guarded carefully because you have to. You form your words carefully, and other times you resort to emotional barfing. One or two things may happen. They might actually help clean you up or they might go home never knowing what you’ve been through or where God is taking you…cause you barfed on them and now they feel like they need a preverbal shower.

I have been preparing for the ministry since I was eleven, in some shape or fashion, leading this event and learning to follow at others. I’m a dancer, I’ve always known when it was my time to take the lead or lift my arms at just the right moment where I partner with another. Girl, it’s your time to twirl. So they twirl. And then when its my turn to twirl, I’ve felt arms telling me not to. Sometimes jealously. In my twenties I almost asked for permission. Is it my turn yet?

My turn?

Oh, you want me to twirl like that?

Well, if you want to know my opinion…

Oh, so you don’t really want to know what I have to say…or how my vision of the dance could be interpreted?

I’m polite. I say nothing. I just fade out and twirl away as I exit stage left. The lights fade to black and I promise myself to let the generation coming behind me to shine, dang it.

Instead of a dance, we become a puppet on a string. Honestly, the people jerking on your strings aren’t really qualified.

It’s easy for me because I’m soft. Although I have had many opportunities to be striped bare of softness becoming calloused like those I’ve watched in leadership. I’ve felt the angry tears running down my face and felt God asking me to dance with Him and for Him instead.

I place my trembling hands in His. I make eye contact. The tears begin to dry and I find myself doing things that I never dreamt possible. I dance the confidence dance, for I know who orders my steps in such a way that takes my breath away. I get my giggle back as joy is released. Because He created me this way, to remain soft yet still be careful when I find myself partnered with question marks.

I’m such a loyal person. It’s a stinking big deal to me. I find it funny that I always know the ones to be careful with. They always tell on themselves, so I never worry about it. It always comes back around. And with women…and a few loose-lipped men it will come back around in many different ways, yet none of them resembling the real story.

True confessions. I’m almost embarrassed to say this, but I attended the class on being a minister’s wife at college. (I want my money back.) I think I would have remembered if I flunked it or not. In that class I watched the sweetest soul caution us to not let others in the church get too close to us. I took that message inside of me, chewed on it for a while, and then spit it out. She was trying to protect us from the personal pain we would encounter from dealing with sheep that bite back at times. She was right. But, then again, it’s a different day and age. God didn’t call me to live a safe life; He called me to the risky one. The fun one. The painful one. The one where “Pastor Appreciation Day” is a total joke. The one where a hug and heartfelt card were your lifeline. The one where no one applauds. The one where only your wife applauds. The one where you sit alone. The one where you stand with many. In the end, it’s just us against the world trying to take on hell with a water pistol.

It’s life in the fishbowl; I swim around with all eyes watching. But something happened to me over the years, over time and lessons learned I allowed other fish to jump into my fishbowl. Sometimes I scoop out the deadness that brings and flush it, if you know what I’m saying.

This one time approval addict has been delivered. I scoop out the poop y’all and keep my little fishbowl sparkling. Because at the end of the day, it’s my bowl and keeping my heart and mind unclouded from this world is what matters most to the Lover of my soul. (James 1:22-27)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Friends and Fans

“Her mom never taught her how to cook, but she did teach her how to risk.”- Erwin McManus, Unleashed.

Sitting with my best friend of seventeen years this weekend, soaking in different snapshots of time. How we were then and how we are now. I’m so stinking proud I could burst. We traveled in ministry together for nine weeks of sheer torture during our college years. Three boys, one who kept his meds in his dirty socks that could rock a human video to Carmen like nobody’s business. One who could play the piano and wow everyone, one who could play the bass and make all of us wish we weren’t so white…and two petite broads calling all the shots and figuring out how we fit while coveting each other’s giftings. I guess you could say we became friends and fans at the same exact time.

At nineteen you don’t really know who you are or why you feel like such a weirdo. We are soaking in all the images of lovelies on the magazines, air brushed and just as insecure as we are. A snapshot is taken. Here is what you look like with some things shaved off and edited. Our eyes surveyed the women in our life while the younger version of ourselves felt inadequate, instead of inspired.

If all we see is what is imperfect and flawed, then we will train our minds to focus on those minor things instead of all the things that take your breath away.

We place an idea of perfection, unattainable and lofty and lie to ourselves by saying it’s possible to be and achieve it all without an IV drip of caffeine and a body double. We are convinced she really exists. The perfect woman.

If “she” really did exist…would you want to pummel her or applaud her?

Would you be her biggest fan?

Or would you feel threatened and at risk?

I could wish away my insecure days that lingered for years, but I wouldn’t be me without all those years of striving to be someone else. I’m amazed at how much time we spend trying to blend in when we were made to stand out. Being who you truly are is risky, but being someone else is a trap.

Stand out, you beautiful thing!

By standing out, you give others the freedom to do the same.

And cheer on your sisters, both young and old, in this journey.

They need a friend and a fan.

Cheering loud for you,


"Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies." (Phil 4:8-9 MSG)