Thursday, December 20, 2012

What does gun Control really boil down to.

I started this post days ago and find it hard to write.  I don’t talk about my views on gun control often.  I find myself getting angry and feel like I continue to beat my head against a wall.  You see I understand where people come from who think more laws to control guns will help.  My grieving heart wishes it were so.  However, if we just study history we will see that isn’t so.

Laws don’t work that way.  Laws are designed to set boundaries on good and evil, because we are evil people.  Laws can not protect, just like the police can not protect.  The most frustrating part of my job as a police officer was the realization, that I had little time to help.  Most of my shifts were spent jumping from one call to the next, watching the bad guy walk out of jail before the ink was dry on my paperwork.  Responding over and over to the same house wondering who violated the restraining order and if one of them will be dead this time.  No laws don’t protect, they just inform.

But the debate rages on.  Each day I open my yahoo page, and feel like I am watching a train wreck that I am powerless to stop.  My heart aches for the small child who pleads to take guns away, because her sibling was killed last Friday.  And I am angered that my cousin still deals with PTSD because he couldn’t protect himself against the FT.Hood Shooter and instead had to run away.  But then if I want I can watch videos about the Kardashians or who won the voice last night.

Do you see the correlation that I do, between us and the Roman Empire?   Towards the end, the empire was ruled by the senate, who bickered and fought over semantics instead of worrying about the decline of the country.  In an effort to win the masses and gain power over the senate, Caesar instituted the gladiator games.  Of course the masses revolted because the expense was so high, but Caesar offered them bread.  Content, they sat back with their stomachs full and watched one human mutilate another.  Sound familiar?

Not every person in the Roman empire participated in this, but they paid the price nonetheless.  Sometimes I fear it has gone to far; the train is at full speed and the brake is broken.  Thankfully, I have hope.  I know that regardless the outcome, God is in control.  The coming days will not be easy, but God has already won.  Therefore, I will spend my days and nights in prayer.  And as my heart cries for the country I love, I will dance in the joy and hope of the Lord.

Monday, December 17, 2012


I have sat down at my computer multiple times since Friday wanting to put my heartache on paper and remove it from my soul. 

Nothing came.  Instead, I have moved numbly through the last few days.  Seeking out physical touch and longing to hold those that mean so much to me.  In the chaos of emotions all I can do is search for truth and this is what I have come up with. 


1.  God IS good and He does not cause evil. 

When something like this happens, my first reaction is to cry out and ask God “WHY?”  Demanding an answer from the King of Kings.  He never tells me why, Just comforts me in the moment.  I watch hours of the same news coverage and hope to catch the good that god brought into this circumstance. 

2.  We live in a fallen world, which means we deal with good and evil.

As Paul says in Ephesians 6 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”.  This truth is hard for me to talk about, I don’t want people to think I am crazy, but it doesn’t make it any less true.  There is evil in this world.  Evil that makes no sense no matter how we try to come up with it.

3.You can’t blame God for things that happen in places we have removed Him. 

I wrote this one then read this…Read this.

I think this one has to be, you can’t blame God for evil.  He does not create evil, it is a part of our nature and a part of the fallen world we live in.

4.  You can’t legislate morality. 

Not sure if you have noticed, I have, that laws are created after the fact.  We react out of emotion passing a ton of laws that do nothing more then letting us go back to our imaginary safety bubbles.  Truth is we have no control over the decisions others make regardless of what laws we pass.

5.  Evil will always prevail as long as good men(and women) do nothing.

In every mass shooting, tragedy etc, one thing prevails.  There is a good person who stands up against the evil and stems the flow of blood.  In the Connecticut shooting teachers, janitors, principals and counselors rushed in to save those that they could.  If they had stood by and did nothing, more lives would have been lost. Creating laws that may appear to take away our control but prepare all people to react appropriately, then we are arming the good guys.  Evil will always be armed. 

6.  Last but not least.  Christians are a poor representation of Christ. 

For years I have stood by, to scared to voice my opinion, I despise conflict good or bad.  But that means that extremists on both sides of the line are the loudest voices.  No one knows what I stand for or why I hold those beliefs, because I am too scared to start the conversation.  I live in fear that someone will disagree with me.  But good conflict, brings discussion, which leads to understanding on both sides of the line and a middle ground can be found.  If Christians don’t start the conversation we are then just reacting when things happen. 

Truth is my heart is still heavy with the tears of children.  On Friday my soul groaned with the world as our safety bubble was popped.I already feel my brain moving on.  I will wake up Christmas morning and my family will still be intact.  They won’t and there is nothing I can do to fix that for them.  My heart is heaviest with the truth of my inaction.  God has given me the tools to start the discussion on gun control, mental illness, the degradation of our families.  Yet I have remained silent.

So I want to start the dialog.  Over the next week, I will post why I believe what I believe in hopes of starting a dialog.  If you don’t agree with me, please do not belittle me or think I am stupid.  Instead, present your beliefs to me.  Maybe we will find we are closer to the same side then you think.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

What are the walls of my heart papered with?

“And the signs that you learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there.  That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances.”  Aslan in the Silver Chair

Expectations have been on my mind a lot lately. 

Are they good, bad, indifferent?  Do they affect how I relate to others or just my simple perceptions I place on the world?

Or are the judgments and perceptions I put on other people and the world around me?

For weeks I have gone back and forth between expectations, goals, plans, dreams…what is the difference anyway.

I have learned two things, expectations are destroying my life and my relationship with Christ.  Every year I spiral into depression as my holidays look (and always have looked) different than what I expect.  Instead of focusing on the coming of Christ and why He has called me to serve Him, I focus on my small budget and the reality my family are states away from me.

I wonder if  I am still singel because of my expectations of what it should look like.  I really want the fairy tale and to be swept off my feet, despite the fact that I tell myself repeatedly that doesn’t happen!  In all honestly I feel sorry for the man God has for me because of the expectations I have for how he will act.  Only Christ himself could meet all the expectations I have for how a many should act around me and how he should pursue me.

Then there are the expectations I put on myself.  I never measure up to the skinny, well dressed perfectly coifed woman I expect myself to be.  Not to mention that I should be capable of working two full time jobs and having a full social life with no strain at all.

Of course on paper this all sounds ridiculous and I ponder is this really what God had in mind when he created me?  A woman who is so insecure she spends hours staring at her belly wishing it was thinner, instead of the beautiful eyes and smile He gave her.  Or a woman that is so scarred by past relationships that she refuses to try again by setting up impossible expectations for men to meet.

Life is about relationships.  My relationship with the woman in the mirror, the man in my future and the Son of Man himself.  Lets not forget the multitudes of people I encounter on a daily basis.

I go back to what Aslan said.  It is important for me to put the truth of God in my heart, to memorize the signs that He is with me.  If that truth is my priority I hope that soon my expectations will no longer rule over me as they do now.

How about you, what kind of expectations do you have?  Have they ever made something better?  how about worse?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Another year gone by

Tomorrow I turn 37 and I will officially be in my late 30’s.  As this day has approached I have reflected on the changes I have made this year.  This year has been one of those sign post years.  20 years from now, I will look back and say this is where it all changed.  Of all the changes I have made in my life, my choice to stop running last fall was the biggest. 

Last fall, God had just closed the door on my plans to move to India.  I was confused, hurt and lost in a fog.  I retraced my steps asking over and over if I had missed something?  Certain in my heart that I had walked the path God had laid before me.  I had spent the last year preparing to move over seas.  I had sold most of my furniture, moved in with a friend and her husband and sold my car.  So now what?

I struggled with that question all year, now what?  As I moved into my own apartment in January, I knew I needed to put down roots and stop running away.  Each day was a struggle.  There was no ministry to pour into, nothing exciting to look forward to, and each day blended into the next.

As each day slipped past a peace began to settle into my heart.  This is what life is about.  The little things.  Laughter with my best friend, or a smile from her sweet baby.  Time on the golf course with my family and loving on my niece and my nephew.  Slowly the truth began to emerge, a slow steady process of God changing my heart to yearn more of Him over anything else.

After all that is what life is all about.  The day to day relationships, the sharp edges of others rubbing against my pride and selfishness, whittling me away until all that is left is His image.  It really is that simple.  I finally realized I have to stop waiting for my life to start and realize that my life is slipping away.

I look forward to waking up tomorrow and to the promise of a new year.  More time to get to know Christ and feed into the lives around me.  Each day I wake up with the promise of His love and new mercies.  What more could I ever ask for?

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Rung: Day 2

I lunged! 

As my fingers sprang for the wood I thought, “What am I doing?”

Then my fingers slide around the cool metal of the rung.  All the lies and deceit vanish as my pale hand shines in the warmth of the light. 

As I cling to the rung, The Darkness fades away, and I dance in the Light for the first time.  As the adrenaline rush fades, I begin to notice an ache in my shoulders, which soon becomes a searing pain. 

I turn my attention to Fear whose sharp claws pierce my flesh as he pushes down on my shoulders.  I feel warmth trickle down my throat from where his teeth pierce my skin.  The joy of the light still pulses through my veins and it gives me the strength to hold on.

I notice The Darkness’s encases my torso with his dark form and lies and noise spew from his mouth.  He slowly tightens his grip and  until I can no longer feel my feet. 

I hang there, my fingers are white from my grip on the rung. 

I watch The Light creep along as it does everyday, until finally His gaze drifts from my fingers. 

I hear Darkness snarl with joy.

I tremble and my fingers begin to loose their grip. 

As the light progresses up the wall, it once again pauses and a second rung emerges from the wall.  He hovers there for a moment then continues His progression up the wall. 

My heart aches at his betrayal as I cry out to him and beg him not to leave me.  My cries do not give him pause and soon only darkness remains. 

A scream lodges in my throat as I fight back the tears. 

“How could he leave me here?”

In defeat I let go.

Fear and Darkness engulf me with open comfortable arms.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Rung part 1

I have been working on this short story for some time and feel that I am ready to post the first day.  I wanted to wait until it was done, but I don’t know how it will end yet.  Let me know what you think!

The light appears above me and pierces my eyes.  I sit alone in the darkness, well not really alone.  The Darkness and his cohort Fear are my constant companions. Fear is always gnawing away at some part of me.  The Darkness like to play games.  His game is to smother me until I can no longer breathe.  Then he gives me just enough air to keep me alive. 

Each day as I wake the only change is where Fear may be gnawing that day.  Today he has chosen my fingers.  But that light.   Each day it beckons me, calls to me with a song of hope. 

As if I could escape this hell!

Every few days the anguish will well up inside me.  I will let out a primal scream of rage, as I beg the Light to help me.  On those days, He slowly creeps down the wall only to pause just out of my reach.  That is when the rung pushes its way from the wall. 

It is old wood, worn in some places, cracked and splintered in others.   I imagine it is just another way to torture me!  I am sure if I did grab it the exposed splinters would embed themselves into my hand.

One time, I mustered up enough courage to reach for the rung.  A chill runs down my spine as I remember that day.  Fear had chosen  my calves to gnaw on.  That is why I thought I might be able to reach it, he was so far away.  I slowly inched my hand out of the muck and ran it delicately up the wall.  Just as my hand reach the rung, Fear leapt from his position.  His sharp teeth tore through my hand.  Waves of pain shot through my body as.  The Light crept back up the wall and the rung slid back into its place.

Nope, I wouldn’t go there again!

Like most days when the Light came to visit, I sit and watch the rung gleam as if made of pure silver.  After awhile the rung disappears back into the wall, and the light creeps away until it disappears entirely.

“Someday” I whisper, “someday”

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Comfort Zone

Recently I had a friend pray for me that I would get out of my comfort zone.  First I wanted to smack him!  On the list of dangerous prayers that is right up there on the top with asking for Patience.  How dare he pray that without asking me first!

As with anytime that happens, the wheels started turning.  In my heart I immediately knew that God was calling me to start to take risks again.  To try and fail and try again.

See I am a perfectionists and failures from my childhood still have a way of haunting me today.  So I have made this little bubble around me so I limit my risk of failing.  I don’t try a new recipe because what if I don’t like it.  I choose to stay home instead of venture out my door, what if someone doesn’t like me.

The hardest part of this, is when I am alone I have dreams that are burning a hole in my heart.  Dreams that are unfulfilled, dying the slow death of atrophy.

My legs long to run.  My arms long for the strength to do a triathlon.  The adrenaline junkie inside wants to try mountain biking or rock climbing, maybe even jump out of an airplane.  My desire for discipline longs for the structure of martial arts.  And the entrepreneur inside dreams of the day that I have my own business. 

For too long I have sat in my house afraid to go out the door and today I am taking a stand against myself.

My goal is once a week to do something completely out of my comfort zone.  This week I bought a Groupon for dental work and I have NO IDEA if I will even like the doctor!

Outlandish huh!?! 

Well maybe that doesn’t count.

What is something you have longed to do that is out of your comfort zone?  Got any ideas of what I can do to get out of zone, or maybe find a new one!?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The day I stood up to myself

I am my worst enemy.  Continually I fight the voice in my head who screams labels at me.  One day I stood up to that voice, and I have found freedom!

It was the Saturday before I was to share some of my story in front of my church.  The voice was screaming at me that I was not enough and once they found out the truth I would no longer be accepted.  I called friends for prayer and fell to my knees under the onslaught of guilt and shame, my heart and soul gushing my life out before me. 

At the foot of the Cross he began to fill me with truth to help me stand.  As I began to gaze upwards and start to stand I found the strength to embrace the truth of who He has made me to be.  I began to praise God and was once again upright in His love.

Then it came.  That word, my kryptonite. 


I stood motionless, unable to move.  Then it happened I made a choice.  I choose to step out from under the shame and guilt and embrace the truths in my heart.  I met my eyes in the mirror and through the flood of tears I spoke truth to my heart.

“You are saved by grace”

“You are a new Creation in Christ”

“A Daughter of the King of Kings, precious in His sight.”

“Beloved, held”

“You are not a whore”

It worked, my legs found their strength and I stood upright in His presence.  Rivers of the Savior’s love washed my soul and my heart was made new. 

All I did was make a choice.  I choose to accept His truth over the lies in my head.  Is there a word that cuts through your very soul?  Have you ever stood up to the lie?  What stops you?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Be careful what you wish for.

It was 2005 and I had been hood winked into attending a Beth Moore conference with my best friend. I had no idea who she was and her speaking style quickly had me zoning out.  But there I sat attempting to hear what God was saying to me through the noise.  By the end of the conference I knew that God wanted me to write a book and I was going to be a speaker like Beth Moore.  I was excited and a little fearful, but like the baby Christian I was, I charged ahead full steam.  I told everyone I knew in a vain attempt for accountability, and went home to start.  I pulled out a fresh journal, poised my pen, and nothing came out.  Day after day I would try until I just gave up.  I put the journal on the shelf and walked away.  Had I heard God wrong?

Fast forward to 2 months ago, when my pastor approached me about sharing some of my story during service.  I tentatively said yes.  With seven years under my belt of walking with God I knew opportunities like this didn’t come without pain.  But I trusted God and began to pray about what I would say.

But the series got delayed.  Phew, I just missed that bullet.  I stopped thinking about it altogether.  Until two weeks ago when my pastor approached me again.  This time I jumped at the chance.  I was in a place where I was ready to blast my church full of married couples with how hard it is to be single.  “Yeah, bring it on” I thought.  Then I opened his email and read through the list of questions he wanted me to ponder.  I was confused, they were all about change and contentment.  WHAT!!  I got hoodwinked again! 

When we sat down to talk about the questions he quickly brought up India.  My heart skipped a beat, I did not like where this was going.  I But I chose to step where the Spirit was leading.  I took about 5 minutes to sketch out some ideas, thinking I would just wing it on Sunday,  but my pastor wanted me to script it. 

I started to write, and the bottom of my world fell out.  My patterns punched me in the gut; the changing cities, states, jobs, homes, boyfriends, and friends.  My running away was why I was never happy with where I am.  Somewhere along the way I decided God wasn’t enough, so I searched for that thing, person, or place that would. 

As he gently revealed the truth to me I felt that gut wrenching self hatred and tried to turn from Him.  Instead I choose to just lay at the foot of the cross.  I begged and pleaded that He would change my mind.  I couldn’t possibly show my mess to my WHOLE church.  He whispered "but it is such a beautiful mess".

In the midst of dealing with this God hit me with a double whammy, my biggest fear; rejection.  Or in other words, my desperate need for approval from anyone but God.  I was sure my congregation would hear the truth and reject me and my mess.  Once again, I begged and pleaded that He wouldn’t make me do this, He just whispered "but what a beautiful mess"   He then reminded me of that day back in 2005, and I groaned. 

That day I had agreed to His dream merely for the acceptance I would receive from others.  Oh the accolade Beth must hear!  She must be happy.  But that wasn’t God’s dream, He intended for me to stand in front of my church family, with my raw open gaping wound, and show them what I am discovering about contentment.

I didn't want to.  But I took that stage Sunday and God was glorified through my beautiful mess.  And the only thing that mattered in that moment was that I am His Beloved.

Follow the link below if you want to hear what I had to say. (It is the 6/17 sermon and I start talking about 20:30.  Though the whole sermon is wonderful!)

Friday, June 15, 2012

The beast

I have struggled with depression for a long time, coming in and out of it repeatedly.  I try desperately to explain it to those who don’t know to no avail.  After surfacing from my last bought this mental image came to mind. 

“I see it rolling over the hills.  The storm is brewing on the horizon.  I brace myself the storm engulfs me in its dark murky mists.  In fear I cry out for God to deliver me.  Silence echoes as I loose my focus on the Light.  I cry out to friends for help, we do battle, we pray, I seek God’s face and slowly the light begins to return.  I stand believing this onslaught is over;  but the clouds never left.  I feel lighter and believe the war is over, the beast has fallen.

But he waits, lulling me to sleep with his light gray clouds.  As each day passes the clouds grow darker, but I have lost my focus so I don’t see.  The lies start slowly and I easily brush them off, but their weight presses more and more on my heart each day.  I ignore its presence, confident my focus is clear.

He grabs me, sinking his talons into the fat of my back.  Panicking I struggle, but I have let him get to close.  I attempt to regain my focus to find the light, but the lies overtake me.  He pushes me into the pit, taking his first bite out my hope.  He returns daily and feasts lavishly on my hope, until I no longer remember truth.  In the dark, I couldn’t focus if I wanted.  Hopelessness and self pity become my nourishment.  I have lost my will to survive.  The beast laughs as he leaves me to rot in the pit, nothing left of me for him to eat.  Those who love me surround the pit but  nothing reaches my ears.  The light begins to descend the pit and I hide out of desperation, believing He will never accept me.  As the light reaches my eyes, truth begins to beat from my heart and my eyes begin to clear.  The light pushes me out of the pit and deposits me on safe ground.  I rejoice I have found my focus once again, and I can clearly see the Light.  I have survived, but I can feel the beast; lurking, planning and waiting.  He knows all it takes is one day.”

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

In The Middle


In the middle I stand alone.

One foot in the world, one foot in the Kingdom.

I like it here.

Different days I venture one way or the other.

Neck deep in the Kingdom, to drown in the light of His love.

Or into the world to spread seeds from above.

But in the middle I stand alone,

Alone with Him

I like it here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


My weight pushes down

sand squishes between my toes.

Footprint after Footprint

Gone before I can turn my head


My weight pushes down

Life squishes around me

Moment after moment

Gone before I can turn my head.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Birth of Spring

Old man winter’s breath escapes his lungs,

028A futile attempt to fight back the waiting spring.

The lady of Spring lies expectantly in her grave,

IMG_3302Waiting for her moment to shine.

In a moment winter looses its grasp and she explodes forth putting to rest his cold hard reign.

She sways her hips in a victory dance and the song of life sweetly pass forth from her lips.IMG_3574

Nature responds to her call splashing colors as far as the eye can see.

For a brief moment no one remembers that her reign to must end.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

That all too familiar ache

IMG_20120405_074951I sat in the Portland terminal  and realized it was Easter weekend.  Within moments I was thinking back to the same weekend 6 years ago. 

April of 2006 I boarded a flight to Portland for my first ever mission trip.  Four days later I sat in the same terminal wrestling with God.  The Northwest had stolen my heart and I was confused by my feelings.  How could a good God take me away from my friends and support in Texas.  But that heart thievery led me to take a leap of faith that I was little prepared for but crazy enough to take. 

2 years after that thievery I stuffed most my belongings in a 6 x 8 moving pod and the rest in my car.  I started a road trip with a wonderful friend that ended with a life that was better than I ever imagined.  At the time though, I had no job and only a couch to crash on for a few weeks.  Some have told me that was faith.  Now I just wonder if i was stupid enough to not think about the consequences.

I boarded the plane this past weekend in Portland and soon landed in Denver.  The last time I was in this airport I was heading home from an interview with a mission organization.  Of course I had run into trouble at check in, and soon found myself stuck in the long security lines.  I waited and battled the sense of fear that overwhelmed.  However, I continued to feel that peace, knowing full well that God was with me. I made bargains with God praying that His will was for me to make this flight.  But alas as I ran for the gate I watched as they closed the door and my flight left without me.  Tears streamed down my face as I screamed at the attendant and at God.  I stewed with anger at God for the hours I was stuck at the airport.  I knew He had been with me, how could He let me miss my flight (apparently it was His fault I was an idiot and tried to check in with the wrong airline). By the time the next flight took off though I had learned that when you walk with God there are no guarantees

As I continued to Kansas and through the weekend the memories continued to flood my heart.  As an unwilling prodigal son returning to my roots I went kicking and screaming down memory lane.  For years I have run from my family and chosen to only remember the pain.  This weekend I found the joy that is in my family.  My family is messy and brings pain to me on a regular basis.  However, I learned that there is a hole in my heart that only my family can fill.  In fact, the hole I have begged God to fill repeatedly is the same hole they fill.  And my heart has been stolen by a pair of eyes that mirror my own and a smile that melts my heart.

As I settle into my routine here in Portland I am asking God what all this means and I begin the all too familiar wrestle with him.  I am not sure I have it in me to take this step, but I know that regardless what happens He will be by my side.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Eager Anticipation

I knew a pastor once whose congregation would scream and yell when he would open the Bible, celebrating, with eager anticipation,  what the Word of God would tell them.

I have never opened my Bible with eager anticipation. Instead, I dread my time in the Bible.  I often find myself reading just to say I did it, comprehension thrown out the window.  I let the phrases of condemnation pile on me as fresh wood on a fire and quickly move over the truth that should set me free.  I choose this cage of guilt and shame each day as I contemplate the eight Bibles that reside in my home.  Each a different version, a different view of His word.  All motionless and unread.  I take for granted the ease with which I pull this Sword out in times of crisis, and I leave it to rust in the scabbard in times of peace.   

Recently while I watched one of my favorite movies, "Luther,” a scene showed the eager anticipation to read the Bible I long for. Martin Luther was the first person to translate the Bible into German so that the common people could read it.  The Pope then put a price on his head and excommunicated him from the Catholic Church.  Prior to his translation, the Word of God was only read in Latin, and only read by a priest. After years of labor to produce the Bible in the German language, Luther approaches his prince with the first copy as a gift. During Luther’s conflict with the church, his prince has risked his own life to protect Luther.  They talk for a while since they have never actually met; during the conversation Luther is holding the Bible. The prince waits eagerly, yet patiently, for his gift. Finally the prince can contain it no more and asks for his present. A smile spreads across Luther’s face, and he hands the Bible to the prince. With trepidation, the prince takes a deep breath and opens the Bible.

In the movie, the scene ends, and the story progresses.  Last night I paused and tried to imagine what the prince felt in that moment.  Think about it: you are in your 40’s, your entire life you have only heard His Word through someone else’s mouth, and someone hands you the very Word of God in your own language.  Can you taste the excitement as he drools over time that he will spend in the text?  Can you envision the anticipation to hear the words of God as if spoken from a Father instead of an unapproachable deity.  God is now present, and the prince can commune with him anytime he wishes.

For now, my many Bibles sit on the shelf collecting dust; they call for me to open them, to dive in, and to drown in His Word.  I can imagine the power that is at my very fingertips.   Power left untapped because I choose to remain in the shadow of death instead of the light of grace.

In Ephesians, Paul describes the Word as a sword.  The Sword is constantly at my fingertips, but am I able to wield it? 

Monday, March 12, 2012

My thorn

My every step is haunted by him.

I pray for Him to fill the void;
Instead his presence taunts me as an unsteady rhythm.

Dawn, brings his breath to wake me for the day.

For these dreams, all day I pay.

Unsent texts, pierce the silence and echo in my head.

As the sun sets, his presence fills the bed.

The nightmare of unknown love echoes in my soul
But I turn to Him, and plead once more.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Upside Down

7 Days ago, about this time, I was settling into my chair amidst 4,000 of my closest friends. It was morning, and my brain was already loaded with new information. I was wired from the mocha I had been sipping on, and my stomach was starting to growl. My attention was quickly waning.

Over the course of the past few hours, my understanding of biblical justice had expanded, and I had learned how crucial each thread of love is within the garment of justice. Little did I know how much the next 45 minutes would change my view of the world.

Richard Twiss, took the stage, and I could feel the Spirit stir. When I was little my mother had instilled in me a love and appreciation for Native American culture. But he was not here to tell me about his culture.   Instead, Twiss described the enslavement of Native Americans by imperious white people.  For the first time in my life, I was not proud to be an American.

Twiss continued by explaining the European doctrine of discovery.  This stated that any land, without allegiance to a Christian government, was empty and void.  On this premise the 13th colonies were built.  The European settlers began to view the natives as savages, and desperately in need of conversion to their brand of Christianity.  Tribes were desecrated in the name of Christ.  New converts were made to believe that Christ could only be worshipped the way of the Europeans.

I began to squirm in my skin.

Questions tumbled through my mind.

The guilt ravaged my soul.  The truth that I am the ‘majority’ settled into my soul. How dare I see the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve as anything but co-equals in the battle against evil! We are all equally sinners, and all given the same chance at grace.

My blue eyes never saw

The pain my white skin causes.

Can I scrape off my skin

or tear the blonde hair from my head?

What if I ripped out my eyes,

Could I ever see the world as you?

Twiss’s words were sharp with truth and pierced my soul.  But through it all Christ shone from this man.  In grace and friendship he said come and know us, “don’t come and paint our church buildings”

For weeks I have asked myself these questions:

How often do I still view other cultures as less than mine, or merely the mission field?

I have even questioned my motive in going overseas.  I have spent thousands of dollars and met some amazing followers of Christ.  I spent time with kids who were dying of aids, and loved on some girls who had never seen white skin.  But doesn’t that make it more about me?

I am still journeying down this path and seeing where it leads.  Will you join me?  What are your thoughts about this? 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Have you ever?

Have you ever looked at the creator and told Him, He isn’t enough?

I have and I lived to tell about it!  Not only did I live, but He wrapped His arms around me and whispered in my ear all the reasons He loves me.

Wow what a God we serve!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Here we go again

Those of you who have been around me long enough, are probably starting to see my patterns as well as I do.  I have a tendency to get excited about something, and then when it gets hard I decide to step away.

Yesterday, I was running headlong, towards the cliff God is asking me to jump off.  Last night, I sat down on the edge and stare into that dark chasm, unable to move. 

The darkness mocked me as fear and insecurities echoed off its walls. 

Hopelessness and despair overtook me as the canvas in the corner mocked me.

Then I chimed in with a serving of guilt, “how can I wallow in my pity and fear, when women and girls around the world are begging for hope.”

This morning Oswald Chamber’s words pierced my soul. “The agony we suffer is only the result of the deliberate shallowness of our own heart. We won’t believe; we won’t let go by severing the line that secures the boat to the shore— we prefer to worry.” (read the rest Here)

Why can’t I just jump?

What keeps you from jumping off that cliff?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Walking off the cliff

On Saturday, Shane Claiborne said something that is still echoing in my heart. 

People tend to respond to injustice by saying "If God is so good why doesn't He do something about it." 

"He did, He made you" Shane responded

Since then, I can feel myself running headlong into the dark, trying to keep up with Jesus. 

Unfinished paintings haunt my dreams. 

Stories beg to be told.

I have a passion to use my gifts and improve them for His glory.

Over the weekend, I met artists who are using their craft to fight the tragedies...

I feel useless, but that is what gives me power.

Self confidence wains, but I KNOW that God will make it happen.

So I cling to two truths:

I am useless, without the Spirit of God

And I can only take one step at a time.

Monday, February 27, 2012

One Thread

Most days, when my eyes open up enough to see the horrors of this world, I quickly avert my eyes.  The anger and hopelessness wells up inside of me and I stuff it down.  I choose to eat and ignore the cry of my heart to help the enslaved, the orphaned and the widowed.  But I am trying to change.  I am asking God to help me with the emotions instead of trying to eat them away. 

And He answered.

My heart cried at the autocracies that afflict His people.  I voiced my despair and hopelessness and that I was just one voice...

As I let these emotions out I realized that God is calling all of us to do our small part.  The evils that are ever present in this world are too big for any of us to deal with.  But not for the people of God to rise up together and do our small part.  It doesn't matter what your passion is, it helps to battle against slavery.

If you have a heart for Orphans in Africa and you sponsor a child, that is one more family that can keep from selling a child just to feed the other 8.

If you minister to Satvanna in India; you are praying for, providing for, loving children who have been rescued from Brothels or even a life of forced labor.

Maybe your heart is for the homeless.  As you take the time to let them know they are seen you may be speaking to a child who has been trafficked.

Or maybe it is your voice could that keeps that young girl from reaching out to strangers on the internet, or wondering off with the cute guy on the bus.

The most encouraging thing I walked away from the Justice Conference with was this reality.  Love is a thread and we all have one that needs to be woven into the fabric of Justice.

Do you struggle with self-doubt like I do?  Is God asking you to look and it seems too overwhelming?  Join me in this battle and we WILL win.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Echo, Echo, Echo









Oh did I mention, overwhelmed

As I ponder human trafficking, and my role in the battle, these words torment my soul.

"one minute, two children"

“Lord what can I possibly do?”

Use your voice…Write

“Write what?”  I plead

An echo, laced in fear and terror, resonates through my tortured heart.

One minute, two children.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Will you pray with me?

Today has been one of those days. 

I had a great run yesterday morning and again today.  As I got to work my mind decided I was going to be hungry all day. Truth be told I was hungrier yesterday than I have been today. But all morning, my mind has gone over and over ways to get extra food.  I even planned on going to Fred Meyers at lunch to get something additional (unhealthy of course), as I always do when this fear overwhelms me.

But as I warmed up my lunch the Spirit finally got through!

'Wait, I'm not hungry?'

I was hungry, ready for lunch of course.  But I was not ravenous. 

Then it dawned on me; I'm not afraid of going hungry, I just hate the feeling of being hungry.

Do I hear you say “but it is the same thing”?  Not for me it isn’t.  I remember what that hollow emptiness feels like as you try to make it through class in the afternoon.  I remember trying to go to sleep as hunger gnawed at my insides. Oh yes, I remember what that hollow pit, and I will do anything to avoid it.

So I overeat.

I ALWAYS have food on me.  I

It overwhelms me if I don’t.  This fear, gnawing at my insides.  Anything is better than that hollow pain…right?

This chain of fear is wrapped around my throat cutting off all oxygen and sanity.  Yet I am choosing to believe that I can overcome this fear as long as I have Him.  So instead of racing to Freddie's I am on my knees, begging the Spirit to fill this void and let this fear haunt me no more.

  Will you pray with me?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Deepest Fear

Yesterday, I was driving a friends truck to run an errand at lunch.  As I distractedly pulled out of my parking space, I came head to head with another car and had to slam on my brakes.  Luckily avoided a small fender bender and started back to work.  However,  I realized I was quite timid when trying to pull into traffic.  So I started to ponder fear in my life and how I react to it.  More specifically how often does fear keep from doing something I love or have been called to do?

If I am being honest, fear holds me back more than I ever want to admit.  Even as a small child I was motivated by fear.  I was a 'good kid’ merely because having someone yell at me terrified me to the point of tears.  Later in my marriage I wasn’t afraid of what my husband would do, but of the unknown possibilities if I left.  As a police officer, I would hide in my car on slow nights for fear if I could handle the situation or not.  Even when I came to Christ nothing changed, shouldn’t it have.  After all a spirit of fear is not from God and I am now a child of His.

Oh how I wish it was that simple.

Truth be told, I wrestle more with fear now than in the past.  The bright side of this struggle is that the fear no longer Lords over me because I do wrestle with it.  I look at it, acknowledge it and try to release it to God.  The fears same fears haunt me on a daily basis.  One wrong move and BAM I am staring my old friend in the face again. 

Every day I fear what I do is not enough for the Grace I have been given. 

I fear that I will say or do something that will cause someone to reject me. 

My biggest fear though, is such a simple one, but one I can't seem to release.  I fear that there won't be food for me to eat at my next meal and if I find something I like I will devour it.  Not because I am hungry or even to fill an emotional void.  Merely because I can and the thought of being hungry consumes me.

When I say consume, I mean consume.  There are days I can think of nothing else.  My stomach will hurt I am so full, yet I fear there may not be food next time, so I will have another serving.

I have made giant leaps against this foe.  For example, I no longer hoard food.  I choose to eat healthy more often than not.  However, fear grips my heart on a daily basis that I may feel even the slightest twinge of hunger.  The comfort of the known, leaves me at the end of my rope refusing to let go.  What if I let go and He doesn’t catch me.

The most frustrating part of where I am right now is I know that if I let go I will fall into his arms and drown in the grace and mercy of my Lord. 

I know I will emerge from the waters of His love stronger in my faith and more like Him than before.

But I don 't KNOW what that journey looks like.  So out of fear I cling to my misery…God help me.

What a mess I am...thankfully it is beautiful mess.

Is there a fear that you cling to regardless of how faithful He is?