Sunday, March 9, 2008

Best idea ever?

I have had family here all weekend from Michigan. I've eaten like I was going to start a diet the next day. Ugh. Step mom brought pizza from up north. She and her brother own an authentic Italian pizzeria up there, Detroit Beach Pizzeria.'s my comfort food so I've taken lots of comfort the past few days. Since then, I've felt my love-handles growing and when I sit down I can feel them being pushed up on the sides of my bottom into my waist. It's an awful feeling and so clearly that is why I'm sharing it with you. Anyhow, I think I can feel my butt getting flatter. I really can. So it dawned on me. If I were to lie down on my side most of the time, rotating from left to right and vice versa, I would actually be smashing that excess back into my hips, giving me flat hips instead of a flat butt. What do you think? Can I rule the world from the couch? I might need a firmer surface, not sure. I'll try it and let you guys know how it turns out, K? Off to give myself my first flattening treatment...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Keep Me Needy (March 12th, 2008 article to come)

You guys get a sneak preview. Lucky bummers, man.

I felt the Lord murmur something to my heart Saturday evening, He said, “You need the needy as much as they need you.” The words sundered my heart and quickly brought low my haughty ideas of what it means to be a minister of Christ. I hung my head in shame as I realized that I’d appraised my life in such a self-righteous way. I have many times thought that my job was to repair and repurpose those in my life who seemed impoverished or helpless; almost assuming that I had my act together and my role was to swoop in and rescue those that could not do for themselves what was needed. And all the while there I was, laboring selflessly, (or so I believed) giving all that I had to those who had less than me, whether it was spiritually, financially or emotionally. But the Lord saw differently. He saw beyond my transparent ideas of service. He exposed my need forthe destitute, making sure to elaborate on how poor I really was. The Holy Spirit began pointing out to me a handful of scenarios where I was foolish enough to think that whatever I was faced with, be it a difficult situation that required all of my attention or resources, or a friend in desperation, that I had indeed perceived it to be a partisan affair. As if the trial had little or nothing to do with me but was simply another serving opportunity. I admit that I’ve been self-righteous in my heart at times, thinking that I was the only one giving and doing and laboring. When all along God was trying to show me that these things were intended just as much for me as they were for the people whose lives I was touching. It’s meant to flow both ways; the ministry of hearts. This type of wisdom really scrambles my brain all while revealing the junk in my heart. I spent much of the next day rehashing all of the “needy” people that have ebbed and flowed in and out of my life over the last decade. I recalled the occasions where I was the one who was contrite in spirit; some even being terribly recent. And then I repented before Him for my pride. The Lord was faithful to show me a handful of scenarios where He had done a greater work in my own heart, even more so than the miracles done in the heart of the broken one He had sent to me. Who was I to assume that God could not answer my prayers for fellowship with Him through a crushed spirit? He reminded me of the seasons that I cried out, “Lord, make me more like you!” with reckless sincerity of heart. And He was faithful to hear my prayers. He was faithful to answer them. He was faithful to make me more like Him, in righteousness and selflessness. He has given me the greatest answer to prayer. He’s given me the needy. And with that He has given me the key to the very heart of the Father. May I be trustworthy, Lord, to minister and to be ministered to. Keep me teachable and pliable. Continue to reveal the depths of my heart before the luminance of yours. And under my breath, I pray…”keep me needy.”

From Up Here

March 6th, 2007

At my hip or clinging to my knees,
My little ones stay close.
Tower of safety at times I am,
More often than not I’m simply the”BASE!” in a game of tag.
Somehow it all revolves around me, the mom, as I’ve become the center of their obscure little universe.
What ever did I do to deserve the title of mother?
Seems I am sorely under qualified.
Most times I feel ill-prepared to answer, deal or cope.
I wonder if my children know this, and yet love me still.
I hold their hearts, the most vital organ,
To be shaped and protected,
To be cherished and nurtured,
I have been entrusted as one, who is able,
Though I am so unable.
Big blue eyes beckon me all day long,
To give any part of me.
I draw deep from precious reserves.
I pray there will always be enough.
Lord, may the well never run dry.
In the midst of chaos, and Legos, and baby dolls,
I can behold the future…vivid and vast.
At times my heart grows faint.
Other times, I pray to live to see it manifested.
But most times, I’m reigned in by the very present mess that swirls about my ankles.
Sometimes I’m full of fear…as the unknown taunts me.
Sometimes, I’m overwhelmed before my feet hit the floor,
And then there are times, when I feel we could conquer the world,
One load of laundry at a time.
Lord, make us a force to be reckoned with.
How can it be, that such jewels have been placed in my hand?
That such wonder and insight and beauty, could be rendered to me?
And my role, as knee-kisser and peanut butter and jelly sandwich maker,
How does this hold rank in light of eternity?
Oh, how I question my relevance with these fragile little seedlings, sown into my dry bed.
We allow life, following one moment after another,
As the Lord kneads tears, laughter, bumps and bruises,
Making it something brilliant,
Something I do not know how to make,
Something with promise.
So many questions.
“Why?” unending. “How come?” never ceasing.
And though I seem dimly, I sense an adequate answer, spoken quietly within.
“Just because”….and it’s enough for us all.
Child-like faith; my gift from above and below.
The things my children need, I need as well.
The things they want, I pray I can give.
Overwhelming grace comes with overwhelming need.It’s the way I stand; it’s the way I crawl.
It makes up most of my being.
The abandonment that comes with not knowing anything other,
I witness this in their everyday.
It’s admirable. It’s beautiful. It’s the way it ought to be.
It’s how I want to be.
It’s where I long to stay.
At His knees, my tower of safety and refuge.

So Stinken Smart

April 24th, 2007

So I'm in the post office today and behind me is a line of about 10 people. The post office is quiet, minus the whispers of my four children. After I finished my business at the counter with children swirling about my ankles, I do a quick glance over to count kids. I have a lot, ya know. I say, "Ok girls, let's go." and then look over my shoulder and circle around, looking for the baby who I thought had wondered off. I say, "Where is the baby?" to which Tessa replies, "In your arms." Then the entire post office burst into uncontrollable laughter!!! LOL. I turned bright red and moved down the counter to mail out my letters, baby on hip to the laughter of complete strangers. The postmaster had tears in her eyes she was laughing so hard. We had some banter back and forth, myself and the line of people that is, about how we all forget important, obvious things. I just could not recover from it. I snickered and giggled for like the next 30 minutes. Truly, one of my shinning moments. Oh, and I meant to tell you that I had a similar moment of brilliance at the Wal-Mart earlier this week where I actually walked off, pushing somebody else's shopping cart!! What's the matter with me?!!! Don't answer that.

Smells Like Jesus

I have a basketful of precious childhood memories and a number of those moments were structured around time spent with my loving grandmother. I confess that my brothers and I like to give our grandma a hard time as she is one of the easiest people to poke fun at, excluding my scatterbrained self, of course. But it’s all in great affection for the grandma that shaped our impressionable spirits at a very young age. I find myself sentimental even as I type this article. Grams, thank you for showing me Jesus. You were the one to sew the first seeds into my heart so that a loving relationship with God could be nurtured.
Grandma was always the type to root for the underdog. Seemed her friend list consisted of the least of them. She was always dropping off groceries and sacks of clothes anonymously to unfamiliar front porches as I would wait in the car and watch her from a distance. As a young child, I remember her volunteering her time at the local Damascus house, which is like a Salvation Army. Most of my clothes came from Damascus House as money was sparse back then. Grandma was always picking out nice items for me as they would come in. I can remember pillaging through large black garbage bags, strewing out “new” old clothes when she would stop by the house.
I can still vividly recall the dilapidated building she would take me to as a 5 year old girl. It was a putrid shade of green, located right along the tracks on the east side of town; otherwise known as the bad part of town. It smelled to me like old people and vintage clothing such as polyester and wool and there was a narrow staircase, dimly lit, that lead us to the upstairs. I remember that it felt as though the floor might give out below me as we made our way up to the second story. I could smell coffee and I felt warmth coming toward me as we made our way through the make-shift kitchen area to a room filled with folding chairs. Grandma called this the upper room and so, I did too. She told me about the story in Acts where the believers were gathered together and how God sent his Holy Spirit as they tarried there. Grandma told me everything I would need to know about God at that age. I felt honored to be with her in the upper room, as she led me to my seat, my hand in hers.
It was a humble church service that we would attend in that unstable upstairs. Grandma often would swing by and pick up Sister Netty on our way. Sister Netty was an elderly black woman who always wore those neat little hats from the 1950’s. In fact, I can remember thinking that they called her Sister Netty because of the netting on her hat. I remember that Netty also had a distinct smell to her as well. She smelled like oil to me. Not engine oil or anything like that but, I believe it was the oil she put in her hair that was memorable to me. And so her soft leathery hands also smelled like oil. I can remember observing her hands as they were so unusual. On the outside they were dark and aged and on the inside, they were a faded shade of brown, proudly showing every crease and line in her palms. I was intrigued by Sister Netty and memorized her visually. She was so very kind to me and a dear friend to grandma.
As we would prepare for the service to start, which usually only consisted of a handful of unique characters, grandma would take me to the kitchen so I could make myself a cup of coffee. This was the highlight of my evening. I felt so very grown up as I poured at least as much cream and sugar into my cup, as there was coffee. Then I’d carefully take my seat next to grandma and Sister Netty. The preacher man was a round fellow and as a child I remember thinking he looked at though he was melting. He would often perspire in that warm upstairs room, dressed from head to toe in his Sunday best. I thought it was odd that he wore his belt around the widest part of his belly, making him look like a bit of a weeble wobble to me. Funny, isn’t it, the way we perceive things as children? He had a very bad comb-over on the top of his head but it was evident that he did not place much emphasis on earthly things. In fact, the folks that flocked to this service were only there for one thing, and that was to meet with Jesus. Before too long, we would be asked to pull out our hymnals and stand and sing together. I remember struggling to read these King James Version-type songs, chock-full of words that made no sense to me. But I sang to the best of my ability. I can still hear grandma singing. She would close her eyes and raise her hand. I once asked her why she did this. She told me that she was telling Jesus how much she loved Him. I closed my eyes too, and raised my hand as an act of love. I knew God was in that place. He felt warm, he smelled old, he looked funny…but He was there. I just knew it.
Thank you, grandma, for showing me what Jesus looks like, acts like, and even smells like. You have given me something so very valuable and special, and it won’t be taken from me.

Spare Room Pics

This used to be Tessa's room but we moved her upstairs with the other girls so NOW, this room is for guests :) I have a few small things to do still, like put my mats and pics in some of the frames but,'s a done deal :)
I used things I already had too! Very little expense in this room. Oh, and the vanity I repainted! It's been my vanity since I was 5 years old :)
And you may recognize my bistro set from the laundry room in there. I moved it to the guest room as it seems to be a more practical fit in there. AND, the trickiest part of this room was designing around 3 doors! One to the laundry room, one to the bathroom and one to the dinning room!


September 8th, 2007

I have always been a very lucid dreamer. I can remember dreams from when I was a 5 years old. I have had the same dream more than once. I have certain houses or locations in my dreams that I visit again and again, though I've never visited them in real life; that I an recall anyhow. And somehow, in my dreams, I can remember that I've been in a certain place before. I've also dreamt in black and white before. It was so strange. It baffles me how the subconscious works. I've always been intrigued with the connection between mind, body and spirit. Anyhow...
I have a tendency to dream about antiques. Perhaps this is just part of who I am being that I enjoy old things and have a handful of old, vintage items in my home. I have also been passed down some beautiful antique pieces of furniture, linens and dishes. I truly love old things. So, I suppose I should not find it that bizarre that I dream of old things and am always in a position of pouring over them as I discover them in my dream. For example, I can remember off the top of my head 3 recent dreams concerning antiques.
1. I have actually written this dream down. I do this because God also speaks to me through my dreams and I want to be sure I keep record of anything significant He is sharing with me. Anyhow, this one specific dream included a scene where I wondered into the basement of an old church that was under construction. There were wood beams all over and a baptistery being built, which I thought was strange since it was in the floor of a basement. How can you build any further down from a basement? Anyhow, significance in that but what I'm getting to is the part where I discovered some old antiques. The most vivid item I found was an instrument that I had never seen before, however, I knew it was a musical instrument. I even sketched it out when I woke up. It was so unique in my mind, for never having any concept of it in real life. Anyhow, in my dream, it was mine. It was something that I didn't know I had but had been there the entire time. I remember picking it and by faith, I began to play it though I had no idea of what I was doing. It was an amazing dream and spoke volumes to me about what God had to say concerning my life. But again, it was a priceless antique.2. I was again in the basement of a church. It was actually supposed to be the church I used to attend. It was a GIGANTIC basement, old and stuffy and dusty. I remember Tim and Teague were with me this time. We scaled an outside wall to get in there. lol. It was an almost untouchable place. Nobody had been there for years; forgotten. Anyhow, I can see it in my mind as a movie now. It was filled with unbelievable antiques: dressers, frames, mirrors, tools, etc. And the strange part was that everything had a price tag on it, like in a flea market. The prices were unbelievably reasonable for authentic antiques. I was blown away by this treasury and for such an amazing price! I began to browse over every piece. It went on and on. I couldn't believe the span of the room. I wanted to run upstairs and tell somebody what I had found. End of dream.
3. I had a dream last night about antiques. I was personally shipping antiques from Michigan, with the help of my mother. There were a number of items from my great-grandparents and extended family. We made a pit stop at what we thought to be a storage unit. I began to unload all of these things, one at a time and stack it all together in this little area of the store house. Around me were TONS of antiques. i couldn't believe my eyes. As far as I could see, there were antiques. It was a warehouse full of them. There were other people there bringing all of their belongings in there as well. All of a sudden, a group of people came and began to move our antiques and scatter them throughout the warehouse, mixing them with other people's items and marking them for sale! I was in a panic. My mom was nowhere to be found. I began to canvas the store, looking for things that belonged to us but knew it was almost impossible amongst the thousands of items. I saw a large trunk being tapped up and ready for shipping. It was something of ours! I found a "sales lady" and told her the situation and that our family's belongings were not for sale and that I needed to get them all back together. I told her that we thought our antiques would be safe there but didn't realize they would become available for sale by unloading them into the house. As she sent off others to help me find my family's stuff, I once again found myself pouring over extraordinary antiques. I couldn't believe what I was taking in. When I am viewing antiques in my dreams, I am filled with awe. It's almost like I am in looking at breathtaking jewelry. I actually get a sense of fear at times when I canvas an old painting or a majestic piece of furniture. It's like I realize that I am in the presence of something very valuable and am honored to even know these things exist! It's so bizarre. I mean, it's the same feeling every time. So anyhow, with the woman's help, we painstakingly found each piece and gathered back the family "jewels.' End of dream.
So, I just did some research, nothing to take to heart, but out of curiosity I found a dream symbol interpretation site. I don't take these interpretations to heart but realize that many of them are very relevant by using context clues. However, I thought I'd type in antiques and see what came up. This is what I got. Interesting!
To dream of antiques, represent your time honored values, tradition and wisdom. It symbolizes something genuine or proven. It also symbolizes things in your past that may be worth holding onto or worth keeping. If you do not like or appreciate antiques, then is suggests that you are moving away from outdated childhood conditioning or old modes of thinking. On a negative note, you may be discarding or rejecting something of value that you should really be embracing and heeding.

What do YOU dream about?

Mama's Boy

August 8th, 2007

I saw a preview the other day for a movie that addresses a mother’s obsession with her son. I quickly identified myself as one of those mothers, but not in a plot-my-future-daughter-in-law’s-demise kind of way. More like an I-have-three-girls-and-this-little-boy has-brought-me-redemption kind of way. I like to think I’ve not gone off the deep end yet, anyway. However, I suppose I am just one girlfriend away from a psychotic episode. All in due time…So now that I have rightfully frightened away all of the mothers with potential maidens, I’ll continue on with my madness. It seems that having a little boy to call my own has proven to be very therapeutic for me. Not that having little girls hasn’t done something for me as it surely has. I now know I will never be able to find my shoes, jewelry, make-up, hairbrush and other coveted female items. If I didn’t have girls, I would have never known how important it is to hide everything important! Even as great a revelation as this is, insert sarcastic grin here, having a little man in my life has certainly made it complete. I could have never known what I was missing had my “little brother bear” not greeted me 19 months ago. He was indeed a surprise and yet, the best surprise of all of our lives. This much is agreed upon in my home.Teague, affectionately called Teaguers, is so petite; he’s not even on the National growth charts. He’s just a tiny fellow with his sky blue eyes being the biggest feature on him. He’s just precious, through and through. When I think of any other female coming into his life and snatching him out of my mommy-claws, I just get all crazy inside! Perhaps it’s because at this point in his life, I am the center of his universe. He’s so affectionate and loving. I could have never imagined that something that is fueled by testosterone could be so soft and loving. That boy has stolen my heart. He’s stolen all of our hearts, really. I was so afraid that the girls would feel left out or that I favored Teague because he was the boy AND the baby, at that. I suppose when I would say, “I have chosen Teague to receive all the spoils,” I may have been planting a jealous seed there. Perhaps that was a bit over the top, eh? But, despite my elaborate lavishing of affection and praise on the little guy, the girls quickly identified him as the favorite as well. So, I suppose it’s alright to have a favorite as long as he’s EVERYONE’S favorite. And indeed he is.When I hold Teague, all folded up in my lap, bullfrog-belly and all, I think about how he will grow up one day, despite his current tiny frame. And he will have friends and interests and I will not be the center of his universe anymore. Then I realize how psychotic that sounds and think to punch the shrink’s number, which I have on speed-dial, by the way. No, seriously, I think about how closely I hold this baby boy to my heart and how difficult it is going to be to see him grow older. It doesn’t seem as daunting to me with my girls for some reason. I’m not sure why this is but, since the boy, I have been much more emotional about the natural course of life taking place, thus, my Teaguers becoming a man. I am excited for the man he will be, just not too excited about the fact that it means he will never be my little boy anymore. I am trying to cherish every moment with him. I know they are fleeting. I know it goes faster, the older they get. I know all these things very well by now and it offers me no consolation. It only feeds that part of me that wants to hold him longer, squeeze him tighter, kiss him more often, and all that sappy-sweet stuff you can’t do later on because they smell like body odor or something worse. I pray I will treasure every second as it comes to me. I hope that I can somehow fill up the part of my heart that he holds, with so many tender moments that there couldn’t possibly be any room for regret. I want to love him enough now so that I can endure when he is no longer mine; when he belongs to the beautiful woman he will marry one day. Note to self: retract mommy-claws and love baby boy for the moment you are in.

Painfully Human

September 17th, 2007

Sometimes I totally lose perspective and I forget how good I have it, or how good my life is. I think about the pressing issues in my life; making more money, finding more time, getting into my pre-baby clothes...I have no issues, really. My issues are so minuscule. I feel foolish at times, for even complaining or wanting more out of my life. If I never moved from this place in life, I can honestly say that I am more blessed than many of the people of the earth. I have these moments when I realize that I am living for myself, and not for others. I feel awful for eyeballing that cute purse or shoes when I think of Kenya's orphans living on the streets, eating out of trash heaps. The most desperate conditions in earth exist in Africa :( It's staggering, the idea of little ones, TEAGUE'S AGE, trying to survive, alone. When I read current events, I just cringe at my shallow concern. Sometimes I wonder if my broken songs are really changing anything. I wonder if my prayers are really making their way to the most desperate places of the earth. I know God cares more than I ever could. I have to believe that he uses my weak prayers on behalf of the hurting, not so much because it's me. It's a wonder that the God of the Universe, the one who sees every hidden thing from beginning to end, even tolerates me in my apathy and my selfishness. It's only by His grace that I am even able to stand, to know serve Him. I'm not downtrodden. I'm stirred. I'm sick of myself at times, trying to scramble to pay bills and provide for my family, and feeling I've done a good thing in doing so, when there are others living off of rotten food in alleys and slumps. The need is overwhelming. Often times I just put it out of my mind for lack of ability to respond. I don't know how to respond to such enormous need. I only know I need to. I must do something. If we all did something, things would be different. No child should have to starve to death. I could have very easily been born in Africa, into poverty and orphaned by age 2 or 3. That could easily be my baby boy wasting away in poverty and war. Thank you Lord, that it is not and yet in acknowledging this, I know you love them no less. I know that your kingdom is going to be full of these children; these ones that have known nothing but pain on this earth. I believe they will sit on your lap, feast at your table and never know of need, ever again. They will hold a coveted place in the heavens as you have said, "blessed are the poor for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." You will exalt the poor. You will reward them with riches that will not tarnish or lose their luster. You are a good God and my hope is in you. You are the only justice I know. If not for you, I would have lost hope a long time ago.
These verses tear at my heart. This is the very essence of the heart of God. This is His priority list.
Blessed are the poor in spirit,for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,for they shall possess the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice,for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart,for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice sake,for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

I had a dream the other night, Friday night to be exact. We pray for rain a lot over here. There are a number of meanings to this but mostly we are asking God to come; to bring His kingdom to earth. We want the wrong things made right. We want justice done. We want justice in our OWN lives. We need God to make right our own hearts. In my dream, we were once again praying for rain. We were going for it, praying hard. Then it started to rain. And it rained some more. Then it started to flood. Then it was terrifying, the amount of rain. Then there were causalities because of the rain. It was unsettling and yet, I knew in my spirit this was the very rain we were praying for. Moments before I was crying out with all that I had within me for God to come. Then He came, and I was afraid. There are a few things the Lord has shown me about this but mainly, there is a need for His people to be ready for the rain. Just as in the days of Noah...and now there are hundreds of houses of prayer, built solely for the return of the coming King, in effort to ready his Bride and partner with Him in end-time affairs. It's sobering, ladies. This stuff blows my mind. This is the richest form of reality I know. This is the stuff so real I can taste it. And now, will I be ready? Will I? Will you? Am I really ready, for my prayers to be answered? Am I really ready for God to come and make right what is wrong on the earth? I am dealing soberly with myself tonight.

How hard can it be?

October 1, 2007

I drink coffee every morning. I make my own coffee most mornings...even though I wish somebody else would make it for me as I love to just grab a cup and pour :) It just seems so thoughtful. Anyhow....
I can't tell you how many times I go into the kitchen, assuming my coffee is done perking and find that I am a total ding-dong...AGAIN! I have made coffee the wrong way more times than I have the RIGHT way. So this morning I went into the kitchen, CERTAIN that I smelled it brewing in there, beckoning me and yet I found the pitcher full of clear water though I did remember to put the coffee in. I guess I forgot to pour the water in before I started the pot :P But last week I started the coffee pot and went in to grab my wake-up juice, Tim right behind me, when I found clear water in the pot again! I was so confused! I opened the lid to find that I had only put a filter in coffee. Tim had a good laugh over this. He is curious to know how many ways I can botch up the coffee-making process. Thus far I have screwed up this simple procedure of 3 or so steps at least FIVE times. It just goes to show that my mind really doesn't work properly before the caffeine is ingested. In fact, I am blaming all of my misspelled words on no coffee as I am waiting for it to finish brewing right now.

Holy Sock!

October 8th, 2007

So...this evening, just for fun, I looked up a band on myspace that I have a very fond memory of. They were a group called Lifter and were playing a local gig in Toledo one weekend. It just happened to be my 17th birthday that weekend so two of my friends, and myself, went out to a popular club for some trouble. This is the same club that I happened to catch a show of Marilyn Manson before he was super popular. Let me tell you how creepy THAT was. you have a glimpse into my "previous" life. So...this particular night, Lifter was playing on the second floor and so my friends and I danced the night away like the crazy doped-up, drunk girls we were. The lead singer that evening asked my name from the stage and then preceded to insert my name into every song he sang, in honor of my birthday. I was flattered and spun around the floor in my skin-tight Hooters t-shirt and bell bottoms, minus a bra, btw. THOSE were the days :) Anyhow, just myself and one other friend ( my crazy die-hard party-hardy friend) stuck around til the band was done because we wanted to party with them. We were known for this. I partied with quite a few bands back in the day (my friend Brandy in Florida can testify to this!) I was just one of those girls. So...we caught a ride with the band and they took us back to their hotel room. We were excited to get wasted and probably end up stripping on a table or something. Honestly, we were naughty girls. However, God had a different plan for us as the band members began to tell us that they were clean; as in no-drugs. We were like, "Huh? You're in a band and you don't get high?" It was quite strange. Anyhow...they were extremely kind to us. We did somersaults down the hallway and acted very innocently. We eventually ended up sleeping on the floor of their hotel room. .In fact, one of the guitarists was quite friendly with me and overly complimentary of my hair, clothes, etc. He asked me how I got my hair to layer the way it was and all sorts of silly questions about how I got so cute :P I figured he wanted to get laid but I was not up for that...not sober, anyhow. So, that evening he slept on the floor next to me, twirling my hair the entire evening and just rubbing my arms, hands, etc. I was not attracted to him and I wasn't drunk so, I wasn't going to sleep with him. I did however sense some stress between the lead singer and this guitarist as I believe the lead singer had his eye set on me early on in the evening and that was part of his strategy with calling out my name in every song. I have to tell you...this was a very romantic move! I was totally flattered :) And I had been around a number of players by this time. This was just plain sweet, in my opinion. So, the next morning we all got up, hopped into their van and they took us to get coffee. Then they graciously dropped us off in Newport, where my friend lived, as they were already on their way to Detroit for another show. They were on tour. So, they dropped us off, took a moment to come in the back yard and jump on the trampoline and just be plain silly. I've still got the pictures!!! I am going to find them soon and post them. Anyhow...all of this to say...I looked them up tonight on Myspace, curious to see if they were still a band. I couldn't believe what I found!!! The very same guy that was fascinated with my hair and outfit is the guy who won Project Runway, the third season!!!! Check him out at this link below. I just could not believe this! And the band is still alive and kicking! What a crazy story, eh? Turns out Jeffery didn't stay clean for very long. He ended up badly involved with drugs but just recently kicked the habit. It's a neat story. You'll have to read a bit. Now he's dressing Tommy Lee, Lenny Kravitz and the like! I'm like, "NO WAY!!" Check out his press link. It's insane! And the crazy thing is....I remember him from the SHOW!!!! I did not put the two together though. Anyway...I'm just kinda freaking out at how insane life is. Be sure to check out his stuff. It's killer!

Just a little something I jotted down a few weeks ago

Your mercy prevails over me. It’s like the dusk, which settles on me unwittingly. The next thing I know, the day is fading and my heart falls reflective. I think of your goodness towards me. It’s like the night that swallows me up in darkness, which covers me like a thick cocoon of black. It covers me. It covers me. It’s like the morning as the dawn breaks and radiance floods my soul, revealing the beauty of what your hand has made. It’s like the noon day sun, finding me out relentlessly, cornering me at every place. It prevails over me. Like a rainbow that bows itself over me, so is your mercy. It drapes itself like the clouds in the sky. It hangs above me like the stars, untouchable but visible. It will never leave me. It shall always follow me, all the days of my life. Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever

Testimony Time! Pop a squat.

To catch "everybody" up, the newspaper asked me to take over the religious column a couple of months ago. This was very exciting and intimidating to me. I was flattered since a pastor usually writes this story but...a pastor I am not. Anyhow, it's every other week now and I'm trying to get in the flow of that. My life is very full and being able to capture thoughts that make sense and minister to others can be difficult for me, to say the least. It's truly been the Lord's prompting and doing thus far. I am at His mercy. really super duper thing that has recently happened is that I have totally gone off some medication that I have been on for almost 5 years now. I have a heart condition called Mitral Valve Prolapse and it causes trouble for me at times, or at least it has in the past. In fact, I was on 3 different medications for a very long lenght of time. One was an antidepressant to control panic attacks, which is what came when we found out about the heart condition. The other was a mild tranquilizer that I took 2 times a day, for anxiety and muscle fatigue, etc. (Used to have trouble just chewing food, as my muscles would tucker out and burn with fatigue) And then a beta blocker was the other pill I took, to regulate my blood pressure and keep me from feeling like I was going to pass out. It also helped a lot to relieve me of the palpitations and that sort of thing. I am totally free of ALL of that medication as the Lord is healing my body :) This is actually a really, really big deal for me and a miracle. I don't want to make less of it because it's such a gigantic blessing to me that this compassionate God has mercy on those who suffer and have pain in this life. I have been medicine free for about 10 days now after slowly weaning off of them over a month's time. Let me tell you the story behind my healing.
First of the year a dear brother in our church congregation shared that he was diagnosed with cancer. It was devestating to hear but he shared with so much grace and hope in his voice. He actually brought the body a word from the Lord, and I received it that morning as God spoke it personally to my heart. He said that the Lord was sharing w/him that his healing would come in the form of a seed. That if he would plant himself in fertile soil (making reference to the church and the International House of Prayer) then his healing would begin to break forth. The Lord spoke to my heart concerning the prayer house here in town (that I've been involved with for 9 years now) and spoke that it was time for me to "officially" plant myself in His house as an intercessory missionary. I knew that I was the seed and that He was asking me to bury myself, in the hidden place of prayer and meditation. I agreed in my heart, even saying that if my job was extended (my job at DaySpring doing design...which I TOTALLY LOVED) I would say no and persue Him in prayer. He marked my heart that morning. Anyhow, we had a season of prayer for our sick brother as he was facing a biopsy surgery and an exploratory-type surgery in his lymphnodes, looking for more cancer in the throat. Over the course of about 2 weeks or less, he had the surgery only to be told by the doctor who has done this type of surgery for 25 years, that he did NOT have cancer, in the biopsy that was removed or anywhere else in his throat. He said he's done thousands of these types of surgeries and that was only the 2nd time somebody has NOT had cancer. Said people don't make it to the cutting table if they don't have cancer. He even said it was a miracle :0) Praise God! He came back to share and I just knew...God was going to heal me as well. This man was just the first fruit of what God can do and is WILLING to do. He is a healer!

So, after the Lord spoke to me during that service I began to cut my meds. I knew going off of them cold turkey would make me ill, as I've tried a number of times before to do this. I have only made it 1 1/2 days before my body began to have panic attack after panic attack and eventually it just shut down. I wouldn't be able to speak or move. I would be bed-ridden for at least an entire day. It was awful and very discouraging. So I knew going off of it slowly would be wise. Also, when a seed is planted, it doesn't bloom the next day. It takes root, it reaches deep for nutrients in the soil. It grows hidden for a time, and then it breaks forth from the ground with a fragile bud of faith. And then we know the rest. It blooms. This is exactly how it felt for me. I was doing the fundamental things of faith by moving forward with splitting my pills, adding supplements to my diet, watching what I was eating/drinking/etc., and thanking God for healing me. I was doing my part and trusting Him to do His part when the time came. You see...there will most likely come a day when I am not able to access medical care because of the state of the world. I have always known that the Lord would have to heal me, either now or later. I'm just glad it's now and not later :0) So slowly I dealt with the withdrawl effects of coming off of Zoloft, which also has a half life so, even when you don't take it, you have some time before it's truly out of your system. I could feel the changes in my body. My hands and feet started to turn blue again, like they did before I took the medication. I had severe vertigo and light-headedness. I was so dizzy I was nauseated. And I had massive spells of fatigue, where I felt literally drugged. I was concerned about driving while I was this tired because it was a sleep that I couldn't fight. I would pass out drooling...lovely. But it passed and I started to cry a lot and feel a lot of things that the antidepressants hadn't allowed me to feel. I could tell I was "coming back" in a sense but I felt very fragile though I was hopeful. And then one specific Saturday night while at the prayer house we prayed for healing. God touched my body that night and by faith I received my healing. I knew it was never going to be the same, my struggle that is. And then I got the flu. LOL! And I felt so bad that I didn't know what was the medication and what was the virus. It was awful, awful, awful. Tim had 4 infections on top of flu and it hit overnight. Everybody got something to some degree but, Tim and I were hit the hardest. But, by grace we bounced back (though I am STILL coughing...annoying) and we're good to go now :) And...I haven't had any meds since and I feel really good about it. There are still some things that I used to struggle with that are coming back like the glare at night when I drive and seeing flashes of light, that sort of thing. Very strange things that are more annoying than disturbing to me. But, it's a seed...and it's a process...and it's amazing that the Lord has brought me thus far, without a single panic attack!!!!! And let me tell you, this has been a VERY stressful season for us. One of the most financially taxing times we've ever experienced in our 11 years of marraige, amongst other things. And the Lord has me cool and steady. Ha! I realize that right there is the miracle. It's like I'm just walking through this chaos and a thousand fall to one side and ten thousands to my other, and I'm just fine. Psalm 91 is coming alive. There are tears but, they are as worship before the Lord. They are not being wasted. Anyhow...this is where I've been. Maybe that's why I haven't been blogging much. Too busy livin' I'm at the prayer house and I'm loving being able to give myself permission to "waste" my life in prayer and worship. Something I have longed for for so long and now it's here. Just in time, too. And my job was extended and so that was a real test, turning down money and opportunity, but God is my reward and my favor and so I know that He will continue to lead me into open spaces and prosperous plains. I must trust Him because I am sunk if I don't. He kind of sets it up that way I think.
There are other things but they are best left in my heart for now :0) Perhaps when the clarity is full there...Oh, and I'm off of coffee too! I never thought the day would come. I don't wake up and have coffee every morning anymore :( Kind of miss it actually but I'm not quite back to craving it yet. I'm sure it'll be back eventually but for now, I'm a hot tea girl. Got to have a hot drink, somehow. But coffee is not good for my heart and for my circulation so...out it goes! Ok, now THAT trumps all other miracles. If you know me you know how much I love my coffee. Perhaps a bit of decaf here and there. We'll see...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Relevance as a second Language

In my life, there are a fistful of core goals that I pray I will accomplish. Of course, this is a very condensed capsule and it consists mostly of intangible elements that serve to propel me in the direction I want to go. At the center of that core is my relationship with the God of the Universe; the uncreated One. Metaphorically and spatially speaking, my God is the sun that I revolve around; the constant, unmovable, immeasurable foundation of all things. Then circling around that are these other valuable and pertinent factors in my life that carry great weight, especially as it pertains to my ability to function and evolve as a fearfully and wonderfully made being. Plainly stated, there are obviously some things that are more important than others. Those more important things I hold very close to me, by the grace and "gravitational pull" of God.

Being a relevant human being in a helplessly irrelevant world is one of my highest priorities, this side of eternity. It has always been a devastating issue for me, honestly, to think that my life, my purpose, my ideas are not relevant to others. I have a longing to impact life, here and now, as well as life everlasting. To be swept aside and dismissed is maddening, in my mind. To be living a life that speaks nothing to anyone is one of my worst fears. I don't want to be rationalized away one day, leaving others to try and make sense of the hodge-podge remnants of my indiscretions in life. I desire substance and focus. I desire to be relevant.

I am a Biography Channel junkie. I am hopelessly curious as to the story behind the person. On many occasions I have asked myself the loaded question, "If my life was aired on the Biography channel, what would it say?" My life has a voice. It speaks its very own language. I want it to be fluent with beautiful and comprehensive human dynamic. I want relevance to be my second language.

Recently I watched a biography about an artist. He was deeply troubled and disturbed and of course his art reflected as much. His life was being played out for me, scene after scene, image after image; the sum of all his parts, condensed into a mere hour. A series of interviews peppered the program, encouraging past companions to retell his failures and successes. To say he was eccentric is an understatement. Perhaps tortured is a just description. His life was obscure. He spent most of it isolated in his own warped ideology. When you add up the gross inconsistencies and the failed attempts at forging a name on society, I see a man lost in his own abstractness. His life seemed inadmissible. This is not to say that his life had no meaning or that he was not cherished or loved by those dear to him. But being weighed against something as vast as eternity, I believe he fell miserably short. His life, his art, his inspiration led you to nothingness. It offered no hope. It gave no explanation. It lacked significance. I racked my brain, struggling to find something inside of me that could relate to him, to his cause…to his pain, even. His ideas spun me in circles. In fact, they haunt me for lack of reason.

I have an innate desire in me to know and be fully known. Being made in the likeness of Christ, this is no surprise to me as this is also the Father's desire. I believe this man also wanted to be known; his ideas, his aspirations, the corridors of his dark heart. However, my assessment and assumption is that he had little or no understanding of himself because he did not know the One who created him. It's no wonder his ideas were perverse, demented and inconsequential. That is at best what our finite minds conjure up. In light of God's wisdom, we squirm in our foolishness. As the program ran its credits, I felt a muddy mix of emotions. I felt embarrassed to be human. I felt relieved to know God. I felt the distance between my thoughts and His. I felt the need to pray. I prayed for a life that would be understood and that would add up in the end. I prayed that my life would equal something. I prayed it would translate into something coherent and applicable. And in so many words, I prayed to be relevant

The Inevitable is Here

I can feel it happening. I really can. And not only that, I can SEE it happening. It's even painful at times and then there are the times when it's simply hysterical. But most of all, it's inevitable. I might as well quit fighting and just give in. The force is greater than me. It has gained momentum and I am being swept into its raging current. That's right…I'm turning into my parents.

Do you realize that next year I will have a child in middle school? And next year also marks another milestone for me as I round out the ripe age of 30. Remember when 30 meant you were ancient? I do. I was about the age of my oldest daughter! So here I am, facing the music and now fully understanding why my parents did the things they did, said the things they said and went entirely out of their minds! I am officially a grown up! Death to all things fun and impractical! Here's to ingesting Grape Nuts and Geritol every day for the rest of my life! Well…perhaps I am being a bit dramatic.

While I am riding in the car with my husband, I have a bad habit of admiring all of his newly sprouted grey hairs as he drives. I can't help it. They shine like silver in his dark hair. I try to look away but I can't stop staring. It's like a tree ring, of sorts. I see more and more each time I ride in the car with him. It's quite telling of the years we've spent together, raising children, doing the stuff of life while hanging on by the skin of our teeth at times. My first instinct is to grab the tweezers and pluck those suckers but, I think I'm reaching the point where I am willing to submit to the idea that this is all part of it. This is part of God's plan for us. And of course, I'm glad he's the one greying and not me. (snicker)

The other day I was at the center of the universe, Wal-Mart, and I was slowly creeping down the aisle, rummaging through my coupon book and scouring the shelves for my coveted product. An older gentleman stocking shelves said to me, "The coupon lady." I smiled politely and nodded my head in agreement as I mentally began to take ownership of this frugal title. I MUST use my coupons…and count my pennies…and cut some corners…and eat Grape Nuts. I'm a grown up now. This is what grown-ups do. However…I pray the label, "cat lady," is a few years off yet. Meow.

One of the most obvious things to look for when questioning if you are evolving into your parents or not is to take note of where your thought life is. Do you find yourself thinking of mutual funds and saving for your children's education? Do you catch yourself trying to envision a son or daughter-in-law fitting into the family one day? Do you feel totally unprepared for all that will be required of you as your children become young adults and then eventually parents themselves one day? I know I do. When you watch television, do you find yourself watching Fox News or CNN or even worse yet, Nightline? Do you find that the people on the Home Shopping Network are really onto something? Do you find it difficult to stay awake while watching the ten o'clock news? If you answered yes to any of the above, I would be so brave as to suggest that you are, indeed, a grown-up. I apologize if this is a harsh reality for some of you but the sooner you accept it, the sooner you will enjoy watching the Price is Right everyday of your life.

All of this to say that yes, I am now officially my parents. I even say the dreaded phrases that I swore I would not say. You know the ones. "How many times do I have to tell you?" And, "I'm not the maid around here." And of course the infamous, "If you catch anything else on fire we're going to have you deported!" Uh….well, maybe that last one was exclusively for me growing up. But suffice to say, it's alright, fellow adult. You are not alone in this season of life. I too am going through the changes and trying to embrace it with enthusiasm. In fact, I am writing a book about it. It's going to be called, Grape Nuts; 101 Ways.

Passion is a Seed

This past weekend I heard one of the most profound statements of my entire life. It came by way of a dear friend of mine, whose life mission is to declare the love and knowledge of God and has been giving him self to this very endeavor over the years. The words had scarcely left his lips that evening when they sharply pierced my heart and sent what felt like a wave of truth through my entire being. His statement was this. Passion over time looks like faithfulness.

Do you know what this statement means for me? It revolutionizes my finite thinking and minimal understanding of what passion really is and what it should resemble after years of being seasoned and simmered. Upon hearing these words I knew that I had not rightly discerned the definition of passion in my own life. Not only in reference to my heart toward specific causes or people but especially in regards to my heart posture toward the Lord and his bleeding heart towards me. Passion is not only an emotion but rather, it is also a seed.

When I survey the things in my life that I have desired to display passion about, I see a frustration in my spirit, due to my inability to maintain the type of intensity that I think would be required. I have always thought that passion equaled this sort of violent, forward-moving action that fueled and burned itself, all at once. I guess in my mind it resembled something akin to flames of fire. And is some ways, my concepts were not so far off. I do believe that passion can be resembled as such. However, I had no reference for what that flame would be considered once it died down; once it was reduced to mere smothering embers, almost entirely quenched by the flood waters of this life. Could it really be called passion if it wasn't roaring with emotion and being fed with zealous energies and efforts? I dare to say it could…and it is.

I believe that many of us in our faith walk have dismissed our more recent yet sincere inclinations toward God for one reason or another. Perhaps we had an intense love for the Lord at some point in our lives that we are constantly measuring ourselves against; that we were never able to fully regain or rekindle. If you're like me, you may have heaped condemnation on your own head for not being able to feel the emotions that you once had for God. This has also been a place that I have been trying to revisit in my marriage. Who doesn't want to have the same passion they once had in the beginning stages of new love? But I now realize that it doesn't have to be a striving for the emotions that were attached to that sweet time but rather, a conscious commitment of walking out the devotion that has come as a result of that passion. I have concluded that if passion cultivates faithfulness, then passion must be a seed that is sown. And I do find this to be the case in the relationships in my life, and most certainly with Christ. With assurance he has sown a promise into me, through the fierce love story of the cross, and caused my heart to follow him. It's only by God's grace that I am still a lover of Him. Even when my heart has gone wayward, His passion for me has kept me from wandering off to the point of no return. Truly His love for me is the ultimate picture of passion and dying devotion, translated into an eternal faithfulness that I can never escape. I realize that there is a desire in the human heart to possess passion. I am continually in awe of those who have zeal in their hearts about whatever it is they set before them. It's truly admirable. And yet, if it were to be all about emotion, they would not be able to maintain it lifelong. But I am learning that passion is so much more than a fleeting feeling. Sometimes it looks like a husband, committed to raising his children and providing for his wife. Other times it might look like an employee that is overlooked and underpaid and yet, continues on with the job that God has blessed him with. Many times it looks like the martyr, whose life was fully given unto death. I believe these to be pictures of passion, preserved by God's grace, not yet killed. Surely it suffers much and endures all things.

Passion is what has given us life and passion is what will cause us to triumph, friends, even to the end. This is the passion of the Christ. This is the faithfulness of Christ; from everlasting, to everlasting. It will never grow cold. It will never lose momentum. It is eternal.


Lately I've been trying to absorb the concept of destiny. What does it mean? What does it matter? I've heard many refer to destiny in a flippant way, chalking it up to some sort of romantic collision of fates. That seems a bit too unintentional to me, however; this crazy notion that we live any ol' way we wish and somehow, by happenstance, it all works out in the end. I suppose I've seen it NOT work out enough times to discredit this theory in my own life. If only I could toss up my hands in a grandiose display of, "Che sara, sara! Whatever will be, will be!" and somehow land right where destiny intends me to be. And while I'm wishfully thinking, wouldn't it be great to skip the whole labor part of birthing children, too? Oh, the possibilities…..

Destiny has taken on a deeper meaning for me in the past few years. When I search out synonyms of the word I find a few that really strike my heart. There's certainty, conclusion, portion, expectation, and foreordination among many others. I have to smile because I realize that these are indeed honest depictions of what it means to be destined. And when I plug this into the context of reigning with Christ forever and ever, my smile widens because I am certain that he has written destiny on my heart.

Do you remember the line from Back to the Future, one of my favorite movies ever, where Marty McFly approaches Lorraine, his future wife, in a local diner and musters up the nerve to say to her, "I'm your density. I mean... your destiny." through much awkwardness? Though a ridiculous analogy, it is so fitting for what the truth is in regards to the coming Bridegroom King. He says to us, "You are my destiny." And we are to answer back, "And you are MY destiny, Lord." I imagine we may stammer those words out as Marty did but, nonetheless, it is to be said and understood. Jesus is our destiny. This remains true whether you believe in Him or not. Flipping back to my synonyms, He is the certain conclusion and portion of all things, both past and present. He is more than a romantic notion or a superstition. He is the be-all and end-all.

I find myself in a very spacious place, spiritually speaking. I have lofty ideas of God and I find myself daydreaming about the time we spend together. He's courting me and I'm searching for Him. It's not a hit and miss type of deal. It's a very purposeful and strategic time. I'm embarking on a journey with Him that allows me to FINALLY give myself permission to minister before Him in the place of prayer and worship at the International House of Prayer. I've so longed for this season. I was made to do this. I was made for worship. I was made to love God and be loved by God. I was made to search Him out in the secret places of prayer and meditation. I can sense destiny taking root inside of me. As I span the past and reflect on the seeds sown, words spoken and promises made, I have certainty about what God has called me to and what God has promised to do in and through me. Because of this I don't have to second guess every movement I make and yet I'm not charging blindly into life either. I'm walking, in fellowship, and I'm agreeing with what destiny has declared over my life. His plans can be found out and I can know where it is that I am going by knowing the One who has invited me to sojourn with Him. There is nothing flippant or consequential about Christ's death on the cross. He predestined eternity before I was even a thought in my parents mind. Destiny begins and ends with Him alone.
There is a great quote that goes something like this, "I don't know what the future holds but I know who holds the future." Jesus knows my destiny. And even greater than that, Jesus IS my destiny. I sure ended up with the long end of the stick on that one.

Knowing the Heart of God

The heart of God can seem to be a very obscure and elusive mystery at times. The depths of the knowledge and love of God are endless and eternal. I love how Jeremiah 33:3 says, 'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.' This is a promise that He CAN and WILL be found out, if only we inquire of Him.

At some point in our lives, most of us find ourselves in the desert place; the wilderness season of the soul. I know I've had my fair share of north winds and have found myself admittedly bewildered and disillusioned while being spun around in my shade of gray. Sometimes life isn't as simple as black and white. Sometimes we are left in the dense fog, grasping and searching for God. These are the times I ask of the Lord, "What is this? What are you doing?" fully knowing that He has not abandoned me in my longing and need of Him. And even in those times when He stands far off, silently watching and waiting to see what is in my heart, I know He will reveal himself to me eventually, and it will all be worth it, these temporary struggles and trials.

Personally, I find it difficult to discern God's heart when I'm in the midst of something so "thick" I can't see my own hand, even if placed in front of my face. In fact, it's almost impossible to know where to tread when you can not see the path before you. Sometimes I'm forced to stand still for lack of insight and direction. Other times I'm only allowed enough visibility to take one minor step at a time. It's all in His hands and it's all in His heart, the plans He has for me. It's my obligation to trust that He is good and His heart toward me is love. Perfected love casts out all fear.

I would love to tell you that I have 100% discernment and understanding of the things that God has allowed in my life and the things that I wrestle with now. However, I do not. The Lord has shared a few things with me as to why particular events happened and why circumstances unfolded the way they have over my lifetime. But, for the most part, my questions are not satisfied with concrete answers that add up to make perfect sense. My questions are satisfied with Him. There are a few things that I know that I know. Most things I have no clue about. But the one thing that is not questionable in my life is the Lord's love for me. Even when I feel foolish and in the dark, unable to know what my next move is, I am certain He loves me. Even when I feel there is nothing in my life that is stable or promised, He is. Even when I am not able to discern the move of God in my life, whether it is purposefully intended that way by Him or due to my lack of understanding, I can always discern his heart for me… and it is good. This should be enough for me. This is what it means to trust, I believe. This is what I am learning. Whatever comes, it is intended for my good because the Lord is for me, not against me. And I can know His heart. I can also know His plans, if he desires to trust me with them. But even when I do not know, when the unknown feels scary and unfamiliar, I can rest in the fact that I know the. It is always bleeding love for me and that's enough to see me through.

Lose To Gain, Die to Live

There is a very backward principle in the kingdom of God. It is not the way of the world that we live in but it is the way of wisdom. It is the way often resisted and refused. It is the way of Christ.Many people believe that coming into a relationship with Christ means death to the things they want. But this is only true if your wants are contrary to what is best for your life. In fact, it is foolishness to believe that anyone has ever lost anything by following Christ. We have only gained, and undeservingly so.

I want to put the death the voice inside of me that would count my losses since knowing Jesus. There is no tab to be kept. There is no grieving of things lost or longed for. There is only a receipt of canceled debt. This alone is enough to silence the heart's pity-party.
Some understand that to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, as a wholehearted disciple, you'll be asked to forsake yourself. They fear having to relinquish their ambitions, aspirations and passions in life. Many are not ready to surrender such valuable portions of their hearts to a man who lived both life and death with such reckless abandonment. For some the reservation is in money. Consider the rich young ruler who wanted eternal life but was not willing to part with his wealth. Had he only known the riches he would have gained had He done as the Lord requested of him. The Bible says that he went away sad that day and understandably so. Though he hadn't sold a thing, he had surely lost.

For others the reservation may be ambition or passions and their hearts burn for other, lesser things that will not submit to the will of God. Many times God wants to give us the desires of our hearts but only when those desires become His, first. If we could just trust Him to take every talent, gifting, and passion and fashion it in the fire of His love, I know it would resemble something more gratifying to us and glorifying to Him. And yet we cling to these vain imaginations as God longs to bring death to them that He may give us the real thing.
And yet for others the resistance stems from forfeiting the sin they so enjoy. Nothing on this earth could ever compare to the satisfaction of knowing and following Christ, especially not the indulgence of our "favorite" sin. If we are not at war with our sin then something is wrong. To follow Christ in Godly submission is to crucify the sin of the flesh, and to never make peace with it again. If we are still coddling our sin like it's a puppy under our arm, we will never know what it means to be a true disciple. The kingdom came to destroy sin, not give place to it.

And yet I suppose there will always be those of us who will never fully trust this God with His crazy, backward ideas. Seems too foolish to be wisdom and yet, He gives wisdom to the simple things and makes foolish the wise. His way is always the best way and I consider not the things I have lost for I have only gained, in Him. He has given me more than I have ever deserved and has asked very little of me; only to follow Him.