Tuesday, July 19, 2016

This is not cheerleading

Sometimes we struggle through TERRIBLE, DIFFICULT, AWFUL stuff.  Children get cancer... tragic accidents happen... people betray us... we are unjustly accused... during these times I sometimes struggle to slay my inner cheerleader.  See in cheerleading form matters... smiles matter... pointed toes... synchronization... energy... they all matter.  It's not good enough to throw the hardest skill... hit the hardest stunt... perform the most difficult jump... you have to do ALL of these perfectly and with a smile no matter if you just face planted 8 counts ago.

But struggles aren't cheerleading.  You don't have to be perfect.  You don't have to smile and point your toes.  In struggles sometimes it's enough to just get through....  Sometimes it's ugly... like tears and snot mixed together ugly...
sometimes it's a close call... like you're hanging by your fingertips with terror seeping out of every pore, but you didn't give up close call.

See I think struggles are more like basketball... in basketball no one cares if you smile... or point your toes... or are in perfect sync with your teammates.... in basketball you just gotta get the ball through that net.  That's all.  And in struggles you've just got to make it through with your faith intact. Just don't give up.  Just don't let go. It's okay if you ugly cry. It's okay if you kick and scream.  It's even okay if you WANT to throw in the towel.... just don't do it!  Just. Don't.  Give.  Up.

...and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Hebrews 12:1

Monday, July 18, 2016

Because of who You are

This new It is Well rocks me to my core... so many powerful lyrics!

...Seas that are shaken and stirred can be calmed and broken for my regard
...And this mountain that's in front of me will be thrown into the midst of the sea
... So let go my soul and trust in Him the waves and wind still know His name

But tonight as I listened to it for the gajillonth time, it was an unscripted portion that spoke to me.... in between lyrics... really just a quick breath.... the words "because of who You are" jarred my soul.... it is well with my soul.... in the midst of trials and agonizing defeats.... not because I'm dedicated to Christ.... not because my situation isn't as bad as some others... not even because the testing of my faith develops perseverance.... it is well with my soul BECAUSE OF WHO GOD IS.... He is good... He is powerful.... He is loving and kind... He is JUST... He is righteous... and He is tender... oh so tender with my battered and bruised soul.... let that wash over you tonight.... let that sink deep into your pores... it is well BECAUSE OF WHO HE IS.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Falling apart

Someone's life is falling apart today. Probably every single day you come in contact with at least one person whose life is in the process of unraveling at the seams. Someone just lost a loved one.... someone just found out the cancer is back... someone just found out her spouse is cheating on her.... someone was just arrested, had their car repossesed, lost a job. Right now at least one of your FB friends is struggling through one of the hardest things they've ever faced.... maybe you know about it.... maybe you don't.... but someone you know has a shattered heart....

So what to do? How do you help?

1. Pray for that person.  If you don't know a person who is currently struggling with a deep, deep tragedy then just pray anyways.  God knows each and every travesty.... and He can work even if you don't know WHO you're praying for.

2. Ask God to make you more sensitive to the subtle signs that someone is REALLY hurting.  A quiver in a voice,  averted eyes that are filling with tears... Ask Him to reveal to you those who need you to reach out to them. And then be brave enough to REACH OUT.

3. Be just a lil bit kinder to everyone you encounter today.  Wouldn't you rather be unexpectedly kind to someone who doesn't deserve it than unintentionally harsh to someone who is teetering on the brink of a dark, dark cavern?

If it's you.... if you're the one falling apart... would you consider telling me? I would count it a privilege to pray you through this trial. But even if you can't muster up the courage to tell me about it, don't worry.... cuz I'm praying for every one of you whose life is falling apart tonight, and He knows your name and your struggle.

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.
1 Timothy 2:1

Saturday, April 30, 2016

I'm an idiot

It's silly really... maybe even just STUPID.  I find myself in yet ANOTHER situation where the only thing I can do is trust God.... where I hear Him whispering "Be still... let me fight this battle for you." And in my human fallibility I stubbornly cling to my fear. As if He isn't the all-knowing Creator of this earth I tell Him, "But God, THIS could happen...." then "Dear God, have you considered THAT???" As if THIS and THAT are of any concern to the ALL-KNOWING, CREATOR of this earth!

I'm changing my mind... it isn't silly... it IS stupid.  For a girl who has been carried through her husband's brain surgery and not one but TWO neck surgeries.... a mom who has been carried through her babies enduring an endoscopy to remove a foreign object, trigger thumb surgery, a tonsillectomy, eye muscle surgery AND a broken and re-broken arm... for a woman who has endured more financial tragedies than she cares to detail here.... for a Christian who has been SAVED of her sins and HEALED from an eating disorder... for that person to sit here and say "but God, what if it comes to THAT?" is sheer idiocy! I guess I've never really claimed to be the sharpest tool in the shed.

Here's the thing.... He KNOWS tomorrow! He's been to the finish line.  HE controls my destiny.... not a doctor or a bill collector or a lawyer or the President or an addiction... HE controls my destiny.  It ain't always pretty....  It is RARELY comfortable....  It often requires me to place my Isaac on the altar and BELIEVE.  But God's way is ALWAYS better than my way.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Exodus 14:14

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Terrible beauty...

Life is hard... like two nights ago we almost went to the ER, my husband is home sick AGAIN, in a lil bit I have to wake an old lady and tend to her SMELLY, crazy and IRRITATING toileting routine HARD.

But life is also good.... like I'm finally a homeowner and I love this house even more every morning that I wake up, my children are really and TRULY turning into people I respect, my God has my eternity in His hands GOOD.

The trick is not ignoring one for the other.  We do not need to falsely convince ourselves everything is perfect. We should not allow ourselves to wallow in all that is wrong. The trick is realizing that one hand holds the tough and one hand holds the tender and TOGETHER the good and the bad make a BEAUTIFUL embrace. 

The tough is like seasoning that enhances the flavor of the good.  Without those tough things, our good things just WOULDN'T be as wonderful.

Today I hope you REJOICE in the good without turning away from the bad because there is beauty and joy and PURPOSE in both.

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