I have more material possessions than 95% of the current human population on this earth.
Let me just tell you that when I fell in love with my husband I fell HARD.
Like I lost my mind.
My grades dropped. I barely slept. I couldn’t get enough. I was basically obsessed. Continue reading 9 Lessons I’ve Learned In 9 Years Of Marriage
I found this coin when I was 10 years old. I was camping about an hour east of Seattle, deep in the mountains, and as I walked barefoot through the camp sites I suddenly felt something underneath my feet that seemed out of place. I looked down to see a square coin, and couldn’t believe my luck. A coin, IN THE DIRT, from half-way around the world.
I’ve been collecting coins ever since. When I go to another country or when friends go, I ask for coins, please.
And sometimes I collect things that celebrate the creative expressions of peoples all over the world. Sometimes, I revel in the art of countries I’ve never been to. I collect sacred moments, beauty, friends.
But sometimes, I collect dying things. Rotten, rotting things. Things that kill and steal and destroy.
Sometimes, I collect pain and I store it away and I hold it tightly and I let it simmer on the back burner and it’s ok for a while…until it’s not. Until your kitchen burns down. Until the flames reach up and up and quenching them is impossible. Until you barely escape with your life. Until your skin bears the scars of your choices.
And I think I’m starting to see the quiet power in releasing. The STRENGTH it takes to open your palms and say, “Here, it’ll only bury me in flames if I keep it.”
(This is what we mean when we pray for “the wisdom to know the difference.”)
This is what Jesus means when he says to “cast your cares on him”. There is almost a violence to it. Because casting well means you get to eat. Casting well means your family survives. And it’s almost like Jesus KNOWS what he’s asking. But he’s painting a picture of something hard, something that takes energy, a task, a behavior that grows more skilled over time.
He is asking you to shove your fingers deep into the heavy, crude nets of first-century Israel. He is asking you to grab them tightly, like your life depends on it, because your life depends on it. And he is asking you to take that deep breath, and ready your entire body, plant your feet firmly on the deck, and with every cell in your body, without a sliver of hesitation, heave those nets up and over the side of the boat and let them sink heavy-deep into the water.
Because if you can’t heave them over the side, you’ll never be able to heave in the abundance God will place inside those nets.
BECAUSE IF YOU CAN’T HEAVE THEM OVER THE SIDE, YOU’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO HEAVE IN THE ABUNDANCE GOD WILL PLACE IN THOSE NETS.
If you can’t give it, throw it. If you can’t release it gently, release it forcefully. If you can’t open your own hands, let someone open them for you. And if you find that you still can’t, even after all of that, it’s ok. Some of us need to WRESTLE.
God knows. He isn’t afraid of letting you wrestle. He’s not afraid that your struggle will affect his sovereignty, his ability to make all things new, his grace.
There is nothing you can say or do to make God love you any more or any less. Because his love isn’t tainted with sin. It is PERFECTLY. HOLY. WHOLE.
And he sees the weight of brokenness you carry on your shoulders.
And he just wants to take it.
It is a daily releasing sometimes. It is a repeating of obedience and trust that changes everything. It is one step, one movement at a time.
God never asked us to do easy things. He never even asked us to do possible things.
How do you move a mountain?
One shovel of dirt at a time.
How do you move a mountain?
You can’t. It’s impossible.
How do you move a mountain and change your life?
With faith in a God who can make all things possible.
Because he is making all things new and he will not stop when he gets to you.
I started asking myself questions several years ago. Does anyone else do this? Ask yourself a series of questions throughout the day?
Let the haters go. They are too heavy to carry very far at all.
Let the abusers go. They will only teach you to drown yourself. Continue reading Let The Heavy Things Go
I’m writing this for me. I’m preaching to the choir. I need this today. Because, I need to remember that motherhood was never intended to be picture perfect or even halfway presentable most of the time.
Motherhood is hard hard draining exhausting work. X 100.
God gives us these little people and we hold them and hug them and those first tears we cry when we see them are just the start of the beautifully messy life unfolding before our eyes.
The spit-up and the diapers fade to fits and coloring on walls and before you know it they’ve lost their first tooth and you’re having conversations about the possibility of actually digging up treasure and they are sounding out words and asking you how babies are made. (All that happened to me this week, by the way.)
Some days I don’t even make it to bed because I fall asleep watching Friends on the couch with a bag of chips half eaten beside me. (My life is so glamorous…)
Today, I really need to remember that mothering is supposed to take a ton of energy. It’s supposed to be hard some days and really terrific other days. And it’s all OK.
And I need to listen to my friends when they tell me to give myself grace. Because productivity doesn’t equal value when it comes to personhood. And a messy home and a GIANT pile of laundry doesn’t mean anything except that we actually live here. Right?
Today, I need to take a deep breath and remind myself that God’s mercies are new EVERY morning. And they were new THIS morning…when I woke up tired and short on motivation. I need to remind myself that it’s OK to be tired and human.
It’s just OK.
And it’s ok for YOU too…
So, today I’m giving myself grace. I’m not gonna be lazy, but I’m also not gonna be so hard on myself. And mostly, I’m going to remind myself that my Heavenly Father sees me and knows me and this family he’s given me…
they are a treasure…
even when I’m exhausted and way too hard on myself.
Do you know what it means to be healed? It means you are free. It means your shame is so far behind you you can barely see it when you look back. It means there is freedom of emotion when you walk beside the Lord step by step through a valley and come out into open, wide plains.
Psalm 34 says, Oh TASTE and SEE that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit…He REDEEMS those who serve him.
Emotional healing is not a singular event. It’s a journey. And it is OK that it’s a journey and it is also OK for your journey to be unique and sacred in the ways that God devises for YOU. We love and serve a God who loves and serves us in individual and personal ways.
And it’s OK when you struggle. It doesn’t mean that you haven’t healed or that God is failing you or that depression is winding itself up to overtake you. It just means there is more to be healed. That’s it. There’s more. And that is OK too.
Oh friend…here’s to you! And here’s to all the bravery it undoubtedly will take to step toward wholeness. May you find all the joy as you walk your healing journey. And be encouraged, dear one – there is much ahead for YOU. There is joy as bright as ten thousand radiant suns…