9 Lessons I’ve Learned In 9 Years Of Marriage

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 Collect Dead, Dying Things. I Collect Brokenness.

I found a coin from The Netherlands 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.

Continue reading I Collect Dead, Dying Things. I Collect Brokenness.

Ask Yourself This ONE Question When You Don’t Know What To Do

I started asking myself questions several years ago. Does anyone else do this? Ask yourself a series of questions throughout the day?

Continue reading Ask Yourself This ONE Question When You Don’t Know What To Do

Let The Heavy Things Go

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

The Meaning of Motherhood: Honest Words to Myself

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.

What Healing Really Means

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…

Why Church Matters- Part 1

Today was Sunday, and like so many other Sundays I spent my morning thinking about and preparing for church.

I have been to church almost every Sunday of my life.

Some of the seats I’ve sat in, I’ve loved. Some, not so much.

I’ve been to Catholic services, to liturgical Baptist Churches on the East Coast, to mega churches, famous churches, tiny churches, churches with professional musicians and churches that literally do not believe in instruments being inside a church. I’ve been to church in the middle of a field in a third world country. I’ve been to churches where I am the only white person, and churches were I didn’t even speak the language. I’ve seen pastors speak with so much pride and I have wondered how anyone could follow them. I have seen humble pastors. And I’ve heard testimonies of changed lives beyond what is comprehensible. I’ve seen healthy churches. And I’ve seen unhealthy churches.

But in all those churches…Between all those walls and stained glass murals. Between the notes of the hymns and the smiles of the faithful, you start to get a feeling for what is real and what is ceremony…

And that is the giant wall that faces so many with glaring condemnation: the false gospel.

Oh! We don’t like to call it that. But for every church striving to be the hands and feet of Jesus, there are five ahead of it so introspective that “missions” haven’t changed in two decades and salvations are mere conjecture.

What on earth are we doing? The point of The Church is to G R O W! The point of church is to live vulnerably in community. The point of church is to change your heart to be more like Jesus while walking through life alongside the Body of Christ.

This is why I love The Church: because Jesus loves The Church. Because the Bible is riddled with story after story of the importance of The Church. I don’t love The Church because it’s “perfect” or because of a type of music or because of a hipster pastor. And I’m well past the notion that church needs to look or feel a certain way.

Church was NEVER meant to fulfill you: God was. Church was NEVER meant to be empty of sin…it was meant to be a Gathering of Souls striving relentlessly toward Holiness, toward furthering the Gospel, toward discipleship.

It takes an immense amount of work to sustain a healthy church. So, if you happen to be part of one…thank your leaders for all the work that goes on behind the scenes.

Why does church matter: honestly, because the Bible says it does.

And because God knows what we need.

Trust him…