An honest reflection of me- in fragments. Imperfect- Grace Covered. Balance. Mom. Wife.
Nurse. Homeschool Teacher. Christ follower first. Second changes. Thankful.

Who I am anyway?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The world says we are the roles we play
An athlete
Type A or type B
A husband
A wife
A musician
A dancer
A mom
A dad
A job title
And so this role we choose to play, the world tells us, is our identity.  

But what happens to the injured athlete unable to perform
The type A who can't sustain order or the type B who needs to have it all together
The marriage that falls apart
The musician who goes unrecognized
The dancer who doesn't get the part
The mom or dad who looses a child
The faithful employee who looses her job
The busy bee who is overwhelmed

So, the world tells uswe are the sum of what we lack. 
And, we get a new identity, failure, disappointment, and not good enough

Our culture says 
We are what we look like, dress like, and who we hang out with 
So we compare ourselves to others and become wholly discontent
Culture says we're the names people call us, 
So we let those words infiltrate our being and choose to stay in the box that others created for us

The world says you are how you feel
You feel sad, find a way to release it, you don’t want to live anymore then don’t
Your gender is relative, You feel like a boy, be one, You feel like a girl, okay - good for you
You feel angry, confused, insecure, hopeless, unloved - Act out and on your feelings
The world says your feelings are truth


And, when we choose to let the world determine our identity
We become enslaved to a set of expectations God never intended for us
And we are hostages to the lies

Identity is defined as who someone is; the qualities, beliefs, etc. that make a person different from others.
It's our creator who makes us different

You are His unique creation,
He calls you a masterpiece, beautiful, worthy
You are His son, His daughter
He calls you His own, His heir, His warrior, His child, His love
His truth never changes?
Because He never changes

And so 
We are not the roles we play
We are not the sum of our insufficiencies
We are not our clothes, our friends or the names people call us
Our identity is not our gender, relationship status or how we feel

Our identity is found in the ONE who called us out of the mess, out of the lies, and to Himself
John 15:19 “you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of it.”

Do you know who you are because of who He is?
Because God is forgiving - I am forgiven
Because God is loving - I am loved
Because God is always present - I am never alone
Because God is all powerful - I have power
Because God is creator - I am created, beautiful, on purpose, the only me  
Because God is Father - I belong, I have a family
Because God is all knowing - I am known
Because God is king - I am a warrior
Because God is purposeful - I have purpose
Because God is available - I am heard
Because God is merciful - I have hope
Because God is unchanging- I am content

It's not always easy to be myself.  
Living as your created self on purpose takes courage
But we don't have to do it alone
HE is the chain breaker.  
He is the savior the redeemer.  
He is the hope maker and the freedom giver.

So we can be different.  
Just as HE created us.  
And yet, ALL can find their true identity in HIM.

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[Christian Girls] Stop making 'husband lists'

Thursday, May 12, 2016

My sweet sisters,

You proudly proclaim God as sovereign and Lord and resign to His timing in so much of your life, 
But, concerning the husband list we've lost sight of who God is
I've too often heard "I made my husband list and two weeks later my prince charming showed up, now two months later we're engaged and..."
Stop.  Stop, advertising God as a genie 
Genies give you what YOU want. 
But, God - He gives you something infinitely better, He gives you what you need.

Genies don't care about you, it's their job to grant your wish
With a genie you're in control
God cares about you, He cares about your soul, your eternity, your heart and your everyday
Not because it's His job to care, but because it's His nature

You know who else we advertise God to be when we claim our hand-written husband list brought us our God-given, Jesus-loving husband wrapped up neatly with all the qualities and characteristics we requested?
Santa Claus
Stop it.  You know that's not who God is
He is too worthy, and too good to be compared to such a character
Santa brings gifts to the good girls
God gives His gift freely to all the bad ones

And what of our unattached Christian friends?
What about their lists and their desires?
What about their waiting and hopes and heart aches?
Does God love you more?  Love them less?

Of course not.

So why in this one area do we advertise God to be any different than we know Him to be in all things?
Sometimes, I think it's mindless - it's how our life happened and we don't stop to think of how we're representing God
Then there's always the long-shot that our desires are exactly the same as God's (I wouldn't bank on it though) 
But, I fear mostly it's that we think a little more of ourselves than we ought in respect to how much control we have over this life

What if instead of writing 'husband lists' we started writing a helper list?
A list that consisted of our weaknesses, and strengths 
A list of our needs and inadequacies 
A list of our hearts desires, even if they don't match God's
A list filled with an honest plea to let God be in control, and to be used by Him
What we we started asking God to grow in us the qualities that make us worthy of being called His daughters, daughters that can be a good helper?
What if we started asking God what His expectations are of us, instead of expecting Him to deliver for us.
What if we asked God to be our sustainer, and believed He could be - even when it feels lonely.
What if we prayed that our lives would be a blessing to God, instead of asking Him to bless us.
What if we want a husband, what if we want to be a wife?
Then tell God, and wait patiently
And in the waiting you can remind Him, ask again and revise your help-list 
Making it full of honesty, emotion, and even more questions  - knowing God will provide the answers
Sister, stay focused on God
Make your list about loving Him, serving Him and trusting Him,
Not about a someday human him

God created you beautifully, and uniquely. 
Your life is not an accident, the mistakes, the heart aches, the successes and joys.  
The good He rejoices in, The ugly He redeems.
You are His treasure
Is He yours?
Maybe your purpose is to be a helper, but until that day comes.
Be His daughter
Because that is more than enough.

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To the graduates

Thursday, May 5, 2016

To the graduates,
What a privilege to walk beside you these years.  Watching you grow, listening to your questions, your dreams, your hurts, seeing your hearts has made me more.  I have grown because of you.  And I am grateful.  There are no words I could write that matter more that the One’s that have already been written.  But, if I could put my heart into text and share with you how much He loves you, and encourage you to make your life about more than just you, this is what I would say.  

Graduates, you’re getting jobs, you're going to college, but no matter where you go.  These are the things I hope you learn.

1. You matter.

God made only one of you, on purpose for a purpose. 
You matter, and you’re right now matters in a big eternal way.
Your routine everyday
Your words
Your hopes and dreams
Your purity
Your thoughts
Your actions

In the middle of decisions, questions, temptations, struggles, and trials God is with you.
But this life isn’t about you.

It’s about the One who holds you.
It’s choosing to seek Him in your everyday routine, it’s about asking Him to guide you.
It’s leveraging your words to bring life and light into the darkness.
It’s hoping with expectancy for the Kingdom, and dreaming dreams of heavenly change.
It’s an understanding that life is a pursuit of God’s best.  And that He is more than any temporary pleasure.
It taking your thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ.
It’s living every moment for Him, acting like you believe He’s real, that He’s worth fearing, worth obeying and resting in the knowledge, that no matter what, He loves you.

2. Every Joshua Needs a Caleb, and the World Needs Both.

A wise someone once said “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”
You’re in a battle.
Remember who you’re fighting and the power you have.

Who will stand with you in the fight?
Will you be a courageous leader of truth and change?
Or will you be the bold follower who stands under truth and leads with action and faithfulness?

The battle you fight is one for your own heart, and the hearts of the world.
Stand firm, because Jesus already won the war and you fight from a place of victory.  

Surround yourself with warriors.  
Be a friend who is ready to go to battle everyday and find friends who will stand ready with you.

3. People of Gratitude and Humility are Made, Let God Make You. 

Life works best when we’re grateful for what we have.
You don’t deserve better or more in this life, God’s already given you eternal life.

Stop expecting and start asking God what His expectations are.
Appreciate every moment, because through the challenge and the victory God wants to use you, teach you, and help you.

When you’re lonely (you will be),
Remember the One who is always with you.  Thank Him.
When it feels easy and happy,
Praise God, and look for the one who needs to know His presence. 

When you’re afraid,
Lean on the One who has the power to raise the dead to life, and breathe out stars.  
Rest in Him.
When you don’t know what to do,
Open up the Love Letter full of wisdom, encouragement, and light.  
Trust Him.

When you’re driven by competition and rivalry,
Stop comparing and competing.  
God made you to be unified, encouragers who can change the world with His good news.  
Follow Him.

When you’ve fallen short (you will),
Know His grace is enough; for your past sins, for your future sins, and for the right now.  Jesus is enough.  Believe Him.

4. There is TRUTH that Never Changes, TRUTH Worth Believing and Building a Life on.

They’re going to tell you, “the best is yet to come”, and they’re right.
But, the best to come isn’t college, 
It’s not your career, your someday family, future income, a house, stuff or acts of service.
It’s heaven.  Trust that it’s real, that it’s waiting for you, and crave it.

They’re going to tell you, “to follow your heart.”
But, your heart is easily deceived.
And your feelings aren’t always true.
Follow the WORD, because, unlike your heart, God’s truth never changes.
It’s not an ancient manuscript, it’s a living active sword that will destroy the lies and give life.

They’re going to say, “if God is love thenand the God I know just wouldn’t…
But, you know that true LOVE isn’t letting you get your own way, it’s laying down your life for the ones you love.
You know a good Father disciplines His children, and that God is ALWAYS good.
You know perseverance will make you complete, and that God is with you in the trials.
Remember the God you know, and trust that He never changes.

They’re going to say, “you’ve just closed a chapter,” and you have.
But, it’s a tiny chapter in a small book titled “In the Life of ______________”
The length is unknown, but no matter how long, no matter how short, your story matters, and it has influence.
God gave it to you, and that for His glory.
So graduate, What will be written next?
How will you use your story?

Be the generation that remains faithful.  Love the God who loved you first.  And love others; the hurting, the confused, the angry, the unloveable, the indignant, the proud, the needy and the lost.  Be sure of who you are because you know whose you are.  Remain in Him.
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Thank you for this day

Thursday, February 25, 2016

It's a mindless phrase I pray
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for this day
But today
A wife woke up to an empty place in her bed
A daughter woke up without her daddy
And two sons without their dad

Today life doesn't make sense
So, I praised a God who works outside of my understanding
And, I swam in the HOPE of eternity that flows in spite of tears and pain

This life
Even when we try to do what's right
It hurts
Even when we know the truth
It doesn't always make sense

Death rips apart body and soul
And leaves those in it's wake
And, missing a piece that made sense,
A piece that made the everyday, not perfect, but more bearable, fun, do-able, and better

Our body, our relationships - they are temporary
But our impact and soul - eternal
This life
Means something,
No matter how long, no matter how short
His impact lives on
In the heart of his wife, in the mind of his little girl, and in the time he's given to his sons
He trusted them all to the care of his Savior while he was here
And he's left them in His most capable care still
His body may be gone, but his soul goes on living

So today,
Heavenly Father, Thank you for this day
Even though it hurts
Even though I don't understand
Because we're not meant to live here forever
But while we're here,
May we be thankful, loving, giving
And leave an impact that gives you all the glory.
Doug did.

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The world doesn't need another church

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The world is messy
It's filled with complicated people and unfair circumstances
We have hundreds of "friends" and "followers" but walk around lonely
Predators and terrorist exist
Hearts hurt, our bodies groan, break and need
Evil is real
But so is God,
And His heart for people, even the complicated unlovable ones, is that they would know the HOPE of eternity
Know His presence,  His love,  His best in our today and the promise of His better tomorrow.

The world needs to know this God
His heart, that breaks and longs and swells and cares for His kids
His thoughts, the ones that are higher and deep and wider than our understanding
His justice, that's always fair and requires the price be paid
His mercy, that says - I'll pay the price

But the world doesn't need another church
The world doesn't need another building, or assembly or gathering place for believers
It needs the believers to stop the routine of church
And it needs the church to start being The Church
It needs the hearts of people to start bleeding
Bleed for the abandoned, the lonely, the lost, the lovely and the unloveable
It needs the eyes of pew sitters to start seeing
See the hurting, the homeless, the father-less, and the dark corners we're accustomed to ignoring
It needs the ears of the Sunday listeners to start hearing
Hear the cries for help, the voices of the oppressed and persecuted
The world doesn't need another church it needs The Church to come alive,
To go, reach, love, seek, share, hope, give, move, abide, focus

I get tangled up in the everyday; the emotion, the mess, the drain of being needed and needing
But, I don't want to be short-sighted, full on the Word, but caught up in self
I don't want to miss the eternal
The souls, wrapped in skin, walking into a tomorrow that stretches into forever
I know a God the world needs
And I don't want to miss the call
I want to be the Church
We're all walking into an eternal tomorrow
And we get today

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says...
Religion that our God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
- James 1: 22&27 -

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