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

Against all hope: Faith & Purpose not Perfection

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Today I faced my humanity, my doubt and my sinful nature
Today I saw the face of God and in His reflection how small I am
Small, but not insignificant
Small, but purposed
Purposed for perhaps even more than I can know or imagine
And, so are you
It’s faith that gives us hope, faith that strengthens us, purposes us and faith that ultimately saves us from ourselves

“Against all hope, in hope Abraham believed...without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead...YET He did not waiver regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God.  Being fully persuaded God had power to do what He promised.” - Romans 4:18-21

And so I asked myself the questions:
  • What do I need to believe against all hope?
  • What facts do I need to face?
The answers are these:
I will NOT be disappointed, for my hope is in the LORD (Isaiah 49:23)
GOD will save the kids He put in my care (Isaiah 49:25)
I am NOT in control.  I can not save you, and I can not save myself.
I will never be perfect
My body aches and my heart hurts.  Emotionally I am overwhelmed, I question every decision, every word, every yes and every no.

Today I faced my humanity, my lacking, and the unqualified nature of my role as mom
I wrestle for control when it’s not mine for the holding
I can not perceive the future, but I believe in a God who can
God, Who covers my humanity with His mercy
God, Who permeates my lacking with His abundance
God, Who qualifies me, just as I am with His grace

And so it’s not perfection that is the goal, but purpose
Hopeful, faith driven purpose
Not disillusioned about who we are
Rather fully aware, moved by a faith that is bigger than our fear and uncertainty

God thank you for being bigger than me, for making a 100 year old man a father, for making water flow in the desert, for fighting our battles, and for redeeming our souls.  You are a God who keeps His promises.  You are powerful.  You are enough.  I trust You.  Forgive my wavering, strengthen my faith for I am weak.  I hope in you.  Let me be about your purpose.  Guide me as I teach and lead and work and wife.  Thank you for my rock of a husband, and for the joy and peace that has been today. You have never expected perfection of me, help me to quit expecting it of myself.

In this season of hope, what is it you need to believe against all hope?

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The stories I can't write and thoughts on being affected

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I wanted you to have a perfect story
But from first breath you emerge crying
Because this world is cold
And my warmth wasn't [isn't] enough
But greater than perfection is grace, and that's what I hope for your story
I want your story to be a deluge of grace
No story is perfect, but a grace-filled story can be

I didn't want your story to hurt
But the writing of it sometimes does
Because hurting is human
And we hurt each other, we hurt ourselves, our souls, and the God who created us
But without hurt there would be no healing, and that's what I hope for your story
No story is without hurt, but a story of healing is powerful
I want your story to be powerful

I wanted you to have a story
But before your life started it was over
Because sometimes life ends too quickly
And I'm not in control [thank God I'm not in control]
But without your being and your ending I might not have grown, we affect each other
I want your story to be affective and affected
No one story is written without affecting another

Your story is not mine to write, nor wish-into reality
It's written in the moments
By a Hand greater than mine
For a purpose bigger than you or I can imagine

Your story isn't who they say your are or the lies that your mind whispers
It's not your trials, accomplishments, failures, or successes
It's not what you look like or the things that you do

Your story is
The guts you show
It's the emotions you express and the ones you learn how to control
It's the words you write and the love you give
It's the tears, the honesty, the laughter and the joy
Your story is
Giving your all and knowing your all is enough
It's choosing to see the good, and the light, and the beauty when ugly and dark threaten to steal your hope away
It's standing for what's right and believing the truth even when it seems unbelievable
It's knowing life isn't fair and doing your best anyway
Your story is
The truth written on your heart,
Inscribed through years of trial and overcoming and learning and growing
It's being okay with not being okay, but not allowing yourself to stay there
The freedom found in being yourself 

Your story,
Is not mine to write
Though sometimes I try
So instead,
I'll let your story unfold
I'll let myself be affected and hope I can affect you too
I'll pray
And I'll be here

When you succeed and when you fail
I'll be here
When you hurt and when you overcome
I'll be here
When you gut it out and when you feel like you can't
I'll be here
When you stand and when you fall
I'll be here
When you laugh and when you cry
I'll be here
When you doubt and when you're sure
I'll be here
Trusting, and modeling, and serving, loving and remembering
Because for now, you're mine to be here for

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Eternal friendship in temporary bodies

Sunday, September 3, 2017

There's orange shag carpet covering the floor
Cards slide across the wooden table as kids make sound effects from behind the couch
They laugh and sing and stuff marshmallows to overflowing
On Sunday they teach, pray, serve and sing
Showing us how to live for THE greater thing

There's a new couch, a new house and the carpet is blue
Card games get exchanged for cheers and proud faces as kids make touch downs, goals, and run races
Together they sit in black and in gold
On Sunday they serve, pray teach and sing
Showing us still, no matter the state, there is ONE who is greater and worth our everything

We tested and tried  them, we grew older as did they
On Sunday they still teach, sing, serve and pray
Until one day we've all grown and gone away
This world tests and it tries and bodies fall prey, but we trust the ONE who is greater, and with us in our everyday

I don't know what tomorrow holds
But I know we get today
So today
Take on the mountains, and pass on traditions
Raise hands in worship and keep taking care of stray kittens

Kiss on the lips in that holy Sims kinda' way
Cheer for the Jackets in your gold and your black
Feel to the depths of all feeling
And make memories that last

Fight cancer with all the might that you have
Go to Silver Dollar City on a weekday with friends
Laugh that great laugh sharing it with your grandkids

Pray silent prayers for healing and for His grace
Shine on in your words and keep quoting King James

Show us what it's like to do this temporary time
Show us how to go into eternity secure, 
Trusting in Him we are more than just fine

Keep singing, and teaching and praying and serving
Until you get to the ONE who you've taught us to trust 
We trust Him with you as you've trusted Him with us

So today
I pray for your strength
And I pray for your rest
I pray for peace that surpasses any hurt, doubt, question or distress
I pray that we all realize that God's calling us back
Calling us to healing, to more, to deeper and away from regret
I pray for memories kept and words that we won't forget
I pray through tears of love and hope and sadness and pain
Knowing there's joy to be had in this everyday

To my second family.  Thank you.  Thank you for being there, every Sunday morning, every Sunday night, at every game, concert, and Wednesday night too.  Thanks for putting up with our piano playing and song writing and Tetris attempts.  Thanks for the spaghetti hot dish, and laugher, volleyball games, roast beef and love.  Thank you for your prayers, and your forgiveness too.  Thank you for the weenie roasts, basketball games and marshmallows for toasting golden brown through and through.  Thank you for friendship and for loving our family the way that Christ calls us to.
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When Life's not what You had Planned, The Unseen Journey

Thursday, February 23, 2017

I've been on a silent journey
For a year, I explained the pain and weakness away, it was the gardening or hormones or in my head
For a year I felt crazy
Sometimes I still do
But still the weakness comes
Without explanation or reason
And the invisible begins to define you

I awaken exhausted, as if in my sleep I've run a marathon and lifted weights and there's been no rest, no reprieve, no rejuvenation
The normal feels extraordinary
Getting out of bed is an act of the will
Holding a glass requires two hands, and even then, better put it down before it slips from your weakening grip
Your heart aches with desire to hold your beautiful newborn nephew but fear, and weakness whisper you shouldn't
Going to the grocery store is something requiring additional strength and energy to accomplish
The act of holding the steering wheel steady drains you to utter empty
Instead of carrying the laundry basket to the washer you drag it across the floor
Making dinner wastes you, but you swallow the tears and wring out your wanting hands
You want to do and be who you've always been
But the invisible taunts you

Then there's the pain
Poaching your abilities
Mocking your adequacy
It slowly drains your mental and physical current
Lingering under the surface, it threatens to emerge and consume at any moment
The everyday stuff gets twisted
Normalcy hurts
And the invisible shapes you

You seek answers
They poke and prod
You pray
But, no one knows
Maybe you are crazy, except you know you're not
You're not
Then, there's the supplements, and the therapies and treatments that promise hope
So you pay, and pray, and swallow down the ancient remedies
Still no one knows
And the invisible remains

The invisible remains and with it, cracks of doubt settle deep into the soul
Will the invisible ever be seen?
God why?
Why me?
Why this?
Why her?
Why God?
And the invisible preys on truth

But today, something about these words trickled through the cracks and watered my dry soul
"...she, out of her poverty, has given everything- all she had to live on." (Mark 12:41 - 44)

I see her, I am her
Inadequate and running on empty

She didn't choose brokenness
Brokenness chose her
But, it didn't make her
Her poverty, her inadequacy
It could not deter her motivation to give her all
And when HE saw her
HE didn't change her circumstances
But HE loved her just the same

There is ONE who sees my invisible
He sees yours too..And HE loves you just the same

I'm not going to ask why
Though, I wonder
I pray for a miracle
But more than for reprieve, God, I pray for your will
I pray for strength, for pain free days, 
And for joy even when it hurts
I'm not going you to ask you to change my circumstances
But God, please love me through them 
And change me because of them

It's been over two years and I'm not in the place I once was
I have found intermittent reprieve, and my voice
Some days are almost normal
Or I've at least found a new normal that is compatible with everyday living

I have too many sisters on a journey of invisible
But aren't we all dealing with something unseen?
You're not crazy
You're not alone
The invisible isn't eternal
We won't let it win
We may never know this life without our invisible
But I trust the promise of a better life for us
HE calls you beloved, HE cares
And, sister, brother, I'm with you

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What is The Bible?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

It's revelation through story, poetry, prophecy and fulfillment
Filled with stories of war, glory, love, sorrow, faith and God
The summation of lives that
Followed Him and Hurt Him
Doubted Him, Experienced His presence
Trusted Him
Betrayed and Disobeyed
Ran away from Him and Hid from Him
Stories of Obedience and Honor
Felt His disappointment and judgment

When I read a book, I find myself there

But this book is not always an easy place to be
It's a mirror
Showing a reflection of the heart
My heart bleeds brokenness and need
But this book
Is also a window into the heart of its author
A heart that is unlike mine, in that it is perfect
And He pens His heart as a letter of love
From a Father to His child

A poem of transparency on humanity and the human condition
And it's here I find myself,
A human, struggling with the human condition
Learning how to love, listen to, and be lead by God
Looking into the mirror, looking into the eyes of God
Plainly seeing all that I am and all that I am not
Not fully understanding what He sees in me, but knowing He sees me
Assured in His knowing, because this book He's given me tells me He's good
He's patient with me
Leading me when I try to walk the other way
Teaching me to trust Him, putting my broken pieces together from the inside out
Reminding me of His words
Of The Word
Who came to be life and light and change my reflection from brokenness and need to one of beauty and redemption

And so I find myself here
A child
Reading His words
Not fully grasping all that He is
But In love with Him just the same

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The Question of Oppression

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Oppression - unjust and cruel exercise of authority which limits the potential of another.

When the world revolves around “me”, 
I am too busy looking at myself to look to the good of others.  
And so, we deny each other the opportunity to experience a world where everyone matters, 
And matters equally.

The question was raised "Can oppression be avoided or diverted?" 

I struggle to envision a world, this side of heaven, with our imperfections and selfishness and pride, where oppression is avoided or diverted.  
Because people are self-seeking
And oppression is people dependent 
America, as a nation, has made strides toward this end, with the elevation of status for women and all races.  
Sadly, the idea of equality often falls short of the practice of equality.  

We are the individuals that make up the families, the societies, the nations, the world
We are the now, and 
We don't have to resign to the brokenness
For when each of us is working toward a world without oppression it will become better 
One by one we can choose to look outside ourselves
Look outside what we know to be the norm, outside our history (without forgetting it), look outside our hurts, and our pride
We can look up
And work together for a better now, filled with hope for the eternal 
Because, There is a place 
A place where perfection is King
The King knows you and you know Him
There is no oppression or injustice and peace reigns in every heart
Here we work together, not for something better, but as a part of something greater 
We're no longer blinded by ourselves, but see clearly 

It's the Savior who makes us equal
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Without exception or expiration

Thursday, January 12, 2017

From the time we're little we learn how to earn
Positives and negatives are Reinforced by rewards and reprimands


Earned, through our act of being, our choices, our caring
And, yet at times it seems by sheer luck, misfortune or fate
But it's all earned

And love...
Love is easy to fall into, it's chemistry and connection until it becomes work
And trying and caring
And sacrifice
And then it's easy to fall out of
And we learn,
Love too is earned,
Earned when we perform, and put out or put on the facade of something we're not
Earned when we look right and agree and give until there's nothing left
And then it's gone
Lost to the self-seeking temporary of the world
Leaving us empty and believing we may not be worth it

But I know of a freedom that's free
And Of a joy that overrides the happiest of happiness
There's wisdom that's gained by simply asking
title that can never be stripped away
And a LOVE that is without exception or expiration

God demonstrates His love for us in this; while we were still His enemies, Christ died for us
- Romans 5:8 -

God chose you
Before you knew you needed Him
Before you believed He was real
Before you tried
In the middle of your lacking and mess and sin and fighting Him for control
He paid the ransom
And the victory is found in our giving up
Opposite of all we've ever known is this gift of grace
Ours for the receiving
He calls you daughter, son, beautiful child of the King
You're free from the bondage of sin
There's peace and joy and wisdom and rest in His arms
And He loves you now
As He always has
And always will
Without exception or expiration

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Favorite Reflections

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