I guess you could say that I’ve always been a dreamer. When I was seven I pretended that one of the canopy bed posts on my bed was Tom Cruise. We were dancing at some fancy gala, of course, and as the entire place had their eyes on the two of us, he dipped me real low and gave me the most glorious and life-altering kiss my young heart could conjure. In reality, when I leaned back for said mega dip and kiss, the post on my bed (AKA Tom Cruise) snapped and my entire canopy bed broke. Through most of elementary and middle school I would sing as I walked to and from school so that if some famous movie director or talent agent was out mowing their lawn or getting their mail they would hear me and make me famous. I even went so far as to write a fan letter to a boy I saw in a movie, convincing myself that we’d become pen-pals and then eventually fall in love and get married and have famous actor babies. Side note: said actor only did the one movie and never acted again, so bullet dodge. As
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:12-17 On January 31st, as those words covered the gathering, my heart grew and my life changed. Brendon and I stood at the altar, surrounded by the dense tropical forest of south Florida and more love than I have ever felt in my life. Everything is new. My last name. My official state of residence. My college degree.
Oh dear daughter, why do you think you must choose to shrink back, take the safe road, and hide behind your insecurity? Why are you so afraid of what others may think of you IF you fail? And why do you think of them as failures at all, isn’t that just the term the world has conjured up to beat you down, the word Satan has whispered in your ear to cause you to think less of yourself, resulting in comparison to those who seem to succeed and have it all together? Especially when those “failures” came from a heart so beautifully wanting to honor and serve your Father. Do you think I would nudge you to move if I thought you could not walk? Did I not call you a child of Mine? Did I not call you by name to rise up and be life and light in this world? Just as I was with Esther in her chambers as she prepared to risk her life for her people, just as I blessed and honored Ruth as she courageously chose the path of integrity and compassion despite the risks that came with breaking culture, just as I was
I began my relationship with Jesus via a bear…not a real one but one that was a man dressed up like a bear. Now that is not the way most people start their journey with Christ, but what I know is that when I was 6 during a show at church for kids, God drew me to Himself. That’s where it began but certainly not where it ended. We all have struggles that we just can’t seem to get past, sins that we pray would go away but are still lurking in our minds every day, and the guilt of that specific time when we really messed up. Or maybe it’s something that happened to you that wasn’t necessarily your responsibility, but you feel like you’re still tainted, scarred, and you just want it to be erased. I grew up being the church girl, and I really did love God! I wanted to to grow in my relationship with Him and tell my friends about Him. But, probably just like you, I still remember the countless times in high school and college when I thought to myself, “Why do I keep doing this? Why can’t I stop? If others only
We’ve been friends a while, haven’t we? We’ve walked through life together, sharing our secrets, our hurts and our joys. So, because we are friends, friends who love each other, it’s time to start getting real with one another. You ready friends? It’s February. By now you’ve had enough time to make resolutions and not keep them. You’ve had time to set goals and miss them. Time to seek freedom from sin only to be lured back into its tempting grip. I can imagine that for those of you who are in this place, you’re probably telling yourself things like this: “How can God ever forgive me?” “Why can’t I get better?” “I’ll always be stuck like this.” “I should just give up. God has totally abandoned me.” I get it. You’re in a dark place. You feel like you’re at the bottom of a deep well with no possible way out. You want hope. You want a way out of this place and into a better life. For those of you who might be feeling this way, as your friend, I have something to tell you. Get. Over. Yourself. I know that sounds harsh. I know that it’s not
There’s something about a new year and all the “new” it brings… New is exciting. New is terrifying. New is…pretty much everything this time of year. January 1st is just another day, really. As are the other 364. But that one digit change at the end of the date from a 4 to a 5 tells us that we made it another 365 days. We can’t wait to finally close the book that was 2014 and dive into the crisp, clean pages of 2015. But sometimes we get so wrapped up in new new new that we forget the importance of the old. Now don’t get me wrong – new beginnings are a good thing. There are times in each of our lives when we just need a fresh start. But too often we take that to mean that we need to start over completely from scratch…wiping our slates clean, forgetting the past year, and resolving to focus only on the year ahead. Again, the intentions are great, but here is where we need a shift in perspective. Whoever said we have to be completely out with the old to welcome in and embrace the new? Sure, maybe you
New. Yes the pains are old, still healing; the trials still need to be faced. But there is new. New chances. New beginnings. New dreams. It has been a year (or 8) of trial after trial. It has been one painful moment after another, feeling like I’m treading water, barely keeping my head up. I’ve often felt like I am screaming for those around me to see that I’m hurt and drowning and instead of reaching out a helping hand I’ve had insults and lies thrown in my face… “You’re being dramatic”, “You need to just move on”, “You are just fine.” I don’t say this to play a victim or seek pity. And it has not been lacking in its little life raft moments and blessings. I look at every step of my story and even the hard times and painful moments brought growth and opened doors to the next step. We’ve had some very key characters play a role in our story. Last year our word of the year was closure. It was one that, at the beginning of the year I was not too excited about. I knew with closure there is often facing
New doesn’t intimidate me. Or scare me or cause me to question. I love New Year. I love clean lines and fresh beginnings. Blank calendar pages holding promises of opportunity. Empty “to do” lists meaning anything can happen and I’m not bound to commitments. But what happens when I “add new event” on iCal- Or, as I inevitably will, break a new year’s resolution? What happens when old habits win out against new attempts? When the new doesn’t feel very new anymore…. I went on an amazing adventure in 2013. An eleven month, eleven country mission trip. New was easy to find. New was easy to dream with and set goals with… and try to do better with… Then, I came home to the very opposite of new. I came home to the town I went to high school in, I moved into a bedroom with furniture from my childhood. I drive the same way to work every day. I started the new year with every intention of greatness, every hope of being different and the energy to fulfill every new resolution… It’s been two weeks- and new has been replaced with normal. Radical with rhythm. And the promises of
I hated 2014. I’m not talking about hate in the sense of “I hate when it rains” or “I hate when I get stuck in traffic” like I was annoyed by the past year. I mean I loathed 2014 with every fiber of being. As in when December 31st cam and I knew this year was coming to a close, I gave 2014 my middle finger and told it that I hope to never see it again. Yes, I hated 2014 that much. You see 2014 is what I like to call my Year of Tears. I think sometime around July I asked myself how it was possible that my tear ducts hadn’t imploded from all of the crying I had done. 2014 was the year I became a grown up. It was the year where I learned of my sexual abuse, faced days and even weeks apart from my husband, and where God stripped me of everything I thought made me who I was only to create a clean slate in my heart and start over. I saw a lot of my ugly this past year, and let me tell you, it was NOT fun. So yeah, I was really
It took a lot of technology to make this interview happen. We hope you enjoy it!
***ATENTION!!! Due to our lack of tech savvy…and the stupidity of the internets, this video is the same interview posted back to back. So once you get to the end of the first interview, stop watching!!! Man…we promise to get smarter in 2015 ***