Faith, God, Relationships, Spiritual Life, Suffering

On Seeking More Than A Cure

July 1, 2015
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I grew up knowing we would go two places religiously. Church and Church Camp. They were my places, they were filled with my people. Church was where I was baptized and Church Camp where I recommitted my life… every. single. summer.  The two places are so intertwined in my memory I cannot think of one without remembering the other. No matter where we moved, Fairview was home and Wesley Woods our home in the woods.  I was my most brave self in these places; my most vulnerable and innocent, most trusting and free spirited. Church and Church Camp were also two places I was most deeply hurt. Church Camp was the thing that made me the topic of a mean girl’s xanga post in sixth grade. Church Camp was the place I was told someone had “run out of grace” for another. Church was where I was told to, “get the hell out of my pew.” Church was where I shared that her placenta had maybe torn and it was whispered in my ear, “perhaps it’s for the best.” And of course it wasn’t The Church or The Church Camp who hurt me- but in the same way the smell

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Faith, Spiritual Life, Suffering

Trudging Through The Mud

June 24, 2015

I learned recently that in between winter and spring exists a season referred to as the “mud season.” It’s the time when the ground is slowly starting to thaw just enough for the snow to melt, but not enough for new life to spring forth. The moisture from the melted snow collects on the ground creating a layer of mud everywhere. It’s messy, ugly, and hard to drive on. As long as the cold remains, the mud season stays. It’s only when the sun begins to warm the earth and the ground fully thaws that the mud will recede and spring makes its way. Kind of depressing, I know. For the last six months I’ve felt like I’ve been stuck in my own personal mud season. This period of in between. Not the deadness of winter, but not the new life of spring either. I’ve felt aimless and hopeless. Lonely and lost. To tell you the truth, it is probably one of the darkest seasons I’ve ever walked through. And to get even more real, I’m not handling it well. Six months ago I had plans. Plans for what this year was going to look like. Big dreams filled with

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Faith, Family, God, Relationships

Bear the Armor

June 17, 2015
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YO GIRLS! Happy Summer to you! Every Wednesday morning, it is a rush for me to think about you ladies who are reading the newest post with anticipation—for us to get to know each other better, for a refuge from the craziness of the day, for hopefully getting one more glimpse of the mighty, beautiful God we serve. Lately, we’ve been focusing on who we are as individuals- the characteristics and qualities that God has given us. On learning how to use what we’ve been given for the kingdom of God, how to embrace our quirks, how to answer the question “Who Am I?” honestly. And I don’t know about you, but if I spend too much time in my own head, I go crazy with the future and tend to forget the now.  I am obsessed with knowing the next thing. Graduation. Marriage. Job. But what about when we have no idea? What about when a season of life is coming to a close and we’re stuck with a big fat question mark? When we know Jesus is an extraordinary Savior and we have nothing to worry about but we still want to know. Dear friend, if you’re there,

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Faith

Let’s be God’s Promise Believers

June 10, 2015
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We are often asked when we are little what we want to be when we grow up. We are told to dream, to have the confidence to be whoever we want to be. We are told that we can do anything. We spend our days dressing up as Doctors, Ballerinas, Firemen, Artists, Rockstars, Detectives…we are engulfed in the innocence of believing these make-believe moments and have no doubt that we will be what we want to be when we grow up. We are taught in elementary school about the historical figures who did great things, took great risks, and made huge impacts (whether good or bad) on our world, country, and states.  We learn about the great things presidents did, wars that were won, etc. However, we begin to lose the stories of the failures, the numerous rejections people face until that one acceptance that pushes them forward. As we grow older we hear less about the businesses that started in garages (Amazon, Google, Mattel just to name a few) and more about how we need to plan smartly, take the safe steps to make sure we are covered and secure. All through college I was told/taught how to present

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Faith, Spiritual Life, Theology

Why I Don’t Love Devotionals

June 3, 2015
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Growing up, my family went to every weekly church event. For me this meant Sunday school, children’s church, choir practice, church supper, GA/RA’s (it’s okay if you don’t know what this is) and Bible Drill. I loved church, but once I hit about 10 years old, I went through a church burnout. One afternoon while I played Tetris on our ginormous computer, as my parents told me to get ready for church, I gave them what I thought was a valid reason as for why I didn’t need to go to church. They still do not let me forget what I told them 15 years ago. I simply said, in a bit of a sassy tone, “But I already know everything in the Bible.” What was my little 10 year old mind thinking?!?! Yes, this is humorous because I actually believed what I said, but also, ironic because as I am finishing seminary this year, I feel like I have more to learn about the Bible than I ever have before. When I was 10 years old, I wasn’t reading the Bible on my own, others were reading it for me. Once I got a little older and started reading

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Faith, Forgiveness, Redemption

Hope For My Enemies Brings Freedom For Me

May 27, 2015
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  Today I was a witness to a crime. I had left church and headed to the gas station to fill up my tank. While standing there I began to hear screaming. I looked up to see a man choke-holding a woman in a car, silencing her as she is screaming for him to let her go. Men rush to her aid while I promptly called 911 to tell them what was happening. The husband sped off in his car, and I stood alongside his terrified wife as we waited for the police. “He’s never done that before.” she tells me. “He was mad. I just wanted to give him space.” The police finally arrived and I was told my 911 call was my statement and was free to go. I left the woman, thanking God she was alright. As I was pulling away, I found my thoughts wandering to the husband. He was a monster. How could any man ever treat a woman like that? Better yet, how could she somewhat defend his actions? She should leave him. He’s an abuser and abusers deserve no mercy. This reminds me of this past week, reading about how the oldest Duggar son

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Faith, God, Relationships

The Waiting

May 20, 2015
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It’s time for a good ol’ girl-talk confession: I have never done relationships right. To the point where they’ve mostly all just been “flirtationships” that never became real relationships. I was always the go-getter, the chaser, the pursuer, the queen of DTR, being the first to ask the question of “where is this going” after just a couple weeks. I probably came off pretty desperate. And maybe I was. After watching guy after guy pull away after only just starting to get to know me, you can imagine how unwanted I felt. I thought something was wrong with me. And over the course of the next couple years I found out there was. It wasn’t that I wasn’t pretty enough or smart enough or funny enough…too tall, too loud, too dramatic. I wasn’t “too much” or “not enough”. The problem was my impatience. My thought process went something like this: I see boy. I like boy. Boy has texted me for 3 days. Boy must like me. “Boy, do you like me?” “I just want to be friends.” *Crushed* Oy. If I could just go back and talk to me then… So you get the picture. You could have handed

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Faith, God, Spiritual Life, Uncategorized

Discipline of Faith

May 14, 2015
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  I got on this morning excited to see what was written on the blog and didn’t see a post and the thought that…”oh no, I hope I didn’t get my weeks mixed up” hit hard. Sure enough it was my week to write and I messed up.  The funny thing about it is that I want so badly to show you my best. It weighed on me all day. I felt terrible.  I hated being the one who slacked, who was’t as committed. The one who didn’t think to double check her dates. Since I goofed and was not prepared I’m going to be really really honest with you guys…is that ok? Ok good. Today has been hard. Right now is hard. I went into my evening ready to sit down and write to you some sort of well thought through wisdom and my internet decided to stop working again. My husband and I somehow got into a big fight. I then cried in public at dinner because the exhaustion just couldn’t be held in anymore. Then I had that sickening moment…you know the one…where your face is red and puffy, your nose is stuffy from crying, you can’t

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God, Spiritual Life

on going through the hard places

May 6, 2015

As a feeler, and justice seeker, and writer I desperately long for things to have meaning. I have a deep desire to do work that matters, to write honestly, and talk about the hard things… requiring me, to actually go through the hard things. But not just go through the motions of the hard things, actually. go. through. them. Intentionally and with purpose… with expectation- like someone who has been promised something more. If I’m being honest with you, I haven’t been going through through my hard things lately. I am at that place The exhausted place The long list place The poured out place The kind of poured out people can see on your face- but they don’t ask about because the look both demands to be acknowledged but begs to be left alone. That place where one more thing becomes just another thing and that one more thing doesn’t mean anything. The hard place. I haven’t opened my journal in over three months- for fear of what I might put in writing. I haven’t paused at the end of my prayers just to listen- for fear of what I might hear. And I haven’t read the story of Job

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Faith, Identity

Who I Want To Be Or Who I’m Gonna Be

April 29, 2015
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  When I was five, we were asked to share what we wanted to be when we grew up at our kindergarten graduation. Me, with frizzy big hair and my semi-toothless grin proudly stated that I was going to be an artist. The confidence in which I conveyed this dream would have left anyone feeling certain I was about to be the next Picasso. In fourth grade, I was once again asked to write an essay about who I wanted to be when I grew up. This time, I said an archeologist. I wrote of my vision to travel around the world discovering and naming new dinosaurs and foreign tribes, putting myself into the history books of tomorrow. It was quite the inspirational essay if I do say so myself. In high school we were encouraged to select electives that would prepare us for hat we wanted to study in college. Seeing as I now wanted to be a nurse, I took anatomy and physical science. I was going to work with babies, maybe even do medical missions. I was a woman with a dream. Here I am at age 33 and I am neither an artist, archeologist or a nurse. I never

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Faith, God, Redemption, Spiritual Life

I am Praying for You

April 22, 2015
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If you’ve ever left a comment on the Community Board, emailed us, or reached out in any other way, we’ve probably told you that the writers of AGLM are praying for you. And if you’ve never been told that, I’m telling you right now: we are praying for you! We believe prayer is a necessary and powerful time with God. Since we are mostly an online community, we don’t get the opportunity to sit next to you, hold hands with you, and reach out to God with you in prayer in person. So we say that we are praying for you- which we are- but I wanted to use this post to write it out for you. I am excited to get to know each of you more, and I know this post isn’t about me, but it’s about my heart for you. Has anyone prayed over you before? Maybe your answer is no. Maybe you’ve been prayed over 1,000 times. Either way, put your name in this prayer and know that we are for you because Jesus is for you. Read this prayer over a friend too! Let this prayer be a battle cry for when you feel anything

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