Identity, Spiritual Life, Suffering

Keeping Up Appearances

September 17, 2014
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“You have no idea who I really am. No one does.”  These were the words that poured out of my seventeen year old mouth one night while sitting on a curb with my best friend. And I meant it. No one really knew me. At least, not the real me. You see, I grew up in an environment where I believed that good or bad, you always put on a good face. To be weak was to be the unbelieving and faithless Christian. So I faked it. I had the smile, the giddy personality and the super “I love Jesus forever and ever” persona down to an art form. I was the poster child youth group kid. On the outside, it looked like my life was perfect and I was lovin every minute of it. Inside, I was screaming. Hoping that somehow, someway someone could see through the facade. See me. Fast forward to three days ago. Husband out of town, one sick kid, one wild preschooler and one worn out, stressed out, plain done mom. I wasn’t in a good place. I yelled at my kids when they didn’t deserve it. I swore to the heavens. I lied to

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Identity, Spiritual Life

Serve the Servant

September 10, 2014
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  God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 1 Peter 4:10 (NLT) I had grown accustomed to the loudness that seemed to engulf the house as 22 babies/toddlers ran around during our morning play-time. I sat on the floor between the living room and the kitchen, with clear view to the entry door that gave a beautiful view to a Guatemala mountainside. My sweet little chunk sitting on my lap begging for yet another horsey ride…which always resulted in the best gurgling, contagious, laughter and a line of kids waiting for their turn. I watched that morning and took in my surroundings, observing our house mom care for her own three children and then continue to care for the other babies in the same way, no special treatment, you wouldn’t know they were not hers…you would never know they were orphaned, abandoned, given up…she treated them like her own. She loved them, fed them, and even disciplined them. Doing her best to raise them up in a Christ centered home. The door creaked and I knew our day of being peacefully our own “little” family

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Spiritual Life

Dirty Little Secrets

September 3, 2014
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  We over at AGLM love community. An important part of building community is getting to know one another. When you get to know someone, you learn the serious and silly. The deep and the superficial. Because to love someone is to love all of them and see Jesus in every area of their lives. We also love to talk real over here. To go deep and and share the raw honest truths and darkness that live inside each of us. However, we also love to laugh. We love to make jokes, pull pranks, be girly and sometimes do things just because they are fun. For as much as we need to go deep with one another, we also need to laugh. To be ok talking about the things that make us who we are, that aren’t so serious. I wanted to do that with you. After two and half years, there are still a lot of things we don’t know about each other. Things you don’t know about me. So here is a list of some of my dirty little secrets. Things you might not know that I love and do, but will allow you to know me better and

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Faith, Identity, Spiritual Life

So Long Summer

August 20, 2014
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  The end of every summer always brought a mixed sense of sadness and joy for me. Sure, I was going to miss sleeping in, spending the day doing whatever I wanted and the general freedom of the season. Yet the end of summer also brought me something else…a chance to start over. Even if I was going back to the same school, there was something special about a new school year. It was as though three months of summer hit some kind of reset button and everyone got to come back fresh and new without any of the crap from the previous year. I could be new, different..better, even. As the beginning of my sophomore year of college was about to drop, I knew I needed to make some changes. I had spent the summer trying to recover from all the vices I picked up the previous year. I was dating a guy who had abused, ridiculed, cheated and then eventually dumped me. I had the beginnings of a serious eating disorder, and a total loss of who I was as a person. I was a hot mess. I needed the summer to purge all of this out of my life

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God, Identity, Judging, Relationships

Judging Stephanie

August 13, 2014

Back in the day I used to know this girl named- well lets just say Stephanie.  Stephanie lived in my neighborhood.  There was a group of us that would always hang out and  Stephanie wasn’t one of them.  She was different.  She wore really short shorts and cropped tops usually showing most of her bra.  Her long blond hair was always hanging down the middle of her back and her face was hidden somewhere beneath all of the makeup.  I remember my friends and I would talk about her a lot.  Things usually like- “I can’t believe she is wearing that.  Who does she think she is?  I can’t believe she smokes…. that’s so wrong.  She’s really bad and we shouldn’t be associated with her.  So glad we’re not like her.”  Words like these were exchanged for a whole year between me and my friends.  But one day we stopped seeing her around.  We didn’t think much of it until we met another girl who used to be friends with her who told us what happened to her.  Stephanie had moved away because she was a foster kid.  Apparently she would stay with a family until they got sick of

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Body Image, Identity

Nearly “A”

August 6, 2014
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There’s something about buying a bra that makes me burst out into a cold sweat. I’ve been wearing a bra for well over two decades now, but even still, the same anxieties linger every time I cross the threshold and enter into the land of the “unmentionables.” For me, bra shopping is an unforgivable lesson in humility. A constant reminder of just what God didn’t see fit to give me. When I was in high school, there was line of bras that specialized in offering half sizes in case you just weren’t quite able to fit in to a general size. From the outside this seemed like a great idea, but for me, it was torture. Grabbing an array of bras in full and half sizes, I made my way somewhat confidently to the changing room; all the while secretly praying that I somehow would miraculously grow boobs in the two yards I was walking to go try them on. Of course, as fate would have it, I was not the Nearly B or even the Full A, but the lonely and pathetic Nearly A. Nearly A? Is that even a size? It almost felt like someone was trying to politely

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Faith, Fear, God, Identity, Spiritual Life

Fear

July 30, 2014

Yesterday my oldest daughter almost got hit by a car.  We were out to eat with some friends which included 7 kids.  It’s always a bit chaotic when we get together because you have one eye on your child and the other eye is in the present conversation.  As Eisley was running ahead of me to leave the restaurant I called her back and very intently told her to stay close to the adults.  She listened for a moment but then I looked away for a brief second while a jeep slammed on his brakes and the driver practically shaking in his seat told me to watch my kid more carefully because he almost hit her and it scared the *#@* out of him.  I then see Eisley running towards me from the street and into my arms.  My eyes welled up with tears.  Did that just happen?  How did she even get in the street?  I was relieved and mad all at the same time.  ” Eisley- you know not to go in the street!!  Why did you do that?  You could have been hurt!”  And then she proceeded to say….” I know mommy.  I’m so sorry.  I won’t

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