This Where the Nonsense Turns to Makesense

..A large family working to perfect our sweet skills: Loving others, making an impact, parenting on purpose, living simply, and embracing sarcasm.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Conversations Before Coffee

I have limits, people. I can't handle certain conversations before coffee or 10 aye em. 

The lady next to me just said the phrase "making love sounds better. Sex is too worldly." 

It's before the coffee time, but she is a 70 year old mother to five; she can say anything she wants and we listen. Usually I am with rapt attention, but Ellen. It's before coffee. 

It's the morning after the birthday party for one of my best sisters. I would add her link here, but the blogger app also has limits before the coffee hour. But if she was here she would say great words like, "you might be a wreck, doll, but you're God's wreck" or "you just gotta put one foot in front of the uthah. Now. Pass me an olive". 

Do you see the people I have to keep up with? I'll never make it. 
Send coffee. 
Send waffles. 
No. Just send the coffee. 
With "syrup". 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Darn You Perfectly Brewed Americano

Some places just know how to coffee. Yes. I used coffee as a verb. Try and stop me. No don't. I bruise like a peach! 

Photo cred: I stole this photo from the web. 

I had a meeting at The Coffee Bar last night around 4:30. Just a quick stop to meet a new friend who gave me the low down on all the information I'll need for a smallish major new ministry with which I am helping. 
I love them. These women love Jesus in a major way: with Grace and practicality. With heart and hands. Faith trudging through disbelief. 
So far I am all talk and coffee, but come Sunday I am jumping in. Two women are temporarily setting aside their high heels and heart breaking career of turning tricks at $200/hour to take their GED. 

Too big to grasp? Too contrary? Too "why should they even bother if they are going to go right back to that old life?" 

Yah. Well. I'm not in their shoes, but I know what baby steps are, and these girls are taking them. And for some reason, God is letting me help. 

So between an angelic Americano and this buzz of "what am I getting myself into? My heart is about to get vulnerable, I just know it. Lord, is this another mascarade that seems like I am the one helping, but really I'm about to get helped?" I find myself not sleeping. 

All through our meeting I kept saying, "the devil wouldn't be trying so hard to keep these girls down if they weren't about to make a huge difference for Christ. He wouldn't even care." And it's true. 
And by that, I mean if you don't feel the devil messing with you in some way, just maybe you don't matter enough to the kingdom. Just maybe a couple of 20 something year old prostitutes are closer to changing lives for Jesus than you are. 

Right along with that though? If you are enduring some heavy about now, there's a good chance you are in God's will. Youve tapped your chest and said "come at me bro" to a real enemy. Stay the course. You aren't alone. 

I feel shaken up by this. I feel like these girls are on the verge of something amazing. Noway am I getting left behind. 

I wanna jump up with my hand raised and shout "Let me come!" Like a typical little sister. I'm pumped. 

Photo cred: I stole this photo from the web. 

And then. I can't sleep. So I hang out on my twitter and the worst news story comes across. 120 children died last night. Six teachers. 
Taliban (tomato). These jack asses (tuh-mah-to) who think they are changing the world. And they are. And honestly, there is little I can do to change how they spend their lives. Waste their passion and faith. 

I can be their opposite. 

Now I see. A few more pieces just slipped into the puzzle. I'm to be contrary. I'm to be their opposite. 

When they spew darkness, I'll shine light. 

When they breed hate, I'll work harder for unconditional love. 

When they bring death, I'll breath life. 

When they marginalize, I'll be a peacemaker. 

When they shower depression, I'll pour on joy. 

In the same way they are too big and too far for my hands to affect them, my God is too big and my faith is too committed for them to touch me. 

Get behind me satan; you know your place. 

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Louder Isn't Always Better

I listened to a girl preach this weekend. It was an exceptional treat for many reasons, the least of which being the fact that I actually got to sit in service and partake in church like a usual suspect. When you are in charge of the kids in your church family, you miss a few weeks. But she was great. I shouldn't be surprised really; for years people have been saying, "you know Ally, right? You two would hit it off." 
They mean we are the same. They mean we appear to have the same giftings. 

Honestly, I've said hi from afar, but I've never met her. I can't even tell you why we've never officially been introduced. I certainly don't need help speaking to strangers or strange people. She lives out of town and visits often. But she became part of our church when we were off church planting with my brother and then still when we moved to Idaho. She got married and left right as we moved back. Bummer. And after listening to her speak, I mean it. Major bummer. 
We could have been all those things Tiffany sang about in the 80s when rock love ballads were legit and steeped in hairspray and emotion. And lip gloss. I think that we could have been good friends, but there's a little nagging voice that reminds me she is an introvert. 

What? Wait. Hold yer phone, Tiffany. 

I need a minute to decide if I can be friends with an introvert. 
Ok. Yes. We need each other, actually. Ok. ACTUALLY I need her. Maybe it's just me, being part of the loud collection of humans called extroverts, but I've always had the understanding that introvert equals negative and they are really just striving to become extroverts. I feel maybe Ally knows something I don't. 

She isn't striving to be an extrovert. There's nothing wrong with the very vert she already is. Additionally, I am not trying to be an introvert. However, I am striving to mimic some of her greater qualities. 

Humility and genuine heart. Truth speaker. Clear. Meek but not a pushover. The meek shall inheret the earth. Meek isn't bad. Meek is the new patient. 

I am so grateful for the skills and talents I have been given. I am thrilled for the chance to be an encouragement and light and sometimes even that straight forward, in your face, never minding words truth sayer. I want to be who God created me to be. I want to embrace my extrovertnessingly * and be used in the best possible way. 
I love that Ally was just being her. Whichever vert you are, embrace it. We all need each other.  
*extroverts make up words. Embrace it. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Ready. Steady. Quick Recap

Ok. First we

Ran into Effie Trinket and the angry chick from district 7. Late night showing of Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 1. 

Then we

Witnessed downtown become just a smidge brighter with the lighting of the tree. Followed by

Laughing. Pizza. And a lot of laughing. When I say a lot of laughing, I don't mean someone told a joke and we laughed longer than the average person for that minute. I mean in our house we laugh SO MUCH. When we aren't laughing we are singing. And sometimes we are yelling. But only sometimes is that yelling angry. And to be fair sometimes the laughing is facetious and full of mocking undertones. And I'm sorry. I'm just sorry. 
And then it got real. Folks, I'm going to level with you. I was a little shocked to look over and see The Man had taken on this position a little early even for Thanksgiving. This man doesn't sprawl. I should know. I've secretly and obviously watched his every move for 21 years. Ok. More obviously. I don't even try to hide it!! In fact, yep. I'm about to confess something. When we were in high school, I heard he worked at Walmart. I went every night for a week. Never saw him once. I was so irritated that I sucked at stalking a guy who barely knew I existed that I very uncooly asked when he was working and where I could find him if I happened to stop by. Insert air quotes where you think best. You should probably use more sets than you think for that sentence. Also. Who even thought to check the garden section??!!

Seven times a charm, I tell you. anyway. One thing lead to another and 

We are winding down another year of being Mike and Shontell. Sometimes I lay in bed and wonder how he found me and what ever made him think that he should break up with my best friend and ask me out. Out of my hands people!!! Would you believe me if I claimed innocent bystander? 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Drop In the Ocean

I've accepted that my arms are the lengths they are. I mean, I am 38. They aren't going to grow. I accept it. I know my limits. I also know that even though my arms measure a smooth five feet seven inches in wing span, my reach still has potential. Today, I decided to stretch my skinny hands right out in front of me and into my closet.

I am joining women across the world to raise awareness for girls held captive in the lie and bondage of sex trafficking. The statistics would cause your heart to bleed.

Awaken can fill you in on those and what is happening here locally to put an end to this darkness.

Dressember can help you be a drop in the ocean. Sound too small? So is a mustard seed. So is a chicken pock. So are two tiny little lice bugs who love each other very much. Do you get my point?

Dressember is a drop in the ocean that raised $165K last year. I am putting my dress on one leg at a time just like all the other girls on this team. You can help by sponsoring me. Make a flat donation or pledge a dollar or more for each day I wear a dress in December.

For some girls, this is easy. For me? Not so much. I lost my heart in a pair of 501s when I was in middle school. I have committed to love them forever, and it is going to break their hearts when I ground them to their hangers. Dear button flies. I can't quit you. Except for the month of December.

All of the money collected will go to these guys. 

Won't you help me send a message?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Oh Rebekah

I love reading through history. Women and men that changed the world and made mistakes and learned and were still so integral to writing a great and crazy, all wrong and all right, history. I appreciate their accomplishments; I welcome the challenge to match them footstep for footstep.

Maybe I appreciate their screw ups just as much. Or more. I am good to learn from them in this way, too. This is the perfect scenario in which to live vicariously. And the amazing thing is how the worst and craziest seeming people get their stories repeated just as often. We know the infamous as well as the famous. We need to. Past improprieties are the bricks that build us.

This morning, I was reading about Abraham and his guaranteed blessings. Could you imagine that? Guaranteed blessings? Well believe, yo. We have it. When Abraham died, God sent an angel to tell Isaac he would be receiving all that was promised to his father. Whoa. What an inheritance. Brilliant work, God.
Then I moved on to reading about Abraham's daughter in law. When Abraham sent his servant to Canaan to find her, he was beyond confident in God. He prayed, his servant's prayed, and they all believed. This bride-retrieval-mission was bathed in God's will. Like a poorly kept secret, they were all in on it.
His servant arrived after days of traveling and spoke first to God when he arrived at the well. "Let the one who is to be my master's wife offer me water and go on to offer to water my cattle" (Shontell's English Translation). Bam. The first woman who approached, Rebekah, spoke his very words. The bible says even before the servant was finished speaking to God in his heart Rebekah walked up, water jar in hand.
Her words were God's words. Her heart full of the Holy Spirit before she ever met him or he ever really came here to live with us. She was smack dab in the middle of God's will for her. I know that feeling. It's overwhelming, like the ceiling can't hold you.
Nor your skin.
Your heart feels like a cartoon that keeps pumping through your fancy shirt. You're sure everyone around you can feel it. It almost hurts because you know you don't deserve it. You remember the bricks that build you.

Despite that, you sense that God is bigger in you than all of that. I am so grateful for that. That feeling that I will never again be that ignoramus out of God's will. Away from God's path. That assurance that I am complete in God's will and untouchable. And, yet.

I find myself falling for that little selfish whisper. Which turns into a murmur. And then we are having a heated dispute before I cave and believe him because that little evil genius is just a little bit louder than God. Suddenly, I am Rebekah.

Rebekah who went from so engrossed in God's will that her words were mirrors. Ventriloquy. Not a magic trick at all, but full blown Jesus Freak. But time passes and smoke clouds the glass, and she. me. I am at it again. Far from the will I know. Believing the nonsense that threatens to consume me.

Maybe I have never loved one of my twins more than the other. Maybe I have never taught my boy to lie to his brother and then his father in order for him to get ahead and cheat my husband out of his blessing and inheritance. But do the specifics matter? My sin creates space. A deep void only fillable by the one true lover of my soul. The guy that never quits or gets tired of holding me up. Even when my faith is tiny and I feel I need to take things into my own hands which inevitably fail. Grasping is always a mistake. White knuckling this world leads to death.

As always, it comes down to my choices. How do I want to be remembered? Would it bother me if someone, anyone, walked in the room and overheard me talking, working, watching, listening, debating, disagreeing, convincing. Who am I gonna be? More Rebekah or less of her?

In this minute, I will admit I am closer to the version I don't want to be. But I am letting the death consume me to make more room for the one who really matters.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Numbers. The Fall Version

7- the number of Fridays left until Christmas. (Sorry. That one was shocking. I should have started with something calmer). 

1500- ALMOST the square footage of my new house. 

7- the number of people living in that little space. 

55+- the number of times I look out my window and smile because I live in this house with this view. 

8- the tree count in our backyard

5- the number of times I have watched You've Got Mail in the past month. 

28- the number of 5th graders I teach everyday. 

5- the number of afternoons I leave with a huge grin from my job. My heart is full even on the toughest days. 

38- the number of birthdays I have celebrated in my lifetime. 

20- the number of red and white roses my husband secretly delivered to my home while we both were at work. 

Too many- the number of times I underestimate that man. 

60- the number of boxes we have unpacked in the last week. 

3- the number of furniture pieces we still have to sell because they don't fit in our new house. 

One Bajillion- the number of candies we collected last Friday. 

6- the number of costumes I created or coordinated to lend to one of the best Halloweens to date. 

1- the number of times I have seen The Box Trolls. 

2- the number of times I want to see the Box Trolls again before we buy it on DVD and make it one of our annual October movies. 

11- the number of boxes we have left to unpack. 

11- the number of times I've thought to myself "do I really need whatever is in this box? Can't I just chuck it?"

Look around you people. The best two months of the world are about to happen. Come enjoy them at my house. My coffee and my couch are always ready. Especially if you live far away and want to have a jumbo party sleepover. 
Yah. You heard me. Jumbo party. 

Monday, October 06, 2014

The Perks

There are so many perks to my life. We all probably focus on what's holding us back more than the perks, so I'm giving today a new spin. 
First of all, I get to do the job I love. I was created to teach. The end. 
I teach in all sorts of ways and this role has looked differently over the years, but I have just always been a teacher. Right now it's in a classroom full of 5th graders. I love it, and I love them. 
And because that's my job and it's fall, I have had a week off. Round here we call it fall break. 

Never heard of it? Yah, well this here is Nevada. We do weird stuff. Like this picture. And these vests. And these poses. 
We also stumble upon insanely amazing ice cream parlors. Whoa, Nelly. You just saddle that horse and sit for a minute. If I were you, I would order the espresso chip dipped in chocolate. Come to mamma. 

Sometimes we snuggle. And watch 30 episodes of Friends. WHAT?! WE WERE ON A BREAK. fall break. 
I said that already. 
How you doin'? 

Let's just say that there were discoveries, and IHOP, and movie after movie, and theatres, minutes of miniature golfing, and snuggles, Friends, real life friends, eggs, Eggs, and on and on. 
Sigh. I'm full up. My cup runneth over. 
Now, husband. Please come home. This week has sucked (sort of) without you. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Are You Sure About Them Five Minutes

There's a chance this post will hold random interjections of movie quotes. 

That was your fair warning. 

Some of you that spend time with me know I can participate in a conversation using nearly all movie quotes. The crazy part is most people can't tell I am quoting. This happens with my kids. But, now that they are old enough to watch some of the classics, they seem to be catching on to the truth. 


See? I told you. 

I've introduced my teenagers to some great movies. What About Bob?, the old school Star Wars, Ferris Beuller's Day Off, Say Anything, Uncle Buck, So I Married an Ax Murderer. Just to name a few. 
Here's what usually happens:
I'm sitting there, happy as a clam to hear them giggle along with some of my most favorite lines. They seem to be taking this classic under their wing. My kids are going to make it! They are going to be the only ones in class who get 80's and 90's pop culture references their teachers mutter beneath their breath. I'm feeling like a superior mother. 
Then I hear "what the heck. You say that line all the time!! Don't you make anything up yourself? I've always thought you were so funny!"
:crickets. Life flashing. Sweaty armpits. Clammy palms:

"A sixth grader chased me on his bike. When I got exhausted and fell down he wailed me with his shoe for an hour."

I calm myself, restart my heart, and try to mimick Bob Wiley in his morning mantra: I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful. 

Did my kids just say I am not funny? 


Did I make a terrible mistake letting them into this carefully studied land? 


Has the time come when I accuse them of smelling like pine tree perfume and they know I am simply quoting Tommy Boy? 

Say it ain't so. 

I've decided to restrict them to VeggieTales. 

Sixteen year olds still like VeggieTales, right? 

Thursday, September 04, 2014


I've yelled this word to my son at least six times tonight. I won't tell him what to do anymore. I just yell, "FOCUS!"

It's because, like so many people, he can't focus on what really matters. I say, " Son, read me this poem."
I look up and he is poking himself in his nipple with his pencil. 
I say, "write your words once each. "
I look, and he is attempting to silently open a to-go wet wipe and rub down his legs. Silently. 

I sent him to make his lunch and proceeded to read a few articles. I need a break.

 I came across one about a girl who is offended that her high school principal appears to play favorites. He has double standards for boys and girls and spouts cliche quips to both genders. 
"Modest is hottest!" Really dude? Pull your head out. I get your point, but you should promote high school girl hotness in no way. Zero. Not at all. It's creepy. Now, go shave your mustache. 

"Boys will be boys." Uh. This sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. Again, I see your point, but you need to broaden your scope and realize you hold a position of influence. Are you really wanting to turn out a class of mediocre men from your campus? How about raising the bar and changing it up a bit? Be original for once and decide nothing less than gentlemen will be roaming your halls. 

Whatever you do, get some new sayings. Quick. 

I skimmed the article and had to laugh out loud because I realized I needed someone to yell, "FOCUS!" At me. I think I know where Sam gets it. I'm valid. Look. 

She's making a statement. Good for you, sister. 
::dramatic throat clearing and whisper::
Honey, if you are going to make a bold statement. Go for it. Say it however you like. However, if you want people to take you seriously use proper grammar. Why the capital A? Even more pressing than the idiotic remarks from your principal? Your use of made up words in your protest signage. "Alright" is not actually a proper word. Two words: All right. 
I know what you want to say right now. You want to tell me it's in the dictionary. Just because a word is in the dictionary does not proper a word make it. 
In the same way that millions of maroons pronouncing it "expresso" is also incorrect. If you want to be a stand out, go against the flow, and make yourself seem more correct than the one you are standing against, win with your brain. Don't be the missing line from Alanis Morissette's Ironic. 

Also. Where's your shirt? 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Eventful? We don't do subtle

It's as if we don't understand the meaning of the word. Calm? Plain? Neutral? We scoff at ordinary. We don't even like the word extraordinary around here because it really makes us think of the words extra ordinary. (Seriously? Who was the thinker on this word? I have never understood it). 

First of all, it's coming on fall. Oh beauty let me behold you. And let me watch You've Got Mail until I have to replace the movie because I've watched it too many times. Again. For the fourth time. WHAT?! It's really great. Kathleen Kelley is my family. Like her, I like to begin my sentences as if we are already in the middle of a conversation. 
Like her I love bookstores. Like her I love Pride and Prejudice. I too get lost in the language. Thither is where you'll find me. Watching this movie. Again. Oh felicity. 

Anyway. My job? Great. Better than great. I love it. I'm full. Of gratitude and tasks, but hey. Full is full. Always better than empty. Which is actually how I felt tonight when I talked to my husband. We said our "love yous". We chatted about business. I may have even spouted a catchy verse of I miss you I miss you, I really wanna kiss you". Then I had the feeling that I had something else to tell him, but instead, I suddenly declared "nope. That's it. I'm empty." And I meant it. Where the knowledge of these words which I type is coming from I know not. See? Empty. 
But it's because my brain is taking ion just. So. Much. 

New jobs take a while to settle into. New co-workers. New bosses. New expectations. New room. New students. New paperwork. New routines and schedules and people needing you. New. 
I'm getting there. I'm not the furthest behind, so I will say I am winning. Except that it's 9:40 pee em and I'm falling asleep while I type and wishing one of my  kids would get out of bed and turn off my bedroom light and brush my teeth. And since they are here, brush and floss my teeth. 
Did I mention we are house hunting? That's simple. No emotion. Not at all time consuming. 
I lied. In that last paragraph. Sorry about that. 
We are in fact house hunting. But the rest is just false. 
So completely off. 
It's consuming. I don't want it to be. But I think I'm a junkie. How can I not be when all of my house is packed and we are just waiting for the words "we accept your offer and we would LOVE to pay your closing costs." My movies? Packed. 
Ok. Not You've Got Mail. What are you, nuts? 
New job. New house. New neighbors. Go big or don't stand near me. 

*these pictures have zilcho to do with this post. We do baseball. Thought you'd like to know. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Working Mamma

Yep. I'm one of those. But there is something in my brain that won't even let me think it. I still picture myself as a stay-at-home mom. When someone asks what I do, my instinctive response is to say I'm a stay-at-home mom.
Anyone else have this problem? It's like I am seeing myself as I used to be.

Like that one time I was kind enough to take the time to make this new lady at church feel welcome. I said hello and struck up a cordial conversation. We totally hit it off, and then she said what everyone says when they talk to me for more than eight minutes, "Wait. You have FIVE kids? How old are you?" To which I quickly responded, "19." Uh. What? To which I even more quickly said, "Uh. No I'm not." I had a conversation with myself while she stood there confused. I am pretty sure she thought I was drunk, a wee stoned, or simply a liar. There's a chance she won't be coming back to church for a while.
Ok, so just me then. Great.
Well, this blog has been through a number of mini-makeovers, and I am hoping to add a new element now. I am a worker bee now. I am a worker, and I have no idea what I am doing. Won't you join me to watch the calamity?

Follow my board on Pinterest: Working Mom Survival.
Follow Shontell's board Working Mom Survival  on Pinterest.

Don't pay any attention to the couple of misplaced pins. I often do my pinning at 3 aye em. 

Saturday, August 09, 2014


That's the weird that has been my life for the past 20 days. Most (all three of you readers) of you know The Man was threatened with another layoff this past spring. Really? What else have you got wonder boy? The devil is sheer silly.
Anyway, they postponed it. Don't ask what that means. We don't know. We don't speak corrupt city council. Anyway, the judge seems to be on our side (the logical side), and he is still working as a fire fighter. Thanks, Lord. We appreciate your provision.
For the past 14 months, I have been the director of a pretty rad preschool with some of the best bosses a girl could ask for. Really. Primo.
After applying for and accepting a job in Las Vegas, and after deciding with 80% of our hearts that we were fine to move back to Las Vegas because Mike was getting a fire fighting position, we realized 20% of our hearts were hurting. So we prayed. We made one of those lists with the volley of goods and not so goods about raising our family in either city. And then, we remembered why we moved from Las Vegas, and we remembered why we chose Reno. Actually, God chose Reno. And our hearts thanked him. So, we just decided. We are staying.
Instead we are putting down roots per God's instruction and later clarification. We are house hunting. 
I also got a job teaching 5th grade, and I couldn't be more thrilled. Seriously. So excited. 
I heard about the position on Sunday night. The one we just had. I was at an Elvis themed birthday party for a ten year old (who is obviously a genius. I mean. How could he not be with Elvis as his theme!!) 
Anyway. Monday morning they called me in for an interview. 
Tuesday morning I reported for my first day. 
Tomorrow my classroom should be fully decorated. 
All while maintaining my directorship, so that I could finish strong. I'm beat. I'm exhausted. I'm in the mood for pizza that I can't eat. 
Here is my class so far. 

I am just so overwhelmed at God's plan. I'm grateful that he has an infinitely better brain than I. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

What can I do?

I don't think we ever really know what we are getting ourselves into when we say YES and take on a new task. I know I don't. 
I tend to be a grass-is-greener type oh gal. So, I appreciate that my husband chases after me shouting the logic. Anyone else here take the logic being shouted before you will listen? Yah, well. Whatever. 
I have taken on new tasks. Not today. I don't mean that sort of present tense. This one is more of an ongoing swoop where I reach my arm out and take on one thing after another. 
And many times when I repeat my life in words people say I am crazy. Maybe. But I'm not for a second going to sit by and make the smallest ripple possible. I plan to be affecting. Effecting. Affected. Infectious. 
Idle is a four letter word. At the end of this life, I want my maker to play the video of my life and say, "She did what she could." 
I'm not here to play it safe and small. I'm here to do anything to bring people closer to the truth that Christ is worth every minute of their day. 
To every thing there is a season. 
A time to stand up and shout. 
A time to lean in and be quiet. 
A time to follow the logic that begs to be heard. 
A time to put your toe in the water and walk across that dry land. 
A time to heed a friend's words. 
A time to follow God's words instead. 

I want to do what I can. What are you doing today?

Monday, July 07, 2014

Ever have those weeks you feel you need to spend a Sunday night gearing up? That's me. 
I already know I have to make play dough. But I also am scheduled to get my car in the shop. So grateful to have a back up vehicle. Carting seven kids around can get old pretty quickly. Errr. Back up. Did I say seven? 

Well yes I did. We have two extra teenage girls this week. I'm tempted to leave them pillow mints each night and never let them leave. "You know what that means? Jumbo party" 

Is there a bad time to quote Uncke Buck? I think no. 

I am on the hunt for a great salsa recipe for my Vitamix. But I'm not eating tortilla chips. My life is tricky. I've been using bell pepper wedges instead. Uh. Yum. 

I need a bathing suit top. I have the bottoms and even a skirt. The rest is arguably just as important. 
I also need to borrow my brother's projector. I need to watch the sandlot in old school perfection: hang a sheet and dangle some licorice. 

Tuesday lake day is approaching. I forgot to clean out the cooler after last Tuesday's trip. I don't want to. It's been too long. It's like that time when Nevil Longbotttom told Ron he left the howler from his gran unopened. The minutes ticked by as more badness built up. 

Ok. I know what you're saying. With the exception to the moldy howler cooler, this vacation has been goofy and great. 

Add three work schedules and two baseball games and I might just take off the my pants and call it a day. 

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

What Matters Right Now Is Summer

I've decided only to go with the things that matter. 
Tuesday lake day all summer. That matters. We brought a thrown together lunch from the makings of our pantry and I purchased vines: red and black. We vegged all day and took away no regrets. Not even one little letter. 

Sleeping in. I'm going with sleeping until my body doesn't want to be asleep anymore. I'm not a morning person. None of my clowns are. We like the nightlife, baby. It's when we are at our best. So, it's ten and I'm in bed. I'll find pants when it's a more appropriate time. 

Dinner plans. I'm making them. We are eating healthy and inviting others to join us. We have even received a few invites back! Nothing says friends like sharing a meal. 

Flops. Who even invented close toed shoes? He should be sent to the Americas. 

Jeans. My jeans stay the same no matter how hot it seems to get. It's just my shirt sleeves that shrink. 

Outside days. A hike. A jaunt to the park. Some lounging in the backyard with a good book. These are the things that have to happen sometimes. 

Indoor days. Watching a movie marathon or crafting up a storm. Sometimes indoor days with a blasting air conditioner and a hoodie have to happen. 

The drive in. I'm embracing it. Maybe I will even stay awake for a movie. 

My favorite little punks. When you don't have neighborhood friends it gets a bit tricky to have summer. I'm driving them to invites and dragging them along to the good times we choose for the day. So far this summer has been perfectly delightful. 

We want to embrace every second. I've busted out the video camera, and we are leaning into the sweaty pits and farmers markets. This summer will be so short that by the time we unwind it's going to be time to gear up. Well no thank you. We are getting to it. Embrace it, people. Who's going with me?!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

It occured to me

I was driving along listening to an oldie but a goodie. The story of David and Goliath. As I listened to an overly passionate man read the scriptures and the same story I have heard countless times, I heard it differently.
I heard David talk about God's glory. He announced himself as the army of the Living God. That's gutsy. Then he said something along the lines of "Hey, Goliath, I get what you see: a little kid, short sauce compared to your nine plus feet, a stick in one hand, a sling shot in the other. But this isn't about me or my size or my name or family or experience or you. This is about God getting the glory when this victory happens. When you fall, God rises in people's eyes just a little bit taller. I'm not a warrior of the Israelites. I am a warrior in the army of the Living God, and when you fall, because you will, and I cut your head off with your own sword, because I will, and when we walk away from here as the victors, because we will, then God will be glorified and everyone forever will see what we mean when we say God is powerful and able to do ANYthing with anyone who is willing to stand up and say 'yes' and say 'my God shall supply all my needs'".

I want faith like this. I ask for it all the time, but this morning it occurred to me that I am attempting to speak out in faith, but perhaps I am standing upon a shaky ground because it's MY ground and not God's ground.
My husband has four more work days before his lay off becomes finalized. At least that's the information we have. God probably has something up his sleeves. Do you ever stop and think, "wowza that guy has some pretty big sleeves with all the happy shenanigans he hides up there"?
I know God is going to give my husband a new job or somehow allow him to keep his current one. I KNOW he is. But I am realizing he is going to do it, not so we will have money or my husband will have a job to go to. God is going to give my husband a job, so the people everywhere will say, "God is miraculous. Look how much he cares for that family. What a magnificent God! He is able to do ANYthing."
That's what I want for us. God's glory to show through everything we do. Even simple things like getting jobs.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Why I Like Mike

I don't even have enough minutes to say all the ways. 
This picture sums it up along with a quick story. 
Yesterday the boys spent hours building a fort for two. Last night at 10:30, Addie realized her room mate would be sleeping downstairs in the fort leaving her on her own. Her little heart was devastated, and the fort was decidedly too tiny for another kid. 
My Husband whipped out his fort-tent supplies and made her a mini palace all her own in the living room near the boys. That's what being a daddy is all about. Hearing your little girl's heart and doing something about it. 
This guy…

Sunday, June 01, 2014

I've Been Thinking: a scary insight

  • I haven't worn shorts for at least a decade. Probably longer. I'm not sure it's time yet, but I am willing to give it a try. maybe.
  • Usually, when things get stressful or happy or sad or glad or hairy or scary or normal I like to get a tattoo. The only problem right now is that I don't actually have the money this time. Insert your saddest face. Or pitch in and buy me a tattoo people!! 
  • I am glad I accidentally chose the yellow iPhone 5. We got them for free because Verizon was doing a promo and we happened to be in the right place at the right time. Also, Jesus likes to bless our socks off. And our phones
  •  I love the movie The Monuments Men. I can't say enough about it. It makes me want to preach a sermon on how God cares for our creativity, our art, and our passions. It makes me want to teach a high school history class and teach about all the stories not yet told during the world's history. It makes me cry. Every time because the stories and insight into the lives of everyone else in the war are included. Because there is a different level of humanity revealed in the men who were brave enough to take on the challenge of preserving our visual history, some of them giving their lives. Because there is a further glimpse into the dehumanization of the Jews. I cry every time. Bill Murray? Seriously? brilliant.
  • My kidneys hate me. They are more of the "grass in greener" sort of kidneys. They want out. They've declared mutiny, but I am Captain Jack Sparrow. This ship belongs to me, suckers. I spent the morning in the ER having my organs tested and my kidneys probed. Doctors get excited when I tell them I have a floating kidney. For those of you who aren't familiar with that it happens when you don't have enough fat in your abdomen, so your organs don't stay in place. For those of you who have seen me, you know I have plenty of cushion. Let's just agree that I am unusual and move on. The doctor spent three minutes checking and rechecking my kidney, all the while saying "how interesting. there it is." Glad to help.
  •  I am ready to know our future. I don't mean when I'll die or how everything will play out, but the fact is that I know nothing about nothing and the more days pass the more I feel like I feel less. Is that possible? I don't even know what I am supposed to do with my days because I am a planner, and I have nothing to plan. So. Here I will sit. I will blog and go to work and watch my son play baseball. I will fight to stay in the moment rather than fretting about all the things I can't get done because I have no answers. 
  • I could watch every Aces game and still ask for more.
  • I had a stressful week. Not because of all the crazy things that happened with silly employees not quite living up to the character of adults in society. And not because my kidneys were utterly failing their test of life. But because we had a little girl, five years old, nearly collapse at my school. I'm the boss, and she was with me, so it fell to me to care for her. I thought she was going to need CPR. I don't know if you have ever been in that position, but babies seem even smaller when they are the object of an emergency situation. She got small. Very small and breakable. I prayed like a freakin Christian facing the lions in Roman times. And I cussed at the devil like a hooker whose territory is being invaded by a prettier hooker. In the end, the fire department and Jesus saved the day. What's new? She was taken by ambulance, and it's looking good. Still waiting to hear a final result. 
  •  I'm suddenly a reality TV junky. FINE it isn't sudden. But So You Think You Can Dance? I can't resist. Next Food Network Star? sigh. I can't stay away. I was easily able to skip American Idol's finale once they eliminated my favorite guy. 
I am sorry if I scared you. 
Signing out.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Linking Up with Lisa-Jo and Rwanda

Every week Lisa-Jo hosts a link up inspiring people to write with no inhibitions for five minutes about a topic of her choosing. Here is my contribution this week.

Topic: CLOSE as in not far away.




Close. It's exactly what I am feeling I need to be with my husband. Today is the day he received his lay off notice. His second in three years. He's angry that after nearly a decade of being a fire fighter his reward is that he is no longer needed. So close devil. You thought you had a foot hold, but ye be wrongo. We celebrated over a grilled dinner in the backyard and s'mores. I will stay close and offer whatever encouragement he needs from me. And God will remain close as we navigate the next few weeks of looking for jobs and a new home.
Sometimes when your enemy is looking you in the face, so close that you can feel the steam streaming from his nostrils, you answer with a bold and audacious faith. Sometimes you hole up and find a happy place, but that behavior won't offer glory to God. So I am taking the crazy route. The faith building and risk it all route. So, I am trying my hardest to get to Rwanda. you can help. Please click on the link below and simply click VOTE above my head.
The trip takes place in July. I have five kids, and never could manage a trip of this magnitude, but as it turns out, my husband will be available to help with them. He's wide open actually. Thank you for helping me get there. You can vote everyday until Wednesday. When I say I want to go, I mean today I made little hand outs and walked my neighborhood of used to be strangers and asked them to vote for me.



You too can join in with this link up. Here

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Maybe. I've decided I need some perspective. In fact, I need serious perspective. Tomorrow my husband may be getting a lay off notice. Saying this reminds me of the scene from ELF when he gets kicked out of Gimbel's and comes back. He tells his co-worker, "It turned out OK. They gave me a restraining order." Like that's the silver lining.
But then it gets me thinking, maybe getting laid off isn't the worst thing that could happen. Actually, on the scale of the worst things that could be happening and eating a Mickey Mouse ice cream head AT Disneyland on a slow day, this is much nearer the ice cream side than I first thought. That's because I am working on gaining perspective. Mine is fleeting and emotional and a jerk.

So, for what feels like ages I have been praying for God to open my eyes to the opportunities around me. Mid-prayer today, a homeless man knocked on my car window. No kidding. Then tonight, I was at it again, and I came across a tweet about Meriam Ibrahim. The next one was the chance to win an all expenses paid mission trip to Rwanda with an unbelievable group of women. They are advocates for the poor. That's it (she says tongue in cheek). They see poor people and women and children. And they have more to offer than a measly granola bar. I should have more to offer as well, but I am too wrapped up being a chump and fretting over my tiny problems. So I am calling their bluff and asking you to vote me in as I jump my fears out of my gang. Heres what you do. Click on the word Rwanda and vote for me. Everyday until May 28th. I am late to the game, so I really need everyone to take a minute and vote.


I wonder if the nonsense in Africa is the same as the nonsense in America.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Jennie Allen, you stole my heart when you said "let's crave God and run our guts out… let's get real…let's get literal" ok maybe she didn't say all of those things, but it's what I heard between the lines. 
Every week day morning I join hundreds of other girls to talk about a few scriptures on Jennie Allen's website. 


Currently we are reading through Acts. Of the New Testament, Acts has always been my favorite book. I believe it's the OCD in me that is drawn to all the clear lines. The order. The very paired down commission given in this book. It answers questions:

What should the church do?
How should the church help?
Who the heck is the church anyway?
Where did Jesus go?
Who in the world is going to help me through this nut house?
Will there be food involved?
What do I do while I wait for Jesus to come back?

The answers are simple and so easy to read, but impossible to do on my own. Outside of God. Outside of community. And I never do them well really even when I get close to living them out at all. 

God's doing something weird in me. I'm getting the church less and less and craving the company of the hurting more. 

Yah. I'm confused, too. 

I've spent more time studying the word and with Jesus than ever before. Family crisis does that to a lot of people. But instead of gaining clarity of how much I love church, I am only recognizing how much we are doing it wrong. More wronger says Larry the Cucumber. 

Today's passage in Acts 4 says the people in the church sold everything including their lands and their houses and brought that money and laid it at the disciples' feet. They gave everything they owned. Sold what they could. Used the money for outreach. For inreach. To help anyone as they had need. 


As they had need. 

Sold their houses. 

Gave it all away. 

These passages are literal. They didn't metaphorically sell their houses. If you sell your house literally, you have no house. And they didn't use some of the money to buy a smaller house. They didn't have a house. It doesn't clearly say where they lived, but we know they dedicated themselves to the apostles teachings about Jesus and who God is, to worship, to prayer, to food! 

That's it. They sold everything and lived their lives doing four things. 

Listening to God's word




This is my kind of party. This is my kind of church. This is how I like to picture Gatsby's parties. It's what I want in my everyday. 

I run a preschool. It's full of broken people, starting with me. All the way down to broken parents and this broken little clown. 
Well he is pretty great, but one day he will know he is broken. I pray already that he craves God and runs his guts out. 

And this is my mission field. I am only now beginning to grasp the weight of my role. I thought it was just preschool. Educators have this snobbery about preschool, as if it's fake school. But I'm seeing how vital it is. And the academics have little to do with it. 

This morning one of our two year olds is appearing in court. His mom makes bad choices. She showed up yesterday reeking of pot. They both wept when she left in separate cars. Today the courts get to decide if he gets to go back to mom's house. 

Last week, a mom cut me off when I tried to tell her how beautiful her daughter is. I was recapping how well she is doing. This mom does not love being a mom. I don't think she likes it at all really. Mom stopped me mid-sentences and said she needed to get to work. She was offended by my words. 

Two weeks ago a little girl told me her mom hits her. 

Yesterday a little girl wouldn't stop holding my hand. 

A few months ago, a little boy told me he never sees his mom. He goes to school only and he wants to see his mom. Then he got angry and hit me in my face and started kicking me. He was supposed to be napping. I held his feet away from me and told him he was handsome and great. He told me to leave and pushed me. I told him I wasn't going anywhere. I loved him and rubbed his back between kicks. After 45 minutes of this, he sat up and abruptly hugged me and said, "I love you". It was his first day at school. He needed someone in his life that wasn't going to quit. Who didn't have a line he could cross that made him lose their love. He bear hugs me every time he sees me. 

A few weeks ago, we had a mom complain (not quietly) about our hours. She fumed. She cussed. She stormed. She threatened to withdraw. I called her as soon as I got to work. She wept. She confessed that she is at her limit with working and just can't decide if it's worth the money to be away from her kids. The answer for me is an unequivocal "no". Not if this is where her heart is. I encouraged her to take a look at her cost to work, financial and otherwise, and decide from there. 

I want to sell my house and give it to her. Only I don't own a house. I want to bring my money to be her money, so she can stay home with her girls. I want to take that mom and her two year old to lunch and remind her of her amazing qualities. She has them for days. I want to hold that little boy and teach him that even when he feels alone, he has God. I want him to know that the Holy Spirit isn't figurative. 

I want to be New Testament bold. I can't even figure out how except to dedicate myself to these kids and their parents and my staff. None of us is exempt. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

This Minute

If I had Dr. Seuss's mad poetic skills I would write you a limerick of some sort and share my feelings that way. Or maybe reenact a scene from a made for TV movie like Molly Shannon. 
Instead, I'll just check in and say that my head is pounding. 
We have no news on a job for my husband, but we know when his job will be finished. 


We know we are struggling with the shaky calm we call our feelings. 
We know we have no control over what happens outside of our hearts. 
And we know that we catch ourselves sighing heavily even in the middle of a happy seeming conversation. 
So we wake up. 
We eat and drink. 
We kiss our kids. 
We read encouraging scripture and try desperately to adhere it permanently to our joints. 
We watch too much tv about things we don't really care about and wonder why no one has called to cancel our cable yet. 
We read our emails and wonder if we should bother replying. Will it really make a difference? 
Can anybody hear me?
Is anybody out there?
Is there an end to this noose? 
If I stand up will I fall?
Does it matter? Shouldn't I try? 

Sometimes the question can of worms just isn't worth opening. 

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Mike Teevee

Do you ever look at a situation and suddenly see it so very differently than perhaps you have ever seen it, even though you may have looked at it your entire life? 
When I was a kid, I would sing along with Bonnie Tyler. I had the album, and I rocked it. Especially the song Total Eclipse of the Heart. 
And it wasn't until I was rocking out to it as an adult, having not heard it for a decade, when I realize I wasn't singing the right words. In fact, I was saying made up words. Really? Why did this take so long. 
There's a line where the orchestra builds and she belts out that she's "living in a powder keg and giving off sparks." Only. I used to sing (and frankly still do because funny habits are worth keeping) "living in a powdy gag givin off sparks". So close. So nonsensical. Hmmm. So not even a real word there. 

I was so wrapped up in the dramatic feel of the melody. So moved by the build of each stanza. The whole thing stirred emotions and made me want to create a drama to perform on the streets of Las Vegas. I knew it would turn others to Jesus. The end. Bonnie and I were agonna change the hearts of teens everywhere. Because really. We can all relate to a living in a powdy gag. It hurts. Turn AROOOUND. 

Well. I assumed so because she sang it with such emotion. But once I learned the real words, the song actually made sense. I viewed it completely differently. The light bulb in my brain finally went on. 

This week I started an in depth study of the book of Acts. It's my favorite New Testament book because it gives such clear instructions on how we are to function. It takes all the information from the Old Testament, and it explains our mission in four simple actions. You'll have to read it yourself really, but it's worth your time. And even though I have read it so many many times before, I feel like before I was living in a powdy gag. NOW it's as if scales have been torn from my eyes and I can hear and see and receive so differently. 
The writer's is suddenly Mike Teevee from willy wonka and before he was just a bunch of tiny particles floating along the ceiling. A jumble and a mess, and the information is only somewhat recognizable. Now it's all coming together. And I am loving it. 
Every time I read the day's passage I want to go back again and again and let it sink further into my brain. I cross reference and listen to others discuss some points. And then I go back and read the parts I want to stick with me all day. 
I have so much to say in my prayers that I can't possibly write quickly enough. 
I am so excited. I wake up in the mornings and check my email box for today's installment of what I am supposed to read. Shoot. Maybe I AM living in a powdy gag!! Maybe I AM giving off sparks!! (Where does one purchase a powdy gag?) 
I don't know what changed other than my perspective. Other than me asking God for more of him and less of me. Other than me adopting the motto "crave God and run your guts out!" 
He's so faithful. 
He's so good. 
Join me and hundreds of other women in this study of Acts through IF:EQUIP. 
It's well worth your 15 minutes every morning. 

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Over the Ostrich Life

So. I am over this way of life. There was a time when things would come at me, and I would deal with as much as I felt I could handle, and then I turned into this guy. Only usually I stick my head in a book or one of my favorite television shows. Either way I am a mess. The stress of life gets to be too much, so I lose myself in someone else's make believe. It felt like escape for so long, but really, the only thing I have accomplished is creating a weight of inevitability. That thing? The heavy, scary, I don't want to deal with it thing is still out there. Still needs my attention.

This time when my husband called so early on a Monday morning with news of ANOTHER lay off announcement, I went to my book shelf. My favorite go-to for hard times. And as I stood there pondering, "Do I want to read Twilight again? It's so easy. It requires nothing of my brain. Or maybe I want to go crazy and read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Nah. Could I handle my newly purchased copy of The Count of Monte Cristo?" No. Definitely not in that place..." And then God trumped me. He broke into my doubt and fear and incessant book choosing ponder and said, "Is this really where you want to find your answers? Is this really the best place for you? I have so much to say."
Had you been standing next to me, you probably would have laughed aloud at the slump my shoulders took. It was as if I was a cartoon character. Charlie Brown when he realizes the only thing he got for all his work at Halloween was a rock. Shoulder slump city. I didn't even pick my feet up all the way as I schlepped my way back to my room, dramatically threw myself upon my pillow, and sighed a long and hefty sigh. But at least I wasn't dramatic. But I did it. I chose my Bible and I have kept choosing it since. In fact, since then I have started leading a Bible study, joined an online Bible study, and I have kept up with my assigned reading from my pastor for work.
Try and hit me Napoleon.
I am going to keep my nose in my Bible and my eyes on God and my heart wrapped around God's promises. I might still be a mess, but I am God's mess.

I am participating in Five Minute Friday. You can too. The rules are simple. Write for five minutes on her given topic and post a link up with her friends.
Today's topic is "mess." Yah. That fits. Be sure to visit a few links on there to show the love.

God's Sweaty Mess,

Thursday, May 01, 2014


When I was a kid, my three older brothers wrestled ALL. THE. TIME. Seriously, it was their answer to everything and their solution to all of life's challenges. 
Don't like the steelers? LETS WRESTLE. 
You ate the last cookie? LETS DO THIS!
It's too hot to play outside? WRESTLE!!
They didn't even have Nacho Libre to set a standard saying wrestling is cool.

It was inherent. 
I am not sure if they taught me that phylosophy or if it really is our human response, but sometimes I don't feel any different. If I were to see inside of my mind, it would probably look like my 1970's living room: hand-me-down furniture, red carpet(yep), two ideas wrestling their hearts out to be heard, and my mother sitting in a pink arm chair yelling "NO WRASTLING!!"
(Anyone else's mom call it WRASTLING?)

I'm wrestling now, that's for sure. Anyone else? Anyone else feel their truest, and often least favorite, parts of themselves threatening to creep back in? People have all different names for those dark parts: sin nature, flesh, human nature. Whatever you want to call it is fine by me. I just want it to go away. So I wrestle them down until they are small in hopes that one day they will be small. One day they will be so tired and so small I forget they were ever a part of me at all. 

I wrestle them so they will begin to understand they have no real business here. I get to decide who I am. WHOSE I AM. My soul was bought and captured and declared no longer available the second I said yes to Jesus and not my Self. If I remember that, then I can be confident in the outcome of the match, even if the wrestling does take a while or leave me breathless. I have peace all through that wrestling match. 
I'll wear the required uniform (tights) and I'll get to the highest point and say, "WILL THE REAL CHRISTIANS PLEASE STAND UP!" 
Because I'm tired of sitting by hoping something is going to come of my life. I'm tired of asking (wrestling with God) until I beat down my selfish desires and hear God and then turn around and offer excuses of why I can't do what he is asking me to do. 
The fact is I can't do those things. They are good and I usually only want good for ME if we are being honest. You can't do those things. Good for other people. Not without God. He is the good in each of us. He is the endurance and strength and the only way we can even be a part of blessing others. He is the good we pass forward. 
I have decided I can go it alone (just me and God) if I need to, but isn't living so much better when your friends are there?
It's time to gather up. Find your commonalities. Talk amongst yourselves. And then decide what you can be doing to pay forward what you receive every morning: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. For there is no argument against such things. God wants us to have them. They are gifts. And the more we give away of ourselves, the more we receive these. It's a wonderful circular system. 
So ask yourself "what can I do? Right here. Right now. With the resources God has given me. With the people I see before me. What can I do to make someone feel loved? To put someone first?" 
Here are some ideas that have been rattling around in my brain. Feel free to add to the list:
Buy a package of socks and hand out a pair of them and a bottle of water to every homeless person I see. 
Carry five dollars in my car each month and let my kids take turns deciding what stranger to give it to. 
Buy a coffee for the guy behind me. 
Clean up someone else's mess. 
Write an encouraging note (by hand) to friends I haven't talked to in a while. 
Finish writing my book. 
Fill the empty bed in my son's room with someone who needs a place to sleep. 
Open my home to whoever wants to eat here. 
Tape four quarters to the meter after I leave for the next guy. 
Assign a prayer request to every hour on my calendar. Set it to notify me and pray for others all day long. 
Buy an encouraging book for someone who is having a tough time. 
Volunteer in a shelter or with a local homeless kids' program. 
Teach English as a second language at my church- for free.
Say yes to helping others as much as possible. 
Go to the university and hand out cup-oh-soups and oranges to passers-by.  

Decide who you want to be. Wrestle down your lazy and non compliant flesh. And do something. Watch how God multiplies it. How he multiplies you and your energy and resources. 
Because what would happen if we took a day. A week. A month. And decided to give to every person we saw in need. It doesn't have to be money, but it can be. It might be. And if it is, God will give you money. If it's time, God will work it out. You may find you have to give up things, but isn't it worth it? 
It's time. 
Stand up. 
Because at the end of this life we all want someone to stand up and say something about us. Now is your time to write that something. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Restless and Running

When you get to a place in life where you look around, and all you see are bits and pieces of what you think your life is supposed to include, you get a sense of frustration. Well. I do. 
I'm leading a bible study. The title is Restless. And I am. Restless, I mean. And thankfully I am finding I am not alone. Jennie Allen, the author, talks about threads in our life. She means all the different bits and pieces in our life that God has allowed or given or placed. 
For me these include my skills as a writer. My book that feels as if it will be perpetually in progress and never finished. My desire and love for teaching. My job at my church. My husband and my role as his wife. My insatiable love for music. My children and my role as their mother. And my longing to work for Mike Mercer at Compassion First. 
Some days, and in some ways, I am desperate for these things. I want them so badly I catch myself gritting my teeth in anticipation. My muscles flex. Relax. And flex again. I take a step and act one of these out for a minute or at least the length of the scene, almost like I am in a play. But when I have to come back to the mundane it's as if I changed the channel. Turn off this little part of me that was minutes before glowing and growing and good. 
It's not me. I mean, it's me, but the glowing and growing and good? That's all God. See, we don't glow alone. Actually we revel best in darkness when left to our own accords. But where the glory of The Lord is there is freedom. And light. And tall shoulders. And kindness. These come out when I am functioning in the gifts God placed uniquely in me. With me. For me to use, so just maybe someone will look and see Jesus has been here. 
It's easy to be motivated and take off at a steady gallop when the path is clear and lit up and narrow. But widen that sucker up and you've got gnarly bushes. Trees that throw apples at you. Dangerous predators lurking. 
But the truth is nothing important has changed. Even if your road looks totally different all of a sudden. You could be standing at a fork in the road like Robert Frost, deciding between what looks predictable and what looks like an adventure. But God is still the same. Today. Yesterday. Tomorrow. 
And when you realize this you begin to see that you aren't actually dragging around seven separate threads. There's a knot at the top. This God who is the same if he were seven single strands or the beginning of a very finely woven tapestry. 
And you start to feel like maybe these threads have a commonality. Maybe my writing, my desire to teach, my heart for the girls affected by sex trafficking, love of high schoolers, music, wife, mother. You catch a glimpse of a common denominator. They all have the potential to bring God all the glory. And you begin to pray for real. Not that the path would be smooth, but that you'd have better shoes with which to walk your path. 
Because that's what God promises. Not straight and narrow. He offers us peace while we go through it. The shoes of peace. And your desperation preoccupies your mind. 
Then at dinner the waiter brings your fortune cookie. This was inside of mine. 


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Inspirational Musica

Ever have a tough go at things for a few weeks and find a song that speaks to you? I have a couple that I am abusing right now. If they were on a record, there would be a deeper groove at each of these songs. I am playing these songs both so much that I might actually wear a deeper groove in my soul by the end of it all.

First, is the song Oceans (Where My Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United. Cut me to the heart. Separate my joint from marrow. Call me out on the water and dare me to break eye contact. Triple dog dare me.

Then I stumbled upon this little ditty on Pandora. That Jerk. She gets me to buy more music than any other music peddler. She has gotten to know me. My thumbs up and my thumbs down. Sometimes I think she only plays Rolling Stones to piss me off. But then she wows me all over again and shows me a song like Streetlight by Joshua Radin. He's in my top five. He could sing me anything. (SIDE LETTER: Dear Joshua Radin. Please sing me anything. Even if it's just the word "anything" repeatedly. I'll take it. You'll like it. I'm sure of it. Let's just try it!)


I'm waiting for something. Well. To be honest I feel like I am waiting for a lot of somethings. I have looked about my person and realized I am remarkably unattached to my surroundings. My eyes are set on things to come, and I know that isn't actually how I should be living. If I keep it up, I risk missing it all. The good and the bad and what will go on to define me forever. I'll miss every experience. So, I promise to work on that, but for this minute, I'll keep my iPod on replay while I listen to Joshua (we are on a first name basis thank you) sing to me about the process of waiting for something.

Streetlight  by Joshua Radin

I'll wait for something under a streetlight
It won't be long
Because it's dark it's cold
It's one of those nights where
There's something out there
Keeps me alive

But I don't know where to go
So I think I'll sit and stay here a while
Till I figure it out

So let the wind blow us
To wherever it says
We are supposed to go

When you want something but can't name it
It's under a streetlight
It's something you've never seen before
Open the door
It's something you've always been afraid of
It's under a streetlight
And now all you want is more

But I don't know where to go
So I think I'll sit and stay here a while
Till I figure it out

So let the wind blow us
To wherever it says
We are supposed to go
Let the wind blow us
To wherever it says
We are supposed to go

I don't mind the wait it's fine
As long as you know
It's the wait that could be the something

I don't know where to go
So I think I'll sit and stay here a while
Till I figure it out


So let the wind blow us
To wherever it says
We are supposed to go
So let the wind blow us
To wherever it says
We are supposed to go
We are supposed to go

I'll wait for something under a streetlight
It won't be long
Because it's dark it's cold 

My favorite of all the verses is actually the bridge. 

I don't mind the wait it's fine
As long as you know
It's the wait that could be the something

Because, guess what. It's the wait that could be the something. This is just how God gets to hold us the closest. And it's the time when he gives us the most remarkable breakthroughs and is able to share the most truth to build the most faith. So, while I wait, I am going to realize right now that the wait is actually the most important part. What comes at the end will be the icing on the cake. Because that's how God works, too. We get to tell him what we want and desire. We get to ask him to go before us and work it out on our behalf. And then we get to wait, under a streetlight, where everyone is watching us lit up about whatever it is that we are stirred up about. And sometimes it's just one of those nights that is dark and cold and lonely, but we get to choose to wait. When I don't understand, I wait. When I'm not seeing the break through. I wait. When I have zero answers and I don't know where God is taking me. I will wait and realize that he will let the wind blow me wherever he wants to- wherever we are supposed to go.