Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I have always been one to take matters into my own hands.
I am by nature a "fixer". 
For most of my life when something went wrong, I looked for a solution and got busy executing it.
It was instinctive and I was often unaware that I was doing it.
Especially when it came to relationships.
And people I love, loving each other.
And people I love hurting.
And I always thought that my "fixing" was a good thing.
I just wanted everyone to be okay.
Until I realized that I had a tendency to make myself and others crazy with it.
And then there is the glaring fact that most things are not mine to fix.
In an effort to experience "fixer" success, I became a therapist, which put me face to face with a lot of stuff.
Of my own.
And over time, I became a bit too devoted to my own self-interest, my own insight
and my own perspectives.
And in all of the me, me, me... I got real tired and real overwhelmed.
And started to run. By grace, my running led me to Christ.
And now I am learning to stop and trust.
 That joy most often comes with process.
And processes are not always pretty, or short, or fun.
This process of stopping has taught me to wait, experience and SEE.
To not seek my own understanding.
To not seek happy, safe and secure.
But to press into him,
and stand in the moment and feel the full range of emotions that has most often
 made me want to grab a magic wand
 and make everything better.
At least by my standards.
I am steadily learning to trust His process. And naturally there are bumps along the way.
I have friends and family that are sick with diseases that bring continuous pain and fatigue.
I want to fix that. I want healing.
I have friends broken by barely there marriages, financial crisis, spiritual crisis,
 emotional crisis, fear and an unwillingness to forgive and let go.
I sit with the kids at work and we play in the sand...the dollhouse...we paint with our toes and slay dragons.
I want to make their fear go away. To pretend the bad stuff never happened.
I want to take away their sadness, their anxiety, their anger.
And I am helpless to do that.
So I pray silent prayers to the ONE who can while we race cars
on invisible roadways and love on babydolls together.
I hold their stories.
I so badly want it to go away.
And I walk.
And I do my best to trust His process.
And it's hard sometimes, because more often than not I am a mess.
So I get it together (one more time) and press in and look up.
There is nothing to fear, nothing to hide from,
nothing that cannot be overcome and nothing that he cannot make right.
I am learning that I don't need to understand. I just need to stand surrendered.
Jesus Saves.
Trusting, believing, praying and holding fast,

  • boys and brothers
  • girlfriends
  • long car rides with LAB
  • my mama
  • beach weeks with family
  • Sara's grace
  • music
  • tailgating fun
  • husband on vacation
  • awesome teachers
  • new bible studies
  • chocolate chip and banana muffins
  • candy corn pumpkins
  • a morning with lucie
  • the hard stuff that still points me HOME

Friday, September 16, 2011


I don't know that I had ever thought much about Joy
until a few years ago when I realized I did not have a lot of it.
I was tired and worn out and probably even angry.
I could spend time telling you why but over time I have come to understand that while so much is different about us, there is much understanding when you get right down to it.
I was ready to be transformed.
To lay down the bags that I had carried for so long and experience JOY.
So I started a little project. And in the starting, I learned to STOP. To be still.
And surrender to a truth that had long escaped me. That He is God and I am not.
And my getting out of my own way and the ways of others, made a path towards joy.
It opened doors for me that I would have breezed right past on my own.
It showed me that grace is so much better than being right and that love is harder than I thought.
It convicted me that his will is worth waiting for and better than what I would choose for myself.
It also showed me that loving God doesn't prevent bad stuff from happening.
And that is where Joy has surprised me.
Because the bad stuff kept me from surrendering and sometimes it still can.
The bad stuff can exasperate me.
And He tells us to count all as joy.
And that is so hard sometimes.
Because sometimes I just want it to stop.
I don't want to hear about another child dying, another parent with cancer, another family terrified by their finances, another marriage on the rocks, another believer disappointed by the church, another friendship betrayed, another child abused, rejected, fearful.
The list goes on and on.
But I know He is there. That I am not alone.
Our circumstances most often point us to Him, if we can just let go of ourselves and hold fast to Him.
That is how we begin to know joy in every circumstance, even when it has us on our knees, tears falling and begging for something different.
Joy lives in Him. He is always holding us.
He is my portion. He is my joy.

Friday, September 2, 2011


I am using the prompt "rest" from 5 minute Friday but this post was absolutely not written in 5 minutes. I was a little overwhelmed by the prompt and decided to just write today in hopes that this post will help me rest.

She was tired. 19 years together and all I had to do was catch a
glimpse of her at the office door and I knew.
The knowing took my breath away.
Tears streamed hot. Her work was done.
When we first met it was questionable who needed who most.
I was a 20 year old mess who was so lost that I was looking for anything that might help me escape.
She had been abandoned in the woods and rescued. 
She fit in the palm of my hand and seemed so fragile.
I fell in love with her the minute I saw her.
She hid in my closet for weeks and when she came out she was fierce.
Brave and wild and fun and beautiful.
A Siamese with big blue eyes.
I named her, Jewels.
It is crazy how much you can love an animal.
Almost every person I have known for the last 19 years knew Jewels.
It was as though she was a thread that ran through every experience.
I wrote short stories in college about her.
I have always used her as a character in my work with children.
She was so pretty that she seemed to command attention without even trying.
Her biggest claim to fame was the fact that she did not have
the best reputation for being easy to get along with.
And there was something about that, that made so many smile...often in hindsight.
In the early years, she would just as soon bite you as look at you.
If you played with her, you would have the battle wounds to show it.
She would appear to be enjoying the attention and moments
later rear her ears back and hiss so loudly that it would make you jump.
But she always saved the best for me.
I was her girl, her person and she gave me so many quiet moments
that seemed all the more special given her tendencies.
When I got pregnant she would lie on my belly as though she knew
we were cooking up something amazing.
As cute as her "egg hatching" was, I worried how she would treat the babies when they arrived.
But motherhood seemed to chill her out and her mama instincts kicked right in.
She thought that both of her boys hung the moon and she took over their rooms when they arrived.
 19 years....a husband, two boys and so much else later, Jewels somehow got old.
And it was hard for me to see.
And perhaps it was hard because I had gotten 19 years older too.
And I just cannot believe that much time has passed.
For the last year, we have done all we could to make her comfortable.
Our neighbors on both sides, have cared for her when she would wind up at their doors and they loved on her up with ear rubs and fresh water.
Everyone kept making observations and I continually reassured myself that I would know.
That she would tell me.
When I saw her at the door Monday night I knew.
My sweet girl needed rest.
She was tired.
She had fought the good fight.
I wrapped her in my first born's baby blanket and my mom drove us to the vet.
As we rode, she reached a paw up to my face and seemed to wipe my tears as we drove.
Telling me, telling me, telling me...
It is so much easier to rest when you have loved deeply and been deeply loved.
Amen, sweet girl.
Thank you.

The Joy Project 40

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