Thursday, August 21, 2014

The World's On Fire, and We're All Smiling...

though it's all our fault...

Those are the lyrics to a popular current Christian song. It goes on to say how beautiful it is, but it's referring to the essence of God's grace and love for us, though we are all a mess.

Those first lines though, have been replaying in my head for days now. I intentionally do not watch the news and try to avoid it, though I do think it is important to stay alert to current events...but the majority of *news* is so depressing and negative. It was no different the other day when I got sucked in to reading article after article about current world atrocities.

I felt overwhelmed to tears. Helpless. I wanted to scream, "IS ANYONE PAYING ATTENTION!?! WHO is going to DO something!" I wondered what CAN we do? What CAN *I* do?

As a Christian, I believe in service to others, physically helping others in some way. What though, can I possibly do for women and children who are right at this moment, being abducted and intended to be sold as sex slaves, ONLY because of their race and faith?

What can I do for men, women and children who are being beheaded, hung and raped for refusing to deny their faith?

How can I help a country that is constantly under attack and then blamed for it?

I thought we were supposed to learn about our history in order to prevent it from repeating itself. Especially the darkest of times. But a holocaust is happening again. A people group is being targeted for extinction.

Then again, this is not new. People groups have experienced genocides for decades now, as the world stood by and did NOTHING!

Maybe we can say we didn't know it then. Maybe we weren't made aware, news, information and media didn't travel as fast in the past. We can't say that now though. We have access to instant, real time info, pictures, graphics, words and videos of events and situations all around the world.

What can I do?

I can sit here and cry for a journalist that was kidnapped and held captive for years, then beheaded...while another is threatened. That is one option. And I suppose it could be expected that I could continue my instagram life of smiling children, work outs at the park and table settings. To be honest, I will.

But we are NOT helpless.  I am unable to go across the globe and offer anything for anyone. I can't rescue the next female who has been threatened and kidnapped. I can't stop the war in Israel. I can't bring back a dead journalist. I can't take the noose off those men's necks. I can not undo all the evils that are currently being tolerated.

I can make you aware of it though. Maybe you know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone else, who CAN do something about it. Maybe if more of the world knew...Or not.

Maybe it doesn't really matter what I have to say...except to the One who always listens. We can pray. We can pray like never before and keep on praying. At every opportunity, we storm the heavens and demand justice.

When the world is on fire and we're all smiling...we can pray for our human brothers and sisters. We can praise the Lord of all. That is our greatest weapon. Pray for justice, protection and peace. Gather other people together to pray. Mobilize spiritually.

Pray. Care. Do something...like pray!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Everything is OK

I started my too early morning, greeted by hundreds of ants, invading my kitchen sink. I sprayed them down, ignoring that creepy-crawly feeling all over my skin, then plodded my way to the bathroom. I stepped on an extra wet towel near the sink cabinet that I knew should not have been so wet.

Sure enough, water was over flowing out from under the newly replaced sink, pipes and cabinet. 'Newly replaced' after the faucet exploded on the 4th of July, shooting up high enough to blow out the light bulb that still has not been replaced. The towel was on the floor, over flowing from our laundry basket, spilling out into the small hallway because of a reoccurring and unresolved plumbing issue in our laundry room preventing us from doing laundry regularly. The laundry room plumbing connects to our kitchen sink, causing it to drain only sometimes and when the water from the washer isn't backing up into it, producing a very narrow window when I can actually wash dishes. That narrow window is not long enough for me to complete a full sink load of dishes at a time and I can only do dishes during day light hours because the kitchen light also burned out and I keep forgetting to replace it...until it's dark again!

Five humans live in this house. One meal is a sink load. Five days or more with out doing laundry...is disastrous.

Along with this, is the fact that my adventure van is sounding and running like a lawnmower, spewing strong fumes into it so that we have to drive with all the windows open just so we can slightly breathe.

This could all sound so horrible and awful and make any mom want to go back to bed and stay there. I could have gotten angry. Given in to agitation. I could whine and complain about how terrible my life is, all day.

None of that would be true though. Sure, it's inconvenient. Last week a drawer face broke off, as someone tried to open it. Just snapped right off one side.

None of this will last forever though. Nothing ever does, good or bad. Everything will be fixed eventually. We did get a brand new water heater, after the old one had been continuously leaking and running for months after we found out. We're renters in this home and we have a good deal.

My side kitchen garden is really thriving and looks so lovely even though earlier in the week I had to pull out a mold diseased squash plant. It was a bummer but everything else is still looking good. The garden looks beautiful and lovely with it's mix of edible herbs, vegetables and wild flowers.

I can choose to focus on the FEW things wrong in my life right now. I choose to focus on the temporary nature of EVERYTHING in my life right now. The plumbing will be fixed. We have more than enough clothes. I can wash dishes in increments. I own a plunger. The Mr. was helpful enough to try and readjust the restroom sink plumbing to prevent more over flow when he came to pick up the ktbunch. We shared a laugh. The ants died and more may or may not be back tomorrow but my 5yo thinks it's the funnest thing ever to get to "spray the spray" and kill them.

I have a rush custom baby bloomer order to fulfill today that put some cash in my back pocket. I have a lovely family. I have a great sense of humor. I have a great job opportunity I'm starting, that is challenging and loaded with potential. Life is ALWAYS good. I really have no reason to get down. My live is lovely and beautiful and sometimes inconvenient which makes for fun stories and possible blog posts and laughter and snarky, sarcastic comments to process.

Life is going to end sooner than any of us will ever want. There may be painful moments. There will be lots of fabulous moments. I choose to not waste any more time focused on the negative or what is 'wrong' with it. I may share and let you in on some of it but a bad moment does not make for a bad day...or a bad life.

This is how my family not only survives but thrives.
Smile on.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Like Old Times

It could have almost felt like old times if not for that last moment the Mr. walked around the table giving each individual kid a kiss and hug with an 'I Love You,' before he left to return to work...stopping short to offer a 'see you later' in MY direction. 
He specifically asked what our plans were for S's birthday yesterday...and asked if we could meet him for lunch so he could see Sam on is birthday since he might have to work late, missing his 'visitation' (gosh how I despise that word!). He forgot Sam's birthday card so he also asked me to take them all by his work so he could give it to him. I stayed in the car but I knew he would walk the kids back out anyway, to say goodbye.

I maintained my SELF. As it's sometimes confusing to know just how to behave in these unknown situations, isn't it? So I smiled and listened to him talk about his morning at work...I keep the appropriate guard over my own heart until it's time to 'awaken love' per God's instructions in Song of Solomon. 
'...and they all enjoyed their lunch, as if they were an ordinary, happy family, on an ordinary, summer day...as their smiles hid the invisible ache of their hearts.'

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Happy Birthday

He was our 1st restoration baby, though I didn't know he would be the 'first'. I was so unsure of trusting my husband again...our oldest was 7.5 by the time this second son was born...I can STILL remember being in our new home, back together and feeling so self-conscious...

"Come sit by me," he called from the living room. I felt like I should finish the dishes first to keep every thing clean the way he liked, trying to impress...
He wanted me to spend time with him, sit with him...I walked over and he pulled me down on his lap. I always loved sitting on his lap.

He wanted us to grow our family. Maybe we were finally ready. I expected it would happen so quickly like our first. It took 10 disappointing months. We didn't find out the gender. Oldest son prayed for and was sure it would be a boy.

We changed his name at the last minute...as I read about Hannah, from the Bible. The Mr wanted to use his grandfather's name, as our child's middle name. I did not like the name Angel but I said ok if he would let me have the name Samuel. We agreed. 
We started attending a new church. We were moving forward and every day we were further away from the past. I met another mom in the church cry room with a daughter the same age as our Samuel...she was a single mother... her daughter's father, which was now her past, was a married man.
There we were. The place where broken people go to be restored, healed, and transformed. Bringing our broken pieces, broken lives, broken hearts, along with the hope we carried in and birthed from our womb.
Here we are. He's 14 day today. My heart is filled with the bittersweet sighs of yesterday and the longing for the uncertain hope for tomorrow.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Surrender

THIS was the THEME of my week, ALL week: SURRENDER! That verse about how WE make our plans BUT God directs our steps kept coming to mind. *I* have somewhat of a weekly summer routine. Everyday this week, my plans were thrown off. I usually consider myself very *flexible* but wow was it a challenge. 

I started to get it by Wednesday, for Bird's birthday...I was about to get upset, literally stopped and said a prayer aloud: God I surrender to YOUR plans. It's NOT my day, this is YOUR day so YOUR will be done! But it didn't quit...Even today I had plans and they did NOT work out. sigh. 

I drove all the way out to the labor dept that offers immediate/walk-in/same-day entertainment work permits. I considered waiting until MONDAY but thought, NO, I am going to BEAT this procrastination and just get it done! 

Maps ha
s it as 45min drive...mid-day, it took about an hour! Ok whatever. The traffic was on OUR side, so figured it would be easier getting home.

Turns out you can not renew a work permit earlier than 30 days in advance....so ONE kid got his and the other 2? I was 2 days too early! So MONDAY would have been PERFECT! Again whatever. So we head home, it's 1:50pm, oldest has to be at work by 3pm. NO worries.

The freeway was PACKED all the the way back. Seriously the traffic was ONLY on OUR side and OUR lanes. haha. He was totally LATE to work.  I felt so bad. He was like an hour late by the time we stopped at the house so he could call and he finally arrived.  We were ALL so drained. It took 1.5 hours to get home.
Later we went to the park to watch an outdoor movie. To top it off in the most ridiculous fashion...we got lost in the local neighborhood, trying to find our car! (there's a lesson worth blogging about later in that, for sure)

Even today...I had to surrender to God's plan, regardless of my own. Surrender is an act of faith for sure. We give up control. When we do, though, we experience peace and freedom. The strife and struggle to make things happen and control a situation, disappears. Surrendering to Christ says; 
I continue to trust God in all matters. It's a good place to be.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Restoration is NOT the Exception

...it is the RULE!

God declares in His Word that he restores what has been consumed. And if you read the verse that describes the locusts etc...it describes NOTHING being left. NOTHING! Not a stalk, not a leaf, NOTHING left to harvest what so ever.

 *~*Joel 1:4 
What the chewing locust left, 
the swarming locust has eaten; 
What the swarming locust left, 
the crawling locust has eaten;
And what the crawling locust left, 
the consuming locust has eaten.*~*

 SO if things look beyond bleak, DEAD, nothing but rot, obviously impossible--THAT is what He restores.

I am meeting people every week on the OTHER SIDE of being *restored*...restored to Christ and never in a million years could I have imagined the lives they had led prior...murderers, promiscuous, vandals, drug addicts, murdering their own children via abortion...on and on and on. GOD RESTORES! NO ifs, ands or buts about it!

 *~* Joel 2:25 
“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, 
The crawling locust, 
The consuming locust, 
And the chewing locust, 
My great army which I sent among you."*~*

(this entire chapter is worth reading!)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Faith Not Fear

No! You are NOT going out like that! This is NOT how it ends!
Today was harder than I expected. I started the day by over-sleeping, which NEVER happens, lately I've been waking up *earlier* than usual, like before 7am! Today I woke up at 9:15 am when we leave at 9:30am to get to church...so, of course we were late.
My husband came and got our kids later...my laptop kept tripping so I never got to print the cute Father's day cards I planned to give him! They all left and I just broke down. Felt more like crawling into bed rather than attend night church alone. So many tears...
I forced myself to go and prayed for all of us and our hurting children...many, many more tears. Worshipping anyway...tears, tears, tears...BUT....
Such an encouraging message! To have FAITH NOT FEAR! To NOT give up! The pastor got up to speak but didn't...called us to press in and worship more! Wow! What a challenge to push beyond myself, my own pain, hurt and brokenness, to surrender my whole heart and CHOOSE to WORSHIP instead. Hallelujah!
God IS faithful. In the broken surrender, the break through comes. It truly shines in the darkness. A heart worships in hope that the words sung, become a truth. And they do. The joy bursts forth, over shadowing those tears of sorrow. Strength is restored for tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Nice vs Love

"Sometimes he acts like he loves you and sometimes he doesn't!" My daughter said, mirroring my own frustration with her father, my estranged husband.

A red flag went up, activating my mother's intuition and internal warning system. "In what ways does he act loving?" I asked, as questions began to riddle my brain. What impression had I been giving my 11yo daughter about love? What had I been teaching her? Was the behavior she had been witnessing between her father and I, an adequate and accurate description of love?

"Well, he comes and hangs out sometimes, he gives you a hug sometimes and he's nice sometimes..." her voice trailed off.

Is that all she will look for and expect of her own future husband? Is 'being nice sometimes' all it will take to convince her that she is loved? A vision bomb went off and the internal veil of neediness and codependency was lifted. Hopefully, it wasn't too late to be honest with her...and myself.

"Honey, that isn't love, that is just being nice. Lots of people may be nice to you, but that doesn't mean they love you. A mommy and daddy that love each other hold hands, they sit next to each other and snuggle while they watch movies-not on opposite sides of the room. Husbands don't get up and walk away every time their wife tries to sit next to them. And most of all, they don't live in separate homes. Yes, your daddy IS nice to me sometimes, but being nice doesn't equal love...it's just being nice."

I went on to share some of Corinthians definition of love with her.

We must be honest with ourselves here. If we claim God's standard for our lives, this includes being honest, whatever the painful cost. What a disservice we do to our children if we're lowering love to the definition of being nice.

Love is sacrificial. Nice is not. I can't in good conscious, allow my daughter to grow up believing, just because a guy remembers  and brings her a favored candy, that it means he LOVES her. Love is faithful. I can't continue to act grateful and praise God that my husband brings me a bag of peanut m&m's while he goes every night to share an apt with someone else. What a gross misrepresentation and abuse of God's love and the standard He set forth in His Word.

Being nice is a common and basic form of human decency. There is nothing special about that. It is the lowest and most base expectation one can have of other humans we share this planet with.

I am keeping my vows, sacrificially, and that is an example of divine love. How dare we equate a move of God with common behavior as 'being nice'. What a devilish deception to embrace such dysfunction and call it a name of God, such as LOVE!

I will praise God for being God. I will pray for strength to continue to really love my husband, as defined in His word. What I won't do and I believe, must repent from, is being dishonest and calling or representing such deplorable behavior, as 'love'. Lying and telling myself, "My husband loves me, see, because he was *nice* to me today." No, that is untruth. All my husband was really doing, was being nice.


Being nice is selfish and has it’s own agenda. Love...divine love, which can only occur if the Spirit of God dwells within you, is selfless and seeks to gain nothing in return. Nothing. Love does not abuse others...or one's self. Let's embrace God's truth...and emotional health...and pray from that place of power...not from our dysfunctional weakness. ‪

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Hello June

♡♡♡Luke 1:26-28 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth,
a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”♡♡♡
Who knows what could happen in this sixth month of the year? Or in the next six months...Or who might visit...

Monday, May 26, 2014

Pure Love

I am in love with love. Everyone should have figured that out by now. Valentine's is my favorite holiday. I look for "love" everywhere I go in the form of heart shaped items--and I find them... I want it, desire it, crave it, give it and can't get enough of it...It is the theme of my life, pretty much.

Of course, my current life events have been so hurtful and disappointing in my quest for love to only be rejected, betrayed and abandoned on such a personal and intimate level. There's God though, in all of this, in everything, surrounding me and filling my heart more than I could ever imagine...but still.

Always 'but still'.

For as long as I can remember, I knew my middle name meant 'bitter'. I am always fascinated by name meanings. I believe our names aren't just chosen by our parents but put on their hearts by God. My own children's names are very meaningful to me and I have searched them out by meaning. I think the meaning of our names actually influences who we are in ways we may not even be aware of. I believe they could have prophetic significance into our identity as well.

So to have a middle name, like my 'core', mean something so negative, always perplexed me. Does anyone else think it strange that Mary, the mother of Jesus, would have a name that meant bitter? What does this have to do with my pursuit of LOVE?

Recently, I was prompted to revisit searching out the meaning of my middle name. I couldn't believe what I found. The article stated while it was possible that the name meant 'bitter', no one could know for sure and it was more likely that the name was derived from the Egyptian words mry "beloved" or mr "love".

It brought me to tears...In my life long pursuit of love--it was HERE all along. I wasn't crazy either--it's part of my being, who I am. My middle name means LOVE.

My first name means 'pure'--I always knew that and it has had a profound affect on me. Now combine the two names together--pure love.


It makes so much more sense now too...My destiny is and always has been: LOVE. I don't have to change my name or identity to try and prove it...to anyone. I don't have to reinvent myself. I don't have to fake it. It's truly who I am and always have been.



It's real...not just a virtue or a name I gave myself. It was chosen for me. And I believe, since before the beginning of time. What I've been searching for, was here all along.

My God calls me Beloved. I am His and He is mine.

This seriously blew.my.mind.