Just Let Me Take a Breath

Just let me take a breath, if only for a minute.

Let me come to terms with all the things this world has thrown at me.

Let me sit in silence and revel in the quiet.

Let me sip on a cup of coffee without the phone ringing.

I want to look at the horizon and see it for what it is, still and beautiful.

I need a moment.

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As a Christian, you don't always have to agree, but you Always have to Love.

God is Good, All the Time

God is good.

All the time.

By far, my favorite and most repeated saying of 2016. I normally have a go-to scripture or a quote which I use to lift me on days I feel less than good. This one has been lifting me for quite some time, and mostly because I believe it fiercely.

There is something to believing and having uninterrupted faith. I personally believe in Jesus. He is the savior of the world. The story is true about him and his sacrifice. His mother, giving birth as a virgin, pure and made holy to carry this tiny miracle. She must’ve had tremendous faith after the angel visited her. Imagine- an actual angel came to her. How frightening and overwhelming it must have been. Gods personal messenger, standing before her. Bringing her news otherwise impossible for men to understand, let alone believe. And here we are, all these centuries later, still placing our hope in the one true king who began his human journey as a helpless infant.

We were given a simple plan of instruction, really. Read More

Wreck My Life by Mo Isom

Mo Isom has written a book, and it will change the way you look at the things that hold you back.

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The Raising of the Boys

These boys are disgusting, and I am their mother.

Holy Smokes

One time when the kids were small, I had someone tell me to pay special attention to the work it took raising a girl because, after all, girls are much harder to raise than boys.

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Three Things I need to Know

Once we were married, we took trips to the lake, watching all of our kids swim and play in the sand, making a mess of themselves. We would pack up a cooler of favorite foods and stay all day until the sun started to disappear. We also went camping a lot. We spent time making s’mores and reading good books while eating lovely things cooked over an open fire. The stars would shine so bright on those nights, and the raindrops would occasionally cool us during the day. The kids would run and play and just be kids. It was always a good time for all of us.

Those days are long past- our kids are well on their way to being adults, two of them already married and settled into their lives. I like to think we taught them something, during those nights spent under the big sky, or huddled in a tent hiding from a storm. I like to believe there is an ounce of Jesus hanging around somewhere for them to be comforted by in the coming months. I pray we did a good job.

But I sometimes wonder what moment would tip the scale for me being a parent failure to a parent success story.

Was it the countless Sunday mornings, dragging everyone out of bed to go to church?

Was it the moments we spent in the car, driving from place to place, singing and laughing?

Were the minutes we sat on the couch in exhaustion,  popping in an animated feature enough?

Was it connecting with family and friends at weddings, birthday parties and funerals?

Was it laying in a tent while the rain poured all around us, waiting for dawn because the night was already too scary without the lightning?

I think the answer is ….

YES

To all of the above, yes. I think all of the little things we have done as parents have prepared our kids for their own lives. The hours of hard work, allowing them to make their own decisions paid off. The self-sufficiency they learned while spending time in the great outdoors has really impacted them. The waiting for a fire to cook a meal, the setting up camp before going swimming or riding bikes, the packing their own bag- all things that required them to be independent.

I have been beating myself up lately, as a lot of parents do. I keep finding my mind wandering if I did enough, if I was enough, if I am enough. My children matter to me now just like when they were small.  Each time another one graduates and we enter the unknown area of what they will do next, I start asking myself these crazy questions. When the last one graduated, I cried for nineteen days in a row. Every single morning he left for work, I sobbed. It’s a good thing I was on summer break.

The very last kid in our house is approaching his senior year of high school. We are seeing the finish line for this chapter of our lives, and it is approaching so quickly I cannot breathe. I want him to understand how difficult this will be for me, but I won’t add the pressure to his already insane schedule. I just want to know some things. More than anything, as a mom, I want to have answers. I want answers to these three questions:

Did I do enough?

Was I enough?

Am I still enough?

I sit and wonder about these questions and so much more. I want my sons to know I love them, no matter how ridiculous some of their antics are. I want my daughter to know she can depend on me when she needs a shoulder or shopping partner. Even though these kids aren’t babies anymore, they still have so much to learn, and I am still here for them, as always.

He Could Have Said “Forget It” Instead of “It Is Done”

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. (Proverbs 27:1 NKJV)

On Sunday evening I sit down with my calendar and make a list of what I have to accomplish during the coming week. Some items are not flexible, like making doctor appointments and attending work meetings. A few are part of my normal and necessary routine, such as doing laundry. But I do have the choice to put off a couple of things until the next week.

 

Join me for the rest over at The Glorious Table, where I am contributing today!

Being Human

I never write or share anything overtly political here. I keep my big mouth shut and share my thoughts with only my husband of 24 years. But today I want to share something I have had popping up every time I sit down at this keyboard.

Understand that I am a Christian, I have been baptized and I read my Bible. I cling to the hope that was promised to each of us through the death and resurrection of Christ. I believe in creation as an actual thing, not a theory. I think Noah’s ark was an amazing testament of one man listening and being in tune to a God that others had provoked for a long time. I believe Revelation is a real prophecy, and its time of fulfillment will come.  I also believe I am not here for no reason. There is a purpose to each life, and sometimes we never know our intended purpose on this earth. But we are all one thing, we all have one common thread regardless of religion, race or other factors.

We are all human.

Being human is something we all have in common. We have no choice in the matter- it is what we are. The things we can control? Our actions, reactions and how much we let other people influence our decisions, thoughts and lives.

Do you know what “spin” is? Do you know what “propaganda” is?

These are two driving forces in our country today. We see something happen, then someone explains it away and we find ourselves wondering if what we actually saw was the truth. We doubt our own instincts and witness because someone in a higher position tells us we are wrong, in a subtle, manipulative way. We eventually buy into the spin, because it’s what everyone else is believing.

I struggle with the way one persons’ opinion can sway so many in their thoughts. I struggle with losing my identity because I want to be like all the other humans. I am me, and no one can take it away unless I let them. I am an individual. I must hold tightly to that.

The part of being human that baffles me is when we forget everyone else is just like us. We all bleed when shot, we all die and are gone in death. On this earth, we are no more. That is the end of the human road for us. How do we forget these things? How do we forget we are all already equals on a much bigger playing field than our social or economic circles dictate?

I don’t know how we are supposed to overcome racism or bigotry or hate for one another when we never slow down enough to understand the problem with being human is we all have a heart full of something. Our hearts have seeds planted in them from other people, books we read, experiences we have had and things we listen to. We all have ultimate control over our own hearts. Yet we continue to let other people pull the strings and decide for us who we love and who we hate. We continually listen to the “spin” and make a lot of things what they don’t have to be. We keep buying into the propaganda, and nothing ever changes. We let others plant seeds of unrest and instead of squashing them, we let them grow like weeds.

I’m so tired of the spin. I want to make my own choices when it comes to who I love, am friends with and respect. I believe a lot of people feel the same way, they just have no idea how to stand for themselves and their humanness. I want to be able to have friends from everywhere, and not have someone wondering why. I want all people to stand up and be accountable to their humanness. I think it’s time to stop being so ignorant. I think it’s time to realize every single life matters because we are all here in the first place, and that is something.

I believe people who kill other people should be held accountable, no matter who either person is. I think if we really want to stop this cycle we have to make an adjustment somewhere within ourselves. We have to quit fighting about it. No one has “won” this argument – it just keeps growing. No problems are being solved by trashing one another and being rude. No problems will get resolved while everyone is screaming and no one is listening.  As humans, we need to take a different kind of stand.

Our lives depend on it.

Facing Fear

Fear.

Fear of the unknown, fear of the known, fear of the things that make us change or cause us pain.

How do we make sure it doesn’t control us?

How do we lean so heavily into the father, we know there is nothing to fear?

What does it take for us to say enough is enough, and cut fear loose?

 

It has taken me heartache, leaving my lifetime church, approaching each day with prayerful optimism, and a bit of caution.  It has taken an increase in faith, a focused time each day in prayer and a realization that I am not alone. I am not only guided by the most powerful Spirit, but I am surrounded by others who have the same fears I have; an understanding of sorts. Read More

When Forgiveness is Not Reciprocated.

Part Three

When Reciprocation is limited

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When forgiveness or the need for it is not reciprocated, what do we do?  A relationship cannot be restored without it. What happens when forgiveness is in order and much needed, but the other party involved wants nothing to do with any of it, from either direction? What happens when the hurt person just cannot forgive you? What happens when you need to forgive, but the other party just is not receptive?

 

In Matthew 18:21-22, 35, Jesus is sharing the details of the unforgiving debtor.

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.” (NIV) Read More

Seeking Forgiveness

Part Two

When you hurt someone, asking for forgiveness is essential.

Matthew 5:23-24

23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. “(NIV)

 

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Angie Dailey

In this scripture, we are commanded to seek out and offer up forgiveness, even before entering into a time of worship. Forgiveness is the most important act in scripture. It is the purpose in the death burial and resurrection of Christ. It is the reason for salvation.  Although it is a seemingly common theme in scripture, it is also one of the hardest to attain from people. Forgiveness does require a bit of humility for the giver and the recipient. It requires an unequivocal amount of heart, and a level of sincerity found nowhere else. It requires a certain amount of trust between the two parties. Read More