In darkness...

Unregenerate. Sinner. Wretch. Spider. Hearts full of deceit that fall short of the glory of God. Churches expend energy declaring the worthlessness of the people in the pews. Concerned that darkness may go unnoticed, constant reminders that we are unlovable are given so none forget. Forgetting is hard. In angry words... In harsh thoughts... In ignored injustices... No, we don't forget. But we have forgotten that we are a masterpiece. A work of art crafted by the Giver of good gifts. We are divine poetry, fearfully and wonderfully made. Transformed. Righteous. Beloved. New. Poiema. … [Read more...]

It Is Good

I had a truly amazing time at Story. I loved the people who I met and most of the messages that I heard. But (there's always a but, isn't there?), I left feeling a little bit conflicted. The thing I loved the most about the conference was seeing one presenter after another get up and share the excitement that they got from their craft. Watching Isaac Rentz bounce around the stage, sharing his videos, and telling us, "I love this. It's really good," awakened something in me that I didn't even know was asleep. Being proud of my work. When I went through The Bad Time, the phrase that stuck with me the most was that I had "a spirit of performance." This was because I wanted to music to sound good. I wanted the worship team to practice, to give our best efforts, to come prepared. I … [Read more...]

She Looks Like Me

Today marks my first post over at A Deeper Family. Here's a teaser. Growing up, I sometimes wondered if I had been adopted. I didn’t look like anyone in my family. My sisters and my mom all looked similar. Pretty faces with softer features. Attractive smiles, eyes that could see without the aid of corrective lens wear. Hair that held soft curls when mom would use the spikey hot rollers on a Saturday evening. In all of our family pictures, I felt like I stood out. Angular face with eyes that didn’t quite line up right and thick glasses accentuating that. A serious under-bite that made my smile not quite as even or attractive. Hair that, when put in those same spikey hot rollers, had a tendency to look frizzy rather than curly. I never felt exactly ugly, but I was not pretty. Not the way … [Read more...]

What Does Emotional Healing Mean?

Monday's post was a difficult piece to write. I worked through some of my self-doubt/self-hatred while writing my essay for What a Woman is Worth and I was grateful for another opportunity to attack another layer. It's painful work, but rewarding, because with each lie that is confronted, I become more whole. As I was writing that piece, I thought about a conversation that I had a few weeks ago. We were talking about being healed from past wounds. They were concerned that because I write about some past events, I am still not healed from them. I appreciate this concern, because I know that it comes from a place of care about me and my emotional well-being, but I don't know that I ever answered the question, because I'm not entirely sure how to answer it. In the Church (and outside … [Read more...]

Fearful and Wonderful

Aw, you. My dear, beautiful, amazing, beat-up body. We've had some times, haven't we? Remember when I decided that I wanted you to be hairless, so I shaved your arms and legs and a layer of epidermis from your shins? And you bled and bled and bled, and I fretted because I wasn't really supposed to be shaving yet? Or when we discovered how fun sex was? Both that first time and then even more just the other night? (Bravo, body. Bravo.) And remember the times that you carried four humans inside? You nourished them inside and then out and created safety for them. I don't think I ever loved you as much as I did during those times, though it was too quickly forgotten in the depression that fogged my memories of your power and beauty. Because if I'm honest, body, I haven't always … [Read more...]

Judging Parts

Last week my parents took our family down to Tennessee for vacation. We went to a water park and had a fantastic time. We floated around the lazy river, got bashed about in the wave pool, and climbed more steps than I like to think about to ride the slides. It was a much needed rest, before embarking on a crazy amount of travel for both Jason and me. The thing about visiting a water park is that you spend pretty much your entire vacation in a swim suit. And even in a really modest swim suit, you can't really hide very much. You can flaunt those nice parts, but the flaws - well, those are going to be visible as well. More than once I caught myself thinking, "Please don't look too hard. Please don't notice the cellulite. Please don't notice the bulges. Please don't notice the stretch … [Read more...]

Very Good

  Sunday was a good day. A recent piece that I wrote for Provoketive got linked by Fred Clark (slacktivist) and Matthew Paul Turner included me as one of his 25 Christian Blogs You Should Be Reading. The previous Sunday was less good, since I was left off of Sarah Bessey's list of 50 Lady Bloggers. On one blogroll, but not another. Retweeted by this blogger, but not that one. Included, excluded. Praised, ignored. I measure my days, my worth, on whether or not I fit in to this writing world of which I've called myself a member. Do I belong? Do I stack up? As one who has run along the fringes of the crowd for most of my life, I often walk a line between not caring and caring too much. I know that these lists and ranks and retweets and likes are not what matter. I … [Read more...]

We’re All Stories

Both Netflix and my daughter have been trying to get me to watch Doctor Who for quite some time now, but despite my geeky ways, I spent a long time resisting the recommendation. But a few weeks ago I finally gave in and started watching the show. And of course, they were all right. I have absolutely loved it. As we were wrapping up our viewing of the fifth series, one quote grabbed me. The story-line is convoluted, but basically The Doctor is speaking to his future companion while she sleeps as a little girl. He's telling her the story of their travels through time and space. He's about to step through a crack in time that will mean that he never existed, that he will just be a figment of her imagination, a story that she made up.And then he said the line that made me run back the … [Read more...]

Thanking my Critics

Tuesday started out in a hectic manner. My oldest son couldn't find his shoe and my oldest daughter woke up eight minutes before she had to leave.  The older kids missed the bus, so I had to run them to school before I drove the younger two in. My youngest daughter couldn't find her watch, and we ended up leaving later than we expected (how everyone got to school on time is beyond me).But I was still in a pretty good mood because despite the crazy around here, something that I wrote was being syndicated on a pretty big site for Christian leaders. Which, for a little mom blogger like me, was kind of a nice boost. The post had received positive feedback the previous day, so I didn't really think much about it.Then the comments started rolling in. And despite the positive feedback I had … [Read more...]

What If…

What if...     ...you auditioned for that play?     ...you made the first move in pursuing friendship?     ...you took a pottery class?What if...     ...you sang out loud the song that's in your heart?     ...you let the words in your head bleed all over the page?     ...you danced with your whole body?What if...     ...you spoke up when you saw injustice?     ...you celebrated small victories?     ...you questioned the status quo?What if...     ...you forgave more?     ...you laughed more?     ...you believed more?What would you learn about yourself? How would your life change?+++++++++++If you've overcome the … [Read more...]