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Sunday, January 31, 2010

So Sad

This was taken from a discussion between conservative homeschool grads:

But think about it....if you want to be a homemaker/wife/mother as your full time life calling, then a husband is exstreemly important. He is THE key to fulfilling your life goal.

Whereas with guys, they have at least one other life calling--their job. Getting married is wonderful but it's not THE key to them being able to fulfill that life goal. So it stands to reason that they don't think about it as much as girls do.

This is so very, very sad to me! Is essense, what this girl is saying is that women need men in order to fulfill their lives, but men don't need women to fulfill theirs....we're just an added bonus, I guess. Please tell me where in all of scripture, this idea is presented? If anything, it's the other way around: God created women because MEN were incomplete in their "life-calling"! You know, "it is not good for a man to be alone". =)

I believe that this idea is why so many conservative girls are so lost and dissatisfied with their lives. They're waiting for a man to "complete them" so they can fulfill their "life calling". How detrimental to the very heart of a woman! And what does this do to our perception of Who God is? What kind of God tells a woman that she can't fulfill her God-ordained calling without a husband, then lets her stay single her whole life?? It's like some cruel joke. The Bible says that when God calls someone, He equips them with what they need to fulfill that calling. So if all women are "called" to be wives, mothers, and homemakers, God must've dropped the ball.

I love my man. He does complete my life. But it's a mutual completion. And I don't believe that my life-calling would be unfulfilled if he weren't in my life. My identity is from who I am in Christ, not what I do (life-calling) or who is in my life (husband). When Jesus said "Follow Me" he wasn't just speaking to men.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Is there anything in all the world more precious than a sleeping baby?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bid Me To Come...

Father, always near, I wait for You here,
Resting in the Love that vanquishes fear...

The love that vanquishes fear. That's where I want to abide, to live, to wait. In that Perfect Love, fear cannot abide. This is where I am waiting...waiting for God...waiting for Him to speak, to act, to reveal His heart to me. Are You always near, even when I feel You far away? Abba, Father...I long for peace.

Waiting, not a care, silence everywhere,
Yet here, in my heart, a still, small voice...

I must calm the storms in my life, the storms in my heart, to hear the silence of God. Be still and know. Resting, waiting, in Perfect Love and communion with my Savior. Sometimes I wish He'd call me from the thunder for I am afraid of the still, small voice. It is so easily missed.

...bids me to come, and I will follow.

Suffer me to come, risen, wounded One;
I've found shelter in Your Fathering arms...

There is no shelter anywhere else. I am the little child whom the Savior beckons to Himself. Father, call me to Yourself. I feel so battered and torn; my heart a battlefield! I need You, need Your healing shelter.

Suffer me to hear Your voice in my ear,
Beckon me with words that draw me near...

I am desparate to hear Your voice, to draw close. But my doubts drown out the voice of Love. Oh, that I could rest, without a care, in Your arms! Speak to me, Abba...I long to hear Your voice!

...bid me to come and I will follow.

I will follow You....

Even though I'm afraid. Even though I can't see through the darkness. Even though I wonder if You care enough to speak to me, to hold me.

...where You want me to...

Even if You go where I don't want to follow. Through the wounds of my deepest heart. Through the ugliness of my pain and sin. Through the darkness of my fears, doubts, anger, to the Light. Even there, yes, Lord, I will follow You.

Bid me to come, and I will follow.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hold My Heart

*I wrote this entry back in October after the kids and I moved back to WA from MT. My husband and I were facing an undetermined separation due to finances. He ended up coming home after 5 weeks, the hardest 5 weeks of my married life. I was 8 months pregnant and we were facing forclosure and nothing seemed to be working in our lives.

Well, here we are several months later and still nothing seems to be working for us. Sky is gone again, driving trucks in MT, we're trying to do a short sale on our home to keep from being forclosed on, and we don't know where we'll be next month or if we'll even be together. So the sentiments expressed in this post are still the cries of my heart. I still wonder sometimes if God is listening and if He even cares.....

Oct. 22, 2009

It's been a week since Sky had to go back to Bozeman without us. Thankfully, he's working, but we're still in a whole load of financial trouble and facing a winter apart. I just don't understand. It seems like no matter how hard we try, nothing works out. And it's not even our fault! We get cheated out of work and wages, the weather puts a halt on the job, vehicles break down, belongings go up in smoke, rent goes up, and promises are made that aren't followed through with. It wasn't supposed to be this way. Families were never meant to be separated. Daddies aren't supposed to have to choose between feeding their families and being with their families. We've done everything we thought we were supposed to do for this summer...laid all our plans at God's feet, and still we may lose our house and we're living apart. When is life supposed to work? When does the whole "all things work for good" promise actually come into play? For years now we've done what we thought God wanted us to do, followed Him with everything we have, and for what? To get patted on the back and told "well done"? Yeah, that'll put food on the table. I know that God still works miracles. Is it too much to ask that He could work one for us?

I've seen Him heal broken hearts, restore broken marriages, redeem lost lives, and come through in every way for the hearts of His children. I've seen spiritual heart-miracles that still make me stand in awe. I know, without a doubt, that God heals the broken and sets the captives free. But we are more than spirits...we have to eat and clothe ourselves and pay the mortgage. Why do these things seem not to matter to Him? Are we doing something wrong? Is there some magic formula that we're supposed to follow before God will provide our physical needs? I don't believe that they aren't important to Him. Because I know without a doubt that we are important to Him. Jesus was very clear on that. But I still don't understand. I'm tired of being told "Just trust God and everything will work out" as if you can put some sort of Band-Aid on a hurting, questioning heart. I DO trust God, always have, and things are not "working out". So what does that mean? I'm tired of being told "you should be grateful for the blessings you have" as if being grateful is the magic spell towards getting more blessings. I AM grateful...I thank God everyday for a husband who works his heart out for his family, for healthy children, for daily blessings. Does questioning why life isn't working make me somehow ungrateful for those blessings? Or does it just make me more honest than most?

And yet....

My heart still hopes. I still have faith. I'm still holding on to a fraying thread, stubbornly insisting that God is still in control and cares about my life. I don't understand why when the circumstances I see around me don't fit. But I refuse to let go of the belief that God will come through for us, that all things will work together for good, even if I can't see it now and won't like it later. What is it in me that hopes contrary to hope? What is it in God's saints throughout time that were beaten and bruised that still wouldn't let them let go of hope? Or perhaps it isn't we that are holding on so tightly. Perhaps it is God that is holding onto us. I have no other explanation. I know He's holding my heart...He must be holding the rest of me as well.

How long must I pray, must I pray to You?
How long must I wait, must I wait for You?
How long 'til I see Your face, see You shining through?
I'm on my knees, begging You to notice me.
I'm on my knees, Father will you turn to me?

One tear in the dropping rain,
One voice in the sea of pain
Could the maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breakin' heart?
One light, that's all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You're everything You say You are
Won't You come close and hold my heart

I've been so afraid, afraid to close my eyes
So much can slip away before I say goodbye.
But if there's no other way, I'm done asking why.
Cuz I'm on my knees, begging You to turn to me
I'm on my knees, Father will you run to me?

One tear in the dropping rain,
One voice in the sea of pain
Could the maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breakin' heart?
One light, that's all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You're everything You say You are
Won't You come close and hold my heart.

So many questions without answers, Your promises remain
I can't sleep but I'll take my chances to hear You call my name
To hear You call my name

One tear in the dropping rain,
One voice in the sea of pain
Could the maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breakin' heart?
One light, that's all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You're everything You say You are
Won't You come close and hold my heart.
Hold my heart, could you hold my heart?
Hold my heart.

~Hold My Heart, by Tenth Ave. North

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

An Angel Named Bruce

When I was a kid, my parents were always bringing the weirdest people home. Any person who wandered into our church looking down and out would usually end up being fed at our dinner table. I was just a kid so I didn't know about Bad People yet, so I wasn't really afraid. But I did know about weird ones and it seemed to me that my parents could've been a little more discerning about who they brought home. At the very least they should've had a smell standard.

My mom always said that the Bible teaches that we should be hospitable because you never know when someone might turn out to be an angel. I didn't think angels smelled bad, but what did I know? If the Bible said it, I believed it...maybe because I was just a kid.

I will never forget one man who entered our lives when I was about 11. He showed up at our church one Sunday night smelling terrible. He had long, grey, hippie hair with a bandana tied around it and a scraggly beard down to his chest. His eyes were such a clear blue, almost white, that you could see right through them. He walked, unashamed, to the very front pew (much to the discomfort of some of the members who didn't like his torn cloths) and stood there praising God at the top of his voice. He had a pretty good singing voice. Well, he was loud anyways. He also raised his hands and closed his eyes while he worshipped, which was against some unspoken church rule, but how was he supposed to know? I remember watching him, fascinated, during the entire service.

Of course, my parents decided to bring him home. His name was Bruce and he was living on the streets. He said he was bi-polar and some other things that I didn't understand. But I've known a few bi-polar people since then and he was nothing like them. When he looked at me I felt like he was looking into my soul.

At dinner, he smiled at us all, asked us our names, and then proceeded to tell us what they meant. I couldn't stop listening. His voice was like music and the things he spoke were so....weird. He went on to describe what each of us kids were going to be like when we grew up because of what our names meant. (Looking back, I wonder if he was psychic.) He talked about God like he saw Him every day. He pointed to a picture of a rainbow and proceeded to explain how every color was a picture of God's character. Random stuff like that.

I just knew that after a few dozen bums, my mom had finally brought home an angel.

He stayed with us for a few nights, then left as abruptly as he came. We never saw him again but he has never been far from our thoughts. To this day, my family still talks about Bruce. We talk about how strange he was and we shake our heads, wondering, always wondering. When I get to heaven, I won't be the least bit surprised if there, praising God in the Throne Room with hands raised, is a hippie angel named Bruce.

"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have entertained angels unawares." Heb. 13:2

What Can I Say? She's My Daughter....

*Disclaimer: I did not actually witness this. So I am not responsible for any action or inaction or any lack of responsible child-training. However, when this little episode was reported to me, I laughed my head off.

There are times when, as a mother, I have to decide when to be motherly and instructive, and when to just laugh. Thankfully, I did not actually witness the scene I am about to describe because I'm not sure if I would've recognized which side of "mother" would have been appropriate at the time.

Kailey spent the night with my sister, Lindsay, and her daughter, Melody. Kailey and Melody are the same age (3) and best friends. Lindsay decided to take the girls to McDonalds, a rare treat for my little country girl. (Actually, it was her first time.) Upon seeing all the fun tubes and balls and slides, she went berserk and wasted no time climbing up the platforms to the tubes. Melody, on the other hand, is a bit shorter and not so athletic so she kept being left behind. A little boy, about age 4, decided to be a gentleman and help Melody up the platforms. So he put his hands under her butt and gave her a boost. She promptly turned around, and, like the polite little lady she is, said "Thank you!". Well, the little boy was quite pleased and tured to give Kailey a boost too. As soon as he put his hands on her butt, she, like the little hooligan she is, promptly turned around and slapped him across his face. (!!!)

He was quite shocked and turned to his dad (who was laughing) and said "She-she HIT me!!!"

"Well,", his wise father replied, "I guess that's a lesson you learned early in life, son."

This same little boy then had a grudge against both Kailey and Melody. He went down a slide ahead of them and wouldn't get off but instead blocked it with his body so they couldn't get past. Melody went down the slide, ran into him, and started screaming because he wouldn't move. Then down came Kailey. She assessed the situation and knew exactly what to do. Grabbing the boy by his collar, she pinned him with her scrawny little arms up against the side of the slide so Melody could pass. (Did I mention he was three times her size??) She was very calm and had a look in her eyes that said "You are annoying me, but I know just how to handle this." He was so surprised he just sat there while Lindsay rushed to his rescue. Kailey dusted off her hands and went back to playing with her cousin. Melody wisely chose to stay close to Kailey for the rest of the day.

I told Lindsay that she didn't get that from me. Lindsay said she told Dad all about it, and Dad said "She got that from her mother". I will defer to my older, wiser, father in this matter. However, I do NOT think my husband's assessment of the episode was very fair at all. I believe his words were something to the effect of: "She's your daughter" Right. As if HE had nothing to do with it!!!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I'm OK, Really....

I used to think I was pretty "all-together" when it came to homemaking and child-raising skills. Until I had kids. I feel so incredibly stretched thin right now and my house is always a mess and sometimes I don't get a shower or real clothes on until the girls go down for a nap at 2 pm. I'm trying not to get frustrated but not always succeeding. I've really got the whole frustrated-but-amused-and-insane laugh down.

Take today: I wanted to run to the grocery store so when Joel fell asleep I set the girls down in front of the TV and jumped in the shower. I was only in there for 5 minutes, I swear, but when I got out, Kailey had dumped an entire cup of juice over Faith's head (so much for "no-spill cups" ). I then had to clean the floor and stick Faith in the bath tub. Then Joel woke up and wanted to nurse. I started breakfast only to turn around and find Kailey standing on a chair and spitting on the floor. I almost burnt the french toast while disciplining and cleaning up after her. (I can't for the life of me figure out what possessed her to do that.) By the time we ate breakfast, it was after 10. I ate while nursing (again!). Then I laid Joel down, and started to get dressed (yes, everything previously written happened in the buff). I got my jeans on, only to stick my head out the door (the girls were waaaaaay too quiet) to find Kailey on the counter helping herself to the sugar bowl and sharing with Faith who was standing on the floor. After breaking up a few more fights ("it's MY toy!!") and nursing a fussy baby a few more times, I still was wearing only jeans and had half of my make-up on when my husband called me to say he was coming home and would go to the store with me. I about cried in relief. How in the world am I ever supposed to take 3 kids shopping when I can't even get out the door with them?!?!?!?

Well, just goes to show ya that 3 kids 3 and under can throw quite the clinker in one's Perfect Homemaker image. But that's OK. They're worth it. At least, that's what "they" tell me. Now excuse me while I go extract Mr. Potato Head from the VCR...

My Road To Freedom

My family was heavily influenced by IBLP/ATI during my teen years. Though, for financial reasons, we never were actually "in" ATI, we went to several seminars, were involved in Character First and Children's Institutes, conformed to all the rules, hung out with ATI folks, and used second-hand ATI curriculum. My sister and I were not only Character Coaches for our area school district and home-link, we actually taught a week-long Children's Institute in ID one year. Normally, families who aren't actually in ATI can't do all these things, but we had a lot of friends in high places in the ATI world that vouched for us so we were "in" without being "in". Not that it really matters...the legalistic lifestyle and teachings still did their damage.

We were forced to wear dresses, give up our evil "rock" music, and make other lifestyle changes demanded by the teachings of this group. My parents really stressed the unconditional submission to authority, the idea of which they were first introduced to and encouraged in by IBLP. Though I was allowed to go to our youth Bible study at church, I could only go if my dad went too, thereby showing that I was under his authority. (Because most of this was pushed by my mom, and baby-sitting a responsible teenager was inconvenient, they eventually gave up and let me go with friends.) I wasn't allowed to go anywhere or do anything with the youth group if Dad couldn't go too. From the time I was about 12, I'd had a heart for missions. It was my dream to be a missionary in my single years and to serve God wherever He would lead. But because of ATI's teachings about authorities and women's roles, I was never allowed to fulfill that dream. I watched other young ladies go overseas with such jealousy and I couldn't understand how a desire to serve God in that way could be "bad" and "rebellious" just because I was a female.

The older I got, the more out-of-control the idea of submission to my parent's authority became. I was a romantic girl at heart. I had so many dreams of serving God and living an adventuresome life. I hated being told that because I was a woman, my place was in the home, not the mission field (unless I married a missionary, of course; or unless I was older, maybe, and still unmarried). I was told that my desires for adventure and romance were rebellious and that I was discontent. That those desires came from my "wicked" heart and needed to be conquered.

I tried, truly I did. I remember crying myself to sleep nights because I couldn't make myself be the kind of person my parents and God wanted me to be. My parents gave me ATI sanctioned books on courtship and submitting to authority, which made me try harder then feel guilty when I'd fail. It was a never-ending process of shame. I remember having to fill out a "contract" to become a CI teacher. On it, I had to pledge to be totally submissive to my father who was my proper authority. I remember signing it with much guilt because I could never seem to submit enough and had started to question a lot of the things my parents required of me. I felt guilty for a long time about signing that contract because I knew, in my heart, that I really wasn't submissive and signing that contract was dishonest.

It all became a drive in me to do better, be better, conquer my flesh, and find acceptance from my parents and God. (Because, of course, if you are not pleasing to your parents then God can't be pleased with you either.) Finally, somewhere around the time I fell in love with the man who is my husband, I gave up. I knew that I could never be the person they wanted me to be and I "rebelled". I decided to go to college, move out, get a job, listen to Christian music, and court my boyfriend. I started wearing pants and cute, girly clothes...though at first I still wore my old skirts when visiting my family every weekend. When I did decide to respectfully tell my parents that I would dress how they'd like when I was home but how I liked when I was away, they told me not to bother. My heart was rebellious so I might as well "show the world". It saddened me, but was a relief of sorts. I was so tired of pretending.

Somewhere during that time, God had been speaking to me. He had been showing me who I was to Him and Who He is to me. Through the counsel of Godly people and a few good books, I started down my path to spiritual freedom. My journey with Jesus really began around that time, around my 18th year when I stopped trying to measure up to the standards that had been placed on me. I stopped trying to be someone I was not and started walking in who God had made me. It was scary and difficult because all the old voices in my heart screamed for me to go back; all the lies and teachings on submission were still powerful strongholds in my heart and the false guilt was overwhelming at times. But through it all, I knew that I could never go back and that God didn't want me to. Once I started down the road to freedom, there was no turning back. I had tasted life and was drunk with the joy of it all.

After three years of school, trying to reconcile with my parents, and courting my man, they finally gave us permission to marry. I think they just gave up and decided that I wasn't going to follow all the perfect formulas in the courtship books and that eventually I'd probably just marry without their blessing. My parents eventually had to face the fact that they had lost the hearts of all of their children. It took our "rebellion" to realize that something went terribly wrong. That they had followed a lie…a lie that had promised life and instead produced brokeness. That the perfect, Godly life promised by ATI et al had never come to pass. They began to change, slowly, and to try to get the hearts of their children back. There has been a lot of healing in my family and we couldn't be more different today than we were 7 years ago. But we have a long way to go. Old habits die hard and heart-wounds are not healed overnight. It is God's grace and mercy that we all still like each other and spend most Sunday's all together at my parent's house. I do believe that our family is stronger because of what we went through. God works all thing as good for those who follow Him...even when we are following, stumbling through the darkness.

Many of my struggles today are still because of lies I followed then. I still find myself performing to be accepted. ATI, along with most of the conservative homeschooling systems, is all about performance and behavior. About conforming to a standard that was held up as God's. About doing, doing, doing, until your heart follows along. “Fake it 'til you Make it.” It's a battle of "who is more holy", with those who wear the longest skirts, listen to the "godliest" music, and obey their parents until death coming out at the top. If you don't measure up, you're not acceptable. It was all about what we DID, not who we were or who God is. It was performance-based salvation at its finest.

There were other issues beside the submission/rebellion teachings that played a part in my life. ATI’s teachings on "ungodly" music were very convincing. But all it took was a few music theory and logic classes in college for me to see the fallacies and error in their reasonings. Modesty was a huge one. I hated wearing shapeless dresses all the time and being told that if a man lusted after me, it was always my fault. This brought about a fear of my beauty that took a long time to heal. It's been a long journey to find a balance in my beliefs. To figure out which teachings from my childhood were from God, and which were made by man.

The biggest issue I have with the whole cult is the aura of "holier-than-everyone-else" and "we know things that you other Christians don't that makes us better than you, you poor things". I'm sorry, but skirt lengths, Bible versions, and music should not be about proving to everyone how holy I am. We went around with an "insider" attitude that caused us to look down on every other Christian we encountered. It was very subtle, this heart-condition, but very harmful. We never did it on purpose, it was just a direct result of being "in". This is legalism at it's finest. It first started bothering me when one day I realized that we didn't get stopped by strangers in the grocery store asking if we were Christians any more. We got stopped by perfect strangers who asked if we were ATI (there was a lot of ATI people in the city we lived in). And when visiting new churches, the first question asked of us was not "are you followers of Christ?" it was "Are you ATI?" As if that's what really mattered. For years this would bother me without me knowing why. Now I know.

Lies We Believe

God has been showing me some things about myself. Revealing lies that I have believed that have shaped my entire life. And I never even knew it.

The most recent one is "I have to perform to be loved and acceptable." I have to wear the right clothes, speak the right words, do the right things, have the right friends, believe the right doctrine, etc, or no one will love or accept me. It was that way with my parents. Sure, they always said they would "love me no matter what" and I'm sure they would, but unless I followed All The Right Rules, I was not acceptable. Even a small child understands the difference. I learned very well how to "perform" for them. I was even taught how to perform for God. Our church was the queen of religious performance. One wrong move and there goes our salvation! This lie, and the fear of not measuring up, was one of the cornerstones that our church was built on. I am so grateful to God that He revealed Himself and His heart to me at a very young age. At least I didn't grow up trying to perform for Him. It was hard enough to perform for everyone else in my life. I think I would've given up if I had to perform for God too.

But it's amazing to me how much that belief has affected my life. You know one of the reasons I fell in love with Sky? Because I didn't have to perform for him. He saw me and loved me, who I really was, not the fake, perfect person I put on every day. I didn't need the right clothes or the right doctrine...he loved me without any of those things. He saw my heart, and he loved it. And I loved him for it. Still do. :)

I think the reason God's shown me this is because that lie is beginning to creep into my relationships...even my marriage. My heart has been so heavy lately with the thought that if I don't perform for Sky then he won't love me. Some days it seems so true. Only now I can see the warfare. Satan is using this unhealed part of my heart to take me out and steal the joy that I have in my marriage. Trying to bring me into that bondage again. Well, I will not be bound by that lie anymore. Now that I can see the chains, I refuse to be bound by them. "You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free." I have been "accepted in the Beloved"...THAT is the truth! God has accepted me and loves me because of Jesus Christ, not because of my performance. The Truth has and will continue to set me free.

What about you? You have lies that you've believed just as I do. Deception is the Enemy's only weapon against believers. What lies have helped shape the bondage in your life? What have you believed about yourself or about God that is not true? Have you ever stopped to think that the issue that you keep butting your head against has been caused by belief in something other than God's truth? That the problem in your marriage that won't go away is due to some lie hidden deep in your heart? Or that the sin you can't seem to overcome has been caused by a lie that Satan spoke into your heart long ago and you made an agreement with? You see, every time you agree with a lie the Enemy tells you, you've let him create a stronghold in your heart. A stronghold that can only be torn down by replacing that lie with the truth.

Look what 2 Cor. 10:3-5 says about this: "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the flesh), but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exhalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." Paul here is telling us what Jesus already said: that every lie (arguments and anything that exhalts itself against the knowlegde or truth of God) creates bondage (a stronghold) and has to be cast down by the Truth that is in Christ Jesus. The Truth will set you free.

Some examples of lies that shape our lives could sound like these:
"Everything I love will be taken away from me."
"If people really knew me, they wouldn't like me."
"If I can just be beautiful enough, or talented enough, or smart enough, or good enough, I will have worth."
"Beauty is dangerous and can be used for evil so I have to do everything I can to hide mine."
"There is no such thing as intimacy in life."
"I am on my own."
"I will never be good enough."
"If I want something done right I'm going to have to do it myself."
"If there is a God, He's too busy to care about me."
"God helps those who help themselves."

Any of these sound familiar? Some of them are from my own heart. All of them are lies that have terrible consequences in our walk with God and the people around us. All of them must be renounced and replaced with the Truth from God's Word. But first they must be recognized. Ask God to show you where you have lie-based strongholds in your own heart. Then ask Him to show you the Truth that will set you free. He who promised is faithful...my whole life is a testimony to that Truth.

"For He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound..."

Friday, January 8, 2010

Tell Your Story

"Maybe nothing is more important than that we keep track, you and I, of these stories of who we are and where we have come from and the people we have met along the way because it is precisely through these stories in all their particularity... that God makes himself known to each of us most powerfully and personally.

If this is true, it means that to lose track of our stories is to be profoundly impoverished not only humanly but spiritually....

In these pages I tell secrets...because that is one way of keeping track and because I believe that it is not only more honest but also vastly more interesting than to pretend that I have no such secrets to tell. I not only have my secrets, I am my secrets. And you are your secrets.

Our secrets are human secrets, and our trusting each other to share them with each other has much to do with the secret of what it is to be human." ~Beuchner, Telling Secrets

I read this today, quoted on one of my favorite blogs. And I was thinking of our discussions and of relationships, here and in real life. Perhaps this is why I am so free in the sharing of my story. Perhaps this is why I feel the need to write when I am most desparate. Even the darkest secrets that I don't have the courage to share (yet) get written down. Because if I forget where I came from, then I forget the working of grace in my life.

Ann Voskamp wrote:
If I lose track of the stories, I'll lose track of part of me. Lose track of His voice in this life. Telling our stories, keepings traces of His graces, even in a venue such as this, may indeed be important, sacred work, because in these stories, God meets us. We listen to our life and hear God.

And maybe other who listen, hear Him too? Perhaps in sharing our stories, spiritual disciplines of reflecting and telling the truth, even in this public space, others too just groping along might find more of their way?

In Revelation, the saints overcome the Enemy by three things: the Blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony, and not loving their very lives. The word of their testimony. To say "This is where I was and this is how God healed me" is to overcome the darkenss. What is hidden can destroy a life, but what is brought into the light can be used of God to overcome the Enemy. Not only for ourselves, but for those who would read our stories. Our lives are not just about us.

As long as I live, I will share my stories of brokeness and healing, darkness and light, sin and redemption, grace, forgiveness, despair, hope, sorrow, and joy. My children will read them and see the mercies of God. And perhaps see some light from them shine on their own stories.

A Beginning

Due to popular request, I've decided to collect my various thoughts that are spread far and wide across CyberWorld and put put them in a blog. I've resisted doing so mostly because I often have the feeling that I really don't have anything important to say. Yet I know that's not true. It's not true because I, like every other human on this earth, have a story. A story written by God. And when your story's written by God, it's always worth telling. So here it is, my story. Some of it has already happened, some I will share as it happens. My life is certainly crazy enough to be interesting. And I'm certainly opinionated enough to always have something to say about everything. SO grab a cup of coffee and come discuss life with me! :^)