PaW, Moses and Restoration

25 Jan

So it’s Monday, and my blog is regarding something that happened yesterday.  I’m so impressed with myself for actually sitting down within 24 hours of being inspired. (Patting myself on the back right now.)  But before I get started let me just say, I have been binge listening to the Happy Hour podcast by Jamie Ivey.  The premise is her talking with friends on topics ranging from adoption and God’s calling on your life to 90s heart throbs and eyelash extensions. You should listen to it.  You will be happy.  You’re welcome!

Ok, back to Sunday.  Praise and Worship or PaW because I’m too lazy to type it out.  I LOVE PaW. I listen to my “Bethel” station on Pandora pretty much all day long; yes it is playing right now.  Bethel means “the house of God.”  I love this so much I’m trying (unsuccessfully might I add) to convince my husband if our baby is a girl, this NEEDS to be her name.  We have a boy’s name, but not a girl’s name.  This makes for fun conversations at night when we’re both exhausted and delirious.

Dang it, rabbit trail.  Ok, back to Sunday.  I love PaW.  I love singing my heart out about how good God is.  My husband plays bass on the PaW team at our church so I know all the songs and, let me tell you, I feel like such a groupie when they do a new song and no one knows the words…but I do!

I’m gonna be honest here.  Lots of times, even though I’m singing, my mind is wondering.  I look around at other people and see them completely engrossed in it and I’m totally jealous.  I love seeing people crying during PaW because I know God is doing something miraculous in them.  Healing something that needs to be healed, confirming something that needs confirmation, reminding them that He is just and faithful and love.

I’m not one of those that just stands still with arms crossed during PaW.  Nope.  I’m a mover and a shaker and my hands are raised.  Well usually one is and the other is moving like Mariah Carey’s or Christina Aguilera’s.  My husband makes fun of me and calls this my signature move. Sunday my arms got tired and I randomly thought I wish I was Moses and people were here to hold my arms up.  If you’ve been raised in the church you know what I’m talking about. If not, let me explain:

Moses was the leader of the Israelites and they were at battle.  As long as Moses’ hands were raised they were winning, but when he got tired and lowed his hands, they were loosing.  So 2 guys found a stone for him to sit on and held his arms up so that his hands were steady till sunset. (My very basic interpretation of Exodus 17:8-16)  As I said earlier, my mind wanders during PaW so for it to wander to something biblical was quite a shock to me! lol

I’ve heard sermons on this passage about supporting our leaders.  About how our leaders need us just as much as we need them.  We need to rally around them and support them and lift them up in prayer.  I FULLY agree with this.  I love my pastors and can’t imagine doing life without them and my husband and I support them whenever we can.

However; I also think there is a second point in this passage.  That we need to be PaWing God AT.ALL.TIMES.  When we are in the thick of it and battling for our lives.  When we are too tired to go on.  When we don’t see the point of going on.  When we feel heartbroken and alone.  When even breathing is a struggle.

When we are in this place of brokenness, that’s when God is doing what He does best; restoring! The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirt is crushed.  (Psalm 34:18.)  (You can stand on this verse.  It’s a promise from God and God is truth and doesn’t lie!) When we are in tune with God and allow Him in, we are forever changed.  Not only will God draw near to us, He will send others to walk through this hell with us.  I say this, but I personally struggle with it.  When I’m in the thick of it, I don’t want people to feel sorry for me.  I don’t want them to quote me scripture; I want them to acknowledge this sucks and that I’ll get through it.  When my mom died, I made my husband go to work that day because I knew he wanted to comfort me but all I wanted to do was clean my floor.  Yes, I’m horrible person and I need Jesus.  I.KNOW.THIS.AND.CLAIM.IT.

Anyway…if you’re in the thick of it, I hope you know you are not alone.  Depression, sickness, anxiety, addiction, death, fear and doubt have no place in God’s presence! I pray you find rest and peace.  It sucks but you will get through it!!

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain!

 

Jammies With Feet

4 Jan

So as most of my readers know, I’m currently pregnant with my 3rd child.  I could go on and on about all the great things being a mom entails like unconditional love and good night kisses.  But I’m gonna be honest, my 2 favorite things are pinching dimply baby booties and jammies with feet.  We have a bath time routine of walking around the house and everyone pinches Willow’s sweet 20 month old booty.  The other day my husband was taking a shower and Willow was walking around the house looking for him and got sad when I put her in the bath without a booty pinch from her papa.

Jammies with feet are on a whole ‘nother level.  There is nothing cuter than a little girl walking around in fuzzy jammies with little monkey ears on her toes.  (I made up a song about jammies with feet, this proves my love.) But they have to be the kind with zippers.  The button up ones are the Devil.  Who ever decided it was a good idea to make a sleep deprived parent button up 15 buttons at 3am only to find the last button doesn’t match up will have a lot to answer for on judgement day.  I was changing Willow’s diaper and found a Christmas ornament caught in the foot and my husband found a few pens down there as well.  I never thought about it but I guess jammies with feet make the perfect place to stash things.

JWF

That got me thinking, aren’t we just like those darn jammies.  We walk around looking all cute and put together but deep down we’re hiding things.

We want you to think your words don’t phase us, but deep down they’re killing us. We want you to think we are totally secure, qualified enough, put together enough, organized enough and in the perfect marriage.  We want you to think our kids are the best, our house is always this clean and we never burn the meatloaf.

No one is all of these things so why do we try?  Why do we put so much effort into being what we’re not?  Why do we care so much about what others think of us?

I know it’s hard not to let outside voices in but the truth is, there is only one voice that matters.  God’s. God says you are loved. Beautiful. Seen. Known. Matter. Heard. Holy. Righteous. Strong. Brave. The son or daughter of a heavenly king. Forgiven. Redeemed…YOU.ARE.ENOUGH.

So many things are thrown at us daily, fighting for our attention.  We need to learn what to focus on.  We need to learn the voice of truth.  We need to learn how to love ourselves and quit killing ourselves trying to be something we’re not.  Let’s quit being jammies with feet.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

 

FB is a Bunch of Crap

26 Dec

So, it’s the day after Christmas.  Or as so many of you have posted on FB CHRISTmas.  I’m sorry, but putting “CHRIST” in all caps bugs me.  All your other pictures and posts (which reflect how  you live) have nothing to do with living for Jesus, but yet when Christmas rolls around you get all Jesuslike.  No wonder so many people want nothing to do with church, we’re just a bunch of hypocrites.  This is not the purpose of this blog so I better jump off my soapbox…

I saw a video on FB the other day of some AMAZING looking waffles.  My husband saw it too and we decided that’s what we wanted for Christmas morning breakfast.  The video shows a puff pastry placed on the waffle maker, then stuffed with cheese and ham, then puff pastry folded on top and wha-la, you have a gorgeous, stuffed waffle.  I decided to kick it up a notch and add a fried egg on top.  Can you say genius?

breakfast 1

I’m assuming the video was filmed multiple times to make it look that easy-peasy. The truth is the puff pastry wasn’t big enough and ALL the cheese melted out.  The waffle was good but dry so I had to add syrup to add moisture.  Please note the melted cheese oozing out, all the smoke, the mess in the background and the awesomely annoyed look on my 8yo’s face.

breakfast 2

Isn’t this just like life?  We post on social media, snippets of our life.  The snippets that make us look good, like we have it all together, like our life is WAY.BETTER.THAN.YOURS. (That would be the first pic to make you jealous of our breakfast.)  And most of us fall for it.  We look at our “friends” and think their spouse is just so perfect…their kids are perfectly trained (people with kids, we all know their behavior is totally viewed as a direct reflection of us.)  Their house/car/stuff is nicer than mine which means they make more money than me so they must be happier then I am.

The truth is we all fall short; we all #fail and most times we don’t want others to know about it. Yes, I did post the second pic on FB.  I do post my highs but I also post my lows.  I believe we all live messy lives and the more honest we are about them, the better everyone would be.  I believe if we would all quit pretending to be something we’re not, like perfect, and  start living the awesomely jacked-up lives we have, we’d actually be happier and therefore less judgmental.

Let me challenge you for 2016: start being more honest with yourself.  It will be hard at first, but I guarantee it will be life changing!

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you..welcome to my brain.

Some Weeks Just Suck

13 Dec

This time of year can be hard for some.  Holidays are made to be shared with loved ones, but what happens when that loved one is gone?  How do you celebrate when you wife, husband, child, or (fill in the blank) is missing from the party?  Do you put on a smile and fake it till you make it or do you hide out in a dark room and avoid all contact with the outside world?

This week has been really hard for me; December 9th is the 2nd anniversary of my mom’s unexpected death and December 12th is her birthday.  Add to that a 29 week pregnancy doctor’s appointment where I had to drink the nasty Fruit Punch Glucose crap, a weigh-in realizing I have already gained the total weight of my last pregnancy and I still have 11 more weeks to go AND the fact that I got a hair cut that didn’t turn out the way I wanted!  This called for a major pity-party and let me tell you, pity-parties are the best parties I throw.

This week I find myself living in a world of regret.  You see, my mom and I didn’t have the best relationship.  I spent half of my life hating her.  I allowed hurt and anger to boil up inside me and build a wall.  When I was young it was easy to blame everything on her.  Things like “I was just a child…she was the adult…she should have reached out..I did nothing wrong” filled my mind and I found comfort in blaming her.

But then Jesus…

I started to realize that Jesus didn’t die on the cross so I would spend my life hating her.  When he cried out “It is finished” over 2000 years ago what he meant was “Katie.  This ugly bitterness inside you is finished; it’s time to forgive.”  If Jesus could forgive the friends that betrayed him and the people that killed him, I can forgive as well.

It wasn’t easy and it took years.  Romans 12:2 played a big part: Do not be conformed to the image of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  The renewing of MY mind.  Yes, the world told me it was ok to hate her, but Jesus said to renew MY mind…this means I have to take ownership of my thoughts and feelings…gross!  Who wants to do that?  I literally chanted “the renewing of my mind, the renewing of my mind, the renewing of my mind” every time I felt the ugliness rising up in me.  I had to face that fact that I’m an adult now and if I want things to change, I can’t keep doing the same things.  (Duh, mind blowing I know.)  I had to change my tone of voice, body language and even my posture while talking to her.  I had to realize she did the best she could.

When she died, our relationship wasn’t perfect but it was better than what it previously was.  I look back and get sad for the part I played in the “complicated relationship.”  Nothing is ever 100% someone else’s fault.  We ALL play a part in conflict.  If we want it resolved, we have to do some self reflection, realize our part and change our behavior.  It’s not easy, but necessary if you want change.

If you have some one you need to forgive, let me encourage you to do it!  It will be hard and it won’t be overnight but it’s so worth it.  Don’t spend another day with that wall up, start knocking those bricks out.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

Stop Complaining and Start Doing

18 Nov

I’ve been sitting on this blog for a while.  Actually I’ve been stewing on it for a while, so for my sanity, I’ve carved out some time to sit and type.

I LOVE Starbucks! I spend way too  much money there but luckily my addiction has been funded by gift cards from family and friends, so keep them coming, thanks!  I could care less that the cups this year don’t say Merry Christmas. The stink that people are making about this blows  my mind.  If you want your cup to say Merry Christmas write it on there yourself.  #ProblemSolved

Why are Christians expecting a non-Christian company to act like a Christian company?  Why are people so quick to complain and all of a sudden start acting all holy?  I bet most of you didn’t even care that the cup said Merry Christmas, but as soon as it didn’t, all hell broke loose.  My opinion, and this is harsh, is because it’s easier to complain and do nothing than to actually get out there and do something.  Something that matters.

Lets stop complaining and start loving.  Lets stop complaining about the government and how politicians are “taking God out of everything” and lets start living like God is part of us.  I don’t care if schools aren’t allowed to start football games with a public prayer.  The majority of the people at the foot ball games aren’t praying anyway, they’re planning the celebratory after party.  Politicians can’t keep you from praying.  If you take time to read your Bible, worship God, learn from Jesus and actually do what He says, politicians can’t stop you.  They can’t take Jesus out of your heart.  Lets stop looking towards the White House to spiritually lead this country; lets look towards Jesus.

All of you people out there “publicly making a stand on FaceBook” about this red cup issue, politics, gays, gun control or whatever, do you even care that last year in the state of Texas over 30,000 kids were placed in Foster Care?  Do you care that over 27 million people are enslaved in human trafficking? Do you care that over 453,000 kids die each year due to malaria and that malaria is totally preventable?  If you do, I am grateful for your heart.  But if you don’t, lets open our eyes to things of this world that actually matter, like people.

Lets stop living like the Pharisees who were so quick to say the right prayers in public but were secretly plotting to kill Jesus.  Lets quit being quick to point out everyone else’s indiscretions and ignore our own.  Lets start living like Jesus.  Jesus saved the world.  He did this NOT FROM A GOLDEN, CUSHY THRONE, He did it from the trenches loving the leper, the prostitute, the tax collector, the children, the man who betrayed Him and the men who killed Him.

80% of 18-22 year olds leave the church once they are out of their parent’s house.  Lets stop teaching our kids to go to church because “that is the rule if you live under this roof.”  Instead, lets fall in love with Jesus so our kids see Jesus in action and they fall in love with Him too.  Lets show our kids how to love unconditionally.  Let our kids see us feed and cloth the homeless instead of making snide comments and ignoring them.  Let our kids see us sponsoring children in third world countries instead of ignoring them because they are on the other side of the world.  Let our kids see us spending our money on clothes, diapers and toys for the local women and children’s shelter instead of wasting that money on the new iProduct.

If we want this country to change it starts with us.  Lets not prove we are Christians by walking around in our Mercy Me t-shirts saying Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays and then getting into our car with the fish sticker on the back.  Instead, lets invite Jesus into our hearts and allow Him to lead our actions.  Lets channel all our righteous anger towards making lives better that way we are too busy to complain.

Ok, getting off my soap box now.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my  brain.

3 Times A Day

23 Oct

Our laptop crashed AGAIN 2 weeks ago.  The smart, tatted, pierced, techie Apple Store guy said something about our RAM card was causing the crash, (the words “RAM card” cause me to stare blankly and blink, whatever.)  It wouldn’t even turn on this time so we broke down and got a new desktop computer.  Laptops are convenient bc I can sit on the couch in a dark room, or a Starbucks, and blog.  BUT I love that the desktop has a real mouse.  Dear real mouse, how I have missed you!  I didn’t even realize how much I loved you till you came back to me.  I’m sorry for all the years I took you for granted and for throwing you across the room.  You are constant and faithful and you fit beautifully into the curve of right my hand.  You are way better than the new, sleek finger pad thingy.

That felt good to get off my chest…

Last week at church, my pastor was talking about lies.  That sermon was amazing and you should listen to it as soon as you finish reading this post.  Statistics show that women lie at least 3 times a day and men 6.  Why is this?  Why do we lie?  What do we gain? Sometimes the truth is ugly, so if we alter it slightly and wrap it in a box with a pretty bow, does that make it better?  No it doesn’t, but it makes us look better and I think that’s the appeal to lies.

Lets see what God has to say:

Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me!  For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; FOR HE IS A LIAR AND THE FATHER OF ALL LIES.  John 8:43-44 NLT (all caps added by me.)

Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight. Proverbs 12:22 (KJB)

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  John 14:6 (NIV)

It’s pretty clear that: 1) lies come from the devil 2) God detests lies and 3) Jesus is truth.  If I tell at least 3 lies a day, I am choosing Satan over Jesus at least 3 times a day…OUCH!!!  That is disgusting!!!  This is something I never thought about.  Thank you pastor for making me look inward at my heart, realizing it’s not pure and gross and realizing I have a lot of serious work to do. (The “thank you” was sarcastic, I’m not really grateful at all, self examination is hard.  I’d much rather pray for God to change someone else’s heart, not mine.)

A few days after this sermon was preached, Brandn asked me a question.  I really wanted to lie but I had a choice to make, choose satan or Jesus.  You see, we went on vacation for our anniversary and his mom and step-dad watched our girls.  They logged into their Netflix account and never logged out.  We don’t have Netflix for 2 reasons: 1) I’m too cheap and 2) I’m a tv junkie and if it’s in my house, I will watch it.  My form of self control is to not have cable.  I have wanted Netflix for a while so I can watch all the episodes of Gilmore Girls bc for some reason, when the show came out, I was stupid and never watched it.  Soooo when I noticed Netflix was in my  house, I immediately (it felt so natural, I didn’t even have to think twice about it) jumped right into Season 1 of GG.  (If Lorelai/Luke and Sookie/Jackson don’t end up together, the writer will receive some very late hate mail from me.)

A few days later Brandn asked me what episode I was on.  I froze and the internal struggle began.  Do I lie and tell him episode 3 or do I tell the truth and admit that I’m a junkie and after 3 days of GG, I was already on episode 11? Dang it!  Why was it so hard?  Why would I even think to lie about something as stupid as this?  My answer doesn’t matter; Brandn will not take the girls and leave me because I watched 10 episodes of GG in 3 days.  This is no big deal so why was I considering lying?

My answer didn’t matter but my choice did.  The choice of choosing Jesus over satan matters.  The choice of breaking the habitual habit of lying matters.  It matters to God.  My heart matters to God.  Your heart matters to God.

We all have a choice to make.  Let me encourage you to choose God.  Even though it’s not always the easy choice, it’s the right choice.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

It’s Time to be Brave!

23 Sep

I’m laying on my couch, alone, in the dark, wrapped up in a super plush, awesome blanket.  My 18 month old is sleeping and I NEED a nap.  But I can’t sleep.  As much as I want too, as much as I know a nap will prevent me from being cranky tonight, I feel a tug in my heart to get up and grab the computer and type.

I’m currently reading Let’s All Be Brave, Living A Life With Everything You Have by Annie Downs. (OMG!  As I googled things to link to her name, I came across this.  Even after staring at her picture on the back cover, I didn’t realize I know her.  Well, I don’t actually know her but I feel like I do.  I’ve been listening to her for months while doing the IF Equip daily devotions.  Now I love her even more!) READ.THIS.BOOK!  Stop what you are doing right now, after you finish reading my blog of course, and head to Half Priced Books, or wherever you like to pay full price for books, and buy a copy!!!

We have a notion that being brave requires us to do big things.  Like sell your home, give everything you own to the poor and move to a 3rd world country. Yes, that is brave, but is it for everyone?  Absolutely not!  Roaches cause me to cry, sweat, cuss and have a heart rate that is deadly for my body.  I need to live in a country where I can run like a mad woman and empty a whole can of RAID on one bug.

I don’t feel brave.  Sure, I’ve had brave moments but that’s all…moments.  Most of the time I allow a lie to creep into my head and I dwell on it till I’m crying over this created situation and completely living in fear.  I’m very open about fear.  I’ve blogged about it, cussed about it, cried about it, laughed about it, preached about it, done women’s events about it.  I even have a tattoo on my forearm to look at everyday to remind me that Jesus is right beside me and to believe Him and not the lie.  Because that’s all fear is, a lie that we have started to believe.  We have a choice, do we believe the lie or the truth.  It seems so simple yet it is so hard.

I haven’t completely kicked fear’s butt, but I remember the day I had enough. The day I threw the first punch.

I was at a women’s conference and Lisa Harper did a bravery alter call.  I knew she was talking to me, but to answer an alter call, takes courage, an act of bravery which is exactly what I was lacking at that moment of my life.  (If you’ve ever answered an alter call, you know what I mean!)  I found it ironic, asking fearful women to walk up to the alter, IN FRONT OF EVERYONE, to receive prayer on bravery.  I knew I had to walk up but my feet were glued to the floor.  I was right next to my pastor’s wife, my friend, my mentor, the woman that reminds me to breath. She thought I was brave.  My husband and I quit jobs, sold our house, and moved to the big city to help plant a church with her and her husband, along with a few other crazy couples!  That’s brave ya’ll!

But I can’t consider myself brave because I’ve done brave things.  I was currently living a life wrapped in fear.  I was a fake, my facade of bravery had finally crashed down all around me (and it had the audacity to do it in public not in the nice private comfort of my own home.  How Rude!)  I had no choice but to walk up to the front.

Being brave isn’t doing big things.  It’s what you do everyday.  It’s facing sickness head on.  It’s daily walking into a job that you know isn’t your dream job but it’s where you are now.  It’s falling in love.  It’s waking up and getting out of bed.  It’s saying yes to certain things and no to others. It’s admitting you’re wrong and saying please forgive me.  It’s walking away from something bad for you.  It’s closing a door and daring to imagine you life differently.  It’s writing that check.  It’s getting on that plane.

You know what your next step of bravery looks like.  You know what you have to do.  Do it my friend!  Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or discouraged.  For the Lord, your God, will be with you where ever you go. Joshua 1:9 Do it and have confidence in yourself and the talents God gave you.

If you need help being brave today, listen to No Longer Slaves by Bethel.  Now that you’re feeling fiesty listen to It Is Well. Have the courage to admit that even tho your life may not look like what you thought it would, it is well and you have trust that you are exactly where God has you and HE.IS.WITH.YOU.   When Jesus died on the cross and the veil was torn, in THAT moment, we gained direct access to Him.  That His presences hovers over us and give us boldness.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.