Well Now don't you tell me to smile
You stick around I'll make it worth your while
Got numbers beyond what you can dial
Maybe it's because I'm so versatile
Beastie Boys Intergalactic
Maybe I'm just looking to put a Beastie Boys song in here somewhere, but it works
.Gets the blood pumping (and maybe the attitude, as well).
Well, there's this little monster that wants to take on the galaxy. Put her on notice. Who struggles to be okay with right here, right now. Who wants to move and shake and make things happen.Take on the world and stir fry it in my wok.
To be something.
Prove she's worth the breath given her.
Worth the space she takes up.
That she's not a waste of cells.
That there's a brain still functioning inside.
To prove something.
But what do you do all day?
Mother my boys.
-Easy. Everyone does that.
What important things do you do?
-Um, I write a little.
Silly girl. You funny. Important things.
Well, I like my sugar with coffee and cream.
Looking for an identifier. And a snappy one at that. Something to say,
"this is what I am. who I am!"
Who I am.
Houston, I think we found the problem
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
My flesh wants to be important.
Now if we are children, then we are heirs- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. If indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share with His glory.”
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9
Lord, help me lay down my discontent and rest in where I KNOW you have me.
In this dimension.
Loretta Lynn One's On The Way
Take me to church
I've done so many bad things, it hurts.
Sinead O'Connor Take Me To Church
To the left and to the right. Behind and before. Love is here.
Take me to church, indeed.
Forgiveness is lived here. Restoration's taken place here. I've been humbled here.
Love has been rolled out here.
Jesus is here, lived out in these lovely faces.
Friends. Brothers. Sisters.
Hey, mama bear. Do you know how much I love you? How protective your friendship is?
You are fierce!
You are Jesus for me.
Hi beautiful, tender friend. I was afraid to fail in front of you. But you love and love and love.
You are Jesus for me.
Encourager, you repaid my trust with trust. Hope shown through the Word spoken by your poetic lips.
You are Jesus for me.
Look at the countless arms here that have held us.
Baptized in mingled tears.
Relieved with laughter.
We are safe at home.
Sunday spills over.
You are Jesus for us.
You are the church as it should be. Forgive me for expecting so little of you.
I see your hearts and they are beautiful.
You have taught me Grace.
I love you.
Ring Them Bells Michael Pritzl
I Sing a Song of The Saints of God Michael Roe
"You begin by being awestruck that he loves someone like you." Benji Magness
Who has ever given to God that He should repay Him?
I walk the line. Carefully balancing spiritual insecurity and arrogance.
The insecurity of fearful obedience on a tightrope walk. To heaven. To rest. Counting my steps. Waiting for relief while hoping God is noticing how well I'm taking up the challenge. Because that's what this Christian life is about, right. A challenge.
And I'm going to beat you.
All this worry and careful footfalling will earn me my reward.
Ahead of all you lazies.
Oh, there you are, arrogance. Careful, you're showing.
God, look at me. Aren't you relieved to have one of us doing it right? See how I die to myself? I hope you're adding up all the sacrifices, all the sweat and tears. All my moral dutifulness.
Heaven better be darn good for all this.
Ignore the snobbery. Oh, and the bitterness, too.
And the gossip. And the coveting. And the hatred.
Man, we're back to insecurity, again.
I'm falling, for sure.
And God in his goodness let me fall. But not eternally. So that his glory and love could be seen and understood and believed for the first time. The warm comfort in His forgiveness. The cleansing in His righteousness. He picked me up. So that I could see that it's a walk with him on a path He has set out. Not a tightrope.
His hand is trusted to be taken and led by.
Because He is love.
And I am overwhelmed by that love.
You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
And I now know that my Father loves me. Like, LOVES me. Obedience is so much more of a dance with joy and exuberance on this side. It's beautiful and freeing, not stifling.
So that I can walk the line, with a little jig.
You've got a way to keep me on your side
You give me cause for love that I can't hide
For you I know I'd even try to turn the tide
Because you're mine, I walk the line
The incomparable man in black, Johnny Cash I Walk The Line
and Sunday Morning Coming Down
and the sad beauty of Hurt
Listen to the first Cash song that made me a fan as a wee lass, A Boy Named Sue
Tick tock, tick tock.
Day 17 got writer's block.
So, I'll go to dinner with my sister
A little joking with that chica about hair-dos brought me to remembrance.
I've seen the scary depths, but He has led me through.
And I remember that tonight.
You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
you are my God; I will extol you.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!
Time to take a breather to thank God, my ultimate protector.
For fellowship with believers with demonstrable love.
For a husband who lives forgiveness.
For sons who are lifesavers and blessings and partners in goofiness.
For Psalm 23.
For a mother who drives me crazy with her love.
For a stepfather, in whose face, I saw God's fatherly love for me.
For a second chance with the daddy I love.
For my little sis, who I still want to be when I grow up.
For Hebrews 12.
For pastors who cry with us.
For fiercely protective friends.
For encouragers near and far.
For a savior whose grace is without end.
For more than 8 good reasons.
How did purple hair jealousy lead here? I'll let you figure that one out with
Sinead O'Connor 8 Good Reasons
They tried to make me go to rehab,
I said no, no, no.
Amy Winehouse Rehab
I should have done this along time ago.This counseling thing. Like, twenty-two years time ago. In the aftermath of devastation time ago.
But the stoic, stiff-upper-lip girl I am/was said no, no, no to counseling.
To asking for help to sift through the rubble.
And the confusion.
And the shame.
And the walls got bigger.
Because I thought I needed to be tough and that meant walking forward without a word.
Keep it secret, keep it safe.
Well, I've got thick skin and an elastic heart,
But your blade - it might be too sharp
I'm like a rubber band until you pull too hard,
Yeah, I may snap and I move fast
But you won't see me fall apart
'Cause I've got an elastic heart
Sia Elastic Heart
So, a pattern was solidified. My secrets and hurts being my personal possessions. A piece of my soul I was afraid to part with. What am I, but a weak shell without them? Measuring my accomplishments in tears sucked down. Wanting to be the one who doesn't need to ask for help, like all you weaklings.
Seriously, I don't respect your crying.
In the fast lane
No time for love
No time for hate
No drama no time
Whose soul aches
Sia Big Girls Cry
The stubborn fear of being nothing, if not a self-sufficient rock of a girl. And slowly dying.
So, I went to rehab, of sorts. "Cause I snapped. Two decades and a heap of garbage later. Kicking and screaming and hopeful for relief. And the dam burst. A letting of a million things I thought I'd quietly dealt with. Nope. So, I'll tell you with no shame(well, come on, you know I still fear the kind of judgement I once gave out a little, but, whatever)
Here I am. A weakling needing a hand out of her self-sufficient mess.
There I said it.
And I don't respect all my own crying now.
Sorry, guy at Starbucks.
Thank God for my safe, loving, intuitive, grace-pouring counselors.
And I made need to start seeing you again, E, by the time this #Write31Days challenge is over.
Seroiusly though, if you're in our neck of the woods, before you snap(or after)....
Word of Hope Ministries
In my mind
I go back to that place again
In my mind
I hate myself again
Am I a man
who is that disturbing
I can't be
it can't be
But I remember it all
Prayer Chain SHIVER
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
The relief of absolute forgiveness is immeasurable. And weighty. Confessing my sin upon sin. Like the old clowns in a car gag, they keep popping out.
Wait, there's more!
So much more, when they don't have prettied up names and excuses. Take them out. Name the ugliness. The secrets. The hidden strangleholds. Watch their power dissipate as they're brought into the air and light, like vampires.
Thank God that He takes this weight of sin off these weak shoulders.
But, there's a second part, lest we forget.
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
matthew 18: 32-34
I did not realize the treasure chest of trespasses that I kept.
Okay, maybe a little.
Okay, maybe a lot.
Keeping love locked up with them. In some ways, they were my defense.
Against more disappointment.
Against more tearing down.
Against more gutting.
Against more violation.
They served as my power and records to build a case.
They served my pride, quite well.
They served as barriers.
I confess my lack of forgiveness. And lack of sacrificial love. It has burned up in the pile of my own wickedness. Only now do I understand the impact of open forgiveness and love and grace lived out loud. And the need to give as I have received.
And getting sidetracked in 1988 on YouTube, helping me remember just how far back account keeping has gone.
So here are a few gems from my middle school days.
Boy Meets Girl Waiting for a Star to Fall
Breathe How Can I Fall
Enya Orinoco Flow
and a little rick-roll........Rick Astley Never Gonna Give You Up
Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you, no man ask for
Under pressure that burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets
Queen and David Bowie-Under Pressure
Building and building and building. No John Locke to punch 4, 8,15,16, 23, 42 <enter> and release the pressure. All those expectations from others and ourselves.
Perform, perform, perform.
The shoulders are a little tired.
The neck a bit compressed.
The knees are wobbly.
Everyone's depending on me to hold up the world. Right? All the burdens. All the duties. All the saving. All the steering. All the covering.
But I can't do it.
But I have to do it.
But I want to cry "uncle"
Hey, can you see me giving out? Because I don't know how to tell you that this is about to blow. Stuck in my throat. All the silent screams. All the things unheard. All the cries alone in the closet. All the shouts in the car with the music turned all the way up. All the bottling-up, face to face.
Trying to perform by all the books. So many books. A perfect daughter. A perfect mom. A perfect wife. A perfect Christ-follower. No, I don't need to talk to anyone. I got this. I know it all. Fix myself. Just work harder and prettier and smarter and...(oh, I can't actually do any of these things? shhhh)
Smile, you're on stage.
The works were the thing. The checklist that kept looking more unattainable.
Working for grace and not from it.
No resting. All fear and pride.
some of us got married
went to seminary
or found a job where the people are
and then we're asked to carry
loads that are too heavy for...
and it makes us crazy...
Starflyer 59 Bicycle Rider
Jesus was serious when he said,
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Like, serious, serious.
It's not a suggestion. You have permission. Before meltdown.
And if you need to talk pressure, I'm all ears and tears these days.
And we'll just breathe together.
Pearl Jam Just Breathe
Queen and David Bowie Under Pressure
Starflyer 59 Bicycle Rider
Let's not speak of the #Write31Days pressure I took on, k?
And might I add that Jen Hatmaker's book, For The Love, is hilarious and good medicine for pressure. Get it.
Blessings can bring tears. Lots of tears. Counting my blessings creates this strange brew of sorrow and relief. I am not adrift as I once thought. Up in space, alone. I have an embarrassment of riches where friends are concerned. Some of the most deep, beautiful, funny, get-their-hands-dirty, love-you-at-your-worst, and help-you-be-your-best people are my friends. Our friends. I keep peeking around the corner to see when they’ll change their minds, but they’re still around. Crazy peeps. Ground control who brought me home.
With a quiet layover in NASA-ville (look ma, no kids), I got to reflect on all these gifts. That’s what they are. Gifts. Marveling at the goodness of God while savoring these precious relationships.
Too much. Too much.
But like an iron from the fire, it stabs that place in my gut where I know I have failed at being that friend. Like, really failed. And sometimes I cry on airplanes over this. Sorry seat-mates, I'm a crier now. Choosing to accept the treasures before me seems like pouring salt in wounds. Because I’ve been crummy. I should be Major Tom. Cut off. No way home.
How can I be encapsulated by all this beauty? Here is the over-pouring of God’s love. I have done nothing to earn it. Not even a speck. None of it. In fact, well....Maybe I’d still like to make payments on this debt. As if I could. It only grows.
Seriously, though, can I? That would make me more comfortable, Lord.
Here are my tears of thankfulness. My tears of love received.
What can I do, God, but take these treasures and treat them with care? And give out of the abundance. And learn from my failings. And follow your precepts in learning to be that friend.
God bless my ground control.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17
David Bowie Space Oddity
Layovers aren't bad. And layovers sans kids are kind of alright, even as I miss their sweet faces. Time to think and pray and cry over YouTube videos. (Yes, I cry over everything now...kill me, please)
And recount all I need to give thanks to God, my father, for.
Thank you, God for a husband who misses me inspite of myself. Who says I bring the pizzazz to our fam.
For boys who are happy when I'm home.
For a church family who loves on me with unmatched grace.
For my parents.
For my tears.
For things made new.
For things made new!
Relationships sometime reform quietly. Sitting together. Watching a movie. Just being in close proximity without taking up arms and defenses. No agenda. Pride put in my jeans pocket. No expectations. Just love and space for God to do His creative work. Many words are not needed. Just a weighted few. Laughing around at table at ordinary moments. Sharing donuts and Coca-Cola. Full stop. Put away the speeches and chess playing. Just be. Together. Listen with a quiet heart. Remember.....grace, grace, and more grace. And you might be surprised how quietly that atomic bomb disarms.
U2 Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own
Well, I see something and I want it
Bam! Right now!
No questions asked
Don't worry how much it costs me now or later
I want it and I want it fast
I'll go to any length
Sacrifice all that I already have
And all that I might get
Just to get
Something more that I don't need
And Lord, please don't ask me what for
Sin is not rational. I've tried to reason my way through it. That doesn't work so well when the Holy Spirit is a relentless truth-teller. Want to make the crazy rain down? Try two wills pulling against each other in one body. Bad news. But, how quickly what I know to be true gets warped and edited to find a personal loophole. When the pride of life is whispering, "hey, psht, over here. Yeah, it's wrong, but it's worthwhile. Better to ask forgiveness than permission, right? I mean God knows how hard the temptation is. He must not really care that you're hurting. He must not be looking out for your best interests. Actually never has. He doesn't want good for you. Better look out for yourself, girl. A tiny bite won't do any damage.Just a taste. Did He really say thou shall not...under any circumstances?" Ooh, it's a slippery slope that sounds familiar.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
To quote the immortal Nacho(click)
Lies! They gave me no super powers, they gave me no nutrients.
No. They lead to hell. Here and now.
The lust, the flesh, the eyes, and the pride of life
Drain the life right out of me.
God, keep my eyes on you. On the grace you pour to overflowing.On the road you've led me to. On the better and best you desire for us. On the freedom that comes from living out your word in love. On the treasures in heaven to come. On the treasures already here.
Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.