Sunday, December 25, 2011

Resolved 2012

Had I known the outrage and confusion my decisions would create, I might have suggested to God we keep circumstances as they were. But, probably not. I was so lonely spiritually after awhile without a church and desperate for structure. It's okay to be an island until you need solid ground and don't have a boat. I wanted something to stand on and people to stand with. And I was at the end of every single option I knew.

"Go to mass for Christmas eve," echoed in my soul a whole year ago.

Go. . . . . where? Having been around the spiritual block enough times I knew to listen sooner than later. I did. I sat in the very back of a quiet Catholic church and watched church play out. I had been raised to believe "these" kinds of churches just went through the motions, never used scripture and had some remote if any relationship with God.

My soul swirled in the reverence. The scriptures, beautifully presented, came to life before my eyes. Communion was an experience. (And yes I knew I couldn't receive communion at a catholic church. File that under "tell me I can't.") And I couldn't help but think, "What's the big deal? God IS here."

I would spend most of the rest of the year fighting with people about my decision to transfer to a liturgical tradition. I'm thankful today for those who disagreed with me, who questioned me, and even for those who blatantly condemned me to Hell (not kidding). They all pushed me to dig deeper, learn more, ask more questions and find that my solid ground was and is within myself, not just a church building.

I'm thankful for a year in my church home where I feel loved and welcome. Where I feel grounded. Those walls and people have healed me from the inside out just by being there. I have found God in different and unexpected, but no less powerful ways. And He's the same God.

Looking back, I can't believe the people who have stayed with me through this confusing, questioning and frustrating season. I in no way blame the people who didn't. I'm pretty sure I would have stopped having the same conversation with me in early January. But, many of the same people who were there in January still are. Those who listened to my heartache, dried my tears and encouraged my shaky faith the most, still do. Oh, we're not talking as much about church confusion anymore, but we're wading our way through the instability that comes with all lives. Together. And this heart is grateful for the heart friends who have remained.

I hope, after doing a lot of work, I've emerged stronger in my faith. More faithful to the One I love the most. A better friend. A more understanding Christian. A person clothed first with compassion even when I disagree.

So, I close the book on this chapter and take a deep breath in the new season of walking with God. My only resolution for 2012 is to not argue with those who don't care about me. I'll only fight fair with people who do also. I'll hear the hard stuff from those who stick around long enough to help repair the wound. And I'll walk in love with myself and with those around me.

Because at the end of this journey I'm not going to stand before God and defend other people. I'm not going to have to answer for my church. I'm going to have to answer for me. And I'm standing firm on what I've known all along.

She said to Him, "Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world." John 11:27

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Merry Christmas!

In this season of celebration.

In the waiting of Advent.

In the anticipation of Christmas morning.


Our God is with us.

Merry Christmas!

Brenda, Odyssey, Ella, and Shine

*This blog will go on break until after the first of the year. Praying your holidays are happy ones filled with memories lasting into the New Year. Thankful for all of you as we wrap up 2011!

Friday, December 9, 2011


Personally, I think insecurity should fade out with the next round of evolutionary changes, but that seems unlikely. Hard to find is someone of the human condition who doesn't struggle with something. I love when people say they don't have any insecurities. "I've given all of that to Jesus!" Good for you. And I doubt it.

I find most of my insecurities are fed and watered by the lies in my own head. Ever hear the whisper of the enemy so loud it's deafening? Me too. A lot lately. And it's casually subtle - until it isn't.

You'll never be that so stop trying so hard.

You could never accomplish that.

That's a dream that will never happen. Give up while you still can.

Life doesn't get better from here.

People don't like you. You don't even like you!

God could care less about your phony attempts to love him. He could never love you anyway.

One at a time they seem almost manageable, but then come the days when it's a barrage of negativity. The days when your favorite jeans already don't fit, your hair is a mess and you're late-for everything. Days when you wonder where God is and how you could have possibly lost him in the first place. Days when you know the drama is high, but you just can't help yourself. Been there?

And a little thought emerges from the spiritual soil of your heart and without realizing it you ask yourself, "What if he's.....right? What if my future is bleak? What if my plans are in vain? What if he doesn't love me?"

On those days I like to gather up all the thoughts - the ones that make sense and the ones that don't. I try not to analyze them, but just pull them together into a giant heap of human confusion and breathe.

I wrap my hands as tightly as I can around them and remember that my control is limited and my heart frail. And I do give them to a God who is bigger and who thinks clearer because I have no idea where else to put them.

And I remember that his grace is sufficient......always.

His power is made perfect in my weakness......always.

And my security is in him......always.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You won't die and other things I'm learning from the gym

Once I've made up my mind about something, I'm all in. I don't look back. I press on like it's my job. And it's really hard for anyone to change my mind. Actually, that might be true about most things.

I've embarked on a fitness expedition that admittedly may be more than I can handle. Don't worry. That's not stopping me.

Added to my regular yoga practice is now boot camp (appropriately named), TRX and several miles of running a week. It's taking ALL my free time and I secretly love it.

Here's what I've learned so far:
1. I'm stronger than I think I am.

2. I'm not really in good enough shape to get this in shape right now.

3. I've never needed the stress relief of working out more than I do now.

4. I don't have time, but I really never will.

5. Working out with a bunch of people is way easier than alone.

6. No matter what it is or how long the rep is - I won't die.

And, as a bonus, I'm getting great material. Last week while running on the treadmill the guy next to me said, "You're too short to be a pole dancer."

Hmm.....I'm okay with that :)