Friday, April 29, 2011

dishonorable discharge...

Dishonorable discharge. I really haven’t ever heard this word accept when speaking of the military. But when I came across the word dishonor in the Bible this morning, I wondered what it actually meant. In the context of the verse I believe it meant “disgrace”, but there was another definition that surprised and struck me. It was that of being sexually assaulted, being “dishonored”.
I cannot think of a more appropriate word…dishonor. She was raped…she was seduced into child pornography…she was touched by a family member…in every case…she was DISHONORED. The sacred, the innocence, was treated with violence…and now she feels dirty.

I constantly stand in amazement of how the dirty sin of the perpetrator somehow transfers over to the victim. The transaction is sickly strange. The perpetrator makes a withdrawal out of the victim’s innocence and confidence bank… and then deposits a double portion of shame, fear, guilt, and doubt to replace the balance.
Victims often feel as if their only option is to draw from their own bank account, and given that their bank account was hijacked, they draw from feelings of dishonor. But what if there was another bank account…one that has been set aside for them since the beginning of time. An account full of unconditional love, forgiveness, restoration, freedom, and grace. An account that has no withdrawal fees, and there is no way it can ever be overdrafted.

Isaiah 61:7 says “Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs.”
Christ has an inheritance for you beyond all comprehension. And the best news it has a double portion of my favorite thing, EVERLASTING JOY!
Dishonor…I think we might as well give it a “dishonorable discharge”, because there is no reason to continue to honor a bank account of lies. Instead, let’s honor the truth – and dive into the bank account of Jesus’ crazy love!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

sevices added

Services Added
Let me introduce you to Mr. Bill. He is a wonderful man who has been dealt a tumultuous deck of cards. When I met him, he was living in a car with his young son. His house? Too infested with rats to live in.

If I was Mr. Bill, I imagine that I would give that rotten landlord a piece of my mind for not taking care of a house that should be condemned and accepting rent for something that is nothing more than 4 walls. Yet…Mr. Bill pays his rent every month, and does not speak one harsh word against anyone.
Mr. Bill meets all of his and his son’s needs on an amount of money that I use to pay a cell phone and car payment each month. I don’t know how he does it, but his son is never hungry, and he is at school every day. The love he has for his son, it just pours out of his eyes into a pool on the table that I am sitting at. And I watch in amazement as I see a glimpse of Jesus.

I’m not quite sure, but, I wonder if he can read? He seems to have a difficult time understanding all the technical paperwork required to receive assistance, but his Bible, he reads it daily. That’s my Jesus, even if a person isn’t able to read, they can read his word and soak in every element of content.
As part of my job I am supposed to fill out a form called
“services added”. Kind of a laundry list of services that I have offered to clients.
Mr. Bill, I think today, this should be your form to fill out. You added way more services to my heart today than I could ever offer you in terms of worldly measures. Empathy…understanding…peace amidst a storm…faith that surpasses all understanding…unconditional love. Mr. Bill, you showed me all of these today. Not in a fake kind of way like I have seen before, but in the most real glimpse of Jesus dwelling in a man’s soul that I have ever seen.
Thank you Mr. Bill, for services added.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Human happens the US

I read about human trafficking for the first time today...

It broke my heart.

If it is for freedom that we have been set free...

I think it is time to do something...

Imagine being a teenage girl without a home...

No parents, no family, no money...

Your father sexually abused you, and then you were abandoned...

Someone makes you feel beautiful, he promises to love you, protect you...

He says he loves you...

You always wanted to be loved...

The sex gets rougher, it starts to hurt you...

You try to escape, there is no way out...

If there is a God...why doesn't he help you?

You feel so alone...

Abandoned, Ashamed, Dirty, Afraid...

It's called human trafficking...yes it happens here...

In your country, your state, your city, your town...

It's time for it to STOP...

Will you help her to see that God is real?

Help her to find a way out...

Support efforts to end human trafficking...

Ler her know that she is not alone...

There is a way out...

She is loved by God

For more information and to find out how you can help visit the Salvation Army's website here.

Christ came to break the bondage, to free the captives, those whom He has set free are free indeed, it's time for some freedom...

Meditations on a greyish morning...

“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.” Psalm 19:1

Grey clouds surround me. I am enamored by the weight of presence. The movement in the skies. What must the clouds must be thinking…

They shuffle along quickly. A storm will come to pass. Bubbling and brewing, making movement for their God.

Life moves quickly, as they pass through one phase to another. Some disappearing into a vapory mist. Some building tumultuous storms. Some simply stand still in white puffy happiness.

An opening appears.

Pure blue, only a glimpse through dull greyness. They separate to allow emptiness between themselves. A brief glimpse of the heavens amidst the dawning of the storm.

A way is made through the clouds to follow light. I desperately linger among the bitterness unsure if I should go. But the opening begins to fade, so I decide I must.

Stepping through to the other side I find my Savior’s hand to guide me along. Hesitant, I see.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Holy Saturday...

Jesus bled. His blood poured out at the cross and he breathed his last.




Jesus hears.

What happened?

Between the time that He was brutally crucified and the time that death was no more. Was there a battle in hell for the souls that would now be brought to redemption through an amazing God who cares enough about his people to send a Savior? Was there rejoicing in heaven because the dead were made dead no more? Did Jesus meet up with all the souls throughout the years who had suffered and let them know that it is now finished?

What happened?

Did he look at the dried up blood on his hands and smile because he knew that he had saved me?

What about Mary?

Did she lay in her bed wondering what had just happened. Did she weep for the Jesus she loved? Did her heart ache with countless replays of what she had seen the day before? Did she whence again and again as she thought of him taking her punishment? Did she even know the magnitude of what was just done? Did she know he was going to rise again? Or did her faith falter?

Did she feel abandoned?

Do you feel abandoned?

It is Saturday…the inbetween.

So much disillusionment.

The Christ that was the son of God just died. How could He die? How could a God-man die? Was this even real? No one would know until the next morning? And yet still there would be those who didn’t believe. Who don’t believe.

It’s Saturday. The day in between. The day in between the life we lived before we accepted Christ and the day in between when we will go home.

What will we do with Saturday?

Will he be our everything in the midst? Will his grace continue to amaze us? Will we fall on our knees and call Him father knowing and trusting that He is soon to bring us home?

Will we believe?

Jesus Jesus how I trust you…How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er…Jesus Jesus precious Jesus…deliver me…

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sopping him up with fleshy bread...

Just thought I would share a bit of what I have been working on tonight in the book God has placed on my heart.

No title chapter outline yet...but I do know much of the 6 chapters I have drafted consist of breaking down the walls that would hinder a relationship with Christ that takes our breath away.

Everyone has a heavenly father that lavishes and pours out more love on us that we could ever sop up with our fleshy bread...walls need to fall...chains need to break so that we can take him in with every fiber of our soul...

So here is a bit from a chapter that I felt compelled to share...I love you girls...and please know that I will be back to blogging regularly soon...

I had this illusion that as long as I determined the course of my life I was in control. I could control my education, I could control my husband, I could control my children. And I felt dang good about it. But I could not control my God. I thought I could, but I could not.

He brought a complete physical, mental, and spiritual breakdown that knocked the living poo out of me and forced me into 2 years of counseling with a recovery that I thought would never happen. He knocked my pride to the floor so hard that it shattered into a million pieces so that I would not go running to pick it back up again.

I would like to say that my healing from this trauma was out of my own will to become a survivor and a thriver. But it was not. It was out of tough love from the Savior that knew I had to hit the ground so hard that I could not get up again without the power of His love.

That’s what it took for me. I wanted so bad to be in control. I needed it, I had to have it. And God knew he was not going to get it back from me without a fight. So He did what he had to do. He broke the walls. He broke the chains. And I thank him for it everyday.

Linking up with my sweet bloggy sister Tiffini at!

Monday, April 18, 2011


Silence. Praying about what to write about today...and I hear just this...silence.

So this is obedience. For this week I have nothing to offer you but more silence. And prayer.

Please hang with me as I struggle through this season of incomprehension and God's work in my writing, and know that I will be back soon. And please read the post below this one to see a bit of where my heart is fluttering about...but for now...obedience and silence.

All my love dearest siters...obedience seems to be the hardest lesson to learn.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Weight of the cross....

As I sat outside this morning, the stillness of the air took me into His presence. Not a leaf was moving on the trees. Nothing. Just pure stillness.

And as I looked at the tree directly in front of me, still filled with beautiful spring blossoms, a thought. This is such a young tree. So small still. Such a thin and flexible trunk. Appearing to be so delicate, yet having withstood tumultuous winds.

What about the tree for Jesus? Where did it stand? Was it a tree Jesus had walked past before, knowing that it would be reduced to timber used to torture Him to his death? Did the tree have a story? Had it once been climbed by children, laughing and giggling? Had it been sat under for shade on a hot sweltering day? Did it whence when it was cut down, knowing the destiny it would soon meet?

God knows and plans the details. I wonder what He thought when this tree took seed in the ground. The tree that His son would suffer on and relieve all humankind of their plight.

Isn’t it strange, gives me chill bumps, that it all began on a tree. A tree in the Garden of Eden. The serpent slithers up to Eve, just one apple he whispers. God is holding something back from you. And she takes from the tree and eats.

That very instance, the seed germinates. I must send my Son. Stillness for years. As the tree grew. God knew the weight it would bear. The fibers spindling inside it would one day meet the blood of the Jesus. Would uphold Him as He drew His last breathe.

"My God my God why have you forsaken me", He cries out in the last moments. The tree stands still. He breathes His last. It is finished. The tree stands still, and nothing will ever be the same.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Taking a little bloggy break until next heart seems to be swimming into so uncharted waters...

Love you all!

See you soon!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Dumpster Diving

God doesn't make trash. Bottom line. End of story. We may feel used up at times, beaten down, dirty, shameful, crazy even, but we are not trash. He doesn't make trash.

I found this little piece of glass by a dumpster today. Why am I hanging around dumpsters you ask? Well, I wanted to find some things that people had thrown away and take pictures as examples of beautiful objects posing themselves as trash.

But then when I got near the trash cans, I realized that there was no need to pull something special out of the trash, because it could all be special. Even something as simple as the rough edged, broken piece of glass.

In fact, this little piece of glass mirror was more of a reflection of my life than anything else I could have found. Plus it was laying on the ground, and the shiny caught my eye, I like shiny things, LOL!

I wonder how often God walks by our lives and sees something shiny. We may be broken. The world may have thrown us out with the trash. But God sees a treasure.

He picks us up, dusts us off, writes his word on our hearts, and with time, makes the rough places smooth.

You are not trash my darling, no matter what you have been through, no matter what anyone tells you, or what you tell yourself. You are not trash. Do not give up on yourself. You are treasured by God Almighty, and who else do we need to be treasured by other than the creator of the universe. He is your shelter. He is your Father. Your help, ever present, in your darkest hour, He is there.

Sometimes we may feel His presence thick, like a soft warm blanket that envolops the heart of our soul. But...sometimes it feels as if He has abandoned...I felt this way myself some this week.

What do we do when we feel abandoned by the very one who is supposed to never leave us alone? I am really seeking some wisdom from God's word on this, and hope to share later this week, pending the moving of the spirit that is.

Love you girls!

Isaiah 42:16 "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them."

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Jesus and me...battle buddies...on Seedy Saturday...

The power of the mind amazes me at times. How deep and far our insecurity roots can run.

I sat at a Sheila Walsh conference today, enthralled with the message. And yet I left feeling more attacked than I had in a very long time.

A few of the messages that have plagued my mind since I returned:

You are not good enough. You are not a good writer. If you were, they would come to you. You will never be like her. God has left you alone. You are still just an insecure little girl. Close your mouth and don’t talk, because you will only embarrass yourself.

Honestly…this list could probably go on for pages and pages.
Satan is attacking…but me and Jesus…we are not backing down.

Again…I am on my knees discovering that this is not an easy battle. That it requires a fight. That if I want to write, Satan is going to try to shut me up. That He is going to try to convince me to close my mouth and duct tape it shut with shame.
The power of the mind, my own mind, and it’s rampant running amazes me…but what amazes me far more is the power of Jesus. The moment I yell out STOP IN JESUS name, the seas calm. He is stronger still. His promises run deeper still.

Nope Satan…you don’t get to win this one…me and Jesus we are battle buddies till the end of this life, and then when I go home someday, the battle will be won, God wins – and we will spend eternity as his daughters and sons.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Alabaster jars...

What would she have felt, as she approached your grace?

Knowing that she is sinful…knowing the judgement she would face from those surrounding you. What she must have felt. Gently stepping in, with her alabaster jar tied around her neck. Perhaps she meant it for You. Perhaps the passion came upon her suddenly as she was overwhelmed by your presence. What did she feel?
Gratitude? Tremendous gratitude. As tears of joys flushed down her face, she could not contain herself. She fell to your feet longing to somehow show you the love that you had shown her. Aching to receive every ounce of shame clenching forgiveness that dripped forth from your very presence.

What could she do but pour out everything she had. As she began weeping and sobbing harder and harder, the people around her just melted away. Suddenly, it was just you and her.

A woman and her Savior.

Nothing else mattered except the offering at your feet. Soaking with tears, she uses her hair to try and wipe some of the shame filled tears off of your feet.

Your sins are forgiven you tell her, go and be FREE. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You accept her beautiful offering of love, and free her from the bondage that has tied her.

Others look on thinking the scene is ridiculous. And it might be, Your love is kind of ridiculously crazy like that.

So what are we to do but pour out every part of our being in thanks for sweet atonement?

Thank you Jesus that you set the captives free. More of you and less of me.
I pour out my alabaster jar, jars and jars, I have. And yet none can touch the outpouring of one drop of your grace. Thank you precious dear Jesus for alabaster jars and for being a Savior that lets us bow at Your feet weeping, and messy, and loving us just the way we are.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fantasy Bonding...

When I first read this phrase as part of the sexual abuse study I am doing, I was a little turned off. Fantasy bonding? Who would do that anyways? And what the heck is that? Fantasy bonding…that just sounds weird.

I should know by now that when I am that turned off by something, it is probably a sign that I might be in denial about something…hmmmm…yep…that was the case.

Fantasy bonding is when we create a fantasy in our minds about a relationship. For example, a child being abused may create a fantasy that their parents are loving and kind. Or a woman in an abusive relationship may be blind to the things her spouse has done to hurt her, and only see the parts of the relationship that seem “loving” to her.

Fantasy bonding may or may not be something we have created on our own. Oftentimes abusers kind of “infuse” their victims with the “truth” they want them to believe. For example, that they are showing the child love when they sexually abuse them. Or they only beat them bloody to teach them a lesson…because they love them.

Our minds try to protect us. The things that are happening to the victim are so inherently wrong, that the mind would much rather just accept the fantasy than face the truth.

The one who date raped me did this. He had me believing he wanted all of me physically because he loved me so much. He had me believing that I was hurting him by withholding sex. And when I said no, he took it anyways. And for years, I still believed that this was his “right” because he was my boyfriend. I had a fantasy relationship with him, and when I finally was forced to face the truth…it was ugly.

But you know…the thing about Jesus…is that He is the truth. No lies.

It seems like a fantasy doesn’t it?…that He could love us like He does, but it’s not.

It seems like a fantasy that we are princesses to Him…that He forgives us and removes our sins as far as the east is from the west. It seems to good to be true. But IT’S NOT!

He is our one true fairytale ending…He is our prince of peace, and we are His beloved princes and princesses! He wipes our tears and bestows upon us a crown of beauty instead of ashes.

Go ahead, fantasy bond with Jesus, because with Jesus, it’s much more than fantasy, it’s the truth!

Linking up with Tiffi today at Word Women Wednesday!!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


John 12:1-3 “Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”
To anoint…to bless someone with oil. To bless….to make holy. To make holy with oil.
Christ was already holy. He didn’t need Mary to pour oil on His feet to make Him holy, but she did. She knew that He didn’t need her to pour oil on His feet to make Him holy. She had already seen him raise Lazarus from the dead, if I had to guess, she knew He was pretty holy. But she loved Him. She anointed Him because she loved Him. She poured out her heart to Him, everything she had, because she loved Him.
And He loved her. He loved her with the same kind of love that He loves each and every one of us with. He doesn’t need anything from us, but rather, He allows us to pour out our hearts at His feet.
But rather, He has anointed us to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the captives. It is for freedom that we have been set free. He has made us holy with His holiest of oils that He rubs upon the weakest and most broken of hearts so that we may be made new.
No He doesn’t need us to make Him holy…holiness is His and His alone to give. But what would I not give to have a moment where I lay at His feet and pour out every ounce of me that is made Holy by him upon His feet and rub my hair around in it just hoping to soak up some of His amazing presence.
Holy…what do I know of Holy…

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mud Slingers and Light Bringers

Filtering. Or what I like to call the dirty mud effect. It is taking everthing and everyone in our lives and dragging them through our dirty mud puddle until they look dark and dingy.

For example, let's say my husband neglected to start the dishwasher (which he would NEVER do by the way, HA), instead of thanking him for doing the dishes, I jump all over him for not starting the cycle (which I would NEVER do, HA!).

Filtering through negativity just dirties up our lives. It makes us sad, and gripey, and naggy, and kind of like the putrid milk that has sat around in a cup to long, rather than a fresh glass of nourishment.

But...what if there was an alternative way to filter. What if we filtered everything and everyone through God's eyes and God's word? What if when we saw that person who hurt our feelings at the coffee shop, instead of turning to gossip about them, we took a moment to pray for God to allow us to see them through His eyes? How would it change us? How would it change our mood?

God's word says that the rightous are like the beauty of the dawn. At first, I declared to God, "Hey, I never said I was rightous". And He said, "I know, but I did, because you accepted my Son as your sSavior, so you are rightous, shine like the dawn."

It's kind of hard to shine like the dawn when your covered in mud, and slinging it at everthing around you as well. Let's stop being mud slingers and start being light bringers!!!!

Sex, God really, talk about Sex?

I went to a conference Thursday about sex. Yep, sex, and pornography, and child sexual abuse, and rape. Sounds like an awesome time, huh? LOL! It was definitely tough to listen too, but I really learned a lot. Perhaps the thing that resonated the most with me was the way our society has become slowly more and more desensitized to pornography and the objectification of women. But…what tugged at my heartstrings was this…what about these sweet children who were abused and these women who were abused as children, still walking around with that shameful and dirty feeling little girl inside. My heart bleeds for them.

You see, so many times when a child is sexually abused, they internalize the shame, feeling like the whole thing that happened was their fault. And not only that, they become sexualized, and often exhibit sexual behavior from that point on in order to fulfill their needs for love and affection. Leading to patterns of behavior that only lead to more hurt and more victimization.

For a long time now, I have felt the tug on my heart to talk about sex. “Why God?”, I asked. “There are plenty of good books about sex in marriage out there, and plenty about purity?”. But lately God has really spoken to my heart about speaking to a different population. Those who have been abused or assaulted, especially teens, and letting them know that God offers then a new beginning. A new opportunity to bloom, to spring up, with the joy of Jesus in their hearts, and embrace that beautiful little girl who is hurting, and learn to love her. Because if they can let go of the shame, if they can drop that baggage at the foot of the cross and realize it was not their fault…things change.

Here is a little composition I wrote when I was deep in the throws of my own grieving, about two years ago…sharing it with you…and please feel free to pass it along…

Today I took a moment to glance into the past
I met a little girl, who I had forgotten for long, at last
She was so beautiful, yet pain was in her eyes
She had been torn and broken, and no one heart her cries
Lonely and afraid, she buried herself within
Hidden for so long, never wanting to come out again
I gently took her hand, and held her as she cried
She had been gone so long, it felt like she had died
I told her that I loved her, and invited her to come
To see the life that God had made, he loved her all along.
At first she hesitated, not wanting to let go
She reminded me of her scars, her beauty no one would know
I brushed the shame off of her face, her eyes began to lift
And then God wrapped her in his arms and reminded her of His gift
She slowly stepped into the light, for all who cared to see
The shame, the guilt, the doubt, let out as she smiled longingly
And then I brought her home, though she’d been there all along
But now she’s free, forgiven, embraced, and she can carry on.

Author Ann Voskamp is offering a scholarship to this amazing conference called She Speaks. It is a conference put on by the amazing women over at Proverbs 31 ministries to encourage and equip women who feel let to serve the Lord through writing, speaking, or leading. To find out more about She Speaks and how you can go…click here!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

6 words...and a cross

I am enough for
What do these 6 words speak to your heart?


She Reads is offering a scholarship through Cecil Murphey to the Proverbs 31 She Speaks Conference. I would love to meet you there~so click here to learn about a scholarship opportunity and click here to learn more about She Speaks!