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What Freedom Feels Like

The patchwork quilt lays quietly in ripples across the sea of grass growing wildly and abundantly into the sky.The breeze swirls and dances through the peach fuzz on my arms.Sunshine seeps into my soul and feels like being baptized in God's love.I breathe in the honeysuckle sweetness and breath out the toxicity poisoning my spirit. The heaviness that bearing the weights of my world impales into my heart.This world is beautiful. But broken.I am broken. By my own sin. By others' sin.In my brokenness, I pick up the pieces and clumsily tape them back together. Like trying to mend the pieces of remaining flesh after a lion has feasted on his prey.Believing that it must be done before it can be a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. Before the spiritual act of worship.But duct tape and clumsy hands cannot repair. The heart is too complex, too essential, too. . .Broken. Shattered. Incinerated. Obliterated.Pieces too small for human eyes and hands to maneuver.It is God's wo…

Coming in from the Cold

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I peered through my windshield at the monsoon outside. Cold painted fingers, nose. Assault of wind and rain and cold stood between me and the front door of the oasis of warmth I knew awaited me.

And still, I couldn't bring myself to open the car door and step out into the wind and rain.

I was already cold. The car heater fogs up the windows, impairs visibility...so I hadn't turned it on. The freezing temperature outside, consumed the inside as well.

I filled my lungs with air, held it there, opened the door.

Feet consumed by frigid waters. I walked to the door, swung it open and stepped inside. And wondered why I had taken so long to make the journey.

Warmth immediately consumed me. Glow of fire. People I love gathered around laughing and singing and . . . unphased by the storm raging outside. Each had their own lively story of how they came to be there, warm and unaffected by the storm. Basking in the pleasantness of temperature and dry clothes. We laughed at each others s…

40 Days Difference

Since I was a child, I believed that God created me to be a villain in His story.

When I finally realized that that probably wasn't true, I prayed for God to show me my gifts. To help me understand what He wanted from me. I felt stifled and trapped and restless. I can't even count all of the times I prayed that prayer.

In the last few months, He opened my eyes. He had already shown me my gifts. But I denied them. Suppressed them. I thought those things were among the long list of things that made me a villain.

A little over a month ago, I shared my mission statement and what I am praying for this year. I determined to pray this prayer for 40 days. I am not going to stop even though I have reached the first goal, but this is a point where I am looking back and rejoicing over where God has brought me from and where he's taking me. As a part of that process, I am sharing the first prayer I recorded in this specific prayer theme, and the last one.

(I have removed parts that …

Asking for Signs

I looked at what I believed was evidence. The tell-tale information that said I am not good enough. I don't belong here.

I started to listen to those lies. Should I be doing this? If I were supposed to be doing this, wouldn't __________ be happening? Wouldn't it look like ______?

And I asked God to give me a sign. Some direction. anything.

I thought of Gideon.

An angel (that he didn't know was an angel until later in the conversation) showed up and told him to go to battle for Israel. From human eyes and mind, he was a starving farmer. To God, he was a "mighty warrior". Not because he could bench press 500 hundred pounds or kill a hundred men with a pocket knife. A "mighty warrior" because God declared him one.

He asked for a sign.

Over and over he asked for reassurance that he was doing what God wanted him to do. And each time God gave it to him.

And then he asked again. Over and over and over God reassured him. And over and over and over he needed an…

Knowing God

Some of the people in my life have known me a long time. And some have known me well. The former does not necessarily preclude the latter.

Sometimes people who have known me a long time, assume they know me well, when that isn't really the case.

I feel trapped and frustrated by those relationships.

Or, they have known me well in the past and make no room for growth, and so they know the me from 10 years ago, but not the me now.

I feel trapped and frustrated by those relationships, too.

Knowing me a long time doesn't necessarily mean you know me well. And making the assumption that you know me well because you have known me a long time, is a barrier to actually getting to know the real me.

The thing is, I think that sometimes because I've known God for a long time I make the assumption that I know Him well. But that's not any more true with God than it is with people.

Sometimes I approach my relationship with God assuming I already know who He is and what He wants, …

Good News!

Spiritual body emaciated. Starved. Stomach distended from malnourishment. Eyes dead with despair. Lips dry. cracked.

Deceived.

Poisoned food. Dirty water.

I thought pursuing Him was a checklist.

I didn't know . . .

. . .  that He loves me.

I didn't knowthat He wants me.

I didn't knowthat I can have a relationship with Him.

Suspicious. Afraid of poison. dirty water . . . unaware that I was already consuming it.

. . . refused to eat Bread of Life or drink Living Water.

I needed the Gospel.

So . . .

He pursued. He loved.

answered misguided prayers. worked for my goodsent people.

They told me about a God who loves me.Who chose meAnd who is happy He did.

They told me about a Savior who died for me while I was lost in my sin. He died for me while I was lying, cheating, immoral . . . hammering nails into His flesh.

They showed me how to stophammering the nails into His flesh and start nailing my sins there instead.

They. belong. there.

Stopped eating poison, drinking dirty wat…

What I am Praying For This Year

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I forced my fingers to type the email my spirit determined to send.

My flesh wanted the fun and excitement of working full-time in a high rise in downtown. But my spirit knew it wasn't right.

The battle exhausted me emotionally.

I go from thing to thing. I have always looked at it as being open minded. Being willing to rethink things and learn and grow and change my course accordingly.

And maybe it IS a good thing at least some of the time.

I am constantly on the prowl for what God wants me to be doing. Something comes along and I pounce on it like a puppy on a new, squeeky toy. And then, in the middle of working on the first thing, something else comes a long and I am like "Squirrel!" and I drop the first thing and move on to the next. Sometimes I go back to the original thing, but then I see another squirrel and the same pattern repeats itself.

So, this year I am determined to break my gypsy cycle. So I met with a counselor and got some great advice. And I looked up h…

Order of Operations: God's Process

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When my kitchen is a MESS, I mean REALLY A MESS. Like every last dish in the kitchen is dirty, there's not a square centimeter of counter space that's not congested with dishes or covered in flour or jelly, and the trash is overflowing. When my kitchen is THAT dirty...I have a process.

I don't go in and start doing the dishes. I start with the easiest tasks. The tasks that can be done quickly but that make a big difference quickly. First, I take out the trash. Second, I put away the things on the counters that are ready to be put away, consolidate the dishes into one space, and wipe down the counters. Then I unload the dishwasher, reload it, and fill the dirtiest dishes to be hand washed with warm water, a bit of Dawn and set them aside. Finally, I wash the dishes.
When the dishes are all clean, I set about detailing the counters - making sure there is no trace of jelly or flour in the nooks and crannys - and any other organizational tasks that need to be completed.

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