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Okay Daddy, You Can Let Go Now

I can still hear the sound of the gravel beneath my white bicycle tires like it was yesterday.  That country gravel road through the park of trailers is an image forever seared in the files of my memory banks.  The smell of hay, baled and ready to continue giving life to the earth from which it grew, was strong in the air.  The summer of my fourth grade year was a summer of brave surrender for me.

I passed this dirt road a couple nights ago on my way to Mama's house and instantly, I was nine again.

I've never been one to be brave, or to chase a thrill.  I've always played things safe.  As a little girl, more times than not, I'd been crippled by fear and I would politely decline to ride my bike without training wheels, or hop on the roller coaster with my sister.  
"I don't want to. I'm scared", I'd say with a trembling voice.
Summer was in full swing, Ice, Ice Baby was the jam, and my Dad had just come home for an extended stay and we were so happ…

Are You Playing Hide and Seek With God?

Why would a good God allow such darkness in a person's life? How strong does he really think I am?

The words slid off my tongue like melted butter.  There wasn't an ounce of hope or joy to be found in the quiet whispers of my soul. Nothing but darkness, declared and sought after, by a broken spirit.
For years I've bled from wounds of abandonment, rejection, and fear.  I've declared victory time and time again and yet every time I think I have a handle on things, I find myself chained to my past like a prisoner on death row.  
So when my Dad passed away the 7th day of May this year, I walked right back into the death trap that was designed ever so carefully by my enemy.  The enemy who wants nothing more than to see me fall. Again. And again. And again.
He was the only Dad I had throughout my childhood that made me feel loved. He would catch lightning bugs with us for hours and made every holiday feel like Heaven on Earth.  His playfulness and lazy laugh would fill our home …

Go Ahead, Break. I Dare You.

"Listen, don't worry about all of that, God will never give you more than you can handle." 
Did you ever just want to physically put your hands on someone?  I mean like, choke them out? Or spin them around and "ever-so-gently" lunge them forward on their merry little chipper way into oblivion?  
Yeah, me too.
I found myself in this very place once when I was under so much pressure I thought I might implode.  I'd spoken to a friend about everything that was weighing me down and she replied with the little cookie-cutter phrase above that made me feel even worse than before.  She meant well and I love her for it. I'm always grateful when a woman walks beside me in dark seasons and encourages me.  But those words wouldn't leave me and they didn't give me any peace while they lingered.
Don't worry, God will never give you more than you can handle.
Ugh.  Just ugh.

First of all, there was no way I would not worry because these were real life proble…

From Tragedy to Triumph

When I tell you that God will bring you from tragedy to triumph, I mean it.

Who remembers VCR players? They were the hot new item when my Mom was young but they stayed popular until I was in my late teens to early twenties when DVD players finally came out. I remember staying weekends with my grandmother and every weekend she'd take my sister and I to the movie store downtown and we'd walk the aisles hoping the movie we'd been dying to see hadn't been rented out. Then, there was this season of watching The Never Ending Story over and over and over every weekend for probably a good 8-10 weeks. My poor, poor grandmother!

I remember the sign that was posted on the door on your way out of the movie store that read "Please be kind and rewind". No one wanted to get a VCR tape that they had to rewind before even watching. Rewinding was such a drag when you were ready to get in a belly-on-floor, feet-in-air, popcorn-under-chin position to embrace the exciting adventu…

Why Gossip is a Thorn in the Gospel

The brutally honest friend.

Oh, everyone has one.  
They don't care what you think or what kind of backlash is coming, they're going to tell you the truth whether you like it or not.  It's that friend that you don't dare ask "Do I look fat in this", when you feel like your outfit is on point.  Because, in the event that she's not quite "feeling it", you'll change or die from regret if you don't.    
I have a friend like that too, only my friend is a "he".  My sometimes brutally honest best friend is a man, and that man is my husband.  Now ladies, before you sigh and gasp and swear upon all things holy that you'd never let your husband tell you an outfit isn't flattering on you, he doesn't really give me his opinions on fashion.  But he does tell me the truth in other areas of life, where sometimes I want to muzzle him.
I love my husband enormously.  We've been married almost 8 years and my heart still skips a …

Abortion, Condemnation and the Church

"My friend and I visited a church on Sunday but the Pastor talked and talked about abortion and all I know is if I were one of the women sitting in the crowd who'd had one, I would never want to go back."

I looked into her big brown eyes that seemed so sad and my heart hurt while she vowed to never step foot back in that church again and said "We'll just keep looking."

I didn't really know what to feel.  Standing outside of the Mexican restaurant where we'd met for lunch and were literally freezing because it was so cold, I felt a tinge of anger for a man whom I knew I'd most likely never meet.  She continued to tell me that he shamed the women who'd had an abortion and there was never an offer of redemption for them.  

We stood there in the cold pretty much in disbelief at the lack of grace being dispensed before we realized we were so cold because we were standing in the shadow of the restaurant.

She invited me into the sunlight where we …

I'm Sorry I Was So Bad Today

Stop it, Brayden.

Stop hitting your sister, Brayden.

Get out of her personal space, Brayden.

Get out of MY personal space, Brayden.

If I hear one more bottle flip, Brayden......

For the love of all things holy, BRAYDEN....

All within the first 20 minutes of being home today.  After having the worst. day. ever.

Then against my better judgment, we pile in the car and attempt a trip to the grocery store.  Whilst at said grocery store, my purse breaks and there's only one register open and there's a million and one things that Brayden absolutely must have while we are standing in the line 5 grocery carts deep.

Calgon, why must you fail me now?

We finally arrive home and I put the groceries away and the frozen pizzas in the oven (don't judge me)...(actually judge me, I am in the perfect mood to simply not care) and finally, I sat down to breathe, to pray, and to try to savage an ounce of sanity. And that's when he walks up to me and wraps his eight year old little arm around min…