Are You Broken or Blessed?

"I'm soooo tired."
"Please don't look at this nasty house."
"I've cried four times today."
"My God!  Will I ever sleep again?!"
These are all just a few of the things that I've repeated day in and day out recently.

Not to mention the morning I walked into the prom dress store that was properly staffed with cute high school and college age girls with - you ready for this - milk stains... on my blouse.  That's right - milk stains - on my blouse, while picking up my daughter's prom dress.  There's really not enough words to describe the horror.  Seriously.
I'm in a new season of Motherhood and can I just be real for a second?  Can I not be "Insta Mom" with the perfectly clean house and the perfectly filtered pictures of all my perfectly bathed kids sitting pretty and smiling and tell you real quick how I'm really doing?
I'm four weeks post childbirth and I'm sleep deprived and emotionally exhau…

Forgotten, Abandoned, Invisible

Two friends.

Two different sets of circumstances.
Two completely different lifestyles.
One common denominator: they feel forgotten, abandoned, invisible.  
Both of them need to know that God sees them and that they are not alone.  Both poured their hearts out to me this morning in complete agony and a sense of defeat.  Both need hope and need to know that this isn't the end of their story.
I sat down tonight to jump into day three of a new study I'm doing on Acts of the Apostles and God dropped a serious truth bomb on me.  One that I can't hold hostage.  One that needs to be shared with the my friends who desperately need hope, but I don't think it should stop there.  In fact, I know it shouldn't.  
So, I'm in chapter 2 of Acts, right after Jesus ascended into Heaven and the disciples prayed and prayed in the upper room until the Holy Spirit fell on all of them.  There was a mighty rushing wind, and a flame of fire fell on each of them and then they started sp…

Would You Drop Your Stone?

Can I talk to you for just a few minutes?  Can I tell you about the woman Jesus knelt for?

Most people would say this woman wasn't worthy of any admiration or the time He spent on her to show her she was important.  Some might say, "she made her bed and now she has to lay in it". 
Some may shake their pointer finger at her and tsk, tsk, tsk.  How could she cheat on her husband?  How could she commit adultery? "Shame on her."
Some may feel broken for her because they know how badly she will suffer now that she's been caught.
No matter the differing opinions, one thing is sure.  She was thrown in the road to be stoned to death by the "righteous" and all eyes were on her.
No one asked why she did it.  No one cared.  No one knew if her husband cheated first or cheated repeatedly.  No one knew if she was being physically abused.  No one knew if she'd been raped at a young age and was drastically damaged to the point that pure sexual desires just weren&#…

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…