Saturday, 27 August 2011


My Mom (on left) 2008 on the beach in Spain.
“Just be glad you can.”
Those were the words of my mom to me today…as I complained briefly about not wanting to do housework. 

She said them as she lay on her couch, pillow propped under her knees, another cushioning her feet.  She’s always been a small woman, but these days she’s smaller than she ever has been.  She is wearing cotton pajama bottoms, a t-shirt. Her face is lacking any makeup although one doesn’t really notice that.  As she lays there, propped up with pillows, there is a table next to her with her laptop, another with a bowl of fruit and a couple glasses, one with water and the other with juice.  At her far side, resting between her side and the back of the couch is a machine, with a tube, that is constantly pumping medications into her body, medications that are designed to keep her comfortable.

“Just be glad you can.”

As my mom spoke those words, her face grimaced with pain, as she fought against it and I could see a greater pain in her eyes than just that which her body was putting her through. And then I recalled my response to her “Yes, I know.  I remember well what it was like to lay in that hospital while I was pregnant with Isaac, unable to clean or cook or do laundry for myself. It was a great day when I could finally wash my own laundry.”

And I realized that what I felt during those days is nothing like what my mom must be feeling as she says those words.  My mom is dying.  She won’t ever do any of those things again.

I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like.  As I have thought of my mom’s passing, I have thought of the many occasions she will not be a part of, the big moments in the lives of myself, my sister and my children.  I have thought of the many mundane moments we won’t have with her.  I’ve thought of how much we will miss her and her sense of humor, her jokes (even if they are sometimes really corny).  I’ve thought of how much I will miss being able to cry my heart out and to hear her say “It’s okay.  I love you and it’s going to be okay.”  Those things are all so incredibly hard for me to think about.

It never occurred to me how hard it must be for my mom. 

“Just be glad you can.”

There are days when I complain about having to get up and go to work.  There are days when I do everything I can to avoid having to do the laundry or housework that desperately needs to be done.  There are days when I am so tired that the last thing I want to do is get up in the middle of the night to attend to my child.

“Just be glad you can.”

There are moments when I am exhausted and don’t feel like I can give one more bit of myself to anyone else and a friend calls needing me to be a friend.  There are moments when the last thing I feel like doing is taking another step up that trail that doesn’t seem to want to end with my children at my side, even though the end of that trail, never explored by us before, could be just around the corner.  There are days when I complain that I can’t afford the big vacation to somewhere tropical.

“Just be glad you can.”

I find myself grateful for the dirt on my floor, dragged in by the cats, the dog and the kids, that I will vacuum up…not because I have to….but because I can.

Thank you, Mom, for reminding me of that.  And thank you for the many words, the many lessons, the many moments you have given us through the years just because you could.  And even now doing as much as you can when you can…because you can.  I love you.

What things do you take for granted and wish you didn't have to do?  Which of those things, if you couldn't do them, would you miss doing?  How can you begin to apply the idea of doing everything all for the glory of God....a verse my mom has endeavored to live out every day for as long as I can remember?  In what ways does your perspective need to change?

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Undeserving Second Chances

When I saw the NEVERBEYOND poster for this week, I cringed and not because I have anything against Mike Tyson…I don’t.  Despite all his wrong-doings and bad decisions, I don’t hold anything against him.  He has shown in recent years that he is a different person and I have no reason to think the changes aren’t sincere and true. I am cringing though…because even as I type this, I am realizing that I am basing my grace & forgiveness of Tyson on his behaviour in recent years rather than simply giving it. That’s not grace or forgiveness.  We don’t give it because it’s deserved…it is NEVER deserved!  We give it because we have received the same from the ONLY perfect person able to truly give such a gift.  We’ve been offered it and we’ve accepted it and in turn we are told to give it…unearned, unasked for, undeserving, freely and without strings.
But that’s not the only reason I have been gritting my teeth and cringing at this one.  It’s for far more personal reasons.  It’s easy to forgive Mike Tyson and not hold his past against him because he’s done his time, he’s made his apologies,  he’s owned up to his wrong-doings and has in many ways suffered the consequences of them.  He’s paid his debt and it’s easy to let him off with that knowledge in mind.  But what about those who haven’t?
I have a personal connection with rape and domestic abuse.  I was 15 when I was raped by a boy/man who I thought cared for me.  He denied it…even moments after it happened.  In fact, he bragged to all his friends how he had “scored” with me, letting it be known that I had given it up willingly and easily.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Every time he told the story, every time someone ridiculed and shunned me as a result, I experienced the rape over again. My response to that at the time was to walk away with my head down, shoulders bowed under the weight of what I now thought to be true about myself- that I didn’t matter enough to be respected when I said no…nor did I matter enough for someone to stand up in defense of me.  As you can imagine, that experience coloured much of my experience in the years following….it influenced my choices and my views of love and sex.  And because I didn’t deal with that for so many years, it affected my ability to make wise choices in terms of future boyfriends and eventually my life partner.
Long before I began to work through and deal with the hurts of my youth, I met and married my, now, ex-husband.  It was a dating relationship in which I dominated.  He was “all about me”….showering me with gifts, special trips, allowing me to have my way whenever a disagreement or difference in opinion came up.  I thought nothing of it…and that, combined with the fact that he talked a really good game, had me certain I was in love.  We never talked about the important stuff (kids, life goals, our faith…we both grew up in the church, were both missionary kids, of course we both believed the same things).  We never discussed how we would handle conflict, money or parenting strategies, nothing.  Almost immediately after we were married the control and abuse began and for 8 years I lived in an environment of uncertainty, anger, mistreatment and disrespect.
Now one cannot live in an abusive environment without, at some point, exhibiting some of the same behaviours.  I would be remiss to say that I was completely innocent of all wrong-doing in my marriage. However, the truth remains that I lived for 8 years in a home where I felt unsafe; where fights weren’t just arguments but almost always involved physical abuse or the threat of it; where no didn’t mean no…it meant torment until it was a yes.
In both of those instances the person involved has never accepted responsibility for their actions.  They have never apologized.  They haven’t done their time or paid their debt.  They have simply gone on with life…in one instance totally hating me for having left and the other completely convinced that they did indeed “score”.
I have had to fight through and come to terms with what has happened.  I have had to forgive both of these men despite the fact that, in the world's eyes, they really don't deserve it.  I have forgiven them even though I have every right to hate them, to wish them dead. 
But you know what? It’s one thing to say you forgive someone and have let go of the past and that you don’t hold those things against them any longer even if they haven’t asked you.  When you imagine them standing in front of you confessing their wrong-doings and taking responsibility for their actions, asking for forgiveness, it's suddenly not so easy.  When I replace the picture of Mike Tyson and put that of the guy from high school or that of my ex-husband…suddenly it’s a very different thing altogether….and I cringe. Because the truth is….I don’t know if I could, without hesitation or a struggle, tell either of these men that I forgive them if they stood in front of me. There are days when the reality of what has happened comes rushing back and I want to see them suffer and forgiveness is the last thing I want to give them because they haven’t changed.  That is where the beauty and total incredibleness of the grace and forgiveness God extends to us through His Son Jesus blows my mind.  HE HAS DONE THAT….HE has forgiven even the worst of us without needing to see that we have changed first.  In fact, the changes most often start to happen AFTER we have accepted the gift He offers.  And because of that, NO ONE IS BEYOND GRACE AND FORGIVENESS.  It is because He has done that for me that I am able to extend grace and forgiveness, even in those hard moments when the memories flood my mind.*
I hope one day I have the opportunity to stand in front of both of these men and say the words “I forgive you” and I hope that one day they are able to accept the gift of grace that we have all been given.  I hope that even today they are beginning to grasp the reality of what has been done for them on the cross and that they can begin to live out new lives characterized by that grace.  I hope and pray that they have the chance to make things right in their lives before it’s too late.  Because despite the things they have done that have caused me pain, I don’t want to imagine Heaven without them there. Because Heaven is home to those given second chances.
 “Everyone needs compassion…a love that’s never failing…. Everyone needs forgiveness…the kindness of a Saviour…the hope of nations…” (Mighty to Save – Hillsong Live)
 We are all NEVER BEYOND….

*Please, if you are in a relationship where there is abuse happening, TELL SOMEONE.  Seek help.  Get out and get safe.  BREAK THE CYCLE.  If you aren’t sure how to do that, or who to talk to, talk to me.  Send me a message.  Check out my “wanna get in touch?” page to see how.
This post is part of the blog series “Never Beyond.People of the Second Chance has launched the Never Beyond Poster Series: 25 posters representing well known historical, current and fictional characters who are believed to have harmed society. This campaign consists of digital and print posters and the full collection will eventually be displayed as a touring art exhibit. The campaign draws out themes of forgiveness, grace and what a pathway to a second chance looks like.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

No More Made Up Parts

“God dwells within me, as me” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love

I watched this movie tonight and while there were many quotable lines within it, this one leaped out at me. I remember it from reading the book…I think I might have even underlined it.
I can’t say I totally agree with what she is saying here however I do believe there is some truth to it àGod created me to be me and no one else. The world has ideas as to who I should be and what I should do but all I need to do is what God has made me to do. All I need to be is who He designed me to be. That’s it.
So who is the woman living in my home? Is she an actress simply playing a part, a part that is not really her? Or is she exactly who she is meant to be? Is she herself, living the part she is meant to live?
I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. I think, quite possibly, that I am a bit of both…A woman who, for much of my life, has lived as the person I thought that I was supposed to be, that I thought I was expected to be based on the ideas and desires of others. And yet, through those years there has always been a part of me that has fought against those things, those ideas.
“’I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord.”(Jeremiah 29:11)
“All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:16)
These are just two of numerous verses found in the Bible that talk about how God knows me, all of me, knew me before I even existed, and has a plan for me. It’s not random. He’s created me to be who I am, with the personality, skills, talents, gifts, quirks and craziness that make up who I am. He’s made me exactly who I am supposed to be. The trick is taking the time, making the effort, SLOWING DOWN MY LIFE long enough to let Him show me who that is, to actually see who that is, and then to accept and live in that.
I’m not very good at slowing down, at giving myself room to breathe, to really be quiet and just listen. I’m quite miserable at it actually. But I am realizing that I need to get better at it. I don’t know if I will ever see all the parts of the whole that He desires me to be but I do know that as I take the time to listen and to just be I will see far more of them than I can even imagine possible right now. I am loving all that I see now, with a few exceptions (like that darn muffin top that I can’t seem to get rid of….and maybe don’t really care about anymore), and am excited to see more. I am excited to see exactly what the purposes and plans are that He has for me. I take comfort in knowing that I don’t have to be anyone I am not and while some may not always like who I am, it only matters that I am who God wants me to be and He’ll take care of the rest.
I am learning to live this life real, as me, no more made up parts.
How about you? Are you living as the person God has created you to be or are you playing a part? Are you stuck in a role you never chose for yourself because of circumstance or choices? If you’re playing a part that isn’t fitting, ask God for a new script, one written by Him. And if you are stuck, take comfort in the knowledge that while you may not be able to change your circumstances, you can, with His help, change who you are in them. All you have to do is want to be who God wants you to be, look to him to show you who that person is and then live what he shows you. But be ready…it’s going to be one hell of a ride!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Copy & Paste...Join the Boycott!

“Dear Little Caylee, Tonight on ET [Entertainment Tonight] they mentioned that your mommy is gonna make lots of money off a book (her story) and a movie. Caylee, we the public promise you "WE" will not buy either one. If you promise CAYLEE, then Copy and Paste it......I did!! Lets boycott this so she won't make a dime. Re-post if you will join.”

I saw this tonight on Facebook.

This is what I really want to say in response:

“God help you if you ever find yourself in a position when everyone has decided you’ve done something unforgiveable and decides you should be punished for life for it. Have you forgotten that we are ALL sinners, we are ALL undeserving of the grace and forgiveness we have received?  Have you forgotten that without it, you are no better than she? What part of this boycott declaration is in keeping with what the Bible teaches about judgement?  Where in the Bible does it say we should only extend grace and forgiveness and second chances to the innocent?  Didn’t Jesus, as he was dying on that cross, declare the thief hanging next to him to be free of his sins?

EVERYONE is deserving of a second chance, even those you don’t think deserve one, including Casey Anthony. 

Is it any wonder the world wants nothing to do with the church when the very people who have experienced grace and forgiveness are often the last ones to give it??  WHEN will we stop judging and playing the role of God and start really being Jesus in this world?  If we say we want to be more like Him, why aren’t we?  Yes there are consequences to our actions and when we do wrong, when we sin and hurt others, we have to be held accountable.  But there is a big difference between accountability and judgement.  When will we allow God to do the judging while we do the loving?

When will we as a community start living lives that declare NEVER BEYOND to the world, when will we really be different?  When will we reach out to the lost and broken and unworthy and show them mercy and hope and love? When will I?”

That is what I wanted to say in response to that Facebook status.  But I didn’t.  Instead I said nothing…but I don’t know if that’s the right response either.

What about you?  What would be, or will be, your response if you see someone you are friends with post that as their status?  What do you think that tells the world about your faith if you were to post the same thing?  How does it make you feel when you read it?

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Who Could You Give A Second Chance?

I’ve been thinking about this question for the last couple of days, trying to come up with a person or a group of people I have struggled to forgive but whom, like everyone else, is in need of grace and forgiveness.  I’ve had a few names float in and out of my mind, some people who have hurt me personally and others who have either hurt a group of people or have done things absolutely horrific and unimaginable.  People like Casey Anthony.  But there has been one person that has consistently stayed in my mind as I’ve pondered this.  I am certain if you asked Casey Anthony this question her answer would likely be the same as my own….who is someone I can give a second chance to?
You might be surprised to hear that my answer is me.  I am someone that I have to choose to give a second chance to just as I have to choose to give Casey a second chance.  The only difference between us is that my life and choices haven’t been plastered all over the media, haven’t been witnessed to in a courtroom, haven’t been examined and talked about by millions of people and yet….

For many years I have struggled to forgive myself for the things I have done, the mistakes I have made, and the lives I have likely helped mess up.  I struggled to accept that grace, forgiveness and redemption were things that applied to me. I was beyond those things.  I didn’t deserve them nor could I earn them and therefore they were ideas that applied to others but never to someone like me who over and over screwed up in big ways.  “Never beyond” was a concept that I could not grasp when looking at myself.  

I am a woman who has had more than one “slutty phase”.  I am a woman who was unfaithful to her husband.  I am a woman who allowed hatred and abuse to infiltrate my home and who allowed my children to live in that environment for years.  I am a woman who spent her way into almost unrecoverable debt.  I am a woman who yelled at her children just for existing, for requiring more of me than I could give them, for the bulk of their lives (they are now 11 & 9, the yelling ended about 2 years ago).  I am a woman who has stated belief in certain ideas and morals only to turn around and act completely opposite to those.  I am a woman who has wallowed in self-hate and self-doubt.

I am a woman for whom NEVER BEYOND is my reality.  I will never be beyond the reach of the One who knew I was going to do all those things long before I was born. He knew I was going to need grace and forgiveness and set about making sure it was ready and available to me by dying on the cross and taking all of those horrible things I have done on Himself, wiping the slate clean before it was even written on.  It has always been much easier for me to extend grace and forgiveness to those who have hurt me, who have hurt others, but never has it been easy to accept it for myself.  Yet GOD, who is absolutely perfect, HE extends it to me.  If He can look at me and see these things and if HE can consider me never beyond His reach, His grace, His forgiveness, how can I not forgive myself?

Who have I given a second chance?  Myself.  I have given myself the opportunity to write a different story, a different ending, by accepting forgiveness and grace for myself from the author of grace, God.  And I am a vastly different woman now.  I am now a woman who is waiting for marriage, who has become picky about who gets to have her heart.  I am now a woman who intends to do whatever it takes to remain faithful to the man I may someday marry, no matter what life brings our way.  I am now a woman who has taken a stand against abuse and hatred and is building a home in which love reigns supreme, where God is central.  I am now a woman who is climbing out of debt and is regaining control of her finances.  I am now a woman who is talking with her kids, who is enjoying them and loving them, who misses them and looks forward to being with them.  I am now a woman who stands firm in her beliefs and convictions and moral ideals and when moments of weakness come, when I feel myself wavering, I know where to turn for help.  I am a woman who no longer wallows.

God is taking my life and writing a different story than the one that has come before now.  He's writing a story of redemption, forgiveness, grace and hope.  God is writing a story with my life that declares there is no such thing as beyond, that no matter how awful your life has been, how horrible the consequences of your choices have been in your own life or the lives of others, YOU ARE NEVER BEYOND GRACE.  YOU ARE NEVER BEYOND FORGIVENESS. YOU ARE NEVER BEYOND A SECOND CHANCE.  And the freedom that comes when you accept that is beyond words.  Before you will ever be able to truly see others as being never beyond, you must first see yourself that way…because no matter who we look at we will always be able to see a part of ourselves in them.  And if we are seeing ourselves as being beyond grace and second chances we will never be able to extend such to others.  

So who could YOU give a second chance to? 

There are others who are writing similar stories to my own. Check them out.  Go to PEOPLE OF THE SECOND CHANCE and see for yourself just how awesome God’s grace and forgiveness is.  And to learn more about the NEVER BEYOND campaign, check out this post:  NEVER BEYOND POSTER SERIES. 

Sunday, 14 August 2011

A Mom's Heart

I dropped my oldest child off at camp this afternoon.  A pretty normal thing for a mom to do in the summer and not an experience I am unfamiliar with.  But today it was hard.

This year she didn't want to go to camp and I was a mean mom and made her go anyway.  It's good for her.  She just didn't want to go because she's 11 and moody and it's a camp that's new to her.  She was going if I had to drag her there kicking and screaming.

So why was it so hard for me to drive away today?

I think there are a few reasons not the least of which is that we have grown really close this summer and I have seen huge changes in her that thrill my heart to pieces...and I have a feeling she's going to be still more changed when she comes back from camp.  I love the young woman she's becoming but I sure do miss my baby girl...and every day is another day farther from the baby and closer to teh grown woman. 

Another reason is she's at the age now where what others think of you is really starting to matter.  She's gorgeous, inside and out.  She's smart and funny and talented and athletic and just completely wonderful and I can't help but be a little worried that others won't see what I see...that SHE won't see what I see.  Being the age that she is it's easy for feelings to be hurt, misunderstandings to occur, and I am feeling a little worried that someone will do just that while she is away and I am not there to comfort her broken heart. 

And was hard for me to drive away from camp with just her brother in the car because honestly, I am a little afraid he's going to drive me completely insane this week.  No lie.  The kid talks and talks and talks....about all kinds of things that I really am not all that interested in or that involve so many details (and questions) I just can't keep it all straight in my head!  I love him, he's my baby, but he has a the capability of driving me completely mental.  And I am kinda afraid he's going to burn down the house while he's home on his own and I am at work! 

In all seriousness though, it's going to be a strange week with just her brother and I.  I miss my girl big time.  We had a great week together last week when her brother was at camp.  I know it's going to be a great week with him while she's away.  It's just a bit strange. 

I am thrilled that my kids have the chance to attend camp each summer.  It's only because of the generosity of others that they get this opportunity as I couldn't afford it on my own.  It's such a blessing.  My prayer is that, while my daughter is at camp this year, she'll not only make friends with some really great girls, friendships that carry forward into the coming years, but that she'll encounter God like she never has before and that she'll come home with a new sense of her worth and the confidence that comes from knowing she matters to Him.  While she is gone, this mother's heart is going to be praying hard for her....knowing that this summer could change everything for her.

As a parent, have you ever had a moment in your child's life that you felt was pivotal in shaping how the coming days went?  Ever taken your kid to camp?  How did you feel, how did you deal with those feelings and what came out of it?

Saturday, 13 August 2011

And Who Are You?

I once wandered into a room full of people I didn’t really know and someone looked up and casually, innocently, asked “And who are you?”  I answered with the expected answer, my name, and the conversation went from there, innocent, easy and completely without agenda. 

That question, though, has stuck with me.  For years I have wondered who I was in terms of where I fit, in the church and then the world around me.  The things that I was passionate about didn’t seem to jive with what I was taught, mostly by the examples set before me, were acceptable.  The people I found myself surrounded with weren’t the ones that were the preferred company for a girl, a woman, in the church to be spending her time with.  The things I said, the things I did, were all outside the acceptable conventional norms for a Christian woman.

According to the unspoken teachings of the church, I AM A FAILURE.

I have never been a “good Christian woman”.  I am not overly domestic despite the fact I love my children with all my heart. I am (I can admit this now!) a horrible housekeeper even though I can organize the crap out of everything.  I try to save, and do have a little savings happening, but I am only now getting better at not spending more than I make in a month.  I have debts and at times it feels like I am up to my eyeballs in them even though I know that’s not true….and I am paying them off, slowly. I hate wearing long skirts, haha! I will never homeschool my children, at least not the two I have now!  I don’t attend women’s Bible studies or brunches.  I don’t garden.  I wear 5” heels and look damn good when I do.   I swear.  I drink.  I dance. I have a tattoo and am getting more.  I have piercings and am getting more.  I have dear close friends who aren’t Christians.  I don’t make meals for those in crisis or who just had babies.  I don’t volunteer to teach Sunday school.  I am divorced.  I go to bars and pubs and enjoy spending time with people there.  I am outspoken, strongly opinionated and blunt.  I read Proverbs 31 and think “That woman was on speed!” because there is no way she could have done all of those things and still slept and secretly hate her for being so impossible to measure up to.

Satan would certainly like me to believe that I am.  After all, he is a total asshole who wants nothing more than to destroy those who are passionately and madly in love with Jesus.  Which I am, even if I don’t get up an hour before I really need to in order to spend those first quiet moments of the day with him….although maybe I should…but that’s a post for another day.

I love my children with all my heart and work hard to provide for their needs, making sure they have all that they need and some of what they want.  I love my family and my friends and while I am not always very good at expressing that love, because the deep emotion that I feel when it comes to them just makes me want to cry and I hate that, but I am working on it.  I love children, all children, and while I may not enjoy teaching in a classroom, I love spending time with the children of my friends, loving them, teaching them in the context of relationship through action and words whatever they need to know.  I love talking to people, hearing their stories, being their friend and supporting them however I can….even though they may live in ways I don’t choose to live in or agree with at all.  I have a tattoo that starts conversations, that is part of my testimony.  My non-church friends think I am the coolest religious chick they know because I accept them just as they are. I have piercings because I think they are cool. I drink beer and wine because I hate pop and most juice. I dance because music is part of my soul and I can’t stand still.   I am divorced because I chose to take a stand against abuse and end the cycle of that.  I see the hurting and the broken in the world around me and my heart breaks for those who are breaking.  I have a passion to see people who are living in bondage and with the horrors of all types of abuse step out of that, find freedom and healing and hope, no matter who they are in that picture, abused or abuser.  I want to see more lives changed because they have experienced God’s grace, mercy, love, and acceptance while still being held accountable for their wrong-doings.  I long to see people rescued from a life of addiction before it ever gets to that point. I love to have people in my home as part of our lives, not as guests to be entertained but as family. I am transparent and honest and bold.  I am forgiven.  

So I may not be quite what others think I should be but I am who God made me to be.  He’s given me this heart of mine, these passions of mine.  He’s crafted my interests, skills and gifts just the way he wants them to be.  He wrote the song that is sung in my heart.  I don’t need to be anyone’s idea of what the ideal Christian woman is.  In the eyes of Jesus, I AM EXACTLY WHO HE HAS DESIGNED ME TO BE, therefore in his eyes….


WHAT ABOUT YOU?  Do you struggle with feeling like you don’t quite measure up to the expectations of people?  Do you wonder at times (or maybe all the time) where you fit in the world of church that we have created for ourselves?  What has God taught you or shown you as you have wrestled with these things?

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Brace Face

I am a bad mom.  Really I am.  My daughter got braces today (the top ones...bottom ones go on next month) and I just think she looks so cute with little Brace Face.  And there is where I am a bad mom.  I am, in my head, calling my daughter a name that is a horrid teasing thing that kids say to other kids.  I really don't mean it that way at all.  It's said with love....and with none of the malice that kids might say it with.

So far I haven't actually said it out loud....but I keep thinking it and I am a little afraid it's going to come out of my mouth and it is NOT going to be pretty when it does.  I really am a horrid parent....I need to find a new nickname for my little brace face...damn it!!  I just said it again....

In all seriousness though, I can't believe we are at the stage when braces are being applied, daily showers are becoming necessary and leg shaving is just around the corner.  I knew when I had her this day would come but I just didn't think it would come so damn fast.  I am feeling rather frightened and overwhelmed by what is to come...Have I prepared her well enough?  Have I taught her what she needs to know?  Have I instilled a healthy respect and love for herself in her?  Will she make good choices????

Braces.  This all started with braces.  I really don't think I am ready for this at all.....

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Satan is......

NOTE:  I wrote this a few days ago after a conversation with a friend about how Satan often tricks us with his lies, his deceit….which made me say “Damn Satan sure is an asshole”.  We chuckled…but it got me thinking about how that’s really true…and how so many people we encounter today resemble him…I hesitated to post this because I was worried what others might think…which I realized today was exactly what Satan wanted me to do…hesitate, worry about that and not post it.  So here it is.


Satan is an asshole.

Yes, you read that right. I said it. I really did.


I said this recently in conversation with someone who was talking about how they had come to believe some stuff that was CLEARLY not true about themselves and about God. I listened to what they said and then blurted it out "Satan is an asshole". I had no other response for them except that.

And it's true.

In fact, he's the ultimate asshole. He's the father of all of them. Think about it.  Do you recognize anyone in the statements below?

Satan tells us lies.  He tells us things about ourselves, about God, about others around us that just aren’t true.  That we suck or that God doesn’t exist or that people hate us.  All lies.

Satan likes to manipulate and trick us into doing things that aren't good for us. The list here is endless…sex, money, drugs/booze, trophies, you name it.  All geared towards us feeling happy but often are things that aren’t good for us physically or emotionally/spiritually. 

Satan steals things from us - joy, innocence, peace, life (to name a few).  He really doesn’t want to see us enjoy the lives we have…he wants to see us miserable and unhappy and discontent and horrid.  And so he uses the lies and the manipulations to steal good things from us. 

Satan rejoices when bad stuff happens to people.  When someone gets cancer, he’s saying “serves them right”.  When someone loses their job, he’s saying “haha sucker!”  When someone’s marriage falls apart, he’s saying “hehehe….I KNEW it wouldn’t last!!”  You name it…he’s rejoicing…because he loves the bad stuff.

But there is a HUGE HUGE HUGE difference between Satan and the people that look quite a bit like him here on this earth (by the way…that’s all of us at some point or another whether we want to admit it or not)…

THERE IS HOPE FOR ASSHOLES….at least the ones here on earth, still living, still walking around in their worlds doling out pain and heartache on those around them.  Yes.  THERE IS HOPE.  See, we humans weren’t always that way…we really weren’t.  Once upon a time two humans, Adam and Eve, walked in this beautiful garden with God, in face-to-face relationship with him.  Pretty crazy, eh?  And life was good.  It was so good they didn’t ever have to do laundry.   Seriously.  They just walked around naked.  And totally okay with it.  No shame whatsoever. Nothing to hide. I gotta say that sounds pretty heavenly – not having to do laundry I mean.  But I digress!!

Back to the story….

Yea so that was all before that ASSHOLE snake Satan showed up on the scene.  And made Eve an offer she apparently couldn’t refuse.  And of course, Adam couldn’t resist those big eyes of Eve’s and joined her in the offer.  And that’s when humans became assholes…in fact it was in that moment when the first finger pointing happened…and God said “I really wish you hadn’t done that…because now you’ve disobeyed my request and our relationship here on earth can never be the same again.” And everything changed….

BUT JESUS CAME TO EARTH AND DIED ON A CROSS AND TOTALLY KICKED SATAN’S FIRE-Y ASS TO HELL AND BACK AGAIN A FEW TIMES OVER.  Really.  Seriously.  He did that.  FOR US.  So we wouldn’t have to be jackasses all our lives.  HOW AWESOME IS THAT?  It was a gift…called ETERNAL LIFE rather than DEATH and it’s ours for the accepting.  EVEN THOUGH WE DIDN’T and still don’t DESERVE IT AT ALL!!!!

Best part?  SATAN DOESN’T GET THAT GIFT!!  It’s not for him.  IT IS ONLY FOR US.  So yes.  Satan is an asshole of great proportions but GOD IS SO MUCH BIGGER.  And because of His Grace we can be different than him…IF WE CHOOSE to accept the gift and once again, as I describe it to my kids, become friends with Jesus. 

I think THAT is pretty damn cool.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

My Lunch and How It Reflects Life

Today I have a KICK ASS lunch.  Seriously.  It's picture worthy...and I have taken one and will upload as soon as I get home from work and can do so.  Anyway, like I said, it's pretty incredible.  Here's what's in it:

Banana (ate that)
Cheese Ritz crackers (ate some)
Cheese (Salami and cheese for inside the tortillas)
Yogurt drink
Oatmeal (that was to be eaten with the banana for breakfast...I didn't eat it yet)
Apple Sauce
Strawberries with chocolate yogurt dip
Carrots (ate some of those)
Fruit leather
Peanut butter sandwich cookies (crunchy cookies with peanut butter between...kinda like an Oreo)

I think that's it.  Oh!  Chocolate milk and a coffee (I mention those because I drank those). 

See.  KICK ASS.  It's literally a cooler full - you know, one of those smaller, individual coolers...not the lunchbag sized ones, bigger than that. 

You would think, after packing that all in and looking forward to it all day, when lunch time came I'd be STARVING for it.


I am totally NOT hungry.  What blows my mind about that is had I NOT brought this lunch today, I would have been sitting here with the shakes I'd be so hungry before 10:00!!  Instead I look at it and yes, it does all look very yummy, but I am really not hungry (I am eating carrots right now because I know I should eat them, and they are mostly water, right?!).  It's so weird.

I have "Want what I don't/can't have; Don't want what I do have" syndrome.

Kinda happens in life too.  Don't you find?
What things do you find yourself struggling with this issue on?  How can others help you to remember the good things you do have?