I'm sorry if you know me and I am not as outspoken about my faith as I am here on my blog. I am cowardly / prideful / I hate to make people feel awkward. I think about my friends and acquaintances' spiritual well being a lot. I just don't know the difference between pleading for your soul versus intruding in on your comfort.
There is a spiritual decision that everyone must make. I believe that. I just am afraid to present it. So I blog about it. Passive sharing of my faith. Come read my blog! *sigh*
Forgive me Father.

I've fallen and I can't get up! (I'm in a Target dressing room.)

So, my panic attacks. To catch you up, I had about 4 more immediately following after getting on some meds. They weren't nearly as bad, but definitely scary. Woo Hoo for medicine!
Although this 'weakness/ flaw/ illness' is fairly embarrassing for me, I have openly shared with people what's been going on. You would not believe how many people have shared with me their own struggles with anxiety, depression, post pardom depression, and post traumatic stress syndrome! Satan thrives on secret keeping because it isolates us from others. In that isolation he is better able to feed us lies. In isolation we are weak, vulnerable, like a lamb separated from the flock. 1 John i:5 says, "God is light. In Him there is no darkness at all." The Bible also says that two are better then one. If one falls down, his friend can help him up.
TELL somebody. Find somebody you can trust.
While many people have had bad church experiences, the truth is that there is no such thing as a perfect church, but some are better then others. Join a small group or Bible study. You can find a group of believers who are trustworthy and honest, and loving. I know. I have some friends such as these. Former alcoholics, gambling addicts, pornography addicts, self- worshiping addicts (me); the prideful (again, me) the stubborn, the mean hearted, the abused, those who've had affairs, the broken are all people I know. And I love them. They are my friends. And we are loved by the King who forgives and can change ANYONE. I want to be healed and saved from the tyranny of myself.

Isaiah 61 (condensed. Spoken by the prophet Isaiah, sent to write these words down for us to read in 2009)

He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted,
proclaim freedom for the captives,
and release from darkness for the prisoners
to comfort those who mourn,
provide for those who grieve
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes
joy instead of mourning,
a garment of praise instead of despair.

This is the God I worship.
He is so powerful.
And good.

I hear voices

Do you ever hear voices in your head? Like, sometimes, if I just messed up bad or did something stupid, or have a decision to make, or even if I am getting dressed and think I look bad, I hear a voice in my head judging me, tearing me down. But the weird thing is that the voice, usually is the voice of a real person I know. Like, a relative I feel is judgmental of me, or a friend who has made fun of me, or someone who just seems perfect and must think I am just a complete mess. It's their voice. Isn't that weird? A lot of times the comments follow me around in my sub-conscience before I am even aware of it.

There is a lot of competition in my heart for my heart. My voice, others' voices, real and perceived. And God's voice. His is the only persistent voice, constant, like my very heart beat, for in Him I live and move and have my being. (Acts 17:28).

Maybe we die not because our heart stops beating, but because God's voice has gone out of us. Maybe we die because he wants us home, or maybe, because we have said, "No" to him so many times that he finally says, "Okay." and it's over. The pursuit is over.

This is good news. This is very good news. It means that if you can still hear your heart beating in your chest, you can still hear God. And therefore, he is still pursing you, believe it or not. Today if only you would hear his voice, do not harden your heart....

"Suppose a shepherd has 100 sheep and looses one of them. Does he not leave the 99 in the open country and go after that lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home." Luke 15:4

You are not as lost as you might think.


I will boast...

Be careful what you wish for. Or pray for.

There is no stench more putrid in my nostrils then the aroma that an arrogant person brings into the room. I am terrified of being arrogant. I pray for humility. But I am terrified of humility too. Ironically, just last week I read something Mother Teresa said: "To be humble, one must receive humiliations." Umm, yuck?

I was humiliated on Saturday.

Not, "Oh, I'm so embarrassed!" Or, "How awkward!" But humiliated. To myself. And that is the worst person to be humiliated in front of.

I had a massive anxiety attack. As in, I was at Target, shopping, and I felt kind of dizzy for a second and then felt dizzy again a moment later and then I started panicking. I was alone. Without my girls- THANK GOD. I have epilepsy (I'm not sure if I have mentioned that in this blog before) but have only had one 'real' seizure four years ago. Since then I have been very fearful of having another seizure. But on Saturday, the fear knocked me off my feet and flattened me. Dan had to come get me and literally walk me out of the store and drive me home. I couldn't stop it, I couldn't reason with myself, I couldn't even pick up my feet to walk. As I sat in that dressing room, waiting for Dan to show up, all I could do was lift my chin to heaven and think, "Help help help help help stop this dear God!" And as much as I was freaking out, I could think very clearly and found myself thinking things like, "Am I ever going to be able to go anywhere alone again? Am I going to be able to take my girls shopping, or to the pool or to play group?!!!! Whenever I want to leave the house during the day am I going to have to have someone with me? Who is going to be able to take me and two little girls in car seats anywhere? Are my little girls going to be stuck at home constantly because their mother is a drooling invalid?!!!!" But weaved throughout these dreadful thoughts were these other thoughts, images of the mother I could be, of the two roads I could choose: a bitter, fearful, withdrawn mother in a dark house telling her children to be quiet because she doesn't feel well, or, a mother who is wonderful, fun, an amazing blessing to her children, using her so called limitations to focus on her home and all those who live and enter into it. And those images, I don't believe, came from my own mind. I think God showed them to me.
I think this is not the end of my anxiety. I don't think this was a one time event. I have been ignoring my anxiety for a long time and it had to erupt at some point. I know I am going to have to take care of it. I am looking at this as the next leg in my journey, as opposed to just a bump in the road.
This is also going to sound weird, but I feel purpose in this. I think there is nothing more comforting then to have someone take your hand, look you in the eye and say, "I have been though this too." If you've never had anything bad happen to you, you can't relate to people in pain, or who are afraid, or needy.
I was already needy, now I am even more needy.
It is a mark just under my skin. I am less able to afford the luxury of waking up and thinking myself strong. It's what we all fear- but being broken is such such such a wonderful place to be.

Paul, from the Bible, is thought to have epilepsy also, and he said this:
"Therefore, in order to keep me from being concieted, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messanger from satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it from me. But he said to me, "My grace is enough for you, for my power is shown perfectly in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

I think God has set me up in this situation, knowing my personality and strength of character, to best cause me and give me opportunity to seek him and serve him and love him. And apparently that involves making sure I don't think I am awesome. The Bible says "all of the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be" and that God marked out the dates and place of our lives so that we would "seek him and perhaps reach out for him and FIND him, though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being." I love God.

Do you have a 'messenger from satan?'
Have you ever been humiliated in front of yourself, even if no one else saw?
Ever been stuck in a Target store dressing room? lol

Peace. I feel peace.
A friend recently told me they heard a sermon that included a 5 minute video on child sex slaves. The video went into uncomfortable detail and everyone watching was sickened. After the video, the speaker turned to the people and said something to the effect of, 'As angry and disgusted as you feel right now towards the people who sell these little girls out and those who pay for their services, this is how God feels about ALL sin.'
You know what that means? It means that that perfect little neighbor of yours, that perfect sibling, that perfect 'Mr. Christian' that you know, in their sin, is as disgusting to God as the worst pedophile. No one is better then you. But there is no one worse then you either.
It took the death and sacrifice of God himself to pay what we could not- our sin. Every lie, every theft, every sexual sin, every act of hate, every tiny, unseen sin had to be accounted for because God wants nothing but the best for us and the best for us is to be with him. And He can not be in the presence of sin. Any sin. Because every sin is disgusting.
On a similar note, nothing good we do can nullify a bad thing we have done. It doesn't work that way. Just like if we cheated on our spouse and then made them breakfast the next morning. The deed is done. It had consequences. It hurt somebody, even if that somebody was God alone.
There were a lot of 'religious people in Jesus' day. They gave large sums of money to the church, they memorized and quoted scripture, etc. But there was only one person to whom Jesus said, "TODAY you will be with me in paradise." Do you know who that was? It was one of the criminals hanging next to him on the cross. This man was dying. He would never give a cent to the church or the poor. He would never teach Sunday School. He would never be a missionary or even attend a church service.
But he believed.
How beautifully simple.
How fearfully difficult.
You don't have to pre-qualify for God's forgiveness. You couldn't even if you tried.
Going to church doesn't give you 'heaven points' or something.
God doesn't sit well with goody two shoes.
He wants your heart. Not your Girl Scout badges.

"If the greatest sinner on earth should repent at the moment of death, and draw his last breath in an act of love, neither the many graces he has abused, nor the many sins he has committed would stand in his way. Our Lord would receive him into His mercy." -Saint Therese of Lisieux
As the deer pants for streams of water
so my soul thirsts for you, God.
My soul thirsts for God, the living God.

When can I go and meet God?

Will I ever make it?

My tears have been my food day and night,
while people pester me all day long,
"Where is this God of yours?"
I go over and over these things
emptying the pockets of my life.

I used to go to the house of God....

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
But. I will put my hope in God.
I will still praise him,
For he is my Savior.
He is my God.

My soul is so downcast within me,
therefore I will remember you
and everything I know of you.
Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls
all your waves and breakers
crash into me, over me.

God promises to love me by day
and sing songs over me through the night.

Sometimes I ask God, my rock solid God,
"Why did you let me down?
Why have you forgotten me?
Why am I walking around in my tears
harassed by my enemies?
My bones suffer mortal agony
as they taunt me
"Where is your God?"

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
I will put my hope in God,
I will still praise him,
He is my God.

Not my poem.
It's David's.

Think you're bad?
This guy had multiple wives. And, as if he wasn't getting enough sex, he had an affair with another man's wife. He got her pregnant. So he had her husband killed to cover it up. And that's just the start. David was a screw up. He let his loved ones down over and over again. He hurt people. He was a liar.

But David wrote songs. They were poems and prayers and accusations and confessions and praises and petitions and they were honest. They were his private thoughts for God. And God loved that. David was called "a man after God's own heart".
David struggled with,
and fought for,
his beautiful relationship with God.

(The above poem is from the Bible, Psalm 42. TNIV and The Message combo on my part.)
Your prayers are never wasted.
Never lost among the sea of others'
Never disintegrated in mid-air
Before they reach His ears.
Keep speaking.
Keep moving your lips in silence.
Know your words don't wait in line
Behind others more holy.
Each tearful syllable
Reaches His heart
And is held close.
Keep hoping.
Keep seeking that peace
That you were made for.


I am really annoyed and frustrated with people's zeal over their chosen candidate as if this man and/or woman is flawless and the 'chosen one' sent to save America from itself.
Thank God for checks and balances.
How do we choose between bad ideas and virtuous philosophies?
I will say that I support small, small, small government for these very reasons.


"(The devil) was a murderer from the beginning... there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44

Somebody offered us diamonds.
And they looked beautiful. They promised things like admiration from our peers and beauty and a good time and a way to forget our problems and excitement and love and power and I didn't realize the diamonds were saying those things to me, but they were. So I took them. And I'm pretty sure you took them too.
Why do we feel so judged/bored/angry/haunted/lonely?
And why does history keep repeating itself in our lives? Why do I keep dating jerks? Why do people keep letting me down? Why do I always end up drinking too much? Why haven't I met the love of my life yet? Why can't I loose the weight? Why do I constantly feel like I am being judged? Why can't I stand up for myself?

And why does shiny-happy church seem like such a ridiculous place to go for answers? I mean, really- aren't we doing fine on our own without having to get up early on Sunday mornings and put on khakis and jean skirts and then go awkwardly shake hands with people who don't really know anything about our real lives? And on top of it all have to sit through a sermon that is either tediously boring or invokes guilt and really wishing you had eaten more for breakfast?
And why, even when I am alone (or especially when I am alone), does it feel like there is something, something poking me? It's irritating. And it hurts.

We find God has a hold of our wrist, trying to pry open our clenched fist and we want nothing but to keep it shut.
But I have found, if I can remind myself to remember, I have found, that amazingly, when I have finally, reluctantly opened my cramped hand and turned my head away in shame, in that painful, exhausting place, there is Jesus. And He begins to pick the shards of glass our of my bloody palms. He wants to pull each sliver out, hold it up to the light and say, "See that right there? That's not a diamond. That is a lie. It is not true" and remove it. One by one, until all that is left are beautiful scars. Scars are like promises- there was once a wound there, but in the end, healing triumphed.
And I personally, believe that anything, ANYTHING can be healed by God's love and truth and care. It starts with fishing out the lie.

hello, blog reader. you scare me a little.

The more friends I get on facebook the more nervous I get about this blog. Why? I guess it is because I am friends with lots of different kinds of people: some ultra-conservative, some very liberal; people who went to a christian school, a christian college, now work for a christian company, and are only friends with 'church people', and those who have never stepped foot inside a church at all. People who are very deep, people who like to stick to happy, surface conversation and thought. Alcoholics and people who feel uncomfortable around beer at all. I think most people like to stick within their comfort zone, be it location or type of people they surround themselves with. But I'm just not like that. I just really like people. And I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I love the quote, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." by Philo of Alexandria. Our private battles can make us feel really alone. And I don't want to contribute to the alienation we all feel when it seems like everyone around us has perfect lives. So if I am going to do this, I am going to be real and I am going to be honest. I think people can sniff out a phony anyway. And phony is boring. Who wants to read that crap?
I will not lie to you. And I will try not to lie to myself. I think that is the biggest obstacle: we don't let ourselves think about the scary stuff, the stuff we don't have answers for. I want to pierce light into those dark corners of my heart. I want to cleanse out my festering wounds.
That is what makes my blog writing a little scary for me.

To close, I will quote Emily Dickinson:

This is my letter to the World
That never wrote to Me-
The simple news that Nature told-
With tender Majesty

Her message is committed
To Hands I cannot see-
For love of Her- Sweet countrymen-
Judge tenderly of Me