I wanna be like You, God.

“Are you ready to be less than a mere drop in the bucket–to be so totally insignificant that no one remembers you even if they think of those you served? Are you willing to give and be poured out until you are used up and exhausted–not seeking to be ministered to, but to minister?” ~~ Oswald Chambers

After I read the quote by Chambers, I had to find my place again.22d11c04ef15070fef921adfb58037e6

Even while writing this post, I’ve backspaced and deleted over and again (I totally just took out 5 solid paragraphs) because my flesh is looking for the right to lash out and justify my own feelings. Trying to find words to say what I want to say, but put a spin on it so that it looks pretty and not like an attack. But it isn’t pretty.  My heart is a little bit ugly right now. My flesh DOES want to lash out. And my Father just continues to remind me that I’m being “poured out until I’m used up and exhausted,” and that’s okay. It’s what He’s called me to do. He sees me and He’s trying to remind me that He is all that matters.

Hebrews 13:16 says, Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. It doesn’t say, do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God and to man and you will be shown much gratitude when you do it and that person or this person will call to tell you how much they appreciate everything you’ve done.

Giving is easy. We should always be looking for ways we can give to others, love others, show mercy to others, have grace with others, show kindness, etc… Yet, all of these things may never come with a thank you or a kind word and we need to be okay with that too. In fact, it could be met with a mean-spirit and gossip. And that’s when we cling to God tighter, “my flesh and heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart,” (Psalm 73:26).

This post shouldn’t be encouragement to be a doormat for people. I believe it’s very much all right to have boundaries with people, especially those who are not safe people. It should serve as a reminder, though, that it is always about Him and what He’s putting before us. Sometimes, in fact… usually, it means taking the lowly road. The most humble position and serving even if no one remembers. When it’s all about Him, the world might tell us we’re “totally insignificant,” but not to Him. Never to Him.

So, for today and forevermore, let’s hold open the door for people without an expectation of a “thank you” when they pass through. Throw a few dollars to someone who might need it. Return someone’s cart to the little cart house thingy bobber. Help a neighbor carry in groceries. Open your home to someone.  In Colossians 3:17, the Bible says, and whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

In the big scheme of things, we are serving people – sure – but we’re really serving Him. I want to be that person. All the time. Without stipulation, without expectation, and without a thought – it’s so natural that it’s just who I am. Many of us have that heart, I’ve seen it in action too many times. However, if any of you are a little bit like me, then maybe sometimes, you feel unappreciated or unnoticed. Take heart, my friend, the King of Kings notices you. And loves you, wildly.

 

Advertisements

Conquering the beast.

The comparison monster. I suppose at one time or another in our lives, we’ll deal with it. I’ve been pretty fortunate not to have a face-to-face run in with the thing for many, many years… maybe since high school.

And then I moved to Dallas. Suddenly, it’s all over me. Creeping over my shoulder when I least expect it. Hiding away near my bathroom mirror as I get ready in the morning. It sits in the passenger seat of my car and whispers its ugliness to me as I drive to my destination. It’s a hideous beast.

I’ve struggled, as I’m sure most of us have, with self-esteem and insecurities at different times in my life. But this beast is different. This isn’t just seeing my flaws in a larger than life manner. It’s seeing those flaws and then comparing them to all the women around me who are prettier, more fashionable, wealthier, more successful, being used by God in big ways, on and on… and on. And on.

It’s just—ew.

So, of course, as God does, He begins to prepare me and show me ways to conquer this beast. I hear Him. I see it in the Word, I hear it in the messages I listen to, and books that somehow land on my table. One of the foundations of something we do at my church is… Hear, Believe, Obey. God is making sure that I have the “hear” part down pat. The next two things are all on me.

While reading Love Idol” by Jennifer Dukes Lee over the last month, the eighth chapter called Preapproved, is pretty much all highlighted and scribbled upon. It’s like that chapter was written for me. Like Jennifer sat in her study and allowed God to use her solely for my benefit. She heard, believed, and obeyed. I’m thankful.

She opens the chapter with this verse: Psalm 37:6 (MSG) – He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon. Huh… He will validate my life. And stamp me with approval. Me? Well, yeah… that’s what He says! She goes on to say, “Eyes cannot look in two different directions,” so I have the choice to look at the comparison monster or to look at God’s word that He has stamped me with approval. When we know that God’s word is truth, we hear it. The next part is to believe it. A few pages later, Jennifer says, “…living like I actually believe what the Savior says. And He says He love me. It makes me feel weak-kneed and deliriously adored.” A couple paragraphs down she mentions how we need to constantly and consistently remind ourselves that “God delights in me.” We have to train ourselves to believe what God says about us is true. That’s when we can really begin to understand it.Screen-Shot-2015-02-27-at-10.07.05-AM

So then, how do we obey – now that we’ve heard and we’ve believed?

Just stop. Stop listening to the monster that ushers those ugly lies – because that’s all they are – into our heart places. Slowly replace those thoughts with the thoughts He has given us over and over again. In this chapter, Jennifer explains how God is a God of “Alreadys” and how we are already preapproved by Him, loved by Him, cherished by Him. We didn’t even have to do anything! In 1 John 3:1, she points out, “I am already His beloved child.” Already. “He is the God of Alreadys, inviting me to turn away from the voices that tell me I’m not enough. His words are an invitation to every unwanted child, every unrequited lover, and every person who has ever wanted to know he or she matters.”

Over the last couple of weeks, once I admitted and accepted that this was something that was beginning to impact me way more than I wanted it to, I was able to seek the things from Him to remind me how loved I am – for no reason at all.

He doesn’t care if I put on make-up every day so that I look like everyone else in this huge metroplex. He wants me to put on Him every day. When I walk out of the house with Him covering me, there is no comparison game. This is how we obey. We stop our own cycle of madness so that we can hear and believe, and eventually obey His truth of love, approval, and attention.

“I am unabashedly, irrevocably loved,” she says. Me too. You too. This is our truth. This is what we’re to believe so that we are able to obey the things He calls us to do in this life, for His purpose.

This beast can be a hard one to conquer, but it isn’t impossible because we have a God who is bigger than impossible. He’s mightier than the beast and will slay him dead, as soon as we hear, believe, and obey. Part of our obedience is allowing God into that part of us so that He can take it out, once and for all.

My friends, if you’re struggling with comparison, I beg you to own it and work on it. It’s a freedom like no other. When we stop wondering if we’re enough, we’ll realize we’ve always been enough. You are already loved, approved, and delighted in by the most loving, merciful God.

Oh, to be loved…

Valentine’s Day.

It used to be cute and fun when my man child was young and we did little valentines that I always forgot about until the last minute. Gimme a break, y’all… this was back in the days before Pinterest and I was a young, dumb, single mom… I forgot these things! So it was fun to do that “oh crap!” scramble to get it all done in time for school in the morning.

Then he grew up. It wasn’t cute and fun anymore. It became stupid. I became cynical. It was a day to honor something I’d never really been able to get my hands on and that pissed me off. Everyone had love and I didn’t! Just a little hyperbole and cynicism to make your day brighter!

One day, though, over the last couple of years and even more so this year, all that just changed.

Yes! We should be falling deeper in love every day.

Yes! We should show the person we love how important and cherished they are every day!-1572956417

Yes! We shouldn’t need a “holiday” for us to be able to express our love.

But, gosh… really? What’s so wrong about having a day to honor love? A day to express our commitment and joy to someone else? Why and how has is become a horrible thing?

We have honorarium days of all sorts. Why should love be shafted?

Also, the more and more I come to realize that I may never have “a love” with which I can spend this day; I’m reminded of all the ways and people to whom I can show love to on this day.

We don’t always understand another person’s tenderness toward this day. Someone who may have a lost love or a divorced love or a widowed love or on and on… that’s where my heart longs to be today.

So what if I don’t “have a love” per se because we all have SOMEONE to love and to whom we can show our love. Christ’s love through us.

Go love someone today. Don’t be stingy with something that was so freely given to you. Don’t be cynical and simple-minded to a day that might be nothing to you. Think about how you can be a blessing, how you can be like Jesus, with skin on, who just wants to show kindness and love to another person.

Today — I love Valentine’s Day!

P.S. I love it most because as I’m getting ready to post this, I get a message, from a sweet sister I barely know in the flesh, but have had the pleasure of knowing her family for years and getting to know her more through social media, send me a sweet encouragement – straight from her mouth, inspired by Christ’s love, and deep into my heart places. I am wildly loved. You are too.

Racism is ugly. And real. I loathe it.

I’m going to try, really hard, to put my thoughts down in a way that makes sense. I would encourage you to read what’s written with an open mind and a heart of compassion and understanding. Okay?

I’m white. My son is bi-racial; his dad is black. Though, he isn’t bi-racial to the eyes of those who don’t know that I’m his mom because he doesn’t look bi-racial. At all. It’s still a bit funny to watch people’s expression when they make the connection between the two of us. We both find it humorous.

In the area where I grew up, at least when I moved away 10 years ago, it was still pretty racially segregated. It’s surprising that it’s like that since it’s one of the major metropolitan areas in the country, but that’s how it’s always been there. I grew up in the city and moved to the suburbs just before starting high school. I hated it. Eventually, I found my way back to the city – to my parents’ displeasure. They felt like my being in the suburbs was safer – and granted, on paper, it was safer – but I was unhappy there and it wasn’t any safer in the suburbs. The crimes were just different there. Instead of a mugging or shooting, it was a rape by a “popular kid” who would ruin your life if you told. Instead of a carjacking, it was high end cocaine deals going down in the hallways of the high school. Instead of breaking and entering, it was convincing some poor sap to do something illegal so that he could fit in with the cool kids. Instead of gangbanging, it was the “mean girls” shaming anyone in their way – sometimes for four solid years with no end in sight for the person on the receiving end. Forgive me, if while reading comments and posts lately from people about how they ALL raised perfect children, for being a little bit cynical about the whole thing. Yes, parenting has so much to do with how our children behave as they get older, but even kids raised in seemingly good homes make a lot of mistakes.

Do you know that I almost killed a man? Seriously. I was raised in a two parent home, in the suburbs (for my teenage years), as part of a middle class family. I should have it all together, right? Yeah… no. I was enraged, angry, furious, etc… I acted in a way that wasn’t rational, not even for me. Thankfully, a friend was there and stopped me – but in just a matter of moments and unbridled rage – my whole life could have changed and been different. It’s funny how anger can drive us to do things that we don’t even think through fully. We don’t consider consequences, we don’t think about the big picture. We’re in the moment. We’re hot-blooded and irate.

Which brings me to my whole purpose for this post…

In my lifetime, I have seen racism first hand, up close and personal. I’ve seen police abuse their authority for NO REASON AT ALL. I’ve also seen police who treated everyone with respect and dignity. Let’s talk a few examples…

When I was about 19 or 20, I went with some friends (4 black males) to a local strip mall, in an almost entirely white community, next to a high school that had an open campus lunch. The students from the high school would all linger around the strip mall, sitting along the benches, grabbing food, skateboarding, etc… A couple of my friends were dating students from the high school. We were all visiting. I would say there were approximately 250-300 students and young people. No one was misbehaving. A few minutes later, the police showed up and began to question the black males I was with, pushing them against the walls to search them, throwing them down to the ground, and eventually arresting them. For loitering. I approached the officers, tried to explain that we were ALL loitering and that we were all together. I wasn’t arrested. Nor were the other 250-300 people doing the same.exact.thing. uh. Okay. That just happened.

I was pulled over when I was 21, while driving down the freeway – outside of the city limits – with my son’s dad and his cousin. The officer had me exit the vehicle, walk to the back of the car, and then asked me, with a very concerned look on his face, “are you okay? Are you being held against your will? Do you mean to be with these men?” I was visibly pregnant and explained that the guy is the passenger seat was my boyfriend and the father of my baby. His face changed and he went and wrote me a speeding ticket for 5 miles over the speed limit. uh. Okay. Yeah, I mean I guess I was speeding.

Later, when my son was a bit older, I was pulled over while driving from northern VA to MI for a visit. I wasn’t speeding. I was pulled out of the car again and told that we were pulled over because the road we were on (a major tollway) was a known drug smuggling route and he wanted a closer look. uh. Okay. So were you pulling over EVERY car, or just those with young black men in them?

My son has countless stories… he’s been harassed by police while walking down the street, walking through the mall, he’s followed in most stores he walks through. My kid is not a thief. He’s never been arrested. He works his tail off so that he can buy nice things and then is treated like a thug when he walks through a higher end store. For the record, I’ve never been followed in a store when I’ve been alone. I have been followed when my son is with me, though.

A couple of years ago, my son was at a 4th of July celebration at a local park. While he was there, a guy opened fire and shot at another guy, in the general vicinity of where my son was sitting. Of course, he ran. He was tackled, roughed up, punched, and kicked by police officers as he was brought down and held face down in the concrete. There were visible abrasions on his face and body. My son, then a minor, was held for questioning, not able to call his parent, for hours. He continually asked if he could call me and they refused to let him. By then, I had heard all sorts of rumors – he was shot, he shot someone, the police arrested him, etc… I called everywhere and received no answers. Eventually, I made my way to the local police station, after a sergeant called me to say they had him. In the end, my son served as a witness, but I’ll be darned if part of me wasn’t so mad for him that I didn’t want him to help. I knew what he had to do and should do… but I was furious that he had to go through that kind of treatment and then come around to play nice alongside the same officers who were punching him in the face. Why? Oh, that’s right… he was scared out of his mind because some dude was shooting people and then he was tackled from behind and maybe not completely aware of what was happening.

Guys, I know this post is long and I’m not going to express any opinions about some of the things happening around our country right now. I don’t think that’s relevant to what I’m trying to share from MY OWN EXPERIENCES. What I do know is that I have a ton of respect for all levels of law enforcement. Every day they choose to put their lives on the line for my safety. I appreciate anyone who can be that passionate about their work and do it for diddly squat salaries. My son has been taught to be a law abiding citizen. He’s been taught to respect the authority of police officers. He’s been taught to obey when he’s asked to do something. Okay?

With that said, some people have no idea what it feels like to be continuously singled out, maybe for no reason at all, and then wonder if the person singling them out is one of the good guys or bad guys. Many of us can say that if a person just follows the law, there will be no problem. Well, that isn’t true. Not for my kid anyway and not for several other young, black males that I know. Walking down the street is wrong. Driving down the street is wrong. Laughing too loud is wrong. Sagging pants is wrong (I hate sagging pants as much as the next person, but I also hate booty shorts with butt cheeks hanging out the bottom or fishnet tops with just a bra underneath and I don’t see them getting stopped in the mall to say that if “they don’t attend to and fix their attire, they’ll be escorted out.”

There is a problem. And I hate it. I also don’t know how to fix it. All I can do is teach my son to be above reproach all the time. All I can do is tell him that some things are gonna be a little bit suckier for you than the next guy. But keep pushing forward. Keep doing right. Keep being better. Keep working hard. Be kind. Be responsible. Be considerate. Don’t be a stereotype. Don’t be the expectation of someone else’s thoughts. Don’t hate a whole job title because of a few bad apples.402a8dc5bf307df6aa4d3f7b45b14333

Friends, please be gentle in your responses to all of these hot topics lately. Remember that we don’t know what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes. When I see my friends jumping on the race-baiting bandwagon trying to convince us that these kinds of things don’t really happen, let me assure you that they do. Not always. But they do happen. We would be wiser to stop saying that “they should have raised better kids” and to, instead, come alongside those who are fatherless, hopeless, lost, hurt, angry, and confused. Only light can drive out darkness. How are we being light to others if all we do is talk about how awful the parenting is or how the person got what they deserved or the world is a better place? Gosh, that could be MY kid. Or yours. Where has our quest for peace gone? Where has our softness for those who are hurting gone? Where has our heart to be salt and light gone?

I don’t support acting out in vandalism or looting or rioting. Not at all. I think it’s careless and serves no purpose in the long run. However, I DO see how the frustration can build up to a point that anger just bubbles over. Remember, up there ^^^, when I said I almost killed a man? It’s been proven that bad behavior promotes more bad behavior. So, in contrast, shouldn’t good behavior promote good behavior? How are we promoting good behavior in the communities that are hurting? How are we supporting parents who need some help? Are we looking outside of our own spaces and accepting the challenge to become a helper to someone that might be different than us – whether it’s socially, racially, economically?

Thanks for sticking with me through this very long dialogue that’s just been part of my own frustrations. Like I said before, I don’t know all the answers. In fact, I know very few. I know that there is so much more going on in the hearts of other people, though, that I want to be more attentive to and help someone who feels hopeless find the needed hope to move on in life. Join me in this journey? Find someone, who is not like you, and be present for that person. There is blessing in unity.

Also, please listen to Jefferson Bethke’s take on it. I think his idea and approach is pretty similar to where my own heart lies.

My cup is full… and then some.

Today was beautiful with just a splash of suckiness…

Suckiness is not a real word. I made it up. It’s gonna be all right. And it was only a little “sucky” because I was sad.

For seven years, I’ve been held tight by an organization that molded me. Changed me. Loved me. Cherished me.

My heart feels full within those walls.

Today was beautiful because I had the opportunity to feel loved by so many of my coworkers. I’m not just talking about “there, there, darling” sort of love. I mean soul permeating love.

Love that floods my spirit. Fills my empty places. Pours over me. Envelopes.

I’ve spent most of my life not knowing how to receive love. This season of my life has been about learning exactly how to do that. I’ve had the very finest teachers and examples around me. I’ve had people who shine God’s love, so brightly, surround me for seven years.

I’ve witnessed men love their wives. Their babes. Others. Jesus. I’ve seen women turn to one another in prayer. I’ve been privileged to walk with young people while they get their feet wet in the “real world” for the first time. I’ve seen divorce up close. I’ve watched countless women become moms. I’ve held babies and babies and more babies. I’ve seen people I love fall apart and be knitted back together. I’ve had a front row seat to watch Godly leadership in full force. I’ve watched people come and others go. I’ve grown. I’ve changed.

I’m better still. He planted me in that place. For that time. For His purpose.

In this season, I’ve learned that God…

… is *the* redeemermy cup overflows pyp 001

… is my only hope

… goes before me

… loves with a relentless love

… has grace without limit

… shows mercy that washes my soul

… sees me as beautiful

… gives me community

… has a purpose for me that I’ve only just begun to see fully

… desires all of me

Most of all, I’ve learned that God loves me in so many ways. He loves me as His daughter and His beloved, for sure. But He also loves me in a physical way that is only understandable because of how I know Him. He has provided me with a group of cherished friends. A collection of confidants. A gathering of His people. This is what HE gave ME for no reason at all. Surely not because I deserved it. Not because I earned it or worked for it… but as His gift to me. He looked into my heart and knew who to place in those gaps and fractures.

He knew who would love me best.

He did that for me.

He saw beyond my filthy rags and saw the woman I’m meant to be.

This door has closed. He is paving the way into my unknown.

Surrender. Fully. Trust. Completely.

I am His and He is mine.

Today is hope…

When is the last time you’ve been completely stripped down to nothing? Dry bones? Nowhere to run? On nothing to depend?

But Him.

In that moment of being so alone in your own head, He whispers.

He nudges, softly.

You cry out, He calms and settles.

You beg for something. Anything. An answer. A vision. An understanding.

Maybe nothing tangible comes. He is still there. He is faithful to you, to me.

Lately, I find when I’m in those moments, I have two choices. I get on my face and offer everything in surrender to Him or I throw my hands up in the air and offer everything in surrender to Him.

In this season I’m walking through, it’s becoming more and more evident that I am so desperate to know Him more. To know Him differently. To know Him in a way that I’ve never known Him before.

Become reliant. Learn to trust. Be dependent. Abandoned.

There seems to be no more precious time than that when it’s just me (or you) and Him.

When there is nothing that stands between who He is and who I am.

What He’s calling me to do and what I can do.

Where He wants me and where I’m willing to be.

He truly is my all in all. There is no other way that makes sense. He has to be what I spend my time pursuing. Through Him comes everything that I need, want, desire, have, and crave.

How do we get here? To this place? The one where it’s okay to just be a mess in front of Him and know that He is walking us through it all?

While this post was never intended to be an Easter post, as it’s been sitting in a Word document being written for weeks, as I read over it this morning – the day my King rose – I can see that it IS all about Him dying and coming back.

The day in-between… that stricken Saturday. That day that no one knew that He would be with them again. That day they all thought He was gone. That day when nothing made sense. That day when they were troubled, they were grieved, they were confused, lost, unsure… that day.

Sometimes, that feels like our every day. We feel like we live in a perpetual “Black Saturday.” And, sometimes, we DO live in that day. Now and again, we sit there, in that space.

Stripped. Insecure. Not confident. Doubting. Wondering.

Here’s what I want you to know, what I *need* for me to know – it’s okay. It’s okay to be there now and again.

There is GOOD news coming! He is no longer in the grave! He is RISEN!

Friends, do you understand that? Can you even begin to grasp the hem of the meaning behind His empty tomb?! He, so desperately, wants to be *with* us. He came from the dead, after carrying the burden of our sins to the Cross, being hanged for our redemption, His blood spilling into the cracked ground… all of that because He desires us.

Even when we have no clue. Even when we are sitting in our “Black Saturday” without understanding. Even when we are desperate for answers that aren’t coming.

He is risen.

A new day is coming.

Our King is alive and walking with us.

He has not left your side, or mine.

He is faithful.

He is our Comfort.

In Him, our hope is found.

So even on that dreadful Saturday, that season of in-between, that time of uncertainty… it all comes back to Him. Being dependent. Relying on Him to come for me. He always has. He always will. I just need to know He’s not left my side. And He’s not left yours either.

To be known…

616b14fcc847f233ae469b6d53c2e0a0This weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to tuck away at a charming retreat center, in a wee bit of a town, in Pennsylvania. I’ve been writing about forty-seven blog posts in my head every time I had a free moment. Just bits and pieces of things I wanted to be sure to share.

If you’ve gone to retreats, you know that sometimes you need time to work through and process what happened during that time away. It’s true. While I’ve been thinking about what to share, I know it’s important, for now, to sit in it – process – and learn. Then, when God has had time to cement these truths in my heart, I’ll be able to share them in a way that’s much more cohesive and a lot less scattered heart emotions. So, be on the lookout for those updates and news about the wonderful women and mission of the hostess. Also, about some of the organizations I was able to learn about a little more.

In the meantime, I had some quiet time on the way home and it allowed me to spend some time with my God. With my heart. With my head.

This time alone, with nothing special waiting for me – I wasn’t on my way to work, to meet anyone, to do anything… it was just time in the car. God and me. And it was so good. He reveals Himself to me in the car so often. I find myself surrendering to Him in that time, too. Who knew a car could become a sanctuary? =]

I have a huge heart for people. I have a natural bend toward the young people and the women, but men aren’t excluded either. I love to love. I’m in love with love. I love grace. Mercy. Forgiveness. Healing. Everything that spouts from love, I love.

I want to have relationship with people. I want to know, love, heal, carry burdens, work through problems, teach, learn, and walk through life with people I meet. I want to be a helper and a giver.

Gosh, those are all good things to be! Some may say that it’s pretty exceptional that I have a desire to be those things for other people.

And, maybe, if there were some balance to it, it would be exceptional.

I’ve got no balance. Or very little balance. Therefore, it’s not all that exceptional. It’s pretty selfish on my part.

I want to *know* you, but I want to build solid walls around myself so that you can’t know me in return.

For those who knew about my move to Texas while away this weekend, it was nice to say, when they would ask why I was going there, “because that’s where God wants me!” It’s true; of course… that IS where God wants me.

But…

That has also become my safe answer. The one that sits on the surface. The one that doesn’t really dig into why I’m going. The one that has walls around my heart so that no one can get close enough to *know* me.

I came away from this weekend getting to know so many women. I was able to pray with some. Eat with many. Learn about trials and triumphs. I am so grateful for those who shared a piece of their heart with me.

What scares me, just a little bit, is that I may have just come off as a woman with a crazy sense of adventure and a lot of faith. While both of those are true, in the bigger picture, I was a coward and didn’t allow anyone to see into my own heart. I kept it locked away in its safe place. I kept it private. I kept it all to myself. I didn’t allow myself to be known.

When I choose to jump into relationship with people, I’m all in. All vulnerabilities are set on the table. I leave myself wide open. Sometimes… I get hurt. Sometimes… it’s too wonderful to describe. I tend to be all in or all out. This weekend, I kept my heart all tucked away. I’m already feeling sad about that choice and I know it’ll have its own consequences. I’ll have to deal with those when I face them. I’ve felt a little heart trampled lately and, unfortunately, this type of self-preservation was how I chose to protect myself. It was wrong. I was wrong.

The good news is this… Our God is big, merciful, and almighty! Isn’t that the very best thing? When He reveals to us ways in which we failed or didn’t follow through, we know that He is on our side to make it right. He will work with us to bring us revelation and redemption.

One of the things I most love to teach about is how to build good, solid, healthy relationships. How to be transparent and authentic. How to be open, approachable, and reachable. How to be vulnerable. How to be available. How to be willing and intentional. Those are all things I strive to be. And, sometimes, I’m just not.

I’m a work in progress. He’s not done with me yet. Amen?