Category: heart


March 5th, 2014 — 7:49pm

After lecturing learnedly on miracles, a great theologian was asked to give a specific example of one. “There is only one miracle,” he answered. “It is life.” Have you wept at anything during the past year? Has your heart beat faster at the sight of young beauty? Have you thought seriously about the fact that someday you are going to die? More often than not do you really listen when people are speaking to you instead of just waiting for your turn to speak? Is there anybody you know in whose place, if one of you had to suffer great pain, you would volunteer yourself? If your answer to all or most of these questions is No, the chances are that you’re dead. (Wishful Thinking-Fredrick Buechner )

via Rob Bell

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To write love on her arms

February 12th, 2014 — 10:41pm

There’s this great organization called TWLOHA and it stands for: To Write Love On Her Arms. I love that thought, writing in red sharpie on someone’s arm how much they are loved and cherished. Sharpie so it takes a long time to fade, so they can have a daily reminder.

TWLOHA is dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. And I LOVE their vision.

They believe that we are created to love and be loved.

I was reading this on a recent blog post of theirs and it struck me so deeply:

Because this life is worth living. Because you are loved and made to be loved and made to give love and to experience a thousand wonderful things.

I think that does it for me. That sums up the meaning of life in one sentence. We were made to love and be loved.

What a privilege.

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By Eden, age 11

January 28th, 2014 — 9:09pm

A is for Art
Remember those days of colors?
B is for Bike
Think of the wind on your face.
C is for Cat
Sugar would shed all over the place.
D is for Dawn
when we were awake.
E is for Everything
that was put up to stake.
F is for Fun
days that we had.
G is for Great
just like our dad.
H is for Home
even if it is lost.
I is for Impossible
the amount of our cost.
J is for Jumping
on the old pogo stick.
K is for Kicked
a humorous trick.
L is for Love
that filled our hearts.
M is for More
ice cream from karts.
N is for No
you can’t have my toys.
O is for Opening
cabinets with noise.
P is for Pill
I don’t know how Honor does it.
Q is for Quake
as we slam the door of a closet.
R is for Racing
down the old street.
S is for Special
yes, you. You and me.
T is for Trouble
remember that corner?
U is for Unicorn
you guys made me think it was a goner.
V is for Vacation
think of our summer.
W is for Wonder
of neighborhood new comers.
X is for marking the the spot
with the old house’s treasure.
Y is for Yes
for worse or for better
And Z is for Zipping
up those old winter coats, as we stare at the snow and dream of good days and warm hot cocoa.

And now we are finished.
There’s no more to tell,
so don’t ask me of things
that already fell.
We are broken.
We are sad.
But we can make happiness last
because we’ll remember the story of our overturned past.

1 comment » | Eden, heart, Kids


January 9th, 2014 — 3:45pm

I’ve never been a big “New Year’s Resolutions” kind of girl. But last year didn’t leave me feeling very successful. I think I finished it smack-dab in the middle of a bunch of lessons and healing, so this year I decided to write out some goals for 2014.

Overall, I plan to work to make 2014 much happier. Part of that is trusting where I need to. That means trusting those who’ve earned it and trusting God that whatever happens, he has good things for me. I should remember this by now. I’ve lived through so many bad things and come out on the other side so thankful, I should remember it. Here’s how I plan to do this:

Be present. Wherever I am. I don’t want to get so caught up in where I’m going next that I forget to enjoy where I am now.

Focus on what’s good rather than what’s bad. Look for the positive in everything. This doesn’t come naturally to me.

Take better care of myself.
-eat lunch
-drink water (I barely drink any!)
-exercise more
-eat more whole foods
-don’t pursue rejection (I do this. It’s dumb. I don’t know why other than it’s really familiar and we all gravitate to the familiar.)
-alone time (This is something I have to be intentional about because it DEFINITELY doesn’t come naturally to me.)

Pursue work that feeds my soul. Creativity feeds my soul.

Do not invest in selfishness. In myself or in others.

Remember that being a mother is another full time job. It’s ok that this is true.

1 comment » | heart

risk and redemption and hope

September 10th, 2013 — 7:17pm

It’s been a rough year. I hate that. I think back to last year, how I felt like life was just bubbling out of me, overflowing. This year has been harder. While there are many amazing things happening in my life. Lots of things have gotten harder too. Money has been difficult. Money that I had been counting on is no longer there. I don’t do well with financial insecurity. Everything feels balanced on a thin ledge. I feel afraid a lot.

Having Josh in my life has been amazing. He constantly proves to me what it’s like to be wholly loved. Loved because of my flaws, not despite them. I have a hard time getting used to it because I’ve never had THIS before. There are a lot of things that being in a relationship has triggered. And I keep finding damage that I didn’t know was there. Here I thought I was all healed and there’s a whole new layer to work through. I’m tired of working through things.

I’ve been panicking a lot. I don’t know exactly what’s happened between last year and now, but I’m not as good at trusting God as I used to be. I’ve lost my way a little bit. Maybe because really hard things have happened between then and now and I keep finding myself brace for impact, again and again. I feel so broken. I feel so afraid. I don’t have the luxury of the naivety that comes with doing a relationship for the first time. I’ve already done all of this and I know exactly how bad it hurts when everything falls apart. I know exactly what I’m getting into. I know exactly what I’m risking. That scares the hell out of me.

I don’t think I knew exactly how hurt and damaged my marriage left me. I was so fragile and hurt that all I could really focus on was surviving. With that survival came a newfound sense of independence and freedom and the euphoria that comes with it. I think there was also this sense of hope for the future that kept me going. Hope that I could do it again, but with someone who was willing to be as IN as I was. Hope that maybe being with that person would fix all of the external things that seemed broken. And really all I wanted, all I hoped for, was to get married again. I think I was looking to replace what I lost, fill the holes. Pick up where I left off. I was looking so desperately for redemption to make sense of all of that heartache and loss.

Now that I’m experiencing a bit of that longed-for redemption, I’m seeing that being in another relationship (even a healthy one) isn’t the saving that I needed. Josh isn’t here to save me. And Josh isn’t THE story. He’s just part of it. Being with him doesn’t suddenly fix the financial problems I was left to deal with. Being with him doesn’t cover over all the ways I was damaged. Being with him doesn’t replace what I lost, but instead gives me something different. Good, but different. I have what I so desperately hoped for for so long and, SURPRISE!, it doesn’t fix everything. Excuse me while I adjust my world view. But what being with Josh does do is slowly, surely prove to me that things can be different and better. That maybe, with him anyway, I don’t have to brace for impact all the time. Maybe, a few years in – like at year seven, things won’t go to hell. Maybe things will always be as good as they are now. Maybe, even when he doesn’t really feel it, he will always choose to love me. Maybe this is what redemption really is, slow and steady, proving and steadfast, patient and always, always there.

Maybe, like I’ve been telling myself all this time, Love really, actually is worth the risk?

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July 20th, 2013 — 6:08pm

I ran the clinic today. I got to watch 18 volunteers pour themselves into 30 patients who gratefully took their much-needed help. That got to happen because I get to do my job facilitating the clinic. The system is so broken and I get to be a tiny part of the answer. So thankful.

Josh has been out of town on a business trip and is traveling home today. I’ve had some extra time to think about him and our relationship. Everything with him is just so perfectly uncomplicated. If ever I thought God knew what he was doing, it’s when I look at the people he put in my life. So thankful.

I went to my family reunion last weekend. I was laying in bed in my grandma’s basement, my face buried in the pillows, headphones in to block out the sound of the early-rising twinzies and God started talking to me. Ironically I skipped church so he could keep talking to me. He talked to me about being brave and being rescued. He reminded me that HE is the one who is rescuing me, not Josh or anyone else. That feels like such a relief. I got to talk to my uncle about being myself when being myself isn’t always allowed. It was exactly what I needed. I continue to realize: I’m being taken care of… I’m getting exactly what I need. So thankful.

This summer has been so perfect. The ocean and Disneyland, rafting, camping, hours in the car, friends and beers around the makeshift campfire (a citronella torch set inside the firepit). Tomatoes right off the vine, Olathe sweet corn and every meal simple and grilled. Dirty feet, tan lines, popsicles and noses pink from the sun. So thankful.

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July 16th, 2013 — 2:41pm

When my life fell apart and I was going through my divorce, my message to myself was:

Be brave and take one step in front of the other even though you don’t know where you’re going. And even though you don’t know where you’re going, you’re going to be OK.
No matter what.

Somewhere in the last 6 months or so, I decided that I didn’t have to be brave anymore. That’s worked out really well for me… Being a single mom is really hard. Being divorced is really hard… on the finances. I’m at a stage in my life where I don’t have a lot of security. And there are still a lot of things beyond my control. I knew that this would be hard. Back when I was being brave, I prepared myself for this. I told myself that no matter what happened, I would figure it out and I would be OK.

It’s time to start believing that again. It’s time to stop stressing myself out to the point making myself sick. It’s time to trust, to know that I will be taken care of no matter what. It’s time to be brave again. I don’t really have any other choice.

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Macklemore and other thoughts on God

July 3rd, 2013 — 6:44pm

I’m starting to think that maybe God is a lot more gracious than we think he is. Certainly more gracious than we are with ourselves or each other. If we’re made in his image and we can’t go a second without judging each other, looking down our noses and loving with love that’s based on a list of conditions, maybe we think he’s the same way. Maybe the point of life isn’t to do it perfectly, but to learn as much as we can, sometimes the hard way. Maybe we’re here to get through, seeing the beauty in the people that surround us. Maybe the point isn’t being RIGHT but instead operating with LOVE. And maybe God is looking at us, seeing us struggle, doing things maybe a little bit wrong, but he just has so much love for us that it doesn’t matter. We’re OK with him just as we are. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were just OK with each other just as we are? I could use some of that right now.

I think that theology isn’t something that’s supposed to be static, but something fluid that changes with life experiences and the ways we encounter God. Right now my theology is being heavily influenced by Macklemore and Glennon Melton. Really. (And if you’ve yet to read Glennon’s book, Carry On Warrior, please go get it right now. It’s the best book I’ve read all year, hands down.)

I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t want to live a life that points at everyone else and says, “you’re doing it wrong” because I’m pretty sure I’m doing it wrong too. I don’t have the time or energy to legislate other peoples morality, I’m too busy figuring out my own. Instead I like the idea of Namaste: the acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. I want to live a life that says, “I see you. Life is hard for me too. You’re doing a good job getting through.”

Hey, you! I see you. Life is hard for me too. You’re doing a good job getting through.

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June 25th, 2013 — 4:32pm

I will operate with a thankful heart. I will not forget the magnitude of what I was rescued from. I will be thankful for the beautiful mess that is my life.

I will TRUST. Trust will be my new way of life. I will always trust. There is no other way.

I will take this time to learn whatever I can, to wring every last drop out of my experiences, to let them change me, soften me, mold me.

I will embrace my true self and I will not apologize for or hide who I am. Who I am is what others around me NEED me to be. I will be it.

I will be present, with my eyes wide open. I will SEE what’s around me. I will SEE the good things I have. I will SEE the good things happening to me. And I will SEE others around me. I will witness their pain and their joy and help how I can.


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May 6th, 2013 — 12:22pm

It’s Monday morning, the 4th day of my “week off.” I woke up early, took the kids to school, worked out really hard at the gym and then found myself leaning up against the kitchen counter in my sweaty workout clothes while I waited for the espresso maker to heat up, switching frantically between apps on my phone in a desperate attempt to find something to fill me up. What the hell am I doing? I am so tired. Deep-into-my-bones tired. Something that feels like a week or a month off won’t cure, isn’t curing.

Over the last few weeks everything has melted down, like nuclear meltdown. There are a hundred people needing me and pulling me and asking me questions and waiting for replies and needing things that only I can do and I’m wondering how I can do it all. Because I really want to do it all. Every single bit of it. And I’m trying to figure out if I can… how I can. Josh got mad at me the other day, “Why do you take care of everyone but yourself?” I don’t know. Why do I want to be all things to all people? I think it’s time to go back to therapy.

It seems like every single thing in my life is weighing on me, even if it shouldn’t be. It feels like my brain ping-pongs back and forth, back and forth between all of the things I’m worrying about. So many things feel like they’re really, really hard right now. Work and money and clinic and kids… oh the kids… I’m pretty sure that Josh has mascara on the shoulder of every tee shirt he owns. Last week I mustered up the courage to say the scary words, “I’m really not OK.”

I’m looking at my house. It’s filthy. Like really, really filthy. I don’t remember the last time I had the energy to really clean it. Right now there’s a moth on the floor that the kids squished last week, with bright green guts plastered to the floor boards, shouting to me that I should have cleaned it up days ago. I’m so tired.

I need to get my sprinklers going. I don’t know how. I hate asking for help. I hate being a single mom. It is SO HARD. I hate saying that because I hate thinking what my life would be like if I were living the alternative.

I think, now that it’s been two years, that I am starting to feel the secondary pain of getting divorced. I’m past the heartbreak and the loss and the grief (and also the grateful buoyancy and relief that freedom brings) and now I’m onto realizing how trained I’ve been to expect rejection at every turn. How shocking it is when Josh takes an interest in my life, that he’s there, always there, no matter what. I can’t get used to it. I feel really, really damaged. Now I’m grappling with trying to figure out how to have a relationship with a healthy person who loves me with everything. I just seem to flinch every time he makes a move. And I’m scared. All the time, scared. What if it doesn’t work out? What if it DOES work out? What if I make the wrong choice.. again? Can I trust him with my heart and my life? I want to… so bad. These questions run through my mind everyday, all the time, always. And underneath it all is this tiny thread of hope, gold and shining. Maybe I can make a good choice this time, maybe things will work out for me, maybe I do deserve this and maybe I can actually have it? Maybe? Really?

I’m watching the kids feel, really feel, the weight of having divorced parents. And I can’t fix that for them or take it away. It is so hard. We bring our kids into the world and all we want to do it protect them from the inevitable heartbreak. Instead we are the ones to break their hearts. This doesn’t feel very much like winning.

I’m reading books by authors that I love and I just get angry at them. Rickelle had to remind me the other day, “Everyone’s life looks charmed in a book.” They talk about walking through hard times surrounded by their families and I don’t feel surrounded at all. I keep mourning things I lost a long time ago. And I have to keep reminding myself that I am surrounded, just maybe not the same way other people are. On a particularly rough night a couple of weeks ago, Josh sent out a text and my people showed up around a campfire in my back yard. I sat there tired and fragile and they took turns talking about who I am to them and how much the love me, filling my empty heart back up. They reminded me: I AM loved, I DO belong to something bigger than myself. I CAN trust. They won’t leave.

My propensity is to feel alone. To feel like I have to do everything by myself because the past has shown me that asking for help doesn’t always end up in getting help. I’m so used to taking it. Taking disrespect, taking burdens, taking extra work, taking responsibility… that I don’t know how to let someone else carry the burden. I don’t even know how to hand it off. And I don’t know how to trust that I will actually get help, in the way I need it, when I do ask for it.

I’m sitting in this space of not knowing how to fix anything, but knowing that I can’t keep going like this. I don’t know how to ask for help and I really need it. I don’t want to give anything up, but figuring out how to juggle it all is weighing so heavily on me. All the things I need or want to do are feeling overwhelming when I think about doing them all by myself. I don’t have any answers, but here are all my questions.

So, really, I guess this is just me saying, I’m not even going to pretend right now that I have it all together.

4 comments » | heart, ouch

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