Rainbows and shadows

I sit in spaces, lost between the worlds

Who I am, and who I should be

Breaking, with the glimmer of light.

And I can be so broken…I should be

But I’m not

I’m stronger than the wind, because it passes while I remain

So I stare at rainbows

Reminders in the sky of what can be, when sun and rain collide

That maybe, where my trauma and truth collide, there can be beauty

And I can be a reminder.

Choose to be bigger

Don’t let the sun dim to fade

Shine!

You were made for more! And so was I

In the still, find breath and breathe.

It’s enough; I promise!

I’m a chef making PB&J

Well not really…but I’m a really good home cook who’s husband said he wanted to cook dinner on the grill so she waited and he got caught up

And that’s okay

And so my kids are eating PB&J

And I, though I would love to beat Bobby Flay, let it ride.

Because there’s so much more to life than sauce and technique.

And there’s more important battles to choose than dinner time

So the kids will survive and I won’t try out my latest culinary weapon

And tomorrow brings another chance at greatness…come on Bobby, I will bring you down…maybe…no comment….

But life is more than masterpiece.

Today may be the sum of mown grass and clean tile

Or smiling children and peanut butter fingers

Or mom wondering if she’s done enough.

Iced tea and vinegar scrubbed floors and Bobbly Flay smiling in the background of headphones blaring over kid noise.

This is life and my kid tells me daily I can beat you Bobby! We will never know of course, because I am me and you are you and there’s that

But regardless, I am happy with my peanut butter and jelly masses and five kid culinary accomplishments and life in the realm of dirty floors and lackluster survival.

This is me…

So bring it Bobby Flay!

Me and mundane, culinary life, clean floors and dog baths and five kid, hanging on, homemade pasta and kicking mom cuisine vs. I don’t even know what to call it.

At least my kids are happy with the me they’re stuck with as mom.

Cook on, Flay, cook on. I still win!

In the Morning …Running with what you’ve got

So, my mornings are always morning before morning should be allowed

I’m not a morning person…working on this…

But in anticipation of tomorrow, I plan.

I pack lunchboxes and clean and lie clean clothes on racks and hooks, and find shoes lost by minions (small people I’m charged to raise)

But, unfortunately, sometimes I dread the day ahead.

I’m not proud of it.

And I think if His mercies new every morning and the blessing of parenthood and employment and a life well lived.

But in reality, I go to bed knowing my alarm will sound the horror bell of having to wake up when I want to sleep.

Still, there’s a blessing when the coffee and the day kick in.

When sunlight brings possibilities that I haven’t imagined.

So I ride before the sun and do it again and again.

This life doesn’t have to be brilliant or awesome in the light of day but it has to continue to bring meaning.

So today leads to tomorrow and every moment, even the mundane, leads to greatness.

Will I be remembered for the lunches I pack and the jokes I wrote in sharpie on ziplock? Probably not. But will I be remembered for my perseverance and strength? I hope so.

Wake up tomorrow and do it again.

Just go!

One foot in front of the next, in excellence. It’s all anyone can ask and it’s more than enough.

Two cents from the routine.

Two cents to manufacture a million. Just RUN!

Who am I?

If I were a mere mortal in the land of the living

You know that place where truth and grace collide

And the maker of heaven called me beautiful in spite of my ugly

And I set out to show the world the immensity of glory

And the rug beneath me failed to hold the weight

And the ground shook at the sound of Your voice

And I am me and you are infinite

What can I offer?

A prayer to the God who sees

A song to the voice of the mute

I am a disabled veteran in the land of the living

No claim to fame just a life sacrificed at the altar of service

And in my case, badly offered

Bruised and unworthy

But still showing up

Still fighting

Still ready to stand and say it’s all worth it

Bring it on world, I’m here standing on weak knees, ready for tomorrow

Warrior with broken feet…standing on hope.

Wake me up!

Dreamer…sleeping or awake?

I was once a dreamer of big dreams.

I still am

I once sat imagining all I could be.

I still do…sometimes.

And in the midst of who I was and who I am, I find this amazing dichotomy.

I’m not less than I was when the world was rose-colored.

I’ve faced giants no one saw coming.

But I’m here…

And I’m breathing.

I fight against non-existent clocks and existential realities until I’m numb and clocking in and clocking out.

But I am more.

I know it. Maybe you don’t.

Who plants the sun in its station?

Who holds the earth in orbit?

Who called me “more” when I was dust?

You are my audience and I clamor for applause while all you wanted was willingness.

So here I am.

Breath and bones in twilight.

Take my everything and make it meaningful.

Two cents for the hurting and blubbering worship leaders

I’ve done a lot of research lately. Call it the consequences of a lifelong nerd falling down a rabbit hole. Alice would be proud!

An almost lifelong friend recently “deconstructed” from the Christian faith. I have a lifetime invested in this faith, part of which, I walked along side this friend…closely. So I wondered…

What causes someone to give up a lifetime for a new lifetime? Is there anything that would possibly convince me to walk away? What reasons, what heartache, what analytical study, what abuse, would separate life from life and truth from truth?

For me, the answer is nothing. I’ve firmly established my convictions and beliefs and cannot be persuaded of anything contrary. But I get it. I really do.

I despise spiritual abuse! It is abhorrent! And I believe a Jesus would be in the midst of it with chords turning tables and agreeing with me. There is no excuse. I despise the notion that anything, power, ministry, or money, could be more important than the rights of a victim! There is no excuse.

But this does not disqualify the gospel. And there are far too many thoughts swirling in my brain tonight to make this fully cohesive.

For tonight, I will say that I’ve seen multiple posts surrounding the idea of Christian worship that are grating at me. I’ve been leading worship over half of my life so this inherently bothers me.

They say that worship music is manipulation preying on the emotional response of the congregant. That the music is derived in such a way as to inherently initiate an emotive response and is, therefore, manipulative by nature.

I take issue with this on multiple levels but tonight let me give you an experiential example.

Yes, music is moving. Music speaks to the soul. No one can deny this. Why it is supposedly wrong to incorporate this with our faith traditions is lost on me. Even in scripture, Saul calls for a musician to soothe him. The musicians went into battle before the army. There is precedented truth to the power of music to inspire and transform. Why is that wrong?

The criticism is that worship music inherently coerces an emotional response and we, worship leaders, manipulate with chords and progressions designed to elicit said response from the hearer.

I couldn’t help but think of a moment in our worship services this past Sunday when we sang the song, “Hymn of Heaven”. The lyric to the second verse says, “And every prayer we prayed in desperation. The songs of faith we sang through doubt and fear. In the end, we’ll see that it was worth it. When He returns to wipe away our tears”

For reference, I was on stage performing this song. So don’t think for a moment I wasn’t involved? But, in the moment, I wasn’t feeling the emotional resonance of chord structure and performance. I was caught up in the lyrics, the truth of my life this year and the prayers “I’ve prayed in desperation”, and the “songs of faith I’ve sang through doubt and fears.” And the beauty of what God has done in my life recently.

I lead/backup vocal worship almost every week of my life for the last 30 years and this few months, I found myself reaching for life at the wellspring of hope because life isn’t easy. You don’t know my journey, but if you did…

We aren’t immune to suffering.we aren’t promised tulips and roses.

Sometimes we get prayers of desperation. Sometimes, there isn’t sense to be made of the chaos. And my full story is a song for another blog post…

But as I sang this song from the stage on Sunday (along with others equally as beautiful and impactful), tears filled my eyes and I had to be “that girl” on the church’s livestream pulling myself together while my tears fell.

Because if it weren’t for the gospel…

If it weren’t for truth…

If it weren’t worth it…

I wouldn’t be here.

Someday I will share the whole story. Someday, I will explain but for now…I hear the naysayers calling “manipulation” and I praise God above that He is REAL!!! He is TRUTH! And He is enough for me.

I’m truly sorry for the voices lost to spiritual abuse. My heart breaks for you more than I can express but I please don’t judge God on the horrible injustices of people who call themselves his. Find Him. Reconstruct to the true and loving God who is so infinitely valuable and faithful!

Two cents for the hurting…how can I help? I’m listening.

What NOT to expect when you’re expecting

Don’t expect me to be perfect.

Don’t expect me to always be wise.

Don’t expect no tears…they come with the territory…that is me.

Don’t expect perfection

I’m just a girl, who likes to write my feelings into the air. Take it or leave it.

Don’t expect polish from a heart that is raw.

Don’t expect me to hold it all together all the time.

I am you in different skin. can we be “us” together?

Sincerely,

Me

On Neighbors and Whether They are Loveable

Unwittingly, and despite my best efforts, I am at war with my neighbors. Well, they live a few houses down, but same idea. It’s a silly feud, which I take partial responsibility for, though I revel at the length it has come to. I, as an empathetic pacifist, cannot fathom the depths one would take to prove their point…but maybe that’s just me against the world, who knows…

Still, tonight, I’m stuck in thought about the events transpiring to a war I never signed up to fight…a war waged against me with no retaliation or prompting, and I wonder at who we are…really as people locked in humanity…who are we?

My neighbors have never spoken to me, other than once when they cussed at me while I walked in the opposite direction. They don’t actually know me. They don’t know my situation or any of the events leading up to their alleged offense (which isn’t even proffered in actual evidence to date). They just accuse and assume. Never once have they asked if there was an issue or if they could help. Just accusatio) …

I should, I suppose, take it all in stride. I should ignore the onslaught of hostility towards me. That’s what my faith insists. Still, I want to fight. I want to defend. I want recompense. I am human.

My real point is, tonight, I realized something I had missed. In my concern for them and the circumstances, I forgot who I am for a minute and that is wholly unacceptable to me. I am a strong woman who has survived more than most. I have seen lives restored and hearts healed despite far more egregious and daunting obstacles. I am a freakin’ warrior!

Suddenly, in the face of threat, I am strong. Suddenly, when the world closes, I find an opening. Suddenly, when life jabs, I block. I am a fighter who doesn’t want to fight. I am a warrior who would lay down her shield if it meant you would be whole. I am STRONG!

I have to remind myself sometimes that I am who I am. Some nights, it takes a tear and a sword (not literally) to make me whole, but I AM whole!

I am who I am. Bring your worst and I’ll bring my best and let’s see what happens. I am me! I’ve made mistakes. I’ve been rude. I’ve been kind. I’ve been passive. I’ve been bold. I’m a warrior fighting to find tomorrow. Aren’t we all?

Still, what I know beyond all else, is that I WILL WALK IN LOVE!!! No one can take that away!!! No attack can make me forget that LOVE is the only thing that matters.

Go ahead and hate me and haunt me…I’ll be here with compassion and love wishing you the best tomorrow has to offer. That isn’t weakness, it’s strength!

Today…tomorrow

It is human to look in the closet of broken dreams and wonder if you’ve done enough or been enough to sustain the hope.

But the closet holds so much hope! Never underestimate who you were and who you are now!

There’s no magic formula that makes us great. It’s in the showing up. Am I willing to show up today and tomorrow and keep going?

That is where the magic lies. Show up. Shine! Greatness is in a life ready to do the best one can tomorrow.

Will tomorrow be great? It’s up yo you. Screw today! Get out there and LIVE!