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!

On falling and getting up

If I’m going to fall, can I please fall hard and hit my head?

Can there be concussion and bruising so I don’t look like a fool?

Can I rest in the “okay-ness” of my weakness?

If I do, do I have to wait for a diagnosis?

Fallen, in need of grace?

Can’t we just be human?

Wake up sleepers

Wake up church!

In the land of the living, an anchor holds

And we get to reveal it and show it to the masses

That’s enough

Love is enough

We can kick and claw and scream at the wind

We can cry behind closed doors

But we can’t stop reaching

For real love!

THAT is the anchor

Nails and thorns and mercy on a cross

And death giving way to victory

Who are you?

Who does He say I am?

Where is victory?

Can you see it today?

If not, look again.

It’s worth fighting for!

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!

Confessions of a Narcissist’s Wife

I will never be myself again.

I will apologize for every statement.

Okay get it. I will walk on eggshells while the earth shatters.

I will stand alone beneath the weight of injustice.

I will take responsibility.

Nothing is anything apart from you so I will hide

And tomorrow might be better or not

And today is a drop in the bucket of eternity.

Because I can’t long for you anymore while you throw me under the bus.

But that’s life in the land of the living and the sun will rise and I will forgive and we will call it growth.

That’s just movement in the stagnant waters while the void calls for justice.

I will apologize.

I will find my own fault in your weakness.

I will stand alone.

I will bear the weight of the world while you cower.

Tomorrow, bring your anchor.

Time in a Bottle

If we can’t find time and bottle it neatly, can we walk into tomorrow knowing it mattered?

If today is a blip, is tomorrow a wonder?

What if the world stops now?

Am I enough?

I am who He says I am.

Maybe if we lived each day with intention…

Maybe that’s a pipe dream.

What is a “pipe dream”

Legit, what is the entomology of that phrase.

I’m too lazy to look tonight. And I just used “Legit” as an actual word.

Maybe tomorrow…

Says the girl at the end of the world looking out into the void.

Jesus, help me focus on today!

This is My Story

I confess, if I were the author of my story, I might have written a few of the chapters differently.  I might have cleaned up some of the rough edges and plot lines. I might have skipped a trauma or two, or three, or a million and seven.

When I was seven or eight years old, I had an encounter with God. I’d been raised in church. I’d heard about him almost my entire life. I would have been able to tell you all about the Bible stories and the gospel. I sang hymns louder than anyone around me (anyone who knows me in person can attest to the fact that I sing louder than most). I knew of him. But that night I MET him.

I remember being surrounded by people in that little country church in Southern Ohio and it being just Jesus and me. I remember him softly speaking to my heart that he had a plan for my life. I remember knowing more than I’ve ever known anything (to this day) that he was real, he loved me, and I am his and he is mine. No matter what I’ve been through since, everything comes back to that one night when he called me his own.

What I’m realizing now, so many years later, is that I’ve spent most of my time trying to live up to the calling I felt that night. Every mistake I’ve made felt like the annihilation of everything for me. Every trauma felt like disqualification. I can’t say my life has been a rose-garden. From a ‘Christian-ese’ perspective, I probably should have been disqualified. I’ve had a baby out of wedlock. I’ve been divorced and remarried. I’ve made some grade-A messes throughout my life. How could he possibly still use me now?

But one thing remains, the redemptive love of God. I’ve never stopped asking him to pick me back up and help me to keep on walking. Sure, many times, I’ve tried to scoop myself up off the floor and fix everything broken in my life. Sure, many times, I’ve whined and cried to the heavens because a lot of my messes weren’t my own doing, and it just didn’t seem fair. I’m sure I’m not the only one who can say that.

Still, he didn’t call me because of my qualifications or my abilities. I wouldn’t have been the right choice. He called me by his mercy, knowing I would mess it all up a thousand times and keep coming back. Maybe the biggest part of my testimony is that through it all and despite of me, I still love him deeply. I feel everything deeply and I’m not afraid to be real. Maybe my weaknesses are part of why he chooses me. If his strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor 12:9) then I have spent a lifetime proving him strong. I’m like a weeble-wobble who keeps popping back up ready for battle no matter how many times I’ve been knocked down.

The past few years have been probably the hardest few years of my life. I’ve cried more and, honestly, lost my wobble more, in that season that anytime I can remember. It’s been ROUGH, y’all! But I’ve kept on fighting and getting up every morning, sometimes begrudgingly, lacing up my running shoes, and walking forward. Now, I’m seeing God answer prayers I wasn’t sure he would. I’m seeing him perfect, despite how weak I had been. I’m so incredibly grateful!

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.

Lamentations 3:22-26

I feel like I’d reached the bottom of myself and all the striving and trying to be enough was finally able to give way to a profound and staggering desire for him. Suddenly, I want him to be glorified, not to prove myself worthy of him reaching out to me so many years ago, but because I feel the weight of his glory. I would have never thought I was making the focus about me. I would have denied it if you’d accused me of it. I wasn’t outwardly. I wasn’t making a show or doing good works and ministry to look good to others. I think I was, however, trying to look good to me. I thought I was a bad investment.

I’ve always prayed the Psalm I began this with. It’s been a mantra of mine for years. Yet now, I feel it to my bones!

My heart is overflowing with a good theme;
I recite my composition concerning the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

Psalm 45:1

He has been so good and so faithful to me; I cannot help but tell of his goodness. I yield my life to be a pen in his capable hands. His story is being written on my heart and walked out by my feet. My heart is overflowing.

I know this isn’t the kind of thing I typically write here, but I pray that you who have been patient enough to read this so far, would realize that every step, even the rough and unsteady ones, will bring you closer if you just keep walking towards him. I pray that his love would so permeate your spirit, that you can’t help but write, create, sing, dance, whistle, whittle, play air-guitar, whatever it is that you do . Overflow! Don’t allow the scars of this life to rob you of the beauty he’s writing for you. Just keep walking. Every step is worth it if we are walking towards Jesus. He isn’t going to run away. He’s right there with you always!

The embrace of more than time

When time stops do you feel it?

Is there a moment when everything is okay and the world is right and stands the test of time?

Or do we wait, with hunger, for another moment?

Maybe that’s the beauty.

Maybe the hunger fuels the fire for tomorrow.

I don’t know. I’m just you, reaching into the void, waiting for the voice of God to smile on my weakness.

Maybe clay cries out to potter longing for completion.

But the journey is worth the wait. So I’ll stand in the light, knowing the dawn is brighter.

And I wait because you’ve always met me there.

Nothing becomes something beautiful in your embrace. Sometimes it just takes a minute for me to catch 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.