Tuesday, April 23, 2013

grace wins

today was a long day. like a tired-stressed-anxious-iwanttodrownmystressinchocolate kinda day. theMr is in full construction mode and working 60-70 hours a week, not getting home until nearly 10 most nights. we are at the beginning of what may be a huge battle over our foreclosure. i spent the afternoon, after work, writing and mailing letters to politicians and media. my brain has been churning all day... grumpy mom plus five kids is not a super combo. by bedtime, i am done. i'm tucking esme in, i lean down to kiss her and she whispers "you is beautiful, mama". oh sweetpea...when she looked at me in that moment, she saw the mom who tucks her in and kisses her every night. the mom who buys her dora yogurt even though it's overpriced and full of sugar. the mom who "carries her like a baby" when she asks. what she didn't see is the frazzled mom who yelled at her today for not putting on her shoes. or the mom who was sick all afternoon from a week of bad eating. or the mom who hid in her bedroom watching tv while her kids played in the next room. she didn't see the mom who loses her temper too often and cusses under breath and doesn't separate the lights from the darks and is a crazy person without her antidepressant. because when she looks at me, she sees love. and love doesn't see flaws. when you look at someone with love, you see all of the things you love about them. the most amazing thing about that interaction is that it's just a glimpse of Jesus. when He looks at us, He doesn't see our sin or our flaws or all of the ways we fall short. He sees his beloved child. He delights in us! how precious that a three year old can model that. i so often think i am the one doing all of the teaching in this relationship, i could not be more wrong.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


since i was a child, i've always wanted to be courageous. someone who lived life without fear. someone who took on any adventure with zest and excitement. i worked hard to become that person. the problem is that i mistook putting on a mask with courage. i told myself along the way that a person who was courageous never showed fear or weakness. they could always handle anything, and if they couldn't, they pretended they could. this false belief has caused me much heartache over the years and has prevented me from connecting with people in a real and vulnerable way. i built up a castle of protection around my heart, no one could hurt me, no one could get in. it wasn't until forces collided in my life that i realized it was a lie. that "being strong all the time" is really bondage. that sometimes courage is being brave enough to fall apart. being brave enough to say i'm not ok. to say i need help. to say i need YOU. i found myself in the last year at the stunning realization that i had believed a lie about myself all of my life. the lie that i have to be strong. that i cannot show weakness. that people won't love me or respect me or want me if i fall apart. what i have found in my brokenness, is that when you fall apart is when those around you have a chance to shine. when you are so desperate and despondent that you can't even ask for help is when the people that love you step up. in early August of 2012 i essentially had a nervous breakdown brought on by extreme crisis. i have never been in a darker place in my life. my friends rallied around me in a way i could not properly put to paper. they held me, they let me cry, they let me yell, they let me cuss, they were there. they saw me sink to a place they had never imagined they would find me in and they came through. in the first few weeks of that time, six of my closest friends and my mother asked me to meet them at our local  house of prayer so they could pray over me. they were so worried about me. as i literally laid on that floor, curled in a ball, sobbing as they prayed and spoke truth over me, i had an incredible vision. i was standing in the middle of war. bullets were flying around me and the enemy was close. i was curled in fetal position, too weak to even stand, much less fight. my friends were standing in a circle around me, facing out. they were fighting the battle for me when i was too weak to defend myself. sometimes courageous is being willing to curl up in a ball and be honest about where you are. as i walk through this journey, i'm learning more and more about who i am and who i'm not. i can be strong, but i don't have to. i can be courageous while still being scared. some days that just means that i keep putting one foot in front of another while praying that the fear doesn't overtake me. some days it means i can smile and know it will be ok. but either way, i know now that i have a net. i'm not hanging off of this cliff alone. i can be courageous... and if i can't there are those that would be for me. and that makes all the difference in the world.

1 Corinthians 16:13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. Do everything with love.