11/09/2014

An Introduction to My Past

The following blog is a record of a time of intense transitioning in a young woman's life. The menu on the side shows how far back these writings go. Enter at your own risk.

9/28/2009

Quiet Time

Time reserved for God and I. Susanna Welsey flipped her apron over her head if she couldn't find a room to pray in. With ten active children, she managed to set aside time each day for God. I have one child and one on the way. How is it that my day is so noisy, busy, and lacking in productiveness? Pregnancy is a groggy and sluggish thing these days so it's no surprise that I use it as an excuse to do even less. The things I do set aside time for are usually passive things decided by my toddler, husband, or others. When I have time where no is asking anything of me, I use it to be self-indulgant. Instead of sowing in areas of life that will produce fruit I resort to old familiar gratifications. After allowing myself to be pulled and pushed by other people and even the dog, I feel more like a victim that needs to just rest and baby my imaginary bruises and scratches. It's all my fault.

I fear hurting people and losing love. I fear failure in the areas I know nothing about, the fruitful areas. Questions plague my head when I begin to step in the healthy direction: What if I'm no good? What if I tell them "No" and they get hurt and offended? Silly questons that anyone who's done anything worthwhile has answered. They answer those questions with perseverence. When they hurt someone, they endure the criticisms and guilt trips and apologize. But they hold their ground. If they are right, they come out with a clean conscience. When they fail at something they begin again having learned a priceless lesson just for them. They don't have to gather their audience for a pity-party and then reason away all future attempts with excuses.

I have written lists of projects I would love to start. I have even been given the tools and time to begin learning about these things. My obstacles are patterns I have setup with my child and my friends and family. It's my own fault that they have come to expect this passive behavior from me. It's so much easier to give others the responsibility for my actions in my mind. But I am going to be accountable for everything I do with this vessel...

6/16/2009

Life is what HE makes it

The baby is asleep with a fever and my husband is fishing with a friend from work. Here I am with the laptop and the couch and maybe even the time to write. Can life be so rich and full that we cannot fathom each moment? I have gone from broken divorcee to happily married mother with another baby on the way. All of this in a mere three years. My last blog entry was the end of life as I knew it. A new kind of love crashed into my heart with an eternal purpose that has taken many rough spots and smoothed them.

My baby girl is 16 months old now. I am thirty...years old; I don't know how many months that is. There is another life in my womb that is three and a half months in the making. My husband and I finally married a week and a half ago on June 6th 2009. We had been engaged for a year and a half and committed for life since we decided to get pregnant the first time. It was no accident, we knew exactly what we were trying for. The love we have in God's hands is so big and beautiful that it seemed wrong not to bring a life to share it with. People wonder, "Why bring a child into this awful world?" But in Jesus Christ's Kingdom there is only Him and His purposes. They say life is what you make it. I disagree. Life for God's children is what He makes it.

He took a broken and selfish sinner and made a strong and healthy married mother. I've seen people who wear the evidence of their brokenness all over them with tattoos, fat rolls, scars, and alcohol breath. People as thin as skeletons with cheeks sunken sitting in the doctor's office for a "sinus infection" shakey, paranoid, and thinking of white powder. People who hide their brokenness with practiced style and convincing words. Men and women who are so hidden that they can't see who they really are even when God holds a mirror into front of their souls. We, the people, lost beneath the objects that will someday be rubble and possibly our tombs.

But God removes the burdens and unshackles us from our vices. He feeds the truth-hungry and cradles the delicate until they are safely out of danger. He does not lead us into temptation and He delivers us from evil. All of this He can do for those who trust Him. I still wear the memory of what I was to remind me of Who God is. My tattoos, scars, and fat rolls tell a story. It's the story of a Being that made a creation so flawed that no matter what it tried it could not make itself worthy of it's Creator. There was one creature in particular that thought pretty highly of herself in her sin. She thought she couldn't be that bad since so many people were entertained by her and found her attractive. But an emptiness haunted her and a fear crippled her emotions. She sought love but found abuse and heartbreak. When she was stripped of her dignity and terrified in her vulnerability she finally looked beyond this world. The eternity in her heart began to be satisfied with Jesus Christ. Thirst was quenched and breath was given to her spirit. A new creation was born.

I suppose I am about twelve years old in the spirit if that means anything. If spiritual life is anything like physical life then I'm in trouble. But Jesus is our example and He was twelve once. "I must be about My Father's business." And so must I.

I love to look at my child's sleeping face. It's times like that when I remember that this child is God's creation first. I've never seen anything so beautiful so I know it is God's workmanship. Soon perhaps she will have evidence of her sin and brokenness. She will see her humanity and hopefully will see mine, too. Then we can trace my scars and tattoos back to my captivity and rejoice in the times when God parted the sea of hopelessness and rescued me from my sin.

It feel good to have written something again. How easy it is to see God's glory when you form sentences and tell the truth of your heart. All of the people of the bible wrote their stories for us to show His glory and reveal His love. I can read it and I can write it. Words that take the jumbled moments of my memory and decipher what they mean and present it in story. There is such importance in writing, not just to read my own words and be gratified by people reading them. But to read my thoughts and know that they are there amidst emotions and distractions. Blogging allows me to imagine the perfect audience who seeks God's truth and wants to find a friend in my story. What better way to make sure you are saying something worthwhile.

4/14/2007

Spring

We have two hummingbird feeders on our porch. Emily put them up this week during our Spring Break. I am excited about going back to work on Tuesday with the kids again. I miss them. It's stormy today. Humid and dark with thunder and intermittent rain. April showers bring May flowers and June bugs and July heat to the deep south. But it was the coldest April in 110 years.

We went to the Strawberry Festival last night. Emily hung out with Erica and I hung out with Nicole. They are both 8 years old, I think. What fun! We went on a free fall ride and a spinny throw-up ride and watched The Sanchez Twins perform live. They are a pop-girl group.

It's a laid-back life here in Loooooziana. I want to start writing more. I should be publishing something soon on Sylas.net I hope.

3/03/2007

God is NOT boring

I don't have much to write these days. I draw big blanks. But for some reason I have been able to produce sonnets. Maybe it's the structure that I like. Anyway...

"To many, total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation." -St. Augustine

That St. Augustine quote answers for me the mystery of why church culture is so BORING to me. Mediocrity is safe because you abstain from all of those thing which may be slightly dangerous. It's easier just to abstain like he said. Jesus said for us to chop off limbs if they cause us to sin. He is pretty passionate about us abstaining from any kind of sin. There is nothing mediocre about amputating yourself or plucking out an eye.

I know I get bored easily because I am use to flirting with disaster. But staying on the straight and narrow doesn't have to be boring. God is NOT boring! Why do we compromise and abstain from diving deeper into Him as His children? We sit in the waiting room and read magazine article about His abundant life instead of actively seeking it.

LORD, help me not to get bored. You are everything that is exciting and beautiful. Nothing is as wonderful or magnificent as You. Please help Your children see You more like that. Joy Joy JOY to the earth-dwelling citizens of Heaven!

2/28/2007

Sonnet #2

Society Sonnet

The many plans of man are being brought
Upon the table all the futile dreams
The incandescence of the picture seems
To bring the joy that some would think it ought
The characters of deep foreboding thought
In eyes the closing lids around the beams
Imagination adds the subtle gleams
And mad delusion brings the soul to naught
When God, the Breath caresses through the feast
They gasp as though to welcome in a prayer
Exhaling with a quake, a reverent fear
Remembering the romance of the beast
Repentance on the tongue and waiting there
Till hearts are clean and consciences are clear

2/20/2007

Sonnet #1

Humility Sonnet

Atop a hill the queenly flowers stretch
Bestowing fragrant airs upon the meek
A toddler’s undiscerning hide and seek
With booted heel has crushed a royal wretch
My petals once uncurled as though to fetch
Are now in flattened earth. Aroma weak
I’ll decompose without a word to speak
I’ll miss my part in every artist’s sketch
But if my God allows the days to pass
The weight of rain will push me down a grade
And bedding with a seed beneath the grass
We’ll die together in a lover’s braid
Conceiving stem to trunk and kingdom class
Providing all the meadow with our shade

2/02/2007

Wretched Hamster

I repented recently. It's none of your business what for, but I'll say it was a good idea that I did. The reason is simple. My body and soul do not belong to me, they were bought at a price. First I was brought into this world by God and I am sustained by God. Then I was called by God and saved by God. Now His Holy Spirit lives in me and I am being sanctified by God. I am His. Which makes this other realization even more unsettling:

Every fiber of my sinful nature hates that I don't own me. I can feel the rebellion like cancer in my heart that wants to deny God's love to satisfy it's appetite for gratification. 'Wretched man that I am' is an understatement. It's like darkness and light fighting over my will during every choice I make. Yes, I repent. Then I am at the mercy of Jesus Christ to not spin around and commit the same sin I just repented for.

I realize I've had it easy. All my depression and anguish and confusion was cake compared to what I am suppose to face. It was easy to wallow and go nowhere with my faith. I was caged like a hamster in my sinful nature and when I needed grace to run on my little hamster wheel I would scamper over to the water feeder and sip a drop or two. The door to my cage has been open for a while now. I am looking from the hamster wheel to the door and back again. And back to the door. Hmmm, the enemy prowls around like a lion looking for whom he may devour. No wonder I have stayed in my little cage of fruitlessness. But I'm not a hamster I am a sheep. I have a Shepherd and I am never alone. Where is my faith? I haven't needed much faith in the safety of my prison. It seems like I'm always standing on the threshold.

Jesus God help me. Help me not to try and see into the future unless it is the future of Heaven and resting with You forever. Help me to forget myself in favor of remembering You. Help me to remember that my body belongs to You and it is unethical for me to use it for selfish purposes. Help me withstand the onslaught of temptations that face me in this decadent society. Help me to love those around me instead of running from them. Help me run from them when I am called away from them by You and only then. Lead me guide me by Your Spirit. By the blood of the Lamb I pray.

1/21/2007

Hadassah

It's pouring down rain suddenly. The air was so thick with moisture earlier and now the clouds have finally burst open completely. Just the sound drenches me and floods my ears.

I finished a book in a trilogy by my current favorite author Francine Rivers. It is the "Mark of the Lion" trilogy that she wrote back in the mid-nineties. They are epic tales of people in first century Rome. This woman's writings have done much to change my heart about God. Throughout my introduction with author in reading "Redeeming Love", I cried frequently at the idea of such a merciful, steadfast God that never turned His back on the main character even for a second. She brings the hardest skeptics and the most faithful believers together to describe the most important battle a human will ever face. She doesn’t hold back in her exploration of the heart, either. She has spoken many things to me that God has wanted me to understand just by falling in love with her characters and story.

That brings me to Hadassah. (mild BOOK SPOILERS WARNING for anyone who plans on reading the series. It’s not anything that will ruin the journey though) She is the main character in the first book titled, “A Voice in the Wind”. Throughout the few years of time that we witness, she never falters in her faith but is strengthened to the point where she is given the ultimate honor. At this point I would suggest reading Foxes Book of Martyrs for moving accounts of others blessed with that honor. It’s not the sacrifice that is most beautiful but the faith to walk into death unafraid.

I was out with Em and Casey last night as the designated driver. I wore the keys on my belt loop proudly and stopped drinking at about eleven o’clock. I was concerned when my buzz went away that I would grow tired and bored and miserable. But the energy in the bar was saturated with other drunks being abandoned that I stayed entertained even up the point of closing the bar at 2am. I danced with Emily and four brave young men, played darts with a couple fellas from Wisconsin, and flirted until I felt irresistible. The only difference in me was I had my mental faculties fully in place and ready for any kind of normal life challenge (i.e. car troubles, rude guys, someone throwing up, etc.). I felt responsible but not in the least un-fun. And most amazingly, I prayed and thought of a fictional slave girl from Francine Rivers’ mind. I was thinking, “What would Hadassah do?” She would serve her Lord and God with amazing peace and consider all those around her in their oblivion. I felt freer when I remembered the freedom that she had. I felt like faithfulness wasn’t out of my reach even after so many years of doubt. If only I would trust God with the things I’m scared to let go of, He would show Himself. Well, He showed Himself last night and I was filled with compassion for many of those around me. It wasn’t depressing but I felt surges of hope and joy. Anyone could see it on my face and that made me strangely attractive. I love to be attractive! It’s like one of my favorite things ever.

The bar doesn’t present any temptations that I can’t easily distract myself from or resist. It’s when the guys become my friends and provide opportunities for me to rationalize sin that it becomes the challenge. Something in my brain clicks off when something in my thighs clicks on. I can go from a pure virginal child of God to a panting dog in heat in a matter of seconds. If my guy-friends or ex-boyfriends or whomever aren’t gentlemen or a believers themselves, I end up doing something STOOPID. Luckily God protected me last night but not before He showed me how easily my faith was smashed by lust. It’s that parasitic sin that I long to be freed from. I was encouraged to read how Hadassah struggled in her love for an unbelieving man. Her thoughts were so understandable and reminded me of my own when I use to cry out to Jesus to save me from my deceitful heart. When did I stop praying for His help? I stopped praying when I stopped wanting Him to help me. Just the word, “Celibacy” makes me sick; that commitment to be unsexy and unattractive for the sake of the gospel. So much of my worth is built around how attractive I am to men. No wonder I wasn’t willing to let that go. But I see the way God is providing for me to rise above it. Hadassah was ten times more attractive because of her faith. I was so relieved when I read that she was more radiantly beautiful because of her peace and trust in God. She won the heart of a decadent pagan who could have had any woman in the land and she felt sick with love toward him as well. But God strengthened her to stand up under temptation and she persevered. Her life planted a seed in his heart that I hope sprouts the most loving gift of all in the Roman. I will have to wait until I get the next book in the mail to find out.

When we love, we think of other before ourselves. I may want to sleep with them but God, Himself wants to woo them. If I can cage the drooling canine of lust long enough to resist the temptation, God can strengthen my faith in Him and my confidence in His works.

1/14/2007

Ticks of Habitual Sin

"Good works authenticate our faith and a godly life affirms that the Spirit of God is working in our lives." - The Broken Messenger (www.brokenmessenger.com)

I'm not so sure the Spirit of God is working in my life. Except He does notify me of my sin. I repent and have the silly hope that I will not sin again in the same way, but the hope is dashed when I find myself suffering consequences of yet another stray from God's path.

My desire to be loved by boys is very strong and powerful. It even dulls the desire to do the right thing for God. Of myself I don't even want to stop sinning. It's only God's Spirit that will transform my desires, right? It's a doozy. I have been "boy crazy" since I was 5 years old. FIVE!!! And I think boys were crazy for me when I was even younger if I remember a certain nasty episode correctly. Lust has been such a big part of my life for so long it's no wonder that it's embedded in my heart so vehemently.

Yesterday Jon pulled a fat tick off of my Sophia. Ticks are nasty little parasites. I've seen them the size of a man's thumb out here. They are all grey and full of fluid. They have such a good grip that it takes tweezers and finesse to get them to let go. And they HAVE to let go otherwise their heads break off and stay in the skin. Then another tick grows from the head, this time it's a lot uglier. Just thinking about ticks makes me feel icky. Why did God make them? What's the point, LORD?

Perhaps one reason is so that I would draw this conclusion: Ticks are like habitual sin. I have a GIGANTIC one called Lust. It's invisible to everyone except God and me. I believe Jesus' Spirit can remove this tick, but until I believe He loves me enough to help me through the separation anxiety and the brand new existance that would mean for me, I am unwilling to hold still long enough for Him to put His tweezers on me. Will this stupid tick be the end of me? Oh Lord, I beg You to help me understand Your love. That Your love is worth the huge discomfort and the pain of separating from a lifetime of engrained habits.

I just picture Jesus pleading for me before the Father, "Give this child more time." It's like the fig tree. The gardener cared for the trees so much he pleaded to the Master for them. Though they were unfruitful and taking up space, the gardener believed in them. Oh Jesus please don't give up on me. I have been overcome with Lust since I was little more than a baby. The one thing I have sought more consistently than Truth has been love from a man. Do what You have to do to prune the dead parts of me before the gangrenous infection spreads and I wither at Your hand because it was too late to help me. When the King requires my soul of me I want to be ready for Him. But this lifetime of sin won't let me go on my own. Help my unbelief. It's hard to believe that You would really change me and my life so completely and drastically. Quickly? Maybe You are taking Your time because this kind of change takes time. Maybe You are waiting for me to choose something? To surrender? I understand now that nothing is impossible for You. If you want to, You can heal me.