Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Someone To Cheer You On

Who’s a cheerleader for you in your life? Who is that someone who is always supporting you, giving you encouragement and rooting you on? No matter how crazy your idea or what you’ve done to mess up – they believe in you and are endlessly boosting your morale?
Everyone needs someone like that in his or her lives. A few or more would be even better – but a lot of people dream of even having just one person who is their fan club and in their corner.

If you don’t feel like you have someone cheering you on or offering encouragement – why not? Is there something you could look at in your life that might be hindering someone else from taking that spot for you?

Do you withdraw a lot or keep to yourself? Do you have this “thing” about letting others into your personal life so you don’t confide often in them? Do you tend to maybe jeopardize yourself? Some people have cheerleaders but then they go out and sabotage their own life. It can get to be very draining trying to cheer someone on again and again when they only shoot themselves in their own foot!

How about you? Do you cheer anyone else on in life? Are you there for someone? Do you encourage and root someone (or many someone’s) on in life? If not – why not? Do you realize that other people need you just as much as you need other people?

We will always find a crowd ready and willing to boo us. There will always be those who want to get up and walk out on our “game” of life. But those special someone’s who stay and continue to cheer us on and encourage us to get back out there – those are the people we need. Those are the ones who give us the motivation, stamina, and endurance that we need to find on those days when we feel like we can’t find it on our own.

Everyone needs someone. Look for them and appreciate them.
Be them.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Warm Days

We are having a spurt of last-minute warm weather here in Idaho.  There are a few things I love about the sunshine and warm days. Okay, well there’s a lot of things I love. But a “few” of them are…

*Hearing people mowing their lawn. It’s the sound of “summer” to me. (Okay, I know summer is over – but it still represents that feel to me )

*The sound of sprinklers.

*Walking around barefoot. There is something so natural and yet so basic about it. It’s a very freeing and comfortable state of being for me.

*Driving with the windows down! It is so great to feel the warmth against my skin and smell nature. I love the wind blowing through my hair and the music blaring in my car.

Only one problem.

This is me driving with my windows rolled down…

A little hair in the face, you think?

It does make me laugh though. That must be worth it, right?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

It's All About Attitude

"The joy of the Lord is my strength." Neh. 8:10b

"By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35

How are you known by others? Do you radiate joy and love or are you tired, worn out, depressed, and grumpy?

It seems to me that for a Christian to win the “lost” over, they have to have something to offer. If we aren’t happy, we’re frustrated, at odds with one another, critical, and unkind – how can we possibly expect anyone who doesn’t know God to even want to?

How are we representing Him?

Life is tough. Sometimes it’s downright cruel. No one’s saying you need to walk around with a smile on your face all of the time. You don’t need to fake it or pretend. But as a believer, with a faith in God; there should be an inner peace and warmth that radiates from your heart outwards. Even through the tough times.

Just remember – the joy of the LORD is where you get your strength.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What Do You Want Your Life To Be About?

I sometimes think about how I will think or feel when I’m in my 80’s. Will I be in a retirement home or still living in my house? Will I be fairly healthy and active still, or will I be in a wheelchair? Will loved ones visit me often or will I feel all alone? Mostly, I think about how I will reflect on my life. Will I have loads of regrets on how I spent my time or will I have great stories to share and more ones taking place?
I want my life to be about something that matters. I don’t want to live to be a mature adult and look back and see that I wasted it. That I focused on things that didn’t really matter. When I’m in my 80’s – I’m guessing that how well I tended a garden, or how many books I read won’t matter very much. Those are great hobbies – but they don’t impact lives. And that’s what I want to do.

I want to know that my children and grandchildren value me because of the time I invested into them. I want to know that I tried to help as many people as I could who crossed my path in life. I want to feel content knowing that I gave “my” time to God and let Him handle the scheduling. I don’t want to look back and see that I was busy with time wasting things…but rather God-causes. I want to see that I made a difference in the lives of those around me.

I think everyone wants their lives to matter. The hard part is not getting distracted by other things. Jobs, social commitments, hobbies, finances, and other stresses can so easily consume all of our time. We fail to see that in the process, they are pulling us away from a destiny and purpose that God may have in mind for us.

Look at your normal weekly schedule. What is it full of? Is that just a season or phase in life or has it been that way for a few years now? If it has, maybe it’s time for a change. It’s so easy to get comfortable with the way things are – but often times we don’t feel fully “alive” and engaged in life because we aren’t fulfilling the call that God has for us! We either overlook it, avoid it, or ignore it. It’s easy to do when that call may scare you.

But we only get one chance at this thing called life. We only have this shot in life to matter – to make our lives count. If your heart is being pulled for the orphans in another country, do something about it! If you wish you could be a part of something larger than yourself, stop wishing and do something about it! God gave you that desire for a reason. I promise you, giving of yourself is the most freeing feeling you’ll ever have when it’s done unselfishly and with abandon.

What do you want your life to be about? When you’re getting older in your years and you look back on your life – will you have made it an adventurous story by thrusting yourself into the opportunities that were presented to you? Or will you simply sit by quietly in a chair and wish you’d done more, seen more, and experienced more? Ask God today to show you and lead you where He wants you. Ask Him to help you make the most of your life. I promise you – He will.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Lesson On Honor

When I was a freshman in high school, I went to a small Christian school. They were pretty relentless in starting off the year making fun of the freshmen. We were the “peons” on campus and they drove that point home. I will never forget how they made us wear these ugly beanie hats the first week of school. Why did I wear it, you ask? Well, because if you didn’t wear your hat, they made you suck an egg. I’m not joking.

This year, we made the decision to return our girls to a private Christian school after having them in the public school system for 3 years. My oldest daughter is in the 8th grade. They call the seventh graders the “sevies.” Do you know what they did for the “sevies?” They matched each of the 7th and 8th graders up and as a service project, the 8th graders each decorated a 7th graders locker. They gave them treats in their locker and little gifts all day long in their classes (dollar store items). In addition, they bought them lunch and sat with them! I was so impressed.

My daughter went to the dollar store and she bought the nicest things she could find. Cinnamon smelling perfume….things that she’d want. She said, “I wanted to spoil her because I know what it’s like to not get a good gift.” She’s not kidding either. My daughter has gotten the short end of the stick a few times in gift giving situations. I was so proud of her for going “all out” for this girl that she didn’t know; and being prepared to make her day special.

What a contrast. I experienced one aspect of a school – one that to me, emphasized "status", and my daughter is experiencing another. She is experiencing what schools SHOULD be doing. They are acting like leaders and examples. They are trying to make the underclassmen feel wanted, loved, and special – not ridiculed, shamed, or embarrassed. No jokes. No gimmicks. They are loving on them. And that’s how it should be!

I want my daughter to learn that with age comes maturity and responsibility. In order to be looked up to, you have to earn that respect and not look down on those younger or more inexperienced than yourself. Her school is demonstrating that fact to the kids and I’m so honored to have her a part of it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Do you know what “TMI” stands for? It stands for ‘too much information.’ I’ve seen it used more and more in this age of social networking. And usually when it’s used; I’m nodding my head in agreement.

I love twitter. For me, it’s about networking and also about letting people get to know me a little more personally. I love blogging too! And I love, love, love Facebook. It has gotten me back in touch with some sweet faces from my past. But with each one of those networks there is a hidden line and boundary that I think people somehow forget not to cross. That’s the boundary of “too much information.”

Honestly – I’m amazed at what people will publicly share. Astonished and sometimes out and out shocked. Some things are just meant to be kept in the privacy of your own home within your own family.

I do not need to know all the intimate thoughts you feel for your spouse. The fact that you love and adore him is enough for me to get the picture. I don’t need to hear specific details on how you potty-trained your child or how well they did or didn’t run to the bathroom today. I know that as my children get older, I’m having to “ok” blog posts, comments, and photos by them because they get embarrassed. I’d much rather do this, than have them resent me for what I said or posted about them!

People forget that social networking is just like a social gathering. Whether it’s a meeting, or a party at a friend’s house – I’m almost positive that many of the comments I see online would never be said face to face with a friend! And yet somehow, people feel at ease and comfortable saying them online! We need to remember we are doing the exact same thing – just over a computer screen. The next time we see that co-worker, friend, or family member? They will still know what we wrote or posted…just as if we’d said it to them in person.

I’m finding that a good rule of thumb for me is to sit on it for awhile. If I still feel I want to say something – then ‘ok.’ But if I start doubting whether I should post something, chances are if I follow through; I will regret it.

I like to have some class. I try to maintain my integrity. I don’t want to continually be haunted by things I’ve posted on the Internet.

So if you get a “tmi” prompt from someone? Chances are, it’s time for you to re-think how much you are sharing online as well.

Friday, September 17, 2010

What I'm Not Good At

Everyone has gifts and talents. And everyone has those things that for whatever reasons, they just seem to be difficult or inept at doing. For others it seems fairly easy but for us – we just aren’t gifted at it.

I thought it would be fun to share a few things that I’m just not very good at. Why? Well, because I think it’s good to laugh at things sometimes. I think if we can lighten up and not be so serious about things, then we can feel freer to truly be ourselves. Let’s be honest, it feels good to hear that someone else isn’t good at something, right? It helps us feel more normal – less alone. So, today, my friend – feel less alone. Because I’m about to disclose just a few (of the many) things that I am just not good at!

*I’m not good at wrapping presents. Seriously! I can’t ever seem to get the corners right and oftentimes rip a gift as I’m trying to pull, tuck, and tape. And you’ll laugh at me – but sometimes I just tape that rip right up instead of starting all over!

*I’m not good at making beds. Never have been! I can tuck blankets under the mattress but always seem to discover lumps, wrinkles, and bulky spots. My tucking is more like stuffing – but it gets the job done!

*I’m not good at math. Maybe that’s why I detest it so much. I cannot for the life of me figure out word problems and to this day, I struggle with remembering numbers and figures whether it’s how much a big purchase cost (like our house) a few years ago or the combination to something. If it involves numbers – I’m weak.

*I’m not very good at taking video. My husband tells me the video is always shaky. So he takes most of the video and I take photos – something I enjoy much better!

*I’m not very good at crafts. I try. But I think it’s because I have the attention span of a child. I want to be done quicker than some crafts take. So I settle for mediocrity and do them anyway.

*I can’t parallel park. Don’t make me try or I might scrape and/or dent something.

*I’m not very good at small talk. I don’t like to “chat” just to shoot the breeze. Give me a specific subject or the heart of a matter and I can go to town. But I don’t like to waste breath on idle talk. It seems like such a waste to me when there is so much more “depth” in every human life.

*I’m not very good at making sandwiches. They taste good but I’m always messy. My husband smiles but whines a little because I always seem to get peanut butter, jelly, or mustard on the side of the bread. Yes – I’m a slob at making sandwiches.

What are some things you aren’t good at? Let’s forget perfection and instead smile at the little quirks that God has built into each one us making us especially unique.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Alone With My Thoughts

I’m frustrated. Sometimes it feels as if certain things will never change. And that frustrates me! I get so tired of certain issues. Do you know what I’m feeling?

I can’t figure out if it’s Satan trying to push my buttons; knowing I may be vulnerable in a particular area…. Or if it’s God sifting and molding me because I haven’t learned whatever it is that He wants me to learn yet. On the other hand, it could be neither one of these options and the “issue” could have nothing to do with me but everything to do with someone else. In which case, that makes it all the more frustrating because then I’m either an object lesson for them, or I’m along for the ride in case they need my support or a helping hand along the way. And sometimes I just don’t want to be a helping hand – ya know?

Those are my human feelings, anyways. Those are the feelings I have at night when I’m weary and I’m alone with my own thoughts. Those are the true, genuine thoughts that fleetingly pass through my mind. When I’m weak, and weary.

We all have those times. Thank heavens we are given fresh starts every day. Fresh starts to think clearly; have a better attitude and start over with a new focus. I’m so thankful for that. I’m thankful that God doesn’t get mad at me when I’m low and have the “less-than-honorable” feelings and thoughts. I’m thankful that He somehow has an amazing way of recharging my battery and renewing my drive when a new dawn arrives the next morning. It’s amazing how He can do that for me! But I know I have to be careful. I don’t want to wear out my welcome or take Him for granted. I don’t want to ruin something majestic that He might be planning in the middle of my “storm.” So I ride it out – letting the wind batter against me at times and sting my face.

We all go through “stuff.” All of us. No one is more special than another to have the EXCEPTIONALLY more difficult person or situation in his or her life. We all weather the bad together. Sure, not all of us face it at the same time – but we all face it at ONE time or another.

I’m frustrated today. But tomorrow it may be someone else’s turn to be frustrated. Heaven help me, if I’m the cause! So I get on my knees and I ask God to help me through. I ask Him to help my attitude, lighten my heart, and lift my spirits. I ask Him to give me the strength to say the right words, do the right thing, and look at things through His eyes. Only then, maybe, just maybe, I’ll see what He sees and everything will be clear.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Living As a Brand Name on a Blue Collar Budget

Everyone has choices in life. Do you splurge on that really nice house and drive old cars, or do you drive a really nice car, get a boat and live in a small/older house? Choices.

Some people, however, want it all. They want the car, the house, the job, the clothes, and most importantly…the image.

I grew up living in a home with a tight budget. We didn’t have many extras. When I first got married, my husband and I also had a very tight budget because he went back to school. We even went so far as to go on Food Stamps. I look back and wish that I could have decked out my first daughter in frilly dresses and super cute bows. But it just wasn’t feasible. At the time, I was so thankful to be able to get her a new outfit at Wal-Mart, it didn’t matter that it wasn’t name brand.

I’m thankful for those times. For even though I have those fleeting “wishes” that cross my mind – those times taught me how to be frugal and how to live within my means. I learned where to shop and what to look for. The word “clearance” became my best friend. Even now that our purse strings are a little looser, I still have a hard time spending over a “set” amount that is ingrained in my head.

I’m slowly learning to buy something a little bit nicer in a nicer store for myself. As I do, I ponder how thankful I am to do it “occasionally.”

I hear a lot of people talk about how tough the economy is on them. I hear how they are financially strapped. And I struggle. I struggle because most of us are walking around with name brand purses and shoes. I see what we wear and I know it’s not from Wal-Mart, K-Mart or Target but instead, a very high priced department store. I listen to how we talk about where we went for dinner last week with friends and where we are planning on going this week with friends. And I hear how we discuss all the latest movies.

It seems to me that we are stuck in this quest of “image.” We feel we need to look, move, and act as if we are name brand material even though we are living on a blue-collar budget. I still have hand-me-down furniture that I’m trying to replace and I often watch home movies and see that my husband or I still have that shirt from 5 years ago. We are not poor – for the most part; we simply use what we have until it wears out, falls apart, or breaks.

My children are growing up and that makes spending even tougher. I want my children to fit in and belong yet I can’t always afford the latest styles and trends. I want them to learn how to be wise with their money.

I don’t think most people would guess where my family shops by the way we look. We shop pretty much everywhere. But we do it based on how much we have to spend at a certain time. I’ve learned how to shop “up” and how to shop “down.” Basically for me, that means how to get nice stuff at the more inexpensive stores and how to buy things on sale and clearance at the nicer stores! It works for our budget at this season of our lives.

Sure, we’d all love to be wearing name brand stuff. But we have to “make do.” It doesn’t matter if something is on sale if you’re still spending too much money on the item!

Let’s face it – most of us are living on blue-collar salaries. There aren’t too many of us who can buy what we want, when we want. So let’s stop grumbling about having no money when it’s us that is spending it on name brand cosmetics and jeans! Trust me, you can still look cute and darling by shopping within your means – just shop wisely.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

God Will Be With You In It

I was talking with a friend recently about a situation in her life. She reminds me a lot of “me.” She thinks things through very thoroughly.

Sometimes you can “over-think” things. You go over the “what-if’s” which are endless. You try to research, be proactive, and double and triple-guess everything. You can get so intense about it because you are afraid of making the wrong choice; the wrong decision.

As we were talking, I shared with my young friend how I’ve learned (or actually AM learning) that I can put extra pressure on myself in the quest to not make a mistake. I think it’s good to be wise and to try and make informed and smart choices in life. But at the same time, we can stress ourselves out when we don’t know exactly what God has in mind for us.

I think if you are seeking out God’s heart and His direction on something, then that needs to quiet your turmoil at times. Maybe you will make a wrong choice. But unless you are clearly and defiantly ignoring what you know He wants for you….. He can still use it and bring about blessing from it.

God will be with you in your decisions. If you decide to go to the left; He will be with you in it. If you decide to go to the right; He will be with you in it. You just need to pray, seek His heart, seek out Godly counsel, and then head in the best direction you can from that point on.

Mistakes will come. We are imperfect. Maybe it’s God’s will that we make a mistake because that’s the only way we will listen to something He wants to say to us. Maybe it’s not. Maybe we just misheard what we thought He was saying to us. Either way, if you truly are seeking Him out, growing in your faith, learning, and are active in your walk – then I believe God will still use that wrong choice. He can turn anything around and use any area of our lives – even if it wasn’t His choice for us.

Never stop seeking Him. Never stop asking Him to show Himself to you. For one way or another, if that is your heart’s desire….He’ll show up just as you asked Him to.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

He Called Me Again?

My husband called me at least 3 times that day. I had started to get a little “irked.” I mean, he was messing with my schedule! What schedule, you ask? Well, my own mental home-imposed schedule!

Then, I paused and gave it some thought. And God spoke to my heart about my attitude and my priorities.

In the past, my husband had complained that I could sometimes seem less-than-eager to talk to him when he called me. So he stopped calling me from work for a while. Yikes.

Is that what I really want?


Today, I am so thankful when my husband calls me. I’m so thankful he misses me during the day. I’m thankful that he wants to see how my day is going, or just to hear my voice. I’m thankful that he asks for my opinion.

So what’s a few minutes in my day? So what if I don’t get a few things done? I’m investing into a person – a relationship. A marriage.

I want my husband to know that I love to hear his voice. I love to be on his mind.

I pray that I will convey a joy from my heart when my husband calls me on the phone, comes home from work early, or stops in the room to pay some attention to me. Because he loves me. He desires to be with me. And as his wife, that is my heart’s desire, as well

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Risk Yourself

“Protect yourself” is something that is ingrained in our hearts and minds from the time we are little kids. We are taught to be safety conscious. We are urged to “drive safe,” “take care of yourself,” and to do what it takes to protect our families, our material things, and the money we work hard to earn. Whether it’s strangers, unscrupulous friends who would take advantage of us, or simply losses that come with bad economic planning – we are warned to guard, protect, and shield our lives.

Protecting is important. As a mom, my first instinct is to always protect my kids. It doesn’t matter if we are at home, out at a restaurant, or in another country – their safety is always foremost in my mind. I think that’s part of my job.

As a woman, safety is important and feeling protected is important, as well. My husband can do a lot to ensure that I am safe and that I feel secure.

But I have been learning a concept in the last year that goes against everything my human nature wants to do. When my heart screams out “is it safe?’ my desire to serve the Lord is overcoming that fear and God is whispering to my heart to take the risk.

Yes, I am learning more and more to risk myself instead of protect myself. I am seeing how taking a risk on behalf of the Lord ends up in a multitude of blessings because the only thing I end up risking (most of the time) is my pride and my comfort issues. And God has such a great and personal way of taking care of those for me!

When I risk myself on behalf of a cause that I feel God has led me to… I usually feel freer. I feel more blessed and my self-esteem is filled with God’s love. It’s hard to fight against my own human nature. If everything inside of me wants to list out the reasons why something might be a little scary, a little hard, or a little uncomfortable; it’s hard to fight against that and go for it anyways. But with God’s help, baby step by baby step I am learning to face those fears and those obstacles that Satan so neatly stacks in my way. I am learning that by protecting myself; sometimes I’ve been protecting myself right out of God’s plans for my life. I’ve been protecting myself so much that I can’t be blessed, I can’t be used, and I can’t grow. The walls are too high, too strong, and too tight for me to break through them. If I can chip away at them bit by bit, I can start to see what has been on the other side – what it is that God wants me to see. I can see a little bit of how He wants to break my heart so that I can go out and make a difference on His behalf.

The road to serve the Lord is not always an easy one. In fact, if you’re on the right road?…It’s probably guaranteed to have it’s rough spots. But it’s also guaranteed to have its tender secrets. Secrets that never would be shown to us had we not risked walking in the way we felt led by God.

It’s easy to protect ourselves. We do that very well. But it’s much harder to risk ourselves. Risk our reputation, risk failure, risk safety. That’s the hard thing to do.

Even though I still fight against my own human nature screaming out to be safe in every area of my life…I’m wanting more and more to risk myself. Because I’d much rather risk it all and see the Glory of God at work than to live a long life never seeing Him work at all.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Assumptions Are Dangerous

Assumptions. We make them all of the time. We “assume” that someone has a lot of money, or “assume” that someone else has been told an important piece of information. We can “assume” so many things. We can assume importance or lack of it in another person’s life. We can assume things based on people’s looks or attitude and we can assume things based on our own feelings. But assumptions are dangerous.

For one thing, assumptions often can lead us down the wrong path. They can deny us a great friendship or a healed relationship. Assumptions can bring bitterness or anger into our hearts when otherwise there might have been none, and they can even ruin our reputation if we aren’t careful.

I’ve assumed things about people and I’ve had them assumed about me. It’s never fun to be on the end of a wrong assumption! I have pretty good instincts and my gut usually never leads me wrong…but those are different than assumptions. A gut instinct is usually a feeling you get based on observation or a prompt from the Holy Spirit whereas assumption is often based on our personalities and judgments of how someone else is living or acting.

It’s important to know facts in life. Assumptions never get us to a better spot. They don’t bring joy to us or the recipient, and they aren’t usually encouraging, uplifting, or nurturing. Often, they are cutting.

It is so easy for us to assume things. Whether it’s about celebrities – “They have it all together,” or about a friend who lives in a nice house – “They are SO rich!” You just don’t know until you get to know someone and become close with him or her. I’ve gone into very nice houses to discover that someone whom I thought was well off is not at all! Everything they had went into the house and they were being very frugal in order to keep it! It was an assumption.

Get the facts before you assume things about others. You can speculate, guess, ponder, and wonder all you want to but nothing will matter unless you have cold, hard facts. Assumptions ARE dangerous and they can do a real number on relationships if you aren’t careful. Besides, most things aren’t our business anyways so it’s better to take concerns to the Lord in prayer until you know something concrete rather than land you or someone else in a boatload of unnecessary trouble.

Don’t make assumptions. Don’t venture guesses or make rash judgments. It’s never fair to anyone.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Let Your Children Help You

I ran across this home video the other day. Is it not the most precious thing? The excitement in a child over simple indulgences like teddy grahams and oreos.

My children are growing up so fast. They are now 11 and 13. When I look back on this video, I'm so thankful I let my daughter help out. For me, unloading groceries can be a chore - but for her - it was an exciting adventure not knowing what she would pull out of the bag next!

Our children can slow us down sometimes. They won't do things exactly in the way we'd prefer them to do things - but the time we invest in letting them help us is priceless. Not only because they learn how to be responsible, serve, and help out - but because the view of life from a child's heart is simply marvelous. They can take the everyday mundane, and make it something you'll always treasure. They can make it downright "yummy." :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

We Are Failing Each Other

I was talking with a friend recently about the church. The people within the church. Friendships, problems, acceptance, etc.

The subject came up about how hard it was for people to come to church with their hurts. How it’s much easier to smile and act like life is okay and that you are doing good when in reality, you may be struggling in one area or another quite a bit.

When did church become a place that we feel we have to be perfect? Isn’t that the place where God wants us to come to truly be ourselves? Isn’t that the place out of everywhere, where we should be able to come and feel free to lay our hurts, mistakes, and struggles down and get the encouragement and guidance we seek and truly need? Why is it that we feel like we will be a burden on others if we simply get honest with how life is at that particular point in time? Whether it’s unfair or our own doing, we still should be able to count on one another.

Grace and mercy. Where are they?

It seems that when someone makes a misstep in their life, there are many pointing fingers aimed their way. Many looks given and shoulders turned.

God says He will never leave us or forsake us and yet so many Christians feel that the church body has left and forsaken them at times when they need them the most.

Simply put – we are failing each other.

I want to be someone who is there for a brother or sister who is hurting. I want to be able to offer grace and mercy if they are truly repentant and willing to make changes and take the steps needed to get their life back on track with the Lord. I want to love – even when it’s difficult.

I want to be someone who doesn’t fail a friend in need. When they need me to open my arms, I don’t want them to find them closed because I disprove of their actions or lifestyle.

I realize, we cannot condone sin. We don’t want to sit by and close our mouths while someone is doing harmful things to themselves or others. But we also don’t want to lose them to the world because of our criticism and condemnation.

I think it’s time that the church steps up to the plate. It’s time that we stop failing each other. It’s time that we be authentic with each other realizing that true friends will still love us even if our lives aren’t “perfect.”

I’m ready to step up. Are you?