Saturday, August 27, 2016

We Are Afraid of Each Other

We like to reside in “comfort.” We stay in our clich-ey circles, because they are “comfortable.” We stay in the same town, because it’s “comfortable.” And many other “routine” parts of our lives, stay a part of our lives, because we are afraid of “new.” We are afraid, of “change.” We are afraid….of each other.

Think about it.  We are afraid to meet new people who might reject us.

We are afraid to tell others what is really going on in our marriage, with our parenting, in our homes – because they might not understand. They might not like us.

And then we’d feel alone. We’d feel unworthy, somehow. We’d feel inept, unqualified, unloved.

Yes, friends. We are afraid of each other. And that’s so sad.  For deep down? We’re all the same. We can all relate to one thing or another.

We all have had hurt feelings.

We all, have been rejected by SOMEONE.

We all, are not gifted at something.

We all, have a challenge somewhere in our life.

We all want to be liked. And accepted.

We all want someone to listen. To be there for us.

These are basic feelings for most of us. They flit in an out of our lives. They come – they go – but we all have had them.  So why are we afraid of each other? Why are we afraid to be REAL? Vulnerable? HONEST?

If you tell others that you swear, drink, do drugs, smoke, sleep around, struggle as a parent, or a spouse – do you think that they won’t still see the gifts in your life? Do you think that what you DO, takes away from your ability to be loved?

It doesn’t.

We just have to choose our friends, encouragers, and support system, wisely.

A real friend may not condone what you do with your life – but they will still see the character, personality, and heart of who you are. They will fight for you and with you.  They will pray for your struggle.

A real friend will still love.

We don’t need to be afraid of each other. We just need to love one another where we’re at. 

That’s what I’m striving for, anyways.  How about you?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

He Holds Me Together

He holds me together. My God.

I am SO thankful for that.

I certainly don’t have it all together. In fact, I’m flying by the seat of my pants most of the time. I don’t have this thing called life all figured out. The only thing I know is what I believe, and who I believe IN. The rest? I maneuver and walk the path – discovering what I’m made of, as I go along the road.

And He holds me together as I go.

When I feel all alone, He gives me an inner fire that ignites my way. It keeps me burning enough to never quit or give up.  It’s something I’ve always had. Drive.

I weep at times. I hurt like the next person. I cry out in anguish over misunderstandings, unfair judgments, and the lack of appreciation.

I get angry at times over apathy, laziness, and self-centeredness.

I act foolish at times. Wanting more attention than I deserve. Saying things I regret.

And sometimes? Sometimes, I’m actually proud of myself. I think I’ve conquered something. I feel brave. Beautiful.

But the rest of the times… I live in the moment. And in a moment I may feel weak or I may feel strong. I may feel pretty or ugly. I may feel like a great mom, or an awful one.

I discover who I am through my ups and downs. And He holds me together. He weaves and molds me through all my “moments” of life.

He LOVES me.

His hands never let me completely fall. I may stumble, trip, or stutter – but He’s always there to catch me and tilt me upright again so that I can look at what has happened… and hopefully learn from it.

He IS so real. I feel Him with me and I rely on Him.

I never want to walk the path of life without Him by my side.

I get broken at times, but I never stay that way, thanks to Him. He is my fire and my fuel.

And He holds me together as I go.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Power In the Words of Our Hearts

Prayer helps me figure out my heart. Oftentimes, when I go to the Lord in prayer, I figure myself out, as I’m talking to Him. The words spill out, and in the process, I am found.

That’s prayer.  That’s God.

When I don’t have any words at all, somehow, my heart speaks to Him. I know He is there listening, and understanding the emotions of my soul.

And yet I don’t do it often enough.

I alienate Him, as I struggle through my own agenda. So. Many. Times.

And I’m ashamed of that fact, for I love Him so.

If I could change one life, with one prayer, why don’t I do it?

Prayer is the one thing – every, single, person, in this world has. And most everyone turns to it – they turn to God – when they are scared, lost, and forgotten. They know its power; for they reach for it in the most important circumstances and moments in their lives.

Prayer brings me closer to my Lord, and it brings me closer to myself. It brings everything into focus, and it impacts the lives of those I hold most dearly in this world.


The words of our hearts.

Never underestimate their power or their influence. For they are mighty.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Have We Lost Our Heart, For Others?

Have we lost our heart for “others?” When I say that, I mean… have we grown cold to the hurt in someone else’s eyes and heart?

It can be so easy to label people. We can define that driver as “stupid.” We can call that mother, “over reactive,” and we can pick apart those who cross our television screen on a daily basis.

It’s easy. Simple.

Judgment always is.

Knowing what goes on inside of someone? That takes more work. A little bit more time and research has to go into it…which of course, means you have to care a little bit.

Have we stopped caring…. A little bit?

Computer screens make it so easy for us to mock, judge, and tweet out criticism. We can forget to think about the human heart on the other end who will read our words.

I’ve seen people in the midst of tragedy, being judged by others about their parenting skills and people skills, in general. Instead, of being given love and compassion in their time of intense emotional grief.

So, I ask again…. “Have we lost our heart for others?”

Have we lost our compassion? Our empathy? Our kindness? Our grace, mercy, and most importantly, our forgiveness?

Are we so cold and tough, that we can’t allow others the room to be human? Can we not allow them the space to mess up?

Can we give others the freedom to not be perfect?

I have made many driving mistakes. By the grace of God, I hope to make very few more. But, I might.

I have gotten angry at my kids in public. I have regretted those moments. As might, the mama who I witness at the local store.

I have typed out feelings quickly on a keyboard and hit, “send.” And wished with everything in me, that I could pull them back.

You see, we are flawed people. That’s who we are. We shouldn’t expect any differently out of ourselves, except that we keep trying to grow and improve. 

In that process of being flawed, oh, let us please remember, others are flawed too.

In our moments of error, we crave all the things that we can give someone else in their moment. Love, kindness, understanding, grace, forgiveness.

We can listen. We can walk through it with them as they strive to overcome.

We can give them our heart.

Our heart was never just meant to keep to ourselves. It was meant to be used to love on others. And the cool thing is, there is no limit to how much loving we can do. Because the heart has the amazing ability to grow.

So, let’s use it. Let’s grow it.

Let’s care instead of judge. Even if we need to start doing it, “just a little bit.”

Sunday, August 7, 2016

You Don't Have to Know All The Answers

Oftentimes, when God puts us in positions of leadership where others are looking at us, we feel that we need to put on this presence of having all the answers. Of course we want to look pulled-together and professional. We want people to be confidant in our abilities. So we can sometimes, speak on things that we aren’t quite sure about.

It’s okay not to know it all.

It’s okay not to have all the answers.

A great leader is always a great listener and learner. Having these two traits means acknowledging when we are perplexed, or when we still have things we need to learn, regarding something.

We can still be trusted. We can still be confidant even when we don’t have an answer for someone. In fact, it can create more trust, when we are honest with people about our level of knowledge.

I would much rather listen and follow someone who admits they need to find out about something, or that they don’t quite know the solution to something, than I would to someone who offers false words and conceit. I would much rather a teacher or leader tell me they will find something out, than give me an answer that leads me in a wrong direction. It tells me that they value me when they are straightforward and truthful with me!

Some people think that leaders have it all together. The image, the success, and the knowledge. But leaders are human. They are flawed. They have their limitations and weaknesses.

Leaders can’t possibly know it all.  They can’t possibly be it all to everyone. It’s too much to ask of anyone.

Be human. Be flawed. Be honest and real. It’s much more respectable and attainable. It will gain you more loyal friends and followers, than false promises and unfulfilled expectations based on empty words….ever will.

Continue to learn. Continue to grow. Continue to listen. But, be open about the fact that you don’t have all the answers. Allow yourself the room and the freedom to be human.

It’s okay.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

It's Those Tiny Choices

Life. Life is so crazy. We look back at all the curves, twists and turns it took, and sometimes, we don’t even know how we arrived at the spot we currently sit in.

Things can be blurry and fuzzy.

I think it’s interesting how we often forget that it was our own choices that most often led us down the path we have found ourselves on. Good, or bad, those choices made dents in our life. They swayed us to the left or the right, bit by bit.

And it’s why we are, where we are.

Those tiny choices. Those choices we thought wouldn’t really matter in the big scheme of things. Those choices that we made when we were distracted, rushed, angry, or tired.

Those choices we made when we decided we believed in ourselves despite what the rest of the world thought… or not. Maybe we agreed with the rest of the world and stopped fighting for our lives.

Tiny choices.

Choices about who to let be a big part of our lives. Choices about how to spend our time. Choices that we thought wouldn’t matter, because no one else saw; no one else was looking. Choices that started to dictate our character, our worth, our value system, and our attitude.

No choice is every really “tiny.” Not even buying a candy bar. For maybe you are trying not to have sugar, or trying to eat better. You give in once, you’ll give in again. Or maybe that candy bar is a treat. You decided to do something fun for yourself. And that one choice will lead you to start enjoying who you are more.

Tiny choices always lead to bigger results. It’s why we need self discipline in our lives. It’s why we need to be intentional about who we are, where we are headed, and what we want to be about.

We can look back at the road we’ve taken in life, and wonder how we ended up here. But it’s really not a mystery. It was all the choices we made along the way.

The thing is… there are plenty more choices ahead of us. We can still sway the direction the path of our life takes. Whether our path goes through a desert, up over a mountain, or in a valley; our attitude and perspective can greatly dictate how we emerge from those times.

Tiny choices. Choices that can impact our life (or someone close to us) in a good or bad way.

Hmmm. That’s food for thought, isn’t it?