Thursday, December 1, 2011

In His own words. who knew.

I wrote this a few weeks ago.  Doubt, unbelief, and probably a little shame made me hesitate from posting it.  I don't need those downers, and neither do you.  I can't deny that he speaks to me, as crazy as it is, or how unworthy I might feel to be the recipient...doesn't change that it is my reality.  So here it is:

My friend was getting ready to go on a retreat with high school girls.  She was letting me in on some of the details…she shared that sometime over the weekend, they would be writing a letter FROM God. 

I have written many letters TO God.

And I have heard him speak to me.  So I know he does.  Loud and clear.  But, I would never be so presumptuous to actually start penning a letter "FROM Him".

Until he told me to.

Kara, You are brave.  You are kind.  You are strong.  You are like nothing I've ever made or seen before.  You are love, you are compassion.  You are knitted together with an everlasting love.  You are capable.  You are the only YOU.  You are exactly what I want you to be.  You are mine.  I do not make mistakes.  I do not give up.  I do not run out.  My hands are a sacred place for your heart to rest.

I will not stop pursuing you.  I will not stop woo-ing you. 

Trust in me. 

I challenge you to write a letter from God.  I promise that if you ask with an open, willing, believing heart…he will give you HIS words.  And there aren't any sweeter.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I have been praying for patience.  And by praying I mean…using a screaming tone in my head, and sometimes even out loud that says…. "Please God give me patience or something that resembles peace and me not me losing it."  My children have both been celebrating their independence lately.  Jesus help.

So I have been throwing this patience word around, half trusting that maybe I'll get some…

I'm so glad He meets me where I am.

I was reading my bible in James today…and in the notes it says, "Patience is not a passive resignation to adverse circumstances, but a positive steadfastness that bravely endures."  Aaaa-men!

Passive resignation:  I will try not to scream out loud this time, spank my child out of anger, and half hope that I can simmer down. 


Steadfastness that bravely endures:  I will hold my head high, place this circumstance in the hands of the Creator of ALL Things, ask for wisdom, smile at the amazing gifts that I have been given, and be thankful that there is a bigger plan than I could know.  I will know without a shadow of a doubt that even if my 3 year old is screaming, or whining, or testing everything I have known, I WILL KNOW…that I have not failed her.  And even WHEN I do fail her, I lean on HIM who never does. 

Deep breath. We got this.

Friday, September 16, 2011

You feel me?

Epiphany of the day.

Of course it came when I was driving in the car with the windows down.  It just might be the only time I ever completely shut up.

So often, we go off of feelings.  How we are feeling, what something feels like, how we think other people feel.  And often, feelings do not line up with reality.  If you think they do…you are wrong.   Just kidding, it depends on the situation.  But feelings will really trick you, lemme tell ya.

So I was telling Jesus, I'm just not feeling you today…I'm praying, I'm talking, I'm thinking about you…but I'm not feeling you.

And he said….(this is always my favorite part)…

"Think of a marriage." Yup, ok, thinking of a marriage.  "Just because the marriage isn't always happy and butterfly-y, doesn't mean the 2 people in it aren't still married."


Truth…just because I wasn't "feeling" him…doesn't mean I can't profess my love, profess my choice, hand my day over….let him know where I'm at. 

and guess what….just how I imagine a wonderful marriage to be, I felt him all over after that...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A new choice every morning...

I have this memory that I think about quite often.  It comes into my thoughts because it was…. literally… life changing.  It is a great example of how one simple choice can change us completely, as well as spur greatness.

I believe I was about 7 or 8.  It was a very shy stage in my life.  Before this time, I was riding roller coasters, never finding a large enough or fast enough one.  Putting on performances for my family.  Being pretty outgoing and spunky. 

I don't know what caused a change…but there was a season in my childhood where I was riddled with fear.  I was afraid of everything.  I couldn't be loud and fun because I was afraid of rejection.  I had to lock every door and window of the house at night because I was afraid of being taken.  (This fear lasted awhile longer than this decision, but I got rid of that too ;)

So here is the memory:  My Dad and I are going to a Halloween party.  It is at night, and there are a lot of people there…it was an adult party, not a kid party… Dad took me everywhere with him. 

I started getting anxious in the car on the way over.  I wasn't outwardly showing it, but inside I was getting really worked up that I had to be around so many people.  I started hearing this voice…(wish I knew about the holy spirit then)

The voice was gentle, and it said, "Kara, you don't have to be shy.  You can make a choice not to be shy.  You can choose to shake hands, and be friendly.  You will be ok." 

I walked into that party and shook everyone's hand with a smile on my face.  I was talkative, and it was received well.  You might know this already, but to this day…I am not shy ;)

One choice.  I honestly believe, had I decided to be a turtle and go in my shell that night, my life could be different today.  It seems so simple.  But that was a BIG DECISION for this scared little girl. 

And it just makes me think about what I am choosing today.  What greatness am I not choosing…

I don't want to do that.  It just might change what is happening 10 years from now.  Shoot, it might change what happens right now, or tomorrow.  To me, or to my neighbor, or the guy I felt like I was supposed to encourage but didn't have the guts to go through with it. 

Epiphany:  If it is fear that is driving me to a decision…RUN in the opposite direction.  Lift my eyes.  Open my heart.  Cry out, what would you have for me today My King?  I choose that. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011


He's baaa-aaack. 

Or probably more accurately, I am.

I said yes again (this is constant), that's the beauty of it.  He gave us a choice, one to make over and over.  He never lets go, but I decided to entertain my own ideas for a little bit. bleck. no thanks.

Oh how much I let my pride get in the way and say I am fine.  I am fine feeling depleted, I am fine feeling wrung out, I am fine shrinking into a small existence that doesn't have a voice.  LIE.  I am not fine.  I am not fine when I don't put everything in front of him…down to the smallest detail. 

And you know what, the people in my life aren't fine either.  When I am busy filling my head with anger, and hurt, and worry…who the heck gets anything or anywhere from that.  We like to think that we are allowed these thoughts every once and awhile, at least I like to think that.  I've been hurt dammit, and I DIDN'T DESERVE IT!  So I should be able to think about it, and get mad about it, and let it fester, and vent to a friend, and have a pity party. GAG.  Grow up Kara.  How's that working for you?…Yes, I just quoted Dr. Phil.

The truth is that I am not anger, and hurt, and lies.  And just because someone still wants to speak that over me, doesn't mean I have to buy it for a second!  And it doesn't mean I have to get angry, or upset.  I GET  to look up…and say…"hi…and say,  what do you say???" AND HE WILL TELL YOU! 

He says…, no rather,… DECLARES, you are MINE!  You are my beloved, and I made you.  I put a song in your heart that only you can sing.  You are beautiful.  You are new every morning that you choose me.  You have a path set before you, that I designed.  I long to spend time with you.  I long to have communion with you.  I long to shine my face upon you.  I want you, and I want you to have me.  I want your wildest dreams to come true.  I created you to have wild dreams come true.  It's hard to believe, yes.  But my promises never fail.  

I wouldn't want a best friend that only called when they felt like they were going to die.  Would you?  I feel like he is saying…I love you, I feel so connected to you, I think about you all the time, I want to be closer to you…I want you to know me!  Because I know you, down to every last breath, thought and hair.  But you only call when you can't catch your breath. 

OH and that's the thing of it.  The more you know him, the more you want to know, the more you feel like you aren't breathing without him.  The first time you don't invite him in, you feel the blackness of your heart so much stronger than before because you've been ignited to what you could be. 

                                               I keep hearing REMEDY.

Oh the remedy….

It is Him.

He already IS.

He already IS the Healer.  He already IS the SAVIOR.

He doesn't end.  He doesn't run out.  We can't have too much healing, too much redemption, too much revelation.  He doesn't stop saving! 

Everything else in the world…Everything we have EVER known…Will at some point let us down.  Our parents, our kids, our dearest friends, our spouses, our careers,  Our church…oh yes, even church..even, {gasp}…pastors.  They will let you down.  They will hurt your trust thermometer, and make you feel abandoned to some extent.  

But he won't.  Not ever.  He will NEVER leave you.  He will never stop saving you.  It's hard to wrap your mind around it.  But you don't even have to do that.

He is shouting, "YOU ARE MINE!"

But you have to answer,…yes,…"I AM YOURS!"

and I am. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What I know for sure.

Do you ever wonder if you are going to look back at your life and wish you would have chosen differently. 

I don't want to sound like a cheesy poem, but are you living like it's your last day?

Are you living like you don't have a lot of days left. 

I'm not.

If that were the case, I'd be living a whole lot more.  Insert the cheesy bumper sticker I can't get out of my head: "The meaning of life is to live it."

I'm pretty impressed that I choose my kids over petty things, and dance in the rain (literally), and stop to smell the air, or just look up at the sky.  I have close friends.  I love my family.

Here comes the convicting part that I don't want to write, or say out loud, or even think about quite frankly.

Am I honoring the people I love in my life.  Am I living for them, chasing after them, forgiving them…asking them to forgive me.

hmmm…not always.  I'm learning.  But the answer is a definite no.

So here is what I declare today:

Precious Jesus, I don't care how broken I have to get if I get to feel you pick up the pieces.  I would rather be pushed to a desperation that makes me drop everything and sit with you in my bed, or shout to you in my car, or proclaim you in the streets.  I don't want this life that I'm used to anymore.  Where broken hearts are left untended and  hanging all about.  You make beautiful things.  You give beauty for ashes. 

I trust you with my kids.

I trust you with my family.

I trust you with my life.

I trust you with my finances.

I trust you with and for my future husband.

I trust you with my path.

I trust you with my heart.

and oh, how I want yours.  How I want your heart for your people.  How I want your eyes.  How I want your will. 

You are making me new.

Thank you for that.  Thank you thank you thank you.

You are good. good good good. And I know that for sure.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Throw this Mama from this train.

I have been chatting with Jesus lately about his way and my way.  I feel like he's been telling me that my way is pretty pathetic.  Everything that I could do in my own power…is worthless.  It might look good on the outside, satisfy for half a second.  But all in all, it's pathetic.  He said it lovingly though.

So I asked about his way.  And for some reason, he showed me two trains.  My train looks like a beat up subway.  His looks like angels made it.  It was a quick vision…and it's really not about the trains.  It's really about his time and my time.  When I work in my time I get stressed out, feel unworthy, incapable, and tired.  I feel depleted.  I feel like I'm treading water.  But when I step into his time I feel like I float.  Like it couldn't get better.  Like the blessing won't run out.  BECAUSE IT WON'T.  I don't get to say what comes tomorrow…and I don't know when I leave this earth…but I KNOW that he is good.  And he doesn't change.  And he keeps speaking, guiding, helping, captivating.  WHEN WE LET HIM.  WHEN WE CHOOSE HIM.

I was talking to my friend the other day about a saying that everyone throws around…"God won't give you more than you can handle"…I don't have a scripture reference for this…I don't know if there is one, and I'm not asking for one.  What struck me, is that everyone says this.  People that discredit God, or don't even believe in him.  And then injustice rose in me and I yelled…"You don't know what he'd give you because you haven't invited him to come along!!!!! "

Well, I have invited him to come along.  And I can't even hide how good he is.  I can't stop talking about him.  I can't even believe that he would choose to speak to me.  But he does.  dang.

He chooses all of us.  EVERY one.  He want's us so bad.  He wants us to jump on his train so he can say hi.  So he can be invited.  So he can talk. So he can show you what you really can handle.  What you are really capable of.  It's so much more than you ever thought.

So I laid on my bed today….and I said, "I want to get on your train."…and he said….(If you know me, you know this is huge)…wait for it…

"Buckle up!"

My God is awesome, so awesome I don't have words good enough to describe him.  But he wants to transform me…So I'm going to sit in that seat and buckle up.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

.Skinny dipping epiphany.

I have the privilege of hanging out with high school girls and speaking into their lives.   This is amazing to me, I have so much to say... things I wish I would have heard from a loving place at their age.  On the flip side of that…watching what they are worried about, insecure about, scared of, and what they celebrate is such a window to a place I used to be.

As a child I often got the message that I needed to store up my dreams and aspirations.  Keep my wild ideas in my head.  Woah.  Don't let those fly around.  They are unpredictable, and unheard of.  They are scary for people who have lids on their boxes, and caps on their bottles.

Subduing the things that make you, you…makes for an odd person.  I think a few of us (wink)(me included)(wink again) live our lives out of so much fear that we put all kinds of caps and lids on our wonderful.

That's ok.  There's hope for us all.  I'm learning to be uncorked, undone, unraveled. 

I'd rather be an odd person completely on fire and passionate about my life, than an odd person because I am stifling myself. 

So last night we have a night set aside to do whatever we want as a group of girls.  We decide (as the rebel people that we are), we are going skinny dipping.  This is how you keep life exciting when you are prudes like us.  You get naked in the pitch black when no one will see you.  Extremely freeing to say the least.

We are driving in the car, a group of girls just looking for fun...and willing to do anything to find it, as long as we can bring Jesus with us. 

So the country music is blaring, the wind is swirling, our voices are rising…we are fun.  We want the wind.  We want the adventure.  We want the sappiest song, that makes our heart long for the fairytale.

But what I feel more than anything in this car… Is the desire to be loved.  To be cherished.  To be seen and heard.  To be uncorked.  To be discovered.  To be captured.  To be swept off of our feet.  This isn't just the high school girls.  This is girls.   This is us.  We want to be loved.  We want to be seen as the most precious.  The most beautiful.  We want to be pointed out of a crowd, chosen, set apart, and LOVED.  If you are a woman, and tell me you have never felt like this.  I will be so bold to say you are lying.  And if you have felt like this, but stifled it, and put it in someone else's box, and believed you aren't good enough to have everything you ever dreamed of.  I'm here to crush that lie.  Smash it, and stomp on it, and sing all over it with the truth.

I know Jesus.  Which means I know a love like no other.  I have been swept away, and had the author of romance knock on my door.  I have wind when I need it, and a song written for me in my ear.  I have love letters in sunsets dedicated to me.  I have shooting stars, and surprises, and whispers of love and affirmation.

So here's the epiphany of the night.  I want someone to drive to the lake with me at 1 in the morning.  I mean, someone that's a man…as much as I love the high school girls.  Not to go skinny dipping (well, not until we are married).  I want to get lost together and in each other, and hold hands.  I want long hysterical meaningful conversation that I never get sick of.  And I know that it's possible.  I've never said that out loud before.  It's possible.  Someone to woo me that I can woo back.  Someone to worship the same creator with.  Someone who wants to chase Jesus with me.

But here's the thing.  I don't want it more than I want my relationship with God.  Because he has my heart, all of it.  And if I'm meant to share it with someone else that would be great.  But I WILL NOT sacrifice him for it. 

So my prayer for these girls, and me, and us…is that we would learn to celebrate Him.  Learn to celebrate ourselves.  And when that relationship that's supposed to come, comes…It adds to us and does not take away.  There is no striving.  No questioning.  No pretending. 

And until then, I will let the LOVER OF MY SOUL do just that.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

His Favorites.

Healing tears are the best kind.  Can I get an Amen.  They feel so much hotter and wetter than all the other ones.  I always feel like they spill down my face instead of just fall quietly.  I think they feel like that because they are literally washing the pain away.  I used to fight crying with a mad defiance.  Now, I open my arms wide to embrace my healing tears.  I finally realize that they are a gift.

I've been praying a lot lately about reverence.  I've had some pretty big favors to ask Jesus, and I just wanted to check in to make sure I was asking the right way, or if I was allowed to ask at all. 

Consequently, Chloe would not go to bed tonight.  She just kept coming out quietly, and sweetly, and peering at me with those endless eyelashes batting.  She had this simple, humble little look on her face…tugging at me and asking me to hold her.  She wasn't being mischievous, or stalling (things she is for sure capable of).  She just wanted a little more Mommy time.  My initial instinct the second I heard the hard wood creaking, was to threaten a spanking and send her on her way.  But I saw that face, and I knew to hold her and rock her, kiss her forehead, and whisper in her ear.  These are MY FAVORITE moments.  I would trade anything for them. Anything.  Sweet baby in your arms…just wanting a moment.  There is nothing in the world like it. 

So Chloe goes to bed.  And I ask.  Am I allowed to ask for this much healing? Am I allowed to ask for this much redemption? Am I too much. 

And I'm pretty sure he smiled.  Just like I did when I saw Chloe's innocent face. 

He showed me a very little me (yes smaller than I actually am)…tugging on his beautiful, enormous robe.  And he peered down at me, with the love only a Father could have.  Ask away. 

When we yearn to be closer.  When we ask for a little more Daddy time.  These are HIS FAVORITE moments. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Testimony of Gods voice.

Disclaimer:  I didn't want to use names in this story, so sorry if it's hard to follow with all of "the kid" references :)

I grew up with a desire to hear the voice of God.  This past year, I sometimes have to tell him to stop speaking because the weight of his presence is too much for my weak body.  When I made him my first choice, when I put every last bit of faith in him…he started talking…sometimes he yells, sometimes he whispers.  But I have come to know his voice, and it is beautiful….

I have been helping out in the high school ministry at my church.  Volunteering was never something I considered doing.  That sounds harsh…but I really never thought about it.  I am a good friend.  I am a full time Mom.  I have a busy career.  I pray.  How can I have time to hang out with a bunch of high school kids.

Well, I started doing little things here and there…coming to a few church services a month…then going on a few retreats with this ministry team.  I just kind of fell into it.  And oh man have I been ROCKED.  These kids bless  me to the core.  I have never felt more privileged to be a part of something.  I can't really describe what it feels like to have Gods heart for someone.  For him to lay his love for someone else on you so that you can tell them.  It is mind blowing.  It is too much.  It feels like you can't breath, and you have never felt better.  It is supernatural.  It is undeniable.

I met a kid this weekend at summer camp.  He looks like he walked out of that high school musical movie.  I'm sure he is a girl magnet, and has too many friends to keep up with.  Yet there is this humble spirit inside of him that shines through.  He has this all-American, adorable confidence, that would draw anyone in.  So when I gave a second thought to him…I tried to brush it off.  And then God started speaking.  And I started crying.  It was all I could do.  The Fathers love is like no other.  I started praying for this young man.  Praying things I never could have known without the spirit.  I was praying literal things, and general things, praying for his next day, next couple years, his whole life.  It was so intense.  I just kept lifting him in prayer whenever I felt a push from the Lord. 

On the last day of camp this kid was chosen for a demonstration about being bound up in things that keep you away from God.  The pastor literally tied him up with rope and then asked him to move.  He couldn't.  I knew so much that the skit was for him….all I could do was cry and pray more.  Watching his binds fall from him, watching him understand that he can't do it alone.  That the things that were binding him are weightless, and meaningless. 

And the thing about hearing God…is that he will give you confirmation.  He will let you know without a shadow of a doubt that it was him.  (as if the crying from the pit of your soul wasn't enough of a clue.)

I hadn't told anyone about the intense prayer that had struck for this kid.  And that night after the skit where he was bound up, the pastor leading it informed me that the kid had confronted him saying that he needed that…they couldn't have picked a better person for the demonstration.  …this was God telling me I wasn't off my rocker, bigger things than I can comprehend are in the works…

So I marveled at how good God is.  I sat in the splendor that he comes down and reaches out to us…we just have to choose to reach back.  And I prayed some more.

And then Jesus told me.  "He has a call on his life to be a pastor.".  He has to choose it, pray about it, hear me in it.  But that call is on his life.  And then I said, " I AM NOT DELIVERING THAT HUGE MESSAGE!"  Little old me could not possibly tell someone that.  Especially someone with plans, and dreams, and things figured out.  Well, I really didn't have a choice…I mean, God was talking to me.  So I see the kid at church.  And knowing what I have to do…I ask him to talk for a minute.  And then I just spill.  I don't really remember all that was said.  I just remember that God WANTS HIM.  God has put a heart in him that has been molded to lead.  To shepherd.  To discern what people need.  When I said, "God told me that you might be a pastor"…I saw this light come over his head.  Like an awakening in his spirit.  I can't describe it.  Anyway…we finished talking…and I was left in like this melted state of a person, just reveling in how amazing God is, and how he uses us. 

And then more confirmation, of course.  This night at church was designed to be testimony after testimony from the kids about their camp experience.  So I hear Jesus…"He's going to tell his rope story."  And I think…cool, it's going to be so awesome that I know that I hear you, when he marches up there.  And then he says, "No, go tell him to tell the rope story"…and I kind shuffle my feet and ask God if he's sure, and then he sits on my chest so I know that it's him.   So I go sit down next to the kid….and he knows it's coming (we were both laughing because it was so thick). "You're supposed to tell the rope story aren't you?"…He says, "yes."…

So he tells his story.  My heart leaps that he gets it.  My heart leaps that I hear Jesus.  My heart leaps that heaven rejoices over these kids.  I am so thankful that I'm here.

But wait, there's more.  I'm outside, church is over.  Jesus: "Go tell him about the attacks you know are coming."…tell him girls will want his love and approval.  They will want him to be their savior.  His big heart that I have put in him will want to help them.  Tell him to listen to my voice.  Tell him to obey.  Tell him I have him.  Tell him to stay vulnerable.  Tell him it's ok.  Tell him to pray. 

So I do.  I pull him aside once again.  This kid I barely know, that I feel like I've had a beautiful peek into all he can and will be.  I warn him.  I tell him these things.  We laugh that we both knew that he was supposed to speak.  He tells me he didn't know what about though, until I mentioned the rope story…..I hear Jesus….yes I do. 

Reminder to this young man:

Surrender your whole self
Stay vulnerable
Have your friends and family pray

I can't wait to see the fruit of what God is doing in you.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Let the winds blow.

There is this song called Let The Winds Blow by Misty Edwards.  It is beautiful.  It grabs your and soul shakes it up.  The words make you want to jump in the ocean without a life jacket and just let God speak right to you.  The first time I heard it, I had been talking to Jesus all day everyday, he was literally all I thought about.  So I sang this song out loud with everything in me, and told God to have his way…have his way with every part of my being.  And even in trials, I would be turned right towards his face.

Fast forward a couple months.  The winds started blowing.  The trials came.  And though I'll never leave him again,  my faith wavered a little.  Not my faith in God.  That will not happen.  But my faith that I was on the right track, my faith that he would step in, my faith that he cares enough about little old me.  Well, that's the great thing about him.  He's always faithful.  Even when I am horrible at it.  I was  out in that ocean, and the waves were crashing, and I could barely catch my breath.  At one point I said in my head…"Man, if you would just step in…All I could do is worship."….and then he whispered in the soft Dad voice that knows so much more than I do.  You already know who I am.  You already know what I do…

How could I not already be worshiping and living out of overflowing thankfulness!….Well, my heart changed…and even in my financial disarray, even in life's scary ups and downs, even when I don't want to watch my friends hurt…my thankfulness could burst, and I worshiped my creator.   I worshiped him for who he is, for how far I have come, for what I have now, for what he has already done.  I live a blessed life and I am so thankful for it.

And wouldn't you know…he showed me in actions that he heard my praises.  He showered me.  Rained his love and blessing all over me.  The wind came.  The weather shifted, it blew in my face.  I heard his voice.  Someone handed me money when it was not expected at all.  He always does that when my face is turned towards his. 

I am just plain thankful, and I pray I stay that way.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I choose LOVE.

I glanced into the mirror the other day as I was getting ready.  Something caught me off guard.  I paused, and had to take a long gaze into my reflection.  I looked different.  Prettier.  Glowy-er.  I looked into the same eyes that I have stared at for 27 years and thought, what the heck is different.  And then I just knew.  I am finally comfortable in my own skin.  I am celebrating who I am instead of who I think other people want me to be.  I am happy as me, and am ok not putting myself into someone else's mold for fear of rejection. 

Consequently, I am just finishing reading God Loves Ugly, by Christa Black.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  Towards the end, she asks that you write a list of what you love about yourself.  I have actually felt a tug to do this for quite awhile, always struck with the lie that it seems so conceited…UGH LIE!  If I cannot find things that I love about the person I know the most deeply, there is a problem!  We are all worthy of loving and being loved.  And how can I love fully, if I do not start within.  I would never want a friend of mine to miss seeing how incredible they are, I would encourage them to write the longest list. 

God told me awhile ago that he was going to heal me right up.  His promises never fail. 

I love that I am a different kind of Mother than I was taught to be.
I love that I can be wildly sarcastic.
I love that my immaturity makes me relatable to children.
I love that I'm short.
I love my freckles.
I love that I am ultra romantic.
I love that I'm artistic.
I love that I take risks, even when it's hard.
I love that I proclaim my faith in Jesus.
I love that I can fail in front of people.
I love that I am open minded.
I love that I am learning how to give.
I love that I am trying to be athletic.
I love that I can be a dork.
I love my style.
I love my photography.
I love my writing.
I love that I dance for no reason.
I love that I can be a prude.
I love my feet. 

I have also felt led to just write "about myself."  Just a small summary of what makes me great.  Or unique. Or silly.  Or dumb.  Or maybe just declare some things out loud.  Whatever, here it is.

I praise God that I finally chose him back, and that he shows me his reality day by day.  I am so thankful that I was picked to parent my two precious babies.  I love that the beach heals my soul with just the sight or smell of it.  I love that I dream about romance.  I love that I have come to appreciate a minivan as my dream car.  Oh, how I swore I would not drive a minivan…oh how thankful I am to have a car.  That simple lesson is the epitome of understanding what this life is about.  Enjoy the journey you get!  Enjoy the simple things! Enjoy the trials!  Enjoy the lesson, we were made to grow…

I love that I would drop anything to dance in the rain.  I love that I can be messy, but freak out when the mess gets too big.

I love history.  Anything, or anyone with a story, a memory, or token of wisdom.  I love old movies, oh Doris Day, Cary Grant, thank you. 

I love running in grass.  I LOVE WIND.  I love really loud music.  I would read 24 hours a day if it was allowed.

I love driving, especially with the windows down.  And sometimes, at night, I turn my headlights off on a backroad, just for fun. 

I love adventure, even if there is a risk of getting hurt…or lost, or not knowing what the heck you're doing.

My preferred outfit is comfy jeans and a worn in hoodie.  As of two months ago, I feel naked without earrings. (this occurred after I poked fun at a friend who never takes hers out.)  I would live in flip flops if it was at all practical.  I believe in wearing sunscreen.

I love smelling like I've been in the sun.  So coconut and vanilla are my favorite.  Even in winter.

I love candles burning.  I love worship music blaring. I love having people over. I love boardgames. I love card games. 

I love that I get a what I call my 10th wind at midnight.  I get kooky and crazy and can keep working until 3 in the morning. 

I love that I can be extremely spicy, which sometimes includes sassy and sexy.  I love that I'm learning to embrace that, and not be scared of it. 

I love that I just said love 1500 times.  I am excited to add to this list.  And I pray that all we find more things to love about ourselves everyday. 

Of course I could write a lot of things I don't like about myself.  But guess what, I'm not going to.  I CHOOSE love.

I love my life. Amen.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Mothers Day Ya-ya's

So I'm writing out Mothers Day cards.  And I start thinking of some AMAZING Mothers.  OH man, I just sit for a bit and revel in the fact that I know some rockin' women.  Powerhouses.  Fighters. Women that walk paths that have not been traveled before.  And then I think of patience, tenacity, genius, grace, and sheer will.  Which of course brings my mind to the yaya's...Lastly I think of unconditional love.  This is the thread that holds this group buttoned to the same garment. 

Carli Ray.  You are first, I think, because you have 4.  F-O-U-R.  four.  That in itself should be enough to get some kind of trophy.  I don't have a trophy.  But if I did, I promise you would be the recipient.  I really LOVE the fact that you have four wildly amazing girls, but that does not make you a great parent.  What makes you a great parent… is your tender voice that oozes patience.  The same voice that calls out the most endearing nicknames I have ever had the pleasure of hearing.  How I feel about your motherly voice is the same way I feel about your beautiful handwriting.  It is perfection.  Thank you for homeschooling your babies.  Thank you for loving them with everything in you.  Thank you for being fun.  Thank you for your faith. Thank you for being a commander of justice.  Thank you for reminding me, that to be a good parent, sometimes you have to remember being a kid.  Makes me want to run through the sprinklers. I love you. 

Carli.  What I love about you being a Mommy, is very similar to what I love about you being a friend.  And that is, that you do not waver, from being YOU.  In your presence there is always Jesus, worship music, baking, your amazing garden,  an open house, the ocean, something involving being loud or carefree.  In your presence there is a thick passion for dare and adventure.  The best part is, we don't have to leave the couch to feel it.  Thank you for naming your babies names that mean something wonderful and powerful.  Thank you for loving them before they were ever thought of.  Thank you for pollywoggin'.  Thank you for being you.  Thank you for not caring about dirt, actually encouraging it :)  Thank you for the free spirit in you, that you give freely to your kids, and mine.  I love you. 

Marcelle.  Thinking about your parenting, reminds me of watching you eat, or tell a story, or describe a situation.  Bottom line, you do it with everything in you, and you do it right.  Nothing is left out.  I love that about you, and how blessed Meira is for it.  You will have the best, but you will also have fun…and sometimes you will just downright let go of the rules.  I'll have you know, that every word in the first paragraph of this little note…applies directly to you.  The grace you have as a parent, and especially regarding this year of your life…has humbled me to the floor.  The innovation that you have shown so that Meira has the life you dream of for her, is a beautiful picture of Jesus' love in my life.  Thank you for being part hippie.  Thank you for being organic.  Thank you for having style.  Thank you for being selfless.  Thank you for loving the simple things.  Thank you for being the one that bought a kid leash.  I love you.

Quite honestly, I probably could have written 3 novels….describing what I love about you as Mothers, and friends. 

But I really just want to say that you inspire, motivate, and capture me.  Happy Mothers Day.

Monday, April 25, 2011

How does your garden grow.

There was a day that I was in need of prayer (that's every day, but I actually requested it this day).  So my friend is praying for me in my kitchen.  She has her hand on my back and I am soaking up her words and feeling the holy spirit moving in our presence.  Then all of a sudden I am not hearing her words…they just sort of fade away…(she is still speaking)…but my ear is listening to something else.  Another voice speaks.  YOU are my bride.  It was loud, and authoritative, and beautiful.  And then it was gone…and my voice was left in my head saying, "um, what? What the heck does that mean?"  (At this exact moment) out of the living room the song I walked down the aisle to at my wedding starts blaring from the speakers.  This is bigger than I know.  A little info about how the song was playing…I did not have that CD in the player, and the actual song is # 6 on the disc.  Meaning…my daughter grabbed that CD out of the 125+ that I own, put it into the 3 disc CD player, and turned it to song 6… which is basically impossible to do without any other songs being heard while being skipped.  HELLO GOD. 

So I prayed about this fascinating bride scenario.  I still am.  I don't know the whole picture yet.  But more has come…

Another day of requested prayer…night actually.  Angst is a good word to describe how I was feeling.  So there I am getting prayer again.  And I see myself holding a bouquet of flowers.  My bouquet is very small, puny actually.  It feels and looks tiny, unworthy even.  And then I see a big hand stretched out before my bouquet with a ton of beautiful, robust, not puny flowers in it.  And I hear…"I have all of the flowers, stretched out before you, to add to your bouquet….and you are not taking them."

EPIPHANY:  The flowers are not hidden in a cave.  They are not in some wild, untrodden land that I cannot find or learn about fast enough.  They are in front of my face.  They are within an arms distance.   I do not have to win this love.  I do not have to work for it.  But, I do have to trust.  And sometimes that is very, very hard. 

It is so easy to listen to the world.  To listen to voices I am used to hearing.  It is easy to think that I do not deserve an unending love.  It is extremely easy to think that the gifts run out, or that I am not worthy of getting them anymore.  The truth is that the flowers do not stop coming.  I believe that I will get a full bouquet…start handing my flowers out…and then get new ones :)  Actually, he told me that part too.  OH what a beautiful thing.  He never tires of helping us.  He's always there.  But he can't give me flowers if my hands are busy holding weeds.   (If my metaphorical speaking is hard to follow, the weeds are lies.)

He can't fill me with truth, if I'm busy listening to lies.  I thought I had already taken the necessary steps to get rid of my angst.  (as if there is a formula, ugh)…  I prayed.  I prayed some more.  I repented, and read.  I had my friend pray for me.  I yelled upward a few times.  But, I left a loophole.  I wasn't being completely transparent.  I wasn't trusting him.  Not completely.  I reverted backward.  Oh how we are like infants sometimes.  I was saying yes, you are big, I get that.  But you only have your hand on the good things in my life…not the hard things, or seemingly bad things.  UM HELLO.  I GAVE HIM MY WHOLE LIFE!!!! Why the heck am I trying to take some of it back and not let him touch it.  Who knows…but tonight, I am handing it back over. 

And I am excited to watch my bouquet grow. 

James 1: 2-4

 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Disclaimer: I have not been in a relationship with my Mom, Stepdad, and my brother in over 6 years.  My brother is 15.  Severed is a good word to describe us.  The brother part was not by choice.  So here's part of my day...   

Restoration is on my mind.  It is amazing what can happen when we let God be big.  I consider myself beyond blessed that I have some very wise people in my life.  People that guide me, encourage me, and sometimes just flat out call me on my crap.  

Today started with breakfast with some of my favorites.  These mornings are filled with a constant love.  One that you walk into.  It engulfs you when you walk in the door, and you are free to be whatever or whoever you want to be, and whatever that may be…you will be loved.  You will be loved in your weakness, in your strength, and everything in between.  The only unwritten condition is that you love back.  And when it comes to these ladies…boy do I. 

So restoration.  Later in the day, I was driving through the place I grew up in.  My friend needed a ride to pick up a car.  I happened to drive by my Step Fathers truck at a creek that we frequented as children (this has not happened in 6 years, it was completely out of the blue).  I instantly thought of my little brother, who I'm not allowed to speak to.  My mind fluttered with thoughts of the last time I got to see him, hug him, play with him.  Then my mind wandered over to the love-fest breakfast.  Oh and that wisdom just hit.  I long to see him, I miss him, I love him.  I don't know how to go about that.  That's ok…someone else has bigger plans…(I do not know what they are yet ;).  But I trust him.  I will pray for messengers…a token I learned from breakfast…

My mind then wandered to my adorable sister calling me last night to re-enact one of our late night past times as kids.  Her call was just a sweet reminder of our little inside jokes.  That there are some things only sisters share.  That our bond started a long time ago…and without us really knowing it.  Here's the epiphany….My bond started with my brother the same way…a long time ago, without me knowing it.  But it is there.  And it is strong.  And I don't care what he's been hearing for the past 6 years, I know he remembers it too. 

So today, I will trust.  I will not believe the lie that things are beyond repair.  I will believe that the price was already paid for restoration, and it was the biggest price.  And will have faith that God will bring us back, and make us better.

My dear friend also prayed for me tonight, and gave me this scripture…I say amen :)

Joel: 2:25  " I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you."

He restores YEARS, and he restores GREAT DAMAGE…yup, amen.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Celebrating Kohan.

A year ago today I was waiting in the hospital for one of the best moments in my life to happen.  We ended up waiting all night…with prayers, delirious giggles, and sweet anticipation…not one of us could sleep.  Well, Grandpa Kevin tried a couple times, but was awakened with one of our joy-filled screeches with each attempt.

A few hours earlier that day I received a phone call that sounded like this.  A tad bit anxious sister: "I think it's time to go the hospital!"  Me: "What? oh my goodness, what do you need, what do you want me to do?"  Shlee: "Call the people, and we'll see you there."  …She then went into a small rant exclaiming that I had not warned her about the pain that comes with child birth.  I assure those of you reading, I did.

People can tell you about immense pain and strain of contractions.  But until you are there yourself you cannot fully comprehend the extent.  I knew that my Shlee was expecting a baby, but much like those contractions….you cannot emotionally prepare for the moment your baby sister brings a life into the world. 

That phone call rocked my world.  Within a very short time, I was going to meet a sweet angel baby that I dreamt of holding and seeing.

I was about to watch someone I love with all my heart, raise and nurture someone she loves with all hers.  That sounds sweet…but what I have witnessed this past year is so much sweeter than any words could express. 

I knew Shlee would be a good mommy.  I knew she would have a clue with all of the children we have in our family. :)  But I will admit I did not expect to be so pleasantly surprised with the comfort and confidence this role brought to her life.  I have never witnessed anyone transitioning into motherhood so beautifully.  Like they were born for it, or completed by it. 

Kohan Michael Wallace…You are celebrated with every breath, move, and step you will make.  You got the best Mommy and Daddy, and I am so blessed to watch the three of you be a family. 

Ko-bug, Auntie loves you with everything in her….just like I tell my babies, you are my favorite.  You have the best smile in the whole entire world, and a laugh that makes me happy with the thought of it.  I love that you are such a perfect clone of your beautiful Mama.  I love that I get to watch you grow. 

Happy 1st Birthday Monkey.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A little ditty...

Sometimes you just need country music.  And wine.  Country music reminds you where you came from, that life is supposed to be simple, and that chivalry is not dead.  Wine makes you smile while you write a sleepy blog at midnight, reminiscing about the greater things in life. 

I only like to sit down to write, when I feel like I have something important to say.  Even in my wine drinking, country music listening state….I think I do ;)

I have been gardening.  That makes me feel like an old lady.  Those ladies have something I don't.  It's called wisdom.  And gosh, gardening makes you feel wonderful.  You are literally getting down to the roots.  So liberating.  There is just something magical about tearing out horrible, nasty crabgrass (for HOURS).  And creating something beautiful to put in its place.  In my case that would be vegetables, and "thlowers" as Chloe calls them. 

I got to spend the day watching my baby talk to roly poly's, worms, and snails.  Watch her strip down to a diaper as she got mud and water on each article of clothing she was wearing.  I got to remember the days when a hose could entertain for hours.  I love this life.  I love spring.  It always makes me feel new.  Second chances feel like they are all over the place, just waiting to be grabbed….or grasped, or ridden on.  And who doesn't need a second chance now and then...  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I know the truth.  I met Jesus.  He came into my life and he transformed me, and he whispers in my ear.  He speaks to me, rains on me, and blows wind in my face.  I have felt the love of God the Father stronger than any love I have ever felt for my two precious babies. And I love them with everything in me.  I would die for them in a second.  I would let my life be mutilated so that they could live.  So that they could be spared.  And I know Gods love more than I know that truth.  Because I asked for it.  I said, I will step out on a tiny shred of faith if you could just give me a sign.  And he did.  Small ones.  Ones that I had to chase, and hold onto.  Signs that I had to pursue.  And then the signs got bigger.  They got clearer, sometimes it feels like connecting the dots to create that whole picture.  And I won't know the whole picture.  Not in this lifetime.  But if I keep chasing I'll know enough to get through this day, and the next day, and the one after that if I am lucky enough to have it. 

But here is what I know today.  I know that I want my life to be a testament of the truth that I know.  And that isn't happening if I am not proclaiming it out loud.   

Here comes the scary part.  I DON'T WANT ANYONE IN MY LIFE TO FEEL LIKE I AM JUDGING THEM.  That is the hardest thing for me.  And I don't judge them.  I don't. I mean, don't get me wrong…my human nature is nasty and I know that I HAVE JUDGED people.  And I am sorry.  And I know that I will do it again.  And I will be sorry again.  But I am sick of not proclaiming the truth, because I don't want to hurt someones feelings.  I will proclaim the truth because I want the best for them.  And I will not judge them, but I will love them.

The truth is Jesus. He has a better way than you could ever know (a way he wants to show you, and give you on this earth).  A peace that passes all understanding.  And to not have him, is death. 

I love this message by Mark Driscoll.  It is TRUE.  It is so refreshing to finally hear it.  To hear it not stepped around, and not screamed out with a harsh tone of judgment.  To just hear the truth.  No double talking, or misconstruing. 

God, you know my heart, you know who I wrote down.  Please don't pass them by.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Late is better than never.

Ok here we go.  Or knowing me, maybe we won't.  But also like me, we are going to try!  I started this blog to be a journal of daily blurbs and occurrences.  Being a mom makes you forget things.  Really great, important, life changing things.  So it begins....(I think.)

My favorite God moments are when I can feel him be my Father.  Because it all makes sense.  I wrote this blurb a few days ago.  I'm posting it today, with adorable pictures of doesn't all piece together perfectly.  But here is the lesson: (an extremely recurring one for me).  BE CHILDLIKE.

Gosh God is good, isn't he?? Wow he really is.  Sometimes when I feel myself wandering down a dark hole, or getting down…I feel him reel me back in like I'm attached to a fishing line.  All I have to do is hold on to the other end, and he'll bring me right back on dry land.  No more tumultuous waves crashing, no more deep water.  My feet are like a deers and I am prancing once again.  A relationship goes 2 ways.  You'll never find one that doesn't.  And I love that I can choose him when things are light and airy…and then sometimes he chooses me back when I'm having a hard time believing.  Example of this:  Chloe was holding her blanket, with unruly bedhead and pajama pants on, just charming me with small talk while I read my bible on my bed.  I said, "hey, let me hold you!"…she looked at me with a wild grin and squealed, "no way" as she ran away. She ran, knowing I would chase her.  She ran knowing I was still her Mommy.  Sometimes we run…(not into bad choices) we just run.  These are the moments I feel the other side of this relationship.  He's chasing my feet, like I chase his.  Don't get me wrong…I choose him a thousand times daily.  But I can feel him choose me back.  And it's awesome.

So today I am going to remember to slow down.  To breath.  To have faith in things I cannot see.  Just like my kids do. I'm going to dance for no reason, and not worry.  I'm going to revel in how small I am.  And dream and hope and believe.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

God's reality

What we are, what we think we should be, and what we are called to be are not the same thing.  I will never be 5'9.  Maybe if I wear stilts…bad idea.  Another bad idea: putting my dreams, heart, aspirations, and hope in a box they don't fit in, or better yet, a box that doesn't belong to me.  What other people want me to be, or what I think they want me to be is not what God has designed me to be.

God has been talking to me about reality.  Woah.  God's reality.  It looks like nothing I've seen before. 

No keeping up with the Joneses here.  No fake.  No facade.  No lies.  NO LIES (that's the most liberating, scary statement)  I grew up with lies as friends.  Lying to myself that I was good enough (I know now that I really am.)  The lie that everything was ok.  Lies to make myself look better, or feel better.  Even at the cost of hurting someone.  Goodbye lies, I don't need you anymore.

There's this cry in our spirit.  It's, um, our spirit.  So many of us are taught to ignore it, mistreat it, deny it, abuse it.  Talk about nurture vs. nature.  My parents didn't learn how to listen to their spirit…so they had a really hard time teaching me how to.  That's ok, I'm learning quickly. 

I was designed for a purpose. I always knew it.  I knew it as a small child.  Nobody told me though.  I was loved, but not designed for a purpose. 

I was loved.  I really was.  I really am.  And I love back.  But I want to love with no strings attached.  Love to the end of the earth and beyond that into the clouds.  I want to love past expectation, and beyond my wildest dream.  I want to love over doubt, love ugly, love without the boundary that I will get anything out of it. 

Because my spirit was created for it.  I was designed to be set apart.  We all were.  And I am choosing it.     

So here I am.  Saying it out loud.  Well, actually, I'm writing it, but it feels like I'm declaring it to the world.  Hello spirit.  I'm so excited to wake you all the way up with my friend Jesus.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"You can't always get what you wa-aant"...

So I had a melt down last night.  You know when a close friend asks how your day was, or how you are doing.  And you think you are going to say, "fine." or "pretty good."….but then you start talking and before you know it you have word vomited all over her,  and you have no idea how long you've been rattling on.  By the time you look up and realize what has happened, you feel about 20 pounds lighter (word vomit is fattening if you keep it in) and she looks like she needs windshield wipers for her eyes. 

So I did that.  I had no idea I needed to.  But it came.  Fast and hard.  Like so many other of life's lessons it seems.  I talked about my finances, and worry.  Things I pray and watch myself giving over daily.  Here God, take this, it's definitely too much for me.  I thought I was good at it.  He's better.

I keep thinking maybe I need to be humbled into some sort of existence before I can feel like I'm not drowning.  But the thing is, I've really never been better.  That's the honest to God, swear on everything truth.  I've had "security", I've had a savings,  I've had play money.  Those things do not compare in the least to the wisdom, insight, and daily glimpses of heaven I have now.  And It's going to keep coming!  I pray that I never have money if it's going to cloud my vision, and keep me from God. 

So I gave it away again.  I handed it right over.  From my small hand to his big one.  I trusted harder, declared my faith, watched him grab my worry and send it on it's way like dust in the air. 

His promise is that we will have what we NEED, and I DO.