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leaving the pool, unhindered

i like words.  i like to speak them.  i like to think them.  i like to hear them.  i like to study them.  i like being able to name something.  each and everything should have a name.  and when i couldn't put a name to the emotion wrestling in my heart over all i had lost, over all i was feeling, over what hurt deep, i was lost.  i needed to name it.  but, for a lot of months i just couldn't.  so i wrestled.  wrestled with God.  just like jacob. and just like jacob, my wrestling match with God left me limp. limp and sitting at the pool of:


for that was it.  that was the emotion.  it now had a name:  rejection.

it came completely out of the blue.  it hit me like a crashing wave one afternoon.  i shouldn't be surprised by God, but this caught me off guard.

it's hard to share my story.  i still live surrounded by it.  and all of the various truths and falsehoods associated with it.  i can't escape it really.  it is, and will forever be, a part of me.  and …
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the past few months have been full of change and transition.  i'm not gonna lie, it's been hard, yet somehow peaceful.  after 13 years in ministry at the same church and 20 years as part of that church, stepping back and leaving felt overwhelming and daunting.  there was a great deal of sadness and loss.  for the kids i taught, for the team i worked with, for the friends i met, and for my own kids who only knew one church home.  
over the past two months i've done a little contemplation and a whole of lot of asking why.  but as God always does, He reveals His answers in the most simply beautiful ways.  and the past two weeks have been full of His revelation.  
back in college i learned a whole slew of cheesy bible verse songs.  they drove me batty back then, but the truth is, they are the first to come to mind as i seek the Lord.  this seeking was no different as one verse was playing through my mind over and over.  its in proverbs and honestly, i don't know the exact…

the gaze

“Look through there.  Just look.  Gaze for a few minutes, boy. Do you see it, boy? Do you see it?”
Looking back, even through a small hole, creates a unique perspective on the past.  And while it may somewhat limit our view, it also changes our perspective. 
I find myself working on living in the present.  In a world of hustle it is easy to get distracted and not at all focused on the here and now.  Or sometimes we are so caught up in trying to find our dreams and plan for the future that we forget to live in the present.  Being present is hard, yet so deeply needed.  It is important to my husband, my children, my friends, my neighbors, and most importantly God.  For in the present we are able to see the need in front of us. To act upon those needs.  To be the hands and feet of Jesus. I believe God calls us to be present.
The world tells us to set goals; financial, health, professional, family.  We spend hours creating documents and setting up accounts to plan for a secure future an…

the table

last night i sat with a group of friends around the table.  it was such a sweet time.  full of laughter, tears, and stories better kept at that table.

as we sat there i took a few minutes to take in the people around the table.  some i've known forever.  some are new friends.  some were students in our ministries, turned dear friends. i'm blessed with amazing friends from so many places.  and so many friends have carried my through the year.

2017 has been the year of the winding road.  in choosing the word present for 2017 i sought to slow down and soak in those around me.  there were surprises at every single curve in the road.  the road became quite hilly along the way filled with all sorts of highs and lows, but while sitting at a table one day, the road came to a dead end i found myself lost and confused. 

and it was there at that dead end that i met Jesus.  don't get me wrong.  i met Jesus years ago, but at this dead end i found myself sitting alone in a starbucks try…

it is well...or is it?

the past couple weeks have definitely had me on a roller coaster of emotions.  between sending my kids back to school, both in high school now,  and the events of the world, august has left me feeling all sorts of feels.  
several years ago, our pastor had all the staff do this strength finders test.  it was designed to help us learn about ourselves.  my top 2 didn't really surprise me:  strategic and belief.  they tend to be both a blessing and a curse.  mostly a curse.
i feel big feels.  and when i feel them, i can't shake them.  and i love to find solutions.  and lately i've felt a lot of big feels, but the solutions?  they allude me...
this morning i was driving to church and listening to a sermon.  the pastor has been talking about joshua leading into the promise land.  today he was sharing how the truth is that God has it.  God has everything in His control.  He could have knocked down the walls without any help from the Israelites, yet He gave them strict directions - …


the written word.
that was my word of the year for 2016.  it started out strong.  i read 3 books in the first week of January, journaled, and sent several hand written letters.  i even blogged.  twice.
i read more this year than in recent pasts, but not as much as i had hoped.  i sent letters out well.  but by around march all journaling stopped.  i think i blogged once after march.  maybe.  
through a series of hard conversations i felt as though my voice was taken from me.  its a little hard to explain.  i tried to share it the other night.  i'm not sure i can.  but that conversation played in my mind frequently this year, mostly because every couple of months i got the chance to be reminded.  it was hard.  it stung.  it really hurt.
silence is hard for me.  almost deafening.
as the year went on i watched a world of sadness unfold.  from #blacklivesmatter to the election process. from hurricane matthew to ravaging fires.  from terrorists attacks to shooting after shooting on th…

the hand of God

the hand of God.  what do you think of?  what images come to mind?  if i can be honest, i've come to dislike this phrase.  i tend to roll my eyes at it.  not because i don't believe in the hand of God.  i just find the use of this phrase saddens my heart.  makes me weary.

last week i watched in great heartache as hurricane Matthew ravaged Haiti.  most of us were more concerned about our loved ones in florida and the rest of the east coast. i by no means intend to belittle that concern.  it is valid and very real.  in fact i have family that now has a flooded house.

but haiti.

have you been there?  i'm convinced more than ever that unless you have personally visited a 3rd world country you can't fathom the devastation of this magnitude.  here in America we can rebuild fairly quickly.  or at least provide decent protective shelter, clean water, insurance help,  we can board up our homes and businesses and head inland.  in haiti:  none of that exists.  sure you can head u…