When I was a little girl I dreamed of being a writer.
I filled notebooks with stories about my brother, my family, my grandmother, and our wagon full of cats. People loved them.
Well, for sure, at least one person loved them.
I also kept notebooks full of detailed reporting about my family. How many household rules my brother broke before noon and how many cigarettes per day my grandma smoked, which was clearly grassroots journalism, but it wasn’t quite as well received, if you can imagine that. I left home for college to major in Communications or in English - with dreams of putting words on the page for a living. My mom and dad had dreams too. Dreams of me being financially independent one day, so they changed my enrollment to the business school. Business school served me well as I progressed to various leadership positions and advanced quickly in my chosen career. (So, I guess I should say thanks, Mom and Dad!)
But the dream of writing never went away. It was just tucked underneath my “smart choices.”
And then the internet changed it all!
Blogs were introduced. I found my opportunity to pursue something that was hidden deep in my heart. When my husband and I made the move to Texas, we left behind all our friends and family - literally all of them. We knew not one single soul in Houston. I launched a family blog, Blogging Across Texas, journaling our experiences in the Lone Star State, the birth of our twins, and that time I thought I could take my cat on a stroll on a leash.
To my surprise, people read it. They read it right up until the day I stepped away from blog writing to work on a new love and calling: preaching.
Turns out that sermons need to get written before they can get preached (I’m a deep south girl, you’re going to have to learn to live with that kind of grammar. I like to write as I speak). And write I did. Hours of research, prep, first drafts, second drafts, editing, and writing some more went into each final manuscript. One of the most challenging parts of the sermon-writing process was learning to hear feedback on my writing. Ugh, it is HARD being completely exposed and transparent; but grateful when someone points out that you need better exposition or that your 3rd point is murky! It was certainly a discipline that I never developed before. And it changed me. My writing went from personal to purposed. Having it used by God for building His people and His Kingdom only made me eager to dive deeper.
So, this blog is my journey. Writing is how I process what God is teaching me. It’s where the theological concepts I’m learning in seminary and the Word of God meet my everyday life. Come take this trip with me! Let’s wrestle through this thing together and see what God has for us.
With, of course, the occasional appearance of my really cute kids.
Our walk of faith is full of unexpected twist and turns. The mystics knew this and incorporated meditation in labyrinth prayer symbolizing the twist and turns that our journey of faith takes us in our journey. An unexpected turn in my story caused me to reflect on what moving forward with God means.
365 days ago, I laid nervously on a hospital bed crying as I answered the pre-op questions asked by the nurse. My surgeon, Dr. Perry, walked in and saw my fear. He gave me a pep talk that I still remember clearly today. He said, “Listen. This is not an elective surgery for you. Your quality of life is declining. This surgery is necessary, and you are going to be fine. Now, let’s get in there and change your life.” And it did. One day at the time, slowly, but surely, I began moving toward a new way of life. The day I exited that hospital, I started the journey to reclaiming and rediscovering myself.
Turns out, letting go is complicated. Things stick with us long past we have told ourselves to surrender to God. I want to turn it all over to God, to let go and place it in his hands, but how do you do that? These reflections facilitate our journey of letting go - a process in which God begins to heal us and help us surrender to him. In doing so, we begin to trust and love him even more.
I turned thirty a decade ago. I was a headstrong and terrified momma expecting triplets with big plans, goals, and absolutes about how it would all work. It turns out; my thirties had much to teach me about life. Here are four lessons I am leaving this decade with that shaped who I am today.
In Luke 17:11-19, Jesus is walking to Jerusalem, and he enters a village on the border of Samaria and Galilee. Ten lepers approached him and called out to him for mercy. As they leave to go show themselves to the priests as instructed, they are healed. All ten are healed, but only one of them turns around and comes back to thank him.
How often are we like the other nine lepers with God and people in our lives? How often do we forget to encourage and thank those who have served us, prayed for us, led us, or in some way, touched our lives?
For many people, Mother’s Day will be a happy day to fulfill the instructions found in Ephesians 6:2 to “honor YOUR father and mother.” But for many, this Sunday will be filled with the complicated emotions that come from mixing our Christian church culture with the secular holiday of Mother’s Day.
It’s been 9 months since I underwent occipital decompression surgery. An event that marks my life in halves – before and after surgery. It’s an event that radically shifted everything in my life. From one of survival, pushing through pain day after day with no real answers or solutions on the horizon to one of learning again how to flourish.
I lost the most influential person in my life two months ago. The intense grief of this season has left me tattered and hurting as I struggle to determine who I am without her daily presence. I’ve found myself in a season of where something unexpected has shaken my faith, causing disruption and pain. It turns out, I’ve found myself in a season where I need the lament Psalms.
To me, my grandmother was larger than life. She was the heart of our family. It was an honor and a privilege to deliver the eulogy at the celebration of her life. In Psalm 91, God says to those who declare that “He is my refuge”, He will reward with a full and abundant life. I can’t think of a life more full and abundant than my Ma’s.
Dreaming big dreams can be scary. They often invoke fear and doubt. But God gives us a promise in His Word that “Nothing is impossible for Him.” Lets make 2019 the year we believe God together.
Living a bold and brave faith means saying “yes” to obedience even when the future in entirely unknown.
Three weeks and three days ago, I underwent nerve decompression surgery for occipital neuralgia.
My journey to find answers about my chronic pain leading to a surprise diagnosis.