Thursday, July 29, 2010


Sometimes, I miss Heidi-at-twenty.

Heidi-at-twenty knew much more than Heidi-at-twenty-three.

Heidi-at-twenty knew what she stood for and why. She had strong opinions and she had answers to questions. She was good at coloring her world in black-and-white. She was especially good at knowing how to read the Bible and guide her life by it. Heidi-at-twenty knew how to have a relationship with Jesus.

But Heidi-at-twenty-three is different. Heidi-at-twenty-three has been doing some dangerous things.

Heidi-at-twenty-three has been listening intently to many women’s stories. She has been reading raw and honest writings about people’s life experiences. She has been observing individuals in her life undergo heartache and struggle. She has literally watched loved ones pass away from temporal life into eternal life. She has experienced certain types of pain that she hadn’t planned on experiencing.

Heidi-at-twenty-three doesn’t have all the answers.

Heidi-at-twenty-three is unsure how all the new colors she has discovered are supposed to fit into a previously black-and-white frame.

She is asking questions of God’s character. She is wondering how an abundant relationship with Him works.

She has questions.

And when Heidi-at-twenty-three goes back to ask Heidi-at-twenty those questions, Heidi-at-twenty is able to give answers.

But somehow, Heidi-at-twenty-three doesn’t think those answers are quite right. She may not yet know the answers herself, but she has a stirring feeling that the answers cannot be contained in the simple sentences that Heidi-at-twenty gives.

And when I realize that those answers are no longer satisfactory, I don’t think I really miss Heidi-at-twenty so much. In fact, I believe I am beginning to really enjoy Heidi-at-twenty-three.

I am discovering that it is okay that Heidi-at-twenty-three doesn’t have all the answers. I sort of like the way she is willing to listen to other people’s perspectives and stay open to maybe even changing her mind. I’m getting used to the fact that her compassionate heart often hurts these days as she keeps exposing herself to reality.

But what I like the most about Heidi-at-twenty-three is that she has learned that she doesn’t have to understand everything about Jesus in order to trust Him and in order to follow Him.

And as long as she keeps believing THAT, then I think Heidi-at-twenty-three and I will get along just fine.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This Side of the Give-and-Take-Away Line

I was doing good.

I was adjusting to what God has allowed in my life. I was adjusting to what He had allowed to be taken away. I was getting ready to roll up my sleeves for what is to come. And, I was actually getting excited for the direction I am headed.

And THEN….

…I read a facebook status. (those things are awesome, aren’t they?) It was written by an old friend from my high school church youth group.

After I read that status I was, all of a sudden, NOT okay anymore.

All at once, all of my desires were thrown in my face from someone who has (seemingly) exactly what I want and what I almost had.

Jealousy instantly threw itself over me and covered me like a dark, thick blanket.




“Why did you take MY baby away and allow her to keep hers?” “Why does she get this lifestyle and not ME?”

Normally, I’m not a super jealous person. I do struggle with it sometimes, though. And I definitely have a struggle with comparing myself to others. This time, the jealousy hit HARD.

This July, I have been remembering last July. Last July was a month of joy. It was a month of pregnancy. It was a month of the promise of the life of which I have dreamed. Motherhood.

August 8th, 2009, that dream was stolen from me. I don’t know when it will be returned.

I am happy for my old friend. But my heart hurts for myself.

The thing is, I don’t want it to. I really just want my heart to focus on how God is teaching me, molding me, going to use me, blessing me, walking with me, etc, etc, etc….

I’m gonna have to ask the Lord for a little more help on this one right now.

I didn’t expect life to be fair. I guess I just didn’t expect to be on this end of the give-and-take-away line.

It’s hard watching people live on the “give” side of the line when you’re on the “take-away” side of the line.

Hmmmm…perhaps I should limit the amount of facebook statuses I read? :-)

Forgive my wandering eyes, Lord. Help me not to be like Peter when he asked, “Lord, what about him?” and You answered, “…what concern is that of yours? You follow Me.” Please give me that heart with eyes only focused on following You. Help me to accept what You allow in my life and help me to not become bitter when You take away.

What about YOU? Do you ever struggle with jealously when someone else has something you desire?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lasts and Firsts (with my sister)

Part Three of the LASTS series.
For Part One, click here.
For Part Two, click here.

I sat down for my thirteen-(almost fourteen)-year-old sister’s performance of the musical “Honk!” in which she was playing the lead role of the mother duck Ida. I casually perused through the program and started reading the bio’s of all the cast members. Then I got to my sister’s bio and I almost stopped breathing. Then I started crying.

9th grader? She’s described as a 9th grader?

You see for me, talking about an idea sometimes holds less impact than seeing the raw facts written on paper. And here it was, in print, the truth that my little sister is now a 9th grader. A high-schooler. She may not yet have experienced her first day of high school but she graduated from the 8th grade a month ago. She knows what choirs she will be singing in next year. And she has her class schedule all figured out. Yes, she is a 9th grader.

Usually, at least for me, a first is easier than a last. You know, the last of something usually holds such finality with no going back and it makes you want to hold on and remember every memory you possibly can. On the other hand, a first is full of such promise with a blank slate for the memories to decorate one-by-one. There is (usually) less to grieve with a “first” because it the start -not the ending- of something.

But this time is different. This time the last is much easier than the first.

The last, Chrissy’s eight grade graduation, wasn’t that hard for me. Yes, I was sentimental. I was beaming with pride to see how gorgeous she looked. I was proud to hear her sing the national anthem to start the ceremony. It all felt right. She seemed so ready. She had fit a lot into her 3-year junior high experience and it just seemed like she was ready for the next chapter.

But this first! This first day of high school, this first day of freshman year, this first of such a new season for her - this first is what is catching my throat even still.

In this big first of my sister’s life, I am experiencing again how pain is such big part of love.

The pain of letting go, the pain of selfishly desiring her to stay young so I can always have her as my “little” sister, the pain of being proud and having my heart hurt and my eyes fill with tears because she is developing with so much talent and inner and outer beauty.

It just hurts.

It *almost* makes me afraid of someday being a mom because if this is how I feel about my younger sister, I don’t know WHAT I am going to do when I go through these experiences with my own children!

As I let go and embrace this new season in my sister’s life, I am excited to see what these next four years will bring for her. I am so grateful that she loves Jesus and that she proudly expresses a desire to continually grow in her relationship with Him.

I can’t wait to see what beautiful things she will do and what beautiful things will be created inside her.

Thank you, Lord, for this new season. Thank you for all the joy it has brought me to be a part of my sister’s life from the day she was born. Thank you for who you have crafted her to be and please give me peace and joy knowing that it is You that is molding her, walking with her, and protecting her. Thank you for my sister.

What about YOU? Is there anything you are having a hard time letting go of?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Last Day. Of Freshman Year.

Part Two of the "Lasts" series.
For Part One click here.

Freshman year of college at Chapman University was magical. Magical.

There was hard stuff for sure, some intensely hard stuff actually, but that’s not what I remember when I think of the phrase “freshman year.”

To me, the phrase “freshman year” is defined by fellowship, a constantly available shoulder to cry on and a friend to laugh with. I think of it as free time filled up by prayers in the hallway, group walks over to the cafeteria for breakfast and lunch and dinner. A year of Christian girls all placed by God on one magical floor - 4th floor Pralle - all devoted to Jesus and a pure lifestyle.

And a room friend I will never forget. Three weeks into the first semester, we hadn’t really talked too in depth. I mean, we lived together and we liked each other, but hadn’t yet gotten past the superficial. And then one day (I don’t remember how it happened) she and I had our first heart-to-heart. We talked about how hard the transition into college was. We talked about the making of new friends. And that night, we decided to NOT be roommates. We decided to be room friends.

I loved living with her. I was a morning person. She was a night owl. We both liked our quiet space but we loved to share our hearts. We both wore a size 10 shoe. (ahem, still do) We were both listeners and encouragers so we both felt safe with each other to share and pray and cry. And oh, we could cry together. And be crazy. Who else would let me wake her up dancing like a mad woman to 80’s music?

Eventually, yet all too soon, the last week of school came. For the most part, we were all stoked! Summer was finally here!! But amidst the rush of finals and late-night, last-minute studying, there was a misty cloud of dread wisping over us. We all felt it. Freshman year is almost over. Will it be the same next year?

Last Day of school. Exhausted. One of the girls and I had a music history final which had robbed us of sanity for the few days leading up to it. We took the test, high-fived each other with as much energy as we could muster, grabbed some food in the caf, and ran to our rooms to finish our packing and clean them completely before we turned in our keys. When we were done all us girls were spending a beach weekend together. The faster we were done cleaning, the sooner vacation came!

My room friend and I cleaned our room together. We both planned on being back next year. Same floor, same room, same room friend. We zoomed around our room, sweat until we were dripping, and talked about the past year with smiles.

When we were done, we all met down in the parking garage to pile into the car and head to the beach. My room friend couldn't come that night because of a prior engagement and was going to meet us down there the next day.

I went to give her a hug. Like always. To say goodbye.

And then, it HIT me. It hit me hard and pierced me straight to my core.

It. Was. Over.

I held her and cried. We were going to live together again, what was the problem? I was going to spend time with all my girls at the beach relaxing instead of studying, why was I crying?

Perhaps my spirit knew before my mind did. But I instantly knew that nothing would be the same after this weekend.


Changes came.

It ended up that my room friend and I couldn’t live together the next year. She was offered an RA position and was thrilled for the opportunity. And I was genuinely thrilled for her.

One of the girls felt called to go to Bible College and for the next year she was across the globe studying abroad.

Two of our girls left our circle of friends when they joined a sorority.

I met my husband that summer and was dating him all of sophomore year and married him the following summer.

We had different schedules sophomore year. And different rooms (except I did get the pleasure of living with another one of the girls whom I affectionately titled Room Cat).

When sophomore started, we were all a little sad. We were trying to recreate freshman year and it left us all frustrated. We had to learn to move on and embrace the season in front of us.


Whenever it comes to remembrance, the last day of freshman year leaves me with a smile. It’s like the perfect, bittersweet ending of a lovely, heartwarming book. A happy ending without being syrupy sweet.

I mean, what’s a better way to end the book of “Freshman Year,” then the last paragraph being,

“I held my room friend tight, tears coming out of nowhere, my spirit knowing before my mind that things would never be the same. She squeezed me and told me she loved me and that she’d see me tomorrow. We locked eyes with our look of "knowing" and I smiled as a tear slipped down my cheek. With a full heart, I crawled into the car full of my girls, the ones who I had shared the countless precious moments of this precious year, and together we headed down the open highway, singing and laughing on the way to beach to celebrate our year.”

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

LASTS. Part one.

Ever since yesterday, I have been thinking about LASTS.

Well, I think about "lasts" more often than just since yesterday, but I have been thinking about them in a more focused manner since reading the following post by one of my favorite bloggers, Sarah Markley.


Go ahead, click on the link. It is a beautifully written post. You will love it.

So anyway, her post (which I'm sure you've read by now), has been making me think of all the "lasts" I have experienced and how some of them have been painfully beautiful, some of them have been difficult but necessary, and others were just hard.

In the next few days, I'll be describing more of my thoughts on some of my own "lasts".

Ending Day of Freshman Year...

Last weeks with Grandpa...

Last month and moments with Grandma...

Last Day of a beautiful month and a half of pregnancy...

Graduation Day for my (former) eight-grade sister... name a few experiences.

So come back tomorrow, and together let's explore the concept of cherishing the "lasts" in our lives.

What about YOU? Are there any "lasts" that you have been thinking of with a smile or grieving over?

Part Two of the LASTS series, click here.
Part Three of the LASTS series, click here.
Part Four of the LASTS series, click here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Daddy's Girl

My husband and I were talking with a leader at our church today (yesterday, as you read this) after service and following at the edge of the leader’s heels was an adorable three-year-old daughter.

The whole time we were talking with him, I kept observing his daughter - all her cute antics, the way she would express her desires, and the fascination she had with the ants on the sidewalk. But what I observed the most was the way she trusted her daddy.

I first started paying more attention to her communication with her dad when I heard her call out for help on a cement stair step. “My daddy! My daddy!” she yelled. “That is so cute,” I thought.

My daddy, she said. Her daddy. She knew that HER daddy would come. That HER daddy would help her. That HER daddy would be there for her. She trusted HER daddy.

This little girl watched her daddy. She looked to see where he was when she would walk more than a few feet away. Can I still see my daddy? She called his name to get him to just give her a smile. Does my daddy notice me? She kept looking up at her daddy while he was praying and then kept closing her eyes again to do it like him. (Yes, I was peeking.)

And then, as she got tired, right there on the ant-trodden, dusty cement, she laid down at her daddy’s feet and used his tennis-shoe-covered-feet as a pillow.

I want to be like this little girl with my Abba Father, my Heavenly Daddy.

I want to call Him, My Daddy. I want to know that MY Daddy will come to me, and help me, and be there for me. I want to trust my Abba - MY Daddy.

I want to watch my daddy. I want to always make sure He can see me, I want to call on Him name often and know that He hears me, and I want to do what my Daddy does.

And when I’m tired and weary, I just want to curl up and lay at my Daddy’s feet, despite whatever is going on around me, and know that I am safe - because Abba Father is MY daddy.

Are you glad for a Heavenly Daddy in which you can place all your trust?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ahhh, Friday!

Don’t you LOVE Friday? Even if you don’t have a 9-5 job, there is still something so invigorating and relieving when Friday rolls around.

I’m looking forward to this weekend. Saturday and Sunday are booked up so I decided to keep Friday night nice and simple and have a quiet night at home.

Saturday is my 3rd annual trip to the Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach with my mother-in-law and this year a new friend of the family is coming along. I’m looking forward to some yummy greek food, fun live music, and walking around in a bunch of sawdust looking at all the amazing art! (Some of my favorite art to admire is the ceramics pottery)

Sunday I am spending time with a dear friend from Chapman University (who also doubled as my roommate for a semester). I haven’t seen her in a couple years and she is in town from North Carolina! We are going to visit our favorite haunt from the Chapman days (which also happens to be my favorite beach) and head to Huntington Beach! H.B. has the free surf concerts going on July 18 from 11-5 and we planning on enjoying some of those groovy sounds! Fellowship, memories, laughter, prayers, and catching up are all on the agenda for my time with her.

But enough about me! What are YOUR plans for this weekend??

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Night at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Tall and handsome. Square brow, sympathetic eyes, and a clean haircut with gray starting to add dimension to his hair. Broad shoulders and a strong jaw. He was the embodiment of a total man, yet his face was softened by his gentle heart. The comfortable jeans and periwinkle sweatshirt with the huge Mickey Mouse on the front was external evidence of his strong and tender “daddy” love for the nine-year-old girl whose hand he was holding.

Thick blond hair and slender-formed frame. Beautiful tan skin and a flawless complexion. Graceful in her posture and in the movement of her hands. The tilt of her head and the expressions her eyes could hold may have been what had originally allured him to her. Her model-like figure was clothed in a gentle, black velour sweat suit and tennis shoes, her long hair hung loose adding gentle glamour to the casual outfit.

Amidst the rush of people, they stood facing each other. They seemed oblivious to the groups of teenagers racing to get into the lines before others did, or to the tired screaming children who had eaten too much sugar, or to the families splitting a couple bags of popcorn and fighting over who was getting more than their share. Their daughter, in between them, looked up as the two held each other’s gaze.

His eyes - tired, frustrated. Why can’t she see how much I have poured out all day? Why isn’t she happy with everything I have tried to do for her today?

Her eyes - wounded. Why doesn’t he understand what I’m trying to say? Why doesn’t he understand how much he is hurting me with his words?

His arms - moving in exasperated gestures. Why doesn’t she understand my logic? She is so emotional and she isn’t listening to me at all. Why doesn’t she hear that I am trying to make this work for everybody?

Her arms - crossed. I have to protect myself and stand up for myself. Should I be vulnerable with him? No, he is so selfish that he would only hurt me more. Why doesn’t he try to hear what my heart is trying to say?

His feet - walking away, his hand pulling his daughter with him. Fine, if she won’t listen and she refuses to cooperate, then I’m gonna leave her here and let my daughter enjoy the rest of this day. I’m the man. She can decide if she wants to follow me or not.

Her feet - firm and planted. I can’t follow him. It hurts to much to be near him when he is treating me like this. If I stand strong, maybe he will realize how he is treating me and then maybe he’ll hear me.

Now about fifteen feet away from her, he tensely turns around. He lets go of his daughter’s hand and walks a few feet back to her. She looks at him, hopeful on the inside but stoic on the outside. He looks at her face, and his frustration boils over. He raises his strong arm, points directly at her, and in a rush of intense frustration and disappointed anger he yells, “Good job on ruining the night!”

He stares at her intensely for a couple of very long seconds to purposely let the hurt of those words sink in. She holds his gaze and refuses to let her tear-filled eyes spill over. He shakes his head in frustration and returns to his daughter. As soon as he turns away, she lets the tears silently fall and catches them with her fingers before they cause her black mascara to leave evidence of her emotions all over her face.

He tells his daughter to “come on, let’s go.” The little girl looks back and forth between her mom and dad. Back and forth, back and forth, trying to know how to help them both. Trying to figure out which side to take. She doesn’t want to go with just daddy and leave mommy behind. But will daddy be mad if she stays with mommy?

He looks at his wife one last time…this time the anger replaced by tired pleading. She meets his gaze, then lowers her eyes instantly; but the pull is too strong. Without meeting his eyes, she starts to walk forward. He holds his daughter’s hand while she follows a foot behind and together, they silently head off to finish their night at the happiest place on earth.

This post was inspired while observing the crowd, and this specific family, while waiting for a friend in front of Space Mountain.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I have been living with a deprivation of sleep.

I thought I had been getting enough. I’ve been going for a LONG time on 5-6 hours a night. But as I did research on sleep today, I realized that the average adult needs between 7-8 hours. And most adults who consistently get only 5-6 hours a day live with the effects of sleep deprivation.

Last night, it caught up with me. I sat on the couch, with a long list of chores running through my head, and within 20 minutes, I was asleep, and I didn’t wake up until 9:30. That was 5 ½ hours of sleep!

When my husband came home from class, I washed my face and crawled into bed and slept soundly until 5:30. That was another 6 hours of sleep!

That’s 11 ½ hours of sleep total! [this is why there was no blog post yesterday. I was asleep during the time I normally write my posts…]

And, (surprise!), I felt so much better today at work. I wasn’t as hungry as I was on Monday. I wasn’t fidgeting from a complete lack of focus and, as much as I was looking forward to being home, I wasn’t constantly looking at the clock to see if it was 3:30 yet.

I did some research today and found that I have literally been living with a deprivation of sleep. This leads to a decreased immunity system, a weakened chance for the body to heal itself at the cellular level, an increased appetite for refined carbs and sugars, and the inability to focus well.

So, I am going to start taking my sleep much more seriously. Before, I saw it as a necessary evil. Something that got in the way of all the stuff I want to do. I tried to get just as much as I thought I could scrape by on so I could enjoy and/or accomplish as much other stuff as possible. However, now that I know that it has purpose, I will no longer see it as a waste of time. It will actually contribute to accomplishing my goals.

Being on a journey to lose some weight, get fit, and be healthy, I now realize that sleep is just as important as my diet and exercise. It’s like the trinity of health - you can’t decide to just have two (at least, for optimal health.) I am hoping that as I seek to fulfill my need for sleep, my body will start feeling more energy for effective workouts and a less consuming desire for carbs to keep me going throughout the day.

Hmmm….no deeper lesson from all this today. Just the fact, I guess, that God designed our bodies to need rest. Don’t abuse it. Let’s take care of our temples (and realize it’s not selfish to do so!)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Letting Fruit Ripen.

I had the opportunity to go to a Beth Moore conference this weekend with my mom and it. was. phenomenal.

Because of the conference, I did a lot of heavy thinking this weekend.

Processing. Listening. Soaking in and Writing out.

Through the experience, I observed many things, I was broken in a few different ways, I was spoken to in many areas through all the teaching, and my heart delighted in worship.

I could pick from a multitude of points that I learned this weekend to blog about. There are plenty of things of substance swirling around in my head that I could share.

But those thoughts are ripe yet.

Have you ever been so impacted by something and so excited about something you have learned and then immediately gone to share it with someone only to have it fall flat when you speak it out? I know I have done that and I hate the feeling that comes with it. When that happens, it is like those fresh and precious revelations immediately become old and faded when just the few moments before I shared them, they were brand new.

The seeds of some beautiful works of God have been planted in my heart this past weekend. Already, I can see some of the fruit starting to show the flowering buds. But that fruit needs sufficient time to grow until it is ready to be picked. It needs time to be watered by the Word, spend some time in the Son, and pull and receive nutrients from the roots of understanding.

So, while this fruit grows, I am going to follow the example of Mary in Luke 2:19 and ...."treasure up all these words, and ponder in [my] heart what they might mean."

What about YOU? Has God been planting any seeds in your heart lately? Can you feel as those seeds are growing into riper fruit? What stage of growth do you think your seeds are at?

Friday, July 9, 2010

July Rain

I have been contemplating all this July rainfall.

I love the summer. I love the sun, I like the heat and I love the beach. I like summer clothing and I love to feel free.

And the pleasure I find in summer has been constantly interrupted by many wet and gray days this past June and July.

As I was thinking, I came to a realization - obvious on the surface but deeper in meaning. I realized that: Some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world receive the most rain.

And as I thought about that concept, I pondered the state of my own heart.

My heart loves summer in the metaphorical sense. Sunshine, carefree days, freedom, and easy laughter. Easy. Fun. Pleasure.

But through the rain, comes growth. And through the rain, comes beauty.

The more rain, the greater the growth and the deeper the beauty.

This year, I have had a hard time not asking God “Why?” as it seems the rain has been continuing to fall on my heart. But as I look at pictures of His creation - of the lush rainforests and majestic waterfalls - I receive enough hope to keep on soaking up the rain that He allows in my life. Because - In His time, He makes all things beautiful. In His time.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Reality Hurts.

My heart felt heavy today.

My body and mind were much better than yesterday thanks to more proactive nutrition and proper sleep (Like I said in yesterday's post, I promised to learn from my previous days mistakes)

But my heart was grieved. It was burdened.

I thought I knew why but I kept pushing that reason out of my mind.

Really, Heidi, a fictional movie? That was last night, it is early afternoon the next day! Those weren’t even real people or a factual story!

But there’s no getting around it. The movie was the reason for my heaviness of heart.

It wasn’t that I was wrapped up in the fictional storyline or characters of the movie. It was what the movie represented. Truth and Reality. While that specific story may not have happened, many many others just like it have.

Curiosity leading to devastation.

Stolen Innocence.


Objectified Women.

Selfish desires and Lust.

I don’t want to believe that stuff is true. I don’t want to believe those hurts exist. I want to wish those pains away. Why? Because I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to help.

When my eyes are opened like that, it makes my heart ache.

I know that part of this is the process of God showing me the hurts in the world. Showing me reality. It is something I want to run from but I can’t turn off real life like I can turn off a DVD.

Like I wrote about before, love is mixed with pain. I love people. I love that every person has inherent worth because they were created in the image of God. And I hate when that worth is unrightly and unjustly taken from them.

I pray that God will show me how to use my compassion in a useful way and I pray that I won't run if it hurts.

By the way, the movie was The Preacher’s Kid. Excellent movie, compelling story, and beautiful ending. In my opinion, though, a little too heavy for those under high school age.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Just What I Needed.

Blame it on my poor night sleep, or my lack of a nutritious breakfast, or a slow day at work that left me with extra time on my hands. Blame it on what you will, but I was unsettled today.

Unpurposed and anxious. Restless and unfocused.

A short workout lifting weights over my lunch break helped my mind a little, but it also left me hungry for food that I hadn’t adequately packed. Therefore, a small Taco Bell trip consumed my afternoon break. However, the consumption of the fast food left me weighed down and further contributed to my unsettledness. Vicious cycle.

I was relieved when 3:30 hit the clock. I was anxious to get home and get some stuff done.

Still, I didn’t know how to give myself direction and motivation to accomplish the multitude of tasks that awaited me at home. I just simply wanted to GET home.

And when I got home and opened the door, before I could even set my bags down, a handsome man wearing a bold, blue shirt and tie that made his eyes sparkle, bounded up the stairs from his office and wrapped me in a welcome home hug and told me I was beautiful.

*Happy and contented sigh……*

The unsettled anxiety began to wash away. I was more than just home. I was where I belonged; where I was wanted.

Throughout the night, fulfillment began to infuse me.

~A 45-minute couch conversation with my husband about each others dreams, goals, and plans.
~A long, quiet hot shower with every smidgen of makeup from the day removed.
~A quiet time with the Lord asking Him to still my heart.
~The separation of dirty laundry and the whirring of the washing machine.
~A goodbye kiss to my husband wishing him good luck on his softball game.
~Giving myself grace for a couple unhealthy choices today and getting back on track tonight with healthy choices instead of waiting until tomorrow.


Restoring order.

Soft jazz music.



These are just the things I needed.

I am glad to have learned from today. And I am glad for the opportunity to go try again tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I get used to my world.

The work week. Quiet. Office chairs and computers that don't talk to me. Space to think. The hum of co-workers conversations with each other or with customers. A pile of checks to open and deposit. An occasional outburst from my boss in the corner - but thankfully never directed at me (yet).

Saturday mornings. Quiet and still. Just the drip of a coffee pot until I pour myself a cup and settle into the couch with my Bible. Watching the peaceful, morning mountains outside my living room window become more alive as the sun brightens the day.

A world of (young) adulthood. The day ahead of me completely directed by me. By my own desires and personal agenda. Hiking, writing and reading, church. My current mood continually reflected by my choice of a Pandora station on my iPhone.

It seems, sometimes, as if I have never lived in a house with five other highly vocal and opinionated people. Five other dynamic and musically-inclined individuals.

And then I come back.

Just for an evening, which turns into spending the night, which turns into a July 5th holiday with the family.

And then I remember.

I remember what it was like years ago. I remember waking up to little sisters laughing on the couch as I came down in my pajamas. I remember waking up to a scolding for not having my chores done on time. I remember waking up to the sound of Christian radio while my parents danced around in the kitchen frying bacon and setting the table. I remember, once again, how quickly a happy conversation can turn from laughing hysterically to everyone going in separate rooms after one ill-spoken comment. I remember opening our garage door on a warm 9:00am morning to the swarm of neighborhood children wanting to play. I remember how difficult it is to finish a complete sentence. I remember what it is like to have to jump on your opportunity to speak before you miss your chance. I remember not being able to stop laughing and almost choking on milk over something not-that-funny. I remember the almost-constant motion. And I remember the treasure of staying up late at night to listen to the quiet.

When I come back, I can't believe I have forgotten.

That was my world.

And now, it is no longer my world.

But, it will be my world again someday.

God-willing, someday, I will be waking up to assuage the night cries of my little ones. I will be asking my husband to please take the big brother to baseball practice while I stay home with the sick ones in bed. I will be cutting coupons and making Costco runs to feed the ever-hungry and ever-moving mouths. I will be setting the dinner table for six and will eventually start eating before all six seats are filled because we can’t wait any longer for the high-schooler to get home from rehearsal. I will mediate between the fights and the tears. I will swell with joy and gratitude when I hear the sound of all my kids laughing at something not-that-funny. I will be proud when I see the older one teach the younger one how to find verses in the Bible.

Perhaps that will be me someday. My biggest prayer is that it will be.

And in those days still yet to come, I will remember.

I will remember what it was like in my young years of marriage. I will remember what it is like to change Friday night plans on a whim. I will remember what it was like to do something spontaneous with my husband just because we can. And I will remember the peace of a quiet Saturday morning after a long work week. I will remember the magic of the morning with my husband still in bed, and the only sound being the dripping of a coffee pot until I pour myself a cup and settle into the couch with my Bible.

I am going to enjoy these days I am living in. These days of youthfulness mixed with adulthood, peacefulness mixed with stress, busyness mixed with control of how I desire to order my time, and quiet Saturday mornings that will not last forever.

I will strive to fully embrace each season I am in.

But in each season, I will try to remember.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Real Honesty - Part 2

Yesterday, I talked about how sometimes the fear of being rejected or the fear of controversy can lead me to be dishonest through omission. Meaning, I won’t necessarily verbalize a lie and say, “Yes, I totally agree with you!” (when I don’t) but I WILL sort of half-heartedly nod and just listen, giving the appearance that I am in agreement.

I am currently figuring out when I need to be honest and not allow my fears to hold me back from speaking truth or from verbalizing my opinions. However, in this learning process, I am also discovering when it is appropriate to use discretion over blunt honesty.

When I say that we should be honest despite our fears of rejection, I DON”T mean that we should go blaring our opinions around, especially uninvited, to every person in our path. There is a place for discretion.

So how do we know when we should say something and when we shouldn’t?

There could be more to this answer [and I would love to hear your thoughts] but I believe it has to do with the internal motivation of your heart.

There are two questions that have I begun to ask myself. These are:

Why do I want (or don’t want) to say this?” and “What is the benefit of me saying this.”

If I am finding that the only reason I don’t want to say something is fear of rejection or fear of controversy, I might want to consider stretching myself and applying the honesty approach.
But, if there is going to be no actual benefit to me speaking up about something, or if it causes unneccesary harm, or if I find that my reasons for wanting to share something are purely selfish, then maybe it is a good time to apply the rule of discretion.

I think I am beginning to discover the line between a time for honesty and a time for discretion.

What do you think? What have you learned in this area?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Real Honesty - Part One

Ever since I was young, I prided myself on telling the truth.

I didn't lie as a kid (at least not enough that I remember) and I would always break down and admit it when I was the one to blame in a circumstance. I had a very active and loud conscience.

To this day, when asked a direct question, I cannot tell a lie. [like George Washington and the cherry tree] I just can't. I never practiced it so it's really obvious on the rare occasion that I try to get away with not telling the truth on something.

But does all that mean I have always been honest?

Is it honest to withhold information?

Is it honest to give someone an answer they want to hear when you don't actually mean it? Or to carefully choose your words so that you aren't lying but you hide your actual opinion?

Is it honest to stay silent when you are in the middle of an opinionated conversation? To just nod yes the whole time and give the appearance of agreement when you don't actually agree at all?

Honest Confession:
I have done all those things. And honestly, I don't think that's a very honest way to live.

Why do I do those things? I want people to like me. I don't want to offend people. I am often afraid to stand up for my opinions. I don't want to be controversial or critical.

Granted, I'm not always afraid to stand up for my opinions. Actually, in some cases and situations, I am pretty vocal. But overall, I am not sure that honesty, in this overall sense, has defined me. I am not sure that people have always known the truth of what I was thinking.

There is a difference, however, between discretion and honesty. There are simply times when discretion tells you to be careful with what you say and how you say it. And there are other times when honesty tells you it is time to stand up and be real. I want to listen to both discretion and honesty at the appropriate times. But I don't want to use the excuse of discretion as a cover for honesty.

I am just learning in this area. In fact, I just made a new friend who has some different ways of approaching life than I do. But, I was able to tell her what my opnions and beliefs were and she was able to do the same with me. We expressed how much we desired honesty and wanted the other to be honest with the other. It was SO refreshing.

I have much to learn. These written thoughts are just an expression of what is rolling around in my head. But I am excited to enter this journey of being honest about who I am no matter who I am around while at the same time continuing to use discretion and love in all my interactions.

I can think of no better example than Jesus to look to as my guide.

Does anyone else struggle with this? Any pointers for me?