911 Panic

So yeah, yesterday.

I had the car running and the kids suited up. Despite the twelve on the thermometer we were ready to go.

Except, of course, me. I still needed to get boots and a coat on.

They, of course, begged. Because, SNOW!!!!!

“Mooooommmmm Snooooow!!! Can we play in the snooowww! I wanna play outsiiiiiide!!!!!”

“Two minutes. Seriously. When I’m ready to go we go, yes ma’am?”

“Yes ma’am!”

They all answered a little too quickly. A little too enthusiastically.

I should have known then that it wouldn’t be that easy.

I pushed on my beautiful new snow boots and glanced out the back window as I went to grab my coat. Alex was laying in the snow in his jeans. So I opened the door to give him a dire warning about wet jeans in freezing weather.

As soon as I did I heard a blood chilling scream.

I ran. Not for My soaking wet Alex. But for the slide ladder. The ladder where my eldest daughter was firmly attached. By her tongue.

Al la Christmas Story.

Yeah, we totally should have put that on our watch list this year. (I can hear my little sister saying “I told you so” already.)

Adrenaline can make people do amazing things.

I am not one of those people. 

I frantically ran next door (because of course I had left my phone at the church that morning.) Burst into my neighbors house pleading for a phone. I promptly called 911 and started screaming about tongues and frostbite and never being able to eat again all while running back toward my back yard.

All the while my sweet neighbor, Larry, was getting a pitcher of warm water and following right behind me.

This is the part I need to confess that not only had the thought not occurred to get warm water, but in my hormone fogged brain I was actually envisioning getting out an extension cord and a blow dryer.

No really. I’m still embarrassed.

We turned the corner to our back yard and it was…empty.

We followed a trail of blood into the house to find my sweet Bug running around the house squirting blood out of her mouth while all the kids watched.

It took about two seconds to confirm that her tongue was still attached and very, very little of it had been left behind on the ladder.

At which point I collapsed into hysterical sob laughs. Because as long as everyone is okay? It’s gonna be a great story to tell a suitor friend someday.

You should hear that sweet lisp, yall. I bet you my bottom dollar that you would giggle too!

Owning It: Lessons Learned

2014 was the hardest year of my adult life.

I had a problem and I didn’t know it. Actually. I had a lot of problems and I didn’t know it.

But they could almost all be summed up in a lifelong problem that cam to a glaring forefront in my life when the metal started grinding together.

I have a lot of trouble owning it. 

I’m actually pretty comfortable with change, with ambiguity. My ENFJ designation almost always involves a description of “chameleon.”

Yeah. Maybe not the most flattering label. But it’s true. I go to where people are instead of standing where I am. And the few times I have ventured out of that model? Have been devastating and damaging.

But when you are raw to your bones and you can’t meet people where they are at because you can’t get out of bed. You learn to stand (or sit, or lie in the fetal position) right where you are at.

Because sometimes putting a label on it, makes you free.

Watch this:

Broken. At the beginning of this year I discovered that all the healthy food and working out in the world won’t stop my body from breaking sometimes. I was walking around in broken haze , trying to carry the pieces with me. The raging hormones of Post Partum Depression had stolen my days.  When I said, “I am broken.” I got all freed up to get better. I got free.

Hurt. You hurt me. Those words are almost impossible to say, they make me vulnerable to people that may have already exploited that vulnerability. I walk around aching and trying to make everyone else feel better about it. When I said, “You hurt me.” I got freed up to lay down that pain. I got free.

Sinner. I’m messing it up. I’m messing it up every day. But that one. When I own up to that one? I’m free to surrender that burden to a Savior that washes my messes clean. Every day.

Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.  And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. John 8:34-36

When I say “I’m a sinner.” I get freed up to enter a throne room of a Holy God waiting to take my burdens. I get free.

But putting a label on the bad things was just the beginning. Because sometimes putting a label on the good things? Or even just the things that are things?

It can free you up to move forward.

Watch:

Enthusiastic. I’m a little embarrassed (yeah I see the irony) to say that I have spent most of my life trying desperately to play it cool. Turns out I have lived in a self-imposed oppression in an effort to not make people uncomfortable with my zeal. Should zeal be tempered with love? Absolutely. Should zeal be smothered under pillow until it results in an awkward facade of faking it? Absolutely not. So I said, “I care about this.” I’m freed up to pour my whole heart into the thing that God has set before me. I get free.

Writer. It’s just a tiny part of who and what God has called me too. But the other labels, Mom, Wife, Friend? They are a little easier to own up to. When the world is crashing around you and you are still feeling called to do something you have spent years considering superfluous, it’s time to own it. Bad writer, good writer. Doesn’t matter. I had to say it, “I’m a writer.” And I got freed up to write about what I want to write about, free to try harder and buy the books that will help me get better. I got free.

Holy and Beloved.  I love that one. Already. No trying or striving to get there. Already there. Holy and beloved.

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” Colossians 3:12

And when I say it first thing in the morning. When I start by believing that at the beginning of my day. “I am holy and beloved.” I am free to start setting down my insecurities and defenses and start living with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience.

I am free. 

Sweet Treats

I really was going to write decent post today, but then I spent the entire night on the bathroom floor.

So instead I’ll just share some of the pictures of my kids going way crazy over some sweets.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/22d/3442625/files/2014/12/img_5267.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/22d/3442625/files/2014/12/img_5270.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/22d/3442625/files/2014/12/img_5261.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/22d/3442625/files/2014/12/img_5266.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/22d/3442625/files/2014/12/img_5292.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/22d/3442625/files/2014/12/img_5294.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/22d/3442625/files/2014/12/img_5288.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/22d/3442625/files/2014/12/img_5263.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/22d/3442625/files/2014/12/img_5274.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/22d/3442625/files/2014/12/img_5269.jpg

Make Room

It’s almost Christmas!!!

The bad news is that we have been fighting the plague around here. We have holed up and choked down as much chicken soup and vitamin C as my people can possibly stand.

We are now left with a few measly coughs and I’m feeling way behind all of the sudden.

I’m tired and everything is messy. I’ve been fighting big emotional battles and I’ve had to say no when I really wanted to say yes.

So this, I think the people of Bethlehem get a bad lot. We talk a lot about how nobody made room for the coming Christ, but truthfully we don’t know what it was actually like. There may not have been any room. Each house and inn may have had people sleeping on couches and floors and it may have been that they had to say no when they wanted to say yes.

Also? At the end of the day somebody did make room. Somebody, somewhere said, “Yeah, it won’t be easy, but we can make this happen.”

Maybe it was the innkeeper. Maybe it was the other people in the stable that night. Maybe it was the dirty, homeless, beggar that decided to sleep on the street so the pregnant lady could sleep with a roof over her head.

We don’t know exactly. We just know that it happened.

Somebody scooted over. In a dark, dingy stable. Somebody made some room.

And that one dark, manure filled corner lit up the whole world. 

God didn’t need Bethlehem to clean up their messes or put up their best show for our Savior. He just needed a little room to make a light so penetrating and bright that no one in that cram packed town could have missed it.

So maybe as we head toward a crazy Christmas this week, with messy houses and sick kids. Maybe as we contemplate broken relationships and broken finances. As we sit down and shed tears over the no that we wish was a yes, we could make a little room.

Just one tiny, dark, messy corner. Not much. Definitely not anything anyone else needs to use right now. Just that dingy, set-aside place. We could scoot over. 

Because I bet if we could surrender that one dark place, with no expectation of cleaning things up or making things perfect. We might just see the most beautiful display of light that we could ever imagine. Because we might just get to see it from the inside out. 

Merry Christmas!

That Time I Loved Goldfish

Right now we have a plate of brownies sitting on our counter.

After nap, we will no longer have a plate of brownies sitting on our counter.

Because, you know, brownies.

And I’m hungry.

In fact, I can’t ever remember not being hungry. I had a friend in college that was always like, “Did I eat lunch? I can’t remember.” (I’m talking to you, Ashley)

And that is CRAZY. That has happened to me exactly one time in my ENTIRE LIFE and it was about three weeks ago. There was a good reason too. We were headed to my dad’s house, and  #1 I always get a little overexcited to go to my dad’s and #2 trying to get seven people away for the weekend is overwhelming even for a compulsive packer and organizer like me.

So we were in the car on the way and we stopped at (I kid you not) El Tipi. (The cultural confusion of that place is either brilliant or disturbing.) (Also, I was born in the town that produced that. Also either brilliant or scary.)

Point. I know there was one.

Oh yeah, the kids were hungry. So I grabbed 60 cent bags of goldfish and passed them out. When I opened Jane’s bag a few fell out and I popped them in my mouth.

“Oh my gosh. These are the best goldfish ever.”

“Seriously. These are amazing.”

“Do you think they make them differently in Oklahoma?”

“I’m just gonna take a few more of Jane’s.” (Yeah, I took a snack from my kid. Pass the MOTY trophy right here.

At this point Russ is looking at my like I’ve lost my mind because I’m literally raving about Goldfish.

At which point it dawns on me. I forgot to eat lunch.

So, anyways, have yall heard of these wonderful snacks called Goldfish?

If you just skip a few meals and then go buy some, they will be revolutionary to your taste buds.

*SMH*

Radical Undoing

Last spring I visited my sister’s Sunday School class at church. While I always love me some Sunday school, this particular class was revolutionary.

We talked about the Day of Pentecost.

You know the one I’m talking about right? The one where the uneducated, provincial men who had been following Jesus around suddenly started speaking the Wonderful Works of God in languages they didn’t know and people came to Christ by the thousands. I mean, that’s pretty cool, right?

What struck me most though, was when the guest teacher asked what this was a reversal of?

It hit me like a ton of bricks in that moment and I wondered why I hadn’t seen it before.

The day of Pentecost was a radical undoing of the Tower of Babel.

When man tried to glorify himself, God tore us apart with our words and our language so that it would be difficult to unify against His purposes again.

But when Pentecost came and God poured out His Holy Spirit all over us, we, the believers of Jesus Christ, were allowed to be unified for His glory in a way that is even still almost unimaginable.

Now let me blow your mind…That same Holy Spirit is already residing in the people who love Jesus today.

Do you see what that means?

We can do this together. We should do this together. We are equipped to do this together.

Why, Oh, Why dear friends do we keep trying to speak a different language?!? Why are we trying to put up walls an barriers that Jesus never intended for us to have. In fact, that He commanded us not to have over and over again.

No, we don’t have to throw out sound doctrine and theology, and we need to take a deep drink of scripture to make sure what we believe lines up. We don’t have to pretend to agree about everything. However we do need to stand up to the admission that not actively seeking one-ness as the Body of Christ is incomplete in it’s doctrine and it is an omission devastating to God’s glory.

We have to hold tight to Jesus, the Word of God, and to each other. We each provide something rich and beautiful to this Body and we are incomplete without actively working together.

Let’s have that friends. Let’s have a radical undoing.

A Radical Undoing!

An undoing of our walls. Our hangups. Our labels. Our language.

Join us at IF:Amarillo as we Gather, Equip, and Unleash the women of Amarillo to fully live out God’s purpose for our lives. We want you there.

We need you there. You are a part of us and we are a part of you. Come join hands with us?

They Call Me Mama

“MooooOOOOoooooommmmm, I’m coming. I had a really big poop.”

Yeah. This job is glamorous.

This mom thing is not for the faint of heart. This adoptive mom thing…well, it throws more hurdles than I ever could have imagined jumping in my race.

Because of all the things people tell you about adoption, no one ever mentions the awkward.

They don’t tell you about how it will feel for someone to hand an almost-five-year-old and  three year old over to you and instruct those kids to call you mama.

I mean you just met them. There aren’t any tiny feet or sweet little cries. They are covered in dirt and they look terrified. Because why wouldn’t they be…

The person they know best in the world, just told them to call you mama. You. The stranger. The untested one.

But they do. And you do too.

You take their hand and you walk the road. You try to figure out what is appropriate and what is just scary. You navigate murky waters of being the new authority in their life with no real authority as far as they are concerned. And you go from awkwardly bumping into corners to slamming against walls. 

It goes from awkward to hard. From hard to devastating.

“I wanna go back mama!”

And over and over again you turn your eyes to heaven, and just keep running.

And they keep calling you mama. Because someone told them to.

Because you keep telling them that is what you are.

I’m your mom. 

And for awhile there, nobody is really buying it. Not them. Not you.

But you keep running. You get further along and the dust settles. The air starts to clear.

“Night, night mama. I love you.”

And you both believe it. Because somewhere along the way. Something changes.

“He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit” Romans 3:5