Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Casting away Stones to Step Up on the Rock

If there is one thing I've learned from living with a non-believer, is the harsh reality of the world's
perspective of Christians.

Not that it's always right. Or just. Or fair.

But something I see is that the lies about who Christ is are sometimes provoked by His followers.

And the victim mentality of many to think that Christianity is being attacked and suffering is all over the place right now. There has always been rebellion against God's righteousness...since the beginning of time. And it has been within His own people and outside His covenanted family. Christ's church should TURN THE OTHER CHEEK and continue to grow in strength and Love, instead of crying out and puffing up to say that we are being suppressed.

Seriously, what can man do to us?

Maybe I need a break from Social Media because...

I see Christ's name 
run a-muck by those 
who Love Him.
They are fighting 
the world's battles 
for Him but not like Him

I am confused.

So, today, I think about all the parables Christ spoke, and the commandments he offers in the New Covenant...and the fact that from the very beginning of Scripture, the underlying foundation of God's commandments is:


Martin Luther King Jr. said it second best (Christ said it first):

 "I have decided to stick with Love. 
Hate is too great a burden to bear."

Sure, there are things such as righteous justice, guarding our hearts from temptation, not stumbling into sin because of those we associate with, but in the end, nobody can deny that when Christ walked the Earth, He was an example of Love.

In a world driven by media...both hate-filled secular media, and hate-filled religious media, we must choose the Rock of Christ in all our dealings.

Let's not choose throwing stones over giving a hand to the world to step up on the Rock.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

A Ramble From My Heart

More than ever, I cry this: Let God Arise. Let His Spirit flood this house again. Let it take captive the hearts of my children...and my husband.

It's been a rough night.  Easter prep was shoved aside when my son needed me most.

Really, he needs God most.

And I cry in anguish. Nothing less because of the misery of my child. His anxiety and emotion trap him. What can I do for him? How can I help him?

Lord, when will YOU help him?

I sit with my journaling Bible, and feel lost. How can anyone be lost with the Scriptures at their fingertips? But I read and weep and wonder if any words can soothe my heart right now.

Of course, God shows up in His Word and I read this:

Listen, O my people, to my instruction;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,
Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
We will not conceal them from their children,
But tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,
And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.

I beg the Lord, "What I can possibly do for my son?" And the Lord uses His children to teach me how to raise my own. If you know this passage from Psalm 78 at all, it is an equipping of the future generations by the teaching of God's works. It's the touchy subject around here, and the struggle to go to Church each Sunday, and to pray, and to pass on to my children the works of God, and to give my children a chance. And in moments like tonight with my son, I feel as though I've cowered enough that the foundation is crumbling beneath us...this house is falling.

How easy it is to remember the bad stuff, and how difficult it is to recall the glimpses at God's hand in our lives. And then to put it in words without sounding foolish and superstitious. But I must continue on. For the sake of my children. I am thankful that at least I have Scripture, to remember others' encounters with God. Tomorrow, I awake to celebrate the biggest remembrance of His goodness. May my children, my son, find the hope in that.

Oh how I want the power of the Resurrection to come down on this home. How I want the Earth to shake, and God to Arise before the very eyes of my children. And my husband.

To wipe away the sorrow, the doubt, the anger. 
To make us whole again. To heal us in all this brokenness.

Father, come.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Passion For All: Even the Prostitute, Even the Transgender

I grew up thinking my way or the highway. If you weren't like me, then you weren't as good as me. Sad but true. I think everyone in a way, has that mentality at some point. It's pretty infantile, and pretty much human nature isn't it? It actually might be a little slanted toward the old school American mentality too. We are the best, better than the rest?


As I grow in this crazy messed up world, especially this extremely divided country, I begin to see a stark contrast even more than ever, of Christ's example versus this society we live in.

I see fear gripping people and causing them to deepen the divide. I see slander of the inspired word of God, used in a literal way to bully and try to suppress those who are just not good enough to be included in the family of God. According to those who have no say in who is created in the first place.

If you are being told that Christ's love and sacrifice is exclusive, then you might want to dig a little deeper.

Today, is Good Friday. It's the day when, after centuries of sacrifice upon sacrifice by a rebellious people to appease a holy God, God gave Himself for ALL the world. He became the final sacrifice so that we might find communion with our Maker forever.

What Christ did for us, is completely unfair, unprosperous, and on an economic system that the touting American who feels entitled to some esteemed rank on the social ladder is actually further away from the truth than they believe.

The economy of Christ is not to choose certain values over loving people. Like the apostle Paul states,

"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal."

Choosing Values over Love is UnGodly [period]

And the more I see the news or hear those who cling to a politician or even a political movement because they protect our "Christian" values, the more I wonder how far off the ladder we have fallen?

Shouldn't we instead, choose the person who is willing to love their fellow man unconditionally? After all, it is beyond us to judge. The holy Son of God walked this Earth and spread the Good News for all, only "judging" those who put words in God's mouth and abused the decrees of the Lord. He had the right to judge, but he only used that right to judge the righteous, not the morally-depraved.

It is frightening to see that the fallen world seems to offer more unconditional love than the church of Christ. I wonder if we have completely sold out to a false premise of our beliefs?

This Good Friday, when you see Christ's limp body hanging on the cross in that movie clip, or you take the bread and wine meant to represent his brokenness and bloodshed, remember exactly who Christ meant to include in His sacrifice.

And it's not just my congregation, or the church down the street. But it's the prostitute on the corner, the transgender in the bathroom, the lowest of lows on the 6 o'clock news. God come down for every single one of us.

Those who already choose to Live in His Spirit must Love in His Spirit too. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Raising Up Adults: A Mama's Discipline Revelation

This house has been pretty tense lately. Who ever said boys are easy? Especially teenage boys? More often than not, I am walking on eggshells when my kids are in the same room as each other, prepping myself for the next throw down.
The other day, it got bad. Real bad. Gnashing of teeth bad. And I found myself spouting off a gazillion consequences at different moments of the afternoon. And I heard my conscience whisper, "That ain't gonna work."
I was at a loss on how to parent these kids.
After hashing out my frustration with a friend who has a little more wisdom with older kids, I took a deep breath and remembered a bit of advice I had recently read.

Parents aren't here to raise kids, their job is to raise up adults.

I think a big problem around here has been my mentality that parenting means I put my children in their place as a child. Besides just getting wrapped up in their emotions, trying to figure out the best consequence to remind them they are under my control and I'm the boss, ('Mwahahahaha' would probably be appropriate here) might just be a bit outdated. Don't get me wrong, consequences are certainly a good and necessary thing for bad behavior, but the nature of the consequences, perhaps the frequency, must shift as my children grow.

More than dishing out consequences, I should model what it means to be the adult. I am their biggest adult model besides their dad. 
That changed the ball game a bit. That gave me  advice I 'd never given them before. 

I forced myself to teach them as an adult instead of bearing over them like an authority figure. 

During this last blow out (means something different post-diaper stage), instead of taking away iPhones, friends, and privileges, I gave them a scenario on adult terms and grabbed their attention on a more intellectual level, instead of a "gimme your stuff, bad boy" hand-slap disciplinarian action.

Their ears perked when I gave them a peek at my adult perspective.

What teen doesn't want to be talked to about adult things in an adult way?

Just a couple of years ago, they saw Dad and I struggle badly, basically we treated each other in a way that induced misery on all who were involved. BUT, BECAUSE WE WORKED AT IT LIKE ADULTS ( took a LOT of childish actions to turn our ways) I had the privilege of reminding the first-hand witnesses--aka my children--how my husband and I both chose LOVE to make it work. 

A very real adult circumstance redeemed by a choice that goes against every childish tendency in our selfish human nature. Something fighting siblings might use as an internal a-ha moment next time they are tempted to spiral into a fighting mess.

Sometimes, I find myself trapping my kids in this box where discipline was once all about raising a good, well-behaved child. But they've grown well past that now. They need to learn to be adults. And I can tell they'd love to be treated that way. It's my job as their parent to guide them as best as I can...even if it means sharing the messiness of my own poor choices. 

I vow to raise my kids to be adults. They'll thank me sooner than later, I bet!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Talking Brands At The Alley Today

What do you think about when I say, Harlequin?
Come by The Writer's Alley, I am talking about branding! 

Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 19, 2016


We have been on Spring Break, and with the craziness of four kids demanding entertainment, I have slipped in my regular blogging. 'Tis life.

But, as I run around town with kiddos and friends, I happen to find time to squeeze out word count as I have a few projects going on. It's fun to be busy in the writerly way. And it's something essential to me. I hope to get back on the blogging track. For now, I am writing "offline". Have a beautiful Palm Sunday tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Mental Health is Real: From a Mama's Perspective

What do you do when your child's therapist says she's at a loss?

I mean, we've seen this gal for over a year now, and she's done wonders for his anxiety. But lately, my son's inherent stubbornness has him go to these sessions and refuse to cooperate. He crosses his arms and looks at me with anger and mouths, "I want to go home."

Part of me thinks it's a good thing. He used to hate school and was fine with me picking him up early for these appointments. But now, he is not so okay when I pull him away from his happy social place in third grade.

But then there is the part of me that struggles with the underlying issue of why he so vehemently hates it. He's said it before, and he's struggled long with the worry.

"Am I weird?" He's asked time and again. "It's weird to go to a therapist."

How does a nine year old buy into the stigma of mental health? But it's there. It's very much a concern of my little boy who struggles with general anxiety and mild depression.

It's a terrifying thing to see a person you love struggle with chemical inbalance and whither away to a desperate mess. I know how he's felt because I've dealt with it on and off. And so has my husband. And so have many members of our extended family.

I read way too many local stories of teen suicide, too many national stories of individuals acting out because of uncared for mental health.

Mental health is real. And we should think about it as much as we think about our cholesterol, blood pressure, waistline.

I pray that it becomes more accepted, so those who need help feel they can receive it without hiding it.

So, what can I do for my son, right now, since he's putting up a fight? The therapist said to see how it goes, and if he's doing good, then we can push back his appointment. But if he has breakdowns, then we need to continue.

Gotta pray for peace, for him. It hurts to see him struggle. Gotta love him, gotta remember the many golden pieces of advice from his counselor, and gotta remember that mental health is real. And I have to prepare him for his next session. Regardless of his resistance. If he needs it, then there really is no excuse.

Let's stop the stigma, and give our children, our teens, and our fellow adults a chance toward peace without shame or ignorance.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Christian Rumor: Mama Drama non-kid-induced

Our kids are being raised in a 'brave, new world'..and brave being used in the most loose way. I mean, seriously, spouting opinions about anything under the sun has become as widespread as inquiring to a new friend, "Where'd you grow up?"

Any delusion I may have had as a young mother assuming my kids would gradually be exposed to the ways of this world is obliterated in my current role as extinguisher-of-all-the-crap-my-nine-year-old-hears.

The child really is a sponge. And there are a lot of over-saturated sponges walking around his school telling him things about this big bad world. It's been a tough go of it, especially since he fears that a certain candidate will win and ruin the country (at his age, I was worried that the girl across the street would find a new best friend. Geez).

*BTW I strongly see his point on this* HOWEVER, something I came across today really put this phenomena of worldly topics reaching my kids ears (and hearts) in a whole new camp, and a dangerous one at that.

When a rumor is told, fiercely spread nationally, and a whole group is motivated to fan the flame, I am on a major defense and have to do my best to dig out the seed already planted in their little brains. And what makes me ferociously mad, is when the rumor-spreader is part of a Christian agenda.

Do you realize, Mr./Mrs. Christian Movement Maker, that you are crushing your witness to the world? You might be gaining steam politically or socially, but you are hurting the next generation in the most devastating way.

You are teaching my kids to judge (think there's a Bible verse on that) and alienate themselves from places where they might just make a difference.

You are running the risk of my children to not trust God's people. And that God's people are not trustworthy. And when that happens, they believe lies about God's people and God himself.

No Christian, no matter how well-intentioned, how desperate, or how popular, should associate with a rumor. If anything, Christians should be the first to stand up against the lies, the hate, the deceit. More and more, especially in election year, I see the mass quantity of falsities being spread indiscriminately. We have to sift through lies to even catch a glimpse at truth. And what's most scary, is how I see many people not being bothered to doing that, so they are constructing a false world around them, a flawed opinion that's gaining ground in taking over the young minds after us.

It's ugly and it must be stopped.

Stop believing rumors, Church. Start standing for truth, even if it doesn't puff up your agenda and it brings innocence to a non-believer. As my grandmother used to say,

The Truth's the Truth.

Let our kids grow up knowing that, first and foremost.