All right we have been friends for a loooooong time now. Years and years in fact. I think it’s time for you to learn about me outside of my personal struggles and spiritual life… How about the everyday stuff. It’s raining outside… so come on over here and into my studio. No heavy lifting today. Here is a list of just a few things you didn’t know about me.. lol.. I am sure we will be closer after this…
1.) If I had only one food to take to an island… I would take a potato. I just freaking love potatoes. Pretty much any way you slice it (haha) I like them. When I was a poor as dirt single mom… I would buy a bag of potatoes and some frozen peas… and I ate them happily for dinner many nights in row. My oldest son… he hates them..I think there may be a connection. And oh my heavens (!!!) potato donuts make me stupid smile even typing them… potato donuts with a side of french fries – DONE. LOVE.
2.)I listen to Huey Lewis and the News…. a lot. I mean probably more than anyone else you know, even your friends from the 80’s. I mean it brings an immediate smile to my face. As in I am listening to it now… and my kids pretty much know the lyrics. I mean it’s Hip to Be Square…. ya know it’s all about The Power of Love.
3.) Salt Addiction. It’s true, don’t doubt me. I have salt from alllllll over the world. I have it in every color it comes in. I have it from the tops of mountains and the depths of the seas. I have books on it and lamps made out if it… we own a salt inhaler … and if that isn’t enough… we now have a hot salt room. See??!!… you thought “salt addiction my foot”… but now you are shaking your head and calling an addiction specialist.
4.) As a child I never wanted to get married… I remember answering with, “I will have kids but I will never ever get married.” Considering everything I had seen…men seemed awful and marriage seemed like a way for awful men to be taken care of because they couldn’t handle life on their own. And truth… had my marriage not been semi-arranged I don’t know if I would have ever gotten married. It was just never on my list of things to do…suffice it to say I would design Barbie a great dream home… but Ken …hmm… I don’t know where the heck he was.
5.) I am missing the gene that all women have… I hate buying shoes. H A T E. If I find a pair of shoes I like… I will wear it an embarrassing amount (by female standards). Of all the fashions that come back around when will wearing my farm boots be all the rage… because that would be really great.
6.)Pairing nicely with #5… I can not stand dirty feet in my bed. Wash your feet. Guh. It’s gross. I can’t sleep like that.
now about here is when I couldn’t think of anything else, and like I said earlier, no heavy lifting… so I choose to phone some friends…. and here is what they said after I censored them and screened through all the embarrassing things…
7.) “She will not ride in the passenger seat.” ~N
8.)”You and your husBen have never shared a bathroom.” ~S
9.)”If someone gives you a bad haircut you feel compelled to go back and teach them how to do it better because you are always trying to empower people to be the best of their giftings and you don’t stop …Oh and random strangers always talk to you about their boobs and personal sex lives.” ~L
10.)”It’s pretty weird that you have broken all your toes” ~J
11.)”As a kid you had chicken pox for the 2nd time at Disney World and your grandmother thought they were chigger bites and she told you to hold an aspirin on your head to help your headache because she didn’t have any children’s medicine.”~E
So there ya go… I guess that sums up everything.. No rock left unturned. Good Day and Good Night.
I once heard it said… Boundaries are compassionate.
Without boundaries, people get hurt.
When you truly love others your boundaries are well defined.
When you don’t know how to love someone who is hard to love… you need to set up better boundaries… you do.
You can love them freely when you have done your work.
Boundaries show all of you…. while showing exactly what you hold sacred.
It shows what is valuable…
What is allowed..
What is protected.
It’s good to go around and check on things.
Does this fence still need to be here?
Can I let them in here…yet?
Or sometimes you find it already tested…
How do you feel about that?
there are tender shoots growing here…
young still on the vine.
Still so much growth to happen.
So back up it goes.
they can grow up unabused
they can grow strong.
and a Guardian watches over it all.
I remember walking up to this girl right here, many years ago and saying… “Hey we are going to be best friends so we mise well introduce ourselves…” She looked back and agreed. Now that may not be the best way about getting a friend… but I just knew there was something about her. A year later she walked up to me after hearing we would be leading up P.F.W. and said, “Hey…I know you don’t know me all that well… but I want to help out… can I babysit your kids… sing on Saturday nights…anything.. I want to be part of this.” That was that… we hung out every Saturday for two years. She would call me her twin only I am “500 years older”. Five hours after I birthed my 8th baby she showed up and climbed into bed with me and wondered why I was having afterpains if the baby was out… I think I whispered shut up. I have sat and spoken into her life and she has inspired me with Truth she didn’t even know she knew… but I have always seen it in this one… I know who she is…who she will be.
So when she asked me to be in the wedding I knew I would throw her a shower. Because I love her. I love her heart for children in this country and for kids in other countries. I love how she will give up her self to be filled by Him. I love how she loves regardless. I love how honest she is. I love how she can put my kids on time out if they need it or hug them. I love how she has had to scrap for joy and she knows what that looks like in others. She’s pretty much golden in my book.
I have gotten to celebrate a lot of people in the past month…so it seems only fitting to go out with a bang and celebrate one of the best girls I know!
Last night ,as I drove to celebrate my friend, a pop song came on the radio which brought me right back to one of the best days of my life. I realized on that day a few months back, I had turned the song up and embarrassed my son as I did a little shoulder dance at the exact same traffic light as I was sitting in now. What are the chances? The song blared, “This is going to be the best day of my life… my liii life” Tears lept to my eyes and I blinked them back for the sake of fresh mascara and whispered, “You are soo soo good to me.”
Freedom is so good
and I did nothing to get it.
I remember feeling freer than I had ever felt in my entire life.
No fear. No anxiety. No crippling inner turmoil. No wrestling to outwit myself just to appear normal for a few hours.
I had felt cageless. But more than that I had soared.
I realized last night that freedom was not just for then…. but He had given it to me for keeps.
It was a beautiful event.
We laughed and we celebrated this woman who overcame it all. We listened to her dreams and hopes for this new year. Everything that has ever been put in her way she has climbed over.
I love her.
This morning she sent me this picture from last night… and it perfectly captures what I feel. In my life’s highlight reel…. this one gets a full page.
Freedom and Healing looks good on us…. and there is so much to be had!
My tears just welled up over and over hearing them sing… hearing them tell why they would want to be baptized today. I smiled as inspired people decided that although they hadn’t prepared for this… they felt led and, “Does anyone have a change of clothes I could borrow?” As each country hopped in the pool, my grandparents smiled to each other and my best friend creeped closer trying to understand through thick accents. Her hand lifting towards them praying silently over each stranger. Scared anxious dry people became crying laughing speechless spiritual beings over and over… and it never got old. In an unavoidable baptism the heavens cracked open as the last person climbed out … and we all headed to our cars… each of us sopping wet… all of us changed.
As I came into my home.. it had already begun and people who were going to eat outside were perched on every available surface. “Eighty-five people….where we would put them all.. do we have enough food?…what about…?”
“Hey I want the rest of my word …”, Anthony Skinner interrupted my thoughts.
“Aww heck no, ” I kept laughing,”Now I know who you are… no way… you take it up with God.” He had been staying at our house and we had gotten to know each other over egg sandwiches before he would make his way out to teach at the worship school. Anthony is a down to earth guy that you wish was your neighbor and a regular at Sunday Dinner. The day before I had asked him if he was a worship leader or something , when he answered with , “No I am a songwriter….” I had shrugged it off as I poured a cup of tea. “Would I know anything you wrote?”… He had hesitantly given me two names of songs which sounded vaguely familiar. My husband assured me that we sing them every single week. Before he left that morning I had a word for him…I, still in pajamas.
While he was gone I made the mistake of googling him
WHAT! He’s that guy!!!! The “Joy comes in the morning” guy…. the ” Your love never fails” guy!!! The “Beauty for Ashes ” guy!!! …The “Forever and a Day” guy!!!
Grammy award winning.
“No serious… I want the rest of my word…ya can’t leave me hanging. I have to leave and get on the plane.” I shook my head and laughed, “You let me proph you in pajamas and you never even told me … but all right I’ll tell you… But first I want to tell you that song “Alright” is amazing.. I want to crack it open and climb inside of it”
Full people sat on quilt covered hay bales while fire pits crackled and thunderclouds rumbled a few fields off. My grandfather snuck over… he always feels more comfortable with the masses… it lights him up and makes the 80some years ebb away. Worship soaked souls rested guitars upon laps and songs poured out of the overflow of full hearts. Songs and smoke spiraling upwards. People who had never seen fireflies ran through the field laughing with hands open wide.
Everyone becoming younger
Everyone wide open
Everyone trying to bring Light closer.
Alright by Anthony Skinner… it’s a new song but its amazing…like crack it open and climb inside:
Just when I think my summer can’t get any more full
Just when I think last week was the last big event
Just when I think the Helsers coming to Sunday Dinner was the biggest event I could pull off
Just when I think my summer is going to shift into a quiet pace….
We have …
Sunday will be crazy.
we carry things along with us.
sometimes we have no idea where they even came from
tucked away they grow
eventually others begin to notice.
hurts so big they show from the outside.
we can go a long way,
we can do a lot of amazing things,
we can keep moving pretty far while carrying hurts.
Then one day the healer comes.. a Shepherd walks into view…
a power we didn’t know was possible.
We may have thought His eye was just on sparrows and not us
Healing is a crazy thing.
Freedom is even more crazy.
Those who can come alongside you and celebrate with you are handpicked by Him.
You would think … (rather) I thought, healing would feel more climactic … but instead, it is something you find yourself in…
One day you will find yourself just walking along and realize the hurt isn’t there
One day you look around and you no longer hear the snapping hungry jaws of wolves in hot pursuit of your life
One day you realize you can forgive the unforgivable
One day you realize those lies spoke over you are crazy talk and you can’t imagine agreeing with any of them
One day you find that other peoples hurts can’t hurt you and now, only make you feel compassion
One day you wonder how long have you been just walking in this healing … days into months into a new life.
One day you find yourself free
One day you find yourself healed
I tell you… just like that, it happened to me.