Thursday, April 29, 2010


The last few months I’ve been fighting an overwhelming sadness about my children growing up. It’s like I’m being followed by a dark cloud that constantly reminds me that my time with them is almost over. It’s been such a strong message to my heart that I’ve subconsciously pulled away from them, protecting my heart from the separation to come.

Last night my husband called me on the carpet. I didn’t even realize how my heart was feeling, but he, in great wisdom, suddenly turned to me and said “You know, they’ll always be your girls. Just because your mom abandoned you doesn’t mean that you will abandon them.” Ouch. Sometimes the truth hurts. Always the truth heals. And my heart is both hurting and healed this morning.

Hurting for the little girl in me who still can’t process the why. Healed because of a God that’s big enough to give me lasting relationships with my own girls. Relationships that won’t be severed at 15, or 18, or any age.

God has done a lot of healing between my mom and I. And I am so thankful for the relationship that we have now. But nothing can bring back the years when things weren’t good… when she was absent in my life… the milestones of teenagehood that I walked through alone. And twenty years later it still hurts. Not all the time, and not to the degree that it did when it was fresh and raw… but it does still hurt.

The truth is… no child should ever have to process divorce or abandonment. But they do. The good news is… there is healing. For my heart, for my relationships, and for my future.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Light and Shadow

(I promised more on Vegas... I got distracted, but here's my final thought)

The only difference between what happens in Sin City and what happens in my small town is location.

In Vegas sin takes place right out in the open, on street corners and public spaces. Here sin takes place in the shadows.

OK, so there aren't prostitutes on every street corner and strip clubs at every turn. But we have our fair share of sin. A national report just concluded that the state I live in tops the list for consumption of on-line pornography.

Sin is everywhere. Some communities just do a better job hiding it than others.

Or... we allow it to be in the open, we just don't call it sin. We call it gossip, or white lies, or looking out for ourselves. But God doesn't make distinctions between different kinds of sins. They all separate us from Him, they all damage our souls.

Here, in Northwest Arkansas, I may be able to hide my sin from you. But I cannot hide if from God. He sees. He knows. And He cares.

He cared enough to do something about it. The question is: What will I do? Will I accept the freedom He purchased for me and go and sin no more? Or will I reject the freedom He offers and continue to hide in the shadows.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pursuit... Part 2

(there will be more on Vegas... but today a side trip to expand on a previous thought)

In my last blog I made the statement that we were created to chase. And I believe it's true. Scripture confirms it. We all run after something.

Yesterday I was challenged by a scripture in 2 Sam. 18 "Come what may, I want to run." The person speaking those words had been discouraged from running. But still, he wanted to run. He knew he had to do what was in his heart regardless of whether his running was accepted by others, or if it meant running alone.

I too am called to run. God has put a passion in my heart that simply will not go away. This passion calls to me to leave the comfort of the sidelines and chase after Him.

It's hard sometimes. I'm a baby. In the physical world I can guarantee that you will never see me running (unless there's a very angry mama bear chasing me). I hate to run. Running involves work, effort, and my least favorite thing... sweat! Yuck!

In my spiritual life, sadly, I am much the same. I want to run for God. But, when the going gets tough, I'm looking for a hammock and a glass of lemonade.

Is it too much to just want a break? A little time out? A recovery period?

In the midst of my questioning I stumbled across this in Hebrews:

"Let us strip off every weight that slows us down especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs. Mark out a straight path for your feet. Those who follow you, though they are weak and lame will not stumble and fall but will become strong."

Tired hands

Shaky legs

Yep. That pretty much sums it up. I'm tired, my faith is shaken. And all I want to do is sit on the sidelines. But I can't. Because I'm called to run this race. There are people following. And I have to take a new grip and stand firm.

The good news... God promises that we will not stumble and fall, but we will become stronger. If we don't quit running.

I have to confess... I hate the sweat, I hate the leg cramps, I hate that sometimes I have to run all by myself. But I can't stop running. Because in the running I find joy. I find life. I find my reward.

Friday, April 16, 2010


(more thoughts from Vegas)

One thing you can’t help but notice in Vegas is the pursuit. Pursuit of what? Well, I’m not sure. I don’t even think the people pursuing it know what it is that they are chasing. But they chase it none the less.

Whether it was alcohol, gambling, sex, or entertainment everyone seemed to be in pursuit. Crowds of people spending thousands of dollars searching for… something. Something to satisfy them. And unable to find it they continued their pursuit… to the next slot machine, the next drink, the next club. And on and on and on.

Except for me. There was no pull for me to gamble, to drink, to indulge. Because I’ve found the object of my pursuit. He lives and reigns in my heart. And while the lures of this word may still entice me, they have no hold on me. I can tell them “no”. I can walk away from temptation, completely satisfied in Christ alone.

Millions of people chase after things and experiences because there is a longing in their heart for something they can’t explain. I chase after God because He has filled the longing in my heart in ways I can’t explain.

Our hearts were created to be filled. We have the choice of what we fill them with, but anything we choose outside of God will quickly leave us filling empty and longing for more.

It seems as if we were created to chase. And if we have to spend our lives pursuing something… I plan on pursuing Him.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A stripper pole and a cross

This week I was in Vegas for work. We stayed at a Hotel with a casino (I’m pretty sure that all hotels in Vegas have casinos). After a very long day of walking I decided to do one of my favorite things while vacationing…. people watch. If you love to people watch as much as I do then you MUST go to Vegas! Wow!

The Mezzanine level of the hotel overlooked the casino floor and was dotted with posh couches, the perfect place to rest my feet and indulge my eyes. As I scanned the casino floor lights and sound assaulted me. People were everywhere! From every walk of life. It was chaos.

As I continued to scan the room my eyes landed on something I wasn’t expecting... a dancer and a stripper pole. I immediately averted my eyes, but then I heard a gentle whisper, “Look at her”.

I assure you; I had no desire to look at the girl in the sequined hot pants and push-up bra hanging from a pole. But sure enough I heard it again, “Look at her”.

“God, why on earth would you want me to look at her?”

“Because I love her. Because I think she’s beautiful. I love her just like I love you.”

Just like me. He loves her just like me.

And I tell you, I sat in that casino and cried. Cried for a girl who doesn’t know that someone loves her so much that He chose to be beaten, chose to be mocked and scorned, chose to hang on a bloody cross and die so that she might live.

As I cried for her with the realization of how much the Father wants to cover her with righteousness I noticed others... watching her. A young family man at the slots stealing glances. College co-eds whistling and clapping. A middle aged drunk sloshing his drink all over himself as he glared, glassy eyed.

And I thought God must be mad at them, lusting after his daughter like that. But then I realized… He loves them too. He loves them just like He loves me. Even though they’re lost and broken, searching for something to satisfy them, oblivious to their own depravity.

Jesus bled for them too.

It was midnight. The girl’s shift at the pole was over. I wanted so desperately to talk to her. To tell her about the man who loved her enough to die for her. I tried to find her, to follow her, but she disappeared. Another girl took her place. A new group of college co-eds, drunks, and dads moved closer to the bar. The music continued to play. The moment passed.

But I will always remember that moment, where a stripper pole and a cross met in my heart.