In with the old

There is a candlelit corner of my heart that has been awakened. Much like how a gust of wind sweeps through a campsite and fuels the fire, this part of me has been illuminated. For too long it has felt like a dusty curio cabinet in the back of my mind, a relic of who I used to be. But for a brief moment I rediscovered it, and it stirred me up something good...

It’s the creative part of me, the Picasso part of me. It’s where all of my heartbeats and spirit flutters become personified. It’s where my aura resembles fresh spun pink cotton candy at the opening weekend of the State Fair, and where I am invincible in every sense of the word. There were days where I was so consumed and in tune with this part of me that when I hopped out of bed and stretched out my arms, the devil himself was frightened. Today, I caught a glimpse of that long lost sweet spot in my mind. As I was snooping around in the intellectual parts of my brain, turning rigid white corners, and wiping smudges off…

The many (many) miles of the first-time Detroit FreePress marathoner--

I am batman. I reek of bananas, Nike Dri Fit and promise. Six months ago I had no desire to even walk one mile but now? Now I feel like someone liquified the Beastie Boys and fed them to me through an IV. Let's do this.

Mile 1
It's still dark, people are cheering like crazy and clothes are hitting the ground at a rate so fast you think the Rapture happened. 
You giggle and say "one down, 25 to go!"

1.5 Fluid Station
Flasks are full so you don't stop, but you stare because you can't believe everyone just throws the cups on the ground like that!

Mile 2
You might need to retie your shoes. Why is your belt bouncing like that? When should you GU? 
(Mental math as you attempt to calculate how long those 6:00a bananas will stay in effect) 
Take one just to be safe.. You brought like, 15. 
Hold the wrapper so border patrol doesn't tackle you for littering. Smile, they have guns

Mile 3
Almost a 5K! That was easy! You should do the Color Run or something!
Wow..the sunrise …

i saw her today

The girl with like, two bibles and a crumpled study workbook sprawled across a Starbucks table.
Little multicolored pens speckled that space like confetti. Fitting.. it was a party, after all. Because I didn't just see a girl neck-deep in good book -- I saw a girl who was just thirsting for a word and a hope. I saw a girl letting her text messages ding and all the people walk by as she stayed focused on the only One who could speak the very message she needs today. She sipped her coffee, and she glanced at the screen, but she boomeranged back to the bound book in front of her, scouring scripture for her treasures, promised. It wasn't a fellow Christian woman who recognized the hunger of that posture. It was a tired momma, drudging through the thick of it, seeing her and saying "that one is anchored to something right now."  And in that moment, my heart asked to be anchored, too. It begged me to stop seeking approval and acceptance elsewhere, and just dwell in the wa…

the one who keeps me anchored

he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:6 NIV

It was coming up on 9:00a.m. when I was actually leaving the house.  My hands were full, the day was packed, and I was running late--as usual.  That's when her text came through:

"Thinking of you this am.   How are you doing with your morning quiet time  and making sure you get it in before you leave the house?"

(cue the conviction)

I laughed a bit and thought to myself  "what quiet time?!
then responded with an honest confession of the drying up of my spiritual life.

You just can't deny your thirst to your best friend--the one who knows you, and knows your quietness just as much as your boldness.  Kristen has stood by me through the deepest darkness of my life, and here in the height of my accomplishment and celebration she knew right where to find me; the shadows.

a white flag moment

It's been said, and I've been offended by it --  that snarky jab by people saying: 
"Jesus is a crutch."
while I've barked back and stood firm on what strong faith I have -- such an oh-so-righteous and unshakeable faith -- I realized, maybe He is.  

Maybe He is something I lean on, and carry around in order to keep me steady.  

Maybe He is a name I call on when I don't have the answer.  

Maybe He is a tool I use to appear like I have it all together.  

I'm accepting this revelation, but rather than thinking that I've been just been leaning on a Savior, I actually feel like I haven't been doing His Grace any justice at all.  

Because, if we're gonna go there and say my Lord is a crutch, then let's go all the way there.

i quit my job today

'tis true.
After more than twenty years of hard work in the same field I have decided it is time to close that chapter of my life and move forward.It’s a chapter I’ve truly invested in, whether with time, energy or emotion.It’s a place where I’ve found comfort and consistency, but also pain and instability.I’ve worked tens of thousands of hours to succeed, and have not once been celebrated for my achievements.
And I’m beginning to understand why.

///// You see, for the past twenty years or so I have worked as a sort of Image-Management Specialist.  Though this is a title I have made up, it’s actually a very common job.

and the broken are loved

I know it's hard to understand faith.

Especially when those who hold it are not living it to the fullest. 

This world is saturated with proud people who strive to earn, and then selfishly hoard an abundance of resources while those in need are left with little. We humans are bitter and angry and jealous, and still live like kings compared to many. We have found a way to justify murder, hate, judgment, exploitation and self-distruction by flowering the reality with logic such as, "you gotta look out for number one."

It's ugly, yes, but the worst thing we can do is judge the Creator based on the failures of His followers. 

Because the best of His children are still works in progress. The worst of His children, forgiven. 
And as incomprehensible as the Lord's ways are, denying His Presence by looking at the fallen world is like someone saying there are no stars because they've only lived in a cave.

For the world's evil does not disprove the goodness of God, but ac…

advent devotional day 16, a mother's love

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
(Luke 2:19 NIV)
 ”Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother:  “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel,  and to be a sign that will be spoken against,  so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.  And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
(Luke 2:34-35 NIV)

We can possess empathy for Mary. To even say that feels wrong; I mean, it’s the Virgin Mary.  But I believe we sometimes forget that, though she held the immaculate conception, the Savior of the world, she was still a human.  She was still a woman.  She was still simply a servant of God.  This Scripture tells a very vivid story in its short verses:  Mary considered the wonderful things of the child entrusted to her, and she knew that there would come a day where the Lord would take Him back.
“A sword would pierce her own soul, too.”  
She was aware from the very first message that her life would be turned upside-do…