Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I Only Feel Ugly Around You

     Photo Credit: Hannah Anderson

     Trickery is prone to happen, when one is under a veil.

     What do I mean, by this?

     Sometimes, others are not able to see you yet for who you truly are, because they don't have eyes yet to fully see you--you're behind a veil.

     In certain seasons of my life, I've felt the weight of being hidden, not always appreciating the fact that it is truly protection in a variety of ways.

     So when others, or a significant other, or a crush does not quite see you for your true beauty and is not able to validate your beauty, your mind and heart begin to second guess themselves.

     But am I beautiful?

     He doesn't think I am?

     But the standard of beauty is this, or that...

     You will hear me say this a lot this year. This may be my year of Singleness, but it is NOT my year of Ugliness.

     There is no need for me to look like a hot mess in the streets.

     So yes, I will be stepping up my game this year.

     But oddly enough, in my pursuit to step up my game, I’ve felt emotionally attacked in that exact area.


     Mind you, I’m still processing my heart as it deals with real feelings and attraction towards men—okay, one in particular, yet I'm balancing a year of vowed singleness. Yes. Tricky.

     All to say, it still means something to me, when a man gives me a genuine compliment. It deposits something good in my soul. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about.

     And men, I know that you have a reservoir of sensitivity as well. And I know that a genuine compliment doesn't simply stroke your ego, but encourages you to be a better man.

     So the oddest thing happened to me a few nights back, and the end result was that I felt ugly being in the presence of a particular person, actually, we weren't even in the same space, this was more or less a phone conversation. And this particular conversation wasn't even about me. It was about someone else and their overwhelming beauty. And 99.9% of the time, I'm always ready to celebrate someone else's beauty beyond my own. But it's no secret that I clearly wanted my beauty to be validated by this person I was in a conversation with.

     But let's get real. There's that .1% that would cause me to not want to celebrate someone's else's beauty. And what is that .1%?

     It's simple: If I felt as though their beauty and amazingly established identity threatened mine in some way.

     How could their beauty threaten me?

     Well, if I thought that in some way, this person had an upper hand when it comes to...getting the guy over me...getting the job over me...getting the promotion over me, etc., etc.

     And alas, there they are, some of my deep insecurities raw for all to see.

     But as I write this, I recognize that this is very much a Spirit of Poverty mentality at work within me.

     Because in God's kingdom, there's always more than enough--there's no lack, no deficiency in beauty, and no need to be stingy. In fact, we are called to be radically generous.

     Not just with our finances, but with our time, our lives, our love.

     So now I realize I need to receive, in a fresh way, the generosity of God's intentions and beauty in my own life. And I must be sold on the fact that I won't be ripped off in anyway.

     Perhaps I'm behind a veil.

     But even though I may be behind a veil, I cannot and will not succumb to this idea that I'm not valuable, that I'm not beautiful,  that I'm not desirable, that I'm not attractive. And the same goes for YOU.

     You are more beautiful than you know, more attractive than he gave you credit for, more intelligent than she ever expressed, and more loving than they ever thought you could be.

     Validation is such a strong force, especially when you feel as though you crave it. But one (Ehem, meee) must be careful not to put the full weight, perspective, and responsibility of our lives purpose, beauty, and identity upon one single person's response towards us.

     This is in no way our year of ugliness.

     And in closing....I will not be looking like a hot mess in the streets. Ya heard.

Wisdom's Knocking:

Your worth and beauty are fully settled and established in God.

"I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind."

- Luke 6:35-36 (The Message)

When Strings Are Not Like Arms Around Me

Photo Credit: Reeve Carney

     Lately I’ve felt a bit like a puppet, rather than simply a lover and a friend of God.  Being in a place of sacrifice has been interesting.

     It’s a fine line between giving your heart away and disregarding your heart all together.

     Yes, the expected pain and heartbreak that sacrifice ushers in, has at times become subtly overwhelming.

     I think I just need to let go.

     I need to let go in a deeper way.

     I feel at times I’m trying to hold it all up--everything, in my own strength, you know, the plans that God has for my life, and those around me. As if I could, in my own strength control them and make all of these plans come about.

     I’m a bit tense to say the least. And my communication with people has felt stilted and a bit awkward at times. Yes, you could say, a lot has been on my mind.

     It would do me some good to stop holding my breath.

     To breathe deeply.

     Because I’ve noticed that when one feels like a puppet, the ground of our hearts become fertile with resentment. And I don’t want to have seeds of resentment sprouting up on me in the middle of my 2013. 

     So instead, I'm choosing to be, choosing to get, to stop

     I do want to feel arms around me. I want to feel valued.

     And that is the challenge.

     Because in the midst, I realize I'm not as good as I had thought I was at receiving love. You know, truly believing that I'm lovable, in all my dimensions. Actually, let me restate that in a different way:

     Just as there are deeper levels of love to encounter and experience outwardly, there are always deeper levels of love to encounter and experience inwardly, especially with God. The depths of His love cannot be measured. Which then means, I can constantly cultivate a deep well within my heart that is ever expanding to simply RECEIVE love.  And lets just say that my well had somehow shrunk.

     I often hear that receiving love is the hardest part. Not to simply let it wash over you, but to allow it to sink into every pore of your skin and deep into your soul, and for that love to find a home in you.

     I want to allow myself to be loved...deeply.

     I know that God is loving me through this process. I just get a little nervous sometimes in the process.

     I now see that it was actually my own strings of striving that had me entangled. And not the light yoke that God has for me. 

     Today, as I was driving in my car, I played a simple worship song, I put that song on repeat for about an hour, and I purposed to allow God's love and thoughts towards me to penetrate my heart and my mind.

     And that somehow was the beginning of something.

     And I began to breathe deeply.

Wisdom's Knocking:

"The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved
--loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves."

-Victor Hugo

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Prequel of Sorts: The Pain & Beauty of Sacrifice

      I'd like to think that this is the prequel to "Bang, Bang, Boom":


      I think I know what I’m getting into. But not really. Believing that I can absolutely change the outcome of my life, by doing the exact opposite of what I’m wanting to accomplish.

     Yeah, that makes sense.


     I foresee bumps in the road. Moments where I want to back out of my commitment to remain single minded and focused. When throwing in the towel, will seem like the most sensible thing to do.

     But what do I do then?

     I hope I’m reminded of what I’m fighting for.

     And what if I’m not.

     So many get so close to a finish line, only to back out of the race.

     Call it fear or a leg cramp.

     We’ll just call it the “Pain of Sacrifice”.

     But then I remember my dream.

     You know, the “Literal” dream I had over a year ago, that pretty much threw a monkey wrench in my romance plans. It was the type of dream that inspires you and haunts you for the rest of your life--Causing you to never settle for less then what you once had a preview of.

     “But what if this sacrifice is not unto what I think it’s unto?”—A constant quote from my mind.

     Perhaps its unto something much more beautiful?

     And how much smooth sailing will I actually encounter along the way?...I almost want to bust out laughing for even asking that question. I mean, really? “Smooth Sailing”?? For some reason, every miracle that has been handed to me or happened to me has involved me feeling like I’m being pushed through a birthing canal or this miracle has appeared at the very, very, very, VERY last minute.

     But in both cases, before those miracles had occurred, I had gotten to the place of letting go completely. I simply trusted and believed God. There was nothing left for me to do.

     So as I think about the year ahead, I’m certain of only a 2 things:

1. I’m pretty sure I’m going to embarrass myself more than once this year. And as always, I’ll tell you in as many details as I can without incriminating others without their permission. 
2. I’m almost certain that I will not be the same version of who I am today.

      And beyond that, the rest is unknown.

     In all honesty, I’m scared of what 2013 really holds for me. And perhaps that’s a good thing.

     The beauty towards sacrifice. The beauty in sacrifice. The  Beauty of Sacrifice.

Wisdom’s Knocking: 

"I keep a close watch on this heart of mine,
I keep my eyes wide open all the time,
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds,
Because you're mine, I walk the line."

-Johnny Cash

Monday, January 28, 2013

Why Yes, You Look Quite GOOT

Photo Credit: Allen Nery

One of thee most beautiful creatures I have ever seen,

But nothing is going on behind your eyes,

Or in our chemistry.

And that's no good.

That's just no good.

Wisdom's Knocking:

The appearance of a thing, is not necessarily the essence of a thing.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The People's Court

     This clip is all kinds of wonderful crazy:

     Why do I love shows like this? No. Not shows where people frequently pass out. But shows that deal with justice.

     I think because, within the core of who we are as human beings, we want things to be fair, we want things to be just. Because when they are, everything is in its right order. The beauty and essence of something is in its prime and in its true purity.

     And what do we do to try and maintain such purity and such justice? We become judges.

     I'm more than aware, that the words "judge" and  "judgement" in our day and age have deep negative connotations. But before you and I start to get defensive, about how we are not judges, let me paint the picture of what a beautiful and righteous judge looks like:

God makes everything come out right; 
 he puts victims back on their feet. 
He showed Moses how he went about his work, 
 opened up his plans to all Israel. 
God is sheer mercy and grace; 
 not easily angered, he’s rich in love. 
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold, 
 nor hold grudges forever. 
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, 
 nor pay us back in full for our wrongs. 
As high as heaven is over the earth, 
 so strong is his love to those who fear him. 
And as far as sunrise is from sunset, 
 he has separated us from our sins.

Psalm 103: 6-12 (MSG)

     Because, see, I don't think being a judge is a monstrous profession. In fact, I think a good judge must have a sturdy backbone, a good heart, integrity, and the ability to see the right in the wrong, and the wrong in the right and redeem those often ill-fated choices, without these characteristics, one might get drunk off of the power, and bring a severe perversion to the profession of being a judge.

     When the position of a judge is not a perversion of itself, a judge is able to set things right. To make things beautiful again, allowing justice to truly be served.

     So you see, we are like judges. We judge and discern things and people around us everyday. Our discernment and judgement does not need to be for the sake of tearing someone down, but instead for the sake of building back up what was lost and dilapidated, in the hopes of making it beautiful once again. Justice.

     But to get to justice, we must recognize what or who stands in front of us at the present time. We don't need to lie about it to ourselves or anyone else. We simply need to start with the truth.

     Are you a good judge of character?

     Honestly, I think I'm a pretty good judge of character. But lately, people have been surprising the heck out of me. Friends that I would have never guessed, have shared with me that they've stolen, cheated with married people, lied to government officials, and so on, and so on.

     I'm not gonna lie, at first, I was a bit disgusted with these people. Okay, actually a lot disgusted.

     But then, I realized my disgust couldn't be solely placed on the souls and conscience of these people, that would not bring justice back in any way. But instead, my disgust belonged on the lack of justice that had been absent their entire lives. Because often, we act unjustly, because injustice has already been done to us.

      So how do the scales of justice begin to tip correctly once again, especially when great perversion and offense has already occurred?

     I'm learning...that justice gets restored, oddly enough.... by mercy and undeserved love.

Wisdom's Knocking:

"An extravaganza before God as he comes, As he comes to set everything right on earth, Set everything right, treat everyone fair."

-Psalm 96:13

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Acid Rain


     This morning, I had a super bizarre dream.

     It all took place at my house and in my neighborhood.

     I remember at the beginning of the dream, I was in the garage with my dad. And all of a sudden, the garage door closed by itself.

     I knew instinctively in the dream,  that it was some sort of ominous sign.

     Immediately, I began praying. The garage door opened back up again. My prayer was more or less a prayer of protection and for a deep preparation to take place in the hearts of the people in my community.

     After the prayer, I felt it was time for my dad and I to go inside the house and meet with my mom.

     We closed the garage door on our own this time and went inside.

     Moments after we were inside, it began to sprinkle outside. Nothing seemed abnormal about the rain at all.

     But all of a sudden, kids, ranging in age from 7 to about 12 years of age, began running in the streets.

     At first I thought they were simply playing in the rain, you know, like kids do.

     But no, these kids, were making sure that every house knew what was really going on outside.

     "The rain is burning!....The rain is burning!..."

     Just as fast as these kids appeared in the streets, they were gone.

     I quickly opened my front door and stepped outside.

     The rain began to hit my bare arms.

     And then, the stinging began. The rain was like fire on my skin, only after a few seconds. I quickly ran back in the house.

     I told my parents what was going on. They seemed dazed and foggy.

     But I went into a high alert mode. I wanted to make sure this acidic water didn't make it's way into our home.

     But it was too late. The rain was beginning to burn small holes in our roof. The holes seemed to form where our roof wasn't as sturdy or as well built. It became a revelation to me, to know that our roof wasn't made with the same integrity as a whole. That in the making of the house, there had been areas of the roof given less attention and care. Somehow, in the dream, my dad had already known about this (Years before the acidic rain), but had never said anything previously. In the dream, present day, with the acid rain pouring, he was ashamed.

     And then the acidic rain made it's way through the roof, into my own room and began dripping onto the carpet. I screamed for my dad. He ran back to my room, but was clueless on how to resolve this dangerous threat. This was mind boggling to me. My dad always knows how to fix anything and everything. I couldn't understand why in the dream, he had no means or ideas on how to fix this major problem.

     So I quickly grabbed a towel from our linens closet and threw it on the ground to absorb the acidic water dripping from the ceiling.

     Dad goes back to the living room to be with mom. But they seem to be in slow motion, or 2 steps behind me, in my concerns and actions.

     I look outside, the water was rising. The acidic rain was at least 3 feet high outside our house. And all I could think of was, how would we make it out alive? And if we did make it out alive, the soil, the concrete, everything around us would be toxic. What kind of life would that be??

     But I quickly shut down that train of thought and concentrated on staying alive in the moment.

     The dream got really weird, when the acidic water that had dripped in my room, now a weird puddle on the carpet, began to talk.

     Um. Yes.

     It was an eery female voice of some sort. And "she" was talking to another puddle near her. There was chilling delight in her voice. She was alluding to some sort of advantageous takeover. That this takeover was finally going to begin.

     Greeeeeat. And apparently this takeover is beginning in my room. That's unfortunate.

     Fear began to rise in my heart as I overheard this weird conversation. And just before I choked on fear completely.

     I remember seeing black.

     And then I woke up.


Wisdom's Knocking:

"From the ends of the earth I call to You, I call as my heart grows faint;
 lead me to the Rock that is higher than I."
- Psalm 61:2

Preferred & Chosen

Photo Credit: Jennifer Toledo

Everyone wants to feel this way.

Let's do our best to make someone feel this way today.

Wisdom's Knocking:

"You cannot do a kindness to soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, January 21, 2013


Why does stupidity irk me so?

I mean, sometimes, people just don't know.

How can I fault them for ignorance when they just don't know.

But in that case, I call that naïve. And I can deal with naïve people.

It's just dumb people that get on my last nerve.

These are the people that profess with their mouths that they are this and they are that, that they are "stand up" men and women, only to make theeee dumbest choices time after time, circumstance after circumstance. It's like they're not even really trying to change. They've become so comfortable being hypocrites that they don't even know that they are hypocrites. Ahhhh!

I--I---I don't know what to do with these people.

They could be smart really...By one simple task:

Having your words line up with your actions. As consistently as possible. And then, get around people that walk in wisdom, not those that simply talk about it. And learn from them. Put what you've learned from the wise into practice.

Ok. My rant is done.

Carry on.

Wisdom's Knocking:

"To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven you the inexcusable in you." - C.S. Lewis

Thursday, January 17, 2013

5 Ways To Make Friends

  Photo Credit: Analee Ward   

     I understand that you like to keep to yourself. And you'd rather do meaningful work on your Pinterest page, edit photos, or check and edit your Facebook profile every 6.2 minutes, in attempt to look more marketable, more successful, more fun, more funny.

     But marketable for who? For what exactly? You're not really gettin' out there and connecting, you're just shyly observing (Ehem, creepin on Facebook. Look. I'm guilty too!). But I'm proud of you. You're still here reading this post. So that says something...

      Furthermore, I wanna help you get out there and connect. You're amazing. Really. And someone new in 2013 should discover that.

      The truth is you probably have friends or at least one, the same friend(s) you've had for more than half your life. So you haven't had to put forth a lot of effort in developing new friendships, unless they somehow fell in your lap through work or a mutual friend.

     It's like you've been in a long term marriage relationship with your current friend(s) and you've let yourself go.

     Has anyone told you your strengths? Your weaknesses as a friend? Are those people still your friends? Remember, our circle of friends says a lot about who we are. We don't need to always be surrounded by "Yes Men", we need people in our lives that won't be afraid to tell us the truth, even in hard circumstances.

     But when you have a solid circle of friends, your life is rich, full of laughter and tears (sometimes at the same time), and a well-rounded perspective when it comes to the beauty of simply livin'.

Here's a refresher course in How to Make Friends (And Keep Them):

1. Smile.

No it's not a sign of weakness. But it is the difference between someone approaching you and/or possibly clutching their purse.

2.  Them Not You.

Ask someone about their life. What was the highlight of their past week? The lowlight? Before you say a word about yourself, you should know at least 3 new solid facts about the person standing in front of you.

3. Relax.

Don't take yourself too seriously. Allow yourself to flub your words a bit or embarrass yourself.  Give yourself permission to be the full expression of who you are.

4. Effort.

While doing the things you love (ie: Snowboarding, knitting, dancing, fantasy football, etc.), be sure to connect with the community of that particular activity. That involves you taking the first step. Introduce yourself to a new person and be intentional about remembering their name for the future.

5. Not Just Birthdays.

You don't just have to wait until it's your friends birthday to do something genuinely nice for them or to get them a gift. Trust me, gifts given without a selfish agenda will win a special place in people's heart forever.

*Oh, and here's a freebie: Stay Drama Free. If drama seems to follow you wherever you go, don't look at everyone else, it may be time to look at yourself.

Wisdom's Knocking:

"Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company."

-Booker T. Washington

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

18 Years of Age

     Photo Credit: Hannah Anderson

     So grown men still do this. I'm gonna be honest, it kinda grosses me out a little.

     This especially hurts my heart because I work with teen girls, and they are absolutely precious to me. They're like my babies.

     I see and hear every week, how vulnerable they truly are and how leery or too trusting they are regarding the intentions of men. Even with the "mature" 18 year old girls, there's still a lot of life yet to be learned.

     Anyone over 25 that is seriously dating an 18 year old, needs to convince me that they are not a pervert.

     Sorry. I know I sound like Judge Judy on this one.

     Am I alone in this?

     I know "age ain't nothin' but a number", but dang, it's still a number.

     I mean, the thought of me dating a 21 year old makes me dizzy.

     It's just, when I think of an 18 year old, that means that last year, she was 17...and yes, by other standards in other places, she's more than fit and ready to marry an older man. But somehow, ingrained in my head is that men who love young young girls, love young, young, young girls.

     You see where I'm going with this.

     So I go from 0 to 100. I basically assume that you have serious immaturity or self-control issues and you may be a child molester. I know, this is absolutely horrible and wrong for me to even go there, but that's what my mind does.

     And why do I judge so harshly? The beauty of innocence is often too quickly destroyed in a lifetime and especially in our overtly sexual culture. But the harder question to ask, is towards myself. Am I reflecting or projecting my own immaturity and lack of self-control in other areas of my life towards individuals that may be seemingly in a real loving and legitimate relationship?

      I know that one can fall in love at practically any age. And believe it or not, more than a couple of my friends got married at 18 and 19 years old (Some to men older than themselves). I'm just observing, that as I get older, the wives and girlfriends of my guy friends seem to get younger and younger. Ha.

     But look, if God is the foundation of your union, and the chemistry between the two of you is legit, and you've found out that your purpose to serve and love people as a couple is better and more powerful than if you were apart and single, then yes, I'll swallow my pride, and I'll support you-- all the way.

Wisdom's Knocking: 

"Forget all the reasons why it won't work, and believe the one reason why it will." 


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I've Never Met Anyone Like You

Photo Credit: Antonio Pena


Bang, Bang, Boom

Photo Credit: Denise Valle

     I've just rediscovered the trigger on the gun.

     Nothing new, but something quite familiar.

     Social media.

     We joke about how consumed our lives are with it, but today, I set myself up. It was dumb, really.

     I called myself a martyr of some sort before I did it. I needed to face my fear.

     So I walked up to my proverbial cliff. And I jumped.

     But the water wasn't as deep as I thought it was. And I was knocked a bit unconscious. I know. Unfortunate.

     Let me give you a bit of backstory.

     So back in late November 2012, early December I was beginning to process my 2012. The highs, the lows, the mediocrity. And I couldn't shake this overwhelming fog. Things were not as clear as I knew they could be and should be. How did 2012 get so weird?

     How did I miss it? Yes, romance was big on my heart. At the tip top of the year, I had met someone who I thought was as close to husband material as I'd ever met. We're talking a 9.99999 on all scales. Faith, Looks, Intelligence, & Humor. I was in utter shock that someone on the planet existed like this person. And our paths had crossed. Surely, that alone was confirmation that he and I were meant to be together.

     And then, on my birthday, I discovered he had chosen another over me.

     A pattern I know all to well.

     Needless to say, I spent half of my birthday crying like a baby. Asking God, the tried and true, "Whyyyy? But Whyyy? And how could this happen again??"

    What was I doing wrong?

     The culprit of my discovery, which is quite important, given the subject matter of this post, was none other than Instagram. Yeah. I said it.


     Nothing you post on the Internet and social media is ever truly private.

     Guys: We as ladies, basically use social media as a means to background check your butts, and to constantly gage the temperature of our relationship/friendships with you. I know. It's a bit sad. Like you need another hurdle to get over, in the ever expansive landscape of female behavior. But sometimes you don't communicate with us, so we're forced to do some digging around to see how you're really doing.

     Yes. This is quite shameful. And yet a hard habit for us ladies to break.

Can I digress for a moment. 
I'm having trust issues. 
It's dawned on me that people are not always as trustworthy as their smile would make them appear to be.  
You didn't have time to message me back, you've been so so busy you tell me, yet Facebook and Instagram are telling me that you just liked 5 of "Carla's" pictures and had time to leave a comment on her Facebook page and Instagram picture in the last 30 seconds. 
Well, guess what that tells me. 
I just got played. Or worse. Forgotten about. 
Rejection is never pretty--subtle or blatant, but it's uglier when drawn out. 
You could have just been honest with me in the beginning. But now, I feel doubly worse. And this stirs up my trust issues. You must be a sweet talker. "Also known as a liar," quotes my heart. And now we're at ground zero.  
It's true, our secrets eventually get exposed, it's just a matter of time. 
Why do people still think that they'll never get found out? I always find this astounding. I mean, is your ego so solid that you think you'll never trip up and make a mistake? Mmmmk. 
It was ingrained in me at an early age that "God sees everything, everywhere, all the time. Plus, I had intense family members who worked for the government reassuring me that nothing of our lives was really ever private in this country. Talk to me about some conspiracy theories. I got you. 
So, growing up, I suspected my whole life would be on display somehow, it was just a matter of time.  Therefore, it would be most beneficial for me to be honest in the dark and in the light.  
Granted I didn't really catch this revelation until about 19. But at least I caught it. Ha.

     So the above section basically sums up the cycle of my 2012. A deep seated feeling of rejection and feeling as though I had missed the mark somehow. I had let my heart down.

     And then it became 2013.

     And 2013 becomes my year of Singleness. Because somehow along the way in 2012, I've picked up fog. I'm not talking cute fog, I'm talking that dense fog that makes your heartbeat get a little funny when you're driving through it, only able to see 11 inches in front of your vehicle.

     Consequently, by the end of 2012, the dreams of my heart were so shattered regarding career, ministry, and romance, like glass spewn in front of my feet, I didn't know which piece belonged with what piece.

     So I needed to take myself out of this mind game. I had to. If anything different was ever going to happen...

     And so I held my breath. And I told my heart that I would not give it the very thing that it has been craving for oh-so-long.

     And I took my heart out of my hands, and told it, "Everything is going to be okay. I promise. I promise."

     I slipped my heart nervously back in the Hands that seem to hold so many other things with such care, love, and grace.

     But somehow it wasn't all settled for me.

     Yes. I'm single and will remain single all of 2013 on purpose...and perhaps indefinitely, but--

     What gets tricky is when you find yourself still loving someone despite their untrustworthy nature and the rejection experienced at their hand.

     And this is when I decided to jump off my cliff.

     But how will I do that?



     Sometimes, just sometimes-- when you want to find something, you actually do. These are the moments that I don't really want what I think I want, but I act like I do. I soldier on, with my gun by my side and my hand on the trigger.

     Literally. No joke, it took less than 5 seconds to find the incriminating evidence that I needed to make me cry. Thank you, Instagram "Following" button, a.k.a. Possibly the Devil.

     But I kept telling myself this was all necessary, face the cold hard facts, so that he'll be dead to you. Completely.

     But the only person that felt dead was me. Concussions have a tendency to do that.

     I look around. I'm not dead. That's a good sign.

     To be continued...

Wisdom's Knocking:

"New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings..."
-Lao Tzu 

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Butt Grabber

Photo Credit: Nicole LeBoeuf

     Yes. You read that right. My first blog post of the new year is about a butt. Mine in particular. I know. How profound can I get. Oh, just you wait. There's plenty more where that came from.

     So it was a work day. I was finishing a classy live television show with one of my most favorite people and co-workers on the planet. We were both so thrilled that our day was ending early, and successfully at that. Everything was falling into place.

     And then...

     It was time for me to greet the gentleman owner of a particular company and handle some last minute business. My right-hand girl and co-worker was right by my side to help facilitate with any last minute assistance. All three of us were in a light small talk conversation. Meanwhile, I noticed that the owner of this company had an awfully sweet and jovial demeanor. I could see why he was a successful businessman.  He was proving to be a fun conversationalist, full of confidence. I was enjoying his company and our conversation. He mentioned something about Disco, and I found myself cracking up.

     And he, without hesitation, without skipping a beat, without an ounce of fear--smacked and grabbed my butt--in the midst of his conversation. And then he just kept on talking.

     I'm not quite sure what else he said after that moment.

     All I remember, is looking at my co-worker to verify if what took place was actual reality.

     The look on her face confirmed that it was so.

     And he's still talking.

     I find myself back inside my body. And cut him off mid-conversation. With as much grace as I could muster up, I excuse both myself and my co-worker from his presence. He's absolutely unfazed.

     As I look to my right-hand girl, she looks a little red with fury. I calm her down. And beg her to not punch the back of his head while he's not looking.


     Okay. See, what this post is really about is not my butt, rather it's about this whole idea of "ownership".

     I haven't yet written to you in full about my vow of singleness for 2013 and I how I fully arrived at such a decision. I'll share more about that journey in future posts.

     But in the midst,  I've been wrestling with what I've been calling a dream, a desire, the equation that would equal a fulfilled and whole life.

     The way in which God often speaks to me is in the form of questions. For example, as I was offering my Singleness as a meaningful sacrifice to spend more intentional time with God, a question began to rise up in my spirit.

     "What do you own?"

     I paused.

     Um. I'm pretty sure the correct answer is..."Everything that you give me, Lord..."

     He asks me again.

     "What do you own?"

     Crap. This means, my previous answer was off.

     Okay. I think a little bit longer about the question.

     "I own....I own...nothing, because it all belongs to You."

     And in such a reassuring and comforting fatherly voice, He asks me, "And, Patrice, do you own anyone?"

     And without hesitation--"Of course not, that's absolutely ridiculous."

     And then He was silent.


     See, much of my desire to have a husband was to simply say, "My husband". As if I controlled and had ownership over him. As if his existence and partnership could define my identity in a holistic way. And would somehow make me look better, fulfilled,  and accomplished.

     But honestly, these are the things that God already does for me, because of His outright crazy love for me.

     The root of having my very own man, my very own boyfriend, my very own husband was established probably around 8 years old. Yes, I was just one of those girls. And I couldn't wait to be "Someone's Somebody". Again, implying this theme of ownership. Plus, I loved exclusivity.  Who doesn't? A someone belonging to me. A place or person carved out just for me, therefore I could only fill its space. Such bliss and so identity confirming! Mine, mine, mine and would only be mine...forever. With no doubt that no one could remotely come close to replacing me, because that someone belonged to me.

     I wanted tangible romantic evidence that I would always be held, always be taken care of, always kissed, always listened to, always valued. And those desires were greatly connected to having a boo. Because wouldn't he do all those things, all the time...perfectly.

     I know. Delusions of grandeur.

     Only God can fulfill in such a way. And I'm learning that again, somehow for the first time. A paradox, but nevertheless truth.

     What's interesting about the "tangible evidence" of my life being taken care of, is first jumpstarted by faith. Believing God is real, that He loves me, and He truly wants to take care of me and will. Point blank. That's the starting point. The rest becomes a fun and crazy adventure, watching how God does the impossible in my life day after day.

     No I don't "own" anyone or anything. God owns everything. We take nothing with us when we die, but simply who we are. But you and I get to steward the gifts in our lives. Meaning we get to take the absolute best care of every single person, thing, or circumstance in our life for a set amount of time.

     They are on loan to us.

     But the one thing that is ours, and ours alone, is God's unfailing and fierce love towards us.

     We already have a place in which we belong.

     Because He is ours, and we are His.

Wisdom's Knocking: 

"There is within the human heart a tough, fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to posses, always posses. It covets things with a deep and fierce passion. The pronouns my and mine look innocent enough in print, but their constant and universal use is significant. They express the real nature of the old Adamic man better than a thousand volumes of theology could do. They are verbal symptoms of our deep disease  The roots of our hearts have grown down into things, and we dare not pul up on rootlet lest we die. Things have become necessary to us, a development never originally intended. God's gifts now take the place of God, and the whole course of nature is upset by the monstrous substitution. 

Our Lord referred to this tyranny of things when said to His disciples, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." (Matthew 16:24-25)"

- A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, Page 22