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Launch Day

Today is officially Day 1 of my leap back into ministry. God has been quietly speaking this entire year that the time was rapidly approaching for me to go into the new unknown, that place that He has prepared.

I don’t know exactly where He’s leading, or what this entails, but I do know it all has to do with the body of believers, who the Church is really supposed to be. It also has to do with mental health, and supporting those who struggle with mental health issues. And it has to do with abuse within the body of Christ.

I’ve started some preliminary research, I’ve met with a few people. I now know enough to be dangerous. Writing and speaking and maybe even a new ministry entity are part of this future. If you really love God, and seek His will, I covet your prayers.

He’s sent me not one but 2 pastoral messages in the last 24 hours that spoke directly to this place of launching; adrift, but with purpose. He does that with me, for me. I bet He does it for you too.

Jesus didn’t die so I could be comfortable. Jesus died so other people could live. And if I’m really His disciple, my life will come to resemble His. So will yours.

In case you’re wondering, “Little House” is still in the works. We had to finish living it before I could finish writing it. We’re not quite there, but we’re close. You’ll be the first to know when it is time to birth that baby.

More from me regularly, and soon, as this project and process begins.

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Luxurious Gifts

It’s not healthy to be jealous of a woman who died too young.  But somehow, in a fit of self-pity, I managed to feel that basest of sensations, practiced though I am at shoving unholy thoughts out past the edges of my acknowledgement.

This woman, who I do not know, managed to amass thousands – maybe tens or hundreds, or gosh maybe millions – of social media followers, as she wrote publicly about her struggles with cancer.  Pictures of her bald head, smiling and grimacing with beloved family members, accompanied her posts.  Strangers from around the globe shared her messages with their e-friends, prayed for her, wished her well.

In the dark corner of my amygdala, or wherever all the most evil thoughts breed in my brain, at least a couple of cells screamed about the injustice of this woman’s writings being a world-changing sensation, a dream I’ve hidden and silenced and shoved aside time and again for more practical pursuits.

It didn’t help that I just finished the most recent novel of a high-school classmate, a woman who has had a measure of commercial but much critical success for her work.  What I’ve read of her work revolves around the toxic atmosphere that was our shared high school and our shared little town full of cul-de-sacs and false people nurturing false images designed to categorize and rank others by small-town importance.

You may have noticed by now that – pardon the confessional expression – it’s been nearly two years since my last blog post.  Girl, Interrupted meets adulthood meets parenting perils yields Writer, Interrupted; that’s what I’ve been doing.  Cast aside all visions of me lounging on couches reading women’s magazines eating bon-bons.

Today, I read an article about an artist pursuing what he believes is his sacred calling.  Romans 11:29 – a verse central to his life – pulsated as I read:  “For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.”

Maybe it’s just because these last 18 months – two years have approximated two lifetimes in the prayers prayed and difficult situations that have required my involvement.  I’m admittedly tired, of things prayed for and acted upon for too long (in my estimation), with little if any change.  Most days I fluctuate between so very ready to give my son full reign over his now adult life to dreading the rapidly forthcoming moment I know that both he and my daughter will be gone.  Conversations with my very adult children are to me momentous events; every one I try to pack with all the wisdom acquired in a life of missteps and also right steps.

So like that sainted woman (who shall remain nameless), I covet your prayers.  I know I’m where I am for a reason, a season.  But the flame of the writer still burns, still wants to spill out all that has been poured in.  There is so much left to say and do, because calling and gifts are luxuries that are meant to be shared.  I believe that God still has much for me to do with my irrevocable gifts.

Mother’s Day Video – On Being a Spiritual Parent

Here’s what I shared last Sunday about being a spiritual parent, or a spiritual kid. Your comments – especially the nice ones – are welcome! If you don’t see the video below, click on “Mother’s Day Video” above.

Mother’s Day Gifts

Deep-tissue Swedish massage with hot stones. Spa pedicure. Manicure with moisture mask and paraffin dip. Eyelash extensions. Why are all Mother’s Day gifts found at the spa?

If you’re like me, you’ve received emails in the past few days advertising these kinds of special treats designed to delight and pamper your Mom this Mother’s Day. Sure, I love a good manicure like most gals I know, but none of these things would make my Mother’s Day special.

What would make it special? Joy. And not just any joy.

3 John 1:4 says “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.”

Nothing stirs my heart like knowing – not just guessing – but knowing down to my marrow that my children are walking in the truth. Knowing God more deeply, loving Him with the whole of their lives, letting Him shape them to be who He’s had in mind for them to be all along.

I’ll be talking about this and more this Sunday at Ironbridge Baptist Church at 9:00 and 10:30am in Chesterfield, VA. Join us as we worship Him, celebrate moms, and find some real joy.

 

 

Gearing Up for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a big day. Wherever it is celebrated, in churches large and small, babies are dedicated, Moms are honored, flowers are worn and displayed. Like the turning of seasons, from winter to spring, Mother’s Day conjures up images of growth and blooming stuff and new life.

As I type, just outside my window a mother bird has been feeding insects to her babies. Little birdie mouths have gobbled things I would never under any circumstances consider food, but somehow, this precious scene moved me to tears.

This Mother’s Day, I’m honored and delighted to be the guest speaker at my home church. Yes, the topic will be about parenting, but no, it won’t be specific to just moms. You’ll have Read more…

In the Spring of the Year, When Kings Go Off to War

April has become a crappy month to have a birthday. But reality is – from a purely secular perspective, it’s been a crappy month for a very long time. Pardon my language.

For many years, I have noticed and dreaded and thought about this time of year, when all hell seems to break loose in this country – and beyond. A short perusal of http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/will give you a Read more…

Mid-Life Crisis: Facelift or Tattoo?

Tomorrow is the annual day of dread in my world. Yes, it’s my birthday.

So many of you are so very nice to me on this day. Lots of you send me emails and cards and social media greetings too. My husband usually gets me something that I tell him I want. I’d love for him to actually get me something I want without being told, just because he knows me so well after decades of togetherness, but on the big day, the important thing is the remembrance, right? My kids are nice while I’m opening my present(s); I think they expect there will be a little something in it for them too, but don’t tell them I said so.

But last year and this have felt like ginormous milestones.

Last year I suppose can be counted as a ‘mid-life crisis year.’ I got the car I had secretly desired for more than a decade. It’s been tough to swallow the hit it took on our pocketbooks, but I love love love my car. I never want another. When there are no sweaty teens contaminating the new car smell of my vehicle, it still smells like – a new car. Smells are very important to me; I have a nose like a wolf. So I guess the ongoing fleeting happiness that driving this car brings (and I drive a LOT – at least an hour every weekday) and the quasi-new car smell were worth the cost.

This year, a more drastic step is needed, to match the magnitude of the big day.

I have a couple of tips for my insurance company and AARP. Don’t send me a combination birthday card/plea to join the old age club/infomercial for my need for a colonoscopy. I’m not loving your products or your organization more because you are so very punctual. In fact, I’m pretty much hating your guts for the reminder of my mortality.

April 10 2013 015

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About 3 years ago, my precious daughter announced that I didn’t need a facelift – yet. I tweeted this comment, and the Lifestyle Lift people actually started following me on Twitter for a while.

But now, with the passage of time, and a surprising lack of new photos of me all over the internet, I confess, it may be time to consider a Lifestyle or full-bore reconstructive surgery or dermatology, all over my person.

I’d love to hear your suggestions as to what I should do to celebrate the big day: facelift or tattoo. I’ve selected a tattoo that is dignified and subtle, and commemorates something I have enjoyed for many years.

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source: http://www.blacksquirreltattoo.com

Just to keep it real, here’s a recent photo of me:

joyful woman

Let me know which gets your vote. And if you choose the tattoo, where do you think it should go? Bikini accent (large scale midriff tattoo), gun show accent (biceps) or hidden from public view?