Thursday, July 31, 2008

Megyn Kelly comment about liars

I loved this comment from Megyn Kelly, Fox News, so I just had to share . . .

"(People who lie) do not have an adult relationship with the truth."

Well said.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Good and perfect gifts

I was on Facebook the other day chatting with my friend, Cindy. She knows well, as do all of my friends, that growing great kids has always been a dream of mine. So, she thoughtfully encouraged me with the comment that I will make a great mom someday.

So, I said, "I would relish being a mother. But, the reality is, I may just get to enjoy other people's children. What I know for sure is, God loves me enough to give me the best. Either will be a gift."

That statement is still ringing in my ears. Frankly, I'm surprised that it came from me. I certainly don't always feel that way. Most of the time, I'm just dumbfounded that I don't have the classic American family. I get a knot in my stomach when I face the reality that I may be single and childless for the rest of my life.

But, it's true. If I believe that God provides. If I believe that God loves me more than ANYONE (and, there are a lot of people who love me a lot). If I believe that I have a relationship with a deeply personal God who knows the innermost desires of my heart. If I believe that God knows the worst about me and chooses the best for me, then I have to believe that everything He allows in my life is a gift. Even if it doesn't feel like it. Even if my circumstances make me angry or sad.

The fact is, everything that has ever happened to me -- the good and the bad -- He has worked out to teach me more about Himself -- without fail. And, the more I learn more about Him, the more I am interested in furthering His kingdom and extending His love.

Praise to the Lord, Who o'er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?
Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The 9th commandment

Okay. Seriously. Does anyone else get tired of lying? Maybe it's just my workplace, but it seems like lying is a pervasive problem. Starts as a "little white one" or an "exaggeration" and just escalates. It seems most "professionals", don't even realize that they are lying -- but by the time they reach that point, they are easy to identify. They have no credibilty.

I find that professional liars even make things up that they don't have to. They just "tell stories" because that's what they are accustom to doing.

Politicians are a perfect example. Look at this political season -- how many times do our representatives change their stories -- or spin a situation. And, it's often "excused". But, they aren't alone.

Lying stinks. I know people who are such well known liars that people who listen to them don't even believe anything they say -- from the simple to the profound -- including their spouses and children. Yuck.

The liars that I'm around even try to ask "trial closing" questions, to make themselves believe that you've bought into the lie. It's utterly ridiculous. How do these people live with themselves?

Why even bother opening your mouth, if no one believes anything you say??? I'm stupefied.

So, how, exactly do you call out a liar? I mean, how do you expose a lie, without just calling someone a liar? I know that Christians are supposed to "confront in love" but what about when you're dealing with nonbelievers?

Today I'm just at my limit for listening to the garbage. The really sad part is that when you're surrounded by people who lie, it's hard to believe anyone tells the truth.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I am blessed

Really. I am blessed. There is absolutely no way I could have survived the last 9 months without the guiding hand of my God. I am so grateful to Him. And, tonight, I feel compelled to say to Him -- and my faithful friends who have been his hands and feet -- a simple thank you.

Thank You for covering every bill and every need. I worried (I worry), but I never needed (need) to.

Thank You for Stacy, who listened, and encouraged, and pushed and stretched and listened and answered several phone calls a day and listened and listened and listened -- and never judged. Did I mention answering EVERY emotionally exhausting phone call? For being my communicator. For standing in the gap for me, and caring for me like no one else could. I owe you my life. And for Blake and Kaylee who put up with Stacy while she was caring for me.

Thank You for my counselor. I could never have picked anyone so perfect. She was honest and fair. She listened. She NEVER let me wallow in self pity. She NEVER told me what to do. She taught me how to think. She is teaching me how to live. She suffered with me through an anxiety attack, and offered her services gratis when I needed her the most. She is compassionate and unaffected by my crazy stories.

For my parents, who are just grateful to have their daughter back. Who worked tirelessly to help me get my house ready for sale. Who have not let the stigma of a divorced child keep them from loving me. Who have listened and counseled only when I've asked. Who have not pushed me to do anything I am not ready to do. I am grateful for our renewed friendship.

For my sister and her family, who have been a safe haven -- and a source of laughter. And, who now, put up with the reality of Tim living nearby. For Grace and Hannah who ask questions honestly and receive honest answers with the same openness. For being with me during the divorce. I couldn't have gone through it without all of you. For Matt packing the truck.

For Mark, one of the most trustworthy, deeply caring and kind people I know. Who has watched me fall down and offered a hand. Who has tapped a tender place deep within me and refused to let me give into self criticism. Who has helped me understand grace. Who has challenged me to live with honesty. Who has been an incredible friend without judgment or fear. Who unpacked the truck. Who taught me to fire my first gun. Who has watched out for my safety at every turn.

For Valerie who gave me a safe home, food and wine when I literally only had 50 bucks in my pocket. Who has simply loved me before the divorce and after. Who helped me decorate my home to get it ready to sell. For Steve who let me invade his home and be an emotional girl -- and who reminded me to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

For Robin and Clark. Who knew you would play the role you have? I guess God did. For talking to Tim. For not taking sides. For hosting me and my friends in Columbus. For filling in the gaps.

For my boss and my job. Neither of which I like. Both of which have allowed me to grieve and heal.

For my Taylor girlfriends. For flowers and e-mails. For compassion. For lack of judgment and open hearts. For listening and crying and just letting me be. God, we had no idea all we would go through together when we met on a warm summer night in 1990. But, I am grateful that You handpicked each one.

For the Keeley/Marshall clan who will always be my second family. For welcoming me right after my separation. For visiting in Minneapolis. For Erin's intentional visit to my new home with my new name in my new life.

For every person who may not have "heard it" directly from me, but didn't get angry -- or feel slighted. Who rose above personal hurt and recognized that I love them -- I just have to take care of myself first.

For every person who heard it and offered grace and compassion. Their judgment was my biggest fear.

Father, You have held my hand through every moment. You know it all -- the good and the bad. Thank You for teaching me more about your grace. Thank You for these angels of mercy who have carried me. I am not worthy of your personal, intentional, spot-on care for me. It is because of who You are that I am becoming really Yours. I do not deserve You, but I need You.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Ecstasy. eX -- the quit smoking drug. The X generation. My "Ex" called tonight. I answered. There are those who probably think I shouldn't have picked up, but I did.

It was another emotional diatribe, but this time I managed to escape without a migraine or a bout of depression.

Here's the truth about my divorce. I'm grateful that I had the courage and strength to leave an emotionally abusive relationship. I was blessed to have supportive friends and family. Was I perfect? No. I was the enabler. But, in the process, I lost everything, and I had to leave out of self-preservation.

That being said, it frustrates me that my ex and I can't communicate as Christians. That we can't seem to extend grace to one another. I feel like I have to be mean in order to encourage him to move on. And, he wants to blame me for the fact that he is divorced.

I believe that God loves us. That he has saved me by His GRACE. That he has saved Tim by His GRACE. That God has complete compassion and love for both of us. That He wants the best for both of us.

Why can't we communicate grace to one another? Maybe we're just both still healing, but when we have the same fight that we've had for the last year, then, it doesn't seem like we've really made much progress.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Being revealed

Watching "How Do I Look" the other day (yes, I watch way too much tv), I saw a woman who was stuck in "fantasyland attire". Literally. She's a kindergarten teacher, who thinks it's perfectly acceptable to dress like a 5-year-old in princess outfits, and outlandish clothes -- the kind I pulled out of the toybox when I was a toddler to play dress up.

As this woman became aware of her fashion shortcomings, the hostess asked how she was feeling. She insightfully remarked, "I am being revealed."

Wow. While I was horrified by her lack of good fashion sense, I relate to her perfectly. I may not literally wear it "on my sleeve" but I have covered up who God is in me with emotional and spiritual "fantasyland" attire designed by who I think I should be -- not who I am. Nonetheless, God out of his deep love for me, has gently begun His revelation in me.

This morning, I went to church. While that may seem ordinary for some, for me, lately, that is new. The pastor is starting a series on the book of Revelation. (Funny, how I feel led to go to a church I've been dragging my heels to attend -- and the sermon comes at me with pinpoint accuracy.) I couldn't help but think that while the author, John, is revealing Christ to me. I am also being revealed. As I am tested. As trials come. As I confess my sins. As I allow Christ to become more central in my life, I become more aware of my shortcomings and the truth about me becomes more apparent.

I am naked. My heart is insipid and cold -- black as night. I cling desperately to the revelation of my God -- that it is only because of Him that I am whole. It is only by His grace that I heal. It is only because of His grace that I hope. He is everything -- the first and the last -- the One who was and is and is to come. I am nothing without Him.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My journey to authenticity

I am watching a TBS version of Sex and the City. The one where Sam has to give a breast cancer speech. As she's practicing the speech, Smith tells her that she seems stiff. He says that the most inspirational speeches are the ones where the speaker is authentic. "Keep it real."

It seems trite. Truly. But, it is now my inspiration for this blog. I want to be real. I want to live a "no-holds-barred" life. I want to be transparent. I want others to see the grace of God working itself out in me every day.

But, I am scared.

I like painting a perfect picture of myself for others to see. But, my life has not been lilly white. I wonder what others will think and if they will accept that I have -- and often -- fail miserably. So, this is my first step forward.