Saturday, March 27, 2010

Trusting it won't really burst

So, silly me, I thought I was through the healing. After the last few weeks I have decided the healing never really ends. :) At least not this side of heaven.

So much has happened in the few short weeks I've been here. Some big successes and some failures. But, God is enlarging my heart and teaching me how to love. Even in the midst of some painful revelations, He SHOWERS me with his love. He has sung His song of love over me. I am fighting to keep my heart open and not shut down. It seems for every ounce of pain, He replaces it with gallons of His grace and mercy and tenderness.

What a Love! What a Lover!

I am officially on the Captivating bandwagon. If you're a woman, you need to read this book. I say that with some hesitation, because I hated the book when I first read it. But, even if you hate it now -- you need to read it until you don't hate it anymore. LOL.

Maybe I just read it when I was ready to hear what it has to say. But, I love this book. And, when I try to think of one female who doesn't need to hear this message -- I just can't do it. Grab several boxes of kleenex and read the book. And, if you go to Valdosta, GA -- there is a half-price book store there. They have the pretty devotional version for $4.99. If I knew I was going to love it this much, I would've bought out the store on my way back to Wis. I'd keep one clean copy for myself since mine is tear-stained and snot-dripped.

And, I promise you, if you do the work and examine your heart, it will feel like your heart is going to be ripped out of your chest one minute and in the next, it will feel so full of God's love that it will burst. But, trust me, it won't. It's just stretching to make more room.

David Crowder Band - How He Loves (2009 Video & Lyrics)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

His Banner Over Me

"Shout for joy, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away His judgments against you. He has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; You will fear disaster no more. In that day it will be said to Jerusalem: Do not be afraid, O Zion; Do not let your hands fall limp.

The Lord your God is a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. "
-- Zeph 3:14-17 NASB

Monday, February 15, 2010


I am not sure I can begin to put into words this last year. And, yet, my heart has been stirring for several days.

I left friends and love (and cold) for security and warmth. I needed (more than I even realized at that time) a sheltered resting place -- a sanctuary. A quiet place where I could replace the voices in my head with the steady voice of the Savior.

It's been hard. In every way. I have avoided people. I have tried to hide. I have faced the cold hard truth about myself. I have learned to trust. I have been selfish and indulgent. I have been dependent. I have relinquished dreams. I have taught Sunday School. I have fought with some of the people I love the most. I have said I'm sorry (many times). I have met some amazing new friends -- and continue to be amazed by long-time relationships. And, yet, I find myself at the end of this season surprised that I do not feel bruised and beaten. I am energized, refreshed and ready. What a tender loving God I serve. I don't understand His love for me. I will never understand how He works his salvation out in me -- not in this life anyway. And yet I am so grateful for it.

It feels as if the preparation for my next step in this journey has moved into warp speed. I have grown more in the last two weeks than I have the entire time I have been here. Once again, God's timely, intentional care for me is so clear.

Since I left Milwaukee, there has been a tugging on my heart to return. It's amazing how a place -- and its people -- can get into you. I am moving back to Milwaukee. Back to friends. Back to family. Back to the familiar. And, yet, I am not the same. And, I would venture that my friends and family there are not the same either. There will be new ground to cover -- and new history to create.

For me, there is a new purpose and focus. I don't leave this warm sunny state without hesitation or fear. And, yet, the time has come. Here we go!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Blessed be the Name

I -- like most of you, I would imagine -- have been horrified by the earthquake in Haiti and the destruction in its wake.

I have had moments in the last few years when I couldn't sleep wondering if I would be able to pay my bills, wondering if I could afford the next meal, gas (which is critical to my job), or the roof over my head. Wondering if I would ever sell anything again and knowing that the stress and lack of sleep would affect my ability to sell. Stressed to what seemed like "the max", even though I knew the safety net known as my dad was waiting in the wings to help.

Imagine the Haitians. Imagine surviving an earthquake and losing EVERYTHING -- governmental structure, homes, family, children, parents, everything. Living through the horror of the aftermath -- dead bodies on the streets, heat, humidity, stench, burning bodies, mass graves, confusion, looting, sheer chaos. And, then face the real threat that after all of it, you may die from starvation or dehydration.

The thing I've noticed is that news reporters are finding camps of people because they hear singing. And, when they follow the singing, they find groups of Haitians standing in the fields praising God. Diane Sawyer reportedly followed the singing and in the fields they found Haitians singing in French. She insisted on knowing what they were singing. It was Blessed Be The Name of the Lord.

In the midst of complete devastation, they are singing. When the holocaust happens, they sing. They don't cry out to the Lord, "Why did you do this to me?" But, rather, they sing, "Thank you, God. You are Mighty and Good. You are Holy. You are Righteous. Your Name is Great. I love You."

When left with NOTHING but, the clothes on their back and their Father in Heaven, they choose to remember that they are securely cradled in His palm. This world is just a temporary home.

Pretty sure when my life came crashing in (and I didn't experience a fraction of their loss) that I didn't sing or praise -- at least not immediately. I am humbled by their response.

Maybe those tender saints who survive should send some missionaries over here. I could use their influence in my life.

Resisting the urge

Can I just say, I feel fantastic!! :) I mean really healthy and happy for the first time in a really long time. I suppose that these things don't happen all at once. But, it occurred to me the other day that I really am happy. And, as a result, my sales have increased, my rapport building with customers has increased, I laugh easier, etc...

So, I was thinking that I should link to a new blog. I should start something new that marks the beginning of this shift in the grief process.

And then I laughed. Out loud. Of all the lessons that I've learned over the last two years, it's that it's okay for my peas to touch my carrots. For the waffle syrup to spill over from one neat tidy little square to the next. That compartmentalization isn't healthy. In fact, while it protects in the short-term, in the long-run it can do much damage.

That in compartmentalizing my life I lose myself. Even when it hurts to read back over this blog and realize how really broken and messed up I was, I have to resist the urge to hide it. It's still who I am. It's a journal of progress. It's life. No need to pretend like the pain never existed. Rather the healing deserves a celebration!