Thursday, August 29, 2013

Beth Moore, Lost Cars, and Spinning Donuts

I attended Beth Moore's Living Proof Live last weekend (as mentioned in a previous post) and WOW. Was it amazing. I'll share more posts on the material she taught soon :)  Be watching for that!

The event was unreal. 8,000+ women. Can you imagine?!

Leaving the parking lot was also unreal. 8,000+women. Can you imagine?!


My friend Krystle and I hiked probably, literally, a mile total trying to find my car in the giant arena parking lot at 10:00 p.m., in heels, all while gabbing and searching and trying to avoid other cars and pedestrians, finally just to stop and say "Okay, really. where is the car??"

We joked that eventually it'd be the only one left in the lot and we'd find it by default.

We finally found my car, after multiple conversations like this:

Is that it?
No. We didn't park over there.
We parked by trees, right?
There's some trees! ::::walk walk walk walk walk:::
Well I guess there's trees over there too.
Trees everywhere, basically.
What about the fence? We had to walk past a fence.
There's a fence! :::walk walk walk walk:::::
Well I guess the fence is longer than I remembered.

(yes, we're both blonde, but both fake blonde, so I don't think it counts)

We found the car. Got in. Buckled up. And...drove forward about 2 feet. Then stopped. In a line of traffic that extended around the parking lot and toward the side road leading to the main road.

We didn't move an inch for 15 minutes.

So we decided to follow a few other cars and try another line that appeared to be moving. We relocated, and then...yep. We sat. Again. For another 15-20 minutes. The parking lot looked like, as Krystle said, one giant game of Domino's with "chicken legs" extending in ALL directions. Craziness.

And beyond frustrating. It was 10 p.m. We wanted to go home. (actually, we were going to Sonic to get half priced milkshakes but that's not the point)

While talking and waiting, waiting and talking, not moving an inch, I finally grabbed the wheel and shouted "OH MY GOSH I just want to move. I'm about to drive over there and just do donuts. Anything is better than just sitting."

Have you ever felt that way? I have lately, and not just in my car leaving the Beth Moore event. I've felt that way in my journey, in my life, in my storm.

I've said through gritted teeth and tears "I do NOT want to go backwards." But...I'll get very real here and admit - sometimes going backwards seems appealing because at least it's MOVING. It's beyond frustrating to feel as if you're sitting still. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. For things you can't control. Like traffic. Or finances. A job. A relationship. A restoration. A healing.

We want to go forwards so badly, it's easy to mistake backwards as a worthy substitute.

Don't fall prey to that lie. It's straight from hell. I'm telling myself that in the mirror every day.

BACKWARDS is not BETTER even if it's MOVING.

Don't get out of the line, friend. Don't get away from where God placed you in this moment and in this season. Because as is always inevitable in these traffic situations, the second you give in, give up, and move to try another line, the one you were in starts moving.

And you missed it.

Don't miss it.

Put it in park, relax, and gab with a close friend who is waiting with you. But don't take your eyes off that line. Don't get lazy. Get ready to throw it in gear and hit the gas at the moment God gives the green light. It WILL come.

And you will move forward again.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cheeseburgers and Cajun Porta-Potties

I was trying to meet someone at a McDonald's parking lot the other day in a part of town I wasn't familiar with.

Side note - this wouldn't be a very interesting story opening except that if you know me, you know I have zero sense of direction. So already this is a set up for disaster. Let me just TELL YOU how hard it was for me and my friend to find my car in the Century-Link Center arena last weekend leaving the Beth Moore Living Proof Live event. Ohmygoodness....

Well, this particular Mickey D's location was set up off a busy highway-type street and was in one of those awkward positions of either having to pass it up and make a u-turn to come back on the other side of the street, or turn in the turning area too soon and drive the wrong way down the other side of the street just for a second before being able to enter their driveway.

You know what I mean? Don't you despise those set-ups? So frustrating.

Well I decided at lunchtime on a busy Saturday I didn't want to drive the wrong way on a street even for a second, so I was going to opt for the "pass it up and u turn" method, when I realized there was a big parking lot adjoining behind. Sweet! So I whipped into the big open lot two stores/restaurants down prior to McDonalds and went around the back.

Straight to a big concrete curb, fence and construction site.

They didn't connect through after all.


That's what I got for assuming.

I was really frustrated at that point, and a little panicky, because I was running late and was supposed to be meeting at McDonalds to meet my ride to drive out of town, and now I was going to have to turn around, go back out on the busy street, and essentially make TWO u-turns to get to McDonalds, in all that weekend traffic.

And I really was just ready for my cheeseburger.

Then, eureka. There WAS a cut-through. A narrow cut-through between the curbs that connected all the way down to McDonalds. YAY! I whipped through, met up with my ride, and out of town we went. Ta-da!

That's not much of a story. I know.

But even in the exact moment that I saw that cut through, I pictured this blog post and what I would write. Because I felt God nudging me with an analogy as He does so much lately. Reminding me that even though I get off course, even though it's SO EASY to take the wrong path due to sin or laziness or fear or guilt or naivety...even though...He can reroute us to get back on the right path. To find our destination that he originally intended for us before our wrong turn or detour.

Even though I assumed. Even though I tried a short cut. Even though I got impatient.

Whatever your "even though" is, God's "even though" is greater, bigger, and stronger. More powerful. More effective. And undeniable. When you humble yourself before Him, admit you were wrong, and set out on the right path, He will make that path straight.

Or in my case, pass right beside a Cajun porta-potty, but that's probably a different analogy...

Relax, friend. It doesn't matter where you are coming from, how crazy the traffic is around you, or how far off the beaten path your detour took you - He is the ultimate GPS system, and he can make a way in your wilderness. He can blaze you a trail back the way you're supposed to go, no problem. Sometimes that road might take you a few miles out of the way, due to consequences. Sometimes that road might whip right back around in no time. Sometimes it might get a little bumpy before it levels out. Sometimes He might carve out a cut-through after all just because of His love and mercy.

But regardless of the condition of it, it's a straight and narrow road. And it WILL get you where He wants you to be!

And THAT's better than a dozen cheeseburgers :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Such an honor

Cool news!

My blog post, "49 Shades of Gray", was featured on ! Such an honor. I'm so glad they published their piece so dear to my heart.

If you missed it on my blog a few weeks ago, check it out here:

Then read some of their other author's articles. Such encouraging material. I just love that place!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Well that changes everything...

You probably know the story of Job in the Bible. He's pretty famous, probably even more so than Jonah.

I've heard countless sermons on the man over the course of my life, accounts of how faithful he was in the midst of unfair trial, how his faith never wavered. How he stayed the course despite hardship and pain in literally every area of his life - family, home, possessions, finances, reputation, faith, etc. 

I've heard metaphors and analogies on how because of Job, we know that bad things happen to good people, because of Job, we know that God is with us through even the darkest storms, we know that God restores what the locusts have eaten.We know that Romans 8:28 is alive and well through the story of Job. 

Because of Job, we know that it's okay to question God in the midst of unbearable trials and suffering. Because of Job, we know to be careful whose counsel we seek during our storms. 

We know the story of Job. 

But do you know how it starts?

If you were like me, and like the majority of the people I polled, you probably thought the same thing I did. Because it's the way it's been told and passed around for ages - that Satan came to God in Heaven and asked permission to persecute Job, in order to prove to God that Job was only faithful because God had blessed him so much. 

(There's a good sermon there, too - on how everything that happens to God's children passes through His hands and His word first. Nothing can get to us without God's permission.) 

Yes, but...

Read this from Job chapter one:

In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.


Just in case - here:

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job?

Well that changes everything....

When this truth was pointed out to me in a sermon recently by a very wise man I respect very much, I about fell off the padded pew. It was one thing to believe that God granted permission for one of his beloved children to go through such pain...but to accept that God SUGGESTED it?

I don't know why, but in the midst of my personal storm right now, this actually brought me significant comfort. 

Because it just really does prove that God is so crazy-ridiculously in control. He's all "I've got this". He was SO confident in Job, that He was essentially bragging on him. "Check out my man Job. He's legit." 

And he was. 

I wanna be legit. 

God had faith in Job because God knew his heart. And God knew that Job would pass those tests and would be better on the other side for them, would grow and learn and stretch and become even more on fire for God, even more passionate for his King, be stronger for it. 

Talk about a boot camp. Job lost everything except his life. And guess what? 

God restored it all in abundance.

God doesn't just like to restore, you know. He likes to go overboard. Think about the miracles Jesus performed in the Gospels. The wine in Cana, the baskets of bread and fish - always more than necessary. Jesus had a thing for leftovers. Abundance. He didn't just take care of business, he was LAVISH in his grace, mercy, and love. 

He still is. The Bible isn't a book of exceptions and one time truths. It's the living Word of God, timeless. It's still true, friend. The Word tell us that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. 

So that brings me comfort. That I can know that in the midst of my storm that some days, literally has me curled up in the fetal position clutching my Bible, that God is in control. There might or might not be a conversation about me in Heaven between the devil and God. I have no way to know. But spiritual warfare is real, and the devil IS, according to God's word roaming about seeking whom he might devour, and let me just assure you, he's after believers. He's after God's passionate servants. He's after the Jobs of today. 

And I want to prove myself like Job did. I want to bless and not curse. I want to question without wavering. I want to cry without giving up. I want to come out the other side in abundance with a faith more concrete than ever before. 

Do you? Will you?

The story of Job - the TRUE story of Job...changes everything. 

Because God changes everything. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

A healing touch...


My spirit needed this so very desperately. I hope it touches you too. Please listen all the way through, especially if you're experiencing a hard struggle right now. SO worth it.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A quick break....

I won't be blogging this week because I'll be out of town for work.

BUT...I'm working on a post that I'm really excited to share on either Friday or next Monday :)

Hope you'll wait for me! Have a great week...

Friday, August 9, 2013

Loved this. Such truth from John Eldredge

Or read below:

May You Play Your Part Well

Posted in
We are now far into this Epic that every great story points to. We have reached the moment where we, too, must find our courage and rise up to recover our hearts and fight for the hearts of others. The hour is late, and much time has been wasted. Aslan is on the move; we must rally to him at the stone table. We must find Geppetto lost at sea. We must ride hard, ride to Minas Tirith and join the last great battle for Middle Earth.

Jesus calls to you to be his intimate ally once more. There are great things to be done and great sacrifices to be made. You won't lose heart if you know what's really going on here, where this Story is headed and what your Lover has promised to you.

It is a world of magic and mystery, of deep darkness and flickering starlight. It is a world where terrible things happen and wonderful things too. It is a world where goodness is pitted against evil, love against hate, order against chaos, in a great struggle where often it is hard to be sure who belongs to which side because appearances are endlessly deceptive.

Yet for all its confusion and wildness, it is a world where the battle goes ultimately to the good, who live happily ever after, and where in the long run everybody, good and evil alike, becomes known by his true name . . . That is the fairy tale of the Gospel with, of course, one crucial difference from all other fairy tales, which is that the claim made for it is that it is true, that it not only happened once upon a time but has kept on happening ever since and is happening still. (Telling the Truth)

This is the gospel.

This is the Story we are living in.

May you play your part well.
(Epic, 103, 104)

An excerpt from

Thursday, August 8, 2013

When was the last time you fell off your chair?

This article blew me away.

PLEASE take a moment to read it - not that long. And see if you have the same reaction. I about fell off my chair, was so excited and just YES! Yessss!

All I could think was "FINALLY. Someone says this "outloud"...

It was waaaay past time.

Do you agree or disagree?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A little bit of new...

This is an awesome worship song I was recently introduced to through a new ministry group I'm a part of, AUTHENTIC. I hope it blesses you today! :)

Sometimes it's easy to get stuck on the same songs in praise and worship. We hear a new one and feel detached because we don't know the words. But I've realized the really cool thing about worship songs is that you pick them up quickly, and not just because they're repetitive at times. I think it's more along the lines that as a believer, the Holy Spirit in you connects with it.

Give this one a try :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Learning how to float...

Lately, through the overwhelming nature of my personal storm, and through the seemingly endless tasks on my to-do list, I've felt Jesus calling me to the below verse. 

Matthew 11:28-30

The Message (MSG)
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

The unforced rhythms of grace.

When I hear that, I picture myself closing my eyes, falling back, and floating on the waves of His mercy.

Maybe that's why I've been drawn to the lake so much these past few weeks. I can spray on some sunscreen, stretch out on a tube or on a boat sundeck, close my eyes, and bob along to His grace. Feel the sun on my back and the wind on my cheeks and the spray of water on my toes and just...float. Breathe. Relax.


Rhythms of grace.

That's what that means to me. To let go, and float. You can't float on your back in water if you're tense and trying too hard. Your weight will make you sink. You have to trust the water to hold you, and give yourself over to it. Relax. Breathe. Essentially, do NOTHING.

That's what makes it so hard.

Human nature is to strive. Achieve. Accomplish. Fix it. Do it all ourselves, and do it quickly.

Jesus knew that. That's why He said we have to "learn" the unforced rhythms of grace. It's not something that comes naturally to us.

I was at the lake earlier today. I'm in Louisiana, remember, so we share our lakes with alligators, and catfish, and all other manner of Southern Swampies. I was swimming, holding on to the edge of the tube I'm floating in below, while my friend put on some goggles.

He popped back up and told the rest of us "You can see about two feet down, and then it's just black!"

I laughed. "That's fine! I don't think I want to see what I'm floating above!"
That hit me as soon as I said it, and lingered until I sat down to write this post. There's a lot of blessings in the unforced rhythms of grace. There's peace and rest and rejuvenation. There's learning how to relax and float and let Jesus take control of the waves in your life...

As you trust Him. Because you really DON'T want to see what might be below you. If you trust the one keeping you afloat, it doesn't matter. It's like Peter taking his eyes off Jesus to look at the crashing wind and rain around him. He faltered and began to sink.

Peace resides in those unforced rhythms of grace.

If we just float in them, and not worry about what might or might not be lurking in the murky waters outside of our control, we'll experience that peace and that rest for our effort-weary hearts.

Float with me?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

When there's a scorpion in your shower...

Sometimes, life is full of surprises.

Good surprises.

Bad surprises.

A scorpion in your shower is a bad surprise.

Discovering said scorpion while you are IN the shower WITH HIM and HAVE BEEN for at least ten minutes before realizing it is truly a terrible, awful, zero-good-can-come-from-this type of surprise. 

Yes. There was a scorpion in my shower. I can't really quit saying it. 

There was a SCORPION in my SHOWER.

(Me and God had quite the frantic discussion about that fact)

(We also discussed why in the world those things were ever created in the first place, and I'm prompted to believe that perhaps they were invented AFTER the fall of Man. It just doesn't make sense otherwise. ha)

Now I know I live in the country, hence the two wasps and the two wolf spiders I've also killed this week (I actually had to go get the shoe off the dead spider where I'd left it on the floor from yesterday to kill the scorpion. Then had to go back and pick up remains of spider I've been procrastinating about. Rough morning!!) But I've lived in the country for 5 years now and have never seen a scorpion. Much less been standing beside one in a shower stall. ::shudder::

It sort of makes me wonder what else is lurking. 

(Remember the scene in Runaway Bride, where Julia Roberts suggests they cut across the field to go make a phone call, and tells Richard Gere to walk nice, because there might be snakes? Remember how he high-stepped over the grass? That was essentially me walking around my house afterward!)

Life is full of surprises. Good ones, like finding a $20 in your coat pocket from last winter, or realizing you haven't actually finished the bag of cookies yet you thought were gone, or getting a random thinking of you text from a friend, or receiving an escrow return check in the mail, or discovering money still left on a gift card you thought you'd already used...

Good surprises do happen. But eventually, there's going to be a scorpion in your shower. 

Financial struggle. Divorce. Sickness. Death. Hurt feelings. Strained relationships. Debt. Loss of a job. Failing a test. Fire. Flood. 

We all have a scorpion in our shower at some point in our lives. 

And when those bad surprises come, it's easy to get paranoid. Start high stepping around your carpet like a dork and squinting into corners just waiting for The Next One To Appear. (Yes, I Googled to make sure scorpions didn't travel in herds)

But we can't live like that. 

For one, it's uncomfortable. Even Richard Gere couldn't keep up that hitchy walk. 

Secondly, it's strangling. You don't want to be so busy peering into the shadows with a pounding heart that you miss the good stuff. Because there is still good stuff. 

Don't resign your heart to the idea that there's only more bad. That there's a pack of scorpions waiting to ambush because you killed their leader. There's not. (I Googled that too) Don't allow your heart to get defeated.

When my scorpion came, I did what any 29 year old woman on her own would do - called her Daddy and did what he suggested. 

You do the same. Call on your Heavenly Daddy, get instructions, then obey. He's the best when it comes to pest control.  :)