breaking the silence

Well, I am finding some answers for my questions and a few words to break the silence.

Sometimes, I need to be taken by the shoulders and shaken to bring me out of my moments of self-pity.  I mean really, I say I believe that "happiness comes from the quiet nobility of leading a good life," but do I really live that.  I must remember that everyday cannot be a mountain day - there must be valleys here and there.  I think the important thing for me is to be in pursuit of the mountain because I tend to get stuck in the monotony of the everyday.  I don't like change so it is easy for me to become bogged down, but then I recognize the bog and immediately become claustrophobic in the surroundings I found comfortable just minutes earlier. 

Some things I have learned while in the bog and while struggling to find freedom -
  • We as a culture tend to define who we are by what we do.  "Hello, I am Jane Doe, and I am a *insert current occupation.*"  Well, what happens when you cant find a job in that field or you are laid off or whatever your circumstance happens to be?  Are you no longer who you thought you were?  Because I do not get paid to teach, does that mean I am no longer a teacher?  I have come to realize that teaching is a part of who I am whether I am in classroom or not.  If you were stripped of your occupation, who would you be?
  • I do not like money.  No that is not strong enough.  I detest money.  Having money can make you prideful.  Not having money but wanting money can make you envious and covetous.  All three of those sinful attitudes I can find in myself within the same five minutes, and I loathe those feelings and attitudes.  It is too easy for money to provide a false sense of security, and all too often I find myself placing my faith in money instead of God.  And that is my greatest disappointment in myself because I know that money will fail me and still I decide to place my trust in it.
  • Life is beautiful, and family is one of God's greatest blessings.  Tonight we all went to the Mexican restaurant (what Madi calls MiCasita) because tomorrow is her birthday and it is her favorite.  She and Wyatt played and laughed the entire time while Daddy shed a tear or two because he just feels so blessed by them and Mom recounted the story of Lily (her puppy) digging up a snake in the front yard to Madi.  Madi loves stories about Lily and has a love/hate relationship with snakes - she is interested until they are real and present.  Brit and Jonathan sat close together the way they do when Jon is about to have to go back to work offshore for 3 weeks, and Daisy Claire just smiled at all of us.  Then because we all love a great bargain, including we went to Dirt Cheek (what Madi calls Dirt Cheap) where she spent her dollar and had some fun.   I would like to enter into evidence -    

Isn't she just the cutest?

So as I am regaining my wits and repairing the foundation, I can't help but feel blessed.  I must learn to not obsess or stress over money as its existence is something I cannot change.  I can only change the value I give it and my attitude about it.  I hope you are all doing great!  



questions & a list

Are you the person you want to be?

Are you the person you envisioned you would be at this point in your life?

Are you living a good story - is the life you are living such that people would want to join in?

Are you doing what you want to do?

Are you living? 

These are the questions floating through my head right now.  These questions are simply an addendum to the list already present up there that includes but is not limited to:

Do you let people in, let them get to know YOU?

Why not?

Is "alone time" really what you want?

Why are you not in the process of pursuing what you want?

What are you so afraid of?

Some of those questions have answers.  The answers are predictable but they exist.

It hurts... when they leave, it is excruciating.

I don't want to end up alone.

Every other time I have tried, I have been told no.  And it is hard to go back and ask again when they say no every time.

I am afraid of so many things...

But for the most part I am afraid of not living.

Am I alone in this?  I know this post is heavy, but here it is.  Anybody have advice, answers, anything?



Well, the past few days have pretty quiet here on the blog.  I am finding I go through times where I have so much to say that I must write lest the words explode within me while there are times when I have no words.  Needless to say, but I believe we have a case of the latter going on right now.

I have been doing a bit of soul-searching the past few days - revisiting some issues within my own heart that I thought I had dealt with but can't seem to shake.   To be quite frank, I am somewhat frustrated with myself and with my life right now.  I feel like it is perhaps a God-given period of discontentment to push me towards the goals and life He has for me.  I am not even sure if that makes any sense to any of you, but that is where I am.

And, I think it is of vital importance to take stock sporadically of life and directions and goals - to take the time to realign yourself with that which you have made your center.  For me, my center, my focus is Christ and to be more like Him everyday.

One such issue I am working with that I was pointed out to me this morning at church is being more active in the community of believers.  I am never more comfortable than being alone, and don't misunderstand, I know that alone time is important.  It is my time to recharge - I am not naturally gifted with being around people 24/7.  However, my personality should not be an excuse not to engage in the community around me.  We were created for community - our very being is designed to do this thing called life with other people.

So that is one of a few puzzles I am addressing at the moment, and hopefully I might find a few answers for my questions in the coming days.  Until then I am embracing the silence so as not to disrupt it with empty words and phrases that disguise obstacles instead of illuminating resolution.

Until then,



So my latest Bible study has been through the book of Isaiah via a study done by Kay Arthur - if you have not googled her and her studies, do it! Now!  Anyway, other than making my head hurt as I try to wrap my head around Isaiah's words, visions, and "woes," it has completely rocked my world.  It is PACKED with such incredible lessons and insight into our world.  I have loved it even though it has brought new meaning to searching out truth because it has taught me to "wrestle with" information - to dwell on it, to meditate on these truths, and go far deeper into Scripture than I have been in the past.

One piece that has infiltrated my core is the plan for Christ's redemption and just how early it was revealed to God's men and women.  I always knew that God knew that Christ was necessary from the beginning, but to see Him being revealed to the prophets in such clarity is blowing my mind.  I love that Isaiah had visions of the grace that was to come; however, Isaiah himself writes that he weeps at the destruction that would befall Jerusalem prior to Christ coming and at the end of days, he becomes so sick he likens it to labor pains.  I sometimes get caught up in wanting to know the plan - I am comfortable with God being in control of the plan, I just want to know what the plan is. Isaiah knew the hope that would come but he also knew the proceeding events that it would take to get to the day of hope - that's not always a pretty picture. So after reading of Isaiah's agony over knowing everything the plan included, I think I should learn to just be okay with the spotlights and highlights I receive.  That's a big deal for this OCD schedule addict.

Something else that I cherish in this study is the picture of God's character established through out Isaiah.  The last post was about the beautiful tension found in Christ's balance of truth of grace - can I tell you that character trait is so very evident in God our Father through Isaiah's words.  The need for judgement and the "woes" divinely balanced with the plan for redemption along with God's judgement for the sins of Israel paralleled with His incomparable and incessant love for them.  Isaiah 62 has been one of my favorite pieces of Scripture for a long time, and after seeing it in context of all of Isaiah, I love it that much more.  I hope you will read it sometime - it's a beautiful picture of God never giving up on Israel.  I love that He doesn't give up on us - once we are His, we are ALWAYS HIS!

I have so enjoyed my time studying Isaiah even though I left with more headaches more times than I care to admit - there really is nothing like working out Scripture for yourself.  I just thought I would share this with you!


grace and truth

Audrey Hepburn once said, "people, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone."  I love Audrey Hepburn as an actress, and I love that she seemed very intelligent and very honest.  Many of her quotes have become some of my favorites.

I have never in my life felt the truth in these words more than I do at this time in my life. Sometimes, I feel like I throw people out of my life as though I am tossing out the trash after organizing.  I think maybe I am being convicted of this habit and God is changing my heart for people.  It literally breaks my heart to think of someone tossing me out of their life for whatever reason, and I detest the idea that I might have made someone in my life feel like that.  I am at a loss for words to describe the ache in my heart for my actions. This morning in church, our pastor talked about loving as Christ loved, and Christ loved with equal amounts of grace (I love you) and truth (you are a sinner). (Reference is John 1:14)  He referred to this balance of grace and truth as a beautiful tension - a tension I must admit I have felt in my own life.  I am learning that while I yearn for Christ to extend grace exclusive of truth to me, I often extend truth exclusive of grace to the people around me.  Hence the breaking of my heart and heavy conviction...

Grace is messy because love is messy.  I think truth is very clear cut and easier than grace.  To me grace means taking time and making efforts to look beyond myself and my pain - a difficult and messy task. But if I am to be a disciple of Christ which is my ultimate goal, then there must be this coexistence of both grace and truth - this tension that never needs resolving.  Being reminded of the grace Christ has shown me is just another layer to the thoughts I have wrestled with this week and weekend.

I know that we as people cannot redeem someone's soul - only Jesus can do that.  However, I believe that we can reclaim them - we can reach out to restore relationships.  We can allow them to be redeemed in our eyes; a feat I am convinced is often more difficult than we care to admit because it means looking at people who have hurt us, disappointed us, betrayed us and seeing them the way Christ sees them and us.  I like what John, our pastor, said about this - grace does not make sin okay or acceptable to God, it pays for the sin.

Romans 5:8 states, "That God demonstrated His love towards us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

How can I measure people not worth the time and effort to extend both grace and truth when Christ died to extend both grace and truth to me?  I want people to see Christ in me which means showing both love (grace and truth) to those I interact with.  It also means repentance for those times when I failed to live as I should and to love as I have been instructed to love.

I hope this post makes you ask questions, and I pray that our world knows the full love of Christ.