Archives for posts with tag: Jesus

A baby changes everything. Whether a teenage girl who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, a couple anxious to start a new family, a woman who has been battling infertility only to discover she has finally conceived, or wide open hearts that learn their adoption request has been granted, I think we can all agree that a baby can profoundly change everything we think we know about life.

It’s Christmastime so naturally the story of Jesus’ birth is on my heart. It’s a beautiful story and one that over two thousand years later, we are still talking about and celebrating. But what if baby Jesus was born in today’s time? What would He be born into?

The same exact things he was born into thousands of years ago; times racked with unthinkable violence and horror, every evil injustice you can imagine, mixed with unhealthy doses of rebellion and sin. A time where everyone was a part of the problem. Everyone suffered in the problem but no one could fully solve the problem.

But mercy…

Graham Greene writes: “You cannot conceive, nor can I, of the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God.” Imagine what it must be like for God; watching the lives He created with His very hands and breath unfold so…off course…of His original and indescribably creative plan.

As an artist, if a painting of mine goes south, my first instinct is to quit and walk away in utter disgust. Only reluctantly will I come back to start the creative process over nonetheless disappointed and annoyed by the time and effort wasted. Lucky for us, I’m not God! Thank God, He is fixed on His purpose and perspective of us and has everlasting faith in our God-given potential for rebirth.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3: 22-23

God knew that generation after generation would cry out for the shalom of His kingdom. How could He, once and for all, affect a rebirth within each of us in an all-encompassing yet, non-confrontational way?

His primary objective was to overcome evil in the world and redeem His creation. What merciful strategy could He possibly come up with that would hold power above all power, yet soften the most hardened of hearts? What would cause the proud to lower their stubborn guards and the humble to raise their reserved voices? What would make us feel vulnerable, yet find us righteously covered at the same time? How in the world could God show a strong arm of discipline over everything He created yet, still be known as an adoring and loving father?

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

But grace…

In a world desperate for an honorable example of authority and power, God chose weakness. He chose to wrap Himself in a baby, not a divine being but a human being.

Emmanuel, God with us. Even as a totally dependent infant lying in a manger, God managed to turn all notions of power upside down. The birth of Jesus should always remind us of the radicalness of God’s love for us and the extent He is willing to go to, to save each of us from our own humanity.

A baby changed EVERYTHING! A tiny bundle of love and light so perfect in every way, including the way he was delivered; by purity and innocence. Jesus was the world’s very first Christmas gift. Not a gift that could ever be purchased, but one that would end up purchasing us.

With reverence, we focus on the resurrection of Jesus, but do we contemplate the meaning of His birth with the same devotion? Christmas marks the day so much was born. The baby was awake and within an instant, everything changed!

With Him our freedom was born. Our hope was delivered, our peace was released, our faith was formed, our grace was sent, our mercy was provided, and our restoration was created. His authority birthed our redemption because our adoption was always emminant. Our inheritance became a birthright to live under the highest and most beautiful name; Jesus. Love incarnate…and in His name, your every oppression shall cease. Everything good about this world was born the day Heaven came down.

But Jesus…

I heard something yesterday and it took me a minute to wrap my head and heart around it’s truth: The angels that proclaimed the birth of Jesus to the shepherds keeping watch in their fields are eternal beings. They are still alive…and they are the very same beings that are actively proclaiming YOUR rebirth at the foot of God’s throne, right now! I mean…come on! It’s just so stunning to even imagine, right?

So go ahead and own your imperfect record…but then accept God’s invitation to let it die. According to His word, every ounce of it will be used for His glory. It’s not only the gospel of salvation but it also points directly to God’s goodness in our every day lives. Cultivate peace within by living in awareness of that and of the non-refundable gift of His unwavering love and devotion.

Christmas; the most holy night where all of creation was holding it’s breath for Jesus’ first cry. When the silence of that Bethlehem night was broken by that precious sound, it meant more than just life; it meant life eternal was born. The instant Jesus took His first breath, He inhaled and then exhaled Love, freely offering a new genesis for each one of our lives.

But Love…

It epitomizes God. It captures the climate of His kingdom. But it doesn’t stop there, it also explains why we were created and how we are to live; as living and breathing revelations of His heart.

In the new year, what if we all made one resolution to not blend in with a critical and destructive world? What would happen if we lived fully in the knowing that our words and actions have the power to reflect the healing hope and redeeming promises of Jesus? His birth awakens the expectation of that certainty, also known as hope. It awakens the restoration of all things and that promise stands firmer than firm.

Jesus is proof that God is the most unselfishly genius, indulgently gracious and deliberately contemplative gift giver. All that God has done is worth celebrating! It’s a gift worth giving and one to wholeheartedly receive! Jesus: the gift worthy of rearranging everything in order to prepare Him room to fully enlighten us to the knowledge that He’s awake and was born to come alive within each of our hearts.

But God.

Merry Christmas to all! Wishing you so much love and peace in the beautiful New Genesis of 2020! May each and every day of it be inspired by the generous work of Christmas and with a singing heart, eager to fulfill every hope God has ever held. God bless us, everyone. ❤️

*Written with gratitude and in loving remembrance of the gift of those that have gone before us, and holding those that are waiting to see them again in my heart and prayers.

Heart, I’m so very sorry for resenting you for being so tender and vulnerable.

I’m grateful for your continued refusal to become hardened and for the way you beat in excitement of who I truly am.

Brain, Sorry for dog cussin’ you about the never shutting off thing.

I truly love you for keeping me inspired both day and night.

(I’m still a bit confused about your refusal to figure out math….but we’re ok.)

Emotions, I beg your pardon for trying to keep you under wraps.

I give you full credit for keeping me soft and sensitive towards others.

Tears, I’m sorry for the years I put you on lock down.

I now honor how you show up everytime I’m happy, excited and/or moved by your neighbors, The Feels. Thank you for teaching me how to express myself so honestly.

Skin, I’m really sorry for not accepting you as you are by subjecting you to years of sun worshipping, which leads me to now apologize for attempting to smother the life out of you with every potion money can buy.

I’m learning to embrace your carvings and value how you announce years well lived.

Hands, I’m sorry I called you ugly, fat and unladylike.

I appreciate that you look like the generations before me and that you have helped me to hold

babies,

the hands of loved ones,

glasses of wine with friends,

100s of different paintbrushes,

and many a book.

And fingers…it’s totally cool that you don’t produce girly finger nails. Honestly, they would just slow me down. But I do like the way you swell up at salt’s command, insuring my wedding ring doesn’t go down the drain….again.

Hair, I’m sorry for all the times I’ve called you nappy, frizzy, uncompliant and lifeless.

I admire how resilient you are after all my years of fancying myself your professional caretaker. One day we will discover your true color and let you grow wild.

Nose, I’m sorry I called you a big schnozzin’ snotlocker.

I delight in how you are keen to pick up on the finer things that pull me in for a closer whiff and heed warning to the not so finer things. You emerged from my dad and I think that’s really sweet.

Teeth, Please forgive me for referring to you all as crooked fangs.

What I meant was, I love your uniqueness. You bring an element of ownership to my smile.

And not to blatantly call you out, Sweet Tooth…because we’ve had lots of fun but you have two choices here: 1) shape up or 2) ship out.

Lips, I’m sorry I kept you at half mass while trying to hide said crooked fangs.

I’ve made up with fangs and you are now free to fly as you so desire. Thank you for giving me a bit of face value. I’m grateful for your penchant in being so spontaneous to the people around me.

Eyes, how shallow and arrogant of me to think you weren’t the right shade of blue!

My Lord! I marvel at and thank you, thank you, thank you for a lifetime of faithfully allowing me to see the beauty that surrounds me.

Knees, I don’t reeeaallyyy think you are all that knobby.

I totally dig how you have helped me stand firm, even on days when life made us buckle, you both broke my fall and I really appreciate that…especially for teeth.

Ankle, I’m sorry I made such a fuss over how weak you were that time you broke yourself.

For the most part, you’ve been really good to me. Please don’t turn on me [again] by contorting yourself into a cankle. I thank you in advance.

P.S. Always remember that I sacrificed cute shoes solely (get it?!) for you and you alone.

Feet, Hey shawties! I’m sorry for all the times I’ve called you old dogs, that wasn’t nice. I apologize profusely for forcing you into places that perhaps caused you blistering pain…like those pointy pumps I insisted on wearing in the 80s.

I smile when I think about all the times we have danced and all beautiful places you have taken me. Oh and second toes, I get you and you’re so right, I am bossy!

Baby oven, ….I’m sorry for the times I referred to you as the spawn of satan and wanted to rip you out of my body with my bare hands and slap you upside the wall.

I really commend you for all the hard work you have done and am in awe of your determination to reform. Sorry about all the kids…especially the twins. But if you could see them now you would know it was all so worth it.

To all my other insides, I’m sorry I’ve put you all through such trauma and under such stress…especially you, gallbladder. May you RIP.

To the rest of you survivors, keep fighting and please stick with me, I swear I’m trying.

Muscles, I’m sincerely apologetic for my lack of desire to sculpt you like a marble statue. You deserve better.

I love you and am thankful for all the times you have given me strength to play, run, skip, ride a bike and ski down a hill, etc., etc.. Maybe one day soon we will take a field trip to see what the inside of a gym looks like.

Lungs, I apologize for every single transgression of my past life but I truly thank you for teaching me how to howl at the moon and sing praises to our Creator.

Thank you, blood, for always keeping me so warm.

Soul, I really have no words beyond I’ve grown into you and I just love you. Thank you for always being so intuitive in knowing when brain didn’t.

Spirit, Sorry for the times I have tried to dim your light.

I love you so much for always fighting so hard for me. I applaud your tenacity and passion. Keep up the good work!

Oh! How could I forget?! Hormones,…..what can I say? It’s been real.

The truth is, I have no genuine love for any of you. I’m not fully convinced that God loves you either because His word says His plans are for me, not against me. You horrormones, have been nothing short of a nightmare. So, Peace out, Girl Scouts!

Speaking of…anyone’s daughter selling cookies? Asking for a friend before they ship out….


I wrote Note to Self at a time when something inside my soul was shifting. I was moving from a place of doubt to a place of dignity. From a place of self deprecating banter to a place of faith, believing I am who HE says I am. In regard to myself, doubt was masquerading itself as humility. I recently read a short devotional by John Eldridge that turned my self talk on a dime. It regarded doubt as being a posture that is honored in our day and time. We embrace it because it feels “authentic”. We believe it to be a genuine character decision; a virtue, when really, doubt is not humble or a gracious posture at all. Jesus doesn’t hold that mess in high esteem – He holds belief to the highest standard.

“I doubt I’m all that wonderfully and fearfully made. I doubt God has a beautiful plan over my life but if God says so then I guess maybe it could be true. Do you see all the doubt in that? I totally went there in my head, just incase….. it wasn’t true. Just incase I failed. Just incase I didn’t measure up. Just incase someone expected me to be something I’m not, I was already prepared.

I was comfortable in doubt, because it’s hesitancy didn’t require anything of me. So in retrospect, I just went ahead and “humbly” accepted defeat, because that felt like a humble virtue….I am what I am…it’s ambiguity that I now see equates to unfaithfulness and I don’t like being called unfaithful, so it kinda stung.

By all accounts, my doubting self- assurance had reasoned itself right up in all my business and found itself validated, so there was no need for truth; I believed logic WAS truth. Until the day Real Truth showed up and informed me that Logic was lying.

Jesus was sent to live in and understand our human condition. Time and time again he rebuked doubt because it excuses us from having to act. There is now way around it, doubt is unbelief.

Jesus urges us through scripture to get our feet out of this world. Yes, God created feelings and emotions….but he created them to glorify Him, not us. Self doubt contrary to His truth, glorifies no one but yourself so don’t kid yourself in believing it’s an act of humility or submissiveness. That’s a lie.

I don’t complain much on the outside but apparently I’d been doing lots of complaining on the inside; internally self sabotaging to the point that even I was shocked to hear it when I stopped long enough to really listen. I’m 52 years old and I can’t tell you where, when or how doubt weaseled it’s way into my narrative but I can tell you that it had been there for a while; so long that it just became such an everyday part of self that I no longer noticed it.

I realized that I was placing my low self esteem above scriptural truth, and it was leading me to all kinds of death and honestly, I was kinda sick of death. Jesus pursued me to life in His truth. He asked me to defy my logic and invalidate my doubt. It was with the sweetest and most patient conviction that He asked me to believe what He says about me is a true story.

The words I spoke over myself came from my heart. What was flowing from my heart to my brain had been influenced by what what I was allowing in from the world. Loss, pain, disappointment had manifested itself into my heart and minimized the good. My story is full of brokenness, lots of terrible decisions and ugly truths.

But here’s the thing…Jesus has always been right there, calling me back to THE truths found in Him despite, my ugly truths. He loves us in the midst of our messes. He is the lover of our souls and loves nothing more than to breathe new life on the internal wars we rage against ourselves. He is raging too, raging for us to come out in freedom on the other side of our own misguided narrative. That, my friends, is the truth.

God gives us instructions to build a new narrative. It’s found in Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

If you learn to use this verse as a filter, then you begin to tap into your power to break the chains of a culture that is critical, limiting and deadly. Because the truth is, we are fighting a realm that would love nothing more than for us to believe we don’t quite measure up. Choosing to filter can be a form of self denial, and I believe self denial glorifies God.

At my core, I am a spiritual being. I am a child of God that wants nothing more than to use my story to glorify Him. We have to understand that we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. [Pastor Tom via Pierre Cardin]

When I live in His spirit, I can rest and grow from there. When I allow His truths to permeate into my narrative, my spiritual, emotional and physical life starts to shift to a place of acceptance, security and wholeness. I see myself as Jesus does. I like and appreciate His version way better than my own. I’m learning to filter my thoughts of self because they have no real authority, they can’t be trusted because they’ve been shaped by the world. I believe the word of God has the ultimate authority, so I believe.

I even believe the things that are off putting to hear. I’ve always equated His truths about me as a type of “compliment” and compliments are hard for me….I doubt they are true, but I’m learning to accept His truths for what they are, the gospel truth. Compliments are a nice expression of praise. The Jesus I know doesn’t hand out niceties. He spells out emphatic declarations with red letters.

Compliments are nice. Jesus is genuine. Period. Done. Finished. No more arguing logic, just believing truth. So to believe in truth, one must have faith; Blind, frizzy headed non- logical faith. So that’s where I am now….knowing that I am God approved. I am the righteousness of Christ….THAT is my narrative. THAT is my story. THAT is what feeds my soul and spirit.

It’s taken me years to fully believe His truth in saying that I am fearfully and wonderfully made; that I am a daughter of the Most High King, that I don’t have to meet any demands, conditions or approvals for Him to look my way in and with love. There is something very beautiful about coming into yourself, thru Jesus. It’s liberating to find myself finally comfortable in my own skin, walking with Him, vs. doubting Him from the safe waters of doubt. Heck no! I’m diving into that truth, head first! And for all you late comers who have a narrative that argues anything but that, remember there is healing in your midst – ya just gotta get to the truth! His life breathing, and soul liberating truth.

So Self-Doubt, coming in at a close second to complainers, I hate a liar.

I have put you to bed with the understanding that the highest form of beauty is when you finally decide to just be yourself.

Truth, Get in the car, we goin’ for a ride!

It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Jeezy

Can I get an amen?! Here I sit three days after Christmas feeling like I’ve been hit by a 18-wheeler that ripped through the air by a cat 5 hurricane named Adulting. Bam! Right between the eyes! Every inch of my 52 year old body hurts. Shout out to all my fellow magic makers because Christmas isn’t for sissies. It ain’t easy trying to be who your not. It leaves you looking like this: a tired, wo-out hagamuffin, shufflin’ around in your new fuzzy socks trying to figure out what the heck just happened. Christmas, that’s what! Life just happened! 

Christmas and everything that comes with it: all the decorating, all the cleaning, all the shopping, all the cooking, all the baking, all the gift wrapping…and delivering, all the weaving of magicalness. I won’t even get into all the other normal life stuff but I will say, it’s all still right there, relentlessly coming for you. Nonetheless, Christmas is my favorite time of year and my home, my happy place. That’s where all the goodness happens. Life is chaotically beautiful. So much so that I’ve decided to enjoy the awesomeness that surrounds me for one more day. I’m your mid-life version of the mom party animal, still celebrating the birth of the one from whom all my blessings flow. I feel pretty confident that I’m the last woman sitting while every other super woman is 15 steps ahead of me, on to the next thing and plans already deployed for festive new year celebrations. I’m cool with it, I’ll catch up tomorrow…

Today, I’m enjoying this worn out robe that babies have spit up on and that has recently wrapped them in mom hugs, doubling as a snot rag to wipe all kinds of tears away. I’m just going to sit and embrace the big and beautiful mess that directly points to my big and beautiful family. I quietly pinch myself for the peace of mind of having my kids under my roof for the first time in a long time. I’m even thankful and only slightly annoyed by the visiting grankitten that is sharpening her claws on the back of my uber cool vintage couch because it means I have a place for my family and friends to comfortably relax together. I’m thankful there wasn’t a mass family walkout around here because of my Christmas gift buying decree: “if you don’t order your own gifts off amazon and have them shipped directly to my front door in a timely manner then you will receive only a check from Santamom.” Looking back, I’m amazed I didn’t get fired! 

I’m thankful for the gift of this funny coffee mug because it means that I have children who get me and love me despite my cornball sense of humor. I’m thankful for the tiny feet that kicked me in the face all night, rendering a peaceful night of rest for one of us while the other feels…well…comatose. Today, I’ll take it because I can. I’m thankful for the coffee that fills this cup with liquid life support and a slow dripped excuse to not move too quickly. I’m thankful for the Motrin I’m going to get to take and the hot water that I, at some point today, promise to bathe in. I would soak in said bath with my new lavender and tea leaf bath bomb but said face kicker and her Barbie tribe already and unabashedly enjoyed that when I turned my back.  I’m thankful that she is innocent enough to think that what is mine, is hers.

As I sit here partying by myself in the wee hours of the morning with my new coffee cup, I can see the sun coming up, reminding me that the Good Lord has afforded me yet another opportunity to hit the reset button and try again. 

I can see the priceless nativity my mom gave me when I became a real grown up. It’s a reminder of what a gift she has always been to me. It’s a reminder of all my blessings. 

I can see the 26 brass angels she passed down to me this year and that now adorn my mantle. They are a reminder to keep my eyes focused on the hope of heaven. They remind me that we will one day again see the ones we have lost and know they will never be taken from us again. 

In my kitchen I see the 42 nutcrackers my twins have collected with each Christmas and it reminds me of stretching and growth. That every season of time, good and bad, is to be cherished because it brings you one step closer to who you were originally created to be.

 I can see 8 stockings hung by the chimney with care, one for each of the biggest loves I have ever known. They remind me of God’s generous promise of abundance; there is always something more in store when it comes to love. 

I can see all the ornaments my grown children hand crafted while in elementary school hanging on the tree….again. My all time favorite? A tiny manger fashioned from tin foil with baby Jesus made from a rolled up Kleenex complete with two eyes and smile dotted in with a purple magic marker. This is a 28 year standing reminder of Love, itself. How Love incarnate came down to save us all from ourselves with a love that eclipses the richness of all other loves. A love so brilliant in color, yet never blinding or overbearing. A love with the generosity of the ocean and the ferocity of a thunderstorm. A love that is as cunning as a warrior yet as gentle as a whisper.  A love that encompasses the joy and gladness of sunshine and the humility of a 30 mile walk down a dirt road. A love that reclines, laughs and eats with friends one minute and nails itself to a cross on our behalf, the next. 

You can learn a great deal about someone and their nature in the way they love, why they love and what they love. Be assured that God loves you with a love that is always in action. Always pursuing, searching, molding, mending, protecting and planning for His most treasured possession, you. I pray this New Year, amidst all the busyness, you take a bit of time to fully receive that gift. Despite any feeble attempt you make at being everything to everyone from a place of love, Jesus reminds us that He already has that covered so no need to beat yourself up if you didn’t perfectly deliver, or think of everything….or if you aggressively played dirty in the family Dirty Santa game, like me. (sorry fam) No worries, friend. You aren’t Jesus, but Jesus got you! This makes me so happy that I’m just gonna sit here and continue to celebrate for one more day. I would add a shot of Baileys to my coffee but it’s waaaay over there, in the cabinet that is 6 steps away. 

Soon enough, and if you haven’t already, we magic weavers get the joy of pulling Christmas down and packing it all up. I’ll do it with a heart of happiness, remembering all the laughter and love shared with old friends, new neighbors and cherished family members. Remembering that with each item, there is a blessing attached to a memory held dear, as well as, a new one created. I’ll do it with hope in my heart that I will get the blessing of doing it all again next year. I’ll do it without complaining, remembering what a gift it is to just have a home.

So for 2019, I choose to be a bit more mindful about how difficult it must be to be Jesus to a world that loves to complain. How it must make His precious heart ache to be constantly misunderstood and chastised by a world who doubts the goodness of your intentions; a world that sometimes doesn’t always notice the love you freely give and the cost associated. To a world that rejects your healing love while fighting over who is worthy enough to receive it. To a world that refuses to embrace your grace and share your humble mercy with others. I’d imagine, it ain’t easy being Jesus. 

I pray the new year finds us all intent in doing our part to change the hurting world. I hope we all think twice about complaining about stuff that doesn’t really matter and are more intentional with words of praise and affirmation. A place where we look at each other as God looks at us – each of us as His child who is cherished, sacred and adored. I pray we can forgive others and have eyes to see them as their best. I hope our attitudes shift from one of only trudging through life to one of excitement and anticipation of the wonderful plans He has for us. I pray we learn to approach His throne of grace with boldness in prayer for one another. 

I pray that we believe what He has promised, to love us like He said He would and to uphold us no matter what. I pray we remember that He promises to give us victory over all our enemies. I pray we live in gratitude for the promise that grants us full forgiveness of our guilty sins. I pray we don’t weeble-wobble on these promises as if they are too fragile to hold us all up.  I pray we will firmly plant ourselves in and on them, confident that God is as good as His word. I pray we will be a people that rise up and shine on, knowing that it is God’s light that empowers the light within each of us. 

Thats my focus for 2019, to live to please only Him. Because every time I try to please everyone else, I exhaust myself completely and end up looking like this hot mess right here. I’m gonna do Polly and let Jesus do Jesus, through me.  Thank you Jesus for paying the price, taking on my burdens and for always coming to my rescue. I thank you for my wacky and overflowing cup. I love you so much. 

I lift up the ones who are walking thru this life without their child, parent, friend, or partner. I pray 2019 brings an abundance of peace and healing to your heart. I pray Gods truth and love will overwhelm your weary soul. I pray you never lose faith in God.

I pray everyone has a happy, safe and prosperous new year full of too many blessings to count. Here’s to living life to the fullest! I pray all this all for His glory. B304A7AB-65E2-4105-91BA-95BFF2CDFDE1