June 25, 2010

Getting Real

My motivation to write has been sorely lacking. Hence, the unplanned 2-week break from blogging. But I wanted to come back to the topic of throwing aside.

I've just finished reading Real Food. It was eye-opening, to say the least. Thinking about real (all natural, non-processed) food and incorporating it into our life has created a hunger for everything in my life to be real, genuine. 

Are my relationships (in person and online) genuine?

How many substitutes am I allowing in my life? 

These questions dig deep. Beyond the internet. Beyond other media choices.  They delve into my soul.

Am I the same woman in the choir loft, in the Sunday School room, and in this space as everywhere else?

Am I genuine? 

I begin to study Becoming a Woman of Excellence.  I am challenged by the first memory verse.

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
- Philippians 1:9-11 (ESV)

Approving what is excellent. Scoffing at imitations. Refusing to compromise or settle.

Surely goals of worth.

I grit my teeth against the pain, toss off the hindrances, and keep running.

June 10, 2010

Godly Gals

I was honored when Melissa @ Mel's World asked me to write for her weekly feature, Godly Gals. She's featured some amazing women, and I'm proud to keep company with them.

You can click over here to read the message the Spirit impressed on my heart.

June 9, 2010

Scenes from a Marriage

We hadn't been sitting on the beach very long when I noticed them walk by and sit on the bench behind us. I glanced over, then turned my attention back to the waves. We sat there, watching our girl and her friend play, listening to the rhythmic crashing, holding hands, relaxed.

I stole another glimpse, and noticed how close they were sitting. How comfortable they seemed. How right they looked together.

I lean over, bury my head in the crook of his shoulder. "I want to be them in 40 years," I say.


Everyone in the cottage was busy. The hammock on the back porch, empty. We sneak out to enjoy some time alone. 30 minutes. We talk a little. We laugh a little. We soak in the quietness of those few moments when the world doesn't intrude, and we just are.


We sit on couch, facing each other. My legs casually thrown across his. We talk about another marriage in trouble and our concern for that family. We discuss what we think went wrong. How we don't want that to happen to us. We read our Sunday School lesson. We examined the Word together. We realize that what has kept us from becoming this other couple is God's grace, and His presence in our lives.

These unchartered days in our marriage, a new yet somehow familiar path. There are questions unanswered, possibilities imagined. It quiets my soul to think back on more peaceful times, to remind myself of God's faithfulness. Peaceful seasons are to be cherished, for they seldom last.  When they are gone, two things remain...my husband and my God.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up. - Ecc. 4:9-10 (ESV)

June 8, 2010

Throwing Aside

I don't know where the motivation came from. One afternoon I walked in the door and announced I was going for a walk/run. CJ quickly offered to join me. As we tied our laces, I laid out the plan perfect for someone who hasn't exercised in a long time. We could do this.

Water bottles in hand and determination in our eyes, we set out. The warm-up was more strenuous than I expected. Breaths came quick, sharp. Droplets of sweat dampened my hair. Then it was time to run. Feet pounded pavement. Pain shot through my shins, coursing north and south to my knees and ankles. I made it a tiny distance before slowing down to a walk.

Keep your head up. Look at the back of my shirt. Are you okay? You can do this.

Despite CJ's encouragement, my body could not follow THE PLAN. Too many pounds and too little exercise had brought me to this place where my body screamed in agony. The extra weight a hindrance to the race I wanted to run.

It's not the only struggle I'm facing.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
~Hebrews 12:1-4

God beckons me to strip off and throw aside (Amplified) many things that are weighing me down.


The excess brings no benefit. It distracts my focus. It keeps me from following the One Who spilled His blood that I might live.

No more.

It stops here. Now. Today.

June 2, 2010

A Marriage Prayer

Give him boldness and wisdom to rebuke and exhort me when I am unfaithful to Your Word, when I neglect prayer, fail to redeem the time, speak carelessly, walk foolishly, fail to hope in You, seek great things for myself, become anxious about tomorrow. Do not let him cease praying for me when I am beset with the fear of man, the cares of the world, or the love of money.

I read. Close my eyes. Sigh. Open my eyes.

I re-read.


I want to pray. I do. My mind wants to make this prayer one of my heart. But my heart is desperately sick. It causes the hairs on the back of my neck bristle. It bucks against being tamed. It triggers the innate self-preservation mechanism.

Why should I make these words my own? How can he notice my sins and call them out? He's a sinner himself. He should examine the plank in his own eye before plucking out the speck in mine. There's absolutely no need to invite rebuke. Besides, he doesn't have the right...

I squeeze my eyes shut against the voice of the deceiver, the one who works to convince me of rights and entitlements that have nothing to do with the unshakable Kingdom. In 17 years, I have never uttered such a prayer. Shouldn't I leave well enough alone?

Yet I am resolved to be different. To grow. To stretch. To learn. To pray that my husband will do the same.

The clutch of my palm relaxes, and I set it free. The desire to control, to judge. I see the lines of my hand running deep, mere imitations of the scars He bore. Scars that give Him alone the right to control, to judge. And He has established this covenant of marriage, this protective covering.

In His wisdom and care, He has given me a husband who will not crush my heart in judgment. I can trust him with my heart, just as I trust the Maker of my heart. I said "I Do" to a man who knew my faults and pledged to love me in spite of them. Oh, how he has!

In the quiet still, I know the truth of the matter. It is only the sound of my voice speaking that I fear, as if that would somehow make the words more true. For though I have never prayed these words, my husband has obeyed them. Even when I have not obeyed them, he has. Thank You, Lord. He has.

I bow my head. The words feel uncomfortable on my lips. My heart quickens, tries to resist. I press on as I begin to pray...

holy experience