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Healing stretches

On the wall in our traveling house, I have this little scribbled down note. My Dad wrote it, a few years, I think, before he passed away. It's nothing special or profound, just some things he jotted down during one of his therapy sessions, after his shoulder surgery. I hold on to it, because for one, I love to see his hand-writing. I feel like a person's hand-writing is a little glimpse into their soul. It's like being able to look into their eyes. But, I pinned the note up because it reminds me. That life is brutal and rough at times. We all get battered up, but if we want to get better, we will have to work at it. We'll have to do hard things. If we want to heal, we must rest, yes. But eventually we'll have to stretch things that don't want to stretch. We'll be re[...]

For the people with the trauma childhoods

My loves, There will be people in your life, with issues. With deep-seated issues and their conflict within themselves will spill over on you and seep into your skin and profoundly affect you. Is it not your fault. It is not even about you. I work with people all the time who have jacked up childhoods. Trauma is not only the bad scary things that happened to you. Trauma is what should have happened, but didn't. You should have been protected. But weren't.You should have been nurtured. But weren't.You should have been valued.You should have been listened to.But, it didn't happen because there were people in your life with issues. If you feel a little screwed up today, you have some work to do, but you don't have to carry the burden of believing there was always somet[...]

When You Wonder if God Talks Back

In the still and in the quiet, you can hear from God. He can be quite chatty. But, you have to slow your little tail-end down. And you have to decide that it's okay to sit and stare off into space or out the window and just be there. With God. Asking Him your questions. And you have to use a little bit of your imagination. Dallas Willard says that when you pray, Jesus is walking up to you for a conversation. Some people are like, "Don't tell anyone that God will talk back because what if they think God says something that God doesn't really say?" Well, that IS a problem. In fact, I know a guy who is in real trouble right now because he thought God told him a bunch of things that God clearly did not tell him and he got all weird and crazy and freaked a bunch of people out. And[...]

how to make heart connections with strangers

I'm the weird girl who wants to know everyone's story. The check out lady. I want to know her. The guy in the hoodie walking down the road. I want to know him. I think this is Jesus in me, wanting to know, know, know. Connection and relationship -- He is always after that. I remember this one time at Burger King. It was before we traveled and I hadn't been out of the house for an entire week, so I was ready to see other human being's faces. And I had just had my last kid, so was feeling very fragile inside and scared a little of the world. That always happened to me after I carried a human for nine months and introduced them to the world. It felt like nothing was quite safe enough for my new babes. So, when I walked into places, I would constantly observe my surroundings[...]

When you're going through a transition

Just a few days before we left our house for the next several months, we decided to hang some pictures and buy a new rug. I washed and arranged the silk flowers. We finally hung the curtains downstairs. There's something in us that wants to make our space beautiful and bring order to it, even if we aren't there long. A few years ago, when I first learned we would be traveling, I was so nervous. I remember going over and over in my head what I would need to pack. And then I tried to imagine what it would be like to live in a trailer. I spent hours on Pinterest, looking up RV hacks and organizational tips and how to decorate my house on wheels like a gypsy would. My brain was incessantly churning. I didn't sleep as much because of all the thinking. Perhaps that[...]

To the girl who wants to write things

For almost 13 years, I've written on Facebook. And for a little over 10 years, I've written on this here blog. That's a lot of words. But, more than words, it's a lot of striving. And it's a lot of heartfelt giving of my most vulnerable self. To sum up, there have been a lot of winnings and losings. There are many ways and reasons to write. Sometimes we write because the words burn in us and we must scribble them down somewhere. We are driven to make a mark. Proclaim with a post or a picture and a caption, "Look! I EXISTED!" Isn't this part of the human condition? We all want to matter. We want to make a difference here in the atmosphere around us. On the plot of ground where we dwell for a little while. But, the striving part. Oh, that part I want to be free from. The part where you [...]

When You're Not Sure You Wanna Get Out of Bed

God has these adventures for us. I'm increasingly convinced of this. I've been going back to that one Scripture a lot. The one that says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10) I haven't always believed this verse. We are like that, as Christians. Teetering between belief and unbelief. Sometimes we say we live a life of faith, but we are such practical atheists. We don't mean to be, of course. And we wouldn't tell anyone that. Too loudly. When I was in my early twenties, and single, and working at a tooth factory, (it was a dental lab, but I like to call it a tooth factory because it's funner to say,) I went through this deep depression. I'd go home from work and s[...]

How God speaks to us personally, in our ordinary existence

In Bonne Terre, Missouri, God communicated to me through nearly everything. Through the parking lot sign that spoke of thirst and Son-light. Just across the street was a cemetery--a great green field where dead people lay, gravestones marking their one ordinary or extraordinary life. I stood on the edge of that field and thought about the brevity of our bodies and our days. What did those people do with their thirst, while they lived their days under the sun?And what of them now? All those tombs pointing toward the dawn. As if they were eagerly waiting for some Son from another Kingdom somewhere to come rattle their dry bones back to life. God spoke to me through the delicate wings of a butterfly. I sat on my camp chair, there on the pavement next to my trailer, hushed in [...]

In case you're scared to think of heaven

I once took a walk with God out in the rain. It was the coziest walk. The air was just enough warm and the puddles were just enough inviting. I felt so close to God, underneath my umbrella. But, I got blisters. Partly because I was chasing this one cloud and I wandered too far and also because I wasn't wearing the proper shoes. They were my 9 year old's Crocs and I have these unsightly bunions so my bunions rubbed, thus the blisters. I have to admit. I was disappointed that you could go on a walk with God and still get blisters. But alas, this is the human condition. There are bunions and blisters and disappointments, this side of heaven. Speaking of heaven. I'm not entirely for sure, but I am almost mostly confident that there will be chocolate there. Also,[...]

When you want to give up

Some days, you might wake up and want to throw in the towel. You might want to bury your head in the sand, or sit in a quiet, secluded corner and nurse your wounds and hide away from all the people for a while. I know about that feeling.I know about those voices that buzz, "Hey, you. Yeah, you. You're too loud. You're too annoying. People hate you. Why don't you quit? Go ahead, do the world a favor. Go away. You might hear those voices and you might want to decide, "What was I thinking? I can't help anybody anymore. I'm too messed up. I'm too tired. I don't have what it takes. Just let me be." But, then Jesus might come quietly and sit down next to you and offer you His strength. He might offer you His back to carry your burdens. You can sit there, suffering, or you can ta[...]

How to make your home a safe landing place and what to do with your fears

We are home now to our house on the ground. To our grass that was nearly knee high till we finally got it mowed, and our mice who have moved into the attic, and our back door that's about to fall off, and well, to our regular, mess-making chaotic but beautiful life.I keep going for walks out in the yard, thinking, "It's SO great to have a yard! This is my grass! These are our trees! This is our turf! We can dig here and romp around barefoot and plant things but mostly just pull a ton of weeds." It feels SO good. I feel like I've learned some things since we left and moved around a few dozen times last winter and spring. I think God had to take me out of my environment to teach me how to be at peace when I come home.We had a friend over for dinner last night and I didn't even [...]

God is in the details

There's this little town in Michigan, where you can go, every May if you want, where people walk around looking inside tulips. And everybody is happy because it's hard to be sad when you're looking at rows and rows and gardens of tulips. And if you look inside a tulip, you'll see a hexagon with dusty sides. And a six pointed star that's holding up a triangle. I think to myself that God pays such close attention to the minutiae. And I suppose He likes geometry. Speaking of God being concerned about the particulars, I wanted to tell you a story. It happened a little over a year ago, as my Dad was passing away. So, let's back up to about four or so years ago, and there was my Mama, who went to her friend's house and fell in love with a little dog. A dog that looked like[...]

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