Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Dear Lady in the Truck

Ephesians 6:18
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

I was in Wal-Mart today. And no this isn't a story about someone dressed for their trip. This happened in the parking lot.

After gathering my purchases I went back to the truck. I was organizing myself for the next half of my work day when something caught my eye.

It was a lady next to me. In a pick up truck. Having one of those phone calls where it feels like if you gesture and point hard enough the other party will get it. 

I couldn't hear her. I didn't need to. I have been in her seat many times before.

Trying so hard to explain something so important to someone who either can't or won't listen. 

Her frustration radiated out of the open truck window. Her gestures ranged through the spectrum of making points to waving off arguments. She held her head. She face palmed. She held her phone up to her face and shook her head. 

What did I do? What we are all supposed to do - I prayed. I took some time and I prayed there for that lady. I prayed that God would have her words be heard, her crisis be handled, that she would know Him in a real and personal way. That she would feel comforted. 

I prayed for her. I prayed for me. 

I have been there. Only last week. Being yelled at. Trying to be heard. Being completely shouted down. Trying to do my job. Sigh

I have been her. And if you are honest you have too.  We all have. 

I wish I could have told her things would be okay - but I didn't know they would.

I wish I could have told her I understood - but I didn't know how.

I wish I could have given her a coffee, some chocolate, a hug - but it wasn't the time.

I am so glad I did what I did. I prayed. And I trust that God heard my prayer, and that woman's heart and day were touched by Him. 

It always bothers me when people say, There's nothing to do but pray now.  

It should be, First thing we need to do is pray people. Who's with me?

The most powerful and amazing thing we can do for another person is to hold them up in prayer. 

Yes it was easy to pray for a stranger in a parking lot. As much as I related to her, it was rather tidy. Anonymous - me and God. Not so easy to pray for the person who only days ago was yelling at me. Nor for the person who choose to yell at me the following day. Not so easy to pray for someone when they are making YOUR day harder. BUT THAT IS WHAT WE MUST DO.

So here I sit, and I am praying for forgiveness for my reluctance to pray for people who are all up in my grill and working hard at making the day difficult. (Yes, there are people I am sure that wake up feeling like: today is the day I ruin another's day)

Dear Lord,

Please give me a prayerful heart. A heart that will hold up the difficult and hurtful people as easily as I hold up those I love and strangers I pass in my day. Forgive me for not praying as quickly for the challenging people and situations as I do for the easy to be thankful for times. 

Thank you Lord. For the blessings of today. For the things that make us stronger and for those things which pass us by.


Who are the hard people in your life to pray for? How do you pray for them? Can we pray together?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Why this photo matters #Untangled

1 Peter 3:3-4 [Full Chapter]
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

I am humbled and honoured to be a part of an amazing book, and a more amazing community of women. #Untangled


While in the book I wrote about an entirely different tangle, that doesn't mean I have only one. Oh how boring would THAT be?

No I have a whole section, years and acres of old barbed wire and broken posts, filled with tangles waiting for me. And yet I am learning how to avoid them. To avoid the tangles.

Sometimes I only need to brush a sharp tip to avoid it, other times I am wrapped tight and cutting myself free wire by wire. Bleeding. Crying. And some come from a deeper place - childhood.

And the one tangle I live with, I feel is wrapped around my insides. Grown over and still cutting from within...is this.

How I totally DO NOT meet any of the physical expectations I was raised with. Wandering about without make up. Without a girdle. Or even sucking it all in. Without 'lose weight' diets. No calories counted. 

This photo is important, my darling son. So full of love and life, and joy. And so conscious of what society says about bodies, boy and girls. Learning that able bodied means more than what a body looks like. Learning that being active, eating healthy and having fun is more important than how someone thinks you should look for their ideal. Their comfort. 

So this photo is important....but the one below is the one that matters.

This photo matters. Why?  Because I didn't delete it. OH but I WANTED to! Or any of the others my sweet friend took yesterday. We were having such a grand time at the field trip. Mama's enjoying fun with the children. Truly laughing together, as friends, and with our children. Having something amazing. We had FUN.

This photo matters. Because it isn't carefully staged. Sucked in. Angled. Set up to look nice. Because it is THAT moment. THAT laugh. THAT slide.

This photo matters. Because of what you don't see. You don't see the struggle of a lifetime with body image, fear of looking bad in a photo. You don't see the delicate balance of healthy, in check auto immune disorder and able bodied Mama living life with beloved husband and son. You don't see those things. You don't know the counted steps and little victories.

This photo matters. Because it is a place I thought I would NEVER. NEVER. EVER BE. 

This photo matters because I am comfortable, finally, with me. Candid. Laughing. Living life. Having fun. 

This photo matters because that day I showed my son that having fun, being kind and being able to laugh was important. Not how I looked in my clothes. Or how the camera caught each roll. Not how I wasn't like the other Mama's. I still think they all looked great, you did girls. You really did!

He got to have a fun day, in his words: BEST DAY EVER!  When I asked him what made it so 'best day ever' special his answer was something that brought me to tears. Because, Mama, we had fun together. You slided. I slided. You pedaled go carts. So did I. We did it together. 

So I won't delete it. I won't even wince too much when I scrapbook it. Or share it here. It's out there. That's me. Laughing as I go down a slide. Not missing a single fun thing because I'm tangled up in something like how I look. Or how someone thinks I look. Or should look. Or should act. 

Every tangle can be untangled. Sometimes strand by strand. Delicate work. Sometimes a sharp cutter slices through. Sometimes we have to wiggle through, and bear the healing of the cuts so the scars can remind us that we are His first. And He loves us. 

No shirt size, shoe size or pant size will change how God loves you.

No ability or disability will make Him love you more, or less.

He doesn't desire anything from us but our love. 

Grace. Love. Freely given to us. Not earned. 

Not bought except by Jesus' blood, once and for ALL. FOR ALL.

FOR ALL. You. And you. And you way in the back feeling tangled up, and small. And you. And me. 

Join us in community at: http://untangledwomen.com/ 
or find us on Facebook.

Just to be 'real' and honest. This photo is one I would happily share, and there is NOT ONE THING wrong with it except that I am comfortable with it. And I need to be REAL WITH IT and know it's my best side.  The side I am happy and comfortable sharing. Not because it is how I want you to see me, but it is how I want to see me

Monday, January 26, 2015

Brahma Calves and Arm Bars

We used to raise Brahma cross cattle, and one year a rodeo company wanted to borrow some calves for tie down roping (calf roping). If you have ever watched a roping at a branding, or at a rodeo, you know what happens. The horse and cowboy chase, they throw a loop and if they are lucky it lands around the neck of the calf. The horse stops, the calf falls down to be treated, branded, etc.

But this time something different happened! The calves felt the rope tighten and they turned around to run back up the rope towards the horse.

If you know anything about calf roping horses you know they love their routine and they don't appreciate things like misses, stumbles or falls. It can unravel them if something completely wild happens! 

The whole rodeo went awry! The horses balked and bolted, the cowboys tripped and cussed. The calves chased. Snorted. Ducked their heads and tried to bunt anyone who got in their way.

I always cheered for the calves, and this was one time they beat the odds. They did the unexpected and changed everything!

One thing, no one ever used Brahama calves for roping again. And those horses took a few head to calm down. And those cowboys never assumed that a run would go the way the others in the past had.

Our son loves jiu jitsu. He has practiced it for years, and is a yellow belt.  At his new gym his Sensei has brought out a fighting spirit, a determination, a real passion in him.  He is practicing, sparring and fighting like never before.

He is also learning to gauge his opponents, and use their habits and weaknesses against them. Most people who learn a tap out technique like an arm-bar tend to use it as often as they can. It seems unbeatable. Own the arm, own the body is what we learn.

But you also learn that if you get caught in an arm bar you need to move towards your opponent. To make room to counter their move. Moving towards the pressure instead of pulling back gives you room to move. To escape. 

Like running up the rope, rolling into an armbar or other hold can give you a space to make a new move.

Now I know you are wondering, how does this have anything to do with our walk with Jesus?

Lately, for me, a lot.

Like a Chinese finger trap, the more I struggle against certain things the more they seem to cling, to grasp, to tighten up on me.  The more I pull back from them the more they hold me tight.

In leaning back I am struggling against my pride, my sin, my __________________.  And I am struggling against God.

But what if I lean in. Relax. Let God show me the next move and the path away?  Instead of losing my cool. Or feeling like fighting. Struggling with frustration. With people and their agendas. 

Instead of giving all my energy to fight against it, what if I just surrender my struggle and let God show me His way?  His path and not my own?

Human nature encourages us to go the easy way. The path is wide there. Paved. Poisoned. Filled with traps. Deadly.  Human nature tells us to fight against this. Fight against that.

God tells us to let Him fight for us. God tells us not to worry. God tells us to trust. To do as He guides us to.  

To run back up the rope. To roll into the attempted arm-bar. To pray instead of argue. To choose grace over revenge.

To be like water and wear down the stone by persistence instead of brute force. To pray for hearts and hands instead of shouting and wielding fists.

To stop being mad at early mornings, instead cherishing the quiet moments before the wild ones awaken.  To stop being frustrated that they won't do it my way, but to be glad for the efforts of genuine heart and love.  To treasure the moments by moving into them, instead of pulling back and away to the next thing on the list of things to do.

What are you pulling and fighting against?  What are you struggling with alone?  Go up the rope! Roll into the arm-bar. God will show you the way once you stop struggling. We have to be still for Him to fight for us. Be still sisters. Be still brothers. And when He says SHOUT! walls will come down!