Believe It Or Not, God Doesn’t Care

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While there once was space in my life for festive crafts, immaculate tablescapes, and the exchange of small talk over beloved recipes at holiday dinner parties, my mind has been preoccupied with far more pressing issues this year…

Like managing the wave of anxiety that rushes over me when I step into a room of new faces… the overcoming need I feel to BREAK for the bathroom – anywhere! – in order to retreat from the ‘holiday cheer’ and uncontainable joy that seems so distant, almost offensive, to me these days… To sit amongst the Charmin and to weep with abandon all while asking God the most poignant questions, ...What are you doing in my life?!? …Why am I here – both on this Earth, and like a loser, hiding in the bathroom right now?? … And what’s it going to take to put Humpty Dumpty back together yet AGAIN??

So this season, you’ll have to excuse me. While I realize how incredibly thankful you are for the Pumpkin Spice Latte held warm in your hands, those cozy nights spent sitting ‘round a cracking fire, and the crisp autumn walks you share with your loved ones in tow- MY gratitude lies in only one thing:

When my life is in ruins, and the state of my heart is seemingly unsalvageable, God doesn’t care!

… He fights for me anyway!

This year I am thankful God doesn’t flinch at what I am up against, or cut his losses and deem my life a lost cause – because believe me, He should have! This year, I am filled with gratitude knowing the Lord has never left my side and that He will continue to use my darkest days as a platform to show He is bigger than my most daunting circumstances!

Even better, is the fact this same God is available to you – and He doesn’t care how hopeless of a situation you have found yourself in today!

3 Reasons Your Most Devastating Circumstances Aren’t Worrying God:

1.  He Knew People Would Let You Down  

Growing up my Mom always taught me, “it’s only you and God in the circle…” because the truth is, Every. Single. Person. no matter the relationship built or the bonds forged, has the capacity to let you down. God on the other hand, NEVER will.

In Psalm 118:6-8 it says, “The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? The Lord is for me, He will help me… It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people.”

He knew we would put our hope in people, and even more that they would fumble carelessly with our hearts and let us down in ways we could never have imagined. Yet when we choose to put our trust in Him – and only Him – we have no reason to fear, only reason to wait expectantly for Him to help us.

2. God Has A Plan To Give You Victory Over What Is Threatening To Take You Down

In Isaiah 43 the Lord says, “…For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness, I will create rivers in the dry wastelands…”

God sees the perilous journey ahead of you, He sees what you are up against and promises to make a pathway through the desolate state of your life, and to create rivers in the most ravaged parts of your heart!

I love how David describes his journey through the wilderness and even more, how the Lord rescued Him,

“ … They surrounded and attacked me… But the Lord!

They swarmed around me like bees; they blazed against me like a crackling fire… But the Lord!

My enemies did their best to kill me, BUT THE LORD RESCUED ME. The Lord is my strength and my song. HE has given me victory.Psalm 118:11-14

Swarming problems…unrelenting opposition…unbearable circumstances that ‘blaze against you like a crackling fire…’ those are the stakes God likes to play at! A journey SO perilous, that WHEN He rescues you, you would know with complete certainty it was the Lord who gave you victory – because ONLY He could!

3. God Promises To NEVER Stop Rescuing You  

Joel 5:19 says, “From six disasters He will rescue you; even in the seventh, He will keep you from evil…”

Know this: The Lord isn’t giving up on you anytime soon (…or EVER!) He doesn’t care how bleak your future looks or how many times your marriage, your finances, or your sanity have been on the verge of ‘disaster.’ The Creator of the Heavens and Earth – who effortlessly made a way through the impossible when He parted the Red Sea, and who breathed Jesus back to life – is the same God that is working on your behalf. And you can rest knowing when you place your confidence in Him, He will rescue you time and time again (and that He doesn’t need anyone’s help in doing so!)

So this season be thankful God doesn’t care. He doesn’t care what you are up against, how you got there, who let you down and what you did or did not do to deserve it. He loves you… He sees you… and HE’S NOT DONE until you are standing victorious over your darkest days!

…Now, THAT is something I can be thankful for!  #Holla

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Weeping With Jesus

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Perched high on a balcony, taking in my last New York City sunset, I admitted to God what I could no longer hide: that in spite of everything I was eternally grateful for, I really was just so, so sad…

That in simply a mere year and a half of living on the East Coast – the place where God had so clearly led my family and me – I had seemingly lost everything I held most dear.

With tears streaming down my face, I watched as the setting sun painted majestic hues above the East River sky, and I questioned aloud if such beauty could ever be restored in my life…my home…my heart…or my marriage…

But it was then that I realized: God wept with me.

There’s a story told in the Gospel of John in which Mary and Martha lost something precious to them also – their brother, Lazarus.

In their desperation they had sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was sick and they needed Him to come. Yet upon hearing the news, Jesus did something surprising…

Nothing!

It says, …Although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was…”

Though admittedly He loved them, Jesus did NOT rush to their rescue when they felt they needed Him the most!

And in doing so, He single-handedly allowed what Mary and Martha held most dear to be lost!

When Jesus finally did arrive, Mary was overwhelmed with emotion and fell to His feet saying, Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died…” Oddly enough, her words echoed much of my prayer overlooking the city that night:

…Lord, if you had only been here…my marriage wouldn’t have crumbled…my health wouldn’t have deteriorated…my life wouldn’t have imploded…

…Lord, if you had been here, maybe then I wouldn’t have lost EVERYTHING…

But then it goes on to say, “When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled within him, and he was deeply troubled…

then Jesus wept.” 

Understand this: Jesus didn’t weep because he was overwhelmed at the magnitude of what Mary and Martha were faced with. In fact, He knew with certainty that the story wouldn’t end there and that the plot would change dramatically once He entered the scene. (Which He proved, when just moments later, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead!)

Nor did Jesus weep worrying that His timing was off and that He should have come sooner…He knew devastating circumstances would come, and He allowed it!

Instead, Jesus wept because He saw their pain, and because He loved what was lost just as much as they did…

And though it may not feel like it at times, God sees the extent of the pain we are faced with today.

‘Deep anger wells within him…’  when He sees the broken promises you have endured, and the scars you bear from your heart being trampled on mercilessly.

‘He is deeply troubled…’  when your most sought-after plans derail, and everything you love has seemingly taken a nose-dive into a dark abyss, obliterating your every hope and dream upon impact.

…And it is then, that He weeps with us.

Not out of fear of what we are up against or because He’s worried He doesn’t have an elaborate plan in place to rescue us. Jesus weeps because He sees YOU.

He sees you falling at His feet like Mary, defeated and wailing at the thought of all that is lost. He watches as you writhe and question where He was when your heart broke, and whether His plan for your life can be trusted moving forward…

And just like in the story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, ‘Although he loves us…’  there will be times where God stays where He is – even when we feel we need Him the most!

Times when it would seem He has let our most frantic and desperate calls go straight to voicemail. And other times where He allows us to take a few wobbly steps on our own, watching as we grasp at anything in an attempt to steady ourselves, only to have us fall to our face before sweeping us up in His sovereignty.

BUT – and you can mark my words – while Jesus may not arrive IMMEDIATELY, He will come to your rescue EVENTUALLY! And when He does, what God allowed to be taken, HE WILL RESTORE!

So until we are standing in awe of God’s deliverance and basking in the intricate way He has pieced our lives back together, rest assured knowing we do not weep alone…

We are weeping with Jesus.

Krista Signature

When God Drags You Through The Wilderness

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“Get up right Now!!!! ”

Startled, my eyes opened in a fury, darting across the room with more questions than I had gone to sleep with …What time is it? …What day is it? … Please Lord, tell me it was all just a terrible nightmare…

Still disoriented, I strained to make out the figure still standing in the doorway, the lanky frame of my 3 year old slowly coming in to focus. I noted the stern look on her face was one I had never seen before…

No mo’ sleeeeepin’, Mama! Get up RIGHT NOW!!!” she demanded.

Out of duty I complied, positioning myself upright in bed as I continued my search for answers long after my daughter dashed down the hallway praising my awakening.

My eyes fixated on the nightstand by my side, a bottle boldly labeled ‘PAIN RELIEF’ brought the events of the last 36 hours flooding back…confessions made in the dark… phone calls to different timezones that began with, ”I don’t even know how to say this…” and sitting alone on a balcony feeling the paralyzing weight of decisions that would have to be made, and yet ZERO willpower to begin making them. 

As I recounted the events of that night, I picked up the bottle of pills, recalling each of the 33 hours I had been too tormented to sleep… 

The piercing screams….

The sobs that went on into the night while my husband looked on helplessly… 

The hours that felt like days, watching the stillness of the city transform with the rising of the sun into a bustling spectacle that offered no more than the cruelest reality; that the world never stops, even though mine so devastatingly had…

The two Tylenol PM’s that had been the only conceivable way to silence my racing thoughts…

I rolled the bottle around in the palm of my hand, pondering the irony of its promise to provide “Pain Relief” when in no way could the contents relieve me of the pain I had been confronted with. 

I put the weight of my head in my hands, tightly closed my eyes, and declared to the universe that if for the last 6 months I had been ‘breaking,’ than this final blow had left me shattered.

Game over.

I had only one question left for God, 

“… How did I get here?

His response was as infuriating as it was comforting,

“… I led you here.” 

In Exodus it says, “God did not lead them [the Israelites] along the main road even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land… God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.” (13:17-18)

You see, God led his people tirelessly through the wilderness, to a place of complete hopelessness. Even more alarming, He planned it that way!

He goes on to address the people of Israel by saying, “…And once again I will harden Pharaoh’s heart and he will chase after you. I have planned this in order to display my glory.” (14:3)

It’s as if God is saying, “Listen, I know you thought you were in the clear (finally free from a lifetime of slavery and all that ish) but mark my words, its going to get BAD! Here’s whats on the agenda: I’m going to take you on an emotionally taxing, physically exhausting journey through the wilderness until you reach a place of complete and utter hopelessness and have no where left to turn… Oh, and if thats not bad enough, it’s going to get WORSE because I am going to have Pharaoh chase you!!!

P.S. I planned it that way!

XOXO,

God

… Sound familiar? 

 But it’s what He said next that struck me most, “…My great glory will be displayed through Pharaoh, and his troops, his chariots, and his charioteers…” (14:17)

In other words, God will reveal his mighty power through the very thing that has us on our knees and is threatening to take us down! 

He knows what we are up against – be it broken marriage vows, heartbreaking infertility, or a paralyzing journey through depression – whatever it is, it is in our most terrifying times that God will point us back to how strong and miraculous HE is in spite of those circumstances, and maybe even because of them!

Could He have led us down an easier route? Without a doubt.

But two things are certain: Had He not dragged the Israelites kicking and screaming through the wilderness, (1) they would have both avoided their problem altogether by bypassing the Red Sea completely AND (2) missed the chance to be front-and-center to one of the greatest miracles of all time when God made a way straight through their biggest problem by parting the Red Sea!

So when it feels like God has taken us on a roundabout journey… through the wilderness… to a place of complete hopelessness… recognize that just like the Israelites, we are also on the edge of something equally MIRACULOUS!

Because our God is greater than what we are up against, and more relentless than the enemy pursuing us! He is able to RESCUE your struggling marriage and your dwindling happiness, and like a mighty warrior, The Lord will FIGHT for you to overcome your most overwhelming addictions and illnesses!

What you have been led to, our God will see you through. So let us not cower in fear at the circumstances racing towards us, or crumble at the sight of the sea of hopelessness we are up against…

With God as our strength, we can stand our ground, face our greatest fears head-on, and watch for the miracle to unfold.

… Because that’s what God does when he drags you through the wilderness. 

Krista Signature

If I Could Write You A Letter

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If I could write you a letter,

I’d start by acknowledging the bitter cold truth that no matter the strength of the relationship built, the good intentions expressed or the pinky-promises exchanged, everyone has the capacity to let you down. Everyone! You can either be anchored in that reality or crippled by it.

May you choose to love fearlessly anyway.

I’d tell you that while you’ll spend the first third of your life searching tirelessly for the person you’re going to marry, you will likely spend the rest of it working TWICE as hard to stay married. Upon realizing this, you will likely want to right hook Cinderella to the throat for not telling you such a thing! And believe me, you wouldn’t be the first one…

I’d tell you no amount of makeup, self-tanner, or fake eyelashes can make you feel worthy enough after a broken heart. At best, they will only serve to make a greater mess once the tears flow. (Mark my words: they will FLOW!)

But when they do, remember even the strong break – but the STRONGER aren’t afraid to admit it. Choosing to be vulnerable in the midst of your brokenness always feels like weakness but it looks like strength; sword-wielding, courage-blazing, dragon-slaying STRENGTH!

So never apologize for the state of your heart.

In the event that one day happiness feels so far from you, when you truly forget what it once felt like to savor the warmth of the sun on your skin, converse effortlessly, belly laugh to the point of keeling over or wake up with anticipation; just know there will be people predestined to remind you happiness is awaiting you in the future, so long as you “just hang on a little longer…”

Which you will do rather reluctantly.

But someday you will be glad you listened.

Someday… But for now, you will sob so hard you’ll fear your heart might give out. But it won’t. And that will always surprise you – and on an especially dark day will even piss you off!

Again those said individuals will remind you, “God will never leave or forsake you” and again you will struggle to believe them. Because while you cry to the point of hyperventilation into the palms of your hands – tears streaming down your face – you will also believe wholeheartedly that God is looking down on youand doesn’t care!

But one day you will come to know God does care …only to forget it once again…

Lather, rinse, repeat.

In those moments where God seems like “the Big-Bad-Bully” on the playground who deviously ties the already-untied-shoelaces-of-your-life together so He can laugh sinisterly as you fall to your face. When you feel beat up, worn down, and rage wells inside you – tell Him!

God can handle it. ALL of it!

He can handle the “…HOW DARE YOU’s???” and the “…WHERE ARE YOU’s???”  The threats you make and the fists you shake! He hears your most private pleas for the pain to be taken, for the strength needed to endure even just one… more… day and all those nights you are faced with the (often insurmountable) task of simply falling asleep.

So pray honestly. Always!

One day we will all find ourselves at the same place in life; whilst while we are so genuinely happy for others, we are also so so SO debilitatingly sad for ourselves.

When that day comes, just remember your closet is your best friend; it’s always there and will never tell of the countless times it finds you crying in a heap amidst the darkness and the denim in the name of broken dreams and hopeless nights (…It also won’t divulge you secretly aren’t THAAAT happy for others!) 

You see, if I could write you a letter for the moment you find yourself slipping farther and farther away, for the moment you look in the mirror and worry the person looking back at you is becoming less recognizable to the person you once were:

I’d tell you in time you WILL get through this. That although you may not feel like it, you WILL stand triumphant over your darkest days.

Because My Love, you are so much stronger than you know.

***  A letter of hope and understanding for the day my daughter goes through the kind of heartache I am faced with today. May the Lord comfort her – and all of you – every step of the way, in much of the same way He has always comforted me  ***

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This one’s for the Idiots.

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I got to be honest. There are so many things I can’t say right now, so many feelings I can’t fully describe, and so many situations and people who I can’t expose. Even more, so many reasons why I find it absolutely. useless. to write.

But at the chance that there is someone – anyone – who is out there struggling like me to find God amidst the storm they are in, I will sit down and write. It aint gon’ be fancy, and I have little to no intention of editing this to death, I just want to share a straightforward story about how the Lord showed up in the nick of time… and made my jaw drop.

It was a couple of days before my 30 days was up and around the same time the panic started setting in, as I wondered whether God would show up or not and move mountains in my life? I was reading in the book of Luke about a man named Zechariah, who had an angel of the Lord came to him.

The angel began by encouraging Zechariah by saying,“Don’t be afraid, the Lord has heard your prayer…” 

The angel then continued by outlining (if you ask me, a mind-boggling amount) of things that the Lord promised He would do in Zechariah’s life:

– that despite their old age that his wife would become pregnant with a son.

– that his name would be John and he would bring great joy and gladness

– that John could never touch alcohol

– that God would use John in amazing ways (which he went on to describe in detail) and that he would possess the same spirit and power of Elijah

-Oh, and his favorite color would be indigo (Not really, I was just making sure you were still paying attention!)

There is no denying the miracle it would be to have an angel of the Lord sent to you! To have the Lord make promises concerning your future! Imagine what fears it could calm… what questions it would answer… the hope it would give to face tomorrow!

But Zechariah’s response?

Buckle your seat belts for this one…

“How can I be sure this will happen?”

What an idiot! I nearly slammed my Bible shut at the thought!

REALLY ZECHARIAH!?!?! A FRIKKIN ANGEL comes to you! FROM GOD! Making promises! BIG PROMISES! …And you whine and question!!?!?! 

What I wouldn’t do to have the same thing happen to me!!! 

At the exact same time a loose sheet of paper fell from the pages of my Bible. Squinting to make out the words, I picked up the familiar list and brought it close enough so I could scan what it is that I wrote.

(Insert: Jaw droppage!)

No way…

it couldn’t be…

But THERE IT WAS!

A list… of all the things God has promised ME in the last 60 days!

A list I had started the day everything fell to pieces and when I’d sworn off all books and well-intentioned advice and DEMANDED to hear directly from Him! A list that clearly states what God said… when He said it… and the verses I found it in!

It reads:

– “I will rescue you, I will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

– “Come to me, I can be trusted”

– “I know you don’t know what to do but I will give you wisdom”

– “I am good and my plan for your life is perfect”

– “Continue praying and never give up!”

And yet in my faithlessness I also respond, “But, but, but… How can I be sure this will happen?” 

…How can I be sure that God will fight my battles? That He will guide my every step? How can I be sure that He is listening to my every prayer and that His plan for my life is perfect? 

And just like Zechariah, I’m an idiot! 

We all are sometimes…

We fail to see on a regular basis is that our God is good even when our circumstances are so very very bad. That He is a God that can be trusted even when no one else around can be. That while it’s true our lives may look like a jumbled mess, and we may not know what to do, that He will always give us the wisdom we need. Even when there is no more fight left…and no more prayers left to pray… that He will fight for us (and He will win!) so long as we never give up!

And those are promises!

So for all the idiots out there like me…

May we rest in the comfort knowing that we need not be afraid, because the Lord has heard our every prayer…

and He WILL do what HE promised! 

“You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what He said” Luke 1:45

Krista Signature

 

It’s Not God’s Fault

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I enter stage right and take the platform. My heart is pounding, and my hands are clammy. All eyes are on me. As I fumble to adjust the microphone, my eyes lock with yours, and a deep sigh escapes me.

“….How are we doing so far?”

I look out at the audience who were all crazy enough courageous enough to join me in my 30 Day Challenge– A challenge to quit thinking, quit talking, and quit trying to solve our problems! To instead, give it to God and ask him to show up and do a miracle in 30 days!

My eyes catch a group of you who respond to my question by sporadically jumping up and down and whoo-hooing like you are front and center at a Katy Perry concert… If this is you, you already feel God working in your life, and can barely contain your excitement for how He will continue to show up for you throughout this month!

I am with you!

Others of you are somewhere in the back. I can’t make out your faces because you are rocking back and forth in fetal position, and are murmuring things under your breath that I can’t quite make out. You desperately know you need to quit, have courageously decided you were going to quit, but equally question whether its humanly possible… If this is you, you likely know exactly how many more days, hours, and seconds are left of your 30 day challenge (I have 16 days, 11 hours, and 46 seconds!) You have also likely gone to bed before the sun set a handful of times last week, because you realized if you couldn’t talk or think about your problems, than really…what is there left to do?

Deep Sigh. I am with you….

Then there are those of you who are breaking for the doors the second you see me hit the stage. You have already adamantly thrown up your hands and QUIT ‘quitting’ and have yet to decide if you are more mad at me for suggesting such ridiculousness, or at yourself, for in a moment of bad judgment, following suit…. If this is you, then you’d likely come hunt me down if it weren’t for the fact that I live with 8.4 million other people, and the chances you will ever find me are minimal, at best!

I get it, I do. The truth is, I’m kinda ticked at me too!

So I’m with you…

ALL OF YOU!

And have danced between all 3 emotions, over and over! In the last 4 hours!

But no matter where you are at, or what you chose to let go of last week-

You should know,

It’s not Gods fault.

In the last couple months, I have been anything but shy about airing my frustrations with the Lord. In my desperation I have demanded answers, questioned why, and wondered what I could have done to deserve this. If you recall, it was only two weeks ago, that I screamed at God, punched pillows, and made no apologies….

But what I realized this week is that my current reality is not the ‘Divine torture chamber’ that I made it out to be! (Torturous, yes.. Divine, no…) and that the answer to every question I screamed and sobbed into my pillow late all those nights (and of course, before I ‘quit’ all that!) was right there all along…

in James 1:16-17  it says,

“Don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.”

My most poignant questions had asked God: …Why me? …Where were you? …Why would you do this?

The Lord’s response: You got it all wrong my child… I am good. my plan is perfect. I am the creator of all beauty, and though your circumstances and emotions may change (often abruptly) I never will.

I believe this verse begins with a warning to not be misled, because He expects that some day we will be! That when things go disastrously wrong that He knows we may lash out at Him in response…. That we may demand answers and throw punches…. That we won’t know where to turn or who to blame…

…And that ultimately, we will get it all wrong!

You see, the last couple of days have been a disaster; a barrage of spills, and toys! …Bubbles were dumped on the rug, UNO cards were found in my bed, pennies were eaten, and it seemed like every stuffed animal got a ‘bath!’ (…and yet, now that I think about it, I don’t know if my daughter ever did!)

When I couldn’t bear to step on, yet another Lego, and was one more “uh-oh Mama!” away from losing my – already dwindling – sanity, I made the decision to shut it ALL down! No more tv… no more “shnacks”… and FREAKIN. NO. MORE. TOYS!!!!

To be expected my 2 year old threw herself on the ground, kicking and screaming in refusal. Once her yelling had died down, she then proceeded to sulk and roam around aimlessly, not knowing what to do with herself amidst the space and silence.

Moments later though, and too my surprise, her whimpering turned to laughter!

I looked to find that she had ascended her Father’s back, and had completely transformed him into a “Ca-BYYYYY-Oh!” (learning also, that if you kick him under the ribs that he will indeed, go faster!)

I watched as she squealed in delight, taking turns between riding him like a horse, and plopping into his lap to glide down his legs like they were a slide.

That day my daughter learned something new (and wildly entertaining) about her father! Something she may not have fully grasped about him, had she kept pouting, or the distractions been present.

We have the same opportunity, in each moment, and through each emotion, of this 30 day Challenge!

And while I hesitate to kick my Heavenly Father under the ribs (…though I secretly wish He would move faster!) I have found that it often takes quieting my distractions, and putting my ‘mess’ in it’s place. It takes adamantly deciding to quit questioning, quit kicking and screaming, and – for the LOVE – to quit sulking, so that I too, can learn more about my Father.

To learn something I had all wrong…

That while our circumstances are unquestionably bad, our God is forever good in spite of them.

While our emotions may change on a whim, that our God never will.

And while He often allows pain and uncertainty in this life to come, that we can be just as sure His goodness and perfect plan will follow suit.

So don’t be misled…

It’s not God’s fault.

Krista Signature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Quit (And Why You Should To!)

I QUIT

I am an above average quitter. In my years, I have quit a variety of things, not limited to cheerleading, playing the flute, couponing, and subscribing to Netflix. 4 times!

I have also quit Jillian Michael’s Level 2 more than I’d like to publicly admit, and am known to quit checking my voice mails once the number gets too high (…currently there are 9!)

I also semi annually (Read: Every other week) consider quitting writing. Like, forever.

But this last week I quit something I will never regret.

It started when I avoided a phone call from my dad.

I knew he was just checking up on me, but I literally COULD NOT talk about this any longer – Not about my problems, not about what I feel I should do in the future, and/or when I should do it… Notta! Even small talk was out of the question!

“That’s exactly why I need to talk to you,” he responded, “I have an idea…

He had my attention as he began to describe an intriguing idea that was as profound, as it was nutty.

… An idea to QUIT!

To throw your hands up, and give up! To quit talking, quit thinking, to even quit WRITING about my problems! …Don’t lie, you just let out a sigh of relief… And if it makes you feel better, I’m just as sick of hearing my sob story as you are! 😉

You see, people all over the world ‘fast’ from things like Facebook, vanilla lattes, or the likes of Salted Caramel Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts, but that night my Dad and I made a decision to fast… from our PROBLEMS!

Even further, we are asking BEGGING God to do a miracle in our lives in the next 30 days! Because boy, do we ever need one!

Every time our trials creep into our minds (which is on average every 23.6 seconds) we will do our best to stop thinking about it and give it to God and ask Him to work a miracle on our behalf…

Every time those closest to us check in and ask how we’re doing, to ask them instead, to lift us up in prayer every time they think to ask…

Every time the panic sets in, and our hearts get restless… when we can’t make sense of this mess and can’t help but question what God is doing… we will throw ourselves at the Lord’s feet each and every time, in hopes that by the end of the month we will see Him more clearly.

In James 1:5-6 it says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God and He will give it to you…”

It’s simple, just ask! And in my case, if you need 5 TRILLION TONS of wisdom ask over and over, every second of every day, for 30 days straight! 😉

It goes on to say, “…but when you ask Him be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver.”

The only requirement to gain the wisdom that we are so desperately searching for, is to trust IN GOD ALONE – Not in our common sense, (which I pride myself in) not in our preferences, our ability to ‘fix’ things, or make good decisions. Not in our closest friends, our parents, or our spouse. In Christ. PERIOD!

In the last couple months I have found this to be true, because while I have an amazing support system in my life (and equally amazing blog readers!) in spite of their undeniable love and support, constant phone calls, great advice and care packages, (Double Stuffed Oreos anyone?!) I am still just as stuck as I was before, and haven’t budged even in the slightest!

While I ultimately desire the life the Lord has for me – and while in the past I have followed Him devotedly – this current journey He has me on, has me traveling uncharted territory, out of my comfort zone, and even more, against my will! I am scared to death, and let’s be honest, if there were a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card, I’d play it… Like, yesterday!

So the question is, if I’m up against the wall, with few options and even less hope…

if I’m paralyzed in fear and at the end of my rope…

Than seriously, why am I still trying?

Why not quit?

Why not give it to the one who is far more qualified to get me out of this blunder? The one who doesn’t tremble at the magnitude of the mountain I’m up against? The Lord isn’t surprised by the state of my life, He knew I’d be right here… right now… and that I’d want to puke! Even more, He knows when deliverance will be at my doorstep! (Here’s hoping it’s sooner rather than later!)

Our God is more than capable to do a miracle in 30 days!

… But will He?  That is the question!

One thing is certain, God can do more with our problem in 30 days than we can!

So join me in quitting….

Join me in putting our lofty dreams, big decisions, and looming deadlines on the back burner! To quit keeping ourselves up late into the night and talking ourselves TO DEATH in an attempt at doing this in our own strength! And instead give it to the Lord and ask Him to guide our every step – our every thought – for the next month!

And while I have no idea what is going to happen in the next 30 days – or even worse, what I’ll do if He doesn’t show up! (Don’t be surprised if in a month I post some bogus recipe for homemade laundry detergent or something!)

…I know that if I don’t take this leap of faith today, that at the very worst,  I will be exactly where I started yesterday.

And so I have nothing to lose…

I quit.

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“The Meltdown” A Memoir

meltdown

It started around 9am, Just long enough for me to sit down with my cup of coffee and take a deep breath in the name of starting (yet another) day.

… And then it began.

Construction.

Those of you who know me, know that I am truly one of the most chill human beings. Like chill to the point that I don’t even flinch when my wedding was running 45 minutes late, or when my daughter eats potato chips off the pavement in NYC!

… But THIS. This loud drilling outside my window that was literally rattling every sq inch of my apartment had me struggling to hold it together!

I tried to stay calm, and tried with all my might to distract myself …when the drilling was in the living room, I looked at it as a great excuse to get some dishes done in the kitchen… When the drilling followed me into the kitchen, I moved into the bedroom to fold some clothes…

But without fail, the drilling followed me EVERYWHERE!!!!

I held my composure beautifully

… until nap-time!

If you aren’t familiar with this nap-time that I speak of, it’s the mom’s equivalent of ‘Girls Night’ minus the blood orange margaritas and the little black dress! Nap-time is oftentimes a mother’s only time to unwind, to feel human again (if only for a moment) and to simply do whatever the heck she wants! (Can I get an amen?!?!)

However today’s nap-time would be experiencing a ‘remix’ of sorts thanks to the drilling that was going on IN HER ROOM!  And while the ‘original nap-time tune’ was MUCH more to my liking (and may or may not have included watching reruns of Sex and the City and attempting to apply fake eyelashes…)  I embraced it as much as I could muster, and turned on every fan in an attempt to drown out the sound, and brought my daughter into my room to lay down with her.

As if on cue, once my daughter had finally fallen asleep (…and my hand literally felt like it was going to detach from my wrist from rubbing her back for so long…) the drilling began AGAIN!!!

This time

IN

MY

ROOM!!!!

Insert: Full blown meltdown.

It is during that meltdown – and somewhere between thrashing around, and violently punching pillows – that I screamed out in frustration and said these exact words out loud to God…

“WHY ARE YOU PUNISHING ME!?!?!”

As soon as the words left my lips, Him and I both knew I was talking about much more than just construction! The words I said were few, but loaded!

They confronted God head-on asking,

WHERE ARE YOU?

WHY DID YOU ALLOW my heart to be broken? 

I have followed you DEVOTEDLY, I have loved you PASSIONATELY… WHY would a “God of love” allow this to happen to ME?!

Though it was far from pretty, this was the first time (in a long time) that I had spoken directly to God. Like Reeeeeally spoken to Him!

You see, I had said my ‘please’ and ‘thank you’s’ and prayed before asking to pass the salt at dinner… I always bowed my head (without peeking) during church, and have thanked Him endlessly for the apartment He gave me… but even still, I had yet to confront God about the current state of my life – the seemingly irreparable state of my heart!

A little harmless construction was all it took for me to be truly honest with the Lord…

The question is, What’s it going to take for YOU to be honest with the Lord? 

Jesus says, “…Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28-19

Though we may not realize it, our God doesn’t turn away from our heartbreak, our tough questions, and at times our confrontational attitude. On the contrary, He invites it!

He goes even further to say (directly to only me of course, and to my current state of unwind)  …Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your soul.”

Come to me… I will give you rest.

Let me teach you… I can be trusted.

I don’t know about you, but I so badly need rest… and even more, someone I can trust.

And though last week, we may have admirably decided to stop running FROM God, I realized that it’s just as much about running TO Him…

To throw yourself at His feet when life gets ‘noisy’ and problems arise at the most inopportune times. When there seems to be nowhere to escape, and problems seemingly follow you everywhere!

To come to Him, raw, messy, and unedited. Ask the tough questions. Scream. Cry. Demand answers. Punch Pillows, and say things that would get you kicked out of church!

Our God can handle it, ALL of it! No matter how ‘heavy’ the burden!

… And once our heart rate levels out and our voice lowers, (apologize to the pillow…) and let Him teach us.

Let Him teach us to love, to trust, and to pick up the broken pieces once again.

Let His strength take the weight that is crushing your spirit, the burden that each day threatens to tear the little you have left from your grasp. Let Him speak words of ‘gentlesness’ in a world that has unapologetically dealt it’s harshest hand. Let the God who was miraculously raised from the dead, work on your behalf to breathe life into your weary soul, and rebuild all that has been unfairly stripped away.

You see, it’s just as much about not running FROM God, as it is to decide – with every ounce we have left – to run TO Him!

For Our God can be trusted…

So the Lord must wait for you to come to Him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help. -Isaiah 30:18

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Stand Still, Stay Calm

stand still

I am an avid runner. I run with vigor and can run long distances effortlessly. I have been running for so long, that instinctively, I lace up my shoes and hit the pavement whenever life becomes too much.

Some run marathons, others run for leisure, I however, am much more skilled in running from God. (Which let me tell you has far fewer perks and my quads don’t look nearly as svelte!)

My long distance ‘runs’ have consisted of two cross country moves after bad breakups.  I have spontaneously called off plans, missed flights, and aimlessly run from uncertain future’s, overwhelming fears, and even bible college. (…Yes, I ran away from Bible college, and no, I don’t regret it!)

I have also been known to run TO things: family, friends, the latest and greatest self-help book promising ‘102 Ways To Get Your Life Back On Track.’ Even, Google!

My running has taken me everywhere, and yet it has succeeded in getting me absolutely nowhere.

I noticed I was ‘running’ again when just days after my world was rocked I already had my bags packed to go home, and had already ordered the said ‘self-help book’ to arrive just in time for my flight (a book that later, would interestingly enough be thrown against the wall 3 pages in!)

Around that time I made a decision.

I picked up the book that had just met my living room wall, dusted off the cover and murmured apologies to the author as I tucked it out of reach, and into the back of my dresser.

I wouldn’t be needing it…

I wanted God himself to speak to me.

Though many before me have gone through what I am currently going through and possibly even have stories of victory that may be encouraging, while that book could have inspired me to write an especially doting review on Amazon (had I finished it )I wanted to hear HIM. For good or for bad, I almost demanded it!

And when He spoke I made a promise that I would take note of every. single. thing. that He said. (And in 40 days, he has only said one thing!)

One thing over and over…

Stand still.

Stay Calm.

The Lord will rescue YOU.

You may recognize this from the verse I used in a post earlier this year. “…Don’t be afraid. just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today… The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:13

This verse speaks to the uncontrollable restlessness in my heart, the emotions that change on a whim and the desire deep within to bolt out the door, book the next flight and escape it all!

In those moments it’s something to hold onto, an answer to give the most lingering questions. A motto, if you will. And on a rough day, an ultimatum even.

…Stand still. Stay Calm. The Lord will rescue me…

When I need answers now, and my lack of guarantees has me wanting to run for the hills, I will stand still and wait.

When I have been left questioning every decision I have ever made, every lie I have endured…  when I can’t see out of this mess, and the odds are stacked against me… When I feel like I just can’t risk it because I am already treading water… I will stay calm.

Whether today gets better, or worse. Whether the answers we receive are the ones we have been longing for, or the ones we most dread, our God promises to rescue us today. Possibly even better, He promises when tomorrow comes, that He will rescue us then too! ( And the next day…and the next day… )

We need only stand still, and stay calm.

***As for my desire to run, I have decided to put it to better use and attempt a 5k this spring. I figure if I am even half as good as I am at running from God, then I will probably be twice as good as I think! 🙂

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From My Weary Heart To Yours

airplane sunrise

I was shaken abruptly from my slumber. Just as quickly, the ‘seatbelt sign’ dinged on and the stewardess postponed  drink orders while the pilot made apologies in advanced for the bumps that lay ahead.

The woman next to me took a deep breath and tightly grasped the arm rest, I could almost hear her thoughts…

… Please Lord, I want to get married! …don’t take me now God! I want to have children!…

I smiled to myself, closed my eyes, and eased into the comfort of my seat. Not because I hadn’t felt the same way before, but because oh, how effective a little turbulence is at weighing the status of our lives.

And while my flight was nearly being jostled into oblivion, I realized…

I just don’t give a damn.

Take me now Lord Jesus!

You see, for the last two weeks that I have been MIA since writing ‘This Weary Heart of Mine,” I have started (and given up on) over 6 self-help books. I have also avoided exactly 11 phone calls, and avoided nearly the equivalent in panic attacks.

I have cried myself to sleep, raised my voice in a restaurant (Once again!) and have used my ‘labor breathing techniques’ to physically resist the urge to punch someone in the face.

I am numb, I am heartbroken, and I deeply regret the two strong margaritas that unfortunately did little more than give me a headache and give my husband a piece of my mind (further explaining the said “raised voice in a restaurant”) 

And the truth is, I am in a dark place.

So dark even, that in my insecurity I have wondered if I am too far out of God’s reach. If it’s even humanly possible to be as small as I feel, and if because of it, the Lord is unable to see me in my desperation. If this pain, caused by the hands of another, is the final blow that will have me ushered out of the ring never to return the same again…

But then I remember you, our beloved readers. Those of you all over the world, that have shared with us your stories, your heartbreak, and expressed your deepest yearning for miraculous healing over your most secret struggles.

I know if there was a base you could run to where you would finally be “safe,” that though you are terribly exhausted and out of breath, you would get there as fast as you possibly could!

If there was a debt you could pay to make it all disappear, I know you would pay it no matter the cost!

Even if it meant you’d be given only the smallest of guarantees, I know it would be enough for you to hang in there just a little longer…

But alas! It is out of your hands, and out of your control. You are up against a wall, in over you head, and with such dire circumstances looming that you aren’t sure how – or if – you will ever make it through.

I am with you…

Heartbroken,

hopeless,

and mad as hell!

… And I need Jesus more than ever.

And after two long weeks I am ready to put down the ‘Ben and Jerry’s’… and write. What exactly? I am not sure.

But with vulnerability as my voice, and God as my strength I will see this storm through.

I will fight to remind myself that even when I feel so far from God, that He is NEAR to my broken heart. (Psalm 34:18)

That when it seems my greatest plans have derailed and cliff dived into a horrific nightmare, that His – even greater plans for me – are PERFECT (Psalm 18:30)

That when my troubles are mounting, my life is crumbling, and there seems to be no hope in sight, that My God will not only meet me there in the shambles, but will OVERCOME the impossible! (John 16:33)

Dear weary readers,

There is no denying the very real war that is being waged over our souls! And yet, there also is no denying the strength of the God we serve!

I love how Perry Noble puts it when he says,  “…He is a grave-robbing, water-walking, miracle-working, death-defying God, so NEVER give up! He’s about to blow your flippin’ mind!”

All that to say, may the Lord “Blow our flipping’ minds!” … ideally, before we lose them! 🙂

***And in the case that you can’t get past the fact that I cursed…

Feel free to check back here the moment the turbulence doesn’t faze you…

We will get along much better then! 😉

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