I Am Not Afraid…

“The reason why we look so crazy as Christians, is because we see a world that the rest don’t see. We see a God-bathed world in which we are perfectly safe. So safe, so set free from fear that we can even love our enemies without thought of the consequences.”
– Skye Jethani

My friend, Chris, just posted this quote on Facebook and it floored me.

I’ve been told more than once, that my optimistic view of life is annoying.  Though I don’t actually see myself as an optimist.  I’m definitely a pessimist (though those who called me annoying are).  I’m actually very much a realist.  I see a problem and try to work to resolve it.  I don’t leave it be figuring that it will just work itself out or even that God will work that problem out for me.

I’m a realist, but I’m a realist who sees everything through God’s eyes – or at least I attempt to.  That doesn’t absolve me of responsibility.  I’m definitely at the root of many of my problems.  If my kids veg in front of the TV all day – that my fault.  I can’t blame their insane behavior on anyone buy my own self for allowing them to veg instead of going to do something active – like play in a park (which we will be doing shortly).

When everything is crashing around me, I have a very steady God to hold on to through my storm.  Our sermon at Fairmount this past week focused on God being our ROCK!  It is that concept that has allowed me to face divorce at 22 when I didn’t believe it was God’s will.  It is that concept that keeps my head above water when I look in the mirror and see the parts of me I don’t like – the mom who yells even though she doesn’t want to; the wife who isn’t affectionate; the daughter who doesn’t call as often as she should; the friend who doesn’t “show up” when another friend is in real need.

There are so many things that we face that are dead scary – the loss of a child, the loss of a parent, a marriage crumbling…  And some things that are exciting scary – like the fact that I’m going to meet with the math supervisor for Henrico County Schools this Friday to see what’s next for me in getting into the classroom in the next couple years.

BUT GOD… If you are are follower of Christ – a Christian not just in name, but in action – then every scary thing isn’t a desolate place where you are alone.  GOD is with you.

God was with me in high school when I watched a friend die from a vicious cancer that ate him to pieces and took his life.

God was with me when I laid on a floor, brokenhearted, at 19 years old wishing that the boy I loved more than my own salvation (totally dangerous territory) would just love me in return.

God was with me when I rebounded (i.e rushed like a roaring freight train) into a marriage to a man who was everything I’d ever prayed for, yet couldn’t let go of his own perfection to see that marriage is HARD and we were both at fault for our issues so he walked away and took every penny.

God was with me when I made decisions out of His will that will affect my life every day for the rest of my life – decisions that I pray daily that he will take control of the results and help walk me through the consequences, good and bad.

God was with me when I found out I was pregnant earlier in my marriage than we’d planned and that pregnancy derailed all my plans for my future.

God was with me as I looked into the face of that beautiful child and promised her that I’d let her down over and over, but that I’d teach her about our forgiving, loving God who would keep me afloat with every parenting failure.

God was with me when my best friend was in another state facing a cancer trial, then died before I’d bought my ticket to go see her.  God was with me as I faced down that guilt from the failure of “showing up”.

God was with me when I was thinking that I needed some sort of job and he opened a door to a classroom at North Run and invited me to walk through it.

And God will be with me no matter what comes next…

I am not afraid because I’m able to look out into the world and see every person as one that God loves.  If I look at my enemy as a creation of God, how can I spit in their face?

If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, let’s talk.  Because being afraid of this world is a hard way to live.  And don’t get me wrong – I know that more bad is in my path and I just can’t see it yet.  I know that Satan will work harder today to get me to fail because I’ve posted about God being my rock and trying to live my life following Jesus.  Again, I see the reality of this world… but my faith in my amazing God allows me to say to Satan, “Bring it on.”  (Whew!  That’s a scary thing to really put out there in a real way!)

I’m not a perfect Christian.  I’ll say that over and over again.  But I have a real hope to attain perfection someday in Heaven and I’d love to share that with you.  Call me a crazy Christian – it’s a label I’ll wear with pride 🙂

Ministering Through My Mess

Here We Go Again (take what?)

I named my blog.

It’s called Ministering Through My Mess.

It’s a line I used back in the Spring when I spoke at my church’s Ladies Salad Banquet and it really stuck with me.

See, I have GREAT intentions on being a blogger that you’ll want to follow.  That you’ll wait anxiously to see what I’m going to share next.  I have a couple blogs that I’ve read faithfully for years, though as the kids get older and no one sleeps on my lap at the computer comfortably while I peruse I don’t even have time to read those.
Anyway, I WANT to be a blogger – the real deal – the person who gets PAID to sit and write what is on my mind.  But to do that, you have to blog regularly (not once a year) and you have to have followers that are total strangers and still suggest you to their friends.  Your posts have to be shared far and wide – enough so to attract sponsors that will pay you to use their products and then write a post promoting them.
I’m so not there…

My world is messy.  The world I live in and my personal world.  I’m a total mess!  I don’t cook well, though I do try and none of us is underfed.  I don’t clean well – I’m not being humble. I’m awful at cleaning and I’m lazy about cleaning so putting those two together is a bit disastrous. (Yet the mess makes me crazy & stressed out so you’d think I’d work on this more.)  My kids are constantly needing me making concentration very difficult.  I’ve already walked away from the computer three times to answer their needs just writing these few paragraphs.

BUT, I believe that God has called me to teach and to share.  I believe that God knows I’m pretty much an open book (He made me, so, duh) and He’s desiring to use that to reach others through me and my mess so that they’ll be drawn to him.  And I love that He’s like that. That He designs us to be who we are, but then expects to use who we are to reflect Him.

I posted an edited picture on Facebook today that was actually two pictures.  Here it is along with what my “caption” is:

Perfection vs Reality 2

Because it’s too important to keep it in focus…
Posting the top picture gives the image of a sister and brother
walking harmoniously down an wooded path.

In reality, little brother wanted NOTHING to do with taking such a sweet picture.
I had to bribe him to do it so that I’d get that sweet picture to cherish for years.

So much of our online personality is edited. Maybe not to impress others
or even to intentionally give a wrong impression.

But who wants to see kids fighting and mom as a sweaty mess?
(Yes, I should’ve taken a selfie for some real reality.)
No one has a perfect life or perfect family and I definitely don’t.

My life is messy, but God wants to use it.

My kids aren’t perfect, but God made them cute and they sure seem perfect when they are asleep (haha).

My marriage isn’t perfect, but God is still at work in it because I invite him there every single day.

So, I’m going to give this writing thing a go again.  Yes, again.
I’m actually going to SCHEDULE time to sit and type my thoughts.
Hopefully you’ll join me for it.

Also – a quick plug for an event I’m taking part in (again).
Oak Hill Christian Service Camp is hosting its second Ladies Day/Women’s Retreat and I’m teaching a break out session.  I’d love for you to come.
It does cost money, but it is money well spent and you’ll be blessed.
You don’t even have to choose my session!  There are four and you only get to pick two.
Pick the two that you think you need the most (class titles and descriptions on the website).  Here, check it out:
Oak Hill Camp Ladies Day

My heart is heavy…

Friends, I’m sorry that it has been three weeks (and a day)… I was really on a roll there for a few, right?

I think that lately, I have just had too much on my mind.

Judgement of others’ sins has been weighing heavily on me… and I’m trying to be sure I’m walking the path God would have me walk.  A path that doesn’t mean I sit back and say nothing to a friend who is sinning because I do not want to be judgmental, but that does call me to judge for myself when to speak and when to be silent.

Personal reflection (feel free to laugh at me)…
When I was in middle school and also in my freshman year of high school it drove me CRAZY that the teens older than me at church always missed Sunday morning following their prom.  Yes, I was aware that prom usually lasted until 11:00 and that following prom was the PTA sponsored “Party All Night” that lasted until 4:00 a.m.  BUT, that put you getting home by 4:30 a.m. and if you went straight to bed, you could sleep at least four hours (depending on how close you lived to the church) and be at church in time for Sunday School at 10:00 a.m. or at the very least, be in the pew by 11:00 a.m. for church.

I never said this to any of those teens, but I ranted and raved about it at home to my mother… didn’t those teens know how important church attendance was?  Didn’t they know that if you missed church Sunday morning and Jesus returned Sunday afternoon you were going STRAIGHT TO HELL????

Well, I got to go to my first prom my sophomore year of high school.  (And Hello!  I was MADE to go to prom… I ended up attending 6(?) proms in five years.)  My date was a friend named Michael – a friend who adored me and who would’ve made a great husband some day, but I totally didn’t see that even though my mom kept insisting upon it.  We went to dinner with a huge group (10 of us) at Tobacco Company West – no longer in existence – because I loved steak and Michael convinced the other four guys to take their girls where I wanted to go.  When I couldn’t pick one dessert, he bought me FIVE so that I could taste them all.
We went to prom and danced and danced and danced…
Then we went to Party All Night and stayed there until 4:00 a.m.
THEN, we went to a friend’s house where we hung out until Dunkin Donuts opened at 5 or 5:30 so that we could go to Dunkin’ for breakfast together.

I dragged my butt home at 6:00 a.m. with four hours to go until Sunday School started.
I laid down to take a nap and mom woke me up when she left for church at 9:30 and told me to get my tail up and get ready.  I was in a pew at 11:00 a.m. that morning and totally understood why the teens older than me missed church the day after prom.
Note: My mom did not wake me up because I asked her to… she knew I’d beat myself up for being a hypocrite if she didn’t make sure I got up and ready for church.  I’m pretty sure she would’ve just let me sleep…
I was determined that since I was going to be judged by the ruler I used to judge others, I was going to be sure I came out on the good side.  At least for that year.

Turned out that God loved me enough to allow me a reason to be in church the next morning following all but one prom that I attended… each year something happened that meant that I was home by 1:00 a.m. with plenty of time to sleep before church… a car accident two days prior, a bad decision for prom date, being too old to party with the teens (I went as a favor to a friend of my brother’s when I was 20.  He was a senior without a date to prom and there isn’t much worse than that in high school).
Funny how God works sometimes, right?

What is really funny is that one of the areas that I still find myself being the most judgmental in is church attendance.  And it isn’t because I was expected to be in church whenever the doors were open (which I was – that meant at least one morning and two nights a week, I was in church growing up).

Church – as in corporate worship – is very renewing for me.  I look forward to Sundays with such anticipation….  Most of my closest friendships throughout my life were rooted in church.  Yes, some of those people broke my heart in very dramatic fashion, but my church family is what really got me through it.

My decision to leave my “home” church in December was one of the hardest decisions of my life.  It was far more painful than having my heart broken at 19 by a boy I knew I was destined to marry… (I still deal with bitterness about this… it was that painful).  It was far more painful than my divorce at 21.  Leaving my church was more painful than the heartbreak two years ago that started the whole ball in motion in the first place.

When I decided to leave my church, I sought advice from my only youth minister growing up.  Do you know one of the things he said to me?  The first piece of advice from him was “Don’t give up on church.”  Whoa, buddy, no chance of that!  CHURCH is where I have found the most love, the least judgement, the most support throughout my life.
The rest of that first piece of advice was “to find somewhere to chill for a while and then get slowing involved”.  If you know me well, then you know that his advice was a reference to the fact that for just over 18 months, I was extremely over-committed at church.  Some of that came out of guilt… If I didn’t do that “job”, then who would.  Some of that came out of actual servanthood.  But when you get hurt by people you love and trust in the church, you do need to take a step back and be fed for a while.

And am I getting fed where I currently am???  Yes, very much so.

But that is not why my heart is heavy.

Through the course of the last two years, I’ve seen such pain being caused BY Christians.
I know this is nothing new, but my blinders came off two years ago and what I saw broke my heart.
I’m still sorting through the effect it had on me.

Recently, a Christian friend was judged so painfully that it has really broken my heart again.
The first time she went through judgement for her sin, it was judgement in the church and in the legal system.  I found out about her sin/crime by seeing her face on the 11:00 news while out bowling with friends.  I left the bowling alley immediately and went home to wake my daddy.  I knew she would need him right then, right there.
My friend served and is STILL SERVING time within the legal system for the crime she committed.
However, her legal restrictions do not apply to church attendance or volunteering within the church.

Fellow Christians recently went after her for attending an area-wide youth event with her own child.  She was not breaking any law by doing so.  She was not coming close to breaking any law by taking her own child to this activity.
BUT because two people who saw her there knew of her past and her crime, they decided to go after her in a public forum.  No, her face is not being shown to the public as it was when her sin was first committed… but they have talked to many people about her past and about the need to bar her from being present at that type of activity – EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOT AGAINST THE LAW FOR HER TO BE THERE.

The Separation of Church and State makes me laugh – literally!
And it is the view of “the church” that gets me laughing…
We in the corporate body of church, meeting in a building called the church, do not want the government to interfere with us in any way, shape or form, yet Christians get money they “donate” to the church back in a tax return.
We don’t want the government to tell us what we can and can’t do… unless we are being bullied by someone else and then we want government protection.
And please do not jump down my throat right now about how Christians are consistently being bullied right now – I totally agree with that.  I am expected to respect any person’s religious beliefs, but mine are not “politically correct” enough to be respected.  I feel that deeply but that isn’t my point.
We don’t want the government to tell us who can/can’t work for our church (does your church have a homosexual on staff?) BUT if we want to invoke government-imposed limits to those within our congregation, we do.

Tell you what – I am not against churches/church camps doing background checks on their volunteers.  Bring me the form, I’ll sign it now (I fill one out every single year to work at Oak Hill and, eventually, I will fill one out at Fairmount so that I’m able to volunteer there).

BUT, if you are going to CREATE legal limits to attendance at an area-wide event, you’d better be background checking every single person over the age of 18 that walks through the doors.

This is a message to the Student Ministries of Virginia… 
I served on your board for several years.  I was bullied on a regular basis because I was a woman with a voice and an opinion.  When I stepped down from the youth ministry I was running, I stepped down off your board and you didn’t have to hear the “battle ax” any longer.  Well, I’m back…
Just because one of your members knows the personal past of one adult in a sea of many, it doesn’t give you the right to move against that ONE person… especially if that person was NOT breaking ANY law set forth by the government.
You’d better cross your t’s and dot your i’s…
Are you background checking every member of every band that walks in the door?
Are you background checking the college kids in attendance representing their schools?
Are you requiring that every church that attends runs background checks on every adult they send as a chaperone?  (Because, while it has become the “norm” in the past five years, there are churches that aren’t requiring them yet.)
If an adult walks in with their child -not affiliated or registered with any church in attendance- will you have your background check form read for them to fill out at the door?

HEAR ME CLEARLY FRIENDS – I AM NOT SAYING THAT AS CHRISTIANS WE AREN’T CALLED TO BE CAUTIOUS AND TO USE GOOD JUDGEMENT (especially when it comes to our children), BUT WE NEED TO BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT WHEN AND AGAINST WHOM WE DECIDE TO EXERCISE OUR JUDGEMENT.  And how many people need to be involved in our pointing out of the flaw.  What happened to going to a brother or sister face to face first?  Is going public with another Christian’s error now the way we’re supposed to do it?

In the fall of 1996 when I entered Roanoke Bible College as a freshman, Bill Griffin told us something I will NEVER forget.  He said that we needed to be ON THE ALERT for Satan…
He said that we needed to be very careful about feeling “safe” because we were on a Bible College campus.  He asked us where we thought Satan was the hardest at work… out in “the world” or in a place full of people professing God’s name and calling themselves “Christ followers”.  Let me tell you, the MOMENT we let our guard down and start to feel safe enough to pass judgement on others, Satan is going to come after us with everything in his arsenal.

That girl I talked about at the beginning of this post – the one who sat in judgement of teens who missed church after prom… well, she still lives inside of me and I work HARD to keep her in check.
I struggle every day with how best to share the loving side of God without forgetting to share the HOLY side of God, too.  But I’m working on it.

There is such a thing as “righteous judgement”, but that isn’t judgement coming from any human being.
Righteous judgement comes from GOD and GOD ALONE.

We, as Christians, are called to a three part mission: (1) To love the Lord our God with our heart, our soul, and our mind (Deuteronomy 6:5, Matthew 22:37); (2) that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:39); and (3) that we are to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”(Matthew 28:19-20, NIV).

I pray daily for the strength to live up to this mission of loving the world unto Christ.
It is a big job, but it is my *only* job as a Christ-follower.

If I am going to stand in judgement of anyone – a criminal, a liar, a cheater, a gossip, a God-hater, one who is disobedient, a homosexual, the senseless, the faithless, the heartless, the proud – than I’d better be sure that GOD has my back.. and that I’m not just trying to BE GOD.

Father, watch over me today… watch over my steps and help me walk where you lead me.
Watch over my family… keep them faithful to YOU.
Lord, keep me in line so that I don’t start to believe that I “represent” you… so that I don’t believe that I AM you.  Thank you for your forgiveness… for your grace… for your mercy.
Let me be the person who personifies your love and leaves you to judge.
Help me see that if I bring a friend to love YOU, YOU will bring to light the sins in their life that need addressing.  In the moment I feel that you are prodding me to address a sin in a friend’s life, let me be sure to pray first and be sure it is YOU prodding me and not pride… then give me the words to go about talking to them using Your Word as a guide and not just the world’s guidelines.
The more I learn about you, Father, the more deeply I love you.
Lead me where you would have me go and give me the strength and courage to follow.
In your son’s saving name, Amen.


Okay, so I’m over my bellyaching and have wrapped up my pity party.  I’ve put on my big girl panties and I’m dealing with the world.

TODAY IS A BEAUTIFUL DAY!!!  I am currently sitting at the computer next to a wide open window.

Ella and I started the day differently than most…I had to wake her up!  We had things to do and people to see, so she needed to get on out of bed.  I should’ve woken her up 15 minutes earlier than I did because we ran a solid 15 mintues late all morning.

First, we headed to the gym.  If you’re not on facebook (or you aren’t one of my facebook “friends”) then you missed my new lease on life…my list of positive changes!  We have been members of the YMCA for over a year now and I’m going to get accomplished what I set out to a full year ago.  Sure, I went strong at first, but then I met these great moms and started having lots and lots of playdates.  I’m going to apologize to those moms now because playdates are going to be less frequent or we’re just going to be late a lot since I’m determined to hit the gym at least three times during the week.  Yep – I’m going to get there by 8 a.m. (goal), drop Ella off with those lovely ladies in childwatch, and head to the ActivTrax machine to get my designed workout.  Which reminds me…I need to do the ab work I didn’t get to this morning…
So far this week I’ve done three FULL BODY workouts – 20-30 minutes of cardio, weights, and ab work.  After that I’m disgusting so I also take advantage of those non-water-saver showers in the locker room and get dandied up before we head elsewhere for the morning.  Ella is in childwatch for a full hour and a half to close to two hours and she LOVES IT!!!  Those ladies take great care of her and she has lots to do and lots of friends to play with.

Today after our (shortened) workout, we headed to the church to get my church work done.  I started singing U2’s Beautiful Day (since it wasn’t on the radio) at the top of my lungs with my windows down.  Ella found this quite amusing as did anyone we passed as we slowly exited the parking lot.  It just really is a beautiful day!

Over the past couple of days I’ve had at least two friends (on facebook) post about being positive in the day.  “Waking up on this side of the grass” means that I’m alive and I owe God my happy thankfulness no matter what else is going on.  I’m determined to make that my mantra.

Here are a few more things that I’m looking forward to happening in the next four days:
Tonight – my friend Angie’s baby shower.  I get to celebrate another tiny God-creation.  And I just found out my friend, Angela, is pregnant and she’ll be at the shower tonight so I get to hug her and just love on another momma-to-be.
Tomorrow – a Mom’s Morning Out bike ride with some Richmond Mommies.  This was so much fun two weeks ago that I want to do it every week.  It is a good workout with some new friends followed by excellent coffee at Starbucks.
Sunday – Ella is MOVING UP TO TODDLERS at church.  Yes, a bit early, but she’s so much older than the other babies in the nursery and her development is on par with one of the kids who is older than she is.  I’m a little sad that she’s not a “baby” any more, but so excited that she’s going to get to learn Bible lessons and make Bible crafts.  I have her little backpack ready to go with diapers, a sippy cup, and her little Bible.
Monday – BACK TO BIBLE STUDY!!!!!!!!!!!  We’re going to study Beth Moore’s Revelation Here and Now, Then and There.  SO EXCITED!!!  It is really a blessing to spend two hours each Monday morning with a bunch of ladies of all ages talking about God and praying together.

Before I leave you, I ask that you remember tomorrow the very unexpected sacrifice made by many Americans 9 years ago.  I will never forget where I was when the terrorist attack happened.  I also ask that you remember that not every Muslim is extreme.  Just like not every Christian feels the need to blow up an abortion clinic. 
I also want to ask everyone to continue praying for our troops overseas.  Today, many news outlets are saying that President Obama has concluded U.S. combat operations in Iraq.  My cousin, Hailey, is currently serving in Baghdad, Iraq and she says that this is not 100% the truth.  She is afraid that Americans will take their eyes off of Iraq not realizing that the troops there are still in grave danger.  They still carry their guns as they go about business.  They are still attacked.  There are still bombs.  Please pray for our troops – whether or not you agree with the war or if you did or did not vote for the current or past president. 
I’ll get down off my soapbox now.  Hailey, I love you and I’m praying for you always.

A book report

I read.  A lot.  Most people don’t know this about me.  I don’t always pass along books and I often don’t pipe up my opinions on books unless I’m asked.  This is the reason I got a late invitation to the book club I attend.  No one knew I read, so no one invited me.  Until one day, a friend posted that she was really looking forward to a glass of wine at bookclub.  I asked her about her book club and the person who founded the club (also a friend) quickly emailed me to invite me to join explaining that she didn’t know I liked to read.  So….now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…
I need to apologize to all to all of the people that have suggested to me that I should read Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  There was so much hype (which turns me off) and so many people suggesting it that I was actually relieved that I was going to be out of town for the bookclub meeting that would discuss it.  I didn’t even read it.  Until last week…  I had already read the March bookclub book (finished that the day of the February meeting) and really needed something to read.  Since we’re discussing reading Gilbert’s newest book, I decided that I should cave and read Eat Pray Love.  Man, I’m so glad that I did.  It was great!!!
I enjoyed reading about good places to eat in Italy (though I’m not sure I’ll ever find them if we get to go).  I now want to go stay in an Ashram in India someday.  And I totally want to go to Bali and find Ketut Liyer and sit on his porch talking about life.  Seriously…great book!!!

Here are four quotes from the book that have really stuck with me and why:

“…to even believe [what good works will yield] is an act of faith, because nobody amongst us is shown the endgame.  DEVOTION IS DILIGENCE WITHOUT ASSURANCE.”

Wow!  What a way to put it!  I’ve always explained faith – at least MY faith – as being willing to step out into darkness and trust that God will lead the way.  The author goes on to say, “There’s a reason we refer to ‘leaps of faith’ – because decision to consent to any notion of divinity is a mighty jump from the rational over to the unknowable…”  But what a great sentence – “Devotion is diligence without assurance.”  I actually put the book down for a moment to mull that one over.

…the day of the week that you were born is more important in Bali than the year…the patron god of children born on Thursdays is Shiva the Destroyer, and that the day has two guiding animal spirits – the lion and the tiger.  The official tree of children born on Thursday is the banyan.  The official bird is the peacock.  A PERSON BORN ON THURSDAY IS ALWAYS TALKING FIRST, INTERRUPTING EVERYONE ELSE, CAN BE A LITTLE AGGRESSIVE, TENDS TO BE HANDSOME (‘a playboy or playgirl’) BUT HAS A DECENT OVERALL CHARACTER, WITH AN EXCELLENT MEMORY AND A DESIRE TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE.

Ella and I were both born on Thursdays.  I just thought, “hmm..well, I’d definitely fit my character description in Bali”.  I’ll also say that I LOVE Banyan trees.  I thought that was cool.  I am trying to learn not to talk first or interrupt, but those are long lessons.  I actually started in a women’s Bible study today called Conversation Peace.  It is about taming the tongue (interesting since we JUST read that passage in James in Sunday school).  I also love the line from the age-old poem that, “Thursday’s child has far to go!”


Wow…I love that sentence.  I have a little girl and my life is amazing since she entered it.  She definitely makes me live.  She is full of energy and requires energy to keep up with her.  She is loving the “warm” weather we are experiences (the 60s) and longs to be outside.  Yesterday, Jeff walked back and forth in front of our house with her.  Everytime he tried to direct her to me (to go inside), she immediately started running the opposite direction.  It was funny, though not so much when he did carry her in.  I do believe she can be powerful.  Oh, God, let me be the mom that raises up a woman of power – power within herself that no one can push her down or around and power in YOU.

“But I was always coming here.  I thought about one of my favorite Sufi poems, which says that GOD LONG AGO DREW A CIRCLE IN THE SAND EXACTLY AROUND THE SPOT WHERE YOU ARE STANDING RIGHT NOW.  I was never not coming here.  This was never not going to happen.”

My favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) “‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”

Just think.  Before I was born, God knew that Ella and I would be having a rough-nap afternoon.  That I would have given up naptime in her crip and reluctantly put her in her swing (so grateful it has a high weight limit and that she loves it), and returned to writing this blog.  God drew a circle around this chair and this desk….well, kindof.  He knew I’d be married to Jeff.  He knew I’d be the mom to Ella.  He knows if I’m going to have another baby someday or not (and how soon is that someday, God?).  He knows our days.  The Bible also says is Psalm 139 (NIV) “Oh Lord, you have searched me and you know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways”.  God knows us.
I’ve known this for a long time.  Psalm 139 is my second favorite scripture in the Bible.  The whole chapter.  I love it.  It just really hit home when worded by the Sufi poem, “God long ago drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now.”

So that is my book report.  I went into Eat Pray Love thinking it would just be a good read and came away with for page corners flipped for statements I wanted to remember (for various reasons…hence the Thursdays child thing).  That last one rocked my day.

Where are you standing right now?  Do you see your God-drawn circle?