Not Unredeemed

… living the beautiful tension between what is, and what will be …


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Weddings – 31 Days of Truth {Day 28}

This weekend is a weekend of rejoicing! Two years ago when I came home from my sabbatical the Lord blessed me with a group a very close friends. The 4 of us (Christine, Dan, Tom and myself) did everything together, we hung out built and fixed up each other’s houses and worked through a lot of life. Those friendships became a safe place of healing and growth for each one of us in a different areas.

The Lord greatly blessed our group by answering some of our deepest prayers. This weekend Tom married Dana. And today is Christine’s 3 month wedding anniversary. My heart is bursting with joy for them!

 

I’m so overwhelmed by the Lord’s faithfulness! He answers prayers. The heartache of all the years of waiting and failed dates that we worked through together – today turns into joy! He is faithful! And He is good and knows what and who we need. Thankful doesn’t express what it means to me to have friends on this journey.

Today’s Tidbit of Truth: We were created for fellowship. And so I’m off – off to live today’s truth. The smell of waffles and the sound of pleasant chatter pulls me away from the computer. While the honeymooner’s are off – the rest of us are enjoying making new memories and building a new phase of friendship. He is good!


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Learning to Rejoice

 Did you know that one of the facets of grace is joy? I didn’t. This year I prayed I would understand grace – in all of its forms and this weekend I discovered a side to grace I never would have imagined.

One of my dearest friends said “I do” this weekend. The change to our friendship was hard for me as we were nearly inseparable for 3 years. This wedding thing was supposed to be one more thing we did together. Not one before the other. Loneliness has a new meaning for me, but so has grace!

I prayed God would change my heart – I’ve learned to weep with those who weep – now to learn to truly rejoice with those who rejoice. No matter the cost. She a is friend worth fighting for. Worth finding new and different ways for our friendship to flex and change as her groom rightfully took the center stage in her life and I do -si-do(ed) to the side.

It’s not been easy nor will it be – but it has been worth it.  A word to my single friends – fight to grow with your married friends. It takes work but the friendship can survive the change if you are willing to let it change. Accept and embrace it for what it can be. And it takes grace. Lots of grace!

 Grace is learning to let go of expectations while still hoping and loving. Being fully engaged as much as possible in their lives while still releasing them to grow and change as they need to – are called to! Engagement and marriage is the season as a friend when we need to love more. Not less. In the hurt that comes with change, we want to love less, not more. Love isn’t 50/50 or even 100/100. It’s 100 period. Emotions run high, but they level out. And grace is there for the asking and the taking. Continue reading


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Call it Out

Several months ago I met a man named Jason*. He made a lasting impact and drew out the best in me without trying. Jason was a gentleman to the core; with full hands he opened doors and I never walked behind him – always in front or beside him. His respect for others and love for Jesus emanated in everything he did. Yes, Jason’s words reflected his love for the Lord, but his actions made the impact because he was living out who the Lord made him to be .

By the end of the evening, I wanted to be more feminine and I desired to have a greater love for the Lord.  Why? Because in walking rightly before the Lord, Jason couldn’t help but call out the best in me. A brother in Christ without trying, called out and challenged this sister in Christ simply by the way he lived.

A question has been haunting me since that night; what if I reversed this situation? Am I living in such away that calls out the best in my brothers and sisters in Christ? I throw the question to you: Are you living in such a way that inspires people around you to want to love and know the Lord more? More specifically – ladies, are you living in a way that encourages the men in your lives to be godly leaders? I’ve been blessed to have other brothers in Christ encourage me too, but do I encourage them? Does our personal model of femininity, call out or squash a man’s masculinity? Continue reading


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Call It What It Is – When Friends Know too Much – Part 2

In my last post I talked about close guy/girl friendships and how I’ve come to believe that close cross-gender friendships ultimately don’t work.  So what should healthy guy/girl friendships look like?

First – Call it what it is.  Be honest with yourself. If you’re in a close friendship with someone of the opposite gender, do you desire for it to be more? Does he or she?  Do you tell everyone you’re like brother and sister?

Brothers and sisters don’t necessarily text, chat, talk or see each other every day. They don’t flirt (By the way – if you’re just “teasing or flirting” as friends – you’re in a very dangerous spot). Brothers and sisters rarely do things alone together (or at least not as a habit). Brothers and sisters are also never exclusive (most of the time there is always one cross-gender friendship that is ‘exclusive’ or deeper than the others). Jealousy with the interactions the other person has is never present in healthy sibling relationships.

If your relationship falls into one of these – call it what it is – you’re dating.  I encourage you to stop and think – even more so if you just tried to justify “oh that’s not me” to yourself after reading that last sentence. Continue reading


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When Friends Know too Much – Part 1

Guy – Girl Attraction: that magnetic pull which elicits the secret ingredient in all cross-gender relationships.  The mystery of these relationships began with the creation of male and female at the beginning of time.  When we consider all the pitfalls in relationships, how past experiences play in, the way people were raised, their “norms” and the intricacies of how guys and girls communicate on two completely different levels – it’s really a miracle any relationships form, flourish in the differences and last. Oil and water, Mars and Venus, waffles and spaghetti – these are never things which sane people put together. How does this magnetic pull fit into our friendships with the opposite gender?

I’m not sure it does very well.  God created us male and female – to be attracted to each other, to be fruitful and multiply. He designed guy/girl relationships to go somewhere. (Read Song of Solomon – the Lord delights in the guy/girl relationship as He created it to be).  I used to believe that it was possible to have a close or best friend of the opposite gender and have it stay completely platonic. I have been proven wrong over and over again. In my life and in the lives of those around me, I have yet to see a deep guy/girl friendship stay platonic on both sides. Inevitably, one will develop romantic feelings for the other or desire more than the friendship they currently have. Continue reading


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Of Mountains and Passion

In my last blog, I brought attention to the seemingly obvious lack of godly men in the church and in our homes.  But what to do about it is the most important question. More specifically, what can we as women, do about it?  In asking the godly men in my life what I could do to help inspire the men around me to live courageously for the Lord, the answers were almost universal and seem almost too simplistic to be true! Yet I know it works and is true because I have lived it!

The there were a couple of things that came up when I talked to the men. The main thing was: Prayer

Sounds pretty simple, huh? Even easy? I thought so at first! Come on, prayer? It’s gotta be a little more complicated than that!

It is, but at the same time it is not.  When we pray – truly pray – the Lord changes things.  He says that the ‘fervent effective prayer of a righteous man avails much’ (James 5:16b). Even in the Old Testament, look how many times the Lord determines to bring judgment on Israel, and they repent, pray and the Lord shows mercy.

I said I knew that the Lord works and moves when we pray for our men because I have lived it. Several years ago, the Lord brought a young man into my life and after being friends for a while we started dating. During that time and for a while after, the Lord taught me what it meant to really pray for someone. I knew this man could be so much more than he was living.  But what could I do? Continue reading


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Where Have all the Cowboys Gone?

Whether it’s Paula Cole singing it, a pastor preaching it, or girlfriends chatting about it in a coffee shop, we all want to know where the cowboys have gone.

Photo Compliments of Kasper Photography

And unlike the song lyrics, I’m not talking about the ‘Marlboro man’ who does what he wants, when he wants and rides off into the sunset without looking back to whom or what he leaves behind. I’m talking about men who treat women, their families, God and country with respect. Who willingly and sacrificially do everything it takes to protect and honor those they lead and care for.  Men after God’s heart. Sold out, on fire men; who love and passionately seek after the Lord above all else. They lead and provide for their families and future families. They live intentionally and courageously. Where are these men today?

I’m not in any way trying to bash or disrespect the men around me! On the contrary! The Lord has blessed me abundantly by giving me a father, brothers and some friends who strive to be men of God in a culture that shoots them down at every turn. Because I have met real men, I now look around and my heart breaks at everything the media and culture projects as manhood. Even in the church, we let the culture rather than scriptures dictate how we view masculinity. Continue reading


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I Dont Deserve You… (Part 1)

“I don’t deserve you…” It’s sadly a line that most of us have probably heard before. If it hasn’t been said to you, or if you haven’t said it yourself, you probably know some who believes it. In the world of relationships it’s a phrase that is heard or thought often. Granted, none of us deserve anything, it’s all because of Christ’s mercy and grace that we have what we have. I’m not talking about it that way.

Most often the “I don’t deserve you”, comes from a false sense of identity/humility and elicits a reaction in me along the lines of, ah, how shall I say it politely… “male cow poo”? The Lord redeemed us, why do we act and live as though He did not? We don’t deserve the Lord’s grace and forgiveness, but outside of a “God has been so good to me, I don’t deserve you, but am thankful you are in my life…” line, it’s not ok. Look at the 3 ways this phrase is usually used:

(1) The first “I don’t deserve you…” (IDDY) is used to manipulate. I’ve watched dating couples say this to each other – It’s been said to me. The Newsboy’s Truth and Consequences song gives a prime example of this:

“I’ve had lots of destructive relationships, and I know I don’t deserve someone like you anyway. It’s just, there’s this strange purity about you… almost a radiance. Maybe it comes from your religious beliefs, I don’t know….”

Sound familiar? At first glace what’s wrong with saying that? Or responding to it? Isn’t it good to be honest about where you have been before? Yes. But look deeper. Continue reading


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Blooming?

 


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I have a fetish desire to touch and smell unfamiliar flowers! I was the child who always came in with a yellow tipped nose from flower pollen (and shhhh…. I still do!). I recently came back from a road trip where I was in 10 different states near the west coast. I saw, took pictures of(and stuck my nose in!) hundreds of different flowers in the desert and mountain plains. As I observed the unique flowers in the various climates, I noticed they had one thing in common – they all blossomed in the harshest of conditions.There were no sculpted, fertilized or raised flowerbeds out there. These flowers bloomed and grew from the parched, hard and cracked desert ground or from the fierce windblown mountainside cliffs. Continue reading


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Unrequited Love –The Living Sacrifice: My Story/God’s Story Part 1


If “slow obedience is no obedience” than I’ve disobedient of late! Since January, I have felt the Lord telling me to blog on this topic. I have managed to push it off with tons of excuses; “it’s too hard, I don’t want to go there, no one will read this or care about it, maybe I’ll just write it from an observers perspective, I don’t have to get personal…” 5 months later the nudges from the Lord are more poignant than ever and the unrest is growing! So it’s no longer about who reads this, or how I feel about it and my insecurities, – it’s about being obedient. I’m going to get down and dirty personal and write about everything the Lord has taught me on unrequited love and sacrifice. I don’t know the reasons, but God does, so I’m writing this – here goes!

This is a story of God’s goodness, and how it is nothing remotely like mine – it is better!! Last September, I broke up with my first and only serious boyfriend. I was devastated and had no idea how to deal with the pain, so decided to turn that pain into the power of prayer. How to pray or where to even begin was a mystery to me, so I whenever I would think of him (which was with great frequency) I started praying God would make him into the man that He created him to be. Not what I wanted him to be – but who God made him to be. It was here that I prayed two VERY stupid prayers. I used to think that there was no such thing as a stupid prayer – well there is!!! Continue reading