Warriors

Something about this day reminds me of a day a few years back. I drove the youngest, just sixteen at the time, to drama practice. We didn’t speak out our angry, hurting words, and a twenty minute drive felt like driving nails into our dying relationship.

We’d recently learned that our youngest had chosen drugs over life and a future.

That last sentence makes my bones ache.

We lived through that battle. We lived through five years of that horrific battle, and now we’re more than five years out.

Our youngest fought all the way back to life, and I’m grateful.

But those memories.

They’re like a stain I can’t remove in a garment I’ll never throw out.

The value of those lessons, the scars that remind us of battles won, the healing- all of them woven in like patterns in fabric.

I fight new battles now, and I find it’s much harder to fight just for myself. I wrap myself in worry and weary and somehow, forget battles won. Defeat becomes a name. But then, I get a reminder, a game changer.

Today, this song is the reminder, and the words are like putting on armor, reminding me I’m not alone. They’re weapons at the ready, clashing with the challenges faced. They’re life giving, breathing life back into the warrior, giving life and breath and strength for the fight today.

Memory verses from that battle for the loved child are dusted off and added for this battle weary soul. They’re re-breathed and re-lived and the they’re soul re-newing.

Here’s the song- because maybe you’re battle weary too. You’re not alone. Fight the the good fight.

We’re not defeated. This is how we fight our battles.

We are warriors on our knees.

Different

A year ago, I broke down as I half-spoke, half-whispered secret fears into the ear of a trusted friend.

My what if’s came tumbling out, the broken, the ache.

What if there’s consequences for sin? I know He forgives, but what if there’s still a price to pay? What if I’m just a little less forgiven than some? Different.

I’d understand. Because maybe my sins were a little too big for even God to just white wash away?

What if I’m a little more worthless?

Maybe my forty-some years of secret sin left me… Less than. Different. Maybe?

Grace gone. The price of forgiven sin became a thing, an obstacle. The lie returned from the dead. Consequences. Condemnation.

Gnashing teeth. Red-eyed lying monster. Stalking. Stealing. Crushing.

Dreams died. Shadows replaced hope. Darkness had crept into all my peaceful places. Different became a stone wall.

But truth. Remember truth?

Truth came in with Scripture and words of hope, faith, and love. Reminders of lie crushing truth.

There is no sin so great that God can’t…

Forgive. Restore you from. Take you beyond. Move mountains through. Bring you back from. Take you up and over.

And use in your life to heal, restore, lead another through, and allow you to be a witness of Grace, Forgiveness, and Mercy.

When God forgives, change starts. Like water cutting a new path.

You’re different all right. You’re no longer a slave to sin. You are forever changed.

Don’t give in to the liar. You Are So Much More.

Slow down. Breathe it in. You. Are. So. Much. More.

Truth.

Be blessed today and be the blessing today.

One more song. An artist local to me, Micah Tyler with Different.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUT4trsrBCw&feature=share

Truth

www.youtube.com/watch God Forbid – Point of Grace

We’ve been fed lies, and we’ve gorged ourselves on them. “We are not enough as we are. Not enough. Insufficient. A mess. Failed. Broken. Foolish. Ugly.”

We’ve replaced truth with a lie, as

though we can somehow be less than who we were made to be – an image, a likeness, a creation made in the image of our creator.

We face our flesh in the mirror, and forgetting our DNA contains holiness, we see unworthiness. And we have believed the lies.

His holiness has been passed down through thousands of generations. We are the heirs to a holy God.

And that is Truth.

Bookend reminders today of who He is and who we are in Him.

God bless.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeOyFxjkqKY&feature=share Back to the Garden – Crowder

Beautiful

You were created for beautiful things. The enemy of your soul wants you to believe otherwise. But God loves you, and he made you perfect as you are.

You are not less.

You are not weak.

You are not worthless.

You are not unforgivable.

You are not friendless.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

You are crafted and designed for beauty.

You are His workmanship.

You are known.

Don’t look for perfection- not in the mirror or in others. You are perfect enough.

Don’t look for an example of Christianity in humans. Humanity gets in the way of Christianity. Look to Christ for perfect Christianity. You’ll find Him in His Word.

Seek the truth. Don’t waste time on spirituality.

Remember who’s you are, who you were created for, who was lonely and created you to be His very own.

The answers are found in Him.

Remember who sent His son to die for you, because no one else has ever loved you to a cross and back.

Remember, and when you forget, remember again.

Have a blessed Monday.

Losing control isn’t all its cracked up to be

For the past five years, we’ve lived in a house I’ve hated, in a town I love, or at least I did love until we lived here.

I never saw myself as a controlling person. I’m a youngest child. Control was rarely given to me. But over the years, that lack of control quietly created an environment of need for what I could not grasp. I’ve been grasping and grabbing at control now for some fifty plus years.

The husband and I are soon to be moving from the unloved town. We’re leaving the coastal area of Texas and going north, deeper into the lakes area. Yet, despite all my desire to pack and move on, I’ve lacked the motivation. In fact, I’m fatigued by the very thought of moving.

As I’ve wrestled with the emotions tagged to uprooting our lives, I’ve had the out of body sensation of watching myself lose all sense of control. Then, in the middle of tonight’s anxiety filled wakefulness, it hit me. I need to submit. All my wrestling is wearing me out.

Living in the hated house, I’ve gone through five years of a process of change. I’ve struggled with integrity. I’ve confronted loyalty head on. Faithfulness took some real time to grow into. And I thought surrender might be my undoing.

Out of context, those are just words. In a frame, over the last five years, it seems words have defined the lessons I’ve been learning. Like chapter titles, I’ve watched words become attitudes, and I’ve seen attitudes become part of my daily mantra.

Now here we are with more change, and apparently, less control. I think a new list of words is coming, and by my best guess, we’re starting with submitting.

This has nothing to do with car crashes.

I think the thing that stills me, that slows my breathing, and catches me most off guard is when someone doesn’t absorb another’s emotional break.

How can we drive past a collision and feel nothing? Yet, at the same time, how do we stop, snap a Facebook moment, and drive away? Just drive away. A moment captured. We feel enough horror to document the moment, enough shock to confess we “had to share,” but not enough empathy to stay. Not enough compassion to help.

We do that. We document and drive away. We see the emotional break, gather the details, absorb information, and move on.

It’s easier. Life is too… Fill in the blank.

I’m broken. I’m full of my life and so full, I’m overweight. I no longer need.

When did this happen? Each day. One slowly on top of another. Shedding the excess life is just like shedding gluttonous pounds.

We’re broken as a society. We’ve lost our sense of compassion. We’ve lost our unity, our oneness, our sense of bring me your poor. Parties be damned. How do we find ourselves?

Maybe it starts with outrage. Maybe it starts with concern. Maybe with common sense. It’s time. It starts with each of one of us.

Ragamufffins?

The telephone’s ringing woke me from late evening tv sleep. The oldest son’s name glowed, backlit by the screen. His voice is deeper and softer than the other two.

“Momma, do you remember ever calling us ragamufffins?”

What? No. Sleep clogged my memory bank. Had I? I hoped not. Where’d I heard the word last?

A silly conversation between my son and daughter-in-law had led to the phone call.

After we’d sorted out the memory and searched for a definition of the word, I’d concluded, no, we’d never called our boys ragamufffins. No, we’d straight up used the word orphan, which the beloved son then remembered. Yes. That was it. Orphan.

A ragamuffin or an orphan is someone who doesn’t belong. That’s not always bad. Not in the way we usually define those words. Sometimes, they’re just people who are not caught in this world. They belong to another, to a greater being, to a higher power.

I shook my head, sighing as we ended the call. Great, just great. Good job, mom. Of all the child rearing triumphs and failures, this is one of the memories that sort of stuck..

Thirty minutes after the phone call, I remembered my last run-in with the word ragamuffin. Rich Mullins and the Ragamuffin Band. I’d shown the movie to my boys a few years earlier and gotten mixed reviews.

Well, I’d liked it. Rich Mullins had been popular in my day. And the movie is good. So, I text my son. Maybe he’d remember the movie, too. Not that the movie really had anything to do with the earlier phone call, but I had a sudden need for him to remember.

This post from a few months back sat drafted and forgotten amid the rush of my work days and my menopausal sleepless nights. Then today, the blue-eyed boy and his bride sat with us for a stolen hour, the last of their Christmas week off before a few hours of driving home.

Have you ever tried to breathe in every moment, like a scent you want to remember? Grown kids move away. Their phone calls become the filler between gasping absences and their visits like our need to breathe.

Ragamufffins? Hardly.