What Change Brings...

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.” – C JoyBell C.
“See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness & streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:19
“And we’re dancing in the minefields We’re sailing in the storm This is harder than we dreamed But, I believe that’s what the promise is for…” -“Dancing in the Minefields”, Andrew Peterson
May 2016, we experienced a traumatic death at the Hope Lodge. In that moment, a part of me also died. I powered down hope & fell into despair. A cloying desolation filled every atom of my being. I suffocated under the weight of it. Life became a ‘chasing after the wind’ – utterly meaningless. I didn’t see any way out. Going through the mo…

Remnant of Hope...tiny steps toward healing change!

Hadassah: “What hope, Mark? What hope is there?” Mark: “ God always leaves a remnant.” -A Voice in the Wind, Mark of the Lion series; Francine Rivers
remnant:           n. a small remaining quantity of something           adj. remaining
          My precious friend, Abby imbued me with a frame to fill with purpose for 2017. What I will embrace, engage in, be, believe, break free from, do daily, let go of, learn from, live by, give, and how I will grow. It sits at my desk as a daily reminder. My pastor touched on how women seek the ideal in every situation. In a biblical God given capacity it can be a treasure, but it also can be a hindrance that leads to sin. I had such a beautiful ideal for 2017. The start was filled with potholes that left me a bit bereft with a twisted ankle and need for a dark room and copious amounts of sugar. I felt aimless and without purpose. I knew there was more, but God’s more wasn’t matching with my ideal. It wasn’t fitting into what I had pictured.

Hope for the future...The Magic of Ordinary Days!

“Rose spoke up softly beside me. ‘It’s how you handle the unfairness of life – that’s what matters, I think.’… In this city of imprisonment, I had seen faith and optimism, strength and fortitude in the face of adversity.” (Rose was in a Japanese Internment camp) – Ann Howard Creel, Magic of Ordinary Days
There is a reawakening from Spiritual Amnesia. It occurs on a daily basis. Communion becomes rehearsed. The air stale. The duty conducted with numb appendages – a mumbling of a prayer, a kind word given, bible verse read. The force needed to change this directive, knock the scales from my eyes, is quite powerful. The exposure sometimes develops a bit blurry. Yet, the moving breathing omniscient God does not let me go quietly into the fog of forgetfulness.
I remember watching the movie Magic of Ordinary Days based upon Ann Howard Creel’s novel. It is still one of my favorite movies. There is a beautiful bridge between what we think we want or need, and what is really needed to live an e…

I'll Run w/ Wild Horses

The ancient elm obscured the delicate etching on the colorful glass. The red brick - as if it had been molded from Georgia clay - sat strong, hugging this ancient creature, giving the window a feeling of being encased in blood. The tints of glass in shades of blue, purple, gold and aqua were a stark contrast to the bleeding brick. Its exquisite features sat perched on the sill with the words "I was glad" etched deep into the granite. Who wrote these words? Why? And what manner of beauty was I beholding? What small cell of history had I stumbled across? I found myself wanting to know the inner workings of the person who wrote these three simple words. "I was glad", they slipped so softly from my lips I barely realized I said them. A light breeze wept sunlight through the leaves and reflected off the colored glass. A thought came to mind, "Don't forget to be grateful that you love words." All well and good, but how was I to describe these snared thought…

Oh, My Anxious Heart!

A tidal wave is an exceptionally large ocean wave, especially one caused by an underwater or volcanic eruption. Just as with nature, our inner struggle can create outward signs that hit so unexpectedly our emotions become shrapnel which imbeds itself into our well-being.
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. The urban dictionary defines a panic attack as, “the worst, most uncomfortable thing that could ever happen to someone. (Death comes a close second)”
In the last few years I have met humans of all ages, shapes, and backgrounds that are experiencing life altering anxiety. The social norm, much less the spiritual one, is to overlook this condition, thinking someone should be able to simply “get over” the crushing emotions they are experiencing.
As Christians the road can be hobbled by road blocks which hinder the security of our faith. From an early age I was told, “don’t fear, but put your tru…

Tidings of Emotion

“Faith is not a vague sense that, “God will work it out.” It comes from prayerful immersion in the Scripture.” – Timothy Keller
I am experiencing a bit of emotional fatigue. I am mired up in what May brings. The responsibility is overwhelming. Instinctively, I want to bury my head against the wind and just get through it. Yet, that is unfair to this gift of life. I am forsaking the blessings by dreading what hasn’t even happened yet. So, I’m trying to own the pain I feel while traversing, with revelry, this rocky road we call life. These seasons are equal reminders, as rejoicing often is, that there is beauty to behold – little bumps and bruises can be blessings to.
I just found out a “boy” I liked has a serious girlfriend. The pin prick reality that I am not a mother placed salt in a fresh cut wound. I don’t write this with bitterness. I write it with loneliness, and an ache that feels too real to mark with borders. We are often frightened to feel these emotions. How are we able to nav…

Past Dead Ends

“God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating.” – Colossians 1: 13 – 14(MSG)
He is asking me to walk past dead ends. I’ve lived safe; etching Crayola color borders on construction paper. A dream, 27 years in the making, is taking shape. There have been no words. The tender wet, the flint and steel lost. But, I linger on the precipice of merriment.
I am standing on a hillside with Him. The break of day touches the horizon in a low pink glow that feels strangely alive. The sun rises over the mountain range, glistening over a river that cuts a deep swath through the valley dotted with wildflowers. He looks at me and says, “this is what I have for you, Melissa.”
When we come up against a dead end our first reaction is to turn around. We feel there is no way around, out, or over.
What if?
What if, past that impossible dead thin…