Paper Airplanes and Paper Cuts

A perfect friendship is like a perfect marriage-

It doesn’t exist.

Greatness is in the imperfection; beauty is in the flaws, loved despite the cracks.

We are all cracked people, and yet sometimes we find someone who makes our canyons like crevices.

paper airplane tutorialAnd sometimes we find someone with good intentions who occasionally throws us a paper airplane…while we try mapping out our canyon.

I want to say run from these airplane throwers – the ones with “good intentions” and false hope of any real help.

These people not only let you down, they keep you down.

Again, and again, and again.

I want to run- but that’d by hypocritical considering my slow walk backwards from the airplane throwers in my life.

I keep looking back, praying for a change of great magnitude. I keep reaching out.

I have a handful of papercuts.

I love this person.

They used to love me, they used to know me.

Maybe it was pure naivety to think we’d walk our canyons together. Maybe all along I was holding her hand over her canyons.

And she was… making paper airplanes.

And maybe the airplanes are less about false hope and help for me (they’ve only ever let me down)

Maybe they were always about her trying to escape, to fly away.

I do believe we are supposed to forgive, 77 times, but at what point do you bandage your hand and love them from a distance?

Is that even a real thing? Love from a distance.

What if they don’t want love- not the hard kind you only know how to offer; the give and take self-sacrificing kind.

My heart is heavy but hand is healing, the paper cuts are becoming sliver of scars.

When she is ready, she will reach out again and my hand will be healed- and reaching out for her again.

But I’m done with the god intentions and false hopes. Keep your airplanes and fly away if you must. But you cant fly away from yourself sweet girl.

And you can’t out run my love.

-J

Wake Up to Entitlement

I’ve had a couple wake up calls to ways that I am being unfaithful to God in my lifestyle.  Now, your imagination is probably running, but, trust me, it is not that exciting.  It’s the small things that get us the most though, those are the easy ones to ignore and look over.  The areas that I need to clean up are my finances and my health – both of which are almost painful it seems at times.  

4d0af2dd60e6e57f3c50f20d320e9e25As I’ve done some prayerful, honest self reflection, I’m finding these two things are coming down to entitlement.  

If you asked me how I felt about entitlement, I would tell you I despise it.  None of us are entitled to anything.  YET, I subconsciously use it to justify my actions all the time in so many different ways.  

I had a hard day.  I deserve XXXXXX.

I did a really great job on that presentation.   I should reward myself with XXXXX.

I haven’t really bought any new clothes lately.  I deserve XXXXXXX.

I spend a lot of time on others.  I can get myself XXXXXX.

After all, God would want me to be happy and XXXXXX makes me happy.

All of this based on the idea that I inherently deserve something.  That something is owed to me for something that I’ve done, experienced, or simply for being me.  All of which is wrong.

I am not owed anything.  In fact, I owe everything.  Yet, if I’m truly honest, there are pieces of my life that I’ve been unwilling to hand over completely because I have felt entitled.  These seemingly small pieces, it’s not like I’m on the verge of bankruptcy or death by any means, I keep for myself as if God doesn’t want them.  But he does.  He wants it all.  He wants my all.  

“She traded entitlement for surrender, and God took her up on it.” Jennie Allen in Anything (49).  

0f9b5d98bbffcdae0fee5dc2b7033aa0So, that’s what I’m trying to do.  Trade the things I’ve viewed as entitlements to offerings.  One brownie, one shirt, one ice cream, one pair of earrings, one piece of pizza, one dvd (have you figured out my weaknesses yet?) at a time.

Big actions can be easier sometimes than the small day to day offerings…but I’m trying.  As God is revealing these hidden pieces of my soul that I wasn’t aware I was clutching, He is also giving me the power to surrender all I have and am to Him to make room and prepare for even bigger battles to fight in His name!

-S

Just a Mom

I know a lot of women whose kids are older than mine. These women are great, godly women, flawed but leaning on the Spirit.

I also know a lot of great ungodly women in similar seasons of life. And they all share one thing in common…the feeling of losing themselves.

No longer knowing who they are after years of diapers, tantrums, toddler tunes, and dino snacks. (or maybe that’s just my routine?!)

They seem to lose their sense of identity and self worth somewhere between 10am and 2 pm. While this is all too common, it’s not my experience at all.

I found myself and continue to rediscover myself with babes in arm. I was lost, desperately searching, and now the main thing I’m searching for is a hiding man cub among the pillows.

Yes, someday I long for loud music and a huge canvas and margarita before 2pm.

But I’m not lost or losing myself in tantrums and puppy kisses.

just momI am home. I am the best version of me when my cheek is wet from a man cub tongue, and my shirt is wet with bug drool.

I am the best version of myself when I revel in the moment God has called me to: motherhood.

This isn’t an easy season. The tantrums keep coming and I’m quite confident I’m screwing them up, but my mistakes are based in love.

There is no manual or school required with reproducing.

But I do know this: it is self-sacrificing, thus losing oneself seems easy.

Especially in this era of parenting…where selfishness and how you FEEL trumps all.

“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” Mark 8:36

You’re told you can have your cake and eat it too. The fine print is the cake mess you’re going to be cleaning up later.

However, I think that’s exacty what is leaving moms feeling unsatisfied.

You can not have it all. It is physically and emotionally impossible.

It’s more than ok to be “just a mom.” In this fast paced world it’s a holy gift.

It’s years granted to see yourself through the eyes of a child.; to see the world new with each additional child. To view un-jaded and awe struck every ordinary wonder…albeit through tired lenses.

You give and give until there is nothing left. Yet, I don’t feel empty. Those slow puppy kisses, and ‘rella cuddles, and big Bug eyes, and belly laughters…those babes that drain me fill me right back up.

So I urge you, lean into God’s Holy Spirit, ask for endurance and patience (because those babes require both). Find your worth in His plan, not worldly standards. Being just a mom is enough, and holy work.

Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. 1 Peter 5:2

God didn’t call us all to everything. And the small moments, and small people I’m responsible for are big enough for me. And my God.

  • J

My New Truth

This truth settled on me this morning.  My new truth, in three poignant points –

  1. God has a plan.87d778d3cd39c10f153170162d5c5747
  2. He will reveal that plan at the right time.
  3. When He reveals it, I will follow.

In the meantime, I will continue to live my life with Christly love and give what I can while preparing myself spiritually, mentally, and physically.  Otherwise,  I will let go of trying to figure it out.

A life of peaceful contentment joined by excited anticipation.

-S

Dynamite and Rivers

I cant deny that the Bible (thus God) values a gentle spirit; yet I cant quite swallow it either.

I love powerfully and live purposefully, and am working on leaving the rest to God.

dynamiteHowever, my love and my life can hardly be described as gentle…even my ten week old daughter can hardly be described as gentle. I’m a fighter…and I breed fighters (not the easiest thing to raise).

I realize slow, gentle, steady rivers make canyons. So does dynamite.

I fall into the latter.

God made me passionate (ie: explosive)

He knows every hair on my head has wired my being with strong feeling fibers. .

Thus the struggle of honoring His craftsmanship and honing a “gentle spirit” takes place. And most times this tasks is beyond me.

However I’m learning that dynamite is only deadly when it’s not controlled.

In the right hands and right time, it does good and magnificent work. It makes canyons. It literally moves mountains (or creates a landslide).

I’m dynamite and thank goodness I’m letting go of control…

Thank goodness my God has big enough hands to hold me. And perfect expertise in explosive souls.

I’m learning to wait for his timing. To listen more before using my tongue to cause landslides (internally and externally).

That’s the flip side to having an explosive soul; it often hurts you as much as your intended recipient.

I may never be a gentle spirit, but I am wired delicately and learning to handle myself with care and caution. To protect myself and the world from unintended outbursts.

I love powerfully and I live purposefully. And the force behind me can only be explained by a master engineer.

-J

If I Had God’s Eyes

I wish I did sometimes…have God’s eyes…

Be able to see the direction things are going, the direction I am going.

Be able to see and understand why things happen, explains the context and purpose to others…

But then I’m sure I don’t want that.

3cc4f029c44311aea54f90015466af91I don’t want to see ALL the pain.

I don’t want the responsibility of knowing all, the heavy load of seeing all.

I really don’t want all of God’s vision.

I just want to worship and trust the God who does see all.

I want Him to hold my hand one step at a time. (I wouldn’t object to a  little light being thrown on the next bend in the road, though.)

I want to see with a Christly lens, with one that sees pain and hurt, responds in love and grace.

But, I don’t want God’s eyes in their entirety.

If I had God’s eyes, I couldn’t handle it.  I couldn’t carry the soul crushing burden of the pain I would see.  I can barely handle my own.

So, I will be satisfied with my own limited eyes ~ praying earnestly that they see what God wants them to see and that my hand and heart follow.

-S

Prosperity has its Pitfalls in Progress

“Prosperity has its pitfalls. It can make us fat and dull, turning us into people of mediocre faith”

This has always been one of my fears. I’m not sure why because God has always felt perfectly comfortable pouring on the hardships (be it brain surgery, AIDS, financial downfalls, cross country moves, long distance husbands…I could continue).

Yet, while I’m aware of the hard times (and was mildly aware growing up) they’ve never felt that big, or hard, or scary to me.

I think that’s why ‘prosperity’ scares me. Sometimes I feel like surely a ball is going to drop and life is going to get real hard.

Paying no mind to the fact that we’ve failed at juggling years ago.

It’s a testament to my parents faith and love. They are spiritually ambidextrous. Faithful in the good times and bad, love flowing and life living through the easy and hard.

And hard isn’t so hard when you have faith and family.

Hard times come, and come, nothing is ever smooth sailing for our family. Althought that is a common misconception due to all the love.

Then again, maybe its not, because nothing is too big or too hard when you’re not alone.prosperity and pitfalls

I’m not praying for hard times, I don’t have to, they will come or I will manage to make them myself.

I do pray for the ability to be spiritually ambidextrous To learn to live in the valley and peaks with unwavering faith and love.

Mediocrity isn’t an option.

-J