People often ask me about the name of my blog... click here to read the story.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

State of Play

I'm not a big game player. When we have friends over, we rarely pull out the cards or game board. But I have been know to engage in a nasty little diversion I think you'll all recognize. It's the ever addicting past time where everyone's a loser called: "Let's Compare!"

As a woman, I'm an excellent player having practiced from an early age. No matter the category...houses, clothes, weight, husbands, kids, talents...I play often and competitively. But, as I just stated, I'm always the loser. the other day I played, in my mind, a rousing game in the spiritual category; comparing spiritual gifts, effectiveness, God's love, and maturity level with some of my sisters in Christ.

When I'd exhausted myself mentally, I realized, yet again, that the outcome is always the same. It' a ridiculous vain pursuit, this comparison game. Much like tic tack toe...always ending in scratch.
Upon reflection, I decided there are only three possible endings in the comparison game:
1. feel like a complete and total loser because of how short we fall
B. judge the other person so we'll feel better about ourselves or
3. (my personal favorite) accuse God of not caring about us as much as others because if He cared, He'd make us ok.

"For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." Romans 12:3

Paul's words to the Romans bring both comfort and conviction to me. Inherent in the verse is permission, even exhortation, not to compare and that, of course in comforting. Conviction because I begin to realize that my comparisons come from a place of pride...a place of dissatisfaction with what God's given me, with how He's made me...a place that demands what I think I deserve and screams out "I want more for me!".

A few verses later, after Paul names several different gifts and talks about how we all have different strengths that we should use whole-heartedly, he says "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." Romans 12:9-10

"You are not here for you" once again resounds in my head, ever calling me out of myself and into community...calling me away from the comparison game and into a more satisfying match of out-loving or out-gracing or out-giving my brothers and sisters...calling me away from pride and back to the foot of the cross where true selflessness exists.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


" repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength..." Isaiah 15:30

Why is repenting, resting, waiting, and trusting so hard?
Arranging, planning, managing...those are easy.
But, although I'm no Biblical scholar, I don't recall in all my years of reading scripture and listening to sermons ever hearing an exhortation to contrive & manipulate our own circumstances.
Yet, that seems as natural to me as breathing. I don't even realize I do it sometimes. And honestly, if you know me, I'm not a control freak...I'm an "in the moment" kinda girl. So how do you more naturally managing people do it???
If I'm laid back & struggle, it must be awful for you.
Or perhaps personality has nothing to do with. Perhaps it's simply human nature to want "dominion" over our selves and our surroundings.
Either way, repentance, rest, quietness and trust are hard things to live.

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." Isaiah 43:1-3

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Eagle Eye

We watched the movie "Eagle Eye" last week. A sci-fi, techno thriller, it's basically about a rogue computer that has access to literally everything and everyone--intimate details of everyones personal lives.
You only know what I tell you about me. Anyone in my life only sees or knows what I share. They may make observations about body language or tone of voice and infer things about what I'm thinking or feeling...but no one knows anything for sure about me (or you) unless we share it.
Accept, of course, God.
He knows it all. The good, the bad, and the really really ugly. Whether I bring my anger, pain, hurt, judgmental attitude, or jealous spirit to Him or not, he knows it.
I heard Sheila Walsh speak several years ago and she said something that stuck with me: "God has seen the whole movie of my life and he loves me anyway."
He, the real Eagle Eye, sees it all and loves me anyway.
So yesterday, as I sat watching the rain and playing a spiritual game of "He loves me, He loves me not" in my head (based, mind you, on my own perceptions), plucking imaginary petals off a fictitious daisy, He reminded me of His Eagle Eye.
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

Friday, April 17, 2009

Laying it down...again

giving up me...
giving up my rights....
giving up my ways...
laying it all down...again...

"Here is my heart
this is my everything
take it and make me new...
leave me wanting nothing but you" ~Eddie Kirkland

Monday, April 13, 2009


A few weeks ago, I had to call someones home right after they'd been through a difficult several weeks. As I dialed, I fully expected to get their answering machine and leave a message. But after a few rings, she picked up. When I got off the phone I thought, there's no way I would have answered my phone. There's no way, the day after my mom died, that I'd answer the phone in a "normal" voice.
Why? Because (and it's only recently been brought to my attention--by none other than God) I am, in fact, a habitual avoider.

I've always been a procrastinator, but I didn't realize how much I avoid.
House cleaning.
Hard situations.
People who bug me.
People who hurt my feelings.
People who suck the last bit of energy out of me.
People in general.
Really stupid, trivial things.

Trying to mend my ways, to be obedient, to not miss out on blessings He has in store for me, I'm working on non-avoidance.

But me, being me, wants to know why I avoid.
As you can imagine, there are likely tons of reasons (fear, for instance), but the one that strikes me today, is that I avoid because often, I try to do things on my own. And we all know that failure waits right around the corner from self sufficiency.

"If we undertake work for God and get out of touch with Him, the sense of responsibility will be overwhelmingly crushing; but if we roll back on God that which He has put upon us, He takes away the sense on responsibility by bringing in the realization of Himself."
Oswald Chamber My Utmost of His Highest

I've had several opportunities the last few days to practice non-avoidance...and so far so good. With His reminders, strength and grace, perhaps I'm on my way to being a Reformed Avoider.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Justify: 1)to prove to be right or reasonable or 2) to regard as righteous or worthy of salvation

Everyday I try to justify myself: to prove myself or my action or thoughts as right or reasonable.
When I sin, I make excuses.
I don't want to admit my mistakes.
I don't want to be wrong...I want to be justified... to be regarded as worthy.
I want to do it on my own.
I don't want to need someone else to justify me so I can be worthy.
I want to stand on my own merits.
I don't want to need someone else to justify me.
But here's the sad fact: on my own, I'm utterly hopeless.
I screw up all the time and even when I do do nice things, all the crap outweighs the meagre good.
The only way I can be justified or proved right or regarded as righteous and worthy is through Jesus...the only human who didn't screw up.
He's the only one who can justify me...make me righteous. Only through His perfect sacrifice...on the cross, am I able to be ok.
So while you're dining on your Easter ham or enjoying your jelly beans tomorrow chew on this: "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Romans 3:22-24

Monday, April 6, 2009


You are not here for you.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how those words came to echo through my brain and are etched in my mind like a permanent fixture. Throughout the day and even in the night, each time I think somethings not fair or am tempted to have hurt feelings or want recognition or need validation, the words come back to me. Not in a demeaning, demoralizing way...but in a gentle, reminding sort of way.
This morning, quite frankly like many mornings, I felt like I needed yet another reassurance of God's love for me. Opening my Bible, I read the words from I John 3:16: "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers."
Do I really need any more assurances (even though I often feel as if I do)? He laid down His life for me and now asks me to daily lay down my life for others. He loves me because He's allowing me and convicting me and helping me realize the truth of the words "you are not here for you."
The hardest part of this, for me, is that truly laying down my life means anonymity.
Anonymity, according to the dictionary means: the quality or state of being unknown or unacknowledged. We don't like to be unknown. In fact, we all have a deep longing to be truly, deeply known. Yet, when we know we're known by God, the Creator of the universe, being known for what we do seems somehow superfluous.
When we're laying down our lives there's no attention getting, no recognition, sometimes even misunderstanding of what you did or didn't do. Being willing to be ok with all of that often trips me up. Yet the call "you are not here for you" means giving up me.

**After thinking about and rereading the above post, I can't help but notice the dischord between talking about anonymity and publishing a very public blog. Weird.