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"Many times they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me" (Ps 129:2).
Me to Jesus (sometime in October): I'm burnt out. The joy of blogging and *making sure everyone in my house has clean socks is nowhere to be found.
Jesus: How would you blog if you weren't concerned about the disapproval of Christian leadership?
Every year, around Thanksgiving, something happens to me that I've yet to successfully pray into submission. I. Get. Tired. Not so much in the physical sense, though admittedly, the appeal of falling into bed at night increases by a significant margin. Mentally. Emotionally. Service-ly. (That's not really a word.) I get tired.
And while it's my nature to push onward like a good Christian soldier, as a newly-turned-forty-five-year-old, I've conceded that what feels natural to me is not always best for me--still.
So, every year I commit social media suicide and take a sabbatical from all things ministry related (outside of cooking great meals for and watching movies with my family and closest friends). I stop all writing, blogging, face-booking, and instead read anywhere from 2-3 non-religious books. Preferably laugh-out-loud-memoirs that utilize swear words in such a way that the rules for being a "good Christian" fall to the way side, invoking a pleasure that can only be described as the feeling a girl gets when she sheds her bra at the end of a long day.
And since I'm on a roll with a level of transparency that can get a girl black-listed from baby showers hosted by more respectable women in ministry, I may as well confess: I didn't attend a candle light service on Christmas Eve. The year before last, I showed up in humble reverence with tears streaming down my cheeks as we sang Oh, Holy Night (my all-time fav). Meanwhile, too many parents yawned while their children continued to re-visit the tables with free cookies. I'm not judging. I'm just sayin'. It saddened me. Now would probably be a good time to say that this did not happen in my home church. So, for those of you who know where I attend, relax. My apologies to the pastor of the undisclosed church to which I refer.
This past December, I spent each day thinking of and praying for the families who'd lost loved ones due to the shooting in Connecticut, and for all people engulfed in grief. The ones who need the very breath of God to breathe in and out for them because even their lungs fatigue under the weight of their circumstances. The mommies who need the spirit of God in their feet just to get out of bed. I prayed for those who couldn't buy presents for their children, whose homes would not be filled with the aroma of a twenty pound turkey roasting in the oven on Christmas Day. I thought of them. I prayed for them. I cried for them. This year, instead of reverently singing Holy Night, I lived reverently the best I could. And subsequently, it's never felt more like Christmas than it has before, which is to say, I didn't feel that odd, lonely, now-what?-lull on the 26th like I have in the past.
Christmas Eve happens to be my birthday. I don't generally celebrate it due to the fact that we usually have a house full of family to feed, plus, for many years my husband's drug addiction burned brighter than a cake with a hundred candles. But when he asked me if I wanted to celebrate, I replied, "Yes! Pizza Hut. Thin crust pepperoni pizza. Hot wings. Cold beer. The Hobbit." So, that 's what we did. (Except he drank water because he hasn't had a drink in five years , which keeps him off the naughty list.) Thank you Jesus, and Happy Birthday to me!
This of course, leads us back to the divine question that arose in my heart as I prayed for the New Year. How would I blog if I wasn't concerned about the disapproval of Christian leadership? Here's my answer: Honest. Edgy. Realer than what you've read in the past and folks, I'm pretty real. I'd write about my bewilderment with organized religion. About how much I love Jesus and yet when I attend church I often feel like a distant relative--though hope is not deterred. And about how God responded when I confessed that I've yet to hear or read a message on the topic of forgiveness that made sense to my heart when I was too broken to progress forward.
I'd shed the "women in ministry" persona that I'm constantly at odds with and just be me. Redeemed, flawed, desperate-for-Jesus me. And in the end, perhaps it'll be easier for you to be more desperate-for-Jesus you.
So, here we are. If you've changed your mind about me, if we're not a good "fit"--it's cool. No hard feelings. But if you're still here, let's take a deep breath together. Let's do something new . . . for better or worse. (But you're free to leave anytime you want. You don't have to die or anything.)
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
*To date, everyone is my house has clean socks. Can I get an amen?
Published on Tuesday, January 1, 2013 @ 10:02 AM CDT
On the heels of a wonderful conference this past weekend, I looked forward to a light schedule today. And then it happened. Life. I spent the better part of the morning in a doctor's office and things just sort of snow-balled from there.
It's 7:30 PM. Tuesday. The day I'm supposed to blog something helpful. Insightful. Trouble is, I can barely keep my eyes open. I ask for grace. I'm off to bed, trusting that tomorrow I'll feel better. That tomorrow, by the grace of God, I'll be a source of encouragement for you. But know that I prayed for you today.
I pray for you regularly, though I don't know your name. I wonder what your name is. Whether or not you're married. Married with children. Healing. Frustrated. Trusting God with outcomes. Trusting God with your heart.
I wonder. I pray.
Published on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 @ 7:46 PM CDT