I am not less, I am more.

More than the depression

More than the anxiety

More than the pain

More than the medications

More than the label.


I am not less, I am more.

More than “just” a woman

More than what culture says I am

More than just what I have to offer

More than who others think I am

More than I can even imagine.


I am loved

I am seen

I am heard

I am His beloved

I am MORE than I can ever dream.

In light of today being International Women’s Day. Ladies, we are all MORE!


This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!

Lenten Journey

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The days of Lent have arrived on Ash Wednesday. The days that call a person to discipline and awareness of the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness being tempted by Satan. Forty days pointing us to Friday’s anguish of the cross, Holy Saturday’s heavy grief leading to the joy of Easter Sunday.

Ashes of repentance on foreheads signify reflection on one’s mortality and sins.  Ashes from the palm fronds waved triumphantly in the worshipful celebration just three days prior.  Ashes that remind me to reflect on my spiritual journey.

This year I felt a little like Peter – if it’s a good thing to get a little black cross smeared on my forehead then let me just roll around in the black ashes and cover my whole body.  The ashes this year bore stronger tones of grief and darkness than that of repentance. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty in this girl’s life to repent of and reflect on.  But some days all of life feels like a pile of ashes around you.  Ashes of grief and depression. Ashes of dreams that seem to have gone up in flames.  Ashes of uncertainty.  Ashes of dark days when you wonder if the sun will ever shine again.  Ashes.

When life seems like a heap of ashes why should I keep going?  The best answer I have for you is this poem written by Shirley Maya Tan:

The Phoenix

On days we feel like scorched earth,
Like corroded rust or trampled dirt,
All we have to do is turn our faces,
Toward the gentle breeze,
And be sprinkled into the four directions,
Be swept away by the wind’s tender breath.

We are made holy
Through this burning,
Like a phoenix rising from it ashes
To become more powerful
Than it ever thought possible.

The scorching does not destroy us,
Rather, it burns through the chaff
Until our greatness is revealed
And what’s of real value remains.

This is our defining hour,
The moment we are made whole
By what has made through the burning.

So, let us be marked,
Not by sorrow or pain,
Not for false humility,
Or, for thinking we are less than we are.

Let us claim our brilliance within the debris,
Let us dance on the ashes of our previous lesser selves,
Let the stars be engraved into our bones,
And our divine fearless nebula return home.

Ashes to ashes,
Dust to dust,
From the rust,

May your beautiful soul rise strong out of the ashes, dear one!

Lent  Ash Wednesday


The Dark of Pain

Midnight strikes; pain robs you of sleep

Pain of the past, pain of the present

Pain unspeakable; scars witness to the pain cutting you deep inside

Pain from childhood past; pain from the tumult of youth

Pain from the deep sorrow of grief

Pain from the inner demons present now

Pain that now you try to hand upward, try to invite Jesus into

Pain that friends ask to sit with you in

Pain that invites darkness to swallow you whole.

1:00 AM strikes; darkness shrouds your soul

Darkness invited by your past woundedness

Darkness from the addiction; from the self-harm; from the self-hatred

Darkness that threatens to swallow you whole

Darkness that tries to suck the Presence of Light from your wounded heart

Darkness that tries to suppress your cry

Darkness that no longer has power

Darkness that stands no chance against the prayers of warriors on your behalf

Darkness that stands no chance against the Holy fighting for your soul

Darkness that stands no chance against your cry “Oh God, have mercy”

2:00 AM strikes; Light wraps her embrace around you

Light of the Spirit gently invading your pain

Light of Jesus blinding the evil he came to ward off

Light of God wrapping her arms around you

Light of Peace soothing your soul 

Light of Love rocking your hurting heart into a deep sleep





It only takes one moment:

That one phone call that changes your life.

The phone call that says “Dad’s had an accident.”

That moment when the doctors say, “The prognosis isn’t good.”

That moment when all life-giving care is stopped and comfort care begins.

That moment when you feel life leaving the hand you’re holding.

That moment when you say good-bye for the very last time.

That moment when the lid on the casket thuds shut.

That moment when you see your larger than life hero lowered into the grave.

That moment when the first shovelful of dirt echoes loud against the lid of the casket.

It only takes one moment for your heart to fall to pieces.

It only takes one moment for your life to change forever.

RIP Dad. You are forever loved and missed deeply. Love, your baby girl.


This post is part of the Five Minute Friday Linkup



Limits of My Longing

Go to the Limits of Your Longing  by Rainer Maria Rilke

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

“Go to the limits of your longing. Embody me.”   If I’m going to go to those limits of my longing, I need to identify my longing.  Those inner invitations that were spoken to me at the beginning of God’s formation of me.  The noise of this life threatens to drown out those heart invitations, the sound of belonging and pure desires of my soul.  My heart is so fickle and the Spirit’s mystical longing seems frightening in this tangible life.  That place where I am sent beyond my recall?  Only in that ultimate release can I best embody the God who made me. 

“Flare up like a flame and make big shadows I can move in.”  At the limits of my longing and in embodying God, my flame can burn tall.  The flame of the Spirit falling upon me and lighting up my heart’s desires to allow God to move.  Am I flaring bright enough for God to be found dancing in the shadows of my flame?  When my Spirit-fire burns low, God can’t move as freely in the shadows of my life, my heart.

“Let everything happen to you…Don’t let yourself lose me.”  In both the beauty and the terror, God is with me.  Can I really keep going? Through the terror of natural disasters, international unrest, social injustices, painful personal sorrows, persistent inner demons, terminal illnesses, to name only a few of life’s cruel realities.  Is it true that “no feeling is final”?  God is in the feelings, no matter how raw they may be.  Jesus knows every feeling experienced by me.  In the promise of victory resurrecting lies the transience of feelings.  In the presence of the Spirit dwelling within, God can never be lost.

“Give me your hand.”  An invitation that makes all the difference in this country called life.


Questions to God

Who are you anyway?

Where are you in all this mess called life?

How long are you going to stay silent?

Why should I trust you and stay?


Who are you anyway?

Are you my Abba Father or are you some taskmaster?

Are you my comforting Mother or are you a distant deity?

Are you my gentle Lover or are you an angry judge?

Who are you anyway?


Where are you in all this mess called life?

Do you walk next to me or do you walk away?

Do you sit with me or do you leave me all alone?

Do you retreat when I’m prostrate in pain or do you carry me?

Where are you in all this mess called life?


How long are you going to stay silent?

Have you heard my cries or have you closed your ears to me?

Have you leaned in to hear my silent pleas or have you turned your back to me?

Have you stopped to listen or have you forgotten me?

How long are you going to stay silent?


Why should I trust you and stay?

If I stay, will you tell me who you are?

If I stay, will you show me where you have been all along?

If I stay, will you speak into my heart?

If I stay, will you teach me how to trust you?

Why should I trust you and stay?

Truth for the Broken

Beautifully Broken by Plumb
Every tear, every doubt; Every time you’ve fallen down
When you’re hurting, feeling shame; When you’re numbing all your pain
When you’ve lost your way; And feel so far away
You’re not…

You’re beautifully broken; And You can be whole again
Even a million scars; Doesn’t change whose you are
You’re worthy; Beautifully broken

Every fear of being loved; For who you are no matter what
When you’re stumbling, with each step
And you’re haunted by regret; And the darkness closes in
Just listen…

You’re beautifully broken; And You can be whole again
Even a million scars; Doesn’t change whose you are
You’re worthy; Beautifully broken

Oh, the God who made the stars; Is the God that made your heart
And He’s holding you right now; He can heal the broken parts
And make beauty from the scars, the scars
Beautiful scars!

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To the hurting abused one, you may feel shattered,

But God is holding you, making you beautifully whole again.

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To the shamed addicted one numbing all your pain, you may feel hopelessly broken

But God hasn’t lost you, he’s right beside you making you beautifully whole again.

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To the one with scars so deep, you try to hide your self-inflicted slashes

God loves you beautiful through all the scars – the scars don’t damage his love for you.

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To the one engulfed in darkness so real, you think you will never live thru the sadness

God speaks his worth into you – your tears, your doubts don’t drown his love.

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To the one who feels betrayed by God and church, your anger is fueled by the shaming

But the God who made your heart heals those fractured trusts.

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To all those whose souls lie in shards around them,

The God who made the stars is the One who holds those fragments in his hands;

The Creator of all beauty makes beautiful mosaics from all your broken pieces.

Just like tattoo artists who cover scars with beautiful designs

Your Creator heals your scars and designs your broken into his Beloved Beautiful.

Beautifully Broken by Plumb


Photo credits: Google Images


Image result for prayerIf prayer was more silence than noisy presence

If prayer was more intentional and less hurried

If prayer was more about relationship than conversation

If prayer was more soul-breathing than list-reading

If prayer was more heart and less form

Then what would my heart experience?

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In silent centering first would come the hearing

Two voices vie for attention: one abrasive, the other gentle

As I choose to focus on the gentle voice, my heart opens wide.

I hear the whispered assurance, “You are My Beloved”.

I hear the gentle invitation, “Come and sit with Me”.

I hear the soft query, “Will you trust Me?”

I hear the promise, “I will walk beside you all the way”

I hear the pain in his voice when he says, “I have never left your side”

I hear the longing in his voice when he asks, “Will you just be with me?”

I hear the laughter in his voice at the delight of my company.

And in the hearing, I begin to feel the overwhelming Presence.

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I feel the breath of his love-song blow gently over my wounded heart

I feel the fierceness of his grip on my hands, never letting go

I feel the strength of his grace surround me in the battle

I feel the gentleness of his arms holding my little girl heart

I feel the tears of the Trinity flow together with mine

I feel the touch of scarred hands gently wiping my tears away

I feel the heartbeat of the Trinity as I fall into the open arms of Love

And in the feeling, my heart begins to know.

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I know I am seen.

I know I am heard.

I know I am forgiven.

I know I am loved.

And in that knowing, I live in the Presence of Love.


“Do It Again”

Do It Again by Elevation Worship
Walking around these walls; I thought by now they’d fall
But You have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come; Knowing the battle’s won
For You have never failed me yet
I know the night won’t last; Your Word will come to pass
My heart will sing Your praise again
Jesus, You’re still enough; Keep me within Your love
My heart will sing Your praise again
I’ve seen You move, come move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed me yet
Listening to this song, my heart argued with the writer’s believing confidence:
What do you do when you’re tired of walking
And there’s no strength for belief in the Strength of all time? 
How do you stay in the waiting when there seems to only be silence from above? 
When the battle seems to be winning instead of being won,
What is there left to do but fall on your face? 
How do you see the Light promised
When the dark of the night is so thick you can feel it pressing on you? 
Don’t give me this crap about it always being darkest before the dawn
When the morning of a new day with new mercies feels like it’s never coming for me.
History proves Jesus can move mountains
So why isn’t he beside me showing his muscle?
Will he really make a way where there seems to be no way?
How do I believe I’m still his hands when I can’t seem to feel him near? 
How do I sing his praise when I have no voice left from crying out to a silent God? 
Is Jesus really still enough? 
Enough to lift me up from a battle weary kneeling? 
Enough to stand firm and take my angry beating fists against his chest?
Enough to speak gently through my screaming accusations?
Enough to love me through the murky doubts and fears?
Enough to “keep me within [His] love”?
“Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed me yet”

Be Intentional

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In the hustle of my life, I find it difficult to be intentional.

When the alarm clock snoozed over its limit and I woke up late today,

I thought I was behind before my day had even started.

I told myself “It’s okay to skip sitting in communion with my Jesus.”

As I got myself ready for the day physically, I kept hearing this phrase “be intentional”.

I can easily be intentional about brewing my morning cup of coffee.

I am a stickler of being intentional about personal hygiene to start my day.

I don’t hesitate to be intentional about checking the news and browsing social media.

Why, then, do I think that it’s not necessary to be intentional with Jesus?

How can I be intentional with Jesus?

For me, being intentional with Jesus starts with a simple greeting right when I wake up.

I deliberately acknowledge Jesus as soon as my eyes open.

This verbal knowledge of his Presence sends Satan packing early in the day.

Just a moment or two of sitting still in his Presence silently with a heart wide open

This starts my day in a posture of a life open to hearing his voice of direction.

Listening to a worship song or reading an inspirational quote or Scripture

Provides me with a word to center my thoughts on throughout the day.

Intentionally acknowledging the beauty of nature during the day leads me to worship.

Pausing to take notice of my breathing and thanking God for the gift of life right now.

As I learn to practice intentionality in the Presence of the Holy Trinity

I learn to JUST BE with Love, in Love, and through Love.