Love Can Win

Yesterday was a hard day for me. I am not happy about our new president. Watching the events of the election play out, I was appalled and saddened by his many hurtful words and actions. The day after he was elected, I burst into tears. I was overwhelmed that such a hateful man could rise to such power.

I know this particular election was extremely hard for everyone. People had their reasons for voting how they did. I am trying to extend grace to those who voted for Trump. I don’t always do that well, but I’m trying.

For me and for so many others, this election was not about “our side losing.” I’m registered NPA (No Party Affiliation). I don’t have a side. I’ve voted Democrat and I’ve voted Republican. I hate the two party system. I think it does little more than keep us divided. This election is also not about policies. Any one else could have won and I would have been fine, even if I disagreed with his/her policies.

This is about a man who is extremely unqualified. A man who admitted to committing sexual assault and then dismissed it as no big deal. A man that is so un-Christlike and yet still captured the vote of so many Christians. This is about a man that scares me. A lot.

I am sad and fearful.

And yet today, I feel a glimmer of hope. I saw pictures of the brave women (and men) who peacefully protested. I saw unity and love. I did not march with them physically, but I applaud their courage.

I am choosing to speak out in my own way. Tonight, I finished a song that has been floating through my head for months. I started it last year shortly after Trump announced he was running. After hearing many of his hateful words, I sat down and strummed through some chords. Three words came to mind as I hummed a melody.

Love can win.

I have come back to those words so many times over the past year. Some days I am completely overwhelmed by the hate in the world, yet I refuse to give up hope.

Love can win.

I came back to those words tonight. This song is my reminder to me and to any one listening.

Love Can Win

The more of this world that I see
The more I want to pack up and leave
Life is heavy and so much feels wrong
Hate is here and it feels so strong
I’m left wondering, can love win?

Hate overwhelms all the tones of the heart
It crushes and it stomps on every single part
But there is one tone that always rings true
It pushes through the darkness and brings light to every hue
And to this I will cling, love can win

Hate you have no place here
Love has made the way clear

Love is stronger than any other force
It multiplies and grows from every source
So I will keep fighting with every bit of my heart
This is the message I want to impart
Love can win, love can win

Love can win, love can win, love can win

I’m alive

I’m here. I just haven’t been here lately. I apologize. Life has been busy. I just moved (same town, new home) and still haven’t fully unpacked. My days have been taken up by cardboard boxes.

I know that my website got hacked/spammed/whatever. My IT department (aka my hubby) has been working on it. We realized the site was down and decided to leave it down for a couple of weeks to try and deter the massive amounts of spam comments I was receiving daily. We got it up and running again, but are still working out a few kinks. My IT guy has also been consumed by the move.

I realized I have lost about a year of posts. I’ll be working on reposting all those in the near future. I had hoped to get that done about a month ago, but again, the move ate up most of my time. I have to find the back ups of my posts that I hopefully have somewhere (fingers crossed).

I also hope to get back to writing some new posts soon. In the meantime, enjoy this post that I shared on my other blog.

My thoughts on gay marriage

I’ve kept quiet on this subject for a long time. I hate confrontation and there’s no way to talk about this subject without hitting an angry wall on either side. I’ve struggled with it, read the Bible passages, and prayed to God about it.

In high school, before I became a Christian, I was of the opinion that it didn’t matter who your significant other was. If you truly loved them, that was all that mattered. A Christian friend voiced the opinion that he thought it was sin. It was the first time I had run into that opinion and I was pretty shocked when he said it. I remember thinking how narrow minded he was.

In college, I began to read the Bible. I found the passages that condemn homosexuality. I began to realize that the words my high school friend spoke had been truth. According to Christianity, homosexuality was a sin. I prayed about it, and drifted to that side.

As my faith progressed, I discovered more and more shades of gray. Things that used to be simple and black and white  became much more complex when real people were involved.

As homosexuality and gay marriage has become more prevalent in the news, I have prayed more and more about it. It was one of the those things that I had a hard time swallowing from the Bible, but I had just accepted as God’s word. I wish I could say there was more clarity on the subject for me, but the more I prayed, the more confusing it became. I found myself asking God why gay people were being so discriminated and not offered more of God’s grace.

One thing did happen as I prayed. The more I prayed, the more I found myself face to face with real live gay people. I have gay friends, and they are wonderful people. Several of them are Christians. They love Jesus with an intense love that I envy.

I can say with a fact that they did not choose this. This is how they are, how they were beautifully and wonderfully made. I know that some of them tried to change it. I’m sure they felt guilt and shame. In the end, they chose to embrace it.

This whole issue is still fuzzy for me. I read the Bible passages and I struggle. I argue with God about them. I still can’t say with certainty that I identify fully on either side of the issue. I see both sides. Christians, I get it. I understand why you protest. And gays, I’m so sorry for all the hatred and anger you’ve had to endure. It’s not right.

What I can say with certainty is that I applaud the recent Supreme Court decision. Because I strongly believe in equal rights for everyone. People deserve to be treated with respect, even if you completely disagree with their life choice.

I also believe that Christians need to stop judging and start loving. I have enough of my own crap to worry about. Why should I focus on what someone else is doing wrong? We don’t need to keep telling people that homosexuality is a sin. I think we’ve made that abundantly clear. The Jesus I know would embrace that gay person. He would go to dinner with him and listen. He would honor her story and her life.

And that’s what I hope to do as well.

Coffee stains

Last week I confessed my lack of church attendance. Here it is another Sunday morning, and I am not at church. I’m taking baby steps. This morning I took my coffee and my Bible out to my front porch, where I could breathe in the morning air and listen to the birds’ songs.

I had to search for my Bible. I can’t remember the last time I’ve cracked it’s spine, and couldn’t remember where I had left it. I found it tucked away in the bottom of my nightstand.

One thing I love about the Bible is the fact that no matter how long I’ve been away, the sweet pages always welcome me back. I may not completely internalize the words I’m reading, but the wispy sounds of the pages are like a balm to my soul.

I turned to the Gospels. I have found that in my deepest of struggles, Jesus’s words and actions are the ones that ring most true. Even when I am doubting this whole Christian thing, Jesus is still one awesome guy.

As I flipped to Matthew, I found a couple coffee stains sprinkled around John the Baptist’s words.

Memories of being snuggled in with coffee and my Bible came flooding back. For years, the words within these covers have brought me joy and comfort. And they have convicted and torn me apart.

I have doubts and questions and fears. I know I’m not the only one. Over coffee yesterday, a friend confessed similar feelings. This faith thing is messy. Yet, we both agreed that Jesus is who we aspire to be. Neither of us are ready to give up.

I will continue to search these pages. There is truth and peace to be found.

Confession Time

I have a confession.

I have not been to church in a year.

I’m not proud of that. It wasn’t intentional. I stepped away for a bit to rest my mind. I got so weary of overthinking things. I needed a break.

And, as usually happens, habit sunk in. I relished an extra day of sleeping in and savoring coffee. The solitude and quiet was heavenly. Weeks turned into months, and before I even realized it, a year. My short break became the norm.

I wish I could say I want to go back. But honestly, I haven’t missed it. It’s easier to ignore the issue than face it. It’s a large part of the reason I haven’t been blogging much. I began to feel that I had run out of things to say. I felt like a hypocrite, complaining about all that’s wrong with the church while I sit at home on my butt. I was ashamed to admit that I had essentially given up.

Church used to be the place where I felt most whole. Now I can’t walk through the doors without feeling like I’m breaking in two.

My introverted soul is exhausted. I have grown weary of dealing with people on a daily basis. I’m tired of sarcasm, passive aggressiveness, and rudeness. I crash into my couch at the end of the day and want nothing to do with anyone. And while I know that within the church there are precious people who carry none of the above characteristics, I no longer have the energy to seek them out.

The tragic irony is that I miss community. I desperately long for it. The thought of being amidst a sea of people, making small talk chases me away. I want to get back to that place where I feel comfortable sharing more than the weather. It’s so worth it when you’re there but such a struggle to get there.

Easter this year was much like the rest of my year. No church. A quiet morning with my coffee. One thing was different though; I felt discouraged and sad that the day didn’t feel special. So I blogged about it. I didn’t think much about it, since I hadn’t blogged in months. I just wrote and put it out there. I didn’t think I would get much reaction.

The next day, I had a sweet email from a former worship leader who had stumbled upon my blog. She made a desperate google search to find someone who might relate to where she was. She too was feeling empty on the most glorious day of the year. She found encouragement in my words and thanked me for sharing them. I in turn found encouragement in her words.

I have thought and prayed about this blog often in the past year. I began to think the blog had run it’s course and that it was time to close this chapter in my life. I thought I was out of words.

Turns out I’m not.

I can’t guarantee how often I will blog, as life is still very full, but I will blog again. There is still gunk to be worked through and grace that I need to learn to give and accept.

And as much as I don’t want to, I will be returning to church. Drew and I will be searching for a new church home, and we plan to visit some different services. I look forward to sharing my experiences here.

Thank you for your continued grace with me as I have processed and pouted through this awkward journey.

Serving as an introvert

I found the following on my computer, buried among several other Word docs and random writing prompts. I’m not sure what prompted me to write it, or when I wrote it, but it still applies. 


Years ago, I took an online spiritual gifts test. One of my highest scoring gifts was mercy or compassion. I wasn’t too surprised. I “feel” for people and long to help the less fortunate, the discouraged, and the destitute. I spent three years of my life mothering and teaching African children and was fired up about the idea that I was empowering and enriching their lives.

For years, I worked in a retirement and assisted living facility. Part of my job was encouraging and loving on the widowed and the lonely. When I first started, I loved it. Years later, I felt absolutely drained from it.

As much as I long to help people, I also long to just be alone. Such is the problem for a mercy-gifted introvert. I want to help people, and yet being around them drains me. And I’m unsure of how to handle this dichotomy.

Lately, I feel more and more exhausted from more and more interactions with people. How do you reconcile what seems to be an extroverted spiritual gift with an introverted nature?

First, I need to simply realize that there is nothing wrong with me. I need time alone to recharge. I cannot fully serve others when I myself am feeling drained. Taking time to myself in the morning to prepare for my day helps. And, taking alone time at the end of a draining day is my reward.

Second, I’m finding ways that I can still serve others while being safely nestled amongst my introverted ways. Through writing, I’ve found that I can connect with and encourage people. And I can do it all from the comfort of my couch, snuggled under a blanket and without draining interaction amongst others.

Third, I need to rely on God. He has made me the way I am, and He didn’t make a mistake. He will provide the help along the way that I so desperately need. I too often forget how much prayer will help strengthen me. This little introvert has been spurred on by some incredibly extroverted moments, which I can only see being brought on by God.

I pray that I will continue to serve in ways that will encourage others as well as myself. I need to be true to who I am, the core of my being, all without draining the other core of who I am.

My starved imagination

Today I’m reposting a blog from July 2012, mainly because I really need to be reminded of this.


Ever had one of those days where all you want to do is go home and hide under a blanket with a good strong drink? I have a lot of those days. The sad thing is that it’s usually just one incident that spoils every other good aspect of the day. I have a hard time overlooking that one bad thing.

One day I came home, fuming from the grumpiness that had overtaken me. As I pulled into the driveway, I climbed out of my car and noticed a little something on my deck chairs. A butterfly. Just chilling out and fluttering it’s wings quietly.

For a brief moment, I was able to put my annoyances from the day to the side. This calm little creature reminded me to do just as it was doing: calm down.

I believe that God places such things in my path to get my attention. Often, I’m so wrapped up in my seemingly deserved self-worth that I saunter right on past. The attention grabbing is usually done in very subtle ways; flowers in bloom, a cool breeze, warm sun rays on my face, a smile from a stranger, a comforting scent or sound.  I hate when I get to the point that I miss all of this.

In my favorite devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers states:

“In every wind that blows, in every night and day of the year, in every sign of the sky, in every blossoming and in every withering of the earth, there is a real coming of God to us if we will simply use our starved imagination to realize it.”

I think my imagination has been starved, because I feel as if I’m not picking up on much of this lately. Sadly, I walk right by every blossom and every withering, too self-absorbed to truly take it in and see God.

What a way to worship; noticing God in all the little things around me. I used to be good at this. A warm breeze would wash over my face and I’d close my eyes and raise my face to the heavens. Beautiful clouds in the sky made me thank God for His creativity. The sound of birds chirping brought a smile to my face.

Now I just plow right through my day, oblivious to the small signs that God places in my path everyday. I hate that. I pray that I can return to that childlike awareness and not miss those sweet, subtle signs.

Question: What was the last subtle sign God placed in your way?

Music still moves me

I let life get the best of me and I forget to relish in the beautiful pieces. Music is one of those pieces. I too often forget to let it in.

My city put on a festival this weekend, a festival of words and music. It featured writers and musicians from all over. I heard about it, but didn’t really think much about it. I assumed it was a ticketed event. I have been carefully budgeting, and I didn’t think there was enough cash to allow for concert tickets.

Some of the bigger events were ticketed, like The Avett Brothers. I saw several Facebook posts of people who were at the concert. I regretted not getting tickets for the event, or at the very least, standing outside the gate of the outdoor amphitheater to hear some of the music. I told myself that next time, I would consider spending the money.

The next day, Drew and I were having a relaxing Saturday at home. It was drizzly and bleary outside, so we were cuddled on the couch, lazily watching TV. I did another half hearted scroll through my Facebook feed and ran across a post from Seryn, my favorite band. They were playing a concert at 4:00 p.m. at the festival in my hometown. How had I missed this?

My favorite band was playing in my town at 4:00 p.m. It was 3:30. My first thought was of utter disappointment. I was going to miss my favorite band play. I assumed it was too late to go. Tickets were probably sold out. But then I remembered the regret I felt at not going to The Avett Brothers concert. Drew looked at me and said, “Go.”

So I did. I threw on a pair of flip flops and headed out in my yoga pants and t-shirt. I got there a few minutes after 4:00 and discovered that the concert was free. It had been moved inside because of the rain. I ran toward the venue and was happy to find that Seryn was still setting up. It was in a small room with florescent lights and about eight rows of chairs.

The show was completely unplugged, with only one microphone. They turned off the overhead lights, and there were no spotlights or stage lights. There was no stage. They played by the sunlight that streamed in through the window.

The last time I saw Seryn, it was on a big stage with fancy lights and a fancy sound system. They played and sang their hearts out. They put every ounce of passion they had into that show.

They did the same thing in that dimly lit room. They gave everything they had. It didn’t matter if there was 30 or 300 people there.

I was inspired, energized, encouraged. I can’t tell you how happy I am that music will still do that in my life. After being calloused and jaded for so long, it’s wonderful to feel my heart still soften at the strum of a guitar.

The truth of Easter

Happy Easter.

As I woke up this morning and sleepily scrolled through my Facebook feed, I saw the colorful pictures and energetic posts.

“He is Risen!”

“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, He is risen!”

“Happy Easter!”

Instead of happiness and excitement at my risen Lord, I felt that all familiar and unwelcome feeling of frustration. Why is it that on this most joyous of all days I can’t simply feel… happy? Why do these ugly emotions continue to surface?

I don’t have all the answers, although I have some rough ideas. I’m still working through my issues. I still get hung up on some stupid stuff with the church. I’m working, processing. I’m getting there. Slowly.

I long to feel simple feelings of happiness, contentedness, joy, and peace. Years ago I felt them. I felt close to my risen Savior. Not so much this year.

Then I remembered that the truth of Easter does not hinge on my feelings and frustrations toward my faith. It doesn’t depend on me feeling happy. Jesus is risen, and no amount of nasty feelings can change that.

So today I will focus on time with family. I will relish the chance to make some pies from scratch that will pare perfectly with my husband’s homemade ice cream. I will snuggle a sweet puppy who will be so excited to see me that she will pee on the floor. I will remember how incredibly blessed I am and how much Jesus is in the little things.

Whether you are loudly proclaiming from the rooftops or huddling under a blanket on your couch, Happy Easter. Whether you are filled with joyous emotions or struggling to force a smile, Jesus has risen.

Happy Easter friends.

Advent Do-Over

We took our Christmas tree down today (don’t judge.) The living room looks empty now. I always hate to take down the decorations, and I’m glad that Drew is so patient with my desire to leave them up just a bit longer. I’ve been thinking about this Christmas season in the last couple weeks.

My current job is in event planning. Although exciting and filled with creative opportunities, it’s also incredibly exhausting. The first two weeks of December were a complete blur as I helped plan a neighborhood event for about 1000 people. The last half of December I was a total zombie as I tried to get my brain to work again.

I feel like I missed out on Christmas this year. That makes me sad, since it’s my favorite time of year. I want an Advent do-over. I don’t want all the hustle and bustle and craziness, but I want the quiet worship. The carols. The soft glow of the Christmas tree. The lighting of the Advent wreath. The magical story of the manger. The expectation and the waiting for a Savior. The sweet feeling of a warm home and people you love nearby.

Although the Christmas tree may be gone, I can still relish in a warm home and my loving husband close to me. I can still have quiet worship, even if they aren’t Christmas carols. And I can still read the story of sweet baby Jesus, and relish in the future of that baby and what it means for me.

I hope your Christmas season was wonderful and that your New Year has continued to bless you.