Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Life Always Changes

Learning To Trust Again - Micca Monda Campbell

God seems to talk to me at my worst. In the past two days I've been angry, hurt and felt burnt down. Never a good feeling. I didn't look at God and ask, "why me?" the way I normally would. Instead, I stewed in it. I ignored it. I even took it out on friends and B. It's been...bad. God brings me back to Him, reminding me of the character He's building in me, the fires I HAVE to go through. If I ask for Him to change me, don't I have to go through the things that will make that change happen?

Today the devotion centers around Mary, Martha and Lazarus and the following scripture:

“Then Jesus said, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’” John 11:40

I see myself in the words that Micca uses about her own feelings of loss and hurt. Again, I didn't look at God and say, " I knew it!" I just kind of...threw a fit. Oh, I know what a fit looks like. If you work with the 3 to 5 year olds long enough, you get to see the masters of fit throwing. Now, they know better...but they still do it. They have enough independence to make up their mind, enough selfishness to think it'll work and enough indignation to make it good. I don't say these things in a mean way. It's just the way little kids are, they're still learning about those things. (Ok, we are all still learning).

I sat in my comfy chair, crossed my arms and huffed and puffed. Of course, the house didn't fall down and the issue was still there. I lashed out a bit and kicked and screamed (emotionally that is) Then I remembered the love of my Father. You know, that God that is all loving and does all things out of love and for our good? Yeah. So, I take my unhappy and sit with it and look at it. What am I really mad about? What do I need to do to be unmad? And what is God refining out of me? *grumble grumble grumble*

If I just believe, if I turn these things over to Him, I will see the glory of God. Just like Mary and Martha were hurt, they were down right angry with Jesus. He said He loved them and didn't come right away when He got word that Lazarus was sick! Oh, can you imagine the womanly seething that happened? But, then He shows up and raises Lazarus...showing the glory of God and doing it all with a loving and gentle hand. I would have felt really dumb at all my anger at that point. " had a plan! This was all for a good reason...well shoot." Yeah, this control freak would have walked away with her tail between her legs for sure!

God pulls us into His arms and does not let go while we walk through the valleys of life. He's there at the top of the mountain and walking through the muck in the valley. The events that made me mad, they're just one more of those times that I need to lean on my understanding that God is doing something. I don't need to or GET to know what.

Abba, thanks for loving me. Help me to lean on you and trust that what you're doing is what needs to be done, even if I don't really get what's happening. Amen.

What fires have you walked through lately ? :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mean Girls - Lynn Cowell

Of course, reading the title of this devotion I just had to laugh. All I could think of was the movie a certain actress was in and all the scenes of teenagers behaving like jungle animals. Yeah, I giggled.

Let's tuck in though and explore. k?

“But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” Colossians 3:8

So, Lynn talks about how she was caught showing a spirit of judgement and how her teenage daughter called her out. Think back to the times you may have said something, off hand, that you didn't think was all that bad, but that would have made the person you said it about, uncomfortable.

I know I've done this. Looked at another woman and taken stock of her...from my own judgement. I make this judgement because it's what I've done with my friends, it's what I've been conditioned to think is ok to do. Why do we teach our children to judge? Why do we show them that it's ok to make nasty comments? Working with the little kids, we have rules about loving each other, every action that is not loving garners a warning and then a time out if it continues. One of the things that they're not allowed to do because it is not loving is make fun of other kids. It's behavior modification, fine, but it's also teaching them that they can not judge people by what they look like, wear or say. That's not loving and that's not what God wants from us.

So why do I do it as an adult? It looks like I need that reminder more often that it's not something I need to be doing. I do catch myself slipping sometimes. I've heard B tell me more than once to stop. How did we get to a point that it just became part of us? There's a very interesting woman that has a couple videos on She's an activist for many causes, though I don't think our political values coincide, I know that much of what she says is so true about the way society has become. Morally, we're looking in the same direction. She has a video about how we have taken away our "girl cell" (as she called it), it's compassion, love, emotions and empathy (among other things) Being a man, boy or woman means NOT being a girl. The tender heart and almost naive love for everyone. We've been taught to be strong and not show our emotions, to judge people that do.

How do we change this? We start by giving those judgmental ways to God. We lay them at the cross and ask him to change us, not other people. Us. We allow ourselves to feel our emotions and the love we innately have for other human beings...even if that means we hurt more.

Abba, I'm so sorry for taking the mind you gave me and altering what you would have me be to fit into what the world says I should be. Help me to love without bounds, to accept without conditions. To see people, the way you see them. Amen.

Been a little hard on yourself?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Squirrel Family

So, I mentioned this a little while ago and started to write and then didn't publish it and then started to write and then ended up writing a different post...maybe I'll get there this time.

The first thing you should know is that I am NOT talking about the little (or big) fuzzballs that live in the trees outside and go completely crazy to find nuts they can't remember where they buried. (Though some of my little family is relatively close to that explanation.)

B and I play a card game called Magic: The Gathering. Yes, we've been over this, I'm a nerd. I'll give you a moment to Google and then realize how MUCH of a nerd. Go ahead. I'll wait.


Better? Moving on. Without getting too in to details that you may or may not now know, this game holds weekly tournaments on Friday nights. There are also some higher level events (we'll move on). Generally you find a store that has space and hosts the Friday night tournament. Most people that play these games have crazy store loyalty. You find a store, you like and you go there, and that's generally it. You may go to a regional qualifier at a different store, but you game at your store.

In 2010, around September, we found a little store in Clovis that hosted events and Friday Night Magic. Sweet deal! You may remember that we had a few things happen and that we ended up getting super busy, went to go by the store in was closed. Bummer!

Enter Auguts 2011, we run in to a guy that we played with at the now closed store. He's gaming at a store called Crazy Squirrel. No joke, that's the name of the store. I did ask him to repeat what he said and heard him right the first time. Crazy Squirrel Game Store. They sell anything that you could imagine, as long as it does not have a cord. :) All table top games. Board games of all kinds, card games, dice and chip games. Anything that you could play on a table. It's amazing. So many games I didn't even know existed, but are entirely too many hours of fun. I digress.

So, we start going to this store. The first people we meet and talk to are probably Jen and Scott (the owners) and Isaac. He's loud and talks a lot, however, he has a giant heart and hates conflict. You can imagine that we hit it off pretty well. We also ran in to Julian, whom we met at the other store, he was still playing the same kind of deck and was just as sweet and kind of timid as he had been before. We enveloped Frank (who is now our roommate) and Matt, loud and crazy and all over the place, and we wouldn't have him any other way. He's passionate about EVERYTHING he does. We also have Trisha and Morgan, they started playing again right about when we started going to the store. Remi, Isaac's cousin and Julian's girlfriend of a couple months now, also came in to our little circle of friends. A few more weeks and we also got Jocelyn and Zac, she is a lot like me and he is a lot like B. It's kind of crazy. He didn't talk much, he's starting to talk more :) Aaron came along a little after them. He's a lot like Morgan, it's kind of scary.

So, after a few weeks of going every Friday for the tournament and staying later than we should have playing OUTSIDE the store after it closed, we decided to start going to Denny's...tables and chairs and food (those are like the three nerd requirements). Denny's gets expensive though, so we started inviting people over to the apartment. Now, just about every weekend, we have our friends all in one place.

This is my Squirrel family and I love them. It's been weird not having them all in one place because of the holidays. I miss having them around all as a group. We plan events together (like our Secret Squirrel for Christmas :) And going to higher level events for the game we all play) I'm blessed to have them all in my life and to have found another family of friends.

There you have it...I should go in to more detail, but maybe you'll meet them in later blog posts. :)

Wordless Wednesday

Fuzzy, but worth it :) Enjoy!

A Call To Action - Lysa TerKeurst

I am so rebelious. I don't know what to do with myself. There are reasons I'm reading what I'm reading. Yes, I know that these devotions are going out to THOUSANDS of woman. Ever feel like all of them knock the wind out of you?

This particular devotion is SERIOUSLY a call to action. Not to get out and protest anything, but to act for the temple of God...more precisely, the one He gave me. I think I always end up feeling the way I do when I read Lysa's devotions, because when she describes herself, all I can think of are the exact things I'm doing that she's talking about. She's saying my life...that's all there is to it.

“Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food.” Romans 14:20a

I have to really sit with that scripture for a moment. I hadn't really thought about what this particular though was saying. I am God's work and I'm craving something so much that I am replacing the leader of my life with food. Ouch. Yes. That's me.

Then she goes on to talk about a couple other verses that I've read (with the ladies of my Tuesday night group even) but it sheds a new light.

Old thought patterns:
“I need these chips. I deserve this ice cream. I must have that extra large portion.”

New thought patterns:
Chips will only taste good for the moment. But the calories are empty and will do nothing good for my body. 2 Corinthians 7:1 reminds me, “…Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit… out of reverence for God.” (NIV 1984)

This ice cream will give me a sugar high but then I’ll crash and feel terrible. Psalm 34:8…reminds me to get into God’s Word and let it satisfy the deep hungry places of my soul, “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” (NIV 1984)

This extra large portion will overstuff me and make me feel sluggish. I can’t look to this food to soothe me. Psalm 34:5 says, “Those who look to [God] are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” (NIV 1984)

I'm not strong enough to do it myself, I keep promising myself I will and I keep what do I need to do? Crave and taste of God...He is GOOD and only has the best plans for why have I replaced Him? Is it that much easier to push away the one love that could help?

I sit here tonight needing to get a lot done and while I work furiously, I grab the odd chocolate or snack around. I need to grab on to my Father, with both hands.

Abba, This is the time of year that people make resolutions, I would rather be closer to you than anything else. Help me to reach for you just as much as you reach for me.

I've only posted parts of the devotion here, the scripture and the pieces that go with it above. To read the rest of it, go to and click on the devotion button on the right.

Something that hit me...

I'm on break...poking around Pinterest before I go eat my lunch...and I stumble in to the inspiration search. There are a lot of great quotes. I then find this one.

My eyes welled up with tears and my lips curled in a small smile. Why? I think I may have been needing to hear this...and read it and know it in the deepest parts of me. Isn't this what God continually tells me? I'm worthy, I'm human and He loves me just the same!

Thought I'd share with y'all. I have three more entries for today. One on my Daily Dose and one I started about my Squirrel Family. Get excited! :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Living Clutter Free - Glynnis Whitwer

To be honest, I really didn't take this particular devotion seriously when I read the title. I saw it when it came in earlier today...but I didn't even open it. I knew it would be there waiting. Even now...though I know what it's speaking to me, I'm fidgeting in my seat.

Let's revisit the fact that I am a control freak desperately trying to recover from this condition. I also happen to be like the energizer bunny...and I hate getting behind on anything. I commit to things and get them done...that's it.

Not so much lately.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

The scripture reminds me of the reading I'm doing with the women's small group at church. :) It also reminds me of the shame and embarrassment that I feel when my husband takes on household duties to give me the extra time I need to pay attention to everything else I've committed to. Ok, no, this is not the 50's, but I'm used to being able to do my job, keep to my commitments and keep an immaculate house. I'm used to being a regular Wonder Woman. I'm used to controlling things. Nasty little word.

My problem with this devotional stems from me knowing that I have felt cluttered and burdened down for a while. That I need to experience the freedom of giving that control to God...but I don't do it because I know I can do it right? So what if I keep getting sick, so sick that I can't work. So what if I lose a few hours of sleep each night to keep up with things. I'll keep pressing through, I can do this...right?

The honest truth is that I am drowning in my own pride and people keep telling me that I'm doing a lot...and I feel like I'm not. Sure, I get the things out and things happen by the grace of God...but it's not me.

I don't have a friend coming over to my home to help me organize. I don't actually need that. If you came in to my home you'd probably look at me like I was a little crazy. Sure there are a few things out of place, but a couple hours powering through it would fix that. What I need, more than a friend with a cup of coffee (oh please no, not at this hour) is a release and really doing the things that I keep saying I'm going to. I need to make the time that I keep saying I don't have and then keep saying I'm going to make.

I miss the structure of my life somewhere I allowed something to get in my way and I started getting buried in my life. Getting to the point where your body starts to rebel is NEVER a good thing.

It's 11:15. I still have things I need to get done. They will wait and I will take the time I need for God and my husband that I haven't been giving either of them.

Abba, I'm not sure why you would have chosen a child like me. I can only be so entirely thankful that you did. As I struggle I know you are right there to catch me and I am thankful for that too. Help me to make the time I need to make, take the burden I've put myself under and help me to realize the truths that you've been showing me all along. 

What's suffocating you?