Monday, August 15, 2011

A picture is worth 1000 words

I am fascinated by the power of taking pictures. When I have been on mission trips the kids and adults clamor to be in your photos. My mission trip experiences were pre-digital, so I can't imagine the power of displaying the image in an instant.
While visiting the Memphis Children's Museum I experienced the fascination of film all over again. My girls each dressed up and danced/acted in front of a green screen. They watched their acting on screen with different back drops. And all the while they called out: "Mom, Mom take my picture.". During a break they asked for my camera and scrolled through the pictures. Each one laughed, grimaced and most of all re-lived their museum visit. Long Live the PHOTO!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"I never get tired of this"

This afternoon we took our kids to see Cars 2. My son, who is 11 years old was particularly invested in seeing the newest Pixar movie. He loves the shorts, the humor and the animation. Following the short feature, the film opened with the signature Pixar lamp. I overheard my son say: "I never get tired of this." His comment actually took my breath away. My preteen, almost 12 year old, approaching middle school son can't get enough of Pixar. My mind flashed back to when my Dad would take me and my brothers and sister to see the Superman movies (the original with Christopher Reeve) and the Indiana Jones movies, and the Karate Kid movies. I think we felt a similar sentiment: "We can't get enough of this." What a blessing that Pixar has made quality movies since my son was born - Nemo, Toy Story, Monster's Inc, Bugs Life, Up... and Cars just to name a few. Every June for the past eleven years has been marked by a Pixar movie.
I know that some day he will get tired of animated movies. He won't go anymore and then there will be a new genre of movie for his kids. But for now, I love that he loves to go to the movies with his Mom! And that I can hear him exclaim: "I never get tired of this."

Friday, June 24, 2011

sticky fingers

The things we do for love! Tonight I am blogging from the floor of the Immanuel Baptist Church cry room in Bloomingdale, WI. I'm here with 38 other Fellowshippers, all serving our friends in the greater-Milwaukee area.
After a long night I finally got Jael asleep. She is curled up next to me with her sticky little arms draped over me.
I can't seem to unwind. While lying here awake I kept thinking how much life has changed since I had kids. In the past I couldn't stand to be touched when I was trying to fall asleep. Now, I love to know Jael is there. Her sweaty limbs drapes over mine reminds me how lucky I am to be a Mom! Oh, the things we do for LOVE!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Inner Peace

Nine months ago a group of my friends embarked on a journey toward self-discovery. Today while watching Kung Fu Panda II, it all came together. Happy Birthday to me! I love it when a movie that brings joy to my kids can speak to me. At the beginning of the movie Po is challenged to find inner peace. He never recieves the formal lesson from the Master but instead gets his education (on the job) in the field. Literally the lesson is learned while in battle. At a critical point in the movie, Po is forced to look into his past. He accepts the challenge and by looking past his vague memory the truth is revealed. His amazing discovery is that although his past was very difficult, owning it allowed him to wholeheartedly accept the beauty of his present.
It's a day after my 39th Birthday. I have spent the last nine months developing coping skills that would protect me as I owned my past to be free in the present. I love that by embracing my inadequacies, my fears and even my losses - God is glorified. Less of me and more of Him, is my secret to inner peace. Accepting the "Andrea" he created me to be. Exposing where the shame has kept me trapped, speaking it and moving beyond it is the best Birthday gift I have ever had.
Thank you to all my friends and family who have allowed me to ask hard questions, sit in my saddnes, and rejoice in my joy. Thank you for traveling with me over the past nine months. Thank you for your patience. Thank you, Jesus, for reminding me that when I am at the end of my resource rope... You are there to catch me... and your one desire is to get all the GLORY.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I'm not 40 yet!

Today I finally purchased health insurance. I have been dragging my feet forever... but today I filled out the applications and purchased health insurance for our family. It will only cover a catastrophic situation, but it is there and offers peace of mind. At the end of a 2 hour meeting with my insurance agent, the application was aproved but as "standard" not "preferred." Apparently the fact that I had not had a physical exam in more than 3 years puts us at higher risk. Upon review my agent said, well "you are 40." I experienced the warm flash of .... "Not yet." Then the sudden realization that: "I almost am." and Finaly the question: "DId I turn 40 and not realize it."

The agent and I worked out my age... which is not quite: 39 years old.

I came home, put on yoga pants and made a cup of coffee in my favorite elephant coffee mug (thanks Jen Lind). I have to admit that it is hard to admit .... "I am almost 40!"

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Is it the "End of the World."

May 23, 2011
Did you hear the news? It was “prophesized” that the world was supposed to end this past Saturday. It was covered, rather mockingly, on most networks Friday and Saturday. The Doomsday watch was fodder for the late night shows last week, and it was mocked in many online communities and virtually all the social networks. I can’t deny it; I made fun of the absurdity, too. On Saturday night my status on Facebook read that I had evidently not been raptured! But really, this so-called prophecy was anything but funny. One of the biggest events of all time, the return of Jesus, was turned into a Comedy Central spoof.
False prophets; Jesus himself warns us about them! But how do we fight against such lies? How do we know truth when it’s disguised in a Biblical cloak?
Staying alert and being aware of what’s going on in the world are the first steps in combating false prophets. Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?” Matthew 7:15-16
So, what does Jesus mean when he says, “You will recognize them by their fruits”? I can only think that He means a person’s entire character—who they really are. Do they show righteousness, humility and faithfulness in the way they live? Is what they teach based entirely (and wholly) on God’s Word or is what they say a hodgepodge of Scripture and their own man-centered concoction of truth?
J.C Ryle wrote on this subject, “What is the best safe-guard against false teaching? Beyond all doubt the regular study of the word of God, with prayer for the teaching of the Holy Spirit. The Bible was given to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. (Psalm. 119:105.) The man who reads it aright will never be allowed greatly to err. It is neglect of the Bible which makes so many a prey to the first false teacher whom they hear. They would have us believe that ‘they are not learned, and do not pretend to have decided opinions.’ The plain truth is that they are lazy and idle about reading the Bible, and do not like the trouble of thinking for themselves. Nothing supplies false prophets with followers so much as spiritual sloth under a cloak of humility.”
While we parents might seem reluctant to share with our younger children the ugly truth that there are people in this world who choose to twist and turn God’s Word around for personal gain, I can think of nothing more important than giving them the foundation which will help them discern truth from lies—and that comes from teaching them God’s Word.
Ephesians 6:10-18 teaches us about the Armor of God. The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. As stated above, in Psalms the Word of God is as light, giving wisdom and understanding. In Isaiah the Word of God is like water, rain which gives life to a parched earth. Jeremiah refers to God’s Word as fire, that burned his soul until he could hold it no longer. Jesus refers to the Word as seed planted in the human heart, which grows, bearing fruit of faith.
I want to teach my kids that when they build their lives on God’s Word, then they live a life of genuine freedom, happiness, joy and purpose. Deception will always out there, but the truth of the Word will be a firm foundation on which they can stand.
Share and Enjoy:

Written By: Lisa
Found at: What's in the

I always wanted a white picket fence

I am in the last week of my Ordinary Courage Class. Today the instructor Brene Brown answered questions about shame resilence and boundaries. Funny, since I am also wrapping up a 9 month journey with a small group of friends through the book Boundaries. Today during my class Brene said: "boundaries are vulnerable." I was very surprised by that statement. Since part of me thought that by developing good boundaries I would be more protected. Brene went on to explain that having good boundaries is 1) asking for what you need, 2) saying what you feel and 3) believing you are worthy of receiving both of those things. WOW! She also explained shame resilience as understanding what shame is and not betraying your authentic self while traveling through it.

So, here is my synopsis. Boundaries are like a picket fence. They provide space between me and my environment. I can see the outside and the outside can see me. There is a gate on my fence, and I can open it up and close it as I want and need to. When I feel ashamed I can close the gate. Move away from the person injuring me and use my coping skills until I find a safe space to process. Success is when I do not yell, or shut down but rather ask for what I need. Take the space to process my feelings and then respond.

I loved Brene's coping skills: 1) Do nothing. 2) Say nothing (don't talk, don't text, don't email) until you are calm. 3) Find a quiet space (car, bathroom stall, home) and breathe, pray wait until you are ready to respond without betraying your authentic self.

When I was a little girl I dreamed of marrying the guy from the LLBean catalogue. My New England experience told me that those guys, had money, worked hard, carried in the fire wood, drove BMW's, etc. I believed "arriving" would include a house with a white picket fence, a driveway with a Honda Odyssey and a man who wore suits to work. Funny, now I realize that the best picket fence is the one I'm building around my heart and life - to let the good in and keep the bad out. These steps are empowering and exciting. They also seem a bit lofty... God grant me the courage to change what I can!

Friday, May 20, 2011

I want to live in the LIGHT!

"But if we live in the light, as God does, we share in life with each other. And the blood of his Son Jesus washes all our sins away." - 1 John 1:7

Last night my husband and I watched Vince Vaughn in The Dilemma. It started off funny. And then took a turn in the middle. I found myself squirming and covering my face with the bed sheets. Vince catches his best friend's wife fooling around. His dilemma is whether or not to tell his friend. There are many other complicating factors. His unpredictable behavior led his loved ones to assume he was struggling with gambling again and a maddening downward spiral ensued. For half the movie I had knots in my stomach and I kept saying, out loud: "Just tell the truth." I felt bad for his girlfriend, because she assumed the worse. When one person is hiding the truth, a dark shadow is caste over all of us.

This morning I woke up and read our kids their devotions before school. The verse above really struck me. The devotion by Sara Young read: "Give it to Me, all of it. Tell me your sins and hand over that backpack. I want to dump out all the heavy rocks. Then I want to fill your backpack up again with love, mercy, forgiveness, joy and peace. Instead of weighing you down, these will lift you up and make your journey easier."

Every day that Vince Vaughn walked around with his "secret" his backpack got heavier. Each lie separated him from his loved ones. This reality has challenged me to empty my backpack, tell the truth as soon as I can, share with others the insights I have into my actions and reactions. Jesus beckons us to unload our backpacks and pick up peace... which is not heavy... instead is light and brings life.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Don't Think I'm Crazy

I've been plodding through the class with Brene Brown on shame. The process has been liberating and overwhelming. Just yesterday I had the first experience where the classroom material and my real life collided. It was a typical Tuesday morning. Tuesday is the first day of my work week, so I have extra e-mails (56 new inbox messages) and phone call messages (5). After a quick dog walk I sat down to work. For some reason... Lily wouldn't settle down, so I had the pleasure of taking shoes, jackets and Thomas the Tank Engine train tracks away from her between phone calls. As I shared in my last blog. Returning phone calls is a huge "move away from". But I did it. By 11 a.m. I had answered all my phone messages. I had read and responded to most of my email. Now, I was ready to work. My husband Perry finished up a meeting and we decided to take a dog walk, before the next work block.
While we were walking, I began to talk about a work project that I couldn't wrap my head around. Perry had asked me to work with a new volunteer and I admitted that the man (a high powered Ad Executive) intimidated me, especially since I had very little vision for the project. All I could feel was the advertisement deadline this Friday. In the course of the conversation we went from sharing, to venting to arguing. Looking back I'm not sure how it progressed. But it did, and by the time we got home from our "de-stressing" walk I was a bundle of nerves and tears. We discovered that we both held the other one responsible for the project and felt forced into it. Perry left in a hurry for his next meeting. I sat at the kitchen table in a pile of tears, no closer to completing the project. In moments my four year old, Jael climbed on my lap and began to envelope me with her body. She kept saying: "Don't be sad Mommy." I couldn't stop crying and therefore did not respond to her request.
Later in the day, I listened to my class podcast. it was about our nuero-biological response to shame. Our bodies actually go into a "fight" or "flight" response when we are shamed. As I listened to the lecture I realized that I had felt shame earlier. The funny thing is that I wasn't shamed by Perry, or by Jael or by myself. I had felt ashamed to contact the Ad Executive. I felt intimidated and dumb when it came to writing an advertisement and I was afraid to feel stupid when I spoke to him. My babbling on our walk was an attempt to put words to what I felt. The babbling had kicked Perry into a "fix it" mode and we had ended up in conflict, divided: him frustrated and me in tears.
Later last night on our last dog walk of the night, we processed the days events. I was able to own my stuff and he was able to own him. We both realized how much pressure we were under to produce and we marvelled at how quickly we had been divided. This was one of those times when I realized how precious relationships are and how much work it is to communicate clearly. So often the thing we are upset about is buried underneath a heap of conversation, encounters and experiences.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Just Say NO to Gardening

I recently read an article in Good Housekeeping about ... "taking time to have fun." I highly recommend checking out Gretchan's thoughts at: One particular quote caught me: "Just because something is fun for other people doesn't mean that its fun for you - and vice versa." Sometimes it is easier for me to identify what I don't like rather than what I like. For instance, I don't like to garden. It is liberating to write that down. I don't like putting away laundry. I don't like listening to messages and returning phone calls. My husband Perry challenged me to re-work my perspective on life. He suggested that I "move toward" rather than "move away from." So in an effort to move toward making time for fun. I like to read magazines. I like to walk the dog. I like to journal, blog and write. I like to laugh. I like to watch fun movies. I like to hang out with my family. I like to pray.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Dare to Make Mistakes

I just read a great quote my Maria Shriver and thought you all might be enriched by it. "...don't be afraid, 'Anxiety is a glimpse of your own daring.'. It means that part of your agitation is just excitement about what you're getting ready to accomplish."

Monday, May 9, 2011

39 to 39: A Daunting Task

This morning I mentioned to my husband that I missed blogging yesterday. My mental excuse was: "It was Mother's Day. My day! I just wanted to enjoy." But it was Perry's response that opened me to be more honest. He said: "Blogging every day was a very daunting goal." Hmmm. Perry's empathy was amazing. He didn't guilt, shame or even relate with me. He simply acknowledged the enormity of the task. His empathy gave me permission to "be." And it gave me the courage to say.... "I'm not blogging every day and I'm releasing myself from the goal." The goal hasn't been fitting into my real life... so I'm letting it go.

I want to get better at empathy, for my sake, the sake of my family and my friends. Empathy, as defined by Brene Brown, is the skill or ability to tap into our own experiences in order to connect with an experience someone is relating to us.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

39 to 39: The magic of a Barbie Bike

A few weeks ago our family decided to bike together this summer. It was a bold declaration, especially since only one member of our family of five had a bike that currently worked. Over the past month we have been bike shopping. Looking at styles, models, and what would best fit each of our biking needs. At the first stop my 4 year old daughter, Jael spotted a Barbie Bike. She instantly fell in love. My husband and I aren't big on "character" purchases so we dismissed the wish.

After five stores and lots of window shopping Jael never waivered on her choice: a pink Barbie bike with ribbons on the handle bars and a Barbie messenger bag attached to the front.

We kept stalling on our purchase. It was in part to the rainy, dreary spring we were having. And in part just the cost of purchasing 4 bikes. But, just last week someone offered my son a near new bike that was just his size. With that gift, I had a chat with Perry. Realizing that Jael was our youngest and that the desire for a pink Barbie bike was unlikely in the coming years I asked if we could splurge and buy it. Of course he said YES! (I'm the tight wad).

Jael and I went to the store. She rode the bike and it was love. I asked her to try a princess bike just to be sure. She got off and on and said: "Mom this one just doesn't feel right." Jael rode the Barbie bike right out of the store. Later, at home while I was cutting off the tags Jael hugged me around the neck and said: "Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Mommy."

Barbie Bike: $66.00
Appreciation from my 4 year old: Priceless

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

39 to 39: Haircut

Yesterday morning my son Will noticed his Dad, Perry reading my blog. He said, and I quote: "I am so embarrassed that Mom posted that picture." He said it with a knowing smile. Will's haircut ended up being a Mom/Son compromise. We had the back and sides short, #2 razor and he got to keep some length on the top. We had a discussion about taming his curls. I suggested that if he wants to keep it longer he has to learn to style it. Funny conversation to have with my son. He told me he knew how to use gel and that I didn't need to teach him. When asked the last time he used gel, he said: "Kindergarden." We all laughed! That was 6 years ago.

How time goes by! When Will was three years old my role as a Mom consisted of the following pattern. We got up, ate breakfast, played Thomas trains, watched a Thomas movie, ate lunch, took a nap, played Thomas trains, watched a Thomas movie while I made dinner, took a bath and went to bed. Every morning I woke up knowing exactly what to expect. Life has changed a lot since those toddler years. I have changed a lot since Will was a toddler. And Jael, my 4 year old has had a very different growing up experience entirely.

All three of my kids are unique. Each child has grown up in a different "home." Perry and my marriage has changed and grown over the years. I have changed and grown over the years. Nothing stays the same. I have glimmers of nostalgia when I look at my 4 foot, 5 inch almost middle school aged son but then I relish the moments we have right now. The wonderful, interesting, thought provoked young man who I get to do life with now.

It is a great honor to be a mother! It is a great gift to be a mother to these 3 kids.

Monday, May 2, 2011

39 to 39: It's just hair

#1 rule of parenting: pick your battles. Today I verbally sparred with my 11 year old son about getting a haircut. We tricked him into stopping at Great Clips. In fact when Perry drove to the door... Will began moaning... Nooooo! Once inside the shop he began to bargain. "How about I keep the top long."
Or "How about they trim my bangs, so the rest stays long.". Even the threat that Will resembled Justin Beiber didn't work.

So we sit here... Waiting, while I'm wondering if this was the battle to choose.

Here we go... The public battle... Will Will win her over or will Mom get her wishes? The result remains to be seen!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

39 to 39: Soccer Mom!

My whole life all I wanted to be was a Mom. The process of becoming a Mom has been an interesting metamorphisis of self. Yesterday was one of those days. A day when everything I thought I would love about parenting... wasn't so fun. Isabelle had a 10:10 a.m. soccer game. This spring soccer session has been very cold, snowy and rainy. It has not been fun at all. Yesterday was no exception. When the game started it was just cold. I found myself swept into the game. Screaming directions and compliments at Isabelle. Perry followed her up an down the field giving her pointers. By the end of the first quarter it had begun to drizzle. The rain was light but bearable. At the half it was really raining. And by 3rd quarter it was pouring. When the wind picked up I cold feel the rain drops move through my three layers: coat, sweatshirt, shirt and penetrating my skin. The rain felt like icy cold daggers. The game was being officiated by teenagers. I stood there praying that they would call the game. They did not. I shivered and cheered in time to the pelting rain. I was so distracted by discomfort I don't even know who won.

On the way home, we laughed and chalked it all up to a great memory.

Once at home, we hit the showers to thaw. After warming up and putting warm dry clothes on I said to Perry: "I'm a terrible soccer mom." To which Perry quickly replied: "You are a great soccer mom. You stood in the rain and watched your daughter play."

Yesterday I learned that being a soccer mom isn't a title or a club membership. Being a soccer mom is just that "being" a soccer mom. I don't have to enjoy it all, I just get to do it!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

39 to 39: Empathy!

Perry (my husband) and I have had an on-going conversation, feud, conflict, and understanding about the application of "empathy." As a therapist I felt like I knew all the tricks to get people to talk. And I didn't want Perry to use those tricks on me. Writing that down really sounds horrible, but it is the truth. So as we have worked through how to do "empathy" a really important step in the process emerged. Perry started asking me to stop and then repeat after him. For instance, he would say: "Andrea, I need you to say this..." Those words transformed our communication. First of all, what he would ask me to say, would never have come to me on my own and secondly, he felt heard and understood. I need to give a "shout out" to my husband tonight. He has done very good soul work over the years.

This week in my "Ordinary Courage" class with Brene Brown the topic has been empathy. The final podcast focussed on finding the courage to ask for what you need. As I was listening I realized that what Perry was doing with his "Andrea say this..." was actually ask for what he needs. And I realized that I don't do that. I don't have the expectation that he should know what I am thinking... but I do sit in my shame hole all by myself a lot. Brene rehearsed few scenarios and catch phrases and I was amazed by what resonated with me. And I was horrified to realize that I never say it. I don't practice it. I'm alone because I choose to keep it on the paper in my journal. I have acted as a coward.

So, what resonated with me? One of Brene's examples was: "?Husband, I need to share a very shameful story with you. I need you to listen. I need you to hug me. And then I need you to leave me alone for a few hours. Wait until I bring it up again and am ready to talk about it." This idea was the equivalent to quantum physics for me. It takes me so much courage to say it: to speak the shame... I'm not ready to process it or hear feedback or even hear support. I just need comfort and space. My defense mechanism is to sit in the shame hole alone, rather than invite someone to care for me in a way that I can receive it. Identifying the problem is the first step to change.

Brene Brown made the following wonderful distinction between sympathy and empathy: "Sympathy is walking to the edge of the hole and looking in. Empathy is climbing in the hole with the one who is hurt. " Amazing!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

39 to 39: Love

I didn't expect it to be so hard to faithfully blog. All day long, I think of fun things to journal and share. I jot them down on pieces of paper. When the day finally winds down, my kids are in bed and I have time to write... I can't find the slips of paper. I can't tell my husband because he gets frustrated that I have an expensive iphone with all kinds of automated applications which will allow me to hold my "notes" and save them in one place until later... no slips of paper. But, I'm old fashioned and I write the thoughts (gems) on the back of envelopes and on check stubs, then in my mad rush to clean up... I throw them away.

Tonight I had a gem that lingered and didn't need to be written down for fear of being forgotten. Love. At youth group tonight we talked about love. Love... God's way! The act of loving your enemy and praying for those who persecute you. I was amazed by the intensity in the room when we began to talk about loving our enemies. One of our leaders gave the following instruction: write down a name of someone who has hurt you and then list the five love languages... then consider taking a step toward loving him/her in one of those ways. The five love languages are: physical touch, gifts, quality time, acts of service and words of affirmation. It was amazing to watch the teens squirm. They physically recoiled at the thought of loving their enemy.

I found their example humbling. Earlier in the day I was meditating the idea of love. All I could think was that God was love. And Christ as the God in flesh was love. And that as a Christian I was to be like Christ. I pondered how people were drawn to Christ. I imagine that people felt completely loved by him, completely safe, and completely vulnerable in his sight. It also made me realize why the Pharasees hated him so much. When they were in His presence they saw their complete selves. They saw their faults and they hated Jesus for it. As Christ-followers we are to emulate Christ in our behavior. We are not God but we are in the pursuit of looking like Him. I want to pray for those who hurt me, and love those who hate me. I want to be so loving that people feel safe and unarmed in my presence. I want others to see Jesus in me.

I can wax eloquent all I want... but I remain humbled: when I find myself frustrated that my living room was left a mess after youth group; when I yell at my dog to stop barking; and when I want to acknowledgement for my accomplishments. So those are my gems for today!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

39 to 39: Sick Day!

I missed blogging yesterday because I was sick. Both of my daughters had the flu for a week. I am typically a resilient Mom who can withstand the "buggy" germs. But this time, I was not. From mid-day Easter until this morning, I fluidly moved between chills and fever. I ended up in bed under multiple comforters. How is that for genuine and authentic!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

39 to 39: When I think of Easter...

Today our church served the community by putting on an Easter Egg hunt. We had over 700 people come through Micon Cinema in a 2 hour span of time. It was chaotic and fun. I was a widget volunteer. I was given a job (to stand at the door of theater 8) and greet 1rst and 2nd grade egg hunters. About half way into the morning a little girl with sparkling eyes looked up at me and said: "I know you?" Without hesitation I reached down and hugged her. Luckily I actually recalled her name as well. A moment after the greeting her mother walked by with the same eye sparkle. The family was truly having fun together!

I have thought about that encounter throughout the afternoon. This family has visited our church a few times over a few years. So often I am busy with process and I miss people. Have I missed this little girl, even when she was sitting in my Sunday School class? Have I looked her mother in the eyes and welcomed her? Have I been present with these people? Today, I was very comfortable with who I was and what my role was. I was able to genuinely engage with the folks who came to my theater.

After dinner our family watched the newest VeggieTale: Twas the Night Before Easter. I was struck by the simple theme, people over production. The finale has a catchy tune: "When I think of Easter... I think about God's love." Today, I was able to love. Not because I have something to give... but because I know of the gift given for me.

I am as ADD as the next person... I can get distracted very easily. My prayer for tonight and tomorrow is: "When I think of Easter... I think about God's love." And I challenge myself to take it one step further. "When I think of Easter.... I want to demonstrate God's LOVE."

Friday, April 22, 2011

39 to 39: Holy Irony

So I'm taking this class on vulnerability and I'm trying to demonstrate authentic living by sharing the "real" or the "raw" in my life. I feel like a few years back I was really "raw" and able to stay in the uncomfortable in between for longer periods of time than I can now.

Yesterday while I was walking my dog, I was thinking about my Easter expectations. So far things were not going as planned. My big outdoor youth service had been moved inside for snow - It was April 20th and we had snow. Crazy! After another late night with my 4 year old it had become clear that I wasn't going to make it to our annual Seder Supper. The re-enactment of the Last Supper was something I enjoyed each Easter Season.

So, there I was, walking my dog, clearing my head so that I could resume the "cuddle" position with my daughter for the 10th consecutive hour.... and it dawned on me. While I was out walking the dog, the kids had put in a movie to watch, Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix. In leu of attending the Seder Supper we were watching a movie about sorcery. It doesn't get any more genuinely ironic than that. While my church family remembered the ultimate provision of God, His Son Jesus... I watched a Harry Potter movie with my kids. And that's the TRUTH.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

39 to 39: The start of the journey

Life rattles along like a train on a track. Some mornings more than others I look like I have been hit by a freight train. As I approach the last official year of my 30s, I am keenly aware of the movement. I remember my 30th Birthday. I was afraid it would be difficult but it wasn't. My 30th Birthday was met with many life accomplishments: a husband, 2 children, a house, a dog and a career. I had everything I had hoped for at 30.

As I approach 40 everything is different. I can't figure out if I'm less interested in accomplishing or just more interested in being. Since I have found it so difficult to "be" I haven't quite hit the mark as I did at 30. In fact I am actually bumping up against a wall. The wall divides what I am suppose to be and who I really am.

I have challenged myself to journal (publicly) for the next 39 days. My challenge is to be consistent and to genuine. My goal is to authentically share who I am, what I'm doing and how I feel with you every day. Let the journey begin!

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Countdown!

I'm launching head long into a challenge: to blog (journal) daily for the next 39 days leading up to my 39th Birthday! Starting tomorrow.