Proud to be a Mess.

My parent’s home is beautiful during Christmas. Two trees, two roaring fireplaces with stockings hung, an ornate wreath on the front door. Shelves of snow globes and golden winter center pieces. Holiday platters, napkins and holiday scented soaps. There is no better place to have a Christmas party. It’s almost magical, like it’s a separate place in the world just for fostering the Christmas spirit. But one would never imagine the mess my mom had to make to get the house in it’s festive attire. Crate upon crate pulled out of storage with it’s contents being pulled out to examine, and non seasonal items ripped from their place to go away for the winter.  Hours of labor and hours of dealing with “mess”. It can take days or weeks. But mess is required for change. Good or bad.

If you are a creative person you have chosen to change something for the better. A room, a writing assignment, a painting, a linen closet, a mechanical device you know one of the first steps is making a mess. Tearing it all apart and seeing where you can get in the cracks and make changes. When children are changing, learning and growing they make messes. Hopefully under the control of the adult.

God wants to be in the cracks of my existence. He wants me to be better. He wants to wreck me, make me a mess and remake me daily into something far more than I was when He started. Stagnant lives, lives that are delusioned into thinking there is nothing left to improve, that they are put together…. are wrong. God has promised to continue his work in us until it’s complete and hun, it ain’t complete.

I love my messy life. The sins that aren’t hidden in the closet but are scattered on the floor before God. My moodiness, my self-pity, my conceitedness, my worry and so many others. I’m a mess, an absolute wreck. I sometimes forget. I something think that my mess is so much less than when I started that Jesus has nothing left to sort out in me. That my spirit no longer looks like an episode of hoarders so I’m okay where I am. That I am content with how like Jesus I am. I in fact tell Jesus this is good enough and to stop making a mess of me. That I want to feel cleaned up for a bit. Just a year or two. Just for a bit. I just want to be put together a moment. To not see anything undesirable in myself. Is that so bad? What happens to stagnant water? Is what the Spirit responds with.

So please be a mess. Please don’t feel completely put together yet. That doesn’t give Jesus an open platform for renewing you into himself. A gentle, truth-filled, holy, unblemished, righteous self. Don’t pretend like you and your life should be in a magazine. Make it look like an unfinished process.  You are a work in progress and it’s a beautiful work.



What an odd time in life for me right now. I always feel like staying and going simultaneously. I remember a quote from a depressing day in my youth. “You are choosing a permanent solution for a temporary problem.” If you know it you must know it is about suicide. You can guess why someone told me

Aren’t we all wanting a permanent solution? Aren’t all problems temporary? As I got older and arguably wiser I realized two things are permanent. Death in sin and life in Christ. I know both so intimately. Admittedly death is easier. You don’t have to do anything to be dead. It’s the default setting. If you never choose anything it just happens. How easy is that? There is no solution in death. None. Killing yourself to escape it just extends it. Welcoming death makes you equally full of death. Death leads to more death.

Life however once it gets a hold of  you is difficult. It drives you to keep having to make that hard choice again and again. It never lets you go. Your path starts with it. The path you were written for. The path that builds His kingdom. Life leads to more life. It is the best. It never looses to death. It is the permanent solution that makes death temporary. Thank you to God who gives us the victory of life over death.

Thank you to my dear friend Jesus who got a hold of me and w
ill never let me go. He is my all encompassing  solution to a sea of troubles.

1 Corinthians 15:55-58
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.



Love and Dismay

Reblogging because I love and miss you already. Hope that is okay.

Hold Up My Hands

I’ll meet the road again with
the things that I don’t give away
to a city once acquainted with
lamenting the lovely dismay.

I have not tied myself down
with a stake in the ground
Though my love is bound
to people on the ground
And I feel the ache and stretch
of those I cannot wrap my arms around.

But my heart is tied up to the sky
and my spirit whispers, “Fly.”

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His Terms and the Call to Come and Die.

A call to come and die. I have received it. Not well at first but now I carry this calling with me wherever I go. I can’t recall a time I didn’t believe in the creator of the universe and the holy Trinity or a time that Jesus hadn’t died for my sins. But I can remember when there was no understanding of what being a follower of Christ meant for me. Not the full weight of it. I though it meant Jesus and I were buddies and that He was supposed to make things better if I was good. I thought being a Christian was supposed to make me happy. Or at least that being happy was part of being Christian.

I started therapy at five. I can’t remember why. I am sure my mother could tell you. She told me once people wanted to take me away. I remember being isolated from my friends in middle school by being put in a hospital school where I got more care and no one my age to play or learn with. I remember special rooms to take tests and do homework in… alone. I felt like a freak most of the time. Like I wasn’t supposed to be with the normal children, I might make them broken too.  I was ashamed of what was happening to me. I wasn’t keeping up, I wasn’t coping well and I could sense that was not how people wanted me.

Even with tutors I couldn’t get better than D-‘s and people just told me I needed to try harder. What a defeating piece of advice for someone who was exhausted and frustrated and nervous all the time. I pulled my hair out, I didn’t feel anyone cared enough about me to care if I showered, brushed my hair or got proper amounts of sleep… so I didn’t. I didn’t have the energy and I sort of hoped I would die before I had to again. Getting out of bed and going to school was all I had in me and most days I am not sure where the strength came from. I mimicked what other’s were doing and just hoped no one noticed me. Normally they didn’t. When they did I wasn’t sure what to do.

How could they expect me to get a good math grade when I was living on a few hours of sleep and wondering how far I could run before anyone noticed? Maybe I could lie down in a ditch and wait to starve to death after school. It wasn’t realistic but it made it hard to memorize procedures. I dug open cutting wounds under my jeans to keep me awake and stared straight ahead until the bell rang and I could be one class closer to going back to my room at home. When I got home I just curled into a ball and tried to stave of the feeling the Universe was slowly crushing me to death. I don’t think my parents understood how difficult simple requests like cleaning my room or taking out the trash was. I can either try not to hurt myself or do that Mom! Ugh.

As you can probably tell, this wasn’t a very joyous way of thinking. I agree. And the way I understood being a follow of Christ didn’t fit in with this constant desire to perish. I was depressed. Everyone had an idea on how to fix me. No one told me that I was fine just the way I was.

I was content, I was reading my Bible, I was prayingpraying and I was putting others before myself. I wasn’t happy, not even with therapy and meds. I can’t remember the age. But I was in the hospital again for cutting or heavy suicidal thoughts again. My father cried. I was nearing adulthood now. In a few years I would be leaving the family home.  and the doctors thought I was a danger to myself. He told me in a few words he was crying because He couldn’t keep me safe.  Something hit me. I cried too. Not just for my beloved earthly father but because I felt my Heavenly father weep with my daddy. I had to fit depression into my faith. I said I was committed to Jesus, but I was commited to my way of following Him. It was time to try His.

My favorite color is black. Black like the tomb for three days. Black like good Friday. If it wasn’t for Jesus in the blackness His ressurection (which is EVERYTHING) would have been meaningless. He was always reigning forever, but His victorious brush with death has added me to that equation. His body lay in the dark alone, much like I am often in the dark alone…. and He proved to me in those three days that there is no where He won’t go for me. Even the grave. I love Psalm 139. Not only because it shows He made me with love but also for 7-12 which prove He is steadfast even when I am full of death.

Where can I go from your Spirit?Where can I flee from your presence?If I go up to the heavens, you are there;if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,even there your hand will guide me,your right hand will hold me fast.If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide meand the light become night around me,”even the darkness will not be dark to you;the night will shine like the day,for darkness is as light to you.

He knew I was depressed. He knew the chemicals in my head didn’t always balance enough to let me enjoy life. He knew I was isolated even when I wasn’t. I made my bed in the depths, in Sheol, and He was there. I didn’t need happiness for Him to put me to work. I needed Him. I needed Him. As I focused on Him my depression lessened. I didn’t have a character defect, I didn’t suffer from a spiritual disorder and I wasn’t making a choice to sit in it. I was choosing Him and He was choosing to let me remain depressed for long seasons to use me. He sometimes choose to bless me to go years without it to help me grow. I became concerned with being Holy and not happy and I found Joy. Even when my thoughts turned against me, even when I spent a little too long admiring the sharp end of a steak knife I had Joy. I was new, I had won the war. I was just stuck in a battle still. In the darkness, in the tomb there is hope. I can sit in the tomb for as long as I need to now. I know what happens after awhile. I imagine sitting by His wrapped body with no way to tell how much time was passing when I am depressed. I can choose to be hopeless, or I can choose to cling to the fact that I get to see Him get back up. I can desperately cling to the knowledge that He does get back up. I can look forward to Him sitting up and embracing me for waiting patiently for His timing. I can trust in the tomb.

I am sure Jesus’ followers felt like I used to before Easter Sunday. I can’t imagine Peter who betrayed his BFF and never got a chanch to make things right did very well  over the three days Jesus laid in the Grave. But I don’t think even the worst days (and he had plenty) after He once again met Jesus on the lake could have left him hopeless. I laid my life down. I give it all to Christ. Living like that.. makes it so hard to dwell on the turmoil that stirs within me. If I am ready to die for Christ, I am ready to live for Him. On His terms. Even with depression. On His beautiful, frustrating, miraculous and heavy terms. The terms picking up my cross and to follow Jesus with all my breaths. No matter what.

Embracing nonsense: I am a Non-denominational Evangelical Lutheran

It’s a busy time in life so you get a repost of one of my past favs. Love you guys.

On This Side.

I have lived an interesting life to say the least. So has everyone. I have never met a single person that has met any kind of mold. This is because my God doesn’t make molds. He makes awesome people after his own steller self. I think we lose a lot when we define our faith as something as simple sounding as Lutheran, Methodist, E-Free or any other label. We make our walks too clean when we say I am “Free Grace”  “Cessationist” or “Calvinist” and think that those words alone say how you read and relate to scripture. If people ask me a question to know me that relates to how I know God they will never get a clean package with a bow on it with a few nice labels. I know that a Non-denomination Evangelical Lutheran makes no sense. It is even a contradiction, an oxymoron. To say…

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