Dec 31, 2014




Kai turned eight yesterday. 

"...The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a desert spring along the road...Return...the Lord has heard about your misery."

"Therefore after Hagar referred to the Lord, who had spoken to her, as El-roi (the God who sees me) for she said, 'I have seen the One who sees me!'"

Will I allow You to? I'm jaded. I flaunt. I'm free and I'm giddy with freedom. I'm going back to Texas. I'm leaving this - island - for the humid stale big city.

'It takes so long to get places.'

"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today." Matthew 6:34

But I do worry about not having enough money. Just scraping by. We just scrape by. 

"Stop judging others, and you will not be judged...Do for others what you would like them to do for you." Matthew 7:1, 12

I judge. I judge often. I dislike those who offend me. I'm so consumingly critical. But I've had to be. My cynicism has kept me afloat. I criticize because I have to keep a tally of what's real and isn't. In being wise to let go of the mold, am I being careless? Structure and faith kept me in compliance; now freedom, thought, self-discovery, move me to move. Gonna move out and on and, someday, up. 

2013 is over.

I'll love my kids.

I've been delaying feeling something. Even now I pick at my nails and focus on that instead of writing. I'm realizing that there are those in my life who add nothing to it- just stress. 

I got my first thumb wrinkles last week- like Granny's. 

Jesus loves me - the Bible tells me so. 
    I'm loved. I'm loved. I'm loved.
Jesus completes me - I'm filled, resolved, not lacking.
   Jesus has made me a new creation. 

Old things have passed away.
    All things have passed away. 

You give me the desires of my heart. You put them there. 

To want 'just normal' feels dirty.

Remind me of how to love without holding anything back. Immaturely. Embarrassingly. 

"The Lord replies, 'I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do.' The Lord's promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over." Psalms 12:5-6

Make me long for You to rescue me. Right now I must have that longing. I'm going into this with the support of family and close friends only. No church first. My legalistic training tells me this is wrong. My intelligence tells me this is freedom. Normal. Normal to live without boundaries. But I know that my growth process, my movement, is far from over. I have to love like You. But I can't fix my heart. I can't heal all the years of abandonment. You can. You can make me into a whole person; or show me that I already am one as long as I am in You and You in me. The older I get the less I know. 
Abandonment breeds unease. Resentment. Panic. Low self esteem.

I have forgotten You complete me. I have relaxed my grip on You and Your perfecting perfect love. I have searched myself and scrutinized myself until nothing isn't revealed, at least for now. But to let You back in?!!! To let You heal me?! To let You be You?! Can I just please be sure of one thing? Can my longing be put on the back burner to Your loving-kindness? Can I accept myself and that You love me? All of my shattered conceptions of the church and religion need You to fill in the brokenness. Yes, just You. Before I get too far away. 

And we're leaving Kansas. And I couldn't be happier. 

Abandonment breeds dependency.
Breaking the destructive cycle of dependency is chaos before it is freedom.
Being unparented is chaos. That chaos returns when that dependency starts to be broken. 

So I gave the church authority over me in valuing their approval above Jesus' and my own. 
Why it's so hard to just accept who He says I am in Him and how He says He loves me.

If I'm rejected by one, I'm rejected by all.

But that's not how You value.

In giving away my value I open myself up to panic.
I'm not rejected any more.

"But I trust in Your unfailing love. I will rejoice because You have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because He has been so good to me." Psalm 13:5-6

You stay the same through the ages. 
    Your love never changes. 
There may be pain in the night, 
    but joy comes in the morning. 
And when the oceans rage, 
    I don't have to be afraid. 
Because I know that You love me, 
    And Your love never fails.

Every little thing gonna be alright.

Maybe it would be a wonderful thing to move back into that neighborhood…

Remember all the comforts you lacked? -painfully so
That’s how you are equipped to love. -help me with my disbelief. I doubt every solid thing in my body.

Here we are good. Growing up slowly with plenty of tales. Pen still moving passionately against empty paper lines.

What’s life gonna look like from here on out? What are You gonna look like from here on out? My inner battles. Will You conquer me? Conquer me to defeat me and release me?

Just know you’re not alone.

These five. These five precious ones. Where my heart is. Where my investment is. Principally. Wonderfully. Amazingly.

Help me to be still. Quiet my soul.

Every little thing gonna be alright.

I'm always afraid to write on first pages. Always wanting to skip it and come back to it later when there’s a better thought to share. Red gave me this pen and journal for Christmas.

Lawrence has been a time of self-discovery. A time of becoming a singular family. Of new birth and stumbling and relearning to think. I think. I feel. I stumble. I fall. I get angry. I stay angry. You prevail. You reimagine my faults to Your glory. You reshape my jiggle to put faith to feet. Lawrence was my escape from a cultish mindset I created within myself. For myself. I don't think it’s right to be so self-serving. I don't think it’s right to sacrifice so much to bless the blessed. I thought that way a long, long time ago. But now I feel it in my bones with conviction.

I may not be completely healed from the havoc wreaked on my infantile family, but I see direction toward it. Maybe now I understand a bit. A bit to make it better. Make it better to put faith to feet. All the pent up-ness, put it to use. Challenge my challenged self to be out of the box and used to be useful. To be (cheesy) Your hands and feet. How can I be Your light if all I do is be enlightened with the enlightened? This is better. This is good. This is my itch being scratched. Yes. And I'll read Interrupted again and see again what’s for me. Get my thoughts together and questions and ask. I’ll ask and dig deeper. I’ll ask and get answers and know that there’s a growing light, apparently, that I'll join and not be a radical among radicals with empty zeal, but a tempered vehicle to be used to overflowing.

“Will You not revive us again? That Your people may rejoice in You? Show us Your mercy, Lord, and grant us Your salvation. I will hear what the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people and to His saints; but let them not turn back to folly. Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed. Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yes, the Lord will give what is good; and our land will yield its’ increase. Righteousness will go before Him, and shall make His footsteps our pathway.” Psalm 85:6-13

Somewhere in there is the answer to my fear. To my self-doubt. It’s there. So what’s obviously seen there in my bleeding heart? Pain? The bleeding? The hurt? Fear. Deep founded fear. Fear rooted in every scary thing that’s ever happened to me. A scaredy cat. But a deeply caring one. Concerned with being genuine and also guarded against further injury. Strong.

You are strong for being who you are despite all that you've lived through. Mercy and truth. No judgment. No punishment for you, Denise. No joke. In all seriousness, I've got you covered. In MY righteousness, a soft electrifying kiss of peace.

That stillness. That which surpasses all understanding. Everywhere. Truth springing up from the ground and righteousness looking down on me. As You give what is good. The land, my land. My heart. My soul. It yields its increase. You. Mercy, truth, peace, righteousness. It yields You. My depths are yielding You. Despite my irrational logic. You are coming out. Despite my bleeding heart. You are springing forth. Therein lies my boldness. The ability to stand on firm ground and allow my words to be spoken to be heard. That glorious freedom that I am not my own but was bought at a price. I am not my own, but am a pearl of great price. You sold everything to own me. Radical churnings of my heart aren't hidden away sins against You, against humanity, but rather, You pouring out revealing Yourself hidden there tucked away in all those years of blindly tucking away Biblical devotions, studies, quiet times. You speak directly, profoundly. Loudly at times. Because. Because I am Yours. My small bleeding heart is the fertile ground of the parable of the soils. And out of Your tireless efforts You are calling out the dead seeds to spring forth life. The life abundant to love. Abundant to move. To lead. To step into Your footsteps because You step before me. You are my pathway. My deep rooted desire to please You is an open door to your movement in my life. Despite me! Despite my blindness. Despite my stubbornness. Despite my temper. Oh, my temper!!!

No, Denise, it’s not just others who are blessed to be handcrafted. You were painstakingly created. This tiny you is a product of a perfect Creator. In His image you were made. Not an image of fear and self-loathing, but of bold righteousness to love despite obvious rejection. No matter the response. Radical creator or radical things.

I’ve nothing to fear.

Thankfulness breeds contentment. Contempt of self breeds isolation in bitter mistrust.
No, Denise. The blessed life isn't reserved for ‘the Others.’ You are a dear beloved ‘Other!’ A member of the elite creation able to stand toe to toe to insurmountable foe not for vain glory, but eternal purpose. Rejoice! Again I say rejoice! And let your gentleness be known for the Lord is at hand. Therein lies your peace. Therein lies your validity. Therein is your access card to the elite society of value. You are loved. You are loved. You are loved. These bleeding wounds bleed this righteous truth. This intangible peace. Accessible by faith poured out on the cross. Tiny heart of infinite value chosen to be loved and healed and respected by Masterful Craftsman eternal.

To be bold to be enough to be myself. Painstakingly, priceless, mighty me.

-but oh, to live that!

Someday it will resolve. Someday it will get better. Some imagined moment when all the stars align to bless us one with spontaneous combustion. Then all will be well. All is well in the someday imagined. Meanwhile we pine. I pine. With you all is well.

The little children brought to Jesus. Little tiny holding up a broom singing to Jesus how much she loved Him. Placing her hand over the televangelists to pray accept Christ. Precious.
Did she hate me? That was what I saw in her eyes that middle of the night. Hate. Contempt. She despised me that night. For complaining. For nagging. Trying to get her to stop drinking and go to bed. She hated me for telling her what the right thing to do was. She shamed me. Rejected me then. Broke my self-esteem in one fell swoop. Never recovered. No, I never did.

“Don’t stop the children. No, let them come to Me. For such is the kingdom of heaven.”

Would you get over it already! Years!!! It’s been years!

Then you don’t, can’t, understand this feeling- the experience of being cursed by safe haven-creator-all-powerful-source-of-life-nurturer-mother. Turned from beautiful love serenity into confusing battlefield. Minefield! She was never safe again. No, never.

But I got to You.

“But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must also be your servant. And whoever wants to be first must become your slave. For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served, but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28

Serve others. Serve others and don't get angry. Serve others and don't get angry and love them. Serve others and don't get angry and respect them. Respect their motives. Respect their desires. Respect their boundaries. Respect their preferences. Respect their limitations. Respect their gifts. Respect their wishes. Searching out motive is a form of control. Because if I know what makes you tick I can set off your hot spots and reopen wounds not yet closed.

Like a problem or a work in progress. Every small piece of me I give to her she fails to know what to do with. Maybe she panics even.

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