Saturday, October 31, 2009

One Is The Loneliest Number

I figured it out.  Finally. After all these years.  It's been starring me in the face for quite some time now, but I've been afraid to accept it.  I'm a girl after all.  Girls don't have this problem.  If they do, it's only because they're in a bad Hallmark movie and the script calls for it (that's not fair - I like Hallmark movies).  But still, this is a GUY problem, not a girl problem.

I am seriously suffering from it.  It's probably, hands down, one of my biggest fears.  Bigger than being buried alive.  Bigger than my fear of heights.  Bigger than being afraid to walk past Pop Weasel's house on Coal Street.

I am completely and totally afraid of commitment.



Wikipedia (don't ya just love Wikipedia??) defines commitment as a duty or pledge to something or someone.  And fear as an emotional response to a threat.  So to break it down, I feel threatened by pledging myself to someone... ANYONE.  That's me.  Wuss.

I run - we're talking speed of light running - from anything that even HINTS at committing myself to someone.   I leave quite a mess in my haste to get out.  I rarely if ever look behind. 

I hurt others. 

I hurt myself. 

I hurt God. 

Once, several years ago, dear friends told me that I am a master of sabotaging relationships.  And it's true.  God, please forgive me, but it is T-totally true.  I'm sure that right after they told me this that I felt bad and probably for a nano-second wanted to change.  But I promise you, it quickly faded.  I said nano-second, afterall.

It's so bad and so ingrained in who I am, that I rarely realize what I'm doing.  I hide behind a shield of poor self confidence and a lack of self esteem.  I blame it on the other person.  I have an AMZING knack to find a speck of dirt and declare it a mountain. 

I'm quick to distrust. 

I'm quick to accuse. 

I'm quick to walk-away.

Here's the really funny part.  I desire, no I CRAVE, that connection that you can only get by being committed to someone.  I fear dying alone most of all. 

I have absolutely no one to blame for this sad state but myself.  It's my choice.  And it's a lousy choice.

Problem is I have no earthly clue how to change.  I can confront my fear of heights.  Pop Weasel is long gone so he's no longer a threat.  I have no desire to do battle with the fear of being buried alive, so I'll let that one stay.  But to allow myself to be committed to someone?  To virtually say, "Please hurt me" cause you know they will.  To be vulnerable to the point of possible rejection. 




Friday, October 30, 2009

Hello Mediocrity

"Lukewarm people do whatever is necessary to keep themselves from feeling too guilty.  They want to do the bare minimum, to be "good enough" without it requiring too much of them."
Crazy Love, pg. 76

K, so I've been absent for a wee bit.  Not just from boring y'all with my meaningless words, but from everything... 




I haven't traded out any of those things for really BAD things... like those real serious sins... you know what I'm talking about.  Rather I seem have to become complacent with doing "whatever is necessary to keep (myself) from feeling too guilty."  Yup, that's me.  Avoid anything that might make me uncomfortable.  Hide from folks. Ignore God.


BUT I totally justify all of it by talking to friends on Facebook (NOT a life!!), doing the online worship thing with Northland (and though I LOVE Joel & Vernon and others, it's NOT the same as actually going to church) and reading a Proverb, tossing up a prayer or 2, pretending I'm having a quiet time (that's not a relationship with God - that's reacting out of obligation).

Who, exactly, do I think I'm fooling?  Probably none of my friends. Certainly not God.  Barely myself.

The guilt just bubbles under the surface.  I quickly push it aside and replace it with a pat on the back for whatever lame act I've just completed.  I get by.  I'm honoring no one with my walk - least of all God.  What happened to the girl who wanted to live a radical life for the one Who saved her life? 

I gave up.  WAY too easily.  I got frustrated, mad, and impatient.  Things weren't working out the way I wanted.  They weren't happening in the time frame that I wanted.   Buh bye radicalism.  Hello mediocrity!

Huh - maybe it is one of those serious sins.  God wants me to be hot or cold.  Not lukewarm.  Not tepid.  Revelation 3:15 from The Message says it best:

"I know you inside and out and find little to my liking.  You are not cold, you are not hot - far better to be either cold or hot!  You're stale.  You're stagnant.  You make me want to vomit."

Nice, eh?

The solution is simple. The choice is obvious.

Trust God.  Trust His timing.

Live for God.  Stop focusing on I and focus on HIM.

Be radical.  Live life.  Honor Him.

Be hot.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I have been HORRIBLY remiss in not writing about something that I'm very passionate about these days. Several months ago I was introducted (via (in)Courage) to a ministry called Mocha Club.  Mocha Club is an online community of people giving up the cost of 2 mochas a month ($7) to fund relief and development projects in Africa.  There are five main project areas:  clean water, education, child mothers + women at risk, orphan care + vulnerable children, and HIV/AIDS + healthcare.  Mocha Club is a way for common folk (like me) who don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars (or even hundreds of dollars) to make a difference in Africa.


Do you have ANY idea what $7/month can do in Africa?  Well, neither did I.  But check this out:


That's just flat out CRAZY! 

When you sign up with Mocha Club you choose a project.  I've chosen "child mothers + women at risk."  Here is why: 
Often, the women and children of Africa are the most exposed and abused, especially in areas where there is war. The young women in Gulu, Uganda are called “child mothers” because they were only children themselves when they were abducted, trained as fighters, and given as sex slaves to rebel soldiers in the “Lord’s Resistance Army,” a rebel paramilitary group in Northern Uganda. Now that they have escaped or been excused as expendable, the community at large rejects them and their children.

The Village of Hope provides homes, a school, clinic, job training, counseling and support for these women. Several of the Child Mothers from Village of Hope who are being rehabilitated are now helping serve and lead clubs for other Child Mothers at local Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps in and around Gulu...
In Ethiopia, the face of prostitution is often linked with deep poverty. “Women at Risk” is a group we have partnered with to rehabilitate former sex workers in Nazaret, Ethiopia. Women think prostitution is their only hope and enter that world because of a lack of family support and a lack of income. From our experience, the women are desperate to leave this occupation, but are trapped by the lack of opportunities and rehabilitative support.

Intrigued?  Interested?  Wanna join in?  Then check this out:

Y'all this is a GREAT way to get involved for literally PENNIES!!  Right now, if you join, you'll not only have the amazing feeling of knowing you're making a difference in a part of our world that is helpless to help itself, but you will also receive your choice of a COOL "I Need Africa" t-shirt AND FFH (Jeromy & Jennifer) free CD download.


Check it out - please.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Some Perspective

This morning I was having myself a good ol' pity party.  A woe-is-me kinda party.  And not even for anything even remotely glamorous or pity-worthy.  But it was quite a doozie, none-the-less.  Stupid, stupid girl...

About 20 minutes ago Sue Madden came into our office.  I'm guessing that none of the 6 of you who are reading this have any idea who Sue Madden is, and I feel sorry for you because of that.  Sue is the director of one of the most amazing outreach ministries in this part of my state.  She loves the Lord with all her heart and she serves Him 150%.  Nearly a month ago her husband was in a car accident.  As a result of that accident the doctors discovered that he had not one, but EIGHT brain tumors.  The accident happened on a Tuesday and the doctors told the Madden's that if he lived through the weekend, because the cancer was so far progressed, that they would be shocked.

Sue told me that every morning they wake up thanking God for one more day.  Even though it's a day filled with doctor's appointments, radiation treatments, MORE medical bills, a dining room table full of medications, and decisions and talks that seem so foreign and wrong, it is a day - it's one more day. 

One more day.

One more day with the man that she's been married to for 36 years.

One more day.

One more day with the father of her children.  Her best friend.  Her provider, protector and leader.

One more day.

She told me that she knows God has a purpose for this and that her hope is that no matter what, that He would be glorified through each and every moment of each and every day that they have left together.

One more day.

I'm having a GREAT day.  It's a day that wasn't promised to me, but He gave it to me.  Now it's my turn to give it back to Him.  I need to choose to live this day for what it is - a gift from Him.  No woe-is-me, no pity party, just pure joy because He's given me -

One more day.

(UPDATE:  As of today, 10/23, Mr. Madden is still with us.  He's still going through  radiation, but  there's been no change in the size and amount of the tumors.  THANK YOU for your prayers!!)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

“Will You Take Less For This?”

On Saturday I participated in our community yard sale.  For 2 weeks I went through closets, drawers and storage bins pulling out all the stuff that at some point I really didn’t think I could live without and just HAD to have.  It was going to revolutionize, glamorize or symbolize my life.  Now I was willing to take 50 cents for it just to get it gone.

I wasn’t forced to buy any of that stuff (I resisted using the word crap). I chose to buy those things because I thought each thing would some how improve or enhance my life in some way.  Saturday that $30 improvement went for $4.

So as I was packing the left over stuff, I started thinking, “Did God choose me OR did I choose God?”  (This is not meant to be a discussion on predestination or free-will!)  I CHOSE to buy that slightly too tall lamp with a shade that acts as a magnet to every piece of fur, dust or lint within a 20 mile radius.  But that’s just a lamp.  What about the God of the Universe?

This I know for an absolute fact:  God loves me.  Period.  He sent His Son to die for me!   And as a result, He commands me to love Him.  It’s not a choice, it’s a command.

Not a choice.

A command.

“Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’”
Matt 22:37

A command.

My choice came in choosing Him.  He is the one thing that improves and enhances my life.


Yet, I confess, there are times when that choice is tough.  When I’m willing to take less. When the command to love Him feels like a burden.  Yes, I just wrote that.  It’s in those terrible, dark times when I’m placing more value on WHAT He gives me, not WHO He gave me.

My God, who loves me so stinkin’ much that He allowed His Son to die on a cross for me, deserves so much more than my lousy choices and crappy (there I said it) attitudes.  He deserves so much more than my willingness to take less.  He gave me the GREATEST gift of all.  Am I seriously crazy enough to choose less than that?

I do not want to live without God.  I can’t, actually.  I choose God.  And that choice demands that I love God.  And I choose to love Him regardless of whether or not He give me what I want. Because He gave me Who I need.