Mask

I realized the mask I wore was becoming airtight.

And if I wanted to live, I’d have to take it off.

So…I removed my mask.

I’m learning to breath differently.

To breath like I used to again.

Heeeeeee hoooooooow.

Vent?

My floor squeaks. Like a mouse in one spot…and I like it. This is home. I want to quit saying “just until April” or “we’ll see” about the location, about the job, about the apartment…about life. Thats just all the energy I can give it right now. Isn’t that crazy? I have just enough energy to draw a boundary on the amount of energy I have.

For so long, after the divorce I decided to go, I had energy to live…or to compensate for the failure. And now almost 2 years later. DANG! Two years. Almost two years later and I have literally burnt out.

Between bad decisions and recommitment, in the midst of repentance and reaffirmation I have only so much energy left. And I’m careful of how I use it. I know I’m spiritually drained. Physically all I know is my addiction to sugar is seriously absurd. Emotionally I really need help letting tears flow from a dark dry place. I find myself in a place of comforting isolation.

I don’t want to go out, don’t want to meet new people- unless they are unavoidable in my journey from my car to my office. I’m not rude. Mostly. I’m not cold. Mainly. I’m not obvious. Obviously. And I feel at the bridge between peace and productivity. Stillness and activity.

I just finished two great books and I’m tired of reading. I received two invitations of shared commitment (bridesmaid x2) and I’m so excited! I think God deposits these opportunities to celebrate others so that I continue to believe that life is mostly beautiful, mainly good, obviously a blessing.

And I feel that at the core of me.  But my core is lost in the daily debt, frustration, confusion, isolation. I know the answer is prayer and fasting. The way my avoidance and sugar obsession is set up, its been hard to be disciplined. So I wake up and all day long hear and feel the weight of “tick tock”. Yay, its Thursday. I’ve almost made it through another week. And one of these weeks I’ll be myself again and stop watching the clock. And then I waver between wanting that day to come and longing for the relief of no more days just an eternity.

I decided to type until I can’t any more because I really have no motivation today to do anything. My computer usb ports aren’t working. I can’t afford to drop my laptop off because my work computer isn’t working so I don’t even feel like taking it to the mall. I don’t want to be around people and deal with people who are going to give me disappointing news that complicates my life further.

Maybe I’ve chosen to focus on it more or maybe I’m just seeing more clearly that life is a series of complicated answers/revelations/new flashes. And I’ve barely caught up to the ones I’ve experienced in the past 6 months that another days worth of “messages” is daunting. Maybe that is why I stay in on my days off. And I stay in on my working days. And I pack my bag to go do work at Starbucks but it seems forced. And who wants to force themselves? So I give her (me) a break and we come home rest. Rest go to work. Come home rest. Rest go to work.

I think if I read the promises He made to me and muster up the energy to find and repeat them, I can make it. I just haven’t alloted myself that amount of motivation. Not today. And its kinda sick kinda sad. I really don’t know if I want cured from the disease of…whats this even called? Sure its depression, but its deeper. Anorexia of the soul. I’ve cut myself off from the Living Bread. Not in a hunger strike kind of way. In a never mind I’ll starve type of way.

Just being candid.

Dating

Oh my goodness.. What?

 

I had to let a guy down. One I thought I liked, it’d been a few months of conversation. This was the first meeting…and it was a “fail”. He didn’t change, didn’t sugar coat, wasn’t mean or crazy…I just decided “nope, not for me”. And in a weird way this rejecting what I know I won’t be happy with or what I know isn’t productive for unselfish reasons (who wants to waste someones time) and selfish reasons (do I really want another 9 month relationship??? based on…maybe I can deal withs?).

Whew. In a weird way, I feel growth.

I feel contentment.

And I feel like I might finish this sweet potato pie before dinner.

You know better

Dear Self.

Yes this is for me (and you). You know better, do better.

One day I’m gonna preach this. Genesis 3. We label this as the fall. As if it was a great tragedy that happened long ago and has shifted every negative occurrence of the times. Well, I think it should be called the falling or the still falling or the repeat fall or the fall fall fall again…you get it. Its still quite relevant and unfortunately common for People of God to experience this same scene.And at the root of this distraction is a clear idea that Satan sends, uses, enjoys, masters distractions. You wouldn’t believe how many times in the course of the day how many distractions we encounter. If you’re like me Chic-fila distracts me from my diet. TV distracts me from reading. FB distracts me from writing. Talking distracts me from listening. Clutter distracts me from communion with God. Colors distract me from driving. Music distracts me from thinking…yes we face distractions!

Where was I? I just got a call from a number +45 98 15. I answered…no response. I got distracted. Okay, so thats a fact now lets get it back on track. In Genesis 3, God gives us the problem and solution to sin. He gives us the way to please and displease Him. He illuminates the blessing road and the curses road with maps for both.

3 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. (Association. Enter a character who probably shouldn’t be your best friend, your gossip buddy, your bae, your boyfriend, your sp…too late, you get it). And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (You notice people far from God always have so many answers. They want to tell you pricisely what to do with a life they had no hand in making. Be weary of friends who always know exactly what you want to do and have no Godly source for the advice they give.)

2 And the woman said to the serpent, (Talking back. I know you remember growing up and how you weren’t allowed to talk back to mama. Saying something opposite or in opposition to what she told you. Thats disrespectful. Its like saying “yeah, whatever”. Well in this case she should have talked back, however she should have spoken the Word of God. How many times are we tempted and we use our lame water-down poorly memorized version of the Word. We stay really surface level with claiming the promises and commands of the Lord. And in storms and when tried and tested, you know this, anything on the surfaces only is blown away. But…she’d tried it…“We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”(Did he Eve, did he really say you can’t even touch it or are you taking God’s protection, finding some sort of rejection in it, and making the Big Bad God out to be someone taking or keeping something from you. Boo boo, when God says “no” its to bless you. Where did you read, who told you, what Holy Spirit revealed to you that God wants to curse you, wants to withhold good gifts, enjoys seeing you in “want”. Like I said, surface).

Sidenote- I promise this is not a distraction, but an enhancement to this message. In Genesis 2:15 God warned Adam (a warning from danger…a warning he later ignored) no to each of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” We think we’re direct? God is direct. Don’t eat it, eat it and die. So our job is to hear God, remember what he said-exactly what He said (insert bible) and believe it. I would add obedience, however in my experience when I believe in my heart the Word of God it causes the act of obedience. There is a million dollars under your shoe. How many of you looked? You either did or did not believe me. Maybe you didn’t even believe me a lot but you had faith that maybe I knew something you didn’t know, maybe I worked something out that you didn’t see, and maybe just maybe looking in the direction of the promise you’d find the promise! You see what I’m saying??? Also, Adam received the word, communicated it to Eve somewhere in between this time because God created her after He gave Adam this word. And if Eve struggled to believe it, which we can now understand she did…she could have just asked God. I mean we find later that they had a relationship with one another. He talked to her, asked her questions, she responded. They had conversation. She had access to Him in the garden. How often do we think perhaps God said something and then we consult a friend or loved one what they think…I mean could we ask Him to reveal Himself and His word to us, personally? He is God. Oh, maybe its a belief thing. Next point.

4 Then the serpent said to the woman,(always talking) “You will not (just one word from the enemy can change everything) surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (again ,Satan, who told you that? Cause last I heard y’all aint on good terms. Just like a Petty Betty to insert opinion and discontentment. Plus listen closely “like God”, knowing good and evil. Satan kinda took a freebee on this one. We are created in His image, God told us that. And we know good from evil…duh. So, Satan “what is you saying”. Like, He didn’t say anything of value. NO THING at all. He stirred a lie with the obvious and created a lust for something we (Adam and Eve) already had. A sense of greed, if you will. And entitlement, if you will. And the plotting begins. It really just takes a thought. Read Corinthians 10:15. God has us covered on what to do with those thoughts.

So here we are at the point of sin. Its basically already happened. A seed of unbelief, watered with the illusion of lack, stirred with a plan.

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food (Completely distracted. Eve isn’t remembering promises. She isn’t focused on God. She isn’t asking for help. She didn’t consult the man of God. She is ready to sin. How many of you (sorry us) have put ourselves comfortably in the position to sin. I mean got the sin couch, sin blanket, put on a sin movie. Netflix and chill. We got a sinsation- see what I did there? We sin sat and sin waited and sin sinned sincerely – did it again! I mean we even put on sin music, got sin dressed, prepared a sin meal and got to sin sinning.) (Devil uses the same devices), that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate (Done. Probably the fastest pomegranate she ever devoured. NO it wasn’t a fuji apple- those are heaven-sent.) She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate (I know Eve didn’t share the first fruit. She picked two more and gave it to Adam so he would think she waited for him and they were eating together. Oh yeah, Eve is getting good at this sinning thing. After all, she’s learning from the father of deception. She’s probably thinking about the next time she’ll try the fruit which one and how that will taste and that she might eat two before the two she picks to share with Adam. C’mon somebody. Ever been in sin thinking about the next sin. Thats because sin doesn’t satisfy. How can you be enjoying something you’ve longed for and be thinking about the next time. Sin is a lie. Sin is false. Sin is a trick and a master. He (Sin) said he’d let you go if you gave in this time and now you’re setting thing up for time 99 and it still hasn’t measured up. I hate sin.) 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. (Right after the sin. That knowledge they wanted- and already had…came in the feeling of guilt and shame. Exposure. I bet God was thinking …scratch that I have no idea- I would have been thinking, thats what you wanted? To see how filthy you are without my covering and protection? Why did you want that? And you think these fig leaves hide the filth? No. They just become a new layer of covering atop sin. You’re stained and you’re dirty and I knew you would be. So I’ve already prepared your bath. Insert Jesus and the blood and the cross)

8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. (for the first time, this kinda makes me/us/them scared of God. Thats not a feeling to have toward your Father. Except when you know you’ve betrayed, disobeyed, dishonored, and you don’t yet understand grace and mercy…they didn’t know He had not changed in His love for them. They also didn’t know God chastens those He loves, so consequence is coming…is also protection. If God never drew a boundary we’d never turn around. Protection.)

9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” (an opportunity for confession.)

10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” (Okay, way to be honest Adam. Go deeper though…where are you really? In relationship to God. Where are you? Reflect.)

11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” (Who’ve been hanging out with, listening to, admonishing above your God? Did you do what I said don’t do to do what someone else said was okay? Did you conform? All answers in the form of questions).

12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” (Blaming God AND God’s gift. Whew, thats bold. But we do it. Its because he works with me, get Him fired Lord, then the temptation will be gone. Its because she left me Lord, I’m lonely, why didn’t you keep her here. Its because it makes me feel better God, make it taste bad then I’ll stop. Our audacity to deny God, to blame God, then to command God to change things for us. Spoiled kids.)

13 And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” (An invitation to repent. Because sometimes we need help in even admitting we are wrong.)

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (She almost repented. There’s still some blame there. I ate. But its because…Yeah I lied because…Yeah I cheated because…again Eve has not taken advantage of the relationship God set up for them. She could have said, “Daddy, I was wrong forgive me. Help me. Change my heart and my desires. I know the serpent is still out here and he’ll probably try to trick me again, remind me what you said. Can you fill my mind when he speaks?”)

I’m challenged to pause here and reflect on my own journey. Associations. Close ones that are not godly. Lazy bible memory. Enough to sound and look saved. Not enough to work in the face of temptation. And I have a bible app, bibles, dictionaries, and concordances. Maybe its easier to make up a quick prayer and have a quiet conversation with the enemy because I’ve already lost belief in who God is and I want to do what I want to do. I think God owes me some relief from the weight of obedience. I believe what I want to do is okay and so I do, I sin. And hide. And blame. And half repent. Half-repentence is a pivot, not a turn. And if I don’t stop and humble myself and recognize who God is, its much too easy to repeat the cycle.

Association
Bible
Silence
Commune
Believe (Obey).

These steps are both the problem and the answer. I’d like to suggest that the direction of the cycle depends on the very first step. Sometimes self-association is also self-sabatoge. Ever heard the quote “if you aint got it, you aint got it?”. If you’re not strong and you keep falling alone, its time to find godly associations. Accountability. Counsel. Because lets face it, you know better.

Tempted Ungratefulness

I woke up this morning almost ungrateful.

Rent is too high

Apartment too empty

Heart too broken

Nose too stuffy

Bed too firm

Floor too cluttered

Mind too cloudy

I almost bought into the lie that my life is off track. There is a myth that I should be in a better state. I’ve woken up with that idea many times before and lies repeated are often believed. However my

Income Shelter Emotions Health Mattress Possessions and Brain are gifts for which to be grateful. 

Dear Father,

The One who owns everything. The One in control of everything. The One who created everything, yes even me. I’m sorry. I apologize for my lack of trust, for my arrogance in thinking one decision I make negates your plan for me. Help me God to trust you, to seek you earnestly, to communicate with you above all others. Thank you for the blessings I recognize and those I’ve become too spoiled to acknowledge. Give me a heart of thanksgiving. Shower me with peace of mind. May every gift you give resonate as such in the depths of my soul. You give good gifts. My life is a give. Help me to cherish it, to cherish you, to cherish time and our relationship. Your love is unshakably, your provisions are perfect, your Word is accomplished in my life.  You’ve thought of everything, you’ve prepared a way- help me to embrace it. Thank you, thank you, thank you. For traffic to slow me down. For mistakes to teach me. For disappointments to point me back to the cross. For isolation to show me I’m never really alone. Thank you for valleys and for obstacles that prove you are the master. Thank you for my weaknesses which magnify your strength. Thank you for gifts and talents dreams and passions which are an imprint of your will for me. May I walk with purpose, run in faith, and overcome every temptation to be ungrateful.

Amen.

believed. However my spa

Soooo…decisions…ugh

I find myself at a crossroads. Well…like a crossword puzzle. I have options and all require work and all require effort and all require prayer. I realize the past almost 2 years I’ve been a little lazy wanting and choosing and then neglecting to pray.

I pray the Lord’s forgiveness. And here’s the thing I know He forgives me. So I try not to cheapen His grace. When you know you have forgiveness it should lead you to walk in righteousness, not abuse the gift.

Anyway….back to decisions. I’m so plagued with making “bad” ones that even my “good” ones feel like “bad” ones. And then when I make plans, choices, decisions, I often deter from them anyway…so I find myself living a little unintentionally and sinning unintentionally but intentionally…and then repenting and repeating.

I’m really feeling exhausted with that cycle. So, I’ve decided to slow waaaay waaay down. And to realign some things. Well, one thing. My mind. My focus. My attitude. Those are one thing.

Today is a new day. I am forgiven. I am more than a conqueror. I am blessed. I am called to teach and to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All my needs are met. All my desires are granted for I trust in the Lord. I cast my cares, doubts, and worries on the Lord and I walk light. Steps ordered by God, I experience the peace that surpasses all understanding. It doesn’t make sense that I am full of joy, of love, of forgiveness, of gratitude. However I am the righteousness of Christ Jesus and His Holy Spirit lives in and through me. Use me Lord. And remind me that I am to be used. Bless others through me and remind me I am to be a blessing. Give me patience and wisdom and strengthen my faith and assurance on your promises. I am the head, not the tail. I am the lender, not the borrower. I am debt-free. I owe no man. I give freely expecting nothing in return because my God shall supply all my need according to His riches in Christ Jesus. You are amazing. You are worthy. You are awesome. I love you Lord!

So I just moved. Again. I’ve moved four times in the last 2 years. Ugh. Awful, right? Yeah…I’m back in a place that reminds me of where I was in 2009 right out of college and in a new city. With lots of questions and unknowns. I’m remembering

-how did I make friends?

-how did I learn the city?

-how did I survive?

-how did I enjoy myself?

God and friends/family/church and work. lol. So when I’m feeling like God is calling me to go deep with the first step: God. In a new way. In a I’m 7 years older type way. LOVE THE NUMBER 7!!! In a now its about moving forward type way. In a the future is prosperity and hope type way.

So I go back to decisions. I get to make them. Don’t really like to make them. But I know how to and so I will keep God at the forefront of the choices I make small and huge. Seemingly insignificant and those which seem life changing. I choose to obey.