Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My Thoughts on Veteran's Day

Watching the Today Show this morning and seeing all the segments on Veteran’s Day triggered thoughts about a part of my life I try to forget. This is my story. I’m not an army wife, I don’t know many military families, but this is what I have experienced. Am I thankful for the sacrifices that people have to make to keep our country free? Honestly? I don’t know that I am. The military system makes me kind of mad. I posted an article on Facebook a few weeks ago, /10/28/451146230/missed-treatment-soldiers-with-mental-health-issues-dismissed-for-misconduct. I posted it because it is a story I closely relate too. I tried for years to help Conner’s dad. I encouraged him to get treatment, I talked him through countless panic attacks, I sifted through drunk text messages and voicemails. He went to a therapist or two, he attempted half heartedly to get some help. But as hard it was for him to take the first step, asking for help, he did not enter into a safe space. He was told that he didn’t have PTSD that it was his problem to fix. They didn’t care about his alcoholism. They didn’t intervene with the foundation of the psychology profession: unconditional acceptance and positive regard, meeting people where they are and knowing they are doing the best they can with their situation. So he faced his fear, pushed through his mental health barriers, and asked for help to only be disregarded and invalidated. If he took anti-anxiety medication to help with his panic attacks he would no longer be able to fly. His job was to fly, so if he received help for his anxiety he would be unable to do his job. If he would attempt to go to a therapist off base he would have to pay for it out of pocket. So he did what he does, he stopped trying to get help, he moved on, slept with another girl, had another kid that he can’t support, and I had to place boundaries around that protected me and Conner from his toxic tendencies. He ends up getting discharged from the army. He stops paying child support. He loses his benefits, his children loses his benefits. Conner’s father is a veteran. One that has been screwed by the system. One who’s ability to be a good father, to provide for his children emotionally, physically, financially, seems to be an impossible feat. So should we honor the veterans? Yes, these families have sacrificed so much. But don’t forget that the system is beyond broken and the image being shown on the news is covering up deep issues within the armed forces. For every child receiving health care and college tuition because of their parent’s service there is a child who is left with nothing because their parent’s mental health due to their service to this country was more then what the country wanted to face.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


I’ve read a few articles and seen a few social media posts about Christians being targeted and treated differently for their beliefs. As our society becomes more and more pluralistic it appears that Christians become more and more disliked. Quite a few people have stated that they have received differential treatment because of calling themselves Christian. Here in the Bible belt, the opposition and disgust that are rippling across the nation towards Christians is not felt so intensely, but I am ready and dare I say it, maybe even excited for the day when it is felt here.
You maybe wondering why I say this… it is anti-American to want our nation free of the Christian roots from which it was founded… who wouldn’t want a whole country that believes and follows the Word of God… God’s blessings over a “Christian” nation will be taken away when we turn our backs on Him. I’ve heard statements like this over and over in different ways and yet I whole-heartedly disagree.
America has been a nation that fully embraced Christian culture (until lately) but has fully missed fulfilling the call Christ has given to those who choose to follow Him. The culture of Christian values states that all people should live according to the laws and commands God has so graciously given to believers to follow. But why would people who don’t know God’s loving mercy and kindness submit themselves to His laws? Expecting someone who does not know the beauty and glory of a relationship with Jesus to live as someone who does is not only foolish, but also harmful. My friend recently told me a quote she had read, “the Bible is for believers, the Gospel is for the lost.” Think about that for a minute… all the times we try and push verses, quoting them for people to show them their sin, challenging government, media, and culture through a means that was intended to guide the Believer, it is grossly misusing the beautiful gift God has given us, His very Words! I’m not saying there aren’t times in which the power of the Word should be used, but used cautiously and with a discerning Spirit.  The Gospel is what gives the message of hope and love to the ones who do not believe, not the laws.
The only way in which I can see this culture of Christianity die is through persecution. When you are challenged, threatened, murdered for what you believe in, you make sure that you truly believe it and don’t simply repeat what you’ve heard all your life or claim the trend of “oh of course I’m a Christian” while grossly misrepresenting the Body of Christ. With the culture of Christianity dead, believers will no longer be seen as standing in opposition with the world but will be seen as standing in contrast with the world.
Instead of expecting the world to look like us, it is way more effective to let the world be the world and shower them with the love and grace we have received from Christ. We have not been called to judge and condemn the unbelievers and their sins. The Holy Spirit has been given the job to convict all hearts towards his holiness, and I would hate to be prideful enough to challenge him in His timing and His methods. I’m not saying believers are to be passive in their faith, quite the opposite in fact. Actively go out and love your neighbor. Show them the same grace that we have so freely been given. Find the joy in no longer fearing the change in culture but the freedom from it.
This week I have heard a lot of responses out of fear, fear of the change that is moving across this nation. I welcome the change. I am tired of being a grey country that is actively tainting the Gospel of Christ. I am ready to be a country of black and white, you follow Jesus or you don’t. You love others or you don’t. No more claiming Jesus so you can get a pass into heaven while selfishly taking whatever you want out of the world. I want to be an American Christian willing to give up everything in this world in order to show the world how Jesus is worth it all, he’s worth my riches, my traditions, my comfort, my culture, my life, my all. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Find You On My Knees

I feel like I'm talking about the same thing in different ways on here lately, but honestly in my 3rd year of grad school I'm exhausted. It is not a physical tiredness that can be cured with a little extra sleep, but an emotional, social, brain tired. The only times I really sense a glimpse of relief is when I focus on the Father. I don't want you to think I'm complaining, because that is not my intent at all. This is what I signed up for. Being at this place leaves me nothing to hold onto but that which I know is steady, firm, and stable. It's all part of the process God has for me and I trust in Him to sustain me. I thought the lyrics from Kari Jobe's song Find You On My Knees pretty much describes exactly how I feel right now. It really encouraged me that I must not be the only person in the world that has ever felt this way!

Troubles chasing me again,
Breaking down my best defense, 
I'm looking God, I'm looking for you.

Weary just won't let me rest
and fear is filling up my head. 
I'm longing God, I'm longing for you.

But I will find you in the place I'm in,
Find you when I'm at my end,
Find you when there's nothing left of me
to offer you except for brokenness.

You lift me up, you'll never leave me thirsty
When I am weak, when I am lost and searching
I'll find you on my knees.

So what if sorrow shakes my faith,
What if heartache still remains,
I'll trust, my God I'll trust you. 

'Cause You are faithful and I will
Find you in the place I'm in,
Find you when I'm at my end, 
Find you when there's nothing left of me
to offer you except for brokenness.

You lift me up, you'll never leave me thirsty
When I am weak, when I am lost and searching
I'll find you on my knees, my knees.

When my hope is gone,
When the fear is strong,
When the pain is real,
When it's hard to heal,
When my faith is shaken
and my heart is broken 
and my joy is stolen

God I know that you lift me up, 
you'll never leave me searching,

Find you in the place I'm in,
Find you when I'm at my end, 
Find you when there's nothing left of me
to offer you except for brokeness.

You lift me up, you'll never leave me thirsty
When I am weak, when I am lost and searching
I'll find you on my knees.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

morning epiphany

The Holiday is one of my favorite movies. However, there are more than one scene that kind of irks me. One of the most annoying is towards the end of the movie when Cameron Diaz is going back to Jude Law after saying goodbye and decides to hop out of the car and run because it was moving slow in the snow. I always just want to yell at her "It's faster if you would just stay in the car!"
This morning was a typical morning, dropping Conner off at school, class, etc. On days like this I make myself a cup of coffee to go to get through my 8:00 class. Unfortunately, I forgot my coffee on the counter today. Luckily, I noticed at Conner's school at not at my own. Driving back towards my school I have to pass the road my house is off of so I figured I would stop by and pick up that precious cup of coffee. Going down my road I have 7 set of speed bumps and 5 pot holes that I have to get around, and the delay to my coffee was agonizing! And for the first time ever... I understood the way Cameron Diaz felt! I wanted to get out of my car and run home so the obstacles would not delay me. Is coffee equivalent to Jude Law? Of course not in looks. However, in this time of my life it's probably pretty close in importance.  

Monday, October 1, 2012


I was talking on the phone with a guy friend the other night. He was calling to get my advice about whether he should get married or not. Overwhelmed by the idea of marriage and responsibility and settling down but not wanting to have to breakup with his girlfriend who was ready to move forward or move on. Similar topics of conversation have been brought up to me by unsure guys and frustrated girls many times lately. The big question looming around our generation is why do guys not want to grow up? Why do they view family and marriage as an obligation they would rather put off than a joy that God has gifted us with? With these questions whirling in my head for a while I think I have come to one possible hypothesis. Without doing research it has no basis to be proven, but the following is the way in which the answers to the questions make sense to me.
The first thing I think of when I think of many guys in our generation is apathy, frozen in a state of not wanting to grow up and not wanting to move forward in life. More satisfied with standing still then in taking the risk of moving forward. Many of the things I've heard is "I'm not ready for that kind of responsibility" "What if I grow tired of the same person forever" "I am still looking for my great adventure" "I don't want to be held back." I sense they are all excuses as I rarely see any of these guys move on to make great solo expeditions (if anything, they could probably accomplish greater things by having a support system!). 
So when I think of apathy, I think of being frozen in place, and when I think of being frozen I think of fear. When rolling around this idea of guys experiencing fear, I was wondering what could cause this kind of fear? I thought about the influences on their perspective of marriage and family. There are worldly examples all around of being "satisfied" with independence. There are past experiences of failing in relationships. There are poor examples of men being good fathers and husbands. If 50% of marriages are falling apart, then what is to say mine will stay together? It all comes to head at a fear of being inadequate. And there are not too many examples in the world of men doing adequate jobs of holding their families together. Therefore the question remains, why risk entering into a relationship that I could fail at when I can ignore that desire for intimacy and cover it up with the fantasy world of pornography, video games, and surface relationships that I currently live in. 
But God has his hands open, overflowing with greater gifts than what the fantasy world can offer. All it takes is the courage to accept the gifts God has given to man and choosing to live in the adequacy of Christ. Who is adequate to be a spouse? to be a parent? to share the Gospel? to fulfill God's call on your life? The answer is not one of us. In myself I am inadequate for all things, but I am not called to live my own life but to live in Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 states, "For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?" Even Paul is asking, who's adequate to share the Gospel and to represent Christ. Then he answers later in 2 Corinthians 3:4-5 "Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God."
We are to live a life of confidence that comes for the Spirit. He is the only source of adequacy and he has shown that by choosing to write upon our hearts. We are called to live a life that emanates a pleasant fragrance to the Father. Am I saying marriage is perfect or easy? By no means. But the reason I believe marriage is so greatly attacked by the enemy is because of the powerful example of Christ's love as displayed in a holy marriage. What a beautiful, tangible, representation of the Gospel on Earth. I for one have a desire to fight for Godly marriages, and that is part of the reason I do what I do. I just pray to see more men stand up to fight for the gifts and responsibilities God has given us as well.  

Friday, August 17, 2012


When things don't go the way I want in my life I tend to believe that I am not enough. My perspective on many events in my life reinforce this core belief. My natural tendency when I get to this place of pain is to turn inward, ruminate until I can't stand it anymore, and then distract myself with mindless activity. Instead, this time when I got to that point, I decided to worship. Through that step of faithfulness God has shown up and reminded me that I am enough, and though I may not see evidence in this life, I can trust that in Him I am enough. I was enough for Him to send His Son to die. I am enough for him to call me into relationship with Himself. If I am never enough for any person it is nothing for I am enough for Him.  My fear of doing this stressful life alone is not of God for He says "'I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,' so that we confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?" I need community and I love people, but the only one whom I must look to is God Almighty.

This song speaks to me every time!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Trembling at His Word

Isaiah 66:2 "For my hands made all these things, thus all these things came into being," declares the Lord. "But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word."

I was really struggling the other night with consistency in my walk with the Lord. I desire to spend time with him each day, but not enough to actually put it into action often times. As I was listening to a sermon by Francis Chan and reading through the Word this verse struck me, especially the last part. God looks upon those who tremble at His Word. I was thinking through the Bible and how when God shows up and people experience Him in a tangible, audible, sensory way they fall to their knees and tremble at His words. I have always thought how easy faith must be for them. Sure, if I experienced the audible voice of God, I would surely bow down and tremble as well. However, the Lord revealed to me that I have been given His words in an even more powerful way, through the Bible. The people in the Bible who experienced his audible voice got a rare dose of His words. I have been given the opportunity to hear from God at any and all times. What a blessing! I should have faith greater than those who are in the Bible. I take such advantage of my ability to experience the Word of God. It should not be a chore to dig into the Bible, but a time of trembling daily before the Lord, for He is the one who holds my life in his hands.