Thursday, July 18, 2013


How do you teach purity to someone who has never known purity? How do you explain "True love waits" to someone who thinks love does just the opposite. I never really thought about this until recently. I have some dear friends who have not had role models in their lives to teach them about their worth. They are all grown up now, but I dare say, they have no concept from whence their value comes...

Lacking nurture & affection in their childhood, they have gaps that will likely never be filled. They have the capacity to love & to be loved; they just sometimes look for love in the wrong place. They tend to fill their holes with unsatisfying relationships & patterns that will only leave their hearts bankrupt.

Emptiness is their constant companion. Filling that emptiness is their constant desire. Seeking fulfillment in the wrong place seems to be their curse. Somehow their caregivers failed them in their early years, & the best they can do as young adults is acknowledge their "holes" & understand their missing pieces.

When I look into a person's past & begin to understand why they do the things they do, I can only be grieved. I grieve for them, for what they never knew, for the love they never experienced in their early years. I am so sorry for their hurt, their longing, their inability to understand their worth. I am sorry for their tears. I am sorry they sometimes feel so unloveable.

I want to hug them. I want to lift their load, fill their emptiness, & explode with their worth. I want to cry their tears. I want to wrap my arms around them & tell them they will be okay. I want to help them make healthy decisions. I want to give them hope. I want them to know their worth. I want them to feel loved.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


So... here's my truth. I am a former Glee fan. I watched the show for its first 3 years. I looked forward to each episode. I bought the seasons on tape. I let the characters get under my skin. I thought about them throughout the week. My heart was changed because of some of them...

My favorite character was Finn (always). In the very first episode, he caught my attention. It was because of him I got addicted to the show. Because of him, I watched the show a year longer than I would have. I like what he stood for on Glee. I liked how he treated people. I like the way he worked through his troubles.

I saw the tape of his audition. If I remember correctly, he was a postman in Canada. He auditioned on drums playing on a bunch of pots & pans. He obviously caught the writer's eye too. Much of the show was written around his character.

The media tells us that he & Leah Michelle were madly in love. Now... her life goes on without him,  the love of her life. I cannot imagine the aftershock. Yes... he was an addict. She tried to help him. It seems his coworkers adored him. Perhaps his real life personality was as nice as his character (Finn).

So now people feel a need to put their 2 cents in about his life. Some (like myself) are sad. Others are disgusted. Some say he is a terrible role model and are sick & tired of this pattern in celebrity life, while others point out that this problem is world wide, not just in Hollywood.

I almost think some people think his death is less tragic because of his drug use. I have to say his death is no less tragic because drugs & alcohol were involved. His death is tragic because he was a hurting person. Period. He tried to get it right, but somewhere something failed.

His friends & family may never know what failed. It seemed he was doing well the evening of his death. His loved ones were caught off guard. They are left to pick up the pieces. Try as they might to make sense of his sad death, they likely never will.

His journey with drugs began at age 13. My hunch is that he had no idea where drugs would lead him. He hated his drug use and never wanted his fans to think it was okay to drop out of high school & do drugs. He didn't want them to think you could throw your life away & end up a movie star. Truth is... his death proves his desire to be true.  His drugs took his life. No glory in that.

His drug use didn't make him an awful person or a terrible role model. It simply made him broken like every soul on earth. For families that are concerned about their children, it provides a sad opportunity to walk down that path of destruction with them verbally. It's a learning lesson. It's consequences cannot be undone. A beautiful life was lost. That is the tragedy.

Monday, July 15, 2013

put em in a box

Today I was thinking about some of the friends I have made over the years. Being a people loving person, I realize that people are the spice of life. The older I get, the more open I seem to be to people who are unlike myself. I've always had a thing for helping those in need, but I think I have put people in a box. What a realization! Nope, I'm not proud of that.

Clicks seem to begin in grade school, especially with girls. I remember thinking early on that "so & so" was different than me. I think in my own way I boxed people up,  & my expectations for that friendship  probably helped shape the actual relationship that followed. I don't want to get into the specifics of how I boxed them up. Let's just say I wish I hadn't.

When I was a youth leader, I once showed the kids a video. The video came from Dare2Share, & it challenged the youth NOT to walk into school seeing other students with labels over their heads. It literally showed a multitude of students, each with a different label above his/her head. The labels covered a variety of categories from smart to pothead to whore. You get the picture. I think popular was in there too.

Labels are harmful because they separate people. Once you see a person as a label, you limit yourself from seeing the rest of that person. Once you see a person as a label, you automatically assume they will own certain traits. You build a safety net around yourself with limited access. Maybe you will nod your head & say hello, but that might be the extent of how that relationship evolves.

Perhaps you fear being impacted by people who are different, so you don't allow them to get beneath the surface. Sometimes people are so insecure that they have to put people who are different down. They may even sneer at them or make fun of them. Perhaps they puff themselves up to justify ignoring those who don't fit cookie cutter molds.

I'm here to say, that the more we embrace our differences, the more we grow as people. Yes, we are all different. Those who live on the outside, never really feeling accepted, never really feeling as if they belong, have so much to offer. As I age, I am making a conscious effort to embrace people who I see as different. My higher hope is that one day I won't even see them as different. My life is so enriched by these people. Our pastor recently asked us who we'd like to have seated at our banquet table in Heaven. I hope my table (if there is one) will be filled with these people.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

"Follow Me."

Every now & then, I have a thought which just won't go away. It seems as though it's begging me to formulate  into a blog. I really don't feel qualified to make this statement, but I feel as though God has laid this recurrent thought on my heart for two reasons: #1 to apply to my own life... #2  to share with others.  The best way to share Jesus is by being Christlike. It's SO simple, yet we make it so difficult. Books have been written on how to share Christ. People have attended conferences. Talk radio has covered this topic. I have been trained myself. My attempts are feeble; however God blesses them.

So as I write this blog, please do not misunderstand my intent. I believe in sharing Christ verbally. If God lays it on my heart to share His Son with others, I muster up the courage & do the best I can. Thankfully, He does the rest. No regrets ever for sharing my Lord & Savior. Yes... now & then, it's a bit awkward, but there is peace in obedience. There is peace in responding to being prompted by the Holy Spirit. It never comes back void. Period.

So this recurrent thought keeps dogging me. The best way to share Christ is by being Christlike. I know this to be true because I see the attention (the thought) people give to Christlike actions. Whether it be generosity, an apology, forgiveness, caring for another a soul, lifting someone's burden, being a listening ear, selflessness, dirty work, turning the other cheek, peace in a terrible situation, supporting someone who feels misunderstood, boldness, patience, taking a stand, transparency, putting yourself out there... Whatever it is, when we reflect Christ, others notice.

When living our life for Christ becomes an issue of the heart, when the legalism is set aside, great things begin to happen. When we focus on Jesus, when we respond to others as He would, hearts are touched. When we shed our judgements of others, when we forget about our denomination, when we just try to be like Christ, people respect our faith & want it. Period.

Jesus met people at the well. He met them where they were. He didn't promise them an epiphany. He didn't say one day when you feel ready. No... He challenged them in the heat of the moment. Now is the time. Don't go home & get your ducks in a row. Don't wait until you have complete understanding. Today is the day. Now is the time. Follow Me & you will live life in a way you have never experienced. If you want adventure, Follow Me. If you want lasting peace which surpasses all understanding, Come, Follow Me.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Lake House

There's a place I love. It's a quiet place where I feel just a little bit closer to Heaven. It sits on the edge of the water in a little cove. The neighbors are kind. There's a dock with boats. Sunsets are beautiful. Sunrises are pretty. The fishing is fun. We share a little beach. The dogs love to swim. It's a simple place, a quiet place, a place I love.

It's a place where you can leave your worries behind. A sort of timelessness exists. As I sit on the bow of the boat, I experience a carefree feeling that's as close to Heaven as I know. The breeze is gentle. Riding into the sunset is an experience like no other. Being on the lake in the dark, seeing the lights on the shore, accompanied by a warm breeze... if you didn't know better, you'd think you were on a tropical island.

I caught a big catfish here. It broke my line. As it flopped around on the dock, I texted my daughter & her husband for help: Big Fish. Need help! We all laughed in amazement. We are still in disbelief. Today we drug a big bunch of branches in (only to find out they had a purpose, a fish habitat).  My son-in-law dutifully put them back. I asked my neighbor if he was mad. He teasingly replied he'd tie a brick around my neck & throw me out with the fish. Yes, I think a well deserved plan. Nothing like destroying your neighbor's handiwork (the shame I feel)...

This is a place where family & friends can come & go. Memories are being made. New friendships are forming. I watch my precious grandson as his parents enjoy a few outings. Here I stay, perfectly content, looking after the sweetest thing I know, my newborn baby grandson. I examine his little hands & feet over & over. I kiss his little head a million times. I swaddle him up like a burrito. I sing to him with my out of tune voice. He doesn't seem to mind. Letting him sleep on me is calming & precious.

Tomorrow we leave. I say good-by to this heavenly place. I look forward to my return. S'mores, late night boat rides, deer on the side of the road, a big turtle slowly making it's way to the road, tangled up fishing line, sunrises & sunsets, bright stars, tropical breeze, dogs swimming, friendly people who don't seem to judge others... simple, fun, & oh so beautiful.