Music Monday - If I Told You

Monday, 14 May 2018


Sometimes we hide who we really are from the people we should be sharing things with.  I spent some time talking with friend about community in Church.  I had to admit that I have felt like a "disposable" friend, even with people from Church.  In the past few years I really felt like the outside looking in on so many things.  I haven't felt enfolded.  I have tried to get into community but it seems like I don't fit in.  I know I am not the only one.  

Church is a weird place because though it should be the place we are truly open and authentic about our brokenness it is the place where we are exactly the opposite.  When people come and are open about their brokenness they make us uncomfortable.  It's not them.  It's us.  I think the Western Church has sold us a false sense of who we are.   We want people to think we are perfect and holy in our Sunday best.  We smile when we should be crying out.  We make small talk when we need to be really talking about the real things in life.  

Church isn't for the perfect.  It's a hospital for the broken.  WE ARE ALL BROKEN.  I can't say that enough.  We all have things in our past and present that challenge us.  We all have things that we need help whether it's physical, emotional or spiritual.  We just want to know that no matter what we share or do, that people will love us anyway.  Jesus loves us through all our pain and shame.  As believers we are his representatives and we are called to love as Jesus loved us.  So yes, we need to love everyone anyway......



FMF - Include

Friday, 11 May 2018

Five Minute Friday is a weekly blog link-up group that provides a one-word prompt and we set our timers and write for five minutes. This week's word is ....INCLUDE


This word means a lot to me.  Mostly because I am an advocate for inclusion of people with disabilities in our communities, schools and churches.  My entry into this life had to do with my older son's autism diagnosis and then, of course, we were already in it when our youngest was diagnosed as well.  

I have seen so many positive ways that people have been included in our communities and schools.  I know it isn't perfect yet and may never be but there seems to be a push by society to include everyone and make sure that people with disabilities are living to their full potential.  I may be living in a place where this is happening and you many not see it but believe me it is starting.  

The place I don't see this is in the Church.  This is the place it should be happening and should have been happening all along.  I know churches with special needs ministries that move people's loved ones away during worship.  I know my boys can be distracting in our Church and I have received the "looks", especially when my youngest rushes the stage during the sermon or has a melt down during that time.  What people don't know is how much he loves our church.  All his projects at school this year were about the church and how much he loves to sing there and how much he loves it.  He isn't very verbal but when he is it is important to him.....

Extended time...

Church is a community of broken people worshipping a perfect God.  WE ARE ALL BROKEN.  Some just have to admit it better than others.  We as a Church need to include those who make us uncomfortable.  We need to view people with disabilities, not as older children, but as equals.  My sons may have neurological issues that make them different from societal norms but they are both intelligent young men who can contribute to our Churches and communities.

Psalm 146:9 says:  The Lord protects the resident aliens, and helps the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. (CSB)  When I did a LOGOS study on this verse the term resident aliens referred to those who were outside of social structures and vulnerable to injustices.  If this term didn't include people with disabilities I don't know what does then.  We MUST and SHOULD include people with disabilities in our worship and church communities as equals.  They are not people to make us feel better about ourselves (don't get me started about inspirational porn), they are people who God sees and loves just as He loves us. 

You Are Free - Free to be Rescued

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

We continue to journey along with me while I read and soak into Rebekah Lyon's You are Free...

In the chapter "Free to Be Rescued" Rebekah talks about her healing from anxiety and fear and the moment she cried out and was healed.  She was actually surprised at first that it actually "worked".  That it continued.  She walked in trepidation, not knowing if it would last.

It is funny that we as Christians would question healing when the Bible is full of stories of God healing and redeeming people. I know God can heal.  I know God can decide not to heal too.  Everything is up to God.  The problem is do I really trust God to heal knowing both of these sides of the coin?  Can I trust that God has more in His plan if He doesn't heal or will I become bitter and angry and drift from God because of it.  

Honestly, I do struggle with God's healing and deliverance.  I have literally been on the floor praying and worshiping that my husband would be cured of his depression.  At first it was just depression and now..... This journey has been going on for 9 years, as long as my youngest son has been alive.  Sam does not know Leroy without the depression nor does he understand.  Both times Leroy was hospitalized, Sam took it well but I knew, even if he couldn't communicate it, that it affected him.  It affected all of us.  Just as it continues to do so.  My prayer is always heal my husband mentally, physically and spiritually.  I know that there is a battle going on and that only God can heal him.  

I know I need healing.  I need to learn to trust and forgive.  I have huge issues with both of these things which is probably why it is easy to push God to the side instead of inviting Him in.  No one in my life knows 100% of anything about me.  I keep it that way for a purpose.  It protects me from hurt and pain.  That little girl who hid out at church is still underneath all those layers and the woman I am today cannot take the pain and rejection so I build walls around myself.  I confess I often ghost people from my life who hurt me because I don't want to deal with the pain of confrontation.

I have a lot of pain and suffering.  Not physical (unless you ask me to run on the treadmill) but mental and spiritual.  Emotional abuse lingers.  Satan really does know how to attack us and he is good at it.  The lies I heard from my mother, my father and my first step father remain.  It lead me into making bad decisions in my early twenties.  Things I will never be able to take back.  Things that affect my life now.  I equated sex with love and devalued myself.  I allowed others to determine my value.  I had an ex boyfriend who told me I was going to be a horrible mother because I was a horrible housekeeper.  It's any wonder why I am so hard on myself about my house cleaning and mothering. 

As a believer, I am healed and cleansed from my old life.  I can decided to be like Lot's wife and look backwards constantly.  She paid the consequence of that and what consequence will I receive if I allow my past and the lies to control me.  Or I can decide to cry out to God for deliverance and healing.  I choose to cry out to the One that can take all my angst, frustration, hurts and pains and break me and make me into something new.

In my distress I called upon the Lord;
    to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
    and my cry to him reached his ears.....

He sent from on high, he took me;
    he drew me out of many waters.....

He brought me out into a broad place;
    he rescued me, because he delighted in me.
Psalm 18:6,16, & 19 ESV

You are Free.....Intro & To Be Free

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

I have been planning on reading You are Free by Rebekah Lyons since I bought the book last year as soon as it came out in February.  It stares at me and taunts me.  First from my book case and now from my side table of books that I have every intention of reading......but for some reason I don't.  

There was a purpose to purchasing this book.  It came out at a time that I was feeling pressured as an Elder, a Wife, a Mom, a Daughter, a Sister, etc...  I felt like everything in my life held me in a vice grip and wouldn't let go.  It was overwhelming and it was tiring.  I knew I wasn't dealing with anything in the way I should.  I was finding rest in all the wrong places - Netflix, YA fiction (I'll do a post on my favourites later), friends, shopping, food and of course my favourite......coffee.  But all these things continued to leave me broken and wrecked.  I wandered in the wilderness or what felt like the wilderness.  I felt alone.  I felt powerless.  Since last year, there have been a few occasions that I have felt true rest with Jesus but those have been fleeting because the battle still rages and the endless shells in this battle have left me shell shocked.  

The book description of You are Free is:

Have you bought the lie? Many of us do. We measure our worth by what others think of us. We compare and strive, existing mostly for the approval of others. Pressure rises, anxiety creeps in and we hustle to keep up.
Jesus whispers, I gave my life to set you free. I gave you purpose. I called you to live in freedom in that purpose. Yet we still hobble through life, afraid to confess all the ways we push against this truth, because we can’t even believe it. We continue to grasp for the approval of anyone that will offer it: whether strangers, friends, or community.
Christ doesn’t say you can be or may be or will be free. He says you are free. 
Christ came to make the captives free. (Galatians 5:1) Free from sin, condemnation, and comparison to name a few.  If I proclaim that I am in Christ than I must be accept this basic truth - I AM FREE.  Then why don't I live that way.  Why do I still live as a captive to emotions, sins, comparison, expectations, lies, and history?  Why do I not embrace His truth for me as His sister and co-heir?  Why do I question God and keep Him at arms length when all He wants is to embrace me and hold me and guide me to safe places.  

Now you may want to know why I am writing about this book now.  I have decided while I read this book I will be posting my journal responses to the chapter questions.  This will (1) keep me accountable to reading this book and (2) give me a space share my struggles in an authentic open way.  It won't be pretty, of this I am sure.  Nothing when it breaks ever is.  But in the breaking comes new life and hope and promise.  I hope you will join me on this journey and show me grace as I travel it with you.

Chapter One - To be Free

There are very few times in my life I have truly felt free.  I come from an abusive and neglected background.  My parents married because of me and this was not a marriage that should have ever happened.  There was cheating and abuse on both sides and I was in the middle.  Often, my grandparents had to come and get me (also known as we have to save that baby).  My parents divorced and we lived with my grandparents on and off for a few years until my mother's second marriage, which was no better than the third.  However, it was during this time period that I learned about Church. 

We lived in a military base in the middle of no where British Columbia (in fact, that base doesn't even exist anymore).  For some reason, probably because it was the social thing to do, I was forced to go to Catechism classes at the base Catholic Church.  I remember our Priest was a little man who was originally from India.  He was lovely and answered this little girl's question.   My family did not go to Church and never had in all my childhood.  My best friend's family did and I would sleep over at her house and we would go to Church together.  I loved that little congregation and the smells of candles burning and incense and the sights of the wooden pews, stained glass windows and the pomp and circumstance of a Catholic Church.  Many times to escape my wretched home life I would go to Church and I often beat the Priest there.  He always welcomed me and showed me love and acceptance.  I don't know what happened but after 8 months my parents informed me that since I was baptized as an Anglican I had to go to the Protestant Church.  I never felt the same way about this congregation as I did that small Catholic one.  The Pastor and Sunday School teachers didn't know what to do with me and I slowly stopped going to Church.  If I had been older (this all happened when I was 8) I probably would have kept going to the Catholic Church.  This Church and it's people showed me what it meant to be the hands and feet of Jesus and not surprising, it is the way I expect all Churches I attend to be now.  You never know when a lost little girl seeking true freedom and love will walk through those doors.

It's funny that the lies of adults slowly creep into our lives as children and society's norms become our chains.  I think back at that little girl who played with the boys and ran in the mud and biked everywhere and loved being outside.  I am sure those close to me are shocked at my saying this.  I am not really an outdoors person per se.  I love hiking but not a lot.  I will continue to assault your idea of me because I was one of the kids who regularly hunted for frog's eggs in the bogs.  I did things and went places that I have never allowed my children to do.  Of that I am sorry.  They'll never know playing outside until the street lights come on and only coming in for food (some of those boundaries have to do with the boys' autism though).  

When did I start to care what others thought of me?  When did my value come from my looks?  When did it stop being OK to hang with the boys?  When did I start to believe the lies?  I am praying that as I continue through this book that I will push through the lies and embrace the freedom that Jesus died on a cross to give to me.

Music Monday - Human

Monday, 7 May 2018

I think sometimes we as humans, even Christians, put too much on ourselves and others.  We want people to define us, justify us, and encourage us.  We alternatively want to define others, justify other's actions to fit our narrative and encourage those we agree with and attack the ones we don't.  

I am in the process of reading the Book of Mark through the IF:Equip studies and we continue to journey through the Book of Luke at Church.  People often wanted to define Jesus.  The Pharisees wanted Him to play by their rules.  The people wanted Him to fit into their narrative and do miracles.  The Disciples wanted Him to justify and encourage them.  Jesus refused to be anything other than who He was.  He didn't want fame or popularity (Mark 3:7a).  He didn't want people to control the narrative of His mission or reveal when His true identity would be revealed (Mark 3:12).  Jesus didn't allow anyone to define who He was or what His mission was.  He would do that on His terms and in His time.

We are so busy looking around and comparing ourselves with others and comparing others with ourselves that we have lost the point.  We are only human.  We are imperfect images of a perfect creator.  Of course, we are going to make mistakes and yes, others are going to make mistakes too.  We all need to have grace for ourselves and each other.  When that grace isn't shown, we need to move on.  Not dwell in what isn't but to continue to run the race that Jesus has set out for us.  We need to be people of love, grace, and compassion, not hate, anger or jealousy.

I have been struggling with this concept through the difficulties.  Last week, this song kept coming to my mind and I know it was a reminder that we are only human.  As the song says: 

I'm no prophet or Messiah
Should go looking somewhere higher
I'm only human after all


Human

I'm only human
I'm only, I'm only
I'm only human, human
Maybe I'm foolish
Maybe I'm blind
Thinking I can see through this
And see what's behind
Got no way to prove it
So maybe I'm blind
But I'm only human after all
I'm only human after all
Don't put your blame on me
Don't put your blame on me
Take a look in the mirror
And what do you see
Do you see it clearer
Or are you deceived
In what you believe
'Cause I'm only human after all
You're only human after all
Don't put the blame on me
Don't put your blame on me
Some people got the real problems
Some people out of luck
Some people think I can solve them
Lord heavens above
I'm only human after all
I'm only human after all
Don't put the blame on me
Don't put the blame on me
Don't ask my opinion
Don't ask me to lie
Then beg for forgiveness
For making you cry
Making you cry
'Cause I'm only human after all
I'm only human after all
Don't put your blame on me
Don't put the blame on me
Oh, some people got the real problems
Some people out of luck
Some people think I can solve them
Lord heavens above
I'm only human after all
I'm only human after all
Don't put the blame on me
Don't put the blame on me
I'm only human
I make mistakes
I'm only human
That's all it takes
To put the blame on me
Don't put the blame on me
I'm no prophet or Messiah
Should go looking somewhere higher
I'm only human after all
I'm only human after all
Don't put the blame on me
Don't put the blame on me
I'm only human
I do what I can
I'm just a man
I do what I can
Don't put the blame on me
Don't put your blame on me

Caffeinated Randomness - April 14, 2018

Saturday, 14 April 2018



It has been a while since I have written.  No I did not stop writing because of Lent, though it all happened at the same time.  No I did not stop writing because I was giving up blogging, although I have in the past.  As I alluded to in my past writings I was dealing with some major issues as Chair of Council and it was all consuming.  I was in pain and just sheer exhaustion so much over the last few months.  I was overtired and emotional, that I couldn't sleep (I wish I could add eat but it seemed I did more of that).  I normally read when I feel this way but I just couldn't seem to get any enjoyment out of that simple enjoyable act.  When I'm not reading I talk to friends and family but during this period I was on the phone so much dealing with church politics that I actually cringed when my phone rang.  At one point I actually had to tell my Evil Twin that I needed to choose a ringtone just for her so that I knew when she called and not hesitate to answer.

During this season it seemed that not a lot has brought me any joy.  I know Ann Voskamp, if she were here would have told me to list out all the things I am thankful for or give.  But frankly as much as I love Ann Voskamp, I just couldn't do it.  I wondered what Jen Hatmaker would do?  Probably dig in and marathon Netflix.  But even the idea of that didn't bring me much joy.

There have been a few things that brought a smile to my heart.  Simple comedy on YouTube.  Have you seen some of these videos.  They are hilarious.  I thought today I would share my top 3 YouTube channels that make me laugh and in no particular order.

1.  HISHE or How It Should Of Ended.  They animate our favourite mega blockbusters and give us alternate endings that make me laugh everytime.  The one my daughter and I still quote is from Jurrasic Word.



You need to check these guys out.  The coffee shop endings with Superman & Batman always make me smile because.....I'm Batman.

2.  I have to admit that I am a Bravo TV junkie.  In Canada we don't get to watch Watch What Happens Live.  I wish we did, so I end up having to watch recaps but then you usually just get the funny situations and Plead the Fifth/Spill the Tea anyway, so maybe I am not missing much.



3.  I also love watching the web series the Lizzie Bennet Dairies.  This is adaption written as if Lizzie Bennet lived in Southern California and was working on her Mass Communications graduate degree and Lydia was a teen who was looking for fame anyway possible.  If you are an Austen fan, you will enjoy this adaptation of the beloved Pride and Prejudice (really, is there ever too much Austen inspired anything??).


Other

Friday, 13 April 2018



Sometimes it is easy to view oneself as the other.  The other parent, other spouse, other friend...  But it is hard to think about the actual other. 

I live in a world of other, especially people with mental illness, people with disabilities.... these others are often left out, ignored and pushed aside.  However, Jesus never did this.  He embraced the other.  He loved them.  He saw them for who they were - image bearers of God.  He never saw the disabilities as something that made them less than.  He saw them as He sees all of us broken people needing love.

Inclusion is social justice.  Why does the Church struggle with inclusion of these others?  I believe it is that we forget that Jesus came back broken.  He came back imperfect to make us whole.  Not perfect.  Lets remember that when we look at the other that we so often ignore and marginalized.

Joining up with the Five Minute Friday link up, where you write on a topic for 5 minutes.  Check it out.

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