Monthly Archives: February 2017

KISS

*Editor’s note: As we approach Easter, I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on the feelings that one of my friends experienced post-Easter a couple of years ago. One of the questions we must ask ourselves is why Easter is so special. Not only should every Sunday in Lent count as a ‘mini-Easter’ but perhaps every day. I contest that we don’t need a special day to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Our sins are forgiven every day. We receive grace and mercy every day. Jesus want to be our Higher Power every day.

Keep It Simple Silly

We’ve all heard this phrase before.  We get to a point where we are banging our head against the wall–over thinking, over analyzing, over obsessing.  Then, we get a nudge toward simplicity and the fog and chaos clears.  Clarity prevails.  In the days following Easter I have been in a fog of sorts.  I’ve almost felt a let down of sorts in the aftermath of the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection…but why?  A favorite Christian author/speaker/blogger/mom of mine, Lysa Terkeurst captured my muddied feelings spot on in her blog posting this Tuesday (http://lysaterkeurst.com/2013/04/easter-might-you-linger-a-bit-longer/).

But what does Jesus want me to know, to think about, to wrestle through this time? This season of new beginnings? I don’t think Easter is quite done with me yet.

So, I’m lingering here for a bit longer.

I feel like the girl who wears the same outfit to school two days in a row. Easter is a bit done now. Time to put it back in the closet. Only for me it isn’t. I want to wear it again today, tomorrow, and many more tomorrows.

After all, Easter is no longer a ritual to me. It’s a revelation. A time where Jesus splits my soul along the fault line of a scar deep within. I was an unwanted child to my birth dad.

Unwanted.

But to Jesus… I was wanted so much that He gave His life for me. It feels so personal. Even though I know God “so loved the world, He gave His son,” it becomes very individual if we let it.

Be personal.

With Jesus.

Yes.

So, in the midst of a world all putting Easter away, might we let it sit with us for just a bit more?

I keep my Bible open to the place where the angel spoke to the women at the tomb. And I tangle my prayers around His Words from Matthew 28:

“Do not be afraid,”- God, I hand over to You those things that make me so afraid. Resurrect the parts of my faith squelched by fear.

“I know you are looking for Jesus,”- God, when my soul is searching help me know the answer to every longing can be found in You.

“He has risen,”- God, the fact that Jesus is risen should lift my head, my heart, and my attitude. Help me to live today as if I really believe this with every part of my life.

“just as he said,”- Jesus, You keep Your promises. Help me live as though I believe that with every part of me. Help me trust You more, obey You more, and resemble You more.

“Come and see,”- Jesus, You had the angels invite the women in to see for themselves that You had risen. You invite me into these personal revelations everyday. Forgive me that I sometimes rush about and forget to come and see for myself… You, Your Word, Your insights.

“Then go quickly and tell his disciples,”- Jesus, I don’t want to be a secret keeper with my faith. I want to be a bold and gracious truth proclaimer. For You. With You. Because of You. Me, the unwanted girl who You loved, redeemed, and wanted.

An ongoing struggle of mine is guilt and shame–why in the world does God love me this much?  Why in the world would God sacrifice His son–for me?  And yet, there He is day after day, moment after moment waiting expectantly for me to open myself up to Him so that He may simply POUR. LOVE. INTO. ME. Who am I to question why?  None of us deserve this love or can do ‘stuff’ to increase this love or do ‘stuff’ to lose this love…but boy do we try to complicate this gift in our minds!  We try to wrap our own interpretations around it and see it through our own filter.  Keep it simple silly.  Accept this love as a child accepts love–freely, expectantly, wholly…joyously.  Then share it.

My six year old son drew [a] picture tonight.

He told me, ‘This is Jesus on the cross and he was thirsty and this knight gave him water. Jesus loves us and he didn’t die. He lives forever.”

Simple. Truth. The love of the Lord through the mouth of a babe.

Luke 18:15-17 People brought babies to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. When the disciples saw it, they shooed him off. Jesus called them back. “Let these children alone. Don’t get between them and me. These children are the kingdom’s pride and joy. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.”

– Ellie K.

*For further information of what the phrase ‘Keep it Simple’ means in the world of recovery, check out Chapter 9 of How Al-Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics.

Did you feel the mountains tremble?

via Daily Prompt: Heard

And we can see that God you’re moving
A mighty river through the nations
When young and old return to Jesus
Fling wide your heavenly gates
Prepare the way of the risen Lord

Did you hear what I said?

You know what – maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. Maybe I heard you but I wasn’t listening, or I heard you but I wasn’t paying attention.

Is there anything more annoying than knowing full well that someone wasn’t paying attention to you, yet they are still capable of parroting back to you whatever you just said?

When we’re in active addiction, how much do we hear? How willing are we to actually hear and heed the words being spoken into our lives? So often those words are true, but we are unwilling to accept them. We hear our friends and loved ones tell us time and time again how our behaviors are affecting them. How our acting out is out of control. How what we’re doing, when we’re doing it, where we’re doing it, who we’re doing it with, and how we act as a result of it hurt them. We are hurting our friends, our family and ourselves. But we don’t want to hear it, so we don’t.

Some of us are acting out because of what we’ve heard. We’ve heard all our lives that we’re not good enough, or we’ll never amount to anything. We’re not pretty enough or strong enough or smart enough or good enough. Nobody has ever loved us, and nobody could ever love us. If you want to be cool or successful, you have to do what everybody else is doing. Well by golly, if that’s drugs or alcohol or sex or porn or gambling, acceptance matters more than anything else, so I’m in. Let’s all go jump off the bridge together.

But then what happens when we get sober? Suddenly we start to become a new person with our own thoughts and opinions. The people who have been enabling us, provoking us and taking care of us no longer fit into the roles they’ve been playing for years. We have a new voice. We want to be heard. And for some inexplicable reason, those people are now on the flip side of the coin; they don’t want to hear us. They don’t want to hear what we have to say. Everything changes when we come to the realization that everything we’ve been hearing from everyone in our lives with regard to our addiction or compulsive behavior has actually been true. That doesn’t mean that everything anyone says about you is necessarily true, but those people were right about that thing. We just had to come to a place where we understood that the truth was, indeed, true.

When people speak, listen. They may just be trying to tell you something.

“Hear, O Israel! the Lord our God, the Lord is One; and you are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources. These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart; and you are to teach them carefully to your children. You are to talk about them when you sit at home and when you get up. Tie them on your hand as a sign, put them at the front of a headband around your forehead, and write them on the door-frames of your house and on your gates.”
Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Open up the doors and let the music play
Let the streets resound with singin’
Songs that bring your hope and
Songs that bring your joy
Dancers who dance upon injustice

– Alex Walker

Reopening Old Wounds

As a Mom of three boys, I have dealt with my share of open wounds and scabs.  We’ve even suffered through a few trips to the ER for stitches and have some ‘cool’ permanent scars to remind us of these past hurts.  I have been reflecting a lot lately on some past hurts in my own life.  Hurts that happened when I was a kid, that quite honestly didn’t heal properly and left one heck of a nasty scar.  Unlike my boys’ scars that are boldly visible across an eyebrow or a chin, my scars have been hidden away from the world…deep down in the dark recesses of my mind. What I am learning now, however, is the devastation and degradation that is caused by letting these scars be hidden away.  My Christian walk demands that I live my life ‘in the light’ and this is not just some rule to follow without meaning.  “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”  1 John 1:7

This is good stuff.  If we lay it all out there, brush away the facades and address our past hurts, in the light and truth of Jesus Christ, then we will be purified–cleansed of the shackles of the darkness which so powerfully tries to drown us each and every day.  It is not enough that I remember my past hurts–I must expose them to the light (Jesus and His word and to my Christian brothers and sisters) in order for them to be purified and washed away.  Just like a wound that doesn’t heal properly, I must re-open that scar, cleanse out the wound, and let it heal once again.  The new scar then becomes that which is known as a battle scar–been there, done that, it was awful, but through God’s grace I am redeemed and healed…the new scar becomes a visible testimony.

Psalm 143:8 “Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.”

– Ellie K.