But not to Oklahoma. I wish I were, but right now I’m sifting through the events that happened in my mind and heart yesterday. Everything in me said: Go. For some of you who know me, you know I always dream big, and want the impossible. It’s crazy to think that traveling a few hundred miles is “the impossible” but for us it truly is. Well for now anyway.
I’m still determined to go, and I thank the handful of you–well the two of you–who offered to support me financially. Not sure when I will head there, probably in July some time. Like my sweet friend reminded me: the rebuilding will go on much longer after the media leaves. I plan on being there, because Jesus told me to go, so I firmly believe God has something for me to do there. In the meantime, I will bask in the revelations of yesterday:
1. God is speaking to me–in a loud, clear voice, and I am listening. After feeling as if I’ve been sitting in a silent white-walled room. alone. for a few months now, it was refreshing to feel the quickening of my spirit.
2. My family lives in a bubble. We like our bubble. We are comfortable in our bubble. We get angry when someone tries to pop our bubble.
3. My marriage is too focused on surviving the craziness of our family and our world, and needs to take time to adjust our eyes and our hearts.
4. I was hoping someone else’s disaster would save me from pushing through and doing the difficult task of changing my parenting and my perspective. I was hoping this tornado would cause some sort of upheaval in my own spirit, in the souls of my family, and save us in a sense.
5. This is all a process. I hate process. God is taking me through another process. UGH!
So many stories and blogs of people helping those in need, but in a sense the victims of the tragedy are helping me. They are helping me to change my perspective of the significance of this life we live. Each of their stories empower me to make change. Their resilience encourages me to take a stand against apathy and laziness, as they strive to rebuild their lives, literally from the ground up. Their dependence on their faith and their public acknowledgement of God in midst of the storm reminds me that nothing is able to knock any of us over, even if the most precious is stripped of our lives. He is there.
Tonight I will gather 25 or so teenagers in my living room and we will discuss how we will make a difference in the lives of the people in Oklahoma, and in the process God will make a difference in ours.
It’s not over….it’s all just beginning, and this is just the first step on a new journey.
You are loved,
My husband doesn’t know it, but I’ve been sitting in front of the TV all morning watching the terrible images of the Oklahoma Tornado. I can’t imagine wondering if I will ever find my child buried beneath the rubble. I can’t imagine it all being stripped from me, in an unexpected moment because of wind and rain. I can’t imagine… Did you know that the winds were so fierce they stripped the bark off of trees. But the trees were left standing–rooted. Being rooted in Christ, I feel like our family is that tree, and no matter what we’ve been through, we are still standing. And because of that, we have to do something.
Everything in me is ready to pack and start the 20 hour drive to Moore, OK. But every doubt and question and reason not to is flooding my head. My attachment to stuff and my worry about money and bills keeps my feet planted. And for the record: I HATE IT!
This can’t be how Jesus intends for us to live our lives. Unable to help, to reach out to those in need, because of stuff. I can’t imagine He desired for us to be so comfortable that it hinders, and pretty much enables us to feed the poor, help the needy, love the broken. More and more I resent this life I’ve created for myself and my kids. This life of stuff and materialism. This world of work hard at a job you may or may not like, that may or may not be your God given gifts to buy more stuff, and bigger houses, that you absolutely do not need…that with a little wind and rain, can be taken in moments.
So I’m concocting this plan…to leave. I believe that going to Oklahoma could change our family, our lives, and my marriage. I believe that going to Oklahoma will ignite a passion for people in my children. I believe that going to Oklahoma will deepen my families faith in a way that we will never be able to be at this place again. I believe going to Oklahoma will further the kingdom, and help a family believe in Jesus who never knew Him before. I believe I want to go…I believe we need to go. In order to go, I’m going to need to raise the money to prove to my slumbering husband how serious I am. I am praying that God is speaking to him in his dreams right now, and I’m praying that by the time he wakes up my plan will be in full swing, and he will be unable to say No.
Will you donate? I don’t need pledges, I need the cash! Can you give? Will you give? I’m thinking we would need anywhere from $1500-$2000 to stay a week, have money for gas and food and be able to freely give to those in need. I will be taking photos and documenting our trip, so you know I’m not trying to swindle you! Help me get my plan in motion, and so I can be completely convincing when my husband awakens. I don’t think my blue eyes alone are going to get me this one.
Last night the big NBA story came out, well more like NBA basketball player Jason Collins came out. In a story for Sports Illustrated, the Wizard player announced to the world that he is gay.
Now I know that lots of you will expect me to speak out against homosexuality, because after all, I am a Christian. I am not outraged at homosexuality, it's everywhere, it's even in the Bible. But for the record I am against homosexuality because I believe it is a lifestyle choice. More so, I don't think that anything that places a person's identity in sexuality can align with God's character or plan for the people he loves.
I don't really want to argue the sexuality-nature-nurture-God's-Justice-vs-Gods-Grace-homosexuality-Christians-are-so-judgemental-you-have-to-accept-me issue. I'm really more pissed that President Obama called Jason Collins and congratulated him on being gay.
I mean it's not bad enough that our Vice President spent $1 million dollars of tax payers money on a two day trip to Paris. Or that the Obama family so kindly didn't spend their own money giving each other gifts last Christmas, they just spent $20 million of our dollars to jet off to Hawaii to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus together in the surf.
Now on the President's agenda, along with Late Night Show interviews and other celebrity appearances, the President feels compelled to call an NBA player, that most likely he doesn't even really know, and say “Yay, You're Gay!”
I know some of you are thinking that the President lives in a free country and can call who he wants. But I'm just saying–Not on my dime. I'm not okay with that. I would much rather Mr. President call maybe the wife of the soldier who lost both his legs fighting in the war, and now their marriage is on brink of failure but they are pushing through to try and make it work. And maybe he could say to them, “Yay! You're doing it!”
Perhaps he could pick up the cell phone that we pay the bill on and call the veteran of two wars, who just can't get a job with the government because there is a job hiring freeze because due to an excess of money spent on Paris and Hawaii. Daily this soldier battles PTSD and severe pain, but hasn't been able to get a disability claim approved or paid in the last two years because no one will return his calls and the government doesn't have the staff or the money to actually support the soldiers that fight to make sure that NBA players can make millions and our President can freely support same sex relationships. Yah, he could call that guy and say thanks for serving our country. Or even better–President Obama could call someone at the VA and ask them to pay out the soldiers claim.
And maybe when First Lady Michelle Obama says that a NBA player coming out of the closet is a huge step forward for our country, maybe she could mean that when families are actually able to pay their rent, and people are actually able to get jobs, and students can actually finish school without being hundreds of thousands in debt.
I guess I'm just fed up. I'm tired of the President wanting to be more friend of the celebrity than the leader of our nation. It's getting really old, it's making me nauseous. I find myself losing hope for our future, wondering why God would allow such authority over our country–why we tolerate such authority.
Luckily my hope is in Jesus–Jesus is the Hope for Real Change.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Wednesday brought me great excitement. I hadn't seen my Hoodies in a few weeks so I was ready to have a house full of teenagers along with my counters covered in red solo cups. I decided that I would teach these kids a little about Christmas. My plan: quickly go over the Christmas story and then talk about how Jesus was a long awaited promise, and answer to prayer. I planned on digging into prophecy until…
I learned that 80% of the kids in my living room did not know the real reason behind Christmas. I will wait until you read that last statement again, because I know you are overwhelmed with disbelief. …. ….. ….. ….. …. …..
On to plan B (which I never had to begin with) Open the Bible and start with Mary getting pregnant. So we chatted, and decided that we are not much different: chosen, but scared, favored in need of making a choice. For the first time, they understood the Christmas carols they have been singing for years. And finally knew that the words were “Silent Night, Holy Night” and NOT “Silent Night, HOPELESS Night”.
After the Hoodies left and the shock of the evening subsided, I thought of how many people out in the world don't really know why we celebrate Christmas. So as my family and I rage against the man this Christmas, I believe Jesus wants me to share the real reason for Christmas this year with strangers, family and friends.
So now, I am praying God will bring people across my path, divine appointments so to speak. And this weekend I will empower and equip my kids to share the story of Christmas with everyone they know.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever shall believe in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. God sent his son not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17
My entire life I’ve felt out of place. Especially in school. It was like I was always just right outside of everything important. It didn’t help I lived confused. I was always trying to figure things out, put them together. No matter what I did, or how I tried, I just didn’t belong. Not anywhere, sometimes I didn’t even feel like I belonged in my family.
I lived in a constant surreal moment. An ongoing point of time where it felt like I was standing just outside of myself, and no effort or sacrifice of self or crossing my fingers and closing my eyes really tightly would bring what I knew to be true of myself and how I lived together. It was frustrating, and mostly hopeless. I hated it. My mantra as a teenager was, “Life Sux!”
It wasn’t until I was close to 25 that all the confusion seemed to finally cease. As I’ve grown deeper in my relationships and accepted my life, past, present, and future, I’ve been able to rid some of the chaos. But it doesn’t remove those moments when I feel like I just don’t belong. But my sense of alienation is much different now than it was, cough cough, twenty something years ago.
Now I am confident that I don’t belong here, and belt out a praise of thankfulness that I don’t. This world is cruel and difficult. Rarely do things make sense, and we live in a place where tragedy can strike at any moment. Our relationships are broken, and so are we. No matter how hard we try, or what we do, we always fall short of someone’s expectations of us. We mask it, we fake it, but in someway, we all know that there must be something more. We all desire to be in that place where we are unconditionally accepted without effort. Where we can just breathe and be.
I get a glimpse of that when I am fully submerged in the presence of Christ. I know there will be that day when those moments become my eternity. I find solace in knowing that where I am now is not the end, it is merely the beginning of a journey that will lead me to a place where I finally belong.