Welcome to My Royally Wrecked Space to Chill...

I hope you find comradery...I hope you find peace....I hope you find joy...I hope you find acceptance...I hope you feel loved...I hope you know that your are precious...chosen...and always welcome here...come sit a spell...

Friday, April 1, 2016


It's funny how life unfolds. One moment you're hustling diapers and work and divorce. The next you wake up and the diapers were 13 years ago, the work is completely different, and the divorce is long behind you with a new partner in your life. You literally go to get a bagel, turn around and your life has aged 10 years.

I had awakenings during my thirties. I came into myself. I found grace. I found God. I walked through pain. Uncovered hidden insecurities. Left behind pretense for raw truth. It was a brutiful time in my life.

Fast forward to now...in 8 months I will be 40. Four. Tee. I honestly don't know how I got here. I don't know how a thirteen and eleven year old stand before me. At thirty, I felt incapable. At almost forty, I feel rushed for time. I feel the weight of raising strong, courageous, gentle, holy women while learning how to raise a man child. But honestly, most of the time I just feel lost.

I wake up with my to do list and I run through the day from thing to thing checking off and hoping to God that I'm doing it with grace. I've complained internally to myself and sometimes God about the mundane tasks before me. (I don't out loud because then my peaceful "I am wonder woman" cover would be blown.) I race hard to run from myself. To run from my own internal questions. Much like I did at 30.

Again, It's funny how life unfolds. I was quite sure "I did my work" as Iyanla Vanzant says when I progressed through my thirties. But as I near forty, I realize all of life is doing the work. I realize that as we go from one level of enlightenment and revelation we are propelled into the next. I realize that things and areas we felt we had "conquered" come back again and again and require the dreaded "work". I realize that as my Dad tells me, we work till we die trying to become like Him. I realize I will continue to fall and fail. Conquer and celebrate. I will continue to uncover truths and lies within. I will continue to work.

It has been a hard realization. I lived a couple of years in a kind of numbed out bliss. It was awesome. I moved from book to book. I spent money like crazy. I let my kids destroy their room. I also worked 16 hour shifts, went to school full time as a single mom, and financially carried our little tribe. But while I was working hard and thought growing in enlightenment, looking back, I realize I was only answering to myself. I only could judge myself by myself. Which I find now leads to self imposed importance and impression. Hence...numbed out bliss.

I have found that it is in the trenches of chaos, goals that are un-obtained as previously thought, failure, mundane daily tasks, budgets, clean kid rooms, and grace that I am really called to become enlightened. I am really called to soar and grow. Experience gives us weight behind our words. Failure gives us healthy fear and humility. Reality gives us a good ol shot of what our character really is in the light of day. It's not easy. It's not always fun. It's definitely not pretty.

What I have written so far sounds so dark, I realize. But here is the deal...it's not. It's necessary, but not so much dark. I sat with my sister in law a few weeks ago and she said a statement I've heard a thousand times "Life is just hard." But for some reason, I've replayed that statement in my mind a thousand times since. It struck me as I thought about people I love, people I nurse, people I see in the news. No one has it easy. Not even those with the perfect Instagram families. The ones who are fit, gorgeous, beautiful home, God lovers, great marriage...they still have closet moments of doubt. They still are going to counselors for anxiety. Those who are single, who appear to be living the dream with no worries of schools for children, or what to feed the family for dinner...they still are searching for someone to talk about their day with, they still feel lonely when they post their amazing pics from the latest all inclusive trip to the Bahamas. Life. Is. Hard. None of us get out alive or unscathed.

Ok. Still sounds dark. Here's the beauty:

This. This is how it is meant to be. We were not created to live in a sweet cocoon of bliss. We were created to seek. We were created to rest in Him. We were created to know that THIS. This is not all there is and it shouldn't satisfy nor sustain us. We were designed to always feel the gap. The gap that reminds us...no other gods before me. No idols. No happiness you ever find in this life is bigger than me. God. Hence, we will always be "doing the work." The beauty in that is in those closet moments of doubt, unrest, insecurity and downright madness...we are comforted by a peace so strong that we can only crave more. We are sustained by a love so tangible that nothing or no one will ever come close to the acceptance and joy we feel when in relationship with our Daddy God. It was meant to be this way. Even the bitter becomes sweet. It's how He designed it.

So...when I have the hard conversations with my teen, when my husband and I face insurmountable challenges trying to raise a tribe and work as a team, when I feel the weight of forty and I'm running out of time...I am reminded...THIS. This is what it's all about. This is what I was created for...this..as Brene Brown would say "is the rumble." These moments, these obstacles, these moments of joy when I hold my baby and he laughs his belly laugh...these are all part of the divine purpose of my life. My calling. There is NOTHING bigger. NOTHING greater than walking it out...trusting the designer that the frame he has built is solid, secure, un-scathable (Yes, I made that word up) . It is His plan for each of us. When we dwell in the design he has for us, we begin to see the beauty of the light that floods through the widows of the structure. We begin to realize the hope of our calling. We begin to feel the joy...not bliss. Bliss fades. Joy is eternal.

Then we realize...ah...THIS. This is what you meant by abundant life. THIS. This is what you meant by eternal life. All the mess. All the work. It's a beautiful structure. We can choose to dwell on the dilemmas or we can see the blueprint that will take a lifetime to complete. We can trust the architect and his expertise, or we can try to be a sub contractor of our destiny and have leaks in every room. The choice is ours. A life...or abundant life...

I'm choosing abundance. Right here. Right now. I'm choosing the way that knows the internal hole is there for a reason and it will never be filled until I see Him. I'm choosing the beauty in what is not sexy most days and requires monotonous, repeated actions to acquire the goals we have set. I'm choosing to embrace gratefulness for the process because in the work I find Him...and I find me. Isn't that the point?

Grace n Peace,

A ~

Saturday, August 15, 2015

That time I bled out...and other warrior problems...

It's odd... the losing of one's self...the slow dissipation of what once made you alive replaced with monotony and numbness. I didn't wake up one morning gone. It was a slow bleed. A trickle like a finger that had been pricked and bled one drop at a time into a bandage that eventually seeped through the gauze. It caught me unawares.

Everyone who knows me and loves me saw it... saw the drip... rallied me... but they were unable to stop the bleed. I was pale. Ghastly in my soul. Grabbing furiously at bandaids and ointments...but the bleed continued. Books and quotes would lift me for a period but never sustained me into rising again. So...as us medical junkies would say...I bled out.

When one bleeds out, they die. They cannot be resuscitated. There is no hope. Their body is drained of all blood and sustenance to sustain life. I bled out. I can't put my finger on exactly what led to my demise. I was keeping a schedule that was more than insane. I got pregnant in the middle of that schedule at 38. I failed nursing school by 1 percentage point. I quit going to church due to my schedule. I lost my centering time with God. It was a myriad of things. Again...a slow steady trickle... of me not engaging in the things that make me alive and centered.

The sad part is that when my family reads this blog they will hurt... will blame themselves... but nothing could be further from the truth. Family shouldn't drain you... they should sustain you. In the months leading up to my final demise, it was my tribe that kept me alive with their love... it was cooking together... laughing together... being held when I didn't have it in me to ask for touch. They kept me alive. Eventually though, I had come to last the pint... and even those moments could no longer resuscitate me.

When I finally bled out, I quit. I kept my schedule. I worked. I tended to children and walked the garden with my husband. But I had quit. I was empty. Shell like. It was all as if I were watching my life from a stadium seat and the players were blurry. I never stopped. I never surrendered. I kept walking like a ghostly emaciated soul thinking no one noticed. Everyone noticed.

When the final drop hit the gauze, I hit the floor. I hit it so hard that the sound ricocheted through the halls until everyone could no longer ignore it and came running. There I lay... formless... small... and still.

God has often spoken to me through movie reels in my head so to speak. When I'm still He comes to my mind and shows me where He is... where He is moving. He came to me that day. I visualized him picking me up in his arms... carrying me to his lap... and placing my head on his chest. I cried. Sobbed really.... into his glory. He let me. He lifted my chin and looked into my eyes... and with his love said with no words..."I have you." Then he rocked me. Back and forth like I rock my little baby boy... gently... tenderly... for as long as I needed. I've never felt so secure. So accepted. So complete.

I feel like that day God gave me a transfusion of sorts. It wasn't several gallons... but it was a small slow drip of life again. A glimpse into the light from where I had be surviving...a place that I could walk into slowly and regain myself. Regain my thoughts. Regain my passions. Regain my relationships.

While I certainly was probably sad and depressed a bit, I was not clinically depressed. I did consult with my physician. I did talk through the issues at hand. I did admit I was 38 with crazy hormones after a newborn. He agreed. Ha! But no... this was burnout. Pure and Simple. Burnout takes you to places that are hard to bounce back from... because you are numb and you are weary. The thought of doing anything to get yourself back is too tiring and you'd rather just sit down. I get it.

Thing is... no one can save you... and they all want to because they all blame themselves when you're staring into space... but they can't. You have to save yourself. You have to take that one tiny, minute vestige of life you have left and grab onto something solid. God. It's the only way. It's the only lifeline. There are no quick fixes. There are no magic yoga poses that will make it disappear. It's freaking' hard work of the soul, the body, and mind. Oh God the mind. Yes... the mind will take you lower than you want to go when you are burnt out. It will lie to you. It will destroy you if you allow it. Don't. Let. It.

I know I'm not the only one. I've talked to you guys. In the last month. Mothers, single women, all walks... you're burnt crispy... and you're beating the hell out of yourself about it. Stop. Life beats us all down. We all hit the limit. I hope that you will grasp your limit before you do something stupid. I'm not even talking about hurting yourself, I'm talking about stupid decisions based on the angst and the numbness. Don't do that. Read this. Know you're normal. Know you're not alone. Know you are a warrior like the rest of us with real joys, real pain, real needs, and real despair.

It's the only way boo.

You can't get up off that floor anemic on your last drop of blood without help. Get your tribe together. Even if it's one friend. One advisor. One random therapist. Get help. Step off that floor and breathe. I promise you life is not as serious as it looks staring up from the linoleum. And when you are rising... be kind to your tribe. You've probably scared the crap out of them and they are staring at you like you've lost your marbles. It's ok. They love you. They want you back. But the only way back is through... and through you must go. Through the recovery of what makes you you. Through the recovery of building your physical reserves back up. Through the hard work of bringing your mind into subjection with what HE says about you. THAT is the biggest key. THAT is what will heal you.

I say to myself over and over throughout my days. "I can do all things through Him. He strengthens me." It's a mantra. It centers me. It reminds me that no matter what... I'm not going back to the floor. He's filled my body with all I need for the next round. Find your own mantra. Chant it to yourself. Then don't quit. You have too much to give. Too much to shine on the world. Too much to show in color. I believe in you. Hey, I'm WITH you. We can do this. We ARE doing this.

Warriors don't get victory unscathed. Some scars are necessary to be remembered as powerful and legendary. Wear your scars. Keep fighting.

Grace n Peace,

A ~

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

From Swampland to Concrete

I lecture my kids...a lot.

It often begins with..."let me speak something into you that you need to know..." followed by eye rolls and "NO NO!! We get it!" They don't. But my hope is that eventually one day when they are in a college dorm room with a broken heart and it feels like the world has just ended...they will remember.

I've felt like that a lot this year myself.

I've had an epic year. Marriage, Nursing School, Pregnancy, Blended Family...it's been a lot.

A lot of awesomeness...a lot of work.

I've had those dorm room, heart broken moments this year. Not per se due to any one's fault...but because I'm living...breathing...and so is the rest of the world...and well...let's face it...crap happens.

I've begun to live out my own lectures. All the ones God deposited in me over the last 10-15 years. It's been stupendous, humbling, aggravating, perpetual work, and down right freeing.

I've learned it IS better to accept and wait and than be aggressive.
I've learned faith is only acquired through waiting.
I've learned I don't know everything and defensiveness will get you nowhere.
I've learned that standing is sometimes the strongest thing you can do.
I've learned that not everyone loves me like Jesus and my Jelton... and not everyone has my best interest as their motivation.
I've learned to let these people go and set boundaries with people that "despitefully use me."
I've grown a thicker skin that I hope is still porous enough to seep His light still while maintaining self protection.
I've learned true love.
I've learned that my defensiveness in correction lengthens the lesson.
I've learned to listen more...talk less.

In all this learning...the one true thing I've absolutely come to know...trust...chew on...claw to hang on to...is THIS:

JESUS AT THE CENTER OF IT ALL. No other foundation. Period.

I was reminded of this in my reading today...

"Don't you understand the foundation of all things?" Isaiah 40:21-24

One sentence. Summed up an entire lifetime.

He is the foundation of all things. Simple...yet exactly what I needed for the next leg of the journey.

You see...I falter. I question. I fear. I worry.

When I begin these steps, I step back into the place of knowing as quickly as I can...because I realize I've stepped off my foundation into the swamplands (shout out to my Cajun friends). I've looked down at the raging waters rather than looking straight ahead at Jesus and the shore behind him...Foundation.

I lost myself a bit last year. I was keeping a schedule for full time nursing school that was RIDICULOUS at best...husband working out of town...blending a family...working full time...then ended it with a 38 year old uterus getting pregnant...

I lost my way for a period.

I didn't do crack or cheat on my husband. I didn't beat my children senselessly. I didn't rush a baby gap with an oozy...but I lost my mental way. I lost my foundation. I stepped off the ledge. I allowed my mind to take me to places that were not solid. Not truth. Not my manifesto.

Then I failed nursing school by one percentage point.
Then my husband and family rallied me. Loved me. Reminded me who I was.
It was a dark few weeks.
I had to force my feet out of the swampland and back on to the concrete foundation of God.

In more simplistic terms....I had to steady myself in the Word. Speak to the thoughts. Rally.

And I did it again today. And yesterday. And the day before that. And the day before that...you get the picture.

I'm human. I'm fragile. I'm in need of concrete in a swampland world.

I continue to learn this. I continue to cling to the concrete. I continue to find peace in acceptance and flee aggression. I continue to trust when it's the hardest part of being alive for me.

I continue to LOVE MY LIFE. Because this is all part of it...

Those lectures...they sustained me. Rallied me. Kept me. Returned me to Him and myself.

Returned me to the place of "knowing"...the place where you can see one thing with your eyes and another with your heart. The place of unshakeableness (I realize this is not a word)...the place where you slip, slide and sway but keep standing because you KNOW...you just know...

My prayer for all of us today is that we continue to flail, fail, and flourish. That we listen to the lectures and lean in....
May we be reminded we are solid. Foundation secure. Nothing can destroy us...only solidify, rectify, and remind us...

Grace n Peace,

A ~

Saturday, October 11, 2014


This year has been gloriously rough. I went into this year thinking..."I am the crap." True story. Full disclosure: I've been through some really dumb not fair stuff but I've always survived. Maybe not the least psychotic when I did...but still survived and could post Facebook pics with a ginormous smile on my face to prove it. I am ONE COURAGEOUS BRAVE CONQUERING CHICK. Which allowed me to believe I had come to the crossroads of being a tiny bit superior and All-knowing. Boom.

I really truly believed all this about myself. Don't get me wrong I don't walk around town thinking to myself how incredibly awesome I am...it's more of a subliminal knowing that shows up in glances at the less knowing, thoughts of "bless your heart" to the less evolved, and "really? You didn't know that?" to the less educated. Yep. I admit it. You don't even know you're doing it until someone calls you out and even then you privately think "They know they are wrong and the poor dear now have to blame you for their insecurity and inadequacy." Don't look away you know you do it too.

My mom says I'm a "runner". When people get too much I like to cut my losses. (Nothing like all my awesome FB posts huh?) She's counseled me loads of times in the last 10 years about sticking power...about entitlement...about my bratiness...and when it gets where I can no longer deny it...I shake my head and say..."I know. I know."
I'm incredibly high minded with ridiculous aspirations...for everyone. It's exhausting quite frankly. Which takes us back to 2014...

I really breezed into this year full of thoughts that I was TOTALLY evolved....totally secure....totally surrendered to God with no idolatrous notions...I TOTALLY HAD THIS. Life would come and go...but my inner peace, fortitude, and Zen never would. Wrong. Oh. So. Wrong.
This year has JACKED ME UP. I've had to confront myself with the same freakin' lesson. Over and Over Again: People. Programs. Promises. Academics. Family. Friends. ARE NOT YOUR SAVIOR NOR ARE YOU THEIRS.

I am utterly and completely capable of failing. Big. Time. And by failing I mean the snot nose...roll around in Oreo crumbs with dirty hair failure. Sad part is the failure leads me further into the entitlement: "If THEY can pass that exam WHY THE CRAP DIDN'T I?" "I'm doing MORE than anyone in this family and NO ONE GETS IT."

Don't mistake...I am pretty humble...I'm a hippie at heart. I do regard everyone the same. BUT. Inwardly...I feel I have the upper hand. Some would say this is "self-esteem". I say it's suicide. Because "I am better and bigger than ____ (Insert your demon)" is really, truthfully "I am better and bigger than God and His sovereignty. My self-reliance is total idolatry that continues to kill me one unlearned failure at a time."  Which leads right back to the subliminal thought process: I am better, stronger, and have more to offer than others. Which is always rooted in SHAME, INSECURITY, AND DISPLACED WORTH.

Hence, why I continue to go right back to my feelings and reactions and allow them to determine my days rather than go back to the source of all there is and allow Him to guide my days.

I've mused on this lately (yes...I know...shocking that I muse) and I've determined this cycle leads to two major lessons that I continue to have to re-learn:

1. If I continue to rely on others and their approval, encouragement, and acceptance to determine my worth and the outcome of my day...I WILL BE FOREVER MISERABLE. If I only celebrate life when there are no fights over the budget with my husband, when my friends call to remind me how INCREDIBLY AWESOME I REALLY AM, or I make straight A's on all exams...I WILL NEVER. EVER. EVER Have a good week again. PLAIN AND SIMPLE. Because this...this is life. And I can't speak for yours but mine gets downright torturous sometimes with all the responsibility and chaos. But life also surprises me day in day out with snippets of divine loveliness that can only shine through cracked places...If I keep waiting to be happy because everyone in my world is...I will be waiting until His glorious return. No. Thank. You.

2. If I continue to "live in my feelings" I'm going to run, destroy, hide from, or shut off relationships, opportunities, experiences, and God ordained lessons. I've started a new mantra for myself. I say it multiple times a day: "Amanda: Your feelings lie to you. ESPECIALLY RIGHT NOW WITH YOUR LOAD. Don't listen to them. Listen to God and otherwise BE FREAKIN' STILL." I have already recited it three times today (Don't you feel so superior to me now? I'm here for ya babe). Because here's the reality: Whether my feelings are correct, fair, or not correct...dwelling in them and allowing them to control my mind and choices do nothing but paralyze my days and my life. Placing them in perspective and realizing that some things won't or can't change for whatever reason (I mean do you see exams going away in Nursing School? Or families never needing more money? Didn't think so.) allows me to table them, accomplish what needs to be accomplished, and sets myself and others free to dwell in the present and allow the situation to unfold. And furthermore...who do I think I am to think that what He has supplied is not enough? (OOH. That was good yawl. Shaba) 

What I mean by unfold is this: LET GOD BE IN CONTROL. When I dwell in my mind and try to solve everything...I take God out of my equation and place _____ (Insert person, place, thing, desire) in the place of God. Not cool. Not helpful. Incredibly self-destructive. I ought to know...I've taken this test at LEAST 50 times in the last 20 years and apparently I need to go back and study the material again.

Longest story ever short: If you started out thinking you're the crap only to realize you're not and "WHAT?" You're not alone. Don't look at all my FB posts and think I have achieved internal enlightenment, a divinely unique perfect marriage, two blissful cherubs that think I am the best mother ever, eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, and a perfect dent less derriere....CAUSE I HAVEN'T. AT ALL. You're in good screwed up company. All we can keep doing is showing up. Telling our partners "You're right. I'm not better than you. I'm wrong." Studying harder when we overshot our intellectualism and failed the exam. Crawling back to God when we literally placed someone else on a pedestal in his place. Climbing into the word to reveal the stillness in the chaos. And pie. Lot's and lots of Key Lime Pie. It's the only way.

Grace n Peace,

A ~

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Be a wildflower...

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?" Matthew 6:30-33

I've read this passage many many times. One of my favorites...something new always speaks to me.

Today's was a doozy.

"-most of which are never seen."

I remember being 24, married into an religiously influential family, and crafting myself to be "one of them". It was all out of good intention. I wanted to know God. I wanted what they seemed to have. I emulated, changed, stretched, but most of all...desired to be seen. Noticed. Given my share.

Looking back, I see how hard I strived. How hard I wrestled with who I really was with who I thought I needed to be. No one asked it of me. I asked it of myself because I was caught in the trap of desiring identity.

Fast forward 14 years, two divorces later, many good good times, many bad bad times...I get it. Those accolades I desired did come...but they came within my home. In the form of handwritten notes scratched out on construction paper from little girls who lived in the trenches with me. They came in the guise of text messages from my Daddy and Momma randomly saying "You rock. We get you. We're proud." They came in the guise of other women who contacted me in secret saying "I'm lost. I don't know where to step. How did you do it?"

I found these words and gestures kind, uplifting, generous even...but I did not allow them to give me identity (except for those construction paper ones...) I found my identity in the moments where it was silent. Just me. Just Him. There were no cheerleaders. There were no "good jobs". These moments where I sat...being still...and being flooded with "you are loved, you are loved, here is your identity."

Identity handed to me in the form of nail scarred hands, difficulties, sunlit days, dark nights, calm in the midst of storms, power in the midst of weakness, joy in the midst of mourning, love in the midst of aloneness.

I couldn't ask for a greater identity.

This is what Jesus was saying in this passage. We fret and worry and try to create ourselves into great people with great things to say...all the while...the Kingdom of God says "What makes you who are is like the wildflower...beautiful...wild...free to grow anywhere under any conditions...WHERE NO ONE MIGHT INHABIT OR NOTICE YOU. Yet you are beautiful."

The greatness of this identity is this: No matter where I am. No matter what field I'm growing in. No matter if it's in the midst of the most beautiful place where others walk by and say "Look at that! How gorgeous is that one?" or in the field that no one even knows exists...I'm still serving a purpose. I'm still at peace. Loved. Cherished. FULL.

I can't describe it until you find it...and you will.

When you do...don't sell it out for the other side. Stick with the field you meant to bloom in. Whether or not you ever hear a word about the beautiful flower you are...stay present where you're placed and enjoy the sunshine. It's an infinitely better life than the one you've been chasing. I promise you.

Grace n Peace,

A ~

Monday, July 28, 2014

I am a failure. But I am enough.

I look in the mirror at the woman staring back at me. Dark purple lines under her eyes from days of sleepless nights. Wrinkled brow. All I see in her eyes is fear.

I stop. I take a good look straight into those eyes...making myself face myself. Then breathe. I begin to brush my teeth and go over the answers to the exam in my head. Again.

I had failed. Twice. On an exam that requires 90% within 3 tries or I fail out of RN school. I was devastated. Frustrated. Humbled.

Today was the third try.  I told no one.

I pull my scrubs on, run fingers through my hair and prepare to walk out the door into the sunshine and unknown.

My husband meets me at the door and looks straight into my eyes. Same eyes that I had just gazed into...I knew what they held. He didn't say a word...just held me in that gaze and communicated "you are enough" with his eyes.

These same eyes he had looked upon me with a week earlier as he pulled my chin up dripping with tears and shaking head...words tumbling out "I don't fail. I can't do this. I can't fail." and pulled my eyes to his gaze and said "Whatever happens, we'll be ok. You are not failing anyone."

I had looked away as he held my face in his hands. Ashamed. Lost in the failure of the moment.

But he had not looked away. He held my gaze. Made me see myself as he saw me. Enough.

Fast forward back to today...I held his gaze, walked out the door and drove towards my future. I had prepared. I knew the material. I also had been up all night with beating chest...skin on fire like I was coming unglued...and shaking. Anxious. Fearful. Exhausted.

As I began to drive I rehearsed what I knew...but this time about who I am. What I have. Who made me. And as it had happened each day prior to this day for the last week, a calm settled over me...a knowing...you are enough. Should you fail...you are enough. Should you pass...you are enough. Should you go home today empty handed...you are enough.
I leaned into it and began to unwind. Hands that had shaken for 24 hours...stilled. Heart that had raced for days...beat rhythmically...smoothly. Mind that had raced since the last failing...slowed...became clear.

I began to sing within my mind...It is well...It is well in my soul.

As I pull into the parking lot my phone dings and it's my husband..."Stay calm during the test. No matter what happens we'll be ok."

I knew it would be.

I passed. 94%.

I was surprised when I walked out that I didn't feel more overwhelmed with hyperactivity as I normally do during these situations...when it hit me...you already knew the outcome. You knew you were enough. You knew you were in good hands.

I stepped into my car and sat...whispering thanks to my best friend..."you really held me today God. Your peace really does pass my understanding." I thought back to the eyes I had stared into earlier that morning...mine first...then the eyes of my partner...one saying you are not enough...the other saying you are MORE than enough...and it came to me in that sunlit car...

This was a perfect representation of grace...of the Gospel. We look at ourselves and all we cannot do. All we cannot seem to be. All we cannot force to happen. Then He pulls our chins up dripping with tears and failure...eyes veering to the side ashamed to look into His...and He says...you are enough. Failing. Falling. Gaining. Losing. You are enough. My grace is sufficient for you.

Very simple thought I know. But I needed to write it so when I begin to veer my eyes to the left again and believe the purple lines instead of His gaze...I will be reminded of this day. It is well because He makes me enough.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

I'm livin' in the wasteland...

by NeedToBreathe
I am the first one in line to die
When the cavalry comes
Yeah it feels like the great divide
has already come
Yeah im wastin' my way through days
losing youth along the way
Oh if God, is on my side
Oh if God, is on my side
Oh if God, is on my side
Who could be against me?
There was a greatness I felt for a while
But somehow it changed
Some kind of blindness I used to protect me
From all of my stains
Yeah I wish this was vertigo
It just feels like I'm fallin' slow

 Oh if God, is on my side
Then who can be against me?
Yeah in this wasteland
Where I'm livin'
There is a crack in the door filled with light
And it's all that
I need to get by
Yeah in this wasteland
Where I'm livin'
There is a crack in the door filled with light
And it's all that
I need to shine
All of these people I meet
It seems like they're fine
Yeah in some ways I hope that they're not
And their hearts are like mine
Yeah its wrong when it seems like work
To belong, All I feel is hurt
Oh if God, is on my side
Yeah if God, is on my side
Oh if God, is on my side
Who could be against me?
I cannot begin to say how much I connect with the lyrics. I've always loved NEEDTOBREATHE. But when I turned this on last week I instantly felt at home. I know reading the lyrics one might feel depressed...hopeless in a fog...but for me, it's actually quite the opposite.
You see...I'm living in the wasteland.
It's a weird, dry, dusty place this wasteland. It's fraught with frailty, pain, blisters, vulnerability, weakness, and really bad character. But on the other side it's wrapped in joy, fulfillment, authenticity, realization, and love. It's strange, exhausting, and liberating.
Walking through the wasteland is stripping me of my pedestal, my "I'm not one of you", my strength, my judgements, my borders, my filter...and swapping those with what I thought I was not capable of... (good and bad) for what I am indeed capable of...
I've find this period of my life to be the most physically challenging of all seasons within my life.
I'm toast. Which means I'm filter less. Raw. Unable to hold back the darkness within my own heart or the light that shows through the cracks. It's unnerving. Because when you're stripped bare, you can't fake. You can't wrap your cardigan tighter and make others believe you're still warm and cozy...because you are so obviously standing there shivering...appalled at your own nakedness but there's not a stitch of clothing in sight...so you remain...for all to see...including yourself...and it's unnerving...
I've come to the realization in the last 4 months that I am capable. Capable of many things. Good. Bad. In between. But the most revealing...I'm capable of being JUST LIKE everyone else. Those I've judged. Those I've admired. Those I've scorned in years gone by. Those I've wanted to emulate. Those I thought I was above...It's by far the most confusing place I've walked. And yet...it is confirmation of the soul.
The wrong choices. The right choices. The skint knees. The beautiful sprint. The love. The brutality. The failure. The endurance. They all confirm what I truly never really grasped about myself: I AM HUMAN. I AM FLESH AND BONE. And flesh and bone is a messy, scary, glorious, no road map thing to be.
For as long as I can remember I've rallied under the belief that I am STRONG. Impenetrable. And to be transparent...a level above the norm. How infinitely funny that seems now and ridiculously Pharisee - ical. I never believed I was capable of scraping bottom and top at the same time. Living in glorious bliss while making daily mundane choices that I looked at others and thought to be "less than." Boy was I ever so wrong. I'm human. SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS!!! IIIIIIII AAAAMMMMMM HUMMMMANNNNN!!!!!
When you are living raw and devoid of rest...you enter a place where you cannot hide. You cry more. You cuss more. You appreciate the kindness of those who love you more. You appreciate others in the bull pen with you that are making the same mistakes and victories because it teaches you what you never really knew...YOU. ARE. CAPABLE.
Capable of love and lust. Capable of generosity and stinginess. Capable of holiness and paganism. Capable of joy and angst. Capable of feast and famine. Capable of sainthood and sin. It is a dichotomy at it's best; Capability.
You find yourself living on scraps of God and realizing that for now it's enough. You swim out too far then you swim back to the shore. You become glutinous on pleasures swelling with idolatry then you begin running the long marathon of the spiritual soul again...gasping for air because you are SO FREAKIN' TIRED...yet something within you screams one more mile...one more stride...
Interestingly enough, this place is not a bad one..It's a revelatory one. When I can no longer tell myself that I am not any different from those I've judged, avoided, turned away from, or clung too...I am free to love. Free to accept. Free to realize that we are ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. One screwed up, floundering school of humanity, that day in, day out will need a Savior.
We're swimming some days in shallow pools, others in deep oceans. Treading water sometimes, back stroking the next. We fall below the surface and see God's glorious beauty some days, then others sink to the bottom of murky waters where we cannot see our hand in front of our face. This. This is life.
This is what Glennon Doyle refers to as the "Brutiful" life. Life is a big ol' beautiful, brutal mess. And the quicker we realize there are no "classes" of humanity...that we are all capable of the exact same sins and sophistications...we become one. It's the only way.
Every day I get up I am happy. And downright sick of living this way. I am in love with my life. And I hate many moments of it. Dichotomy. We will ALWAYS live in the in between and anyone that tells you differently is a complete, bold, face liar.
But I'm finding it is the living in between that takes away our toys and trophies and hands us our trajectories...our God spoken trajectories...again...it is the only way...
If we are to be authentic and dependent...We have to live capable. Plain and simple.
Capable of mayhem and majesty. Capable of greatness and guile. Capable of beauty and brutality.
Grace n Peace,
A ~