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...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Black Sheep of God

I find myself stuck on Isaiah 53...

The passage is rich with the emotion and loyalty of a Savior to a scummy lover...

You know what that feels like? 

Ever been hooked up with lover (ie. boyfriend, spouse, girlfriend) that disrespected you, stomped all over you, abused you physically and emotionally, and cheated on you with other lovers?

Would you die for that boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse?

God did.

We are/were that spouse. 

We are/were the cheating, lying, abusive, scummy spouse of God. 

Yet, He died to win our love. 

Isaiah 53: 11-12 in The Message says:

11-12Out of that terrible travail of soul, 
   he'll see that it's worth it and be glad he did it.
Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant, 
   will make many "righteous ones," 
   as he himself carries the burden of their sins.
Therefore I'll reward him extravagantly— 
   the best of everything, the highest honors—
Because he looked death in the face and didn't flinch, 
   because he embraced the company of the lowest.
He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many, 
   he took up the cause of all the black sheep.

"He took up the cause of ALL the black sheep."

You've GOT to love that poetic, juicy taste of love...

Black Sheep...I feel at home in that assessment...I've been a black, unyielding sheep in deep need of a shepherd...I still am...

On this fine Sunday morn...know you are loved and cared for amongst the black sheep of God...

All is well...

Grace n Peace,

A ~

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Piled upon a Scummy Savior...

I'm not sure what the triggers are always...

Where the deep blows to the soul manifest themselves in our psyche...

Some days they seem to surface out of nowhere...

A single word spoken...a single sentence...takes me back to deep places of pain...

Childhood memories seem to be the most poignant...the most stirring of the soul...

I muse inwardly...anger and resentment stir...feelings of entrapment settle in...I am rehearsing the stories of old...

Wondering how to change them for myself and my children with seemingly no control...

I stop and whisper...a mind whisper...

Plea to God..."why...how...help!"

Peace takes a while to settle in...because I'm still trying to ration it all out...still trying to reason things that have no reason...

He walks into the chambers of my heart...

"Do you trust me?" 

"Yes"...faltering...still full of anger, resentment, and questions....

"Yes"...more childlike this time...


"I will take care of you..."

He always has...even in those moments where I was injured or injured others...He took care of me...

A deep friend told me this week in a moment of my anguish over a loss "Our brokenness will forever break each other's hearts..."

Yes...I listen to her words again...rehearse them again...

I use them as salve to the wound...to justify the perpetrator of my heart...

They are broken. I am broken. 

"Help me understand and embrace the brokenness within myself and others"...I whisper to Him...

I realize in these futile moments that it is only through our own sufferings that we can attach ourselves to the deep sufferings of others...

Suffering Sucks.

Suffering is Messy.

Suffering rips our hearts out.

Suffering makes us angry.

Suffering kills us...so that He might live in the broken spot.

I pull up Isaiah 53 in The Message...Tears well in my eyes and I read this favored passage...

He was looked down on and passed over, 
   a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away. 
   We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried— 
   our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself, 
   that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him, 
   that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole. 
   Through his bruises we get healed.
We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost. 
   We've all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we've done wrong, 
   on him, on him.

Passed over?



I fight to maintain my quivering chin...this lover...this beautiful Savior...

He took on my suffering...He was passed over, suffered and considered scum to take on my suffering...

My beautiful Lord...it breaks me...

Hope fills me...

I do not suffer alone...nor do I have to suffer at all....

There is a place I can enter of sweet surrender...He took it all for me...

My sins...my sufferings...the broken chambers of my heart that ooze liquid pain and angst...piled...piled on my Savior...taken...

He loves me THAT much...

This revealing of His intimate love for me...enables me towards a forgiveness to those who perpetrate...those who operate still from unknowing brokenness...those yet unable to surrender...forgiveness...

Scummy Savior...wow...

Grace n Peace,

A ~

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Photographs of God....

We are all gathered around the table sipping coffee. The sky is overcast...raining down on the ocean. 

All is gray. 

My firstborn is staring out...beautiful as anything you might find in the Getty....

I wrap around her and whisper "Take a mental picture." 

She responds, as most times, with "Why?"

"Because one day, when you are having problems at school, and you feel alone...go back to this picture. Remember that God created the endless ocean and all this beauty. If he can do that, there is no problem you face that He can't fix. Take a picture and save it in your mind."

I believe this with my whole heart. I've practiced it. 

I've practiced it well...and UN-well.

I've rehearsed photographs in my mind. 

Photos of victory and grace.

Photos of failure and sin. 

I've had to work hard to re-train my fallible, sometimes unyielding brain. It's not easy.

Romans 8 screams at me this morning after my exchange with Syd "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God."

I have struggled with mind issues all my days. 

The will to live in peace and submission battles the fleshly will to remember and desires lust of the flesh...idols to replace the Christ that came to save me...

There is a war.

But what I'm learning is this: 

When we search out sex...

When we search out alcohol...

When we search out drugs...

When we search out designer threads...

When we search out physical perfection...

When we search out companionship and love in another fallible human...

When we search out financial security...

We are really searching for something deeper. We are searching for God. The one "hole filler" that fills every desire...every crack...every want...


Our desires are leading us to the deeper questions (Shout out to "A Kingdom Named Desire" read it!)....What do I REALLY want?

When we begin to ask ourselves this question, the answer just might come back startlingly clear...

We want otherworldly love. 

Sex, alcohol, drugs, designer threads, physical perfection, companionship, financial security have no chance of providing the sustenance to fill this need. 

I must alter my mind back to the things of God. Face down my desires. Realize that my desires are deeply rooted in the soul issues. 

I want God. 

Yet, I also want sex, perfection, companionship, stuff, and security.

The choice has to be made and carried out in my internal dwelling place...day by day...

Who can fill these voids...FULLY?




I must rehearse the photographs of the mind...

Photographs of Grace...of mercy...of shelter...of sustenance...of love...of His touch...of truth...

Ahhh...truth...truth of who I am...truth of who He is...


When I can rehearse the photos of God and answer the soul questions with Him...Flesh loses...Mandy and God win. Score!!!

Grace n Peace,

A ~

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chartered by Grace...

We walk up the ramp...my girl and I...

We are thrilled to spend these moments together...we so enjoy one another...

We grab our fins and wait for the boat...

We gab as girls do and sweat in the sun...

As the boat fully loads, it strikes me..."We are the only "single" family on this boat."

We sit surrounded by intact families...spouses helping carry the gear...mothers ramrodding children while fathers apply sunscreen...

Boat crew asks several times "Just you two?"

Yet we are unaware...we are so thrilled with one another and our lives...It does not cause us to falter any longer.

It was not always so. When we first lost our full time Daddy, it was crushing.

On donuts with Dad day at school, I would drop Syd off and weep on the way to work.

I lamented about the wrongness for them...for me...the injustice of it all.

I worried incessantly about us being "different"...

Syd seemed to feel the sting of being from a single parent home in school...sometimes bringing home tears rather than Father's Day cards...

It was a tough run...

But grace...

Grace has been a neosporin to our cuts...God has seeped in the wounds and cut out the sting and disease and we have healed...

There are undoubtedly scars and hard days...but we are a unit...a thriving family of 3 plus one emerging Daddy...

Peace and Grace have helped the four of us to begin to charter new waters in hopes of our girls being able to know their father...

In fact, their Heavenly Father (the one that has never let any of us down) has helped us charter towards their earthly father...

So we ride off into the ocean...hand in hand knowing all is well...blessed beyond measure...

Nothing can shake God's kids...nothing...

We text pictures to her father...and laugh when we leave because of multiple jelly fish...

Long story short...

What you think will absolutely kill you...wreck you...

Once faced down...eye to eye...does not...

What you think you can never accomplish...(co-parenting after a nasty divorce)...can materialize...

God has superior ways of mending and healing...and We are all the same...Just "sinful objects of a holy love"...(A Kingdom Named Desire)

Grace n Peace,

A ~

Monday, July 25, 2011


I haven't written Eucharisteo on my blog in a while...today it seems fitting....

I want to go for 50...Here goes...

1. Sand in between toes
2. Daddy's laugh
3. Sun kissed cheeks
4. Waves
5. Vast oceanic waters that seem to have no ending
6. Mint lip gloss
7. Key Lime Pie
8. God's love...totally unearnable
9. Bare Feet
10. Freshly shampooed hair
11. Venti Soy Vanilla Latte
12. Grace
13. Wind through my hair
14. Books that inspire
15. Isaiah 43:2
16. Clean water
17. This moment
18. Health
19. Friendships that sustain
20. God Moments
21. Coffee with the ocean at 6 am
22. Ridin' the waves with my girl
23. Knowing there is more...
24. Books that amuse
25. HIS ~ engraved upon my skin reminding me always
26. Babies running effortlessly at dusk against white sand
27. Fallible moments that remind me I'm His
28. Digging for clams
29. Yellow dresses on 6 year old beauties
30. Sam the shark
31. Freckles
32. Ice cream
33. Powdered Donuts
34. Revelation
35. Chiffon sundresses
36. flip flops
37. Pink toe nails
38. Nike running shorts
39. Pixie cut
40. Acceptance by those dearest
41. Acceptance by God
42. Acceptance by myself
43. Early morning kisses
44. Late night snuggles
45. Hazelnut coffee creamer
46. Shopping with my Mama
47. Sweet Phylis
48. Twirling Girls
49. Incoming Family
50. Organic Coco Butter lotion

I've so much Eucharisteo...

Grace n Peace...

A ~

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Adrift...In an Ocean called God...

I am floating.

Body buoyant. 

My toes float above water as the waves rock me about the blue waters. 

Salty waters rise over my eyes and flow into my mouth. My nose stays clear. 

Nostrils flare and grasp fresh air keeping me free to absorb the floating bliss of the ocean.

He speaks to my heart. 

"You are in an ocean of life. You float in a vast ocean of unknown. You are at my mercy and grace. I know it is uncomfortable. But you are free. I will not let the waters overtake you. They might lick at your cheeks and threaten to submerge you...but I will not let you drown."

I am overcome with the trueness of this moment...the feelings I've felt as of late...

Feelings of no control...of reckless abandon to the process of Him growing me...

Feelings of no security but Him...

I've felt...adrift at times...

Alone in an ocean of His vast Kingdom and floating...

I tell my closest and dearest, "I am fluid..." when asked of plans...

So to have this revelation in the middle of the ocean on a random Sunday afternoon...seems completely fitting...

Then it comes to me...Isaiah 43:2 "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you."

The Message version reads: "When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you. 
When you're in rough waters, you will not go down. When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end—Because I am God, your personal God,  The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you"

I am rocked by this...wrecked as if my body has floated to the shore of safety after a long night floating adrift...

"I'll be there with you...you will not go down...I paid a huge price for you..."

He solidifies my faith again...I will not go down...

He is with me...always...

He paid for me...with His life...

Though I might be floating alone at times...the reality is I'm floating IN Him...He IS the ocean I'm IN...Wow...that's enough...that's more than enough...

Float on friends...float on...

Grace n Peace,

A ~  

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fallible...but trusting...

I ride...

I listen to my music...

I muse...

I ponder losses and fight back tears...I scold myself for feeling this way when I have SO much...but I can't shake it...

I'm. Lonely.

It hurts. Sometimes I just want a partner. A person that is mine. Someone to touch me that is not under the age of 10.

Most days...I'm centered and remember my former blog post "I. Am. His."

But on days like this...as I drive away from my dearest people that I used to "live out life" with....I cannot center...I cannot fight the sadness...

I'm aware in these moments of my own fallibilty. I'm aware that my wandering soul causes me to search elsewhere even when I've found the deepest love in Him. I'm aware that I'm human. That longings consume me just like the rest of humanity and sometimes...I cannot fight them off as strongly as I would like...fallible...It's humbling...It's unsettling...It's the point.

It floods me afresh...I cannot do this alone...I need Him. Every moment. To save me. To heal me. To complete me.

The pain does not go away. The loneliness does not settle and erase itself. But I know at some point it will. Because I know Him.

He loves me.

With my fallible self.

He loves me.

He will help me. He will get me through. He will sustain me through loneliness to the finishing of the process. He will hold me.

Till then...I'll be human. I'll trust. I'll wait. I'll look at the ocean. :-)

Grace n Peace,

A ~

Thursday, July 14, 2011

God loves Lesbians.

I got divorced.

I cut my hair into a short pixie. 

I have a best friend that is a Lesbian.

Apparently, this makes me a Lesbian. Really? Is that STILL where we are folks? Could we not have learned from Jesus?

I've been asked straight up "Umm...I saw your pictures on facebook...are you....?"

My ex husband has been asked...straight up..."Is Amanda a..."

It ridiciculous that the church of the living God is still spending time and energies on such nonsence.

For the record: I have short hair. I have lesbian/gay friends that I love. I am not a Lesbian.

Jesus encountered this you know....repeatedly. Loving everyone right where they were...and He was rebuked and talked about for it...

Matthew 9 says 10-11Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew's house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them. When the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit, and lit into Jesus' followers. "What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riffraff?"
 12-13Jesus, overhearing, shot back, "Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: 'I'm after mercy, not religion.' I'm here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders."


Please don't misunderstand my writings here and take off with them...I do not consider homosexuals in any way "crooks and rifraff". They are people with families, feelings, and the need for a Savior just like you and I.

What am I saying here is...GROW UP. Love people. No matter what. Make them special. God does. Aren't we His hands? Aren't we His feet?

You can't "catch" homosexuality or sin....unless you want to. Period. 

I'm not worried if people accuse me of "switching teams". Because I'm not after religion...I'm after souls. I'm after loving the whole world. I'm after mercy and offering peace. A way out of sin. I'm under a mandate. LOVE. 

I am worried that I will BE Jesus to everyone. That's my supreme worry.

I refuse to live any other way.

I encourage you today...love anyone and everyone. BE God to people. He doesn't need you...but they do.

Grace n Peace,

A ~

Monday, July 11, 2011

Radical Discipleship: Sweet Spot of God

Jesus. The Ultimate Disciple.

I've been enthralled this summer with the life of Jesus. I really want to uncover the true life of a disciple. I want to live like the Ultimate Disciple.

I've found the majority of my time in the Word directed to the Gospels as of late...mainly Matthew. I'm finding all sorts of truth about the man called Jesus. I'm also having my paradigm wrecked about discipleship. 

From what I can tell in my reading, Jesus was hard core. He didn't play. He didn't water down His message. He loved extravagantly. He had friendships with "sinners". He told people to leave their families. Really? That just doesn't fit in my with sweet vision of my bearded Savior. 

He did. I promise.

Matthew 10:37-39 says "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it."

I need to love Him more than my daughters? I had to really focus on this one evening. Actually it was one early morning around 1:30 am. I was studying and reading in the living room. I was so overwhelmed by mission and discipleship that I laid on the floor and began to listen. As I began this process, my children each laid on couches around me. I had to ask myself the hard questions. 

If God calls me to another country, am I willing to raise two little girls alone (depending on God's plan ;-) ) in poverty and unknown conditions? If God calls me to live in a diminished capacity to further His kingdom, can I make peace that my children will have to live on less than their peers? If God calls me to be radical in discipleship (which I firmly believe He has and does each of us) am I confident that God will provide for myself and my girls as the lilies of the field?

I wrestled. Literally. I wept. I could not speak "yes" until I was completely sure the answer would not change. I could not base the answer on emotion. For the first time in my life, the task felt daunting. The call...too heavy. I was...afraid. I told God..."I'm not equipped for this". 

His answer? "Do you love me?"

I wrestled on. I wept more. I wanted so badly to get off the floor. I wanted to run. Several times I began to rise but laid my flesh back down because I knew...I knew if I got up off that floor I could possibly miss this moment of ultimate intimacy and surrender...forever.

I finally was able to surrender. Everything. No plan. No agenda. No future. Everything surrendered.

I felt heavy. I felt one. I felt I would would be called to give up people and things that would require me to take up my cross. It was a hard, emotional couple of days after rising from that floor. Yet, I was at peace. 

I've never know the depths of surrender like this...as I continue to allow God to send revelation to my heart for my life and the life of my family I find it...well...radical. Heavy. Yet easy.

How is that possible? 

All I can say is that this is what I was born to do. This is the sweet spot. I'm leaving behind a life of spreadsheets, security, and American paradigms. I'm picking up discipleship that He has called me to. I honestly couldn't tell you what this entails for me and my girls future. I'm fluid in Him. He directs. I walk. Immediately.

I do know I'm called not to love or esteem anything higher than Him and His call for us. This calling for my family specifically will require radical measures. Measures that require me to confront my ideas of what I wanted to provide my children with in this world experience and surrender them to what He wants my children to experience. 

Surrender. Comes. With. A. Price.

My prayer these days is for the wisdom to hear the whisperings and the strength to pay the price. 

Radical Discipleship.

Grace N Peace,

A ~

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Horrible Bosses...Horrible Choice?

I kneel down by my chair...and put my face in the carpet...ready to surrender my soul, life, and sin to my Creator and whatever else He asks of me...

I am ready to speak of deep places of pardon...

I am ready for Him to give me deep revelations...

I am ready to surrender all...

As I lean into the posture of prayer...He whispers to my soul Horrible Bosses.

It is so odd...so strange hearing God who deals with genocides, child abuse, and famines say Horrible Bosses.

But I know...I know of which He speaks...

I go back in my mind to yesterday's activities...my friend and I were thrilled to get away from our children for a movie and lunch. We arrived at the theater to find the closest movie playing was "Horrible Bosses" and it was Rated R. I do not run from R rated movies per se...I'm merely making a point.

We enter the movie and wait eating nachos and talking of God and children. Then the movie begins and we laugh. We laugh a lot. Yet...I find my dear spiritual friend and I grasping our mouths...covering them with our hands throughout...gasping at the lewd, debauched language and sinful acts portrayed. We finish and walk out. Neither addresses the content. We go on to have deep discussions on heart issues and God. Enough said.

Then I arrive at church today...hands lifted...heart lifted...worship for my Lover. Pastor thrills my soul with life changing words. By the end of his message I am counting the moments until I can get out of my chair. I want to hit the floor. I want to be with Him. I want to re-surrender (a constant practice in my life).

And He says Horrible Bosses. I instantly repent for taking the community of God to this movie. I instantly repent for supporting a movie that advocates scantily clad women, irresponsible and unmarried sex, horrible language, and women represented by men as nothing more than a vagina. (Yes, vagina.)

Would I live my life in this way? Would I have sex with men that I am not married to? Would I undress for my co-workers? Was I in ANY way benefited from this flick?

Lastly...is this a date movie I would go on with the Lover of my Soul?

No. To all the above. No.

I recommit to be very astute in the movies I choose to support and watch. I recommit to be cognisant of being a lady with my date and showing Him how much I respect Him. I recommit to being the Bride of Christ which means being a little weird in the world. Not watching the popular movies. Not enjoying all the fruits offered because He wouldn't enjoy them.

I want Him to be proud of me.

I want Him to say..."That's my lady..."

I want to avoid sinful practices that go against His love letter to me...

Radical? maybe.

Nerdy? probably.

Prudish? I'm sure.

I don't care. I love this God. I will do anything to pursue Him. This means if He doesn't enjoy certain practices and they don't further our love affair...then I don't want to partake.

Pretty easy.

Doesn't mean I'll never watch another R rated movie. Doesn't mean I'll condemn anyone else who watches Horrible Bosses. It means I'm in love...and I'll do whatever I can to preserve my marriage to Him...even leaving other lovers that might lead me away from Him.

Grace n Peace,

A ~

Friday, July 8, 2011

Grace and Suffering

You are not alone.

You are not the only one in intense suffering.

I promise.

In the last week, I've talked with several people who are battling the following major sufferings:

  • Loss of a child
  • Extreme Anxiety
  • Extreme Depression
  • Physical Abuse
  • Loneliness
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Crumbling Marriages
  • Financial pressure
When I read the list it seems black and white...no shades of the colors of the conversations I've had with the victims of these terrible monstrosities. I wish I could paint a better picture but due to safety I will stay black and white. The black and white does no justice to the loads these beautiful God lovers are carrying...

Yes...God lovers...

Faithful followers of the Christ that died to set them free....yet they suffer...

Listening to the stories and shedding tears with the broken this week have led me to two thoughts:

1. Suffering knows NO prejudice. It will take anyone.
2. The old cliche rings true: As bad as you think your story is...there is always worse suffering than your own.

I've had to evaluate suffering over the years. I've had to muddle through my thoughts on the subject and really get down and dirty in the thick mud of suffering. I could not understand the concept of unanswered prayers. Did that mean that I should stop asking? What was the point of prayer? Why not just love God and submit all to him without requests? Why would the Bible ask us to make supplications if He were not going to answer anyway?

After 5 years of these questions, it hit me at a red light. Seriously. Don't ask me why, if you're close to me the randomness does not surprise you in the slightest. I digress. The red light. It hit me.


Just as he freely gives us forgiveness, unconditional love and justice...He also allows unlimited suffering. I don't know why...but that gave me such peace. We can never explain or justify Grace. It's totally unmerited and unbelievably unearned and undeserved. Same with suffering. We cannot explain it. We cannot justify it. We are mostly undeserving of the terrible suffering we encounter. But as hard as it sounds to accept, Suffering is just as much a unmerited aspect of life as Grace. 

We are content to not try to explain or dissect Grace...yet very quick to dissect and explain suffering. As if, WE, these flailing human souls, dirty and undeserving DESERVE grace and have the RIGHT to question suffering. I'm so sorry...and it hurts me to say this...we have no rights. Nor do we deserve them.

It's like the old "Facts of Life" theme song "You take the good, You take the bad, You take 'em both and there ya have...the facts of the life!" 

This life thing...it is what it is...we don't get to question it. Doesn't mean we won't...but we won't get answers. Grace and Suffering are the yin and yang of God's equation. I'll take suffering for the rest of my life if I continue to receive His grace. (Dangerous statement)

All we can do is muddle through...find acceptance....and trust that He has us. I'm pretty cool with that this week....check me again later... 

Grace n Peace,

A ~