The Why’s

I am a creative. There is no doubting this. I don’t need to question this or know the “why’s.”

But sometimes, I do ponder and think about why God chose to speak audibly to me in 2003.

I know that it’s not necessarily important. But outside of being creative, I am also deeply analytical and curious. I find myself always wanting to know “why” and how? ” In this way, I’ve gained knowledge in many subjects, simply because I was curious and wanted to know more.

It’s in the knowing more that I could truly understand, and then learn to apply that knowledge .

This has not always been helpful for me as a creative. When learning guitar, I couldn’t just blindly perform motions. Thankfully, the ones who ended up mentoring me were not only knowledgable enough to answer my questions, but also were able to answer the ones I didn’t know how to ask!

Yes, I still find myself looking back, as a 23 year old young woman, on my daily jog, and calling out a superficial prayer of, ” God help me finish! ” And then hearing, ” I AM here. I’ve been here all along. BUT, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?”

Many people, especially Christians (strangely), have cast doubt on my encounter. And, this resulted in me searching for old journal entries and emails, where I had told all those close to me that GOD actually spoke to me!

“It really did happen!” was the conclusion every time! But…Why?

It wasn’t until this Christmas, where I was able to share my story at a church in South Louisiana, that God opened up my mind to truly understand.

You see, I grew up hearing the words and truths of God weaponized and perverted so that angry and religious elders had control over me and a whole congregation. As a child, it was very confusing. (If you’d like to hear more, I do have sermon notes I would love to share with you.)

But, for the sake of time, just know this: that a legalistic, removed-from-God, religious theology robbed me from knowing the tender love GOD had for me.

It’s no wonder that a church service could not save me. It’s no wonder that all those sermons meant nothing to me. For, it had been embedded in my heart that I was evil, already going to hell, and that the cross had no power to save me. Instead, it was the RULES….This is what would save me.

And… since I couldn’t follow these rules, I was cast out. My friends were no longer friends, my family, no longer welcome, and my GOD, eternally angry, hard, cold…. dangerous.

As a teenager I realized that this god wasn’t love. And so, my young mind reasoned that since GOD didn’t love me, then how could my own parents even love me?

So, out of the pain of perceived abandonment …..I ran. Yes, I ran. Into the military and into bad relationships; I ran into unhealthy habits, and I ran into a lifestyle that didn’t nurture the image of GOD swirling around in me.

It only made sense that God spoke to me while running. It only made sense that GOD used His own voice to stop me in my tracks, stumbling me over in shock, terror, and crushing shame, and …….

I knew it! I knew instantly that I had been wrong about GOD. You see, all of a sudden, I remembered how I had not only said that I hated God, but how I had mocked those who chose to follow God. On that day, everything was made clear to me…. that I had been a persecutor of God’s character and people. I had every reason to be afraid.

Yes…evil people had perverted God’s words against me so that they could abuse the very ones entrusted to their care. Yes, that really did happen. It didn’t make me RIGHT….But, it was a very valid “excuse” of sorts. Some people will scorn me and remind me how there are no excuses before God (duh). But, you know what?

GOD chose to understand my suffering, to see all that I had done, and despite it all, to still lovingly pursue me as I was running away!

And then, GOD chose to release the healing and revelation that comes from hearing God’s voice!

I remember that I instantly I fell, and as I cried, I felt so vulnerable, scared, unsafe and ashamed. But, God’s tone washed over me like a cool spring on a hot summer day, saying,

” No , beloved daughter. No shame. Don’t you understand? The blame is all mine. I’m taking it on ME. I’m taking responsibility. Because I love you. And you, you are special to me. So special. I am sorry for all you have had to go through. Hear my voice.I am here. I am HOME.”

Imagine that? The King of all creation condescending to not just APOLOGIZE to me, but to take on my very deserved punishment. The abandoned orphan, the proud persecutor, the angry avenger.. This was me!

But when met with the Father to my fatherlessness, the Mother to all my motherlessness, the Prodigal (lavish) Provisioner of all grace and mercy…the Peaceful Pardoner, the Restrainer of wrath..and the Balm to all suffering, the taker of all my shame,

I mean I could go on and on, but in know this……

God rose me up, and I ran HOME, hobbling with a bloody knee, crying, and feeling freed of all my pain, hatred, anger, finally, for the first time in my life, feeling truly loved, forgiven, and SAFE.

The voice of God reversed the untruths that were flung into my spirit. WHY?

God chose to do it that way, to speak to me audibly, because God knew it would take that for me to to come Home.


God, For How Long? (A Lament)

I’ve carved a shadow in the mud

I’ve dug my reflection into clay 

I’ve drawn Your image all around

Going so deep that water flows 

A teary mix of a worn out soul 

I am drained of sorrow. 

I am drowning in “What if’s?“ 

There is no answer to the “Why, God?”

There is no sight in hopelessness. 

Suffering, it never tries to make sense.

Although I long to understand, 

I am at a crossroads. 

It feels like life lost.
And I can’t mother it, control it, strong arm it,  bend to my will. 

I know You are with me, but still, I look for You.

I come to the house of prayer 

And as they praise all around me,

I mourn. 

Who can hear my silent shriek?

“Why God ?”

I rage, I whine, I complain , I cry, without a sound. 

Yet, You hear me. 

and you listen every time. 

You turn my weeping into pools of awareness –

Even in my weakness, there is space for thankfulness. 

So, I am emptying my vessels of bitterness, while  wrapped in The Lamb of Suffering’s arms. 

It’s time to clear out the anger. 

A lifetime of praying and begging and hoping and pretending that everything is okay…

Saying , “I’d take it on , I’d give ____ up, if I could- 

an impossible exchange; a weak bargain; 

a desperate plea for unreality. 

I cry like a baby  

I question like a toddler 

I rage like a teenager

I weep like a widow

But I don’t do it alone 

You weave your presence into a blanket  around me. 

And you are not exasperated with my grief.

The Man of Sorrows knows how to comfort. 

And You know….

You know what I need. 

A miracle. 

A Lazarus Resurrection 

Mercy, have mercy. 

Wake me in the morning. 

Humble me with your newness. 

Kiss me with your faithfulness.

Show me, that 

All around me 

Praises fly.

A cyclone around me,

A storm of Divine certainty.

And, even though, 

I’m standing at the bridge of death and life 

I’m swinging over fear on the trapeze of trust. 

Gripping , grieving , 

Not giving up , 

But Looking up. 

Maybe,  I can find a way across…

and crash through the roof of my despair

And, wreck the ceiling to bring us to healing 

But here I am, hands still  in the dirt. 

Blood in, blood out- just trying to feel life.

My fingers are afraid in the soil.

But no one is as patient in understanding;

No one except You.

The Lamb of Suffering, 

You know



Can you give me faith like a child? 

“God will make it ok,” says the babe. 

God will help! 

I wanna be like a kid wondering how the Pharisees didn’t believe Jesus. 

But I’m gazing at the paths of bitterness and thankfulness, 

Only one points to the bridge to faith.

The chasm from death to life.  

I pause here.

There is no shame in my sorrow, my weakness, my hesitant hope. 

There is space to suffer in your arms. 

Because You are not just Joy, but of sorrow. 

And you know what’s needed. 

This cleanse must be done. 

This clutter must be cleared

It’s time to pierce through the dirt, 

To seize clay into hand, 

To spit truth into matter, 

And smear it over my eyes. 

And my sight that hopelessness stole away

Relieves the blindness in my pain

And I can see…that my greatest grief….

Has been my fear; my unbelief. 


I believe. 

Please help my unbelief. 

Holy Week: Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday: The Last Supper. The foot-washing.

The wounds of the heart are an underground cemetery of seemingly lifeless things. There lies our secret shames, internal struggles, deepest pains, open wounds, wells of pride and legions of anxieties.

On this Maundy Thursday, I think of my wounds.

On this Maundy Thursday, I think of my pride.

And then, On this Maundy Thursday, I think of my internal struggles and hidden agonies.

I think of all these things often as I get older, and I soothe them with the balm of Jesus.


On this Maundy Thursday, I see Jesus taking care of some things. After all, it was his last day to be alive in human flesh. For Jesus, that meant breaking bread, feeding those around him and than doing the unimaginable: washing the feet of his friends…

Yes, He washed their dirty feet….This cleansing was a job meant for a servant, not a friend, and certainly not a king. Yet, Jesus ministered to his disciples in His final hours. His hands touched their feet and cleaned them in a tender servant-sacrifice preview.

It was an outrageous, beautiful, humiliatingly glorious act.

Peter could not handle this. But, I say that we are Peter, too. We cannot handle His healing touch on our lowly feet. For though His touch washes the dirt and grime from our bodies, it also brings the fire of conviction into our souls.

It says to forgive, even when when the offender is unrepentant. It says to let go of offense, even when we’ve been wronged. It says to surrender our hearts to humility, even when we are due the reward recognition. It says to WASH THE FEET OF OUR BRETHERN (literally) yet we run away from the foot washing basin, run away from the call of Jesus and STILL call ourselves obedient and here……

Here, we are Peter too, unable to handle the touch of the Servant-King on our feet while wildfire Spirit flame flushes conviction throughout our veins.

For, if we could “handle” it, than we would not need Him. We would not need His healing touch, His perfect sacrifice, the resurrection leap, that bridged the chasm of sin and death.

If we could “handle it”, then we would not need Jesus, who was humble to the point of washing the feet of His betrayer on the night He was to be betrayed.

If we could “handle” it, then we wouldn’t be deceived by anxieties, fears, and we would walk perfectly in meekness, mercy and tenderness like Jesus did …..

We would be on equal footing with the One who walked straight to the foot washing basin to the cross; who chose to lay down His life for his friends AND His enemies.

We can’t handle it!

However, it is okay indeed, because Jesus knows us AND our secret burial grounds. With Jesus before us, we can bare our ignorance and our bare feet because despite being fully known, we are fully loved and that’s LIFE.

So, on this Maundy Thursday, let us remember our former wounds, for it is there God has encountered us with healing balm in his hands. He ministers there, healing, re-creating, molding and cultivating beautiful souls, readying them for their debuts, and equipping them for the battles ahead.

So, let us sit to rest with Jesus, but not hide our feet from Him. He has come to wash them…and we would do well to receive.

And finally, let us look forward to the coming Resurrection Sunday. For in Jesus Christ, we have a soul saving, Lazarus raising, tomb raiding, death breaking, life resurrecting, forever crushing the oppression of shame, awakening us to the revelation of love, servant-King, kind of Friend.

And you know…

I can’t handle it, that all consuming, all-welcoming outrageous love that is Jesus, but Maundy Thursday reminds me that Jesus can handle me, from my hidden depths to the agonies of reality, all the way down to my aching, life trodden feet.



Thank you, Jesus, for loving me so well. Amen.

Cruise Ships

Cruise Ships

Once upon a time, I  went on a cruise. 

It was pretty amazing. We picked our rooms before we purchased our tickets but the highlight wasn’t the room…it was the expanse of ocean all around us, the incredible food, and the multiple events, programs, and things to do.

We built every single part of our trip to make it special, selected a couple of excursions, and had the best time relaxing amongst family and new friends.

When we got home, we discovered that we all gained 5-10 lbs…well, everyone except Isabela, because at 4 years old, she hated all the food on the ship!

Going on a cruise was fun…but expensive.

When I  think about the modern church building, church – seeking process, I can’t help but remember our cruise selection processes. 

  1. Right location/time, aesthetic: check.
  2. Right programs for our kids: check
  3. Right price (reward) for the product: check
  4. Good food, good entertainment: check
  5. Freebies, good reviews: check.


I  can’t help but think that God didn’t intend for us to choose our churches quite like this…devoid of prayer meetings and HS leading, yet many of us do.

However, most distressingly and even worse…our churches are being built, formed, and marketed just like a cruise ship.

  1. Right location/time, aesthetic: check
  2. Right programs for our kids: check
  3. Right price (reward) for the product: check
  4. Good food, good entertainment (“modern” worship concert vibes): check
  5. Freebies, good reviews: check.

What does this produce?

Does it produce Mary’s sitting at the feet of Jesus? Or Minister Martha’s forever laboring away to build a large cruise ship of attendees so that the enormous bills and salaries can be paid (and the church will be successful)?

What makes a church a success anyway? I think we need to redefine success in context of the church (Acts, Jesus, the widow and the orphan).

I think we have it all wrong.

You see, we say we have a church family. Yet who has a family of over 100-500 or 5000 people that they actually know very well and actually stay involved in all their lives?

No one. It’s impossible…IMMEDIATE family is the power in family. This is the smaller group of people who don’t just live together once a week, but they, just like in Acts, live life together, commune around the dinner table, play on the weekends, and of hopefully, rest on Sundays. They may fight or quarrel, but the closeness of immediate family life requires constant reconciliation, forgiveness and quality time.

Can we have a church family in our modern churches? Or are they just buildings filled with cliques?

I’m done with cliques. 

The sons and daughters rising up are sick of the show. They are sick of the building of shrines and perfect songs and manipulative ambience. They want TRUE family, where papa and mama are all in God and the sons and daughters are brothers and sisters with a heart for mothering, fathering and nurturing each other.

They want honest worship- not karaoke …love songs face to face with God and teaching around Jesus’s feet. There is a growing desire for raw intimacy (that cannot be found in formulaic structure) and this inner revival will be the tongues of fire catching the American church watchmen and bursting it into wildfires.

The deep and the more, the indigenous and the community driven – versus copycatting-is changing more lives all across the world and growing kingdom exponentially ,…except for in America, because here we commercialize and industrialize everything until discipleship is a program and not a relationship. We build celebrity, and worship talent over teaching yearning spirits how to press into worship EVERYDAY with God (not just church services), a God who is meek, humble, and chooses to speak in a whisper to us (versus displays of power and splendor). Then, we are in shock when we see that the influence of the church in the States is in decline.

It’s time for the sleeping giant to wake up! Programs and performances are not bad alone, but they are not the heartbeat of the church. Yet, the desire to look young, grow fast, and sound modern is lulling so many to sleep. And guess what? Sleepers cannot train, cannot transform, cannot be equipped, cannot even toddler walk into maturity. Yet we have thousands of sleepers planting churches and building careers at the expense of the body of Christ, the very people who they are meant to nurture. 

God help us. Building the American church is fun but it sure is expensive. 

Unshed Tears of a Military Child

“I can see them. As we read books together before bedtime, I see them. I see the side of her mouth trembling a little, just like her dad’s does, keeping it all in because in this world,  STRONG is what we teach.

As we read, I go over the day in my mind:

  • The 3 times she broke out into weeping, the prayer we prayed in carpool, the goodbye, the dropping her off at school, the text to her wonderful teacher asking to keep a tender eye on her…..
  • The alarms I set on my phone to remind me to pray for her and myself, too…..
  • The more than 5 times she broke out into tears over small things, so small I don’t even recall what they were…
  • The arguing over her not doing her chores and the inevitable consequences…
  • The letter she wrote me, apologizing and explaining that she feared she would never be able to be a good girl because she isn’t strong when her daddy is gone…
  • The tugging of my heart and the sheer panic rising as I calmly try to determine the next step….
  • The walking of the tension between punishment and grace…..

And then, in a blink of an eye, I’m back to reality and I see them. Fluid waters of grief held at bay, they are.

Unshed tears, they are.

All of a sudden, my heart is squeezed with pain over what I cannot undo, over what I cannot fix. I see the unshed tears; I wonder what is keeping them in and than it hits me. She doesn’t want to disappoint me. She wants to be a strong little girl even though her emotions are wild and confusing and overwhelming.

Where did she get that? Why does she think that? How did this happen?

Even in this sudden realization, I know that there is nothing I could have done or not done to prevent her from exercising her will. After all, she is her own being, and this is her worldDad is gone, mom is running the show, and even though she loves mom, her world is rocked every single time he has to leave.

And so, she weeps and she cries, but the time comes,  even for an almost 8 year old, where she chooses to leave her pain untended to so she can experience something – anything – else besides it.

As she reads to me, I wonder,

Why do we teach being STRONG with such fervor? If anything, maybe we should forget about being strong and just try to be TRUE. Maybe, we should  pay attention and tend to the unshed tears around us…in our families, in our communities, in our sons and daughters….our sweet military children in their untended grief.

We should! I should!

You know, I don’t know a lot about how to be a “great” mother. Who really does? But, I do know this. I will notice her tears…shed and unshed. And I will welcome them.  I will love her and I will be here, standing in the void, every time her dad leaves….wiping away all those shed and unshed tears. I will tend to her in her pain, and help her carry the burden of unspoken grief and separation from family. “

Guys…this is just a small little snapshot of my normal life.

However, it is not just my life. There are so many of us military families with struggles that are specific to our subculture. I can tell you through veteran eyes that it is difficult and that there is truly very little support. But the world has enough stories about people like me…..Not saying mine isn’t important. NO, not at all.

But, I challenge you to think about the child, the children, of military parents. As adults, we know how to function and we aim to protect our children. But there are realities we can’t always protect them from.

  • Mom or dad may be going to war or already there….
  • They may friends who have lost a parent in the line of duty…
  • Mom or dad may go TDY a lot …
  • Mom or dad may work insane hours because manning is low and the reality is that military members do not have the option to keep their family first…..AND
  • The kid starts to learn about war in school and the revelation hits them that mommy and/or daddy is in the military too and they could die…..

This,my friends,  it does more than affect our children. It helps form them, their dreams and their perspectives. Every story is different…but I am certain that the grief of missing mom or dad is the same….

This is the burden of the military child…


May all our children encounter the true, non-discriminating love of God, who promises to wipe every tear from our eyes, accepts us unconditionally, and knows what each tear drop carries- shed or unshed.


Too New

In this quiet house,

It’s too quiet

In this clean room,

It’s too clean.

In this still moment,

It’s too still.

In this empty space,

It’s too empty.

I’ve loved so much.

Your loss invades every second.

My whole world is so much LESS.

I’ve grieved ,

And, time passes.

But I still expect to see you as I turn the corner each morning.


How you betray me!


How, you ignore me!

It’s all too new,


This new,

It’s too new.

Christmas: The Promise of Rest


I  was talking to a dear friend of mine. This friend, like me, LOVES the Christmas season. 

Yet, this year, my friend is experiencing more gloom than joy, more weariness than hustle and bustle, and more frustration than Christmas cheer.

All around, the world turns mad with hurriedness. A party here, a church event there, school functions here, everywhere, Christmas shopping…….and before we know it, we are numb to the excitement that traditional holiday rhythms bring.

I’ve been there. It’s neither right nor wrong; it just IS.

Advent simply means “coming.” In this season of Advent, we wait and prepare for the celebration of the nativity of Jesus Christ AND the return of Jesus at the Second Coming. 

We not only celebrate a baby, but we celebrate a KING.

We wait; We prepare.  We remember our ancestors, who endured thousands of years in darkness and oppression to see Salvation light in the form of a sweet, tender, meek, and mild, divine baby.

Are you struggling today?  Are you tired, anxious, aching for a rest?

What a burden you share with our ancestors…trekking day after day, yearning and longing for true REST and wondering, “Is the day at hand? “Is the Christ come, yet?” “How many more days til the celebration?” “Am I ready?”

Have heart my dear friends. You are closer to Christ than ever before!

And, when that day comes, lift up your head. For in this darkness, you will be warmed by the glorious light of Christ.

Have hope, for He has come to the weary, so that they, so that WE will know rest. Rejoice, for He will not rest until all is made right in our souls. Receive peace, for he is gentle, humble and kind. He is not angry or disappointed in you. He celebrates you! He laments with you! He loves you!

So…be ready, for ready or not, Christmas Day is coming… the Redeemer of weariness is coming! The day of increase is coming! “And the zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”  (Isa 9)

Feliz Navidad!


God, the Dream Maker


When I was a child, I prayed constantly.

For hugs and for money

So that we wouldn’t go hungry.

And, for love that would find me 

So that I would not feel lonely.


This is the broken child’s dream.


And… as the years went by, 

I thought God ignored my cries.

I never realized

My dreams were being molded on The Potter’s wheel….


And I….

Got married, bought a house, 

Had a baby, moved all around….


When, suddenly!

I remembered those broken-hearted dreams

Imagined by a child in her most favorite high tree.

I would climb until I felt I was on top of the world.

Those magnolia branches made me feel so powerful!


There, I’d pray:

“God, will you give me a real home one day?

And a husband who will love me, despite all my pains.

And a child who will bring me love I’ve never known…

Oh God will you give me a home all of my own…”


Today,  I awaken and it springs unto me.

God has answered this precious prayed dream!

I have everything I’ve wanted so desperately

I have a home because You brought one to me…


I have a home because YOU brought one to me



I can see the sands of time

Spilling freely through my hands.

To many moments to memorize

To little time to take it all in.


Too fast, too slow

Where did all the sand go?


But now I see…

This sand is a vapor,

A mist floating through grasping hands,

A fading flower, a withering grass.


Tomorrow’s too soon.

Tomorrow’s too far.

The number of my days

So short, yet so long.


But God keeps me

Preserves me like jelly.

I’m the joy in the sweet,

I’m anxiety-free.


I don’t have to worry about this sand…

This vapor,

These days.

I don’t have to fret about

The number,

The wasting of my flesh.


I’m preoccupied,

With  Glory before me,

Wonder within me,

This Deity I’m breathing .


I’m love-derived

Created in mystery.


So time, spill freely through these hands.

And I’ll waste myself for Heaven’s plans.

And when my world begins to fade

Oh the time, I’ll get to gain!

“What would you do if no one ever heard you? Would you keep singing your song?  What if you sang BECAUSE the only person you want to hear your lilting voice is God’s searching ears?
That, my friend, is the best reason of all.”
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