I lay me down
upon the table
not knowing what’s to come
All my hopes
and dreams combined
are fighting for a single crumb
Inside of me
they push and pull
’til answers are revealed
they know the truth:
tomorrow’s fate is sealed
Not in the hunger
Nor in the thirst
But only when I surrender
To the maker
of this starving heart
So bent on becoming fatter
He wants my hopes
He wants my dreams
to reflect the One above
I won’t be free
from longing for more
until I feast on His goodness and love
So I bow my head
but I lift my hands
in an effort that brings me rest
And I recognize
with teary eyes
that His ways are always best.
Photo Credit: Jamie Street
I was blessed to write a piece for The Empower Up Project yesterday. For those of you who don’t know, this amazing community/website “was created to provide ALL women with a platform where we can help each other grow, succeed and collaborate.” It was founded by the awesome Kim Albano, a leadership and development consultant doing the work of lifting women up and helping them go after their dreams. I am honored to play a little part in her vision of empowerment with a grace story that I wrote in view of my sister’s joy-filled perspective on life despite her daily struggle with the effects of breast cancer.
For those of you who are new to Grace for the Wasted Space and don’t know my sister’s story, check it out here. For those of you who need some light shed on your dark path right now, come on over to The Empower Up Project and see what I learned while watching my sister go through the greatest battle of her short life. Maybe you know someone that needs a little hope in this season. Maybe you need some?
I’ll leave you with this heartfelt quote from my piece and hope it resonates with you:
“We don’t have to say much to understand each other’s hearts. The seagulls squawking over a child’s sandy snack in the distance say what we’re both thinking: There’s just not enough to go around, is there? Or so it would seem. There are too many unfulfilled needs to be met. Too many broken hearts to be mended. Too many desperately lost to be saved. “
Hey friends! I woke up bright and early on this rainy Saturday morning because my sleepy mind was overtaken by a powerful word: RENAME.
It occurred to me after much deliberation between my tired limbs and my overactive imagination that I should get up and ponder this direction. After sitting here at my computer for about an hour questioning what this means, I felt God tell me that my blog for the past year and a half (My Wandering Heart Song) needs a more inclusive element to it.
I love the things that have poured out of me through the use of this creative space and I will always have those writings available to read. However, I feel like I am moving into more of a communal space and out of the self-exploration arena. I am still learning about myself and will never stop this adventure called introspection but I want my blog to be more about we and less about me.
So, this blog has now been renamed to Grace For the Wasted Space. I’ve added some new images and an updated description as well. It’s more of a community really. And guess what? I want to include you in my new and improved site! The focus from now on is going to be on storytelling. Women telling their stories of unlikely hope amidst pain, testimonies of rock solid faith overpowering fear, and tales of dreams fulfilled because of saying yes after years of saying no. Grace Stories I like to call them.
Do you want to help me get the ball rolling as we enter this new territory? I need your Grace Stories. We all have one, ya know? A time when our lives were halted by a Force greater than ourselves and realigned to the purpose planted deep inside our hearts.
If you’d like to be a part of the renaming process this blog is undergoing, then shoot me an email with your Grace Story. It doesn’t have to be perfect but I’d like it to be heartfelt and vulnerable as I’ve learned that these are the most impactful types of stories. The point, my dear friends, is to awaken the Grace Story that may be sleeping inside of someone else and cause them to pay attention to it. In their awakening, they just might look to the Giver of grace for a reminder of how he has woven their story of sadness into one of joy for the sake of another desperate soul.
Let’s start a chain reaction of grace, shall we? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your beautiful words. Thanks in advance!
Photo Credit: free stock pro
Today I come to you with an unusual style and a not-so-graceful technique. Let’s call it a bare-bones moment of complete honesty. The stuff I normally write about- parenting lessons, hope after loss, motivational messages for women– are all important topics to me. Actually, they are what make me “me.” Every single word is penned out of a personal experience that I feel will benefit someone else from reading it. So I write it and allow you into a small corner of my world to see life through my eyes for 500 – 800 words.
But I’m not writing about those important things right now. I’m writing about writing and how this artistic extension of myself has created something new in me just as much as I have created something new with it. Think about that for a second. While I’m creating, I’m being re-created. I get to recycle my stories, some good and some bad, by sharing them with you. All the while, I’m being made new as I allow my heart to pour out onto the page.
Creation is a wonderful mystery!
In honor of this revelation, I’ve decided to throw out the idea that I must have a mainstream topic in order to have an audience and just write for the sake of writing. Call it an act of defiance or a rebellion against pop culture.I don’t care. I’m not here for popularity. I’m here to create. For me and for you.
I’m learning that this process only works if vulnerability is expressed. Even though many of you have gone through similar things as I have, our stories are still different. I’m different. Which makes it extremely difficult to share my perspective sometimes. Because similar isn’t the same. And different isn’t always welcomed with open arms.
But it’s important to speak the truth. And my truth starts with broken and ends with beautiful. Every day I’m changing, transforming, becoming something different than I was the day before. All you have to do is look back at one of my old posts and compare it to one from the present to see that process unfold.
My brokenness stems from my inability to open up to you for so long. Too long. I didn’t start writing until I had no other choice. I had held my stories hostage inside my heart like the clouds hold back the heavy rain. And then the blessed time came for me to choose: write them down or be a victim of drowning in the flood that was welling up inside of me. I chose to open up the floodgates and share my stories with you.
And an unmistakable change has taken place. Beauty has come out of my letting go of what I thought I desperately needed to hold on to. The words flowed out of me so effortlessly as the dam of seclusion that I had built around my heart broke.
I’m no longer afraid to be real with you, no matter what that looks like. My opinions on things don’t depend on whether or not you like what I have to say. And that’s plain huge.
Galatians 1:10 – “You can see that I am not trying to please you by sweet talk and flattery; no, I am trying to please God. If I were still trying to please men I could not be Christ’s servant.”
I write what God tells me to write. And that may not sit well with you. But, at the end of the day, when I’ve written raw and real about my life, I can sleep soundly knowing I have created something beautiful. There may be cracks in my story that separate you and me but there is always, without a doubt, the same storyline every time: My ugly, imperfect mess becomes His stunning, perfect message.
And for that, I will be forever grateful.
Photo Credit: Clay Banks
I appeal to you to discover who you really are in Christ. Read the word of God and find out what He says about you. It is critical to your overrall health as a human being. And it is critical to the health of this nation. Yes. That’s right.
Your knowledge of your God ordained identity is the key to a healthy nation.
Did you know that Satan hates women? He literally detests us. So much so that he came to us FIRST in the garden of Eden. He wanted to use Eve to manipulate the man that God gave her. This was the first instance of deception in the Scriptures. The devil is still using his lying ways to rule women today. And those of us who don’t know who we are in Christ are allowing him to do it. (Read Genesis 3.)
The primary thing we Christian women should stand for is truth. Not experiential truth (which is temporal). Not circumstantial truth (which is ever-changing). The truth of who God is and what He says about our role in the earth. Let’s take a look at this truth that stands the test of time.
Acts 10:34- Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.”
Women and men are equal in God’s eyes. There is nothing, eternally speaking, that can elevate the status of a man over a woman (and vice-versa). Believing that in order for a woman to succeed she has to climb over a man to get there is a lie. Believing that God favors men over women because she has been used and abused by a man is a lie. God loves women. And He doesn’t try to convince us of this love through a skewed perspective based upon limited pleasure or pain that this world has inevitably forced upon us.
He convinces us of His unconditional, unbiased love through His words of truth which speak for themselves. In no way ever, does God put women down or speak less of the feminine sex. He also never says that women should use their femininity to wield power around like a magic wand. Both men and women are equally and inherently valuable.
When we know that there is nothing that we can do to make God love us more than a man and there is nothing that we can do to make God love us less than a man, we are untouchable by the enemy of our souls. Ultimately, that’s the point of this whole living on earth thing, right? To submit to God, resist the devil, and then watch him flee? (James 4:7) Shouldn’t our focus be more on submitting and resisting and less on competing and cheating? With other women? With other men? With ourselves?
What if we turned this nation upside down by grabbing hold of who we really are and never letting go of that truth- not even to the highest or most charming bidder? Chaos follows lies. Peace follows truth.
I implore you, before you go to the polls and choose our great country’s next leader, to vote for the person who values truth more than popularity and peace more than likability. Don’t vote based on gender because you feel like it’s high time a woman’s voice is heard. (By the way, women are speaking up in many places and many ways- influence has nothing to do with the size of your platform in the Kingdom of God.) Don’t vote based on your own hurts that have yet to heal in regards to what someone of the opposite sex may have done to you. Open up the good Book and ask God to reveal His healing, comforting love to you so that you can live a life of freedom. The truth sets you free!
Your ability as a woman of God to walk confidently in who He made you hinges on one thing alone: Jesus died for you. He also died for men, too. Let’s see eachother through the lens of Jesus’ sacrifice and let go of offense that is dividing the church (and this country) in two. America is at a crossroads and the only way to choose rightly is to choose truth.
Hebrews 4:12- “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Photo Credit: Ben White
It’s simple, really. I do this writing thing for a reason. This blog is not a haphazard journal of random thoughts or a disheveled version of my personal life. Writing is a purposeful activity that brings me joy.
Yet I don’t write for me. I just get to benefit from my words. You may think that sounds cocky or irreverent, like I’m worshiping my own work. But, really, it’s a humble expression of the God’s-honest truth.
I write so that you will know you’re not alone in your struggles. I write so that you will know love and hope in a tangible way. I write so that you will know the truth of the goodness of God. Not for applause or acclaim. I simply want you to experience one minute, heck, even one second, of God’s grace. Believe me, I couldn’t write a single word without it. Thankfully, I don’t ever have to.
I have a message that can’t be contained. It has to be shared. And after I share it, I am blessed because I didn’t keep it all to myself. However, if I don’t share the truth nestled down deep inside of me, then I am not fully living. The truth sets us free, right? So, if I don’t offer you a taste of the free life, then I’m just hoarding my own freedom. How could I live with myself?
As we all know, freedom doesn’t come without sacrifice. My pain on a page for the world to read, that’s sacrifice. But the glory that God gets through just one person finding hope through my struggles is worth the cost. Isn’t that what life is all about?
Sure, I experience healing from getting my thoughts onto paper. Sometimes, I can’t even talk about my hurt, but strangely, I can always seem to write about it. Once my authentic work is out there, peace follows in the knowing that someone will hopefully identify with it.
The thing is, even when my writing might seem a bit too vulnerable, my heart feels freer once I let the scary feelings out. Fear of judgement is quickly overshadowed by the undeniable presence of God’s love and faithfulness found in my story. These truths never fail to jump up from the page and surprise me. Closing my eyes in fear doesn’t remove His light of love.
That, dear friends, is my reason for writing. To share the messy, unconventional, irrational grace that God has woven into my very ordinary and completely flawed life. To remind myself as I remind you that God has never left me and He never, ever will.
Why do you write?
Photo credit: Priscilla Westra
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace. “
Helen Howarth Lemmel
I love this hymn. It’s probably my favorite one. It addresses the questions and uncertainties of this life with an answer of hope.
The Answer is Hope.
This Wednesday, this mid-week slump of a day, has me all caught up in the mundane. I need some renewed hope. How about you? So, here’s my rendition of this timeless hymn. I pray it brings you newness of spirit, soul, and body.
I slightly see you Jesus. But I choose to turn, to redirect the position of my body so that I am facing in a different direction, to change my course if it is not in line with Your perfect will.
I only see you Jesus. The darkness of this temporary place can’t overwhelm my soul. It has to fade away, disappear, vanish without a trace of existence in your presence.
I live to see you Jesus. Your love shines on every part of my life causing me to run wild and free because of your beaming favor that welcomes me into fields of grace.
Whatever you’re facing today, just look to the Jesus. the source of all HOPE, the answer to every problem. He will meet you where you are. And always guide you home.
I’m learning that I can’t be the mom who saves my kids. From a lot of things.
I have operated out of fear, in the name of protection, for too long. And it has taken from me. My sanity, my ability to trust, my peace.
More importantly, my fear has taken from my kids. Their love of new things, their desire for adventure, their confidence in their decisions. Yeah, I did that. (Or rather, I allowed my fear to do that!)
I couldn’t see it before because I was happily living in a padded room of my own making. Quite like the rooms you see on t.v. in the haunted mental institutions. This was my brain on fear. I was safe but isolated, left to deal with my tormenting thoughts all on my own.
What sobered me up was my gut-wrenching decision to put my kids in public school this year after only homeschooling them for the past 6 years. Just making the choice to do it felt like death hovering over me as I shook from fear withdrawals.
I felt sick at the thought of letting them go when all I (and they) had ever known was our home, our rules, our ways. But then, after the waves of nausea started to decrease, I felt something new and, honestly, it scared me.
Not in the sense that freedom is only delegated to the school-going families. No, freedom in the sense that I could actually walk away from something that was no longer working for our family. It was keeping me bound in despair as I wrestled every day with watching my kids cling more and more to me and less to their own amazing personalities.
You know when you just get to that point when enough is enough? You are afraid of the new thing staring you in the face but you know that the old thing has just been done way too long? That’s where I was when my husband came to me and introduced the idea of putting them in school. I had a choice to make, albeit painful.
I decided that I was not going to be a fear-addict any longer.
So, we did it. And it’s been great! It’s also been hard some days. But better all around. They are standing on their own two feet and learning to take responsibility for their choices without me there to prompt them. They are embarking on new friendships and engaging in activities that they would have not had the chance to do otherwise. Most importantly, my fear of them not needing me anymore was proven totally unfathomable. They get to take care of themselves when not at home but the evenings are my time with them. Time for snuggles and homework help and bedtime prayers.
They say fear is an illusion. I say fear is also a drug. It incapacitates you and leaves you wanting more and more of it until it’s all you can think about. Thank God I have a husband who listens to God’s voice and calls me higher when I’m living beneath the level of freedom God has for me.
Thank God, the taste of freedom is way more satisfying then the taste of fear.
I am a grown woman with a childhood fear that just won’t let go. I am the mom who makes her kids have nightlights in their rooms because I’m scared that they might get scared in the middle of the night.
Am I a fearful person? Not really. I am very into confronting your fears and living on the edge. After all, the Bible even says in 2 Timothy 1:7, (and I quote this verse often to my tribe),
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
But when the room is pitch black, all of the blood rushes to my head and I instantly blurt out whatever expletive or shrieking sound I can muster to get someone, ANYONE, to turn the light back on.
I thought that maybe this was a major problem and I needed some counseling or something. I even considered forcing myself to sleep in my bedroom without the bathroom light shining in from down the hall to somehow face my fear head on.
Then it occurred to me recently as I was struggling with letting my youngest sleep (per her request) without a night light- The physical darkness in front of me doesn’t negate the heavenly Light I carry within me. Aren’t I called to be the Light? To be a flickering flame shining HOPE in the night hours? A glimmering speck of FREEDOM that guides the captives out of their gloomy cells?
My three year old knows this truth better than I do it seems. She sings songs like “This Little Light of Mine” and “Jesus Loves Me” to herself in her bed at night. What a picture of faith. She is worshipping the Light Giver even though her eyes only see darkness. That image preaches itself.
If I force her to have that night light, I would be enabling her to be afraid of the dark just like I have been for too long. I would, in essence, be passing my fear onto her. Notice, I didn’t say that I want her to constantly live in bright, well-lit places and never encounter darkness at all. I think, many times, this is where we miss it. (I know I did!) But the cool thing is, my fear of the dark has actually introduced my heart to the safety of the Light. However, always living comfortably in the warmth of the sun by no means instills a longing for more light. In fact, it leaves you hot and a little presumptuous that life will always be full of sunshine.
No, the nighttime seasons make us long for the morning rays. I want my kids to experience the dark because it is in those moments when they will come to realize that the Light never left them. Isn’t that what hope is, after all? A knowing that the darkness will not fully overtake us because we have a Savior who lives inside of us and to Him, “the night shines as bright as day.” (Psalm 139:12)