Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Write it down

My dad is a counselor. He is always telling his clients to journal. He says you need to write it down to get it out. I've never really taken his advice before (no surprise, huh Diddy?). I am one that needs to discover it for myself for some reason. Recently a friend gave me a life-changing book that encourages journaling. So I finally decided to give it a try.

Blogging and journaling are two different things. Journaling involves ripping junk right out of your heart and slapping it down on paper. If you need to cuss, cuss. If you need to change topics at random in the middle of a paragraph - do it. Put pen to paper and write it out long hand. Do whatever it takes - just get the thoughts onto paper.

I have committed to journal 3 pages every morning before getting out of bed. Start the day off fresh - get the junk out and don't carry it into your day with you. Funnily enough, once I started journaling - I can't seem to stop. In the past 7 days, I have written 33 pages. I can't tell you how much better I feel - how much I have learned about myself. It's unreal.

Another thing I have committed to do is NOT going back and re-reading my journal any time soon. The point is to get it out, not go back and mull it over, analyzing the whole mess. At first I was a little inhibited. I thought, "What if someone finds this. Maybe I should put some things in code." I am starting to come out of that. It's a little weird, but the more freely I allow myself to write, the easier it comes.

The best thing about it all is not just learning more about myself. It is receiving clarity on some of the lies I have believed. Seeing new things about God. Understanding who I am in relation to Him. Realizing that I am important and worth something and that's it's OK to take care of me.

If you don't journal - you should start today. I promise it will change your life...

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Things to think about...

I haven't posted in while. Quite frankly, I haven't had much to say. I've been in a reflective mood lately. I promised someone I would start journaling, so I guess I've been expressing myself there. I'm on a path to unearth the real me. I haven't posted lately because I don't want to post something just to fill cyberspace with empty words, but I can offer you this:

"Integrity is a bigger thing than telling the truth. It is about being a certain kind of person. It is about being people who know who we are and what we are, and it is about being true to what we are even when it could cost us more than we should like to pay." -Lewis Smedes

"Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation, because your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are." -John Wooden

"Authenticity is a powerful witness to the presence of God in our lives. It doesn't mean that we're perfect. It means that we're real. It means that we're honest about our imperfections and our struggles. We don't gloss over them and put on a happy Christian face to cover up our pain." -Rory Noland

Whatever you do, forsake all else and follow Him.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Tomorrow is the big day...

Say a prayer for my Cooper. Tomorrow is his big surgery. Prayerfully they won't find anything wrong.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Photo of the Week

Sometimes we feel like we somehow got off the path, fell by the wayside, or simply got left behind. We look around and see others who seem to have it all figured out (which, BTW, no one ever does). A temporary or perceived derailment can make you feel lonely or afraid. Take heart - God is right there with you. He knows exactly where you are even if no one else does.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
-Ps 139:7-10

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
-Jer 29:11-13

Friday, January 25, 2008

Eternal Investments

Well, I did it. Like driving a stake through the heart of a vampire, I did it. I dropped my cable TV. Actually, I kept the basic K-Mart stuff. I guess I'll get the first 11 channels or so. Mainly the networks, which I never watch anyway. But hey - at least if there's a storm within 200 miles of the coast, Rich Thomas will let me know so I can run to Publix and buy all the bread and water with the rest of the irrational population of MGM.

I am somewhat saddened by the "break up" with the cable company. I feel as though I have said good-bye to a dear friend. In fact, as I sit here and type, I am dressed in all black, veil included. Okay, not really - but I am sad nonetheless.

I felt like God has been "suggesting" to me that I lose the cable for some time now. I've been hearing Him without hearing Him, if you know what I mean. I am certain He has some amazing things planned for us to do together now that He has more of my attention, but I sure will miss those BravoTV marathons!

I read an article today written by Jill Carattini (a senior associate writer at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries). The article was about integrity and choices, but the last line really jumped out at me and could apply to almost any situation in life. It read:

What if you were to determine that what you are fostering here on earth, you will discover more of in heaven? Would it change the way you make decisions today?

I invest a lot of time in wasteful things like TV. Please don't misunderstand - there is nothing wrong with watching some TV. But I seem to have an art for taking things to the extreme. I think of TV and other things that I sometimes pour myself into and when run through the filter of Jill's question - there are many things that I wouldn't want MORE of in heaven! I have to wonder how much time I have spent fostering my career or watching TV or developing the fine art of shopping (poor money management). Then I stop to much time have I spent fostering my relationships, both with God and with others. How much time have I spent developing my character and gifts/talents God has blessed me with?

Again, please know that I think it is perfectly okay to spend a lazy Saturday watching movies every once in a while. I think it's wonderful to have a "pointless" hobby. Shopping, reading books and eating chocolate are all fabulous! But making these things an art form or using them as a replacement for God - that is where they cross the line.

Life is about balance. More importantly - it is about seeing things from an eternal perspective. Making investments in things personally, spiritually, relationally that really matter. The rest is just flash anyway.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Rick Burgess - A Father's Heart part 1

I assume you've heard about the tragic death of Rick Burgess' (of Rick and Bubba) toddler son. These videos are of Rick speaking at the memorial service. They are powerful and are making a HUGE impact around the country. Please listen and be changed.

Rick Burgess - A Father's Heart part 2

Rick Burgess - A Father's Heart part 3

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I've been thinking a lot about the way I react to things. You know the old saying "Actions speak louder than words." I think reactions speak even louder than that. Reactions usually come from the heart, from the core of who you are. Do my reactions bring glory to Christ? Unfortunately, not always.

Work is one of the most 'reactive' places in my life. I don't know what it is about that place. Maybe we just have more than our fair share of irritating people?? :) Doubt it. I think I am more aware of and convicted about my reactions to life at work than other places. At work, I am surrounded by people that do not know God. Every day I am given the chance to present God to my co-workers through my reactions. I know I fall short too often.

Several things have come together lately to bring this issue to the forefront for me. I was reading the Bible a few days ago and realized I was reacting to a particular scripture like I had many times before. It was several stories about Abraham and Jacob where they lied for various reasons. They seemed to suffer no immediate consequences and, in fact, reaped material gain. My reaction to that has always been to wonder why they were able to lie and not only get away with it, but even seem to get a blessing out of it.

While the reaction was not a new one, the Spirit convicted me this time. I realized that I read the Bible as if I expected God to be more like me. I expected punishment or at least rebuke for their failure to be perfect. I was not reading the stories and seeing a God of mercy and grace who loved and used people despite their imperfections. I became sad to realize that I projected my own imperfections onto God and others, thus expecting God's reaction to more human than Divine.

A week or so later, the sermon at church was on the condition of our hearts. Buddy said that a good indicator of the condition of our hearts was our speech. He put up 2 lists. One had things on it like doubt, gossip, anger, critical, irritable, judging, arrogant, etc. The second had things like love, praise, encouragement, gracious, joyful, testimonies, etc. Unfortunately I found that more of my speech was reflected in the first list. If the mouth is the overflow of the heart, obviously mine needs some work.

I think my attitude at work, my skewed perspective on the Bible and my overall speaking life reflect a heart that has become selfish and worldly. I've been focused too much on things of this world - things that are temporary rather than on things eternal. I am so grateful that God is the loving, patient, merciful, gracious, forgiving God of the Bible rather than the twisted human God I thought He should be (I wouldn't survive serving a God like that)! I'm glad that God cares enough about me to reach right out of the pages of my Bible, tap me on the shoulder and say, "Uh, excuse me. You'll need to read that one again."

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me.
Ps 51:10