Oh, crap.

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Humor’s always good.

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Got this one here, since it’s realistic right?!

You know what feels good?

When God exposes another area of your heart where you’ve been judgmental before!

It’s a lot of fun.

…It freakin sucks. Usually it sucks because you’ve finally gotten yourself into a position of the very “type” of person you’ve been judging. You realize, “Wow, I’m just like them. I’m actually not ANY different. Even I’m capable of the same mistakes and problems.”  (I never thought I’d try drugs in my life, fight an eating disorder, or go through many other things.)

It sucks because you wanted to be perfect, flawless, righteous. (I tend to want that anyway…) Yet here you are, fallen short, and in need of grace.

It feels good because now your heart can be purer, although you emotionally feel much worse. It feels good because you can relate instead of look down. It feels good because now you can be at least a smidgen more Christ-like.

It’s beautiful because it’s redemptive.

At first, it’s “oh, crap.” But then it’s “oh, good.”

That Redeemer though… He’s in business for the real good.

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Acknowledging the good.

Say what you want, you will always find that which you seek. I have no problem finding powerful revelations in sermons of controversial preachers, life lessons in TV shows, or genuine advice in Eminem’s crazy lyrics:

“So this is for every kid who all’s they ever did was dreamt that one day just getting accepted, I represent him or her, anyone similar, you are the reason that I made this song, Everything you’re scared to say don’t be afraid to say no more…”

~Guts over Fear

James 1:17 says, “Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights…” (KJV)

A person doesn’t have to belong to the same religion as you do, for you to value them. They don’t have to believe what you believe for you to respect them. You don’t have to agree on everything with a person to just be able to love them. And as a couple of my favorite teachers teach: “Achieving greatness in the kingdom is impossible without recognizing greatness in another.” (Bill Johnson) & “You only have as much influence in someone’s life as they have value for you.” (Kris Vallotton)

All that to say, the following are little slivers from sermons I listened to this week. Allow me to share these nuggets of truth with you:

David Wilkerson-

“You don’t get to know God’s heart through miracles…”

-The Israelite people saw miracles in front of their eyes, yet they ended up wandering that blasted desert for 40 years due to their unbelief. I’ve seen people chase miracles (even I was tempted to do so) plenty of times in hopes of getting to know God more.

“You get to know God when He meets you in your trial…”

Pastor Furtick-

“Some of the greatest invitations in our lives come in the form of interruptions…”

– Furtick talked about the virgin Mary in this sermon. One of the coolest thoughts was that while Mary was planning a wedding, God interrupted her with a pregnancy. That interruption had a much greater result than a perfect wedding ever could.

“Plan for imperfection.”

“If you don’t learn how to celebrate your strengths, you can’t address your weaknesses.”

“Jacob pretended to be somebody else (Esau), so he could have what another had…”

– Jacob tried to trick his father by pretending to be his bro so he could have the blessing that his bro was meant to have. Not being true to ourselves blinds us from seeing what is meant for us to have.

“What I hide, God cannot heal.”

“The places of your greatest isolation, often become the places of your greatest revelation.”

-The loneliest times of my life have resulted in the coolest abstract paintings, heartfelt blog posts, songs, poems, etc.

“If  you will devote yourself to the issues within you, He’ll handle the issues around you.”

Papa God’s got it all yo. He’s got your back. And front. And insides. And so forth.

Don’t post THAT

We all love reading raw material. We love those who share their vulnerabilities. We admire those who pull skeletons out of their closets. Shoot, even the chewbacca lady became famous quick. She was willing to share her real and totally dorky moment of laughter with the world. Viral. She went viral. We admire confessions. We love testimonials.

I love my momma. I do. We’ve had an interesting relationship, but lately we’ve at least been getting along. We talked the other day and she advised me by saying, “Don’t post THAT.” See, she’s aware of me sharing my ED journey on my blog. She’s aware that I share honest moments of life online. When she thinks of the opinions others will have of her daughter, I’m sure she wants them to be good ones; and what could be so good about her daughter telling everyone of her life struggles? Perhaps it makes her not look as good of a parent… Perhaps she’s afraid someone will hurt me when I’ve already put myself in a position of vulnerability. Whatever the reason is, she doesn’t get excited when I share personal details of life struggles. Yet, boy do she and my grandma like when I share my victories, but again- not the struggles.

To put your story out there, whether on Facebook, IG, blogging, etc. takes balls. To share it with your coworker, friend, or brother, takes courage. It takes guts to be honest about what you’re going through. To let others in can be super scary. True, they can hurt you. They can laugh. They can make fun of you. However, there’s also the chance of giving someone else hope. When I was beginning my recovery from anorexia, I scoured the internet just to find someone who perhaps was going through the same thing as I, someone I could relate to. Sharing life experiences can be radically encouraging because whoever you’re talking/writing to might think- “Wow, they’re just like me. I’m glad I’m not the only one going through this.”

Maybe you’re thinking, “What do I have to share? I’m just a stay-at-home mom.” Or, “What I’m dealing with is not THAT bad. Things could be worse.” Another thought could be,“Nothing exciting is going on in my life.”  

Trust me, there’s stuff you have to share.

Look, you don’t have to be a blogger to share your story. Any part of it. It just takes guts. You’re brave. Share. Inspire. Talk. You’ll be amazed at what happens when you share exactly THAT thing!

A Change In Your Wind

Life can be so weird. You cannot deny the awkward phases of transition.

When you were a baby, you had a cute little set of baby teeth. As a kid they turned to scraggly ones, crookedly growing in. After you ripened, you got yourself somewhere between 28-32 nice (or sometimes not-so-nice) adult teeth.

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Or perhaps you got these. If you had to improvise with foil, trust me, I understand.

Let’s take another example: In the wintertime, you get fluffy, beautiful, sparkly, white stuff outside. (If you live in Utah anyway!) In the summertime, you get sunshine, warm beaches, and endless fun. Between those seasons we get spring. While there is a blooming side to it, there’s also the rainy and mucky part. There are days so gloomy you don’t know what the heck to do with yourself.

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What I would call Oregon weather.

One more: You’ve been in a certain environment physically, or have been spiritually ministering in a particular way, and you were so passionately doing what you were. Then faintly you begin tapping into a new idea of where God wants you and what He could be leading you into. So, you go through a time of just persevering. Your passion for your past phase is beginning to dwindle and yet, the time to move on has not totally come. You JUST hang in there, it’s all you can do since you’re not willing to stupidly jump the gun.

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At times we don’t even have a decent awareness of the exact change in our life seasons, things just seem so confusing and even hard. My most recent example of a mental transition has been going from excitedly talking to girls about eating disorders and recovery, to trying to figure out what motivates me next in life. (I do still want to be a therapist in an ED clinic, but ED’s are not all I think about now.) Maybe you’re a few degrees more stable in your passions than I! Within a few years I can jump from living in Africa, to blogging descriptive details of my ED journey, to happily going back to college full time. However, we all go through times of change. In fact, the only thing that is a constant in life IS change! Let me simply remind both you and I, that the end will be truly worth it and there will be sun. Which I love. But, moving on…

Better-Things-Ahead

the Jesus people.

“You’re free to be you,” the woman said.

“You’re adopted into our family.”

“God is Gouda, thank you Cheesus,” she laughed.

And quite frankly the man had correct discernment and enough courage to tell me, “You’ve got an eating disorder.”

The woman cut off my hair for me one night as it didn’t make me holier. A few months later she trusted me to do the same to hers.

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Jesus became my Rockstar (He is the Rock and the greatest Star! I was so excited about such a discovery!) and I was no longer scared to call God “Daddy” in place of “Heavenly Father.”  To love reading books outside of the Bible became a joy to me again and I was reunited with the little girl I once used to be.

They were not perfect, but Christ in them was. They valued me and honored me. For the first time in life I was accepted, just as I was.

You see, today I had quite the therapy session. Mostly we talked about my relationship/resentment towards my mother. My therapist asked me, “So, what is it that led you to finally start valuing yourself and stop letting yourself get manipulated?” I knew what it was. A family in Africa demonstrated real love to me and light was shed upon my heart. The time spent with them has forever changed me and now I see in a way I couldn’t see before. The therapist says, “You speak of them so differently. You get such a big smile on your face. How did they make you feel?” I replied, “Accepted.”

The mom wasn’t a neat-freak. The dad watched a lot of TV. The children ran around noisily. But at the end of the day, the woman put her boys to sleep and sang to them and the husband waited for his wife. And they freakin loved each other. (Hannah I hope you read that <——)

They were the closest thing to Jesus people I had ever met.

(& then there was a very fun girl, a faithful sister-listener, and a couple from England that loved on me. they all were shining Jesus too.)

A Plunge.

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Okay… Not that kind of Plunge. Please. Keep Reading.

You try something new. You branch out. You step out of your comfort parallelogram. You decide that it’s time for something new and big in your life. comfort-zone

You take the first few steps. The rest seems impossible. The ground below you is rocky and you stub a toe. The circumstances around you, the people, the time you’ve got left- all add to your frenzy.

 

Should I have done this? Maybe this journey is impossible for me… Sure, others have made it before me, but I won’t make it in time. 

A life goal. A dream. A journey of healing. Forgiveness. Life changes. A career. Marriage. Kids. Loans. Putting yourself out there. Creating music. Painting art. Traveling abroad. Living your whole life in your hometown. Adoption. A church ministry. ED recovery (That one’s for me.), whatever is on your living heart.

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Whatever you’ve decided to do, in hopes of getting to your goal, you’ve taken a step of faith. But you glance back. You get the thought: Perhaps it wasn’t so bad back there. Maybe life was not that bad when I was lonely, bitter, and at the mercy of others. The rocks under your feet are relentlessly reminding you that you’re already in a different place now and there’s no going back! Your goal seems distant and you taste the dust. You wonder if the journey will be worth it. With what you see going on around you- the chaos, the noise, you can only hope and trust.

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The Israelite Fam stepped onto a rocky path once, unpaved. Behind them was death, before them was life. On the sides the waters piled high. Maybe at least one of them had the thought, “All of this can just collapse on me and for my efforts I’ll be screwed.” But God was unyielding. He got them through. The barbaric walls that reached toward the sky loomed in their eyes, but never came crashing down. They had to trust their Heavenly Papa. They had to trust that if He told them to drive on Sea-Bottom Avenue, He was going to take care of his babies.

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With whatever you’ve decided to do, or perhaps are simply debating on doing, something that will bring life and a better future for you- trust your Dad in. He can teleport you, run across the waves holding your hand, or He can simply teach you how to swim. Those who stood against you, maybe even laughed, picked on you, or tell you to stop- they get pummeled in the end. And you? You’re standing on fresh ground. You’ve crossed to the other side. It’s sunny here. It’s warm. You think it to be nice. You did it. It’s done.sunshine1

“Spirit Wars”

I love Bethel everything! My favorite teachers stem from there, at this point of my life anyway. Lately, I’ve been reading Kris Vallotton’s stuff & most recently I read his book “Spirit Wars.” I typically don’t buy things online besides college textbooks, but I did buy this book from their online shop! (https://shop.ibethel.org/)

My review?  I’d give it 5 stars if I hadn’t already read parts of it before, but since I have, for me it was a 4. Vallotton shares his experiences with the spiritual realm & addresses the unseen without the sometimes fanatic deliverance teachings. Below, one of my favorite quotes:

“Just as enemies fought Joshua in the Promised Land, and Nehemiah faced opposition as he rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, our enemy will fight us as we approach the spiritual terrain God has promised us.”

I love that! So when you’re thinking, “Why the crap is this battle sooo hard for me to overcome?!” Remember, there’s a reason why there’s such a hard fight there for you! Something seriously good is supposed to come out of it & the enemy will be put to shame. He knows it! Fight on!

A few other quotes I really liked:

1. In Romans 7, Paul “is recounting the terrible sense of bondage he experienced when he lived under a set of rules, but never knew his lover.”

  • Ah, but life in Christ is so good when you finally know Him as such. ❤

2. “Denial is the root of fear. Not the root of faith.”

3. “The battle they (you) are facing is not a sign from God that they have chosen the wrong path, but rather an indication that they have begun the process of restoring the walls and gates of their lives.” (After he talks about Nehemiah helping restore Jerusalem.)

4. OOOH I love this one: “GIRD YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH. [What the heck does that mean?!] : Every Roman soldier wore a wide, sturdy belt that he put on before any of his other armor. The belt supported his abdominal muscles & helped protect his midsection. — Spiritual ramifications: The word for truth in this passage does not refer to the Bible, although the essence of all truth is the Word of God. The word “truth” means REAL. Many people hide behind a facade, never really allowing others to get to know them… Paul therefore exhorts us to be honest, live with integrity & be real w/God and w/people He has placed in our lives. Dishonesty is an open door that will wreak havoc in our lives, especially during any kind of enemy siege.”

Isn’t that an amazingly new perspective? I always thought you’ll be safe if you’re “reading” the Bible. I didn’t realize living honestly was what this could imply.

5. “There are more people who need to get delivered from the trauma of their last deliverance than there are people who actually get delivered from demons.”

6. “The goal of any gift of the Spirit is to build trust & help people grow in God. No gift of the Spirit should be used to destroy people’s reputations, kill their passion for God or steal their identity.” (Personally, that’s one I want to remember!)

7. & Last one: “If people really knew how much the Father loved them, and if they received His love in the depths of their souls, they would never allow themselves to be oppressed or tormented in any way.”