Tag Archives: christ

I’m Coming Out

I’ve been writing forever.  I remember deciding in 5th grade that it was my favorite thing EVER.  Somehow, words that can’t make it to my vocal chords are able to appear on paper (well, these days, posts and blogs).  This particular blog has been put on hold for a long time – due to working full time, taking care of my sick husband and now, completely unknown territory as a widowed mother of our two kiddos.  So, I’m coming out.

I’m coming out as that new widow.  A young widow.  An inexperienced widow not sure how to move on into a world without my life partner by my side.  A scared widow terrified of being solely responsible for raising our children, especially our 11 year old daughter.  A widow wanting to keep my husband’s life and legacy alive but unable to embrace his death.

I’m coming out with controversial ideas about God, His Son and our purpose in His Spirit.  Ideas that will surprise some and appall others.  My thoughts on scripture have definitely shifted and grown throughout my marriage, motherhood, relationships and life changes.  Life-altering changes.

I’m coming out as an aspiring writer and speaker.  I have a story to tell and I believe you want to hear it.  My hope is that you will want to share my story, fulfilling my intended purpose.  We all have a story.If-you-wish-to-be__quotes-by-Epictetus-94

I ask for your patience with my outdated website as I work on getting my crap together.  The only other writing I’ve been doing has been regarding our upside-down life these last couple of years which you can find here.  I will work on transferring all of that content to this website, removing irrelevant posts and creating an easy-to-navigate blog experience for you.

You have told me to write, and so I shall. 🙂

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Made to Crave: Replacing My Cravings

Day 3 of the Very Low Calorie Diet. hCG. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, aka The Pregnancy Hormone. (If you’re reading this and wonder what on earth I’m talking about, please feel free to use google.)

I woke up one morning last week and decided “today is the day”. My bff had been talking about her latest round with hCG, and apparently it stuck in my mind. For the past 6 months or so, I’ve been eating as a reaction to life. I never understood ’emotional eating’ until I began emotionally eating. It’s been a rough year. I’ve had to give complete control of a situation to God and that has not been simply done. I discovered the morning last week that it had not been done at all.

I woke up and told myself “today is the day”. Actually, a voice inside of me told me. I don’t think it was my voice. You know the one – “Why bother? You’re a crappy mom. You’re fatter than you’ve ever been. Do you *see* your chins? Your hair is nasty. Those zits are disgusting. You’re a shitty friend. You don’t have any friends. Because you’re a **really** shitty friend. Look how hard your husband works. What if something happens to him? Your kids will be screwed if they’re left with only you. You really think you can keep a business running like he can? You forget everything. It’s no wonder no one wants to hang out with you. You’re lazy. You suck.” – you know, **that** voice.

“Today is the day.” It was the day to start getting my body back in working order. It was the day to stop feeding my face for the sake of celebration, the sake of loneliness, the sake of no-one-cares-anyway. It was the day to properly honor this temple that God has entrusted to me. It was the day to stop teaching my kids by example how to run their body into the ground. It was the day to pray.

Yep, pray. Overlapping all of these other things this day was about, PRAYER umbrellaed every single one. Two thoughts were happening simultaneously. PRAYstopfeedingfaceER. PRAYhonorGodER. PRAYstopleadingbybadexampleER. Prayer was the meaning of today. More on that later…

My answers to chapter 2 of Made to Crave, by Lysa TerKeurst:

1. The resounding fact that I have no control over my children. Oh, I can discipline, attempt to teach lessons, prepare them for adulthood, encourage them, love them and lead them in the ways of Christ. But I cannot control their thoughts, their actions, their relationship with people and God. We’ve had a tough year with our 15 year-old son and instead of reaching to God, depending on God, trusting God, I chose to control what our son does, who he talks to, what activities he can or cannot be a part of, and even went so far as to control the words that come out of his mouth and the thoughts that he is or is not allowed to think. Oh yes, I’m the parent and being responsible for my child is my job. HOWEVER. In all of this, I can only think of two times that I even consulted God as to what to do. In fact, the two times I did cry out to Him all I did was cry. A lot. I cried because I’m scared for my son. I bellowed because it hurts to see your child hurt. I bawled because everything I have done to ‘train him up in the way he should go (Proverbs 22:6)’ ended up turning to crap. I yelled because I was mad at God. I was disappointed in my son. I was fearful for the example he was to our younger daughter. I was disgusted by my son’s actions, thoughts, words and plain ol’ indifference to life in general. So I cried. And cried. And probably went into the fetal position with my helplessness and overall fear. My. Son. Is. Not. Perfect. I obviously failed as a mother, so I guess I’ll go eat worms. Only in this case the worms were cake and cookies and chocolate and pastries in outlandish amounts and all of the time.

2. My need to draw closer to God.

3. I would have received God’s guidance instead of getting fat(ter).

4. I used this ‘method’ about 14 years ago and lost 40 lbs. And kept off the weight, worked out and cared about what I put in my body. For 6 years. Even to the point that I was diligent in not gaining unnecessary weight when I was pregnant with my daughter. I have never gotten back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I have still cared about food. Working out? No. I’ve totally not cared about that. But this past year, I have consciously, callously destroyed God’s plan for honoring Him with this temple He houses my soul in.

5. Moderate but longer-term approach. Although Phase 2 of the hCG diet is a rapid weight loss phase, there is a lot more to follow through with. One craving at a time – Hope, Trust, Need, Comfort, Growth, Communion, Desire, Truth.

Kind of a modge-podge of things in this blog, but if you stay with me, I will catch you up as I continue with this book.

To Have and To Hold

 there was a woman… 

 

She was married to a wonderful man and had a handsome son and two beautiful daughters.  The man was a hard worker and an even harder working full-time college student.  The 3 children were all in elementary school and loved their parents very much.  The woman kept diligent watch over her children and took  marvelous care of her husband, supporting him in his work, his schooling and his dream;  his dream to become a minister.

One day, the woman and the man engaged in a heated argument.  An argument that, 15 years later, they no longer recall.  This argument lead to hurt feelings, broken hearts and foolish choices.  Choices that devoured the rest of their lives.  Apparently, the man was not always kind and was prone to angry fits – fits that left the woman feeling tiny and worthless.  His frustration,although justified, was out of control and violently expressed.  Over the course of marriage she had forgotten that her worth was in Christ, not in her husband’s treatment of her.  The man had forgotten his first love, Christ, and in defense of his family responsibility, loved himself more.  He made himself feel big by making his wife feel small.  The woman had enough.

Other men made her feel appreciated, important, attractive and one-of-a-kind.  A job made her feel worthy, necessary and valued.  Spending less time with her children gave her a sense of freedom – freedom she had never experienced before.  She liked feeling free.  She enjoyed doing whatever she pleased.  Earning her own money gave her satisfaction.

Eventually, she found the real love of her life.  She had a child with her love – glorying in the stark difference between him and her previous children.  The woman lost weight, colored her hair and let her ex-husband move their children across the country.  Now THIS was the life God intended for her!  Finally!  After so many years of wasted time, wasted love and wasted energy, she was finally where she belonged…

Until she wasn’t.  Again, she had married the wrong man.  She had lost so many more years to someone who treated her like crap – just different crap than before.  Surely if she moved on to this other guy…oh, that wasn’t it either.  Three marriages and three divorces later, she still has no idea of who she is or who she’s supposed to be.  But each time she moved on, she was certain it was God’s plan.

Or was it her plan, wrapped in god wrapping paper?

How many times do we use God’s written word to justify the means to an end?  Looking up verses that “speak” to us, “calm” us or even “prove” His will for us?  How can God be telling us we’re on the right track if we’re blatantly moving against His guidance?  How can we be sure it’s God telling us to divorce our husband when we’re already involved in another relationship with another man?  (Oh yes, this the woman did also.)  How can we know?  Where are we getting our advice?  From friends who have made the same stupid choices, or from those who have suffered through and come out on the other side?  Does God give us permission to right a wrong by doing another wrong ourselves?  Or does He expect us to keep our promise

To have and to hold,
From this day forward,
For better, for worse,
For richer, for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
To love and to cherish,
‘Till death do us part.

 What do you think?  Leave me your comments below.

String Theory Done My Way

K, so I’m obsessed with God being above, around and outside of time.  I love it when people shake their heads as though God could not possibly anticipate our next move, much less the rest of our earthly lives.  I always play this little game in my head (read on carefully, you’re about to peek into Michelle Strange-o Land) where I imagine how it would feel to be able to foretell my life, and all of the people who will cross into it or already have.  Case in point:

I just found out that (follow closely) one of my closest friend’s little brother married a girl who’s mom and brother I remember fondly from my childhood church family in El Paso.  Here’s the kicker – I didn’t meet said close friend until I moved to Wyoming in Jr High.  Our family had long lost touch with the recent bride’s family.  Via facebook, the dots were connected and I was able to peg her mom as Lynda Figueroa, the mom who lived across the street from the church in El Paso TX, whose toddler son we adored.  Here, now, is what goes through my mind as I think about how past connects to future, and how God knows it all along.

“26 years from now, this woman will have a child who will marry my friend’s brother whom I haven’t even met yet”

“7 years from now, I will have this man’s child” (referring to Jeremy and I knowing each other in high school)

“16 years from now, I will be blessed to call this overly-hyper-woman-who-my-little-sister-loves-but-drives-me-up-a-wall Friend” (Branda)

“16 years from now, I will have loved and cherished this girl as my best friend, who I’m standing in the registrar line with on the first day of college, from this point on” (Shell)

“4 years from now, this childhood friend that I just reconnected with will show up on my doorstep while at college, looking for a place to live” (Barbie)

“8 days from now will be the last time I see Dad” (morning before I heard about Dad’s heartattack)

“6 years from now, my friend’s mom will be one of the most important people in my life.” (Lisa, Rhonda)

“17 years from now, Lisa’s mom will die suddenly; my heart will be left with a raw, gaping hole”  (Rhonda)

“10 years from now, this nerdy football player and his wife and kids will be so special and precious to us as a family” (Eric & Gini) *i hate both words – special & precious – but dangit, sometimes they just fit*

“10 years from now, this man will speak with my dad about Christ as he lay on his deathbed”  (Roger Gribble)

“8 years from now, this man will almost kill us while driving through Chihuahua, Mexico.  If he doesn’t, it will be the raucous voice of Rush Limbaugh coming through the crappy AM car stereo”  (Bill Baker)

“3 years from now, my dear friend will leave me and never really return”  (Tamara Seal)

“20 years from now, I won’t know how to live without this stuck-up, obnoxious, blonde, power-hungry brat.”  (Tammy)

Oh yes, and her little brother will marry a girl who’s mom lived across the street from my childhood church…

Such a beautiful morning

I went into Caedmon’s room early this morning to borrow her comb and spray bottle. She was sleeping, and my attempts at being quiet of course made more noise than necessary. She awoke, but the most amazing thing happened. Not only did she wake up, but when I looked at her, she had a giant smile on her beautiful face. It was a smile that lit up her eyes and lifted my spirit. There was no apparent reason for her joyful countenance, but it touched my heart in a way I haven’t felt in a while. Immediately, her pearly white beam said to me, “Another day! How exciting! I can’t wait!”.

I don’t know about you, but I can assume the vast majority of us do not start our days with that kind of enthusiasm! For the past few months, not only have I not looked forward to the start of a new day, but I have dreaded each start, afraid to feel only anxiety and loss and sadness. I have very reluctantly dragged my broken spirit through every roller coaster of a day; either not feeling at all, or feeling so much I can’t concentrate or even breathe; fighting every invasive thought that enters my confused and angry mind.

Many years ago, long before it had a name, I began ‘cutting’ myself. I would carve tiny incisions into my wrist, just to feel something – to let myself know I wasn’t completely dead inside. For a few days this past month, I wanted so badly to cut myself again, this time engraving words of hate and anger and disgust. Loathe. Hate. Sick. Fear. Hell. Gone. Void. Dead. Fall. Fail. I could envision myself doing it. I contemplated how to go about hiding it from my husband. I imagined what a release it would be to experience the knife in my skin again, shredding away the unwelcome thoughts that trespassed.

A friend of mine reminded me that lamentation is one of many parts of worship. Another friend brought me back to Job, showing me where Job’s relationship with God was purely hearsay before God allowed Satan to destroy everything that was his life, less his beating heart. Job did not truly appreciate the awesomeness of God before he suffered through every adversity imaginable. He learned through writhing pain that because it was from God, it was good and flowing with purpose.

I am struggling without Rhonda. I miss her so much, I think I actually feel my heart ache. Jeremy and I felt so abandoned when we couldn’t be a part of her funeral. Now, it seems Papa Boyd is doing all he knows how to include us. Because of this, we are spending quite a bit of time with him. Wonderful? Yes. Without pain and agony? No. But, we are so grateful for the time he is giving us. Life is just different without Rhonda – she was such a moving force in our lives.

This summer, my family and I have undergone some fairly intense crap. My mother-in-law’s husband of 10+ years somehow decided he was going to come to my house to sleep with me. Ewww. We then found out he had actually invited me via note (which I did not read) to come to his house while Barbara was out of town, and had been planning his visit to my house for quite some time. Needless to say, my kids were crushed, as they loved their papa. That has been the most painful part of this entire drama. That he would do something so stupid, only to risk his relationship with his grandkids he adored? My mother-in-law left him, and is now divorcing him. He is no longer part of our lives, as Jeremy put a stop to that as soon as I told him what happened. Unfortunately, just because he’s not a physical presence, he is the elephant in the room. The kids don’t know exactly what happened, only that it was wrong and we are protecting them. I can still feel him kissing me, touching my shoulder, hugging me, stroking my face…yuck, yuck, yuck.

Life is full of pain. Full of heartache. Full of problems. Trouble. Affliction. Irritation. Torture. Agony. Sin. Only through all of this do we see the beauty of what Christ did for us on the cross of Calvary. The magnificence of His sacrifice on behalf of His creation who sinned against Him. The brilliance of God’s plan to save our souls through Love, not law. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians how important suffering is to our relationship with Christ. Because we suffer, we understand Christ’s suffering. Because we fall, we appreciate the blood that flowed from His sinless veins. Because we hurt, we reach out to those who are hurting, expressing Christ’s love for them through His death. And, as I am going to get tattooed on my hand as a constant reminder, it is the ‘but nots’ of life that give us hope in Jesus :

2 Corinthians 4:8-10

We are hard pressed on every side, BUT NOT crushed;

perplexed, BUT NOT in despair; persecuted, BUT NOT abandoned;

struck down, BUT NOT destroyed.

We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus,

so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

(part 3of3) wake up maggie, i think i’ve got something to say…

He has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Hebrews 1:2b-3)

Did you catch that? The whole, “through whom he made the universe” thing? Ummmmmm, I did not know that. I had no idea that Christ has just always been, and that God CREATED THE UNIVERSE THROUGH CHRIST. That Christ is the EXACT REPRESENTATION of God, that Christ SUSTAINS ALL BY HIS WORD. Okay, so I know about the whole trinity thing. I get how they are the “3 in 1”. But I had no idea that Christ is God.

Parts 1 and 2 of this blog were mighty blessings for me. It finally sunk in that no matter what happens in my life, that it is happening not only through Christ, but that He who died for me ordained such. Yeah, I know, we have free will, free choice, our own minds, etc, etc. I believe we have free will within the confines of God’s directions. I will get to point B from point A, and there are many different ways to arrive at the finish line. So, yeah, I have the choice of how to get there, but God has already written the days of my life. And yes, He knows (He is God, hello) which direction I will take. Even though He provides a myriad of choice.

There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny[d]? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

31So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:26b-30)

K, so here’s the part that gives me goosebumps…I am hidden in Christ. Have you ever thought about what that means? It reminds me of Jews hiding their wives and children from the nazis (not a proper noun – a sick group of human beings), to protect them from being taken and tortured and killed in the gas chambers. Christ hides me in HIM. Not only am I protected by Him, but everything that’s coming at me? The nazis of my life? My stepmother? My depression? My pride? My ignorance and unwillingness to submit? He sustains it all through His word. He has numbered the hairs on my head, for crying out loud! And guess what – that changes daily…if He cares enough to keep track of my follicles, don’t ya think He might have some say in how my life is lived? Heck yes, He does!

1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

4When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:3)

He is in control. My job is to pray, listen, trust and obey. Life is so much better when I’m not in charge…