EMBRACING THE LIFE YOU NEVER WANTED

EMBRACING THE LIFE YOU NEVER WANTED

life has a nasty habit of socking you in the mouth just when you’ve managed to get back up from the last time you fell on your face. or is that just me?

didn’t think so.

oh, sweet souls… life is hard, right? well, today, in the midst of a 30+ minute car ride, during which we had to pull over and pop some pills so I wouldn’t vomit up the small amount of food I’d managed to pack away, I had a revelation.

the past few days, which were supposed to be a vacation, have instead been full of sickness and emergency rooms. for the past three years, it’s felt like crap has rained down on us and broken us every time we thought we would catch our breath. and here’s the first part of my revelation:

you can’t wait for it to stop. you can’t even expect it to stop. 

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because, while it may sound depressing, the truth is that this world is desperately broken. the truth is that this world will take and take and take; it will break you into pieces, and, if you are looking for it, light will shine through those pieces and that light will be relief to your soul.  Continue reading “EMBRACING THE LIFE YOU NEVER WANTED”

CHILDLIKE FAITH? IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK. REALLY.

BABES.

are you ready to talk about another one of those misused christian-ese phrases? the one I’ve got for you today is one that has blown my mind since I’ve stopped to think about what it actually means, underneath all of the perceived uses and baggage it perhaps carries. and now that I’ve soaked in all the goodness it actually holds, I’m juuuust a little obsessed with it.

sometimes we get it wrong. all of us. the problem comes when we take what we got wrong and use it to teach others. that’s what I believe happened with this really incredible teaching of Jesus.

if you’ve grown up or been around fundamentalist or evangelical circles for much of your life, you’ve probably heard the term “faith like a child” or “childlike faith” tossed around pretty frequently.

here’s where it comes from, in case you weren’t sure:

about that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn [change] and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. so anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. and anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.
//matthew 18:1-5//

Jesus is all about living life like. a. child.

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this is often taken and only half of the meaning is used. little once are so full of dependence. they’re so completely in love with their parent, often mimicking every move and following every step.

but here’s the other thing…

if you’ve ever been around a toddler, you’ll know this: they ask all the questions. Continue reading “CHILDLIKE FAITH? IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK. REALLY.”

10 (MORE) NOT SO TINY TRUTHS

a long time ago, I wrote a blog post called “10 not so tiny truths”, and it is still one of my favorites. it’s chalk-full of small, easy-to-remember truths for the days where you just can’t, you know?

well a lot of you really seemed to find a sense of solidarity and hope in that post, and today when I woke up totally askew & feeling all off, I realized it might be time to not just remind myself of those sweet old truths, but bring to light some new ones that I want to always remember. 

to read the previous list of ten not so tiny truths, all you have to do is click here.


here are TEN (MORE) NOT SO TINY TRUTHS:

1) there is enough grace (or forgiveness, or hope, or love, or _______) for all of us, and you don’t have to fear it running out.

2) it’s okay to stop watering the dead things.

3) you have been called “good & blessed”.

4) Jesus doesn’t regret saving you.

5) if you feel abandoned by churches or spirituality or religion or just love in general, remember… God seeks what has been driven away. 

6) you are allowed to change.

7) truth often divides before it binds.

8) nothing is ever wasted on Jesus.

9) just because you are soft does not mean you are not a force- honey and wildfire are both the color of gold. // Victoria Erickson

10) mercy triumphs over judgement.

tuck these small & powerful truths into your heart. save the link. share the post. copy them into your journal. write them in sharpie on your arms. you do you, sister. 

but remember them well, and recall them when you are floundering in doubt, in fear, in shame, in loneliness, in insecurity, in forgetfulness, in depression, in the in-between.

remember them always, and repeat them to your heart and to the hearts of your sisters and brothers. breathe fresh air into these truths as you turn them over and over and manifest them in your life. 

I’ll be here with you… repeating, ruminating, manifesting.

xoxo

LET THE WEAK SAY “I AM A WARRIOR”

I never really thought of myself as a strong woman.

I realize that goes against so much of what I try to live and say and evoke in others here on the blog, but that’s just how it is. for years, I carried the word “fragile” like a brand- a word that had been jammed into my heart by careless conversation and accidental judgement from those close to me. “yup. fragile. it’s all I am, all I could ever hope to be… just fragile.” my inner dialogue was so abusive!

to this day, being called fragile is a trigger which, while I rarely run into, I continuously have to work through and release because I now recognize it does not belong to me or in me.

I stumbled across the most beautiful portion of scripture yesterday as I was doing some Pinterest research (it is too totally a thing) for something completely unrelated, and I was so enamored that I immediately had to go pull out my Bible and read the full passage to soak in all its goodness. it struck me because it spoke to the fragility we’re afraid lives in us, to the fear of our own perceived weakness, to the bold voice and unapproachable courage we are convinced will never be ours…

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you’ve got to hear this, friend.

“beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, “I am a warrior.” …bring down your warriors, O Lord.”
// Joel 3:10&11 //
Continue reading “LET THE WEAK SAY “I AM A WARRIOR””

brutal, belabored BECOMING

I love long chats that have unexpected twists and turns. I love iced tea in the summer heat and the bitter-sweetness of lasts. I love gentle and deep questioning and becoming and adventures of the soul with a similar heart. I love those well-spoken and perfectly-chosen words that soak deep and fast into my spongy heart. I love that I got to drink all of this in this afternoon with a lady who is quickly becoming a fast friend.

here’s the battle, friends:

what happens when you no longer feel able to participate in and subscribe to the things you once did?

when you break out on your own, trek into new spaces, discover the old and glorious truths that never made sense before?

when you unveil the new breath in your lungs to a world not ready for the shining brilliance on your face- like Moses’ face when he came down from the presence of the Lord?

when you are in the constant state of brutal, belabored BECOMING… the place where you are discovering the true design created in you and beginning to feel out this new skin that fits better, gentler, less constricting?

when you finally feel like you belong inside yourself… and suddenly feel like you belong nowhere else?

when you don’t understand how they don’t understand because the revelation and truth is so deeply ingrained in your very soul?

this is for you, sweet soul. I am for you. He is for you.

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in this sweet and soaring transitioning that is allowing you freedom in grace, freedom in personality, freedom to be who you were designed to be without the bondage of self-judgement and condemnation.

this is such a beautiful space- one I’m sitting in. one I’m breathing into. one I’m living and working and learning in.

because your right and your must-do as a child of God is to walk faithfully in who you are called to be… in your own unique design. in your own perfect origin which He so diligently delights in. anything less than living as your full self, in all that you are uniquely and personally crafted to be under His blood, is fake and fraudulent and works-righteousness and an embarrassment of graceContinue reading “brutal, belabored BECOMING”

Namaste.

mmmmm. this word, you guys.

for those of you who don’t practice yoga, you may be surprised at how downright biblical this word gets. 😉 if I’m being honest, at the core, that’s why I love Holy Yoga so much… the parallels in yoga to so many of the truths in Scripture are startling and eye-opening. “Namaste” is one of those.

I remember in 2011 when I went to India for a missions trip, we would often greet the native people in return with the response of “namaste” or “namaskar”. it’s a common Indian greeting which carries significant spiritual and cultural weight. it isn’t just the word either, it’s nearly always accompanied by the pressing together of one’s hands over one’s heart, and bowing forward gently.

it’s also a word and gesture that in western cultures has been contorted, or is just said by heated yoga-practicing white girls because that’s what their teacher concludes class with. (sorry.) if we’re honest, most of us (even some of us who do practice yoga) don’t know what this word means.

online Yoga Journal defines it this way: “The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us… The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another.

so here’s the thing. while, as Jesus followers, we certainly don’t believe that we ourselves are divine, we do believe that we are made in the image of God, or in other words, carry the signature of the One true Divine in the very core of who we are as humanity. this is why tragedy is tragic. this is why loss of life is so terrifying. (more on that here.)

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how often do we forget this? how often do we allow careless words and judgement to come between us and others, forgetting Jesus’ words that “whatever you do for them, you do for me.” (paraphrased) how often do we treat our fellow humanity like nuisances to be ignored or creatures to be judged?

how often would we do this if we truly remembered that they are Image-bearers? how often would we sin against one another if we constantly acknowledged the Divine spark, the Image of God in the faces of those we interact with?

Namaste is our reminder that we have all been created in His image, that we are all walking resemblances of our Creator, however tainted and torn it has become. Namaste is the word that brings us back to the basic belief that God so loved the world… and that we are called to do the same. Namaste is the gesture that nudges us to make ourselves low, to humble ourselves because we all bear the same image, and none of us is better than another.

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So when your next class ends, and the teacher bows her gentle “Namaste”, look around you and soak in His image. look around you and walk in love towards humanity. look around you and be gentle in love and firm in truth and bold in your very soul because you bear the image of the Divine.

ten (not so) tiny truths

Sometimes the days grow really hard, and we just need a little encouragement to make it through the week, the day, the hour… 💜

here are a few things to remember today, hurting friend…

tiny truths

1.) a burden is something you carry, not something you are.

2.) grace is greater. than effing everything.

3.) you are not what has happened to you. you are not the tragedy that has been inflicted upon you.

4.) it’s good to mourn the losses. even if they’re “small“.

5.) to need help, support, and love is not something to be ashamed of. It is to be human. even Jesus needed help carrying His cross

6.) a cozy blanket, a close friend, and a cup of your favorite drink will go a long way in your journey towards healing.

7.) the cracks are where the light shines through. Don’t waste time hating your scars.

8.) pray with tears instead of words. They are understood just as well.

9.) you have been made worthy of love. and you are loved. 

10.) you aren’t being buried; you’re being planted. you’re going to grow, sprouting and lovely from this dirt.

hang in there, sweet soul. ❤

5 truths for when life doesn’t look like you hoped it would

we’ve all been there.

I am there, guys.

life does not look like I’ve always hoped. the life I have is not the one I asked for. this life is so much harder than the one I wanted.

it requires buckets of faith & enough perseverance to scale dozens of mountains. it’s forced me to mourn the loss of dreams and the loss of friendships and the loss of things that turned out to be false.

life is hard, you guys, and the desert is dry.

but (I love that word sometimes!) God is still GOOD!!

here are some truths to keep you afloat if you’re floundering soaked through this rough sea with me.

5 truths

  1. He has made everything beautiful in its time… // Ecclesiastes 3:11 //
    considering the context of this verse finds a young Solomon who has seen just how crappy life can be, has declared just about everything in life meaningless, and concluded that the only thing that matters is God & spending eternity with Him, I’d say he pretty much gets the feeling of “this is not what I hoped it would be!“. he totally gets that, and still he knows that God is in the business of making things beautiful. here’s the key, though… it’s in His time. God doesn’t play by our rules or conform to the equations we create. it’s His will, His plan, His sovereignty, and His time in which the things become beautiful… but that time is coming for sure!
  2. the LORD longs to be gracious to you. therefore He will rise up to show you compassion. // Isaiah 30:18 //
    I love love love this. so much. the idea that anyone at all would long for me… let alone the God of the universe!!… brings me wild joy. plus, the fact that He not only longs for me, but that He actually acts on it and rises up to show compassion is a really big deal. how often have people promised and not come through? how often have you been betrayed when something was said, but never fulfilled. when someone said they longed for you, but then showed the opposite, trueness of their heart. it hurts. we can know that our God will always act on what He says. He will always rise up to show us compassion, even if no one else will.
  3. I believe my Redeemer lives, and in the end He will stand upon the earth. // Job 19:25 //
    I think it’s super helpful to speak truth over your life, and this is one of the most powerful ones there is: He is alive! and He’s coming back for us! no matter how miserable or painful this life gets, we can know in the deepest places of ourselves that He will once again stand upon the earth… and that time, we’ll get to go home. no more tears. no more pain. just home with Jesus forever. ❤ what a promise.
  4. …those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. // Psalm 34:10 //
    this one can be a tough one to swallow sometimes… “what do you mean I have every good thing! I just lost a beautiful friendship! I’m going through a divorce! The dreams I’ve held onto my whole life have all fallen through!“. but His word is always, always true, and this is no exception!! the heart of this verse is this: He is the only good thing. if we have Him, we have it all. if we have Christ, we are complete, made whole, and filled! it’s hard to truly believe when we’re gasping breathless in a wave of trauma or fear, but it is true, nonetheless.
  5. But the LORD is with me like a mighty warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; they will not overcome me. // Jeremiah 20:11 //
    Jeremiah was pretty much alone. like many of the prophets, his message wasn’t exactly one that people wanted to hear, and so they did what people have done since the beginning of time: walked out on other people when things got tough or they got hurt. and that sucks. big time. but I love Jeremiah’s response. after a lot of being really disappointed and vocal about how upset he was (he was human, guys), he turned to God and remembered that He is for us. that He is with us. not only that, but He is a mighty warrior. how awesome does that feel to know that when we walk with the Lord, He defends us like a mighty warrior?! that His plan for our lives is a plan where He is walking, defending, and fighting for us!!

don’t stop speaking truth over your life friends.

the desert ends.

I am choosing to believe this in a desert of my own.

walk with me.
choose hope.

I wrote a post about Planned Parenthood, and it didn’t go as planned.

this post was supposed to have a different point.

I was going to talk about how despite what society tells us, the majority of women actually regret having abortions, that Planned Parenthood is ignoring the obvious fact that to voluntarily empty one’s womb of precious life and choose your comfort over another’s life has lasting emotional effects that are deeply negative and resounding.

but when I went to do my research and fact check… I was wrong.

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in 2000, I wouldn’t have been.
in 2000, most women did regret their abortions, but their cries for their dead children were silenced by the greedy hands that crave money over all else, and their voices were lost in the clamor of media pointing us to the latest celebrity scandal, or political agenda.

so now?
now, I’m wrong. in 2015, fewer than 10% of women claim to regret their abortions.

and you know what?
that breaks my heart even more.

sweet church, look at your world.
things are different now.  Continue reading “I wrote a post about Planned Parenthood, and it didn’t go as planned.”

the friday five | 5 ways christians should NOT respond to the supreme court marriage ruling

it’s official, ladies and gents.
what some of you have wished for and others of you have prayed against has happened.

same-sex marriage has been declared by the supreme court to be a fundamental right in the united states.

already I’ve seen both parties taking to facebook and instagram in displays of joy or worried-ness or relief or fury.

and already I’m seeing my fellow brothers and sisters do what they seem to do best in the world lately.

judge.

now I’m with you guys.
I define marriage the same way you do, brothers and sisters.
I’m married to the most splendid man in the world
and I believe it’s holy and lovely because of how God defines it.
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I believe that the Bible is always right.
I believe that God is always good.

but I think that in going on our little Christian soapbox, we’re leaving out a bunch of the Bible in pursuit of being right.

before you respond to this ruling publicly, before you unfollow your gay facebook friends, before you share a bunch of angry articles or take to the streets in protest, before you do something unwise… read this.

5 ways you should NOT respond to the supreme court marriage ruling
and yeah… I’ve seen ’em all. Continue reading “the friday five | 5 ways christians should NOT respond to the supreme court marriage ruling”