Thursday, January 31, 2013

for when you've been slimed

I'm in the chair. The air smells funny. It smells like there's false friendliness underneath her pasted on smile.  I tell her what I'd like corrected from last week's appointment. She pauses, like a cat before the pounce, while staring at the reflection of me in the mirror in front of us. 

Then, her words slide off her tongue like butter, but underneath is something like a knife that gouges me in the spirit. I instantly feel it--that smell--the smell of being spoken to condescendingly. I feel it. This feeling like being pushed down on the playground or being told by your best friend to go to hell for no reason. 

In my spirit I cock my head to one side, and ask myself if she's just subtly punished me. Her words appear like light, but they are dark and they've cast a gray shadow over me. I'm embarrassed initially. Hurt and angry all at once for being there. But, I say nothing. She initiates chat about surface things while my spirit is feeling slimed and dragged in the mud and if it weren't for wanting things done right this time, I'd walk out. Now.

This is not a new experience for me. The experience of subtly being made to look like the bad guy for nothing I've done wrong. Slimers don't take the blame for their own wrongs. They attempt to throw them on you so maybe you'll carry them and they'll feel scott free. Repeatedly in the past few years I've needed to go to the light of Jesus' face so He can remove the slime--others' and mine. 

Going to Jesus' lit face is mostly not easy because my flesh wants to throw the slime back. I want to throw the slime back onto the slimer instead of bringing the filth to Jesus to wash off. Every fiber in my being wants to retaliate. To fight back. To demand justice.

It's times like this that I remember once again that Jesus is my Defender and Vindicator. He has a way of paying me back when wrongs are said and done to me. His in-the-light-way of living is what I want. Even over the momentary gladness of seeing the slimer squirm under any possible comeback I could come up with. I want the eternal reward. The invisible but very real reward of a clear conscience. Of a peaceful heart knowing I've followed his way and stayed in his Light. Even when it is hard.

1 John 1:7
but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

I'm linking up with others at Imperfect Prose on Thursdays
at This week's prompt is LIGHT. Join in!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

days where you need to dig deep

Today seems a bit dark. It feels like life is closing in with it's gray gnarled fingers and threatening to choke every last shred of joy and creativity out of me. On a day like today, it feels like I am a party of one. Maybe it's just lack of sleep.

It's on days (and nights) like I'm having recently that I need to dig deep into the well where my faith resides. Dig deep to find the gems hidden there that can breathe new life into my sagging mood and motivation. Sometimes even digging seems overwhelming. 

Today I am reminded how I need to lean, trust and rely on God. For everything. I've read that verse hundreds of times in my lifetime and I am tempted to gloss over the facts. 

This morning, feeling like I need to be in control over something that I am currently not able to control, this verse jumped out at me. So many times what I know to be true in my head after many years of following Jesus, hasn't made it's way down the several inches to my heart.

Today lean, trust and rely moved a couple more inches towards my heart. If I am leaning, trusting and relying on God to do things for me that I absolutely cannot do, what is there that I need to control? Nothing. Leaning, trusting and relying on Someone else must mean that I can be resting. What a novel idea that is. Rest.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (amplified Bible)

How about you? Do you ever feel like there are days when you need to remind yourself that Someone else in in charge?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Baby stepping to my God sized dream

Since 2006, my heart has been drawn to The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology.

I wrote a post recently about last year's application experience here, but let's just say that for this 40-something mom with a dream burning a hole in her pocket, applying to a grad school after being out of school since 1986 seemed like a long shot. Could I scribble well enough for the two essays? Curriculum vitae? What is that?

I see how God wants to make something beautiful out of all of of the negative experiences I've had throughout my lifetime.

I see His hand leading me towards this dream of helping others, especially women, to break free from their pasts. 

To break out of emotional bondage and defeated thinking. To be free to use their long-lost voices and be free to be themselves.

Last April, I was accepted into the Counseling Psychology program at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology.

A huge God sized dream come true for me!

With my husband and family's support, the only thing holding up the dream of actually attending is my husband finding an engineering job in the Seattle area. He has been looking for over a year. No leads yet, but I still have this feeling deep inside me that it will all work out. I sense we are just on the cusp of something really big.

With a bit of trepidation I write these words down. Kind of scary to actually type them because what if it doesn't come true? But, here goes.

I believe God is leading me to this program. I believe He wants me to step out into the next phase of my life's calling and passions and be a part of the Fall 2013 cohort at The Seattle School. In faith, we continue to wait on His timing for my husband's job. And I'm waving my 'Seattle School or Bust' flag from the middle of little old Iowa!

{An update to this post is that as of October 7, 2013, I'm still not there. But the dream still holds on!}


I am linking up with others sharing their God Sized Dreams at

Sunday, January 6, 2013

When you don't want to walk around the block in winter

This afternoon it's twenty one degrees in my neck of the the Iowa woods. There are still piles of snow left from our epic blizzard right before Christmas. Recent above freezing temps have formed ski slope-looking paths through the front bushes. As I think about how my waistband is experiencing post holiday tension, I think how badly I need to get out for a walk.

I am a fair weather walker which means when it's winter, I don't walk much outside. I force myself into my black bubble coat and pull on my gloves. I pull my red knitted scarf out of the basket and my college daughter laments, again, that the scarf is mine and not hers. I grab my black, fuzzy ear muffs out of the van. I'm not excited. I'm forcing myself on this walk in this twenty one degree winter-ness because of how I feel in my jeans and because of how I know I'll feel afterwards.

Lots of reasons to not walk cross my mind as I'm putting my second arm through the sleeve. It will probably be boring. I'll have to walk alone. I'll get cold. I might slip on an ice patch. I put on my coat anyway.

I discover that the sidewalk is mostly clear of ice and snow thanks to the excellent shoveling and snow blowing of my husband and neighbors. This is a good sign.

A few steps down and I see a snowman as tall as me in a neighbor's yard. He has crooked sticks for arms, but if he had a face, it has since fallen somewhere in the snow below his invisible feet.

I have to duck under a tree branch hanging over the sidewalk next. I notice big buds on the branch. Really? In January? New signs of spring in January. A gift.

Half way around the block and my fingers are getting cold through my gloves that are mostly warm enough for driving. I shove my hands in my pockets. I walk past the house where a couple, now divorced, used to live when they were active in our small group. They've been gone about seven years, but every time I walk past that house, it is their house and they still live there. Together.

Another snowman right before I turn another corner getting closer to home. This guy still has a face made of charcoal briquettes, and a real carrot. His head dons a Cubs ball cap and a dated pink chiffon scarf hangs loosely at his neck. I think to myself that this snowman is more loved than the first one without a face.

I turn the last corner towards home. I think it hasn't been so bad after all, this winter walk where two snowmen greet me. And, a budding branch appears before my freezing nose. I take the two steps up into the house and vow that I will take more winter trips around my block with eyes to see.
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