The Gospel and the Canadian Election

October 19th. The canadian election. Politics. A day which makes my stomach turn upside down just thinking about, an event I am, for the first time, taking seriously, like for reals seriously, and a topic that somehow makes my skin crawl and at the same time makes me so unbelievably aware of my privilege – how lucky I am to live in a country which honours democracy, at least a little.

But, here’s the thing. The thing keeping me up at night, chomping on my fingernails, hand- talking so fast I am not sure my husband understands what I am saying. (Sigh) the thing is, I am tired of being swooned by politicians. I am tired of being bought, and I am certainly tired of thinking I deserve to be bought.

As a member of the privileged “middle class” – whatever that means – I am pretty sure it is me who all the political parties are trying to win over. Sometimes i think they are winning, I wave my hands in surrender – I have a price tag, you win.

Yet, there are other moments, moments like this, where I’ll be darned if I let them win. Don’t get me wrong, I will vote –  I will do more than vote, I will do what I can for the party I think will do the best for what I believe in, but I won’t do it because they bought me, I will do it because I love Christ and because the gospel, whether you want to see it or not, does a pretty good job of outlining the things we should care about – it is  not comfort, not the privileges nor the freedoms of the middle class.

But, you already knew that didn’t you?

In case you didn’t, here is what I am learning about myself, the Gospel and how they play into the Canadian election.

On the one hand I want comfort – nice things and the assurance of certain benefits and choices that  come with my status. On the other hand (a  far away other hand)  I follow a saviour who never called me to comfort, but rather to give and give and give some more – no matter how much it hurts. A saviour who fought for the underdog, the oppressed and the lowliest of these. And a saviour who gave us a great responsibility to steward the earth.

Already this election has made me so mad, so many times. Mad at those who are trying to buy my vote, mad at my fellow brothers and sisters who  seem to think God has privileged them and forsaken others. But, mostly mad at myself for secretly wanting comfort and still being mad at everyone else. I am a hypocrite down to the bone.

But, at the core of it, I feel so strongly as a Christian it is my duty to live the gospel – and it is always fighting for the oppressed.  It is not tax breaks to make sure I can afford a new car (oh how I want that Range Rover – black rims and everything). It’s not giving money to wealthy parents  while $13 a month won’t even pay the food bill for a single mom. It’s not running the risk of an oil spill  in the hopes of a stronger economy – it’s just not. Never has been and never will be.

Again it is for the least – ALWAYS.  It is protecting women at risk, it is giving a child a chance at being born because the 16 year old girl from the DTES knows she need not fear being able to afford things such as daycare . It is using the best of minds to look at other solutions for our economy. It is also for the privileged in that is for us to give and give and give until it hurts so much imagining giving anymore is like imagining a camel going through the eye of a needle.

That is the gospel made flesh if I ever heard it.

Now, I get it, the divide of church and state. Totally. But, before you start in on me, I  want to say a few things.

1)   The church should be taking care of the poor right? YES. I should be taking care of the 16 year-old pregnant girl right? YES. You should be giving up your new car because you are just the good right? YES. But will the church, will I, will you? Probably not.  And even if a few did, would enough of us?  If you didn’t have to pay your taxes, would you give more? really? Or would you feel satisfied giving $30 a month  to world vision? – I probably would. Just like when Jesus came and people didn’t get it, we still don’t get it. We needed to be told then and we need to be told now.  We sometimes need to be shown the way…all of us…all 30 million+ Canadians.. Churchgoers and church haters alike.

2)   The church universal is everywhere.  The spirit is everywhere, why not government? Why not the people  who lay the foundation of our country. Even if they personally do not realize they are living the gospel wouldn’t it be amazing if it was still coming out of them?? I think so. I’d certainly prefer that to a government which has it has moral values and then chooses money over the earth, lying and stealing over giving to the poor.  Side note – I do not look to the government as my moral compass, I just think it would rock to look up to them.

3)   To those who are opposed to things that that have already been changed in the law (you know what I am talking about). It won’t change no matter who you vote for. So you might as well love everyone and give to those in need  just like we are told to.

Now you may not be as selfish as me, you may not be thinking about that nice new car or  affording your first house, you may be thinking about saving that money to be a stay at home mom, to send your kid to soccer camp. I am sure once I am a parent I will be a better person too.

Please my lovely parental friends, I love you and I love your babies, your children, and your grandchildren; I want what is best for them, I really do. But, I can almost guarantee that none of you, my facebook friends – parents and all, are who this whole thing needs to be  about. It’s not about us and it’s not about our equally as privileged (though totally amazing) children. That’s hard to swallow – I get it. When I have kids I might want to stay home, I want my future kid to have a cute haircut and a new soccer Jersey. There is NOTHING wrong with any of that. It is great and happy and loving. But, it is a privilege and it puts us beside the camel at the eye of the needle.

So,

Father forgive me for thinking more about myself –  my comfort and  my luxury, than the food bill of the single mom, the pregnancy test between gym class and lunch,  the recovery room at Insite. And that man I can’t get out of my head – the one who got on the skytrain only for half the people to get off because of the colour his skin – and how I did nothing, said nothing –  the fear of others our government has spooned down our throats – that we have willingly swallowed so that we may feel justified in our prejudice.

Forgive me for holding onto to my privilege for dear life.

Like I said at the beginning – I think all parties are trying to buy my vote. I do not swear allegiance to any platform. I swear allegiance to Christ. And in reality I don’t fully see the gospel  in any platform…just maybe a little more in some than others…a baby step in the right direction.

While you can probably at least guess who I am not voting for,  I am not asking you to vote the same as me. That would be wrong and frankly naïve of me to think I could change your mind, though I may have tried a little –  I promise to love you even if you completely disagree with me and I ask you to love me still, even if you think I am out to lunch.

My brothers and sisters in Christ and my brothers and sisters universal  please think of Jesus as you navigate this election. To ask for ears to hear and eyes to see – for hearts of the spirit. To think of Jesus’ fearless love that never stopped giving – willingly paying the highest form of taxes.  Meditate on how he stood up for those at the margins and asked us all to meet there. Then I ask you to think of how your vote will impact the people there…Because I am willing to bet Jesus would.

Now before the few of you who may actually read this leave an angry comment I want you to know I get it. I get that my theology may not be up to par with yours, My political savvy is rather elementary and I sure don’t  use big fancy words and my grammar sucks. You may want to throw all of this in my face to discredit what I said. Sure go ahead, I get it. I do it all the time.

But I have this feeling, this feeling that in the end – at kingdom come Jesus is going to say some things like “Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself”, “the last shall be first” and maybe he’ll even sit down with us and retell the story of the widow’s offering. Honestly, for me, that is enough  to know who I need to vote for. To suck it up let go of few things I really want, to be the kind of person I know Jesus planned for me to be.

To me that is the Gospel and October 19th.

And if you really hate what I said,  all I can say is  – Pay to Caesar what is Caesar’s and I hope for your sake that was everything asked of you in the end.

#wwjd forever yo

Knocking in all the wrong places.

This week I got home from a two week vacation in Hawaii. It was glorious. My husband’s family lives there (I know right? I picked a good one). It was a beautiful mix of beaches and happy hour and family dinners that went late into the evenings. I, of course, also got lots of time to read. On the beach, on the patio, in bed, on the couch, at the pool (you get it). It was the perfect soul food after a semester of textbooks.

Now, being home I am also realizing it was the perfect escape. Sort of how I feel about summer. Music turned up, cold beverages in hand and all of life’s complications just seem to fade away. Awesome.

Except its foggy here, so no patio, and its cold so no cold drinks…only tea and tea makes me think… and I still don’t have a job, and well its real life again. Awesome. Not.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life. I have a cozy apartment, a fantastic husband, amazing friends, a big book shelf, and the west coast is a pretty wicked place to live. Sometimes real life just feels heavy and right now I feel like a ton of bricks. Ouch.

This past year was a million things for me – joyous, exciting, painful, confusing, adventurous – but it was not easy. It was how I imagine the Iron Man Triathlon to be. Or at least how I think I would feel doing do it – Excited, nervous, adrenalin, nausea, about to give up, hope, about to give up again, numb, power surge, death like, and then this slow motion space at the end where everything is foggy but you hold on because you know around a corner soon you will have made it…at least to the next check point.

NOTE: I don’t think I will ever do the Iron man. “about to give up” would become “gave up. Dead. Lying on the corner. Or drown.”

But, that’s what it has been like. I have made some big life changing decisions. God has opened some doors for me to explore. But he has also closed a lot. A LOT. The numerous closed doors, I think, has been the hardest the hardest part of the year. Both the rejection from it and the confusion of what it means for my life. On vacation I didn’t have to think about those closed doors and I didn’t have to try and pull through to the finish line. It was like I was allowed an extended break. A place to rest my tired feet…my tired soul.

But here I am again. Standing in a hallway of closed doors. Screaming at the top of my lungs for one to open and exhausting myself to the point where I can’t scream anymore…so whimper. I whimper at God “you said Knock and you would answer. You said all I had to do was knock.”

But, I know. I know deep down he is there. He is always there. He’ll open the door when I knock on the right one. I have been knocking on every door except his. Trying to turn my career into my purpose, rather than simply a tool.

I think, maybe, because as hard as it is to face rejection and confusion – to have so many of my insecurities rise to surface – it is harder still to make my way towards God. It is a grueling job. One which will peal back all the layers of myself so He can rebuild better ones.

But, bone must be broken to be made stronger.

In this horribly beautiful realization of what must happen I opened one of my favourite poems to remind I am not alone in this. God has gifted me others to journey along with, even if it is only through words on a page. I have fellow travelers. Stories to share – to help me not give up – to keep looking for His door – for Him.

 “Rowing” by Anne Sexton

But I grew, I grew,

and God was there like an island I had not rowed to,

still ignorant of Him, my arms and my legs worked,

and I grew, I grew…

I am rowing, I am rowing

though the oarlocks stick and are rusty

and the sea blinks and rolls

like a worried eyeball,

but I am rowing, I am rowing,

though the wind pushes me back

and I know that that island will not be perfect,

it will have the flaws of life,

the absurdities of the dinner tables,

but there will be a door

and I will open it

and I will get rid of the rat inside of me,

the gnawing pestilential rat.

God will take it with his two hands and embrace it.

Today this is my prayer:

To Ask with my mouth, seek with my eyes, knock with my fists,

so that You would be the words on my lips, the visions in my head and the workings of my limbs.

Oh Father You are the door I must come to to be answered.

Though the others may close I will fear not for have saved a room for me.

Amen, Amen, Amen.

a whole bunch of thoughts and my favourite type of morning…

My poor brain has been fumbling around blog ideas for months now. Getting all excited to write something I am passionate about and then studying instead (or at least procrastinating the studying).

Two weeks ago now I finally got my freedom. One month out of school, half of it on vacation in Hawaii (where I am currently writing from). I thought for sure all of my ideas would blossom into real words on electronic pages, for no better reason getting them out of head so I could feel sane once again. But, no. I have been school free since December 9th and this is my first blog post – If it even makes it to a blog post. The boys should be home soon and I want to soak up every minute of family I can. Don’t get me wrong, I have done wonderful soul-food and productive things this month. My husband and I spent the first few evenings of my break settting up Christmas decorations and drinking tea, we took some time to reflect with Anne Voskamp’s Advent devotional (amazing), I watched LOTS of Full House, I cleaned my walls, doors, windows, and toilet. And now that I am on real vacation I have spent perfect nights around the table with my in-laws, days at the beach, and have indulged in copious amounts of napping. Not to mention all my soul-food reads from authors Shuana Niequist, Sarah Bessey and Danielle LaPorte (again, all amazing). Its been a fantastic couple of weeks and I am trying not to care about the real life to-do lists I have typed out in at least five places. I will get there. I have promised myself. And there is rain the forecast – perfect for computer days (and more naps).

This is the first of my to-do list items, though it is not as I expected. I really do want to write about things that make my gears grind, and things that make my heart go pitter-patter. But, that seems like a lot right now. Maybe because there is a palm tree out my window or that I get to spend most afternoons snuggling in the warm sunshine with my husband who currently smells like a perfect mix of salty ocean water and old spice (TMI?). Those big and passionate ideas just seem far off at the moment. Thankfully, I have had a lot of reminders about what matters over the last few weeks.

In my readings I am finding so many connections to I want to write about. I hear myself shouting “YES!” every couple pages of Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey. I cry every few pages of Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist, and I am in serious contemplation for the new year as I reflect on Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map. In addition,  attending my in-laws church, which focuses reaching their local community with love and acceptance is inspiring. Watching people care about change always ignites a flame inside of me. Plus, all of the family time reminds me over and over again how lucky I am. These reminders are moving in me – slowly, like everything but the waves in hawaii, but still something is growing inside of me. Something that gives me hope for the new year and for the lessons I have learned so far. Which, makes me feel less guilty about the to-do list.

Do you know what I mean? Do you have those slowly changing seasons that can sometimes feel like procrastination and fear, but you desperately hope they are healing and rejuvenating instead, or at least in addition to. This season feels like the perfect saturday morning to me.

Let me explain:

I feel change happening. I mentioned in my last post how winter is usually a time of waiting for me, where growth is so slow it often doesn’t feel like anything is happening at all. But, I hold out hope because I know new life comes in the spring, if I allow winter to do its work and am present for the tiny steps in the snow (or rain).

So, to me its like the rare saturday morning where you do not have any plans – the perfect saturday morning. The first time in a while you haven’t had to set an alarm and the either the sun or urge to pee wakes you up (the latter for me, always). And then when you do you wait for a while not wanting to leaves the comfy covers, but alas you must. You straggle out of bed one eye open and do what you need before grabbing a big glass of water and returning to bed. You got up, even if just for a second. Its okay to go back to bed, to retreat a little longer. Be proud you made it up. You lay for a little while longer. Drift in and out of sleep. Think about getting up again, but don’t. Its okay, the day can wait.

After a while its time for coffee – the start button. you get out of bed a little quicker this time. Caffeine is waiting, your ignition on the brew. This time maybe you grab a book or your computer, something to take back to bed with you as you think more and more about getting up. Eventually you do, maybe at one o’clock or even four o’clock. Its okay. Its okay. Its okay. Its your time. Yes there are things that need to get done. There is house work, soul work, real-life job work. There is a busyness that will always be there, waiting for you, even if you don’t have a real-life job life takes work and trust me un-busy will only last for a little while. So while you are here in this time of “snail change” – as I like to call it, take your time. Figure out what you want to say, write, think, do. Learn who or what you want to give your love, energy, time, commitment to. Even if it means no exciting blogs, holding off on your 10 big new years resolutions, or sitting in the fear of not knowing for just a few seconds longer becoming less and less fearful as you realize “I’m still here! I’m still okay!” – because I think if you do, what you say will begin to really reflect who you are, 2015 will look more like the real you than any other year before, and not knowing will become more of a reason do-something now than a procrastination tool. Like how perfect saturday nights are when you have had the whole day to rejuvenate.

I know we don’t always get time for these types of moments, but I really believe the season happens nonetheless. So, even if all you can give if a few minutes here and there to reflect on how this season is slowly changing you and how you want those changes to continue in the new year, I think that would be fantastic!

I look forward to being around here more and  learning to uncover the ideas I am passionate about through the words I type. I look forward to having a busy job (hopefully soon), I look forward to real tangible change, which I initiate. I REALLY look forward to seeing what God has in store for 2015, but for today I am going to get tacos at one of my favourite places and probably watch too much netflix before bed, and I am going to go to bed thanking God for the fact that I this week I get my perfect saturday morning every morning.

lazy Christmas afternoon on the lanai

The Fall Breakdown

As seasons change, I always notice vast amounts writers who post on the personal meaning the season brings for them. I love this, so I am going to do the same.

Fall brings with it so many things I treasure. Yes, including the pumpkin craze. I have had my fair share of PSLs this month and I am fully stocked up on teas, coffees etc. I am actually drinking Trader Joe’s pumpkin spice coffee right now. It is heavenly, you should try it. Seriously, go buy it before its too late. I of course love the colours of fall, whether it be the leaves, the sky or pulling out all my brown and red scarfs from the bottom of my closet. Fall is cozy and comfortable, its layers and booties. Fall is the perfect middle between summer and winter. Yes, fall is my favourite season.

But, fall also scares me. This time of transition between summer and winter is always the hardest time of year for me. I can think back on all the moments in my life that have hurt deeply and so many of them have occurred in the fall.

Why then, you might ask, is this time my favourite time of the year?

Let me explain.

I love summer as much as anyone. I love the nostalgic feeling I get when I smell sunscreen or see the scar on my stomach I received at summer camp long ago. I enjoy tan lines and could have BBQ’d corn errday. And truthfully, I love how surreal summer is. You can never remake a summer, each one is so unique. I notice the surreal side of summer most in winter, when it hasn’t stopped raining in weeks (honestly, some places in Canada just don’t get much snow. I promise), and you would give anything to be on the dock at the lake once again. But, as you have this memory it can feel like it happened in a different world, a world not of your own life. Maybe even like it happened in a book you once read or a movie you once watched. Summer to me is a well needed escape from the sometimes painful lives we live.

On the other hand I believe fall represents most clearly the reality that is ours. As we delete the summer playlist from our itunes, and as our burns begin to fad, and weekends are back to just two days a week reality begins to creep in. We start to get ready for the real stuff. As I like to call it – “the fall breakdown”. I don’t mean a breakdown in an actual mental or physical way, rather a breaking down of all the walls we put up to simply enjoy the bliss of summer. The things we couldn’t hear over our playlists or pushed aside to enjoy each and every late night sunset. These realities can hit us hard and I think we hold onto our defences against them as long as we can, but as fall begins to turn to winter we like those stubborn last few wet and soggy leaves will have to fall in defeat to the ground beneath us.

So, fall scares me. It scares me because I always know it has something to teach me and the lessons won’t be easy. They will involve falling, hitting the bottom and most likely staying there for a while. Because as winter rolls around the time of waiting begins, before things can be made new in the spring.

Fall is a painful time for me, but it’s the most real friend I could ever ask for. Like bone it breaks me down so I can be built up stronger. I am forever thankful for this time even as I wrestle against it.

This year I want to be prepared for the wait. For that slow and sometimes unnoticeable growth winter brings.

I trust fall will get me there.

Cheers to that!

Tomorrow is going to mark 30 days of sobriety. And, though I have mentioned it to a few friends and family, today is my official announcement of sobriety.

I realize to many this may come as a bit a of shock and I should probably clarify I am not an alcoholic nor do I think I have ever had a problem with drinking – if we are describing problem as drinking too often or for the wrong reasons. In fact except for a stint or two in the past I have never been much of a drinker. A glass or two a week of good wine always seemed to quench my thirst. Usually. I think overindulgence is sometimes called for.

But, all of this aside I have decided to give up alcohol completely, for a year to start though I imagine it being more of a life long commitment. I have been trying to muster up my courage for a year now and with the help of some beautiful souls I have finally got there.

If you would entertain my ramblings though, I would like the chance to explain. I have been so nervous to tell anyone and have put it off for so long, because frankly I was scared of what you would all think. I am a people pleaser and I shouldn’t be, also I need to trust you all enough to know you wouldn’t judge me. I am sorry for my little faith. I also desperately didn’t want to be different – a lesson I am still learning.

Here it is, my journey to sobriety:

First of all, I love alcohol (an appropriate amount of course). I love the taste of red wine and chocolate, of summer spritzers and fresh fruit, of good tequila and tacos, and gluten free beer whenever I can find it. I also love the community of alcohol. From beer and bible studies, wine and cheese nights, a celebratory shot for babies born and marriages announced. I think responsible drinking serves as a great community builder. I also appreciate the courage a glass of wine gives me to speak my mind or to take a chance I was to chicken to take an hour before (It has brought on some of my favourite stories to tell).

On the other hand alcohol and I have had our tensions over the years. Most evident in the last couple years. These past few years have been laden with emotional growth and self-awareness that I am so thankful for, but in this process I have discovered I am an extremely sensitive person (I know, most of you could have told me that ten years ago). This new revelation (for me) has caused me to really evaluate and pay attention to my emotional moods and my physiological responses. And about a year ago now I realized I have both extremely high emotional and physiological responses to alcohol. This led to an experiment of types, amounts, occasions, diets around my alcohol consumption, and doctors appointments, to try and find ways in which I am not affected. In the end all roads led to the following conclusion:

any alcohol consumption is part of drastic mood changes which last for hours up to days, stomach aches I can’t shake with ginger tea and a series of head aches and body aches.

For me the positives of alcohol just were not outweighing the negatives anymore, so now begins my journey of sobriety. And this is what I need to ask of you, my friends. Please still invite to wine and cheese nights (heck suggest I host them!), take me to your favourite bar, have margaritas with me on the beach and never be scared to bring wine over for dinner (my husband loves a good glass of wine and will be very thankful), come over for end of the week drinks (we are usually stocked), and lastly please enjoy every minute of it with me.

I want alcohol to be a good and healthy part of anyone’s life who it is good for. I just have to face the reality it is not good for me. And that is okay. At least is becoming okay.

Thank you all so much for your love and friendship. I am so glad I could post this on thanksgiving weekend. I treasure you all.

Cheers to journeys and friends and doing life together.

Day 4- Restorative

After a full day of yoga I thought I might find the perfect inspiration to write on for todays topic, but it is still the same as this morning. It’s a simple list. Most of the things on the simple list are simple themselves. I think I find simpleness restorative as well 🙂 

 

Here is my list:

Books (almost any genre)

Beds (I LOVE to be in bed)

Sleep (I also LOVE to sleep and I am good at it)

The smell of summer

Sunshine

Talking with friends over coffee/tea/food

Talking with friends on the grass, in the sunshine

Netflix dates with my husband

The first snowfall

Anything my mom makes for breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks/dessert 

Savasana

Tea (coffee is my energy, tea is my calm)

Popcorn

Tea tree oil

And hugs. Hugs win, always.

Day 3 – Homemade

 

I automatically think of my mother when I hear the word “homemade”. Everything from our slippers and blankets to our bread and ice cream were always made with my mothers hands. As a child I expected my mother to take care of me and thus never gave a thought to the amount of work she put into that caring. Now, as an adult I can’t even imagine the time she gave and efforts she made for us. I do not have any children (nor a job at the moment) and I could not imagine making my husband slippers. I dream about trying to make almond milk, but the perfect hipster jug I bought for that endeavor still sits empty on my counter taunting me.

Homemade is a nostalgic word for me. I may never be as good at creating it as my mother was/is. Or maybe I just haven’t hit that stage yet. Who knows.

What I do know is that I would like to make a home. Living in a new apartment every year for the past 6 years, and assuming this year will be no different, makes it difficult to create a homelike environment. Why try when I will be packing up in less than 365 days? I have definitely moved numerous times before I have even finished unpacking from the last move. But, I can’t help and wonder if this attitude is keeping from creating a home in the moment. Even if it is temporary. So what if I move? Throw caution to the wind and pick up that piece of art work which would go fabulous above the couch! Even though we have talked about not taking the couch with us to the next place. Let’s stop thinking about the next place. I have a hard time with that. I am a dreamer always waiting for the next thing. But, maybe I need to be home now. Maybe I need to learn to make a home anywhere, and maybe right now in my little kitchen I need to find the comfort of home and let that be enough.

 

Today Homemade is a brave word for me.

Day 2 – Daily Rituals

My daily ritual starts and begins with black coffee. Nothing happens until I have taken the first sip of bitter darkness. But, once this comforting friend of coffee is over my day is up in the air. Don’t get me wrong, I love to plan. If I could wake up every morning and have color coded to-do lists sitting on the counter ready to go, well I would be on cloud nine. But, I have spent too many years beating myself up on the many days that there are no color coded lists to check off every morning. So, coffee it is. My constant friend, whom is always with me and definitely lets me know if I miss out.

Yet, I have always imagined the idea of rituals as a passage into adulthood. When I finally listen to the news every morning, exercise for at least 30 minutes daily, take 5 minutes to breathe in peace and quiet and have a tight cleaning schedule so the laundry never builds up. I do desire this ritual, but also believe I have plenty of time to achieve it. My daily life is far from scheduled at the moment. Sometimes I am not so okay with that, but other days when surprises come my way and I can easily change my plans I am so thankful that I can put my textbook down and know it will always be there when I get back.

So yes, I will start and finish with coffee for now. Hopefully the rest will learn to fall in and out of my life as needed – I trust that they will.

What the Discroll?

As many people already know the Driscoll news is hitting the fan these days. I can barely open Facebook without seeing one more scandal uncovered, one more blog about the “cult” he has created, or simply just a bunch rants about the horrible person he is. Seriously what the **** is going on?

 Honestly, I secretly love it. Recently I have been starting my mornings with hot black coffee, a comfy couch, and my laptop ready to dive into the news which usually involves all the Driscoll bashing, admittedly turning my attention away from much more important news (Though I do believe this is a major issue in the modern North American Church).

And this is what I have been thinking each morning – Finally all my beliefs about him are being justified! When the news came out that Acts 29 asked him to leave and that his books were being dropped I sighed a relief. Maybe the North American church has brains after all.

 And then there is my husband. My kind and loving gracious husband. Who kicks me off my high horse by simply saying “do you think we should pray for him instead of hate him?”

“WHAT ARE YOU CRAZY??? Pray for HIM??!” is my response.

I will not and I will now be mad at my husband for even suggesting I do such a horrible thing.

But, like usual, when I am being hot headed and in the midst of anger, my peaceful husband is correct. 

 Where do I begin? How to I pray for a man and I church that I fully believe is not only leading people astray, but also hurting God’s own children? How do I believe that God can work through this mess? How can I believe God would WANT to work through this mess? I figured God was on my side here. Plus aren’t there more important things I could be praying for. (All things are important Danielle – Gahh I hate that voice).

Okay then. Well, first I probably need to actually get off of that high horse and realize I am prone to sin just as much as anyone. As I sit down to think about how in the world to pray for this situation (without fire burning anger) I begin to see a picture of what I would like to believe has happened and what will happen. I am not sure if it God’s will, or even if it is the correct way for things to unfold. For now, it at least calms me out of my “DOWN WITH DISCROLL RAGE” and allows me to focus on the glory and mystery of the Lord. 

So this is what I WANT to believe and what I pray is true about the situation.

I want to believe that Mr. Discroll truly loves God and loves people. I want to believe that he started with a vision that could change the world for the better. I want to believe that like anyone else he got caught up in his human nature of sin and forgot the bigger picture and began to see himself as God – writing the rules, rather than as a servant of the gracious Most High. I want to believe he will see this error and repent. Really repent. To feel the weight of his sin and come to God in agony. To not be able to sleep at night because he knows he has wronged the Lord and His people. I want him to repent to his team, his church, his country and the world and I want to believe he means it. I want him to be freed of his sin and shame. Then I want him to leave. I want him to acknowledge that sin does have consequences and that he must be prepared for them. I want him and his team to leave and let another group lead the church in healing. I want him to live for a while in his consequences reflecting on the impact of his sin. I want him to always have regret for what happened so that he never does it again. I want him to heal. To fully feel God’s forgiveness and grace on his life. For him to discover the passion and love for Christ that began his journey. And I want to believe he will use that vision once again – to reach people, to help heal people. I want to believe his story can be of good, that through his experience all of us who have attempted to be God will learn the lessons of what happens when we try. I want him to hold his family in his arms and teach them the right way to go and warn them of the path he took. I want to believe that everyone he hurt will heal and find it in their hearts to forgive him as well. I want to believe that he will feel their forgiveness. I want to believe that his life has purpose.

And when my selfish prayer of beliefs is over I will pray this:

Father,

Lord of mercy and of grace show me how to love those who are my enemies. Help me recognize I to become an enemy at times. Show me how my own rage may blind me to the good that my enemies have in them. Help me be humble to know that I am not the judge here.

I pray that my selfish prayer be answered, if it is not your will I pray that your will, far greater than mine, be done. That your healing hand be used for all involved. I pray your love would shine through this dark hour. That those who need to forgive would remember the forgiveness you have shown us. That those who need to be forgiven would be humble enough to ask. Lord, through all of this I pray you would somehow be glorified, because though man may fail us you will not.

Immanuel, be with us.

*I recognize my opinion of Mr. Discroll is not be accepted by all. I by no means ask you to feel the same as I do. This is simply an expression of my beliefs and I hope it helps someone else feel less in alone in their anger at the situation. 

Day 1 – Meet Danielle

shelle photo

I am not sure if it is funny or sad, maybe both, that when I start to think about how I will introduce myself my “flaws” are what first comes to mind. But, since this is my thoughts, here we go.

I am often confused with my own emotions, angry at something, addicted to netflix instead of studying, OCD about so many things. One month into marriage and already a nagging wife, terrified I am too lazy to accomplish my dreams, my thunder thighs. And the list goes on and on.

My positive qualities come later. Much later. I have to sit and think on them. Why do people like me? I have a incredible husband and amazing friends, so there must be something that I offer.

Here are the things I like about myself. I am generous, I could give and give all day – maybe too much but I wouldn’t trade this quality for anything. I have heard I am a good at listening. I don’t often see this myself, but others seem to. I know I like to listen to other people’s stories. It makes me feel less alone. So maybe I am a selfish listening, but I think that is okay. (I am alone in that I feel I need to justify the things I like about myself?)

I like my nose. I know that is vein, but I really do. It’s adorable and perfectly shaped. I am flexible. Very flexible. I was born that way and thank my mother for it, especially when I am yoga with my spine bent in half. I am passionate about so much. I used to see this as a fault because I could never figure what to do with my life. I still haven’t, but being passionate is good for now. I am good at loving my husband. I can see his needs and respect his boundaries – most of the time.

That is a lot of things about me. It probably creates an incredibly confusing image. But, like I said – I am often confused.

As I write this I am beginning to think that I am probably none of these things in full. Rather I am somewhere in the middle. Journeying along. Some days I have good days and some days not so much. Beating myself up on the bad days won’t do much for me, but killing myself to try and only have good days probably won’t get me far either. There is strange balance between letting it be (letting go) and working hard. I want big dreams, crazy goals, and I want to be okay re-watching Buffy episodes when I can’t concrete on school or meditation.

I am a person in the middle. Trying to be okay with being the middle.

I am Danielle.