Category Archives: Lessons Learned

Clearing out the webs

cobwebsAfter dropping my kids off at school, I decided to do a few things around the house before leaving for work. I knew if I left at 8 I would be sitting in traffic for an hour, but if I just waited 30 minutes at home it would only take me 30 minutes to get to work. Easy decision.

As I walked into the garage to go inside the house, I noticed all the spider webs that were in my garage…again. Over the past few months I’ve started noticing them, but never took the time to actually do something about them. Yeah, they kinda bothered me, but something else always took priority and months turned into…ahem…years. October is probably the only acceptable time to have so many, being Halloween and all, but I was determined to get them cleared out.

When I was done, I looked around and felt a kind of peace. Like somehow I had accomplished some great task. Not because there were really that many (and no, the picture is not my garage….but it makes me feel a bit better about mine;) ), but because I knew they were there and I wanted them gone. Every time I walked in, it was a reminder of something else that needed to be done. A little weight.

I’ve started doing the same thing in my life. The cobwebs being things I’ve said and/or done that went against what I believe. The not so good things. Times I’ve reacted out of my emotion, instead of out of maturity. Clearing those out has proven to be the same as the real things – peaceful. Free. Some were five years in the making, but they are slowly being cleared out. I do have a few that will probably stay awhile longer, but I’m praying about how to handle those. Each one adds a weight, albeit mental, that is noticeable once gone. It amazes me the energy it takes to keep those things around.

Bumping into Authenticity

mullins2There’s something raw and bold about meeting someone who is authentic. Someone that doesn’t pretend or present something to the outside world that is different on the inside. It’s rare, really.

I bumped into this type of authenticity as a new college graduate.  There was an amazing singer/songwriter that I admired. I loved his lyrics. A true poet. He happened to be singing at my church, so I went. There are so many things I do not remember about that night, but I do remember he was barefoot (which was apparently normal for him). I also remember him walking off the stage quietly while we were singing Awesome God…and never coming back. My thoughts after the concert were – He wasn’t in this thing for glory. He wasn’t in it to look good. He didn’t care what others thought. I wanted that.

Looking back, I wonder what the Christian labels thought of him. He did not fit the “Christian” mold. Wasn’t even remotely mainstream. He was not polished. He didn’t wear the clothes you would expect from a “star”.  He spoke freely. A real person struggling through life. Struggling with alcohol and addictions and depression. Normal.

During an interview, a radio host was asking him what type of music he liked to listen to. His response? “I like silence.” He is also quoted as saying, “The thing I like most about the Bible are all the weirdos in it. I think the Bible is just packed with them.”

And that was the person of Rich Mullins.

Someone that went against the norm. A bit edgy for some, but appealing to a young college girl looking for her way in the world. Someone that was just learning that the world could be cruel and hard and was doubting some things about her faith.

I remember the song about the wideness in God’s mercy.  It wasn’t one of his favorites (he says on stage), but the truth is piercing. This concert shows his authenticity, even forgetting (or thinking he was forgetting) the words – The Love of God.

My all-time favorite song, though, is The Color Green. To this day, I turn it up in the car and sing at the top of my lungs.  It’s healing.

Rich died at age 41 in a car accident. I remember hearing about it on the radio and crying. A sad day for many.

Today I remember Rich Mullins and am thankful God allowed me to bump into his authenticity so many years ago.

Today (10/21/14) would have been his 59th birthday.

Even with Messy Hair

IMG_2312It’s the day most kids dread (even though they wake up early and excited), along with some parents (although I have seen posts about the excited parents who now have a quiet house). The day that ends the long summer nights of late night movies and fishing and games and whispers in the dark.  Nights filled with only plans of fun the following day. No regard for schedules or lunches or stacks of papers.  Or best of all…no plans. Sleeping until noon, without a care in the world.

The first day of school.

It’s the day that begins the alarm setting. The schedules. The lunches. The early bedtimes. The *extra* prayers for safety and wisdom. The dreaded homework hour. There’s really no stress quite as great.  It’s the time many families recommit to eating more meals together.  Eating healthier, or in my case, actually cooking. Like with pots and pans and other stuff.  Hmm… I wonder if I still have those? Fortunately, tonight is “build your own sandwich” night. Crisis averted.

It’s also the time parents try their best to keep up with the laundry, because wearing dirty clothes in the summer is acceptable (well, in our house anyway), but wearing them to school is not. Unless it’s the end of the year and well… there’s lots of grace at that time from everyone. Thankfully. Because sometimes kids show up with un-brushed hair and teeth and breakfast on shirts. Or so I’ve heard. 😉

Funny how one day can make such huge changes in so many lives.  It’s kind of like a do-over from all the things that didn’t go well in the previous year.  The anticipation that things can be great. The hope. The newness of it all.

It reminds me of my journey as a Christian.

There’s something about being granted a do-over. An opportunity to admit what didn’t work. That just maybe I was…ahem…wrong. An opportunity to forgive or be forgiven. Forgiving myself and moving on is one of the most difficult things for me right now. Maybe because I’ve royally messed up lots lately. I’m blaming it on pre-menopause, except I’m really not old enough for that. Right?? Don’t even.

Forgiving others comes unusually easy for me, for the most part. Forgiving myself? Not so much. I allow others to be human, just not myself. My mistake will replay like a horror movie over and over and over…and over. Ugh. I have to remind myself of my Father who absolutely ADORES me… mistakes and all. Even when I lose my temper or act like an adolescent wanting her way. When my hair is not brushed, my clothes are dirty, and my teeth are not clean. He still looks at me with love and compassion. Sees past ALL of it.

I’m so thankful for a God who loves me, regardless.

A God that sees beyond the messiness.