This Is Too Hard For Me

“Do not fear anything, for I am with you. Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you. I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

I’m starting to realize that life has been a little overwhelming and scary lately. I mean, I’ve moved twice so far this year. I got married. My job has changed. So have my friendships. And on top of all of that, I have to share a bathroom with a boy now.

There are days where I handle it all just fine and it’s fun, but there are also days where I think there is no way I can handle one more new thing or one more thing being completely out of my control. I beat myself up for not being better at it and I start to believe that life is always going to be this hard.

What this one little verse reminds me of is that God never tried to hide from us that life would be scary and too much for us to handle. It also reminds me that God never expected me to just toughen up and figure it all out on my own. Instead, he promises to be with me when the scary things come. He promises to make me stronger. And what’s even more comforting is he promises he will be there to help me and he will grab hold of me.

I don’t have a great lesson to share here, other than I needed to be reminded of that today. And I’d be willing to bet that I’m not alone here.

What is life like for you right now? Is there something that feels too much to handle or something that scares you? If nothing comes to mind, just go read the news real quick. Can I encourage you to take a few minutes right now and hand that over to God? Let’s all remember today that he is with us. He is strengthening us and he will help us. And he promises to hold onto us. If we’ve got that, I think we’re going to be ok.

 

The Storm is the Care Plan

A RIGHT MIND

When I was little, I loved going on car rides, day or night.

During the day I loved to dream as the horizon passed by. As an adult, driving up PCH is now one of my favorites. The thin line of blue contrasting with the speed of the guard rail is a repetitive salve. The smell of the salt-licked air, cool on my face, is the right mix of preservation.  Continue reading The Storm is the Care Plan

Growing Up Tito

He was only 5 years old when he began to fully embrace the effects of shame and guilt. He grew up in a typical Christian home with two parents and two siblings. He explained that going to school was one of the most painful times in his life. You see, he had a very evident problem, he wet his pants from an early age until he reached the age of six or seven. Oh, I forgot to mention that his name was Tito. Continue reading Growing Up Tito

The Teacher Has Become The Student

I’m a middle school teacher. I have been for 12 years. When most people find out that I teach middle schoolers I usually receive a few responses: “Wow, that’s a hard age,” “Bless your heart,” “Someone’s gotta do it.”

The truth is, I love teaching middle schoolers. Yes, I have dealt with my share of irrationally emotional moments and lots of ‘what were you thinking?’ situations. But the truth is, I feel like junior high is kind of a sweet spot for me because of the stage of life my students are in. They are old enough to be independent (“You lost your pencil? Figure out a way to solve that problem.”) but still young enough to be impressionable, receptive, and, for the most part, want to be loyal to the teacher.

You want to know who I never want to teach?

Teachers.  Continue reading The Teacher Has Become The Student

Lord I’m Willing, Help Me To Want It!

Something was really wrong with me…

I believed I was going to die. Every night as I laid down to go to bed, I was afraid that this would be my final night on earth. I was tethered to this idea that something bizarre was going to happen, like maybe my heart would simply stop beating while I was deep in my sleep. Then would come the worrisome thoughts flooding my mind, driving me deeper into an already anxious state. Who would take care of my children? Do they know I love them? Have I done enough for them? Who would love my wife? What would happen to her without me? What would it be like for my family to experience my sudden death?  Continue reading Lord I’m Willing, Help Me To Want It!

I Did The Unthinkable

I grew up in a loving home but a legalistic church.  The skirts were long, the music was boring and the Bibles were big. Everyone knew what to say and what to do. And you also knew what happened if you didn’t meet the expectations… 

As a young teenager I began to really struggle with all of the rules, the pressure (I was a pastor’s daughter) and the constant image management. I didn’t want to disappoint my parents— I loved them. But I hated the pressure.  Continue reading I Did The Unthinkable

A Journey

This is a story about the vastness of God. The impact of these words means one thing to me, but I want them to mean something else to you. Join me as I guide you through a sensory experience.

My hope is that you would relate the stanzas of this poem and supplemented sounds to discover something new about the process of how God works in your life.

Bated breath and wilted quiver,

waning spark with grafted shiver.

Euphoric.

Glazing gaze, punch-thumping tremor,

mild moment held forever.

Historic.

Knuckled grip on reckless Tangent,

fetter bound, now running rampant.

Meteoric.

Hinged heel, gasp from gutter,

Split fat lip, with vocal stutter.

Sophomoric.

Straining flex with rotten muscle,

Extending reach and violent scuffle.

Caloric.

Soaking soul, fresh marinated,

dormant coal, now activated.

Phosphoric.

Dead but deadly, triumphant stain,

Channel dug, but ground regained.

Bombastic.

Pillar raised with ammo loaded,

story held and hinge corroded.

Drastic.

Just Say Thank You

When my oldest son was about 4, he loved Angry Birds. I mean, loved. If we didn’t set a timeframe, he would lose himself in the world of those little wrecking ball-shaped feathered friends and never return. So my wife and I did just that – set a timeframe. It became our standard procedure for letting him play the game: he’d ask, if we said yes, he’d get to play the game with a timer set. When the timer went off, the expectation was that he wouldn’t whine, complain, or throw a fit; he was to not only hand the phone back, but say “thank you” with a smile.  Continue reading Just Say Thank You

Can Everyone Just Please Stop Freaking Out!

We all live in grand scenes of choices. From one act to the next, from one set of decisions to another. Some of these are not ours by nature, and we are often left with the residual affects of others’ failures and success. But for the most part, these series of choices are ours to bear the burden, navigate with excellence and claim responsibility.  I recently experienced a season of life where I was vacillating between emotional extremes.  Continue reading Can Everyone Just Please Stop Freaking Out!

I Shall Not Want

It was my birthday in March.

I had been going through a really hard time. But it wasn’t the kind of thing that all pointed to one event that happened or sickness I was dealing with, nothing like that.

It was heartache, hurt. I had lost my bearings. I felt like I had really let some people down. They had also let me down a bit. Things I thought were a certain way, were not that way. And it was painful. I couldn’t really talk about it. I felt alone, misunderstood. A lot of my weakness was exposed. And to top it all off, I had just experienced one of the most stressful years of my life.  Continue reading I Shall Not Want