Tuesday, October 28, 2008


"The pathway is broken
And the signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason
Why You brought me here
But just because You love me
The way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If you want me to."
-If You Want Me To by G. Owens

Last weekend, I went to a Christian women's conference that blew my mind.  I'm sure my next several blogs will be sorting out the things I learned there so I'm warning you that you may get sick of references to Paige Benton Brown and Kathy Keller.  

But one of the things that struck me as a definite theme of what God was teaching me was to trust Him in the wilderness of pain, hurt and confusion.  For the last few weeks, I have swept things under the rug and tried to build a new future for myself.  I've thrown band aids over things that need to be evaluated and considered.  And when Paige Benton Brown spoke about desperate hearts in the Bible and how God uses them, I felt like she was speaking right to me:

"We live in a culture of cover up and not collapsing.  As soon as something collapses we try to build it back up."

But wait, I don't like being in the valley.  I like the mountaintop.  When I'm down in the valley I just want to pull myself up by my bootstraps and jerk myself to the top of some other mountain.  

But, as the speaker pointed out, total inability is God's starting point.  He does not begin when I start something and invite him along.  He does not create great things out of okay things.  He creates great things out of nothingness.  Out of wilderness.  Out of brokenness.  

Kathy Keller made the point that hurt shouldn't be wasted.  To grit our teeth and just wait for it to be over just makes our sorrows useless.

So... I'm going to try to stop trying so hard to be pulled together, put together, etc.  This weekend I was surrounded by beautiful, amazing women who shared their stories, their hurts and their lives.  They were real leaders.  They were real women.  They were what God created them to be.  

I am in the wilderness and I don't know what the next step is for my life.  I don't know where to go or what to do.  I'm in the wilderness and that is okay.  I am in the wilderness but I am not alone.  

"Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done that of which I have spoken to you."- Genesis 28:15

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Change is Good

"Right now, I am uninterested in being perfect, I am solely interested in God changing my life." -From Grace's Blog

Which reminds me of the quote: "God loves us the way we are, but too much to leave us that way."
-Leighton Ford

Here's to being a work in progress even when the progress feels slow.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Beautiful Things

I read in "Captivating" that beauty is healing. They made the point in the book that we send flowers to those who have lost loved ones because when words will not suffice, beauty helps heal. It says things that words cannot. It fills the voids in our hearts. I have a friend who is hurting right now. And several more who are in the midst of fairly painful transition phases. So here are 50 Beautiful Things (in no particular order) to heal our hearts when words just can't get it done.

50. Quilts

49.) Roses
48.) Cityscapes
47.) Countryside (Thanks for the picture Elisabeth B!)

46.) Friends (aka Your Peeps)

45.) Stained Glass Windows
44.) Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes

43.) Naps

42.) Pets (Particularly in front of flowered curtains)
41.) Springtime
40.) Any song by Sigur Ros (Particularly ‘Inní mér syngur vitleysingur’ )

39.) Caramel Lattes

38.) A Beautiful Dress

37.) Any Piece of Art by Teresa Reilly

36.) The Ocean

35.) Prayer

34.) France and French

33.) Laughter

32.) Old School China

31.) Winter

30.) The Play or Movie that Changes the Way You Think

29) Peacocks

28) Gardens

27.) Art by Gustav Klimt

26.) Dancing

25.) Choir Music

24.)Anything in Anthropologie
23.) Summer

22.) Kiddos

21.) Candlelight

20.) Fall

19.) Books

18.) An Old Country Church

17.)Van Gogh Paintings

16.) The Sound of Rain on Your Roof

15.) Jewelry

14.) Lilies

13.) Kentucky

12.) Italy and Italian

11.) Christmas

10.) Big, Fluffy Pillows

9.) Chocolate

8.) Waterfalls

7.) Any Song by Sara Groves

6.) Family

5.) Pumpkins

4.) Unexpected Phone Calls to Check on You

3.) Fireplaces

2.) Sisterhood

1.) Jesus

Feel free to add to the list and by doing so, as our good friend Sara Groves says, you'll also "Add to the Beauty".