Imperfect People

Imperfect People in love with a perfect God

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Imperfect People - Imperfect People in love with a perfect God

Sex in the media and why it matters

My major in college was marketing with an emphasis on sales.  I have worked in print, radio, television, internet and promotional marketing.  I get marketing and marketing gets me.

I have been behind the scenes on many a marking idea from infancy to a full blown marketing campaign.

These years of marketing research, and ad development have given me a different set of eyes on the media.  My point in this post is to open your eyes to how the media uses sex.  Yes some of it’s obvious, but some of it’s not.

I think the easiest way to dive in is to first ask, “Who is the media?”

Who is the media?

Well I’m so glad you asked.  Believe it or not, in the U.S. there are just 6 corporations that control 90% of what we read, watch or listen to.  Due to mergers, buy out etc the more than 50 companies that ruled the airways back in 1983 have consolidated into just 6.


232 Media Executives control the information diet of 277 million americans.  That’s 1 media exec to 850,000 subscribers.

Now I’m not here to say these are bad people.  They must be quite smart and talented to be in these positions actually.  What I am more concerned with is, their intentions when deciding what to air, which ultimately influences our culture and our lives.

The truth is, media executives don’t have our best interest at heart.  Ok maybe that sounds harsh.  Again, I don’t think they are bad people but when creating what we watch, listen to etc, their intent is not to model healthy relationships.  Their intent IS TO MAKE MONEY.

Making the script

Let’s imagine for a second we are in the board room where they are bouncing around ideas for an upcoming movie.   I wonder if the conversation has ever gone like this:

Director: “We need to create a movie that would help young men and women develop lasting loving relationships.  I wonder what we could do or say to help them find their spouse, protect the people they date for their future spouse, and have a long healthy loving marriage.

Ummm no

I think the conversation is much more along the lines of, “what can we do to push the envelope, and be controversial?  The more questionable the morals and the more media coverage we get,  the less we have to spend on advertising.  The less we spend on advertising the more money we make, and the more people are talking about our scandalous movie, the more people will want to see it!

Gosh when you think about it that way i kinda feel like we are little mice and the movie directors laughing as we spin our wheel excited about the next ridiculous little treat they have put in front of us.


We are smarter than this

We have allowed 6 corporations to teach us what is right and acceptable yet the people making these movies and shows are simply trying to make money.  So why do we let it influence us?

The saying goes “don’t believe everything you read” (or read on the internet or watch on TV) because we often do and we generally shouldn’t. How are we so easily duped when we supposedly know better? A study led by Stephan Lewandowsky of the University of Western Australia explains part of what may happen:

The researchers found that “Weighing the plausibility and the source of a message is cognitively more difficult than simply accepting that the message is true — it requires additional motivational and cognitive resources.”

We believe it so much in fact, a survey published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, claims that film, television, music and magazines may act as a kind of “sexual super peer” for teenagers seeking information about sex. It also suggests that the media have at least as great an influence on sexual behaviour as religion or a child’s relationship with their parents and peers.

Your future, your well being and your heart is NOT even considered in making the script.


Maybe the media doesn’t have all the answers on our happily ever after

Maybe, the one who MADE us, Knows our hearts desire, and EVEN DESIGNED SEX. Has a better script for us!

Jesus said, I came that you may have life and have it to the FULLEST.

Note he didn’t say I came to give you rules and not let you have any fun.

Sex was never intended to be cheapened to a casual encounter without trust and unconditional respect. The Media shows us there are no strings attached but anyone who has had sex outside of marriage knows there are a web of complicated, painful, and long lasting “strings”…that are VERY attached.

In Genesis, referring to the first man and woman couple the word “Echad” is used.  Translated this means fused together at the deepest level.  The bonding of two people. Body and soul, physically and spiritual.  Can not be undone.  Inside of marriage this is beautiful because it keeps the couple bonded and “echad”

Outside of marriage is is truly the ripping away of two people that have been cemented together.  Moving cement is complicated, messy, painful and the original pieces are never left the same.

God MADE us.  HE KNOWS us.  He gave us sex as a GIFT to be used at the right time for the right purpose.  It is a blessing and a glimpse of how much our heavenly father loves us when two lifelong partners fully know each other.

Let the media be used for entertainment….THAT IS ALL. And let us be careful to think, “Oh it’s just a movie”

Just a movie has caused many a mind to wander into dangerous territory. No one is above getting pulled astray if they don’t protect their minds from what they watch.

Let our hearts desire, our happily ever after, and our worth be found in Christ.  Even the best romantic comedy has nothing on this offer.

he knows my name

The power of our perspective. Inspired by “unbroken”

I am fascinated at the power of our perspective.  How people who see the glass as half full or half empty, for example have truly completely different ways of seeing the same thing.

In the movie, and book “Unbroken” the real life story of Loui Zamperini is told. After surviving 47 days on a life boat (wow) in the middle of the ocean they were picked up by the Japanese where he faced years of abuse as a prisoner of war during WWII.  As a former olympic athlete the prison guard there made it his job to “break” Loui by giving him more abuse than any other.  Yet Loui survived.


In an interview years later he said something remarkable.  He said at the prison camp he began to study his fellow prisoners and it became more and more obvious the ones that would make it out alive and the ones that would not.

He said it made no difference how strong they were, it made no difference how smart they were, but had everything to do with their perspective and attitude about the situation.

Those suffering as prisoners were starved, exhausted, lonely and frustrated.  Some developed the “woe is me attitude” got depressed and rarely survived.
But there were some who chose to find joy in their sufferings.  There were some who chose to smile when they wanted to cry.  They developed friendships with their fellow prisoners and grasped every positive perspective they could while suffering through the negative.

This my friends…rocks my world.

To think I would ever find ANY reason to complain about my life in my comfortable clothes, shelter, pantry full of food, and healthy body life.  It’s just bonkers.  Even when I do have bad things happen I can CHOOSE to focus on the good or dwell on the bad.  It’s totally up to me!

Rejoice in the Lord Always, again I say rejoice.  Philippians 4:4

Notice how it doesn’t say rejoice, unless you are having a bad day. Rejoice not just if you feel like it.   REJOICE ALWAYS!!

Years later researchers studied the characteristics of those that survived situations like prisoner of war and the hollacaust.  The findings were the same.  Hands down above all other characteristics a positive attitude is what kept them going.  

Perspective makes my bed feel so much better when  I have to sleep in a bad one.  Perspective makes me able to push through a hard exercise when I tell myself “i got this.” And perspective makes my kids tell me I’m the “best mom ever” when I say we are having cereal for dinner.

It’s all in how WE CHOSE to look at the situation.

I think the question now becomes: “How can I CHOOSE a positive attitude today?”

Marriage advice: My top 5

For our ten year anniversary we went to Winshape Marriage Retreat up in Rome Ga.  I would like to take every married couple by the shoulders, look them square in the eye and say GO TO THIS RETREAT.  It’s fun, they feed you like a king, and you spend a weekend learning more about the most important relationship we have here on earth.  A relationship that EVERYONE needs to take time to intentionally work on, no matter how good or bad your marriage is.   Go to Winshape people!   Ok enough about that.


The speaker at this particular session was author, Gary Thomas.  Wow what a win to visit Winshape while he was there!  If you are not familiar with him, he  wrote (arguably) THE BOOK on marriage,

He gave the most unique and applicable marriage advice I have ever heard.  Without further aidu here it is:

1) Do we really think the media has our best interest at heart?

If we compare ourselves to what we see on TV and the movies (and haven’t we all) then we are comparing our selves to a dream made up by a few imagintive writers whose purpose is to take us AWAY from reality and ENTERTAIN us.  Often there is an agenda and rarely is it to strengthen our marriage.

Romantic comedies are sweet.  I admittedly thought the notebook was the best movie EVA.  But it’s not fair to expect my husband to be all those things I see on TV.  After all they are ACTING and let’s be honest, most actor’s REAL Life romances don’t usually last very long.

2) Infatuation doesn’t last

Speaking of movies and TV, isn’t it interesting that the whole plot is based around the couple getting together?  Usually the end of the movie/series is a wedding, when in reality that is just the beginning.

According to Thomas research shows us that the infatuation stage can last AT A MAX of 18 months.  This is the stage when we just can’t get enough of each other.  Everything they do is hilarious and perfect, and we sacrifice work, sleep, and commitments just to be together.  Our brains cannot keep this up, this stage simply doesn’t last…It can’t!

Media reminds us of the butterflies and fireworks that were there at the beginning and make us curious if leaving years of memories, life together and true intimacy is worth trading in to feel the infatuation stage afresh (which will AGAIN only last 18 months).

3)Thinking of God as your Father….IN LAW

This is by far my most favorite piece of advise.  Thomas explains it this way….
Imagine if you will, I think you are the most amazing person I ever met, I quote everything you say, I read everything you write, I sing songs that praise you and I even give 10% of my income to you.  BUT I don’t really like your kids.  In fact I talk down to them, treat them disrespectfully and condemn them for doing anything that even sorta gets on my nerves.

Would you want to hang out with me?  I mean I do lots of wonderful things for you?

NO!!! I don’t care how nice you are to me, if you are condemning and mean to my children it’s game over.  We are no longer friends.

Do you see where I am going with this?  My husband is God’s son!  His baby boy, the apple of his eye.  Just as your spouse is too!  For me to be rude and disrespectful to him yet expect my relationship with God to be good is just crazy talk.  The scripture says it this way:

husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together….Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7

The same goes for us ladies so don’t think this is a way out since it is addressing men.  Peter says when you treat your spouse as your should your prayers will not be hindered.  Wow!  What insight!

I imagine that one day, I’m going to stand before God, and He’s going to gently talk to me about Bryan. He’ll say, “what did you do to care for my son? How did you love my son?”

It really puts a different spin on things doesn’t it? 

4)What if Marriage is more about holiness than happiness?

I had a friend who was getting a divorce tell me, “I’m just much happier outside of my marriage”  I couldn’t help but cringe knowing this quote from Sacred Marriage.  

What if marriage wasn’t invented just to make us happy?

Marriage is about teaching us to become LESS SELFISH.  Lord knows we need it.  To change our marriage positively, we each need to PUT OUR SPOUSES NEEDS ABOVE OUR OWN.  As we do that, the marriage becomes stronger, we become better people, and you may just find that happiness after all. True love is less about finding the “right person”, but becoming the right person.



5) When you are looking for things to praise, you will find things to praise

One of my favorite things to quote is, “there is good and bad in everyone it just depends on what you are looking for”
This is so true but sometime I get in a rut and have to INTENTIONALLY shift my thinking.  You can make a list of the things you appreciate about your spouse.   Even if you can think of only one thing, harp on that one thing so much until it makes the bad fade and the good shine.  We are not a slave to our thoughts.  We can shift our thinking to a positive and thankful attitude.

1,000 gifts is a whole book devoted to the idea of journaling thanks and how it is a complete game changer on perspective.

In closing:

“What if the greatest act of worship you could do today is to love your spouse?” -Sally Clarkston
And it very well could be. God loves your husband, and He planned for your husband to have someone to help him, to encourage him, to inspire him, to love him. God wants someone to appreciate your husband, and to urge him on in faith and in love. And that someone, that He has especially prepared for the task, is you -borrowed from 7 thoughts that will change your marriage. 

Ok now it’s your turn.  What is your advice on marriage? Leave a comment below!



Look for Jesus in the lives of the poor and broken because that is his zip code

It’s all Jesus’ fault.  Yep that’s where I find myself today.  In the middle of an exhausting, stressful, beautifully glorious mess.  Sometimes I look up and realize in the middle of a mess there is such majesty.

Ok let me back up.
So i kept reading this book, you may have heard of it it’s called the Bible.   I noticed Jesus kept talking about us helping the poor, in fact he mentioned it like 9 bazillion times (or so).  And that darn Frances Chan and David Platt didn’t help me ignore it either.

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 12.02.23 PM

Now I’m not saying I read all these verses  differently than anyone else…but I felt a call to DO SOMETHING!  I was so tired of sitting in bible studies that talked about loving the poor while we ate home baked goods in our warm church wearing our pearls and expensive shoes.   I like pearls and expensive shoes I’m not hating…it just makes me itchy.

I am somebody

But I had no idea what that even looked like.  I did not know a single person who didn’t have a car, on food stamps, and certainly no one living on the streets.  So what’s a middle class white girl to do?

I figured rather than waiting around for God’s parting of the heavens to reveal his miraculous plan for my life,  I decided just find where God is at work and join in.

I knew of two local ministries in our small town doing some amazing things for some amazing people.  So I called to see if I could volunteer.

It started small,  Just cleaning, organizing and the like.  I lead a college girls group and dragged them in with me….turns out they loved it…and they are awesome.

But then something happened.  Something I never expected.

As I became a regular volunteer.  One of the directors called me when she met someone she thought I could connect with.  A young mom of two.  No car, no home, no job, no family, and no hope.

“It’s a beautiful thing when folks in poverty are no longer a missions project but become genuine friends.”Shane Claiborne

And that is exactly what happened.  She was never a project but a very dear friend to me.  Her burdens became mine.  I lost sleep, I cried, and I learned a million and one things through this crash course of cultural divides.

We may have grown up only miles apart but it may as well have been in another solar system.  There are not enough words to describe how  differently our lives were growing up.  And in turn we found our selves in very different shoes yet similar life stages (more on that here).

That experience opened the doors for me to continue to meet new friends much different than the friends I had in the past.  Now that I have names and faces instead of just statistics,  I find myself in a totally foreign place.

I understand how food stamps work.  I have friends who have families that make Jerry Springer’s guest look normal.   I wrote a letter to a friend in jail today.   And I regularly hang out with the fatherless, and the addicted.

“If you can’t find Jesus among the safe sanctuaries then look for him in the lives of the poor and broken because that is his zip code.” –Jen Hatmaker

It’s amazing how much God can do when we are willing to get uncomfortable.  It’s basically a big hot mess of awesomeness.

My encouragement is not “hey look at me” because I am only a year or so into this whole new world.   I don’t have any answers and I have no idea what I’m doing.   I think most well meaning Christians DO want to help those outside of their comfort zone, but have no idea where to start.

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”

I don’t have a formula or a 5 step process but I do pray we can all reach a little further than the comfort of our pews and get our hands dirty.  Jesus truly does make beautiful things from the dust….especially under our fingernails.

If you are ready to jump into the deep end, I will warn you it’s messy and complicated and you may want to run, but if you stick it out you will be amazed at what God can do.

I don’t think we were meant to stay comfortable.  There are great organizations in every town and hopefully one through your church doing great work.  See if you can join in, and see if God leads you to befriend someone totally out of your comfort zone.  More than just seeing a face, but truly getting to know someone, knowing a story, sharing a burden, and sharing life…You will never be the same.

What if Mary had said no?

I love the Christmas Manger scene.  Sitting so pretty on most mantles at Christmas it’s a beautiful reminder of the miraculous day.

As a mom I can’t help but stare a little longer at Mary.  I am imagining all that she might be thinking.  Not only right there at the manger but at the very beginning when the Angel said she would have the baby.


What if Mary had said no?

Have you ever considered this?

Mary who is engaged to be married is being told by an angel that she is to carry the Lord’s son.  There are about a million things she can be worried about.

Not only is she facing possible execution, her fiancé leaving her, and ridicule…  In the unlikely event that everyone believes her I think it would be totally valid for her to think: What about me and my plans?  I am about to get married!!  I don’t want to have to alter the wedding dress!  I like being a regular girl, everyone is going to ask me tons of questions!   I really am too busy for all this right now!  God can you find someone else?

Can you imagine this in today culture?  What with all our “plans and schedules”  I’m afraid we would just be too busy for such a task!


But instead of any of these excuses she says:

 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be with me just as you say.”

I think Mary “got” something that we often just don’t comprehend.

It wasn’t about her.

She had the amazing privilege to be the mother of Jesus because she was willing to be “the Lord’s servant.”

This is HUGE

And her self sacrificing doesn’t end there.  Imagine you have agreed to carry God’s baby and it comes time for you to deliver.  I don’t know but I’m thinking maybe an angel comes and offers a big palace for me to deliver and it is a totally pain free child birth complete with people fanning me and feeding me grapes.

But as we know from the story she has to make a long journey on a donkey only to find there is NO ROOM for them at the inn and she has no choice but to deliver Jesus in a manger.

You would think Mary would be shouting,
“UMM HELLO HAVING GOD’S SON HERE??? Can someone ELSE sleep in the manger for crying out loud?!!”

Yet Mary knew this wasn’t about her…it was ALL about Jesus. 

Every piece of her story, her pain, and even her frustration was all part of the beautiful story that we still remember today and will remember for generations to come.  I wonder what parts of our lives, are weaving together to ultimately be part of a bigger story?

The best we can ever hope for in this life is a supporting role to the most amazing lead character that ever was or ever will be…Jesus.    So many of us are fighting to further our own little kingdom.  We are wrapped up in making our name famous, when if we could understand it’s not about us:  It’s about Jesus.

While I certainly believe Mary was the one God choose but what if, for example, she had said no.  She would have been free to do live her own little “important” life not to be inconvenienced with the fear of being stoned and shaming her fiancé and family.   Yet her  own little plans and agenda would have died with her generations ago and we would never even know her name.  

Making His name famous, furthering His kingdom, and doing HIS work.  His name is the only one that will last through the generations.  Why is it so hard for us to realize this?

I can get so caught up in my “own little kingdom”  Am I listening for God’s direction?

Mary was truly the Lord’s servant.  She put her own plans, fears, and excuses to the side.  None of that matters when the God of the universe has other plans.


Jesus loving Elf on the shelf modeling acts of service

This is our first year with an “elf on the shelf”

I never thought of myself as an “elf kinda mom” but we have had SOOO much fun with this little elf…I’d probably have an elf even if I didn’t have kids.  But seriously.

On the first night she (ours is a girl) came to visit I was looking on pintrest for all the creative ideas our little elf could do but my husband suggested why not let our elf be a little different than the rest.
Frosty Sugar Socks (yes that is her name) left this note on the first night of her visit:Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 2.04.44 PM

We thought Frosty could help set an example for our girls and still have fun in the process.  Every morning they wake up they can’t wait to see what Frosty has been up to!

Here are a few examples:



The one in the lego’s she left a note that said “When you play make sure you share and be kind to your friends”


Our girls LOVE seeing what she has been up to every morning!   There are so many possibilities!

We are having so much fun.  Do you have an elf at your home?  What is your favorite thing he/she has done so far?

10 things I wish I could tell all single ladies (well all women really)

I lead a college girls bible study. They are beautiful and precious young girls. As we met last week I couldn’t help but remember these ladies are all someone’s daughter.  Now that we have our own two girls I know what that kind of love is like.

Then I thought of our heavenly father And how much he loves every girl, all of his daughters!  Daughters of the one true King!


But we, as women, forget this. We think we are not good enough.

We live in a sick and twisted culture. Sex and relationships are cheap, easy, and we pretend like there are no strings attached. Casual sex is laughed off on sitcoms and movies. Photo-shoped images of “perfect” women are all over websites and magazines. Women are left confused. We end up jumping through hoops trying to be the prettiest, dress the best, or say and do the right things to catch a man’s eye.

If I could tell all young women (well all women actually) a few things, it would be this:

1) You are the daughter of a KING. I believe that makes you a princess.   With great care and intention the creator of the stars, flowers, rain, and the moon also made you.  Nothing was a mistake.  Everything about you is a work of art.

2) Yes even you
To everyone who read #1 and thought, well that doesn’t apply to me. Yes it does.


3) Imagine yourself as a rare and precious jewel..because well you are. When it comes to dating, ask yourself, “Does this guy deserve a date with a rare and precious jewel?” Does he treat you like you are a daughter of God? Do not underestimate your worth!

4)Are you the person you are looking for…is looking for?
Do you act like you believe you are royalty?  Most of my single friends say they want a man who is a spiritual leader. One who is seeking after Christ even more than he is seeking her. The only problem is they are looking for him in a bar while they are sloppy drunk.  A spiritual leader is looking for a girl who is also seeking God.
A woman’s heart should be so close to God that man has to seek God to find her.

5)Help a guy out
We know from research (and from asking any guy) that men are visual. Marketing knows this well by putting half naked women to sell their product. Dressing modestly not only makes you appear more respectful, it also helps the guys who are trying to guard their eyes. I know as women we think nothing of a low cut shirt or barley there shorts but men think about it…a LOT. Help them to keep their mind’s pure and help yourself by leaving something to the imagination.

6) Be careful about making marriage/relationships your idol
If you find yourself doing things you wouldn’t normally do or questioning what you always thought was wrong, then you have an idol. Ladies, PLEASE realize your worth in Christ before you try to let a guy define your worth for you.

7) He can’t be all things. From an early age we are taught a man will bring us our, “happily ever after.” Not only is that untrue, it is unfair. No man can carry that kind of burden. You should get your fulfillment in Christ. He is the ONLY thing that will TRULY complete you (i.e. my favorite story EVER in the bible) Finding the right guy can compliment you but not complete you (sorry Jerry McGuire).

8) It’s more than “just sex” Culture tells us that sex is just physical. Yet everyone who has had sex outside of marriage is left with emotional scars and we wonder why it turned out to be way more than just physical. Everyone pretends like it doesn’t hurt but we are designed to become one with just one. Deep down we all know it is more than just physical. This is why it would be better to be beat up than raped.

God tells us that sex outside of marriage is different than any other sin. Not because he judges harder or loves you any less but because He knows how deeply it scars.

1Corinthians 6:18 There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as
much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we
must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids  commitment and intimacy,
leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become
 one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies
that were made for God-given and  God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you
is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God
owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body. 

9)“Try it before you buy it” is ridiculous.
I would like to buy a billboard in every major city that says this:
Sex does not require practice. 

100 out of 100 people would rather hear from their future spouse , “Here is all of me, for all of you” instead of “I am a sex expert”


Sex is fragile and powerful. Just like a fire, it is beautiful in my fireplace, where it belongs. but in the middle of my living room it is destructive and leaves permanent damage.

10)If you have made bad choices in the past, today is a new day. Start today KNOWING the FACT that in Christ you have a clean slate. You can have a fresh start. Psalm 103:12 says just as far as the east is from the west he has separated us from our sin. You DON’T have to be who you used to be. Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17. Leave that old person behind and be who God created you to be.

Whether you think this is old fashioned. whether you think this is good for me but not for you, that’s ok, but the outcome and consequences are always the same. It’s not a matter of preference, it’s a matter of design.


You were designed for something so much greater than what our culture has told you.  You are a work of art, formed to show the love of Christ, a relentless, unconditional selfless love to your perfect mate.  One person.  Protect your heart and your body.  You deserve to experience love the way God intended.

Please check out my inspiration for much of this and arguablly one of the best sermons series ever below.
New Rules for Love Sex and Dating by Andy Stanley 

It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.K???

On our ride home the other day our 5 year old started singing, “YMCK” complete with the (wrong) hand motions.

Like any good parent I realize the significance and importance of teaching our children the CORRECT way to sing this disco classic lest you be the crazy person at wedding receptions doing it wrong.  So I jumped in, “No it’s actually, “YMCA, like this see?”


I expected, “oh well clearly, you are older, wiser, and such an incredible dancer (ok maybe not that part) then you surly know the correct version of the song, thanks oh wise mother of mine for your guidance.” …or something like that.

But instead she was INSISTENT that it was Y.M.C.K.  Now several days later she is still 100% sure her version is correct.  Happy to sing the song incorrectly while dancing across the living room floor.

It occurred to me…this is so me and God.  Time and time again I say, “no my life should look like this God”  I can think of times in my past especially when I was young when I thought:

I SHOULD have got that job GOD!!
Me and this guy should have worked out!!
I don’t want to move Or I want to move.
I know what is best!!!

And I can see God, knowing the correct way my life should go, knowing what is best and how crazy my life would be if I “sang the wrong lyrics”  Just smiling…Yes honey that’s one way to “sing” but I know the best way.

I bet I seem a little ridiculous when I am insistent I know what is best.  I have a limited vantage point,  limited resources, brain power etc etc…. yet in my stubbornness I can STILL become convinced my way is best.

There have been many times where I have cried, and fought it, yet God’s way won out in the end.  I don’t know why I am ever surprised but His way is ALWAYS better, ALWAYS perfect, and ALWAYS necessary.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:1-2

Today she sang “homie” instead of “holy” to her seeds family worship CD I’m not gonna lie I thought it was kinda funny but, I should probably correct her before her sunday school teacher starts asking her to rap.

Just like the song lyrics our father knows SO MUCH better than we do.  He is fully capable and fully aware of what is best for your life, we just have to let go of our way (it’s usually wrong anyway) and trust in His.



I wannabe a weirdo

We are all subject to peer pressure whether we admit it or not.  But when your peers are doing some questionable things its time to go against the grain.  Here is a snapshot of our typical “normal” peer in America:

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, at least 8 million Americans are at least one month behind on their mortgage payments at this point.

Average household debt in the United States has now reached a level of 136% of average household income.  In China, average household debt is only 17% of average household income.

Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today,one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.

The average US household credit card debt stands at $15,216 

Average mortgage debt: $148,443

Average student loan debt: $32,054 (source)

Of all countries, the United States has the highest rate of obesity. From 13% obesity in 1962, to 35.7% in 2010 (source)

55 percent of all marriages result in divorce. (source)

Research indicates that people who live together prior to getting married are more likely to have marriages that end in divorce. ” The Boston Herald

The average American spends 2.7 hours a day watching TV (source)

“More than ever before, work dominates people’s lives in this country” –Joanne B. Ciulla,

One-third of children age 8 – 17 believe their parent has been always or often worried or stressed out about things during the past month.


If the average “normal” American is financially upside down, unhealthy, overworked, in a bad relationship and stressed out…then I don’t think being normal sounds so fun.

Craig Groschel wrote a book (I highly recommend) called “Weird because normal isn’t working” that states, “when people describe his family as weird, he finds comfort.”  I couldn’t agree more.

The bible tells us: If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. John 15:19

“If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me first”.-Jesus

Living differently sometimes results in criticism.  Going with the crowd can be so easy that being “weird” requires seeking correct guidance and it isn’t always  the easiest route.  I don’t want our family to be a statistic.  I want us to be…well…weird.  

I want to be so WEIRD I save up to buy things and delay gratification instead of buying on credit.

I want to such a WEIRDO that I could stand living with less if it means I can have less stress and more time with my family.

I want to be the WEIRD family that guards the media that comes into our home.

I want to be so WEIRD that I eat food whose ingredients I can pronounce.

I want so be so WEIRD that I take INTENTIONAL time with my husband so we can still be in love years after the, “I do.”

And I want so be criticized for saying NO to something good so I can say YES to something great.

What do you think about all this weird talk.  Are you a weirdo too?

Imperfect “Quiet time”

Every Christian I have ever met gives them self a guilt trip for not having a proper or frequent “quiet time”.  I think we somehow think if the earth doesn’t shake and our bible doesn’t levitate while praying then we didn’t do it right.

I certainly feel  a little inadequate discussing a subject of how to grow in your relationship with the God of the entire universe. So don’t take this as a “how to guide” rather than just what works for one imperfect girl.

My quiet time has taken many forms.  I have learned which ways I learn best, and in which ways just put me to sleep.  In this stage of life my ideal quiet time looks like this:

First let me say the holy bible app has been the best thing that ever happend to my quiet time.  I will talk more about that in a second but if you don’t have that on any “Smart gadget” get it!

holy bible app

Get up, head to the kitchen for a bowl of cereal (yes I eat before I do anything else)  I bring my cereal to the couch where the house is still quiet.  I have the “holy bible” app on my phone.  I read the verse of the day (provided by the app) and write it in my journal.  I repeat it a few times, write anything I feel God telling me through this.  Often I write a prayer for what is on my mind and mostly WHAT I AM THANKFUL FOR.  I then sit in silence a few minuets just marinating on this.

After the kids have woken up, eaten breakfast and happy with a cartoon, I listen to the audio version of the “multiply reading plan” (also on the bible app) by David Platt and Francis Chan I can listen to it from my phone while I get dressed and ready.  The audio feature on this is app is, my friends, AWESOMENESS.

Not only do I learn so much more LISTENING to such a good story teller, but I can also listen while driving or folding clothes, putting on makeup, or any other mundane task.


And lastly, On the way to pre-school, the kids and I sing (at the top of our lungs) YOU MAKE BEAUTIFUL THINGS by gungor.

This happens on ideal mornings.  Not every morning.   This is also just what works for this stage of life.  It wasn’t too long ago I was up all night with a baby and waking up even 30 seconds earlier than I had to was completely out of the question.

On days where I have stayed up too late or in a crazy rush, I can still listen to the audio version of the bible in the car.  Listening/reading scripture really does have a way of setting the mood of the day.

At a bare minimum, when I can do nothing else, I sing a few song lyrics (in my head less anyone runs in terror) of this song that just permeates everything I am passionate about.   These are they lyrics from a part of Hillsong’s Hoseanna song:

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks yours

Everything I am for your kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity

If I could have theme music I would want it to be this.  Repeating this as my “mantra” helps me to live up to my theme music.

In different stages of life and in different context our time with God may look differently.  Sometimes it is just sitting outside and marveling at his creativity, making a list of all of our blessings,  CHOOSING to be happy when circumstances are less than ideal, or journaling our prayers.

The short of the story is this:  Studying God’s word is absolutely important, sharing life and being built up by other believers is absolutely important.  But the intimacy that comes from just you and God, together with no one else around is incomparable.

God is not one of guilt or to-do lists.  He is a God of relationships.  More than a 3 hour bible study, a long and eloquent prayer,  or even serving others, he just wants you.

What does your “imperfect quiet time” look like.  What works best for you?