Insecurity, you repugnant acquaintance.

All my life? So melodramatic. Really; only, possibly, since junior High: that is when I was introduced to you. A melting pot full of nihilistic tweens, so gracious to send you my way. At first introduction, clinging yourself to me like the leach whose gruesome characteristics you so easily mimic.

Insecurity.

A black, plump, thriving leach.

You got ahold and vowed; no, pledged your undying allegiance to me for decades. All the while feeding on my pride, my dignity, my self worth.

Prior to our first, fated encounter you see, I was chalk full of all these chattels. From birth, surrounded by people, donors, giving to this supply. Encompassed by a world that inspired, encouraged, and built up. This is why you survived for so long. Why you became such a remarkable size. The nutrients you fed upon, that made you flourish, were illimitable. Sure, you drained me, left me weak, fragile, but I was able to recharge once home. Daily, I received a life saving transfusion. My life support system infallible.

Until it wasn’t. Until I didn’t. Until the transfusions stopped. Until my tank got too low. Until your grip became too tight. Until I was suffocating. Until refills were now left to me. Separated from my sustenance. A journey too bleak to recount. Decades murky and somber. I refuse to draw forth. All that remains important is remembering, recalling, recanting, the price paid to dislodge you, the depth of the wound left behind, and the time unrecoverable in your grasp.

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:13-17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Weak point.

Y’all! It’s late July in Louisiana. Hot. Muggy. Did I mention hot? Listen, I’m not talking about mildly, uncomfortable heat. The specific heat I am referring to here, is a heat so intense, you would think the devil himself was gonna appear any second. So hot, that your legs, not just stick to the seats, they have seat exteriors melted to them upon standing. Under brassiere sweat before 6 am, kind of hot. I would continue, but I don’t want to make anybody, anymore uncomfortable with these increasingly gross analogies.

Along with this insatiable July heat comes another pleasant bestowal. A wonderful package deal. Stupendous two for one. Glorious BOGO….Hurricane season. Yes folks, heat AND hurricanes. Yippee. And as you would have it, 44 days into the 2019 season, ole Louisiana draws the short straw. We get the 1st storm of the year! Whoooohooo Louisiana! Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Thank you hurricane Barry.

In the weeks leading up to Barry’s grand arrival (it in fact may have only been one week, not sure. All I do know is it seemed like forever) I, like many others, watched countless news reports. The dramatic, the sensational, the grandiose. Every station, every report, trying, desperately, to report the exact same story from a different angle.

Amidst all this repetitive clatter, one story did manage to catch my attention. Minutes after the winds had dwindled, a city official, in one of the small towns most severely impacted by Barry’s quake, was attempting to appease the media, by providing the interview every newscaster wants in the middle of an ongoing disaster. The one where the interviewee is at their lowest. Just been through one of the worst days of there lives. This was that exact interview. The official was blatantly fatigued, rain soaked, emotionally exhausted, answering question after question, when he said something so profound, I stopped in my tracks. “We haven’t seen a hurricane in our city in 10 years, it revealed our weak points, we have some work to do.”

It revealed our weak points.

We have some work to do.

God began speaking almost immediately. (And no not audibly, I am not looney toons)

This hardship. This difficult season. These day(s), week(s), month(s), year(s) that have entangled, entrapped, beaten, and made you feel as though you were sinking in mud. Suffocating.

They are not for not. They are not to destroy you. They are not to cause you pain. They are here for one purpose. They must reveal your weak points. Once your weak points are clear, they can be repaired, restored, fortified. The next storm, trial, hardship, will not be able to impact, let alone damage this area again.

Yes, the storm has battered, beat, torn, shredded, shattered, and ripped out. Yes, it is agonizing, painful, devastating, and crushing. No, it will not be easy to rebuild, to put back together, to replace. But it can be done.

We have some work to do.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Barnwood Door- Pallet Repurpose

I am constantly looking up how-to ideas for various build projects. Sometimes I lean on them for a few pointers, other times, I lean on like a crutch or life support…aka I have no idea what I am doing. My most recent search (other than recipes, which I am constantly searching), was for a how to build a bench out of an old door. I absolutely loved the simplicity of the post I found and you can visit my Pinterest page to see how it turned out. I kinda adore it!

Fast forward to needing a new project to busy my already busy life. I have a lonely built in bookshelf in my living room. It’s quite plain and sad. I decided it totally needed a barn door on it and so about a month ago I went on a door hunt. I found the perfect door at my local antique store. HOWEVER….they wanted $75 for it and I wasn’t willing to pay that…So, this is my first attempt at a how-to post. Let’s build a barn wood out of a repurposed pallet and freshen up this sad bookshelf!

1. Find some good quality pallets.

You are going to need several depending on what size door you are making. The door I made was 80″ x 27″ and we only used 2 pallets. In your search for pallets it is also important to find pallets that are similar in size. This will be very important when you’re lining up the planks of the door. I am lucky enough to have an endless supply of free pallets at my job, but I know plenty of places that sell them for $10 a pop.

2. Disassemble Pallets

The easiest way we found to do this is with a saw zaw equipped with a serrated blade. Simply cut between the wood and the attaching board. The saw will cut the nails in half and leave a flat surface. Be careful not to cut into the wood, any of it,you’re going to need it all.

3. Select boards.

Once you’re done disassembling, select which boards you are going to use. It is normal that some will be split or disproportional. Along with the actual planks, you will also be using the pallets brace boards, so set a few of those aside too.

4. Position the boards.

You will need some saw horses to make this easier. Begin positioning the first tier of planks in the desired length. You will need to play with this a little in order to find the pieces that fit together the best. The lengths of the boards shouldn’t be an issue, rather the width and the way they fit together to prevent gaps between pieces.

5. Measure, cut and place your back board.

Remember I said you will need the bracing boards from the pallets? In this step, you will need to measure this board to match the length you want your door. Once measured, cut the length and place behind the previously positioned planks. You can see in the below picture how we lined this board up with the planks.

6. Attach boards.

We used torque screws for this project. They provide the most secure attachment. We used 2 screws per plank and attached to bracing board. Below is a picture of the screws we used, 1 1/4″ in length.

7. Remove Gaps.

Because you are using repurposed wood, gaps are a for sure problem. As you begin securing the planks, you will start to see these gaps forming. A simple fix is to apply clamps. These will apply pressure to the boards and reduce the appearance of gaps. While these clamps are in place, you will finish up the screwing.

You will also want to even up the ends. In the below picture, you see we used a skill saw to remove the uneven pieces. Once all boards have been secured and you are happy with the end lines, you can remove the clamps.

8. Repeat at the other end.

Okay, let’s take this step by step. As you repeat the other end, you will need to attach a middle bracing board and position your bottom brace board. The middle board will be placed to allow the top board to attach, but also leaving room for the bottom boards to attach as well. This is why I said saw horses are a must! Potentially you will need 3 saw horses to hold the very fragile door in this step.

Depending on your door height, you will also need to cut the boards to the appropriate sizes. I decided to make my door with a little character. This meant long boards on bottom and short boards on top, but you decide what you want and how you want your door to look.

9. Clamp and attach.

This is just a repeat step. Clamp and attach.

10. Cross beams.

Not only do cross beams add character, they offer support! Using another plank board, measure the length and angles you need for these boards. In my opinion, this is the most frustrating step, I HATE ANGLES! The easiest way to do this is with a speed square. Place to board as seen in the picture. Slide your speed square or any straight object underneath the board, flush with the brace board, apply pressure and lift cross beam with speed square in place. Have your help mark the angle on the back of the board. Then cut (see below picture):

11. Screw cross beams in place.

In my final picture you will see we did a crisscross design on both top and bottom panels. The reason we chose this was due to the mounting brackets for the slide hardware.

I purchased the mounting hardware on Amazon for $50, my kit was a little more pricy because I needed a specialized length.

I am totally in love with this door and I hope my instructions help you build one that you will love too!!

Connecting the dots.

Do you remember when long car rides meant finding ways to entertain yourself without TVs, phones, or personal music devices? When car rides required that you engage the highest form of imagination you could muster, so that you wouldn’t die of boredom? I know for me, there was always a critical moment before leaving on any long road trip, that consisted of thoroughly planning the contents and then packing my car bag. Often this bag would include various items to keep me entertained. Items like dolls, or reading material, coloring books or word searches. Sometimes my mom would buy my brother and I these jumbo activity books and a pack of new crayons. Between the pages of the jumbo activity book would be pages of word searches, hangman games, color by number pages, tic tac toe, and connect the dots. Hours of entertainment without the need for a charger or app.

For a self proclaimed, A-type, OCD like person; connect the dots was one of my favorite ways to pass the endless miles of a road trip. Connecting the dots meant fixing what appeared to be a jumbled mess. It meant making sense of the vast sea of random dots, scattered seemingly crazed on the page. It meant that, all would be right, once I connected this dot to that dot. Following the predestined sequence of numbers, 1 goes to 2, so on a so forth. I could ease my overwhelming aggravation with the chaos of dots and create a cohesive picture.

As with most things, the connect the dot patterns included varying ranges of difficulty. As I got older, the pieces became more challenging. No longer as simple as connecting 1 to 50, and revealing a simple picture of a cute dog. The patterns began increasing in numbers, but also increasing was the margin for error. Now, some puzzles required significant critical thinking. Now, the dots excluded numbers, requiring you to figure out which dot could be next based on the trajectory of the previous lines. Planning and studying were now required and sometimes a line would be drawn to what I thought was the next point, only to find out 4 more steps in, my pattern was now off course. A simple erase and reroute would generally fix this short speed bump, and soon, the intended image would appear, once again satisfying my personality type.

What if though….What if, when the numbers stopped in the pattern, I stopped working the puzzle? What if, I chose to just stare blankly at the puzzle, becoming increasingly frustrated by the polka dot fiasco? Perhaps frozen by the fear of failing or having to backtrack and erase? Circling around the same dot mindlessly. Reminiscing the previous moves forward. Choosing to stop would leave me with countless puzzles, left unsolved. Several beautiful pictures left without viewing, because the dots were left unconnected. The puzzle left unsolved.

Faith is a lot like this connect the dots. Faith is taking the leap to the next dot, even though the point is not numbered. It sometimes means going back and correcting the trajectory, but not stopping the process in spite of the not knowing. Faith requires pushing into the unknown to complete the final picture. It is looking at a jumbled plot of dots, believing they are perfectly placed to ultimately create a designated purpose.

Consider your jumbled plot of dots. What is keeping you stuck on your last move? What is restraining you from drawing the next line? Enough is enough! Crumble up and throw away the list of excuses you Just spit out in rapid succession. Do it! Today is the day. Now is the time. Take a deep breath and grab you a handful of faith, two if your feeling cowardly. Move forward, progress to the next dot. Whatever it is. Just have faith. Just take a step already.

Pour Out.

Have you ever heard a song, with lyrics so smooth, they flowed through your soul, like wind bustles over a field of wheat? Each word prancing over areas of your insides, bobbing and weaving, moving, nudging you in ways you never knew words could? Perhaps you were in the midst of a devastating breakup, or struggling with significant loss, with which you grieved heavily, and suddenly, lyrics reached you when no other soothing technique had worked.

When I was a teenager, a good friend and I were fighting over a very dashing boy. Important to note here, he was not at all dashing, now that I look back on this situation. Anyhow, this 16 year old boy single handedly managed to disengage our friendship, playing us against one other like chess pieces on a marble board. This teenage 90’s version of the bachelor, took place in the height of the Bryan McKnight era. His latest hit, “Back-at One” played on every station hourly, and even more readily on repeat on my Ford Escort CD player. To save you from the tedious, embarrassing details of this soap opera, I will fast forward to the part where teenage Bachelor chooses my ex-best friend over me. I was utterly devastated, shell shocked. Months of mental strategy, stress, puppy love, were now over. During the peek of my heartbreak, over what I swore was the worst pain I’d ever felt in my life, I some how managed to cleverly generate new lyrics to Mr. McKnights Number 1 hit. I did his song, absolutely no justice, however; these twisted, childish, petty lyrics, seemed to perform a miracle. They allowed healing to flood over my very first ever broken heart. They allowed me to laugh a little and ease my mind of the constant soundtrack heartbreak creates. I teetered back and forth on wether I’d share these ingenious lyrics with you. I shall not. Really you’re missing nothing.

What I will share are the lyrics that sparked this thought.

“You give life, You are love

You bring light to the darkness

You give hope, You restore

Every heart that is broken

Great are You, Lord.

It’s Your breath in our lungs

So we pour out our praise

We pour out our praise

It’s your breath in our lungs

So we pour out our praise.”

It’s Your breath in my lungs…As I sang these lyrics this morning in church, as the truth spilled from my lips, I suddenly came alive with the factuality of these words. This breath that fills my lungs, every second of every day does not belong to me. It is not mine. I am here for a purpose that is not found in a job, or paying bills, or making money. My purpose is not in any of these mindless tasks. I am here to pour out praise. To pour out abundant praise in everything that I do. In my actions, my thoughts, my words, my movements. Every single thing that I do should pour out praise to my creator! It is His breath in my lungs. As I mother my children, it should be to the glory of Him. As I approve invoices or load the dishwasher, I should be doing it to praise Him.

Life is so full of events, timelines, plans, that is becomes so easy to lose sight of what matters. To become distracted. We get caught up in cycles, routines, lies that cloud our vision until we can no longer see what really matters. Heartbreak, loss, hurt, life issues it’s bumps and bruises and over time they desensitize us to the beauty of our purpose. He intended so much more and it begins by the realization of we are made of. We are made up of the breath of God.

Sister, use your breath to pour out praise. Be who He fashioned you to be.

Headphones.

What an enjoyable, unexpected way to spend a weekday night. I literally can think of only a few things better. Here I sit. Sweats, ratty tee shirt, hair in a crazy pineapple thing. Headphones in, old school jams blaring, working like a washing machine. Swishing, twisting, scrubbing out the negative banter, that creeps in and is so eager to play on repeat. Chatter like a bad elevator soundtrack. I feel them moving out now. Quickly.

At first they wouldn’t budge. The thoughts, the worries, the cares of this world. Sitting like boulders, weighing on my brain matter like an elephant on a stool. What was just budging as a trickle, is now moving rapidly. With the beat of Nelly, in perfect rhythm, they march right out. LEFT, LEFT, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT! Out with the work that consumes, stress that swallows, relational drama that drowns, and in with the carefree memories of the past.

Its funny, how it works. Like clock work, or like those characters from that cute Disney movie “Inside Out”, that move memories around in the brain. The first down beat of the melody and I am suddenly transported. Magically, taken back to a moment captured in time. I hear a certain late 90’s early 00’s song, snap, my mind immediately travels to one specific memory. Senior breakfast. Late spring morning in 2000. Windows down in an old school tracker, with friends, blaring Eminem. (You don’t judge my music and I won’t judge yours) Wind blowing through our hair as we spit the words like professional rappers, or at least back up singers to the famous rapper. Life was so carefree then. So much freedom, possibility. The whole world in front of us, not a care in the world.

You’ve got to have your own carefree Eminem moment. I, seriously cannot be the only one. My question is this…What happens to these moments? Why, as we get older, do they grow so infrequent? Why aren’t we silly? Stay up well into the night doing things we love? Why not do a Chinese fire drill (or in my feelings challenge), or dance until we can’t breathe? When is it that we are required to trade in our fun tickets for the predictable and safe counterfeits? I am realizing with every turn of the annual clock, I don’t want to die with regrets. I don’t want to get to old age and have “I wish I would have” breaths left in me. I long to be so full of “I DIDS”, that I literally cannot say it one more time.

So, do it! Girl please, let’s have countless 50 Cent rapping sessions in our living rooms. The kind that leave our kids speechless, staring, both amazed and mortified. Yet, don’t do it for them. Do it for the only audience of one that matters- YOU!

Do more things that make you happy and less that make you cry.

Here’s to 2019 you lovely beasts you!

The Message.

“You’ll miss it one day.”

I cannot even begin to count (or recant) the number of times some endearing, well meaning soul communicated these simple 5 words to me. Five words, not always communicated verbatim, nor recited in exact cantor, however; the intent of the words were always the same. The messages core intent, unwavering. The punch line never morphing. Yet I missed it.

The message was typically delivered after some tireless rant about current situations, that were at the moment, dramatically overwhelming and unfathomable. At least in my perspective, on that given day. No matter how different the days top story was though, the subject matter remained steadily the same. The drama, the muse, always my children. Ranting and raving about the taxiing them about or breaking up yet another quarrel. Blubbering over the to dos and not to dos. Right in the midst of the most well rehearsed attempt at sympathy, BAM….the message would be dropped like a bomb on my party pooper parade. “Yea well, you’re going to miss it one day.” Insert atomic bomb sound effect here. Yet I missed it.

Nothing will stop you dead in your tracks, like a reality wake up call such as this. Yet in the midst of the un-relinquishing turmoil that is a busy moms life, you never quite believe the messenger. You never quite grasp that it is feasible for any, sane person to miss the massive burden of responsibilities of a mother. You ask yourself, “how in God’s name, could anyone miss this? Yet I missed it.

Then one day it happens. One day your heart aches for the business, the craziness, the tediousness of past moments, of past days, of past schedules. And girl, that day started today. Today I got a glimpse at the “yeti” of a theory, that is…”missing it”. You see, before today, it was a hoax, an unbelievable story so large, it made the likelihood of a yeti seem possible. This day, as my children went in different directions. No rides required. Friends keeping them company. Not required to cook a meal. Not required to help with any hair. No fights to referee. No to dos, no taxiing. This day I had dreamt of since 2008, was unfolding before my eyes. It was happening today! It was right under my nose. It was so close I could grasp it. But, a chorus of alphabetical guru was looping wildly in my mind. Those 5 words in the message came flooding back. Strung together like a billboard for karma herself. The words, ringing loud in my ears. Bellowing, swarming, around and around in my head. On this day, when I thought I would be jollying in my solitude, I was wallowing in my sadness. Today, I didn’t miss it because it slapped me clear in the forehead.

These are the moments. They are precious. Stop waiting for tomorrow, or next week, or when my kids grown up. Cherish the moments. All of them. Every single one girl! Cherish the instagram perfect moments and the trying to get of the car with your seatbelt still on moments too. Because yes, you will miss them.

Cheering.

I don’t know about you, but I am my biggest critic. Worse than one of those cheeky food critics, like the one humorously portrayed in Ratatoullie. I scrutinize every single detail of every conversation, action, creation, thought. The list of possible targets to my scrutiny is endlessly exhausting. Perfection is the never-obtainable goal. So, it should come as no surprise, I often lay in bed at night, in the quiet, while shutting off my brain…wondering, did I do enough today for my kids?

Did I hug them enough? Give them enough attention? Ask enough questions? Did I give them enough love? Did I tell them I’m proud? Was I engaged? Was I kind? Was it all enough?

Is it ever enough? Enough to combat the offense. Did I execute an adequate defense?

For you see, tomorrow they will get up and journey back into a world that reverberates to them, they aren’t enough. That they don’t have what it takes. That they don’t measure up. A world that pushes them for more. To be more. Do more. Give more.

So, I lie there, faking sleep, asking… was it all enough?

Maybe I’m not the only mom, plagued by this vexing fret. I most assuredly doubt that I am. And since I am not, today, as a mom, I come as your personal cheerleader! I have my pompoms and my cute outfit on. A big obnoxious bow strapped to my head and the biggest, cheesiest smile you have ever seen, slapped on my face! I am shouting…You’re doing a great job! You’re are successfully keeping the little (or big) humans alive. Yay!

Today, let’s stop stressing and take a minute for a deep breath. Remember, there is no operation manual for this job, and whoever wrote What to “Expect When You’re Expecting”, forgot A LOT OF CRITICAL INFORMATION!

Focus.

Blog

Scrolling through Pinterest, as I attempt to create some resemblance of “me time” (what is that anyway?); I stumble across this witty pin. I am quite infatuated with these, often comical, black and white message boards, maybe because they really remind me of Sunday school felt boards- can I get an AMEN or because they say the most brilliant things, and I wish I could think them up! I took a quick screen shot, saved the pin to my ever-clever board “show me a sign”, snort/laughed sarcastically under my breath and drifted off to quick slumber. So much for my “me time”!

A few days later, in a caffeine deprived, sleepy eyed state, I opened my bible to get me some Jesus! Completely oblivious to the WOW moment about to strike straight from heaven!  The scripture that day was of Mary and Martha; sisters, most likely best friends and even better friendemies. This emphasis added truth became very apparent to me as I read the juicy documented “brawl” recanted in the book of Mark. You see, in my mind, Mary is type B personality. Absolutely nothing ruffles her feathers, no deadlines drain her peace, she is simply happy. Happy being alive and it would take an atomic bomb kinda of day to cause even the tiniest wake. I know this personality type well, because my daughter is a classic B. I… on the other hand, am NOT. I, like Martha, am A type personality. EVERYTHING ruffles our feathers. Deadlines define our days, as soon as, our eyes open.  We are driven by an eternal fear of failure chasing us down, so we try to outperform, outwit, out do, everyone. Including ourselves.

In this story, we see these personalities on stage, showing us exactly why they cannot live in harmony. Martha and Mary both know Jesus is coming over to visit. Jesus! Like the real Jesus! He is coming to have dinner at their house, to eat off their dinnerware, to sit on their furniture, to eat their food. While they are both ecstatic (who wouldn’t be, it’s Jesus!)- a dramatic variation of subject focus occurs. After Jesus’ arrival, Mary… stays fixed on the excitement of the guest. She is zoomed in on gleaning every ounce, of every word, He will speak. She sits crisscross applesauce, at His feet, transfixed as unbeknownst to her, Martha’s blood boils. Martha peers from the hot kitchen, her focus pointed, obviously, on ALL that must be done. An immediate “to do” list took precedence, the second she was informed He would be visiting. And now, she spotlights what must be cleaned, what must be cooked, what must be served and the fact that her sister, is NOT HELPING HER! She is no longer focused on the splendor of Jesus, no longer worried about the honorary guest. Rather, she has allowed her heart to target the wrong object. Staring down the barrel of what must be completed, missing the mark entirely.

As I trek through the passage, I am absolutely appalled! The nerve of this woman! How did she not realize the importance of this moment? How could she not see? Then just like that, like a fluorescent arrow at a road side stop, blinking, clicking, begging for me to stop, I remember the screen shot from the night before. While the simple sign is still quite hilarious, it offers a stinging blow. Magically, it had transformed and was now a mirror (like the ones in the Target dressing rooms, where you can see EVERYTHING, from EVERY angle) and I could clearly see, the reflection of Martha staring back at me.

Right on cue, in perfect timing, the sweet nudge of Holy Spirit, softly reminds me how often my focus is amiss. Like Martha, I too allow the distraction of “important” to drown the blessing of “most important.” The vexing tug of to-do lists, deadlines, perfection snatching my attention from what really matters. Then the words of Jesus, drop as a thud, into my heart, “Martha (Candace), Martha (Candace), you are worried and upset about many things. But only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, and I will not be taken away from her. Luke 10:41”

The Event.

Ever notice, how you struggle with a thing for a season, (maybe a much longer season than we’d like to admit) and so you work on it. I mean you put forth valiant effort. You pray about it, read all the self-help books, do the 101 steps to smashing your obstacle, and FINALLY… get to the point where you’re like yea, I got this thing u-n-d-e-r c-o-n-t-r-o-l and then BAM! Like your bathing suit on the first day of summer…it hits your square in the forehead…like NOPE…. I’MMMMM BAAACCCKKKK!

Yesterday, I was curled up in my favorite spot, reading my bible and feeling bona fide spiritual. Studying various scriptures about self-control, writing in my prayer journal, quite comfortable up on my spiritual unicorn, when “the event” occurred. I have cleverly chosen this title, due to the fact, that; in my imagination, when I hear the word “event”, I visualize the scene of a boxing match. Actually, I am envisioning the highlight reel flashed on ESPN, following the epic heavy weight battle. The clip where the final blows are delivered, and what in reality- took a few seconds, is now slowed down to such drastic proportions, the ripples in the opponents’ cheek shift like waves in an ocean. It is this slow-motion effect, that caused the selection of “event”, as it perfectly portrays yesterday’s incident.

As you recall, I am on my spiritual unicorn of self-righteous self-control now. I hear the faint click of the thermostat, triggering the air conditioner to come on, however; rather than the sound of the blissfully blowing cold air, I am met with an annoying hum and absolutely, no blissfully cold air…whatsoever. It is summer in Louisiana…and this humming sets in motion the next sequence of actions, labeled the event.  Not only do I dismount my unicorn of self-control, I spin into a panicked frenzy, coupled with rage and anger, that in a matter of seconds, transforms into mass hysteria. No joke. What was a simple, level 1 situation, took off like a rocket, into a level 26 emergency. In my mind, the ac issue escalated quickly as follows… 1. Needing an entire new unit that will cost $7,000 (I googled it and the internet does not lie), 2. Our family budget is mortally flawed, 3. I am a terrible money manager, 4. EVERYTHING happens when my husband is gone to work, 5. I am all alone, and finally the climax 6. Poor, poor pitiful me. Like a starving actress at her first audition, desperate to get noticed, I depleted the entire spectrum of emotions inside my body, in 7 seconds flat. Now galloping around on a unicorn of a different name…called flesh.

As I laid sleepless, in the heat, the Holy Spirit brought to my memory the apostle Paul. I like to imagine, he too, was in a moment of complete failure when he spoke this of himself, “Listen, I can’t explain my actions. Here’s why: I am not able to do the things I want; and at the same time, I do the things I despise. I know that in me, that is, in my fallen human nature, there is nothing good. I can will myself to do something good, but that does not help me carry it out. I can determine that I am going to do good, but I don’t do it; instead, I end up living out the evil that I decided not to do.” (Romans 7:15, 18-19) Whaaaaaaat???? The apostle Paul! He goes on to provide a prospect of hope by saying “I am thankful to God for the freedom that comes through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!” (Romans 7:25) Meaning, that, in myself alone, I ain’t got this… but in Him- I am free from the burden of having to try in my own strength, because I can fully rely on Him and His strength!

Maybe, just maybe, you have experienced an episode like mine once or twice in your life. And maybe, just maybe, the climax of your epic event, fostered the same feelings of failure, hopelessness and embarrassment. The crazy train to flesh, left you exhausted and disgusted. Amid the aftershock, I am here to announce, there is hope and it is Jesus Christ! He desires to be EVERYTHING you need, in EVERY circumstance of your life! Through every “event” no matter how giant or minuscule. He’s got this, if you will only trust Him.

“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” Deuteronomy 31:6-8