Wallpaper Christianity…

I’ve been so focused on the new job that I’ve felt like my brain has left me zero room to process emotions–does that make sense? I’ve been struggling with feeling like God is near (is He? I mean, of course He is, but He’s hard to hear when the world is so loud & obnoxious), in the middle of trying to get thru the day-to-day…
But He finds ways & places to capture our hearts, sometimes when we least expect it, & emotions, like water, WILL make their way thru.
Sitting at Hannah’s grave hurt today… it hurt in a way that it hasn’t in a long time. 💔 

Maybe it’s the season–after all, her birthday was October 30th, & November 28th is the date of her death. Maybe it’s the fact that this time of the year, I feel pulled in more directions than are humanly possible to reach. Maybe it’s that time is flying by, & I get this “hitch” in the center of my chest every time my son outgrows another piece of clothing…

I sat at her grave, putting up her Christmas tree, & as I was making things “just so,” I felt God say, “Wait. Take a breath–you need to process this.” David & Jericho were in the car–they could wait. I sat there & looked at the beautiful hills…15 years. 15 years of memories, of decorations come and gone…15 years of tears, of occasional stoicism or anger, many years of finding, losing, and re-finding peace in the unknowing….even peace in the non-understanding…and still, 15 years of unanswered questions…

I still find myself asking if it will ever make sense…and I still find myself leaning back on Him, knowing that He is still there to catch me. He is in the unknowing, even when He is all we know.

You know, people have gotten really crazy with what I call “wallpaper Christianity.” I can’t do the whole, “live, laugh, love” thing on my wall…I have a Cricut, & I’m pretty sure David’s biggest concern when he bought it was that I’d plaster the house with all of that, “this is us” crap, LOL, but he needn’t worry…usually….But the other day, I saw a sign on Facebook that I’m going to have to duplicate. It said, “I still remember the days I prayed for what I have, now.”

Oooooh, that got me.

I still remember the letter 14-year old me wrote to her future husband, & all of the prayers poured into this man that steals my heart & my bath towel, or forgets to change the toilet paper roll. I still remember the prayers poured into finding joy again, or into recovery. I remember the prayers poured into learning to trust God all over again, into finding who I was again….and I remember on a daily basis, the prayers poured into the crazy-pants, static, loud, lovable, kind, adorable, occasionally obnoxious, and always-amazing now 8-year old miracle that I get to call, “Son.”

Even on the days where I have utterly failed at wife-ing or parenting, I remember those prayers, & I am endlessly grateful.

I’m thankful for this journey. Above all, I am thankful for a God Who loves & sustains us thru the the business & chaos, & Who lovingly calls us to selah, or “pause” & to listen to His voice….Who created us as emotional beings & Who never tells us to “stifle it” or to “suck it up.” He understands our processes because He created us in His image, & He IS an emotional Being–He loves, He grieves, & He celebrates. He doesn’t expect or want us to pretend; He wants our reality & our actuality.

We may want to focus on “live, laugh, love, ” but He is also in those commas & spaces between,,,in the parts no one wants to paper their walls with. He is calling us to pause in the chaos, and to allow ourselves to feel…to feel all of it, and to share it with Him.

So, I got a little….well, I almost said, “wrecked,” but it was more like an emotional flat tire: easily fixed, but not to be ignored. And that’s okay. There is peace after the processing.

I hope that you get to take the time through the next few weeks to breathe, to feel, and to fall into His arms. He will always be there.

Happy Thanksgiving, and if you don’t hear from me, Merry Christmas, beloveds. May you find your selah in this season.

Not Like the Movies (AKA, Why Rosanne Barr Can Never Be Liam Neeson)

 

Ever want to drop a drink on a 6’4,” 300lb overgrown gorilla, and be able to live to tell the tale?

Like, why can’t we just knock people out and walk away, like they do in the movies??? Every now and then, life should just work that way.

Every now and then, you should get a free pass, to take the swing and drop the drink…the Free Pass to knock the rude gorilla out on his rear. Someone should hand out the occasional Free Pass to be Karma, Incarnate.

Sigh.

Of course, this means that someone would eventually take THEIR Free Pass and knock ME out, but I almost think it’s worth the risk (KIDDING!!!).

Anyways,  violence is not the answer…

But sometimes?

Hmmmm…..

The Bible says to “bless those who curse you.” That sounds pretty easy, until you have to live it. Although it’s much more fun to lie in bed and think of all of the amazing insults you could throw back at a person, it’s not what we’re supposed to do, regardless of what we WANT. I’d much rather slash someone’s tires or put sugar in their gas tank. But that’s not very Christian-like of me, now is it?

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Just because we’re Christians, doesn’t mean we don’t get angry. It doesn’t mean we don’t shoot off our mouths, think stupid things, or act like idiots sometimes. I’m guilty of this as a wife, as a mom, and as a person. I certainly have one heck of a temper. Learning to keep it controlled is a lifelong struggle, and I think I’ve seen one too many action movies where Revenge goes off without a hitch, to fully understand the consequences of when we act out our anger.

In my head,  I see myself as Mel Gibson or Arnold Schwarzenegger, when in reality, I’m probably more like Roseanne Barr….and I don’t see anyone casting her in the lead role of “Taken #10” (maybe they should!! It might be scarier, to see the suburban Baby Boomer go all “Snapped” on a Bosnian cartel!!!!).

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In my head,  I pour the drink on the insulting gorilla and walk away, head held high, basking in the glory of my liberated female bravery.

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In reality, my anger grieves the heart of Jesus,  and shows a lack of faith. He fights our battles, right?

Sigh.

Darn it, Jesus.

Why You gotta be so RIGHT?!?!?! (stomps foot…pouts…throws toys)….

My blogs are generally based on my real-life experiences. This one is no exception–someone made me super-angry. Like, break-a-beer-bottle angry….like, “I wish I Knew PEOPLE,” angry.

They made me the kind of angry where I had to force myself to walk away, and I was actually (wait for it)….AT A LOSS FOR WORDS.

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And I spent the better part of the other night, thinking of ways to stealthily ruin their life. 🙂

Finally (duh, Cass), I prayed about it, & Jesus said, “bless those who curse you,” which loosely translates to, “shut up, Cass”.

Seriously, though, He got me. He’s right (again, DUH, CASS). We bless the haters. We bless those who hate. Bless those who hate us. Bless those people, and pity them, because the world they live in is sad and dark to them, and to everyone around them that gets sucked into their vortex of misery. And I foolishly let them suck me into their vortex last night, and cast their shadow over a beautiful evening.

Foolish.

I really am my own worst enemy, more often than not. I think that’s pretty typical of the human race, though–if we’d get out of our own way, and Let Jesus Handle Our Business, we’d be so much better off. I know I would be.

I know this woman at church who is nothing less than a stick of dynamite. Like, she’s maybe 5’2,” very petite, and has that kind of natural “blue steel” presence when she looks at you. You KNOW she knows Jesus–not like, “hey, yeah, I love Jesus.” Nope–Mona is a legitimate Friend of God. She’s an armor-bearer, and is the kind of woman you want in your corner when you have questions. She said yesterday that she will tell you the truth, and not many people like her, for it. Man, I need those people in my life. I don’t like hearing it, but when it’s said with true intention and love? You can’t deny it. She caught me in the middle of writing this, and told me about how she used to be “that” kind of person. She said she was the kind of person that would take on the gorilla in the room and knock him the heck out with one punch, if she got good and mad.

I don’t even care about the logistics of that–I believe her.

She told me about the love of God, and how it washed her anger clean…When you look at Mona, you wouldn’t think, in a million years, that she could ever have lived that life. She radiates peace and determination, she prays with purpose and intention. I believe she knocks out spiritual gorillas, for sure, but to think of her tackling them in person, in a bar? Man-oh-man, how the love of God can change a heart!!!

Goals, man.

I’m not the same person I was at 21, or at 25, or at 35. I’m a continuing work in progress that doesn’t always make the best decisions. I let my emotions get in the way, and I waste my time obsessing over things that I can’t change. I don’t let Jesus do what He needs to do, either for other people, or for myself…I can do a lot of things, but I can’t fix ME, or anybody else, so I should stop wasting my energy, trying.

I want to have the kind of trust that lets me not just physically walk away from gorillas, but mentally walk away. I don’t want to have the “I Could Have Saids.” I don’t want to lose sleep over things that are that stupid and wasteful. I have better things to do.

I have a better person to learn to be.

I should spend my time on that…and maybe, with one better person in the world, there will be one less gorilla hulking in the corner.

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