Ever been in a store and witnessed a child meltdown? The parent is either a. trying to ignore, b. negotiating/pleading, or c. hoisting kid in prem and getting out quick. (yes, I was c. person).
Parenting can mess people up.
We think we’re calm, sane people, but kids blow that up. You get a new spectrum of emotions, including fierce protector, bottomless love, anxiety, grief,… add another child to the mix and watch anger jump on the Richter when you see one hurt the other.
Yes, that was me who clapped hard, stood up and shouted STOP at my kids during Hema breakfast. Yes, the restaurant went silent.
It can feel like a sliding scale between brain mush and losing mind, but is something more profound going on?
* Continue reading “Maybe Kids aren’t a Distraction, but the Main Event?”
Encouraging memes can fall flat when you’re in the middle of a firestorm. My experience is that problems or stressors rarely come alone. I’m dealing with X, but Q is spilling over, and my heart is breaking about T (and D through K).. I’m not sure I’m going to make it about P….
Do troubles wait their turn?
Continue reading “Diamonds & Pencils: Become the Hero of Your Own Story”
cry write about the rift between American “Christianity,” and God’s Heart. Before Donald Trump was elected I wrote an Open Letter to America and POTUS himself sharing what I experience as an epic, end-time battle between Love & Hate. I also mentioned some prophecies from the crazy bible book, Revelation.
“I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot someone and wouldn’t lose any votes..”
2 years later, the unwavering acceptance by some “Christians” of Trump’s behaviors, statements, actions and policies– which have been anything but Christ-like– is increasingly BANANAS, or gut-wrenching, or fire-spewing, or all of the above.
Continue reading “Trump Appointed by God??!”
Day 7 from the #UnashamedList series. Written to be a resource for any youth navigating issues like sexual integrity, porn addiction,.. Series intro here.
After reading Day 5, my husband dropped this:
“Op een oude fiets moet je het leren.”
Apparently it’s an old Dutch phrase meaning, literally: ‘You’ve got to learn it on an old bike.‘
The cultural meaning is: get your sexual practice with someone with experience. Continue reading “10 Life & Sex Lessons Mom Never Told Me: #7- It’s Not Cool for Teachers or Parents to Hit On You”
That’s me on my 17th birthday. Woo, virginity blown the year before (with the first guy I kissed–in the same setting–ugh), vowed “never again” till marriage (yikes), sexualized more than a decade prior, porn addicted–didn’t realize it was addiction or problem…
Houston, you still with me?
Continue reading “#UnashamedList of 10 Life & Sex Lessons Mom Never Told Me [Series Starts Here]”
The gospel can be cut so many ways. “Good news” for a woman begging is different than for a rich Westerner, or trafficked boy. But concepts like unconditional love and freedom keep me busy.
I’ve heard many Christians stress about people needing to “convert” or “be saved” to avoid hell. Was it similar thinking that sparked the convert-or-die theology of the Crusades?
Continue reading “Is Hell bigger than Love?”
Get back with that Bible!
When Jeff Sessions uses it to support ripping nursing children from desperate, refuge-seeking parents, and the WH Press Secretary–a parent herself— doubles down, I only have one advice:
If your bible encourages, or justifies you hating someone, please: Chuck. It. It’s better to attempt love without fully understanding the how or what, than head for hell clenching the good book in your fist.
That “good book” has been used bigly to justify fear, hate, greed, horror and flat-out atrocities for ages. Repeatedly we see it’s possible to know– and maybe even love— God’s Words, but fall flat when it comes to *His Heart.
I know, that was me.
Continue reading “Your Bible Kills Me: Why Christians Shouldn’t Justify Hate Policies, and Tools Against Future B.S.”
In February I got an email from my kids’ school to be alert for “trends and hypes.” All parents were encouraged to give extra thought to the cartoon figures we let our children wear or bring to school, via bags and lunch boxes. My kids attend a school that identifies as Christian, so we knew, in addition to extra singing/music, bible stories and praying, there would be attention to avoiding really frightening stories, or stories of witchcraft, zombies, etc. But this email called out Elsa, Anna, and even Superman. Uh, What??
Continue reading “Busting Religion: Why I Let My Kids Play with Ninjago, Elsa, Anna, Batman…”
I’m a bit bible nerdy and instead of skipping over peculiar texts, I sometimes dwell on them. It’s a quirk I’m trying to appropriate so here’s my take on a text you probably never heard preached in church: The fourteenth day.
It appeared during Moses’ instructions to Israel before the 10th and final, most gut-wrenching plague. Every first born was to be killed and this plague sparked the Exodus from Egypt.
Continue reading “The Fourteenth Day: An Obscure Prophecy That Might Give Everything Purpose”
Disney’s Brave touched my heart like Frozen, but deeper. In Frozen we glimpse sacrificial love and our divine identity, but Brave touches something deeper: the reality of our love-hate relationship with God.
Merida, a fiery and fun-loving princess who wants to live on her own terms (who doens’t?) runs up against traditions that oppress her spirit. Her mother tries to prepare her for all the ways and responsibilities of a princess, including arranged marriage, but the pair are losing their minds and each other.
Continue reading “If God Was a Bear: “Brave” & Rebelling from Love”
I believe God can be found anywhere, from the breeze on your skin, to the wisdom of your kids. Sometimes He* makes surprise appearances in a theater or a Justin Bieber track (post coming!) and my latest encounter was during the Speed Racer film.
The more I watched Racer X, the more I thought of Jesus, and the more I watched Speed, the more I thought of myself. Racing is a great metaphor for life–tension, time, passion, power— and every ‘Speed Racer’ can use a ‘Racer X’ in his corner…
Continue reading “Racer X like Jesus [Part 1]: Love, Sacrifice and Justice, Speed Racer Style”
You know the story of the guest pastor who visited a church in shabby attire, unshaven and maybe even unshowered? Churchgoers sidestepped him and certainly didn’t seat him at the front, so imagine their surprise/shame when he got up to give the sermon.
It’s a good example of the authenticity of our Love, and while Love shouldn’t be swayed by sight, any flesh and blood wrapped in labels like “Refugee” -“Homeless” -“Foreigner” -“Moocher” -“Homosexual” -“Annoying Friend,” will test our hearts.
Do we love because we want to, or because we ‘must?’ If the latter, is that really love?
Continue reading “Jesus: Homeless Refugee ‘Moocher’, Not Welcome in Today’s Church?”
This post is part of the #GodsOneLines series–breaking hate and/or shame caused by people wielding bible verses. Instead I want to use single bible verses or events to encourage and reveal God’s Heart if possible.
This story starts with Tears– mine as I write, and Heaven’s one fateful day.
It starts with the return of Jews from Babylonian exile. Their repeated offenses, including refusing to set servants free, caught up with them despite divine warnings. Sure, they listened for a time, but soon after changed their minds, re-taking men, women and children into captivity (sounds like the Moses story with Pharaoh, right?)
Continue reading “Choosing Law over Love: A Sad Example of Broken Families from Ezra”
Today my son was cranky. Going out for breakfast with four children– three of them 4 years and under– isn’t easy or fast and my eldest was annoyed. “It’s too druk!” he protested (Dutch for busy/hectic), and I tried to soothe and encourage him. I shared about family from the perspective of The Incredibles (many God-lessons come from kids movies, like Frozen), noting that when they fought side-by-side they were the strongest. But my son didn’t want to hear, much less see me.
I suggested he walk ahead so it was like I wasn’t there, but he started to cry: ‘You are always there!”
The world got quiet and slow and in an instant I had a heaven-flash…
Is this what I said to you, God? Is this why we can’t “see” You? Did I not want anything to do with You and, didn’t trust You had my best interest at heart, and, from eternity, was totally fed up with “Your Presence”?? Ouch.
One of the saddest glimpses into God’s Heart comes from this paragraph from Paul of Tsarsus:
Continue reading “Totally Unsatisfied with God – How My Son’s Tantrum revealed Heaven’s Painful Secret”
It’s possible to get so wrapped up in God, the Bible, your ‘quiet time,’ that you miss His Heart and religion creeps in. God becomes a mere idol and the effects can be devastating, especially if you’re in a family.
I have heard too many stories of people who got, or are currently planning divorce because their partner is getting in the way of their “ministry” (aka service to/for God). #SayWhat?! If you or someone you know ever thought, “I could do so much more for God, go further, faster.. if they didn’t hold me back…” , or if you were willing to serve God at any and all costs, look out, this post is for you.
Continue reading “Did You Make God an Idol? 5 Signs and Tips to Quit”