Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sit By Me

My mercy-gifted heart was shredded this past week, watching intolerant people perpetuate a vicious, hopeless cycle. After the events that have happened so far this year, many of us feel isolated, unwelcome, and alone.

The only way this cycle gets broken is through seeing the humanity in each other and bridging the distance. As Pastor David Anderson says, "Distance demonizes."

In that spirit, I am inviting those of you who feel unwelcome and tattered to come sit by me. Whether in a virtual or literal sense, sit by me and share your life in a safe space.

If you're a ME TOO person instead of a NOT ME, sit by me.

If you're for fixing instead of breaking, sit by me.

If you're for friending instead of unfriending, sit by me.

If you're for solving instead of whining, sit by me.

If you're for learning instead of stagnation, sit by me.

If you're for singing instead of insulting, sit by me.

If you're for understanding instead of proving, sit by me.

If you're willing to let love outshout your fear, sit by me.

If you're committed to aggressive acts of forgiveness, sit by me.

If you want someone to remind you Whose you are, sit by me.

If you want someone to listen and you're willing to listen too, sit by me.

I am FOR vulnerability and mercy and safe grieving and wiping tears and cheering and championing and holding sacred space and hugging and hand holding and steadfast hope.

I stand AGAINST whining and shoulding and name calling and attacking and truth twisting and Chicklen-littling and fear panicking.

Can you say, "Me too!" with confidence and compassion? Then I have an open seat beside me, and you're invited to sit a spell.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


If anything makes me want to run away to another country today, it isn’t the newly elected leaders: it’s the rest of you nincompoops who are acting like Chicken Little! But I’m not going to run, and I’m not going to freak out. I’m standing firmly rooted in truth.

I choose to cling to the basic truth I know about the world: PEOPLE ARE GOOD. And to reinforce that fact, I decided to spend the morning actively seeking out reminders of goodness.

I’m started by looking at my friend Sean’s Facebook wall. He’s been gone for 7 weeks now, and I’ve watched GOOD PEOPLE write letters to him and his family. I’ve listened to countless YouTube music videos people have posted to remember good times with their great friend.

Next, I moved on to the stories I know from authors like Bob Goff. This man has founded a movement of GOOD PEOPLE who are committed to love in action. I’m remembering stories I’ve read about Bob Goff’s whimsical view of the world, and the way he’s loved in the face of hate and recklessly given of himself when giving just didn’t make sense on the balance sheet.

Then I thought of another author I love, Glennon Doyle Melton. I read something she wrote yesterday, on election day: “WE BELONG TO EACH OTHER AND WE CAN DO HARD THINGS AND NO MATTER WHO WINS, LOVE WINS. We get to decide that. Let’s decide that. Let’s show up for each other. Let’s love. It’s the only thing that will heal us. And it's what will best define us this month.”

There's a phenomenon happening right now, this very day: an Election Recovery Party of sorts called Holiday Hands that Glennon is hosting through the TogetherRising website. I wasn’t quite sure what this is about until I started poking around the website.

It’s all GOOD PEOPLE, y’all!

But before you get all, "I don't have money to donate!" or "We already adopted a family for Christmas!" or blah, blah, blah... know that this event isn't simply about donating an "unwrapped gift in unisex sizes."

You need to click on the link, then click on "browse listings." It's like Craig's List for givers! You'll find people who are asking for help, ranging from people who want a letter saying they're worth loving to a family whose medical bills are capsizing them and they simply want a turkey dinner for the holidays.

You can write a letter, can't you? You can send a grocery gift card to a family, can't you?

Giving of yourself will always, always push the darkness aside.

Today, the day after one of the most painful elections, I’m hoping we can take the angst and energy we’re barfing on the Interwebs and direct it towards making a difference.

THIS is how we'll be "Better Together," y'all. THIS is how we'll "Make America Great Again." We'll do it one by one, human to human, without waiting for an elected official to show us how to give mercy and compassion.

Visit the Holiday Hands website, and spend some time reading through the requests and the responses. It will resuscitate your faith in GOOD PEOPLE and restore your hope in our future.

We can do hard things – heck, YOU can do hard things because you are a GOOD PEOPLE!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Parents Standing Firmly

I'll be honest with you: today was a hard day of parenting. Second chances were taken for granted. Scoldings felt like standoffs. And a moment of rejoicing with one child was bookended by disobedience of the other. I felt like quitting my Mommy Job, and walked out of the house feeling defeated and tempted to escape to Jamaica. (Don't worry, I eventually came back!)

Then we went to church tonight. I sat in the dark, listening to a team of musicians sing praise to my Father and remembered a few of the times I've been a disobedient child.

I was watching one of the men on stage as he sang, and my heart filled with gratitude that I have a place to reset my despondent heart. That's when I realized the dad of the singer was sitting right in front of me. And from where I was sitting, it looked like the son was standing on his father's shoulders. I know the dad personally and know he is one of the most upstanding, steadfast, faithful, and humble men I know.

I felt this moment was God's way of reminding me no child learns to stand on his own unless he's had a parent to show the way. Parents stand firmly so their children can stand taller. The worship leader on stage is the Christ-follower he is because his mother and father gave him the example of a life submitted to Christ.

I needed this reminder to stand firmly even when I want to throw in the towel as a mother. I needed to see that my faith matters even when a disobedient child makes me want to "lose my religion." I needed my Father to pick me up, brush me off, and set me back on His path again.

When I took a broader look around, I saw another set of my friends on the right side of me and their daughter sitting in the front row to my left. She was raising her hands and having some deep worship with God. I looked on stage again and saw the children of other friends of mine, and realized what a blessing they are to me too - and one of the reasons why is because their parents have poured and refilled them for years and years. I am thankful for parents who show me how to parent. And for my own parents, too.

Thank You God, for putting these people in my life tonight and using them to remind me to keep my eyes on the long goal of parenting. You are a good, good Father!


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