Tuesday, March 28, 2006

It has been pouring rain in Southern California for about a week now. Sort of off and on. The rain pours and pours and then the next day is bright and gorgeous. It is raining tonight and I'm back to those same blah feelings I've been having intermittently throughout the past couple of weeks.

I know what's eating me and then, maybe I don't. My life is going to change. Soon. Dramatically. Period. I can feel it.

I am at the end of my rope as far as my job is concerned. I never really was interested in internal audit work. I do my best but all I can think about is serving God full time. I feel my hands are tied. I go into work every day and don't know why I'm there. How did an English major get into finance? How did I go from poetry slams to scratching red pencil marks over financial statements? Yet even Paul ministered from prison. I try to keep this in mind.

Romans 8:25-27 "But if we look forward to something we don't have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently. And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don't even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God's own will."

The first small group study I ever lead taught us to praise God through trials. That's what I'm trying to do. And when I look around me, I see much to rejoice over. But I feel a certain emptiness inside me lately. I feel I am drifting a little and my anchor is moving in soft earth.

My son, Forrest, will be 16 this year. He was born when I was 20. I have spent my young womanhood doing all that I could for him. I love this boy but it is time to start letting go. I watch him perform at school. I watch him lead other kids at our church. I listen to his prayers for us in the evenings. I see him becoming a man and I'm proud of him. He's struggling with motivation and grades. I feel phony sometimes when I am cross with him because I currently can't stand my work either. His high school is such a joke. I think most of the kids are really spoiled and clueless. It's a sad testament to our society.

I have tears in my eyes while I write this evening. There is something about me, something in the way God made me that allows me to have incredible, passionate highs and then soft low lulls. I know these lulls don't last forever. I fought severe depression and I know I am not depressed. I'm just aware that I'm drifting. I dunno. Maybe I'm seasick.

I have embraced beauty in this life. I have been blessed with more than most. Even with my life having been what it's been, I know God has gifted me in incredible ways. Lord, I'm waiting for you to speak my name. I'm waiting for you to call me. You are up ahead of me. So many are trying to get to you tonight. But I know that it's enough that I believe in my heart. I know, Father, you are here.


I praise you tonight, Father-God
I have you to thank that I am not shallow
I praise you for my scars and all the memories within me
Some bad, some gorgeous, some of them you've diffused to protect me
I praise you for the rain falling all around my house
And for that stupid cat you stuck me with
And for Forrest and his teenage drama
And for Jimi Hendrix
And Vincent Van Gogh
Eugene H. Peterson
Reeses peanut butter cups
and coffee

This is my short list, God.
I hope to share the complete one with you when I see you.


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Mat Kearney

I'm past the point of returning
For you I'm ruined and broken
There is no way of me turning
You've got my heart in the open

I see it shrink in the distance
In the glow of your glory
And I never will miss this
Bottom line of the story

I see the ocean come crashing
Under lavender skies
I see clouds come flashing
Now tell me, who am I?

Your're the air that I'm breathing
While I'm lying there sleeping
You're the cool of the evening
Now you got me believing,

Trainwreck, I'm a trainwreck for
Trainwreck, I'm a trainwreck
Trainwreck. I'm a trainwreck for
You (Oh lord. yes I am)

I'll kiss it all with a farewell
Goodbye, how you doing
And let it echo in stairwells
All these songs of my ruin

Now watch me climb my own cross
Without a loss for these words
As I motion a moment's silence
Let it fly with the birds

All else I got without you
Is mucha ado about nothing
I'd rather stand by you gone
Than on the throne of another

You had me all from the start
I count it lost every part
I'll sing it out in the dark
You've got a grip on my heart

Where could I turn from you
The darkest nights, you know you'd find a way
What else have I to do
What words are there left to say
You are the air that I breathe in
Here is my heart I give
You are all of my reason
You are my reason to live

***Not much going on tonight. I'm doing a bit of writing and listening to my tunes. If you don't know Mat Kearny, check the guy out. God's been good to me this weekend. My spirits were lifted with some surprise moments with friends. Quality time with people whom I love and respect. God is awesome.

Friday, March 24, 2006


I mentioned to a couple friends this week that I felt like "ripping apart a stuffed animal with a pair of scissors and then passing out face down in a bowl of Hagen Daaz."

Yes. It has been a tough week. But hey, I only THOUGHT about doing it.

But I didn't start this blog to whine. I started it to provide myself with a forum to share MY HOPE and GOD'S PROMISES.

A friend of mine used to say "If He puts you to it, He'll get you through it." So true.

I had a tough week, friends. Things aren't going so well with my son. He's nearly 16 and I think this is just time for him to start finding out where the boundaries are. He is bright. He is loving. He loves the Lord. And he is completely selfish and underachieving to such a degree that I'm concerned.

I'm not gonna blog too much about what is going on with him. I continue to praise God through trials. As you read this, please say a prayer for him and me.

"There is no one like the God of Jeshurn, who rides the heavens to help you, and in His excellency on the clouds. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms..." Deuteronomy 33:26-27

Blessings to you this weekend.

Father, you are A-W-E-S-O-M-E
And I love you
And I would not have survived this week without you

I consider each day,
Your promises
I consider each day,
Where am I in your Plan

I rest in your arms
My heart softened by your words

I have prayed for miracles
And they have come
peering through the darkness of my anxiety

Offering hope and great comfort

Thank you.


Thursday, March 16, 2006


I digressed on a post not too far back about my "singleness..." Ouch.

Like, is there any other word (besides "single") to describe my being without a good man in my life?

I tell my friends, J.C. is my boyfriend. True. True. He sees that my many needs are met. He loves listening to me. He adores me just the way I am. I believe he encourages me to eat dessert and not worry about how clean I keep the inside of my car. I know he digs my jokes.

I'm a woman and intimacy with a woman is a complicated matter. God understands this.

Wise Paul writes in 1 Corinthians of the "gift of singleness."

"I wish everyone could get along without marrying, just as I do. But we are not all the same. God gives some the gift of marriage, and to others he gives the gift of singleness." 1 Corinthians 7:7

Our singles pastor said to me once, "If you ever find yourself thinking about sex, you do not have the gift of singleness."

Rimshot, please.

I met with a single woman's group earlier this week. The study was on Eve.

Genesis 2:25 - The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

But being that we now live in a fallen world, our nakedness (emotionally, speaking) is painful. My vulnerability to a man and my desire for one leave me tender. I can write a lot of junk about how strong I am...oh trust me, I am strong...but I'm not gonna say that I don't often long for some godly lug to come my way and at the very least, ask me out for coffee.

Genesis 3:16 - To the woman he (God) said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."

"And he will rule over you..."

To me, this didn't mean that some man would stand over me demanding that I wash his socks. To me, it has always meant that woman would desire man. That she would be (in moments of weakness) pulverized by her emotional need for him.


This week I continue to pray for peace about my singleness... but I'm tired and would love a pair of masculine arms around me...I pray for strength...but all I feel like asking is "Lord, where's my godly man?"

"Look at me and help me!
I'm all alone and in big trouble." --Psalm 25:16

Yes, I am exceptionally tired this week (this is probably in part, where these tired words are coming from...). I have been lifting up many sisters, serving them and loving on them. Many are hurting over broken relationships. Many are hurting over their singleness. I am, to a certain degree, hurting over my singleness, feeling vulnerable in my desire, but I'm often too proud to admit it.

I hate that I'm too proud to admit it.


I feel like someone is baking brownies but I'm not allowed in the kitchen. I can smell them but I'm not allowed to feast. I feel I'm parked in this place filled with women at different levels of singleness who are either:

impatient someone's making brownies they can't get their hands on
or they're telling themselves a $300 Coach bag will kill their appetite
or they're convinced a burrito will suffice
or they're trying to force on the rest of us the idea that brownies are poison
or they are weeping because they're hungry.

One has had a brownie already but it wasn't cooked and it stuck to the roof of her mouth and she's terribly confused about whether or not she should go back for another. She's rambling again...I'm ignoring her this time...

I'm hanging out in this place with these women...no, sometimes, I'm pacing...trying to listen empathetically....

I read a magazine to occupy myself
I listen to music to occupy myself
I walk around my neighborhood at sunset to occupy myself
I open my window up at night and listen to the frogs in the stream to occupy myself
I read Psalms to occupy myself
I blog on my Mac to occupy myself...

I'm trying my best to be obedient but it isn't always working. I can still smell the brownies...I was MADE to love them.

"And he will rule over you..."

The burrito is begining to look good.

I am not too proud to admit that my heart anticipates the day that kitchen door will fling open and a dove will fly out (okay, knowing my life, it might probably be a white pigeon...)

and God says:

"Danie, frosted or plain?
...with or without walnuts?"

I am not too proud that in my singleness/shmingleness, I live with the hope (dim or otherwise, depending on my mood) that one day I might step up and receive what my senses have been telling me God has been at work creating with especially me in mind. And as I blog these words, I think, maybe it IS okay to admit I am often frustrated. God understands. He will set peace within my heart on His terms.

Today, I think I'll turn back to Psalms. It's been a tough week, my body is tired and my senses are dull...I long to know what's baking with my name on it. I have courage that one day I'll know.

Friends, on that day, you can bet I'll feast without hesitation. My certain delight still warm from the oven.

Taco Bell clearly, clearly behind me.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Peace, Perfect Peace

Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.

Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of Jesus, this is rest.

Peace, perfect peace, with sorrows surging round?
On Jesus' bosom naught but calm is found.

Peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away?
In Jesus' keeping we are safe, and they.

Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown?
Jesus we know, and He is on the throne.

Peace, perfect peace, death shadowing us and ours?
Jesus has vanquished death and all its powers.

It is enough: earth's struggles soon shall cease,
And Jesus call us to Heaven's perfect peace.

--Edward H. Bickersteth, Jr.


Sunday, March 05, 2006

Last week was amazing. Truly God-made.

I got a new roomie. A wonderful gal I know from church who has a great heart and loves God. I came home to find she'd bought me a thank you card and a beautiful flower. These tokens are precious to me. My last roommate was equally wonderful and is one of the persons I will be going to Rwanda with. I have been so fortunate to have had such wonderful souls come my way to live with me and my son. God has truly blessed me.

And I praise God for how He's worked in my son's life this week. He was chosen to be one of the ministry leaders on our youth groups' Spring break missions trip to Mexico. My son is excited and joyful.

I, myself was in Mexico yesterday serving. We drove south of Tecate to a little town built into the hillside by El Nino refugees. Many of their homes were made from old garage doors or scraps of wood. We met with the people and began assessing the needs of the little community. We soon learned that many did not believe in God or Christ. They wondered where God was in their great perils. Few had Bibles in their homes. Many women were pregnant and receiving no care. There were dirty stray dogs running everywhere. The children would merely "squat" in the dirt when they had to go. It is amazing this all occurs less than 2 hours south of the U.S. border.

We set up "base" in a little "church" on the hillside. The pastor there works in San Diego as a handyman during the week and then returns to pastor this small church on the weekends. His vision is to one day have a real building for the church. He desires a place where people can come together to learn about personal hygiene and caring for children. This man has been serving this small community for four years, spreading the gospel and isn't paid a dime. How humbling this experience was for me.

When we first arrived a woman ran up to us with a child who I would say was less than 2 years old. She kept asking if we had brought a doctor in our group and then showed us her son's swollen legs and arms. She lifted his shirt and he had red bumps all over his tummy. Another small boy we met was born with his intestines outside his body and he had merely a ziplock back around them, completely filthy and, I'm sure, bacteria ridden. My heart broke for these people.

I have been back and forth to Mexico for most of my life. I felt comfortable among the people but my heart wondered, what could I do? I realize that I am powerless alone. I pray that our group continues to grow mighty with the Lord and that He blesses our work down there. We want to give the community a "hand up" - not a "hand out" and sharing the gospel is part of that, certainly, but we must equip the leaders so they can equip other leaders in kind. These people need education, healthcare. With God, we can give them hope. With our connections and financial resources and time, perhaps we can make something happen for these people.

I am thankful I've turned a corner in my life at God's beckoning. And it isn't just this trip to Mexico. It is, like, all of it. Serving a group. Serving as a small group coach for other women. Volunteering in the singles ministry. Being permitted by God to do all these things. That He called me and equipped me with the love and devotion of others amazes me. That he brought people into my life who loved me like Christ...REAL FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST, NOT PHONIES, amazes me. What a crazy concept that He called me once so self-absorbed and broken.

The time for complacency and fear is behind me and I am ever-grateful. God has kept me strong in Him. My heart tonight calls out to God, "Use me, Lord. Send me, Lord." My heart calls out in gratitude and humility.


Father thank you for this week
Thank you for the little joys and great surprises
Thank you for what you allowed me to see
Thank you for the work you allowed me to do on your behalf
To hold hands
To extend dignity
To pray upon
To snuggle children
To sit knee to knee with those who are broken
And just listen

Thank you for all that you've done in my life
Thank you for all that I have
Thank you for all that I am in you
A mother
A daughter
A sister
A friend
A woman
In your name

Father-God, I love you with all my heart
And I am yours forever
And I am grateful that you've called me
I know you are here
In my surrender
I know in the deepest regions of myself
That you are with me now


In Christ,

Friday, March 03, 2006

I'm a little tired this evening. Just wanted to send shout outs of God's abundant love to you all. Much to tell regarding this week. I'll blog it all later. Tonight, sweet dreams seem assured.