Saturday, September 26, 2015

Every once in a while I come across a blog post that grabs hold of something so plain and simple about how I get in the way of my own success that I will pin it to the opening tabs on my browser, so that I can read it over and over. It gets to the point that I can just glance at the title of the tab and remind myself of the principle I am trying to embrace. This article "You're Never Going to Be Fully Ready", by Shauna Niequist is one of those articles I draw strength from daily. It has sat there patiently among my home tabs on my browser for months, waiting for those words to finally click for me.

[I would love to insert here the beautiful serene photo from Shauna's post or any Google Image search of two companionable paddle boarders launching out onto a lake , but I am pretty vague on how to honor photo credits and want to avoid copyright infringement that my cut & paste skills might allow. Those photographers launched out into the deep unknown, not being fully ready, and I don't want to diminish their ventures by taking from them without compensation. Not being fully ready to illustrate my thoughts, I will paddle on with the wordsmithing.]

We may never actually feel completely ready to handle the new venture in front of us "flawlessly", but that is very good news! We don't have to be, because we are not going to perform flawlessly the first time out if, in fact, we are doing something new. New is thrilling, intimidating! New is great!
"But I don't know how to do new!"
That is completely okay and good and right. That is why we are calling this "new". So, now, take a step of faith. If you have felt compelled or called by Him to do this new thing-- He Himself will certainly meet you there and give you what you need to: 

"get there", 
"take another step", 
"swallow your pride and ask for help", 
"defeat perfectionism",
"kill procrastination".
Whatever else you may need to do the new, He Himself will meet you midstride.

Begin. Dare. Practice. Do the New with untried, unproven hands moving in faith.  I used to tell my kids all the time, "You don't have to be perfect. That's God's job." over and over, trying to encourage them to make the imperfect mark and the next one and the next one on the pristine sheet of lined paper--in each case, the battle with perfectionism reared it's head with their earliest attempts at penmanship and continued well into adolescence-- and to call each attempt good and now it was enough that they were trying their best. 
That inner struggle besets so many of us. Perhaps, it even "so easily besets" all of us. How many big things and small things were never tried or even seriously considered because we were intimidated by the "No! Can't! Won't! What if?" of self-doubt?

I don't get to be perfect and, what's more, 
I don't need to be perfect. 
That's God's job.

Being perfect in love and grace and provision and every good thing, God Himself is ready and waiting to go with me and do New Things!

Shauna, thank you for the encouragement to embrace the process of learning, being fully alive and fully human in being imperfect and absolutely reveling in it.

BE IMPERFECT TODAY!! Be fully alive and fully human!!
DO SOMETHING COMPLETELY NEW!'re+Never+Going+to+Be+Fully+Ready

Being perfect in love and grace and provision and every good thing, HE is ready and waiting to go with me and do New Things!

Thursday, September 24, 2015


Do you know that our transparency in the process of healing works for God's purposes?

Here is my transparency:

  • I moved this little scrap of photograph today...
    It might have been five years ago that I rescued the little photo from a drawer and a popsicle stick and craft foam picture frame that was and obscuring it from view
  • I took the photo from my then husband's bathroom vanity drawer,  removed it from the craft frame,  and tucked the photo behind an outlet there in my bathroom. It was too small to put down anywhere else and was a beautiful,  laughing smiling photo of my older son Michael, my archangel, when his heart still had  childlike joy ...

  • The photo was still there in 2013 when I learned my son's diagnosis.
  • The photo was still there, tucked behind the outlet when I took the kids to Raleigh to do the developmental therapy.
  • Still there when I returned to home, since I was getting "the house and the kids" as a consolation prize for putting the kids in therapy.
  • The picture was still there reminding me of the little boy's heart that adored his daddy who put his joyful face in the drawer.
  • The heart that broke again and again over the divorce, then my mom's death and
  • being dropped from enrollment at the early college high school without the courtesy of explanation directly or personally to him.
  • I just kept it there.
  • I didn't have the emotional energy to find another frame, or decide where else to display it...
  • so I just glanced at my autistic son's peaceful happy childhood whenever I flipped the light switch for almost two more years...
  • And today, I was tidying up and decided to move the photo
  • and it broke the dam of emotion pent up behind a few square inches of Kodak paper.
  • I lost my son's heart long ago to the injustice of autism that picks winners and losers in black & white qualifying terms without allowance for remedy or reconsideration.   When I *lost* my husband's loyalty and confidence, I lost my son's heart and confidence as well.
  • It has been 2 1/2 long years of trying to keep my emotional ship upright, with no room left to mourn the very real *loss* of my son.  
    A child may be living still, but utterly lost to drugs or alcohol or gang loyalties or jihadi allegiances or many things I know nothing of-- but a child can be right there in front of you every day and just as lost in autism.
  • Moving the photo broke open the dammed up grief and I just sobbed and sobbed -- those groanings too deep for words followed -- and then more wailing and sobbing at the unmourned loss, the ungrieved death of my right to think of myself as his mom.  
    He had long ago withdrawn my right to be his mom
  • But today
  • in my weeping and groaning and releasing the pent up storm
  • He showed me that commonality I had with the mothers of addicts and alcoholics
  • and gang members and jihadis
  • and so many other things I know nothing of
  • In the blink of an eye He showed me millions of women mourning for son's to whom they had no bridge of connection
  • who feel like they alone have failed to keep that tender connection to the young man now just out reach
  • He told me as I mourned freely for the first time in years for the broken connection between me and my baby boy who is now a sizable mountain of a man
  • That's what Abba told me...
  • That I wasn't alone, wasn't the only one.
  • He did not allow this for no good reason or without purpose.
  • He would use my broken heart in compassion for millions of women who need a ray of hope to help let their heart live again even while estranged-- for just cause or for no good reason at all-- from their own sons and daughters.
  • THAT is what God said
  • GOD SAID that

  • So what momento have you got tucked in the corner of your daily routine that is waiting for you to give your undivided attention? Waiting for closure, waiting for healing, waiting for acknowledgement at the bottom of your soul? Reach your hand out and move it. Look at it.
  • Look deeply.
  • Look at the reminder.
  • Pick it up and hand it to Abba, our heavenly Father. He will take hold of the thing and wrench your heart free with the skill of a surgeon and the gentleness of the most loving heart in the universe. He will set your heart free to love again, 
  • to rejoice again,
  • to live again. 
  • Pick up that thing and look up at the Father. TRUST HIM with all of it.
  • Yield it all to him and He will heal it and He will use it. He will use the mended brokenness of ANY life to His glory if you let Him. Be one of those stories. Trust Him to write a new beginning and a better more glorious ending to your story. He is waiting.