Refuse to be an “Edith” to someone else’s “Archie”.

All in The Family may have been a humorous show. But, in real life, Archie and Edith dynamics – whether in relationships or in culture – are anything but funny.

When I do or say something that causes hurt or harm – I will be quick to apologize. But I will NOT apologize for your words, actions, or choices.

I will be kind and compassionate but not in such a way that it enables you to be thoughtless, cruel – verbally abusive even – with no consequences.

Though I long for peace – I won’t fake peace or ignore or, worse yet, smooth over and soften cruel bigotry of others.

My codependent and enabling days are done. I refuse to be an “Edith” to someone else’s “Archie”.

Would you rather???

So, as I was trying to decided between more gym time and God time or more mirror and makeup time this morning, Maker whispered this “Would you rather” question to my spirit:

“Would you rather hide your flaws and pretend to be perfect or reveal your flaws and be perfected?”

Ouch.

In our insta-filtered culture it’s so easy to trade quickly clicked airbrushed appearances for the hard work of authentic change. But we have a choice – difficult but achievable by our Maker’s strong Spirit in us – to rise above cultural norms and admit our weaknesses, pains, and flaws instead of covering them. And, in return, Maker blesses us with HIS strength, healing, and perfection.

Maker God, may I choose this moment and the next to live in Your light – even when it exposes my flaws – rather than running for the cover of the filtered pretense that the world offers…. In Jesus Name!

“For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!” – Ephesians‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

My Healing Place

It’s been a year….

OK, maybe it’s been a few years or a few decades of struggles masked by smiles.

But Maker is faithful to sculpt scarred hearts surrendered to Him into resilient masterpieces.

As I prepare to close this chapter in Atlanta – I am so thankful for the healing that has happened here over the past year-and-a-half.

I am especially thankful for those my Maker has surrounded me with in this season to help the healing happen…. Just to name a few: my North Springs United Methodist Church family – especially the Celebrate Recovery group there, my incredible colleagues who became fast friends at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital, my warm and welcoming neighbors here on The Hill ATL, and Hector Pereles at New Living Counseling…. Not to mention the faithful friends and family who have covered me with encouragement and prayers from across the country.

I am so very grateful and more adamant than ever when I say “Don’t do life alone”.

I really don’t think I would have survived had I not reached out for help.

#MyStorysNotOver because it’s part of an #EternalStory. AΩ; #AlphaOmegaSemicolon #SuicidePrevention #Hope #Healing #AbuseSurvivor #CodependencyRecovery #HealingContinues #HealingCommunities

Lessons from Flowers

The most beautiful flower doesn’t worry about competing with the flower next to it. It doesn’t fret over who will take care of it or who may or may not appreciate its beauty. It just blooms! How much more peaceful beauty would the gardens of our lives overflow with if we simply did the same?

It’s not your job….

So, I’ve always been quite obsessed (in a good way) with our Maker’s masterpieces.

From mountains, to birds, to wildflowers, to other people – I could see the amazingness of all of God’s creations.

Well…. with one exception: that one I see reflected in the mirror each day.

But after nearly 5 decades on earth I’m finally learning that it’s OK to find and see beauty in myself, too. Not only is it OK… it is absolutely essential if I want to live out everything my Maker has intended for me.

You see, Jesus taught us to “love others as we love ourselves”. However, the enemy of our soul works hard to twist our thinking until we cling to the “fake news” that we need the acceptance of others to complete ourselves.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

We are already complete by our Maker’s design and completely loved by HIM. And that frees us to love and to live… completely.

It’s time to accept ourselves and not wait for anyone else to do it. Today is the day to step into authentic living and love well.

Grace Works

“… Until we let the Christ who consorted with hookers and crooks to be our truth, the false, fraudulent self motivated by cowardice and fear will continue to distance us from abiding restful union.” – from Brennan Manning’s writing, The Furious Longing of God. (Read it and weep…. Seriously! Reading or listening to this book will likely bring tears to your eyes as your heart grasps grace).

Have you ever tried to earn God’s favor? I know i have! So I’m lovingly saying this to both of us: STOP IT!!! (And, yes. That was intentionally bold, in italics, and all caps!). Let’s just rest. It’s time you and I stop working so hard for the unfailing love we’ve always had from our Maker God. Grace works so we don’t have to.

Striving for First Place

It’s time to refocus and give God first place rather than exhausting ourselves trying to get there. Peace flows much more easily when we give God His job back.

“I’m not interested in crowd approval. And do you know why? Because I know you and your crowds. I know that love, especially God’s love, is not on your working agenda. I came with the authority of my Father, and you either dismiss me or avoid me. If another came, acting self-important, you would welcome him with open arms. How do you expect to get anywhere with God when you spend all your time jockeying for position with each other, ranking your rivals and ignoring God?” -Jesus, John‬ ‭5:41-44‬‬ MSG (The Message – Bible Paraphrase)

Don’t Let Perfectionism Paralyze Your Progress

This post is a “re-run” from a blog I wrote in September. But as I still struggle with #PerfectionParalysis (waiting until the “perfect” time or environment to take next steps of progress toward #purpose), it bears repeating! Will you join me in stepping into 2019 seeking #progress rather than #perfection?

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{Originally posted September 2018}

So, I’m in some training for work today, @emoryhealthcare’s #QualityAcademy. These words were said during a discussion on selecting which type of graph to use when presenting data. But I think there are some pretty good applications for life in general. For me anyway, the desire for perfection – left unchecked – can stop practical forward motion and leave me feeling pretty useless!