So I Sing


I called her a burn scraper.  Yeah. I’ve never been great with conversations.  That explains why that was my intro into telling her how through asking hard things of me, she was helping me to heal.

See, when I woke up in recovery I knew in my heart I’d never be the same. (Funny they should name it that, because I wasn’t recovering.)  The doctors and nurses played it all off, but I knew.  Gasping for air and unable to tell anyone why or what or how I was feeling.  Strip a persons voice from them and they’ll be at your mercy.  Whatever you or any other well meaning people want to say they need, are, want, feel… That becomes their new identity or prison.

My sister said that after Granny had her stroke, she felt trapped in her own body. That’s accurate.

You know what Satan says about your gifts? “You aren’t very good, and you certainly aren’t as good as_____. Just sing in the car; God hears you there and it’s for Him anyway.” Lose your gift and you know what he says? “Well you blew that. You didn’t use it and now you’ve got nothing to give God.  You aren’t useful to Him now.”

So when someone strokes your arm and tells you the doctors say she’s only got 18 months at best, and she just wants to hear you sing. What can you say?  I’d like to tell you that I didn’t care; that there were several other people in the room or that I wasn’t weighing my options, but that’d be false.  I did know I didn’t have much, but I love her and what I had was enough for her so she could have it.

So I sang.

Then there was the time we were setting in the foyer after service talking. That same bald head wrapped in what the best I could tell was a turban of glory ask me to do it again. Yeah, that isn’t awkward. Just bust into song. Right there. As if I’m worthy of hosting some concert, and these people have nothing better to do than be my groupies.

So I sang.

Then that time after Satan lost and she had a silver crown of curly hair as a trophy to prove it. She came to the seat behind me cupped a shoulder in each hand and ask me to stand and sing. In the second pew from the front, in front of everyone, I found my feet.

And I sang.

She had the guts to obey God and scrape at the raw places. Because if cancer taught her anything it was that to really recover you had to endure. And if cancer made her anything it made her strong enough and brave enough to do the painfully pious.

I stood there with my back to the crowd and laid it all out. The little 10% of the one vocal cord that works; sang.  This time I realized I wasn’t singing for Becky or because of cancer or for the ability to avoid regrets over not granting her a dying wish.  I didn’t have much but I love Him and what I had was enough for Him so He could have it.  And He did want it; like He wants the widow’s mites. It isn’t much but it’s everything I have, and it’s what he wants, and He says it’s enough.

So yeah, funny that my right cord is completely paralyzed and I have 10% on the left because that’s all God ask of us. Our 10%.

So I sing.

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A True and Holy Love Story


Here we are in the midst of the Christmas season; which I have managed to make more about the mass of gift buying than about The Christ, but there is still time to fix and still grace to cover that-another post another day.

While we are talking gifts, I’d like to tell you about a gift I received over a decade ago but just realized a couple weeks ago. Jailyn and I were cleaning the kitchen. She was sweeping while I was wiping down countertops. Broom in hand she morphed into a singing sensation as we all do (let’s be honest here). To my surprise it wasn’t “Let it Go”. Today is was the Little Mermaids “Kiss the Girl”.

I joined in and we were belting it out way too loudly to be pretty. We got to the line where it says,

Yes you want her

Look at her, you know you do

It’s possible she wants you too

There’s just one way to ask her

It don’t take a word, not a single word

Go on and kiss the girl.

 (Flashback) 

I was 12, and my sister, cousins and I were playing basketball at a church down the street; where a bunch of kids would hang out and play. Out of the blue, without warning a boy from school came up and kissed me. There I stood in front of all my peers being kissed without warning  by someone I didn’t like. I felt so humiliated. I played it off until I got home.

I called my friends and told them about how embarrassed and grossed out I had been; only to be told I was being a prood. As if that wasn’t bad enough the next day I learned how fast 7th grade news travels.

That was just one of several times I felt invaded by a boy.

Standing there singing those words I had sang and heard MANY times before but this time was jarring. When headlines are saying the count of women coming forward is now 16 and they have nothing to gain and everything to lose?

That’s when I realized the gift I’d been given. I though of how many times we have laughed about how long it took Josh to get the nerve to just hold my hand. I remembered how respectful he had been; waiting for our first kiss, and I remembered the phone call after he had felt he’d crossed the line.

Josh gave me the gift of a true love story to share with my daughter. A bit of truth to counter the Disney lie with. We stopped sweeping and looked into each others eyes as I shared the testimony of true love. Holy and real romance.

A brave young man who lived a life against the grain and in opposition to everything the locker rooms, magazines, movies and hormones told him. A man who respected a girl who was accustomed to disrespect not because she was someone’s daughter or sister or future wife, but because he knew she was made in the image of God. She was Gods and not his.

So sure we can keep on believing those are harmless lyrics, and kids will be kids, but somewhere something’s going wrong when boys are thinking they have the right to girls and girls are thinking its a boy that will make them alright. Its all mixed up, jumbled up and backward.

I am a hopeless hopeful who believes we care and can change things.

I believe we aren’t ok with the schools or anyone else teaching our kindergarteners about homosexuality. I believe uncomfortable as it may be we would rather tell our children the truth then let them go on believing the lies. Because, we aren’t blind to the cost and we know its more than reputation on the line here—souls are at risk. They belong to God and we are our brothers keeper.

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Caution: Falling Rocks


Motherhood has taught me a lot, like: dry erase markers wont come off vinyl, colic is deadly…to the parents, mouse traps are nearly worthless unless you want to catch a little boy and boys like repetition. Why else would he get caught in the mouse trap two times, and why else would he get his head stuck in the potty ring three times?

On this day I learned from these two anointed men speaking scripture, church and vision in my living room. Mark said, “They received law under Moses, but they received the Promise Land under Joshua.” My husband helped me to study in beauty school so much that I am sure he could pass State Boards. I however, only recall learning that Joshua or Yesua in Hebrew was a common form of the name Jesus from Josh’s time in college. Joshua (Jesus) gets you to the Promise Land. Not Moses, not Law. Jesus.

We’ve all done it if only mentally. Tried, convicted, and sentenced by the law we were given to live by not to judge by.

Ann Voskamp said, “When the world is selling goods dressed up as love while the church is selling law dressed up as good news—guess where the next generation starts lining up.”

A client turned friend told me in the salon how she wasn’t able to count on her parents for food, water and shelter let alone love, security and affirmation. She says her mom spent time in hospitals and it hurts to hear people talk about crazy or loony people (I rethink how carelessly I say crazy). Her dad kicked her out at 15 and she moved in with her now husband.

In the mirror I see her reflection, one part shame one part defense. She says, “I know that’s sin; to live with a man and not be married.” As if I’m ready to throw that stone. No. Thank. You.

She calls us who keep the Sabbath holy “church people”. She knows just enough about church people to know she doesn’t want any part of church.

I told her what the whole body of Christ should be proclaiming, “Yes. That’s sin, and there is a lot of church people who would cast that stone, but I am a Christian and I am just going to love you.”

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Are we really teaching Law, and rules and a Christ that’s merely a way to heaven? Is He no more than a tool? When did Heaven rather than relationship with God become the prize? When did Hell reather than separation from our creator become the punishment? We should be afraid when eternal heat is more scary than eternal separation.

This all sounds good right? What about when things get personal? What about when someone you love sins against you? Can I still choose love when I am forced from theory to practical application? What about when it becomes personal, painful, punishable? I mean I would have every right! Right? Oh don’t think I didn’t clutch the stone! And I would be right—but what about righteous? What good and holy would come from throwing a stone? Only loss of relationship and more disguising the law as love.

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Designed to commune with God in the garden but choosing to wonder around clutching stone tablets that cant save us from Hell.

We are following Moses around a dessert when it’s Yesua—Jesus who gets you to the Promise Land.

Billy Graham said, “It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, and my job to love.” I say we are so busy being church people and doing God’s job that we don’t have time to do our own.

Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:10