Sunday, November 16, 2014

Unbelievable FREEDOM

Do you want to know how many "drafts" I have sitting in my blog dashboard right now?
11. ELEVEN y'all!

Do you want to know why?

Because so often, at least 11 times apparently, I sit down to write a post, full of words spilling out of me that must be shared with the world- whether or not anyone is actually going to read them- because if I don't I'll bust. But then? Something causes me to hit the "Save" button instead of "Publish".

It's that small voice whispering lies...

"No one cares what you have to say."

"WHO is going to take precious time from their day to read anything YOU have written?!"

"If you post this, people will lash out at you!!"

and so on.....

But today, I realized, something- or Someone- prompted me to write those words to begin with. And by never finishing it, I've failed the mission those words had been given. Someone DID need to read them. Even if it was just me.


Over the next few days I will be publishing all those posts and then some. If any of them offend you, I'm sorry. If they move you, hurrah! But I have words spilling out of my words here. A heart about to burst wide open with unshared sentiments and lessons learned yearning to be shared out loud, if only as a confirmation to myself that they exist. And then, IF someone happens to read them and be encouraged, inspired or enveloped in that UNCONDITIONAL LOVE that provides a PEACE THAT SURPASSES UNDERSTANDING... then A-M-E-N! Because God is So Good. He has been SUPER patient with me, as well as Incredibly Merciful and Abundantly Gracious to me. And I can keep quiet no longer. So forgive me for the mysterious silence so far. And forgive me for the cascade of emotional shrapnel about to start flying from this blog.

What, you may ask, prompted this Revelation? (ha! that's funny right there because we just began a study of the book of Revelation at CBS last week! I didn't realize I used that word until I went back and reread this.)


"If you want to discover what happens when parents and children alike learn to live from the freedom found in being wholeheartedly and unconditionally loved (and liked!) by God, you’ve found the right place. I hope you’ll stay a while and share your journey with me."

From the blog by the author of Parenting the Wholehearted Child, Jeannie Cunnion.  She has no idea I wrote this. She has no idea the impact her blog, book, and posts have had on my life. She probably has no idea who I am; but that doesn't matter. GOD. DOES. And He sent me to her blog to read that. perfect. little. description: "what happens when.... (we) learn to live from the freedom found in being wholeheartedly and unconditionally loved (and liked!) by God."

Y'all. I fell OVER. Flat on my face when I read those words. THAT'S IT. That's all there is to it. Do you want to know what life is all about? THAT'S IT. Do you want to know how to fix the problems in this world? THAT'S IT. Do you want to know how to find peace in YOUR life? THAT'S. IT. 

It sounds over simplistic, but I'm telling you, it's not. It is both utterly PROFOUND and SIMPLE at the same time. She can probably explain it all way better than I can. BUT, I'm realizing God has led us each down different paths, with different life experiences for a reason... they all reach the same conclusion, FREEDOM IN HIS UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, but her story is not my story. It is a part of my story now, yes. Each is a story of how God brought a broken girl through to His Truth. And each story is a powerful testimony of God's mercy, grace and love that needs to be shared, if only to being Glory to the one who loves us. Unconditionally, y'all. Messy and all. I've had that Freedom and I've squandered it. No More, my friend, no more.

So, I must write. I must share what I've learned: all about the Scripture He's captured my heart with and the fire He's used to refine me and the Love He's showered upon me. Because, I know, someone is out there hurting and broken. Desperate and lonely. Wondering and questioning. And somehow, these words might find you and be the stepping stone that begins YOUR path to Freedom. Oh what an honor that would be.

Truly. That is my greatest desire. For everyone to find this Freedom.

Unbelievable Freedom. In Christ.

And if this reaches 1. Only One.
It will be totally worth it.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

A FROZEN Prescription

I'm not a doctor of any kind, but I do have a diagnosis: there is an epidemic of fear infecting the population worldwide:
  • Fear that causes people to act upon terrifying assumptions, or equally causes non-action out of concern for retribution. 
  • Fear of the unknown, or anything different that causes hate speech, hypocrisy and doubt. 
  • Fear that hinders real communication, harms relationships and prevents Truth from being heard.
And though this may sound over simplistic, I believe the newest Disney Movie, Frozen, reveals the answer. The prescription, if you will, to eradicate this fear epidemic: Love.

Now of course, Disney is hardly the first one to proclaim this truth. But more on that later. For now, I'd like to examine how beautifully this movie demonstrates that Love can cure fear.


If you have not seen the movie and plan to, be aware that if you read on a major plot line will be revealed!!  I will be careful not to reveal too much, so it will still be fun and surprising to see the movie if you choose to read on. But know that some of the surprises are discussed below.

I'm about to walk you through a brief summary of the movie along with my observations:

In the movie, Princess Elsa accidentally hurts her sister, Princess Anna, with her icy magic while playing together in the snow she created. The only way to heal her was for the trolls to take away the memory of the magic. The parents' solution? Conceal, control and contain it. So they shut the gates to the kingdom, separated the sisters and tried to teach Elsa to conceal, control and contain her magic. Here little sister Anna, never knew why her sister "shut her out." Only that she wanted to play and Elsa never came out of her room again. Then several years later, their parents died at sea and the sisters were left alone. Still, Elsa never emerged, out of FEAR of hurting her sister again. So they drifted apart as they grew up. 

Three years later, it was Coronation Day. Elsa was to be crowned Queen of Arrendale and for the first time in forever (wink wink!), the gates would be opened and the kingdom allowed in. Not only that... Anna would see her sister again.

When the sisters are finally together again at the ball, Anna is awkward. She doesn't know how to talk to her sister or even approach her. Elsa tries to make conversation, and the girls start laughing and enjoying themselves, but when Anna comments that she wishes it could always be like that, the memories start flowing and Elsa remembers the FEAR, then she shuts down and runs away.

Anna decides to go after her, and a wonderfully fun and musical adventure begins. When Anna finds her, however, out of fear of hurting Anna again, Elsa loses control and hits Anna with another icy blast, this time deadly. The cure? An act of true love.

Here's where it gets interesting. Without revealing too much more of the movie, in the end, Anna has a choice to make. Get her cure or save her sister. She chooses her sister.

Did you hear that? She chooses to save her sister instead of saving herself!! 


Oh yeah. JESUS DID. 

So now Elsa stands in shock of what her sister just did, and hugs her, then Anna's icy cast begins to melt away. Elsa asks her, why did you do that? And Anna simply replies:

"Because I love you."

To which Elsa replies, suddenly understanding:

"Love? Of course! Love can thaw a frozen heart!"

So simple yet quite profound. You see, Elsa would uncontrollably create this snow storm when she was afraid. And she did not know how to unfreeze it, leaving the whole town in danger. Until she realizes that "Love can thaw a frozen heart." Then suddenly, she magically begins to thaw the entire kingdom. Why? Because Love not only cured Anna's frozen heart, it also CURED THE FEAR INSIDE OF ELSA.

Now of course, Disney is hardly the first one to proclaim this truth. The Bible actually states it quite clearly: 

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

And this truth is declared astoundingly clear in Disney's Frozen.

So my prescription to the world: Watch Frozen!! And let the truth that LOVE DRIVES OUT FEAR sink in!! 

I wish it were possible for everyone to watch this movie, but I know it is not. So I just hope this little synopsis helps spread the message even if in some little way. Also, it is so wonderful to find such a high quality family movie with such a beautiful message to enjoy with the kids. Let's encourage them to make more like this!!  Movies are powerful!

I'm not even kidding... I literally felt fear melting off my heart as I watch this movie. So much so that I had to return from a writing hiatus to share about it. I haven't written any posts in quite a while for a variety of reasons. I will confess, however, that one reason is because of fear. Fear of rejection that what I have to say won't matter to anyone, or worse, that it would be criticized. However, over the past several weeks God has been revealing to me exactly what his Peace that Surpasses Understanding entails. As silly as it sounds, He used Frozen to drive some of that message home to me during this time! I am so excited by what I am learning that I can't hold it back anymore (another song wink!) and let fear win. Hopefully this will be a step towards consistency in writing again because I love it. If nothing else, it's therapy for me ;)  But I do hope you enjoy it and glean something from it as well.

Like always, feel free to ask questions or make comments below!! I enjoy the interaction!! In the mean time, check out just what Jesus did:

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.    1 John 4:10-11