Thursday, March 27, 2008


I recently joined a small group. I type type that and realize that "recently" was actually in January, but since we only meet every other week, it feels like only a month or so has gone by.

It has been a very long time since I've been in a small group--and part of why I have resisted joining is because my last group was so amazing. I miss the support and encouragement. I miss the fun we had and how we bonded. So I was a bit leery of another group. But I also knew I needed to be in a group. Well, there aren't many groups in our church as of late that a single girl in her late 20's could join, save one. So I joined it.

Our leader is a pastor's daughter (our former pastor's daughter, to be exact) and I've known her for a while. I like her and get along fine with her. There are 4 other ladies. Out of the six of us, two are married, one is divorced and has a child, three are single. I find it a bit difficult to relate sometimes, but I get along well with one of the other single gals and I thought I should stick it out.

I always know if it is a week to meet because starting on Monday, I start feeling a little prick. I'm wondering how I can get out of going to group on Wednesday. By Tuesday, the prick is growing to a poke. I look for excuses. When the day arrives, prick-turned-poke explodes into a punch. I start making deals with myself.

The last two times we met, I had to FORCE myself to show up--last week I only got myself to the church so I could pick up my paycheck. So I asked myself, "why are you fighting so hard?" The answer came as I drove home. The enemy doesn't want me in a small group! Yeah, I should have known that from the get-go, but I sorta forgot.

So I have a new resolve and I'm putting it out there for you all to hold me to. I'm going to go to small group every week. Small group is a priority for me and I will not miss it. I will guard that time and cover it in prayer. If there is one thing I've learned in this walk so far it is this: if the enemy doesn't want it for me, I probably should be going in that direction!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I recently read Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. It was really good. I'm not one for "self-help" books of any kind (Christian or otherwise) but this one was different. It didn't have the lists of do this and don't do that. What it did have was some suggestions for what makes women tick. And how to reconnect to the power source of our lives (God) if we've become unplugged. I really appreciated it and the message resonates in my soul. A few days after reading it, I wrote this poem. The form is called etheree and each line grows by one syllable until it reaches 10.

Question and Answer

you find
me beautiful?
This single cry
of my soul requires
the universe to pause.
My dearest heart, you, only
you are my crowning glory, you
complete my creation. Honored one,
I am captivated by your beauty.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Life has many bumps. Our church has hit a few of those recently. We call it transition. We are changing and change requires stretching, maneuvering and many other things that we humans have grown to resent and fear.

The other night, after helping out a ministry, some fellow church attenders were sitting around, ready to enjoy some pie. I'm not much for pie, but I thought it would be fun to hang around and get to know these people. Most of them I know by sight but haven't gotten to really know. All of them were my "elders". So the pie is passed around and they start talking. Not two minutes pass before I hear a grumble. You know what that is, the "I'm not happy about so-and-so". That grumble leads to another grumble and another. Soon, I'm surrounded by grumbles.

And there I sit, listening. My heart is welling up with concern. These grumbles are the worst kind, the ones that cast doubt on the shoulders of good people. I want badly to stop the grumbles, but I also realize that my normal reaction (a "knock it off") that works well with close friends, peers and children, is not going to cut it here. So I try to counter the grumbles with something uplifting. I add in things like, "I know his heart is for us to all worship together," and "I think the messages she shares are really valid," and "I like it when we pray in service". And what meets my uplift? Stronger grumbles!

By this time, I was in a tizzy. My soul is shouting that I need to counter but my heart is whispering that these are my elders and I am called and commanded to respect them. So I did the only thing that I could. I left.

As I was driving home, I peppered God with questions. How could I stand against such grumbles and still be respectful? How can I respect these people when they are setting such a bad example? I heard nothing. At home, I wrestled and wrestled to no avail. I knew I would wrestle all night if I didn't get it out of my system and the prayers so far only complicated the matter. So I wrote an email to some very wise people (a married couple) who I knew would understand my thoughts, not judge me too harshly and, most importantly, hopefully be able to help me wrestle it out.

Today, I finally got to talk to one of them about it (just writing the email got it out of my system enough so I could sleep!). I told him I was still at a loss for how to counter, but that I knew now it was a very tactical spiritual attack- and I felt like I failed. He understood and said I did the right thing by leaving, and that I was on the right track. Then I pointblank asked, "How can I counter it, next time, and still be respectful. It is still on my heart that the issue needs to be confronted."

His response? Ask questions. Come at it from the point of trying to understand. He said he always feels respected when people ask questions because it shows they are thinking and grasping your point of view, or at least making an effort. And he was in agreement that it IS a spiritual battle and one the enemy has been using for ages. He also said if my heart was still compelled, it probably meant I was convicted and confronting out of conviction rather than anger is always the better option.

So, I think I'm ready for the next battle. I hope I am and pray that God will give me the strength to keep fighting. After all, this is HIS church, HIS people and He desires us to be a family- and so do I. I want to honor Him and pull our family together. If you think of it, pray for me and my church.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


We have a new teaching pastor at Pulpit Rock. Since Armin left last spring and we stopped doing Saturday night services, I haven't been attending service because of my work in the nursery. But when we hired Thomas I told the nursery director I wanted to cut back to one service so I could attend.

I didn't realize how much I was missing worship. I've always enjoyed our worship service but I didn't know how empty I had become. I've been to service the last three weekends and it has been great.

The message this morning really challenged me (and it has been a long time since I've been able to say that). It helped me see that there are areas in my life that I can improve on (which I knew) but it also showed me WHY I should change these areas. And for all the thinking and all the theology I've heard over the years, there were some pockets of life that I couldn't understand the purpose of change. But now, I know. It makes sense. The little light went on.

So, today, I'm seeing change in a new way. Yes, it is hard and there is a part of me that doesn't want to even start. But I'm going to start new because now I know why.