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The church does not change teenagers

IMG_0824Almost 6 years ago I was introduced to the class of 2016 on the Mesa campus. I now sit here on my stool, at my high standing, nicely welded desk that my husband made for me, staring at a blank page of paper unable to comprehend the words I want to share with you. And now my eyes begin to well up because I know what I want to write will not be easy, but it is necessary due to the incredible human beings I want you to know about. Continue reading…

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I Don’t Want to Succeed in Ministry

FullSizeRenderIt has been 1 year, 8 months, and 7 days since I last wrote a blog. That was hard to swallow. I love to write. So why has it been almost 2 years since anything has surfaced on this page? I have written blogs for Central Christian Church, my work, but have refused to let anything loose on here. I am still trying to figure out the excuses I have made up to this point. Today I have decided to make the commitment of writing a blog once a week, I need you all to hold me accountable to that. So…what has God been teaching me these past few months? I got to go on a retreat for work a few weeks ago and lead a devotional regarding this question with some incredible people in high leadership and I chose to be vulnerable with them so I am going to be vulnerable with you. Continue reading…

Dear Teenager,

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Dear Teenager,

To the heartbreaker, the athletic one, and the loser; to the indecisive, the lovebirds, and the band geek; to the ones who are suicidal, with divorced parents, and the daddyless; to the frightened, the rule breakers, and the punk rockers; to the ones who are sick, the overachievers, and the kind girl next door; to the ones with a perfect family, the foster kid, and the rich one; to the drug addict, alcohol abuser, and the sex addict; to the generation that I absolutely adore and love to the very core of my being, I write to you. Continue reading…

The Fault in Our Stars

This movie was brilliant in more ways than one. For those who know me, you know I love movies. I love everything about them, the passion, the adventure, the characters, it’s a powerful thing for me to experience. I feel the same about books, but that’s a blog for another time. The Fault in Our Stars has adventure, love, and a beautiful lesson of what it means to be a victim. This movie (and novel, but I am going to refer to the movie) is a love story, but not a normal one. When cancer plays a part in a love story it is everything but normal. Cancer itself doesn’t surprise us these days anymore. It’s a common illness that destroys lives. I have had one too many friends and family members who have struggled with cancer. Some that are struggling, some that have struggled and won, and some that have lost the fight. However, losing the fight to cancer does not mean it has won.

It’s a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing.The Fault in Our Stars

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I Don’t Want Happiness

Silence has been present in my life the last few months. Do you ever feel your life is silent at times? There are days that I feel tired, not physically, but spiritually and emotionally. I can confidently say I know what I believe in, but there are times I am still searching for something. I am wrestling with this idea of happiness. What does it mean for us to be happy? I know the song, Happy by Pharrell Williams, makes me happy. How can it not? We want to be happy. Our human nature strives to feel good in every aspect of our life. The problem I am finding is that happiness is temporary. Everything this world provides is temporary, relationships, material items, emotions etc. I am happy, but my life is still missing something and I think I always knew what it was; JOY. Continue reading…

Don’t Close the Door

narniaLife catches up to us. It tends to present itself unannounced and in some cases uninvited. We go through still moments in our busy life where we encounter the depth of feeling stuck in place. Our lives become a repeating routine of sleep, eat, work, school, etc. Occasionally we will experience the life changing decisions that redirect our course in life such as marriage, having a baby, buying a house, a new job. This is life right? This is the expectation we have. I believe God created this unimaginably large world for us to enjoy and take care of, but I fear we miss these opportunities without even realizing. How many doors have opened that I have unintentionally closed? Far too many. Was I too busy with this life to not notice? Did I pass them by out of fear? Or perhaps I prolong the inevitable. I realize I don’t close my doors all the way; I leave them ajar as a child would when they fear the dark.

Since I was a wee little girl, I have adored and cherished books. I live and breathe the need of digging my nose into an adventure that is written down in words. My love for movies most likely stems from this as well. My ideal day is sitting in a cafe with a coffee, close to a window, preferably a comfy chair, a good book and people that I can watch move about their day. I have no shame in spending twenty dollars drinking coffee and eating a muffin or three. Words have the capability to create something beautiful within your imagination. Ever since I have expressed and shown this desire and love for books and writing I have been told, “so when are you going to write a book?” I continually laugh it off because the idea of creating something my own is honestly terrifying. I don’t enjoy being stressed with the lack of accomplishment. Continue reading…

Facing My Demons

vulnerabilityI never thought myself a bitter person; not until the other day.

I love to observe people; I’d almost call it a hobby of mine. People are so interesting to me because everyone has a story and the way people act or present themselves is a reflection of their story and where their life has taken them. There are times when I can see that there is someone running from something, not literally speaking, whether its running from the past, the present or the future. We are a fearful human race. We are scared when we can’t control our future and what tomorrow is going to look like. It’s moments like these that we have to be something that makes our knees weak, our lips tremble and our stomachs turn; we must become vulnerable.

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To The Bullies and The Bullied

198356_191566024213362_1870708_nBullying. This word alone makes my stomach turn. I feel that right now more than ever we have people of all ages struggling with being bullied or being the bully. I was always aware of it because of my sweet and dear brother Tim. Tim lights up my world with his goofy laugh and lopsided smile. Tim was born with a lack of oxygen going to the left side of his brain due to his umbilical chord wrapped around his neck. He has a mixture of cerebral palsy and autism, has no speech and has a pretty big limp to his walk. However, his heart is the size of a basketball. He adores and loves people unconditionally. He is unable to hold a grudge against anyone. His heart is pure and yet the things he has gone through would have destroyed any other person. Tim has had caregivers in the past that have abused and taken advantage of him. Since he has no speech, the only time we can be aware of this is by his physical appearance or his attitude changing when we tell him who he is going to see. Tim is always excited to see people but when we say someone’s name and he shakes his head and becomes quiet we know something is wrong. My heart aches as I type these words. The thought of anybody touching or hurting my big brother raises up an unspeakable emotion in me. What sick, twisted person would bully a mentally disabled, innocent human being?

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I Want A Broken Heart

heartAs I sat in front of my group of eleven beautiful junior high girls, I couldn’t help but smile with joy and pain at the eleven sets of eyes looking at me. There were some tears, some smiles, and some with no emotion to be seen. I began by saying, “so what’s on everyone’s mind?” Hesitation flooded the room. So Kaylee and I opened the floor.

 

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Oh, Miley

mileyMiley seems to be the talk of the week with her performance on the VMA’s. In fact, I was appalled at Facebook and how many people shared their “reviews” on Miley for all to see. I was more embarrassed at everyone’s reaction to her than her actual performance. I remember the Hannah Montana days when she was this sweet, child star rising to fame. It’s only a matter of time until they all grow up; Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Dakota Fanning, Miley Cyrus; the list goes on. The one thing that stays true between all these child stars is that they go through all the same struggles and trials as any normal young adult! I work with young women on a regular basis and I was their age a number of years ago and I get it, I understand, but the problem is we should all understand it. A celebrity like Miley Cyrus is no different than another 20 year old girl trying to discover who she is in this world and where she belongs. Heck, when I was 20 years old, I’d say I was in the same spot as Miley right now. I didn’t know who I was and I went through a lot of messed up things in my life to finally find who I was. Miley is known all around the world and one thing I know we will never understand is the amount of pressure these young girls hold on their shoulders to please the world and the viewers, us.  Continue reading…