Showing posts from 2018

I'm Disqualified

I’m disqualified.
(I wrote this in November of 2016.)
One of the biggest reasons I never wanted to stand on a platform in front of the group is the overwhelming feeling that they will eventually find out something about me that brings shame to my Father in heaven. I’ll stand before the world disqualified by my sins, my weaknesses, my failings, and even my mistakes. I’ll be embarrassing to my family and friends, and I’ll even be embarrassing to God. But then, I realized, I’m already disqualified. You see, I have sinned. I have failed. I have hurt people. I have been thoughtless. I have been deliberately cruel. I have made the same rude mistakes over and over again. I still tend to forget to say hi to people, and I rarely say goodbye. I don’t offer to help folks when there’s a meal to cook or a mess to clean. I am not careful with my words. Actually, I try to be, but I speak so many of them that the wrong ones often slip out in spite of my best efforts. I am disqualified. I run from th…

A Scared Little Donkey and Me

God's Unlikely Called

Where there was loss, God brings immeasurable gain. (Joel 2:25-26) Where there was sorrow, he fills us with laughter. (Psalms 126:2) The end has not come, but a new beginning has dawned. (Luke 1:78)

When king David wasn't yet king, he found himself running from King Saul in the wilderness, just trying to stay alive. At that time, every respectable person seemed to be against him, and the only ones flocking to him were people with no pedigree, no inspiring backstory, and folks who would frankly cause his former friends and family to think that David had lowered his standard of holiness. ["You're hanging out with WHO? You should know better."]

A musician and a worshipful shepherd, David had been the overlooked son in a family of 12 boys. When a prophet came to the house seeking to meet all of the boys, his father hadn't even considered including him in the group. Yet, his life took a turn of events that led him to be the hero of his people. He killed the giant Goli…

Ready to Fly?

They just left it all.

Fishy-smelling, sweaty, exhausted fishermen followed a rabbi. Just walked off and followed him wherever he might lead them. Without hesitation. Why?

They saw a miracle. These expert fishermen had worked all night for nothing, and now that they were washing their nets -- not just pulling in, but finished with every single chore, and now finally washing their nets so that they could go home... And at this moment, Jesus tells them to go back in the water, throw their clean nets into the deeper water where they didn't even fish, and they did it. Apparently, these guys believed in Jesus. This random rabbi they'd been hearing about who could do miracles. They had their own stories, but they were willing to trust in this miracle man. And when they went out, not only did their nets get messy, but they began to break from the weight of the fish filling them.

Jesus had just filled their nets with a miraculous, overflowing catch of fish, which is their main source …

It's Not About You, Mom!

Being a mom has always been my biggest joy. I cannot imagine my life without my beautiful offspring. I'm blessed beyond measure. They're all grown now, and I'm blessed to be able to watch their lives unfold, giving advice when asked, and keeping quiet as much as my mouth can manage it when they don't ask for my opinion.
I'm so excited about my children. They are their own people, making their own choices, and finding their own way through this world. They don't do things exactly like I would, because they are not me, and that is really cool. They are themselves. They do their own work. And as a result, their successes are their own.
I cheer them on, I love them, and I enjoy them! I see them mess up, too, but I'm not here to fix them. Sometimes, it feels much less awesome to see them fall short, but you know what? That's no longer on me. I can pray, I can speak up, and then I can shut up. I'm no longer in charge of my adult children's choices. Be…

Fun Film Fridays!

Every day there are free or very low-cost options for viewing really great films and television programs. However, it is often difficult for people who have never thought of movies as schoolwork to make it into something truly educational. Never fear! I'm here to help you.

Having home educated for over 20 years, I used movies and TV constantly. One great way to use less educationally themed films is to ask your kids to create a sequel storyline. For instance, when we were watching "Spy Kids" about a decade or two ago, I would give them a starting point. For the second film, one where the girl has already had her time to shine, I told them that the boy should have a lead role. Then, I asked them how they would like to see that new movie play out. They had several ideas, but I said that since he had always been seen as a little boy, maybe a girl should come into the story. He's reaching that age, I told them. Some said yuck, but not only did it all come true, but we ev…

Drive on!

This evening, I sat down alone in my living room watching, "The Car" episode of "This Is Us." At the end of the episode, almost as an afterthought, the mother drives the kids over a bridge. Throughout the episode, each time they get to a bridge, she closes her eyes and squeals a bit in terror. But in the last moments of the episode, she does it. Why? How does she overcome it instantly -- this gripping fear that has held her heart for so long?
In her case, she needs to do it. He's gone. The man who drove her across that bridge is dead, and at his passing, she alone is left to do this. So, she gets behind the wheel, presses her foot on the accelerator, and when the moment comes, she just keeps her foot in place. It's that simple.
How many times have I had to face my fear and simply do it? Natural childbirth was all my idea. I wanted it, even though I whined for days about every single paper cut. And when the time came, I just did it. Three times with no anes…

2 Weeks into the Fast

During this fast so far, I feel as if I've shorted out some of the process because I just haven't really spent as much quality time with God as I'd like. I wanted this to be a time of phenomenal growth, and so far, it's been less than that. I almost wish I had struggled more with the food. However, after several months of Beachbody, I am really okay with healthy food. It's a little tough, but nothing like it has been in the past. I'm okay.

Honestly, the lack of struggle has meant that I don't have to cry out to God on a constant basis to help me through this. I've been able to just go through the day mostly in a routine way. Yet, I didn't want this fast to put me in crisis mode, either. I wanted to seek God in a freer, more pure way, not because I had to. Yet, it didn't really happen that way.

On top of all that, I've been dealing with some internal struggles. There are some relationships in my life that are straining the limits of my self-c…

Fasting for 21 Days Like Daniel

What really matters to you? To me, it's all about love. I love God, I love my family, and I love my friends. More and more lately, I love this amazing woman that God made to live in this amazing body that is typing this message so adeptly. Yes, I am learning to love me. And it's something I would have considered sacrilegious to say in the past. Love myself? I know every verse about why I shouldn't. What changed? I learned one very important one, "Love thy neighbor as thyself." This was my problem.
Stephanie Orsini didn't like herself much. She talked a big talk about self-esteem and self-acceptance, but she really didn't have much of it. She treated herself badly with her negative self-talk and her disrespectful treatment of her body. And she treated others pretty badly, too. Slowly, over time, I learned a lot about how to love myself, and now I'm learning to act like it. I'm taking care of my health, speaking kindly to myself, and expecting respe…