Why is it so difficult to receive love? So, so much more difficult than giving it away.
Sunday in church, the pastor talked briefly about the things a minister/leader/pastor cannot do for those to whom they minister. The sum up is that a minister cannot go in and fix something inside of another person’s heart.
Pondering this and other things as I drove home Monday through the incredible beauty of the Wenatchee National Forest, I was stuck on an even more disturbing reality: How difficult it is to fix something inside of my own heart.
I know a lot of kids and have the pleasure of watching them interact with their parents. All of them are at various stages of obedience. Sometimes my heart is like the naughtiest, most disobedient toddler. I can say with great sternness what I want my heart to feel or not feel, to know or to not know. I can cajole it to believe, bribe it not to rebel, soothe it into gratitude… Continue reading “Bluebird in my Heart”
One topic that has come up for me a lot over the years is homosexuality. Same-sex attraction is the reason that my ex-husband decided to divorce me. He certainly has his own story and I don’t attempt to tell that here (I am not outing him to the world, he has already done this). That is parenthetical to what I really wanted to say, but important for you to know about my perspective.
You may or may not be surprised if you knew how many Christians struggle with same sex attraction. I know several. Before you get upset with my using the word ‘struggle,’ recognize that I’m not making a judgment- all of the people I know would admit that for them it is a place of great difficulty. I myself glimpsed into that struggle by marrying a man who was not attracted to women.
Was I fully aware of my own foolishness? No. Talking to a friend last night about this issue, she expressed thoughts I carried years ago when I got engaged…. Continue reading “The Great Exchange”
Tonight I wrapped up a very mini series with the program staff here at Warm Beach Camp on Intimacy With God. What God gave me to give to them was pretty basic, on one hand, but also felt hard to execute. The two main things that I felt I was supposed to talk about were the spiritual principles of intimacy with God from Psalm 63:1-8 told through the lens of my own story with God.
The four spiritual realities that I found in those verses were these:
Continue reading “Satellite Heart”
God’s goodness and love keep breaking through to me.
This morning I was reading a book and several pages into one chapter I had to set the book down and pray for forgiveness because I realized how far I have been falling short.
Do you do that? Do you fall short? Do you spend much time thinking about this, feeling guilty?
I do that. But lately? When I realize I feel guilty about something and I take it to God do you know how he always responds?
“I love you, Peggy.”
Right out loud in my head… Continue reading “Right Out Loud”
Lately I’ve been thinking about this word, “intimacy.”
The official definitions I find don’t seem to convey much depth,
- Close familiarity or friendship; closeness.
- A private cozy atmosphere.
How would you define intimacy?
When I think about my closest friendships, I see intimacy with them in the same light that I see vulnerability. I can admit my faults and struggles to just about anyone (even to the world wide web), but how I feel right now is probably the most sensitive. What’s going on inside of me in the moment is the most vulnerable thing for me to share. I think this is because once I have thought through things, I can find a way to accept myself and communicate to others in a way that is more likely to ensure their acceptance of me. When I haven’t thought through something, I may discover that I don’t like myself and then it’s a danger that others might not like me, as well. I’m not sure it’s the same for everyone, but I do know that when I choose to be vulnerable a kind of intimacy takes place with the person I’m sharing with. Especially if they aren’t horrified by what I’ve shared…. Continue reading “The Good Portion”
I keep being brought back to Ephesians 3:14-19:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Here is where it showed up yesterday; I attended the wedding of my friends Rachel and Taylor. I didn’t just attend, I was also the photographer. This pertains to the story at hand in that I had a very unique view of the ceremony. A normal guest at a wedding sits in a seat and sees the whole thing from one vantage point. As the photographer I got all up in that ceremony. I was behind the bridesmaids, standing in the aisle, crouching, getting on my tippy toe (not easy since I have a healing sprain on one ankle and was wearing a walking cast). I pretended I was invisible (and tried my best to move quietly and smoothly) and even managed to creep behind the officiant and the bridal couple in the middle of the vows (I needed to see the bride’s face!!). This alone makes me want to photograph more weddings. Can you imagine if all the guests got up and just wandered around to see every angle at a wedding?!
But that’s only on the way to what I mean to say…. Continue reading “That Surpasses Knowledge”
For the last few weeks I’ve been realizing my need for better time management. I read some list of Signs of Burnout and identified with most of them. Of course I read this only a few days before I planned to come back to Colorado and work. So I asked God what I should do and I felt strongly that a long sabbatical was not the solution- instead I need to learn how to manage my daily time in a way that allows me enough rest to keep going.
Then, less than a week after returning to YWAM I sprained my ankle.
The funny(?) thing is that the morning before I found myself crumpled in the parking lot with fire in my foot I was thinking pretty hard about how I could serve the people on my team. I didn’t consciously think, “I need to prove I’m worth having,” but looking back I realize that I felt this deep down. So I invited one friend over to take a walk with me and I would make her lunch. Honestly I wanted to spend some time catching up with her. Our walk lasted mere minutes and then for the next two days she was helping me all over the place; ice for my ankle, rides to a meeting and to the doctor, crutches to get around on, delivering movies for me to watch while I sat in my bed.
Okay, okay, I get it, I’m resting… Continue reading “This I Know”
I always want to say really epic things when I post. It’s not because epic things aren’t happening that I cannot find the words, it’s because too many things are happening with too little time to process them.
One beautiful thing happened on Friday. Thursday night I saw this video about a dog named Skipboot (and his owner). Skipboot is the most incredibly smart and obedient dog I have ever seen. I was really moved by the dog’s obedience… to be listening so attentively to hear and obey every small step. While watching the video I thought, “I want to be like that with God. I want to hear and obey Him that well.”
The next morning in class we heard teaching on the book of Hosea. In that story are pieces of Hosea’s incredible obedience to God. At the end of class the teacher invited us to spend some time talking to God personally. She turned on music… to be honest I can’t remember what she told us to seek God about! I just remember that when I closed my tired eyes and set my heavy head in my arms I immediately thought of Skipboot and was going to start praying along the lines of God making me more like that dog.
Almost as immediately I got a picture in my mind of dancing with a man, ballroom style…. Continue reading “Learning the Steps”
Somehow we always want fairy tale endings even right smack in the middle of our lives. Am I right?
The last year or so I have felt a kind of fairy tale take-off happening within my heart in a way that is, I think, slightly deceiving. This is what it is like to straddle adulthood. To try the balance beam of “going somewhere”.
But it’s kind of a lie, to be honest. Because here is the thing; after having several years blast the daylights out of me, blast so much soot and the childhood scars away and the unreal expectations and the misplaced fanciful hopes… AFTER such a few years, when I’ve rinsed off what had come undone (which was a lot), stand up straight (which feels like, and possibly is a miracle), and head back into the fray (and by that I mean purposeful living), I realize that the mini-Armageddon of the soul I had just experienced was merely round 1…. Continue reading “The Guts of my Heart”
I’m undergoing some serious change here. I want to put it into words and share it but I’m not sure where to start.
One thing God is doing is making His word (you know, the Bible) like this living, breathing creature I carry around in my purse. I open it and it SPEAKS. Have you ever read a book that described something so vividly that you could picture it like a scene played out before you in 3D? It’s kind of like that, only it’s like I look at the words on the page (usually I’m reminded of a small piece- a phrase like “for the joy set before him”… and so I go to see what the words around the phrase mean) and it’s like they are being spoken into my ear and piercing deep into my heart.
The other day I was watching part of this video series called The Truth Project and the guy quoted Philippians 3:7-11. As soon as I heard this (verses I’ve heard many times in the past) I practically jumped up and shouted.
Now you probably think I’m crazy but it struck me as exactly where I am and what I want.
Exactly…. Continue reading “Words with a Pulse”
Last night I sat for a while with an 11 month old baby in my lap. He sat calmly staring into my eyes for a long time- searching my face with his little fingers and then taking hold of my nose as if it were my hand. He seemed to have his own inner stillness while he studied my face and it amazed me. The memory of it even now calms me and simultaneously reminds me of the last living moments I had with my daughter.
What do babies know that we do not? What we know may be summed up in the vast amounts of information and stimulation that they have not yet experienced. Everything is right now. Need, joy, hunger, want, adventure, intimacy, sleep….. Continue reading “A still, small gaze”
Yesterday morning I spent some time reading Isaiah. For some reason this is the main thing I read when I read the Bible.
I’m drawn to Isaiah.
I find myself identifying with him, craving the words there to be spoken to me and also, I’ll be honest, I find myself a bit confused sometimes. I used to struggle with making his words personal. I wanted to, but I often told myself, “No, this was a long time ago and God was just speaking to Israel”, but there are actually many places in Isaiah where God speaks directly to those ‘outside’.
Here is what I read yesterday… Continue reading “Beloved, listen to me”
Although we have been talking about Creative Process this week, the thing I have been thinking about (in my “spare” thinking time) is the difference between intimacy and isolation. They are, I believe, absolutely apposed.
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Intimacy: close or warm friendship or understanding; personal relationship, emotional warmth and closeness
Isolation: the failure of an individual to maintain contact with others, apart from others
I don’t think I know anyone who does not long for intimacy. There are several ways to experience this kind of closeness – but it is difficult to cultivate and maintain for some reason. It requires trust. And vulnerability. And there are a lot of unhealthy short cuts…… Continue reading “Intimacy vs. Isolation”