You Will Be Disappointed In Me

The words hurt, cut like a knife.

My heart beat outside of my chest as I let her cloud of disappointment cover me.

Hurting people hurt people. She felt like I let her down and so she let me down. The accusations still ring.

This online space is a tricky place. I’ve spent four years confessing my struggles, trying to find joy in the moment, hoping to inspire the people who spend their time here. It’s not something I take lightly, you reading my words.

I’m reminded daily that God created something adequate out of this space and out of inadequate me. I need you to keep dreaming with me.

But I’ve always tried to be transparent. And in the last month, I’ve received a couple of emails and comments from a few people on different subjects, but all feeling like I’d let them down in some way. Oh, I get people and their opinions and it’s certainly not the first time I’ve had people disagree with me.

Somewhere along the way, some people got into their minds that I’m someone to look up to. You can only look up to people you place on a pedestal. The rest of us are eye to eye, trying to carve out what God wants to accomplish in and through us.

I don’t belong on a pedestal. Most days I find myself under it.

I’m not always a great wife or an awesome mom. I have really hard days just like you. I don’t always share the horrible moments because I’m flesh trying to live this out, messing up more than I can say.

But I am convinced that if you look up to me you will be disappointed.

You might not like that I lose it with my kiddos, nag my hubby, don’t use recycled bags or cook organic. You might be disappointed that when it gets really hard, I think about quitting (everything). You might be shocked at my discipline methods, thinking they are too strict or too lenient.

The bottom line: you will be disappointed in me.

And that’s why I do my best to point you to Him. Because He will never disappoint you.

There is Charity in All of Us

She came to us alone, with a baby she didn’t want stirring in her womb.

Orphaned at a young age, she wandered this earth unloved and unwanted.

Charity came to us broken, detached, angry.

Outwardly she pushed others away, isolating herself through pain, distancing her heart from love.

But we loved her anyway. We set firm boundaries and we loved. We prayed. We fasted. We begged God to draw her close. We shed so many tears over this child having a child.

We feared for her unborn son. How would this detached girl attach to a baby she never wanted?

He was born to an angry mother. She didn’t want him.

And we didn’t know what to do. 

We prayed harder. Loved more fiercely. Forced her to hold him, feed him. Every moment hard.

We willed her to show charity to her precious new miracle rescued from abortion.

And we reminded ourselves again and again that we aren’t the rescuers.

Only God.

Today, we catch her cooing at her chubby son. Smiling down on him. Visitors don’t know the miracle they witness. Our hearts catch in our throats with each tenderness because we remember. We know that only God can heal a barren soul.

I am broken. I am angry. I am orphaned, needing to be adopted by God.

God used Charity’s pain to heal a part of me.

“Jesus brings about my own healing by bringing me into someone else’s.” -Kisses from Katy.

There is a bit of charity in all of us.

God is here.

WFMW: Store Your Boots

I read this tip in a magazine and thought it was brilliant. I rolled up the magazine and inserted it into my boot! It’s so simple and keeps my boots from doing this:

and makes them do this:

It works for me!

When Inadequate Is Adequate

She didn’t have much.

Actually, compared to what we have, she had nothing.

But her little was enough.

Imagine the bleak scene: a starving widow in a desperate famine, preparing her last meal-a tiny bit of flour and oil- so she could feed her child and die.

[I’ve seen pictures of the famine going on in the Horn of Africa today. It’s not hard to recreate the horror of the situation.]

A stranger, a man of God, showed up and asked her for bread. She told him her situation. I can almost see the defeat and sorrow etched into the deep lines of worry on her face. Elijah tells her to step out in faith.

She did as he asked. She prepared the bread and gave it to the stranger.

She gave all she had, even thought it wasn’t much to look at. The flour and oil never ran out. He turned her little into a lot.

Her inadequate offering became adequate.

(click to continue reading at (in)courage)

From Blah to Awe {Book Set Giveaway}

UPDATE:  The winner of the book set is Lauren (comment #7).

I have one dream for my kids.

I don’t care if they are successful. I’m not hoping they will be rich or famous or even moderately liked in this world.

My dream is for them to have a deep abiding relationship with Jesus.

That’s it.

Because everything good and bad in their lives will end of being okay if that’s their foundation.

My hubby and I read a lot of books with our kids. We are currently reading It’s Not About Me :Teen Edition during our family devotion time. (My hubby and I always read aloud and filter for our kids if we don’t think it’s appropriate).

We loved reading You Were Made to Make a Difference by Max Lucado as well as a family. I highly recommend it.

When I was asked to review Jenna Lucado (Max’s daughter) Bishop’s new book for teen girls, I was interested in focusing in on some special one-on-one time with my girl.

It’s called From Blah to Awe: Shaking Up a Boring Faith. Nearly every night, when the younger kids are in bed, my oldest daughter and I (she’s 12), snuggle up and read a chapter. It’s been so good to talk about our faith or lack of.

We are still making our way through this book, but I love Jenna’s passion for teen girls and her call to them to love God radically, hungering and thirsting for more of Him.

My daughter is a regular girl and I’m seeing faith thru her eyes as we journal and talk about these things. It’s been good and I look forward to more.

If you’d like to win THE SET of You Were Made to Make a Difference, It’s Not About Me and the brand new book, From Blah to Awe, leave a comment.

This giveaway ends Thursday.

Read together as a family. You’ll be glad you did.