Friday, July 17, 2015

Dear......

This scene plays over in my head. I was walking in, as you were walking out. All I wanted was to run in, grab a snack and fill up my car with gasoline. We touched, your left shoulder actually rubbed against my right side, that’s how close we were. I gasped for air as our eyes met, my breathing slowed down, it may have even completely stopped, my heart was racing. You looked so different to me, you seemed weaker, smaller and so much older, as my eyes quickly looked over you and examined your face. I waited and expected to see anger and rage spewing out from every pour of your body. But there was something different about your eyes, they had changed, they had a brokenness about them. I pulled my head up with a little bit more confidence and my eyes seemed to soften as if I was looking into what seemed like the eyes of your heart. Less fear consumed me than I ever would have imagined in such a moment like that, while instead more empathy and sadness seemed to take over. I knew what your eyes where saying, I felt it, I know you and those eyes, they looked at me for so many years and in so many different ways but never like this. I looked at you and with me saying no words, I said what I felt was needed to be said, “I forgive you.” You almost had to hold your breath in that moment it seemed. I think it was more then you were prepared for. As fast as it had started, it ended, you continued to walk out, as I walked in, but, we both turned once more and then it was over and I woke up. Yes, this was all just a dream but this dream has been on repeat for several months. I wonder why I am dreaming of this encounter over and over, why do your eyes bring such brokenness to me, instead of fear or anger? I deeply struggled with writing this, I really did. I know it’s written publicly but this letter is really for you. It’s the only way I know my words will ever reach your eyes. For the last 15 years I have wanted a face to face with you, a moment where you would confess and a moment I could scream, cry and throw any and everything near me at your face and then after every ounce of me was exhausted, I would say the words out loud, ”I forgive you” as I walked away with what I had always told myself would be peace. But really, would it be? Would that be enough after you confessed your heart to me of the sins you committed? Would I be at peace with saying nothing more? See, I know me, I know my heart and I wouldn’t be, maybe it’s a character flaw, maybe it’s not, maybe it’s Gods heart in me, I am sure some people would have opinions if it is healthy or not, but I would want the chance to tell you a little bit more. I would want to tell you that I forgive you, but really in the scheme of life and death, my forgiveness doesn’t count for very much. But there is forgiveness that counts for everything, The forgiveness that comes from God that is really all that will matter one day and He is willing and waiting to extend it to you. 
Dammit, I really hated what you did, what you caused, what you took away and I am sure God is/was pretty broken over it too, but see, that’s where He is so different. He will never turn his love off on us, ever, not even on you. Go ahead and try him, confess to him and let him work on your heart, because even men like you deserve to know that kind of love. I don’t think anyone should live life in turmoil, or have their life come to an end without knowing the changing power and love of Christ. You knowing him would mean us sharing heaven together, but I think I could do that and the only reason I know I can say that honesty is because of Jesus. If you allowed him to come in and work on your heart, the man you were and perhaps still are, would be gone in an instant, he makes all things new. Yes, God is really that good, he can turn a child rapist into a forgiven saint. How, I have not a clue, because to me it seems impossible, but somehow I know it’s not. 
Hold on though, while I have you, there is something else, The ticket, Gracie’s ticket and every blog post and the future books, I didn’t write them, start it and blog them, to punish you, or to shame you, because really, it’s not about you at all. It’s about me, it’s about healing and encouraging others, you really hold no real spot in my life any more. Take away from this what you will but my heart in this, is pure, honest and means every word written.
Your days are numbered, as are mine, obviously it’s your choice, but you don’t have to live this next and probably last chapter of your life in such a state of brokenness but instead you could choose to be more and make you life matter for something really good. 
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our unrighteousness

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

You are not alone

What if more people knew our stories, knew our past, our short comings and those secrets we pretend don’t exist? What would happen if we all started talking more open about our lives. I think a lot of good would come, when we no longer live in such a private culture. I think powerful things happen with transparency, vulnerability and facing our giants. 

If people knew how once upon a time I was so afraid to speak up, I was unsure of myself and let my past rob me of the present and also the future they wouldn’t believe I was the same person today.

Sexual abuse was my dirty little secret but also so were all my lies, lack of confidence and raging anger. I lived a fake life and it robbed me of a real and beautiful life that was waiting to be lived. It's scary to let people in to the real us, the broken us, the not so perfect Facebook status worthy us. We all have baggage and lingering insecurities, pains and hurts from our childhoods. We all have arguments with our spouses, fail some days as parents, financial struggles, addictions of some sorts, but we also all get up after we fall, continue when we are exhausted and some days we need each other so much more than we want people to know. Our stories, not just the horrific and horrible parts but the small day to day events should be told and shared, because we all have them and eventually that story and healing will become someone else's beginning, while also letting them know they are not alone in what they are facing even though so many people believe they are just that, alone.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

It all matters

He’s not surprised even a little bit by your crazy busy schedules, your exhausted eyes, or your need for life to slow down just for a moment. He knows your fears, he see your hardest days, your moments of weakness, your momentary lack of patience and your quiet desire to pull out your grown up clothes that have long been collecting dust in the back of your closet. He sees it all, and guess what, he still adores you and is so proud of your heart to love and serve these little people he has entrusted you with. He isn’t out helping more important causes while leaving you to tend to the smaller tasks, because this isn't a smaller task, its the biggest task, the most important to His heart and that is why He entrusted it to YOU. You are loving and nurturing a child created straight from the breath of God’s own heart and he wants to carry you through all the long and exhausting days, so you will have the strength to continue through this journey of parenthood.” Parenting is hard, there are no time outs, no start overs, no I give ups, but that’s right where he works the best, in our weakness, he shows his strength the best.
Rest in this today, that you as a parent, whether, biological, adoptive, step, foster, relative or any other form that deserves the title of parent, you have been called to something that is dearest to His heart. You were chosen because he knew you were more than capable, and that even when you think you are failing he thinks you are doing a wonderful job at loving the children that he has ask you to raise up into amazing people.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Love is....

Whether you vaccinate your children or are against them, I pray you make an educated choice for your family. If you choose to teach your children about Buddha, Joseph, Jesus, another god or maybe no god, I pray you earnestly seek your heart and all truth regarding it. Whom ever you love, love them deeply. If your skin is a shade darker or shade lighter, I hope people see you for your heart and not the color of your skin. Some of us were raised to believe what we believe and some of us have come upon that conviction through our life. I have very strong convictions in my heart, as so do you, we all do. I think everyone should have a choice, because Jesus, who I love with all my heart gave me a choice, He never forced, breathed down my neck or thump his ways on my head. He loved me just where I was, who I was and all of me, even though I was far from follow His ways, He just loved me. I hope to try and mimic that kind of love by loving others without judgment. I don’t always win at this, but my heart earnestly desires to love all people, of all walks of life, exactly where they are. That act of grace was my absolute greatest gift I ever received, the gift of unconditional love, by a God that had every right to give up on me. Today, tomorrow or next year when you encounter someone that walks a different walk, talks a different talk and loves a different language than you, love them and love them well, you will be giving them the greatest gift one can give.

Friday, January 2, 2015

You are worth it.

Sometimes loving a child through their pain and brokenness is hard. You don't always get to see the end result, the reward of your hard work. Sometimes you are just a stepping stone in their journey, a small but mighty ripple in their ocean. So often what people are doing to help broken children is an invisible act of love not seen by others but remember it's always felt by the child. 

To the teacher that brings in extra food for the child she knows hasn't ate a meal in days, the neighbor that always invites the 'troubled child' over to hang with her family so often she feel like she has an extra child or the parent of an adopted child that is in the trenches picking up the pieces to their child's broken past. Thank you! You may not hear that from the child today or see your seeds of love growing in them just yet, but one day it will happen. The next time you're having a hard time walking in love towards this child, grab them by the cheeks, look them in the eye and tell them they are worth it, because they are. Once upon a time I was worth it and I am forever grateful to all the people that looked me in the face as a broken child and said you are worth it, Nicole! Today I completely agree with them, all their endless acts of love were worth it. Don't give up the fight even when it seems overwhelming. Broken children have broken hearts but when someone tells a child they are worth it, watch and see the broken become whole again.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Interview

I had the privilege to sit down with Nicole Crites of CBS 5 you can watch the interview here and if you like it would you please share with the people in your life?!
Watch Here


KPHO CBS 5

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Life's little teachers

Sometimes I am just done with the selfishness that my children can show.

They forget to pick up their dirty clothes or clear their place at the table and when I send them back to do it, they react as if I told them to clean the whole house. They don't always appreciate the meal I prepared in the mist of my hectic day to nourish their tiny growing bodies. I send them back to make their beds for the 5th time some mornings and you would think the world was ending. They so often speak to each other with rudeness and I want to pull my greying hair out!

But then…..

I see myself and I am just done with my own selfishness.

I overreact about way to much. I speak in anger. I push away instead of wrapping their little arms around my neck. I get so busy with caring for them I forget to invest in them. I am expected to teach my children, love, patience and grace when I to often lack those qualities myself. I wonder how that will turn out?

But thats where His Grace comes in

He gives me fresh eyes and reminds my heart that even though my kiddos may have moments of selfishness, they also show some of the most purest forms of love I have ever seen or read about.They see the world through innocent eyes and teach me to view it more in a simple way. And although I can be so selfish, my kiddos are the best at showing me and teaching me forgiveness because they are so quick to extend grace my way.

Life is a long process where we all are learning and growing each day and some of our greatest teachers are little, messy but extremely cute people. Take the time to learn from them today. There is just something pure and simple about a child's view of this world.



I am so blessed to have my little teachers in my home every day to teach me along life's bumpy yet beautiful road.