Thursday, December 29, 2011

Eating a whale...

I was talking with someone the other day, and was reminded of a Shel Silverstein poem I memorized in 5th grade for extra credit. How do I tackle the mountain in front of me? One step at a time... How do you eat a whale? Let's ask Melinda Mae...

Melinda Mae
(Shel Silverstein)

Have you heard of tiny Melinda Mae,
Who ate a monstrous whale?
She thought she could,
She said she would,
So she started in right at the tail.

And everyone said,"You're much too small,"
But that didn't bother Melinda at all,
She took little bites and she chewed very slow,
Just like a little girl should...

...and eighty-nine years later she ate that whale
Because she said she would!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Polka-Dot Princess

She doesn’t know that she’s a princess… Wearing her tattered dress and shoes that are at least three sizes too big, she walks awkwardly in her high-heels and stumbles…catches herself…stumbles again…and keeps walking. Her tiara, obviously missing a few rhinestones, sits diagonally across her forehead amidst a tousle of disheveled curls, She looks like she’s playing dress up, but she’s definitely a princess. She just doesn’t know it…yet…

As a little girl, she never wanted to be a princess. Though she loved all things pink, spent hours playing dress up, and wore frills and lace, she wasn’t a girly-girl. She always felt awkward…out of place…Similar to Cinderella she was a ‘do-er’. She did her chores without complaint. She kept everything in order…always looking over her shoulder to see if she was being watched. She longed to be rescued…But you would never know it by looking at her or talking to her. She accepted her duties and responsibilities and dreamed what she believed were dreams for someone else.

At times she felt like Rapunzel. Locked away behind her white picket fence, she was reminded daily to trust no one. She was kept hidden, and her secrets were concealed and undetected. She thought she was happy. She believed she was safe. And her heartfelt longings to know more…to see more…to experience more…she kept stifled and suppressed…She remained invisible, undetected, and afraid.

But today, something was different. For one brief second, when she looked in the mirror she saw a princess…a real princess. In the mirror, wearing a beautiful pale pink satin dress, a perfectly placed tiara with real diamonds, and standing confidently in her glass slippers, she saw her. It was like a dream…Her heart fluttered, but she quickly stifled it…that reflection wasn’t real, and something definitely not worth hoping for…not for her, anyway.

She looked again at the reflection and was reminded of who she is and who she isn’t…teetering in her scuffed heels, fidgeting with her untidy pink and white spotted cotton dress, and readjusting the plastic tiara, she is brought swirling back to reality. Biting her nails and wiping a stray tear that slipped from her bewildered eyes, she returns to her ‘doing’ and shuts the gate to the white-picket dungeon of her heart. Here she is safe. Here is where she finds comfort. Here is where she must remain.

In her mind it’s all pretend, a fantasy she should be ashamed of hoping for…but she just doesn’t see what He sees…not yet. She IS a real princess…a polka-dot princess…

Sunday, October 2, 2011

God speaks to me through pictures...Whether it's a visual that pops into my head when someone else is talking or a literal picture that comes to mind when I least expect it...God has used pictures to help me clearly 'see' what He is teaching me. The most recent visual God gave me was a brick wall.

Walls are nothing new to me...I've built plenty of them in my lifetime, most of which to keep others OUT and to keep me IN. This wall was different. This brick wall was behind me, in the middle of the road, running in both directions and towards the sky as far as I could see. Just an ordinary, solid, never-ending brick wall...

At first, this picture frustrated me... Haven't I been working hard on tearing down walls in my life? Haven't I put stakes in the ground to mark the 'wins' and reclaim what the enemy has taken? After all the baby steps, giant steps, kicking and screaming...this impenetrable wall was now blocking my path?

But then God turned me around... This wall was not blocking my path towards healing and growth, it was literally marking a new starting point. The brick wall was blocking me from going backwards...Behind this wall were all of the tears and shame and hurt that I'd been working through for so long. I found myself backed up against it as far as I could...Scary to think of never going back; that's where I've found comfort...in old ways, old habits, old coping skills, old beliefs...I'll be honest, I went looking for a spoon to start scooping out the mortar and try tearing down the wall, or at least to carve out a hole so I could look back.

But God smiled down at me, and whispered He had something better...something new...something unfamiliar. He is asking me to trust...and step away from the wall...even if it's only as far as I can with one hand still on the wall. Baby steps... He's only asking for me to be willing to look ahead... And there will come a day...when another brick wall will appear to show me, once again, how much farther I've come.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cocoon

Pulls me into itself

Unfathomable change…unknown beauty awaits

Slow motion…suffocating…

Struggle…wanting in…wanting out…

Wrestling against self

Writhing

Splitting of mind, body, spirit

Every movement wreaks havoc on the whole…

Each breath stings - penetrating the lungs with new air…

Muffled screams

Flashback to old…comfortable…

Fear

Imperfection

Trust…permission for imperfection

Process

Truth

Transformation begins

Redemption…new life

Friday, August 12, 2011

An Explanation

Shattered…shards of broken glass

Lost…suffocating darkness

Uncertain…shadows of hidden shame

Desperate…paralyzing blindness

Confined…fortress walls of impenetrable stone

Mis-read…overlooked clues of obvious

Not heard…muted mumblings in the shadows

Silent…voiceless screams

Condemned…fatality of sins forgiven

Abandoned…prisoner of broken trust

Alone…stifling

permanent

cocoon

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Still waiting for the punchline...

Have you ever heard that joke about the guy stuck on the side of a mountain who prays to God to rescue him? While he hangs there, pleading and crying out, a helicopter and a boat and a mountain rescue guy all come to save him, but he keeps saying, "No thanks. I KNOW that God is going to rescue me." It's something like that anyway... The obvious punchline being ALL those things (helicopter, boat, mountain rescue guy) WERE God trying to rescue him... I realized, late last night, that I am THAT guy...

I found myself in a familiar place...not wanting to journal, not able to enter into worship, praying for other people, not able to look in a mirror, avoiding real conversations, hiding from people who see me... Frustrated barely scratches the surface of how I've been feeling. So I came home last night, got out my journal and tried to write... The words weren't making sense, and I couldn't form a coherent sentence or thought, when a scripture popped into my head about being 'lukewarm'. This is where I landed...

Revelation 3:15-20 (The Message)

I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You're not cold, you're not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You're stale. You're stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, 'I'm rich, I've got it made, I need nothing from anyone,' oblivious that in fact you're a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.

Here's what I want you to do: Buy your gold from me, gold that's been through the refiner's fire. Then you'll be rich. Buy your clothes from me, clothes designed in Heaven. You've gone around half-naked long enough. And buy medicine for your eyes from me so you can see, really see.

The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they'll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!

Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I'll come right in and sit down to supper with you.

Reading these words pierced my heart... I have become lukewarm and stale. I don't want of anything from anyone...oblivious that I am a pitiful homeless beggar. I began sobbing and crying out to God, "Where are You? Why am I still sitting in this mess? Why have I not seen change in my life? Why am I not becoming the woman of God You have created me to be? Why am I so selfish? Where are You, God? Why can't I hear Your voice?"

I poured it all out...again. Begged forgiveness...again. Admitted to my hurts...again. Came out of the corner...again. Pleaded with God to continue His work in me...again. And I waited...

A picture came to me. A picture of the man from this joke who is begging God to rescue him...but can't see that God is right there in front of him, time and time and time again. And before I could argue, I saw the people in my life that God is using to speak His truth...the people He is using to show how He pursues me... the people I push away, because it doesn't look or feel the way I have imagined it. I am on that mountainside, hanging on for dear life, crying out to God to rescue me, to change me...but I'm waiting for it to happen on my terms. Ironically, I'm not sure I really know what I want it to look like exactly... The arguments in my head are usually, "Not now. Not here. I can't possibly ask him/her. He/she will think I'm stupid. That's for someone else..." And I continue waiting... I'm reminded, though, that God is standing right there... right here...waiting for me to invite Him in...waiting to give me the medicine for my eyes so I can really see...waiting for me...








Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ty, the Saint Bernard

Rescued...that's what Ty is. I don't know all the details surrounding his circumstance, but I do know that a friend of mine recently rescued Ty the Saint Bernard.

As we were talking about his habits, his cuteness, and his size, it became blatantly obvious how much this friend of mine LOVES her new dog. From stories of his giant paws, to his droopy-eyed look, to the pictures on her phone...this dog is adorable...and loved.

I love how God can take an everyday conversation and make a point; and in our conversation, my friend made a statement that stopped me in my tracks: "...Ty KNOWS that he has been saved..." This over-sized bundle of fluff and paws and drool and energy, KNOWS he has been saved. His once sheepish and stay-behind-til-you-call-me attitude has been overcome by unconditional acceptance, encouragement, and love. And all I could hear was God whispering to me..."Do you know that you are saved?"

Of course I know...Don't I? I mean, I know that I've repented and asked Jesus into my heart and that I'll get to spend eternity in heaven... I know that my life is a reflection of who He is, that I am called to love and serve others, and that all I need is ask and I will receive forgiveness. But do I know that I know that I know...that I am saved? Rescued? Loved? Do I run with reckless abandon into the arms of my SAVIOR? Do I allow myself to be rescued? Do I trust Him enough to accept His love and give Him mine?

Ty the Saint Bernard KNOWS that he has been saved...do you? Do I?

Psalm 18:16-24, The Message
But me he caught—reached all the way
from sky to sea; he pulled me out
Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos,
the void in which I was drowning.
They hit me when I was down,
but God stuck by me.
He stood me up on a wide-open field;
I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!

God made my life complete
when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I got my act together,
he gave me a fresh start.
Now I'm alert to God's ways;
I don't take God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works;
I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together,
and I'm watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life
when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Eating a whale...

Posted by Wendy Sue at 8:34 PM 1 comments
I was talking with someone the other day, and was reminded of a Shel Silverstein poem I memorized in 5th grade for extra credit. How do I tackle the mountain in front of me? One step at a time... How do you eat a whale? Let's ask Melinda Mae...

Melinda Mae
(Shel Silverstein)

Have you heard of tiny Melinda Mae,
Who ate a monstrous whale?
She thought she could,
She said she would,
So she started in right at the tail.

And everyone said,"You're much too small,"
But that didn't bother Melinda at all,
She took little bites and she chewed very slow,
Just like a little girl should...

...and eighty-nine years later she ate that whale
Because she said she would!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Polka-Dot Princess

Posted by Wendy Sue at 10:11 PM 0 comments
She doesn’t know that she’s a princess… Wearing her tattered dress and shoes that are at least three sizes too big, she walks awkwardly in her high-heels and stumbles…catches herself…stumbles again…and keeps walking. Her tiara, obviously missing a few rhinestones, sits diagonally across her forehead amidst a tousle of disheveled curls, She looks like she’s playing dress up, but she’s definitely a princess. She just doesn’t know it…yet…

As a little girl, she never wanted to be a princess. Though she loved all things pink, spent hours playing dress up, and wore frills and lace, she wasn’t a girly-girl. She always felt awkward…out of place…Similar to Cinderella she was a ‘do-er’. She did her chores without complaint. She kept everything in order…always looking over her shoulder to see if she was being watched. She longed to be rescued…But you would never know it by looking at her or talking to her. She accepted her duties and responsibilities and dreamed what she believed were dreams for someone else.

At times she felt like Rapunzel. Locked away behind her white picket fence, she was reminded daily to trust no one. She was kept hidden, and her secrets were concealed and undetected. She thought she was happy. She believed she was safe. And her heartfelt longings to know more…to see more…to experience more…she kept stifled and suppressed…She remained invisible, undetected, and afraid.

But today, something was different. For one brief second, when she looked in the mirror she saw a princess…a real princess. In the mirror, wearing a beautiful pale pink satin dress, a perfectly placed tiara with real diamonds, and standing confidently in her glass slippers, she saw her. It was like a dream…Her heart fluttered, but she quickly stifled it…that reflection wasn’t real, and something definitely not worth hoping for…not for her, anyway.

She looked again at the reflection and was reminded of who she is and who she isn’t…teetering in her scuffed heels, fidgeting with her untidy pink and white spotted cotton dress, and readjusting the plastic tiara, she is brought swirling back to reality. Biting her nails and wiping a stray tear that slipped from her bewildered eyes, she returns to her ‘doing’ and shuts the gate to the white-picket dungeon of her heart. Here she is safe. Here is where she finds comfort. Here is where she must remain.

In her mind it’s all pretend, a fantasy she should be ashamed of hoping for…but she just doesn’t see what He sees…not yet. She IS a real princess…a polka-dot princess…

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Posted by Wendy Sue at 3:17 PM 2 comments
God speaks to me through pictures...Whether it's a visual that pops into my head when someone else is talking or a literal picture that comes to mind when I least expect it...God has used pictures to help me clearly 'see' what He is teaching me. The most recent visual God gave me was a brick wall.

Walls are nothing new to me...I've built plenty of them in my lifetime, most of which to keep others OUT and to keep me IN. This wall was different. This brick wall was behind me, in the middle of the road, running in both directions and towards the sky as far as I could see. Just an ordinary, solid, never-ending brick wall...

At first, this picture frustrated me... Haven't I been working hard on tearing down walls in my life? Haven't I put stakes in the ground to mark the 'wins' and reclaim what the enemy has taken? After all the baby steps, giant steps, kicking and screaming...this impenetrable wall was now blocking my path?

But then God turned me around... This wall was not blocking my path towards healing and growth, it was literally marking a new starting point. The brick wall was blocking me from going backwards...Behind this wall were all of the tears and shame and hurt that I'd been working through for so long. I found myself backed up against it as far as I could...Scary to think of never going back; that's where I've found comfort...in old ways, old habits, old coping skills, old beliefs...I'll be honest, I went looking for a spoon to start scooping out the mortar and try tearing down the wall, or at least to carve out a hole so I could look back.

But God smiled down at me, and whispered He had something better...something new...something unfamiliar. He is asking me to trust...and step away from the wall...even if it's only as far as I can with one hand still on the wall. Baby steps... He's only asking for me to be willing to look ahead... And there will come a day...when another brick wall will appear to show me, once again, how much farther I've come.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cocoon

Posted by Wendy Sue at 11:38 PM 0 comments

Pulls me into itself

Unfathomable change…unknown beauty awaits

Slow motion…suffocating…

Struggle…wanting in…wanting out…

Wrestling against self

Writhing

Splitting of mind, body, spirit

Every movement wreaks havoc on the whole…

Each breath stings - penetrating the lungs with new air…

Muffled screams

Flashback to old…comfortable…

Fear

Imperfection

Trust…permission for imperfection

Process

Truth

Transformation begins

Redemption…new life

Friday, August 12, 2011

An Explanation

Posted by Wendy Sue at 10:26 PM 1 comments

Shattered…shards of broken glass

Lost…suffocating darkness

Uncertain…shadows of hidden shame

Desperate…paralyzing blindness

Confined…fortress walls of impenetrable stone

Mis-read…overlooked clues of obvious

Not heard…muted mumblings in the shadows

Silent…voiceless screams

Condemned…fatality of sins forgiven

Abandoned…prisoner of broken trust

Alone…stifling

permanent

cocoon

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Still waiting for the punchline...

Posted by Wendy Sue at 5:50 PM 2 comments
Have you ever heard that joke about the guy stuck on the side of a mountain who prays to God to rescue him? While he hangs there, pleading and crying out, a helicopter and a boat and a mountain rescue guy all come to save him, but he keeps saying, "No thanks. I KNOW that God is going to rescue me." It's something like that anyway... The obvious punchline being ALL those things (helicopter, boat, mountain rescue guy) WERE God trying to rescue him... I realized, late last night, that I am THAT guy...

I found myself in a familiar place...not wanting to journal, not able to enter into worship, praying for other people, not able to look in a mirror, avoiding real conversations, hiding from people who see me... Frustrated barely scratches the surface of how I've been feeling. So I came home last night, got out my journal and tried to write... The words weren't making sense, and I couldn't form a coherent sentence or thought, when a scripture popped into my head about being 'lukewarm'. This is where I landed...

Revelation 3:15-20 (The Message)

I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You're not cold, you're not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You're stale. You're stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, 'I'm rich, I've got it made, I need nothing from anyone,' oblivious that in fact you're a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.

Here's what I want you to do: Buy your gold from me, gold that's been through the refiner's fire. Then you'll be rich. Buy your clothes from me, clothes designed in Heaven. You've gone around half-naked long enough. And buy medicine for your eyes from me so you can see, really see.

The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they'll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!

Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I'll come right in and sit down to supper with you.

Reading these words pierced my heart... I have become lukewarm and stale. I don't want of anything from anyone...oblivious that I am a pitiful homeless beggar. I began sobbing and crying out to God, "Where are You? Why am I still sitting in this mess? Why have I not seen change in my life? Why am I not becoming the woman of God You have created me to be? Why am I so selfish? Where are You, God? Why can't I hear Your voice?"

I poured it all out...again. Begged forgiveness...again. Admitted to my hurts...again. Came out of the corner...again. Pleaded with God to continue His work in me...again. And I waited...

A picture came to me. A picture of the man from this joke who is begging God to rescue him...but can't see that God is right there in front of him, time and time and time again. And before I could argue, I saw the people in my life that God is using to speak His truth...the people He is using to show how He pursues me... the people I push away, because it doesn't look or feel the way I have imagined it. I am on that mountainside, hanging on for dear life, crying out to God to rescue me, to change me...but I'm waiting for it to happen on my terms. Ironically, I'm not sure I really know what I want it to look like exactly... The arguments in my head are usually, "Not now. Not here. I can't possibly ask him/her. He/she will think I'm stupid. That's for someone else..." And I continue waiting... I'm reminded, though, that God is standing right there... right here...waiting for me to invite Him in...waiting to give me the medicine for my eyes so I can really see...waiting for me...








Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ty, the Saint Bernard

Posted by Wendy Sue at 3:37 PM 0 comments
Rescued...that's what Ty is. I don't know all the details surrounding his circumstance, but I do know that a friend of mine recently rescued Ty the Saint Bernard.

As we were talking about his habits, his cuteness, and his size, it became blatantly obvious how much this friend of mine LOVES her new dog. From stories of his giant paws, to his droopy-eyed look, to the pictures on her phone...this dog is adorable...and loved.

I love how God can take an everyday conversation and make a point; and in our conversation, my friend made a statement that stopped me in my tracks: "...Ty KNOWS that he has been saved..." This over-sized bundle of fluff and paws and drool and energy, KNOWS he has been saved. His once sheepish and stay-behind-til-you-call-me attitude has been overcome by unconditional acceptance, encouragement, and love. And all I could hear was God whispering to me..."Do you know that you are saved?"

Of course I know...Don't I? I mean, I know that I've repented and asked Jesus into my heart and that I'll get to spend eternity in heaven... I know that my life is a reflection of who He is, that I am called to love and serve others, and that all I need is ask and I will receive forgiveness. But do I know that I know that I know...that I am saved? Rescued? Loved? Do I run with reckless abandon into the arms of my SAVIOR? Do I allow myself to be rescued? Do I trust Him enough to accept His love and give Him mine?

Ty the Saint Bernard KNOWS that he has been saved...do you? Do I?

Psalm 18:16-24, The Message
But me he caught—reached all the way
from sky to sea; he pulled me out
Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos,
the void in which I was drowning.
They hit me when I was down,
but God stuck by me.
He stood me up on a wide-open field;
I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!

God made my life complete
when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I got my act together,
he gave me a fresh start.
Now I'm alert to God's ways;
I don't take God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works;
I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together,
and I'm watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life
when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.