Caught in the Undertow

I am learning daily what it means to be a “writer”.  It still feels weird and awkward to identify myself as such…as bizarre as it would be for me to check the ‘African American’ box on a college application simply because I’ve been told I’ve a few good dance moves.

I am learning to force myself to write even when I feel like I’ve got nothing in me to share.  And usually when I’m done with those pieces, I go back and read them over only to roll my eyes…annoyed by my word choice and tone of voice. (Very similar to hearing myself played back on a voice message or answering machine).

My tendency in those moments is to hit the delete key or erase the message.  But I am learning.  I am learning that the unbearable stuff leads to the bearable, and hopefully, the bearable leads to the desirable.  And sometimes it’s an act of faith to be public with the former, trusting that the latter will eventually come to fruition.

This is one of those writings.  Feeling empty, but almost strong armed (by myself) to sit down and pour something out, I write.  And I reread.  And sigh.  And begrudgingly post.

I am learning.  I am learning how to be filled, even when all that resides inside me seems over-dramatic, over-descriptive, and full of lengthy run-on sentences and over-used cliche imagery. (for example)

Here goes:

My husband and I recently celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary in Cancun.  It was glorious.  Beach. A good book. Nap. More beach.  All-inclusive. Another nap. More beach.  Did I mention naps?

For months prior to our trip, I had been expressing to him and a few other friends an unusual feeling I had been having.  What was so out of the ordinary was the inability to describe exactly what the feeling was.  Phrases like, “squeezed like a tube of toothpaste”, were used.  While full of imagery, I’m not sure I was making any sense to anybody.  I just felt like…well, a tube of toothpaste being smashed and knotted to get that last bit out.  I felt like I was being emptied, and therefore, had nothing left to help describe or even identify what in the world I was feeling, let alone what was trying to make it’s way out of me.

When I say I felt ‘squeezed’, I mean emotionally and spiritually, of course.  Though, there were times I felt the pressure physically in my chest.  I was sure of one thing: this was a drawing out done by God.  He was pulling something out of me.  I had even been told by a married couple, complete strangers, upon first meeting exactly that: “God is drawing something out of you.”  I just didn’t know what, where, when, or why…only the who.


As we sat on the beach on the final day of our trip, I finally felt rested.  Finally, after a week of falling asleep at random times while sunbathing, I felt like I had enough in me to fully engage in the months-long spiritual tension I had been experiencing.

As I sat looking at the waves, I thought about previous trips to the beach.  They’ve all been to the Texas Gulf Coast, so they didn’t hold a candle to the pristine water of the Mexican Caribbean.

However, regardless of the amount of tar or seaweed within, the beach has always represented for me a time of renewal.  The warmth of the sun melts away built-up stress and the sound of the surf rejuvenates a desire to keep at it, whatever “it” is.

The basic processes of marine geology and biology also seem to speak to the most inward parts of my soul.  Shells, once abandoned by their inhabitants, are brought to the surface by forceable currents and waves, overtime being crushed into fine sparkling dust.  My toes can inch their way into a substance full of history, miles and miles of ocean floor story.  The lives that once lived within the bits cling to the back of my calf, as if to beg for the chance to climb into my lap and share their tales.

Birds swoop and dive to find sustenance carried in by the crash of waves like the milkman heavily clanging glass jars to the doorstep.

It’s at the beach that my ideas, plans, and dreams–my twisted insides–seem to converge with God’s voice.  In the past, the surf has brought clarity.  The salty breeze brought His whisper.  At the beach, I can simply watch and listen.  This time, I see His voice growing with force and momentum with the waves as it heads to meet the shore of my confounded and lifeless thoughts.  His far-off, distant, slow-building destiny for me can be vaguely seen on the horizon.

Have you ever sat on the beach and listened to the waves?  Like really listened?  As if sitting mid-section at the symphony, trying to parse out the viola 1 and 2 parts?  

There is a constant hum of the waves, a treble-tinny voice that shimmers like ever-riding cymbals.  This is what lulls me to sleep: the white noise of dreams, proposed adventures, and anticipated outcomes.  This is the hum that calls me to the beach-to seeking God at the beach.  The promise of something restful, great, and awe-inspiriing…all-in-one.

On this trip, I strained to hear the hum.  And when I found it, I forced myself to listen past it:

As I spotted a distant wave growing, it swelled in silence…an eerie doomsday silence.  The voice of God went dark as anticipation broadened and drew in waters from the deep.  These inner juices had been sucked out of me, and this is what I had been feeling.  I could almost sense my chest concave a bit as little yearnings and flashes of vision had been squeezed out of me for months.

This is how I was: sucked dry like the lifeless sand at the shore.  Caught up in an undertow current, without footing or breath.  Like a tube of toothpaste contorted to get every last bit out.  Emptied.

Not from fatigue, though tired…

not from sadness or loss, though lacking joy…

but from God drawing out of me my soul’s purpose for this next big wave.


The wave is growing.  The undertow still drawing and sucking ideas, desires, and passion from within me.  The wave is collecting them, not discarding them.  Yet, no sound.  No direction.  An eerie quiet eye-of-the-storm.  No estimated point or time in which the wave will break and roll into a visible foamy white.

Then, at the sea, I noticed more adjacent rises in the water.  God began painting a picture of what is to come.  More is going on here than the revelation of one wave, the wave I had been eyeing in the distance.  Multiple waves drawing from my spirit, twisting and squeezing my internal being between God’s forefinger and thumb.  I’m not being asked to choose between different paths of purpose, but to combine them.

“What am I doing here?”

“What do you want from me, God?”


This angst, this wrestling, this limp…it’s all met with silent labor.  Just a growing belly of the sea.  And as it grows, like a dawning mother, I plead for any sign or word or direction, to encourage me that new life is almost here.

Then without warning, multiple swells in the deep blue came together, arms extended, joining hands like angels descending.  They rushed the shore, rising together.  Fearful awe awakened the compressed state of my heart.

The breadth and height and depth of this wave before me–morphed out of multiple desires, visions, opportunities, and people–it struck fear and reverence in me and I began to hone in on the low bass rumble and subtle tympanic crescendos under all the white noise.

A tube of aqua-green formed in panoramic proportions, what seemed to be the length of a lifetime.  In slow-motion, the curled pipe barreled down.  And with a mighty clash of thunder, one that can’t be recognized without playbill and opera glasses in hand, my soul was full with sound that bounced through it’s emptied walls.

I filled.

All that was wrestled and pressured out…all that had been squeezed and twisted and depleted out of me now overwhelmed me with its ferocious return.

I was covered.  Overwhelmed.  Filled to overflowing with not only that which was once sucked out of me, but also with the violent energy with which it all flooded back.

It burned with cosmic force.  With an otherworldly boom, it rattled new life into the lifeless sands I’d brought with me.

Headed into the water, ready to dive in, I stopped shin-high.  This was a fierce ocean, almost angry.  The storms and rain of the morning left the water fueled and furious.  I immediately understood that walking forward, wherever that might be, I must be careful, wise, and enter with respect.

But now what?  

All this reads like more toothpaste-tube imagery that doesn’t really define or explain or point me in any direction.  I still don’t know what, where, when, or why.

I do, however, walk away from this beach experience with a greater understanding of who.  It is God doing the work.

He is the squeezer, the One drawing things out of me.

Tweet: He is the squeezer, the One drawing things out of me. #CaughtInTheUndertow #Proverbs20five

And only He will be the One who will fashion and time any tidal waves or currents of this life.  Meanwhile, I will learn to be content–caught in the undertow.


Moms: We Got Suckered…

Mother’s Day:  When moms all over the world wish to be celebrated, appreciated, perhaps even pampered a little.  Being a mother is perhaps the hardest, most underpaid, yet most rewarding job on the planet.  So it only stands to reason, that mothers should be appreciated for all their hard work.

But sorry, that isn’t the thrust of this post.  This year, just the thought of Mother’s Day has been difficult for me.  Since Easter, life has been over-the-top.  With a funeral every week, out of town trips for my husband, an entire family hit by the stomach bug, prepping alone for an open house, field days, meetings, etc.,  I’ve felt a little bitter and gypped that I got stuck in this “mom” role.  This isn’t what I thought I signed up for.

In fact, the other day after school, all the kids were whining and complaining that there wasn’t enough of little brother’s birthday cookie cake left for them.  (Forget that there are starving children in other parts of the world, mine needed more sugar.) And I got suckered into stopping at the store and buying another cake…just because.  We couldn’t just buy it with icing around the edges.  We had to draw attention to this weary mom by asking the baker behind the counter to write something to improve the icing to cookie ratio:


I at least got a pity “I’m sorry”-snicker from the teenage boy at the check-out and my 9-year-old thought it was hilarious.  But in the moment, I really did feel like I got suckered into this never-ending, paycheck-missing job that I feel severely under-qualified to hold.  My subordinates rarely listen to my voice and require constant oversight and monitoring.  In the corporate world, they all would have been fired a long time ago.  (Who are we kidding, I probably would have, too.)

As a mom, I’ve lost the ability to sleep in past 7:30 am.  I’ve lost the freedom to use the restroom without a chaperone.  I’ve lost the ease of meeting friends for lunch, having adult conversation without interruption, and pretty much remembering anything.  And perhaps the most difficult thing for me is losing the use of my first name on a regular basis. (See homework question #2 below.)


I’ve gained an unattractive mom wardrobe, permanent bruising to the top of my thighs from elbows the size of quarters being dug into them, and a vast knowledge of household cleaners (forget current events, politics, or hobbies).  I’ve gained pressure to create magical birthday memories, make our laundry whites even whiter, and keep my children happy while on a non-processed gluten-free low-sugar diet.

And I stink at all of it…note the amazing parenting displayed in this actual text between my husband and I below:

So when Mother’s Day got close on the calendar, all I wanted was a break from being a mom…and with that, I gained another blessing of motherhood…momma-guilt.

I didn’t want to be reminded of how my children see (or should see) Jesus in me.  Because I was pretty certain all my yelling and impatience with them was not displaying that.  I dreaded to hear how much my children need me…because I honestly felt I had nothing left to give.  I was fearful to hear how good mothers taught their children to be independent and successful adults…because the clock in our house was ticking and we’ve got a long way to go.  I mean, we’re still working on which end the underwear is supposed to go.



It sounded (sounds) like so much work and I was (am) already so exhausted.

Sometimes on Mother’s Day, we mommas get suckered…suckered into believing that we’ve got to be continuous Jesus-showing, ultimate sacrificially serving, and perfect-child producing women.  It’s easy to believe that’s our job…and it’s easy to want.

Does God desire me to display the Jesus within me to my children?  Absolutely!  I, too,  want to be patient and kind, full of compassion and grace, and forgiving towards my children.

Does God ask me to selflessly serve my children and my home?  Of course!  I, too, long to have the servant heart of Jesus.

And why wouldn’t I (and God) want my children to succeed and live out healthy lifestyles and relationships?

But, let’s face it…I CAN’T.  I FAIL.  EVERY DAY.  ALL THE TIME.  God wants the best for me.  I want the best for my kids.  But I cannot produce the best me or the best kids.Tweet: God wants the best for me. I want the best for my kids. But I cannot produce the best me or the best kids. #mothersday #momgotsuckered

Ahh…and here lies the magic mystery of motherhood:  God gives room in the mess and failure of it all, for something beautiful to grow.Tweet: Here lies the magic mystery of #motherhood: God gives room in the mess and failure of it all, for something beautiful to grow. #mothersday

Out of our tired and fatigued, God does the action, breathes Himself and His life into our muck, and causes the real beauty to flourish.  It’s all His doing, not mine.

This is what makes motherhood rewarding: watching God in action, making something out of my nothing.Tweet: This is what makes #motherhood rewarding: watching God in action, making something out of my nothing. #mothersday #momgotsuckered

See, when I fail to show my children Jesus because I lack His compassion, patience, and grace …I unintentionally show them how even Mommy requires His compassion, patience, and grace.  When I admit to myself and my children my screw ups and ask for their forgiveness, they see that we are all in the same boat. There is no distinction.  We all miss the mark.  When any of us is faithless, Jesus shows up faithful.

When I fail to serve my family free from selfish motives or bitterness, my children have the opportunity to understand how amazing it is that Jesus would give His life in service without complaint.  It’s hard.  It was a sacrifice.  If mom makes it look easy, than what’s the big deal about Jesus doing it?  When we talk about the lengths that King Jesus, God himself, went to humbly serve us…experiencing how difficult it is to serve each other…our hearts start to learn gratitude.  We start to practice thankfulness towards Him.

And, when my kids fail to be perfect and when they watch me, an adult, FAIL miserably, God is at work.  He is setting them up to not be dependent upon me (an imperfect mom) for their reassurance and value.  I am unknowingly catching a glimpse of Jesus preparing their hearts to have personal dependency on Him alone.  They learn early on that failure isn’t a death sentence.  They learn early on that Jesus gives them value and worth.  (It’s a good lesson He’s teaching all of us.)

This blog might read like an attempt to make myself feel better about my failures as a mom.  But I know that while I am forgiven and met with mercy in my failures, it it because of Jesus’ love and faithfulness that I have hope for better.  So this Mother’s Day, I don’t want to celebrate myself as a mom.  I don’t want to focus on my failures or successes in child-rearing.

Mother’s Day is about celebrating Jesus.  Without Him, my kids wouldn’t have a chance. Tweet: #MothersDay is about celebrating Jesus.  Without Him, my kids wouldn't have a chance. #momgotsuckered

Without Him, I couldn’t stand under the world’s pressures and expectations of mothers.  Without Him, I would be overwhelmed with momma-guilt.  Without Him, I wouldn’t have those rare moments of good parenting.  And I refuse to be suckered into believing anything else.


The Waze of Jesus…

This morning as we left the house for school, I was determined to make it in record time.  Due to the recent flooding in our area, our morning commute had increased dramatically.  I’ve had the Waze app on my phone for some time now, but have only been using it for trips into downtown Houston, (because attempting to drive into that without help is downright scary).

When I typed in the address of the school, Waze reassured me it could lead us there in 35 minutes.  (The day before, it took us an hour and a half).  The kids and I laughed.

“Do you think it will work, Mom?”

“If this works, it will be a miracle from Jesus.”, I said.

So off we went.

If you’ve ever used Waze, you soon learn that it requires an incredible amount of trust.  It will send you in the opposite direction, down dark alley ways, through someone’s backyard, and then ask you at the drop of a hat to turn around and retrace your tracks.  But any user of the app will tell you, “you’ve got to just trust the wisdom of Waze”.

See, the app keeps track of traffic, accidents, inoperable lights…all of it.  Plus, it knows how fast you and other Waze users are moving.  So, in an instant, it knows when changes occur.  Immediately, it calculates when changing your route all together is time-efficient. And sometimes, it sends you in the opposite direction to have you arrive at your final destination faster.

This morning, Waze led us through small winding streets, on the Hwy headed south (when ultimately we wanted to go north), and zig-zagging neighborhoods I didn’t even know existed.

As we turned off one little street onto the next, we suddenly saw it: yard after yard filled with rolled up carpet, dismantled wood flooring, piles of sheetrock, and couches stacked upon one another.  Kids were waiting in their front yards for the school bus next to piles of destroyed belongings.

It took us by surprise.

The car fell silent.

All the air was sucked into our lungs by our gasps.

Eventually, someone broke the quiet.

“I wish we could do something.”

Suddenly, our commuting challenges of the past few days didn’t matter.  The unacknowledged rains of last night (the ones we slept through), now seemed cruel and  senseless.

“Kids, if it hadn’t been for Waze, I wouldn’t have even known this was back here.”

“Maybe Jesus is in Waze, Mom.”

Maybe.  I don’t think He is literally living in the phone app.  However, I think Jesus absolutely used Waze this morning to guide us down a path of humility, compassion, and gratitude…the ways of Jesus.

As we continued to follow the directions offered by my phone, we saw house after house, family after family in need.  We discussed plans to come back after school, maybe toting pizzas, or cleaning supplies, or just prayers and consolation.  The kids were no longer arguing about who ate the last breakfast bar or debating whose fault it was that we left 10 minutes late that morning.  Our hearts had been shifted.  Our perspective had been flipped.  My words came back to me: “If this works, it will be a miracle from Jesus.”

Jesus, in all His ways, miraculously turns our selfish hearts outwards towards others.Tweet: Jesus, in all His ways, miraculously turns our selfish hearts outwards towards others. #WAZEofJesus  The Holy Spirit guides us down paths previously unseen.Tweet: The Holy Spirit guides us down paths previously unseen. #WAZEofJesus

But if we don’t trust Him, in all His seemingly awkward and backwards-pointing directions, we just might miss the opportunity for a dramatic change of heart.  We might miss the hurting and the broken.  We might miss a whole world of opportunity to serve as the Church.

When we don’t trust His promptings, we find ourselves taking our route back into our own tight-gripped hands, only to be frustratingly locked in a spiritual stand still.Tweet: We find ourselves taking our route into our own tight-gripped hands,only to be frustratingly locked in spiritual stand still #theWAZEofJesus

Think of Noah.  Think of Jonah.  Think of Lot.  Think of Jesus!  “Go towards the cross…”, even when Jesus asked the Father for a different way.

Lately, I’ve been feeling the prompting of the Holy Spirit to act in specific ways–to head in a specific direction.  But I’ve been putting action off, straight-up ignoring His voice, and allowing myself to be distracted by the selfish conveniences of life.  Today’s little adventure to school not only filled our car with compassion, launching us into a plan for service, but it also helped fix my eyes on Jesus…His voice, His direction, and His ways.

(And we got to school in 35 minutes.)

“Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths” (Psalm 25:4).Tweet:


Houston, We’re Stuck…

My oldest’s first word was ‘stuck’.  She would crawl under the coffee table, chair–pretty much any small spot–and then get trapped.  She’d climb in head first into a space too small to turn around.  Her stage of development hadn’t grasped yet the ability to simply exit backwards feet first.  She’d be confined on all fours like a cow in a cattle stall.  Because she couldn’t see an escape route with her eyes, a solution simply just didn’t exist, and she’d start crying.

She’s come a long way over the past 12 years.

This week, most of our area has been stuck…stuck in their apartments, houses, and waterlogged neighborhoods.  It’s Thursday and my kids haven’t had school once this week.  I think over 1800 people were evacuated by either raft, pontoon, or military grade amphibious vehicle just yesterday.  There have been droves of people stuck.

I’ve been watching the coverage of those being rescued as they climb onto dry land.  Reporters are standing by immediately asking questions:  “What have you been doing while you’ve been stuck inside?”  “How long have you been stuck?”  “Have you had food and water?” “How are you feeling now that you are free?”

I think the best response was by a man yesterday who said, “I’ve been doing great. I went to Walmart and stocked up on food before it started raining.  I live on the second floor, so I’ve been out on my balcony grilling.  I’ve had steak and salmon.  I’m just tired of playing dominos and UNO.”  The reporter didn’t know what to do with that response.  It was awesome.

I know I often feel stuck.  I feel stuck in my daily stay-at-home-mom routines.  I feel stuck in my relationships.  I feel stuck in my busy schedule.  I feel stuck in the endless monotony.  I feel stuck in this house with bored children and an empty bulk-size box of Goldfish.

But like little babies that get stuck under living room furniture, I often lack perspective.  I can’t see beyond the tip of my nose and therefore, I feel trapped with no option but to cry.

But what if I made preparations?  What if I stocked up on perspective-altering nutrients?  What if I preemptively loaded up on God’s perspective, His sustenance, and His joys?

I’d probably  have a better attitude about the 4th day of cancelled school and rainy weather.  I’d probably find joy in children’s games, Raman noodles, and the fact that there is nowhere to go and nothing to do.  I’d probably smile a bit more.

If I’ve learned anything from watching the news coverage, it is this:  the expectation of being stuck is to climb out miserable, malnourished, and in shock.  However, though it might be expected, it’s not our only option.

Finding the beauty in the mess is hard work.  It takes effort.  It takes learning.  It takes practice.  AND…I now think it takes preparation.

We don’t know what tomorrow will bring.  So, let’s prepare today for what may come.  Soon, we might find ourselves stuck.  So let’s prepare…to climb out with joy, not misery…to rise with full hearts, not empty spirits…to walk with clear perspective, not shock.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”  Romans 15:13


Tents of glory…

WARNING. READER DISCRETION ADVISED: The following, while humorous in overall nature, contains gross details that may be too nauseating for those who have weak stomachs or haven’t spent a lot of time with children.


This past week, my family took on a nasty stomach bug.  It started with the youngest and worked it’s way all the way up…(sparing one). Mid-week, when we experienced the height of the germ’s ambush, we were awakened in the middle of the night by calls for  “Momma”.   Upon our arrival, we found someone’s dinner had made it’s way all the way up.

The scene was impressive…like, “Oh my goodness, I can’t even imagine how it got under the bed,” kind of impressive.  It was prize-winning, physics-defying, terror-inducing work.  Well done, germ.  Well done.

Having a virus like this strike is never fun or convenient.  However, dealing with this kind of illness when you’ve got your house on the market–puts on a whole extra layer of crazy.  (Second least desirable time to catch a bug like this is when your whole family is in a friend’s wedding party, the day of the wedding…Been there.  Done that.)

All the extra sheets: packed.  All the old extra towels: packed.  All the bedroom trashcans: garage.  In fact, the closets had been so stripped of “non-necessities”, that some things had been discretely stored…

Under the bed.

I pulled out pop-up tents that had been stuffed under the bed and were now drenched and sticky.  (Yes, I went there.)  Seeing as it was the middle of the night, and there was much carpet to be scrubbed, I made a nighttime-dazed still-in-awe-of-mere-physics decision influenced by the soon-to-be-moving “purge-it-all” phenomenon.  I walked the tents straight out the back door to the trash.  No hose.  No Lysol. No nothin’.  I simply didn’t have it in me.

On went the indoor cleaning and purging (so to speak) until the alarm would have normally sounded for school.

And the week continued, as up the Goeke line the virus took on it’s victims.

The trash came.  The trash went.

Finally on Saturday, the last child was recovering.  Thankfully, the kids and I didn’t have any plans, except to maybe check out our neighborhood’s annual community-wide garage sale.  The house smelled of air-purifying essential oils (mixed with Lysol and Clorox bleach.)  We set out to have a Toy Story 1,2, and 3 marathon while I folded every sheet and towel from every bed and closet that had passed through the hottest setting on the washing machine.

My husband was driving down our street to head to a funeral when he texted me:

Our stack of tents…for sale…a few houses down.

I was tempted to walk down the street with a can of Lysol, and without saying a word just start spraying at random.  But I didn’t have it me.

I was tempted to send one of the kids down there, wait for a large group of potential buyers, and have them laugh loudly and proclaim, “Hey, my little brother puked all over those tents the other night!”  But I didn’t have it in me.

I figured I’d just have to trust the good Lord with this one.

Now, you may be thinking:

that’s gross…she should have cleaned it before putting in the trash…

that’s gross…I hope those people cleaned the tents before they sold them…

that’s gross…those neighbors had it coming to them for stealing someone’s trash and then turning around and selling it down the street…

that’s gross…she should have told them…she should have fixed it…

You’re right.  It is gross.  And I agree, someone should have fixed it.  But it was NOT going to be me.

Even more foul and unbearable for me to think about is someone else cleaning those tents.  After all, I was the mom…and I didn’t even have it in me to clean what was mine, what I had at one time spent good money on, that had been soiled by my own flesh and blood.  I can’t imagine someone cleaning a complete stranger’s vomit off of something in which they had put little to no investment.

And what about the person who bought the tents?  They spent hard earned cash on throw-up trash.  Did they get it home and clean it?  Or did they show off their bargain buy still riddled with funk?

In the middle of the night–I didn’t have it in me.   In the middle of Toy Story 2–I didn’t have it in me.  Right now, as I type…I will never have it in me.

When sin and pride go on a brutal rampage in the wee hours of the night, taking me as their victim, I am left dirty, soiled, and ready for disposal.  I don’t have it in me to wash myself…I can’t.  None of us can.  I can even be determined in these moments to stay filthy, to only share word of my failure, to define myself as mere trash, to consider all my value lost.

This is what we do, right?  Especially those of us ‘mommy-bloggers’ who boast about our failures, weaknesses, and screaming matches with our children.

We want to be real about our vulgarity and mayhem, our fatigue and our tragedy, but we are not doing anyone a favor by selling ourselves still covered in the vomit of life.Tweet: Only sharing our vulgarity & mayhem, our fatigue & tragedy doesn't help. We r selling ourselves still covered in the vomit of life. #blogger

Someone wants me.

Someone wants you.

Even when we are covered in our worst, He’s ready to take us, to steal us, to take captive our hearts.

However, He washes us.  He renews us.  He cleans us up and makes us whole.  He restores our value…and then some.  Why?  Because He is invested in us.  He’s all in.

It’s amazing because it is a gross thing He does…it’s not His vomit.  He does the thing we can’t.  He does the impossible.Tweet: It's amazing because it is a gross thing He does. It's not HIS vomit.  He does the cleaning we can't.  He does the impossible. #glorytents

And He doesn’t just stop there.  He gets us ready to show.

He wants us to tell our whole stories: the sin we are symptomatic of AND the forgiveness and redemption we gain by His love.Tweet: He wants us to tell our whole stories:the sin we r symptomatic of AND the forgiveness & redemption we gain by His love. #blogger #glorytents

He didn’t do the gross job of removing our grime so that we can deem being a “hot mess” socially acceptable and repeatedly vomit on ourselves over and over, day after day.  He wants us to “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely,” and tells us to “run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).  He asks us to move forward, to desire better, and (perhaps the trickiest of all) to trust Him to do it.  He asks us to use our rags-to-riches stories as a display of His glory…as a part of His treasure.

He pulls us out into the driveway, redeemed and smelling fresh, and proudly stands next to us, claims us as His own, and then encourages us to offer our renewed selves to be tents that house His glory.

Let Him clean you up.  Let Him breath a purifying wind upon you.  Let Him tell the whole story through you…your pain AND your healing.

Let’s be fresh tents of glory.