Lately I have tended to be looking at others and thinking about things I want.  It is not the bigger house or the fancier cars or the bigger vacations.  It is what I perceive their mothering to be like.  It is how I perceive their marriage to be like.  It is how I perceive their life to be like.

The problem with this stinking thinking is that it gets you nowhere.  It leads to nothing and it takes away from what you have right in front of your nose.  You can’t see your child who is so happy to be coloring with you when you are thinking about how much laundry is waiting for you when you get done coloring.  You can’t see your husband who is so happy to see you when you feel rushed to go help the children with their baths.  You can’t see your friends who are smiling at you when you keep drowning them with your complaints about life.

… no smooth seas.

Life is not just about surviving the storm but how we weather the storm.

I feel like I don’t weather very well.  I’m a roller coaster of emotions.  I am not kidding when I say I have gone through three massive life changing scenarios in my head in less than a week.  One storm and I’m creating hail and flooding.  … it’s JUST rain.  It doesn’t hurt.  It’s just messy for awhile.

There’s that word again…  mess.

You wouldn’t know it by the condition of my house or sometimes how I keep my desk at work but I can be a bit OCD.  Blame my mother.  So when life makes a mess I really am unclear about what to do with that.  Maybe I am only capable of one mess at a time and that’s not what I’m being dealt.  Maybe I am only capable of handling a mess when I’m otherwise in a good mood or the moon is full or the stars align or it’s the year of the Dragon.

Some of us can put so many limitations and constraints on our happiness that we can’t see our way out of the rain cloud.  We can’t seem to look up to see the break in the clouds or look straight ahead to find a dry spot.  Instead, some of us just lay our bodies right there in the rain and have a tantrum about the rain, thus getting drenched and muddy and messy and yelling to God about why the mud on the back of my jacket?!?  It really is a pathetic sight to say the least.

There was a If:Equip event last week and I’m hoping to remember to go next year at a local church.  It looks like it was phenomenal.  Ann Voskamp (an author and also a blogger over at A Holy Experience) wrote a beautiful prayer for the two-day event.  There are so many good statements in this long prayer that I feel so guilty in breaking one out.

She wrote:

We will be brave.  Because our bravery wins a thousand battles we can’t see because our bravery strengthens a thousand others to win their battles too.

We will be strong and courageous and not pray for the hard to go away but we will pray for a Brave Faith Bigger than the hard to come.

Make us strong and courageous to do that one next step that seems impossible — because that’s who we are:  The imposs-ABLES.

You can follow her links to read the entire prayer here.  PLEASE do that.  It is powerful beyond words.

Being Brave

Friends, I can’t even.  I don’t know how to say any of this better than the way it’s said here.  … not to pray for the hard to go away but for a BRAVE FAITH BIGGER than the hard to come?!?!  Floored and amazed and scared and wonderful.  This entire prayer is a mighty prayer for people who are ready for battle…  for sisters who are ready to slay their demons and dragons and open their Pandora’s boxes and fight every little thing inside.

Every single one of us has something.  We ALL have our stuff.  We all have our baggage.  Some of us are dealing with issues that are 30 years old, others of us dealing with messes right in front of our noses.  Some of us both.  Some of us are praying for hearts to be healed…  for bodies to be healed…  for roofs over heads…  for food on tables… for STRENGTH.  Well, I for one am completely with you in this prayer.  I am praying for bravery.  I am praying for a strength like none other…  a strength that won’t be found by looking in the mirror or going to the gym or locking myself up in a closet.  A strength that can only come from God who will “make us strong and courageous in a faith that doesn’t erase insecurity, doubt, suffering or fear, but literally, daily OVERCOMES them.”

So, for the love, PLEASE hold my hand in this.  We can take this first step up this mountain before us and reach the beautiful waters of life at the top but we have to be bold and we have to be BRAVE.  And even if it doesn’t feel like we are winning our battle, we are and we are inspiring our sisters to get out there and be brave in their battles too.  Pretty soon all of us will be huddled into the word and praying some hard prayers with this strong strength that GOD WILL help us overcome our problems and issues… and we’ll join hands and cry tears of JOY instead of sorrow when we are done.

We got this.