Can I be in your Shelfie?

Straight up, I have a lot of books. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to many of you. At Christmas, most of my presents are fresh printer-and-ink-smelling rectangles in tacky Christmas wrap, simply because I make it easy for my husband to guess what I want by constantly adding a pile of Marissa Meyer, Veronica Roth, Marie Lu, Lindsay Cummings, Kate Quinn, and Kiera Cass volumes to my Amazon Wishlist, along with the random other authors I decide to obsess over. And don’t even get me started on my Bill Johnson collection.

With technology and self-checkout robots dominating society, I’m relieved that real books with paper pages are still a thing. Gone are the days where Christmas shopping was as easy as purchasing a CD, or a DVD that you knew someone liked. Now with Spotify and Netflix, who needs stuff like that?

And now here comes Kindles and e-books, rising up from the guts of the literary world with its robot tentacles to scoop up as many of us as they can. Some people love reading on a Kindle or their phone, and I’m sure that’s where the future is headed. But it’s just not my thing.

Don’t go dying on me book-lovers. We need our libraries to live on!

In the midst of the buzzing technology that runs this world, I find my happiest place is still sitting by the window in a plush chair, with a cup of something only slightly less hot than burn-your-mouth temperature, with all the other sounds turned off, holding open a book and getting lost in a great story. And since moments of rest are sort of God’s thing, something He holds high on the list of valuable things for your life, I hope some day I can be responsible for the story that brings someone else into a place of peace.

Because, really. After all these years of raising babies, it’s about time I kick-start my writing career, wouldn’t you say? I’ve been telling stories since I was a little girl, and now that I have kids of my own I want them to go on adventures and live a life with all the magic of getting carried away into other worlds. So please pray for me, friends! Shoot one into the air right now if you can. I need all the faith-fuel I can get as I start to send proposals to literary agencies. And you can bet your buttocks I’ll keep you in the loop as much as I can!

Now tell me, what kind of story would you want to read about?

  1. Parallel universes on the brink of war with a psychologically unstable (but hilarious) female lead that has totally fallen head-over-heels for a guy who hates her guts.
  2. A chilly Christmas tale that forces an uncoordinated faithless female protagonist to face off with villains from old Christmas legends.
  3. A fairy-tale retelling with a twist that pits two sisters against each other in a dangerous competition to hunt down the greatest threats their historians have ever recorded.

Let me know! I’m sharpening my pencils to take notes…

 

 

A Glimpse of Rome Through Geeky Glasses

Dreams. Dreamy dreams. Dreaming of dreamy dreams.

We all have that one dream, the one that never goes away, even if life provides a heaping pile of lofty distractions. Occasionally something reminds us of it and we pause to go back to dreamland for a moment. We let out a long dramatic sigh and for a split second that thing we want the most is so close we can almost taste it.

Nice, isn’t it? To experience it for just a moment? If only everything were possible and we had unlimited amounts of money and each of us possessed our favourite super power.

Really, there is only one conclusion. Dreams suck. Yep. It’s official. We always take it too far by adding on new branches to our dream tree and suddenly what started as a small dream turns into a completely ridiculous impossible venture.

Go us.

I happen to be incredibly guilty of being a ‘brain-wanderer’ (yes I made that term up which is why it’s lame) which leaves me staring off at nothing for long periods of time, getting lost in non-existent worlds or situations. I can sure dream up some funky dreams. Some of them are probably attainable. But I’ll be honest, most of them aren’t.

My biggest dream though is one that doesn’t seem to want to scamper off, even when I try to ignore it, forget about it, or even beat it down. Realistically there is no reason for me to want to get rid of it, except for personal insecurities, but there are always loads of excuses to. For example, I’m a mamma now. Most of my time is already spoken for by a little stump of a creature who doesn’t even know he’s needy. I love him to death quite frankly. Which presents a problem when the opportunity comes around for me to be selfish and take some time for myself. All I want to do with my time is help him, make sure he’s full, gotten his sleep, isn’t afraid, doesn’t feel alone, has clothes to wear, has food to eat and sing adorable songs to gently put him to sleep. It sure makes it hard for me to want to take off and live out my dreams when I care for him so stinking much. He rules my world. What a little punk. It’s like he’s already got me all figured out.

I’ve always wanted to get published and write novels full time as my career. I have many dreams, some you would laugh at because they are so far fetched, but this one trumps them all. I picture myself sitting in some little hole-in-the wall apartment in Rome, Italy, finishing off an epic sci-fi novel that will leave the world with their jaws hanging open in anticipation of what happens next.

This might sound strange. I don’t exactly come off as the well-spoken type. I’m one of those people that can write something that sounds pretty, but the moment I open my mouth I sound like I’ve stuffed my vocabulary into a blender and failed English seventeen times.

No, I don’t want to live in Rome. But some day I would love to travel there and sit with an unhealthy-sized cup of coffee and write an action packed book with just enough romance that all the saps out there buy into the story too. I would wear geeky glasses and everything, just to make it all feel legit.

Pffffft. Ridiculous. Who has the money for that? Or even the time? Seems like a lot of work to make this dream come true. I’m probably better off to stuff it into my “maybe later” box and never think of it again.

If I’m being honest though, I don’t think God gives us dreams for no reason. His reasons though, are likely not always what we think. Maybe He just wants to see if we are willing to give them up to follow Him. Now whether we are willing to give up our dreams for Him, that is the biggest test. It really doesn’t matter where they come from, God or us, we aren’t called to chase after fantasies, even if it would be incredible to wind up in history-splattered Rome with my nerd-glasses and an armful of notebooks with endless ideas.

We just need to praise Him, no matter what we are doing with our lives currently. I think the praises that come directly from the surrendered most abandoned hearts in those face-in-the-mud moments are the most touching to Him. Even if the songs aren’t that greatly written, sung or played. He just wants our true feelings, our true love, scribbled down on a cola stained napkin, and expressed to Him our very best.

I think the little drummer boy had it right.

Peace out.

My Baby’s Butt

It’s not that I’m just bad at hiding my facial reactions, or that I’ve unearthed some putrid smell, its nothing like that. My face is constantly crunching for an entirely different reason, one that no one would know about unless I tell them. My baby, now positioned on the right side of my stomach, keeps shoving its little butt out towards the public, pushing against my inner stomach. It agonizes me to think that my child is somehow already rude, and he hasn’t even met me yet to learn bad manners.

You sneaky little thing. Already trying to get away with stuff. I’d spank your show-off little butt but you always seem to duck back in before I can poke you.

It’s not that painful when he swims around and kicks, a little uncomfortable maybe, but the worst part is that no one else feels it. So if you want anyone to experience the moment with you, you have to tell them “Look at my stomach!” and sure enough, the rascal goes perfectly still in a clever attempt to make you look like a fool while everyone stares and nothing happens.

Every time.

It seems silly, to talk and sing to something that likely can’t comprehend your witty comments and wise counsel. But nonetheless I find myself doing it a lot. We named our baby almost immediately after we knew he was a boy (no I won’t tell you his name so don’t ask. And please don’t try to get it out of me – I’m terrible at keeping a straight face and I will probably give it away if you guess correctly). After naming him, I began to experience other things that I felt belonged to him. Like prayers. It’s not a secret that I’ve been praying that my baby boy would have a heart of worship. I’m not even convinced I know what that looks like, but I sit at my piano and sing worship songs, and pray by scribbling in my journal, that this boy would have the makings of a true passionate worshipper. Worship comes in many forms, not just in music. But if he is born and instantly picks up a variety of unexplainable musical abilities as a mere infant, I won’t be surprised.

The next thing that I’ve been praying is that my boy would be so diligent in his chase for God’s heart. That his strength would flow right from the throne of Heaven. And because of this, he would possess a strength that steadies those around him, like an anchor. I can’t possibly expect my child to get through life without encountering a hefty slew of storms, but when he does I believe that he’ll remain calm and firmly planted in the Lord, and this will create a feeling of safety for those around him. I truly believe my kid will be a protector.

Heart of worship. Chaser of God’s heart. Anchor. Protector. I know that people pray all sorts of things for their children, some fantastic like a passion for justice, a missionary’s heart, prophetic gifts, discerning abilities, seer of miracles, healer of the sick, anointed preacher…all amazing. (Let’s raise up a whole generation of these, yes?) But, worshipper. Steady anchor. Boy oh boy. These are the things I feel called to pray over my first child.

I’m not a mom yet (well technically I’m a mom of a half-human, or whatever my kidlet is while he cooks) and I’m so far from being an expert it’s ridiculous, but if you are a parent then I urge you to pray for your kids if you don’t already. I wasn’t always the easiest child to deal with or contain, but I was so incredibly blessed to have parents who prayed for me, specifically for radical obedience to God and miracles. It’s amazing what I’ve been able to see in my lifetime, likely because of those prayers.

My dream is that my home will be filled with music, the way it was in my parent’s household growing up. I rarely made it through a day without hearing piano, singing, guitar or some other instrument ringing through the house from someone’s bedroom, the living room, or my dad’s office. Worship is so close to my heart. God has shown me this many times.

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While I was preparing for The Love Encounter this year I did a painting called “Love From Heaven”. It’s a picture of rose petals falling from Heaven into a worshipper’s hand. And while I was painting this, I kept singing a line to myself, over and over. Then I would add another, then another. Before I realized it, I’d created an entire song simply from hum-singing to myself as I painted. And it was all about the love of God coming down. I wrote it down and pondered for a while the message that God was sending to either me or the women who would attend the conference. I was so incredibly moved by the love of God in that moment, as I was really made aware that the King of Heaven loves me and knows my name. On the final night of the conference during the Worship Night, I had someone from my church approach me and ask “Do you write music?” I’ll be honest, I was a little uncomfortable even answering. I’ve written music in the past. I used to do it so much it was all I could think about. He went on to tell me that he felt that I should start writing music again.

No, I’m not a striking worship leader and I’ve definitely dropped the ball on keeping up with my musical instruments over the years because of insecurities that realistically are pretty ridiculous, but when God starts to remind me through these things how striking His love is for me…it changes my heart. Instead of fear and insecurity there is suddenly peace and understanding. I’ve had it prophesied over me before that I would “sing over people” as a ministry. It’s so easy to say “Whatever that means…” and forget about it, because embracing it would mean I don’t get to hide in the shadows anymore, but maybe its actually not about me. Maybe its about Him.

This antsy little boy who already has such a hard time sitting still has taught me so much and he’s never even said a word to me. Talking to him, singing to him…I’ve realized so many things. What an unexpected bundle of blessings he’s brought me in my pregnancy. It was all tears, snot and barf in the beginning. But now I get it. I’m borderline terrified to be responsible for a baby, but I understand why God wanted me to be a mom.

Thanks God. It’s like you actually know me or something.

So as I’m decorating baby’s room in navy blue, grey and white, with little elephants, and world maps, I’m dreaming of my boy’s future.

I sincerely hope he’s not a little punk. But if what goes around comes around….

Eyes to See. Ears to Hear. And a Nose to Blow.

Okay, so here I am in an oversized hoodie, sipping on tea, all cozied up and ready to write a blog post. Sounds nice, right? Well that’s perspective. I’ve got about a thousand pounds of snot backed up in my nose, my head feels like it’s getting whacked every two seconds by Thor’s hammer and I’m so tired that I’m pretty sure I could fall asleep standing up like Mr. Bean.

Sometimes things aren’t quite what they seem.

Ever since Monday (that is, Monday October 21st, a week from yesterday) I’ve been hit with this sickness which, apart from giving me a touch of sexy rasp in my voice, is the furthest thing from attractive that exists. In the beginning it was just a sore throat and weird chills, but the virus seems to have grown legs and climbed up my throat into my sinuses. And at some point it smuggled a handful of grenades into my head too.

Throughout this lovely time of coughing, sneezing, snorting, wheezing…dying…I haven’t had much of a chance to rest in God’s presence and see what he has next for me. But this morning I had a chance to do that. I hung out with him while wolfing down an entire box of Thin Mints. Yes, eating sugar is a bad idea when you’re sick. Stop trying to be my doctor. But I bought them before I got sick and have been staring at them for over a week. And if you know me then you probably already know that I lack the discipline to do any better.

This morning I was chatting with the big man upstairs, and I don’t mean Phil because our house doesn’t have any stairs, I mean God. The Almighty. The Cornerstone. King of the Globe. That guy. And as I was conversing in my nasally low-pitched dialogue, a recent vision started to re-station itself at the forefront of my mind. I think God has a new idea for the future, and I’m becoming increasingly excited about it. I’m beginning to better understand his heart and the direction he’s trying to pull me in (sometimes against my instincts). I’m imagining a place where people will be Awakened.

Sleeping souls will come alive. Dry bones will stand up to dance. Weary hearts will be transformed. And all in the name of Jesus Christ, who died as payment for these things to be given to us. Because his blood was shed when he died, we have a right to the healing, rejuvenating power of Jesus. The life he lived was our example; to disciple our nation, to heal the sick, to tell the truth.

God makes Himself known through his “works”. When his children perform his works, their identity is revealed to them. We struggle with our direction, our identity, and we ask God, “What do you want me to do with my life?” Well God has already told us what to do. And I’m as guilty of asking as any. But he already told us to go into the world and preach the gospel, heal the sick and cast out demons. And through these works God’s nature is revealed, and God becomes irresistible to those who have eyes to see.

Irresistible. And always ready to embrace you. I want that relationship.

I won’t give too much away before I pray about it some more, but I’m excited for where God is taking me next. I think it’s going to set a contagious fire beneath the feet of the encountered. And maybe once I’m snot-free and I no longer want to bust my head through a window, I’ll start embracing that God is, once again, on the move. Though I don’t think he ever really stopped.

Kropf out.