Iraq Journey

Compassion Bloggers: Guatemala 2010


Young Ladies Christian Fellowship

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May 24, 2010

I hesitate to post this.

Because it wells up from a deep part of my soul that I know will probably cause many (most?) people reading to furrow their brows in confusion.

But I post it anyway, for those of you… who know.

You who know the pain of the Formula Life, the camaraderie of it, the need to find others who understand the journey out of it. Those who know the shattering that comes when a trusted journeyer causes severe pain in the process. The jaded disillusionment. The loss of security. And the black hole that threatens to hold us in its grasp.

This is for you…

Trudging, weighed down, through deep, clinging mire.
Aching legs, sore feet.
Shoulders bent with the heavy load.
Bondage, to a lifestyle thought wanted,
Thought beautiful,
Turned ugly.

Stopped, by one without a load.
You don’t need to carry this. Drop it.

Stunned. Drop it?
Removing the rocks from the bag.
Thrilled with less weight.
Able to move again.

But still carrying the bag
which held the millstones.

It is security.

Walking, faster, toward a new way.
Learning there is truth.
And that the heavy load was not it.
Cautiously, yet happily, skipping now.
With a posse of partners,
all now finding the true truth.

Aiding each other in the beautiful freedom.
Following the One Who Is Truth.
Together. All of us.
This is a much better way.

But still carrying the bags.

Because they are security.

Then, a journeying partner, tired of all of it,
the journey
the journeyers
the load
the freedom
the Journey Leader,
He Who Is The Destination.

This partner crumbles.
In his crumbling,
he pulls, pushes and beats the rest of us to the ground.
He doesn’t choose to think of the pain he causes.

But what of the bag? What of the security?

This wasn’t supposed to happen.
It was security.

Ripped away.
It was not more than a flimsy piece of fabric, some seams, a string or two.
It provided no real security.
It simply appeared to be so.

Pain, again, now worse.
From injury instead of a heavy load.

Aching, sore, wounded.
Glancing around.
There are others, bleeding, wounded.
We crawl to each other on scraped hands and cut knees.

Holding each other, we weep.
For the pain, for the wounding partner,
For the loss of familiar,
for the loss of the bag.

We help each other to stand,
heartache mixed with anger.

How did this happen? What of the security?

We walk slowly, eyes darting,
trusting none but each other,

The Wounded Ones.

We talk about the bag, and the hurt it caused,
upon discovering it was not security.
We fight for survival.
Some make it. Some do not.

The bleeding stops, but the bruises take longer to heal.
The pain is residual.
Time passes.
We walk, watching every step, evaluating.

We see those who are whole, unbloodied, and we scowl.
They must be still carrying the bag.
They believe it is security.
They do not know how it all turns out.
We shake our heads bitterly.

The pain, a common vine, wraps around us,
our hearts,
our legs,
our feet,
our hands,
our heads,

and finally

our necks.

Suffocating us.

Another journeyer comes beside.
Scars cover the hands, the feet, the legs,
the neck.

You don’t need to struggle to breathe.

Leave the vine.


Because it still hurts.

And the pain, the vine

is security.

A gentle, knowing smile,
given to the scar covered journeyer
by the One Who Understands
and Is Truth.

The pain is real

but it heals.

Leave the vine.

Some see the Journey Leader behind this smile
and untangle their limbs
from the vine

Walking Free.

Others shake their heads, vehemently, fire in their eyes.

And they stay fettered

by the vine,

by the pain,

because it is security.

This is for you who know.

SheyB Camera Strap Winner (with a bonus!)

May 22, 2010

Aaaaand the winner of the Turquoise and Brown with minky camera strap is:

(using, of course)


Lauren!  (no blog, gmail email address)

She said:

The strap is ADORABLE!!! She’s actually giving it away?!?! WOW!!!

I usually print my favorite pictures then back up the digital files on my 160GB external hard drive. (which is almost full..sigh)


Congrats, Lauren! Now we’ll be matchy matchy – our cameras will, at least. Which is mucho fun.

Please respond to the email I’ll send you within 48 hours, otherwise we will choose another winner.

NOW. For the rest of you.

Shey has so very sweetly offered a 10% discount for anyone who would still like a SheyB camera strap. Just enter SHEYLOVESU at checkout.

And then have some fun taking pictures!

The Pleated Poppy Giveaway Winner

May 21, 2010

Quick post tonight.

I’m really going to just post the winner and scoot – not because I’m tired, but because I had two big ol’ strong cups of coffee after 9pm tonight and my hands are jittery from all the caffeine.

I do believe I’ll finish every half finished knitting or crocheting project in my basket and watch every episode of every show I have stored on my DVR.

And will be up till 4am.

And will be d.e.a.d. tomorrow when my children arise at 6am.

So. Anyway.

The giveaway winner of the $35 Pleated Poppy gift card




Jacky {The Sweetest Petunia}!

Congrats, Jacky! I’ll email you and you’ll have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.

Our last giveaway winner will be announced tomorrow – so if you haven’t entered the SheyB camera strap giveaway, head on over there and add your comments!

The Rules

May 20, 2010

I believed for years that God loved me more than He loved other people.

Of course I didn’t say so.

But I thought He cared about me more because

I wore the right clothes

I listened to the right music

I read the right books

I talked to the right people

I even ate the right food.

Surely He must be pleased.

What I didn’t realize was that my view of what was “right” was skewed. Horribly skewed.

I wore the clothes someone else–not God–said were right.

I listened to the music someone else-not God–said I should listen to.

I lived a life dictated by what someone else–not God–said to do.

I didn’t know I was in this bondage. It was all came from a heart that simply wanted to do right.

Besides, it all looked so godly.

But in my zeal, I followed God the quick and easy way… by living someone else’s set of rules.

It’s been a few years since I’ve been involved with the groups that taught me such severe formulas as the way to God. I’ve been crawling out of a pit of legalism for a while.

But I didn’t realize just how many of those harmful thought patterns I’ve still carried with me.

Last weekend, I spent a few days with women who were nothing like the former version of me. In fact, the formula life was a completely foreign idea to them.

They loved the Lord. They walk closely with Him. They know His heart.

The former version of me would have looked down my nose at these women. Because they don’t even know about the rules.

Instead, the new version of me was refreshed, encouraged, restored.

Because these are the women who have discovered the simplicity of the heart of God. And the new me wants to find that beautiful, trusting spirit.

I wish I’d never learned all the rules.

Because the truth?

Jesus doesn’t give a complicated, rule-filled formula for knowing Him.

And unlearning the formula is much harder than finding and following it.

Jesus loves me

This I know,

For the Bible

tells me so…

HopeSuds Giveaway Results

I think I like doing giveaway winner posts on their own, instead of at the end of a “regular” post.

I know. Random. But that’s who I am.

So, about the HopeSuds giveaway.

The winner of a bag of HopeSuds natural laundry detergent (the sale of which supports adoption!) and a bottle of my favorite Rosewater essential oil is:


my beloved friend

Sara Sophia from Tout-Est-Des-Roses!

You simply must read Sara Sophia’s comment:

Is it odd that I want to win this one most of all? To think of my two beautiful friends while I wash clothes—and the beautiful children of Africa….

Goodness. I will add tears of happiness along with the rosewater oil:)

And yes, I know a few—but Love ( is the only one I’ve read about going through the steps of adoption. <3 I don’t “know” know her…but I have no doubt we will meet in real life someday:)

So there you have it.
Plus — we hope to as well.
You know.

This was not rigged – I only click “generate number” once when choosing winners. But Sara Sophia is a dear kindred-heart-bosom-sister-friend with an obviously lovely heart and I can’t even tell you how thrilled I was when I realized she had won. I may or may not have done a little happy dance.

And now, for the rest of you? Go buy a bag of HopeSuds. It’s less expensive than any other detergent you could buy, and, as a chemical free laundry soap, so much better for you. Above all else? Every bag sold goes toward my sweet friend Lora Lynn at VitaFamiliae’s adoption.

Perfect, don’t you think?

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