Find joy today

Fretting Awareness Month

You may remember that, ahem, I gave up fretting for lent.

Except that I realized that fretting is part of my worrisome DNA. I jokingly referred to this time as Fretting Awareness Month. Instead of ceasing to fret, I realized just how tangled my soul had become in the task of worry. I wish I could tell you that I’ve mastered joyful, carefree living. That when money troubles come my way, I happily give those stresses to Jesus and go on my Mary way.

Nope.

I still fret.

I disobey this verse by stewing about what happened yesterday and worrying about what…

read more »

I LOVED Hope Runs. Wow. (Win it!)

I am SO VERY EXCITED to introduce you to my friend Claire Diaz Ortiz and this amazing story. Comment to win a copy. You’ll be changed, I promise.

It’s all about your story.

Mine starts in Africa, in a place I went for a day, but stayed for a year.

DSC_0118s

Kenya was the end of a nine month journey on the road. A trip of trains and planes and automobiles across nineteen countries. A voyage of hundreds of margarita pizzas and hundreds of books read and hundreds of runs in…

read more »

Why Affection is Hard for Sexual Abuse Victims

I have a picture of my cat Scout here for a reason.

She is a typical feline, aloof, set apart. She can take or leave my affection. (According to the picture, she would rather ponder nature and read the ESV Bible). Her indifference makes me want to pursue and pet her. This creates some funny antics–me chasing, she horrified, running away.

It’s strange that I long to be affectionate with an aloof cat, and yet when it comes to those I love the most, I struggle deeply with showing my love via touch. It’s been a conundrum many years. And I’m…

read more »

That One Time I Was Insecure

Truth: Actually that One Time = My Whole Life.

Ever feel that way?

I often feel small. Overlooked. Unhinged.

One event sticks out. There were Important People milling about. Gatekeeper folks who could make or break my career with one word. And like a typical insecure girl, I secretly longed for approval. Sure I knew my security was based solely on the completed work of Jesus Christ, but that truth had yet to make the trek from head to heart.

I needed to be recognized. I wanted someone to champion my talent. I believed that Important People held the key to my sweet…

read more »

Living Without Them

I think Bono’s onto something when he sings, “I can’t live with or without you.” Except that the without you part slays my heart today.

Last summer, my mom’s husband, my stepfather Mark, left this earth because of cancer.

On March 4th, my friend Twilla, a friend to many, left this earth because of cancer.

I hate cancer.

I can live without Mark and Twilla (I have to), but I don’t really want to.

My life following Mark’s death blurred. My life following Twilla’s death has a similar haze. A general pall that causes my mind to slow down, fumble my words,

read more »

Are you a Fret Fanatic?

Well, in case you were wondering, I am a Fret Fanatic.

It’s amazing to me just how many times God asks us not fret, fear, worry, stress. The skeleton of Scripture seems to be this mandate to fret not.

And yet I fret.

And I don’t seem to think (at least consciously) that fretting is wrong. It’s so woven into the fabric of me, it’s just how I process life. I fret. I freak out. I worry.

My grandmother of my same name worried like a fanatic. She would create things to worry about. I remember thinking, I don’t want to be like…

read more »

When the Cheerleader Dies

My friend Twilla grew up in Louisiana. It seems only fitting that on March 4th, she marched forth to dance with Jesus on Mardis Gras. The beads must’ve been flying in heaven, the sound of her laughter echoing off golden streets. The parade would put New Orleans pageantry to shame.

Oh how much Twilla exemplified Jesus’s two street mandates: Love God. Love others.

twilla

On this Ash Wednesday, I sit in the house of mourning, wondering how to process my life without her. She dances, free of cancer and the ashen woes of earth….

read more »

What I Knew in My Deep Places {Guest post by Margot Starbuck}

I’m grateful to have my friend Margot Starbuck share space here today. I normally don’t have guest posts, but hers is so beautiful and so closely tied to Not Marked, that I knew it would bless you. Margot Starbuck is the author of the newly-released Not Who I Imagined: Surprised by a Loving God.

Untitled-19

Connect at MargotStarbuck.com or on Facebook.

Meet awesome Margot!! Isn’t she amazing?

MargotStarbuck_blue_headshot

I heard them coming up behind me on the sidewalk, horsing around the…

read more »

Get 2 Books for Less than a Monkey

Note: This offer lasts until Monday March 10 at midnight, CST. (But you can buy the monkey any time you wish).

Here’s the monkey in question:

monkeyYou can buy him at Amazon for a flat $20. He won’t teach you anything. He may listen to your problems. Or your dog may take a shining to him and carry him around, marring him with dog drool. He has no wisdom about spiritual warfare (at least I don’t think so), and he has not endured healing from sexual abuse. He is fluffy, so…

read more »

The Lie I Believed

As I’ve been processing my productivity and my proclivity to burn out, I’ve stumbled upon a lie I’ve believed in the pit of my gut. Here it is:

If a thing can be done, it must be done.

This is tyranny, friends. And I’ve lived under this dictatorship most of my life. Not only that, it’s getting worse.

I simply cannot NOT do something. If my brain conceives it, or if I see a loose end, it must be tied up neatly, and always by me.

No wonder I’m tired!

What would life look like for me (for you?) if we left things undone,…

read more »