It’s been a while since I’ve blogged or journaled.  I think it’s because I have been overwhelmed with emotions lately, not knowing exactly the order of my thoughts.  We’ve experienced a lot of change in the past 3 months.  We moved from our beautiful home and community in Tulsa, Oklahoma to another beautiful home and community in Gilbert, Arizona.  You know those moments when you feel a nudge by God to do something? Well this move wasn’t a nudge…it was a push.  I’m grateful for those moments.  They don’t happen often but when they do, it’s fun to see it all come together, better than you can imagine.  Home is where Ben is…and our dogs 🙂 so I am home.

A week or so ago, our pastor talked about trials and having faith through the trials.  He described the levels of faith through pain, ranging from elementary to masters.  He mentioned that during the Master level, which some rarely reach, you are thanking God for the storm because you know He will get the glory.  As I listened, I was recalling the last 5 years.  We’ve walked through the valleys and hilltops, but a lot seem to be the valleys.  That’s not a sob story, we’ve just been hit by a lot.  A huge theme being our desire to have children, adoption, fertility and loss.  We’ve been disappointed.  In fact, we’ve stayed in the place of just expecting disappointment.  I’m not saying that was right, just saying that’s where we were.  There have been many times walking through it all, that my heart has wanted to praise God in the midst.  I do believe there were moments when I lifted my head to the hills, and I worshiped and delighted myself in the Lord.  There were also many moments of doubt, fear, anger and just plain sadness.  But something hit me during that message…my children being the glory of my Father.  The outcome of the storm, will ultimately be the glory of our Heavenly Father.  I saw them as a crown around His head.  I then saw friends who are walking through fire, holding their hands.  Your pain, your storm’s end result, is His glory.  For some, that’s a comfort to you…for others, you honestly don’t want it…the pain is too hard.  I understand that and don’t fault you for that.  I have been there and still have moments of being there.

Do I know we will have children, yes.  Will they bring glory to our Father? Absolutely. Is it fun? Nope.  Is it easy? Nope. Do I question His ways? Yup!  I don’t have the answers and it seems that everywhere I turn lately, I’ve encountered pain in others.  I’m very sensitive so it weighs heavy on me.  I want joy for others.  I want freedom and peace for my friends and family.  Just as much as I want that for them and myself, I know He desires it even more.

I know I’ve been guilty of thinking as long as I’m encountering and seeking out a relationship with God, I walk in His blessings. This is true to some degree, but what is dangerous, is when the storm comes, we blame Him.  I certainly have.  Do I think God can handle that? Of course.  He didn’t promise a perfect life.  Your faith doesn’t save you.  His sacrifice did.

Definition of “sacrifice” from Websters

: an act of offering to a deity something precious;especially : the killing of a victim on an altar
: something offered in sacrifice
a : destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else

b : something given up or lost <the sacrifices made by parents>

: loss <goods sold at a sacrifice>
That’s what He did and sometimes it’s what we must do.  I have difficulty trusting people and this plays heavily in my relationship with God.  Today I chose to trust the storm.  Today I trust in His goodness.  I find peace in who He is.  Your storm and struggle is real.  It’s okay to be disappointed, upset and tired.  I encourage you, as I encourage myself to seek His glory in the midst of it.  The greatest thing my children could and can ever be is the glory of God
Definition of Glory:
a : praise, honor, or distinction extended by common consent : renown

b : worshipful praise, honor, and thanksgiving <giving glory to God>

a : something that secures praise or renown <the glory of a brilliant career>

I can only hope and pray that my heart brings glory to Him.  Hold tight, one day you’ll be dancing in the beautiful security of His peace, joy and freedom.

Oh, there you are, Peter!


Last week my family and I spent some time in Jackson Hole, WY. I don’t know what it is about the mountains or nature, or Jackson, for that matter, but I always seem to hear God with a little more clarity. Maybe it’s because the beauty is so breathtaking, that you can’t help but think of Him and declare His goodness?

One of the days, I was outside, on the patio, and this scene from “Hook” came to my mind. It’s one of my favorite movies. And this is one of my favorite scenes. I cry every time (shocker, I know) You see, Peter (as in Peter Pan – Robin Williams) leaves Neverland to grow up and have a family. His children are taken by Captain Hook. Peter returns to the “lost boys” begging them to help him free his children. They don’t believe it’s him. He looks different. He talks different. He dresses different. It just can’t be him. Well, through different tricks and test, this scene comes about.

This sweet boy (who I could just eat) starts pulling and poking at Peter’s face, resulting in him finally seeing Peter, hence “Oh there you are Peter.” Maybe it’s because I’m a creative mind, but most of the time, God speaks to me through analogies or scenes from movies or things played out before me. As this scene played in my mind, I felt His sweet peace, “Oh, here I am, Noelle.”

How often, after searching and asking for God to appear, to dwell, to intercede, wondering where He is, are we left disappointed? The lesson in this for me is God looks different all the time. His heart and His affection towards us, never changes, but maybe we have to start looking for Him in different ways. Because you see, He’s always there. You may not think it. You may not feel it. It may not look like Him. But He never left. I keep playing those words in my head, “oh, there you are Peter.” It reminded how often I miss God bc I’m not looking in the right places. My mind and focus are desiring a result that I’ve imagined in my head, but the truth is, He might just look different than before.

I just wanted to encourage you, as I am encouraging myself… to pull, and stretch, and move things around, because He’s there, just as He said. Life may look different than you imagined, but He’s in it. He desires you to know Him in all ways. He’s sweet to us and longs to reveal His heart to you…just keep looking, asking. He’s there.

I love how the little one tells the rest, “give him a chance” …just give Him a chance.  He might just be who He says He is.

Grace and Peace


As many of you know, Ben and I have been through a tornado of emotions and failed fertility treatments, as well as a miscarriage this past year.  A week or so ago, we had negative results from our latest attempt.  We had experienced the letdown of it before, so it was hard, but I had convinced myself that it wasn’t too big of a deal.  Then we had to lead worship that Sunday morning.  One of the songs on the list was “You are Good.” In rehearsal, I turned to Ben and said, I don’t want to sing this.  I can’t sing this.  Being the encouraging husband that he is, he said “we need to.  We need to sing this.”  He offered to lead it instead of me.  When the time came to sing it, I was okay in the first 2 services.  I wasn’t thinking about the words.  I had imagined Ben doing a silly dance while I was singing so I wouldn’t really think about the words.  Then the 3rd service came.  I couldn’t shake it.  I started to sing that song, struggling with each note, and honestly, with each word.  To declare His goodness at that moment, was a major struggle.  I didn’t believe it.  I was mad.  I was disappointed.  Something in me shifted.  I hadn’t paid attention to the words like that before.  I mean, I had, but the conviction of the words, wouldn’t leave.  We had to add a song last minute and it ended up  being “Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone” and the verse I always sing, came up on the screen. “The Lord has promised good to me.  His Word my hope secures.” I literally thought to myself before singing it, “you’ve got to be kidding me.”  I struggled through that verse.  I broke in the car after that service.  It was good for me to face the disappointment and to still declare God’s goodness.  

This isn’t a blog about me declaring victory in a time of defeat.  This isn’t an encouragement to pick up the pieces and get back to work, smiling all the way.  It’s an explanation of what worship is for me.  Sometimes it’s easy and I really enjoy it.  Sometimes it’s hard.  Sometimes it’s hard to sing those words and to lead others to the place of believing them.  Did I believe them as I sang them that Sunday?  Honestly, I didn’t.  BUT what did happen was healing.  Worship is always healing to me when I don’t realize it.  It places me in a position of saying those things, of talking to my God, of being intimate with Him and my raw emotions. It was healing.  He wasn’t offended by how I felt.  I take comfort in that.

I tend to be a perfectionist concerning myself.  I have unrealistic expectations, not for others, but for me. I just want everything to be in order.  I don’t want people to hurt, so I try to fix it.  I don’t want people to struggle, so I figure out how help carry the load.  I don’t want people to go without, so I sacrifice things.  This isn’t big on me at all.  It’s to show that I don’t like the “yuck.”  I want peace and happiness.  I want to laugh and feel carefree.  If something is broken, I want to help fix it.  All of this sounds good, but it’s a resounding gong in my head.  “STOP TRYING TO FIX EVERYTHING.”  I even have this expectation of God to fix everything.  Especially with the issue of having children.  He’s able to, so why wouldn’t He just fix it.  Well, Noelle, why can’t you just be still?  To sit in the “yuck” and to feel the grossness?  I’m not saying I can’t be optimistic.  That’s my nature, but it’s vital that I be still and be okay with where I’m at because I KNOW my Savior has me.  That’s what worship is for me.  It makes me face the “yuck” sometimes and it makes me aware of His presence.  

So here’s me.  Letting it all out.  Learning to trust God in the yuck, to be still, and not fix everything.  To lay down my longings, my fears, my control, and sit with my God.  He loves you.  He’s sweet to us.  He wants to hold us in the yuck, tears, and the really sweet and joyous times.  You are loved.  You aren’t alone. You’re His dream come true.

Be that girl


This past year has brought about many changes for my family.  One of those being that my parents no longer own the house we grew up in, and so at Christmas time, my mom gave each of us a big bin with tons of memories from our bedrooms.  So many things came to mind as I looked through this box.  I now have my violin from when I was 3 and 4 and even my baby booties from the day I was born.  She made a photo album for each of us starting at birth to where we are now.  One of the pages had pictures of me from junior high and high school and letters from friends with some ticket stubs and things like that.  Since then, I can’t quit thinking about high school and wish I would have known what I know now.  I know all of us say that.  I mean, I say it when I’m referring to 2 years ago.  But for some crazy reason, key statements have come to mind, so I decided I would start a little series on my blog discussing what I wish I would have known.  So this is for young girls, or maybe even single women…

When I was in junior high and high school, I was known as the good girl.  The girl that most guys wouldn’t touch with a 10 ft. pole (one, because I had a protective older brother) but mostly because of my values and upbringing.  I was proud of who I was and took very strong stands on what I believed and in what I would and would not participate in.  When it came to boys, I just knew I wasn’t something they chased after.  This isn’t a pity party at all, but when you’re at that age, and you want to feel pretty and popular, usually the first indication is what the boys say about you.  I had lots of guy friends.  Sometimes it was easier to be friends with guys than girls at that age, because you don’t have the drama…at least not as much.  I was referred to as sweet, nice, cute…those are all great things but sometimes you just wanted to be that girl you heard the guys talk about.  Not in a perverted way, just in admiration.  I had a conversation with one of my guy friends my senior year and he told me “Noelle, you’re not the kind of girl that guys like to date.  You’re the kind of girl, guys want to marry.” Sounds great, but at that moment, you just kinda want to be the girl they want to date 🙂 I mean, not many guys are looking to marry in high school.

I say this because now, looking back, I’m glad I was that girl.  To the young junior high and high school girls, and single women…be that girl.  I know it may seem like it’s not what you want, but trust me, it’s what you want.  There’s a fight for your destiny and it starts with the choices you make now.  God’s redemption and mercy is so sweet. Even when you make wrong choices, it doesn’t derail you.  It just delays you.  I’ve messed up and made some wrong choices.  God’s given me back what I lost, but I experienced hurt and rejection that didn’t have to be apart of my story.  My choices made for some crazy chapters in my life.

Something that helped me when I was younger, is I had women in my life that I looked up to that I saw live that out before me.  To women out there with young eyes on you…be that woman.  We need more of you.  Surround yourself with good friends and quality people.  Value who you are, the way you dress, what you wear, how you speak…it puts value on you.  You deserve the world and back.  Be proud to be the girl guys want to marry and not just have a fling with.  Aspire to be that girl.  I know it might seem lonely, but there’s a man just dying to be with you for the rest of your life, but he won’t value you, unless you value yourself.  I know it’s easier said than done.  I just see the fight for wholesomeness in this society and it’s losing.  It can change.  You can change.  Your life can change.  Be that girl

And men, value those types of girls.  It doesn’t just come naturally.  It’s a choice they make daily.  Be the man that encourages goodness in women.


Last week, my husband and I released a record “Sacred Songs” and the first track is called “Healing.”  Ben wrote this song several years ago but the story behind it most recently, is our personal “healing” story.

As many of you know, we experienced a miscarriage in April.  It was during this time, we were in the middle of recording “Sacred Songs.”  Ben had been in Norman, mixing, when the doctor called me to tell me we lost the baby.  He immediately came home and upon arrival, he put the CD in, and the first track, “Healing” came on.  He started singing the song over me.  I begged him not to play it, not to sing. I didn’t want to hear those words, let alone sing them.  He cried as he sang and we held each other.  His healing was very present in that moment, even though it didn’t “feel” it.

I tell this story, not get your sympathy, but so that you might have a better understanding of this song.  Many relate this song to a physical healing they are asking God for, but in reality, I believe all of us have healing that needs to take place in our hearts and emotions.  It was in that moment, that song became so real to me.  I didn’t have the strength to ask, but the song did that for me.  That is the power of music.  It’s our prayer that as you listen to that song, or any other song, for that matter, that it will aid in your time of inability.

The lyrics “nothing broken, nothing missing” used to be the prayer, Ben, before he was my husband, would pray over me. He would send me texts, just to remind me of the continuous healing God was doing in me.  Many negative things had been spoken over me and God’s refreshing reminder was healing to me.  He’s doing things in the midst of your pain.  The times you might think He’s not present is the closest He’s been to you.  Embrace this time to allow God to heal those things in you.  Let this song be a help to you.  To quote Bob Goff, “our lives are held together with scotch tape, bailing wire, and grace.”  Thank you God, that our emotional/spiritual health is resting in His ability, not our own.

This really isn’t to promote our song or record, but to give you a better understanding of our music.  These songs are things we’ve walked through.  It’s a soundtrack to the redemptive story He is writing in us.  Sometimes His healing looks different to us than what we are imagining.  He loves to surprise us, to draw us closer.  It doesn’t take much, just a simple “help” is enough for Him.  He longs to rescue you.  Be encouraged.

Get in the Boat

I’m not really sure how to start this blog.  It’s been heavy on my heart the past week to share what God has been showing me.  If anything, this post is for myself, but I can’t help but know that someone out there needs to be encouraged.  So, here it goes (I’m literally shaking as I type this)…

On March 23rd, Ben and I received the best news…we were pregnant.  This was a miracle in itself since we had been given a 1% chance to conceive naturally, anyway.  We were blown away, excited and loved sharing the news with our family and close friends.  Many had been standing in faith for us and praying for this miracle for over a year.  On April 3rd, we found ourselves in the ER, with the beginning symptoms of a miscarriage.  Our hearts were broken.  We didn’t understand and to make matters worse, we were traveling to Nashville to complete our record in the next couple of days.  My world came to a screeching halt.  I’ve never been so confused, embarrassed and felt like a failure.  I so desperately wanted to make Ben a father and give this child the life of a miracle destiny.  We came home from the hospital greeted with previous balloons and flowers…celebratory notes and I had to put them away immediately.  As I type this, all the emotions and memories are flooding my heart, bringing me to tears.

I’m the type that pretty much makes herself so busy, it’s easy to ignore my heart, especially when I’ve been hurt.  That’s just what I did.  I would have pauses in my day, that I would think of my precious one and quickly move on.  I didn’t want to hear any encouragement.  When people asked how I was I quickly said I’m good and said all the right things to keep people moving, but the truth was, I was drowning in confusion and pain.  I felt God but I even had mixed emotions about Him.

Bottom line, crappy things happen to good people.  There are many out there begging for a child of their own and it hasn’t happened and then there are people who they cough and they get pregnant (or so it seems :))  I rejoiced with so many around me when they would get pregnant, but it was just getting harder and harder.  The biggest dream of my heart is to be a mother.

The next Sunday, after our miscarriage, Pastor Ed spoke on the power of lament ( I highly recommend watching this.  It changed our lives.  Ben and I wept through the entire message.  It gave our breaking hearts a voice.  It reminded us that in order to be comforted by the great comforter, we have to go to the place He can comfort us.  I guess I didn’t want to be comforted because it would make the pain real.  I didn’t want to give my pain a voice, but the truth is/was, it wasn’t until then I started working through it.  I felt a release after that service.  It really was healing for us.  Then I went back to the busy part and moved on.  I would have my moments.  My sweet friend, Shelly, helped me be okay with having full on meltdowns at lunch 🙂 then I would get up, move on, and pretend it didn’t happen.

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day.  It sucked. I had a very hard time with it.  Pastor Ed was giving a great message and it was during that message, I saw myself sitting on the shore of the ocean.  I could see this oasis of land behind the ocean.  But the ocean was raging with stormy waters.  It was dark, cold and lots of noise and lightning.  There I sat, watching it.  There sat Jesus in this boat, just talking to me.  It was so precious.  He didn’t push me.  He just sat there and said, it’s time to get in the boat.  It was a clear vision that my oasis of freedom of true joy couldn’t come unless I went through the storm.  I have a bad habit of thinking I can go around the pain or pretending it’s not there…doesn’t work.  I felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit saying, “we can do this.”  This precious God of mine, gave me a gift that day.  He acknowledged the pain.  He knew it was real and He met me there.  I truly believe He would sit there as long as it took.  He’s patient and kind like that.

And so I’ve come to this new journey of trusting God through the storm.  To get in the boat, trust Him and take every bump and jolt.  I am probably going to fall in the water and feel like I’m drowning, but He’s there.  He never leaves my side.  My encouragement to you, is to get in the boat.  He promises to never leave you or forsake you.  He’s here to walk every step with you.  We think pain will kill us so we avoid it, but then it never heals the right way.

He is my joy and He is my strength.  One day we will have a child and one day I will meet this sweet one.  Until then, I face what is ahead and dream of the oasis that is waiting for me on the other side…join me.

I Need a Savior

I’ve been reading the book “The Prodigal God” by Timothy Keller.  It’s been out for a while now, but after having a conversation with my sister about it, I had to find out for myself.  I was not but several pages in, that my world was changed.  I’ve never heard the story of the prodigal son broken down the way Timothy Keller describes it.  I think so often we see this as a story of the lost coming home.  The wayward, partier son takes off with his heritage, spoils it on himself, comes home and begs for a seat at the table of his fathers, not as his son, but as a servant.  Although that is part of it, Timothy Keller focuses just as much on the other son.  He points out that the parable wasn’t told for the lost, but told for the Pharisees.  It’s a story of grace, of finding God and loving Him for who He is, and not what He gives us.  That’s not relationship.  Here is a quote that I have been wrestling with…

“If like the elder brother, you believe that God ought to bless you and help you because you have worked so hard to obey Him and be a good person,  then Jesus may be your helper, your example, even your inspiration, but He is not your Savior.  You are serving as your own Savior.”

Dang.  Wow.  Dang…

Because of the society we live in, you are rewarded for good and punished for bad.  It’s a system that somewhat has to be in place to create order in our world.  How often I have found myself asking God to move in my favor, thinking that my discipline of saying no to wrong things and yes to the right, earns me that reward.  It’s so easy to think God works in a performance mindset when it comes to us, but here, in this parable, He proves it has nothing to do with that.  It’s this inner fight, this struggle I have inside of me that although there is blessing with obedience, there’s so much more to a relationship with God than obeying and getting His favor for your life.  If you base your life on that alone, you will come up shorthanded.  Life isn’t perfect and tough stuff happens to even the most “obedient” people.  If you base your life on how many times God answers your prayers, then you will be disappointed.  BUT…

Trusting Him as your Savior will never disappoint.  You see, you get to know God for who He is, not what He can do for you.  Timothy Keller points out that both sons are guilty of wanting their father’s things, but without the relationship.  As a church we have been so guilty of this.  We teach on God’s rewards, favor, the things He does for us, but miss out on getting to know Him.  Those things are important and such a wonderful part of God, but that’s not who He is.  He’s your Savior…the one who brings salvation.  If we don’t keep ourselves at a place of needing a Savior, we are in a dangerous position.  It’s through having a relationship with Him, that you want to do what He asks of you.  You want to obey what His Word says.  You want to say no to the wrong and yes to the right.  That’s all very important, but just like in the quote above, you’re missing out on knowing Him as your Savior.

One more quote from the book

“When a newspaper posed the question, ‘what is wrong with the world?’ The Catholic thinking G.K. Chesterson reputedly wrote a brief letter in response: ‘Dear Sirs, I am.Sincerely Yours, G.K. Chesterson.’  That is the attitude of someone who has grasped the message of Jesus.”

How often we find fault in the world without looking at ourselves.  We are nothing without Him.  Pride has a funny way of peaking out amongst us.  This has humbled me to no end. I need a Savior.  Jesus, be mine.


This blog is way late.  I got the inspiration back at a service we were in close to Christmas time.  It was a sweet time of worship, with Scripture reading between songs.  When I heard this passage, tears filled my eyes.  I couldn’t help but feel the power behind this promise.

Luke 1:37 (Amplified)

“For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.”

It was spoken to Mary from an angel of God.  The angel was reminding Mary of her barren and fairly old cousin, Elizabeth’s pregnancy and it was through the power of God and the faithfulness of His promises, that captured Mary’s heart and peace reigned.

Her response: vs. 38

“Then Mary said, Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have said. And the angel left her.”

I’ve always been enamored with Mary and often thought what it would be like for God to choose you to be the mother of His son…it baffles me.  What an incredible honor that He would trust you with His Son…the Savior of the world.  That’s a side note, not exactly the point of this blog.

What compelled me about this passage, was the peace portrayed through Mary’s obedience, once the angel reminded her of God’s promises and that nothing’s impossible.  It left me thinking, if Mary, who was visited by angels and was suddenly pregnant with the Son of God, can be okay, and walk in the destiny before her, totally trusting in God’s goodness…what’s my excuse?  That’s one of the craziest things anyone could think up.  “Hello, I’m an angel from God.  You’re pregnant with His Son, and He will save the world.  He’s the one everyone has been waiting for.”  To be in that moment, scared, but suddenly reminded of who God was, and then accepting this huge, difficult job, humbles me.  Who am I to not to question His faithfulness?

Elizabeth was old and barren.  She desired children and couldn’t have them.  Through the miracle of Jesus, this woman, who would never in a million years be pregnant, was carrying John the Baptist.  Miracles and miracles kept happening in the very beginning at just the whisper and knowledge that Jesus was coming.  God’s in the business of doing the impossible and fulfilling His Word.  He promises to never leave us or forsake us.  It’s a promise…no matter what we are walking through, where we are, following Him or not following Him, He promised.  I have to go back to that.  You have to go back to that place of clinging to His promises.  That’s what’s so vital about God’s Word.  It’s life to us.

“For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.”  Think on that for a minute, for an hour, for the rest of your life 🙂

“For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.”

I  have to believe that my relationships with God has to be built on who God says He is and not what’s going on around me.  He was born in the midst of doubt and unheard circumstances.  If He’s promised something to you, in those sweet, quiet moments with Him, He’ll fulfill His promise.  It may not be on our schedule, but if He promises, it will happen.  It’s not about getting things from God.  I think to often, people use that excuse for getting materialistic things.

I think the way He chose to introduce the world to Jesus, His Son, was and is SO important.  He was born in the midst of chaos and dirty, gross straw.  His mother was a young teenager, a nobody.  Be encouraged to see the miracles taking place around you daily.  May His promises be your peace.  If Mary and Joseph and Elizabeth can do it, so can we.


Be Careful Little Eyes What You See

So I’m just giving this post a little warning. This is not a judgmental blog, and it’s only my personal conviction. I’m just hoping to make people think about that we are promoting as a society. With that being said, here I go….

Lately, I’ve been overwhelmed with educating myself on child trafficking. I watched a special on MSNBC and was broken for so many children/women, caught in this terrible industry, against their own will. I’ve watched “To Catch a Predator” and then, I’m facinated by shows like, “Celebrity Rehab” and “Intervention.” The resounding theme of most of these people with addictions, seem to have this pain they are trying to escape from childhood…many, escaping sexual abuse as a child. I can’t help but ask myself these questions:

1. Why is it such a problem, now more than ever?

2. How has our society become okay with perverting children and their innocence?

3. How did we become so obsessed with sex in general?

I then discovered within myself this ongoing numbness I’ve had to sexual things in television shows, movies, music, articles, conversations…it’s everywhere you turn and the more you are okay with it, the worse it will get. There are countdowns on websites when certain child celebrities become legal…seriously? We are excusing this lust for young women and then get upset with the men and women who become caught up in it. We say it’s okay and put it out there for everyone to see and feed this lust in men and women and then are shocked when we have problems like the ones we have. We’ve gone so far and it just seems impossible to back pedal. Pornography is easier and easier to access. Things like iPads and cell phones, make it so easy to feed those addictions with more privacy than ever.

We really enjoy some series on HBO and random boob shots would happen. We would be in shock and look away, but continue to watch because the story was so fascinating. That’s embarrassing to say, but I realized I was becoming numb to inappropriate things and subject matters. It started to effect my self esteem. You see, images that are put before us, as women, of what we are supposed to look like, destroy us as women, and destroy men’s healthy images of women. We all lose. Then I started thinking about those who struggle with such images. We’ve made it easier and easier as a society to feed grossness in us. The more you excuse it, the easier it creeps in and then it becomes a big problem. Pornography ruins people, marriages, families and respect for men and women. There are some television, movies, music, articles, that are borderline soft porn. Simple little things like that, strikes a curiosity in the most unhealthy ways. It’s almost impossible to escape.

I say all of this because I feel like we keep building and building on this society of sex. Sex sells and that’s only proven by it’s consumers. You might think you can’t do anything about it, but you can. We’ve stopped watching such shows, listening to certain music, anything that discriminates against men and women. There are precious little ones that are in danger. There are people out there with serious problems and these things we are accepting as normal in our society, are threatening our kids safety and destroying marriages and families. You can change things. It is rewarding within your own life.

What you do is your business and I’m not judging anyone in any way. I was/am guilty of becoming numb and okay with this crazy world of ours. Anyway, it’s just a challenge to protect kids, our families, marriages and futures. Child trafficking is bigger than ever, with one of the biggest locations in Oklahoma City at a truck shop outside of the city. It’s real and it’s not just in other countries. I just think there are things we can do to stop it and one huge one is making it not okay in our social media.

Just a thought…no pressure…actually, a lot of pressure. I love kids too much to not say or do anything about it.

Get Back on the Horse…but wait…

Ben is off writing in Amarillo with my brother, Teel, this week.  I mention this only because I hate when he’s gone, but the silver lining is the fact that I get to watch some girly stuff or pointless gibberish.  So while flipping through the channels, I stopped on the show Guiliana and Bill.  I’ve never seen the show, but hey had recently experienced a miscarriage.  You saw this turmoil of struggling to deal with what’s before them, but also moving forward.  A friend recommended that Guiliana go see a counselor to talk things through.  She explained to the counselor her pain, but was also confused about what to do next.  She told her that her husband, Bill, was a sports guy, so he kept encouraging her to “get back on the horse and try again.”  She wasn’t talking bad about him, just simply explaining where they both were.  The counselor turned to her and said “It’s important to get back up, but not while you’re still hurting from the fall.”

This stuck with me.  I know everyone’s situation and circumstances are different and it is important to get up and try again after you have fallen, but I think it’s just as important to take the time to deal with what you’ve just walked through.  Pain is an indicator of hurt, of something not quite right within us.  It’s a natural thing God has put in us.  In sports, when an athlete gets injured, he stays on the “injured” list until he gets released to play again.  Healing is vital…it’s important, and it’s the only thing that can make us healthy again.  In my personal life, it’s easy to pretend like nothing happened.  If I ignore how I feel, it will just go away.  The crummy thing about that, is it all starts piling up until one day, you’re reacting to things in ways that are even shocking you.  I’m not saying to wallow in your pain, or to stay there, but I am saying, ACKNOWLEDGE IT!!!  It’s okay.  It doesn’t mean you are weak or a coward or a winey baby.  It means you are human and if we don’t acknowledge hurt and deal with it in a healthy way, then we are in trouble and so is everyone else in our world.

You hear all these stories of people killing one another or making terrible decisions or ending their own life and after peeling back all the layers, most, if not all, had been hurt in various ways, and never dealt with it.  Nobody had a clue what they had been feeling.  I have to wonder if the results would be different.  I know they would.  It’s my heart for people to  move towards God’s healing.  He is the ultimate healer…of emotions, physical ailments, anything,  and He longs to spend time with you.  I have found that spending time with God, whether it’s surrounding myself with worship music or good teaching or even just a nice walk, that in those moments, God heals me.  He’s bigger than your anger, you don’t scare Him.  He’s not shocked by what you’ve done…so kick and scream and tell Him everything.  It’s in those moments, that He wants to hold you, tell you it’s okay and the funny thing is, I don’t think He’s saying, “get back on that horse again.”  I think He’s there the second you hit the ground, lays there with you, sees all the wounds, gently patches you up, and then if you want and if you ask Him to, He climbs on that horse with you and you ride together, this time with more stability.  Will you fall again, probably.  Will you get hurt again, probably.  And EVERYTIME, He’s there with you.  You don’t have to walk around defeated.  You can be strong and will be strong, but not unless you deal.

I’m a big advocate of having a safe place to talk, whether that’s a counselor, a pastor, a friend…allow yourself to have an outlet and talk through stuff.  We are surrounded by humans, which means we are going to fail and hurt one another…it’s just gonna happen.  You can pretend that you are a repeller of all evil, but under that dent in your armor is a little bruise.  I’m sure there are some that disagree with this and that’s totally fine.  I just know from my personal experience and walking with others through difficult times of hurt, the second you acknowledge the hurt, the healing begins.