Tag Archives: Tenth Avenue North

I Am A Cry-Baby (Not Really. Ok, Maybe I Am)


Confession:  I hate crying. Maybe, more correctly I should say, I hate other people seeing me cry. This wouldn’t be as much of a problem if the waterworks weren’t activated by something as simple as a sappy commercial for cotton on tv!

I didn’t used to be this way but at some point along this adventure I became an excessively sentimental, emotional (alright, I will just say it) wreck.  Not everyday, but I have my moments.

Me: Watching a YouTube video that has tripped the tear trigger, one of my family members walks in and I am furiously wiping at my face.  Nothing to see here, keep moving, mom is totally fine…

Me:  Worshiping in church and so overcome that my eyes are welling up.  Are you kidding me?!  Get a grip woman, not here, not now…

Me:  Speaking to a group of women at the end of May, the one thing I asked my husband to pray for as I walked out the door that morning was  – no tears! Pray that I can get through this without crying.  (Now, truth be told part of what I was sharing was an extremely moving reading about the burden of the blessing that motherhood is and I had about 99% of the women there in tears.)  By the way – I failed…I was “misting” before I ever got up to speak as a group of young ladies got up to sing a song about moms.  (Taylor Swift’s, The Best Day – I dare you to try to get through it without tears!)

So why does this trait, as I see it in myself, bother me so much?  That is like opening Pandora’s box.  I don’t think anything less of others who cry in public. (Even in the public of your own living room.) Most likely if I see you crying I will be fighting joining in.  If I were to make an educated guess I would say this has something to do with control.  It doesn’t take a huge leap of faith arrive at this conclusion when the starting point is control-freak.  Alright, I think that is enough couch time for today.  The point I wanted to make in this is something that I struggle with and I really need you to hear…

It’s ok not to be ok.

Joyce Meyer said, “We desperately want people to believe we are okay…to think we’ve got it together.  But it’s okay to not be okay.”

Everybody loves a story of someone who has overcome obstacles, trials, tragedy.  But too often we hit the highlights, skip the dark spots because nobody wants to tell that story.  We often hear stories like this one…Once upon a time something bad happened but our hero wasn’t fazed.  Our superhero, with their cape flapping in the wind, squashed the enemy without any problem and they lived happily ever after without suffering any sleepless nights or ever having shed a tear.

Not me, I want an authentic story.  I want to know that someone else struggles with the same things that I do.  Or if not the same things, at least I want to know that you struggle too.  But we are all so good at pretending!  We have been spoon fed the line that if we are true followers of Christ, and we struggle, we cannot actually admit it.  (Gasp!)  Please don’t buy into this!

Matt Chandler, pastor at The Village Church, recently said this.

…an issue that continues to persist among us who confess Christ as Lord are seasons in which we walk in the desert, seasons in which we struggle with doubt, seasons in which we are barely hanging in there. If we are not careful, we will pretend that’s not where we are and, instead, play the part of “Here’s where I raise my hands, and here’s where I take notes…”

In essence, we begin to pretend we’re not where we are. Hear me: that’s dumb. Why? Your conversation with other believers, your conversations in your groups, your conversations with those who are in your life pursuing Jesus Christ with you should be right around this subject: “It’s dry. I’m tired. I’m struggling with doubt. I don’t get this. I’m losing faith.” Why would you pretend that’s not where you are? I love you, but that’s idiotic.

So we confess, “I’m in the desert, and I don’t know how much longer I can survive out here,” and the people of God encourage and pray and they check in and they walk alongside. This is a practice we never get out of.

Also, I don’t know that you’ll ever outgrow seasons of being in the desert.  God accomplishes profound things in the dry times. What we must learn to exercise week in and week out, month in and month out, year in and year out, whether obedience feels like breathing air or obedience feels like a full-out assault on our hopes and dreams, is an openness and authenticity to say, “I’m in trouble. I’m jammed up. I’m frustrated. I’m angry. I’m lonely. I’ve been reading my Bible. I can’t remember the last time the Lord spoke to me through his Word. I’m praying. I don’t feel like anybody is listening to me but the cat,and I need to repent for owning a cat.” (I personally apologize to any cat owners…)
If the Lord has put you in that season, you will be in that season as long as he wants you in the season. My own experience is there have been multiple times I’ve walked through that season where I’m like, “Okay, I get it,” and the Lord has gone, ‘You ain’t got half of it yet, brother.’  We need to learn to trust the Lord in that while simultaneously being honest that that’s where we are.  God hasn’t asked you to be Superman or Wonder Woman.

So, it’s ok not to be ok.  It’s not okay to stay there.  If you are struggling, be honest, tell someone.

So you thought you had to keep this up
All the work that you do so we think that you’re good
And you can’t believe it’s not enough
All the walls you built up are just glass on the outside

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you’re broken within
The light meets the dark,

(Tenth Avenue North, Healing Begins)

It’s ok…If you’re all busted up, welcome to the family. Oh, you’re dysfunctional? Us too! Come on in. You’re one of the crowd.


Healing Begins

Whatever you are facing, whatever you are carrying today you don’t have to do it alone. Matt Chandler challenges us to get real, with ourselves, with others, with God. You don’t have to do this on your own. It’s a message that bears repeating because when the chips are down it’s one I tend to forget. It hits on all of the posts that I have begun in the last week and remain unfinished on paper and in my mind. Grace. Mercy. Pride. And Healing…

Still Moments – An Unexpected Gift


“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–and so that whatever you ask in My name the Father will give you.” (John 15:16)

I read this at Spiritual Inspiration and wanted to share it…

You may not believe in God, but God believes in you.
God sees it all–the good, the bad, the joys, the sins. He wants us to come to Him. There is a reason He saved Noah and His family from the flood, and there is a reason He gave the life of His son, Jesus, so that we could be forgiven. There is nothing you can do that will stop God from loving you!

Isn’t that amazing when you think about it? You can disappoint Him and sadden Him when you turn away or avoid Him, but You cannot stop Him from loving you.

And if you are on the fence yourself right now, wondering how God can believe you have anything left to give, know that God has already chosen you just like the scripture above tells us. There is a huge gift-wrapped box just sitting on your doorstep, but you must open the door and bring it in. Unwrap it, and see what is in store.

A humbling reminder if you have accepted the gift…an invitation if you haven’t.

Take some time to be still, allow the words of Mike Donehey and Tenth Avenue North to wash over you today. Allow their message to penetrate to the hurting, questioning places in your life.  For all of the times in our lives…



Today I allow myself to stop doing, running, and chasing. The world can continue on without me for today. I will be back tomorrow. Today I allow myself to check out, to unplug, to disconnect. Today I allow myself to dream, to travel just a bit down the road of what if. Today I collect one more year, one more uncelebrated birthday.  Today is a day of remembrance, but there are no memories to hold onto.  Today there are no photo albums to pour through.  Today there are no firsts to cheer on.  Today is only a whisper of what could have been, a mother’s dreams for her unborn child.  Today marks 12 years since I last held my son.

Today, and everyday I have left on this earth, I will continue to encourage you, to implore you, to seek God in your pain.  He is the true healer, the breath of hope, the peace for a tormented soul, the very life-giving force that allows me to survive and continue on past today and all of the “todays” of years past.  Through death and disease, He is my joy.  Without Jesus’ love for me and the promises that He makes me for today and eternity, I would be a bitter, miserable person.

Not everyday is good.  I am human, my heart has been broken, over and over again.  Tears flood my eyes, pain floods my soul.  I am not immune to life, that isn’t what Christianity is all about.  It isn’t a protection from struggle and trial.  It isn’t about plastering on a fake smile and pretending that everything is ok. It isn’t about religion or rules.  It is about having a relationship with the Creator, leaning into the Comforter, allowing your Father to take your hand and rescue you from today, tomorrow, and even yesterday.  It’s about resting in a faith that says this isn’t it.  This broken, sorrow-filled world is not where this story ends.   You may call me delusional, you may think my beliefs are faulty, but no matter what you think, you cannot take from me the very real peace, assurance, and joy that I am able to live everyday with in spite of anything life throws at me.  And Christ is the very foundation of those things. The hope, joy, peace, and strength you see in me are there only because God has provided them.  Particularly on days like today.

With that, I want to share this song by Tenth Avenue North.  Music speaks to my soul unlike anything else has ever been able to and their song, “Worn” is so powerful and beautifully written.  Please take a moment to watch/listen to it.

Today, if you are tired of living “worn” my prayer is that you will ask God to flood your eyes so that you can see redemption, ask that He would flood your soul so you can know His rest.  Take that first step towards a relationship with him.  If you have questions, please contact me.  I would love nothing more than to share this gift with you.  Especially today…