Friday, July 6, 2012

I Didn't Exaggerate

As per SAMMY'S request, here is my tattoo. (Sammy, I love it when you comment, but just have no way of contacting you. Would love to be FB friends!!!)

I told y'all it was not small nor was it hidden.

I bet the friend across The Pond has no idea it really was THAT bold from the pic I sent in an email.

Cracks me up every time I see it and try to logically remind myself that THAT is MY arm.

When I try to envision something similar in size and color on another woman's arm, I do sort of cringe a bit, but then on my own arm I adore it. It means so very much!!!!!!!! It's a constant reminder that I am free, but must choose to live in that freedom.

Habakkuk 3:19--"The Lord God is my strength and will make my feet like hind's feet and make me walk upon my high places." (Old Testament from the Bible)
(((This became my life verse at age 19 when I read the beautiful allegory called Hind's Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard)))

The sun symbol is priceless to me. I can only explain that one in private messages.

Galatians 5:1--"It is for freedom that we have been set free. Stand firm, do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."  (New Testament from the Bible)

If there are questions about the Biblical stance on tattoos then follow this link: Sacred Ink

I fully believe these bodies we live in are where the Holy Spirit resides as well as these are just shells of who we are and to Whom belong. It's just skin.

I have been able to use this tattoo in ways that I never imagined already.  It's fabulous.

To also answer Sammy's comment from a couple of posts ago about how I am changing my outlook and ways of loving people: hmmmm---great question, Sammy. I am still living each day as it comes and asking for God to show me exactly what it means and what it's supposed to look like when I am surrounded by church activities and church life.....being married to a minister. We just finished vacation bible school and are gearing up for summer camp. Our lives are consumed with clean Christian work.

We have, however been ministering to a friend who's been in dire straits. It has been messy, but PandaPop has done all the foot work on this one. He loves it, but I feel like I prayed for something to come along, then when he was called at 1:00am in the middle of the night to drive into the not-so-safest part of our metroplex area to pick this guy up and get him to safety.......I was freaking out a bit, because THAT kind of stuff hasn't happened to us in a very long while. However, God has blessed in the situation over and over!!

Messy work.

I'm not sure what each day will look like for me. It's hard to change your ways of living when it's what you've known for so long. You get into routines and to shift those routines makes you uncomfortable. It's easier to go with comfort and what you know works than to delve into unknown waters. I can't stand getting into water that I cannot see clear to the bottom.  It's scary as to what's lurking beneath the surface. Same with getting out of our comfort zones and going all the way under the murky water.

I'll try to post as things unfold around here.  For those of you who have not talked to me on FB.....I'd love to hear your take on my tat.

Here's a final thought on it that was sent to me by a tatted up friend:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Paradigm Shift in the Middle of Summer

I love summer rain.

A few years ago I posted a pic of PandaGirl in summer rain with a huge umbrella and rain boots. So refreshing.....especially in Texas where the temps are hotter than h.e.l.l.

No joke.

Last summer was THE worst in my lifetime where on our vacation I vividly remember that at 6:00PM it was 114 degrees. Now that is not the norm here, but last summer was just downright miserable. If it would have rained THAT day we might have had holes in our skin from the burning rain.

Last night gave us a 30 minute sprinkling that was lovely. PandaJoy was in heaven when I told her to go play in the rain!!

The past two weeks have been crazy busy with VBS and all kinds of kid stuff not to mention that I have had a major paradigm shift in the way of my thinking about loving people.

I came into contact with a girl who used to be in our first youth group when PandaPop and I first started in ministry together.  He was a youth minister. He was 24, I was 23, the girl was 13. At that age that is a huge age gap. Now it is a peer.

Her life story unfolded before my eyes as she explained her choice to fully embrace the New Age belief system. Immersed. Changed her name and painted her body. Likes to live in a tree hut.

For the first time in my ashamed I am to admit this.......I was broken to my core over someone's soul. I cried for an hour straight over how very real this is. Someone's soul is in question. After so many years of teaching what I believe to be the truth of the Bible and I'm JUST NOW being broken over a soul? This girl has been taught Truth, yet through her own choices and life events she has chosen to believe in ways that blows my mind. Normally I would have been a bit freaked, a lot freaked out over many of her lifestyle choices, but instead it literally sent my into to overdrive to love her and love people EXACTLY HOW THEY ARE AND WHERE THEY ARE.

Novel concept, I know.

You'd think that as a Christ-follower I would get that seeing as how that is what Jesus commanded his followers to do. Love people. I don't have to agree with the ways of people that are completely opposite of what I believe to be true from the Bible, but I CAN LOVE THEM AND BE A PART OF THEIR LIVES!!!!!!!!!!

I want to love OUT, not IN.

It's hard to convey in print in such a short amount of time---there are those two little girls in my home who are demanding of time in the summer---but just know that my whole mind and heart have done a complete 180. I wish I could adequately share all that has transpired over the past two weeks in my heart.

I also got my tattoo.


I've planned it for over a year & a half.

It has very deep personal meaning.

I've worked incredibly hard to make it to this point. God's grace has lovingly guided my steps to freedom.

It is a sign of freedom to me in an area that has had me in chains my entire life. I had one of THE most amazing spiritual experiences while getting it. It hurt very badly and I think I may have poked a hole through PP's hand while squeezing it for about 25 minutes.  I listened to Newsboys......REALLY, REALLY loudly to mask the pain. It's not intolerable pain, but hurts. I knew I could make it through.

The children's minister's wife got a tat.


Not only did I get a tattoo, but it is not tiny nor is it hidden.

It's sorta big, very colorful and right out where the world can see it.  The world that I am in that is not a part of my church and not the kind of people who would EVER enter the doors of a church. Many of them do not like Christians.....AT.ALL. They have their own belief set. And a story.  I want to know their stories. I want to be IN THEIR LIVES. I want to love, love, love and get messy and live in a way that is not so sterile, contained and comfy inside the walls of my beautiful lovely church.

I do love my church. REALLY, I DO.

I have no doubt that PP and I are where we are supposed to be, but through a series of events that have accumulated in my life.......I desperately want to live out my faith differently than I have for the previous 41 years. An older friend told me this week that she didn't know anyone that didn't like Christians or who hated the idea of God.

WHAT?????? Are you KIDDING me?.........then you need to get outside of your clean Christian bubble, friend.

All these thoughts and the big shift came BEFORE I read Radical by David Platt, but now that I'm almost done with the book I can see that I'm on the right track. Most everything he said is what I have been thinking for a very long time, but didn't know how to act on it.

Now I'm acting.

How I wish I had time to elaborate, but mommy-hood calls.

So much to say. So very much to SAY!!!!!!!!!!