To my sister who is empty

I know I said I would share Musaed’s story on my next post, but I lied. Okay, I didn’t really lie. I started it and am working on it, but I need to write this first.

I was at the gym this morning, a wonderful place to be after having four straight days with my little team. I love them, like crazy love them, but don’t we all need breaks, dear sisters? And I, was in desperate need of a little sweaty time where I could just  stick on my music and not think. No thinking, just sweating. Continue reading

A lesson learned from Willy Wonka

I have been quiet lately… well, quiet for me.

I have been feeling a longing back to a deeper intimacy with the Lord. This has been going on for some time, a whisper- a beckoning- back to a place where I feel Him close by, his presence near.

Oh, dear sisters, I have to believe that there are others feeling that same thing.

You may know it is the Lord or perhaps you don’t. Perhaps, you just feel a sense that there has to be more, that something- someone- is calling you.

This is what I love about our Lord. He doesn’t stop pursuing us.

He is relentless.

He is patient.

He doesn’t give up on us.

So, this week, I have been talking more with Him. Reading in the Bible again. But, I kept trying to make it look like what it used to, how we used to talk, and to be honest, it wasn’t working.

At first, I kept saying, Lord, take me back to what it was like, to how we talked and how we walked and we laughed together and cried together. I want to feel your arms like I did back then. 

And funny thing, I kept getting this picture in my head from the old Willy Wonka movie, you know the one with Gene Wilder, which on a side note; he is totally creepy in that movie, not funny at all, just creepy. I’m not sure what they were thinking with that character. Worth mentioning, now moving on….  Continue reading

A glimpse of Greatness. Mother Teresa’s Missionary Charity Center

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Well, we arrived safely in Kolkata and there is something about this place, like a piece of art.

The hues are rich and vibrant, buildings of lime green and rusted orange, sari’s of fuchsia and yellows. This has to be one of my favorite places on earth. So full of life. Beauty.

Oh, yes the poverty is here. Make no mistake, there is no missing that, but there is beauty as well. I suppose that is all life, dear sisters, room for poverty- physical poverty- poverty of spirit- poverty of finances- and beauty- beauty in the world around us- beauty in life- beauty in laughter.

Poverty. Beauty. Dwelling side by side. Continue reading

About the children (Divorce: Part 3)

Dear Friend,

Oh dear friend, it breaks my heart to see you going through this. Not just because I love you so, but because I have been where you are headed and your fears are so familiar to me.

So, when you talk about what will happen to your children and the impact this may have on them,  when your home is separated, when mom and dad no longer live together, I cannot help but cry. For I wept over my children… I still do at times. Continue reading

A lesson in ‘love without words’

So, an interesting thing happened at church the other night. We were there, Jake (14), Brooke(12) and I (30…. okay, okay, 40).

Now faith is something that my kids have been raised with, but Jake has become more private about it over the past few years.

We have had conversations about how normal it is to doubt and that any discussion is always welcome in this home, but he has shown little interest and even though I have wanted to push, I knew doing so would cause him to withdraw even more. Continue reading

God is good. All the time… (Part 2)

Dear sisters,

In the previous post I questioned; Is God good? Is He good all the time?  I wanted to share with you how I was able to move through that brutal season in my life. I wrote a few paragraphs and then there it was, His gentle nudge. It wasn’t right. So I erased it and started over. A few lines in, there it was again, a gentle nudge. Okay, maybe not so gentle this time. A thump is more like it, and I knew. Delete. All of it. Again .

I have come to learn His ways are usually way better than mine, like brilliant, so I  decided I was better off to stop typing and just sit. And then it slowly rose to the surface…  when Karin and I wrote the books it was all in letter form. That was it. A letter. A letter, as if He is writing directly to you. So here it goes, dear sisters:

 

To  you who know me and to you who don’t,

Come. Sit near me, dear ones, and let me tell you what I am like, for in doing this, you will come to learn that I am a God that is good.

I am good because it is who I am. I am good. Yes, I am good. It is who I am.

If you were to call yourself by another name, no one would respond to you with that name. Why? Because that is not who you are. They would look oddly at you and say to you, “Why would I call you that? That is not your name. No, I must refer to you by what I know  you as,” and they would use your given name.

The same is true for Me. I am good. That is my name. All my ways are good.  To refer to me as anything else would not be Me. Whether your experience of Me portrays I am good or not, I am.

I want you to hear me say this clearly; whether your experience of me suggest that I am good or not does not establish who I am.

What determines if I am good is whether or not you believe my Word and who I say  that I am.

I am challenging you on this, because often your perception of what takes place is filtered through years of hurt and injustice. Your hurt will often taints how you see the world around you and what is attributed to Me.

Dear one, I want you to hear me clearly when I say that you are mine and that I love you. I created you so that I could fall in love with you, and you- you, my dear one- would have the choice to love me back.

You were made for intimacy with me and I did it because I … am… good.

I loved you. yes, you. I have loved you from the very beginning of time, a concept you can’t even imagine or comprehend. Your minds were not created in a fashion ot understand all that I am, but I am telling  you this so you can hear the depths at which I love.

Dear ones, it is important that you seek me out, for in seeking me out you will find that not only am I loving but I am, indeed, good.

You may ask what good looks like. Let Me tell you, loved ones, let Me speak.

Good means that I give and you receive. Good means that you receive what I give you and you turn around and give my goodness to others. Picture a line of people, each pouring a cup of water into the mouth of the one next to him. I refresh you. You refresh others. That is goodness, dear one. When you look around and see one another taking care of each other, that is my goodness.

Some recognize it as such, others have mistaken it as their own, but nonetheless, it is I.

For all goodness is a sign that I am at work around you. Yes, I am at work. My goodness still shows. It does, dear one.

This is my challenge for you today. Look around. Really look.

Slow down your pace and look, for in doing so you cannot help but see it- goodness- my goodness. A glimpse here. A flash there. Look, child, and you will see. In every fingerprint I lay, my goodness is visible.

If you have questions, bring them to Me.

If you wonder what I am like, come sit. Sit with me. Learn to hear my voice. Learn to know what I sound like and in time, you will shake your head in amazement, fully- completely- in awe of my goodness.

That is Me, dear one, full of grace, full of goodness. It is who I am.

Love,

Your Father.

 

The gift from Karin

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Everyone needs a friend like Karen.

Karen and I have been friends for five years.

She watched me go from being married to being single. She walked with me as I struggled through my divorce, when I couldn’t get off the bedroom floor, and supported me as I slowly began to build my life back.

We both had our struggles and out of those struggles came the words for three books.

Karin is one of those wise souls. Half the stuff that comes out of her mouth would never dawn on me. Seriously, you need your radio show, I always tell her, you’re questions and suggestions are so insanely brilliant. 

So much stands out about Karin, but there is one particular gift she has given me that I am truly grateful for;

she taught me how to stay.   Continue reading

I love you to the moon and back

 

 

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There is a story I want to share. It’s a story that reminds me daily that my God sees me. He sees me and Bob and the kids. He sees all that  my eyes can see and He sees what they cannot.

It’s the kind of story that you hear and you don’t really know what to make of it. It’ s easy to dismiss if it didn’t happen to you, but when it does… when it does, you find yourself at a crossroads. Are you going to try to rationalize it away or as crazy as it sounds, is it possible that God is speaking to you.

I was celebrating my 38th birthday with friends. We laughed and joked and hugged as we dined at Lemonade, one of my favorite restaurants in Pasadena. I left feeling full- a full stomach- a full heart. I felt loved. My dear friend, Karin, was spending the night. As the night winded down, we chatted for a bit about the next day. Karin has signed up for a special prayer time in the morning and then we were hoping to hike later that afternoon. As I drifted off to sleep, I recall not thinking of anything in particular, just thankful, thankful for my friends and my family. My cup was full.

That night I had a dream. I was pregnant and I somehow knew that it wasn’t my baby (it’s so odd how you just know things in dreams. I wonder if that’s what heaven will be like. Sorry, tangent:) I was carrying the baby for someone else. One minute I was pregnant and then next moment I blacked out. When I came to (in my dream) my six year old, Alex, was standing in front of me with the baby. Alex LOVES babies, so that wasn’t too hard to imagine. She was grinning from ear to ear, but I was in a panic. “What’s the baby still doing here,” I shouted. “It’s not ours.” “I don’t know mom, but isn’t she cute,” Alex squealed as she bounced her up and down on her hip. I felt stressed. I took the baby from Alex and I thought to myself, “She is hungry. She needs to eat.” I don’t know how I knew that, but I just did. I knew we didn’t have any food, so I headed outside. I opened the front door of my house and it was flooded, with water pooling right up to the door. I closed the door and took a few deep breaths. Then I opened the door a second time to find the waters had gone down and there was baby formula sitting on my front porch. I grabbed it, and some bottles on the grass and came in and fed her. I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, this baby is really hungry. She eats like a three month old.” And then I woke up.

It was such a bizarre dream; I relayed it to Karin over coffee the next morning. “What do you think it means,” she asked. “I don’t know,” I mumbled, shaking my head, “ but it was definitely different.” God, are you trying to talk to me?

After her prayer time, Karin opted for a nap while I took off to tackle my favorite mountain. Returning a few hours later, I realized I didn’t have my keys, so I knocked on the door. As I did so, I noticed a small package sitting on my front porch. It had been delivered with the mail. I bent down for a closer look and was startled by what I saw. It was a box of baby formula, like real formula. I started freaking out. No, freaking out is an understatement. I started to scream. “Karin! Karin!” I was now knocking like a mad women. She opened the door still a little groggy from her nap. She looked bewildered as she was trying to decipher my jumping up and down and pointing at the ground. And then she saw it… yep. Baby formula So now there were two of us. Yelling. “Whoa.” Bending down. “What the heck.” Jumping. Screaming. “This is crazy” Neither of us touched it. We just kept staring at it and yelling and laughing. Baby formula on my front porch.

So what do you do with something like that, besides freakout and jump up and down? I’m not sure. I know many would feel there is an interpretation of some sorts, that the baby means something and so forth. I have had a few years to think about it and what continues to stand out to me is this simple message:

“Alisa, if you have ever doubted it before, if you ever doubt it again, I want you to know that I see you. I see you. I see every detail. I knew when this formula would arrive and I knew where it would be placed. I knew the moment you would have that dream and I orchestrated it all. Alisa, I see you. I see every thought-every hurt- every joy- every trial. I see it all and I love you dear one. I’m crazy about you. I love you, dear one, I do. I love you to the moon and back.” I have kept the box of baby formula on my nightstand for two and a half years as a reminder that …

I am seen. I am known…. and I am loved. The God of the universe… He is near. .

Sisters, if there is one thing that remains with you today, let it be that HE SEES YOU. He hasn’t forgotten about you. He hasn’t lost interest. He is wild about you. He knows you. He knows every detail of your life and He is near. Take heart dear sisters, He is near.