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"Adulting is hard....maybe I should buy a raincoat..."

 Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Let’s be honest, we’ve all laughed at a good adulting meme that so adequately describes the difficulties of trying to be a grown up and do the responsible thing.
I will be the first one to admit that the majority of the first half of my twenties has been a complete train wreck. I didn’t own a rain coat for most of it. A rain coat. Even small children own rain coats. I also literally did not understand the phrase take it with a grain of salt until like two weeks ago. Okay....maybe it was more than 2 weeks ago but I spent a good bit of time not really knowing what that phrase meant. You can also add "Dont count your chickens before they hatch" to that. So you know, there’s a lot that I have yet to master about adulthood.
But I have become so incredibly annoyed with a generation of people who keep complaining and making t-shirts about how hard it is to adult. Adult is not a verb. It is an adjective. It describes the stage of life that you are in and will continue to be in. You don’t get a choice about that, my friend. You are an adult. You will never be a child again and it is time that you just get past that fact and accept that this, in all its glory, is not a choice.

Your adulthood is just a fact.

When we treat adulthood like a choice we create a lifestyle of really horrible habits. We justify and make jokes about our really poor choices because adulting has become a thing we do or don’t do today.
I love you enough to tell you this because I was the person doing it like eight and half seconds ago. Eating doughnuts for breakfast every morning and watching Netflix until 2 PM in your bed when you’re in your twenties is not cute. It is not worthy of a “like” on Facebook or Instagram.
Being a human is hard sometimes, but the hard parts about it are not your laundry, making your bed, or taking a shower. Difficulty is not looking at your bank account and being sad that you can’t buy more Starbucks.
When we say it out loud, I think we can see how selfish it is: I’m feeding a culture that says life is hard because I want to be able to eat Oreos and not gain weight, or have the luxury of walking into Target and spending $200 on pointless crap. 
We are a product of our choices, the things we do and the things we say. If I keep telling myself that the struggle is real at Target and everyone spends this kind of money because adulting is hard and budgets are hard when I wake up without any money for my future, at least I can laugh about it. I can post about it on Instagram and get a few hundred nods of approval.
Those things are not the hard part about adulthood and if you actually believe that they are, you live in a very small world. You live in a bubble known as entitlement and it’s a really dangerous place to stay. It’s a dangerous thing to joke about. It feeds bad habits. It’s a bubble that I’ve known well and it has caused more grief in my adulthood than maybe anything else.
You know what I love about my grandmothers’ generation? Those women got out of bed every morning, got dressed, took on the world, and sometimes never left their own home to do it. They’d wrangle seven kids looking like they just stepped out of a magazine. I never understood it and I actually thought it was incredibly pointless. But throughout the years of listening to their stories when I wasn't younger.... I finally started to understand why.
They did it because getting out of bed, looking presentable, making breakfast, and getting things in order is good stewardship. It is being thankful. It is loving themselves and others well. It is taking care of what God gave them. It is living a lifestyle of worship, of having a grateful heart. It is saying to God: I love and cherish this sweet life that you’ve given me and it is way way more than I deserve. I’m going to take care of it, I’m going to treat it like the gold that it is.
That’s not to say that some of them didn’t have careers. Both of my Grandmothers worked. They showed up for themselves, their kids, their husbands, and worked outside of their homes. They kicked butt (am I allowed to say that about my grandmothers?). They were moms, wives, workers, church members, community members, and more. They were not adulting, they just accepted the fact that they were adults. Most of their generation accepted this a lot younger than I did.
The point of all of this is not to say that we have to be perfect. I will have times of rest. I will also still have some days where I wear sweatpants and watch a few hours of Really bad tv. . I will have times of eating pizza (every Friday) and wishing that it didn’t have so many calories. But that’s not an acceptable daily lifestyle and it’s not a culture that I want to encourage.
God handed me adulthood, sometimes it’s hard, in's really really hard. ....but the fact remains that I don’t get a choice. But how I honor this gift of life and how I choose to respond my God-given responsibilities is entirely up to me.

And In  true adulting fashion, I am writing this as I just handed my child a bowl of M&M's for breakfast, it's raining outside and I still don't own a raincoat at 33 years old. 


"Romanticize your life..."

 Sunday, January 15, 2017

I saw a quote posted on social media that has bothered me. It was something to the effect of "There is beauty in the broken....the depressed....blah blah blah....."
Let’s make one thing clear from the start: there is nothing pretty about depression. 
Whoever told you that either was lying to you or has no idea what it means to be at constant war with yourself.
There is nothing poetic about feeling broken, exhausted, useless; nothing graceful about it.
No one will see you, hollow and shattered, and think “wow, this is gorgeous”. And when you look at your reflection in the mirror, the person you’ll see staring back at you won’t believe that either.
Depression is a monster eating you from the inside. It’s thick dark smoke filling your lungs until you can barely breathe anymore. It’s unfamiliar voices inside your head turning every thought into a gun and leaving you there to wait for them to pull the trigger.
Depression  is ugly and it’s scary and it’s lonely.

Depression is not who you are.
So change your perspective and learn how to romanticize healing instead.
Start small. Begin by celebrating the days you can get out of bed long enough to wash your hair or to take out the trash; the days you feel like answering your phone when it’s ringing and end up talking to that friend you haven’t heard from in a while.
Begin by appreciating the nights you spend sitting on the couch watching bad TV with your kids; the songs you sing at the top of your lungs (very very badly) during long drives, with your windows down and fresh air hitting your face.
Romanticize the third cup of hot coffee of the day; that first sip of the morning.  the piece of chocolate you allow yourself to eat before going to bed. Romanticize the kind of love that makes you feel like you belong; the friends who tell those silly jokes that make you laugh until you cry; the days you can stand in front of the mirror with no clothes on and not be ashamed. Those mornings when the world is quiet and you get to see the sunrise witnessing Gods art work first hand. 
Romanticize that little giggle from your 4 year old when you tickle her and she wraps her arms around you so tightly it feels like she will never let go. Those moments your son asks "How was your day,  mom?" And he genuinely wants to know. 

Slowly, step by step, learn how to let go of everything and everyone that makes you feel like you are not good enough. 

Because you are.

And there is hope for you.
You are not your dark days; you are not your scars. You are not broken and you deserve to be live each day with a smile.....just as much as everyone else.
It will get easier. It will get better.

And healing, oh, healing will look beautiful on you....Romanticize that. 


"An old friend...."

 Monday, December 26, 2016

Hello little blog. It's been a while. 
What I'm about to write isn't easy. I've gone back and forth and started and erased a thousand times.  I've shut my computer off and cut it back on and back off again. Ashamed. So very ashamed. Although I don't know why. I can't answer that. 
2016 hasn't been easy. There's been a lot of changes for me personally and those changes left me questioning myself on a deep level. And  it really liking the answers my mind answered with. Soon it wasn't my mind answering those was a deep dark old friend. A friend I fought for years to break ties with. And I did. For a while. But given the opportunity.....he weasels his way back in.....taking up space in your head and heart....leaving no room for oxygen....he starts to suffocate you and makes it near impossible to breathe. 
That's his name. 
Before I started suffering from depression whenever I thought about mental illness, a certain image would always come to mind.
I pictured the Depressed person  to look drained in every sense of the word. I imagined someone thin to the point you can see their collarbone showing beneath the collar of their too-big t-shirt; I imagined messy hair and cold hands; I imagined no make-up and worn-out (grey, for some reason) clothes.
So when the symptoms started showing, I was confused. How could I- someone who spends at least an hour in the bathroom every day to do her hair, who doesn’t go anywhere without her favorite lipstick, who always wears heels, even to go to school – be depressed? That didn’t make any sense. Pretty, well put together girls can’t have that kind of problem. My life isn't that bad. Honestly, what do I have to be depressed about?
Well, it turns out they can. Also, it turns out  depression  has many different faces, not just the stereotypical one that society has instilled in our minds since the beginning of time. 
And while it can look like that sometimes, it can also take a lot of other shapes.
Depression  can look like the woman you see every morning on your way to work, taking her little kids to school and carrying their colorful backpacks; it can look like the elegant businessman who always wears expensive suits and ties and drives a Mercedes around town.
Depression  can look like the funny teenage boy who makes everyone laugh during class with his jokes, the one that teachers love just as much as anyone else; it can look like the fit girl you see at the gym, with the ponytail and abs of steel.
Depression  can be a family father, a rockstar, a nun; it can be black, asian; straight, gay, bisexual; it can be religious or atheist.
Depression  can take any shape and form it wants and that’s maybe what makes it so scary. 
As sad and negative as that may sound, though, it also means that you are not actually as alone as you think you are. Just because you don’t see anyone looking like what you imagine a depressed person should, it doesn’t mean that the people surrounding you are not struggling with their own demons. They might be fighting a battle just like yours.
And most importantly, if you don’t look like what you think a depressed person should, it doesn’t make what you’re feeling any less valid or real.
Some days are good. Some days are  bad. Some days or weeks.... I'm quiet. And some days it's easy to smile while others....the smile has to be forced. Some days I'm withdrawn and some days I'm a social butterfly. It a process. And it took me a while to understand this process.  And I can honestly say, I have more good days than bad here lately. 
In the end, I like to think the ultimate solution to this problem is kindness.
Be kind to yourself, first and foremost: respect your sadness, your bad thoughts, your dark days and don’t be ashamed or scared of the idea of asking for the help you need and deserve. And be kind to others as well, because they might be going through something equally as hard as you are.
Kindness is certainly not a cure, but it is the first step to a more empathetic and understanding attitude towards depression  and those who suffer from it.
But always be kind to yourself. 


"Don't be "that" mom..."

 Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Teenage pregnancy. 
This is going to be a touchy subject. But I wanted to do a post about all the things I went through when my son was born and all the things I hated about how people treated me. But that would be impossible because there was just so much that, quite honestly, ticked me off. I have forgotten most by now. But a few weeks ago, I saw a teenager with her baby at the doctors office. And it took me back to a very lonely and sad time in my life, a time I didn’t think would ever pass. But eventually it did, and here I am, alive and well on the other end, and dare I even say quite happy too. So here’s to all the teen moms out there bravely battling on each day despite all the dirty looks in public, the criticism and uglyness that our messed up society so cheaply offers. Here’s my take on teen pregnancy and why people should get off their high horses about it.
Oddly, this girl keeps looking at me, do I have something on my shirt or a piece of food in my teeth? Or a booger hanging out my nose? I look up but what I see is myself a quite a years ago, and I instantly know why she looks at me like that.

I am what she hoped to be, instead of herself.

I know, because I was once her. You see, today I am the 33 year old  mom, with the wedding ring on my finger, my beautiful baby girl sitting quietly on my lap.....with my nice put together outfit......while I chat to the other moms about pre-school and cute monogrammed clothing and the price of a good family vacation. She, on the other hand, does not get spoken to, instead, people give her a look of sympathy mixed with a little “you should’ve known better”. She doesn’t get asked about her opinion on teething or diapers or anything, because she doesn’t know anything right? I mean she’s what? 17 or 18 maybe? She’s just a child herself right? And she shouldn’t even have a baby yet right? “We shouldn’t feel sorry for her, but for that baby” someone whispers. And suddenly all the rage I used to feel towards these judgy moms comes rushing back.
About this teenager. There are a few facts we should get straight. She is as much motheras me, or you, or any other twenty or thirty-something mom. Because she, long before having given birth, made one of the most difficult decisions that a young girl can ever have to make, she chose to deal with the consequences of her actions despite all the difficulties it brings. She’s not dirty, or wrong or slutty for getting pregnant. She is one of the unlucky few to have gotten pregnant, but she is not the only one who was at risk of getting pregnant. Fact is, if you all are completely all were doing exactly what we were as a teenager....we are just the ones who got caught. But our double standard society makes us believe that only the pregnant teens are those who were sinful enough to have sex. All the thousands of others who didn’t get pregnant, or those who rather opted for abortions, we don’t think or speak of them. We channel our disapproval only toward the pregnant teens. They take the heat for the whole world’s sexually active teens. They get all the judgement on behalf of all the others who, yet not visibly wearing their sins, did exactly the same thing. Girls who opt for abortions do not have to wear a t-shirt reading “I had my child aborted” they get to carry on with their lives and their ended pregnancy is something the can either choose to hide or to share. Likewise all the other sexually active teenagers do not have to wear a t-shirt stating their exact number of sexual partners or how old they were when they started having sex. They too get privacy and dignity when it comes to their sexual activities and habits. But pregnant teens, oh no, they can’t hide it for very long can they? So what happens is, they get all the judgement. All the dirty looks. All the “you should’ve known better” looks. Not fair is it? Well I don’t think so anyway. So let me rant about how unfair this is for just a bit. And let me point a few things out. 
As a mom now in my thirties,  having had a baby as a teenager, and  having had one as a married twenty something year old, I have had both experiences. Now I want to ask a favour from all the other moms. You already know how challenging motherhood can be. You know what it’s like to multitask getting dressed and packing a diaper bag and feeding a little human his breakfast while you go hungry and have your coffee cold an hour later. You know going to the bathroom can be a rare luxury and even a shower is somehow something you ask permission for as your husband has to watch the baby while you do it. You know what it’s like to be so tired you cannot think straight. You know that serving froot loops for dinner is sometimes the best you could do. And let's not forget the M&Ms youbletthem have for breakfast. Now imagine doing all of that (and everything not even mentioned above) as a teenager. Imagine it without the help and support of a husband. Imagine all of it, while constantly being judged. Imagine your opinion and instinct over your child constantly being undermined by everyone simply because you’re young. Imagine people taking pity on your baby as if you were a meth-addict living on the streets simply because you’re a teenager. Not a fun thought huh? So my request to all the non teen moms reading this is simple : Don’t be that mom. Dont judge these girls. These girls are also just moms. Moms who have it so much harder than you do.
They may be young, but age has never been a measure of how good of a mom you can be. They are in the same boat of minority as the forty something year old moms who, for whatever reason, only had kids many years after all their peers. Let’s have compassion for these ladies, whatever their ages. Motherhood is so difficult, and one of the best feelings is having a friend who understands what you are dealing with. Having a baby in my twenties made me realize this, because this time I’m not alone. I was also very fortunate to have a amazing support system behind me. My family stepped in and the saying "It takes a village" is so true. And still true to this day. Some days, even as a 33 year old mom, I don't know how I would survive without the help of my parents and in laws. 
I guess all I’m saying is that it’s not fair to judge a teen mom unless you are going to judge premarital sex altogether. And it is not fair to judge a young mom, if you are not going to judge older moms as well, for both have their fair share of pros and cons for the child. Unless you are willing to take on a huge debate on all the sides to this very complicated topic, just let everyone be and try not to be "that" mom. 
Perhaps we feel there should be some sort of winning recipe to raise a good child, and it’s frightening to consider that maybe our kids will be whatever they’ll be regardless of us and how old or rich or whatever we were when we had them. Maybe thats why we judge so easily. Maybe not. But let us just try and support one another. Parenthood is not easy and everyone brave enough to face it head on everyday deserves whatever support they can get. Aaaaaand that is all. End rant.

Life is hard,  y'all. Let's be a shining light to someone today. 


"Tell your story....."

 Tuesday, October 4, 2016

 Have you ever read a book to a small child as you are getting ready to put him or her into the bed for the night?
It’s a basic story with a beginning, a middle and an end. You’ve read it a thousand times and, at this point, you don’t even need to read the words.  You know those words by heart.  And, honestly, so does the child.
Yet, that’s the story the child picked.  It’s the same story that you’ve read for two weeks straight.
Nothing in the story changes.  The outcome is always the same.  The characters are still the same characters.
And when you get to the end of reading it, you hear something along these lines:  “One more time!” or “Do it again!”
Even from a young age, we love stories.  We love to hear stories.  We love to watch people read them or tell them.
We still love them when we grow up.  Sometimes, we even love to change the story over time.  The fish always gets bigger.  The win becomes even more improbable.  The surroundings become even more scary.
We love stories because they entertain us and connect us.  We love stories because our story is our way of sharing who we are with others.  Those stories connect us and bring us together.
Every story, yours included, is a story worth telling.
In various stages I n my life,  I’ve had the chance to listen to a lot of people talk about the story of their lives.  Many of those stories I encountered began with a statement along these lines (and admittedly, I’ve said this about my own): My story isn’t very interesting.  Why would anyone care to hear it?
But the truth is that you and I have stories.  In fact our stories are filled with the elements that make up an exceptional story.  I came across this list of seven elements of good storytelling and I thought I’d share these with you so that you and I can understand that we do, indeed, have a life story.
  • Every story has a central premise:  There is a theme to your life story.  Maybe it’s that “good overcomes evil” or that “family matters.”  But the individual pieces of the puzzle of your life story will point to a theme if you are willing to find it. If you could describe your life story in a single statement, what would it be?  If you can answer that question, you are well on your way to knowing your central premise.
  • Every story has characters who change over time.  In your life story, you have changed.  That goes without saying, right?  Your beliefs have changed, your assumptions have changed. You’ve learned to adapt and to grow over time.  In your story, the changes that have occurred in you have also brought changes to others around you.  When you compare your life to 10 years ago, 5 years ago, a year ago, etc., what has changed?
  • Every story has a crucible.  A crucible is a place in your story where the heat turns up and where it brings a change in you or a chance in the way you see the world. Life stories can be defined by many crucibles over time.  It’s what happened to you in the early years, the school years, the college years, the work years, the family years, the challenges you faced in the short term and long term.  Where has life turned up the heat on you and how has it changed you?  Those are your crucible moments.
  • Every story has a protagonist who is on some sort of quest. The protagonist is the character that carries the story — the central character.  You are the protagonist of your own story and the quest for you is the life that you live.  Some might say that the protagonist is the “hero” of the story, but in the future, we’ll look at how there is a bigger hero in our stories.
  • Every story has an antagonist of some sort bent on stopping the central character.  Along the way, you encounter something that or someone who stands in the way of you completing your life mission.  Maybe it was someone who said, “You’ll never make it,” and you decided to prove them wrong.  Maybe it was the medical diagnosis, the family challenge, the work challenge.  Maybe your story has a nemesis. Somewhere in your story, you’ve had to overcome the odds.
  • Every story includes conflict.  Maybe, at the heart of it, we’d like to avoid conflict and drama in our life story, but it is there.  It is the conflict and our ultimate response to it that lead us to the changes in our stories.  The conflict in our life story gives us an opportunity to say or do something important.  When we share that story with others, they can hear our life lessons in response to the conflict that we endured and overcame.
This isn’t a new concept.  Life stories show up in so many ways in Scripture. They are a huge part of what Jesus shares in the Gospel and those stories show up in interesting ways.
Take for instance, this encounter from Matthew 
27 And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” 28 When he entered the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them,“See that no one knows about it.” 31 But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.
Do you see those elements there?
It’s two guys who have been blind and they hear about Jesus and start chasing after him.  They see a possible chance to be healed?  The heat is turned up in their life crucible and Jesus becomes an agent of change in their life stories.
On the basis of their belief, they are healed.  And, despite, Jesus’ warning not to tell anyone, these two hit the street and start sharing their story of what has happened.  And, in the end, more people learn about Jesus and who he is.
Two men.  A lifetime of living without the ability to see.  Two men who had told the same story over and over again.  Then, everything changes in an encounter with Jesus.  A new life story begins and it is one they can’t keep to themselves.  They see their stories as ones that are worth sharing.
Do you see your story that way?  Have you had your eyes opened to something in you?  Have you experienced change, love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, etc.?
Yes, you have a life story. We all do.
And, yes, your life story is one that is worth sharing with others.  Your life story is unique in many ways and, yet, when you tell that story, you will find that it connects with the stories of others.
How could you share your story today?  How could your story make a difference in the life of someone else?
Who might hear your story and ask you to simply, “Tell it one more time!”


"Prideful vs. Being Proud"

 Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Is there any difference between being prideful and being proud? or dare I say ...."Boastful"?

As a coach in a gym, I regularly have conversations with women (and men) about becoming the best version of themselves; often talking about advancing in their gifts and talents. For many women there is a  huge discomfort surrounding success and advancement. The idea that they would feel proud enough of themselves to share their wins...their successes.... hinges on the fear that they may appear too prideful. For many, having a humble posture often feels much more comfortable.  But does that quest to appear humble stand in the way of being successful?  Does quality success always lead to a prideful attitude?

I have a few thoughts.Actually, I have a of thoughts but will simplify them to just a few. Humility doesn’t mean downplaying your talents, accomplishments, or gifts. The challenge comes when we feel our talents, accomplishments, or gifts far out way those of our peers or the ones surrounding us. A healthy humbleness is evident when we are able to celebrate the good talents, accomplishments and gifts of those around us as well.  It’s important to find satisfaction in who we are, in who God made us to be and in the things we do well.

Be proud of who you are! Perhaps you’ve started a business, written a book, started a charity,  earned a degree, mentored others, raised an amazing family, have learned a new skill, lost 5 lbs, having a great hair day, woke up feeling great.....whatever it may proud of it.

C.S.Lewis has a great quote, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”

So, what does a prideful person look like?

As a general overview:                                            
    1.  They feel entitled and show a lack of gratitude.
2. They tout their title and interject their accomplishments whenever they can giving little or no credit to those who have helped along the way.
3.  They feel they have arrived and are no longer teachable.  They tend to feel they have all the answers no longer needing input.
4.  They crave the spotlight, the accolades.  What may have started out with sincere motives has now become hollow; has now become a source of identity.

Celebrate who you are and what you have to offer to this world.  Allow yourself to grow in influence and reach by utilizing all the talent and resources you have.  If you have a skill that can be life-giving for others, let them know! Whether in business or personal issues; let people know what you have to offer.
And then, remain grateful and honored for your gifts and talents, appreciate the many people who have come alongside you to help you become the person you are today, and be a cheerleader of others who are excelling in their gifts and talents. Never be ashamed to state your accomplishments. Never.

You will never know if you are being an inpiration to the people you are around, the people you work with....or people you don't even know.

One of the best feelings as a coach is seeing that joy on a person's face when they do what they once thought was impossible. Share it with the world. Shout it from the rooftops. If you can't revel in your accomplishments...then who will?

Be proud of who you are.


"America Divided...."

 Monday, July 18, 2016

 “The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.” 

This weekend I viewed a video clip of an intense moment between police officers and a young man they viewed as a suspect. There was a lot that disturbed me as I watched. There was one thing that stood out above the rest. It was the fear. The officers seemed to be acting fearfully and that is understandable when they face such danger on a regular basis. The young man reacted fearfully and that is understandable when he was approached in what appeared to be an aggressive manner. Fear ruled. It called the shots. It escalated the moment. It made matters worse.

Fear, in my opinion, has become our common enemy no matter where we stand politically, racially, nationally or religiously. Fear is, I am sorry to say, also our common denominator. It is what we have in common and it is also the division disturbance.

There seems to be more to divide us than ever in this time of social media and information overload. I was thinking just the other day how very few people I agree with across the board. What I mean is if I have a friend that I agree with when it comes to child rearing we may be divided when it comes to politics. If I have a family member that I agree with politically we may differ when it comes to matters of faith. If I agree with a fellow church member concerning matters of faith we may differ when it comes to racism. I could go on for pages and pages. You get the idea.

It bothers me when I don’t agree with people I care about. I waver between feeling that if I explained my position carefully enough they would surely agree with me and resisting feeling offended and condescended by those who seem determined to convince me of why my position is obviously wrong.
For a long time there have been some major divisions in this country (and many others) that most are fully aware of. One is racism, another is gender, the other is poverty. We have come a long way in addressing these divisions. I’m not saying we have arrived, but we have made progress.

Now, it seems every day there are new ways to divide us, to sort us, to categorize us, to put each other in a box and label each other accordingly. See her, she believes differently than me so she must go in that box over there. Mark it ignorant. No, that’s too harsh, let’s mark it under-educated. That way we can feel pity for them as we disagree with them and we will not only know better, we will be above such things as labeling others.

There is likely no greater division among the American people right now than that of politics. It’s a whopper. Families, friends, churches are seeing things vastly differently and everyone has an opinion. Thanks to social media, everyone has a megaphone handy to voice that opinion. Whether done in a gentile manner with fancy words that really only emphasize how stupid you believe the people who disagree with you are, or blurted out in crash and rude words that really only emphasize how much you disdain anyone with an opinion different than your own, everyone can speak their mind.

This morning I was reading in the Bible and came across the verse below. Jesus was teaching, preaching and yes, dividing. We don’t like to think about that aspect of His teaching. The fact is, He spoke truth and people did not want to hear it.

“So the crowd was divided about him.”‭‭John‬ ‭7:43‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Thus the people were divided because of Jesus.” John‬ ‭7:43‬ ‭NIV‬‬

So, here is what I want to say to you and to myself today. If you are struggling with division disturbance, don’t be discouraged, you are not alone. Resist the urge to label other people. Avoid the temptation to convince everyone to agree with you. Refuse to be labeled or label others. Admit that we are never going to all ‘just get along’ and try hard to respect other people’s opinions and their right to have them.

Above all, abandon the fear that would have the hearts of us all. Uproot the fear of those who are different. Believe what you believe and stay true to your convictions, but don’t allow fear to rule your life. Fear, when it is planted in soil that is ripe for growth, springs up eagerly to bloom division and result in hate.

That, my friend is a division disturbance.


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