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Maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya
And it’s not a cry that you hear at night
It’s not somebody who’s seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah


I believe in God. I wrestle at depths beyond the ocean floor with reconciling what I learned, experienced, and see as it relates to my beliefs. Who He is. Who I am in Him. Who cares anyway. My dreams. Disappointments. My hope.

But this song.

Like the steady beating of my heart it draws me close. I feel the emotions stirring deep in my heart and there are no words. My fingers fumble on the keyboard wanting to find the words. Desperate. There must be words for the humble heart cry of this broken hallelujah.

It’s a cold and its a broken Hallelujah.

It’s a Hallelujah.

*   *   *



Yellow and White Lines

My heart quivered in my chest as I watched her carefully express her heart. Her eyes full of life and hope. Unaware, our chatter continued forward.  We covered life and rules and relationships. Boundaries and cell phones and social media. The value of being who you are all the time, no filter, no screen needed. And vice versa. Be who you are all the time. Authenticity.

“But… people always want to know what I did wrong.”

As soon as the words left her lips, my hurt jumped to my throat. I nearly panicked. That’s what she believes? That all boundaries are bad?

“Not true at all… you did nothing wrong, in fact because you have done so well.”

*   *   *

Boundaries are the yellow and white lines that are on every highway. I can cross a boundary when I need to. To do things like passing or to turn. But if I recklessly cross a boundary I could also end up in the ditch, or wrapped around a telephone pole. Those lines, those boundaries, are there to guide me to my destination. They are there to give me freedom to find my way, take any road I want while they guide me forward.

Boundaries are lines beckoning me to press on, move forward, rise above, arrive at the destination.

*   *   *

I am her biggest champion. I want her to have the confidence it will take to stay on the road when all the elements of peer pressure and breakups fishtail her off course. I want to cheer through all turns, twists, and open road as she runs her race.

I also want her to understand, to know that every relationship has boundaries. Boundaries are at school and work. Friends and family. Boundaries are healthy and good.

*  *  *

What other boundaries do we live with that we rarely give second thought to? Can you think of other examples?




The Broken Straw

The straw.

A slow realization. A peeling away of layers. Slowly and methodically, one at a time.

Amazing how smoothly and efficiently a person can built up walls. Invisible walls, clear brick stacked upon clear brick.

Suddenly the sun shifts and reflection gives way to the rays. The walls become visible.

To break them is to expose yourself, to be open for new hurts, salts in open wounds.

But to not break them, is to keep the light at bay.

Dancing just beyond reach.

*   *   *

A few weeks ago, in a desperate state of frustration I had a moment where everything spilled out. All of feelings came oozing out in one lump of jealous, heaping disappointment. Like the step sisters of Cinderella, I was trying to fit into a glass slipper that was not designed for me. It never fit me and it didn’t need to.

It didn’t need to.

I said those words out loud recently as we traveled to visit with friends. A group who invited us over, when they didn’t need to but they wanted to.

*   *   *

We are designed to want community. Fellowship. To share life with each other, to know each other, and to support each other. Often I make the mistake of setting aside who I am in pursuit of joining a community. In a moment of panic when I feel an unquenchable longing to belong, like junior high student all over again, I set aside who I know I am. It turns me into an overcommitted mom. I see the world though completely unrealistic glasses. I expect a person who is wide, outgoing, and carefree to see my heart. Deep, introverted, careful, awkward, me. I struggle to understand their perspective.

That’s the rub really. Neither one of those personality traits are wrong. They are both beautiful especially when they are woven together in communities that are meant to be together. But when I try to force them to mingle, when I try to force those least like me to see me, it feels like I stepped in front of a freight train fully expecting to be able to stop the train.

Or I retreat. Like a yo-yo swing hard and fast I withdraw.  Cocoon up. I lick my wounds and wonder about my insecurities. But when I do that, something else also happens. I allow time to soften my heart.

And slowly, intentionally, I emerge again. More aware of the choice I want to make.

*   *   *


I choose authenticity.






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