Open scars


Photo Credit: Death to Stock Photos

I burned myself recently on the heating element of my oven…. yes, cooking accidents are my forte.  And that burn was a doozy.  And as I’ve watched it heal recently, I began to think about it.  I thought about how I hadn’t covered it with a bandaid, and I hadn’t even really doctored it.  I just kept it clean and watched the skin began to re-construct the layers that had been melted.

And then I thought about what a perfect metaphor and reminder it was of scars in general and the struggles we endure in this life.  And I thought…. What if we didn’t hide our scars?  So what if I wasn’t able to keep my left index finger from scarring.  A blemish- the horror of horrors! What if each time I saw it, I was reminded of that painful memory?  And what if I didn’t try to cover it up, make it heal prettier or sugar coat what really happened to that piece of skin? Why not leave the scars and the stories on myself of all the things I’ve experienced or lived through in this short life on earth.

And just like letting my skin scar, I thought a little more.  What if we were more open about our blemishes, struggles, failures and imperfections.  I know we claim pretty openly to be imperfect, but do we really believe that and own it?  Or do we still feel we are trying to reach some unattainable goal the world or culture has set for us? In a world fixated on perfections, fancy creams, liposuction, tanning beds, hair dyes and spanks, it’s rather hard to want to accept and be ok with the shortcomings, blemishes and limitations we all deep down realize we have.  And to that I say- stop it right now, self and world.  I’m human, and I struggle.  I know others have had their share of struggles too.  But what if it was ok.  Ok to not uphold some image of feminine fabulousness. Ok to be not ok at times.  Ok to not always know what the future holds.  Ok to show your imperfections to others.  Ok to not try to cover up every little so-called flaw on your face.  God loves this mess.  He blessed me and many others with creativity, time, talent and heart that wants to find joy in the world around me.  So it’s time I, and you, stopped listening to the voices of negativity that try to tell us to cover up things that aren’t perfectly perfect.  Accept the imperfections, work on the things you can and be really thankful for God’s grace as he fills in the broken pieces of your vessel 🙂




10 things my parents instilled in me for which I am forever grateful

  1. A faith in God- it’s not their faith now, but I’m thankful for a foundation to know the Maker of the universe who holds my life and happenings in His power.  They taught me where to go for wisdom.
  2. The concept that church is not about a building- it’s about all followers of Christ worshipping all across the world.  It expanded my worldview that there are others like me loving and serving the world around.  No matter where I go, I will have family.  I have blessings I haven’t even ever met yet.
  3. The sense that I’m not entitled- I drove a Buick Park avenue I bought from my aunt for 20 bucks just to say we purchased it.  My brother and sister both had to drive it.  It was not flashy or cool, but it was a first car.  We had to learn the value of driving something to humble us while others got new mustangs and jeeps.  You have to start low on the rungs of the ladder or you’ll fall fast from the top
  4. A love and interest in people- my parents welcome people into their home.  They want to know about what they do and where they come from.  I feel their interest and enjoyment of people has become an integral part of who I am as a person.
  5. Buying from thrift stores and on sale is wise.  I used to be super embarrassed when my mom made us shop at Goodwill.  Now, it’s what all the cool kids do.  Go figure. We hardly ever bought anything new unless it was a solid pair of shoes.  Now I know how to live simply and how to find deals without being in massive credit card debt.
  6. An attitude of gratitude- My mom made us write thank you cards for gifts and thank the host and hostess for having us.  I know now about common courtesy and how that can lead you to have a lasting attitude of gratitude for all you have been given. 
  7. Walking a mile in someone else’s shoes- I despise when my mom tries to get me to see the other person’s point of view when I’m angered.  Ultimately, though, this is helpful in not being a me-centric person.  She tries to remind me that my perspective is not the only perspective.
  8. A healthy work ethic- Because of them, I learned that nothing will be gained without some valiant effort.  If
  9. It’s all a fly speck in the scope of eternity- my parents taught me to focus on the bigger picture which will ultimately minimize my persisting cares and pains at heart in the present moment.  I’m grateful that I am not only living for the here and now.
  10. Less of a focus on technology at home and more on music, laughter and spending time together- I did not grow up with the internet in my childhood home.  I’m not saying the internet is bad.  I used it every single day.  But I’m also saying that we need to consider the time we spend with technology and whether it’s productive or wasteful.  As a family, we enjoy laughing together and swapping stories about our lives.  We find people and circumstances hilarious and love sharing our views of the world around us.  We always shared evening meals together at home and built community in a relaxed setting.  I hope to do the same thing should I have a family of my own someday.

So for all of these and more, I know I’m blessed.



How to steal power from the so-called cool kids


Photo Courtesy:  Library of Congress photostream

Reading in Galatians, I happened upon the verse in chapter 4, verse 17

“They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them.”  Paul talks about how the people who had something over the others in the churches of Galatia would use their selectivity as a cause to gain more prominence.

Isn’t that so true?  The people who think they are supposedly cool only have power because they are in some form of elitist club?  Why on earth would we sell high dollar VIP passes to events or membership into selective golf clubs around the world?  We all want to belong to a group and we want to be super special.  More special than the next guy right?  So how can you steal power from the cool kids, self-deemed?

  1. Take a long hard look at them and know the only reason they have power is because we give it to them.  Power must be given.  And if you unravel them in your mind by affirming that you belong here just as much as they do, you will begin to realize the strength in what you have.
  2. Don’t make it your goal to be in their club.  Instead, strive to be the most true to yourself and who you are, fostering your talents and giving back to the Maker who gave to you.  Why try to grab a bar that you didn’t set for yourself?
  3. Cool is only a word made up by someone to make us think people have it all together.  They don’t.  In fact, the people that seem to be so put together perhaps have more to hide.  And cool and weird and odd all designate a sense of other when really we are so very similar.  If only we looked at our similarities we might begin to see the unity that could be.
  4. If you should get welcomed into a group of these so- called popular kids, remember to continually take stock of who you are and examine whether you are doing things because you want to do them or because the mob mentality deems it so.  And don’t be afraid to stand for what is right even if everyone ridicules you for it or calls you weird.  You aren’t alone. Ever.

Take that cool kids.


And a song that goes along with this from Echo Smith can be heard here…. Click on music and Cool Kids is the song 🙂

Ease from the hurt


Photo Courtesy:  National Archives flickr photostream

There has been much overwhelming sadness in the world lately.  People are hurting in the Philippines, a tornado ripped through the Midwest, a wonderful soul has been missing for over a day now and people are struggling and hurting the world round.  Amidst a world of pain that weighs on us every single day, I somehow still momentarily can feel the warmth of shreds of light and goodness.  I see people stretching out their hands to help those in need.  I see people who are willing to sacrifice themselves.  I also see smiles and the warmth of people’s souls shine forth in their actions.  The way that spiritual beings unite in a crisis points to a something greater and a hope that cannot be destroyed.  Knowing that we are not alone and that someday we will be together again is something that helps us to push through the dark and dismal world full of failure and imperfection, sadness and tragedy.

Praying for all those hurting right now.  It makes me think about how really our purpose for being here is to point people to our Great Maker and to ease the hurt of those around us.  Really, what else is there?  All else is vanity.  And that’s the strange thing about sudden change and death and pain.  It draws us all closer together and makes us realize the beautiful and important facets of this life.  It isn’t the things or the fame or the money or the success but the real Truth shining in His Word and the hope of our home in another place.

To Adam who I never knew really well, you seem to be so loved by so many.  Your short life is a testament to goodness and God and may I have the opportunity to meet you on the other side someday.  I respect your individuality and the way you were known to make people laugh.  Perhaps you’re making the Lord smile as we go about our business down here. 

May God be taking care of you Adam 🙂

Love, leah