O Taste and See that the Lord is good {dispelling depression during the holidays}

Those moments come… and you hope they go. You hope they flee more quickly than they settled over your head, your heart, your soul. The darkness creeps in again and you find yourself lost inside your own thoughts… and numb. When in a season, meant to be \\Full\\ of \\Thanks\\ you find yourself struggling to be Thankful… You know it is not the TRUTH. You know the TRUTH will set you FREE but the lies have a hold and the desire to BE set FREE seems too far out of reach so you turn numb.

When His whisper sweeps over you softly and says ~ Speak up. Speak out. Speak Truth. Speak MY Name. The darkness will flee. MY light will overcome it.

Freedom comes, but with a price. What were meant to be Joy-Filled Memories are overshadowed by the lies that settled in. Regret becomes your default reaction. The JOY you have is being assaulted by a familiar enemy. Feelings of frustration, anger, disappointment and sorrow swell until your Truth is distorted, and the pattern repeats.

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This sounds depressing and it is. I have been here before. Depression had come to my door, let itself in, and settled down for a visit. At my table. In my heart. More times than I would like to admit. No one wants to be depressed during the season of Thanks, but there are some who are. There are some, like me. We know Truth. We know who He is. We know what we carry, and we fight. We fight for freedom. And we win, but not without a battle. Not without a cry. Not without a cost. Not without a sacrifice.

The way I see it the lies we believe are tailored to who (we know) we are. They are fiery darts, custom made to attack our very core and distort the Truth of our identity… You’re not good enough… You’ll never have enough time… You’ll never feel healthy again… Here you go again – feeling down for no real reason… What do you have to be depressed about anyway?

I see the faces set before me, the JOY set before me. My family, my friends, my Savior. Countless reasons to GIVE THANKS, Yet for a time it will not shake. But I will not be silent. When I speak HIS name, darkness flees. Freedom Comes. Truth remains. Forgiveness settles in.

The greatest threat to depression is a VOICE. When you speak out, it is no longer hidden. The light overwhelms the darkness. Peace overwhelms my soul. Our greatest weapon (to protect our souls) is our WORSHIP.  When I worship. When I sing. Psalm 30:11-12 “…You have turned my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, to the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”

Joy has come and dispelled the depression once again. I have tasted and seen the Lords goodness. I have tasted and seen His love, His freedom, His peace, His forgiveness. I am grateful I can indulge in who He is this season. His love is better than any Thanksgiving Feast. Even better than the green bean casserole and apple crisp 🙂

Have you struggled with depression? Does it seem to settle in at your table during the Holidays? You are not alone and I would love to hear from you! Please share and know YOU ARE LOVED! In Him, Leslie

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I See You

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The world around me swirls and I am caught up in the motion. So many people in need. Abandoned. Alone. At risk. So many people enslaved. They need help. They need rescue. They need freedom. They need me. What can I do but pray? I can pray.

But what else? There must be more. There is more.

I am available. USE ME. I want to break down walls. But now I only see the walls. I see too much. It becomes too much. I can not see it all. It becomes a blur. I am burdened. I am sad. In the recesses of my heart are cries too deep for words.

I am still.

He speaks.

I listen.

I ask.

Do you see them, God? DO YOU? Why not rescue? Why not freedom? Why not deliverance?

In a moment, in worship… He whispers… I SEE YOU. I SEE THEM.

This same evening, I read with my daughter Exodus 3. Moses is drawn to the bush.  Believing he was unseen. NO. He was not unseen. I SEE YOU. I SEE THEM.

I feel like Moses. I can not compare to Moses. But I feel what he might have felt. He saw his people enslaved. He wanted to see justice. He wanted to break down walls. He took the judgement into his own hands. He killed. Afraid, he ran. To a desert hiding place. Yet found again, embraced by a father. He tends his father in laws flock. I SEE YOU. I SEE THEM. He is found again. He can not hide.

I have heard the cries of the people. My brothers and sisters across the earth in need of deliverance. I want to scream at every injustice. I want to obliterate the evil in this world. Yet He calls me to SEE as HE SEES. He calls me to see the wounded and the one who wounds. He calls me to see the abused and the abuser. He calls me to see the broken and the one who breaks. He calls me to see the prisoner and the guard. When the walls come down, they are ALL in need of freedom and deliverance.

He beckons me to know His voice and TRUST. 

I am doing what I see my Father doing. I am shepherding. I am caring for a flock. Yet I am drawn to the bush. The bush which never ceases to burn. My heart groans as the bush burns. The Spirit intercedes. He gently shows me…

I need to TRUST.

I heard the Lord speak in the whisper, in the moment of worship – I SEE YOU. I SEE THEM. My heart responds – I KNOW. I WILL TRUST.

God speaks. I see the affliction of My people… I have heard their cry… I know their sufferings… I have come to deliver them.

Sin abounds. All hell has broken loose on the earth. Hopelessness is center stage. Are we forgotten? Maybe you have felt? Maybe you have asked? But NO. We are not forgotten. HE SEES US. HE SEES THEM.

Rescue is coming for ALL. I know it. I will tend my flock as Moses did. Until the time comes when God says GO.

What is your spirit groaning for? Share and let me know ~ In Him, Leslie

the year (or more) I didn’t mop . . .

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So here’s a little confession: I didn’t mop for over a year. It might actually *ahem* have been closer to a year and a half… maybe… But who’s counting when it’s been at least 365 days [or 52 weeks, if you prefer that calculation] since I last mopped my kitchen and dining room floors? We laid down a new floor in October of 2012. We might have mopped it once. If we did mop [and by we, I mean HE – my husband – because I seriously do not remember ever mopping our ‘new floor’] it was only the one time, which by using my impeccable math skills, would mean it’s actually been well over a year and a half of not mopping said floor.  Whew.

…Why am I telling you this? …Why am I sharing this (literal) dirty little secret? …Why did I post it on Facebook? …Am I strange? …Did the lack of mopping happening in my home drive me crazy for at least 52 weeks? …Am I proud of this confession? Yes.

Why + Why + Why + Because = F R E E D O M ! ! !

There is freedom in publicly announcing your flaws. There is freedom in full disclosure. There is freedom in not allowing fear to hold you back from your non-mopping hopes / dreams / desires. You know – I know – there are many of you *wishing* you had the guts to stand up to your mop and say NO. I will.not.mop. One>More>Day>>>. I will skip it. I will procrastinate. And I am OKAY with this!

There is F R E E D O M in declaring — I have more important things to do — like playing Legos, Barbies and watching FROZEN with my children. Mopping can wait until tomorrow — or a year from now.

So, a few days after I publicly humiliated myself and perhaps a few others who hung their heads in shame on my behalf, I chatted with my brother who lives in Oklahoma. The chat was not about my not-mopping skills, but alas he brought up the proverbial ‘elephant on the phone’ and asked me – Do you even own a mop? I had to stop and think of the answer. I was not 100% sure we owned a mop.

Fast forward our lives >>> One. Week. Later. I still have not mopped, AND we are now selling our home to move our family across the country. Fortunately, as our first house showing came upon us, it was a wonderful time to check and see if we did still own a mop. Adam searched, found and dug out the mop from behind all the important crap we keep in our garage. Like our old non-working refrigerator. Because… that’s surely one. more. thing. we need lying around our house right now. Right before a showing. Right before we are trying to move across the country. But ah-ha… He found the mop! Let the mopping commence!

And the last confession is this: I still didn’t mop for our showing. My amazing husband did.

So. The moral of this ridiculous story is: There is freedom in failure. There is freedom in declaring “I’m not perfect!” There is freedom in letting things go. As we are preparing to move our family across the country, we are fully aware of our failures. We are prepping our house to sell it and we are fully aware there is no way it will be perfect. There is no way we can keep a ‘model home’ with 3 small children and all their crap. Plus all our crap. We have lived in the comfort and shelter of an amazing home for 8.5 years. We are grateful for the provision we’ve had. We can not hold on to this place, but we will carry in our hearts always the memories, the mistakes, and moments made in our home. Our kids have grown in this home – We have grown in this home – not just in years, but in heart. But there is freedom in letting go. There is freedom in knowing what we don’t know. Once we sell our house, we don’t yet know where we will be living… There is freedom in knowing we are in good company with the unknowns “…The Son of Man has no place to lay His head.”

Sure, Martha was fussy about her housework, but she never mopped her dirt floors. Jesus never mopped. and Mary always chose sitting at His feet. SO, Let us all raise a glass to not over-mopping… Cheers!

And the story rages on… In Him, Leslie 😉

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Have you found freedom in failures? Let us know! We hope you’ll join us on our journey into the great unknown… 

 

sex and money.

 

sex. and money.

i can’t seem to get these two things off my mind.

i’m obsessed with sex and money…

how they are interlocked interconnected intertwined.

their union haunts me. burdens me. motivates me.

distorted destructive detrimental.

sex and money united together destroys lives.

why?
 
money {+} human trafficking. slavery. strip clubs. brothels. sex boxes. prostitution. peep shows. porn. magazines. romance novels. shades of grey… {=} destruction.
 
sex {within these terms} needs money to thrive. 
they keep funding and feeding each other.
it’s a disturbing cycle where one perpetuates the other.
sex and money were never meant to have intercourse with each other.
sex and money were never meant to become ONE.
never never never never…
but sex and money have taken a romp in the sack together and made a bunch of porn babies.

it’s an epidemic. the desire which gives into the money exchanged for the demand of sex.

which came first? 
the chicken or the egg? 
the pole dancer or the person paying for the dance?
the prostitute or the person paying for the sex?
the sex box or the person driving thru?
the magazine, the romance novel, the shades of grey… or the person reading it?
the trafficked person or the people who ‘own them’?

God created sex. Sin entered in. Sex and money were united. An epidemic was born.

sex and money are good separately.
sex within marriage is good.
money within proper boundaries of spending and saving is good.
sex and money together are distorted. they should never. go. together. ever. ever. ever.

seriously.

i pray our eyes will be opened to one of the most damaging unions {sex and money} facing our world today.

this epidemic is not hopeless.

Jesus was born. Jesus rescues. Jesus redeems. Jesus restores. Jesus renews. 

i pray we will do something. change something. say ‘no’. look away. it starts with our choices…

the soft porn also known as magazines… they line every bookstore shelf, welcome you into every grocery store aisle, and cover your door step with every subscription.
the t.v. shows and movies lined with subtle innuendos, coarse words and full on nudity.
the shades of grey in books filling minds with fantasy romance and descriptive sex scenes.
what may seem harmless leads to a disconnection from reality. 
what may seem harmless leads us to lies, believing sex and money can be intertwined.  

what sin has joined together only God can separate. 
no more money in exchange for a magazine.
no more money in exchange for a porn video.
no more money in exchange for a lap dance.
no more money in exchange for a life.

yes. we are suffering from the messy union of sex and money.
what are we going to do about it???
the change needs to happen carefully and with respect. 
what are you doing?
what are you being called to say ‘no’ to?
what are you being led to look away from?
we have a choice to not be controlled by unhealthy sexual desires. 
call out sin for sin. lust for lust. fantasy for fantasy. porn for porn. prostitution for prostitution. 

the union of sex and money is a complicated relationship. the only answer is Jesus redeeming this epidemic. the light will expose the dark.
human trafficking, prostitution, pornography… their deep roots need to be uncovered to be understood.
– we need to start somewhere –
we can all do something to help ourselves and help influence others away from being caught in the intercourse of sex and money.

there is so much more to say on this subject… i’m just getting this conversation started… it is only half written… until then, please share, comment and join this blog community.

In Him, Leslie