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STOLEN: Respect & Boundaries

Pressing Towards Freedom


He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds
-Psalms 147:3

God has the power to heal every place that is hurting and every part of you that is broken. Take a moment to think about how great and amazing our God is and that he would take the time to take care of us all. I know many of you are experiencing hard times, specifically in terms of relationships. I pray that this post can be of assistance to you. In case you weren’t aware the next couple of posts are specifically geared towards women who have been in abusive relationships. However, I do believe that a lot of these tips can be applied even if you have never experienced one.

Before I get into the topic of respect and boundaries, let’s look at a couple definitions of the word abuse.

1.  use (something) to bad effect or…

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Intentionally Brave


“Change is an opportunity to do something amazing.”

I wonder how many of give up amazing for comfortable. I mean, honestly, make a list of things you do in a *normal* day. Why do you do those specific things? Why do you do them the way you do them?

Is it because that’s what and how we always do them? It’s our routine?

Are our routines holding us back from AMAZING?

My word for 2016 was INTENTIONAL. If only I had known what change intentional would bring me.

Intentional made me evaluate some responsibilities I had been living out for several years. I had to honestly reflect on my WHY. It was time to give them up.

Intentional had me applying for admin positions. Intentional made me brave enough to reach outside my inner circle for help. Intentional got me a job in another district.

Intentional had me speak up when I heard of a Career Tech Center job that my husband *might* be qualified for that would solve our residency issue.

I’m a poster child right now for change. Positive change.

In order to embrace change to become innovative, we have to release our hold on fear. We must become intentional is seeking innovative ways to accomplish goals. And most specifically we must push through our intentions especially when we’re afraid.

I’ve heard it said, “We will remain the same until the pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the pain of change.”

Yeah, it took that being true for me to realize I don’t have to get to the point of miserable to live with intention and be innovative.

I just have to be brave.


This post is in response to the Week 1 Prompt for #IMMOOC book study. To join us go to IMMOOC Live.


the semicolon project

This is a truly authentic glimpse of depression. Depression cannot be seen with the naked eye. I can hide my depression well. You work with people fighting depression, and it’s probably NOT the co-worker that popped into your mind first. You go to church with people fighting depression, Christian people, possibly the most spirit-filled person you know.

Depression is not a respecter of persons. It affects every socioeconomic status, every race, religion, gender, culture, age, anyone.



Today I went to a tattoo artist, and for $60 I let a man with a giant Jesus-tattoo on his head ink a semi-colon onto my wrist where it will stay until the day I die. By now, enough people have started asking questions that it made sense for me to start talking, and talking about things that aren’t particularly easy.

We’ll start here: a semi-colon is a place in a sentence where the author has the decision to stop with a period, but chooses not to. A semi-colon is a reminder to pause and then keep going. 

In April I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. By the beginning of May I was popping anti-depressents every morning with a breakfast I could barely stomach. In June, I had to leave a job I’d wanted since I first set foot on this campus as an incoming freshmen because of my mental…

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Compassion Creates Community

Image Credit: Lily’s Creations
The dirty, wild, curses-like-a-sailor-child you look at daily and see only positive qualities in: curiosity, intelligence, energy, desire.

The single mother of three children whom you see as you order breakfast from her at the restaurant in the morning and pay her for your gas at the station on your way home in the evening.

The man you grew up with who won’t even make eye contact with you in the grocery store since he mysteriously stopped coming to church.

The elderly shut-in woman who went out of her way to not only cut you with her words, but spewed her venom loud enough that a crowded room heard it all has recently became a widow.


You see them, too. Don’t you?

Surely I’m not the only one surrounded by people matching not only the above descriptions, but so many more. Hurting people. Broken people. Struggling people. Prideful people. Angry people. Neglected people.

People crying out in the most reclusive or rejective ways for help.


Many people seem to respond to their behavior rather than their pleas for help.

But I look at these people, truly look at them, and try to see the world, myself, as it must appear from their perspective.

And I see a reflection of myself, not in what they see, but in they eye I’m looking out of. I have been each of those individuals in one way or another. I have cried out in all the wrong ways for help.

All I ever wanted was someone to push back against my boundaries and do something to help me. Something. Anything.

And I wonder, when I hear people tell me not to get involved, to mind my own business. What has happened to the our feet of compassion?

Can we really stand by and watch as our fellow brothers and sisters struggle just to make it through another moment, let alone another day?


What if I carry their groceries out? Am I lifting one small burden of their almost broken back?

What if I drop off one of MY bags of groceries on their front porch with a note of encouragement?

What if I simply look him in the eye, stretch out my hand, and honestly tell him how much I’ve missed talking to him?

What if I volunteer to mentor that child? Pick them up once a week or so just to do something they would like to do. Maybe even offer to wash their clothes while we hang out.

What if I give the zoo family pass I have to the waitress? Will a day out with her kids that has no price tag attached help her create memories?

What if I pick up the shut-in widow for church next Sunday? Can I set down my pride to relieve some of her pain?

I can do any one of those things without sacrificing much time or money. Yet the impact of the gesture would echo around my community.

Compassion freely given or stingily withheld creates the community we are leaving for our children and grandchildren.

We can choose not to get involved and mind our business by doing nothing, or we can choose to get involved and mind our own business by showing compassion to those God places in our path.

View the other #1000Speaks posts on compassion HERE.

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Family Tradition

 We aren’t positive how many years it has been,  but we have attended  Monster Jam in St.  Louis  since the kids were in elementary.  Now they’re both in high school. As we walked from TGIFridays  back to the dome,  Chris asked me if we were going to come alone after the kids were gone in a few years.

I  replied that I don’t know what I’m doing tomorrow, let alone three or four years from now.

The truth?

This has become family tradition.

 Shouldn’t my kids be required to come home for it just like holidays?

 I’ll try to post pictures later,  but I wanted to get a post up for February 1.

 What kind of traditions does your family have?

Never Qualified–Called

Have you ever looked at the requirements different denominations put on people they are going to ordain into ministry? Or just requirements they have for any leadership position in the church or association?

I found myself, quite by accident, looking at some requirements for ordaining a pastor the other night and was surprised to find the majority of instructions focused on running a credit report and looking into how the man manages his money. According to the supporting documentation, many a pastor has made the pulpit look bad by not paying his own personal bills.

Don’t ask how I got from looking into some missionary/mission trip information to qualifications of ordaining pastors and deacons, but I did, and I was a little perplexed.

If a man has been called by God to preach, his credit report could keep him from filling a pulpit. 

But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:11 NLT

Moses had killed an Egyptian, hid the body, and ran away to keep from being held responsible for the murder. Now, God was not only calling him to go back to Egypt, but to be the one who would lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

Moses knew he wasn’t good enough to do this job. He knew he had messed up in his past and wasn’t worthy. Who am I? God tells Moses that He will be with him.

God chose a murderer to lead His chosen people out of slavery to the promised land. If we accept the Bible as truth, and as God’s plan, then surely if he intentionally called a murderer he can call someone with a poor credit score.

I have to wonder how many men have been called into the ministry by God, but have quenched the Spirit because they know what they’ve done and they know others know it to.

Then we skip to verse thirteen and Moses protests again and tells God they’re going to ask for the name of his God. God tells him specifically what to tell them and specifically what will happen.

However, Moses protests a third time.

But Moses protested again, “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The Lord never appeared to you’?” Exodus 4:1 NLT

So, the Lord gave him three signs to perform if that happened.

Again, how many men are denying their calling because they know no one is going to listen to them? No one is going to believe them?

I’m a little discouraged when I come across something that puts such specific human restrictions on who God can call into the ministry.

And yet Moses makes another excuse. He tells God that he’s never been a good speaker.

Can you imagine telling God that? While you’re talking directly to Him?

And after God tells Moses yet again to go, Moses finally asks him to please send anyone else. Just don’t send me.

But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.” Then the Lord became angry with Moses…Exodus 4:13-14a NLT

And God gets angry.

God accepted everything Moses had to say, until Moses said no. He accepted his excuses, he accepted his explanations for why no one would do anything he said, but when Moses ran out of excuses and had to tell the truth, God got angry.

How many of us are so focused on man’s rules and requirements that we don’t feel like we can accept the job God is calling us to do?

The truth is Moses was exactly right when he asked, “Who am I?”

Moses was a sinner. Same as I am. Same as any human is. 

But God had a job for Moses to do. 

God wasn’t interested in Moses’ past, but in Moses’ future.

He wasn’t interested in who Moses was, but in who Moses was going to be in Him.

And when Moses couldn’t see past his own past to see a future with God, God got angry.

Have you been called to do something? Is God telling you to go, but you feel like something in your past is holding you back?

Let me encourage you today, to take your eyes off the humans around you and focus them on the Savior.

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. Romans 8:1-2 NLT
photo credit: MTSOfan via photopin cc