The Spiritual Detox

30 Jan



Syllabification: de·tox


Abstain from or rid the body of toxic or unhealthy substances.[i]


I am not one to jump on the fad bandwagon. I was the last girl in my sorority to own a pair of Birkenstocks (and the last to give them up – what happened to birks?). Uggs had been gracing the feet of celebrities and the pages of magazines a full decade before I surrendered (love ‘em).  I still maintain yoga pants are strictly for yoga, and I don’t own a pair of ankle boots.

I am not one to lead the pack when it comes to trendiness.

Except with the detox cleanse.

As soon as my girlfriends started talking about it I was in.

It sounded so good, so simple. Three days of no food, no caffeine, and no soda. Any time you feel hungry or thirsty, you drink a strange concoction of water, lemon, ginger, and something greenish, and when you’re done you have completely rid yourself of impurities and toxins.

They also said it gave you younger looking skin.

Say no more.

I picked up the supplies from the grocery store, staring uncertainly at the small pile of ingredients that was supposed to sustain me for the next three days. A period of time, by the way, that sounded much shorter when my girlfriend was enthusiastically boasting of the detoxification benefits.

So I did it.

Until ten o’clock that morning.

By ten a.m. the hunger pains were nearly as sharp as the withdrawal headache hammering away at my skull as my body angrily protested the caffeine depravation.

Detoxing is for the birds, I thought to myself as I grabbed a cup of coffee and a bagel.

I thought about the detox cleanse one morning as I was journaling.

We can detox our bodies so easily, I scribbled. How do we detox our minds?

The jury is out on how much good a detox does for the body. God created our bodies in such a manner that, when stewarded properly, they are literal detox machines. Our minds are far more complicated.

Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.

—Galatians 5:26 NASB

It started with a Facebook post.

She had a victory; a big, fat, juicy, hard-earned win.

She was a casual acquaintance, and I paused before I posted a congratulatory comment.

I paused because I was ashamed. You see, my first thought – the very first emotion that bubbled up inside of me, was not delight.

It was disappointment. It was of instant comparison, finding myself to be less, and discouragement.

Nearly a lifetime of knowing and loving the Lord, over fifteen years of intense Bible study, and my first thought was one of envy.

I hate that part of me.

I hate telling you about that part of me even more. (more…)

Marching with Broken Legs

17 Jan

DT heal the worldToday I will be speaking to approximately ten-thousand people at the North Texas March for life. Though not the biggest crowd I have ever addressed, there will be plenty of witnesses should I fall on my face, and I won’t lie to you, there are a few butterflies flying around in my stomach.

Strangely, though, the butterflies have nothing to do with the number of people attending. They have everything to do with the subject matter.

Today, January 17, 2015, Dallas marks the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a verdict that legalized abortion and, to date, has allowed doctors to terminate the lives of over 55 million unborn children.

Can I be honest with you?

The people pleaser inside of me, the insecure little girl who wants so desperately for you to like, accept, and agree with me, does not want to address such a politically charged issue.

However, I have been asked to speak, and speak I will.

I have spent all week asking the Lord to guide my words and my tone as I address the crowd. This morning I got up early, lit my candle, opened my journal, and began to pray.

God, please forgive my desire to grandstand and showboat. Please get rid of that thing in me that never stops trying to posture and preen and primp for the imaginary cameras. Humble me, and if You must, crush and humiliate me. Silence the sin-generator inside of me. Give me Your heart. Help me convey Your desires. Take control and speak through my sinful lips.

I thought I would be filled with a righteous anger. I thought He would give me a battle-cry. (more…)

A Bird in the Hand

14 Jan

dove Holy SpiritI know, LORD, that Your judgments are just and that You have afflicted me fairly.

—Psalm 119:75 HCSB

We stood awkwardly on the doorstep; my husband holding the door, the babysitter avoiding our eyes and insisting everything was okay, and me, apologizing for the behavior of one of my children.

Mike and I had enjoyed a rare dinner out with friends and hired Audrey, one of the children’s favorite sitters.

As our evening drew to a close, I realized that I had never glanced at my phone – not even once. Typically I kept it close at hand just in case something went wrong.

In nearly nine years of motherhood, nothing ever had.

Until that night.

“Oh no,” I said, causing everyone to turn.

“Honey, everything okay?” my husband asked.

“Well, it is now,” I said, skimming through several text messages, “but Audrey was having a tough time, and I missed her call.”

We said goodbye to our friends and drove the three blocks to our house.

Audrey filled me in as I walked her out.

Oh mercy, I thought to myself, she’s never going to come back.

And that brings us to the doorstep. (more…)

Shhh…don’t tell my daughter!

16 Dec

I’m going to let you in on a little secret that you can’t tell my kids. Seriously – don’t tell them.

I have started a blog for each of them. My son’s is called, “Dear Nick, this is your life.” My daughter’s is the same, except her name, not Nick’s.

When the kids near the end of their senior year in high school I will send the blog off to a website to be printed in a book. The book will be their life. Over a decade of letters from me to them, in full color, bound and wrapped for a graduation present.

You can steal the idea if you like. In fact, I hope you do.

I wrote this one in the midst of a near mind-numbing clamor of Christmas music, recorder-practice, and howling cat.

I thought I would share it with you.

“Noise, reconsidered.”

Dear Caitlme and C at FUM Argyleyn,

As I type, you are upstairs gleefully and faithfully practicing the recorder you first took home from school two years ago. It’s almost Christmas, so the song they are teaching you is Jingle Bells. The tune you are playing is remarkably close.

As you play, your brother is in Dad’s study, dancing in front of the computer. Do you remember how you two used to dance? The song he is jamming to – wouldn’t you know it – is Jingle Bells, and now I can hear you thundering down the stairs to play along with the video.

I love this age. You, eight, Nick, seven – full of fire and curiosity, and starting to find your voice.

As I write, I wonder how many other houses have this joyful cacophony playing. I wonder how many other moms might describe it as joyful. Someday you’ll have kids who have recorders and you’ll know just what I mean.

However, it’s a joyful noise to me, because you’re the one making it. Honey, I want you to make noise. Find your cause. Find your passion. Use your voice.

You have one life – just one – and God has equipped you to be a difference maker. I can see it now, even at the tender age of eight.

Have I already written about the time we went to Port Aransas and you had all the kids following you? I suppose I should read earlier entries before I write new ones, but entertain the story one more time.

We walked out to the pool and surveyed the deck. We found a table and staked our claim. You took a good, long look around, then slowly lowered yourself into the water. There were kids playing ball on one side; a girl with a huge floating seahorse on the other. Your Dad got comfy with a book and I turned around to see what Nick was doing.

Five minutes later, there you were riding the seahorse and directing the kids on the game of your choosing.

You found your cause and your voice and you wouldn’t be silenced.

As I sit here typing to future eighteen-year-old you, I wonder what your message will be.

I believe God will give you a message and a means to say it, and I look forward to leaning in.

I love you, sweetheart. Stay true to God’s Word. It is the truth, and when you go off to college, if that is your plan, the truth will be assaulted on every side. Be strong and firm – God’s Word stands, and your mother not only stands by it, she has built her life and her ministry on it.

How I wish I could make you understand the depth of my love for you. When you laugh the world laughs with you. Your eyes sparkle like diamonds when you smile.

Keep smiling, my sweet love. And never, ever, ever, ever stop making noise.

Love, Mommy

Psalm 98:4 – Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

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