BLACK FRIDAY PEACE

How do you even “blog”? No clue. Do you tell your life story in 500 words or less? It can’t be done. WHY am I even blogging? I don’t know that either. I’m certainly no expert on anything except needing Jesus and of late, making messes. But I’ve got some life experience and I guess I just need to chat it out. I can fill you in on the backstory later. I’ll just preface by saying that I have lived a wonderful life and as of right this minute, it ain’t over yet. As long as there’s a new season of Fixer Upper on the horizon, I still have a purpose in life.

At 41 years old, I already feel totally fulfilled. I’ve done almost everything I ever wanted to do in life with the exception of a few things on my short list (meet Chip and JoJo).
From having my dream job, making music and sipping tea in London, to building my own home and being a mommy. If I die today don’t be sad. Just tell beautiful stories about how much I loved Jesus, my kids and a closet full of boho dresses and headbands.

Having said that, life has not been without its challenges. I’ve got stories involving hurt and loss and more recent bad choices than I care to mention. I’ve had a few doozies here lately that I wish I could take back. I’m working extra hard to forget about those and to forgive myself. And then there’s that one thing that people hate to talk about. Ugh…it’s so taboo. Should I say it?
DIVORCE. 
That’s one I never set out to experience, especially being a worship leader my whole life. You just don’t do that in my circle. It was a hard pill to swallow. Almost 15 years of working that marriage muscle, to finally relent and give up the ghost.

My children were 10 and 6. I remember getting in the shower, turning on the water and holding a towel over my face so they wouldn’t hear me scream. So many tears shed… I knew the road ahead was gonna be a long one. At least my Free People shoe game was on-point. Those things and Jesus could walk me through the toughest of storms.

I knew that divorce was never God’s design and it certainly was not taken lightly. I won’t get into all the details. Just know that I had spent countless hours with the Lord crying and talking about this subject and I knew He was there with me. And I needed Him to be because I had nothing – no steady job, no money and nowhere to go. If I told you every little provision the Lord made for me along the way, we would be here all day. Trust me when I say, He provided.

And best of all He showed me His great love by sending me the most amazing, life-giving people to walk with me during this uphill climb. They put on their hiking boots and were always behind me, beside me, and two steps ahead of me on Divorce Mountain, grabbing my hand and keeping me moving the whole way up.

In case you didn’t know, that particular spot on my life’s map is located in the heart of Colorado Springs, CO, where I began that journey almost four years ago. I believe, without a doubt, that the Lord orders our steps and strategically places us in certain places at certain times with just the right people. And somehow, in His great mercy, He saw fit to plant us in Colorado for that awkward leg of life’s trip. I wrote music and made an album there and developed sweet relationships that landed us in that great state. I will always love that place and the people who keep it alive. (No, I did not smoke weed while I was there. I know you’re wondering.) I miss that place dearly. I was able to fulfil one my deepest heart’s desires while in Colorado – to wear boots and layer my clothing nine months out of the year. It was tough to leave. Don’t get me started. I could cry a river…

It was a hard, sad season, but I had an immeasurable amount of peace during that time. Philippians 4:7 was alive and in action – “And the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” It just cannot be summed up with words – except to say, you know that feeling you get when you’ve been eating clean for like, 60 days (two weeks) and you finally give yourself permission to order that Pumpkin Spice Latte (in a red cup because it’s fall) and a giant chocolate chip muffin? You know that feeling you have during the consumption of those one million glorious calories? How all those flavors and smells just wrap you up in a warm (plaid Burberry) blanket?  Well that’s sort of what Jesus did for me – wrapped me up and held onto me through that cold walk.

Its been quite the trek. Have you read Pilgrim’s Progress? Read it. If you’ve lived one minute of life, you’ll get it. It’s all about the journey. Sometimes we have unexpected detours and bumps in the road. I’ve hit new ones since divorce and have recently gone through a different kind of uphill climb. I’ll tell you about that later.

Today I’m writing to say this.
Life is hard, but Jesus never leaves.
We can walk through hard seasons and still have peace.
And if you don’t currently have any, you can still get it – peace. The sale isn’t over. Just like on Black Friday.  (Only 27 Fridays left till Christmas, FYI). You will RACE into your favorite store and dig through continual racks and stacks of clothes like a rabid dog to find that one pair of yoga pants that you just couldn’t live without. You and your sleep-deprived-self will risk life and limb to get through those doors, and then you get in there and you take it- whatever it is!!  You’ve got your eye on that set of wooden spoons and that flatscreen, and dadgummit, you’re gonna get ’em if you have to lose a finger and your dignity in the process.

Well, thankfully, when we are in the market for peace, Jesus isn’t hiding at the bottom of the stack.  And there’s plenty to go around. All we have to do is walk in, ask, and receive. We repent and draw near. That is key. Sometimes it’s so hard to relinquish our own way in order to get it. So hard…

Lately, I’m a pro at not wanting to hand it over. Trust me when I say, it’s a much bumpier road. The world doesn’t offer peace-only Jesus does. My experience tells me that, excuse the lame cliche’, “letting go and letting God” really is the only way to live.  Going in and just accepting Jesus and his peace – it’s the only way to have true joy. We don’t even have to pay for it! I’m not really up for Black Friday peace shopping anyway, are you?
Let’s just go in and take it right off the shelf.
Here, I’ll hold the door for you…

I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING

I usually write songs…or grocery lists or checks for school field trips. But lately, I don’t know…it’s just time to start blogging. I feel it.  I love encouraging people, I love writing and I love (hate) being 81% melancholy.  I love crying when I listen to music and getting in touch with all those feels that people are always telling you to get out of. I crave authenticity, real relationships, truth, justice, chocolate and donuts. I love my children, my “people”, coffee, a stylish wardrobe, good music, Joanna Gaines and Jesus. I hope when you visit here you can laugh and cry and relate and feel a safe sense of belonging.  I hope you enjoy real-life stories and deep conversations with a little bit of lame and ridiculous mixed in. If you do, you’re in the right place.  I have no idea what I’m doing, but come on in and grab a seat.  Epic story coming soon…

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