spirituality

Soul Drunk

It’s astounding, once I am sober- minded, to think about the thoughts I had prior that I would use to justify the propitiation of sin.

And by sober-minded, I mean having repented of deep, dark sins, leaving me clear- headed. Like a blindfold taken off of my eyes.

Seriously though, let’s really think about this. When we are completely consumed with the chase of earthly joys, we are drunk in sin, running aimlessly about, never really catching what we want. We stumble around without any clear vision or realization of how much we are hurting ourselves, and it is only until we wake up the next morning, with a massive headache, that we realize the bruises on our arms and the cuts on our feet.

I haven’t been doing very well with the coffee. I wrote a few weeks ago about giving up coffee because it had become an idol, but one does not simply kick over a golden calf, destroying it with one pathetic push (especially if it is not truly repented of). Remember how much work it took to build it?

Same with food.

And with spending money.

And with wanting a fairy-tale marriage.

I’ve been really sick the past few days. I actually cannot think of another time in my life when a sore throat was this painful. My body aches, and my face is draining slowly. All of this led me to sit down with a cup of very hot tea this morning while Abram was taking a nap, and dive into God’s arms. Putting the pain of my flesh aside, it was incredibly restful. I heard deep, deep down within my soul the holy spirit asking me why I keep chasing these things. We simply started conversing. I was reminded of why I permanently had the word “Beloved” tattooed on my wrist, the reason there is a tree with vines on my shoulder, and a sparrow that rests on the skin below my ear.

Oh yea. I forgot about those.

I then felt lead into a much needed time of repentance, where I desperately yet fearlessly let these idols of coffee, food, money and marriage go. With each sin repented of, I followed it with the request that God would break the chains and set me free. Very deep, relieving breaths followed.

I tell ya, there’s nothing different from those moments this morning to the moments I sit in this afternoon. My throat is still in excruciating pain, and my bones still ache. But I feel free-er, stronger. Ready to fill this clean-out body and soul of mine with something better, more joy-everlasting.

I even had a plate of broccoli for lunch…. because I wanted to.

But let me just say this, and please pay attention: We, as humans, are by no means one time fixes. I am repented of and free from those idols and sins in this moment right now, but the second I turn my gaze away from Christ and onto something else, I gladly open my door to sin that does not belong in me. And it is so easy to shift our gaze, when we are not constantly and deliberately seeking after and spending time with Him, asking Him to pursue us even more.

Is this where you find yourself today? Drunk in sin, getting no where and feeling miserable? I don’t care where you are right now or how important your “task” is at the moment. If you are like me today, then stop what you are doing RIGHT NOW and go rest in God. Let him heal and free you.

I confidently say that nothing else could possibly be more important.

My Tattoo Collection

I’ve managed to grit through a small collection of tattoos over the years, and I intend to expand said collection. Currently I have 4 pieces, all in different areas. None of them tie together, although each one has a spiritual reference which allows them all to flow. I’d like my next piece to either cover a calf or perhaps my other free shoulder/arm. I’d really, REALLY love a piece all about Florida and perhaps have it look like an old post card. We’ll see.

Anyways, here’s what I’ve got so far and a snippit of why I got it!

Ahh yes, the first tat. I forget I even have this one sometimes. It’s not the easiest one to see. Between the summer of 06-07, I lived with my three best lady pals. We had a hilarious year, but also one of great lessons. God showed us all in different ways how He provides for us, so we decided that we were all going to get a sparrow tattoo as a reminder of God’s provision. I was the dumb one and got it in a place I couldn’t see, so sometimes I forget about that provision. Nevertheless, God reminds me in other ways.

Sadly, I have no pictures of me getting my ‘beloved’ tattoo, but I did get it with my friend Stookie. We both wanted to get something that represented God’s love for us. She got a ring finger piece, and I got this wrist piece. I had, at the time, discovered that God ACTUALLY loved me (something I had never felt before) and the word ‘beloved’ was popping up everywhere. I felt it best described who I was to God.

I definitely didn’t ease myself into this one. Sometimes you just gotta go for it, ya know? This was a complete original drawing by my favorite tattoo artist, Heather, depicting not only how God feels about me but also how he deals with me. I wanted the lyrics from the John Mark McMillan song, “loves like a hurricane, I am a tree” to be turned into a tattoo. I also wanted to incorporate John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” Genie went with me to get this, as she had a little ink work done as well.

My wedding band is the last tattoo I’ve gotten. Daniel and I are not ring wearers, and so we decided to go with a creative and WAY less expensive route for our wedding bands. We realized before hand that they would probably end up looking like we got them in prison, because ink on the fingy’s is not the best choice as far as healing and aesthetics go. But the tattoos are for us, and no one else. It’s a daily reminder of my union with Daniel, and I can never take it off. So I’m stuck with him! His band says Genesis 2:18, “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’” Mine says Genesis 2:22, “And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.”

So what’s next? Who knows. There are so many ideas I have, it will take a life time to get them all. I’m itching for one, that’s for sure.

What about you? Any tattoos with particularly special meaning? Potential ink that you want to throw out there for some feedback?

The Sh-sh-sh-shakes

Yesterday a terrorist that looked like my child traded lives with him.

Granted, teeth are starting to plow through his gums at full force now. And he did have a rash on his little booty that was something awful. But my gawwwl. His discomfort propelled him into doing everything that he was not supposed to do with an iron will. I lost count of the tantrums by noon.

Several things happen when a day like yesterday sideswipes me with no forewarning from my periph:

1) I want to eat everything that is terrible

2) I want to watch everything that will make me feel like I am escaping

3) I get a jaw-clenching headache

4) The sh-sh-sh-shakes

5) I think of ways to sound extra desperate so that I can convince Daniel to come home

6) The thought of moving, much less working out, makes me hate life

7) I rarely, if ever at all, think to ask God for help

I can just hear the gasps of judgement coming through the computer screen as the perfect moms of America read this in complete shock and bewilderment. Praise God I don’t know too many of those. I’d punch them in their perfectly groomed hair.

Anyways, I feel like numbers 6 and 7 are pretty sucky. But besides being a sad state of affairs, I feel like they may be tied to one another in a way.

My normal inclination would have been to feel all of those things and follow through with them. But yesterday, somewhere in all of the frazzle-ness I mustered up enough life to work out. I ended up vigorously dancing for 25 minutes and burned about 200 calories. I also did 50 crunches, 15 in-and-outs and 10 push-ups. That’s incredible for a day like yesterday.

I also felt more peaceful spiritually. I was able to thank God for the day instead of dismissing Him all together. That’s incredible for a day like yesterday.

The physical and the spiritual seem to ignite each other. Sometimes when I feel like giving up on health, God encourages me through prayer, another person, a picture, something I read, etc. And sometimes when I don’t feel like having a relationship with God, exercise pushes me towards Him.

It’s pretty sweet. I don’t know, I feel like there should be a conclusion or a “moral of the story,” but it just feels really simple this time.

What kind of stuff defines days like this for you? What are you defaults when these days occur?

How do you fight it?