What Does it Mean?

ship-tattoo.jpegMy most recent tattoo is the biggest I’ve ever gotten. It took two sessions, a total of 8.5 hours sitting in a chair in perhaps the most uncomfortable position. (Truly, the way I had to sit was worse than the actual tattooing). And the final product is STUNNING.

Eddie Molina (website) did an incredible job with this piece and I’m so happy with it. And now that it’s healing and dozens of people have asked the meaning, it’s time I explain.

Of course, via a blog post. Because why would I do anything if I can’t exploit it for blog reads?

So, there are a ton of little meanings here, but I’m going to focus on the big picture. You’ll see some fig leaves, a ship, and a swan at the front of the ship. Continue reading

Poverty and Privilege

IMG_3597 9.45.11 PMToday, I got to go to a TEDx event with my boss, Caren Bright, where she was speaking. Every day working with her I learn something new. I feel myself growing in humility and empathy. I’m at awe of her strength and what the Lord is doing with her and Pamper Lake Highlands. 

Caren has experienced some horrific things I could never imagine. She is fourth generation poverty. She grew up on the system and her oldest son took his first steps in a homeless shelter. But her story isn’t one to invoke pity and sympathy or even anger at the way homelessness and poverty are treated in America. Continue reading

When I Try To Be God

madison_brick wall2_editOver and over in my life, I see moments of pain and failure than can be traced back to one grievous mistake:

I tried to take all control. I tried to be my own god.

One of the most recent moments is this summer. I was living at home in Greenville, TX, feeling directionless and lost. I wanted something to happen. I felt discouraged having turned down two jobs without really knowing why. I wasn’t getting anywhere and I didn’t have the finances to move somewhere on my own. So, I made an executive decision to move in with my friend in Little Rock. There was no real reason other than I had friends there, rent was cheap, and it wasn’t Greenville. Continue reading

Swimming in Secrets

IMG_1928When I was a kid, single digits, my biggest sin was lying. I loved it. It was a game for me. I wanted to see how cool of a lie I could come up with. My fake lives were more fun and adventurous than my real one.

And I would play with lying. I knew my parents could see through my deception so I came up with a plan. To this day I think it worked more often than it didn’t but who knows? Memory colors in favor of the reliver.

I started lying poorly about small things I didn’t care about. The hope was my family would think that is how I lied. That way, when there was something bigger I actually wanted to get away with, I could lie well and they wouldn’t catch on.

Continue reading

Jesus is My Champion

IMG_9717Remember in season four of Game of Thrones when Tyrion was on trial and he demanded trial by combat but no one would fight for him? Prince Oberyn (remember? The slutty pansexual sand prince?) ended up doing it for his own personal revenge but no one wanted to fight specifically for Tyrion. To save his life and clear his name. No one wanted to lose their life for him. No one thought him worth it. Not even his own brother.

Tyrion was facing death and he was alone because no one would be his champion.

Sometimes I realize I’m Tyrion. Imprisoned, facing death, sneered at and looked down upon, with no one to be my champion.

I think a lot of us can relate to this. Not on a crazy Game of Thrones level, of course, but we can feel alone. Like we have no champion. Continue reading

When Forgiveness Hurts

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetForgiveness is one of those weird acts that we all have to do every day but most of us don’t really know how to. And the lack of forgiveness tears down societies, relationships, and families. Unforgiveness is painful. It’s poison in the body of the hurt and ice in the life of the unforgiven. It spreads pain and fear and distrust.

M.L. Stedman said it like this, “I can forgive and forget… it is so much less exhausting. You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things.”

Just because you’ve been hurt doesn’t mean you have to live hurt. You can make the choice, daily, to forgive and free yourself, and others, from those chains.

Unfortunately, forgiveness can also be painful. Sometimes it hurts.

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. Continue reading

Agendas

picThe Feminist Agenda.

The Gay Agenda.

The Christian Agenda.

The Muslim Agenda.

The Republican Agenda.

The Democrat Agenda.

Are you tired of counting them? Because I am. I’m tired of trying to understand them, of trying to figure out which feminists, which Republicans, which LGBT members and which Christians have these crazy radical agendas and which simply

are.

Unless we are talking about inherently violent groups, then I think it’s safe to say that none of these “agendas” are actually what the other people say about it. These agendas most likely have a pure heart behind them. A desire to see love overrule hate. A desire to see life instead of death. Of acceptance rather than rejection or societal and relational exile. Continue reading

τετέλεσται

palm.jpgTetelestai.

“It is Finished.”

Maybe it’s cliche to start a blog like that on Good Friday. Maybe it’s even a bit hypocritical when I literally forgot it was Good Friday until my cousin asked if BookClub was going to be open and I didn’t know why she was asking.

Maybe it is. Maybe I’m only writing this blog because I’ve been feeling frustrated at my stagnation and the lack of enthusiasm to post. Maybe I’m digging something out of my heart that’s not there so I can save face and put SOME sort of new content on this blog that only a handful of people read regularly. Continue reading

Oh, How I Love

screen shot 2018-12-18 at 7.23.38 pmI don’t like rules.

That’s a lie. I love rules.

Because I love breaking them. Pushing the lines. Asking why they are rules. Realizing they are rules for a reason and then choosing to follow them not because I’m told to, but because I can see the benefit in following them… And then breaking them just for the hell of it.

Okay, but really, I have grown in this area and I can follow rules better now-a-days- especially if I highly respect the authority figure that has made that rule. Continue reading

Life Update – Little Rock Internship

picsThe summer started off kind of rocky and for a moment I thought I was going to have to cancel the rest of my plans. But, God’s timing is always perfect and better than what we could ever plan. So, a week after my Dad got home from the hospital, I got in the car and headed to Little Rock.

For the past six weeks I’ve been working with THV11 in Little Rock. The internship has been one of the coolest opportunities I’ve been given and each day I got to learn and experience something new. Continue reading