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

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

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

Delight in the Law

IMG_2406.JPGThe longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119. It has 176 verses and 174 of them mention God’s law, statutes, word, or scripture in one way or another. The longest chapter of the Bible is dedicated to the Bible itself.

Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.

Great peace have those who love your law;
nothing can make them stumble.

-Psalm 119:97;165

Sometimes I feel like I rarely actually know what I’m reading when I read the word of God. I try to understand. I do research and study and read and re-read, but I’m still often left with wonderings, musings, and questions. And sometimes I adore the law. I love the scriptures. All I want to do is study it and learn from it and read it. But other days it is a chore to get myself to open the Bible. I want to do anything but read Jeremiah. Continue reading

How Did I Get Here?

fullsizerenderWhy, oh why, do I make things so difficult? Why do I give myself unnecessary work? Why, when I’m [hypothetically] walking down a path, do I see a turn that has been blocked off with large rocks and think, “hmm, here’s the direction I should go,” rather than continuing straight on the path that’s been lit up for me?

I don’t know about you, but the way I get places, whether it’s college or to a relationship or to a milestone in my relationship with the Lord, is always crooked and more difficult than it should be.

But I make it. And I am under NO delusion that I make it because of my own ability to follow a bath or to not fall or to succeed. The only reason I make it anywhere in life is because God has willed it. 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

Resilient Defender

FullSizeRenderI’m stepping into the unknown. My flashlight is flickering and I’m not sure where the next step is. I’m blind and I may fall.

But I’m not scared.

If I fall, I won’t break. I’ll be caught. If I break, I’ll be put back together.

When I can’t see where the next step is, I still trust that it’s there. When I’m scared of what will jump at me from the dark, I know I will be safe, protected. Defended. Continue reading

I’m a Failure

IMG_8155I was recently talking to a friend about being vulnerable. Or, rather, not being vulnerable. It’s no secret that I’m not good at it. I hide my past, my pain, my failures, my shame, and my fears. I hide them until I can make them pretty and polished enough to post on this blog. Until they’re no longer ugly and sensitive, but scarred over and complete with a bow, ready to be presented to anyone who will pay attention.

I was given a challenge by my friend – Next time I write in my journal, share it. With no edits, just raw and vulnerable truth. Continue reading