Your Story Isn’t Over

 

This piece was adapted from a piece I wrote for Scot McKnight’s blog. You can find the original here http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2015/7/1/standing-in-the-rain-by-kelly-edmiston/ and is dedicated to all those who have or are currently struggling with depression. May you reach out today and find someone with an “axe.” We were not meant to do this life alone.

I sit on a bench this warm summer day, watching as the sun glistens on the lake making crystals dance in a glorious ballet. The sparkle is so bright that I have to shield my eyes from its splendor. I hear the wind whistle through the trees, rustling the branches just enough to spill leaves onto the lake below. The leaves disrupt the calm of the water and cause small waves to cascade back and forth from bank to bank. The birds begin to chirp as I sway to nature’s rhythmic song.

Suddenly, I am interrupted. Plop. Plop. Plop. Then Pit. Pat. Pit. Pat. Pit. Pat. The falling rain makes deep and wide circular formations in the lake. An intoxicating freshness fills the air. Familiar with nature’s song, I graciously anticipate getting soaked by the fresh raindrops.

I look up and see an old oak tree, its branches extending far and wide over the little bench where I’m sitting. From afar, I can see the rain over there. But I am over here, under the branches of the oak, left dry. Bone dry.

This is how I’d describe burnout and depression. When we get bone dry. Many of us know the experience of sitting in the rain but not feeling it’s touch.

I do not pretend to fully understand the battle of clinical depression, having only struggled with circumstantial depression and anxiety. But I am aware that depression prevents people from experiencing the rain in the same way the branches over my little bench kept me dry.

The images used to describe depression give voice to its inescapable characteristics. It has been called a time-defying sadness. And depression has been likened to a cloud that follows its victim wherever they go.

To these images, I add branches. With every broken relationship, ugly comment and insurmountable failure the branches reach farther out and grow thicker until all you see and all you know is the branches and the bench.

These branches-this depression- recently consumed one of our beloved community pastors. He pastored a church of thousands in an affluent suburb and in his more than 40-year career became known nationwide as an influential leader in his denomination. He was a father, grandfather, husband and friend to many.

Maybe this man who took his own life got stuck under the branches. Maybe they closed in on him until he could not move. Maybe they were branches of loneliness, fear and exhaustion. Maybe they were branches of critics and fans.

Quite possibly, he was just tired of fighting. Fighting branches can be exhausting, especially when you long for the rain.

I wish this man asked for help one more time. I wish a friend had come barreling through the branches, axe in hand, and carried him from the bench against his will. Into the rain.

So when the branches get thick and threaten to close in, call for help. Your story is not over.

Call a friend or family member and tell them how you feel. Do it today. 

Reach out to your local church or counseling center for therapy and/or medication. 

And join me. I’ll be standing in the rain.

 

Stand in the River

The water rushes quickly by me. The banks can barely contain it. They are ill-equipped to contain the year’s spring rains and snow melt. The water has reached the brim and is now threatening to spill over destroying all victims in its path. The high water this time of year makes the rapids deadly. A stick is blown from the trees and defenseless against the sand-blowing wind it is tossed into the river, cast down stream and taken under by the strong current. I envision myself following it shortly and sharing its fate. Even the bravest would turn back but I can’t. As I look behind me I am reminded that I am walled in. To my right and my left I see thousands of people. They are following me. They would follow me to their death. And before me, the river.

I hear the words of Yahweh echoing in my ears, causing reverberations down my spine and my neck and head  tremor. Go and stand in the river.

There must be some other way. Moses was allowed to place the stick in the sea and it parted immediately. Surely God does not intend for us now to be swept away in the river.

Joshua’s first task after assuming leadership after Moses died is to lead the people across the Jordan River and in to the Promise Land. God didn’t give him much warm up time. Instead he stands at the brink of the river,

Here he had to prove himself.

Here he had to set the tone and shape the culture of this people.

Here they would learn to follow or despise him.

Here he would become a famous hero or an infamous fool.

Here it would became known whether or not he had what it takes.

He could see the doubt in their eyes. He sensed the fear coming from hushed conversations and hesitant obedience. Did he have what it takes?

Have you been there? Have you stood at the brink of all that you’ve always hoped for and been too scared to go forward? Have you talked the talk but couldn’t walk the walk? Has fear kept you out of your promise land?

Sheryl Sanberg, in her book “Lean In” asks readers this haunting question,

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

Would you write?

Would you preach?

Would you get that treatment?

Would you make that call?

Would you join that gym or activity?

Perhaps Joshua’s answer would be, “I would cross that river. And I would lead those peeps to come with me.” Well, he did.

His courage in the midst of fear shows us that,

It is in the going that we are equipped.

It is in the going that He moves and works.

It is in the going that miracles happen.

Not in the waiting, not in the planning, not in the research but in the doing and going.

The ark of the covenant, the presence of God, went before the people but it also stayed in the midst of them as they crossed. See Joshua 3:7-17. His presence was the means by which the waters piled up and created dry ground for them to walk. But it was his presence in the midst of the waters that created the way.

So let’s join Joshua at the brink of the river and let’s look right smack dab in the face of our greatest fear and let’s get going. 

 

“Lord” Shorts and other Fashion Trends

Camp. If you are like me, this  little word probably conjures up images of blobs, kayaks, cabins and a big plate of greasy spaghetti. An image of a fashionista probably does NOT come to mind when you think of camp.

This is where you would be wrong. These days camp is a runway for fashionistas. But not in the way you would think. Girls are not dressing up in their anthro-best to walk this runway. Instead they are putting on something very similar to what they wear to class,  out and about with friends or even to dinner and a movie.

We are calling this fashion trend, “active cool.”

This “active cool” trend has replaced the “Lord” shorts trend. If you don’t know what “Lord” shorts are they are the guys knee lenght basketball shorts that the girl counselors wore in my southern, evangelical summer camp culture. Very Cool. ;/

Here is the idea with “active cool.” Roll out of bed, throw on those nike shorts OR yoga pants an over-sized t-shirt, and chacos http://tinyurl.com/onkzs2e running shoes http://tinyurl.com/o7eegf7 or Pali Hawaii Jesus sandals http://tinyurl.com/qhav544 (what?! Jesus and Hawaii?) and you are ready to go. Fixing your makeup and hair is optional.

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Thank you baby sister, Kimberly, for fixing your hair and makeup. For reals, (those of you my age or older;) she is on her way to dinner and a movie with her homies (please find two words/phrases in the previous sentence that are no longer cool to say. You’re welcome.)

If you spend any time on a University campus or around High School girls you have picked up on this trend.

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My intent is not to agree or disagree. My intent is to ask a question.

Why?

Why are girls who should be ordering small t-shirts opting for large or xlarge? Why is it cool to look like your going to the gym when you are in fact not? Why do those who do wear something other than this come across as “trying too hard?”

When I was growing up, it was “fashionable” to wear things tight and close to the body. It was “cool” to get ready for class, wear a full face of make-up and wear the latest brands.

What has changed in this day and time? Do you find this “active cool” trend where you live or is it isolated to the south?

Let us know. In the mean time, we will be camping. Happy Camping!

 

Wide-leg jean Shenanigans

Ok ya’ll, let’s talk about the wide-leg jean. My favorite for this season is the CAbi Malibu Flare (CAbi, I know you’re shocked) Be Reminded, we are NOT getting commission from Cabi. We are just OBSESSED and want to share the love.

Find it here and order from Karen Smith at karenalycesmith@gmail.com

http://www.cabionline.com/collection/clothes/malibu-flare-jean/

I saw these jeans on the hanger at my recent CAbi show and passed right over them without a second thought. (Katie) I was over the wide-leg; let’s be real my legs are wide enough without the help. Plus, I gravitate toward a more classic look. I’m very seldom inspired by time pieces that throw it back to the 70s or 80s (example: bell- bottoms, acid wash jeans, or more recently the resurgence of the jelly shoe)

Some things are best left in the past.

But my mom suggested I try these jeans on and here they are below.

Why I like them:

  1. I found them to be surprisingly slimming on my thighs (PTL!) and I love the slight flare at the bottom.
  2. It gives your standard jeans a little something. I sometimes get bored with my same old skinny/straight leg jeans.

Let me come into the dressing room with you and say 2 things about picking a great jean.

  1. The material. These jeans, and each love affair I’ve had with my resident denim, involves just enough stretch (but not too much). These jeans truly feel like I’m in sweats (I swear! It’s true). I don’t need to take them off at the end of the day because they’re too tight, stretch out or are just uncomfortable.
  1. The rise: These jeans sit perfectly on my waist. Yes, I said waist not way down on my hips. The jean should stay in the same place when you sit as when you put them on standing. When you find yourself “hiking up” (I know you’ve been there) your jeans, looking like a spaz before you bend to sit down on your couch, it’s time to reevaluate. While you’re at it, order your Invisibelt. (see link below). Seriously, order it right now!

If you have this problem you will LOVE.

http://tinyurl.com/puz46w3

What to pair with the wide leg jean? For me I like a slight wedge (I always like a little height) and I wore them with tunic top for my last date night.

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And I rock a white V-neck tee any day of the week.

You will never ever be disappointed in a James Perse white tee. I found this one at Nordstromrack.com

http://tinyurl.com/ozdnj3z

I ‘m feeling a separate white-t post coming on.

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Happy Wide-Leg Jeans Shopping! Let us know what your favorites are.

Expert Fashion Business Owner

 

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Lindsay Hall is our expert fashion business owner. Look out world because Lindsay Hall (Linds) is a force to be reckoned with. In her thirties she has accomplished what many spend their lives searching for. She is living her dream. Linds is the founder and owner of BeesKnees Loft, an “anthro-style” online boutique offering top dollar pieces at affordable prices. Linds is passionate and driven. She is also humble and kind. We LOVE this girl and are privileged to interview her on the overlap between fashion and faith! In our book, she’s an expert in both!

Brophy Twins (BT): Tell us the who, what, where, when and why of starting your own business.

Lindsay: In 2008, I got the opportunity to move abroad to Oxford, England on a 6-month work visa. I was blessed with a super sweet opportunity to work for a fantastic clothing boutique called Jigsaw and it was there that I fell in love with the retail industry. I’ve dreamed ever since of having my own boutique was continually affirmed in that dream by the promptings and encouragement of those around me.

BT: In what ways do you see fashion and your faith overlap in your business and personal life?

Lindsay: Let’s be honest: clothing/fashion/trends…all of it…It’s SO temporary…and quite honestly, it’s unimportant. My hope, though, is that when people visit Bee’s Knees Loft and think about the brand, they would first be inspired by where true confidence and identity comes from—and that’s from being rooted and established in the Lord. I cannot have the message of the gospel from Colossians 2:13-14 given to me as a reminder TOO often. I also think that keeping perspective that comes from 1 Peter 3:3-4 is uber important in this crazy pressure-inducing society. All of that being said, a girl still has to get dressed when she gets up in the morning! My hope is that Bee’s Knees Loft clothes would be ones that inspire and make you feel beautifully confident. My hope is to provide stunning clothes at a price-point that would be even more stunning! I think we’re accomplishing that!

BT: What/who is your fashion inspiration?

Lindsay: I’ve always been most inspired by the style found in Anthropologie. I LOVE how when you walk into Anthro, immediately all of your senses are taken captive. Since Bee’s Knees Loft is online, it’s hard to capture that same feeling, but I definitely have that “Anthro experience” in the back of my mind while curating my collection and on photography shoots. Knowing all of that, one of my favorite compliments that I’ve been given on this BKL journey is when someone called us “Affordable Anthro”…that was a surreal culmination of a lot of hard work and vision!

BT: How do you choose pieces for Bee’s Knees Loft?

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Lindsay: It’s truly based solely on what I love and what inspires me {it doesn’t necessarily have to be MY style for me to love it/be inspired}! It’s super important to me to feel incredibly comfortable with both the style and the quality before I put it up on the site. If I don’t feel confident in those two things, I won’t sell it.

BT: What is your hope for Bee’s Knees Loft?

Lindsay: I honestly just want to be faithful with what I’ve been given, steward opportunities well, and keep pointing back to the Lord in all things. I feel like He’s laid out this path in front of me and it’s been a lot of me just saying “yes” to things. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a LOT of hard work, but I also think He’s just opened up a lot of opportunities for me. So, long story short: I’m not completely sure what’s ahead for Bee’s Knees Loft. But I’m excited that I get to be a part of it all!

Lindsay Hall Bio: I grew up in Abilene, TX with a mom who loved fashion and always dressed us to the nines (well, the West Texas children of the 80s version of the ‘nines’). I now reside in Dallas–surrounded by fashion and excess–and love the task of trying to stay grounded in what matters by pouring my time into my church, my 120-lb goldendoodle Norm, and by partaking in as many meals that involve fried pickles and/or chips and queso as possible. I love this life and the friends and family that I get to do it with!

For more information on Linds and BKL check out “Our Hive” section of www.beeskneesloft.com

STOP right now. Go to http://www.beeskneesloft.com and order a cute and affordable dress for Summer!

 

Ask an Expert Fashionista

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Jenni Davis is an expert Fashionista. A 26 year old child life specialist she  is currently working retail at Kendra Scott. This girl is always dressed “to the nines.” We love how Jenni manages to look classy and stylish whether she is at work or play. She is excellent at accessorizing and is always pulling off the latest trends in celebrity fashion. But more than all of this, Jenni is the kind of person who you want to shop with. Not only because she will give you great tips and help you pick the perfect date night outfit but because she is gracious, funny and loving in every way. She listens to, counsels and admonishes the people in her life. She is a faithful friend and mentor to many including teen girls at her church where she has served tirelessly for the past 5 years. We learn so much from her. Here is our interview with this Jesus-Loving Fashionista!

 

BT: What is your favorite Kendra Scott piece right now and why? Look out friends. She’s got lots of suggestions for us. We are not getting any kickbacks from this. We are just loving KS right now! 

Jenn: The Havana iridescent white statement necklace: http://m.kendrascott.com/havana-statement-necklace-in-white-iridescent.html

First off- I’m a jewelry addict, so picking one favorite piece is like picking a favorite child. But nevertheless, I love the Havana necklace because it adds sass to any outfit. It’s a statement piece but still very easy to wear. The color is so different than your typical white yet still goes with everything.
The Keller long necklace in gold: http://m.kendrascott.com/keller-long-necklace-in-gold.html 

The Keller necklace is so easy to throw on. Kendra has taken the tassel, and ran with it and I love that. I truly believe that the tassel sets her apart from all other jewelry designers. The Keller necklace is just a funky twist on the classic Rayne necklace (also one of my faves) found here: http://m.kendrascott.com/rayne-necklace-in-abalone-shell.html

The Katie statement earrings in turquoise or iridescent white: http://m.kendrascott.com/katie-statement-earrings-in-turquoise.html

The Katie earrings. Sigh. They’re my favorite earring I’ve ever bought at Kendra. They go with everything and are such a classic style. You could wear them in your wedding, with shorts and a tshirt, or a cute dress. My mom actually just wore them this weekend to a wedding.

The Alexa silhouette made in a color of your choosing: http://m.kendrascott.com/ks-color-bar/alexa-earrings.html?ks-#ks-nav


BT: What are your wardrobe essentials for summer 2015? 

Jenn: My must haves for the summer are swing dresses and shift dresses. Can’t stop won’t stop wearing them. Sorry I’m not sorry if you’ve seen me wear the same outfit 4 times this week. I’m also super into shorts. I’m normally a pants/jeans girl but this year I’m really feeling the shorts. I’m also currently obsessing over the Sam&Libby gladiator sandals from Target. I may or may not have gotten both colors. You can find them here: http://m.target.com/p/women-s-sam-libby-arianna-gladiator-sandals/-/A-16540225 

BT: Who or what is your fashion inspiration? 

Jenn: Lauren Conrad has and always will be my fashion icon. She got her start on the reality TV high school drama, “Laguna Beach,” and then starred in the reality TV show “The Hills.” She got her fame from reality TV but her passion has always been fashion. She has a line called Paper Crown and then a line called Lauren Conrad for kohls. Her style is my fave. So girly yet classic. And her hair. Don’t even get me started! Hair perfection!!!!

BT: Can you give us some accessorizing tips? What do you think through when choosing the right accessories?

Jenn: The saying “more is more,” does not always apply to accessorizing. My rule of thumb is one statement piece per outfit. Whether that’s one large necklace or large earrings. DO NOT WEAR BOTH. Remember this is strictly my opinion but I do believe I look is more polished if you just choose one statement piece. Otherwise, it’s too overwhelming and you don’t know where to look. Remember they’re an ACCESSORY to your outfit. Now, if you come into Kendra while I’m working, don’t call me a hypocrite. I do practice what I preach in my personal life, but in my Kendra life we are required to wear at a minimum, three pieces. So I am often piling it on and that may mean big earrings and a big chunky necklace. I don’t hate it though 😉

I also love mixing and matching prints and textures. Sometimes that can be a lot on its own so you have to be wise when choosing accessories. You want it to compliment your look rather than clashing with it. I always lay out my outfit the night before with the jewels I want to wear. My mom says I’ve been doing that since kindergarten. More often than not, I pick out my jewelry and then base my outfit off of that. It helps me mainly because I’m OCD but also because I like to think out my outfit rather than it just looking like I wore whatever was on the floor.

BT: Tell us about the intersection between faith and fashion for you. We know you mentor teen girls. How does this play in? 

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Jenn: Fashion and faith intersecting seem like they don’t relate but they do. I dress the way I do because I represent Christ. I try to glorify Him in all things I do, including the way I dress. I think it’s also very important to remember that just because you or someone you know are into clothes and fashion, doesn’t mean that all the shallowness and worldliness that we associate with that, has to be the model we follow.

I think the perspective I have about modesty, comes from mentoring teenagers. When you are around teens and adolescents, you are watched like a hawk. No move goes unnoticed. If you do it, they’re gonna do it and then say “well if Jenni does it, why can’t I?” What do you say to that?!? I learned pretty quickly that I had to set the tone if I wanted to be respected. I love it and wouldn’t have it any other way. You don’t have to choose faith or fashion, in this sense, you CAN have it all.

A little more about Jenn:

I am obsessed with my family and spend the majority of my time with them. Sonic Diet Coke gives me life. My mom endearingly refers to my diet cokes as my extra appendage. Give me a Diet Coke and a chicken finger and I’m good to go. I have a seven year old golden retriever, Maggie Mae, who is the love of my life. Just kidding. But really, you’ll fall in love with her if you meet her. She loves having her forehead kissed… Are you obsessed yet? I’m a #crazydogmom. Everything I know now about style and fashion, I have learned from working retail at Anthro and Kendra.

That’s it, fashionistas. We hope this has inspired you as much as it has us.

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Introducing The Ask An Expert Series

We are so excited about this series we are calling, “Ask an Expert.” This is a series about people who inspire us in faith, family and fashion. All of these people have set up camp at the  crossroads between faith, family or fashion (or some combination of the three) and they are running for office there. Let’s just say, they have our vote! They are not really experts and they would certainly never call themselves by that name but they know way more than we do and we want to learn from them. That makes them  experts in our book!  While their opinions are their own and we may have a different philosophy, strategy, etc we are excited to interview each of them and share it with you on Fridays. From fashionistas to moms of 6+, it is going to be a good time. So pull up a chair and  join us each week as we “Ask An Expert.”

Distance 

I spent a couple hours this afternoon with one of my families who are walking through brain cancer with their 7th grader. In case you need to read that sentence again, 7th grade and brain cancer should never go together.

I have been keeping my distance from God on this one. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been praying non-stop for this family but until recently I had not really let my heart engage. I had not come close. This is a situation that has been too tender, too much and too risky. So I’ve prayed my prayers and read my scriptures but I have not really dealt with God on this. I have been known to behave this way in my relationship with God. It’s like I see the storm on the horizon in the distance but I’m just not sure I’m ready to drive in. I’m not sure I’m ready to be swept away by the questions and the fears that are bound to lay in the midst of those clouds.

Questions like,

Why?

What if you don’t answer?

Fears like,

What if you’re not good?

What if I am disappointed in you.

But as I drove home the storm didn’t wait for me to drive in. It crashed into me deleting the distance I was safe in. The floodgates were destroyed and I was capsized under the weight of prayerful pleading groans long bottled up. There was no more distance between me and God. He was inviting me into the storm. And in the storm I found not answers but Him.

My prayer went something like this.

Lord of all creation. Nothing is impossible for you. You are the God who sets lightning in the sky. The earth trembles at your voice. You closed the mouths of lions. Death could not hold you. Sickness cannot hold you. Cancer cannot hold you. But I am afraid. Afraid of you disappointing us. Afraid of your answer. Afraid that you won’t come through. I am angry. I’m angry at this. I’m angry at you. Angry and afraid I come to you. And I petition the God of the impossible to heal, break in and show off with miracles. Let this be your yes. Let this be your yes on this side of eternity. Let this be one more way you make all things new. Do this for us. Do this for them. For Your Glory. 

“I have come to fight you in the name of God”

I “have come to fight you in the name of Gaawd, Mommy!” Said the two year old as he lifted high the wooden pants hanger and challenged me to a dual. He as David and I as Goliath. Clearly. 

It was then that I had to physically restrain myself from writing the Toddler Bible editors and asking them to consider adjusting the language on the story of the little boy and the giant. 

“I have come to fight you in the name of God (or Gaawd in Masons case).” This is a reality that many of us “church folk” face on a regular basis.  We go to battle over issues we have deemed as important as a satanic giant attacking the people of God and as we raise our voices and our swords we charge courageously toward the enemy. We just know we will be the hero of the story. 

We are the hero because, 

We have always done it this way. 

We will lose our friends if we don’t. 

The bible tells me so. 

If I don’t do it this way what will it say about my life, my marriage or my children. 

I must admit that I like a good debate, an argument even. My Meyers Briggs personality test informs me that I even thrive in conflict. I don’t back away. I have a tendency to attack, sword raised. 

I don’t think, as Christians, we were meant to fight each other in the name of Gaawd. 

But in light of recent events involving the Village Church, for story click here, http://tinyurl.com/nkh8g46 I have considered the question, is there a time to fight in the name of God? 

I grew up listening to Matt Chandler teach at Grace Bible Study every Thursday night in Abilene, Tx. I podcasted his sermons every week while I lived abroad. I admired and adored him from afar before social media made his theology on every issue known and hotly debated. And now, as I read the open letters and blog posts about the situation, my heart hurts. (Don’t get me wrong. I have appreciated many critical pieces inviting us to engage in healthy dialogue). It hurts for the church, the leadership and most of all for the woman victimized by it all. 

So I find myself asking questions. Lots of questions.

When do you stand up for the oppressed and fight and when do you lay down your sword for the sake of unity? 

When is it ok to publicly reprimend someone’s views in the name of God  and when should you claim them in your own opinion? 

When do you leave because you have had enough and when do you stick it out as an agent of change? 

When do you discipline and when do you over look because they have been through enough?

Jesus engaged and fought the religious leaders on their insistence that the people bear heavy loads. And yet we see Paul exhorting believers to lay down their rights to be right and maintain the unity of the church. 

I don’t know the answers. So perhaps I’ll wait here, sword holstered. For now. And let the Toddler Bible editors, along with David, do the fighting in God’s Name. 

Redeeming Places

(Kelly)

As we drive out of suburbia, I see the traffic fade and the buildings become fewer and far between. Very. Far. Between. The crowded strip centers and restaurants give way to wide open space. Space that is rocky, dry, and thirsty. 

 
The air is dry too. Not like the Houston humidity that keeps my skin moisture in tact (thank you, Jesus). Out here you feel as though the wind might knock you over, or at least cause you to steer into the nearest 18-wheeler on the 2-lane highway.

Chapped lips and messy hair prevail here.

And the people. The accents get Texas-thick as words become unrecognizable. If you’re not from “round these parts” I’ll have to explain what it means to “warsh” something.

Welcome to West Texas. To use Miranda Lambert’s metaphor, “the places that built us.”

And as we drive the seven hours to take our boys to our hometown, the first time as a family of four, I am struck by the memories that flood my mind. Painful and less-than-ideal circumstances flash through my mind like credits on a screen as I drive to these places.

Don’t get me wrong. My sister and I had a good childhood. Our parents split up when we were little but they LOVED us and raised us to love God, love ourselves and love others.

But we all have wounds we pick up along the way, don’t we? Even those with the “perfect,” sheltered up-bringing don’t walk into adulthood unscathed by the fire of life. We all have singed eyebrows.

We all have wounds.

And just as I reach up to turn the film off reminding me of mine, God speaks.

“You know, I redeem places.”

And there is something deep within me that believes this is true. There is something about driving with my boys and thinking about the new memories we will create that causes me to believe God.

The God who redeems places. He redeems the mountain, the temple, and the grave.

So we will keep driving to West Texas. When we get there we will sleep in the same beds, play in the same living rooms, and interact with some of the same people we have known since we were kids.

But we will do so with redemptive intentionality. 

We will repeat what was beautiful about our own childhoods and we will make strategic course corrections where there was pain, anger, abuse, or shame. We will set our feet on the road of the rabbi and pray that we stay dusty because of how close we are walking to Him.

And as we do so, the places we walk with our boys will be redeemed.

Redeemed, because when we could have yelled, we whispered.

Redeemed, because when we could have hit, we empathized and corrected gently.

Redeemed, because when we could have shamed, we affirmed.

Redeemed, because when we could have withdrawn or left, we pressed in and stayed.

Redeemed.

See, I am making all things new. Revelation 21:5

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