Monday, July 29, 2013

Be Careful What You Wish Away

I have told you in previous posts how these "trending" blog posts from parents who are 'anti-guilt' in parenting, that are going viral basically saying, "Stop making me feel bad! This season of having little ones is hard, dang-it! Don't keep telling me that, 'it goes fast.'  or 'I wish I could go back'."

I could kind of relate at one point in my life, but then I put my pride aside and let the wisdom soak in. I stopped puffing my chest and digging my heals in the sand. It wasn't doing any good.

I am a momma who would cry every season of changing out the clothes because I knew those sweet, forever-stained shirts would never fit them again. I would cry for hours on the floor as I put their clothes in bags to give away or to save for the next child. I hated watching them grow, and I did feel guilty that I wished away their ages. I really wanted to embrace their little messes, mispronounced words, inability to do things on their own yet. I hated struggling with the chaos amidst the beauty.

So, I tried harder to be thankful-and then, God gave me this sweet boy named Ezekiel Todd. And boy was (and is) he cute. It looked as if we put a wig on his head as a newborn. His eyes deep with wonder. Everyone who knew him, knew he was intelligent way beyond his years.

He met all of his milestones earlier than my other babies. He was printing off paper from the computer before he was two. We all figured he'd be an engineer like his Grandpa Nate.

Alongside all of this, he was also into everything. He would throw 'breakable' things down the steps.  Leaving messes everywhere he went. I wished he would just be a 4-year-old!!!   At age two, he seemed to always get into water, obsess of pushing heavy things. Basically, he was driving me mad.

And then, he lost his ability to speak to us.

For a long time, 6 months to be exact, we blamed this on having two very talkative, older siblings. Eventually, we saw a need to intervene to get him to talk on the level he should have been. We saw progress and "everything will be fine" came out of the mouths of the professionals.

But then, he had his first seizure. This took everyone back, especially the professionals. I erased that blog post. It was the most difficult thing to read. I couldn't bare it...I had to take it away because maybe, this nightmare would go away, too....

Fast forward a year and a half and now he is having 1,000s and 1,000s of seizures

And as my son can only now sit on the couch and on a good day, scoot accross the floor, I wish I could get those days back where he was running around and into everything. Those days where I would cry out saying, "Why, Zeke?! Why?"

The very thing you may be wishing away, is the very thing another may be wishing they had.

If you feel guilty, that isn't my intention. My intention is to point you to truth. That these very difficult days of wiping butts, waking up at all hours, cleaning up messes only to clean it up again tomorrow, restating the rules 100 times, etc., etc., etc. are the very same things I wish I was doing with my son, Ezekiel.

Mind you, I have 3 other children who are helping take care of my missing that stage with Zekey ;) But the truth is, the enemy is hard at work, keeping us from seeing the beauty in the struggles. Because, there is beauty in the chaos. Beauty that I didn't fully grasp until I lost it all and it wasn't due to my children growing up.

I have a new struggle now. Many, actually. I struggle with wishing this difficult season to pass, to see the beauty in my son's suffering. To not moan and complain with every.time.Zeke.wakes.up. in the middle of the night. I struggle with every meal I measure out for him. Constantly making sure he is content because when he's not, it gets U-G-L-Y.

I desire to stop and see the beauty in the chaos. To be thankful that Zeke still smiles and shows joy. He gets excited when his siblings are near and hears the voice of grandparents. He laughs at the right time in cartoons and dances the best way he knows. And he's strong. Ezekiel Todd Holt is the strongest person I have ever know. Truly.

Mommas and poppas, we have been given a gift and are called to something so great. To raise these sweet darlings (or help raise the darlings of the children in our lives, our communities) to be disciples of Christ. Not to be the best baseball player, musician, hardest worker, smartest, financially secure. These are not bad things, but they are not the most important things.

The enemy wants so badly for us to forget the truth in our calling:
To raise children who are not asking what they can receive, but what they can give. To not find excuses as to why they can't do something good and right and true, but to make a way and stand up against the crowd.

So, how are we doing? When posts that are going viral sound like this and this, I can't help but get discouraged. I totally "get" it, but it ends there. I'm done joining the masses in complaining and rolling our eyes to wisdom from those who have already gone through these chaotic stages of parenting. Let's not enable our kids to have excuses anymore. Let's help them find a way now, while they are still in our lives, our day to day.

And let's embrace this time. It's precious. And, it's definitely not too late.

May we fight for our children through prayer, setting good examples, helping them see that through Christ, all things are possible. To #lovelikejesus.

Be encouraged that we have the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome any obstacle in our way. It's more powerful than our anger, our personality flaws, our...anything.


For my sweet prayer warriors, tonight I send Cy, Eisley and Bexley to Toledo and I will take Zeke to Cincinatti Children's for his second IVIG treatment tomorrow morning. Again, they say it takes 2-3 treatments before you see results, if any.

Nothing has worked so far...nothing. So, we pray this will but above all, we pray God's kingdom come on earth, in Ezekiel's body, as it is in heaven. For complete healing in Jesus' name! We need God more than Dr.'s but we definitely need Dr.'s, too ;)

Thanks, friend! Feel free to leave comments below! They encourage me and my other readers! Blessings!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Letting Go- Again.

 Our circumstances do not change God-Are our circumstances changing our view of Him?

One thing so intriguing with Zeke's disease is that so many people have been healed through diet change. So. Many. And so, as passionate about nutrition as I am for my kids (Remember, I am a hypocrite as I put so much effort into their meals, I have little time or energy for myself...someday!) I read up and study and try and stress and fail and try again and read so more and...

Then my panties get in a wad and I find myself angry at God because 'He's left it up to me to heal Zeke' (hahaha. haha. ha..) and my kids are getting whatever is left after putting in all of this effort towards 'Zeke's healing', the adults in my life are looking at me going, "Really?! Chill out." and I sense it and I just want to scream in their face and say, "This works for A LOT of people! Diet change has brought autistic children back to life (as in, they start communicating, eye-contact, and even epileptics stop seizing)!!! Excuse me while I am trying to save my son's life!!!!!"

You can then picture me putting my book back to my face, knees up and eyebrows furrowed. The world around me-my family, my growing children, are left to find their own things to do other than feed themselves because, "I'm busy trying to save my son."

This is why I haven't blogged in awhile. I haven't anything good to say. We took Zeke to Cincinatti Children's because of a silly meal change in his ketogenic diet that caused him to start seizing worse than ever. It's not like we did something bad. We added veggies and meat and although it was still "ketogenic", his body reacted terribly.

The dr.'s are not big on the idea that food could do such a thing, unless I slipped up and gave him something outside of his ketogenic diet which was NOT the case. So, there's that.

 It was a truly exhausting and hopeless visit. No answers, no sleep and tons of tests. It had not felt so good to get home in a long time, and I LOVE my home!

 One night, I gathered some paint and, well, started painting.  I used my arm as a palette. I didn't care about it looking good. I just had to get it out.

"It" being the  little bit of truth I could still hold on to while watching my son get worse?

"Love Came Down"

My Tweet: " Pondering how thankful I am that Love (Jesus) came down. This broken world will one day collide with heaven and all with be made right.

But, sadly, my struggle continued. I've only had a few words to say to God because asking for something He continues not to give is exhausting. So, I decided to take it into my own hands. And what I was so sure of failed me. It failed Zeke. Diet has continued to not work for my boy.

Then I got more angry at God. It wasn't until I could only sit next to Andy last night as he prayed and I just listened did I feel even a sense of anything from God. First time in a long time, so it feels. It was annoyingly refreshing.

God was getting my attention.

The next day, I had a conversation with my mom basically explaining why I'm doing what I am doing and making a point only to lead to the same conclusion.

His voice was getting really loud at this point.

Then dang it! My mom basically said it to me.

Tears. Sobs. "What am I supposed to just keep waiting on God's timing and let my son keep falling behind and get him a wheelchair when 5 months ago he could walk?! 1 year ago he was 'going to be fine. He'll catch up.' and was talking and as happy as can be?!'

As I write this, I still feel the struggle. This tension of being content with today as I look at the very sad facts that my son's loosing all that he had but really wanting to run ahead of God and figure it out all by myself.

But, the original dream I had, the day or two before Zeke had his first seizure was a clear picture of me as a mom, holding far too tightly to my children. Wanting to protect them but realizing my need to give them over to Jesus.

And this lesson needs re-learned as Zeke continues to get worse.

To top this all off, I met with Zeke's new social-worker. She's amazing and in our meeting as I had to explain Zeke's history, I cried. I didn't expect to but I also couldn't hold it back. It's a difficult story to tell.

She was so sweet. Zeke has a case that is more than likely going to go under an "emergency wavier". As in, he needs help now. He cannot wait any longer. This was such difficult news to hear, although expected.

Last night, my husband prayed something like this, "...God, you know what we want for our son. We know you are fully capable of healing Ezekiel. And we ask that you would. And if this wasn't a part of your plan, we ask that you would reconsider and change your mind. We ask that you'd bring healing down. And if still, you have a different plan, we ask that you would give us the grace and perseverance to get through this."

I totally understood his prayer but I had a love/hate feeling toward it. I feel like I'm giving up when I give God an "out" in my heart not to heal him. Obviously, God will do what he wants to do, but I want to do my part and pray believing. But honestly, that's where we are.

Andy also said, "100 years from now, this will not matter. We'll all be whole and happy and complete in heaven."

'But 100 years is a long time, babe!'

We are at a place that we feel Zeke's health is so fragile, anything could happen. I cry often. The burden of feeding him the perfect meals, keeping him content all day and of course the other children is a lot.
So I turn back to The Lord's Prayer and I'm comforted.

Pray then like this:
g“Our Father in heaven,
hhallowed be iyour name.1
10 jYour kingdom come,
kyour will be done,2
lon earth as it is in heaven.
11 mGive us nthis day our daily bread,3
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And olead us not into temptation,
but pdeliver us from qevil.

I will continue to ask for God's kingdom, His will to come down on earth, in Ezekiel's body, as it is/will be in heaven. Because Jesus tells me to and it's comforting. It brings me hope. 

I will continue to ask for daily bread and focus on today and not try to figure out the future. That burden is not mine to carry.

I"m definitely wrestling God right now. I'm wrestling with trusting my son over to Him for fear He will not take care of him the way I want him to. But, as we go through this, I really, really want God to keep on using us, the faith He has blessed us with during this time, the highs and lows and the whatevers to share with all of you. I hope you can see that I share in this journey because I want to be a vessel of the power and goodness of God-no matter what.

For a child who is His, heaven is the richest blessing they could receive. The world is so broken and tainted. It lacks fulfillment.Heaven is like nothing we've ever known. It will be so, so good!

May Your kingdom come! Amen?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I won! I won!

Two days ago, I woke up on a tiny couch-bed in Cincinnati Children's Hospital to a friend congratulating me through text for winning an Instagram giveaway- #amys1on1giveaway held by TheAmyClarke (her Instagram name). She is a beautiful, Jesus-loving gal living in California. She is also a very talented make-up artist and has the BEST before and afters! You can check her out on YouTube here! ( I have got to be honest, seeing her "live" makes me want to meet her more! haha!)

Fun, right? Very fun!

It's even more fun to see her give back! Amy and her friend, Lady_Dianna (Instagram name) , a Jesus-loving gal and talented hair stylist (amazing "before" and "afters"!) go to underprivileged countries to teach women their trade and to help empower them to be able to support themselves and their families all while doing things they love as they help reveal their inner talents. It's beautiful to see, even if only a glimpse through a silly,little social network like Instagram. You can read more on what they do, here. You can also follow @supportthetrade on Instagram. You will be blessed.

 They are so excited!!!

 Well, on Amy's giveaway, she asked us to explain why we deserved winning (I TOTALLY felt like a sob story...and extremely guilty but went for it anyway!) and then we just had to re-post the image about the giveaway. The winner won a free make-over/lesson with THEAMYCLARKE and a mini photo-shoot + swag (funny word!). It totaled $1,000! Maybe I should not have applied but I didn't think I'd win and it also sounded lovely. So, I did. And then, I won!

 I was so excited that I re-posted the Instagram of Amy congratulating me and another girl (who was smart and actually lived in California) saying we won! Through this, I now have more people who are praying for Zeke as they read our "sob story" who have started following our adventure through my blog and Instagram. So, there's that huge blessing! I'm always game for more prayer warriors!!

I also posted this exciting news on Facebook and that I needed to start a fundraiser to get me to California! You sweet, sweet people got so excited for me and said really sweet things. The thought of you wanting to jump in on helping me get there made me feel so loved!

I also had this feeling of regret.

I really should not have joked about a fundraiser. A fundraiser, to me, isn't about getting me to go and get pampered no matter how much it may seem I need one. A fundraiser is more for people who have real needs like, beds. Beds because that were lost in a house fire. 

 Or, money for treatment for a son who has a similar case as Zeke's. Epilepsy they cannot get controlled as they are slowly loosing their son. I would never start a fundraiser for myself to go on a trip. That was always a joke, but I would (and was always going to eventually share with my readers) share with you about 2 families I know personally, who are in need. Have true needs.

 I recently became friends with a family who just wanted to help us. Whatever that looked like, they were game! We knew of each other from a previous church we attended but it wasn't until I was driving through...wait for it...Caribou Coffee that she saw me and told me she had recently started reading my blog and felt a tug as her daughter wanted to work with special needs children. My days are crazy and as much as I'd like to avoid the truth, I cannot. I need help. And so, this was timely. Something I would never deny was considered a divine appointment.

It's been so much fun getting to know them. Our kids play and their oldest daughter is much loved by Eisley, Bexley and Zeke. Cy is off playing with all of her sweet boys. The way they have loved on our family (and you all know how I feel about other, non-family people loving on my kids especially being in a different city than family!!) has been another sign of The Body acting as The Body should!.

But, there's more. This women loves the Lord with her everything. She makes me feel less crazy. These days, and this is NOT to sound all holy, but these days I have a hard time not having a conversation that is quickly engulfed in Jesus. And this is how she talks. And it's genuine, pure and real.

I cannot do her story justice but I will say, her and her family, a husband and nine kids, lost their home to a fire. They all made it out safe even though it was at around 1am. Praise God for that! And she isn't moping around but she's working hard to get back what they lost. Like the Proverbs 31 woman would!

She takes the money they've been given from insurance (and THAT is a whole other story/nightmare) and isn't going out and buying the newest, latest couches, light fixtures, etc. She is being extremely frugal and buying very nice but used items and dang-it this gal finds deals! I'm talking one person spends $30 and her budget is $2. She prays about it and God blesses it.

But beds? You cannot get used mattresses. That is just gross. I mean, if she only had a couple of kids, hand-me-downs from family is fine...but with as wise as she has been with her money as they wait for their house to be re-built, I feel like asking for help in buying new mattresses is more than acceptable. You can read more of their story on her blog, here.

The next family I mentioned above has a sweet boy named Elijah. He is a cutie! Their family is trying a new treatment for him that they hope will bring healing for their sweet boy. It's extremely expensive and is not covered by insurance. I do not know much of this family but they are not too far removed from us as we've had seasons where we have been in each other's lives and of course, knowing someone else is suffering with the pain we endure, I cannot help but want to try and help out the best way I can. Through sharing their story, too.

Please read her blogpost here, so see how you may be able to help!

Please, consider giving even just a small amount if you can to both or either family in need. God put this on my heart to share with you all and through this fun Instagram giveaway, I saw the perfect opportunity to do that! Love how God works!  If all of my readers gave $5, $10 or whatever God puts on your heart...they'd be set. If only, pray about it and see how God would use you to bless them.

Bless you all! What a wonderful family of God we have! What an amazing heavenly Father we have that we can lift up all of these requests and more!!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Letter To Zeke

Dear Ezekiel Todd,

I'm excited, buddy. I think it's almost time! I can't help but feel you're body will not be suffering much longer. You're laying in the hospital bed next to daddy as he seems to be your favorite at night. I'm very much okay with this.

Your iv is in and you don't love it but I think you'll learn to. I imagine that this iv is being held by angels who sing over you, giving all praise to Our Heavenly Father. Praising Him for all He is and the work I believe He is doing in you right now. As you lay so peacefully, I can't help but think it's time.

I am over here on this very small bed and I was looking up other ways to help you, sweet boy. Realizing your body has been fighting so hard to keep out foods you're allergic to that it's been unable to differ between the good and bad so, your body fights against itself.

After I found good information to work off of for now, I was able to finally rest on this small couch-bed and I just cried. I cried out to God saying, "I know what I want again, God! I want this to be it! I'm so ready for Your healing hand to come down. Please, please. May Zekey be healed now. May Your kingdom come in his body tonight and forever and ever."

My tears and prayer were interrupted by the nurse who come in to check on you every hour. I remember this all to well when we were in the hospital for your ketogenic diet. Every hour they came in and woke you up. You already had a difficult time going to sleep so this was added stresser on you, and on me. It was a very difficult 4 nights as you were poked, prodded and there was room for more respect than we were shown but that's okay, sweet boy. God had other plans. We just needed to wait and trust and as always, follow His lead.

Here we are, at a place that has brought much redemption. Dr.'s who seem to understand you better. Dr.'s who are moving quicker and have better options. Dr.'s who have led you to this bed that you lay so peacefully next to daddy.

I cannot say for sure it's the time but I cannot lie and say I don't think it is, because I do. I'm hopeful. I'm excited. I'm loving that you're sleeping and not waking up. Something is different. Something seems good for once. I sit here and I'm peaceful.

I should be trying to sleep on this couch-bed thing. But as I prayed again, I felt this warmth and peace after I asked God to just hold me, to hold you. And then I had no exhaustion. I felt I needed to write this letter to you.

I have been praying for the day you are healed and how I'll express that no matter how it's done, it's a miracle by God. If Dr.'s are involved, how do I explain that without God, you wouldn't be healed? How do I make sure this time we've gone through, watching you waste away, slipping through our fingers as we tried to grasp what we could not? How, sweet boy, do I tell them it was the hand of God who saved you and not just mere humans?

Who created these men and women Dr.'s and nurses? Who knit them together in their mother's womb? Who had a plan for their lives long before they were even born? Who gave them the gifts of knowledge and wisdom and the brains to be able to understand things I cannot? Who? God did these things and more.

Who listened as so many of The Body prayed on your behalf? Who is even capable to hear more than one, let alone billions of prayers at once and tend to them as if there was only one? Who? Our heavenly Father.

And who loves us not only to live a perfect life but died the perfect death so that we could have eternal life in heaven? Who loves us so much that he's sitting on the right hand of The Father interceding on our behalf? Who? Jesus, the son of God.

And who can we say brought us the comfort that no human could as you suffered and as we cried so many times? Who can we give credit for leading readers to read your story and to pray? The Holy Spirit who is alive and working.

A beautiful dance of The Trinity.

Oh, sweet boy. May everyone who has heard your miraculous story understand these very things. That although I will be forever thankful for the actual humans (Dr.'s, prayer warriors, friends, family, etc.) who have played a part in all of this, I will not deny that it was God who was in it the whole time, blessing us with these lovely people. It was He who had a plan that was far more intricate that any of our minds could understand here on earth.

When you are walking and running and talking again, I do hope that you too will understand who blessed you with healing. That God never owed it to you or us, but graciously brought down His healing hand upon you, sweet boy. God chose you for a story that is touching thousands and maybe someday, millions.

May your words be full of praise for what God has done! May daddy and I never forget this 1.5 years of hell on earth and how God made it a beautiful sign of His power, grace, goodness and might.

And we're all so excited to get to know you more. What a beautiful thing! I know Cyrus and Eisley have been wanting to hear you tell them you love them because they love you, buddy. What a celebration we have ahead of us!

My prayer that I'm sure will not ever really have an end:

"Praise You, heavenly Father. For what you've done in our hearts and minds the last year and a half. Of course, we lift up Your name for Zeke's healing. I will forever be grateful. May Your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven as we wait expectantly for revival on this earth. Where more and more hearts are turned to You, for You alone are worthy.

I pray this with true peace, that You've done and are doing what so many of us have prayed for on Zeke's behalf.

Amen. May it be so."


Your momma who loves you so!

IMG 0515 from Andy Holt on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

No Fences In Heaven.

Where, oh where do I start?! Today I picked back up a book I had been reading right before a wave of exhaustion washed over me a month ago. Spiritual, emotional, physical exhaustion. I felt God call me to something and that was about all I could take for a time. The calling, and, bam! I had to take a break.

Today, I sensed it was time to reawaken The Spirit in me in a less "do what I cannot, Holy Spirit" and instead "Use me, I'm ready again" kind of way. I have been laying low for a month or so. Trying to just get a breath, allowing The Holy Spirit to intercede for me. But I sensed it was time to press back into this 'pressing into Jesus thing'  in a more obvious way- at least, to me. Soaking up all He had for me and pour it out into my life, pushing the plow, fighting the good fight. You get the point.

Today was full of blessing. God showed up and I am beyond thankful! It was a fun-filled, busy morning. Cyrus had a friend over which strangely enough made me able to sit next to Zeke and pick up that book I had to stop reading for a time. I knew it would be short-lived, but it lived and could be continued again later.

Then we were off to PT therapy for Bexley which was her last one as she's up to par with her peers. Poor girl had to get tubes in her ears in order to be free to walk and talk well. :)

Early this morning, I asked Andy if we could try and get Zeke in to pray before we left (he works at our church)  and we were able to head in right after our busy morning. I have to admit, at this point, I was just doing it as I felt God calling me to it, not necessarily because I was expectant or excited. I was still feeling quite exhausted on all levels.

But then, we got there and The Spirit showed up. More so than my little, exhausted self was expecting (I shamefully admit). It was so, so good! The prayer was full of standing in what I (or we-Andy and I) believe God is going to do. Heal our son. No, "But, if it' s not your will" kind of prayer today. A prayer that stretched us to believe in something that isn't believable aside from God. But also, staying true to not only what we obviously want for our son, but what we believe God wants, too. Expectant hearts were surrounding me and praying for my son, our family and for God to bring us a renewal.

Again, I didn't expect it but God had bigger plans. My heart has been given a stronger beat since our time praying. God blessed our prayers and I believe He is working in Zeke and in our own hearts (and yours as you read this!) as we wait on Him. As we wait expectantly for God's hand to pour out on our sweet boy. As we BELIEVE!!!

Later on,  I pondered what was going on in my heart. It's clear to me that spiritual warfare is sneaking it's way in The Body with the gay rights/God approves or doesn't approve of same-sex marriages.

I see it in my own heart and in the hearts of very godly women-bloggers who seem to be battling blog posts, tweets, Instagram and Facebook 'likes' (or not)- against each other. As if we are strangers- accepting what seems true on this earth. But, we're not strangers. We are sisters more than the ones carrying the same name if we'd see it, dangit! If we'd see how we are the same, carrying the same name in Jesus.

Until we do, we, as The Body of Christ are giving into weakness. And I know God is doing big things and so I will not even consider saying that in general, the whole Body of Christ is weak. I do not see that. But I do see [some] of that. And I want to fight against it and encourage you to do the same.

These thoughts led to thinking of gates and fences. I thought, "There will be no fences in heaven. Fences are for hell. We will have no boundaries because boundaries are for those who lack. In heaven, we will lack nothing and we will see The Body for what it was always meant to be - whole and complete in Jesus. Yes, the only gate will be to keep Hell out."

And then...and THEN I read this. I really couldn't breath. That feeling of "if I breath I may miss some of this goodness." and "If I even consider blinking, I may not take this in as quickly as I want to!" GAH!!

There was stirring in my soul. I 'amened' about every line agreeing and agreeing and saying, "God you really were speaking this to me, to my mom, to...all the people who will feel the same as I after reading this."

I was giddy and excited and couldn't wait to re-read it over! (which I have yet to do)

And then ( I know, but what else do you say when God gives you a multitude of...well..."and thens" all in one day?!) I read this.

... ... ...

And when she said this
Because her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, said, “I was a stanger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35).
We are done looking into the sky – we are ready to fling open every door in our lives, we are ready to tear down every gate. We are the Esthers inside the gate — and the hurting and the poor, the oppressed and the ignored – is Christ on the other side of the gate. Christ is saying: “I was a stranger and you welcomed Me. I was the stranger on the other side of the gate — and you risked everything inside the gate for the One outside the gate – Me.
It’s not nameless masses of the deserving poor on the other side of the gate; It’s Christ. Every single stranger, every single disadvantaged, is Christ and if you love Himyou have got make your life about tearing down the gates.
Every face is the guise of Christ.
I look at Katie. Radical isn’t as much about where you move – but about looking into the face of Jesus – and letting Him move you where you are. He may move you to Africa – or across the street. But if the love of Christ moves you – it will move you out into the world. He will move you to tear down gates.
Pundits can banter about one southern cook and the nature of racism in this continent, about the nature of marriage and truth and grace and orientation and the Church, and our screens can explode with opinions and rebuttals and politics.
But our answers to all the raging questions of the day won’t be found in what we write: it will be found in how we open our doors.
Our actual theology is best expressed in our actual hospitality."
This idea of gates came up again in this post. I was so excited about that. God confirming a stirring in my heart is humbling and exciting. After reading this, I felt this beautiful call for more redemption within my heart but also, for the heart of The Body of Christ. I am still learning to love like Jesus. Learning to ignore my unmatched furniture and welcome in all who will join me as I share who Jesus is through our beautiful chaos. To reach out to those who may seem unreachable due to walls (or fences! ha!) built up. To find who I am in Him,  and nowhere else.

I believe it's important to stand up for what's right, even when it goes against what seems popular. But it's not more 'right' than showing up. Loving in the form of our words and actions. Pushing our comfy boundaries aside- letting our old, rusty fences fall down. Embracing who we are in Christ.

Heaven and earth will one day collide. Are we embracing this? Are we inviting God's kingdom to come in our lives?