Perfectly imperfect.

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ADHD. It’s the non-existent thing that is very existent.

At least in our lives.

I used to be one of the naysayers. Even as a kid when I knew a few friends who were supposedly hyperactive, I always thought it was a copout.

Their parents were horrible people who just couldn’t handle the gig.

Oh, Jesus. You’re a riot.

I love control. Even if it’s a disillusioned sense of having everything together, I absolutely love it. I think know that’s part of the reason I had to get off social media. I liked the idea of looking good and everyone knowing it.

And really, I think in a sense that’s something we all kind of crave. It’s a ridiculous drug meant to get us hooked and then take us down.

And even though my online presence is much smaller nowadays, I still get the the cravings. I want Ava to listen. I want her to be quiet. I want her to be more like me.

I want her to be perfect.

And here’s the problem with that: there’s no such thing.

For awhile, we were doing medication. She did well with it in the beginning, and it’s something that God introduced, and I was grateful for. She was able to still her body for the first time. She was able to take direction.

She could focus.

But all good things must come to an end and our season ended this summer. The side effects became too much. She started to get headaches and nausea and she wasn’t gaining the weight she needed to. I was done with it. We all were.

And honestly, I wanted her back. Her funny personality and her unchecked courage.

I think there can be a vital good in doctor assessments and medication. But when those things start to feel like a warped crutch that’s doing more harm than good, it’s time to let them go.

So we have this summer. And we’ve begun the journey of behavioral development and growth, not without a few bumps along the way. But overall, this has given me the opportunity to look imperfection in the eye and give it a firm hug.

Just like God does with me.


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The rock of offense.

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Yesterday, my head exploded.

Brains everywhere.

I’ve been been thinking on the concept of God loving everyone. “Love is love” is something we hear, but what is love in terms of how God bestows it? Does he truly love everyone?

In this Real Christianity podcast, we learn that God is benevolent to all people, believers and unbelievers alike. Which is underscored in this verse:

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

Matthew 5:45-46

The sun shines and the sky rains on all of us whether we know Christ or not. This is why a lot of the bad apples in this world are so shiny. They receive blessings, too, but like Pharoah, they’re eventually left to their own devices and the hardening of their hearts.

And like with Pharoah, God is displeased with the wicked:

“The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.”

Psalm 11:5

We don’t want God to hate. We want God to love and accept us even when we’re building our own kingdom and shoving His firmly to the wayside. We want our lives given the seal of approval, and we look to the sweet, submissive Jesus who wouldn’t hurt a flea to wink at our indiscretions.

Apparently, nobody reads Revelation anymore:

“Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.”

Revelation 19:15

Though Jesus be the lamb of God, the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, don’t get it twisted y’all. Jesus is:

“A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.

They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.”

1 Peter 2:8

So, love? It’s a little more complicated than we think.

We live in an age of overwhelming acceptance, which is quite frightening when you look at what we’re accepting: degradation and division and using the Gospel to do so.

I’m not sure what you know of Progressive Christianity but I’d say it’s anything but. Just take a look at this video.

I think one of the main problems we face is using Scripture to color our own agendas instead of using the truth of the Gospel (and all of Scripture) to pinpoint where we’re lacking in our own hearts. We don’t want to be culpable for sin. Instead, we accept it.

Along these same lines are the Christian self-help and feel good books that are devoid of Scripture but are overly heavy-handed when it comes to the idea of “Jesus loves you just as you are.” It’s true that Jesus meets us right where we are no matter our sin, but he doesn’t want us to stay in it.

I’m reading Everybody, Always by Bob Goff, and I’d definitely put this book in that category. However, I did recommend it to a friend because Bob is so much better at actively loving others than I am. I think his theology is a bit misguided, but his heart seems to be pure. Regardless, as with anything, I have to filter what I read and study through Scripture and the discerning work of the Holy Spirit.

Both of which aren’t typical practices in the world we currently live in.

And yet? That is what love is, friends. Not relying on our own devices or opinions but honoring and fearing the true Word of God.

So? Love is hard. Love is complicated. I think maybe that’s the point for us as human beings who are weakened by sin. But Christ certainly isn’t. His unfailing love is defined by a sacrifice on the cross to forgive all of the sins of those who believe in Him. True love is mercy and grace and getting what we don’t deserve and not getting what we do. He is the rock on which we stumble when we deny truth, but yet He is the arms that comfort us when we seek it.

RC Sproul once tweeted, “It has been said that God hates the sin and loves the sinner. But it’s the sinner God sends to hell not just the sin.”

Again…brains everywhere.

So what do we do? READ OUR BIBLES. I know so many Christians who have never even opened the cover. But listen here folks: the whole world will lie to you, including those who are associated with the Church. Jesus spoke of the wolves who devour believers:

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”

Matthew 7:15

These are the leaders and lay people who claim to know Christ but truly only know Satan. They’re working from the inside out, and they’re the reason so many non-believers want nothing to do with the church. Who would want to be part of organizations that gossip and molest children and destroy families and use Bible verses as weapons?

But the REAL believers, the ones who die to self every day and imperfectly attempt to love a world that hates them? They’re the ones driving the bride of Christ forward with love, honor, and true devotion for one’s neighbor. And a feat this big can only be accomplished with submission to the Holy Spirit and a full knowledge of the story of humanity that God wrote.

Jesus knew the Scriptures so why wouldn’t you want to?

Don’t fall into the pit of mainstream society and get trampled on. This world is not your friend. It’s a patient that needs healing. And we can only get started on that journey through confession, repentance, and an understanding of the one true Christ.

SOME THINGS TO CHEW ON:
God Hates Wicked People
31 Reasons Christ Came (With Bible Verses)


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Skin deep.

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My skin isn’t perfect.

My skin was perfect for a pretty decent amount of time in my life (back when I was the Team Britney campaign manager) and then one day, bammo. Adult acne. At the ripe old age of thirty-three.

Like my Dad said on my thirty-third birthday, “Hey! You’re the exact same age Jesus was when He died!”

It was almost as if those words set my horrifying face journey into motion.

Thanks, Mel.

My acne seemed to be of the cystic variety so very painful and not at all cute. Not that acne generally is in any form.

I did everything. I stopped all vitamins and face products. I started all vitamins and face products. I gave up caffeine. I started caffeine back up and then gave it right back up again. I ate nothing but vegetables. I washed my face all the time. I never washed my face.

I prayed that it would go away.

But nada. There were small improvements along the way but then something would set it right back off again.

It was psychological torture, especially for someone who likes to “get ‘er done.” There was no getting anything done. There was just me, my terrible face, and my unchecked anger at God.

He could fix this. But He refused.

I’m sure you realized what I learned along the way. That my skin doesn’t have to be perfect for me to be loved. You might not know it, but back in the day, Ericka wasn’t hard on the eyes. And I was constantly reassured of that fact from several different sources. So having something horribly marred that used to define me was a real eye opener. Not to mention the fact that the slow march of time wasn’t helping anything.

If I’m not pretty, then who am I?

A child of God.

I really had to soul search hard on that one. As anyone who battles acne knows, it’s not just the acne itself that’s a pain. It’s the scars and severe changes to your skin that take their toll. My face is a new face, and no longer a pretty one (at least not like it used to be). BUT it is mine, and I’m severely aware that it no longer has a right to define me.

Only God can do that.

I imagine you’ve hung around this far to find out what “cured” my acne. Well, truth be told, I still get break outs. In fact I’m sporting a few right now. BUT my skin is a lot smoother, my scars fading, and when I do break out it’s not even close to what it was when I was battling acne hardcore.

This is my new normal, and I’m fine with it.

My biggest win? Using Myo & D-Chiro Inositol. After studying up on my symptoms, I realized a lot of what I was experiencing (and have experienced most of my life) seemed very similar to PCOS (polycystic ovaries syndrome). One of the main issues of PCOS is insulin resistance which this supplement combats. Another? Hormonal imbalance. Lo and behold, after just two days of taking it, my skin majorly cleared up. Not just the acne, but the general redness I was experiencing as well.

Like I said, my skin isn’t perfect. In fact, I’m back on the caffeine which I know is contributing to this last round of skin issues. It really is a holistic approach that tackles something like this. A supplement might do a lot of the work, but you still have to take a hard look at other areas in your life. Making sure you’re cautious of things like caffeine, alcohol, sugar, gluten, and dairy is a good start.

Skin care’s also key. My regimen?

AM
Rub 2-3 drops of Sky Organics rosehip oil into skin
Use hot water and microfiber cloth to wipe off
Put on SPF and/or makeup

PM
Rub 2-3 drops of Sky Organics rosehip oil into skin to remove makeup
Use hot water and microfiber cloth to wipe off
Use organic rose water as a toner
Rub 2-3 drops of Sky Organics rosehip oil into skin as a moisturizer

EVERY FRIDAY PM
Rub 2-3 drops of Sky Organics rosehip oil into skin to remove makeup
Use hot water and microfiber cloth to wipe off
Use Paula’s Choice BHA liquid exfoliant
Mix aztec healing clay with apple cider vinegar and use as a mask
Remove with hot witer and microfiber cloth
Use organic rose water as a toner
Rub 2-3 drops of Sky Organics rosehip oil into skin as a moisturizer

I think the most important thing for me to remember is the why behind this. I used to be an incredibly vain person. I was a sorority girl at one point in my life, and I had the long hair and fake nails to prove it (I know, if you know me now, you’re probably like “Say what??”). And when you’re disillusioned by what you see in the mirror, you’re also disillusioned by the darkness of your own heart.

I’ll take a majorly wrecked face any day if it means I can be with Jesus and not the destructive workings of my own mind.

Also, I’m reading When Faith is Forbidden: 40 Days on the Frontlines With Persecuted Christians, which is a great read if you want to realize how absolutely asinine your American problems are in comparison to those who put their lives on the line every day for simply believing in Jesus.

Just sayin.’

If you have any acne busting tips, leave them in the comments. In the meantime, remember nothing is wasted when it comes to God. This too shall pass, but hopefully not quickly enough where we miss the entire point.


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