Bless my rough-edged heart.

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Last Sunday, my husband and I were asked to pray over marriages in our congregation.

The idea was perplexing.

Me? The closet lunatic that I am? The woman who sometimes tears up mid-sip of her tea feeling like her plight in the world is to live like Jeremiah, lamenting societal woes, and yet still brushing up on the mechanics of the air fryer just so she can seem to fit in?

You want me to pray? For somebody else’s marriage?

Like I said, perplexed.

If anyone were to receive a medal in this world, it would be my husband. Matt’s not perfect. He’ll claim as such…depending on what day it is. But the man is the epitome of patience and intestinal fortitude, two things with which a person needs to be equipped to deal with a thirty-something struggling writer and stay-at-home mom who claims her oven is trying to break up with her.

It is not easy being Matt Clay.

But he does it anyways, with great finesse, and I started to lean into the idea of praying for other people’s marriages because at least he would be standing there with me, watering down my extreme flavor of crazy so that God would stand in our midsts and hear our prayers.

But we all know that’s not how this works.

Here I am, raw and vulnerable, imperfect and rough-edged servant. I want to add “humble” to that list. I think I’d willingly die for that word to be written on my tombstone. But God and I both know we still have work to do to get me there.

So instead, I’ll say this: I have a broken heart that always needs mending. And I’m not too proud to announce that only Jesus can do that work. So maybe that’s why I was asked to pray for others.

Because I know God hears those who know they need it most.

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Just another day.

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We’re painting our house.

There’s a mess all over the floor, and opened containers of paint on my kitchen counters, and wall things that have become floor things, and an overall sense of life being askew and order being put on hold.

My dog ate a bird today. Okay well, really, just killed it and played around with it for a second and wore a big old dog smile like, “What a great way to kick off a Wednesday, am I right?” It got me thinking about when Roxie was still alive and Rocco had killed yet another bird and she kept hopping around in a gleeful little circle, head snapping back and forth between me and the bird in an attempt for me to truly understand how amazing her life was in that moment. Heck, she hadn’t even killed the bird, and she was pretty darn proud of herself.

I’ve always really respected her for that.

Today, my daughter’s main project was to sort through the U-haul moving box I’ve used to store all of her school work and art projects from preschool to present day. And by store, I mean dump into the cavernous inside and cram under the extra desk in my husband’s office. She dumped out the contents all over the floor, and everything that’s made her who she is today stared right back at her. She was perplexed at the number of teacher write ups she received in a not so flattering vein: Ava decided to randomly bite her friend today as they were sitting quietly next to each other; Ava refuses to listen, so we need to start utilizing the sticker chart again; Ava started a small fire in the girls’ bathroom and convinced her friends to burn their shoes while she sang the theme song from The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Okay, that last one may or may not be exaggerated a bit, but you could tell she wouldn’t have been surprised if she came across something like that. It was such a reminder of the pain of wanting what you used to have, when at the time, it wasn’t worth the pain of holding it in your hand. But now, spread out all over the floor in the presence of drying paint and dog breath that stinks of bird innards, I think on that pain, how it must mean we’re still here, still alive. And I thank God for the little moments that never seem to matter.

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Me and my golden calf.

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Sometimes, the prettiest people have the ugliest hearts.

There’s a somebody I used to know who was my golden calf. I hated having an idol, but I needed an idol. Something to admire with my eyes and say, “This is what you don’t measure up to.” And then I’d dig my fingernails into the dirt, crawling and climbing to some version of myself that I thought would measure up.

There is no such version.

This person was pretty, and now? She’s beautiful. She lives in a faraway land, and I imagine her net worth is an unending swimming pool filled with a hundred dollar bills that would give Scrooge McDuck a mild panic attack.

This person is all about this person—so much so, they don’t even need me to worship them anymore.

I’m thirty-six. I’m too old for idols. No, that’s not correct. I’m too learned for idols, perhaps. I know the Lord. He calls and turns my face away, and the gold is no longer gold but a slight pile of ash.

My heart aches for this woman.

Can you imagine crawling and digging your way until you finally make it? And you cover the truth of yourself in make up and hair and clothes so nobody can see the way your skin cracks at night, giving way to the ugly inside you? You become what they need you to become, and you believe the lie because the only other option is to crawl back down and come to terms with what you never could before.

Oz behind the curtain.

I think the sweetest thing God ever did for me was to release my claws and set me down on solid earth again. It’s where I can stand and see the birds in the beautiful bright sky.

And the only golden thing about this place is the sun, and the way it warms my face.

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