When in doubt, meow.

I keep coming back to Zipporah.

Zipporah was Moses’s wife, and she had a really cool name.

You’re learning so much today!

I think about her a lot now, whereas in her place, I’d usually think about things like what my super hero capability would be (learning to speak cat so I could properly meow) or that time my dad told me that maybe what we think of as existence is really just the fleeting thought of a hungry beetle.

I should call him. And ask him to stop talking to people.

In a kind of crazy passage of the Bible (hahahaha….all of them??), there’s a part where Zipporah intervenes on behalf of her husband to keep God from killing him (Exodus 4:24-26).

Moses REALLY dropped the ball by not circumcising his son (which is kind of like saying “Oh, God, we’re good over here, we don’t really need to follow you or anything and also more steak, less mana?”), so Zipporah picked up his slack and did it for him and she was so MAD (I mean, ew, right?). But she did it because she feared God and she loved her husband.

What I’m trying to say is that Zipporah was, well, a smart cookie, observant, and a woman of action.

And she didn’t crumble.

But let’s talk about the crumbling.

I’ve spent a good thirty-three years breaking apart like a delicious cookie.

My usual drug of choice was a depression/anxiety/body dysmorphia cocktail that I used to chug on the regular.

And I tried the whole inner ME thing. The tapping into the space that exists apparently right behind you breastbone, and if you magically turn that key, you’re in control of your destiny, your feelings, your onslaught of sneaky emotions that choke you up and leave you regretting breath the first thing in the morning.

And maybe, just maybe you start believing my dad’s beetle theory.

But Zipporah just didn’t roll like that because really, that truth just doesn’t exist. She trusted God even when everything was on her shoulders, namely the fate of her husband, which in turn, affected her own fate.

She wasn’t a super human on her own accord and actually, wasn’t really a super human at all (her meowing was terrible…look it up), but yet another regular ‘ol person God used to do great things.

That is YOU. YOU are suffocating right now, are you not? YOU wake up and are watching your world burn at the edges, the flames licking your cheeks. And YOU are doing that thing where you’re clawing at your breastbone, looking for the answers.

And ME? I’m going to ask you one simple favor: please stop.

I know what it’s like to keep spinning, uncontrollably, and look in the mirror to find the eyes of somebody who’s unhinged and floating through life like the momentary thought of a beetle.

YOU are amazing. But YOU can’t do it alone.

And Zipporah couldn’t either or Moses or David or Jeremiah or Mary or that guy down the street who keeps parking his car in his yard like he wants me to angrily meow at him.

We’re all just human, friend. And there’s no secret recipe you need to tap into. But there is a God who’s patiently waiting, who can keep you from crumbling like the delicious cookie you are.

All you got to do is ask.

Also? Meow.

Advertisements

Beyond skin deep.

My skin is rebelling.

This is not what my skin does.

Remember my other organs? How beautifully I’ve been crafted by God that even the medical community has frequently commented on it in the past? (Matt stop rolling your eyes.)

Well, my skin has jumped ship recently.

It’s my fault. As the only child of a woman who is the skin care queen (my mother looks like my slightly older baby sitter. And I’m sure when we’re out, fellow store patrons are relieved knowing someone is keeping an on me), I was given a solid diet of Paula’s Choice products since I was ten.

This is probably why for the longest time waiters were mad at me for ordering so much alcohol. Or maybe it was because I like to order through interpretative dance. Either way.

Ava recently received her first Paula’s Choice skin care kit from my mother this year as well so you can understand that this isn’t a gift given in passing. This is a serious family tradition that marks the beginning of a life characterized by angry waiters and gluing your ID to your forehead.

And I’ve been failing horribly.

I think somewhere down the line I just assumed I had naturally beautiful skin as a consolation prize for telling time making me so mad/sad.

And I’m kind of cheap. And if the Internet tells me slathering a tub of butter on my skin will turn me into a glorious baby deer, I’m gonna do it.

So for weeks, I was poring through articles and firsthand accounts about how certain incredibly cheap DIY skin care routines were the bomb diggity (shout out to sixth grade Ericka, represent!). Ahem.

I tried everything from slathering honey on my face (I was so delicious) to rubbing powdered turmeric into my cheeks for a healthy glow (jaundice is a kind of healthy…right?).

All along I was denying the very thing that kept my skin healthy and my photo on the wall of every bar in the tri-state area.

Faith, like good skincare, can often be neglected. Or maybe it’s never been tapped in the first place.

I’ve been there. I went from Catholic, to “maybe there’s a God,” to “there’s no god but long live Gloria Steinem,” to “anyone going to eat the rest of this guacamole?” to “I’ve been up three nights in a row with night terrors and who peed on the kitchen floor?” (Fortunately, it was dog pee. You can stop holding your breath now.)

My life has never been linear, at least not in my head. I have a knack for cutting people out of it like trying to win a Japanese game show and if you meet me in person after reading my blog posts, you might find me incredibly dull, if not adorably kid-sister like. I’ve already built the fort so…

But God is forever reaching out to me. I know that. And what’s weird you guys is that I FEEL it. Like Justin Beiber once randomly sang on Instagram:

And oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine

(Yeah, he’s gone super Jesus. So…Armageddon soon. Just a friendly warning.)

God would do anything to get me back on track and fully enveloped in His love. Even when I’m off dazed and wandering in the forest, terrorizing a bee hive so I can slather its honey on my face.

My skin is healing now. My mother actually emergency called the Paula Choice’s customer service line to map out a custom plan for my skin and the products should be arriving soon (Some mothers bake cookies… Okay, mine bakes cookies, too. She just looks twenty while doing it).

In her words: “There is NOTHING. I mean NOTHING I need in this world other than my skin care products. Not all my purses, not all my shoes…okay wait, Jesus. Jesus first…then my skincare products.” And if you’ve ever seen that woman’s closet, this is saying something. I’d really like to vacation there one day.

Moral? 

Don’t forget what makes your soul clean and heart healthy. God will never forsake you, so pay him back the favor, mmmkay?

Now let’s go order margaritas and get yelled at. 

Do they really love Jesus?

Poetry.

Let’s talk about that.

I do this weird thing where I’m like really really good at poetry. Better than I am at talking about how good I am at things.

And you have to imagine how frustrating it is to be so good at something nobody likes.

It’s like if I were really really good at giving lobotomies.

It just doesn’t pay, son.

But I’m doing it anyways.

I’m currently writing a compilation of poems after I’ve read, processed, and become slightly terrified from reading portions of the Bible.

Let’s talk about the terror.

It’s not a type of terror that encourages me to fear God as in run away screaming and crying and praying that hiding behind a giant bag of organic quinoa chips in the pantry will somehow throw God off my scent (yes, we are an organic quinoa chip household. Deal with it).

It’s more of a fear of other humans. People who have somehow taken the Bible and mass produced a sticky sweet “Christianity” that involves driving an over-sized SUV and dedicating Starbucks as the weekly Bible study hangout.

And you got to realize how horrible I feel lumping a whole segment of the population into this kind of category. It’s always been “us” versus “them” in this society and until we all accept Christ, it’s always going to be that way, folks.

So I don’t mean to perpetuate that type of behavior, but you have to admit, going to church and being given a nasty stare from a soccer mom/super model who just loves her Jesus oh so much kind of gives you a bad taste in your mouth.

And dude, I’ve so been there.

Here’s the thing: look at Jesus. Look back at the soccer mom/super model. Now look back at Jesus. Now look at my Tom’s. Aren’t they adorable? Okay, now back at the soccer mom/super model.

What’s the problem here? Besides the fact that I don’t own ALL the Toms? It’s the fact that people like soccer mom/super model is representing Christ when really, she’s just representing herself.

And that sucks for us who have really undergone something incredible and want to share it with our friends, family, strangers who are hurting in this world. It so sucks that someone who looks down their nose at you is also telling you that this is what Christianity is all about: perfectly coiffed hair, bright red lipstick, big ‘ol Louis Vuitton that’s liable to smack you in the face if you’re genetically blessed to be 5’4″ and incapable of possessing moderately passable reflexes (*cough* *cough* Ericka).

But it’s not.

It’s exactly what the Bible has been telling us this whole time. It’s about imperfection, human struggle, dirt and feces and all consuming self-hatred and loathing for others and intense love that makes you want to vomit a little bit and a reliance on God because the truth of the matter is that YOU WILL NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH. And the other truth of the matter? That’s perfectly okay and as it should be.

God has you and loves you. And here’s the thing: God loves soccer mom/super model, too. The old me would have keyed an incredibly life-like rendering of that time I posed with a cardboard cut out of JTT into the side of her Denali. Some would even have considered it an idiot-savant level of artistic expression.

The new me? Well, I’m a lot less “fun” these days. So what I’d do instead is pray for her. Not in that condescending “bless your heart” Southern way that is totally epic but not at all appropriate. But a real prayer. That she will understand and accept Jesus thoroughly and fully and start walking the narrow path.

Otherwise, one day, she’ll stumble and fall down the broad road, shoulder-to-shoulder with everyone whose hearts have turned stone hard, missing her car, her Ericka-sized purse, but very little else.

Let go, let God.

Untitled design (3)

I deleted all my previous posts.

How’s that for minimalism?

But it’s been something that’s been playing on my heart and in my head for awhile now.

I’m not who I used to be.

I look the same. Ish. And I’m just as brilliant and incredibly humble about it.

You’re welcome.

But fundamentally there’s been a change. I’ve let the hand go of the old me, and every day I attempt to hold tight onto Christ’s.

That’s a big transformation for someone who’s no stranger to dancing on bar tops.

But I guess my feet got tired. And my daughter needed dinner. And my husband loved me too much for me to keep hating myself.

And God loved me, too.

So I took the leap and let go of everything, and I’m finally free.

And now it’s time to write about what I want to write about. What I really think God would like me to talk about.

Let go. Let God.

I’m doing that on an intense level. On a very real physical level that’s manifested itself into me clawing through cabinets and drawers, ridding our lives of the “maybe one days” and the “you never knows.”

Here’s the thing: you don’t know. You just have yourself, this moment, and God’s path for you. And that’s what the Bible keeps telling us.

And I think that living a simpler life is part of that path for me.

I’m not saying having things is inherently bad because it isn’t. But humor me for a second: what if those were the very things that were keeping us from the journey we’re supposed to be taking?

Let go. Let God.

Okay. So what does that look like? Like with anything else, it’s going to be tailored to you and to what God wants for you. So my first suggestion is my first suggestion for anything: pray.

And here are the words you say:

Lord, please lead me on the path you’ve chosen for me. Please help me to remove any obstacles that have impeded my progress towards knowing you fully and completely so that I can become the person you intended me to be.

Or something equally brilliant. Get creative.

So me? What have I been doing? Here’s a quick list that we’ll delve into for future posts as things progress:

  • I’ve freed my brain from Facebook and Instagram. It gets way more oxygen that way.
  • A complete overhaul of our stuff. Goodbye junk. I never liked you anyways.
  • Clean eating to balance my hormones and feel better.
  • Working out to balance my body.
  • More books. Always.
  • Reading the Bible and writing a poetry compilation as I interpret what I read. You know. Girl stuff.
  • Knitting. And wondering why yarn is the devil.
  • Homeschooling my daughter and learning more about her and myself, really.
  • Slowly taking the natural route as far as home care, face care and body care products.
  • Talking to God like I used to talk to myself.
  • Breathing. Again, girl stuff.

I’m growing, learning, changing. And so are you. There’s no perfect recipe for anything. Only a perfect God.

And as I continue to find my way, seeking Him. I’d like to write about it in the process.

Brilliantly, of course.