March 31, 2014

Surprised by Motherhood... from day one all the way to now!

So... it's not like we hadn't discussed having a baby one day -  but we hadn't really been trying. I had just been hired on at our church - agreeing to a salary of half of what I was bringing home before.  But it would be worth it because, less stress + more time to press in to God = win-win!

It was on vacation between jobs that I was - shall we say... uh 

- surprised by motherhood.   I knew it immediately, but tried to remain in denial for weeks and weeks.

For nine months... I was sick. Every. Day. Sick.  As in throwing up while driving, while sitting, while eating... yeah.  I was fun like that.  It was rough and we had a scare or two along the way and by the time I was two weeks overdue, I was so over being pregnant and thought, "Let's just get on with it already!"

Through my entire labor, the nurses told me I was not in labor. I was scheduled to be induced the following day and they just sort of planned on me taking up time the next day - but not so much that day!  I feel like God tricked me in the best way possible because He knows how I am. I didn't have time to really stress out or worry and I thought it hurt - but I had better pace myself if this was not labor... turns out it was, and finally when we had a shift change with a new nurse (Praise the Living God Jehovah!) - I was just a few pushes away from Motherhood.  She arrived, wide eyed and alert... like she had been waiting for me to hurry up and get here!

Aaaah - Motherhood.  The blessed exhaustion that gives a title as it takes every ounce of every thing else (ever.)  OK - not ever... but for long seasons at a time, it sure feels like you are drained and dry, with nothing left to give... 

Can I just say this: I have loved it. Every. Single. (Draining.) Season.  

Being a Mom... that is my jam. It is what I feel I was made to do and while I am fully aware that not a one of us does it perfectly, I was feeling pretty confident that I was doing it well (for years and years.) Seriously - I was nailing it... until maybe I wasn't. That feeling of confidence disappeared all together at one point... but Grace has a way of rushing right on in and filling those gaps... spilling into all those cracks! Time is like a healing balm and forgiveness is a gift we give each other.  Love truly does cover, bind up, make whole again.

I have an Only... and my Honey is an amazing, loving, hands on Daddy and that, I know, makes a huge difference.  We were blessed with a Girlie who is the best of both of us and yet completely her own person and she gave herself to Jesus at the ripe old age of four... 
Oh my stars - she's my favorite!                             

We have had our struggles... the testing of boundaries, the growing pains, (the hormones)... we survived the girl drama, the boyfriends (sweet Jesus), and all of the high school years.  We survived the late nights, the school dances, the slumber parties, the closed doors and silent treatments. We had ups and downs, goals fulfilled and dreams dying... we had family vacations across the country and family discussions in a pile on the kitchen floor

But through it all - we reminded ourselves that we were raising a human being who we would want to hang out with when she was all growed up... and here we are, her - all growed up, and we're still hanging out!

The good seasons were great... the hardest season I honestly thought would kill me.  My heart that was always open, began to close up - to self-protect, to question this Call to Motherhood.  Maybe I wasn't so good at this afterall?  But here is the surprising thing of Motherhood... it doesn't really matter if you have given birth, or if you fell in love in other ways... we all have within us the capacity to mother... and when I have been sick, or lacking, or at the end of myself and have run out of any kind of mothering that I could muster... God sent in someone to mother me a bit and fill me back up!  So - this Call to Motherhood... it is a Call to Sisterhood too.  

It ebbs and flows and sometimes you will find, when your Little is little and gently 4, or when he or she is Not so Little and well into teendom or adulthood - they may just be the ones who God sends to come alongside you and love you back to overflowing!
It has been my honor, on the good days and the bad, to be called Mama and to pour into a life, to help build a heart that beats for Him.

I have this friend... this sister... this fellow Mama...
...and she has penned down her story of how she was Surprised by Motherhood and today? 

Well - today is the birth of a different kind of baby... and while I have only devoured the first three chapters, I highly recommend it! You just may need some tissues, and chocolate... 

...oh yes, you're gonna want a bit of chocolate too!

I can't even.
Happy (Book) Birthday, Lisa-Jo!

No More Sleeps... today is the day!  
You can order your copy from Amazon HERE!
If they sell out, and you cannot wait (who can, really?) you can also purchase a copy at any of these locations:
Barnes & Noble 





Linking up, talking about being Surprised by Motherhood, with Lisa-Jo Baker and with Crytal Stine for #BehindtheScenes.

Photo Credits - last 3 are used by permission from Lisa-Jo Baker

What I Learned in March... A Random List of Things

It's time! It's time! It's true... it's time for my favorite Link Up of the month, over at Emily Freemans' place, where we look back and list off random things that we have learned in the past month! They can be serious or silly - (most often times, a bit of both!)  We went a few months in between so last post I had tons of things that I had learned.  This time? Well it seems nearly impossible that I can think of even 2 things from last month - but you know how I roll and I will refer back to all the Bossy Media and remind myself of life lessons learned! (Hey... I'm 43, ya'll... this is real life!)

So - here we go!  Let's see what I learned...

Random Things that I learned in March:

1. I learned that Lent is not just a Catholic thing!  I know, I know... (I'm sorry!)  My ignorance is showing... but ya know what? That's okay because what I gave up for Lent this year is Self-Doubt and Hesitation and that is causing all KINDS of havoc in this little world of mine! Turns out - when you lay those down... a whole slew of others go with them and what you have left is a lot of room to step in to who you really are! So - yeah... I'm planning on leaving those idols laying down in the dust even after 40 days have come and gone! Honestly - I have Ann Voskamp to thank for teaching me about Advent, and Jennifer Dukes Lee for teaching me about Lent! (Non-affiliate links - they are both just really really great books, ya'll!)

2. I learned some things about those Photo-A-Day Challenges on Instagram...  Those are fun, right? I think I have attempted them now three or four times! I am all about it for the first two weeks... but slowly I am all like, "You're not the Boss of me!" and "How can I care enough to remember to even take a picture of something green today? I can't... that is the answer. The answer is: I can not."  So... by week three it's sporadic at best and by week four I have pretty much given up! And yet... it's a new month, with new challenges... and it's a little like creating art and I just can't not try, right?  Am I alone here? Do any of you play along with these? (And if so, what's your Instagram handle?)

3. I learned that this can actually be done: Leaving Self Doubt at home for a Writers Conference!  For real though - it was like the ultimate challenge and right off the bat, too! I know I already wrote about the conference and what it felt like (hint - it felt a lot like freedom!) to leave Self Doubt behind and stay present and confident in who I am (because of Whose I am, and because I am learning to believe what He says about me!) but in all honesty... I wasn't convinced that it could be done! It was one of those times when you are happy to be wrong! 

4. I learned that this even exists: Aloe Vera King Drink! So I am all for healthy choices and all. I really am.  But ya'll know me and my love for beverages and we just couldn't seem to get over the little bits of aloe gel... still - we bought several bottles over the weekend and drank them all! They taste great (Peach was our fav) and surely they must be healthy, right? Of course, they will never replace my coffee!

5. I learned the answer to: Who needs actual time to plan a pretty awesome Baby Shower? Answer - not this girl! We decided pretty last minute to throw my niece a Baby Shower when the whole family was in town and while it was only two weeks notice... well, I fought the urge to waste days on Pinterest pining (not pinning... pining... did ya see what I didn't do there?) away and just jumped right in, paid attention to my budget, and stayed in reality and managed to still pull off a pretty fun Shower.  My #1 goal? To make sure that she felt the love. Her Mom, after the party, hugged me close and said she loved how there was so much love poured in to the details.  And then, from my niece in her Thank You card to me, she wrote this: "Thank you for a beautiful shower and a nice visit. I am always amazed at how you make everything so pretty, and less crazy." (#forthewin!)

6. I learned that sometimes to really see and understand your OneWord (Vision), well - poor eyesight can actually help... Well - not that I like this... but it is what it is and sometimes we all need a little down time, less screen time, and to just - ya know - close. our. eyes.  Thank you for the prayers! My vision does seem to be improving and this whole more time not sitting in front of this screen (or that screen...) may just be my new normal and that is actually a really great thing!

7. I learned that I still really love a House FULL of Family!  As much as this family is made up of Introverts, I get filled up when the house is full and every one is loving every one and the older we get the less it happens and so I find myself in a corner, watching it all unfold and loving every noisy second of it! Even when all the Introverts are overwhelmed and are - uh - introverting on their own devices... we are all together and sharing in the quiet and I am busy counting gifts, one by one!

8. I learned that praying for God to forgive my sin AS I am doing it is not the best choice... (otherwise known as Going to Bed Angry...) I know... honestly - marriage is work, ya'll - and we are blessed and found a rhythm early on in ours and we rarely fight.  But everyone has those days... the ones when communication is just not really happening and assumptions and misinterpretations are all the rage... We had had a full week, recuperating from above mentioned house full, then fighting off sickness, and lastly dealing with some serious health issues with our Dad... a night out with friends was planned and we were so ready to unwind and catch up!
So that part was great... as usual! (We have the BEST friends! We have done life with these guys for over 20 years now! So blessed!)  Anyway - the next day, my Honey had planned on going over to Seattle to see his Dad in the hospital.  All week long he had talked of going over but hadn't decided for sure until Friday afternoon.  He was hoping to head over with a sibling or two but they had their own travel plans for a few days later so he decided to just go on his own.  He kept using words like "I" and "me" and I assumed (yeah yeah... I know what that makes me!) that this did not include me.  And since I hadn't said anything about it - he assumed (see? even stevens!) that I didn't want to go along.  So he went to bed without saying good night... and I crawled in bed, way over on the edge of my side... so as, you know, not to touch him... and I prayed something like (and no, sadly - I am not kidding) "Lord, forgive me as I sin... I am going to bed angry... I am tired and I do not want to deal with this tonight.  He obviously wants to be on his own so fine... whatever.  Sorry Lord..."  I know... super. mature.  Thank God my Honey is older wiser more grown up than I am and he bridged the gap and we laid side by side, in the dark, and talked things out until we drifted off to sleep, holding hands.  I take no credit and the lesson I learned is that there is just honestly SO MUCH wisdom in not letting the sun go down on your anger.  It was nice to wake up, not having that hanging heavy on my heart!  Instead, we packed the car and headed out of town, holding hands, together.

 9. I (re)learned that a Day Trip to Seattle is doable and must happen more often... We left our little town with nothing but blue skies all around and within about 40 minutes, we approached a literal impressive WALL of clouds/fog.  It was crazy and looked almost apocalyptic and we thought we would drive right down into it and come back out to blue skies on the other side... but... well, not so much:
We had a nice visit with my Honey's parents and was happy to find his Dad looking much better than we expected! He is healing and we waited until they moved him from the Critical Care Unit to a normal room before leaving. (He is actually scheduled for another surgery at 3pm today... completely unrelated to the first! Prayers appreciated for his full recovery!) Before heading back to town, we braved the classic Seattle weather and walked around downtown a bit... finding a great little restaurant, spotting signs of Spring, and - you know - ComicCon2014... (What? I only snapped a couple of iphone pix!)

As we pulled back into our driveway we decided then and there that Day Trips to Seattle are totally doable and we must plan to make them more often!

10. I learned that I like to read what I write - out loud... in front of people. Is that weird?  I have given lectures or taught at Bible studies, I have shared a devotion time or led out in prayer but only recently have I had the chance to read portions of a post here or there and I have to say, I really like it.  I'm not sure why, but I am sure that it is one more confirmation in a direction that He is calling me. 

11. I learned that a New (to me) Desk causes me to get all kinds of Organized.. We have had the same computer desk in our kitchen since our Only was 3 or 4... 3 or 4, ya'll? She's almost 19!  Yeah - it was all old school with the printer shelf and the CD holder with Storage tower on top... it worked fine - but when a friend said she was getting rid of her more modern dark wood desk... I jumped at the chance! Of course - more modern means no drawers, shelves, or storage. Still - I was willing to go through All. The. Papers. (and old software... and old computer games. Pajama Sam, Nancy Drew, or Myst anyone?)  My work space feels so much cleaner... and less cluttered (go figure!) and now I just want to lean back in this chair and drink it all in (and still not work... uh oh?)

12. I learned that I love my Tuesday routine... (Coffee and quiet time, Bible study with my tribe, lunch, then a walk!)  But more importantly, I learned that I still really love Indian food - and I decided that I am going to remember this more often - so I can eat all. the. butter. chicken. (and naan!)  I love Tuesdays... but on last Tuesday, since my sissy was in town and she loves to go out to The Taj, we had a lunch date and OH. Mah. Gah.  #Icantstop  #Iwontstop  For the love, people... I can't get enough of the Butter Chicken and Naan! Who needs rice pudding dessert when you can just have - I don't know - MORE butter chicken?

I am Linking up with EMILY FREEMAN
Join us!

So what about you?  What did you learned in March?  

March 29, 2014

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 37

Hey there everyone! How are ya'll doing? I'm not sure if I am seeing better, or getting used to the floaters that cloud my view - but I am still stepping away from this screen more than usual - which may become my new normal really!  I appreciate all the prayers and as much as I may joke - I really do believe that they are working... my eyesight is being healed and getting better and yet - the time away has been good... necessary even! (As if God knew that all along!)  So - even with less time sitting in this chair, staring at this screen - I have managed to compile a pretty impressive Gathering of Awesome, if I do say so myself! (And I do... oh how I do!)

Happy Reading!

* This one by my friend Kris Camealy, reviewing the new book Love Idol, (plus a Giveaway!)  "Our imperfections are not a pink slip for this life. We don’t have to spend our lives trying to prove our value. We can choose, just as we are, to reflect God’s glory. We can choose to let our imperfections be a beacon of grace.

This post by Jen Hatmaker on running your race and using your gifts.  "I am inspired by people doing what they do best.  I mean, I really am. As I read or pay attention or listen, I constantly catalog other people’s gifts, and I think: This is so their lane. I cannot explain this surge of pride I feel when someone bravely offers their gifts up or shares their talents with us or just sings her song well."

* This post by Sarah Bessey on being a late comer to loving Paul... "Now I think that if Paul knew how a few of his words had been twisted, misinterpreted, and misapplied to be used against women, he would be broken hearted."

* This one by Ann Voskamp over at A Holy Experience with a Letter to her Daughter ( - to all of us, His daughters, really!)... "I know there feels like there’s only one of you. The you right now. The one who Feels All The Things.  But believe the impossible things, because it’s true: There are two of you, really. The Short-Term You —- and the Long-Term You. The Now-You — and the Becoming You.  The Immediate You. And the Ultimate You."

* This post by my sweet friend Jennifer Peterson with a list of 39 Ways To Show Love To Your Family  (I can't pick just one as an example because all 39 are great ideas!)

* This post over at Outside the City Gates by David Rupert on Dreamers and how we need them (you!)  "And so it is with dreamers. They will never be popular. They’ll be called “out of touch.” They’ll be scorned and talked about behind their backs. They’ll lose friends. But someone around here has to dream. Someone has to see things the way they ought to be. Someone has to articulate and plant the dream in fellow humans."

* This post over at by Jennie Allen on the importance of being intentional and an opportunity to pursue friendships with #inrl  "It easier to survive this life on the surface, brushing up against people gently, rather than doing the mess of intentionally loving them. Love takes risk. Love takes forgiveness and grace. Love takes effort, time, and commitment. You commit not to bolt when it gets hard, because it will get hard.  And if this is the cost of deep relationship, we just don’t have capacity and space to go deep with everyone. So we have to become intentional.  We don’t just need people; we need the right people."  (Check out the Link Up on this page as well, that features posts from some of the Speakers for this years In Real Life Conference!)

* This post over at Jennifer Dukes Lee's place - so powerful!  It's a gathering of awesome post over at Jennifer Dukes Lee's place today... a gathering of Beautiful and Brave and we are bonding together, linking arms and hearts and hopes, laying down Love Idols left and right and those Not Enoughs? We are so Over It! (Join us?)

 * This post right HERE from Abiding Love, Abounding Grace where I write about my OneWord (Vision) and how I can not see. "It's when I can catch a faint scent of the fragrance of Christ that I find myself tuning in to the senses He has given... I lean in, and breath deep, and I remember that He is here - whether I can see Him or not.  He smells like Sweetness and Sensual all at once and I remember that He is in hot pursuit and He is the air that I breathe and the perfume that I want to linger after I leave a room."

Lastly... A video! Because that is how we do...
and because I have just finished this amazing book and honestly - I HIGHLY recommend it! Ya'll know how much I love me some Jennifer Dukes Lee (see above linky love!) and this book is from her heart - but it's all about His heart for you!

What did I miss? Did you find anything Amazing online this week that I didn't list here? As usual, link it in the comments and share the love!  

March 27, 2014

A Mighty God - Five Minute Friday

When you have been limiting your screen time and aren't quite sure if your eyes are being healed or if you are just getting used to looking 'around' distractions and you are fighting a bit of a headache and should probably just take out your contacts and close your eyes and rest - and you've already 'been to' a Twitter party this week that you weren't supposed to go to anyway but you remember that it is Thursday night and somehow --somehow-- the house is empty again and you have no one to boss you around or point you away from a screen... yeah... that. (As if it's good for me to stay away? Pshh!)

Oh but - first - the fine print: if you don't know what FMF is!  Five Minute Fridays are hosted by Lisa Jo Baker.  It is open to anyone, so to learn more about it - and to jump in yourself (the more the merrier!) or just to find a linky to see what everyone is writing about today - click HERE!  The idea is to simply write... for Five Minutes flat... no editing, no deep thinking - or at least REthinking, no spell check - just write! Let it flow! We all write using a prompt that Lisa posts at 10pm Thursday night (EST.)  I'm loving the community of amazing bloggers and the creativity that flows from these magical Five Minutes!

So - here goes: Five Minute Friday - The Word Prompt is: MIGHTY


 So those two place right up there... yeah, those are my two favorite places to encounter a Mighty God.  

At the beach because, well - hello?  How can one not feel small and yet so very safe in the palm of His hand when you remember that you cannot count the sand or the stars and He is the One who tells the waves where to go... I feel held there on the shoreline... like He is awesome and mighty and with Him, I can do - anything... (as long as my feet are secure on the sand, anyway! Whatever... I'm getting over it!)

And in the midst of Worship... it can be a big gathering with lights and screens (like above, at Bethel) or small and accoustic with candles and quiet (like in our living room with friends!)'s in worship that I remember that He is here - right here, waiting for me to breathe Him in! I remember again that He is always awesome and mighty and that with Him, I can do anything! (Yes... I forget again and again and am so thankful for the reminders!)

I have this pretty amazing friend... she just oozes grace and encouragement and real and passion and she is beautiful in all the ways we long to be... I had the honor of meeting her in real life at Allume last Fall, but really - our kindred hearts had already connected through these interwebs and we were bonded as Mama's and friends.  

You see, she is having this baby in just 'four sleeps' now and we are all giddy with excitement because we know how He pours out through her and how He loves so big and how He has such amazing plans that we can't even know yet... 

We are standing at the seaside, toes in sand and holding hands, ready to jump a few waves together... asking you to join us!

We are in worship of the Father who has called and equipped us to be Mama's and Sisters and Mighty Warriors and Carriers of His Love.  We are bowing down and raising hands and offering hearts to the King who is a Mighty mighty God... and we are inviting you to sing along!

Sing with us the song of how we are - every one of us - surprised by motherhood. This is Lisa-Jo's story... her journey... but it is all of us.

{STOP} is all of us and whether you are a Mama, you have a Mama, or you are blessed and challenged by Mama's all around you - this book will bless! It will make you laugh out loud, wish for red dirt clay, thirst for a cup of tea with only a table between us, and cry that ugly cry that releases healing and grace!  I have only begun reading it myself, but already I can say quite confidently, this book may just make you mother better while taking off all the pressure (to do and be All the Things)... 

Order your copy of Surprised by Motherhood on Tuesday, April 1st (Because, of course!) and join this community!  We have chocolate at the ready... come on in!

Five Minute Fridays gives us the chance to dive right in and share what He puts on our hearts! Click here to read what others have to say about "MIGHTY"  

March 26, 2014

Coffee & Books, what's not to love? A Book Review: Love Idol

So... if you have been around here in the past few weeks, you know that I am battling some eyesight issues.  This (shockingly, I know!) mostly interrupts my computer/screen time and has sort of forced me into a Slow Down.  Not much of one, let's be clear, because I actually DO have other All the Things stuff that goes on in real life... still... it's cut in to my writing time. But, because of how I am, you know I just added an extra coffee (or six) and pressed on with my reading! I mean, I can't be expected to stop the pouring in AND the pouring out, right?  

Last night, I curled up beside my Honey and actually read in bed. This rarely happens for several reasons, a few of which are: 

1. My Honey likes to put us all to bed when he is tired... the only problem is we are all (now) nearly grown ups and we are not all tired at 9:30pm
2. I am way more comfortable curled up in my spot on the couch than trying to shift to an upright position in my bed.  That thing... that is made for laying down, ya'll! It's great at it... I just can't get as cozy sitting up (with no arms/sides to lean against!)
3. I am blind.  As in - with no contacts, it's lights out... So to take my contacts out and try to read is impossible - quite literally. I do have these glasses that get me from the bathroom to the bedside, aiding in not stubbing my toe on the way there.  They are so sexy... thus - I try not to wear them around the house when others are up and about... because - well - I'm taken. (Coke bottle doesn't even really do them justice in attempting to describe them!) I will say - other than the lack of sex appeal, they are heavy... as in - they slide down my nose and it's just difficult to read (sure... ok... whatever... insert whining here!)  

Still, these are a few of my reasons!  Sometimes it is just because I don't want to read from a book - but from a screen, and since that is not happening as much I thought I would give it a go, old school style! I think this Reading In Bed may just turn into a Thing... it may take off! 

Besides, even if I didn't enjoy it... my Honey loved it so much that I realized that I need to do it. I can always just page through a magazine -see? Old school. For him, it's in the being together and unplugged, and really who doesn't need some of that every single day?

So - I was able to curl up beside him as he read his own book and finish the final pages of Love Idol: Letting go of your need for approval - and seeing yourself through God's eyes by Jennifer Dukes Lee.

I wasn't so sure he was loving this set up because, if you can imagine, when I read something amazing - I sort of have to hear myself reading it out loud too. I want it to soak in deep and so I read to him about Haiti and Love Idols and about the need to relearn the love-saturated gospel.  He actually loves this about me.  It's one of my quirks that he has come to expect enjoy.  He gets to 'read' twice as many books this way so it's win-win!

When the book first arrived we were heading out on a road trip and he was my driver, so I dug right in and started the book 'sharing' (that's what I like to call it anyway!) with him and it was good to wrap it up together too.

When I started this book, I prayed about my own Love Idols and I've written about how God led me to give up Self-Doubt and Hesitation for Lent this year.  (You can read about that here and here - and here.) So far, so good - and that alone just may be a miracle! That right there should make you want to run out and buy this book because... well, because God is in it and all over it and He will set you free(r) through it! All over my house and my heart and these interwebs, you will see images like these:

...because I need to remember.  If I am not going to give in to self-doubt, I need visual reminders that He is already cheering for me. He is in my corner and is equipping me for every good work... there is no earning with Him.  Let me say that again because I think we all tend to forget this...

There is no earning with Him.  His Grace is costly - but it is free. He paid the price and our job is to open our hearts and hands and lives up wide and say thank you. Thank You! 

We truly are, in Christ, #preapproved.

If you have been reading Jennifer's blog or have had the pleasure of meeting her in real life, this will come as no surprise, but this girl is the real deal.  She is not about making herself look the part... at least not anymore! And in her being real, she makes space and stirs up hunger for you me us to do the same!  Let's let our walls down... let's risk being real because in the living honest and open, we find the power within us to lay down every hiding Love Idol that lurks in the corners of our hearts and minds and steals, kills, and destroys the paths that are designed to lead us straight to Him.  

There is something so freeing in the invitation to let go of perfect... to show our real and our hurting... to speak our stories and live our lives out loud. When we really get that He is for us... that He loves us most and best... the urge to run anywhere else for approval fades in comparison to what we are already saturated in every single day.  He is the air and the breath and the love that we need to survive - no, not just survive... He is everything we need to thrive

I wanted to include just a FEW of the underlined, starred, and highlighted quotes from the pages of this book.  They are many... because this book holds His heart for you and in its' pages, you just may find what your heart has always been looking for: Freedom to believe that you are who He says you are! Beloved. Cherished. HIS!

"My whole life, I have lived this way, in a breathless scamper for signficiance and the approval that comes with it.  I have performed, climbed, raced, jockeyed, and postured for it. I feared rejection. I've wanted to be a lot of things: prettier, skinnier, smarter, better. In all the striving, the graffiti of human praise defaced real love."
"Over the course of history, these have been the moments when people whip up their own little idols.  In our small minds, God seems distant or disinterested. We lose patience, and we begin to seek love and approval from more tangible gods. When God's presence isn't obvious to us, we are tempted to fashion idols out of what's right in front of us - what we can see and touch."
"People never outgrow that God-designed craving for love."
"Until you are convinced of God's incredible love for you, you will continue looking for replacement love everywhere but in the heart of Christ."
"I don't always practice what I preach. I have begun to realize that even when I know the right answers, it's hard to live them."
"Here's the thing about the Love Idol: It thrusts its bossy self between you and God's call on your life.  And when that Love Idol gets up in your business, you can't quite hear what God is saying to you."
"What we say to ourselves, and to one another, can determine whether we live imprisoned or free."
"My default response is to return to the sin that made me lovesick.  So I need daily injections of gospel-truth to immunize my flawed humanity."
"God has been habitually leaving love notes all over this privileged planet. For the whole lot of us, for His Beloved. I begin to pray that I can see them, in the everyday moments."
"I am struck by how freedom feels when it begins to wrap itself around the soul, like it fits because it was already mine." 
and lastly, this quote:
"What love will we know and crave today? To whom will our hearts bow? Our answers to those questions --every single day-- will help us decide whether we will chase after the Love Idol or the Love Author. They will also determine whether we'll wear the Real Us on the outside or tuck the most honest versions of ourselves away somewhere 'safe.'"

Let me invite you to lean in... to chase after the Love Author... to wear the Real You... Join me, join us in the movement, won't you?

My name is Karrilee,
and I am preapproved!

(... you are too, my friend! Oh how I pray that you receive this truth! You are #preapproved too!)

Linking up, talking of who inspires and sharing a cup of coffee with Holley Gerth and the Community at:

and with Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory:

For more info on Love Idol, enjoy this:

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