If you could see my bed, or the floor, or the side table, or my bag, or any number of other places in my home….you would LAUGH out loud. Books, notes, more books, more notes, pens, highlighters, and used water bottles….EVERYWHERE.

I am writing…and prepping…and writing some more.

Okay…there are also dirty clothes, my yoga mat, two suitcases (not fully unpacked), tennis shoes, and Birkenstocks.

I am living in a pig pen.

I cancelled the house cleaner this month because I didn’t have enough energy to clean it up before she got here.

Yup. I just wrote that sentence.

I bet I have listened to a half dozen podcasts, taken over 100 photos of things I need to remember, written dozens of notes in my iPhone app, saved a few voice recordings of “ideas,” and have a ton of songs on repeat….

Because. Writing.

All of this.

I have all of this, but the single email I need to send I have not…I cannot send.

I know that once sent, I can’t put that genie back in the bottle. I know my life changes. My heart changes. One single email signifies the further unclenching of my fists, of the control I have cherished like a new puppy for more than three decades. It means nothing and yet everything.

Back in 2012, I was in the single hardest year of my life and I have often joked that it was Josh Garrels’ song Rise that helped me survive that year. I would listen to it on repeat over and over and over again during hours upon hours of windshield time that had me running between cities, offices, homes, and lives. I wrestled God like an alley cat that year which seems strange since the only reason I remained upright was because God propped me up. I was on fumes. Nothing but fumes.

I wanted to finish well the many tasks I had in my hands…a specific job, a relationship, a family, volunteer tasks, homes, boards. I knew I had too much. I was dropping balls. I just wanted to sit them down…ever so gently…and walk away with a pure heart, a clean heart…with everyone knowing I did my very best. No regrets.

I was precious (insert sarcasm font).

It never goes that way. Well, at least not when this particular lesson is happening to a control freak.

It took me a long time to heal from many of those balls, and some I am still healing from….to this day.

One thing that hasn’t changed…ahem, healed…is my innate need to “finish well” whatever “it” might be. So imagine me in Sunday School yesterday as we study I Samuel 12 and we get to verse 20:

“…Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.”

Finish well.

I think so many of us never step into our calling, our dreams, or any number of good good things God has for us because we are afraid of all we have done before…every misstep, every mistake, every sin, every shortcoming. Everything we have ever messed up is flashing in front of us on a neon sign. It is daunting. Overwhelming.

*Deep Breath*

In 2012, I could not have imagined all that God would bring me through - the bad, the good, the heartbreak, the health issues, travel, new friends, old friends, work, joy, family, words read, words written, experiences, and yet…

I sit here cross-legged on the edge of my bed….and I have to turn on Rise again. Click HERE to listen.


I hung my head, for the last time
In surrender and despair
Before I’m dead, I’ll take the last climb
Up the mountain, face my fears
The time has come, to make a choice
Use my voice for the love of every man
My minds made up, never again
Never again, will I turn round

Though they may surround me like lions
And crush me on all sides
I may fall, but I will rise
Not by my might, or my power, or by the strength of swords
Only through, your love, my lord
All we’ve lost, will be, restored

Take courage sons, for we must go under
The heart of darkness, and set them free
But don’t lose heart when you see the numbers
There’s no measure for, the faith we bring
It’s given us, to overcome
If we run, where the spirit calls us on
The greatest things, have yet to come
With the dawn, we will rise

Though they may surround us like lions
And crush us on all sides
we may fall, but we will rise
Not by my might, or my power, or by the strength of swords
Only through, your love, my lord
All we’ve lost, will be, restored

Restoration has been a beautiful theme that has flowed through the past four years like a gentle stream. Coming to me in the perfect times and in the most unique of ways. God has loved me so well that it takes my breath when I will sit still long enough to allow him to wash over me.

“…Never again, will I turn round…”

Those are powerful words for me.

There are doors we walk through.

There are doors we tiptoe through.

Then…there are doors we must rise to meet.

Lord, I pray for strength to rise to meet the door in front of me. Your love brought me to here and only your love will get me through…I lay it all down…trusting you only.

The story lies in the Rise & Restoration.