It happened to my sister…it could happen to me

This is actually my Facebook post that I’m publishing here. It’s not fancied up but if it can stir conversation among you,God please us it: 

I’ve been waiting to post this. Praying God use this. Please read if you can.
I’m not looking for a Facebook response or debate. No emoticons needed. Read. Pray. Act. 

In light of recent issues, I stand reminding you that this story of hatred towards my sister could have easily been me. It’s an ugly thought. But it’s true. While she was sitting under a tree, reading, enjoying time with her puppy, She was threatened in broad daylight because of her skin color.

See the video post here: https://www.facebook.com/christiana.clark.7/posts/10157191191620151

This could have been far worse. 

And this could easily happen to me.

Wherever you live, this evil will show itself. Please rise up and respond. It won’t be easy to ask your friend not to joke line that. It won’t be easy to call grandpa or uncle on a racial slur. It’s unnerving to check our own selves on the fear and prejudice in which we may have been unknowingly brought up. But it’s time to face it.

Because God has made us wonderfully and perfectly–all of us. And right now, though all lives matter, media and questionable actions are hitting the core of the lives of Black people. Don’t be offended at the saying Black lives Matter. It’s not a calling card to rebel against police. It’s just a reminder that we as a nation need to continue to embrace each other. It’s a chance for all of us to validate each other. See, the stories we know of our parents and grandparents–we are being confronted with in our time and all to often these days. Whatever the truth is in these circumstances, can you imagine the fear and anger that it incites? If I said I love you and you said well I love everybody…your generalization alienates my personal statement of love. Love everybody! And love me, too!

Do you realize I could be one of those stories put in the wrong place at the wrong time? Sin still exists. We need to do more than talk. Pray people of God, I am asking you in particular to pray but to act. Most importantly share the Gospel of Jesus with everyone. It is Christ who shows that we ARE all equal. Every one of us needing forgiveness. Every one of us imperfect but wanted by our Creator who made a way for us not to obtain perfection, but salvation. As we do that, then we can also gain wisdom from God and respond in right living, in love and in truth, in the right words and deeds to combat this evil and triumph.
Me and my beautiful family.

Stay Just Peachie everybody

“Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”

‭‭John‬ ‭14:27‬ ‭AMP‬‬

http://bible.com/8/jhn.14.27.amp

You Know What? I Need You. Reflections for Friday

You know what? I need you.

Life is happening fast around here. I have decided I need to take time out to remember what happens between the scheduling and exhaustion of everyday life and just reflect. 

This week, you know what I realized? I need you.

I have the honor of being a coach, a mom, a mentor, a leader, and a teacher in some capacity everyday. 

IMG_0523

Most of the time, my mind is consumed by what my particular “team” needs at that moment. I am motivated by the fact that they need me. However, as I look at this week in particular, I can see that I need the people around me as much as they need me. The people I serve–both seen and unseen, including you Reader friend–also serve me often without my acknowledgement.

I know this is not a profound or new thought, but explore this simple moment with me.

 I need every person who comes in and out of my life to help shape and reveal who I am. My volleyball team may need this Coach to guide and develop them but I need someone to inspire and someone to whom I can impart my love and knowledge of the game. My kids need me (they would be dirty, naked, and pitiful without me, right?), but I truly need them (I’d be so much more selfish, impatient, and love-deprived without them, right?). As I check down the list of other relationships I have, the more I see I am as much the benefactor as I am the nurturer. That is, if I take the time to allow that revelation to sink deep.

This kinda deflates the power of my adult pity parties. Playing the caretaker-martyr doesn’t give as much satisfaction if I realize the incredible amounts of gifts that I receive as I give. Can I really be thankful for the aggravation and frustration that some relationships bring with them? Yes. 

Not only can I be thankful, but I can also be humble in knowing that you may need me, but, you know what, I need you, too

Take your moment today and stay,

Just Peachiecropped-cropped-justpeachielogosimple1.jpeg

You Know What? I Need You. Reflections for Friday

You know what? I need you.

Life is happening fast around here. I have decided I need to take time out to remember what happens between the scheduling and exhaustion of everyday life and just reflect. 

This week, you know what I realized? I need you.

I have the honor of being a coach, a mom, a mentor, a leader, and a teacher in some capacity everyday. Most of the time, my mind is consumed by what my particular “team” needs at that moment. I am motivated by the fact that they need me. However, as I look at this week in particular, I can see that I need the people around me as much as they need me. The people I serve–both seen and unseen, including you Reader friend–also serve me often without my acknowledgement.

I know this is not a profound or new thought, but explore this simple moment with me.

 I need every person who comes in and out of my life to help shape and reveal who I am. My volleyball team may need this Coach to guide and develop them but I need someone to inspire and someone to whom I can impart my love and knowledge of the game. My kids need me (they would be dirty, naked, and pitiful without me, right?), but I truly need them (I’d be so much more selfish, impatient, and love-deprived without them, right?). As I check down the list of other relationships I have, the more I see I am as much the benefactor as I am the nurturer. That is, if I take the time to allow that revelation to sink deep.

This kinda deflates the power of my adult pity parties. Playing the caretaker-martyr doesn’t give as much satisfaction if I realize the incredible amounts of gifts that I receive as I give. Can I really be thankful for the aggravation and frustration that some relationships bring with them? Yes. 

Not only can I be thankful, but I can also be humble in knowing that you may need me, but, you know what, I need you, too

Take your moment today and stay,

Just Peachiecropped-cropped-justpeachielogosimple1.jpeg

Happy Birthday…Where’s my Gift?

The anniversary of my life has come again. Happy birthday to Me!

photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net Stuart Miles

photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
Stuart Miles

Do you remember how awesome birthdays were when we were kids? If you don’t, Just ask a child about his birthday and watch the magic in his eyes. My kindergarten girl just had a conversation with me about her birthday. It went something like this:

Mom, why do people have to work on my birthday?
Hon, it’s because your birthday is during the week and that is when most people work.
But Mom, shouldn’t we have the day off? It is a holiday, right?

That’s how special birthdays are to my child…she thinks the whole world celebrates her day because in my house we make birthdays a big deal. Except for mine. My loved ones reap the benefit of my tendency to overdo things, but I draw the line at overdoing my own festivities so I’ve had to do the mom thing and grin through cheesy antics, no decorations,  and less than impressive homemade giftings. I’m not ungrateful though; just poking fun at the  situation.  And being honest. That’s what happens to moms but the love is always there. Always.

And in all truthfulness, as my kids get older (and as I get more needy and whiny) my family has risen to the challenge to make my day just as grand as I help make theirs. Hubby has even stepped up the gift giving with amazingly thoughtful gifts, which is quite frankly my favorite part of the festivities. So favorite, in fact, that I have decided to finally give myself a gift this year.

Image curtesy of master isolated images/freedigitalphotos.net

Image curtesy of master isolated images/freedigitalphotos.net

I am starting a new tradition and investing in this “happy birthday to me” by giving myself…PERMISSION.

PERMISSION is a gift that lots of us could unwrap in our lives. What excuses have you used to keep yourself bound up, locked in, or just plain stuck in the ruts of your life? Routines that, albeit safe, keep your heart in a state of dissatisfaction. If only you took that chance, found the courage to take that step, gave yourself PERMISSION to dream, to hope, to aspire, to set in motion the gifts that are found in you…what life awaits you? Will you give yourself permission to find out?

This birthday year, I give myself PERMISSION. God has given me gifts and dreams…of which you are a part. And I am giving myself PERMISSION to step towards them. I will make time for myself. I will take the more difficult but most successful road. I will stop watching and comparing myself with everyone else and investing regularly in myself. As I open up my gift, would you share it with me? I will be sharing my journey as it unfolds, laying a foundation for success and living life as it develops. We will continue to search out authenticity, face fears, and no matter what else learn to take whatever life dishes and still remain…

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JUST PEACHIE

Thanks for sharing this day with me. Want to make my birthday even better? Would you please share this post with everyone you know? There may be some cake in it for you (you’d have to buy it for yourself as and then you can eat it…but I give you permission to do so!)

May I be honest? I am a liar of the worst kind.

I’m not the kind of liar who is malicious or purposefully evil, but I am a liar of the worst kind. You heard right…the worst that I can think of anyway.

Now I can just hear my Daddy say to me, “Peachie-peach,(that’s what he calls me) you could never be the worst kind of anything!” (He is unashamedly biased like that and I am still thrilled that he is!) But, sorry Daddy, I am. Just what kind of liar am I?

Let’s see.

If you were to graph lies from harmless to just plain nasty, the categories may look like this:

Courtesy of Stuart Miles @freedigitalphotos.net

Courtesy of Stuart Miles @freedigitalphotos.net

Precious liar: the kind that lies because they don’t know any better, like my two year old.

Scaredy pants liar: the kind that lies because they don’t want to get caught, like my four year old
…and every teenager I know

Evil liar: the kind that lies knowingly and willingly…you know who I’m talking about

Then there’s me, the Truthful liar: the worst kind of liar whose lies she believes to be truth. 

Yes, I am such a good liar that when I lie to myself, I actually believe what I am saying. As a matter of fact, I don’t even realize that I am lying. In my mind, I am doing the right thing. I am doing what in my mind I think I am supposed to do, what “you” think would be the proper thing to do. Thing is, surface truth is all you are getting. Deep down, I am evil.

Courtesy of Stuart Miles @freegitialphotos.net

Courtesy of Stuart Miles @freegitialphotos.net

For instance, when you tell me that you just got a new house and a promotion and I hug you and say that it is so wonderful for you…I’m lying. I wish it was me.

When your kid beats mine at anything and I tell my child that it is her effort that I am most proud of, I’m lying. I wanted her to win.

When I do a ten minute workout and then eat french fries afterwards, I’m lying to myself. I did not work off those extra calories.

When, at the end of the day, I zone out to Netflix because I spent my whole day “working” and I “deserve” it, I’m lying. I am looking for a way to be lazy.

When you find out that my son is wearing a leg brace not because he broke it but because it is a condition, and you smile and say, “Oh, he’s so cute though,”, I may smile back at you, LIES… I’ve slapped you in my mind.

When everything has gone wrong, yet I speak with such confidence that everything is going to be ok. LYING…I am scared that what I want to happen, won’t. Then how will I uphold my faith…to “you”?

Yup. If I may be brutally honest with you and with myself, I am taken aback with just how many lies I have actually lived. I’ve believed these lies and more. Until today. My family is going through a season of birthdays, anniversaries, and milestones. This time of year moves my mind to reflection and this year the mirror was not kind, and I am so thankful for this painful awakening.

Because now I can change it.

I want to continue to live life fully, not fearfully. I want to deal with life as it comes, instead of trying to defend it. I believe there is growth, there is purpose, and there is promise in the pain and the shortcomings I try so hard to avoid. I want to know that life. 

And that life is there for me if I can stop lying…… and start LIVING.

Have you ever found yourself trying to be the man or woman you want to be but you find yourself pretending to be that person, instead of actually being her or being him? In all honesty, I am done lying to myself. This may not be the “build-your-blog-base” post I should write, but authentic yet successful living is what I am compelled to write. If you want to take this journey with me and bring others along, follow these next few blog posts. I want to see change, not just talk about it. If you are ready  (I promise not to tell your dad), then please join me. I have some principles I have lived and learned that will help us in this quest for living in Truth. They are not my own…I am not that smart. However, wisdom comes not from coming up with the right ideas but living them.

Life isn’t easy, but with a little effort it can be…

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Goodbye Frozen Death! Hello Spring!

“In the bleak midwinter…”

Dead Tree Without Leaves Isolated” by Ohmega1982

Yup. That about sums up how I felt all winter long. Not snowy enough in my midwest to inspire instagram worthy landscape pictures. So cold not enough layers of thermal underwear warmed my little tush enough to get me outside to linger in winter fun.

This winter was just bleak…no wonder all I could see was the dead in it. 

As I was stuck inside with my two not-yet-ready for school kids, I often found myself feeling facing this bleak feeling. How many more rounds of “the wheels on the bus go round and round” was I going to make it through? (On a positive note, I now know how to use “creature power”…thanks PBS and Wild Kratts). I formally want to submit a name change for this winter. I was thinking maybe the Summer-Killer but I have decided on naming it Frozen Death. I can imagine my boys will have a lot of fun learning that in 4K class. Spring, summer, fall, and Frozen Death. Ok, maybe not. But it got me thinking…

Death is not a huge jump to describe winter. Nature shows us again how every stage of life is actually needed. The death of winter..the dormant seeds, the hibernating animals, the reboot of creation, will give way and let in a whole new, beautiful season of LIFE with Spring. I may not like its coldness or darkness. I may drink a bit too much hot chocolate and put on a few too many “warming pounds”. I may not like it, but I need it. Life cycles with death.

Easter is around the corner at my house. The kids are on “Spring” break (quotes because we never know quite how the weather will feel.) We are excited to have family time and in those times we will visit the idea of death. In our house, we honor the Easter season.

“Golgota” by bela_kiefer The story of the cross and the sacrifice made has an important message for us on the meaning of death. The remembering of Jesus’ death reminds me that there is a power so much bigger and stronger and grander than the loss. I am not asking you to get spiritual with me right now but just walk with me down this road. His death and then glorious resurrection is a beautiful mirror of the hope we can have when we face death.

We will never like death in any of its forms; death can by physical, but it can also be a lost relationship, dream, idea, and more. These deaths need not to be in vain ever.

Even from loss, life can spring up–through honoring a loved one and beginning a new journey with that loved one in mind; through the failure of an idea and new one springs up.

When our winter brings death, we have to hold on because just like the Easter story new life is on its way.

Hold on to hope even if the surroundings look bleak. If you can hold on, then hold on to Hope.

Goodbye frozen death…HELLO SPRING!!

HOPE

courtesy by freedigitalphotos.net: by adamr

For whatever life dishes, I’m trying to stay,

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On the Me{n}U: My Horrible Mommy, Life-changing Moment

It happened. I planned for it. I practiced for it. I dreaded it. I hoped I would never have to face it. I feared every time I heard it happening to someone else.

But a horrible moment happened to me anyway.

I lost my five year old daughter at a water park!

lost

…thankfully, only for a moment.

But it is a moment that will last forever in my memory. I can close my eyes right now and relive the panic. Chest tightening as if embraced by King Kong. Pulse racing faster than an Olympic sprinter. Flashes of what if scenarios playing fast forward in my head…the worst scenarios a mother could think of. Praying like a madwoman both in my heart and on my lips to Almighty God in a way I never ever want to do again. All other faces blurred into nothingness as I searched for that one precious face that meant everything in that moment. A five minute moment felt like forever.

Have you had that moment?

A sliver of time that would change the course of your life afterwards forever. I know you have. Some are fantastic. One minute no baby, the next minute, BOOM! parenthood. One minute, high school student, next minute POW! Graduate.

Some are absolutely foul. A loss. A goodbye. A death.

image courtesy of artur84:freedigitalimages.net

image courtesy of artur84; freedigitalimages.net

Our greatest and worst moments marker our lives. They give definition and character to the story of our existence. My story, your story, is highlighted by our moments, whether we like them or not. And as much as I would love to erase the moment my daughter was lost from my memory, it is a part of me now and will be always. To someone at that water park, I am the mom who could not keep track of her daughter and irresponsibly lost her kid. (Ok, so it didn’t happen quite like that. But they don’t know that. She didn’t wander off. She just didn’t hold hands and in her following could not see us anymore. In that split second of panic, a guard asked if she was lost and took her to the security room just that fast. We were literally two feet away, but she couldn’t see us, so she was lost. And yes, I am STILL embarrassed by that fact.)

How do we embrace the moments in our lives that depict us negatively?

How do we make peace with the memories that reveal such dark times in our lives? What do we do if those memories outshine any good that we have ever encountered? I don’t profess to have the only wisdom on this matter, but I do know what helps me.

I try to remember that: moments

  1. Life is a journey. I can’t have ups without downs. And if I did, life would be dull

  2. Negative moments fuel the positive ones. If I can make it through, the joy that is to come will be that much sweeter.

  3. My worst moments connect me deeply in my relationships with others and with my Savior God. I am forced to be humble, to be vulnerable, to trust, and to receive outside of myself. What a great gift trouble can give if I can view it as such.

  4. Trials of life chip away at the rough and insensitive parts of my life and make me a better listener, more compassionate, more empathetic, and more humble. It’s a tool I can use in my life.

When I can remember these in the midst of sour moments, I can not only withstand them, I can incorporate them into memories with a deep respect.

If I can do that then you can choose to do that, too, because Me {n} U, we’re no different! We both have choices to make. Our circumstances may be different, but the power to choose is always ours.  And if we choose well, we can embrace lifetime changing moments and continue to remain

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