The Joy & Pain of a Broken Empath

Empathy. Many days, it's awful. Being a broken empath? Nearly unbearable. I understand the "gift" of empathy. I understand that those of you who connect with my writing & have encouraged me to *finally* finish my memoir -or any book for that matter- see the spiritual gift of empathy in me. Being able to see & speak into the pain of others is a tremendously beautiful gift God has graciously allowed me to have to make my sista-frans & beautiful brothas a bit more at home in a world full of rejection. But. Empathy is the taking on of others pain. And I am a "high empath." Which means I'm feeling another's pain *almost* as if it were my own. If I'm closely connected to someone who's pain is unleashed in irresponsible ways, I am literally absorbing toxicity much like the dude on the 1st season of Heroes who absorbed others powers after he killed them, except I don't kill people so there's that. I digress.Yesterday I had a safe space conversation in which I ran through … [Read more...]

I Am at Peace

After years & yearsof angst & soul crushing sorrow,I am at peace.What I've been through to get here......seems downright unmentionable.Peace born from resolve,is greater than happiness.But also, surprisingly there’s happiness too!I am so in love with my husband.My boys are priceless, rowdy treasures.And the joy of a bonus daughter?What four on earth could be more beautiful?I'd give them the sun, moon, stars & the ocean,each & every one.There’s something different about this love I’m receiving,this love I’m giving...its overflowing & going outwildly.I'm softening to enemies,previous abusersand just regular old shitty, inconsistent friends.This love is overflowing & going outwildly.I’m learning to practice this: love anyway.I’m rejecting petty,because, God’s daughter.I’m longing for peace & reconciliation,in new, in confusing ways.I don’t know the “how” just yet,let me live,let me learn. … [Read more...]

Things Are Changing

Things are changing. I'm so grateful, Good Lawd, God Almighty in heaven, I am so grateful. So. So. Grateful.I'm in reinvention: the absolute necessity to start again, the demand for change before rock-bottom meets certain death, the soul crying out for hope begging you to not to give up on your life type of reinvention. I'm in the latter half I believe. I'm through the hardest part. I'm peeking out now at the horizon seeing it's beauty, awestruck.The valley part, the low part, it's still dark there. I've had more than one ugly cry over the scariness of reinvention and the losses that crystallize. My job, for example, is the first career-oriented position in for-profit work I've had in 15 years. Career-wise, I had no choice but to reinvent.What is 2nd marriage if NOT the opportunity to reinvent the asshattery you brought to the 1st one? If I do nothing different in my 2nd marriage I have not evolved I've merely added a new spinning plate.  And my new husband is anything but … [Read more...]

What Gives Me Hope for The Church

I’m sitting on a double-decker, red-eye Megabus, Nashville bound, nonstop from Chicago. My friend bought me a ticket so I can join her at a retreat she created for Christian women ministering in various capacities. She said the Lord told her I should be there. Good enough for me.The bus departs at midnight. At first there’s a lot of chatter, and then laughter over one woman’s giant church hat, which she’d carefully wrapped in a white garbage bag and placed on top of the hefty pile of carry-ons.After a little while, gospel music fills the lowest cabin while sleep descends. All night, the sounds of God’s truth and human longing pour into my weary brain. He is a shelter. He is a shelter.The bus patrons are made up entirely of African Americans. Eventually we talk about the atrocities in Ferguson, Mo. “Lord Jesus,” someone says. “Father God,” says another.Wanna read the rest here?  Join me...////For October: I’m joining with a herd of other bloggers who are writing for # … [Read more...]

Establishing in the Midst of Transition…Again

Or "in which I am a beloved failure," OR "this is my defining moment, Y'all," OR "I ate cliché's for breakfast because the BEST IS YET TO COME!"On Monday I transitioned from the foundation I was working for.  I'm not contractually able to say more than that, which in some ways, is a relief and when asked questions can feel good about thinking "mind yo beez wax, Playa!"  (Translation: mind your business, please).If you're newish to GwG, this is my 2nd job transition in 2 years.  I served for several years in campus ministry and walked away from my life in Ministry because I'd been overcome and was literally drowning in all sorts of issues: fundraising, working at home, working alongside my spouse, money issues, character issues, drive/energy PLUS the usuals of extended family crises & debt PLUS wrestling my own personal demons.  Quite honestly, I'm in the 3rd year of facing personal crisis' on a massive level and I'm getting familiar with what I'm made of, which is mo … [Read more...]

36 Birthday Pearls

Today is my 36th birthday, y'all!Here’s 36 life lessons I’ve learned in 36 years.  I’m not perfect -surprise!- but I try like the dickens to live by each of these.  My 36 pearls of wisdom for you, peeps!In random order.1. People are hurting, err on the side of kindness.  If they aren’t now, they will be soon.  So many of us, so often in misery taken out by life’s ugly curve balls.  Your kindness can make all the difference in the world.  Be kind.  Be kind.  Be kind.When you tweet, when you blog, when you visit family, when you come home to a cranky spouse, when you change a diaper, when you are in traffic, when you are on your period, when your cat pisses on your shirt, when you have no words for the exasperation you are feeling.  No matter what, be kind.  Play nice.2.   Always have hope, preferably in Jesus.  Beg, borrow or steal if you have to, but maintain a steady supply.  Or, like me, you could get it tatted on your hand for a handy (pun intended) constant reminder … [Read more...]

My Day in Prison. Part 2 or maybe part 12

This is a bit of a part 2 to my last post about my day in court...or maybe it's a part 12 who knows?  It's more of my story, and I'm still trying to figure out how it all fits together.~I went to that prison hoping for something, longing for something that was about as possible as setting up a vacation cabin on Mars.We always do that don’t we?  Miserable humans we are, trying hard to make our fantasies and deepest longings come true for ourselves.  We whip these lies into submission until they become a crystal clear reality in our squishy brain folds.But then, actual reality.  The cruelty of truth creeps in warning us to never do that again.  And we don’t.  For at least 3 weeks.The first time I longed, really longed I was 16.  I’d driven 4.5 hours with my Auntie to visit my Dad in prison.  I wrote the other day over on A Deeper Family how I’d sent him there six years earlier and still carried an enormous sense of guilt.  I simply couldn’t wait for him to put that to rest … [Read more...]

My passion for hope, for grace & being the best version of ourselves.

Today a friend recommended I buy a few books on marketing and P.R. for the sake of growing my blog.  A few weeks ago, a friend recommended I attend the Blogher Network's 2010 Conference going on this weekend.  The collision of those conversations with the conference I am actually attending this weekend -The Willowcreek Global Leadership Summit- got me thinking about what I'm doing with this blog.  Am I trying to grow it?  Should I?  Try for income or go ad-free?  Writing outlet or writing practice?Without making a bunch of decisions about those questions there is one thing I know for sure: I want to spread hope.  I want all of you ladies to join me in trying to become the absolute best versions of ourselves.Though I am a trained speaker, teacher and preacher this blog is not my place to preach.  Though I am an InterVarsity Staff worker, this blog is not my place to train about strategy for campus ministry.  Though I am a Masters of Divinity student this blog is not the place whe … [Read more...]