“The Narcissist Woods; a Short Story”

This story is dedicated to survivors and victims of narcissist, emotional & mental abuse. Your trauma, though invisible to the eye, is real, important, and valid. You are seen.

This is also dedicated to my loving husband, without whom I may still be sitting in the forest.

TRIGGER WARNING: Narcissist abuse, emotional abuse, mental abuse, physical harm.

You’re hiking through the forest on a warm, sunny day when you stumble upon some small animal bones. “Odd,” you think to yourself, “to find bones out here. Well, the ‘Circle of Life,’ as it goes.” As you turn to continue on your path, you notice a wilted plant in need of care. “Sweet plant friend,” you say, as you take out your bottle of water to give it some sustenance. “I wonder if those mean animals damaged you before they died so now you are having trouble blooming. I bet I can help make you better.” After you have provided nourishment, it shoots out a thorn which penetrates the skin of your right forearm. “Ouch!” you shout, but then you think to yourself, “It’s okay. I’m sure it didn’t mean it. It’s probably just instinct. It can’t help it.”

You stick around to make sure it’s okay. You wonder what beautiful array of colors it will display when it blooms. You talk to it so that it is fed with carbon dioxide; an awe-inspiring design God fashioned to make humans and plants codependent upon one another. But it does not convert your carbon dioxide, so you choke a little, thinking, “It’s okay. I’m sure it doesn’t realize it’s not converting my breath to oxygen. It’s probably just too wilted to function properly.”

You decide you’ve spent enough time waiting on the plant and to move along. Suddenly, as you turn to walk away, it begins to bloom! It has the greenest greens and reddest reds you have ever seen! You think, “How lucky am I that I have caught a glimpse of this, when others have likely walked away too soon!” Despite its beauty, you are surprised to see that it appears to be an abnormally large version of a Venus Flytrap. It is angling toward you and you think, “It’s okay. I’m sure it doesn’t realize it’s angling toward me. It’s probably just coincidentally the same direction of the sun. Photosynthesis!”

You realize it is actually nightfall by now, and you cannot see very well around you. “How did I let a whole day go by and end up in the woods at night?” you think. “That’s so unlike me. So irresponsible,” you criticize yourself.

By now, you have noticed a stinging pain shooting up your right arm. You think maybe you need to stretch it out. You bend your left arm upward and slide your right forearm into the crease of your left elbow to give it a good stretch. There, right in front of your eyes, you realize the wound from the thorn your sweet plant friend accidentally shot at you has become infected. Your veins around the wound are swollen and dark blue. Your skin is purple and painful to the touch. You look at the plant and you begin to wonder:

“Was it intentional, after all?”

“Does it realize it attacked the one who is caring for it?”

“Did I fail to treat the wound properly?”

“Am I going to die?”

You fear the answer to your last question as you suddenly feel weak and very thirsty. You reach for your bottle of water and it’s gone. The flower’s thorny roots have strangled it and poked holes so that its roots could drink to its contentment. “It’s okay. I’m sure it didn’t realize I also need water. It’s probably just so thirsty it didn’t consider me.”

But then you stop to consider the recent events and ask yourself a few more questions.

“Does it matter if what it has done is intentional or not? The outcome is the same regardless.”

“Why do I feel responsible for this plant?”

“What if it tries to eat me?”

“Am I willing to give my life to sustain it?”

You feel convicted about the answer to your last question as you try to stand. You feel weak as you stumble away. You notice that the rocks below you are very odd. Such long, thin rocks that make it difficult to walk as they slide across one another. Some of them actually crunch beneath your feet. That’s strange for rocks.

“Wait, are those more bones?”

You look around. They are strewn about everywhere surrounding the plant. The peaceful garden where you once sat, waiting for your plant to bloom, was actually a graveyard of its past victims.

“…Those are not rocks. ..Those are more bones.”

You continue to hobble away as your sweet plant friend starts to spit out thorns in your direction, likely hoping to cripple you permanently so it may completely devour you. You can feel a couple pinches as it attempts to penetrate your clothes, however from behind you are not as vulnerable since no skin is exposed.

As the bones crunch beneath your clumsy feet you consider the small unsuspecting animals that fell prey to the plant which you once thought “sweet” and considered a “friend.” “I was the next planned meal! I was to be the main event!” you think to yourself as you build momentum.

Sitting for so long made your legs numb, and now with the adrenaline flowing from the panic of your realization, you regain much of your agility, and your walk becomes a run. You are so fearful that you think your knees just might give out from under you.

You make it out of the woods as the sun begins to rise, dizzy from the mental strain of attempting to understand what happened to you over the last 24 hours. It feels like a blur. “Was it just 24 hours?” “When was the last time I have eaten?” You wonder how you can warn others about the plant. You are angry with yourself that you were so naïve and ignored the warning signs. You saw the bones and didn’t think there was a connection until it was too late. You made excuses for the plant when you should have left after the first thorn was shot at you. “Oh, my arm!” you remember. Now your entire arm is purple. “I hope it won’t have to be amputated.” You begin to cry. You grieve the loss of your peace of mind, and possibly your arm. You are glad it’s your right arm and not your left, which would have been closer to your heart. You tie your sweater around your right arm to restrict blood flow and hopefully impede the infection so you can have a shot at getting out of this unscathed.

You set on towards the hospital and wonder how you will ever be the same. You regret having been so loving and giving to begin with. You blame yourself because you are responsible for stewarding your own body, but you neglected it to steward someone else’s whose needs appeared to be more urgent than yours. They did not reciprocate so your basic needs went unmet while they actively hurt you.. and you stuck around. You feel guilty for leaving the plant on its own.

Then you feel guilty for feeling guilty. After all, you are not truly responsible for the plant. It’s responsible for itself. You chose to leave to care for yourself, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

In Christ’s Healing & Forgiveness,


Thoughts on Gender Identity for the Church

Over 2 million viewers tuned in to watch episode 4 of NBC’s “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” on Sunday, March 1st, 2020. Season 1 began earlier this year and focused around Zoey Clarke, a young computer programmer who because of a freak accident could hear others’ innermost feelings through song without their knowledge (or willful participation). One of the supporting characters was Mo, Zoey’s vivacious, glamorous and talented neighbor played by Alex Newell of Glee fame. By the end of episode 3 we had known that Mo was likely born male but now dressed in a typically feminine way, while using both feminine and masculine pronouns interchangeably. Thus far Mo had been a vital asset to Zoey’s processing of her new abilities and a constant source of encouragement as she sought to help others around her upon hearing their ‘heartsong.’ This time, however, it appeared Mo was in need of Zoey’s assistance. Whilst going about her business Zoey heard Mo’s inner song, which was “The Great Pretender.” Curious as to what her friend was hiding, Zoey later followed Mo out of their apartment building and surprisingly arrived at a church choir rehearsal. However, Zoey did not recognize her friend at first because they were now dressed in traditionally masculine clothing, not donning any of their usual hair and makeup. 

Mo opened up to Zoey and shared that they have been struggling living a double life. Some days they lived their life as a churchgoing man, and other days as a boisterous, fashionable woman. They did not see a way to combine the two. They shared that as a child they were socially rejected by members of their former church for acting more feminine though they were born male, telling them they were “not right with God.” Though the church they belonged to now was led by an accepting, supportive pastor, Mo feared should they attend services dressed as they felt most comfortable that they would be rejected yet again. They simultaneously cried tears of fear and of strength; pain that they were not able to fully express their gender identity among their church family and strength in their gender identity. They expressed they could not handle the tension of living out these two identities and that it would take a miracle to get them to go back to church. 

Pew Research Center conducted a 2013 study that found in the United States 80% of those who identify as transgender feel they have little to no social acceptance within society. The UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute found in 2016 that .6% of United States’ population identified as transgender, which comes out to 1.94 million Americans. If the members of the church enthusiastically offered fellowship to those who do not fit into the traditional gender identities or lifestyles, just imagine the hearts and lives that could be transformed by Christ. Christians nearly universally accept the value of the role of community to fully live out the Christian life. We know that Christ Himself models community through His presence among the Trinity and the calling of His 12 disciples. If the church socially rejects transgendered people who are seeking Jesus, we would interfere with their ability to live out the faith in Christian community and hinder them in their individual path to repentance. We would be their stumbling block on the way to Christ.

How often do we as the body of Christ make people choose between the thorn in their flesh and being a member of the church? As I grow and explore more and more viewpoints I see that there are varying degrees of faith and obedience. Someone may have a little faith but excel in obedience, whereas someone may have much faith but struggle in disobedience. It is good to struggle rather than submit to disobedience. Rejection by the Church can result in emboldened sin, while grace and truth are more likely to result in repentance.

In Acts, Chapter 10 we see after Peter’s vision that he was summoned to share the Good News with Cornelius, who was described as a “devout, God-fearing” man, but a non-Jew. Prior to Peter’s vision he would not have visited a Gentile due to Jewish law prohibiting fellowship of Jews with non-Jews. Peter said, “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?” (Acts 10:28-29). As Christians, we know that when we accept Christ we become clean. This begins a never-ending process of sanctification and repentance. Peter’s vision and encounter with Cornelius illustrates that no one who believes or is open to belief should be hindered in receiving the Gospel. It is the Gospel that truly transforms lives, and it is best communicated through the gateway of grace rather than by criticism.

We can observe the Lord’s interaction with the Woman at the Well in John, Chapter 4 to see yet another example of how Jesus responds to people facing social isolation due to their lifestyle. Notice how after Jesus brought up the woman’s many relationships, He did not name it as sin or call her to repentance. He used His knowledge of this as a jumping off point to explain who He was and what He could offer to her, and she was able to identify He must have divine abilities to know personal details about her life. She ended up sharing who Jesus was with the people in her town. “Sinners” have always been a crucial part of sharing the Gospel, mostly because that is precisely what we all are. The Lord was more concerned with revealing himself than casting her down for her sin. He knew that we are not made clean by refraining from sin. We are made clean by acknowledging and accepting the identity of Christ as Savior and Lord. Then, and only then, can we begin to conform His heart to our own. May we be more like Him: Pointing toward the glory of God above the sinfulness of man. 

Mo from Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist eventually recognized a miracle and decided to attend their church service in what they owned as their true identity. For many transgendered people in the United States, that miracle never comes. Members of God’s Church will have to choose to be that miracle, and reach out in compassion to this community that feels rejected by society. 

We will have to wait and see the development of Mo’s faith in Season 2 of “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.” In the meantime we should be grateful that this show has helped contribute to diversifying the views of gender among people of faith, and the spiritual struggle that is caused when some of the flock impede those who are seeking the Good Shepherd. 

In Grace and Truth,


Where Else?

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I am a member of the United Methodist Church. If you are not familiar with the recent proposed division, you can read more about that here.

As I consider the ongoing divisions and denominations of Christ’s church I recall the words of Peter at the end of John 6. The title of the section is “Many Disciples Desert Jesus.” The Savior addressed a disgruntled crowd with the essential truths that His body and blood would become an offering for which they all needed to partake. I want to acknowledge it is possible LIKELY that most turned away to seemingly greener pastures of baked lamb over roasted Nazarene (seems like an easy choice at first glance, no?). Jesus asked them “You do not want to leave too, do you?” and Peter replied, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

That is the basis on which I make the following claim: If you are a Christian, your place is in the church. What church looks like can be different for everyone, but hopefully it is in part a small group where you are able to discuss your heart and your struggles. There is no other long-term sustainable way to live out the Christian life. It involves many commands on how to treat one another and also outlines forming a living witness to the truth of the Gospel. The former is impossible and the latter is implausible without Christian community.

Some of my dearest church family members hold political views directly opposing mine. Still, we stand together, praise together and cry together. This is community. This is what Jesus does: He takes people who would normally be shouting at each other from different sides of the aisle and He makes them care so deeply for one another. Apart from Christ, where else does this happen?

  • Where else will people of different political beliefs be joined together for a common purpose?
  • Where else will people of different races be joined together, supporting one another and praying for each other?
  • Where else will people of different economic statuses be joined together, investing in each others’ lives and raising their children alongside one another?

Church is not the problem. Church is the solution.

The problem with Christian community develops when it becomes homogenous. Christians should be consistent in main doctrinal tenants such as the life, death and resurrection of Christ. However the congregational goal should be to vary in diversity according to every other category.

When churches are homogeneous the “other” becomes objectified and extra-biblical cultural norms develop, such as standards what is an acceptable outfit to wear to church or which political party is socially acceptable. Diversity in church ensures that we focus on the one thing that brings us together: God! It also makes us more empathetic toward those who are different.

I’ve mentioned on my blog before that some of my more conservative friends have called me their “favorite liberal.” In some ways I hold conservative views, and in some ways moderate views. Nevertheless, the fact that I am their “favorite liberal” implies they do not like liberals very much in general. This puts me in an interesting spot in two ways.

1) They can ask me questions they may not be able to ask anyone else with whom they’re on less than close terms without erupting into a huge argument.

2) They may second-guess what they’ve thought about liberals before.. and because they know my heart, they might think twice before dismissing them as entitled lunatics.

Now let’s try something. What makes you different from your current (or former) congregation? What about you is holding you back from entering into Christian community? God has given you a unique perspective on something, a position you specifically are meant to use to minister, break down boundaries, and point to Him. Unsurprisingly, He will take some of your views and challenge them within Christian community. Be teachable. Let Him. Church is the essential place to wrestle with those challenging ideas. Don’t be intimidated by a difference in thought and assume there is not a place for you in God’s house. After all, Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Apart from him we will not be able to find truth.

I echo Peter’s words in saying, “Where else would we go?”

In the Trinity’s Diversity,


The Withered Hand

(Source: http://www.freebibleimages.org/illustrations/jesus-withered-hand/ )

Assisting with directing the children’s choir at church, I am exposed to rambunctious rascals who are very insightful and compassionate. The stark duality is often comical as they vacillate between poking each other and asking questions that are still debated in seminaries today.

Whenever we teach new music we also go over the meaning, pointing to Scripture and present day examples to illustrate the point the song is making and define any unfamiliar words. Last week we were learning lyrics to a song, one line of which said “He healed the man with the withered hand” (see Mark, Chapter 3). They didn’t know what withered meant, so I explained it to them. Then we started talking about how having a withered hand likely impeded this man’s life, making him unable to work and earn a living and possibly even made him a social outcast. We talked about what it means to be different and to look different. I told them just because someone looks different doesn’t mean they’re bad in any way. We talked how some athletes compete in the Olympics and Special Olympics with missing limbs, and people can do amazing things even if they have a withered hand. We talked about what Jesus healing this man’s hand likely meant to him.

 In the Biblical account, Jesus told the man to stretch out his hand. When he does, we see that it has been healed. We assume that his hand already had been healed, and Jesus was telling him to stretch it out to show everyone. But, what if the vulnerability and faith it took for the man to stretch out his hand was what Jesus relied upon to heal him? Often Jesus’ miracles were contingent upon the recipient doing something first to show their faith. What if stretching out his hand, which was surely a symbol of mocking & disability, further permitting gawkers to express disgust, was actually a necessary step to his healing?

If that were true, what would that mean for us? In what area of your life are you longing to be healed, and what could be God’s equivalent of “stretch out your hand” in your life?

In Christ’s Healing,


My Church Experience

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The stories most often shared about churches are negative ones.. So here’s my story:

August of 2020 will mark 10 years I have been a part of my church. At first it was difficult adjusting because at 22 there were not many people my age in the church, however I quickly made friends with some of the adults and teens after joining the music ministry. Within a month or so it felt like family. I was in the choir and attending multiple Bible studies in addition to services each Sunday. Everyone I spoke with was so ready to dig in and engage in matters of the faith, and when people asked “How are you?” they actually stuck around to listen to the answer. Within a couple of years I realized I was called to work with children so I started teaching Sunday school and volunteering for the youth ministry.  I was rooted in quickly. I came in with the mindset to serve and be fed spiritually, and that’s exactly what happened.

I know this is the part of the story where you are expecting some kind of dramatic plot point, but I am sorry to disappoint you. I have spent the last 10 years growing closer with these Christians who have become my family.

I’ve mediated arguments between brothers in the faith that were resolved through hard work & tolerance. I’ve had some of those disagreements myself. I’ve worshiped side by side with people of different backgrounds and political beliefs, knowing that in heaven we will all be doing that exact same thing. I’ve witnessed mistakes, accountability, forgiveness and encouragement. I’ve witnessed bad attitudes and gossip but those experiences are SO few and far between I could probably count them on one hand.

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They welcomed my husband (at that time just my friend) though he was a self-proclaimed atheist who had never been to church before, and they were eager to spend time with him and answer any questions he had. The music and women’s ministries helped fund a program for me to train as a music missionary. The music ministry & youth leaders so generously provided all the music for my wedding. Many of them stayed after and helped clean up without being asked. My church family came to my rescue when my grandmother needed to move in a short time-frame, lugging boxes through the cold night and over their Thanksgiving break.

I’ve received random text messages and other encouragement out of the blue about something I had shared months before.. they remembered and they cared! I’ve witnessed the welcoming of the ‘other,’ the person who doesn’t quite fit in.. the sincere desire to get to know them and plug them into community. 

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I know there are people who have sincerely had negative, hurtful experiences with church in general.. Ones of abuse, rejection, hatred, and hear me when I say I am sorry someone used their position as a Christ follower to hurt you. NONE of that is acceptable. Please know that is not the way it’s supposed to be, and for every hurtful person there are also kind, loving people who care about the contents of your heart exponentially more than your appearance or lifestyle. I’ve seen their consistency for myself.

In Christ’s Love,


The “Christian” Party

This post is not really about President Trump or his impeachment. It is about how Christians have been treating one another in light of the current U.S. political climate.

Christians with liberal views on American politics breathed a sigh of relief all over the United States last week when Christianity Today published an editorial entitled, “Trump Should Be Removed from Office” (click link to read). They were already thinking the same thing, but dare not say anything among their church family at risk of being ostracized and rejected.

When I read this piece I was almost brought to tears from seeing my perspective echoed by a major Christian platform. Countless times I have been asked, “How can you be liberal if you’re a Christian?” “Aren’t all Christians conservative?” I have even been dubbed by some, “My favorite liberal.” Well, as I learn more and more I have come to see the shades of gray in everything. The opinions of Christians can be as diverse as the Christians themselves. It never helps to lump people into categories and make inferences as if everyone in that category is a carbon copy. In terms of voting, I cannot in good conscience say that one party in the USA is the Christian party. What I do hope is that every American Christian examines Scripture and their conscience, and makes the decision on how or if to vote with God in mind.

Then came the swift response of nearly 200 Evangelical leaders in the Christian Post, “Nearly 200 evangelical leaders slam Christianity Today for questioning their Christian witness” (click link to read). Keep in mind the editor of the Christianity Today piece, though eloquent and firm in that one piece has otherwise not-so-Christian-brotherhood-ly labeled Trump supporters as pretty much dumb and uncivilized, so the items mentioned in the Evangelical response are referring to his comments in general, not just the Christianity Today piece.

Man.. am I disappointed. I understand their frustration with his public comments outside of the article. I’d be ticked off too. His public comments were rude and unkind. However, I believe the Evangelicals who responded missed a BIG opportunity. As Christians, when another Christian comes to us with what seems like verbal attacks, our goal should not be to defend ourselves from the attacks, or attack them back. Our goal should be to get to the heart of the issue and restore the relationship, if possible. In this case, they failed to respond in a Godly way. They cared about defending their position over the relationship. There is no olive branch being offered. They responded in a self-righteous, arrogant, worldly way. I believe one of the intentions of the Christianity Today article was to humble them into accepting how non-Trump supporters view them, and how for liberal non-Christians (as well as some liberal Christians) their devotion to this President is repugnant. Liberals long for kindness and goodness. If they can get past us Christians to know Christ then He will do all the work. Is our primary goal to save souls OR to get our party elected?

As much as I agree with the views expressed in the Christianity Today editorial, I don’t know if I agree with it being published because of the ripple effects in the church. Christianity Today drew a line in the sand by writing that article. A line which as of now subtly existed but had not been as magnified. Then in response, the Evangelicals stepped on their side of the line. But what would this look like if the Evangelicals responded with a message of unity. What if these words were included in their response?

We are grateful that you have decided to share what is on your heart with us.”

“We disagree with your assessment, but we understand you have pure intentions and want to hold us accountable for a problem you see.”

You have drawn a line in the sand, but we have decided to respond in a way that strengthens the church and its members with varying political views.”

We are one church, we are one body, and we continue to be a family not despite our differences but because of them.”

What if they had responded in a Christian way?

When we are humble, that is really where God moves.

I have come across some who identify their party to be the “Godly” party. The idea that Jesus would participate in the American political system is outrageous to me. His view was so much bigger- the whole world for the whole of eternity. He would have rebukes for each party, as he does for each of us for the improper use of His name and for failing to love one another as we love ourselves. In our American bubble we have become so insulated in our thinking that we have really identified our parties as “Godly” or “un-Godly.” Who are we to make that assessment? We all must use our best discernment when participating in our civil system, but we are not the ultimate judge.

When our political views become more important to us than our Christian brothers and sisters, I believe we are participating in idolatry. Hear me out. Christian Americans are competing with two conflicting identities: faith and nationalism.

Faith in the spiritual context is defined as “strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.”

Nationalism is defined as “identification with one’s own nation and support for its interests, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations.”

Scripture reminds us we are to find our identity in Christ, but what happens when we also find our identity as a citizen of a country? We are serving two masters. Though this verse specifically refers to money, we can see the point applies here too. “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24) We cannot allow our love for our country surpass our love for God. If you are rejecting Christians with differing political views, then that is exactly what you are doing. You are loving your country more than God. He demands we love one another. He does not demand we love our country. Jesus directly commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves. When we rank other things above one another, that shows our hearts are not on Him. We need to be like Christ. Though many reject him, he continues to be present with open arms, inviting them back in when they are ready.

I have heard this said over and over- that liberals are so passionate about acceptance unless you believe differently than they do. And actually.. I think it’s true. We can be arrogant about our beliefs, but so can anyone else, as evidenced in the lack of humility in the 200 Evangelical leader response. It is hypocritical, but should we not be passionate about acceptance at all unless we can do it perfectly? As Christians we worship a God who is perfect and Christians are under the world’s microscope for every unkind word, bad attitude, or sinful action. Waiting until we are perfect to do good will yield zero results since there are zero perfect people. Intent and action will always be held in slight suspense as we are broken, sinful people. However, that doesn’t mean we should refrain from doing good because we are partly bad.

I have a proposition. If you are reading this, I propose that in the year 2020 you find someone who disagrees with you. Get to know them as a person and develop a relationship where you can ask one other questions about your beliefs in a safe place. Try your best to keep seeing them as a Child of God, no matter how infuriating their views.. Because if our goal is not to understand one another, we will continue lumping each other into these ridiculous categories that further drive a wedge between us.

We cannot allow our political views to divide us as a Church. Think of a Christian you know whose political views disgust you. Now remember that when you BOTH are in heaven you will be dining at the same Kingdom feast. That will be the true Christian Party.

In Christ’s Unity,


“Slumber Disturbance”

Recently on the RELEVANT podcast the group asked listeners to share their ghost stories for Halloween. That is what has inspired me to share this story from circa 2010. I have had many experiences where I sense something evil, but what I am going to share here is the boldest thing I have witnessed.

DISCLAIMER: I don’t tamper with any kind of magic or attempt to make spirit contact as I believe that would be harmful. However, I do watch shows & movies, as well as read stories about hauntings, possessions, and other spiritual activity. I like learning so I can be prepared for this kind of spiritual warfare, and it has proved helpful thus far when I have sensed the presence of evil. I believe in angels and demons, but I am not convinced that the spirits we may encounter are formerly living human beings. Mostly because there is not much Biblical support for this. I do know that angels and demons can take various forms of their choosing so it is possible they could mislead us to believe they are our departed loved ones.

I still remember it vividly like it was yesterday. It was a couple months after moving into my mom’s new house after being away in college for a few years. At this point I had been a Christian for about 1 year. My mom’s house is in a quiet suburb, away from any trains, large trucks or anything else that would make the ground shake.

I was sleeping on an air mattress at the time while unpacking since it had been some time since I lived with my mom. The head of the air mattress was touching a tall, poorly made (ehem.. Ikea) dresser. The type where you can wiggle it a bit if you try. Well, something I could not see was trying. I woke up in the middle of the night to the dresser moving drastically side to side and knocking into my air mattress. I feared the dresser was going to fall on top of me! I lifted my head and looked around, assuming it was a minor earthquake. NOTHING ELSE IN MY ROOM WAS MOVING!! After about 30 seconds of looking around, the wobbling stopped and I got up and went to my mom’s room which shares a wall with the one that my bed & dresser were against to see if she had felt the tremor. She was awake and said she felt nothing. All paintings and pictures on the wall were in the same place. Nothing on any surfaces in her room had been disturbed.

I left her room thinking I had dreamed the whole thing, until I saw a ceramic angel I had on my dresser had tipped over. I want to be clear: I wasn’t afraid- I was TICKED OFF! Something was seriously stepping to a child of God?! Did they have any idea who they were dealing with?? So, I started casting it out in the name of Jesus in my bedroom and read Scripture until I fell asleep.

The next day I spoke to my mom about it and she said it was suspicious timing since she had just recently taken out & used her old Tarot cards that she hadn’t touched since the move. She shared there had been some odd spiritual activity at the apartment she just moved from, such as gold writing on her walls in the middle of the night. I shared with her what I had learned about Tarot (ie. It’s “no fire to sit by” in Isaiah, what it could welcome into the home, etc) and she decided to get rid of them. Around this time late at night I would hear a growling sound and I would cast out whatever it was in Jesus’ name, then it would stop. I lived in the home for 6 more years and nothing else happened in the house after this ordeal, probably due to my mom getting rid of the cards and me casting out whatever entity that was in our home. She still lives there and it is a very peaceful place.

Have you ever had an add encounter that you thought could be supernatural? What happened and how did you respond?? Leave it below in the comments!

“Call the Wind: My New Endeavor”

Hello, world! Though I have kept a blog via LiveJournal since the early 2000s (I hear all the Millennials chuckling), I have decided to take this to the next level to expand my reach. I will be transferring and back-dating my old posts over to “Call the Wind” so you may look back at my ponderings over the years.

Please allow me to share a bit about where this is all started. Sometimes I feel like a rare breed as I accepted Christ in my early twenties, was not raised in the Church, and do not have a “I hit rock bottom” testimony. Statistically I wasn’t supposed to be a believer! I believe in Scripture and tend to have political views that don’t always jive with the mainstream church. However, I always want to remain teachable and will consider other views. I do know that all testimonies are valuable, but I was hoping to find more who had a similar story.

A little info to prove my point:

Earlier this year I began looking to hear from others who have a similar worldview as I, and unfortunately that search came up short. Then it occurred to me that maybe it was my duty to put my perspective out there and to possibly help others feel less alone.

So that’s where “Call the Wind” comes in. I believe that most of the world’s problems come from the fact that we have stopped listening to one another. This could be due to a variety of things- Maybe we think “what’s the point?” because there is so much misinformation/ intentions to misguide others. Sometimes we doubt the information AND the sharer’s intentions. Maybe we think we understand and have put others into a box of what we think they believe. Or, maybe we don’t want to know because what we hear may challenge our worldview. To be honest, I fall into all of those categories at one point or another. What is important to keep in mind is that God is the ultimate holder of knowledge and truth. It is vital that we find the facts and use God’s word to help us navigate that.

If you find yourself reading this and feel a similar calling, please share in the comments. I would also love to know if you have a blog/vlog so I can check it out.

Have a blessed day!!



“..think about such things”

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Phillippians 4:8

Candid photos from our wedding day, 10.15.2016

A lot has happened since I last posted! I started dating my friend Allen who I had a major crush on a couple months before my last post, and low and behold, he was the one I had been waiting for. We were married a year and a half later and every day has been a joyful, heart-felt adventure with this man. My outlet for spiritual thoughts has mostly been through a Wednesday night Worship service at church which I co-lead along with an amazing team. There’s more on that to come later I’m sure. What has inspired my blog renaissance was a moment with my husband this past weekend. I’m going to give y’all some advice in the wisdom of my almost three years of marriage 😂.. Marry someone who cares about what you care about, even if it’s not what they care about. If that seems like it doesn’t make sense, please keep reading. Actually, even if it does, please keep reading.

I looove makeover shows. Any kind. HGTV home makeovers, What Not to Wear, Extreme Weight Loss.. I love seeing the old being made new, restoration, people meet their goals to improve their lives and families. Allen does not give a HOOT 🦉 about these shows! He’s usually playing on one of his handheld game systems and sitting with me while I watch, throwing in a comment here and there when it catches his attention.

Last week we were, ehem, I was watching an episode of Extreme Weight Loss. In this show physical trainer and life coach Chris Powell selects one person from the many video submissions of people requesting his help to lose the weight that has caused them much suffering. Sometimes people are missing limbs, experienced great tragedy, or are so giving to the needs of their loved ones that they let their weight get out of control. Still, one by one, with Chris’ help, their lives are forever changed as they engage in a one year commitment of diet, exercise, and emotional health. They overcome obstacle after obstacle.

I was, as usual, really engaged.. this time in the story of a morbidly obese woman who wanted to be healthier so she could better take care of her young physically disabled daughter.

During a show-end commercial I was checking on our dinner in the kitchen when the show must have come back on, because Allen yelled from the living room, “Babe!! Babe!!! Come back!!!! SHE’S WEARING HEELS!!!!!!” I dropped what I was doing and ran back into the living room to see this woman whose year of transformation I had just witnessed present herself to her friends and family, looking beautiful, healthy and empowered. I felt proud of her, this stranger, in this moment.

I looked at Allen and he was smiling, looking at meHe felt joy from witnessing me experiencing joy. That is the goal of us.. to enrich the other person’s life as much as possible. Y’all there are ALWAYS dirty dishes that need to be washed and garbage that needs to be taken out in this house, but there is always kindness, too, and I’m so grateful 😊❤️

Now this brings me to the Scripture verse I posted above. I encourage you, whether it is in your marriage, friendships, or any other relationship, to “think about such things.” This verse doesn’t say what NOT to focus on.. It explains what TO focus on. Paul did not want us to get trapped among the things that disappoint us! Sometimes it is too easy to focus on what’s not going right or the habits you can’t stand. Choose to see the admirable, the lovely. Don’t let the negative distract you from experiencing and sharing joy. There are many people who may repay your kindness by using or mistreating you. That’s on them. But the good ones, if you treat them right, will always be good to you.

In Christ’s Joy,

Justice & Mercy

I had a really cool dream last night.

So I was speeding along the highway, which NEVER happens 😇, and I drive past a cop car with 2 officers inside, male & female. They look at me and indicate they want me to pull over. They didn’t look angry; I just knew I was about to be held accountable for breaking the speed limit. So I’m pulled over, waiting for them to come up to my window. When they came up to my window, the man said nothing the whole time, but smiled happily with tears in his eyes. The woman handed me an envelope which included a speeding ticket, and a check from the man paying for it. I looked at them feeling thankful and REALLY confused, and the woman said kindly, “It’s because you’re a Christian.”

I wondered how he knew, and then I remembered I have a magnet on my car that indicates my faith.

I wondered, why didn’t he just not write me a ticket? ..Instead of writing it and then paying for it on his own. Why didn’t he just disregard the traffic law? ..Because I clearly didn’t want to follow the law and he clearly didn’t want to punish me for it.

And then I thought, well, I shouldn’t be questioning his actions, because I really deserved it anyway and he did something really kind for meSomeone who broke the law which is his job to uphold. I really shouldn’t be trying to figure out how to minimize my accountability in this situation, or blame him for not planning better for my failure, and I really am in no place to pass judgment.. but he certainly is!

Then I thought, maybe he already wrote out the ticket and couldn’t get rid of it because it was too late and there was a record, so he did something to help me out.

Either way it’s still amazing that he paid for it himself, and I am indebted to him for his kindness.

There is so much to learn from this dream. Travel with me mentally for a second. Let’s change the male officer in this dream to God, the speeding to any sin, and the officer paying the ticket to Jesus dying on the cross. Read the dream again. It’s the same deal. And people usually ask the same questions about God when it comes to sin & judgment!

Q: Why can’t God just make us not sin?
A: Because we are not his puppets. He can use us to accomplish His will (especially when we are willing), but he gave us free will. Love would lose its value if we had no choice. We choose to love. We choose to hate.

Q: Why doesn’t God just disregard the law?
A: Because the law is right and not worthy of disregarding. To disregard it is to make the law out to be unjust, and it is not.

Q: Why doesn’t God just decide not to punish anyone instead of having to save them?
A: Because punishment is what we deserve for violating His laws. There is a penalty that must be paid for every broken rule. To have no one pay the penalty would make him unjust.

This is where mercy and grace come in.

  • Mercy is defined as “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm”
  • Grace is defined as “(in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings”

Like this situation, our sin is real and could not be undone. But God decided to make a way to pay the price so that we don’t have to. He had mercy on us and showed us grace through Jesus dying on the cross.

Like this situation, God is overjoyed to be able to save us. When Jesus died on the cross He died for every person, making salvation available to every person. But He can only save us if we truly accept it. And I’m not talking about the kind of acceptance that says “Yeah, I know it’s true, but I’ll live however I want.” That would make us no different from Satan, who knows the truth but doesn’t love or honor God. Christ made it clear that if you’re not for Him, you’re against Him. “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Matthew 12:30). He wants to show us there is no sitting on the fence.

What can I learn from this dream? If this happened in real life, would the officer’s act of kindness stop me from speeding in the future? I don’t know. I really like to get places quickly 😳. If I weren’t devoted or loyal to this officer, I’d probably keep speeding. But if I were devoted or loyal to this officer, I would likely want to honor him and the law he is enforcing. After all, he already showed his loyalty to me in what he was willing to do for me when I was breaking the law, with no guarantee I wouldn’t break it again! Who else did this? “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). This is reckless love.. putting it all on the line in hopes that love will be reciprocated.

But is there a middle ground? Can I sort of speed, and sort of honor this officer? So I can please myself and show him I am thankful to him at the same time? ..No, I can’t. If I honor this officer I will disregard my speeding, and if I speed I will disregard this officer. It’s one or the other. “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24). Clearly this verse applies to more than money.

If I were loyal to this officer I would also try to understand that if he supports the laws then they are probably good and there to protect me. After all, I might trust his judgment and that he cares for me. The same goes for God. His laws are perfect. The difference in my obedience to him is whether I am more concerned with what I want, or honoring him. But if my heart is in the place where all I want is to honor him.. then that’s a really good place to be.

Will you pray with me?

Lord, please grab hold of my heart
Help me see the ways I live for myself
And give them all over to you.
Help me become an honorable person
Who pursues justice in my actions
And shows grace to others.
I thank you for what you did for me
Even though I don’t deserve it.
You committed to me
Before I even knew who you were.
Thank you, Jesus

In Christ’s Love,

Did you make any other cool connections from my dream? Go ahead and post a comment about it 😊