Sunday, December 9, 2012

Peace in Restoration

Yesterday morning, as I was driving to witness the recording of a song written for Connections, I was in touch with a deep abiding place of peace, contentment and expectation.  I was reminded about the scriptural teaching that says God provides the "peace that passes all understanding".  I began to sink into that concept from a Restoration perspective.

At that moment, in my car, thinking about where I was going, I knew that this act was yet another step in walking out my destiny.  Fifteen years ago I made the first step to open Connections, without money and without participants.  I had a vision and passion and a friend who said she would make the journey with me.  My entire life changed.  I became single again, expereinced my parents walking away, finances became a continual struggle, and I went back to school.  And I found me!

At the core of who I am is the passion to enable people to become all they were created to be and step into their destiny.  I did not know that Sandra had been writing and singing for years with the dream of recording a song and becoming the artist she knows she is.  When our paths crossed, Sandra, without expecting anything in return, wrote, "I Won't Let it Own Me", a song that epitomizes the message of Restoration.  She had no idea that Connections would be able to pay for the recording and start-up distirubtion of that song.  She stepped into destiny when she willinging allowed God to use her passion for His purpose.

Yesterday, I knew that the provision I was bringing to the recording of that song was directly unlocking Sandra's destiny while fulfilling mine.  Part of my destiny is to assist in the unlocking of the potential in others.  The peace and contentment I felt was in the knowing that my restored identity was accomplishing its purpose. Not everything has changed in my situation.  I'm still single, still out of touch with my parents, and still financially challenged.  But the peace and contentment of being connected to my God created identity and walking in destiny is unexplainable and so very awe-inspiring it takes my breath away.  Thats "the peace that passes all understanding."

Friday, August 17, 2012


Okay, so I can't manage to do this every week, here is my latest TGIF
T - Telling myself I'm grateful for the journey
G -Using my gift of listening
I - Internalizing the joy of "being" that I feel
F - Feeling full of possibilities

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Restoration = multiplication

This morning I heard the statement that "Restoration is linked to multiplication."  Made me wonder, how does our Restoration Paradigm bring about multiplication?  I asked the question in two arenas.

First, how does Restoration in someone's life bring about multiplication (or increase)? And I knew the answer the minute I pondered the question.  Restoration is about reconnecting to authentic, created identity.  In that identity is the provision of all we need to live life with power and influence.  As we live out of who we were created to be and not what others say we are, God's purpose and presence is multiplied in the earth. 

Second, if restoration is linked with multiplication, why is it that our Restoration Paradigm and materials are slow to be embraced and we haven't experienced increase?  I'm baffled; why is it that when new technology is introduced, everyone runs to it - they don't question "outcomes" or "best practices" or even how much effort will it take to use this new gadget? Our Restoration materials are challenged by all those questions. Why? Perhaps the enemy who seeks to keep us all separated from our power in identity would seek to keep us from embracing the process that takes us there. Restoration is a core aspect of God's character. We will overcome and we will experience increase!

Friday, July 13, 2012


We have just concluded a six week class introducing the elements of restoration - it was an awesome group!  The elements (recognize, responsibility, internalize, power of agreement) provide a framework all of us can use to make sense of our realities.  I use it in my life!

Every Friady I will post a TGIF - and give you a taste of the self awareness in restoration. Self awareness is power.  You too can adopt this thinking! Every Friday review the week and get ready for the next by checking in with yourself  - TGIF!

T - What am I telling myself  - I'm so glad I'm on the downside of life.  This week I'm challenged by the realities of the work I do, the responses I get, the shifts in our country and the strength it requires to keep on doing it all. 

G - What gift am I using - Compassion.  In light of my inner voice, I'm deciding to have compassion towards me. Hmmmm, get a good fiction book, curl up in the lounge chair and escape.

I - What am I internalizing? - I've got what it takes. No matter what happens to me, I can figure out my next steps.  Even if I make a mistake, I'll be okay.  Even if it doesn't turn out the way I hope, I'll be okay.

F - What am I feeling? - I'm feeling exhausted but hopeful. I've been here before, I will keep on doing what I need to do and I will ge there!

Happy Friday! - Post your TGIF'S - I'd love to hear them.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Don't turn away!

As horrific as it was to hear the trial coverage of Sandusky, it was so very important for us all to be awakened.  Now I fear that because the senstional reports are over, we will quickly turn our eyes and ears away from the topic once again. 

We can not let that happen!

Why?  Because today another child is being groomed. Today another child is being sexually assaulted. Today another child does not have the voice or power to make the sexual assault stop.

Today someone calls Connections and feels remorse, wishing they had told.  Today someone carries guilt because they believe that if they had told, maybe the perpetrator's next victim would have been saved. (Probably not true. Even when someone sees or knows - like in the trial - we don't usually respond well.)

Today someone wrestles with shame, re-activated by the Sandusky trial.  Today someone takes a drink or does drugs trying to silence the pain.  Today someone wonders about their value.  Today someone hides the confusion they experience in relationships.  Today someone asks, "who am I really?"

Don't turn away.  Don't put this new awareness behind you.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

We've landed safely!

When the prayer warriorI had just met looked at me and said, "you need to know them and they need to know you", and added, "if you're bold enough, go and introduce yourself", I knew it was the next step. Since I've never been accused of being reserved, (ha!) I went. (This conversation was actually just two days after I wrote my last post.)

Gladstone is a community of young people dedicated to living an Acts 2 life.  Turns out they are in my area!  I don't know all the details yet of how it works.  I do know they have agreed to live in community, sharing resources and impacting the area around them. I walked up to the house, sat on the porch and joined in the conversations of these young people.  I was welcomed, included and felt at home.

The next morning I received an email inviting me to use their meeting space to host our Connections restoration group!  I was stunned!  I was humbled, and I was so grateful!  I didn't have to ask. There was no "screening", no hesitation, just a heartfelt welcome and sharing of resources! 

This week we held our first group there.  Two community members met us at the door, welcomed us, invited us to enjoy the chocolate treats they left for us, then disappeared to allow us to meet. Our group settled in, resting in the acceptance offered and marveling at the beauty of the space.  My eyes tear up in gratitude as I write this several days later.


We moved out of our old space in obedience and freedom.  We stepped into a place of grace and beauty with hope and provision!  How awesome is this journey of restoration and freedom.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Freedom to Move and Be

Today I understood at even a deeper level, the amount of freedom I experience in my life!  And how grateful I am for the journey that has brought me to this place of freedom!

The location of Connections, (the not-for-profit agency I lead for victims of sex abuse), is being re-arranged. The open bed truck I was driving was loaded with sofas and various pieces of the life of Connections as it was lived on Eden Avenue.  I couldn't see out the rear view mirror, and in the side mirror I could see one of our chairs, tied in, but leaning precariously over the edge.  Actually, I think I was pretty comical looking as my flashers warned other drivers to give me lots of space.

The truth:  it's a stressful time for me!  It appears by the circumstances I face that my life's mission of assisting victim's of sex abuse to restore to authentic identity is severely crippled.  It appears by the circumstances I face that the possibility of defeating the presence of sex abuse in our culture is over.  I'm packing up the materials and the memories and crying.  I'm sorting the furniture, selling some, giving some away, and wondering what is happening and what happens next.

And yet I'm doing this all with FREEDOM!   When I saw the furniture loaded on the truck and knew that I didn't know where Connections will settle; I still knew it was the correct and obedient thing to do. I've loaded up the truck, not knowing where I'm heading next, but knowing the God I'm following and WOW, I knew I was living in Freedom! How many people have the freedom to pull up roots, and just go - trusting! What joy!  What excitement!  WHAT FREEDOM! Love you Jesus. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Being Present in the Moment

Toddlers and preschoolers are so awesome!  They have few filters in place, speak from the heart and live in the moment.  My granddaughter doesn't hesitate to tell me what she needs or thinks; even when my breath stinks!  She has encouraged me to be more aware of "living in the moment."

Being real isn't something we do easily or well.  It doesn't feel safe.  No one else seems to be having doubts, or feeling unloved, or unworthy.  Because we believe everyone else's mask we put on one too.

What does it take to live in the moment, to be "present?"  Some thoughts:  First, it means that you allow yourself to "see", i.e. use all your senses to see what is happening around you.  Notice that look your Uncle is sending you; sense the atmosphere around your friend; hear the tone of someone's voice. 

Second, know what you are seeing.  Your brain has an amazing catalog of information you've learned and or experienced.  You do have knowledge that can "read" that look from Uncle Jim or the tone your mother is using.  Let yourself "know" what you already "know."  Recognize and validate what you are experiencing - know it.

Third, feel how this moment is impacting you.  This is the hot spot for most of us - we don't like to feel our reaction to experiences. Make no mistake, emotional responses are so important to acknowledge!  You are having emotions, and if not acknowledged, their energy will store inside and cause you problems later. My disclaimer:  sometimes it isn't safe to express the emotion in the situation, but notice it, and process it later.

Fourth, as you remain connected and present in the moment, you can respond, and not react.  When you aren't grounded in the current experience, internal filters or beliefs are in charge.  That means you will be reacting out of those and not responding.

The most important thing to remember is this:  Not being authentic means that you may leave someone else feeling isolated in their reality, wondering if anyone else cares or knows how they are.