Life

All My Mothers

May 14, 2017

It’s that time of year again! All the mothers are getting their cards and the children are covered in glitter and the fathers are wondering if they actually have to cook all three meals that day.

I love Mother’s Day. It reminds me of making crafts in Sunday School to give to my mom, feeling like a boss because even though I didn’t have money I still had a gift to give. One year our Sunday School teachers sent us all home with plants in Styrofoam cups to give our moms. It was a really sweet, very terrible idea. The plant did not live. I was sad.

About a year ago, I was telling a friend of mine that I struggle with female relationships. And instead of nodding her head like most women do, she asked: “Why?” She wasn’t content with my BS answer about emotions and pettiness – she pushed me to think about why I disconnected myself from ladies, often even before I’ve gotten to know them. And it surprised me to realize that beyond the drama, the hormones, and the comparison games that often get the blame for why girls suck, I was battling with being known.

When you connect with another woman and bear your soul to her, you are known.

Men are wonderful creatures, and I would be lost without my level-headed husband who reigns me in when I am spiraling, but women see conflict or complexity and dive deep into that pain with you. If you’re sad when around a guy friend, he’ll ask what’s going on and then move on. There’s no pressure to unveil your heart or your scars. You can hide behind the laughter, the jokes, the conversation about nothing. (I’m obviously generalizing here, but after spending middle and high school surrounding myself when mostly boys, that’s just how it went.)

I’ve heard many times that women can over-complicate things, but I think we’re actually just pros in unraveling things. Though we can be easily offended and prone to drama, we are fierce in our love for our women.


On this Mother’s Day, I am celebrating all my “mothers.”

Since that revealing conversation last year, I’ve become so aware of the women who carry my burdens with me, who care about my struggles, who call out the good things in me, and who allow me to do the same with them.

Sometimes I am so focused on surviving, on avoiding scrutiny, on carrying my burdens and fighting my battles alone, that I do not see the goodness or grace of the women who are surrounding me on all sides ready to carry me.

When I look up, I see a mother who raised me to be fierce and loud,
grandmothers who introduced me to baking and God in their kitchens,
aunts who exemplify grit and beauty,
cousins who will not settle for less than extraordinary,
friends who refuse to let me be anything but myself,
and sisters-in-law who are tough as nails and still soft in heart.

Women who are mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, friends, and cousins have all written their names on my heart with indelible ink. As I celebrate the one who brought me into the world, I celebrate the ones who’ve made my world possible as well. Without the ferocity, faith, grit, determination, authenticity, and kindness of these women, I may not believe that we are anything more than dramatic, petty, back-lashing beings. But the truth is we are a force.

I look forward to the day I raise my daughters, my nieces, my friends’ little girls in a community of women who are for each other.

Thank you women for being for me.

Happy Mother’s Day

JR

Life

The Joy Project and my crash course in “balance”

May 10, 2017

​How do you feel about lists? I love lists. My Notes app on my iPhone has list after list of random things like “What Am I Believing God For?” or “Guest Room Airbnb Ready” or “Different Hairstyles That Work for Me.” For other things, like groceries or household needs or chores, I use Wunderlist, an app that sends you reminders and makes a pretty like “ding!” noise when you check things off. I share a few of my lists with the hubs so if he hits the grocery store without me, I can make sure he gets that carton of ice cream. It’s great.

A few weeks ago, I sat down and wrote out a list of things that bring me joy. It had stuff on it like “Watching Netflix with G” and “Reading” and “Drinking GOOD wine” and “Yoga” and “Journaling.” Simple things, but things I don’t do as much as I’d like. I had realized that I was longing for moments on my yoga mat or for walks with my dogs, but I was wasting precious hours binge-watching Desperate Housewives instead. I felt like God was calling me into a season of taking better care of myself, so I got really excited and REALLY organized about it.

Lists are magical.

I decided I wanted to live more intentionally, so I put together a plan that would keep me accountable when I have days when I just want to watch a whole season of The Great British Bake Show. I call it The Joy Project.

I think God knows that I’m crazy, though. He knows that lists make me believe I can control my life. So He didn’t give me the opportunity to control it.


This first week I was striving to take better care of myself, I had a game plan of going to bed by 10pm. But then I found myself in the homes of multiple friends sitting on their couches sipping wine or eating pizza at 9:30 at night with no plans of heading home soon. At the same time I was being called to take better care of myself, He was giving me more desire and opportunity for relationships.

Maybe you’re a superhero and have a buzzing social life and also great motivation to get yourself out of bed the next morning with less than 7 hours of sleep, but I am not. I am human. I woke up those next mornings at 5:15 to get on my yoga mat feeling like total crap. I thought I’d failed by not getting in bed before 10:30.

I was mad because my project of joy – which I had turned into a project of control – was failing.

But guess what? Getting less than 7 hours of sleep isn’t a failure. Feeling tired isn’t a failure. And you know what else? Building relationships are far from a failure.

All of these glorious things, wine sipping, pizza eating, heart sharing, belly laughing, deciding between an exhausted crawl to my yoga mat or shutting off my alarm at 5:30 to get back into bed to have morning sex, ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE TAKING CARE OF MYSELF.

If I take care of myself and leave out relationship, I’m subscribing to the idea that I was not created for connection. But I am. We all are.


For me, happiness is saying no to a salad and yes to a burger, it is blasting Amanda Cook’s new album and singing to the One who created me, it is laughing my ass off with my husband while watching 30 Rock, it is calling my mom even though I’ve already called her three times this week and she HATES talking on the phone. It doesn’t all have to be organic, healthy, or natural. It just needs to be balanced.

Joy is finding the healthy things that make me feel good and finding the indulgences that make me smile and marrying them in my life with a whole lot of grace so that I do not binge or purge or feel guilty.

We can take wonderful care of our bodies, minds, and spirits AND be relational. We can seek quietness AND friendship for our souls. We can be strong women AND soft women. We have to stop trying to control our lives. We won’t always make it to bed by 10 o’clock and we won’t always make it out of bed at 5:15. That is okay.

Balance is not our enemy.

I smile today thinking about my crash course in balance because God knows me. He knows that I struggle with control. I can take out of context something meant to bring me peace and joy. And because He knows me, He brought to me two things at the same time that I’ve always believed were in conflict. He is so tender in His desire for me to live an abundant life.

I dare you to find what brings you joy, the “healthy” stuff and the “indulgent” stuff, and find your own balance.

JR

PS: some days you just need a good Netflix binge. I am not implying that isn’t self-care, I just spend the majority of my days doing that rather than all the other joyful things I could be doing, so if you haven’t watched The Great British Bake Show, there are three seasons on Netflix now and I love every single one. Prepare to crave baked goods for at least a month.

PPS: I hate going out to workout, so I use Do Yoga With Me (thanks Mandolyn!) for at-home yoga sessions, making my crawl to the mat doable most mornings.

Inspiration

Why My Mom Isn’t Allowed To Go On Vacation

April 25, 2017

Some days I feel like I’ve lived a hundred lives before the one I’m living today. And you might think I’m exaggerating when I type something so dramatic, but when was the last time we sat down and I shared the hard stuff with you? The junk that isn’t ready to be written down yet, because I’m still waiting on God to show me the ending to that chapter, I like to keep covered up under the talk about wine, dogs, yoga, and basketball.

As safe as it seems to circle the wagons and cut off intimacy with others, there’s nothing more freeing than sharing a burden with another. I’m learning that. I’m trying. 

How often do we take the time to listen to our friends share their struggles, their journeys, or their processes? I’m guilty of asking the perfunctory “How are you?” then moving on to talk about my dogs. It’s so much neater, so much more comfortable to keep the heavy stuff to a minimum, but it’s also so very isolating.


My mom was out of town for the weekend with really crappy cell reception. So when I started to freak out about some emotional trash I’ve been sorting out lately, I couldn’t call the one person who’s always talked me out of my panic. Without her to call I knew it was time I got over my fear of asking my husband for help.

I sat across the table from the man I’d promised to love forever, and I hesitated to present a piece of my self to him that was not neatly packaged and ready for easy observation. What I had to offer was a mess, but I needed to share my mess. So I grew a pair of ovaries and I told him what I was in the middle of processing. I trust this man with my life, but could I with my old wounds? Would he laugh at me? Would he be gentle with my heart? Isn’t that the fear we have every time we get honest with someone?

In vulnerability there’s always the possibility of further wounding. But there’s also the possibility of new healing. And that’s worth the risk. 

He did not laugh at me. He surprised me with his empathy, his compassion, and his wisdom in how to walk out this healing process. And that’s why we have to share, guys. 

Alone, we might only see the mess. But together we can see the root of those ugly weeds and we can yank them from our hearts. 

“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians‬ ‭6:2‬) ‭‬‬

I have lived a beautiful and full life, and I have also seen some nasty crap that shouldn’t be okay. Every time I remember my reasons why I should trust no one, I am presented with new truths about the community I’ve surrounded myself with. I think that’s the process God has me working through right now, proving to me that He did indeed create us in His likeness, and in relationships I can find His goodness and grace. 

We’ll see. I’m still learning.

Next time I ask you how you’re doing, I pray I pause for an honest answer, because I would be honored to hear about your process. Even if it’s not finished yet. Even if it’s still messy. We can do this together.

With a whole lot of love,

JR

PS: I still think I’m a badass while I’m in the midst of processing, and you are too, because I think it takes bravery to face the struggles with the Lord rather than run from them. Keep slaying. 

Life

Chicken Chasing and Other Revelations

April 18, 2017

I chased a chicken today. It wasn’t my chicken. I chased a stranger’s chicken, because I saw it jump a fence and nobody seemed to notice it leave.

I strapped a baby on my back (because I’m a nanny, and that’s what nanny’s do right?) and I went outside half hoping the chicken would be waiting for me right there to be put back in its yard. It wasn’t. I found a stick to help me, because that’s how I chase my own chickens, and I started talking quietly to the baby so she wouldn’t randomly scream and scare the chicken.

This chicken went far. We walked towards the road, and I started praying this wasn’t going to be some messed up version of the chicken crossing the road joke. This baby would be scarred for life.

We passed a tree, and there it was, pressed up between the roots trying to make itself look small so I wouldn’t see it. It looked so scared, like the darn thing had suddenly realized why it was in a fenced in backyard to begin with, and it couldn’t possibly survive out here all alone.

I looked at that chicken, hiding in a tree, and I thought about how God finds me sometimes when I jump fences and make mad runs convinced that the other side might be better, then realize the other side is actually terrifying. 

He always chases me down.

He comes running, even if He’s in the middle of something else.

He notices me and He doesn’t want me to get hurt.

And then He carries me all the way home and puts me back where I belong, where it’s safe. 

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. 

He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. 

He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. 

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows. 

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” ‭‭(Psalms‬ ‭23:1-6‬)

I chased a chicken today. And somehow I felt like God gave me a glimpse at His heart while I did so.

Thanks, chicken, for letting me know God better today.

And thanks God, for always noticing me, for always coming after me, and for never being too busy for me. 

JR

Inspiration

It Was Never About Rules

April 15, 2017

“Why does this keep coming up?” I ask myself after another conversation with another person about why God created us for relationship, not to fulfill a list of rules that He set out for us. And then I remember: the desire to understand right and wrong, to actually cut God out of the equation and know good and evil, has been a struggle for humanity since the first couple walked in the Garden of Eden. 

We were created to walk alongside God in the cool of the day, but for fear of not measuring up to His likeness Eve chose the knowledge of good and evil. Didn’t she know she was crafted in His image? She wasn’t meant to know pain, suffering, sickness, or death. As long as she walked with Him she’d live free in the Garden from sin and shame. Didn’t she know that relationship was why she was made? 

It wasn’t about rules. It wasn’t about measuring up. It was about those strolls with the Creator, the interaction and community that animals couldn’t provide. It was about choosing to love Him and allowing Him to love in return. 

Jesus came, and just as His Father had, He called disciples to walk with Him. He taught them and provided for them. He gave them a new perspective, a new commandment, and a new way of life. The laws that had plagued them since their youth were now proven impossible, but before them was a Hope for more than just law abiding. They witnessed firsthand the love that transcends class, religion, and self-righteousness. The knowledge of good and evil proved to be useless when Jesus revealed that the core of the law was to love well. Showy men were made fools and humble women were exalted. Bread was broken and wine was drunk and Jesus engaged in relationship with everyone who would welcome Him.

It wasn’t about rules. It wasn’t about being perfect. It was about those evening meals with the Son of God where healing and forgiveness took place. It was about choosing to love Him and allowing Him to love in return. 

When the Son had ascended and the disciples were left, He told them to wait. Gather together and wait. You were not meant to do this alone. Wait. And the Holy Spirit came. With fire and tongues, with power and wind, He came. Together, in the upper room, the disciples encountered the Spirit that would never leave them. With the Spirit to guide them, to remind them of who they were, they introduced multitudes of people to the God of grace, mercy, and relationship.

Because it was never about rules. 

It was ALWAYS about relationship with Him.

So today, as we remember the high cost that was paid to get us back to strolling with our Creator, let us not dwell on the rules we haven’t kept or the knowledge of our own good and evil. Together, let’s fix our eyes on that Tree of Life. The Tree that we were given to eat from freely, and the Tree that would later bear the weight of a Man without sin.

I want the fruit of that tree, the fruit of that sacrifice, that brings with it eternal closeness with the One who created it all.

JR

Inspiration

Mountains, Fires, Revolution

March 3, 2017

Every day I think about what I should write. I think about what I know, what I don’t know, what I’m learning, and what I’m struggling with. I think about what may encourage my sisters and brothers, and what may offend you all. And as of late, I’ve felt so ordinary.


I was raised to believe that I could move mountains with my faith, start fires with my words, be a revolutionary in my generation. And as a young teen, I had this idealistic vision of what that would look like: living in a mission field, out of a backpack, no tether to any place or people, going wherever the needs were the greatest.

And then I moved in a different direction. I met an incredible man, I fell in love and in peace, and I got married. I moved with him where I’m anchored for five years, my destiny and my future now all tangled up in his. And to be brutally honest, that has been SO HARD some days. I am a wife, friend, sister, and nanny with responsibilities to these people to show up. I have two crazy dogs and three bossy chickens that need me to come home from work and feed them. There is nothing untethered about this, and it feels oh-so-ordinary.

Guys, I say this not to wallow. I’m telling you where I’m at because I hope I’m not alone in feeling this bizarre mixture of gratitude, purpose, boredom, and ordinary-ness. And if we don’t confront that feeling, we might actually start to believe that we were not made to change the world.


Yesterday, as I was walking with the little one I nanny, I was recording my thoughts hopeful a blog might come out of it. And I kept saying “I am so ordinary, what do I have to give you?” Then I felt my heart shift. My spirit did a bit of a double take, gave my emotions a once over, and like the Helper He is, He reminded me of the truth that I’d been ignoring recently.

There is nothing ordinary about living a life for God. There is nothing plain about being intimate with the Creator of the universe. There is nothing boring about carrying the Kingdom of Heaven with me everywhere I go.

So today, what I have to offer you is the extraordinary. I offer you a reminder that mountains can be moved in our cities, fires can be set in our churches, and revolutions can start within our homes.

Being a wife in North America does not count me out. My future tangled up with my husband’s is not a problem. Every day I have the opportunity to gather with “two or more” and expect that His presence will be with us. Ministry doesn’t need a title, an ordaining, a letter of recommendation from my pastor. It’s a life lived to see others know a love that no ordinary man could ever give.

It takes guts and humility to realize that our ordinary lives are not meant to be flickers but roaring flames. We can be revolutionary in our love, in our hope, in our undying commitment to unity. Whether at home or abroad, on a stage or in a living room, we can change lives with our compassion.

Let’s be honest about feeling ordinary, and then move from that into this life of extraordinary with Christ.

No more counting ourselves out. No more silence due to feelings of inadequacy. Let’s rise up, using our actions and our words, and live to see the world know a God who is fierce in His love for us.

Cmon, friends. We’ve got this.

JR

Inspiration, Life

Why I March

January 25, 2017

Good morning sweet friends,

I was one of the estimated 3.5 million people, men and women alike, who took to the streets on Saturday, January 21st, 2017.

I was blessed with the privilege to stand next to my sisters and my brothers as we declared our disdain for gender-based violence and discrimination due to color, class, religion, gender, and sexuality. I did not agree with everyone I walked with on Saturday. I do not agree with everyone who’s posted about it since.

Unity does not mean uniformity.

It was because of you I marched. 

It was because of your daughters, nieces, cousins, aunts, sisters, friends, and mothers that I took a stand against injustice. It was because of your sons, nephews, uncles, brothers, and fathers that I walked the streets to bring awareness. Any form of abuse, neglect, or oppression towards any people group threatens all of us. 

This isn’t liberal crap.

This is real life.


I marched because 6-year-old Jordan should have known that there was an OPTION to take a stand against violence. I marched to be my own hero and advocate. 

In Memphis, TN I joined almost 9,000 people to peacefully demonstrate our disapproval of the current state of affairs. I did not march against President Trump. This was an issue long before he ran for office. I did not march against conservatives. Abuse chooses no political party. I did not march for pro-choice, like some of my sisters did, but I marched for them.

Love does not mean likemindedness.

Today, as you repost Facebook statuses, memes, “news” reports, and personal feelings that may minimize in some way what happened on Saturday, I ask you to consider this:

Would you have marched for me? 

Here’s the thing, I believe Jesus would have. I believe He would have held my hand while I struggled with tears. I believe He would have encouraged us as we chanted about love and inclusivity. I believe He would have joined us, sinners and all, to work towards a more perfect union.

The Jesus I know did not shy away from scandalous situations. He did not avoid the street where the woman was about to be stoned for adultery, but drew a line in the sand around her as her shield. He did not withhold His power from the sick woman who just needed to touch His robe, He healed her and accepted her despite her unclean status. He did not turn His eyes from the woman at the well, instead He engaged her regardless of their cultural differences.

Jesus got in there, He walked among them, He joined the outcasts for dinner.

Jesus is my favorite feminist, activist, and advocate. 


I hope you know that I type this today not to shame you for staying home. Our diversity in our outlooks, as long as they do not perpetuate hate, are a beautiful thing. So is our openness to these hard conversations.

And that’s what I want. Hard conversations. 

I crave honest, raw, real conversations about the God we follow, the love we’ve received, the wounds we’ve endured, and the struggles we are still walking through. I want rich coffee, good wine, soft blankets, smelly cheese, and an open dialogue between us all. 

If this new administration has done anything in the last few days, it’s begun a conversation.

So today, let us allow ourselves the grace to think beyond our own experiences and empathize with that of others. Let’s listen when our sisters or brothers are talking, let’s share our own stories, let’s agree to disagree on nonessentials, let’s have the hard conversations, let’s stand together.

Let’s march together. 

With so much love,

JR

Inspiration

Be A Sponge | Guest Blog

January 23, 2017

My sweet friends, happy Monday. Today I am honored to share with you my mother’s wisdom, a wisdom that has rooted me in the Father’s love since I was very little. If ever there has been a woman who has exemplified the gentleness and ferocity of the Spirit of God, it is her. This week is her birthday, and I’m so thrilled to celebrate another year of her life and the legacy she is already imprinting on the world.

Grab a cup of coffee and join me in learning more from her today.


This weekend I’ve been thinking about how I affect other people. For me, this conversation can be good or bad because I naturally swing towards pleasing people.

Last night, with a glass of wine and my sweet husband, it swung towards the negative end of the spectrum. I don’t want to rock the boat, cause others to stumble, make people uncomfortable etc etc etc. He, being amazeballs, came back with “Just be you, be love, the rest will fall into place.”

“Let everything you do be done in love.”
(1 Corinthians 16:14)

Today, I was ready to rock the boat, trip some people, and make them very uncomfortable, but the answer to all this remained “Be you, be love.”

So let’s get back to the sponge mentioned in the title. I feel like, now more than ever, we need to be so full of His love. We need to realize it on a deep and heart level.

It is time we open ourselves up to it, greedily taking every last drop until we think there can’t be more, and then another deluge comes. And then – this part gets me dancing – then, like a sopping wet, sloppy sponge, I go out into the world that screams division, hate, hurt, fear and I make a mess.

This sloppy mess has the ability to bring peace in the division, to hold others up in their state of weakness, pain, or disappointment, and cause people to feel safe and comfortable with me despite our difference of opinion or our level of understanding in the moment.

Each one of us has our “truth”. We often take that truth and use it like graffiti, tagging places that we have not been given permission to tag. But when we root our truth in His perfect LOVE and we fill ourselves up on that truth till we become sloppy, that mess becomes art.

Art like that will be welcomed everywhere it oozes out of us.

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
(Ephesians 3:14-21)

 

Inspiration

For Richer or For Poorer

January 16, 2017

I love spring cleaning. While we were living in our apartment last year, I started throwing out the nonessentials. I went through our books. Books are something I normally hoard but I married a doctor, guys. He has so many medical textbooks. In the mood to toss bound-paper, I trashed some magazines I’d been displaying on my nightstand.

A week later I remembered that I’d stored our handwritten wedding vows in the pages of one of those magazines. I felt sick. They were gone. I went through all the trash in the apartment, but Gian had taken it out a few days before like a good husband.

The vows don’t become null and void just because we don’t have those paper copies anymore. The commitments we made came from our heart. It’s part of who we are.

One of our vows was to love each other regardless of our bank account statements. I don’t decide how much Gian loves me based on the size of his paycheck. He doesn’t decide how strong our marriage is based on the money I bring home.

As couples, we vow to love one another for richer or for poorer. Why would God be any different?


A traditional thing to promise in marriage, but in our relationship with God we are more conditional due to mainstream theologies that focus on financial prosperity.

Maybe I’m alone here, but I spent the beginning of my faith-walk hearing sentiments like this:

  • “Follow these principles to gain favor with God!”
  • “Give your tithe so God can give to you!”
  • “God will bless you IF/WHEN (insert statement)”
This message inspires us to use our earthly wealth to measure how much God loves us. It’s wrong.

If wealth was a measuring stick for the Father’s love for us, why would Jesus have asked the young ruler to give away everything he owned? Did Jesus not like this young man? (Luke 18:18-27)

If wealth was our gauge, why would Jesus express an appreciation for the widow with two coins to offer over the people giving plenty? Wouldn’t her wealth have indicated how much His Father did or didn’t like her? (Mark 12:41-44)

The gift He gave us with His Son’s sacrifice isn’t monetary, it’s relational. But we’ve become so focused on what’s in His hand that we’ve forgotten to look at His face.


We, men and women alike, are the Bride of Christ. (Ephesians 5:25-27, 2 Corinthians 11:2). We have been bought out of our bondage and invited into a relationship based not on our works, but our ability to receive redemption and grace.

With His blood, He vowed to love us without strings attached.
He promised to make us strong when we are weak,
to raise us up when we’ve fallen down,
to restore our brokenness back to the beauty we were created to exude.

As our Bridegroom, He will supply all our needs according to His riches (Philippians 4:19).
He will give us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 20:4).
He will bless us and prosper us (Jeremiah 29:11).
He will heal us (Isaiah 53:5).

God didn’t forget His vows in an old magazine and toss it with last week’s trash. The promises He made brought Jesus to the cross. His desire to drown us in grace and compassion is part of who He is. With our eyes on His face, we can see that.

If we measured His love for us by our circumstances, we could be easily swayed to believe that He isn’t always on our side. That doubt would let fear in, and that fear would cloud the perfect love that we’ve received.

But friends, we are deeply rooted in the knowledge of God’s unmerited favor for us. We understand that God is for us, and we make the stance against us impossible to hold. His love is perfect, and we believe that nothing can separate us from that love.

We are dangerous women (and men) that live out that revelation.

So again I say if He is for us…

Slaying,
JR

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Inspiration

Dangerous Woman

January 9, 2017

March 13th, 2010
To my dear Charming…
Today a lady inspired me to write letters to you. I know you’re out there somewhere, preparing for me…
My emotions are so mixed. I’m so excited to one day meet you and spend forever with you, but I’m in no rush.
I’m falling in love with my first Lover…

That journal entry marked the beginning of my decision to not get caught in the dating scene. At the time, falling in love with Jesus sounded much more appealing than getting my heart broken. Little did I know how difficult a road I’d chosen.

I was lonely when my friends told me about boys who were confessing their feelings for them. I wished I had a boy to take me to prom. It was easy when I was younger, but the longer it took for Charming to show up the more I became discontent.

God’s love for us is unconditional, but we often place conditions on our acceptance of this love. I fell into that trap in the beginning, trying to show God that I could work hard enough at being a Christian for Him to love me.

Proving myself worthy of His love was futile, because I wasn’t worthy. I wasn’t close to worthy. So I sought intimacy instead.

If the King of kings had sent His Son to die just to know me, I would show Him me, all my beautiful and ugly parts.

While becoming vulnerable with God, I began to see the lies I was believing about myself. Seen in the light of His love for me, the things I’d been teased for and despised about myself became lovely. As I showed Him all of the ugly parts, He showed me the blood that He’d shed to wash it away. The way I saw myself shifted.

I spent a long time with Him, not because I wanted to necessarily, but because I had become so used to Him filling in my loneliness that I didn’t want to be anywhere else. Today, I believe what He says about me. I understand that He has claimed me as His own. He calls me a bride, a friend, and a daughter. I didn’t know what I was doing when I chose to find Him before any other kind of lover, but in those years of uneventful Friday nights I got to know the King.

My intimacy with the King makes me a dangerous woman.


Romans 8

31 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?”
This. He is for us. He is on our side. Who would challenge Him?

32 “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”
ALL THINGS. Peace, victory, patience, help – He gives them ALL FREELY.

33-34 “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.”
Paul’s version of COME AT ME, BRO. Bring a charge, but know that I have been made righteous by the Man who will judge those charges.

35 “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”
Nothing. No one.

37 “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.”
Not just conquer, but OVERWHELMINGLY. We SLAY. Because He who has already overcome the world is in us, and we are in Him.

38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Need I say more?


I fell in love with my first Lover.
In that love, I found a strength and resilience that I hadn’t possessed before.

We overwhelmingly conquer (the dishes, the depression, the rough day at work, the boredom, the loneliness, the bills getting paid, the fear, the marital turmoil, the anxiety, the dirty laundry, the drama.) Through Him who loved us, we are dangerous women. We are powerful wives, loving sisters, strong friends, and damn dangerous prayer warriors.

This is why we draw near: some days we forget who we are to the King. Some days we forget that we are brides, friends, and daughters of the Most High. Some days we forget that our weakness is an opportunity for His strength. But then we draw near, and we remember that all that other stuff is a lie.

We draw near, and we know that He is drawing nearer.

And if He is for us…

Slay, girl. Slay.
JR


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About Me

About Me

I'm Jordan.
20-something adventurer with a heart for rawness. I'm passionate, outgoing, hungry, and easily distracted.
My family is my life, my heart is always worn on my sleeve, and I drink a lot of coffee these days.
Let's be friends.

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