Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Dandelion Wish

Do you remember the days you would wish upon a star, throw a penny in a fountain, or blow the fluff off a dandelion? You wished for the impossible and believed all your dreams would come true. It was before you realized stars had no power, pennies were worthless, and dandelions became unwanted weeds in your yard. It was a time of innocence—where you could smell summer and touch dreams. Where logic and reason took a backseat and anything was possible. Do you remember?

Last Tuesday I met twelve women—twelve broken women who have long forgotten the days of innocence. They look to a woman of faith. One who can lead them to dream again—and still believes in Dandelion Wishes.

Lesley Glenn’s dandelion wish is a prayer for God to use art therapy to restore women to their true identity and walk in God's destiny for their lives.

This post is dedicated to Lesley and the twelve women I met that day.


The storms of life crashed in all around them. Thunder claps shook their very existence. Hopelessness reigned over them day in and day out.  They had not weathered the downpour of rejection and abuse well. Their only shelter from the storm was in a rehab center just outside of town.

I let out an anxious sigh as I stood in the plain and worn out activity room of the rehab center. Assisting my friend I nervously set art materials on the tables. One by one, women, young and old, entered and occupied a seat— restlessly awaited the art therapy workshop to begin.

As the women began their first therapeutic art exercise I prayed silently God would calm my nerves. This was new territory for me. I knew brokenness, but not to this extent. Taking another breath I remembered what my friend said earlier, “Come with all your senses”. I wanted to numb my senses more than awaken them—it was only an hour…I can do this for an hour. I prayed a silent prayer and dared myself to allow God to open my eyes. “What do you want me to see, Lord?”

As I looked with eyes wide open the Lord showed me I’ve seen these women before. Not these in particular, but ones who were also beaten down from storms of life. Sadly, I saw them only in my peripheral view. I intentionally shifted my head to look away and pretended they didn’t exist.

I could no longer ignore them. Twelve of them sat in front of me—their presence demanding for their existence to be acknowledged. I felt the Lord’s heart beat for them. He gave me the courage to look them in the eye—and smile. The Lord’s love for each of them welled up in me as He quickened my heart—

They are no different than you.

It was true. These women were broken—just like me. Desperate for complete acceptance—just like me. Crying out for someone to believe in them—just like me.

The Lord’s words stayed with me. Remorse filled my heart as I realized somewhere along the way I labeled these broken women unworthy—even unworthy of a smile. My heart dropped. I know what it’s like to long for acceptance—and yet I did not extend it.

Forcing myself to stay engaged and present, I watched my friend talk to the women. She connected with them—looked them in the eyes and listened. They were drawn to her because she accepted and believed more for them.

The women continued to quietly create and bring color to the canvas of their lives—Colors of healing and hope. The storms of life may have had them down for awhile, but healing was at their fingertips. As I watched the movements of their hands move the colors back and forth on the page I was beginning to believe restoration was happening right before my eyes— 

and even within my own heart.

Do you accept unconditionally or selectively?
How do you  want to be accepted?

Here or somewherebe real.
Share your journey.

Be sure to check out the right margin
of this blog for this month's contest!

Reflective Scripture
Psalm 18

Relevant Worship
What Love Really Means By JJ Heller

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Final Round

They were a bloody mess.

The opponents were no longer playing by the rules. Intentional blows below the belt brought more hostility than when the fight first began. Illegal head butts between fighters resulted in blurred vision and aching bodies.

The bell sounded signaling the end of the round.

Retreating to their respected corners they longed to rest and regain strength. It had been a long fight. Extended rounds left the rivals weak and flailing in their execution. Yet they refused to give up. Both wished to defeat their rival and become the champion.

The bell rang to begin yet another round…

The fighters stood in the center of the ring. Exhaustion overcame them. Neither opponent threw a punch.

Finally after some time the lightweight made the first move.

“We have to stop this—we’re on the same team.”

Skeptical of this new strategy the heavyweight circled around his opponent making defensive jabs of accusations, criticism, and blame.

The lightweight almost threw in the towel—

But instead made the riskiest move in any fight—

She became vulnerable.

Removing the boxing gloves the lightweight dropped the gloves to the ground, No defense. No protection. No strategy—only vulnerability.

Tears that once masqueraded as sweat flooded the face of the lightweight.

“I don’t like us anymore.”

The heavyweight was hit—straight to the heart.

Hope motivated her next move.

“I want us to be on the same team.”

Something welled up within the heavyweight. Instinctively, he removed and dropped his gloves to the ground. Suddenly, he couldn’t remember why he entered the ring. One thing for sure--it wasn’t a fight worth winning anymore. He reached to embrace his companion—the one he vowed to live for—not fight against.

With boxing gloves kicked aside, the couple embraced new hope as apologies were exchanged and promises made to heal.

Supportive coaches lovingly led them outside the ring—and back into their home, while the judges came to a unanimous decision.

Noting the couple’s unique techniques of attacking pride and defending unity while in the ring gave reason for Father, Son and Holy Spirit to declare them both—

C h a m p i o n s.

Will you drop your gloves?
Will you be vulnerable?
Will you be a Champion?

Here or somewherebe real.
Share your journey.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dream Killer

She was a dream killer.

At the first sound of one giving voice to an impractical dream she drew her weapon of doubt and lunged toward the dreamer with sharp words to pierce.

Logic and reason crafted the careless words that slipped easily from her lips, “It will never work,” she said.

The dreamer paused and locked his gaze on the dream killer. With tenacious confidence he replied, “Yes it will.” The bright eyes of the dreamer never faded. Not even once. She tried to kill the dream-

But the dream lived.

Shocked the dreamer was not discouraged by skepticism the dream killer pulled out her next weapon. Watching the dreamer’s movements she waited for the mark of failure. Pulling back the arrow of “I told you so”, she waited for the precise moment to release the blow.

But the arrow never left the bow. The dreamer worked with focused attention pursuing his dream. The weapons of the dream killer never fazed him, nor slowed his progress. All things were in place for the dream to take flight and in time his dream soon became a reality.

The impossible became possible.

The dreamer exuberantly celebrated what he always knew could be. The lies of the dream killer bared no weight compared to the dream that lived within him. His eyes danced with joy as he looked the dream killer right in the eye and spoke the last word,

I told you so.

The power of belief in those words sent the dream killer to her grave—forever.

Have you ever dared to dream?
it’s what I live for.

Have you ever attempted to kill one?
yes…last week.
This post is a true story of that account.

Which role will you choose?

Here or somewherebe real. Share your journey.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Deeper Work

Colors faded.
Movements ceased.
Sounds silenced.
All was still and quiet—in her heart.

She was aware of it for months. Soothed by the calm, yet disturbed by a greater need. There was something more—something deeper. Striving proved to bring no joy. And so she pondered for weeks until finally—revelation. The something more had to come from Him—but at her appeal. With unwavering trust she whispered…

“It’s time Lord.”

He immediately moved on her words to bring to pass the one thing guaranteed to bring new life to her heart—healing.

“Lord, it’s time for a deeper work.”

He had been waiting for this. Waiting for the wisdom He deposited into her seasons past to take root and bloom. He was waiting for her to call on Him for deeper soul work.

His agenda was short, yet purposeful: Expand her capacity to hold new facets of His love and reinforce her identity in Him.

He worked swiftly to align the work her heart needed.
He calculated the level of healing needed to her pain tolerance, assigned angels to minister to her, and people to walk with her.

Stepping back to reassess the plan He looked at His Beloved. Delight welled up within Him. He was proud of His daughter. He knew this would be far more significant than any other season of refining because it was at her call—not His. Now here she stood, His little girl, fully grown declaring courageously His deeper work to be released within her.

Standing proud, Father God resolved all things were in place and ready to be released save one thing—His promise.

Silently and lovingly He wrote His vow across her heart.

I will be with you—always.

Her hand touched her heart. She knew. She knew He was there. She knew He would never leave her. She was confident He would walk through each heartache and tear of her healing. He was with her.
He was present.
But He was also future.

He stood in her future just as much as He stood in her present. This time more than any other she understood the power of her Lord being with her now and calling to her from the soon to be. This deeper work must be done to bridge the two time zones closer. Her destiny depended on it.

The work began.

Brokenness unveiled.
Tears flowed.
Pain gripped.
Heart throbbed.

Sobbing on the floor she could not form into words the weight she felt. Although He stayed silent-- she knew the truth. She was not alone. He was with her. As much as she wanted to run from the process—she stayed.

She stayed. She breathed. She waited.

As He healed.

Will you cry out for deeper work in your life?

Relevant Scripture
The LORD will guide you always;
   he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
   and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
   like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11

Never will I leave you;
   never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

Relevant Worship

Drink of You by Laura Rhinehart