Why Super Hero Movies?

As far as movies go there are few that will get me into a theater like a Marvel movie will.  The big action in your face jump off the screen superhero movies are one of my favorites.  Apparently they are the favorite of a lot of people because the Marvel franchise has made 18.5 billion dollars so far.  Billion!!!! These super hero movies have all but taken up the space in theaters and squashed other kinds of movies like rom-coms.  I mean heck, the DC franchise has made 5 billion so far and they just came out with an actual decent movie this month!  (Shazaam, go see it, hilarious, not for scaredy kids, bad guys are scary, good work DC!)

As humans, where we spend our money is a good sign of where our hearts are.  Like, if you were to look at my monthly spending you would know things about what I value.  So like when you see that I spent 1/4 of my budget on Amazon you would know, “Wow Sarah is a sucker for Amazon deals that show up on her doorstep two days later.” Or you see 370 charges to my debit card for Chick Fil A and know we have a Chick Fil A problem.  To get humans to part with their money is a hard thing to do, just ask any marketing company.  The person’s heart has to be convinced that they need that thing, or service in order to spend money on it.  (Good work Amazon) 

So what about these superhero movies is making us part with our money to the tune of billions?  It has to be Robert Downey Jr. right? Or Scarlet Johanssen? Maybe it is the CGI?  The sound track in Gardians of the Galaxy is definitely on point and must draw people in.  Is it the $400 movie popcorn?  I know, it is the post credit scenes!  They are hilarious!  Maybe you are a person of color and for the first time ever you see a super hero that looks like you? That is definitely motivating.  But no, billions of dollar spent harkens to something deeper.  I think it is something written on all of our hearts.  We want to see the super hero save the day, and we will part with our money to see that happen.  

This life beats the crap out of us.  We all have a Thanos or Loki to deal with. We all have a Pepper Pots or hidden family we want to protect.  We all have a Aunt May trying to push us in the right or wrong direction. We all know that the evil darkness wants to win out. The evil that exists on earth sends us reeling to find answers.  We long to have a super power to make things better.  The battle between light and dark happens all around us.  Over come by our ineptitude we long for a hero.  But he can’t just be a normal hero because too many of those have come and gone.  He has to be a super hero.  He has to have a super power.  There is something this earth needs to make it right that is outside of what is possible in the scientific realm.  This super hero has to super naturally defy everything we can prove.  

Guys, Jesus is that hero.  He is the savior of the world.  The way He saves us turns everything we know to be true on its head.  A life with Him includes miracles that you did not plan for or think are possible.  He is more powerful than the evil that exists and He actually defeated darkness!  Know why He is so powerful?  Because in the same way that Tony Stark is the public persona for Iron Man,  Jesus is the public persona for GOD!  

Check out this Psalm I read this week.  I am going to set in bold all the super hero qualities in it:

Psalm 86

A prayer of David. 

1 Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer

answer me, for I need your help. 

Protect me, for I am devoted to you. 

Save me, for I serve you and trust you. 

You are my God. 

Be merciful to me, O Lord, 

for I am calling on you constantly. 

Give me happiness, O Lord, 

for I give myself to you. 

5 O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, 

so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help. 

Listen closely to my prayer, O Lord; 

hear my urgent cry. 

I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble, 

and you will answer me. 

8 No pagan god is like you, O Lord. 

None can do what you do! 

9 All the nations you made 

will come and bow before you, Lord; 

they will praise your holy name. 

10 For you are great and perform wonderful deeds. 

You alone are God. 

11 Teach me your ways, O Lord, 

that I may live according to your truth! 

Grant me purity of heart, 

so that I may honor you. 

12 With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. 

I will give glory to your name forever, 

13 for your love for me is very great. 

You have rescued me from the depths of death. 

14 O God, insolent people rise up against me; 

a violent gang is trying to kill me. 

You mean nothing to them. 

15 But you, O Lord, 

are a God of compassion and mercy, 

slow to get angry 

and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. 

16 Look down and have mercy on me. 

Give your strength to your servant; 

save me, the son of your servant. 

17 Send me a sign of your favor. 

Then those who hate me will be put to shame, 

for you, O Lord, help and comfort me.* 


Do you see it?  All the things we long for in these movies is right here in this Psalm!  Protect, save, be merciful, hear my call, strength, no one like you, and rescued from the depths.  This is the guy we are looking for!  The greatest news of all time is that unlike the hero’s in the Marvel movies, this guy is actually real.  Your Savior wants to save you, be known by you and loves you more than you could possibly imagine.  He has the power be your super hero no matter what He has to pull you out of.  He is the very creator of the world!! 

Easter Weekend is not about bunny’s that poop out chocolate, dumb easter dresses or deviled eggs.  The greatest super hero story of all time was written this weekend thousands of years ago.  It is so powerful that the same story of salvation is being retold in all these super hero movies.  That 18.5 Billion dollars spent going to see Marvel movies tells me we know deep down we can’t save ourselves.  We need someone to save us who is actually capable of saving humanity.  JESUS IS IT!  Jesus sacrificed Himself to save you from yourself.  He holds your future in His hand.  He is powerful enough to give you strength.  Jesus defeated death and evil.  He is such a great Savior that all He asks from you is that you believe in Him. Do you want to be saved?  Grab Jesus’ hand and hold on tight!



*Tyndale House Publishers. Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2013. Print.

The 9/11 Museum

Every generation must have a moment that happens where you remember exactly where you were when it happened.  9/11 is for sure one of those moments.  I was a senior at Texas Tech.  I was paying for a parking ticket that had to be paid or I would not graduate in December.  I remember being so annoyed at the line in the parking office.  They had a TV in there, and that is when I, with about 20 strangers saw the destruction from the first plane hitting the first twin tower.  The smoldering building with a tail of a plane sticking out held our attention.  From there I went to the common area in the Agricultural Economics building, classes were canceled.  My fellow classmates and I sat in horror as we saw the second plane hit and our worst fears were confirmed.  This was no accident, it was a terrorist attack.  It is crazy how even at 21, I knew the world would never be the same.  

And it wasn’t the same.  Fear is a wicked catalyst for change.  Fear only knows two responses, fight or flight.  Before we knew it we were at war.  The unknown enemy had plans we were not familiar with.  Their lack of value for life introduced new horrors to my now newlywed mind.  Suicide bombs, genocide, and torture were things I did not want to hear.  Being a non-believer, not knowing who God was, gave me no way to reconcile this kind of evil.  So in my fear, I ran away.  I focused on horses, and having babies.  I did not get involved with this evil.  

The problem with evil is it just gets worse and worse.  God is not responsible for it but He uses it to get our attention.  God finally got my attention and I became a believer. (10 years later because I am a slow learner!)  I started to build a foundation which had been sorely lacking in my life.  I needed an anchor (God’s Word) to tie myself to keep me from swaying with every new sign of evil.  I started to have sure footing and a place to reconcile this evil that the 9/11 attacks introduced to my previously charmed life.  Worry and control where not my driving factors.  Trying to rid the world of evil was exposed as a fools errand by learning from God’s word.  God says evil will always be here because it is in your very hearts. The only cure for evil is Jesus.  

When we went to New York for Sydney’s choir trip we visited the 9/11 Museum.  I knew it would be hard, but I had no idea how much Jesus would drive home what He has taught me since this tragic event.  

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This is all that is left from the twin towers.  The foundation y’all.  This entire museum is built on the foundation of the twin towers.  I can’t exactly explain what I felt when I walked down the long corridor and saw this.  It was as if Jesus said right into my heart, “So much evil happened here, but the foundation remains.”  I remembered what it felt like to have this terrorist attack happen and have nothing to grab onto, every thing was like sinking sand.  At this point in my life I cling to this foundation.  This foundation, that is life with Jesus, is the one thing that gave me victory over depression, over a failing marriage, over strangling fear of my kids dying, over betrayal, over prescription drugs, over life sucking anxiety, over smoking and over hopelessness.  Staring at that foundation wall those words washed over me, “So much evil happened here, but the foundation remains.”  

People I am still standing because of the foundation that Jesus provides.  Heck, at this point I will tell you I am THRIVING because of the foundation Jesus provides.  It is all we have in this world.  He is unshakeable.  Cling to that foundation.  

I Rode the Subway in NYC!!!

Gosh, I don’t know where the time goes.  Spring Break was almost a month ago.  This post has been rattling around in my head since then.  So here goes.

For spring break I signed up to be a chaperone for Sydney’s choir trip to New York.  The trip would include 90+ high schoolers, rides on the subway, staying in Times Square and making sure no kids escaped in New York to run amuck.  I’ll pause a moment to let you take that in.  People laughed at me when I told them what we were doing and said things like, “YOU are going to New York?  You are going to ride the subway?” When I say people I mean the people who live in this house.  Sydney kept saying to me, “Mama are you sure about this?  You know you are going to have to be around high school kids.”  Jesse said, “You know every subway car has a drunk person on it right? And they are underground.”  Now, it is well documented on this blog that I consider myself to be Lara Croft Tomb Raider, so the lack of confidence in my abilities was shocking to me.  I loaded up my antibacterial gel, downloaded a New York Transit App on my phone, tucked a bunch of cash in my wallet for cabs in case we got lost, and set my sights on proving them all wrong.  

My group.  Proof that God is kind because all these girls were super sweet and I did not have to knock any of them around at all.

My group. Proof that God is kind because all these girls were super sweet and I did not have to knock any of them around at all.

I will be honest with you, the New York subway is the stuff my nightmares are made of.  BUT, when you get over the smell, and the liquid coating on everything, it is manageable.  By manageable I mean, I learned to pray in a new way.  Plus when you have a 14 year old begging you too keep your “ish” together so you don’t embarrass her you dig deep and find a way.  At one point I found myself saying, “Oh look how cute that rat is girls, he doesn’t have a tail.”  I hardly knew myself.  Take that Jesse.   

First Subway ride, there are always people touching you!

First Subway ride, there are always people touching you!

I am going to share with you the trick I learned to deal with a school field trip that involves public transportation, hotels, sightseeing and teenagers.  Ready?  Thankfulness.  I remember praying before Syd and I left for the trip and the word popped into my head.  That is probably because thankfulness is the antidote to anxiety.  That is not my idea, that comes from the bible.  


Phillipians 4: 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.*


“Eucharistias” is the greek word used there for “thank.”  It means the practice of being thankful.  My dean at bible school taught me that word.  After becoming a widow, God started teaching her the practice of thankfulness in her very deep heartache.  Thankfulness is what overflows from a heart that is dependent and focused on God.  Criticalness and bossiness overflow from a heart that is worried and trying to control the situation.  I mean I have never experienced that but I have heard that is what happens.  (And everyone who lives with me laughed and laughed) 

Somewhere between the house and the airport Sydney and I decided we would practice thankfulness.  Asking God for what we needed and thanking Him for what He had done.  Daunting tasks like getting the kids through TSA without one of those jokers saying something that would get them arrested caused me to worry and I became bossy.  The bossiness reminded me of NOT being thankful, so I prayed, “Good Lord let us make it through security.”  And when we did, I said, “Lord thank you for getting us through that nightmare.”  And guess what?  Practicing thankfulness left a mark on me.  Sydney kept asking me, “Are you ok?” Bless her, she was waiting for my anxiety to rear it’s ugly head.  I hate that she feels like she has to work around that.  But I am thankful that God has changed me.  (See what I did there? I thankfulness juked you) And because God is powerful enough to change us, I was able to be thankful and have the best time.  Now, don’t for one-second think I did not lose my mind here and there.  I did.  But God is gracious and merciful and walked me through those moments too.  Guess what?  I got to thank Him for that too.   It was such a remarkable change in me because of what God is changing in me that I cannot wait to go on another trip!  

Here are some highlights.  

We got to see “Come From Away.” A Broadway show about the 9/11 tragedy and what the planes that were in route to the US did when the US closed its air traffic down.  It was amazing!  Go see it!  You will learn so much.  It is also a classic minimalist set and cast, but they do such a great job of making you believe they are in a plane, or a Tim Horton’s, or a school! 

We also got to see Frozen on Broadway.  If “Come From Away” was a minimalist set, Frozen is an over the top technologically advance set.  It was amazing as well.  There were little girls there that just cheered and cheered for Ana and Elsa.  It was precious.  

We also went to the 9/11 Museum.  This was so profound I am going to tell you about it in another blog post.  

We got to tour the NBC studio’s.  This might have been the coolest just because I watch the Today Show, Jimmy Fallon and SNL so it was so cool to see there stages. I only got one pic, boo!  

The kids got to do a workshop with some of the performers from Frozen.  This was so cool to see.  There is so much work that goes into learning the songs and choreography.  I was shocked.  What was cool was seeing the kids who really have that passion to be on broadway just dive in and learn the steps and the songs and at the end they were like, “I don’t want to leave!”  We were not allow to post any recordings from that because Disney owns the world.

Above is the set of “Come from Away,” Radio City Music Hall, Us in Time Square, and us in front of some super funky art thing that I don’t remember the name of.

Above, the first two pics are the workshop, then the only pic of the NBC studios that I got, then us at Central Park.  




*Tyndale House Publishers. Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2013. Print.

Happy 12th Birthday Brocky bear!!

Hey Brock, it’s your twelfth birthday.  I don’t know how time can go so fast.  There are so many things that I love about you.  You are kind and funny.  You are loving and compassionate.  You are brilliant and inquisitive. You are so far beyond anything I ever dreamed of in a son.  I love that you are in a D&D group.  I love that you and your friends call yourselves nerds.  I will never understand why you watch other people play video games on Youtube, but I see your passion for games. It would be so easy to come up with a list of 12 things that I love about you.  However this year, as we travel closer to the teenage years I wanted to let you know 12 things that I pray for you.


Here you go my little man:

  1. I pray you will never let fear hold you back from doing anything.  There are so many things I missed out on because I was scared. There are so many things I did just because they were easy.  Don’t fall into that trap.  I pray that God proves to you that He casts out all fear.  

  2. I pray that as you study what you love, science and technology, you become more and more impressed with God.  You are actually studying his handy work!  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  People think that only fools believe in God, but God says that the beginning of all wisdom and knowledge starts with knowing Him.  Believe God.  

  3. I pray you would dream big dreams.  You are capable of more than you can possibly comprehend at this moment.  Dream big and then let God show you the way.

  4. I pray you will always love the Lord.  You don’t really remember what life was like in our family before God, but trust me, loving the Lord is always the right answer.  

  5. I pray you will learn to speak up for yourself.  You are a child of the Most High God.  Your voice matters.  I think God gave you a mom like me so you could learn how to be heard even when someone is always talking.  You have to speak up even if you are scared.

  6. I pray you will always love to read.  Reading is truly a gift and stories can teach us so much.

  7. I pray you will always be dancing.  You are phenomena on the dance floor.  

  8. I pray you and dad will always geek out over anything that has an “ON” switch.  

  9. I pray you and your sister will always enjoy being friends.  That is such a gift.  

  10. I pray you feel loved little man.  I pray you know how much you mean to us.

  11. I pray you feel secure in our home.  I pray this is the place you  launch from toward things unknown, but also the place you come back to so your mama can give you a big hug and a smooch.  

  12. Most of all I pray you will know the Lord is crazy about you.  When you are secure in that buddy, the sky is the limit for you.  


Happy Birthday, Brock! You are my favorite part of the day. 

Love you always, even when you don’t do your homework, 

mom

Harry Potter has the Gospel written all over it.

Harry Potter has the Gospel written all over it.

And this may effectively end this blog.  But, just hear me out!  I am not condoning witchcraft.  I am only here for defense against the dark arts and I would never join the death eaters.  We went to Harry Potter world last week and I was just so blown away by the attention to detail.  This whole world that was created made me remember some things that I cannot get out of my head.  So go with me here.

Harry Potter was the first series of books I read for fun as an adult. All the other books were for school, and lets be honest I read enough of them to get by.  I had to have surgery on both my shoulders in my 20’s (thanks to horses) and got tired of watching TV during my recovery.  I decided one day to go find a book to read at Barnes and Nobles (this was before Amazon). Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was it.  I got lost in the series.  I tried to convince Jesse to let me name Sydney, Hermione, and decorate her room in Harry Potter.  That was a no from him.  And yes I was the person waiting at midnight for the next book to come out, and the movies and all the things. 

Oh yes we did! Brock had his robe from when he went with Grandad Curtis and Gammy Sue, but our first stop in Diagon Ally was the robe shop so I could get one to match.

Oh yes we did! Brock had his robe from when he went with Grandad Curtis and Gammy Sue, but our first stop in Diagon Ally was the robe shop so I could get one to match.

I just loved the story of how this downtrodden boy gets rescued and put into this world that is beyond anything he could have dreamed of.  Full of people who love him, mentors and family.  He was also gifted with abilities that were beyond explanation.  It made me long for the same kind of letter to show up on my doorstep.  Something that said, “Life is more than you can possibly imagine!” Or something like,  “You are a witch Sarah, and thumping good one I’d wager!”  

Laycie, Sydney, Brock and I on the Gringott’s ride. Where is Jesse? That’s right, not riding ANY rides.

Laycie, Sydney, Brock and I on the Gringott’s ride. Where is Jesse? That’s right, not riding ANY rides.

And guess what?  A letter did show up that said just that.  Ok, ok, before you SMH at me, let me explain.  One day I was sitting in church, not really sure why I was there and I heard, “Come to me all who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest.”  That hit me at just the right moment.  I was tired of what I was carrying and I needed someone to save me from it.  I needed someone to say that life on earth was not the end.  There was more than I could ever imagine.  I hadn’t just gotten a letter to Hogwarts.  When I believed in what Jesus said I got my ticket to Eternal life with Him.  Jeez, that sounds cheesy, but you get what I am trying to say.  

Brock and I on Hagrid’s motorbike.

Brock and I on Hagrid’s motorbike.

It’s no mistake that JK Rowling would tell a story about that the downtrodden needing saving and a great battle against the dark arts.  That story is written on every humans heart.  Whether you believe in Jesus or not you know the story.  We are all made in God’s image so of course we all know His story.  Weak made strong.  Captive set free.  Lost is found.  Being a believer in Jesus, now I can see how everyone is telling God’s story, you just have to look for it.  

And sure, we are careful to remember the difference between the Authority of the Bible and a story written to capture the imagination.  We talk about how people get lost in messing around with the occult and God says that is very dangerous.  But we also teach our kids to look for God’s story in every image bearer because you might be the one to deliver their letter to heaven.  JEZZ I am a so cheesy today!  I am sorry!  

Brock trying to talk the Fat Lady into letting him into Griffindor Tower. Sydney, Laycie and I rode the Journey through Hogwarts ride.

Brock trying to talk the Fat Lady into letting him into Griffindor Tower. Sydney, Laycie and I rode the Journey through Hogwarts ride.

When I tell you I am angry and frustrated, ask me what I am being self-righteous about.

Ok, don’t really ask me what I am being self-righteous about because I will probably punch you square in the throat. But I have learned something about my low level anger and frustration this past month, and it is not pretty. Sometimes however, freedom comes when we stare straight into our ugliness, call it what it is and confess it to God.

I have admitted on this blog before that I struggle with self-righteousness. Sometimes I get lost in my self-righteousness and forget that the only righteousness I possess belongs to Jesus. My Jesus-righteousness is the part of me that pleases God, points me to God and allows me to be free of my sin. The Jesus-righteousness is where I want to be hanging out of sure.

However, sometimes I forget about my Jesus-righteousness and a slide into a soup of self-righteousness. I get lost in “I would do that differently, and better.” I paddle around in “I would be able to handle that in such a more mature way.” I do breaststrokes through “Why do they not just do what I tell them to do? It would work out so much better for them.” And because none of those things is actually accurate or God honoring, I dive head first into frustration and anger because no one does what I think they should do, how I think they should do it, and no one realizes how perfectly right I am. (Except if Jesse is reading this then you should know, God says that my way of loading the dishwasher and sorting clothes for the laundry is in fact the absolute right way to do things.)

So what is a self-righteous girl to do? Well it starts with confessing these ugly sins to God and remembering that the humble spirit is God honoring. And letting truth like this wash over me:

Philippians 2: 3-8

Don’t be selfish(also know as self-righteous); don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 

5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 

6 Though he was God, 

he did not think of equality with God 

as something to cling to. 

7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; 

he took the humble position of a slave 

and was born as a human being. 

When he appeared in human form, 

8 he humbled himself in obedience to God 

and died a criminal’s death on a cross. 

I added those parenthesis there, not God, but you get the point. Self-righteousness leads me to bondage not freedom. How do I know that? Because anything I cling to that is not Christ like leads to bondage. Where Jesus is I am really free. Putting my desires first, makes me more important than anything else. Putting others before self leads me to be more like Christ, which allows the self-righteous me to get out of the way so that I can produce fruit of the Spirit (peace, joy, love, gentleness and self-control), vs. fruit of the self-righteous me (anger, frustration, rage, and greed).

My prayer for myself is that I will allow this anger and frustration to be a warning sign in the future. That when I get lost in these emotions I would stop and say, “Lord, I am angry and frustrated, show me where my self-righteous self has taken over.” That I would be brave enough to look that ugly sin in the face and confess it to Jesus. That I would then turn and say, “Consider others better than yourself.” And be filled with freedom.


 Tyndale House Publishers. Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2013. Print.

Don't reach for the second dog.

I have been writing everyday about the One Year Bible. I am trying to make it short but what can I say? I have the gift of words! Hahaha! I am blown away by all the things that God is teaching me right now. Through scripture, the world around me and my relationships a theme is surfacing that I wanted to camp out on. In the OT we see story after story of God promising His followers something and then the followers solving their own problems, sans God. They reach for what they want. They solve their own problems. And so do I.

My friend, Katy, who was discipling me through a tough time, told me a story that she heard from Pastor Doug. (I want to be sure everyone involved gets proper credit. So Katy told me and Doug told her, get it?) (ok, good) The story goes like this…..(also, this is a bit like “telephone” so the details may be wrong)

Someone was on a walk and he came up to this dog. The dog approached him, tail wagging so he reached out to pet him. Then later on the walk there was another dog but this dog was stand offish. The dude wanted to pet the dog anyway so he reached out to pet it and the dog bit him.

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Katy was telling me this story in the context of not reaching or grabbing at things that I think God wants me to do, but to wait and let them be given to me. I am an Enneagram 3 (Achiever), so not going after stuff is not a strong suit of mine. I was meeting with Katy because this grabbing for stuff had gotten me in trouble and I had hurt a lot of people.

This idea has been marinading in my mind since than. Surfacing when I felt that urge to “make” something happen. Checking me when the pragmatic thinking took over. Reminding me of God’s sovereignty when I questioned if I should exert my own strength, or wait for God.

Reading through the One Year Bible has brought all these lessons back to mind. Go on a quick journey with me. Yes it will be long. Stop acting like you are shocked that this post is long! What are we doing here?

Adam and Eve. Eve decides that the serpent might be right and that she wants the knowledge of God. So she reaches out and takes the fruit and eats it. She ignored the blessing God gave her (the entire garden of Eden) and wanted what He had not given her.

Sarah and Abraham. God tells them they will have a child. Sarah gets impatient and decides to solve the no child problem with Hagar the unwilling surrogate.

Rachel and Isaac. God tells Isaac and Rachel that Jacob will be the one God chooses to fulfill the promises with. Rachel gets impatient waiting for the blessing for her son, Isaac picks a favorite kid and wants him to get His blessing. It culminates in several people grabbing at plans to make things happen.

Jacob. Well our dude Jacob has a habit of trying to get what he wants without waiting for God.

On our little journey there we see story after story of people grabbing for what they want instead of waiting for God to do what He says He will do. And if the this tendency is in them, we can bet its in us too.

So whats wrong with knowing what God has promised and working to get ‘er done. I am for sure going to always be the one that says, “If you know God said it, do it!” Love your neighbor? Just do it! Flee from sin? Just do it! What about these more nuanced things like, “God I want to do ________.” What about the desires I have?

Here is the conclusion I have come to. When you want something to happen there are two things you can employ. One is your faith and the other is you can just grab it.

Your faith causes you to rely on Gods character and hold to the principles God has put in place to protect us. Lets say in my heart I really want to participate in a ministry that does really good work. I talk to my husband about it and he says, “Hey, I love that you want to do that but I feel like the timing is off because the kids need you at home right now.” My faith tells me to submit to my husband and that God knows the desires of my heart. So I pray to God about it, and tell him I want to do this ministry thing. And then I learn to be patient and in the mean time I serve my family well. Eventually, because God answers every prayer He either changes my husbands heart and makes a way for me to join this ministry or He changes my heart so that I don’t want to serve there anymore. If He changes my husbands heart then my husband steps up in a joyful way to cover the bases while I serve. He is proud of me and prays for me helps me serve the Lord. If God changes my heart then I see the value in staying home for the time being. I do it joyfully and am honored to be given this job. I don’t feel like I am missing out, I feel like I am living my best life.

My other option is to grab it. I want to do it so I say yes without prayer or asking my husband. My husband questions me and I tell him to get over it because I am serving the Lord and he needs to step up. I scheme and fudge and tell half truths to get what I want. I say, “Oh I’ll be gone for 30 minutes,” when I know full well I’ll be gone 2 hours. While serving in the ministry I hurt people because I step on toes because I am in a rush to get stuff done so I can get back home before my husband gets more annoyed. I really can’t be present in the ministry because I am on my phone trying to be sure my friend picked up my kid. I get mad at the friend because she is running late and my kid is left at the ball field alone. I am annoyed with it all. I wonder what the point of any of it is. Why did I reach for the second dog?

In both cases I am still going to heaven when I die. God still loves me, and will not desert me. His promises still hold true. But one leads to abundant life and one leads to strife. God is teaching me that He really does truly see me and hear me. He wants to bless me and use me and have me do things that are beyond anything I could dream up. He wants to give them to me and not have me reach for them in my uncontented sin. As I continue on this middlemarch journey He is teaching me that I don’t have to grab, I can wait, and let Him work things out for me. I love you Lord, thank you for teaching me to stop grabbing at things that are not mine.

Happy Birthday to the Blog!!!!

I really can’t believe it. I have been blogging for a year. A whole year. I have 54 blog entries to my name. Which also blows me away because when I started I said to myself that I would post one everyday, then I said two a week, then I said one a week, then I said one a week unless I can’t. So it looks like the Lord sanctioned 1 a week. I’m stepping it up again because I am trying to write about the One Year Bible reading, but we shall see. Looking back on the entries I remember how much I was hurting when I started this blog. I had just come trough a break down, and surgery. Titles like “A gaping hole in my chest,” and “I can’t get around writing about this,” bring tears to my eyes because I remember having to process through all that pain. But the Lord has brought me through quite a year!

Sydney and Lexi on NYE The first year my daughter went to a NYE party and I stayed home. That is 40 years old for ya!

Sydney and Lexi on NYE The first year my daughter went to a NYE party and I stayed home. That is 40 years old for ya!

I am learning so much about how to just live on this earth and follow the Lord. I am learning how to die to wanting approval from all the people and really trust that I am already approved. I have seen God show up in miraculous ways that I would have missed had I not caught on to this “middlemarch.” I have learned that I have been gifted with the ability to write stuff down, to no one’s greater surprise than mine. I have learned that I love caring for the people who live in this house. I have learned I am a bible nerd and I love to sit here and read about Him and then write about Him. And everything He shows me about myself is ok, because He is taking me somewhere with it. He didn’t leave me in the hurt and pain, and He won’t leave me where I am now. If I want to I can go as deep as I want to with Him for there is no top and there is no bottom to him. And see now I just cracked myself up because I was trying to be all artsy with my words and wound up saying God has no bottom. God does have a bottom because he sits on a throne, I just meant there is not a bottom to the depth of getting to know Him. Geeze, get your mind out of the gutter, I am trying to be serious here.

I also got a new website this year. I never officially launched it because there was no spare time. My friend Jonathan worked so hard on all the Tech details and my friend Kelly made me logo’s and chose pictures taken by my friend Mikaylah. I had these big plans that my besties would get together do a big “Launching of the website” live video, and we would do a giveaway of my friend Cheryl’s earrings from Cherry Hill Creations to get people to subscribe to the website. Guess what? I have this affinity for taking on too much and making these expectations that I can’t live up to, so none of that ever happened. So consider this the official launching of the website. WELCOME! If you like what you see I would love for you to subscribe. It’s a big button on the top of the home page. Jonathan did that for me. If you subscribe any new blog posts go into your inbox. If you don’t love the blog that much, thats cool too. I am learning I don’t need everyone’s approval. (Hehe)

This is Downton “flying.”  She doesn’t actually get off the ground but we all clap for her and tell her how amazing she is.

This is Downton “flying.” She doesn’t actually get off the ground but we all clap for her and tell her how amazing she is.

The chicken gang.  We still have all 11 because these are some tough girls right here.

The chicken gang. We still have all 11 because these are some tough girls right here.

My only plans for the blog this year are to keep on writing about all the things Jesus is doing in my life and what He is teaching me and also to write a blurb about the One Year Bible reading. If you have spent anytime reading my blog you know that concise and short posts are not my strength. My friend Jeff refers to my blog posts as manuscripts. My editor (Jesse, my husband) gave up the editor job after about 30,000 words. So, to challenge myself (because the pro’s say you have to challenge yourself) I am going to try to be more to the point in the daily posts. The weekly posts will be there normal self’s. Thank you so much for your feed back and encouragement. I can’t wait to see what God is up to this year!

We went to Hamilton in Chicago in November. It was amazing. We are fully Hamilfans.

We went to Hamilton in Chicago in November. It was amazing. We are fully Hamilfans.

Griswold Family Christmas and something new I am going to try to do.

Griswold Family Christmas:

Yeesh, Christmas is already over. I hope you had a Merry Christmas and you are not suffering from holiday PTSD like I am. Now to be sure I am not blaming any of my family for my PTSD. My traumatic stress is all self induced. It goes something like this….

“Oh gosh, I hope she is having a good time. Is she happy with where she is staying? Is she happy with how my kids are acting? Is she happy with my house? Is my house welcoming? What is that smell. Does she smell that? Is he ok? Why did he just say that? Does he think I am stupid? Am I stupid? Why did they bring their own water? What is wrong with my water? Are my glasses clean? Are they too clean? Am I trying too hard? Am I trying hard enough? Does everyone see Christ in me? Or am I behaving like a non-believer? Am I being too Christ—like? Did Christ have to get through family get togethers? Is what I am about to say biblical or am I leading her away from God? Why are the kids so loud? Why do I not have crafts ready for them all to do? Why are we not all gathered around the bible reading about the night Jesus was born? Is Jesse ok? Is Sydney ok? Is Brock ok? Is Laycie ok? Are they all feeling emotionally stable? Where is Kohen? Am I supposed to watching him? Did I get all my shopping done? Did I wrap everything? Do I have enough ribbon to make all my bows from scratch? Am I having a good time? Do I love these people well? Am I making everyone feel at ease? We should all play a game together. We should all be singing Christmas Carols. We should all go to church like a big happy family. Oh man, I can see she is hurting. What should I say? Should I say anything? Did I make enough dinner? Is it even good? Will they feel the love I am trying to show them by making this damn dinner? What the freak am I doing? I can’t make anyone happy. I am such a loser. Why am I trying to cook, everyone here knows I can’t cook. I am not even emotionally stable enough to cook.I feel like I am about to lose it. Don’t lose it, they all think you are insane, you will just prove them right. Breath you moron! It is just Christmas. Ok, plan B, go to your room and get your head right. Don’t stay in your room too long or they will know you are about to lose it! You have to get out there! Someone might not feel loved or welcomed because you just ran out of ice again! What kind of an animal runs out of ice? You are such a failure, way to ruin everyones Christmas.”

Is it just me? My hearts desire every year is to have this magical Christmas gathering. To have everyone here and love on them and spend time together. And every year I ruin it for myself because I put expectations on myself that I can never live up to. Expectations are the destroyer of all things fun and lovely. I am left reeling asking myself does everyone hate us now? Will they ever come see us again? Am I emotionally stable enough to have family gatherings at my house? Gosh, I hate to be Debbie Downer here. I really hope you can see the humor in this. I set out to make a traditional holiday gathering, much like Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation, and with every plan laid I set a mine field for myself. With every vision cast in my head, disappointment waits for me. Instead of taking whatever God has for me, I wrestle with Him for the holiday in my head. Guess who wins.

Jesus is just so patient with me. I love Him. He never once leaves me in my disappointment. He is there, in the middlemarch of me having to walk through my self induced disappointment, encouraging me to go on. He is making holy moments that were not visions cast by me. Special times that I will remember forever. Times of new understanding with my SIL while talking through some of the aforementioned disappointments. Tender times of thankfulness for these people that God brought to our house for the season. Thankfulness to be Auntie Crazy (the super funny and sometimes crazy favorite Aunt). Thankfulness that grew in my heart when I got out of my own damn way and just looked around at what was actually going on. And renewed thankfulness that I am not in fact a failure, but a child of God. Thankfulness that His power works best in my weakness. That when I stop trying to cast the vision and just be present and honest, that is where people that come visit us will encounter God. And thankful that if anyone ever comes and visits us again, I have the chance to practice what God has taught me.

Something new I am trying.

So lets not get too excited but I am going to try to do something new. This time of year makes you reflect on the things you have done the last year. This blog happens to be in the top three of my favorite things that happened in 2018. It has been my joy and I want to dive deeper into this writing thing that is happening in me. The experts of blogging say that you have to have a focus. My focus has always been writing about what God is teaching me through this middlemarch of life. The biggest way God teaches me things is through His word. I do the One Year Bible reading every year with my church. This year we are going to do be going through the One Year NLT. I am going to try to write a little blurb everyday about the bible reading for that day. Now, don’t get too overwhelmed because I am talking like 500 words, not my usual once a week 2000 words. Just something quick to solidify what He taught me or what stood out to me that day. If you have known me for 5 minutes you know my mode of operandi is to take on too much to do. So we are all going to make a pact that we are holding loosely to this plan. If we get a week in and I stop doing it, I need you to just get over it. I promise I am still reading the bible, I just decided it wasn’t worth getting up at 5 am to write about it. Deal? I hope that we all can journey together through Gods word. That is the vision I have cast, but I have learned not to get too attached to my vision of how things should go. Happy New Year! Looking forward to 2019 with y’all!


Goodbye 1950 Alpha Drive.

Well, it has been a minute, as the young people say. My birthday was amazing. Much to my surprise I looked exactly the same on the morning of my birthday as I did the night before. I thought maybe on your 40th you would wake up needing a face lift. As it turns out, not much has changed. Well except I just realized I should check my license to see if it is expired.

The really big news is our beloved church has officially moved out of 1950 Alpha Drive and into the Rockwall Preforming Arts Center. There is a magical tale here about why we are moving into the PAC and not into our building on Airport Road. It is a story that includes more rain than anyone around here has seen in years, concrete that needs dry conditions and not wet, and a husband that would prefer to never hear the words, “did they pour the foundation yet?” ever again. Anyway, the point of this post is to remember the life that happened for the Griffith’s at 1950 Alpha Drive. And yes, I know the “Chruch” is the people and not the building, but just go with me here.

I first went to Cornerstone because in a moment of weakness I revealed to a friend that I was really unhappy and depressed. It was during a time when we had lost all our friends because we had spent all our money and could not hang with the Jones’ anymore. So new friends were hard to come by. But this friend, (Autumn Woodfield) invited me to church with her. Only having knowledge of Christians from TV and movies, I assumed she would not be my friend anymore if I did not go with her. (Which is not true) So I thought I would give it a shot. Well, a month into going with her, I got saved. Getting saved means that I believed that I needed a savior to fix my relationship with God, and that Jesus was the savior sent by God to well, save me. I actually know the exact moment that it happened, and the exactly place. It was half way through the 11:30 service, June 26th, 2011. Doug was preaching on Mathew 11: 28-30, “Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest.” After 33 years of pulling up my boot straps and trying to do the right thing I was exhausted and the rest Jesus offered finally made sense to me. In that moment, sitting in the third row, two seats away from the black pole in the middle of the room at 1950 Alpha Drive, I was given eternal life and started my relationship with Jesus. Late summer of that year I went public with my faith and got baptized at 1950 Alpha Drive. A few months after that Sydney got saved and got baptized. I will always remember my sweet girl standing in front of the crowd, at 1950 Alpha drive, to go public with her sweet faith.

1950 Alpha Drive was where I learned to use my gift of singing for the Lord. I joined the worship team and learned how to be part of a team. One worship leader taught me how to harmonize and how to worship freely (Dustin Klienshcmidt) and one worship leader taught me how to go deeper with the Lord and really worship from a place of authenticity (Jeff Stewart). 1950 Alpha Drive was also where I learned how to study the bible. I sat in my first bible study listening to a lady(Frani Fox) tell me that God loved me and wanted me to know him. 1950 Alpha Drive was also where I met a girl (Katy Boldroff) who wanted to sit and talk about the Lord with me and did not care that I was chain smoking the whole time. (Calm down, un-clutch your pearls, I was a baby believer, and God came to save sinners not perfect people.)

1950 Alpha drive was were my husband started reluctantly coming to church. There he saw a pastor (Doug Fox) that was real and authentic and not wanting to give a guilt beat down, but was honestly encouraging us all to know the Lord. God also planted an ex-Texas Tech quarterback (Cody Hodges) at 1950 Alpha Drive to show my husband maybe real dudes could love God and still love football. My husband also met a dude (Dustin Klienschmidt) that really wanted him to learn more about God and be in a community group. 1950 Alpha Drive welcomed us in when our marriage disintegrated, and was not afraid of our mess. We sat in separate sections for awhile, but in those walls, when we sat together again, I am pretty sure there where cheers. And the crowd at 1950 Alpha Drive celebrated when my husband gave his life to Christ and went public with his faith and got baptized. And that same crowd at 1950 Alpha Drive celebrated when my husband baptized our son who came to faith by watching his daddy love the Lord.

1950 Alpha Drive was the familiar building that we missed dearly while we were in Michigan at Ethnos 360 (formerly New Tribes Bible Institute). It was the home we decided we needed to come back to. The familiarity of the mysterious buzz in the stage monitors, the pole in the middle of the worship center, the corral, the drinking fountains that were so celebrated when they were put in, the doughnuts, the coffee and the giant coffee maker, the lack of cool air in the summer, and knowing faces were all things that we missed, and things we treasured when we came home.

1950 Alpha Drive was where we came back to after bible school and where we planned to serve. 1950 Alpha Drive was where I learned that serving is about listening to God and loving people. Serving is not about doing things, getting things done, showing off what a good Christian you are, or having a title. 1950 Alpha Drive was were I actually listened to God for maybe the first time and stepped out in faith to teach a bible study. 1950 Alpha Drive was were God showed me that he did have things for me to do, and I needed to just follow him and let go of all the things I thought I need to do for him—This is also know as freedom in Christ, my friends.

1950 Alpha Drive is where I saw my husband come alive after bible school. Serving the people in that building is Jesse’s jam. Making sure things were working, futzing with the A/C, killing bugs, being the go to guy, and having a key for everything is exactly where God wants him. And the culmination of all this was when I saw my husband pour himself out to leave the 1950 Alpha Drive in a godly way and prepare our people to make the transition to new digs. God used 1950 Alpha Drive to show me what a servants heart my Husband has.

1950 Alpha Drive is also the place where I met Laycie for the first time. She was sitting in the back left row with Ashley and Kevin, huge pregnant belly with a forced smile on her face. (I know now it was a forced smile because I know here so much better now) I went on a stealth mission to say a very casual “hi” to her because Ash had given me the heads up that this was, “the girl” that had reached out to Selah Creek that was interested in maybe joining the program. And 1950 Alpha Drive was the place that our new family unit God has pieced together; Jesse, Sarah, Sydney, Brock, Laycie and Kohen; started going to church together.

We all know it is the people of the church that make it great. But as we locked the doors for the last time last week I could not help but be teary eyed even though Doug told us not to be. It’s like leaving a home that you know like the back of your hand. Yes, home is where our people are and the PAC will feel like home soon and eventually our new building will feel like home. Maybe its because on that hallowed ground of 1950 Alpha Drive I met the Lord for the first time. It was my burning bush moment. It was the moment and place that changed our lives forever. Thank you Lord for 1950 Alpha Drive.

Do I Still Turn 40 If My Friends Hijack My Blog?

Hello Sarah K. Griffith Blog forum! To start off I would like to introduce myself… My name is Laycie, as you might have read about me in previous posts. Anywho! I would like to apologize in advance for all of you who are blog savvy and up-to-date on blog do’s and don'ts, because this girl is definitely not! I probably should have swung by half price books to get a blogging for dummies hard copy, but I figured straight from the heart would do just the trick.

As many of you may or may not know, Sarah’s birthday is just around the corner (November 26th to be exact). If you are a frequent shopper here on Sarah’s blog page you know that for each person's birthday she writes a post dedicated to them with ‘X’ amount of things she loves about them corresponding to their age. So, knowing that Sarah would never write her own B-day post (I say as sarcastic as possible because I think she's working on her own b-day outline right now) I decided to reach out to some of her closest friends and family members to make her  a what we love about you birthday list!

*side note: I am not going to disclose exactly how old Sarah is turning this year, simply because that is a huge lady no-no. Also when I reached out to friends I got such an overwhelming response, that I'm just going to use the handful that go over her actual to-date age will be “ones to grow on” kinda like good ole birthday spankings, but I think that would be slightly inappropriate for me to bless her with Laycie love pats to the rump.  

With all that being said if you personally know Sarah I am sure you will agree with the list of sweet things each and every person sat down and hand wrote for her.

1. I love how passionate Sarah is — she's passionate about God, she's passionate about the lost, she's passionate about her family, and she's passionate about her friends. She will do anything for these people.

2. I love how Sarah is a caretaker. She loves caring for people and animals. Her spiritual gift is definitely care-taking and making sure everyone is well.

3. I love how Sarah is a gangster. She'll be the first one to throw a punch to stand up for those she loves. #hollabackgirl

4. I love that Sarah is too good for a normal motel (screw this!) and will pay to treat her besties to an amazing 5 star weekend because we seriously have the best of times (no matter where we are!). #wherestyler #whynotmetoo #itsalietakeacart #sarahmadeitto1am #batsarescary #smf2017

5. I love Sarah's humility — she will be the first to apologize — to put her feelings and pride aside and tell you how she screwed up. (We all screw up, but she will be the first to point hers out).

6. I love Sarah's heart to always be learning and growing in Christ. Her love and passion to know God more and to be more Christlike is inspiring.

7. She is the ultimate mother hen. She takes care of all of her people, including her friends.

8. If you need her, she will drop what she is doing and come. Every. Single. Time.

9. She is crazy intuitive about the needs of her people.

10. When she messes up, she is the FIRST one to admit it and then tell you all the ways God is teaching her.

11. She will never say no to a good 90s Jam sesh.

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12. She’s literally the best gift giver.

13. She cares more about what God thinks than anyone or anything else.

14. She fights for the weak, defends the fatherless and believes the best in others. If Sarah could see herself through my eyes, she would see that she is kind, loyal, forgiving, feisty and beautiful.

15.I love how forgiving and supportive you are. There is no way i'd be who I am today without your guidance, forgiving me when I do something wrong (multiple times), and supporting me no matter what.

16. You are amazingly beautiful. Not only physically but your personality and strength motivate me everyday.

17. God shines through  you, the fact that you can be so confident in who you are and what you believe is such an amazing thing and it makes me love you so much and makes me look up to you. You are an incredibly strong woman of God.

18. You have the best relationships. You and your best friends are so funny and joyful. I love that y'all have a group chat (red heart, red heart, BFFs, red heart, red heart). It models for me what I want in friends.

19.You and dad are SO CUTE. Over time I think about what that has given me I thank Him for saving your marriage. Y'all have so much love for each other and still have fun being married, y'all aren't just roomies like some parents. One day I want a marriage as pure and whole as yours.

20. You put up with my teenagerness. you love me even on my bad days, or even yours. Even when for the 100th time you find food or cups in my not clean room that you've told me to clean.

21. you use your past experiences to be the perfect mom

22. You keep going even when the house is falling apart.Even when me and Brock are misbehaving. When drama creeps in. When yours and dads parents chip you away. You keep pushing because you know God is there and growing you. I love that about you.

23.I love your love for animals. You teach me to be kind to the animals when I lose my temper. You show me the ways of a country goat girl. Thank you for that.

24.I love that you know and are learning to relax by watching British tv shows, and how you named your duck after your favorite one.

25. I see you. I see you love Laycie, fighting tooth and nail for her. I see you learn and listen to God. I see you trying your hardest. I see you love on Kohen. I see you KILLING IT as a housewife and stay at home mom.

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26. What time is it? SHOWTIME! I LOVE being your right hand man, battling you in a rap battle or raising a glass to freedom. Just don't shoot me in a duel okay? I love that you perform Hamilton with me in the car. That we share that, and you let me screech until my heart's content,

even if I mess up the harmony or forget a part. When I sing with you its nonstop and I feel like we could turn the world upside down.

27. I love that my mom is the one everyone can hear from the sidelines at the lacrosse games, even when I don’t score.

28. I don't know if you know this, but everytime you pick me up from school and stop whatever you are doing to talk to me or pick me up sonic, or spend your time doing something for me, I tell myself that you truly are the best mom I could ask for.

29. Momma, Im being truly honest when I say you are my best friend. Who also happens to be the best mom, awesome singer, loving caretaker, funniest comedian and courageous woman of God I want to be. There is so much more I could say, but that would take up all the blog space in the world, so i'll just say Happy birthday mom, I love you.

30. She’s always got your back.

31. She pushes you to pursue the passions the Lord gives you.

32. She’s one of the most giving people I have ever met.

33. She’s the kind of friend that pushes you out of your comfort zone when you need to be.

34. She knows every word to every 90s rap song.

35. I can’t describe how much she loves me

36. She relentlessly cares for me (down to my toes)

37. She provides everything I need

38. She somehow knows what I’m thinking about all the time

39. She disciplines me so I’m not a brat

40. She makes sure I don’t do something dumb

41. She does fun stuff with us

42. She does not have a favorite

43. She lets us have some alone time

44. She is always curious about what we are doing in life/school/what we are going through

45. Sarah I love how well you love me and my sweet boy, showing me the kind of love the Lord has for us both, in so many ways that I didn't even know I needed.

46. I love that you care and you are all in. The things that make me cry, make you cry. I smile, you smile with me. I freak out, I know you're right there beside me doing just the same but ready to figure it out.

44. You are the best husband (hehe inside joke)

45. I love and am so grateful that you see the best in me even when I don't see it for myself. You remind me that I am worth it, you have the hard talks and do it all in a way that I know you care (even when I don't want to hear it in the moment)

46. You are patient with me. On my worst days when I want to curse you for getting me out of bed at 7 am. Or when I'm sick, lazy, dead to the world, unmotivated, crabby… the list could go on, you are slow to anger and give me the space I need when I need space or help and cuddles when I need those!

47. I love the way you fight for our marriage. I never feel like I’m fighting against you or by myself, but always with you right by my side.

48. I cannot say how thankful I am for having you as a mother to our kids. I have seen God do AMAZING things through you where our family is concerned. You are the biggest reason our kiddos are the blessings they are. If it were left to me they’d be running wild in the streets, chasing cars and biting tires.

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49. I love your passion for the path of light Christ has opened up to you. You want to be as close to Him as you can be, even when you’re not sure what His next step is.

50. I love how you find a way to connect with every pet you’ve ever had. I would swear I’ve seen them show their appreciation in ways only you can understand.

51. I love how you are always in my corner, even if you don’t quite understand what fight I’m in or how to coach me up for the next round.

52. I love how you are so willing to sacrifice for your friendships. You always give so much more of yourself than people expect or ask for.

53. I love how important neatness, structure, and organization are to you, but you let yourself have that one place of chaos.

54. You are so beautiful, in that timeless, outside all-the-way through to your soul kind of way that makes me so proud to be your husband and so ready to fight to give you that soft place to land.

55. I love the effect you have on people. Anyone who wants to allow Christ to make a lasting change in their life only has to be around you for a week or so.





Greetings loyal readers, this is Jesse, Sarah’s husband. I wrote the last nine items of the list, I say that so there’s no awkwardness. I also want to give a big thank you for everyone who contributed to this post, and to Sarah’s life over the years. Without y’all she wouldn’t be who she is. Also, I have to thank Laycie for this birthday idea and our unknown accomplice who helped get this up without Sarah knowing about it.
    

Finally, I would like all the readers to know how none of the things on this list come close to saying how we truly feel about Sarah. She is more loved, appreciated, honorable, God-glorifying, respected, and cherished than words can say. That’s why we are so blessed to know her and try and live out our appreciation for her each and every day we have Sarah as part of our lives. I love you babe, and I hope you know that in your heart. You are the second-best thing God has ever done for me, and I cannot put into words how blessed we are to be on this journey together.

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Why don't people just do what I tell them to do?

I have spent most of this last week frustrated that people don’t do what I say. I mean they tell me their problems, I tell them the perfect solution and then they go and do something completely different and so not right. How is one with all the answers, like me, to interact with people who don’t do what I tell them to do? Why do people not take advantage of the fact that I have all the answers?

Here is the funny thing about me and being frustrated. Frustration in me turns into, anxiety. Anxiety turns into yelling. And yelling is my cue that I have lost my way. In my frustration I have to sit and ask myself, “Self, why are you so frustrated?" To which self said, “I don’t like it when people don’t do what I say because I want everyone to be ok, and everyone will be ok if they follow my advice because I have all the right answers.” To which the Lord then chimes in, “Hey there kiddo, I am pretty sure that I have all the answers because I am omnipotent and omniscient, and you might feel like you have all the answers and give the best advice but you are operating on human 2.0 software, and it is fallible and best, super prideful at worst. Can we dish about how you think you have all the answers real quick?” To which self says, “Don’t listen to Him, He doesn’t know your truth!” To which the Lord says, “I am the truth, the way and the life.” Mic drop, and self shuts up, confesses that self has been super prideful, and tries to learn about a little thing I am calling Self-Righteousness. Here is what I learned.

First, I am a know it all. I am one of those people who naturally wants to tell you about everything I know. I want to tell you the best face cream. I want to tell you the what works best for parenting. I want to tell you what works best for studying your bible. My “know it all—ness” is the exact thing that causes me to write this blog from the “you need to do this, this and this,” point of view. I then proof read what I wrote and get disgusted with how much of know it all I am and then go back and change all the “you’s” to “I’s.” (I know there is some english term for this like “first person voice” or something but I was agricultural economics major so leave me alone.) Left to my own devices I am at that person that you stop telling your problems to because you get that feeling like I am not really listening to you ever, but actually solving your problem while you are still talking to me. This does not line up with the whole, be slow to speak quick to listen passage in James 1:19. To follow the Lord means you are going to be leaning how to be a good listener. You have to train yourself to listen to the Lord and you have to train yourself to listen to His people. If you are ever talking to me and you see me contort my face or put my hand over my mouth, don’t worry, I am just learning to be a good listener. It’s a work in progress.

Second, I am righteous but I am also self-righteous. I am righteous because I believe in Jesus. He gives me His righteousness so I can be right with God. Righteous=right with God. Check this out in Romans 3:21-22

21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

I have righteousness because of Jesus. I am made right with God, or justified before God, by putting my faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only reason that I am ok with God. He had to take on my sin debt, the tally of all the ways I have fallen short of God’s Glory, and be the perfect sacrifice for that debt I could never pay. My Jesus given righteousness is not something I could earn on my own merit but something freely given to me by God. It is also something I desperately needed because there is no life with God unless you are right with God. Holy Moly! Is that a T-shirt or what???

And now enters my self-righteousness. This is the part of me that thinks there is some part of me good enough to make myself right with God. That there is some act, or benevolence, or tally of good things I have done that will allow me to stand before the creator of heaven and earth and go, “You are great, I love all the things you have done here. I see all these holy beings worshipping you, I feel the urge to fall flat on my face and worship you for the rest of eternity, but first let me present these things I have done as a way of making me right with your glorious, holy beautiful being.” I just don’t see that going over well. Self-righteousness says, “Yeah, God told us that no one comes to the father except through Jesus, but I am sure when he sees the good things you have done He will totally forget that He sent HIS ONE AND ONLY SON TO DIE A HORRIBLE DEATH to pay for sin, and applaud your denial of His perfect and holy plan.” Call me a genius, but I am thinking that will not work for us. Self-righteousness says, “You got this! You can do this without having to humble yourself before the Lord.” Self-righteousness says, “You are so right you should tell everyone how to solve their problems and expect them to do what you say because you are so awesome!” The problem is my self-righteousness has never once led me to a place of rest and peace, and my Jesus-righteousness has led me to rest and peace EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Self-righteousness displayed in my life is me getting frustrated when people don’t do what I say. My belief in my goodness, and wisdom, and perfect ability to solve problems leaves me dumbfounded when people don’t do what I say or (clutch your pearls) REJECT what I tell them to do all together. It’s not a conscience declaration of my ability to make myself right with God, but it is an admission of me thinking I am doing pretty dang well for myself. So much so that I have the right to look down on other people and offer my help to solve their problems. You will find this self-righteousness described in the bible in the story of the tax collector and the Pharisee in Luke 18, check it out:

9And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:

10“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

11“The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

12‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’

13“But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’

14“I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

The pharisee stands as an example of self-righteousness. See how he say’s “I fast and I tithe?” This is his admission that he is trusting in his self-righteousness to make him right with God. He also stood aloof and looked down on the tax collector. Self-righteousness will always put others down because you have to be more right than they are in order for you self-righteousness to work.

And now the third thing I learned. Guess who never ever gets frustrated with me for not doing what he says? That’s right, Jesus. He tells me in His word the right way to do things. He has every right to be self-righteous because remember He is the way, the truth and the life. He is the reason for righteousness. He invented right-ness. He is perfect, never wrong. He has never told me to do something that did not end up being good for me. He has never led me astray. One morning when I was confessing during my quiet time with the Lord how frustrated I was, I looked down at the page of all the confessions and realized something. Each one of those confessions was an area where I was not doing what God was asking me to do. Each one was a result of me exercising my self-righteousness before the One who is truly Righteous. And I realized that He did not get frustrated with me in return. I got forgiveness. I got restored peace. I got empowerment to go to the people I was frustrated with and make it right. I got to know God in that sweet way that happens when you are humbled by the perfectness of Jesus.

So my prayer for myself is that my self-righteousness will turn into Jesus-righteousness. I want to be the person that believes the best thing I have to offer you is Jesus, not how to fix things. I want to be the person that listens. I want to be the person that considers what you are sharing and then points you to the Lord. I want to be the mom that hears what you are saying and points you toward the Lord. I also want to be the mom that is not frustrated and making it all about “you didn’t do what I said” when my child does not do what I told them to do. (except with toddlers, I am sorry but first time obedience is a pre-req for the teenage years. We don’t negotiate with terrorist around here.) I am for sure operating on human 2.0 software. And with that I want to remember that I don’t have all the answers but God does. He is the one who knows everything, not me. I want to always remember that being right with God does not give me the right to be self-righteous.

Why does my husband keep looking for houses in the desert?

Two weekends ago at church Doug preached such a profound message. This post started out as “last weekend at church…” and I was going to publish it last week but a funny thing happened. As soon as I started writing about what this post was about I could not stop doing what I was telling myself not to do in this post. Are you still with me? It will make more sense if you keep reading but essentially, I had to get square with the Lord and Jesse otherwise I would have been sending this out as a fraud. So we are all good now, lets move on.

The message TWO weekends ago, struck me to my heart. I’ll give you an overview but I would encourage you to click here to listen to it. (If that link works I am going to be so super proud of myself. If it takes you to something unsavory or questionable forgive me please.) We are learning about our faith by studying Elijah’s faith. Our passage for the weekend was 1 Kings 19:1-9. In this passage Ahab has come back to Jezebel and tells here about what happened on Mount Carmel. Basically he tells her the God just had a major dunk fest on the prophets of Baal and made a huge mockery of them, and killed them all. However Ahab only sees it as Elijah’s handy work so…..check it out:

1 Kings 19: 1-9

1Now Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.

2Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.”

3And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.

4But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.”

5He lay down and slept under a juniper tree; and behold, there was an angel touching him, and he said to him, “Arise, eat.”

6Then he looked and behold, there was at his head a bread cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again.

7The angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.”

8So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.

9Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”


Point one was that people have the power to hurt your heart. Doug pointed out that Elijah was a great man of faith but his faith was shaken by the fact that Jezebel threatened him. He also pointed out that Elijah’s fear erased from his mind the victory Elijah just had at Mount Carmel. Doug also warned us to be careful of people like Jezebel who use emotion and drama to throw us off base.

Point two was that Elijah’s runaway feelings were a terrible guide for him because they led him to run to the wilderness. Things then go from bad to worse and he is ready for the Lord to kill him. But the Lord does not kill him. No, he shows up and cares for him proving that God will always meet us in our messes that we create—ALWAYS.

Point three was that healing is a journey. God is going to work this out with Elijah and it is going to take some time. Like 40 days and 40 nights of travel through desert. Doug taught us that when we run to the wilderness it will end up leading us to the presence of God every time. That is the whole point of a wilderness.

This is a very quick summation just so we are all on the same page. The part that really got me was point two. That is probably because Doug “hit pause” as he says, crouched down and said, “Ladies, your words are very powerful, you have the ability to send a man with very strong faith running for the wilderness.” Thanks Pastor, got it. I honestly praise God that we have a pastor that will be so dang offensive. I mean I might be alone in this but I want to know these things. As soon as he pointed that out it literally jumped off the page. Jezebel threatens, Elijah runs. Here’s why this was so profound. I HAVE LIVED THIS OUT. Sarah threatens, Jesse runs to the wilderness.

People, I’m gonna be real with you. Somewhere along the way I learned to eviscerate and emasculate men so they bow down and do what I want. I blame 90’s chick rock. Gwen Steffani, Meredith Brooks and the like. I also blame Eve for getting cursed in the garden. I blame Adam for not slapping that fruit out of Eve’s hand. But when I am done blaming what do I do then?

Here is the problem with using my powerful words to get Jesse to do what I want, it leaves me with a husband who would rather run for the wilderness than live with me. Jesse’s favorite proverb is 25:24— It's better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home. If he ever gets a tattoo it will probably be this. This is the problem with going to bible school together, you just hurl proverbs at each other. Anyway, the point is: As satisfying as it is to yell and scream, threaten and demean, critique and criticize, I am actually driving him further away. As a woman, what I really want is a husband who is leading, gives a crap about the kids, loves me, pursues me, and is engaged in our life. If I believe the example of this story with Elijah and Jezebel (and I do), then my habit of eviscerate him is actually doing the opposite. So if you catch your husband looking at Relator.com and his search is labeled, “Get thee to thy wilderness,” you might have a problem with your words too.

My awareness of how my words effect Jesse happened while we were at bible school. I was lovingly encouraging Jesse to do his homework and SWP and be happy about it. I was alerting him to the fact that I was doing so much more than him and yet I had all A’s and he did not. I pointed out that he had always had a hard time with school and now was the time to finally overcome that by pulling up his big boy pants and getting to work. I used scripture to prove my point. And do you know what he had the audacity to do? He yelled back at me, “You are the worst encourager I have ever met!” To which I replied, “Oh my gosh honey, you are so right, I am so sorry, you are the greatest husband and provider and I am so lucky to have you, you are my hero.” Do you believe that? Good, because I am not going to disclose what I said because this is my blog and I will do what I want.

I was stung though. I was the worst encourager he had ever met???? Did he know how many people I taught to ride a horse? Did he know how much encouragement that took? I was so confused. Fortunately for me I was in a prime spot for God to teach me. I want to tell you what I learned.

God taught me men do not need woman to tell them how many mistakes they are making. They already know and they are desperate to make sure we don’t find out! They want to be the knight in shining armor that shows up to rescue us. When we critique them its as if we shot their horse right between the eyes and lit them on fire in their armor. God taught me that when he says that he has begun a good work and He is good and faithful to complete it, it means He will and does not actually need me to “Holy Spirit” anyone into submission. I am to be his helpmate. The perfect compliment to his life. Not the thing that makes him run to the wilderness, or roof top or what have you.

So let me ask you this. Do you have the thought: “Sarah, if I don’t tell him what to or how to do it he will literally fail all the time. He will lose his job, he will not help me at all, and we will sink.” That’s crazy! I have never had those thoughts!! Except for every minute of the day. Ok, I’m going to push pause like Doug does and crouch down and say, “Ladies listen to me….THAT IS YOUR PRIDE!” Your husband is a grown ass man. It is time we started treating them like grown ass men. Not only that but God says your husband is your leader. Don’t like that? Take it up with God, He will convince you that He knows what He is doing. God’s job is to grow us into a better representation of Him, so of course He will put us in situations that feel as though they are impossible. Thats how we learn to rely on Him.

Let me be honest with you. As soon as I started writing this post, guess what? All I seemed to be able to do was tell Jesse all the ways he was messing up. It would come out of my mouth and I would be like, “Girl, what the freak are you saying?” He got further and further away. The more sharp my tongue the further he would move away to save himself. I kept coming back to post this and was like, “I can’t send this out, I am a fraud.” Until finally, on Sunday morning I was able to humble myself, gather all the people who live here, and say, “Hey everybody, I have been speaking really disrespectfully to Jesse in front of all of you, and I should not do that. Jesse I am sorry, can you forgive me.” Can I tell you how hard it is to do that in front of a 14 year old young lady, and a 21 year old young lady? I’m totally not being a drama queen but I think chewing off my own arm would have been less painful. It’s all about my pride. I think I have it all worked out, I know I am right, and I know Jesse is not doing things right. Just typing that out shows me how prideful I am. You cannot hold on to that kind of pride and expect your husband to not move up to the attic. He will start searching—”Get thee to thy wilderness!”

So here is my challenge to myself and to you. Try being the one person who tells your husband that he is the best. Say it even if your heart does not believe, your heart will catch up. I remember when I saw the show Fixer Upper for the first time and was so struck by how positively Jo speaks to Chip. I remember the first time I said something like, “You can do it babe, you are so great!” when I really wanted to say, “You are so dumb, why are you doing it that way?” and I got to watch Jesse stand a little taller. Doug is so right. Ladies our words have the power to build up our guys or totally take them down. What do you want to do with your words? I promise you God will not be pleased with you when you get to heaven and say, “Lord you gave me a dumb husband, but don’t worry I overcame that and told him all the ways he was dumb and was not doing things right.” He will be pleased if you respect that fact that He gave you this man on purpose to make YOU more Christ-like. Saying no to your pride and speaking words of life to your husband will create a space for him to grow into the husband you want him to be. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot like I did. Ok, I’ll get down off my soap box now.

The Eye Bra

Here is the thing. I am almost 40. I will be 40 in November. Like, 40….the BIG 4-0…over the hill…it’s all downhill from here….free time is spent checking my retirement fund……40. In the tumult this has caused my psyche there has been certain coping strategies that have arisen to ease the pain of the BIG 4-0. One is slightly more blonde highlights. Two is a renewed devotion to “what the kids are listening to.” And three is fake eyelashes.

Now before you throw stones you Pharisee let me just say I am not going to justify myself to you. You can laugh at me and call me stupid and say fake lashes are dumb and for vain people. I will say: “Yes, you are right and SO WHAT? YOU ARE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!!!” Until you have lived in my brain, and had to reckon with 40—SHUT UP! (Sorry, I did that for effect, we don’t actually say SHUT UP in this house.) In the end my lashes are perfect every single day and I spend no time primping them. However there is one area of care they require.

Fall allergies?! Yikes, you are the death of me. I am good all year until the leaves start to fall. Then I am sniffling, coughing, sneezing and my eyes itch like crazy. Now the problem is the lashes are great but the number one rule of lashes is “Don’t talk about the lashes!” OOPS! Just kidding thats the number one rule of FIGHT CLUB, not lashes. The number one rule of lashes is that you CANNOT TOUCH THEM AT ALL WITH YOUR HAND! To fluff them you use a bristle wand. If you rub them you are pulling them out and your real lashes. During the day, this is not a problem because I am nothing if not a rule follower! At night however, I have a problem.

I lay down in bed and all bets are off. I have literally gotten out of bed looked in the mirror and was horrified to see one eye with perfect lashes and one BALD EYE!!! How do you even recover from that? During an emergency lash reapplication visit to my Lash Lady we solved the problem. Here you have the Eye Bra……

eyebra.jpeg

25 COLORS TO CHOOSE FROM??? SOLD! Jesse dubbed this the Eye Bra because it looks like a mini bra. Many of you might think this is were the tale of the lashes ends. For sure this has saved my lashes from being ripped out in my sleep. It has also saved my “Grooming” budget because I don’t have to make emergency lash appointments. (Do I have a budget line for grooming? Yes! That is what having a budget allows you to do! You get to decide what to spend money on and stick to it so you don’t run out of money! Dave Ramsey approves this budget line item! Budgets don’t mean you don’t get to spend money on fun stuff!) But this Eye Bra caused a problem in another area of my life. You see I like to fall asleep watching a show on my iPad. Right now my show of choice is Poldark. (Good Lord! Does my choice in TV scream “I am 40!” or what??) Do you see the problem? I can’t see once I put the eye bra on. So, being the inventive chick that I am, I solved the problem. Meet the new and improved Eye Bra….

newandimprovedeyebra.jpg

Oh yes I did. And you are welcome. Anyone who has seen this has died laughing except for Jesse. He is terrified and says he feels like he is sleeping next to a praying mantis. I cut tiny eye slits so I could see my iPad but small enough that I can’t get a finger in there to rub my eye. I say….NOW THE PROBLEM IS SOLVED. The comic relief it has supplied is just an added bonus. Please enjoy this video.


I am sure you are wondering how I am going to relate all this to the Lord. Well I have been thinking about that too. I have decided to do this one like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style blog. Here are some ways we could take this in light of who the Lord is….

  1. Ecclesiastes 1: 2 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. In this adventure we discover that my vanity knows no bound and needs to be checked in light of who the Lord is and what He cares about. I say to this: “Yes this is true, Yes I am aware that I care a lot about how I look.” I also say: “I know you are but what am I?” (and then I stick my tounge out at you.)

  2. 1 Corinthians 15: 40 There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies. 41 The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their glory. In this adventure we watch a woman soldier on despite a decaying body. Our bodies on earth were made to decay and die. But after that death we are raised to life with Christ and our glorified bodies, the ones we have in heaven will serve us for eternity. Never decaying, always lovely…..and mine will have AMAZING lashes. I am picturing like seraphim wings but in lash form. So in reality my lashes just serve as a reminder that life on earth is not the be all and end all, that this body and lashes are meant to decay. Eternity with Jesus is waiting for me!!!

  3. Proverbs 5: 18 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. In this adventure we see a wife trying desperately to trick here husband into forgetting that she is almost 40. She gets fake lashes that work to hypnotize him into remembering her 20 something self. Every time she bats her perfect eye lashes he is put under a spell. The spell is broken when he wakes up and realizes he is sleeping next to some sort of super hero/praying mantis. But I digress.


I realize this is ridiculous. You don’t have to text me and say, “You are perfect exactly the way God made you.” I am putting this out there just so you can have a good laugh. You also don’t need to have a lash intervention with me. My BFF’s keep tabs on how long they get and are ready to pull the plug if I ever show up with something like this….(I am sorry for the cuss word. I did try to find a non-cuss version)

toolonglashes.jpeg

Happy Birthday Laycie, an open letter.

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Dear Laycie,

It is crazy that I have only known you for 12 weeks. I still remember the first time I heard your voice when Jesse opened the front door for you. I remember it so well because I was standing at my kitchen sink, washing dishes, and saw you drive up my driveway for the first time. I was struck with fear that you would be unruly and hard to live with, and I started to pray. I said, “Lord please make me love her even if she is awful because you have put her in our lives and I want to love her well.” And then I heard your voice for the first time and immediately knew I would love you to pieces. You have stolen all the Griffith’s hearts. You are a gift to us, and we thank God everyday that you reached out to Selah Creek, and that He saw fit to put you in our home. To top it all off you aren’t even unruly or hard to live with!! With the exception of the fact that you don’t use a top sheet which I still don’t understand.

This is your birthday blog post. These have become a tradition around here. I will list 21 things I love about you. One thing for every year. Girl, there are so many things to love about you that the hard part is only listing 21! We have lived a lot of life in these 12 weeks. God has knitted us together. It has been my privilege to watch you walk though becoming a mother, navigate drama, and learn to trust the Lord with your heart ache and disappointment. Girl, God is going to use all these things to write a story that will blow you away.

So here you go sweet friend, 21 things I love about you.

1—I love your sense of humor. You are hilarious and make me laugh all the time.

2—I love how teachable you are.

3—I love your singing voice even though I have to start singing along to a song and then drop out so I can hear your voice. Let’s run away and try out for the Voice!

4—I love your style. You are so beautiful all the time!

5—I love how dedicated you are to Kohen.

6—I love your tenacity. I know I have really hurt your feelings because we have had to have really hard conversations but you stick with us. You have grit sister!

7—I love the dreams you have.

8—I love that you share my love of a clean counter top. Bless you sister, it is so nice to have someone living here that actually likes a clean kitchen.

9—I love the fact that you are so incredibly brilliant. You are so smart you can literally do anything you want to.

10—I love that you watch Texas Tech football with us. I suspect that it more out of love of us than an actual love of Tech…..maybe someday that will change. (wink wink)

11—I love that you have met so many new people in the last few weeks and you genuinely want to get to know them all.

12—I love that you are so sweet to my kids. Sydney looks up to you and Brock looks at you like an older sister he’s not sure he really wanted. They are better because they have you in their lives.

13—I love the mother you are. You are doing a really great job.

14—I love that you are starting to see God’s pursuit of you. From sermons, to people he brings to you, to old ladies sitting across from us at Olive Garden… God is pursuing you because He is even more crazy about you than I am.

15—I love how you literally poured yourself out to help me get Sojourn House put together.

16—I love the noise you make when I come in and open your shutters in your room, declaring you need some sunshine. I know I will miss that noise someday. (UUUGGGGGHHHHH! WWHHHYYY???)

17—I love your boldness. I don’t even really know how to describe it. But its this boldness that allows you to see your way though a tough situation and stick to it and move forward despite being scared.

18—I love that you act way older than 21, but you also let me dote on you because you know that mothering is what I live for.

19—I love that you have no idea what the future holds for you right now but you are learning to trust God and you continue to put one foot in front of the other.

20—I love that you get all giddy over wedding photos of your friends. I love that the dream of a man that will love you the way Christ loves the church has not died in you. I love that you want to have that princess moment at your wedding. I pray for this for you everyday.

21—I love that you are part of my life. I actually can’t image life without you. There will never be a day where having you here is not totally worth it. YOU ARE TOTALLY WORTH IT!!

Little Mama you are one of my favorite parts of everyday. I am so thankful you were born. I am so thankful you are turning 21! I am so thankful you reached out to Selah Creek. I am so thankful that at every crossroads you chose to stay here with us. You are doing the hard things, and you are not taking the easy way out. I understand that you are walking an uphill battle. I will never know how hard this is for you. One thing you can be sure of Laycie is that I will always be cheering for you. I will always pray for you. I will always say YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Love you to pieces, have the happiest of birthdays,

Sarah

Dear Hobby Lobby, this is all your fault!

Texas weather might need an intervention. 80 and sunny to 40 and rainy? Sounds like a cry for help to me. I just need to know if we are skipping fall. If we are, I’m fine with that. I just don’t want to haul all the fall stuff out if we are going straight to winter.

You know who is to blame for the messed up seasons? Hobby Lobby. The weather saw you, Hobby Lobby, stocking your dumb shelves in JUNE for Christmas, year after year. I know I walk in and see that and have a heart attack so why would the weather be different? Hobby Lobby you need to learn to be happy in the moment. Stop encouraging us to look ahead. Some of us are not even fully comfortable with it being October much less Christmas time.

I have waited to buy pumpkins because I wanted it to be less than 80. If I don’t they turn into some sort of horrible pumpkin pie on the porch. But now with all this confusion brought about by Hobby Lobby, it feels more like I should just put up the Christmas tree and call it a day. 

They only one around here who is thoroughly excited about the weather is Downton the duck. She thinks this is just about the best time ever. Water, water everywhere full of dying bugs. I should post a cute pic of her playing in the water but it is 40 and raining and I am not going out side. Sorry! The chicken’s are about to put themselves on Craig’s List but in a more dry and warm zip code. “Free to a good home, 11 amazing chickens looking for a warm dry farm. We are free range, go wherever we want, don’t fence us in chickens.” They don’t do rain. They have not actually left the barn today. They look at me like, “Hey dummy, you left the water on.”  

And then there is Jesse. He just keeps mumbling things like, “It has to be over 40 to pour concrete” or “9 days of dry weather, 9 days in a row to pour concrete.” You see, he is managing the building process for our new church building. We are waiting for them to pour the foundation. He just looks outside and says, “Oh look, its still raining!” He then laughs this crazy man laugh and goes about his business. I keep telling him, “God is literally in charge of making it rain, so he must have a plan with all this.” He just looks at me with that look like he wants to say, “I know you are but what am I?” The classic come back in an impossible situation.  

Hobby Lobby may be responsible for this breakdown of the time/space continuum but how do us innocent bystanders live on during this crazy weather change? For me I know the right answer is to live like Downton the duck, with the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. I find however that I am angry with Hobby Lobby for messing up the seasons. (Just incase you don’t know I am joking I am not actually blaming Hobby Lobby for the weather. God IS literally in charge of the weather. I do blame them for putting undo pressure on me to decorate way ahead of time. As we have established I am an over achiever and walk right into that trap every time.) I love how Downton gets up everyday with a spring in her step and makes the best of every situation. Every time I come home in the pouring down rain I see her out there foraging around and hunting bugs in puddles. I think, man I should be like that. But then I find myself literally contemplating how necessary any errands (like getting food for the house) are in real life.

And to bring this all back around to the searing abdominal pain, when I complain about the weather I realize how much I really don’t like not being God. Guess what, in August I could have written a post about how, “The devil is responsible for heat and humidity!” I really wish my circumstances lent themselves to be perfect and pain free. I wish I could get tan without heat and humidity and I wish I could wear my sweaters without actually enduring cold rainy weather. But guess what? I don’t have control of those things anymore than I have control over waiting or tension producing circumstances. They are all situations where I make a choice. 1: I can complain and be like the chickens, trying to relive my suffering. (Suffering? Is that the right word? I don’t think I have ever actually suffered in my life, but you get my point.) Or 2: I can be like Downton and trust that I can still be joyful. In the first situation I tell God, “I would be a better God than you!” In the second I say, “I love you Lord, thank you for growing me into a stronger more mature believer.”

If there is anything I know for sure, even if my actions don’t always prove it, is that God is the best God we could ever hope for. He is the beginning and the end. Our creator and loving Heavenly Father. He delights when we love HIM with all our heart, soul and mind. He is not mean, or petty. He is on a mission to make us more like him and less like wild animals ruled by our desires. He is worth everything you ever have to give up for Him. He is worth it every single time we say no to ourselves and follow Him. He is there to forgive you as soon as you ask for it. He is always there loving you. I even think He laughs with me, jokes with me and His Word says He Rejoices over me.

And so as I look out at this dreary day I am reminded that it is not actually Hobby Lobby that has decided to skip Fall, but the Lord. He knows what He is doing and I can trust Him. Thank your lucky stars reader that I am not God because you want to talk about crazy weather? That would be just the beginning if I was in charge. And you know what, God knows what He is doing. And I will try to trust Him.

Tension/waiting causes me searing abdominal pain.

Lots of changes to the Sarah Griffith Blog! We will have an official launch soon, but for now I could not wait to write about the searing abdominal pain!

This is probably shocking to you but I don’t deal with tension or waiting very well. I mean usually I am so even keeled and gentle. (Can I get an amen?!?!) In the last two weeks however we have been dealing with tension and waiting around here and it made me realize that walking in those two things is not good for my digestion. On the plus side I have not been able to eat a whole lot so it has really helped with my weight loss. This weekend at church Doug talked about how we have to learn to trust God. He told us God puts us in situations so that we get to learn to trust Him. I am really feeling that right now.

Unfortunately, I can’t give you the details because it’s not my story to tell. So I will talk in generalities. Not to be secretive but to allow God to work these things out without me putting it on blast to everyone. (Do the young people still say “on blast?” Did they ever say “on blast?” I’m saying “on blast” I don’t care) Anywho, the point is we as a family are immersed in waiting and tension around here and it is very hard to deal with. I asked myself this morning if I was allowing these circumstances to teach me to trust God or if I was handling them in my own understanding. The presence of searing abdominal pain is a sign that I might be relying on myself. Just a guess.

But this is where I find out who God really is. I get to see His character revealed and I get to line my character up to it. I realize how much I need to discipline myself to trust God and not try to solve my own problems with my own thinking. My dean in bible school use to say that you have to stop “chewing the dog bone.” Meaning I am prone to get a thought in my head and chew it and chew it and chew it until it is disgusting. But God, is waiting right there for me to turn the thoughts over to him. God is holding out his hand say, “I love you, you can trust me.” Instead of chewing I start saying to myself…..

Proverbs 3: 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;

Isaiah 41: 10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

And I start saying NO to myself when I want to call someone and complain about my circumstances. I want to call someone because It feels good to have someone commiserate with me. But all I am doing is chewing that bone and spreading my tension around to other people. I will confess that so many times in the last week I picked up my phone to call Kelly and say, “Oh my gosh you are not going to believe what is going on.” Or to call Ashley to say, “Can you believe how bad this is, can you believe we are having to deal with this?” And what was the result? More angry feelings, more fear, more chaos, more abdominal pain. And I drug Ashley and Kelly into that too. On the flip side of that when I take that to the Lord instead and say, “Lord I am not happy with the waiting and this tension and this gastric upset but I know you are still good, forgive me for not trusting you,” my peace is restored. I learn to say no to my flesh that wants to get all up in arms. And I stay right with God, because yes my friends, chewing the bone, calling other people to complain, all of that is proof of not trusting the Lord, also know as SIN!

The truth bubbles up to the surface. God is not doing this to annoy me or to give me more contemplative time in my bathroom. He is doing it to say, “Hey sister, you are not fully trusting me with this situation.” He wants me to learn about how much He loves me and how He is working these things out for my good. He wants me to trust that He loves Laycie and Kohen and desires to keep them safe more than I can ever comprehend. He wants me to know that HE IS GOD. Not me. He wants me to trust that when I am experiencing searing abdominal pain it is likely that I have forgotten who is actually God.

In closing, God is writing a very cool story here in our house. The middlemarch is glorious right now and full of miraculous things. I cannot wait for you to here the story someday from the young woman who is walking it out right now. I have tears in my eyes as I think about all the ways God has shown up to show her He is everything she will ever need. I love you Lord, thank you for letting me be a small part of this story.

Introducing: Sojourn House!

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This is one of those exciting weeks when something that was born in our minds years ago is coming to fruition.  Let me tell you the story.

A few years ago, after having been saved by Jesus, Jesse and I packed up our life and went to Bible School at Ethnos 360 (Nee: New Tribes Bible Institute).  We were no longer content with not know what the bible said about who God was and what we were supposed to do with new Christian life.  Off we went.

At Ethnos we were exposed to what it would look like to be an oversea’s missionary.  They would bring missionaries who were serving with Ethnos in to tell us about what their lives were like in the villages they were serving in.  Without going into all the nitty-gritty lets just say it is hard to carve out life amongst non american, non believing, non english speaking people who don’t really understand why you white people have come into their town.  Don’t for a second belive the people who say, “Oh, just leave those peaceful tribal people alone, they are up there singing Kumbaya, living off the land, untouched by greed or envy.”  WRONGO!!!  They are broken people just like us in need of the security that you get from knowing who God is and that He loves you so much He sent His son to earth to pay for your sin so that you could have a relationship with Him forever.  If I am being totally honest what these missionaries have to deal with makes this germ-a-phob, order loving, Target shopping loving, clean freak want to head for the hills saying, “Jesus, who?  I do not know the name you speak of?”

But we as believers can’t do that, can we?  We are all given the commission to go and make disciples of all the world.  We see that God loves the world and we are His chosen ambassadors.  The work that these missionaries are doing deep in the jungles, the villages, the cities where no one knows the name of Jesus is the most important part of this Christian life we live.  In fact it is the last command given to us by Jesus.  This weekend at Church Doug said that our mission field is brokenness.  Friends, there is not truer statement of fact.  Brokenness is all around us here in Texas and reaches to the ends of the earth.  We all have brokenness in us wherever we happen to live.  We are all here to tell people Jesus is the answer for brokenness.  We are all missionaries.  My mission field happens to be inside my house with the people who live here and act very tribal sometimes.  My mission field is the lacrosse field, the elementary school, the high school and all the stops I make in between–I’m looking at you Sonic workers!

Since I know where my mission field is, what then is my part in this great commission to people who have never heard overseas?  Well friends that is where Sojourn House comes in.  Did you hear that smacking sound?  That was my father in law reading this post and realizing that yet again I have turned a business venture into something that falls under the “charity” category and not the “gain” catagory.  What can I say Curtis?  I have never made any money on any business deal so if you are surprised it really is your own fault I think.  (See years of Horse Business documentation for further proof)  Jesse and I set out to buy a house that we could turn into a missionary retreat/VRBO/Guest House. Overseas Missionary’s have to come home every once in a while to raise support, rest and be filled up.  Otherwise they cannot keep doing what they are doing and someone else will have to go–gulp!  So really this is just a selfish endeavor to keep them on the mission field and me off of it.

This idea was hatched when we would come home from the BI on vacations.  Having sold our house and all our stuff we had to stay with family and friends.  When in the Dallas area we would stay with our friends the Stewart’s.  Now to be perfectly clear there was no more fun time then when the Griffith’s took over the Stewart’s living room, lovingly renamed the “Second Master.”  So much love and life took place there.  With only one draw back.  The Stewart’s keep their thermostat….in Texas……in the summer…..with 9 people living there at 80 degree’s.  Now in a perfect world the Griffith’s would keep a thermostat humming right around 68-70.  I am for sure not trying to implicate anyone but somehow the thermostat would get turned down to a balmy 75 or so, only to be turned up when ever Cheryl walked by and exclaimed, “No wonder I am so cold!”  And in our sweaty discussions at night about how insane people must be to possess refrigerated air and not use it to the best of it’s ability, the thought of  Sojourn House was born.  A place where people are free to set the thermostat wherever they want it.

We started praying, started saving and told Jeff Stewart, of the aforementioned house that is 80 degrees all the time, to keep his Realtor eyes open for a house.  And this summer we finally found one.  It has been so fun putting it together.  I also have to give a huge shout out to Laycie because I enlisted her help and she really stepped up to the plate.  I got to spend time getting to know the little mama who lives with us.  I got to see her work hard putting a house together for people she didn’t even know.  I realized she has a very sweet heart and a very good sense of style!  Plus all the time with Kohen.  There is no more perfect baby in the world, but before I go into another 900 words about him let me wrap this up.

Sojourn House is up and running.  I have prayed while I was there making beds, washing and preparing things that it would be a place of rest for the traveler.  (That is what Sojourn means, traveler.)  All over scripture God says that we glorify Him when we care for His workers.  We are all travelers, moving through this world, ready to go to our real home, that is in heaven with our Father.  Now, I better wrap this up before I break into a Carrie Underwood song……

Living Room

Kitchen

Kitchen

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Guest Bedroom

Guest Bedroom

Bunkroom

Bunkroom

Laycie’s Handiwork!

Laycie’s Handiwork!

Backyard and that shed has my name on it for a writing studio.

Backyard and that shed has my name on it for a writing studio.

Middlemarch

Hey listen, I am never one to brag about how great I am (I am exactly the kind to brag about how great I am), but I read a book that has 80 chapters.  This is no small thing since the first book that I actually read for real was Harry Potter.  Books prior to that were skimmed for book report purposes.  So this 80 chapter monster is titled, “Middlemarch.”  The best way to describe this book is that it is a study of provincial life.  That is just a fancy way to say a study of ordinary life.  This topic of an ordinary life has surfaced for me because God is teaching me that in this ordinary life of mine is where the miraculous is happening.  As I stopped telling God to give me a super sexy famous christian life, He started showing me that the “Middlemarch” is where the cool Jesus freaks are.

So what do I mean by Middlemarch?  It has taken me two years to flesh that out.  I could write 10,000 words on all the appointments with Dana (my counselor), books, podcasts, and time in the bible that got me thinking this way.  (Just a few, “The Glorious in the Mundane Podcast, by Christy Nockles, specifically Season 1,  Unseen by Sara Hagerty, the Book of Ruth, and the Book of Galatians.)  Dana was actually the one who pointed me to Middlemarch.  She said, “What you are doing is your Middlemarch,” and told me about the book.  So essentially for me it is letting go of this idea that in order to matter to God I have to be out there effecting His kingdom in some super visual miraculous way.  It is letting go of making sure people see me doing God’s work.  It is letting go of getting praise from other people for what I am doing.  It is learning that God sees me.  God’s only design for me is that I will glorify Him with my life.  It is stopping myself from doing all the things for God, and making myself yield to God and what He puts before me even if I don’t really want it.  It is 1 million choices everyday that honor God, and 1 million denials of my flesh everyday.  Everyday. Everyday.  That is my Middlemarch, my study of ordinary life, that is actually extraordinary.

Here is what start to surface in this Middlemarch of mine.  I see God working in my life and fruit of the Spirit starting to surface.  I see that in situations where the norm is for me to get angry, stressed and yell, I don’t.  I see the norm shift to peace and love.  I see a husband who never really wanted a lot of responsibility, choose to step into a roll that requires a lot of responsibility.  I see that husband learn to rely on God and trust Him, where before he would try to escape.  I see a young woman who has made choices that don’t honor God, start to make choices that do honor God.  I see a young woman who was afraid to make those choices start to have moments of the greatest bravery I may have ever seen in my life.  I see a young man afraid to make friends, trust God and put himself out there and join a Dungeons and Dragon group. (You may think this has other complications but lets just stick to the making friends part of this.)  I see a High School freshman make tough choices to be able to walk out her faith in High School even though it means that she might not be doing all the things the popular kids are doing.  The more I learn of God the more I think these are the things that He will high 5 us for.

This Middlemarch life flies in the face of everything my flesh says.  My flesh says, “God is only impressed with people who are really out there suffering for the Lord.”  My flesh says, “God is only in the super flashy miracles.”  My flesh says, “What are you going to have to show for your life if all you do is laundry and cook dinner and raise some kids and stay married.”  But God, He says in His word that the day in and day out honoring of Him is where it’s at.  In the life of the disciples I see this, just following Jesus day in and day out.  Allowing Him to teach them, encouraging each other, messing up, and being restored.  I see this in the churches that Paul writes to after Christ’s death.  The heart stopping, in your face miracles had ceased.  Paul was encouraging them to live the life that honors God day in and day out.  How many moms went to the temple to hear the reading of Paul’s letter; having just cleaned up after a meal, told kids to get their sandals on because they were going to the temple come hell or high water, shooed the goats back out to the pasture; and then were encouraged by the words of Paul to keep on living for Christ no matter what, and to be transformed!  So many woman whose day in and day out life actually made a huge impact on the kingdom, because they were just doing the Middlemarch.  This is a life changing shift in thinking for me, a miracle as it were.  I am so thankful to the Lord for freeing me up to see and giving me a front row seat to watch the miracles happening in my Middlemarch.