overwhelmed by the cross.

I cried almost the whole way to work this morning {which is like, an hour-long drive}.  And not your pretty little one-tear-trickles-down-each-cheek kind of tears.  Big, fat, I-need-an-entire-roll-of-paper-towels tears.

I wasn't sad.  At all.  Quite the opposite, actually.

I was listening to worship music ... songs I have heard many, many times.  But today, the words to those same songs took on new meaning.  It was like I was hearing them for the first time.  It was like the Lord was singing over me.  It was like those songs were written for me, for today, for right now.

I felt the presence of the Lord with me.  And after several days of seriously struggling*,asking questions that seem to have no answer, praying and praying and praying for peace, for comfort, for sometime, anything, please ... 
*and being frustrated with myself for feeling the way I did


grieving what isn't.

I'm a generally content person.  For the most part.  And probably just like pretty much everyone, sometimes I have to choose to be content with where I am, right here, right now, not living in the future or the past.  Overall, I'd say normally I stay in a pretty content state of mind.

I like my life.  I like my church, friends, ministry, job, house, neighborhood, pets, gym ... I like it.

So it is beyond frustrating to me when I am just cruising along, living life {that I am imperfectly content with, thankyouverymuch} and then--BAM--out of nowhere, overwhelming grief hits me between the eyes.

It starts as this weird unsettled feeling, so small sometimes I don't notice it.  Then, suddenly, my heart aches so much I almost can't breathe.


pray for our spiritual leaders.

{image source: Wallpapers app for iPad}
Earlier this week, I read an article that Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill church in Seattle, WA is taking a leave of absence while allegations against him are reviewed.  When I saw the article, I immediately felt led to write a blog post about it.  Not to re-hash any details about the Driscoll controversy, but to remind us as a church body to do something that I think many of us, myself included, have often neglected to do:

Pray for our spiritual leaders.

We have high expectations of and place high demands on our spiritual leaders.  As we should.  {1 Timothy 3:1-7}  Those who are called to lead God's people in the capacity of vocational ministry have a call on their life that not everyone has, and we better believe that God will give them all they need to do what they are called to do.  But, I hope we can all agree that our spiritual leaders have one of the most demanding jobs God will assign.


as God will.

waiting and being content -- easier said than done! // www.graceforgayle.com

The other day, I went to visit a friend who is having a really difficult time, and is going through some very, very tough circumstances that quite honestly, aren't fair.  No one should have to go through what she and her family are dealing with.  You could probably say that about a lot of hard things, but I'm not really thinking about other stuff, my mind is on my friend and her specific situation.

Later that evening when I finally got home, I opened up one of the ... um ... five daily devotionals that I read.  It's called Streams in the Desert.  If you do not own it, buy it.  It's such an awesome daily read, and while Jesus Calling is and probably always will be one of my favorites, Streams in the Desert touches my heart in a much more penetrating way.  This poem was part of the devotion for Wednesday, July 9th, and it cut me to the core:


DIScouragement for the single adult.

Relevant Magazine puts out some pretty great content, and because their content is focused on lifestyle, faith, and culture geared toward Christians, a lot of it is relevant to me.  {I guess they chose their name well?}

DIScouragement for the single adult. // www.graceforgayle.com
{photo via}
I came across yet another article about dating and singleness last week, called 5 Horrible Pieces of Dating Advice.  And I have to say, I agree with all 5 points they made.  But this article got me thinking, and I have a few things to add.  Though, my list is less advice and more comments people need to stop making.

Yeah, I know, that is NUMBER ONE on their article, too!  But I have to put it on my list, because it is just so frustratingly annoying to hear this!  Seriously, married people!  Engaged people!  Dating-soon-to-be-engaged-people!  Heck, even divorced people!  Listen up!

Stop.  Saying.  This.
In fact, maybe never say this again.
EVER.  Under ANY circumstances.
Thank you.