My Story of Scoliosis… 

It was somewhere around two years ago… I was standing in the kitchen of my employer’s home in Beverly Hills… As the eldest child of my employer passed by me she causually said, “I think you have scoliosis”…

Since this was news to me, I quickly responded with, “No I don’t. I don’t have scoliosis at all”…

She continued by pointing out the place in my upper back where the scoliosis was… And then took me upstairs so I could bend over in front of the mirror and see the imbalance in my back…

“See,” she said… “Look at your back… It isn’t straight at all.. This side sticks out farther than that side… You definitely have scoliosis”…

There was no denying what she saw… Something really was off… And I completely believed this 14 year old beauty knew what she was talking about… She’s suffered from scoliosis her entire life… Having to undergo surgery last summer to correct it…

But she had known for years that she had this imbalance in her body… For me… For me, this was news… Something that bothered me deep down…

Because I strive to cultivate a lifestyle of balance, order and health… And knowing the muscles around my back were weak enough in areas to cause my spine to curve really bothered me…

Later that day, I showed my sister… We researched it… And again, my back definitely looked like a case of minor scoliosis…

I really didn’t like the knowledge of this at all… The reality of an imbalance in my body…

Over the course of 7 years I had worked so much to stand up straighter… But apparently it didn’t matter how straight I stood… The curve was still there… Still real… Still apparent…

It made me kind of angry too…

So, in so many ways I ignored it… Knowing it was there, but not wanting to acknowledge the reality of it all…

Over the course of the next 6 months I would consciously sit and stand straighter… And when running I would make sure my back was very straight and that I was running very properly…

Well… Time passed… Life continued to go on… And I put it on the “back-burner” in my mind…

About 6 months ago I felt this pain… It was around the top of my back… Like I was carrying a heavy, heavy weight or something…

I mentioned to a friend and he encouraged me to talk to God about it…

As I began to talk to Him, I realized, in so many ways He hadn’t been able to communicate what it means to be a father to me… I had pushed Him away in that area…

One reason being, I had a good father… And though he wasn’t perfect and complete Father God, he was still good… So I didn’t really see a need to cultivate a relationship with Father God…

But after his death, well I was minus that love… That relationship… And so I cultivated a deeper one with God the Father…

In the midst of discussing the pain in my upper back, a lot of forgiveness took place… And almost instantly the pain and weight left…

A few days later, my sister said, “Your back is so straight… What happened?? I think your scoliosis is gone”…

I almost laughed because I realized, in God’s timing… With His patience in my life, He had removed the pain and weight in my upper back when I gained a closer relationship with Him as my Father…

And the removal of that pain and weight also meant that that my spine no longer revealed a sign of scoliosis… It just revealed an aligned and balanced spine…

There are so many reasons I am telling this story…

And I believe the biggest is, we can run around looking for physical healing all the time… Begging God to give it to us… But I’ve found it increasingly more effective to simply gain a closer relationship with God the Father and the Holy Spirit… And to live those lives boldly through the power of Jesus’ blood and sacrifice…

So many times I feel like we go to church and try to get closer to God because it’s what’s expected of us… It’s what gives us faith, love and joy…

But more than anything, I believe our spirit and soul needs this connection… That without it we are completely poor on the inside… Imbalanced… Lacking wholeness and genuine connection…

Connection that can only truly be found in Father God… Because our own parents, spouses, siblings and friends will continue to fail us… There will continue to be imbalance in those relationships… But with God we can continue to remain complete, whole and balanced as we just cultivate life…

Grace… Covers a Multitude…

Over the years my grandmother has taught me a lot of things…
Aside from all of the things about God… Well my favorite would have to be baking…

From an early age she taught me how to bake… I don’t remember why… But I do know that I grew to love almost everything about it…
One day, after baking a cake, the cake split right down the middle… I was a little panicked because the cake was a gift…

That’s when my grandmother laughed and said, “Icing covers a multitude of sins”…

Then she instructed me on how to ice the cake just right so no one would see the ugly crack down the middle… So it would be covered forever…

It’s funny… I’ve referenced that story so many times…

But right now… Right now in my life… The place that I’m waiting in… Well I find God saying the same thing to me…

That grace… Just like that icing… Covers a multitude of sin…

And I have to admit… He showing me so many areas… Practically every area… Where I don’t apply grace… Where I’m unkind and graceless towards myself… Areas where I don’t choose to let grace be for me too…

Because for some reason I’ve allowed myself to stay in this religious trap of thinking my way through things… I’ve allowed myself to mentally work really, really hard to “figure out” how to solve the situation of the moment…

But that’s where I am realizing I’ve been so wrong… Because I see this trend of doing rather than being… Of doing work rather than allowing grace to cover it all…

And honestly… Honestly being graceful isn’t difficult at all… To me, it can be so simple…

And I guess that’s why I feel so encouraged… Encouraged just to step back from life’s situations… From the areas where I feel like I may be short… And just allow grace to cover it all…

Finding Forgiveness…

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The memory that continues to flood my mind this morning is one that involved hope… Leaving dad in the hospital… After spending the entire night there… The entire night after flying home and going straight to the hospital… And the next morning Bridget and I waking up so hungry… So we walked to ihop across the street to get something to eat… Mom was at home trying to get a good night’s rest… And we stayed just to be there…
And in that moment… Well I didn’t take death that seriously at all… I didn’t see that those last 36 hours would be the last my dad had with us… and us with him… I was still just so hopeful…
We walked to walmart to get a balloon too… And some tea… Because obviously, to me, no one cared that coffee is acidic and it was only instigating the cancer… Causing it to grow… We also got dad a dvd… Something to watch other than tv… So he wouldn’t be bored while getting better in the hospital…
But we were all wrong… We were all so wrong… We all hoped for the best… But isn’t that basically expected when you’ve never experienced death before?… That the person is going to spring back to life?… That they are going to take a turn for the good?…
And then there was the moment on the way back from breakfast… When dad told us to find him a wheelchair so he could get up and walk around some… That night he and bridge had a conversation that encouraged him to get up and start walking and stop laying there in the bed…
And in that moment we were both so hopeful… So focused on finding the first chair with four wheels that we saw… But it wasn’t enough you know?… The hope we had… It just wasn’t enough when death was going to be the final decision the next day….
And it’s good to look back and know… To realize that we had hope… That we were genuinely wanting a better outcome… And that dad saw that and somehow mustered up some hope for himself…
But then there’s the truth within it all… That life was taken just a few hours later… And that my life… My entire families life will forever be changed by a disease that went undetected….
And I think sometimes… Well I think that’s what hurts more than anything… The fact that he was sick for so long… And we all ignored it…
And maybe that’s why I am a little depressed… Maybe that’s why I am a little bit angry on the inside… Because I knew he was sick for years… But I cared more about myself… And what was going on in my own world… I was too focused on me to see that dad needed care… And that he needed it in that very moment…
And when I finally did care… When I did finally realize “Oh shit this is cancer. He’s going to die. My dad is going to die.”…. Well it was too late… I missed my chance…
And I think this is something I need to work through… Forgiving myself for not caring when I needed to care… Forgiving myself for being selfish… Forgiving myself for having my attention zoned in on me and only me…
Because at the end of the day… Well I know I could’ve done more… So much more… But now I’m left with a heavy heart… And a need to forgive me…

Just Let It Go

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What happens when you begin to realize your worth?… when you begin to realize it’s not mature of you to be so irritated and bitter with someone when you know so much?… what happens when you feel this need to value yourself more and in that need you discover that it’s stupid… no ridiculous to hold onto something and be mad at someone?… what happens when you realize you’re being dramatic in holding bitterness towards someone?… just so you have a good story to tell someone else?…
That’s where I am right now… holding onto something so tight because it’s all I really have… but in reality… well in reality it’s very foolish and dumb… because as I begin to find value and worth in myself… well I begin to wonder why I would even hold something like that… why would I take the bitterness that’s in my heart and peg it on anyone?…
And I guess maybe it’s another way I’m learning how to discover my worth… another way to really truly become me…
Because at the end of the year I don’t want to find myself bitter with someone just because I can tell a story from it… or just because it’s one thing I have… the one and probanly only thing keeping me from being at peace…
And so it’s important to me… to my self-value, self-worth and present that I let it all go…
And it’s strange though… in letting this go… well usually the Lord would have me talk to the person… tell them I am sorry… ask for their forgiveness.. but in this situation he says to just deal with it from within… just let it go right here fair and sqaure… and not even involve anyone else or anything else…
So I guess that’s what I’ve chosen to do… and in doing so… well I hope to live with a little more peace from within…

Dinning with Self-Pity

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I’ve gotta be honest with myself for a moment and admit the fact that I frequently dine with self-pity… really I do… and it’s beginning to drive me insane…

I read a quote that said, “self-pity is nothing less than an impulse to destroy yourself. And it says, ‘This is the way you were made. These are the facts of your situation. It’s bad. Worse than anybody else in the whole world. In fact, it’s so bad, it’s impossible to do anything about it. And therefore, you are free from any responsibility to clean it up. Nobody can blame you for anything.”

And after reading this… well I can’t really disagree… I actually completely agree… I’ve trained my mind to believe that my situation is bad… and at times… I believe it can’t change… and I want others to feel sorry for me and help clean it up…

In reality…. self-pity is just a liar…. and it’s stealing life from me when I dine with it…. I’m willingly allowing it to steal peace and joy from me…

And I know it sounds stupid… and I keep thinking… why would I logically do this?… But I’m learning it’s one more thing that’s being worked out of me… It’s one more thing that’s caused me to become spiritually, mentally and emotionally sick… It’s one more thing I want gone…

The fact that it’s been brought to my attention…. the fact that I am surrounded by it at work…. the fact that it’s in my family…. well it shows me that it’s time for this to go… it’s time to move something else that is toxic out of my life…

And I hate it… I hate that this is a part of who I am because it prevents me from truly valuing myself… I don’t know how to value me…

And that’s frustrating…. I don’t feel valued at all… and then I use self-pity to find value in moments when I feel like life is out to get me… And it’s sicking….

So once again…. I’m on a mission…. I feel like my mission continues to evolve… it continues to evolve as I find more things that need to be transformed inside of me…. I think I have it down… I thought working the drama out of me would be it… and then I come across something else… Something more to be on alert….

And I guess that’s ok… because I just want to live a life of peace and joy… And I want to find where I belong in life… but how can I truly find those things… the things that are of value…. the ones hidden deep inside of me…. how can I find them when drama, self-pity and probably a few others are in the way?

Well I can’t… so in an effort to uncover what’s valuable… I guess it’s time to stop dinning with self-pity and start finding reasons to like me….

Forgiveness from Babes

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Sometimes I wonder what it must’ve been like to be a child… to have to learn so many complex skills like taking, walking and reading… How did I do it? Why can’t I really remember it? I feel like they must’ve been an extremely complex tasks… one’s that would take real mental effort and focus today…

It also amazes me how malleable the mind of a child is…. That they can be hurt but forgive so quickly…. that I can share little things like forgiveness and love on such a basic level and they’re absorbed and understood…

The kids I nanny for are teaching me so much… constantly show me how important it is to ask for forgiveness when I am an attitude and it affects their mood… So many times they are having their own day…. they are in their own world… and then I allow my mood to change their world…

And then I find myself kind of explaining to them that I’m not mad at them at all… Just having a rough day or have a negative attitude… And it has nothing to do with them… They’ve done nothing but be them….

When this happens… I find myself explaining forgiveness to a five year old… It’s such a simple thing to do, and he forgives so willingly….

So why does it seem the older we get the more difficult it becomes to forgive and move forward? If you’re anything like me, we tend to overcomplicate the situation and hold on to things for no good reason at all… Which is ridiculous…

So it’s so nice and refreshing to see how well a five-year old can choose to forgive… He doesn’t even have to understand or know the whole situation… He just sees that I was wrong and would like him to forgive me so we can move past that moment and on to the next one…

And I think that’s so amazing… I wish we all had the innocence of a child int hat way… I know the majority of us get hurt at an early age and become effected by the world around us… But how amazing it is that in the midst of that hurt… the hurt we really don’t know or understand… that we can learn something as simple as forgiveness and love others in return….

I just love that and it causes me to be in aw… in aw of the little simple things that make life so beautiful… I only wish I could forgive like a child… to have a heart like a child… to just simply let it all go in that moment and move forward….

Maybe one day that can happen… but until then I’ll just continue to learn from the ones around me that are smaller, but seem to be much bigger than I…

Mutual Forgiveness

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I feel offended… I feel bitter…. Actually I know I’m bitter deep down… I’ve gone round and round about bitterness lately… But this… This is different…

I have a close friend I’m bitter with and all stories and hurt aside… Well it’s still this feeling like I’ve been wronged…

Since I left Dallas… Since I walked away from so much… Well so much has changed…. And my relationship… My relationship with God has changed…

I think I began to feel wronged by him as I began to discover and learn things about myself and my life… When he started showing me things that I didn’t really want to see because…. Well it was painful a year ago to look at those things…

And within the pain… Within the truth I was feeling I began to feel like a victim… Like someone was treating me wrong…

And I’ve had a victim mentality my whole life… So it’s not a surprise that when I felt pinned…. Pinned in a corner with so much pressure and stress… Well I decided to blame someone… And that someone was God….

For about 3 months I’ve known I needed to work through this with him… Because deep down I know our relationship is just so different with the feeling of bitterness I have towards him…

It’s a feeling that puts distance between us… And it causes me to forget the great relationship we’ve had… The time it took to develop the relationship… And the amount of closeness I valued so very much…

All of a sudden I realized I’ve been treating this relationship like it’s common…. Common and cheap… Like it was easily cultivated…

And none if that is true…

So when I began to think about these things today… When I began to realize truth… Before I had the opportunity to say I’m sorry and ask him to forgive me… For my good, close friend to forgive me… Well he spoke up first and asked if he could be vulnerable…

He asked if I would forgive him… And then as he began to explain details to me… Well it was more than I knew what to do or feel in the moment…

Because I felt guilty at first that I hadn’t said anything to him first, but then I felt aw…. Pure aw that God was asking me… Someone so small and insignificant to forgive him… And then I almost began to cry because I realized that’s how amazing and real he is…

He’s such a great friend…. He’s such an honorable and loving being…

Before this moment… I would’ve never imagined God would ask something like that because I know I’m the one that’s always lacking… Always messing up and making life complicated…

So this moment was special to me… And I want to take this moment to tell him in words… In writing… That I forgive him and that I’m so sorry for everything that happened a year ago… I’m sorry and I want to move forward now with grace….

A mutual grace between the two of us that can strength and mature this relationship….

And you know what… It’s something that I feel good about… Because it’s fresh and new…