full circle

Last Thursday was a full circle day for me. It was exactly one year from the day of my accident. For those of you who do not know, last October, I was on vacation in Florida and went out for a run when I got hit by a car. My life changed forever…in an instant. On October 31, 2014, I underwent reconstructive surgery on my pelvis and then began a long, long road to recovery.
I have had plans for this profound day for a long time. My intention was to go to the intersection where I was hit by the car, and run right on through it. And last Thursday morning, in Englewood, Florida, that’s exactly what I did. My final step of victory came in conquering what tried to conquer me.
This is me running through the intersection where I was hit. We must conquer the things that attempt to conquer us.
I am an Overcomer!
It has been an incredible year, full of ups and downs, challenges and the most physical pain I have ever endured in my lifetime. But I stand here today declaring my miracle. God is faithful and so very able. By His grace I have overcome! I will run the race set before me with endurance!
I had other plans for my trip to Florida, too. Tuesday afternoon I had the great honor of giving my half marathon medal to the best surgeon in the world, Dr Bret Bolhofner. I like to say he is the one who put Humpty Dumpty back together again. He was so blown away by my gift. He kept saying to me, “You did so good!” And I kept saying back, “No! YOU did so good!” It was a joyous reunion.


It looks like I’m goin’ in for a kiss…BECAUSE I AM! Not really, we were pre-hug, but he sure deserves one!
We also stopped at Bayfront Rehab where I took a thank you card and gift to the staff that became my angels and got me well enough to make the flight back to WI. They lit up when they saw me walking and smiling and heard me thank them for the beautiful way that they change lives every day.
This is Lisa, my favorite physical therapist. I am so grateful for the angels in the medical profession who help people like me, when they are feeling so helpless.
The storms that are meant to break you, can be the very things that make you. I have become someone I was not just one year ago and for that, I wouldn’t change a thing. God truly works all things together for good, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
I would like to say thank you again, to all who loved and encouraged me through this. You are all my angels. You have no idea how you words and cards and gifts filled and fueled me. A very special thank you to my husband, Scott, who did not miss a single beat taking care of me from the moment he got the phone call. I feel like the most blessed woman I know because I have him.
“God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea”
(Psalm 46:1-2)
He has surely been a help in my time of trouble. And it is my hope that sharing the ups and downs of this difficult year has filled you with hope and the belief that with God, all things are possible.
From my heart to yours…

love without judgment

lovewithoutjudgmentLove without judgment is the most powerful force on earth.

It breaks down walls. It melts hard hearts. It invites intimacy. It creates safety. It makes vulnerability possible. It doesn’t criticize. It never condemns. It doesn’t hold grudges. It doesn’t keep accounts. The person who receives this kind of love is roused to love more. It inspires loyalty. It fosters freedom and is brings with it the ultimate sense of security.

How do I know this?

Because this is how God Loves me. And that is how He loves YOU.

I have a simple message for you today. To love others without judgment, you need only love others the way Christ loves you.

But if you do not know the Love of God, you will not be able to love like Jesus loves.

There was a time when I was stuck right in the middle of that dilemma. I wanted to love like Jesus loves, but had not clue one how to.

For the better part of my life, I had what could be considered a “bitter root of judgement.”

That meant, I always kept score and I always kept stats. (You know the really obsessed fans don’t just keep score, now! They know every players’ stats. That was me.)

I did not know a love without judgment. So God, in His infinite wisdom, decided that a marriage with someone who was chemically dependent would be the perfect place to teach it to me. Now, I was married to someone who gave me A LOT OF CHANCES to tally up the score and keep a running record of his stats.

Not that I was any better! I just didn’t know that yet, because I was too busy judging him.

After about 10 years of marriage, and years of crying out to God because I did not feel loved, God did two wonderful things:

1. He gave me a revelation of His love for me.

2. He challenged me to love my husband the way God loved me.

He told me to give away the very thing I longed to receive. This challenged me greatly! I struggled many times with resenting the fact that I seemingly always had to take the high road. I seemingly always had to sacrifice… but God is so brilliant. By telling me to give this kind of love away, he set me up to receive a lifetime of blessing. (And that is what He promises to you, too!) He knew that if I gave away His Love, I would receive it back in DROVES!

By the way, you cannot give away what you do not have.

If you get nothing else from this, PLEASE…take this with you: Ask, seek and knock until you get a revelation of God’s pure Love for you. Once you do, you will never be the same again! And you won’t be able to help but to love others just like that.

Just to be clear… I want you to understand the definition of judging, so you know what NOT to do.

To Judge is to:
▪    to pronounce an opinion concerning right and wrong (How often am I voicing my opinion about what is right and wrong with others? Even if it’s just in my own head. I need to tell the judgement committee in there to sit down and shut up!)

▪    to summon to trial so that one’s case may be examined and judgment passed upon it (How many times do I call others into my courtroom to examine their case and pass judgement on it? Ouch)

▪    to pronounce judgment, to declare a verdict (How often do I announce to someone what my verdict is? Phrases like, YOU REALLY NEED TO… THIS IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU… IF YOU WOULD JUST DO IT THIS WAY…)

God has something serious to say about judgment that is rooted in criticism and pride.

ROMANS 10: 10-13 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written,

“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall give praise to God.” (He is reminding us who the real Judge is here… and it isn’t us!)

12 So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.

13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.

Did you ever stop to think that your criticism and judgmental attitude toward others is putting a stumbling block to them? The truth is that we are all in the same boat.. we are all deserving of judgment and all in need of forgiveness.

Mother Teresa said, If you judge people you have no time to love them. Imagine if God spent His time judging you.

Thank goodness He loves me… without judgment.

Galatians chapter 6 holds God’s promise to you and me for how to reap a harvest of this beautiful kind of love in our lives.

What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. THE MESSAGE.

This VERSE could easily read:
The person who plants love with criticism and judgment will harvest a crop of weeds. But the one who plants the seeds of Love without Judgment, letting God’s Spirit place His Love in her, harvests a crop of real life… and real LOVE!

So go and sow seeds of love…without Judgment today.

enabling isn’t helping

Are you frequently enabling someone and then resentful about it? Are you stuck in the pattern of carrying somebody’s responsibility for them…plus your own? No one is making you do these things, no matter how strongly you are being guilted or intimidated into doing it. The good news is that the choice is yours, and you can make it today.

It is time to take care of yourself by saying NO to these energy and resource sucking enabling patterns and empower others to take care of themselves. Your “help” is not strengthening their life skills, it is crippling them, therefore it cannot be real love. (Because Love always chooses what is BEST for the other person. Not what FEELS best for the other person.) Love your people by allowing them to struggle through and find their inner strength and wisdom. Love them into discovering that they are indeed able to live their own life, think their own thoughts and solve their own problems. Love your people better because chronic enabling doesn’t actually help people. It cripples them.