Friday, June 28, 2013

Farewell to a friend

Today I write with a heavy heart. Our family mourns the loss of a wonderful man, a friend to many, a mentor to all, a father, a husband, a child of God.

To many, Kevin Jackson was the man behind the scenes. But he was SO much more than that.

Kevin & his beautiful wife, Jana, had a vision. A dream. To create a mentor-ship program in the fine arts. God came through and thus Cue52 was born.

After having private vocal lessons, it was recommended that Songbird join the students of Cue. In the past 2 years, Songbird has blossomed into a wonderful talent on stage. She always had the singing ability, now she has the stage presence to go along with it.

Kevin & Jana have been more than just program directors. Their influences have entered into multiple areas of our lives. Music, church, family, marriage.

A few weeks ago, Kevin was mowing the lawn. He came inside because he was having a headache. He collapsed & rushed to the ER. From there, he was Life Flighted to another hospital..Diagnosis: brain aneurysm.

Unfortunately, today the decision was made to remove the respirator.

I cannot begin to imagine what a tough decision that must of been for all involved.

My heart is broken for this family. The loss of a father. The loss of a husband.

While I know that Kevin has received the ultimate healing, those of us left behind will miss him greatly.

To those who mourn this loss, I leave these words.

Many blessings,

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

But I AM worthy.... and so are you

It's been a pretty rough week in my life. Work issues, friends health issues. But what has broken my heart the most is a small conversation with the Mayor.

No, don't worry -- we're fine. In fact, we had a wonderful confirmation that we are on the right track in our marriage. That's a whole other entry.

What has broken my heart this week is learning that someone from our church has told an acquaintance that they would not be welcomed in our church because of their past.


Why am I so bothered by this? Because if attending church was contingent on our past, NONE of us would be able to attend. I know my past alone would make me ineligible.

Romans 3:23-24
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

What I love about these verses is the word ALL. That word is so inclusive. It's numeric value is infinite. Think about it:

couple -- 2
few -- 3 or more
several -- 5 or more

Yet all - there really is no numeric value. It means infinity.

That means every single person who has been on this planet - past, present or future -- is unworthy yet through Christ's death & resurrection have been redeemed. What gives us the right to tell someone they are/are not allowed to attend a church.

Yesterday's sermon was perfect. It's called "My Bad Church Experience: Part III". The entire sermon was how church should be all inclusive. I couldn't help but chuckle, praying that the person who told our acquaintance they couldn't attend was convicted of their actions/words.

I try to be inclusive. I'm not always good at it. I try to remember the hurt & pain I felt when I am not included.

Dear friends, be inclusive. Welcome everyone.

Many blessings,

Friday, June 14, 2013

Being loved

I've got to say, one of the hardest things I've done in my life has been to allow myself to be loved. Sounds simple doesn't it? But if you grow up thinking you aren't loved or wanted, being loved by someone can be pretty scary.

I have known the Mayor since we were 15 years old. We both turned 41 this year. That is 26 years!! November marks 16 years of marriage for us. That's becoming unheard of in our society.

I have always loved the Mayor, but I do believe there are different kinds of love. According to C.S. Lewis, there are 4 types of love:

Storge -- affection
Phileo -- friendship
Eros -- romance
Agape -- unconditional

At some point in time, I have experienced all of these loves with the Mayor, however I know I held him back from Agape love (and sometimes Eros). There are days, even now, that I struggle to let him love me. Little naggings in the back of my mind saying that I'm just not worth loving. However, the Mayor has been a wonderful example of God's Agape love.

Sure, there are days I wonder why he married me. I fear that he will one day wake up and hit the road because he realizes I am too much of a mess to stay with. Yet in those moments, there's a tugging on my heart, reminding me that he truly does love me.

The worst is when I try to make him not love me. You know that "I'm-gonna-show-him" side of my personality. And each time, he stays patient, continuously loving me, reeling me back in.

Feeling disconnect isn't the same as falling out of love. The love is still there, just hidden. Like a rare jewel. It needs to be sought out, cultivated. You don't just say "I do" and live happily ever after. Nope, hard work is ahead of you. That's stuff most people won't tell you about.

Each day that I allow myself to be loved by the Mayor, my heart heals just a little bit more. There will be scar tissue - just like any wound. But over time, the scar tissue becomes tough - a visual reminder of the battle.

Some days, loving me is a battle. Breaking down those walls tat I love to put up. We all do. Yet the Mayor continues to scale the walls of my heart, trying to free my heart.

It's not always easy. It certainly isn't always pretty. Yet it is always worth it.

My goal is to continue to allow myself to be loved. To allow my heart to get wrapped up in those wonderful feelings of love & acceptance.

Even when humans fail me - and they will - I always have the unconditional love of my Heavenly Father. The one who created me. The one who knew the plans of my life before I was even created. The one who sent His Son to die for my sins. Yet most days I even struggle with His love. I am so unworthy.

Overall, being loved means you have to love yourself. You need to forgive yourself for the mistakes of your past; grace. Giving yourself grace.

Many blessings,