Category Archives: yield

naked and not ashamed

naked and not ashamed

 

I’m keenly aware that many reading this had no idea I was out of town last weekend attending  my first-ever writers conference with a little over 450 other “Alluminati”….a mountain-top experience if I’ve ever had one!

I’ve waited almost a whole week to settle my head and heart,  otherwise I’d be running the serious risk of emoting all over you people (you can thank me later!) As it is, this post may get a little “rambliscious” so I’ll try my best to keep things under control.

If you know me (and most of you do) then you must trust when I say, God used this conference to change my life.

Yes, again.

You’ve probably noticed this “changed my life” thing has been going on for awhile. I’m OK with that because it’s not only for my benefit…I’m convinced it’s actually for your sake too. I hope you can see that.

You know, right before I left for the conference, God compelled and convicted me that it was time to get honest, real and raw here with you. As in–

emotionally and spiritually naked,
transparent and vulnerable.

It was hard. I knew I was running the risk of all sorts of things and who likes to remove their “fig leaf” in public for goodness sake?!

God reminded me that He is my covering. I can trust Him and I do.  So, I didHERE.  Naturally, He was right.

In fact, I’m more convinced now than ever before that there are a whole bunch of us out here who need to feel safe in His arms and find healing in these deep places.

I want to create as much space for that here as possible.

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Confirmation came on the morning I was getting ready to leave as I read this during my quiet time:

God speaks to writers

See that right there in John 17: 21? A word for writers–for me and for you.  A word to those of us called to give witness to the word in whatever way God reveals.  We are ministers  of the Word.

That did it.

While I had no idea how to really prepare for this, I knew it was time. So I packed up my concerns, fears and a great deal of personal insecurity and headed off in the direction God was leading. True to His promise, He met me through this experience right where I needed it most.

About 450-plus writers attended Allume and if you asked each about their experience, naturally, you’d get 450-plus versions. I’m respectfully aware that what I’m about to share might seem foreign to another who also happened to be there. Which is fine because there was PLENTY of space for all our experiences at Allume.

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Here’s all I know:
I went expecting to hear from God.
I went hungry and came away filled to the brim, pressed down, shaken together and 

I’m still running over.

Serious amounts of planning and preparation go into something as big as this however, I’m convinced that much of what happened at Allume overall really could not have been planned.

The stage was set, space was made, the Spirit was invited and together we set into motion nothing less than a beautifully choreographed liturgical dance...an almost seamless act of worship from start to finish.    People….

God. showed. up.

Humility is the touchstone

*** From the opening strains of a sacred blessing and re-commissioning moment where we discovered it takes not one, but the combined “light of 450 stars” to even begin pushing back the darkness around them.

*** To the chorus of voices rising to the heavens in holy hallelujahs because in all our varied “even so’s” it’s still so very well with our souls.

*** Through the dip and sway of encouragements, shared laughter, warmth and tears; communion in our community–embracing diversity and finding unity;  in quiet corners and through microphones… stories meshed with confessions, fears gave way to hope, as failures, struggles and bloody messes mingled with precious prayers…so much prayer.

There is just something about the need we all have
to know and to be known.
To see and be seen.
To hear and be heard.
It was all there….if you wanted it.

I wanted it…needed it…bad.

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It came.

I had  a profound “coming of age moment” which has done it’s deep Gospel work and left me beautifully stricken once again. God revealed  a bit of darkness in my own heart:

Y’all…I’m a recovering SELF-aholic.

I didn’t see it right away and it took meeting some women I really and truly admire for it to all come to the surface. It was during the conversation with one Sister in particular that I made the comment about feeling like a pest…a “comment bomber”.

SO gracious, so sweet, so real. Immediately she wanted to know who in this community ever made me feel that way. Truth is:

no one.

Whew.

Later when I looked at the pictures we made together I was sick.  My expression is NOTHING close to the admiration and love I feel for them but instead it looks as if I believed I didn’t deserve to meet them.  And it’s a lie from the pit of hell.

I was downright p-o’d at myself and shared this experience with my BFF on the drive home. She stunned me with her response.

She said, “What if it’s not really about what you believe about yourself but instead it’s a judgment you are making against the intentions of others?” Huh? Ouch?!?

I hate love her for that.  (sigh) It’s what BFF’s do.

I see now… it’s as if I’ve been able to offer grace to everyone else while at the same time behaving as if I’m unworthy.  It’s the backward assumption and judgement against the intentions of others when it comes to me.  It means I’m still thinking too much about my SELF.

Yuck? Yuck.
Confusing? Yeah.
Sin? Oh yeah.
Repent?

Yes. I do.
I’m sorry.

Morality sprouts toward heaven.

Because friends…I don’t want to live there anymore and neither should you. What a stinkin’ waste of time. No more….there’s just not time for that. I want a do-over!

So, let’s just get and stay real ok? After all, fig leaves were never part of God’s plan…He actually prefers us naked.….He’ll be our covering. He promised and you can count on it. Let’s just do it.

Naked and unashamed…Lorretta signature

 

 

haters gonna hate but Love conquers all

In the kitchen, phone pressed between ear and shoulder, I’m listening to a friend ramble on about an interaction she’d had on campus that day. I confess; I wasn’t listening with my whole head.

A text from one of my favorite people in the whole wide world buzzed through earlier stating she’d “pick us up at 4:30”.

Us?   Whoa..what?

Smack my forehead..I’d forgotten we were taking our little-sister-friends shopping.

My Lawd.

Cue the “frantic,  get ready, cook dinner moment”. Forget about writing and the several deadlines looming over my head with their ominous presence pummeling my psyche.

Uh, strung out… much ?

I hear the cheery chirp of Beth Moore’s voice admonishing how I just “can’t do 1000 things to the glory of God.” Nailed.Haters gonna hate

Let me tell you more…

truth or dare

truth or dare

It’s been awhile since I set foot on Five Minute Friday ground. It’s a wonderful exercise where Lisa-Jo Baker gives the word of the week and we write from our guts for 5-minutes flat. Here’s my “guts” on the word “TRUTH”

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I’ve played this game before..maybe we all have to some extent.

But there’s always one person you know you NEVER want to play with because you know…they don’t play fair. They’re the one who always wants to go last. They’re the one who insists that you bare your ahem,  “soul “all over the place and then they leave the room when it’s their turn.

 So, I’m battle scarred and war weary. Yeah, that’s me. Once bitten and twice shy because I can’t hide it anymore. I can’t be what I’m not even when others don’t understand the heat and intensity going on inside of me. 

 

That sounds weird. But there it is…my TRUTH. 

 

I feel every. stinkin. thing. And I can’t NOT feel because now God has opened this Pandora’s box inside of me and it lets the emotions and love and feelings of others mingle with mine..and I get that feeling of truly what Jesus must have felt like looking out over Jerusalem and mourning how He would just love to gather them unto Himself. I get that. I actually care…a lot…maybe too much…and it hurts.

 

My heart is swelled up with feelings and a vat of tears that I’m scared-to-freakin death over. I’m terrified. Because

 

My sister is dying and I don’t know if I’ll get to say goodbye before it’s too late. My son is struggling at college and it’s hard for this homeschool mama to watch her little bird try to fly and hit the ground. I am changing. God has called me into this big, wide open for real writing place where, there’s no place left to hide place and I fear…I’m not ready

 

The feelings…I’m afraid of them. I’m afraid of the pain I will feel once my sister dies. Twice now, I’ve awakened in the night..heart thumping in my chest and sweating….I’m so afraid to face this…again. How will I do it?

 

So here is my five minutes of unpolished unedited, unholy TRUTH. I fear hitting publish because…I’ve never run into the middle of a room this naked before. I just hope there’s someone out here getting naked too. Or at least…someone who loves me enough to run and get me a bathrobe.

5minutefriday