Tag Archives: accountability

miss understood

We’re friends,  right?

Obviously, there’s a necessary “liberty” we accept with online friendships  because, after all, there are limits to what we can do and experience fully together. Even so, in the last few years, I’ve seen we have much in common.

So, I  wanna share one of my biggest personal struggles. I know, it’s a crazy risk.

As a public writer, there’s a certain level of insanity and self-death  that must accompany this willingness to put it all “out there” for God’s glory.  Granting access through the windows of the soul  this way invites a certain level of inspection from the reading and watching world outside.

It’s downright scary.

So scary, I almost talk myself out of it. Or argue with God– as if doing or being less accomplishes His will anyway.

You know that  vicious inner dialogue urging caution one moment and wild abandon the next?  Tempting us to believe (or imagine) a seemingly safer path? Yah.  Except, “safety”, as it’s often understood, is mostly an illusion masking the ultimate danger:

a life not fully-lived.

If the enemy can get me to believe that self-preservation is the safest way to go, I risk missing out on God’s Great Adventure inviting me to spend my mortal life– not hoard who I am and what I could offer. 

These are risks worth taking.

Miss Understood

It’s not easy you know. Because that inner dialogue… never.  shuts. up.

There’s  that cartoon thing going on where little “angel” me on one shoulder is cheering me through the madness and little “devil” me on the other side whispers, “Sit this one out. Save face. Don’t rock the boat”.

UGH. I hate that guy.

Then, when I think I’ve made it home-free: ouch!  A thorn has hitched a ride on the cuff of my bluejeans, irritating me just enough to spark that inner riot.   GAH!!!

Did I say too much?
Too little?
Maybe I should’ve said nothing at all.
Oh WHY can’t I keep my blessed mouth shut!?

Suddenly, that people-pleasing habit rises to the surface as I  fall victim to the Number One lie of all time:

“Did God really say……?”

Usually, it ‘s right after I’ve taken that BIG step into new boldness and authenticity risking my perceived reputation. Then…I read or hear something from someone I truly admire and my heart sinks into the pit of my stomach.  Suddenly,

I’m twisted up over a tweet.
Sunk by a status update.
Bludgeoned by a blog.

Because, you know there’s a hidden agenda and it’s a message about me, right?

Agonizing over what-ifs,  I begin imaginary conversations ready to engage “damage control” because clearly…I’ve been… (dom dom, dommmmmmmmm) …. misunderstood.

me miss understood

And there it is; my biggest demon, the fear of being misunderstood.

This one stinkin’ fear has caused more trouble in my lifetime.
It’s watered down my witness.
It’s taken my testimony into dark places way too often.

I despise it.

In Luke 10: 1-16, Jesus warns there’s potential to be misunderstood in our walk and witness. James 3:1-2 counsels not many of us should become “teachers” (of His word, etc) because we’re judged with greater strictness… inspection from God, self and others.  So as I teach or proclaim the Gospel as my witness… I’m welcoming this inspection.

Annnnd, let’s face it,  shall we? Not everyone is going to “like”, “retweet” or “share” what might be said or taught.

Annnnnd WOE is me if I forget I’m subject to the same Word.
God forbid if I don’t allow the Spirit to work inside my own heart FIRST. That’s a freakin’ mess…trust me.

The remedy?  Grace.
ABUNDANT grace received and applied liberally all around.
Grace is the path of deliverance.

Sadly,  (pridefully) I’m sometimes more willing to extend grace than to receive it. But it’s getting better and I’m learning.  Leaning into the fullness of my calling and the fullness of this grace while fighting back the fear of misunderstanding or being misunderstood is just about the bravest way to live of all.

I’ve experienced it a few times recently and it’s such a tremendous gift when someone neutralizes the potential for misunderstanding by coming in private because they WANT to understand and to be understood.

Far more preferable and spiritually mature than lobbing word bombs through the various “public” sites as onlookers jeer “Fight! Fight!” from the sidelines.

Annnnnnd, I’ve been dead wrong too.

Sometimes, I didn’t see it coming. Then sometimes…I’d  “accidentally-on-purpose” start a “fire” and in my haste to stomp it out and cover myself,  I only scatter embers and ignite several more fires instead .   Yeah. Times when all I had to do was “own it” but didn’t. #truestory

Accountability is key.
Gossip is not.

Voicing our fears and frustrations to someone can help sort past the emotions and help decide if there’s something we’ve missed and where more grace may be required. Or they simply reassure us that it’s all good.

Someone wise enough to recognize  there are times when our Spirits are being “checked”  as a reminder of  what it’s all about and to not only to keep others off the “pedestal”, but to stay off it ourselves.  Amen?

Gradually, accountability and  a practice of self-inspection before God has helped me choose– sometimes painfully,  to see others with the eyes of grace.  I don’t have to live in constant fear of being misunderstood, although sometimes I will be.

That’s ok.


Because Scripture says right now, no matter how close I come to understanding myself or others, it’s always going to be a few shades off from crystal clear. We simply see and understand imperfectly now. 

I can live with that.
Honestly?  So much grace has been given to me that I ought to have  plenty to share with others….and also with the girl in the mirror. Sometimes I’m really rough on that chick.

What about you?  We’re friends, right?
What trips you up and causes you to fall into the arms of Grace?  I’d love to know.

Working on simply being understood by HimLorretta signature

you can’t get there from here


Not long ago, I  shared how social media has saved my marriage and restored my soul. Then, as now, I’ve trusted that each one God sends to read, would graciously understand and “get” what I was attempting to say- and especially what I was not.

Obviously, there is no way to make such a claim about something as broad and impersonal as the almighty “Interwebs” and the impulses driving us to tweet, share, poke and follow–without inviting some skepticism, or at least some curiosity. And I was right.

Everyone seemed to instinctively understand that there’s more to this story; and there is. There’s something WAY bigger and something much smaller as well.

The bigger, of course, is God. (but you already knew I was going to say that didn’t you?). The smaller is something  I’ve learned is important in so many, many ways and yet so often neglected and overlooked. It’s so vital– the heart and soul, life and death type of  vital– and yet

it’s something we often  sadly and pridefully choose to live without.


Truthfully, the companionship of the communities I’ve discovered out here have done wonders to help restore my sense of worth, place and purpose. Blog communities such as this one have served to share tremendous wisdom and witness in the midst of great heartache. I think you’ll agree– it’s wonderfully healing to know you’re not alone in the middle of your crazy! Amen?!

I’ve been able to share sorrows and  joys. I’ve been released to my true identity and passions. I’ve gained a better understanding of how to make this journey called “Life” as I’ve listened and have been able to speak into the journeys of those around me. I’ve developed a deep awareness and self-respect coupled with a respect for others.

It’s a beautiful thing. A costly and precious thing purchased for me by Christ. Then, folks like you have added grace upon grace by allowing me this privilege to visit and share with you out here.

However, I want you to know all these things were born from a different place even while they’re often lived out and express themselves here.


I’m probably one of the last people on the planet who

A)   just got a “smart phone” and
B)   still doesn’t own a GPS

A while back, I had to borrow one for a trip and had plugged in the address for a restaurant in an unfamiliar town. I drove in and out of this tiny, cramped neighborhood along some narrow and winding roads only to come to a complete dead end– at a guard rail facing a major interstate. On the other side, I could see several strip mall-type areas where I was sure this place was located.  I could see it clearly in the distance but you know what?

I couldn’t get “there” from “here”

Nope. I had to turn around and go back the way I came– much wiser this time–  and then take a different path to get to my destination. This is roughly the scenario I was awakened to not long ago in my life and relationships in general, specifically in my marriage. It was, umm.. complicated.

This different path has included some familiarities and samenesses even as many things have been redefined. There hasn’t been a total upheaval or overhaul but there’s been some tremendous redirection and reclamation.   Overall, I had to be willing to recognize a few things and then take some risks.


First, I had to recognize my weaknesses. I had to recognize my need. I had to recognize that I really couldn’t do it alone– at least not well or for long without messing things up.

Then–I had to risk vulnerability and nakedness of heart, mind and soul. I had to risk being gut-honest about my fears and failures and reveal the Me I’ve been hiding or running from all these years.

I had to be wholly truthful and truthfully holy and risk accountability. Face to face accountability.

That “small” and yet oh-so vital thing missing?


I’m fond of saying  I’m “too dangerous to be left unattended.” It’s my way of remembering I need to have someone in my life who “gets me” in the ways I need most. I believe this is true of everyone no matter how old or young we are.

  • It’s at least one person who will carry us to Jesus even when we’re not looking and yet refuses to play God in our lives. They’re not in charge of “fixing” us or our situation.
  • This is someone who’s brave enough to ask how we’re doing and then press in harder to the “next” question…the one who won’t take “fine” for an answer when it’s obviously a lie.
  • One who, without judgement and in total love,  sees that nervous twitch or fluttering eye for the fraction of a second it takes to call our bluff –even when we think we’re fooling everyone and then courageously tells us what we need to hear whether we want to hear it or not.

Yeah, THAT person; accountability. I need that.


I’ve also learned– the hard way– that it’s just not wise to mix up the sexes in these things. Yeah, I know it works for so-n-so and maybe you can document a variety of situations to dispute this. But it’s not wise. It’s real easy for things to get “muddy” if not downright dirty and complicated. Jus’ sayin’.

Some folks will claim it’s necessary to have someone “older and wiser” in this position.  I say–ask and pray and then trust whom God provides. When I prayed for someone, God sent me a sweet Saint, 25 years older than me, who’d traveled many of the same paths. We’re both affirmed and amazed at what God has provided for us and truly love one another like mother and daughter.

Since then, I’ve discovered several like-minded Sisters to “bare and share” with…each at a different place, age and stage in their journey and yet I find so much joy in the mutual encouragement  we can share.  Truthfully, I’m a changed woman and I owe it all to God’s gracious gift of accountability in my life.

So maybe you’re like me–you know where you need to go and God’s been revealing some new directions in your life–but you know you just can’t “get there from here”. Not alone.


*  Pray about that person God would send you to “do REAL life” with.
*  Pray about being that person in the life of another.
It’s definitely worth the risk—and then maybe, like me, you can discover how to live free– like you have nothing left to lose and now everything is gain.


walking the line

Editors Note: This article was originally published in our local paper, the Waynesboro True Citizen on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 I wrote it to spotlight our local High school football program and how influential faith in God has been to the program led by a few humble and godly men. My husband (sports photographer) encouraged me to repost it here because it’s such a great tribute to the big things God is doing in little places like Waynesboro all over the world.


The sun is hanging low in the western sky casting long shadows across the Bear Den where the Burke County Bears are finishing their warmup on this cool Friday night in October.

A steady current of anticipation and excitement swirls around the field as the coaching staff watches and directs from the sidelines.  It’s the middle of football season in Burke County and expectations are riding high after last season’s championship season.

A shrill whistle pierces the air as the team files off the field and into the gym, taking their place on the bleachers for the pre-game devotion. The room goes quiet and all eyes are on Head Coach Eric Parker. Let me tell you more…