Category Archives: mind & strength

Real-ology 101

It’s that time of the year…

~   when temperatures soar and the days lengthen, ripen, sweeten and swell with the heaviness of the season’s fruit. Slip-n-slides, sprinklers and swimming pools fill with flinging and flailing, splashing and laughter.

It’s summertime and for many of us, the month of June also ushers in the 3rd largest celebration on the church calendar: Vacation Bible School!

I love me some VBS!

I don’t know if it was a Backyard Bible Club or a Vacation Bible School–but I clearly recall at least one childhood summer making yarn and stick “God’s eyes” and slurping drippy popsicles while watching the flannel-graph come to life before my very eyes! Whether or not I understood it was about Jesus…well, that’s a different story.

But you know as well as I do;
precious seeds were being sown.

Now, as a Christ-following adult, I look forward to this week as much as possible. I mean, let’s face it; it’s hard work to have this much energetic fun day after day for one week solid!Reason for the Hope Let me tell you more…

the holiest hush

we-are-tenantsI’ve been quieted…hushed even as I’ve taken in the weight of world events both public and private these past few weeks. Stunned speechless but not at all silenced in my soul. It’s been loud in there

I’m a Christian and though my hope is anchored, I need to be honest: I struggle.

Here, in my heart I’m all mixed up with the extremes of mourning with those who mourn and rejoicing with those who rejoice. It’s graduation season…it’s tornado season and many seasons in between. The words of Ecclesiastes 3 ring loud and clear:

“to everything there is a season
and a time for every matter under heaven.”

For birthing and dying, planting and plucking,
For killing and healing, breaking down and building up,
For loving and hating, weeping and laughing
For mourning and dancing, scattering and gathering
For embracing and pushing away, searching and giving up
For keeping and throwing away
For tearing and mending…

For love, hate, war and peace…and importantly,
a time to keep silence and a time to speak.

I’ve seen them all in the past few weeks…
and maybe so have you. Let me tell you more…



For a brief few months I lived in Louisiana with my biological Father and his family. During this time, I was introduced to some of the best food I’ve ever eaten made by some of the best cooks I’ve ever met. I mean it was


There, my sweet Aunt Della taught me a few things and although I am by no means an “accomplished” Cajun cook, I’m proud to say I can turn out a decent jambalaya and gumbo and I can surely make a roux!

Aunt Della taught me about the Cajun “holy trinity”: bell pepper, onion and celery…the three main ingredients found in nearly EVERY dish on the Cajun’s menu. Contrary to popular belief, while some recipes are known to have some “kick”, good Cajun food is not always spicy….it’s simply well-seasoned, balanced and flavorful.

Seasoning is the key issue.

I’ve spent time thinking about seasoning these last few weeks as I’ve wrestled with and have begun to unravel answers to one of life’s pivotal questions:

Who am I?

Probably much like you, it’s a question I’ve been trying to answer for most of my life. I have a whole host of words I could use in response:

  • Woman
  • Wife
  • Mother
  • Friend…

 the “no-brainers”; easy to recognize, easy to proclaim and easy to “own”. But it goes deeper still. I am also:

  • Teacher
  • Missionary
  • Writer
  • Artist
  • Editor
  • Musician
  • Thinker…

Sometimes weightier, these are my highlights– by no means comprehensive in describing the person I’m learning to be or these gifts I’m discovering how to lean into.

So…uh…excuse me Lorretta, what’s the point?

(Hang with me….I promise there’s something more going on than some sort of psycho-self-reveal)

See, I’ve pondered this for a while especially since I’ve stepped out into the wide open range of the blogosphere and have been traveling it’s inroads and outer circles now for over a year.

There’s a lot of talk in these places from people I hang out with about mission, purpose, size, shape and reach. We talk about our readership and influence and seeking to discover our “niche” and audience.

So, I feel it’s important to be clear about my purpose for writing here. I think at this point, I owe it to my readers and to myself to state what it is I’m doing and why I will keep on doing it…and for Whom.

See, there’s a HUGE overlay for all those words and titles I used to describe myself.

I am a Christ follower.

 I don’t think this comes as a surprise to anyone who knows me but it’s worth stating again because you need to know this is much more than a simple, surface adjective or modifier placed upon my life and work.

It’s important because it might be easy to assume I could write about whatever’s on my heart and mind–express my opinion and perhaps throw in a little “Jesus seaaoning” to balance out the “flavor” while attempting to make what I have to say a little more palatable…sound a little more “spiritual”.


It’s something I need to be careful and acutely aware of at all times.
Cuz we don’t need more “Lorretta” in this world; we need Jesus.

{Oh God, I pray, help me to never abuse these great gifts in this way.}

I am aware that if each one of those words and titles, gifts, talents and purposes were to be stripped away, at my core and on my surface…

all I am… only…ever… is HIS.

 I will and must always write from this place and this awareness God has birthed in me. It’s the overflow and the natural byproduct of my deep conviction and all-encompassing world view.

I will write about God and what He has done in my life and what I see Him doing all around me in the lives of others because

It’s where my identity begins and ends.
It’s where I live because it’s who I am.
It’s how I see the world He loves.

And the words written here are, I pray, from the Me you’d discover anywhere we’d meet.

These words from Colossians 4:5-6 challenge and inspire me:

“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

This is one place and space I must make the most of
EVERY opportunity God affords me.

I’ll hold NOTHING back from Him if it means He can get the glory and another can learn more about this great God I serve. If my pain, my mistakes, my joys, embarrassments and triumphs can be used to guide another along the path to knowing Jesus better as I go, then

my greatest joy and service is that His MESSAGE would be found in and through my MESS.

It’s time.

  • So yes, I will continue to share stories and insights.
  • I will go as God leads and lead as God guides.
  • I will seek to share the saving Gospel and shine the Light of Jesus into the darkest corners of this part of the universe.

My prayer for you is that as you join me, with the Spirit’s help, we will together taste and see that the Lord is GOOD and my words here will be flavor-FULL of Jesus, balanced and well-seasoned with grace and mercy.


It’s my calling and mission.
It’s who I KNOW I am.
Do you KNOW?
I really want you to…so let’s find out together.Lorretta signature