Tag Archives: brave writer

butt dust

In one form or facet, for as long as I can remember, I’ve had an artistic bent. It’s my “shape”, you know? And it was always encouraged and strangely embodied in my rather “rough and ready” mother.

Part of that shape found it’s expression through music. While I’ve never been outrageously good, I’ve always joked that what I lack in true talent, I’ll make up for with enthusiasm!  However  from grade school to the present, music has been a part of my life and I’ve been a part of many choirs and ensembles.

Many experiences were less than stellar but all of them taught me something. Some were quite memorable, such as when we were members of a large Episcopal congregation.

It was here that I learned one of the most important lessons of my life…..

butt dust


Ornate yet understated, the church’s surrounding artistic community lent itself in such a way that anyone could fold into the arts somehow. Several choirs ensured there was no shortage of grand and glorious music.

“High-church” choral, evensong and chants, call and response; Psalms echoed off high wooden rafters and spilled across the stone-tiled aisles. Gorgeous, candle-lit and in-censual affairs.  Time spent here shaped my appreciation of  both music and worship. Lessons learned through practice and preparation still shapes how I approach worship today.

Let me tell you more…


Last week I danced on the fringes of this thought:

“Rescue and redemption are costly.”

If that’s true then, what am I willing to spend for wholeness? It’s a question lurking at the edges of my mind for a while. You know how you get to that place where you’ve travelled a path so familiar you’re not really paying attention? Then a day comes, perhaps when you have to take a slightly different route and suddenly you’re noticing things — little things that were always there but now you really see them.

It’s true with places and with people.

Simple circumstances or an earth shaking crisis cause shifts in our landscape and if we are halfway awake, we might begin to see and notice things differently. We might finally see what’s important.

Sometimes we find a deeper grace. 



I see it in often in my relationship with God and especially through the Scriptures.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve opened to a passage so familiar when suddenly, a new understanding pools and collects on the page before me.  Combined with my angle and attitude of approach, the Spirit speaks in just the way my wandering and wondering heart needs to hear.

It happened not long ago at a women’s conference as speaker, Kim Hardy taught from a passage I’ve travelled many times in my years walking with Jesus. In fact, it’s the first passage I ever shared with a group of women nearly twelve years ago.

Twelve years.
Now, that’s no coincidence.

Her somewhat familiar story is found in three of the four Gospels but Mark says it best:

A woman with a “condition”.
Twelve years and she’s spent in every way you can imagine.
So desperate for healing that when she hears reports about Jesus, she knows exactly what she must do.
She has to get to Jesus. He is her only hope.

There was a “great throng” of people crowding around Jesus as he travelled that day;  a shoulder to shoulder crush of people struggling forward all trying to have a moment with the Master.

{side note: I’ve never been in a throng but it makes me anxious unto puking just to think about it!}

It was a throng  so thick you just couldn’t walk through it. This woman had to crawl.. on the ground, through the dirt. Hands, knees, belly. Then,  with a final desperate push, her hand manages to graze the hem of Jesus’s garment.

And I’m just struck wildly by this picture. I mean, can you imagine what she was thinking? Her frame of mind …  …her freakin’ passion??!?!

She was healed….immediately.

Jesus stops in his tracks and in a throng-stopping voice asks, “Who touched Me?” And you know… those disciples testify truthfully when they basically say, “Hello?! Do you not see this throng of people pushing and grabbing at you? Master, you are getting touched left and right!” (Lorretta’s  imperfect paraphrase)

Now…here’s where I’m blown away anew. This woman is already healed. She got what she believed she came for.  And we all know Jesus knew exactly who touched Him and why because that woman didn’t just touch Jesus. No,

He touched her first.

Before she ever left the house the story of Jesus had reached her ears and her heart and touched her soul so deeply that she unquestioningly knew what she wanted to do. Before she ever got on the ground to crawl through the dirt to where He was, she was already touched by Him.  He released his power, she didn’t “steal” or take it.

So when she steps up to show herself, she then does the very thing that completes her healing. She confesses— she tells Jesus–and everyone else  by the way, the whole story.

The. WHOLE. story.

Jesus responds with these words: “Daughter, your faith has made you well, go in peace and be healed of your disease.” (Mark 5:34)

She came for healing and Jesus showed her holy making her… whole and His.


This woman’s story of rescue and redemption just teaches me SO much on every level:

  • She was spent and desperate and willing to submit her whole self to Jesus.  …Am I?
  • She was brave. She spent her last bit as she stepped beyond her fears and confessed  the WHOLE story. She didn’t care who else heard or about possible retribution (c’mon, a hemorrhaging discharge?… use your imagination) ….Can I?
  • She testified then and her life is testifying still. ….Will I?

And just what is her testimony for me today? Faithfulness? Courage? Healing? Yes. All that and much more.

Because the story really isn’t about her is it?      It’s about Jesus.
And it’s not only about His power to heal a disease.     He can and sometimes does.
See, this woman wasn’t only healed; she was changed.    She was saved.

Oh, and what was her name?

We don’t know… maybe because it doesn’t matter, even to her.  So healed was she that from there on after, it didn’t matter if she had a name…

because she now has a Savior.
That’s where her story continues to point us to: Jesus.

God Reveals

Honestly, it kinda scares the waddin’ out of me. 
Because I don’t know exactly what it might look like to daily live this kind of spent and be the kind of desperate that no matter what else is going on, I just HAVE to get to Jesus because He is my only hope.

But I’m willing to try.  To try and tell only about Him with my WHOLE story because I’ve been so changed by his healing rescue and redemption that my story points other always to Him and nothing else matters.   Not even my name

I wanna stay spent because rescue and redemption are costly. Oh Lord help me be brave like her.

What about you dear friend?  What are you willing to spend for wholeness?


spent,Lorretta signature

how social media saved my marriage and restored my soul

Social Media Saved

I know this is going to sound slightly over the top, but I’m beginning to realize that by the grace of God, social media has helped save my marriage. And maybe…just maybe, it’s helped to save me too.

We hear often how the internet and social media have contributed to the breakdown and destruction of marriages. No doubt about it. This could have been true for me except for the most marvelous phrase in all of Scripture:

“But God”.


I’ve been a Christian since I was about  13 years old. Obviously, I didn’t understand all that meant then…or now and I’m still learning.  However, the last several years have changed and cemented me in ways only God could have designed.  I now understand a great deal more about my own heart and I understand more about God’s heart as well. He is good.

Well over 20 years and 3 kids ago… shoot, I was really just a kid myself– a writer, a poet and 2nd-rate performance artist, full of dreams and creative aspirations. Sadly, I was also full of the fear and dysfunctional behaviors that go along with chronic abandonment and abuse.

I confess that when I met my dear husband he fulfilled my number one (maybe only) qualification for “marriage material”:

he was nice and he didn’t hurt me.

It didn’t matter much that both of us had no clue what we were doing.
It didn’t matter that we had no real family guidance or grounding.
It didn’t matter that we had no plan,

Five months after we met, we were married and on our way…to who knows where. All we knew was to do marriage better than we’d seen our parents do it–how hard could that be?

It also didn’t matter at the time that I’d traded in my personal dreams and goals, exchanging them for the supposed security of that coveted “M.R.S.” degree. Heck, these things would sort themselves out later. Right?


You know, it’s hard to succeed when you wake up every day and go to bed every night slightly terrified you’re doing it all wrong and you can’t ask anyone for help. You’re certain everyone else has it all together and you have to pretend you do too. That was how I felt.

Somewhere, along the way, I’d lost my identity. A gaping, lonely hole was working it’s way into my soul and I didn’t know how to fill it.  Believe me, I tried. Basically, I lived most of my days in fear that sooner or later, someone was going to call my bluff and I knew I didn’t have any real or lasting answers.

It took the jolt of a sudden and unplanned move to care for my dying mother to reveal that I –in a very real way– was dying too. Dying on the vine. My final shreds of sanity were wearing thin. The very slender hold I had on my identity as Christian, wife, mother…and daughter– was slipping fast. I recall how one day I stood outside as a friend was leaving and all I could say was, “This is not who I really am.”   Trouble was; I no longer knew who that person could be.

I certainly didn’t know where to look.  I just wanted to push “pause”, catch my breath, rearrange the scene a little so I could catch up, sort it out and start again. Not happening.

Little by little, I was beginning to unravel.
But God.

I understand now how necessary this unravelling was. God was up to something bigger than I could see and was also about to step into my mess in ways I could never have known to ask for.

Truthfully,  it got much worse before it got any better.  I just couldn’t find my way through the maze of what God was revealing as my next step in doing life with Him. He was speaking and I know I heard something. In my grief and confusion, the enemy wasted no time in luring me off track with empty words and promises spoken in the midst of my brokenness… words I trusted were shared from God –but were not. I had hit bottom.

I was a wreck.
My marriage was a wreck.
My family was disintegrating.

But God.

You know, God  is in the redemption business and little by little He was buying back every piece of me I had given away over the years.  It got deep. It was intimate. It was a *particular* redemption.  God himself became… and then gave me back… the key to everything…. to me, who I am in Him.. to my heart and my soul.

All I had to do was surrender.


The healing came ever so slowly as I began to write again.

I took a chance on a blog and  began to reach out and discover whole groups of women–and a few men who are serious about the nitty-gritty living of this sometimes, ugly, underbelly life. People who care about God and others and themselves and about BEING the Body of Christ. My faith and hope in the right things was restored in the right ways.

I discovered a community passionate about things worth fighting for and the Reason behind the fight. In arranged marriages yet committed to their spouses and faithful to the cause of Christ. Some struggling transparently with infertility, cancer, ALS,  eating disorders, depression or the daily grind of the daily do of family life.

The internet became an altar and these writings became my sacrifice to Him because somewhere out there, somehow, some way some one needs to know there’s hope…needs to know that no matter how far they think they’ve gone,

Home is calling and our caring Father is waiting and is really is
only one step away.


So yeah, call it the hyperbole of the century but fact is,  social media saved my marriage and restored my soul…sorta. Saved my sanity, is more like it I guess. All I know is God didn’t let me go, he brought me through to here.

If you’re reading this today and see even a small piece of yourself in my story, I’m inviting you to come on home. He’s got your key too and I’d love to help you open that door.

Let’s be brave, shall we?

Restored, Lorretta signature