• The Caged Heart
    Resurrection of the Heart Resurrection of the Heart

    Resurrection of the Heart

Resurrection of the Heart

A decade ago, I picked up John Eldredge’s book Waking the Dead. Finding myself in need of a defibrillator these days, I have picked it up once again. Amazing what happens in a year or two, much less 10. The central message of the book is you can try to do life without your heart, but the severity of such disengagement is costly. Deadly, to be exact.

There are so many things that come against the heart. I probably don’t need to spell out what those are because at the end of the day, a good summation is (insert drum roll…) heartbreak. Ten years ago, he met me on a fall day in my little casa in Asheville, NC. I was an inconsolable mess, sitting on my back deck.

In the aftermath of heartbreak, I was wanting to shut down, go fetal position, and hide in a hole. That day the tears leaked like rain running down a window pane. At some point, time froze indefinitely and I had a vision. I was teetering on the edge of a canyon; one slip and it was over. Someone grabbed me from behind and pulled me back so that I was only able to see the horizon. Laying on the ground, I was seeing my heart, shattered on countless pieces. It was my insides and outsides, all hemorrhaged and displaced. And Jesus, not saying a word and ever so gently, was picking up each piece and tucking them into Himself, his heart, mysteriously.

That quick vision sparked what I needed. Hope. His courage, mixed with my brokenness.  Leaning into the excruciation of heart break, I slowly began to trust the process. Him. I had zero control. No idea how this was going to go. […]

By |November 6th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments
  • Brian's Camera
    Bookends and Squiggles Bookends and Squiggles

    Bookends and Squiggles

Bookends and Squiggles

Lately I have been thinking about life in terms of bookends. Beginnings and endings, not so linear but more like a messy squiggly line with a determined starting and ending point. Like putting a pen down to paper. That very first stroke that wriggles around the paper culminated in the final stroke lifting from what was once a blank white sheet. I feel like that is my life. Panning out, I am somewhere in the middle of a hair pen turn, looking back and yet moving forward.

I suppose life hasn’t taken the route that I envisioned when I was a child. Being a fire fighter or professional baseball player has not panned out (pretty sure those were my childhood dreams?). Being married and having a house with a river running through the back yard with children catching crawdads and frolicking in open fields has not yet manifested (‘the’ American dream with some personal flare).

Life has been fraught with many things – joy, disappointment, laughter, heartache, friendship, pain, connection, loss, gain, rejection, adventure, suffering, and other dashes of salt and pepper. If we are real about it, there is hope and there is hope deferred. Life truly is a beautiful mess and I will say that for much of my life, it was the beauty of the moments that I was missing.

About nine years ago after breaking off an engagement to be married, I picked up a camera. Oddly, it was extremely healing. I had no idea how it would change my life. It was a film camera. I actually had to wait to see how my pictures turned out. The experience of retrieving photos finally processed, cracking the envelope and flipping one by one. Delayed gratification at its finest. Ahh, […]

By |July 24th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments
  • Be U t Ful
    Beautiful Tattoos Beautiful Tattoos

    Beautiful Tattoos

Beautiful Tattoos

I’ve never had the courage to get a tattoo, but it doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t sit a dear friend as she got hers. A little backstory about our friendship and her tat. A mutual friend connected me with Alisha Silver, a local wedding and pet photographer, when I was living in Asheville, NC. The connection was about photography – Alisha needed someone to be her sidekick during weddings.

Our friendship was clinched one evening during a wedding early on in which she mentioned not feeling well. My response was, “Well, don’t you go dying on me!” Pulling out a line from our mutual (unknown at the time) favorite, “Dumb and Dumber” we both cracked up laughing! It truly was a friendship birthed from laughter and joy from that point forward. Aside from learning the art of photography from apprenticing under her brilliant skill, I found a treasured friend in Alisha. It was some time later after this friendship blossomed that I invited her to a JustBe retreat. I asked her to share her story – her encounter with Jesus – that led her to tattooing her hand with the reminder that she is indeed, beautiful!

“I’ll never forget the first time I heard Becca describe the term “Be U t Ful”… that one simple term hit my heart on a deep level immediately. It felt like a big Ah-Hah moment! So many people, including myself, seek to be beautiful to others. In the way we look, in what we do, what we have, etc. We always fall short by comparing ourselves – always! This one simple term changed that for me. It changed the definition of what truly is the meaning […]

By |April 21st, 2015|Blog|0 Comments
  • Peace
    Water Walking Water Walking

    Water Walking

Water Walking

I was wondering…did Peter ever make an attempt to walk on water after that first successful stroll on the high seas, or was that a one time affair?

If I were Peter…

I would attempt that walk again (though I may look over my shoulder to be sure no one was watching).

If I were Peter…

I would recall that moment every time a body of water were in front of me, with or without the wind and waves.

If I were Peter…hmm.

Well, since I’m not Peter and I didn’t have that experience, I haven’t actually tried water walking. However, I do know my tendency to look back and continually try things in this day and time that were only meant for that day and time, back there in the past.

I was thinking about times and seasons, and why I expect things to be like they were when that’s not the season I am in anymore. My relationship with Him. My relationships with others. My relationship with me. None of it is the same as it once was, and it will not ever be that way again because it’s a new season and relationships are always changing. Always growing.

Jesus was always doing things once – for that time, in that instance, for that person, in that scenario. He’s not a predictable God. My tendency to want to replicate the past because something worked once, does not mean that I can, or should do it that way again.

Bummer. That’s so predictable. If only life were so…

My mind raced to the disciples who tried to cast a demon out of a little boy in Mark 9:23-29.  It didn’t work that one particular day like it did in the past. Maybe it […]

By |April 4th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments
  • Childlike
    Red Rover, Red Rover… Red Rover, Red Rover…

    Red Rover, Red Rover…

Red Rover, Red Rover…

When I was a little girl, I never wanted to wander far from home. The furthest I would go is down the road to play with the neighbor boy, or ride bikes on “the black road” – the rarely traversed street that paralleled our house a whole 25 yards from the front door. I refused to attend camp as the thought of being away from home overnight would nearly choke out my life’s breath.

One year, though, I finally mustered up the courage to go. Camp Carl. I can credit that courage to the coaxing presence of a friend. I thought, “Ok…if I can do this at all, it is with a friend.” So away we went.

The first evening I remember lining up on teams to play Red Rover…the infamous game now ban from all PE departments and youth nights.

Red Rover, Red Rover, let Becca come over…” It was finally my turn. Fear had the best of me long before my name was chanted.

I can do this,” I must have thought to myself. My eyes scanning the line up looking for the ‘weak’ link. I put confidence in my super speedy racing shoes and off I went; eyes up, heart racing, determination strong. Charging full steam ahead, not seeing the fate that lie ahead of me, I went flying over the linked arms, landing squarely on my back, sprawled out and gasping for air. I had just succeeded in knocking the wind out of my chest. With every gasp, my heart was screaming “Go home NOW!

So home I went. They called my parents and I was homeward bound within hours. Camp was everything I ever thought it could be… a bust. Failure. Disappointing. Overwhelming.

I was driving down […]

By |February 6th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments
  • Light
    Aftermath of Resurrection Aftermath of Resurrection

    Aftermath of Resurrection

Aftermath of Resurrection

The last time I blogged it was January. Seems like a millennia ago. Time is clipping along at break neck force. So much has already happened in 2014 to make it a ‘fork-in-the road’ sort of year.

I was reading back at my last post on anger and reflecting. I’m going to insult your intelligence and tell you something you already knew: anger is never really about the anger. It’s about what is underneath the manifesting emotion of anger. Probing for the root source is really the issue.

Like so many, I work with very angry youth on a daily basis. I have come to recognize that the root for many is fear – of being alone. A closer look tells the story that most of us are adversely reacting to a world that has told us in a sundry of ways that we are alone. Why is the reaction so strong?  Because we are created to be seen, to belong. The violent reaction to being unseen is protection, and that is precisely what a violent rage does. It pushes people away in order to protect one’s self from a world that has exploited vulnerability and qualified the lie that personal existence here on planet earth does not matter. That you are alone.

The primary fear of mankind being alone is found in the early pages of Genesis. Adam found himself alone…amidst a lot of new life. All that God had created was new, including Adam. Though the landscape was paradise, something was off. Adam saw no one else to reflect back to him what he looked like. He had no mirror image to take this world in with him.

The fear of being alone is powerful, especially when life experience backs it […]

  • Anger
    Anger Mis-Management Anger Mis-Management

    Anger Mis-Management

Anger Mis-Management

It may not be considered the happiest note to start 2014’s blogging ventures on, but it may save one from eminent death if understood more adequately.  Happy New Year, where undoubtedly we will all be confronted with the emotion of anger. I’ve been pondering anger and its power to kill one’s soul.  If not dealt with, anger can become like an inconspicuous and unassuming friend that quickly lodges in the recesses of the heart.

Admittedly, anger has often perplexed me.  Is it right to feel anger, express it, or is it best to just tuck it away?  I mean really…what is the deal with anger? Being a Christ-follower can throw this whole thing into a convoluted mess.  That’s why I’ve held my thoughts on the topic to conversation with a few friends over the past 6+ months, God, and the ongoing blog in my mind. To that end, I have had these thoughts.

First, as someone who loves Jesus because He first loved me, I have to squarely face the misnomer that there are two types of anger: righteous and unrighteous.  I’ve heard countless sermons on anger from this slant.  However, when I do a word search in Blue Letter Bible for the original language, it does not delineate anger as being either.  That’s what leads me to think, ‘Oh right…how could it if anger is an emotion?’  I’ve come to determine that we dignify the emotion of anger by tossing those words into the conversation.

The word for anger in the Greek is orgizō meaning, ‘to provoke or arouse to anger; to be provoked to anger, be angry, be wroth.’  There is even a hint of ‘flaring nostrils‘ in the […]

By |January 2nd, 2014|Blog|0 Comments
  • Friendship
    Confessions of a Single Woman Confessions of a Single Woman

    Confessions of a Single Woman

Confessions of a Single Woman

Being a single woman in this day and time has its oddities.  Truly it has always been that way, even in Jesus’ day.  Look at the women that supported his ministry.  Glance at the one who broke a vial of lavish perfume over his feet, wiping the dirt away with her tears and long locks. While onlookers judged her unrighteousness, Jesus bid her to come (Luke 7).  This is a very intimate and sacred moment of the heart that Jesus didn’t stop from happening because he was in fear of what others may think.

I must confess that as a single woman it is refreshing how Jesus didn’t succumb to fear of man when relating to us.  After all, as the Son of God he surely could fast forward time and see the Di Vinci Code and all the rigmarole they came up with about he and Mary Magdalene.

So, here I am as a single woman in my JustBe journey.  There are things I love about this time in my life, but it can also be coupled with loneliness.  I don’t feel bitter in the least, I am just aware that something I read in John Eldredge’s book, The Utter Relief of Holiness, is true and really has me contemplating the topic.  First, let me say that I know some people really like John and others don’t.  So, whether you like him or not, consider what he has to say and how it resonated deeply.

It’s about Jesus and his resurrection – the most important event in the history of mankind and no one is around to witness it at all.  Jesus, not being the fan-fare kind of man, does this most astounding thing without the approval […]

By |June 10th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments
  • Washed Ashore
    It’s a Sea Shell Kind of Life It’s a Sea Shell Kind of Life

    It’s a Sea Shell Kind of Life

It’s a Sea Shell Kind of Life

Have you ever been for a walk on the beach and noticed the thousands of broken shells beneath your tender feet?  I realize that some beaches acquire more of those than others, but have you ever wondered what that broken shell looked like whole?  Before it got smashed by life in the ocean, dashed against rocks, coral, and broken open by predators?  Some of the pieces I picked up that day on the beach were so beautifully colored that it made me wonder.  Even the bland colors have a back story.

Our lives are like those shells, broken in a million pieces only to be restored to wholeness.  The final product of the JustBe Curriculum is written out of the brokenness of my own life.  It’s never easy to be vulnerable.  The ocean of life can be a fierce place.  Jesus said there would be trouble in this world, and that He would be the mender of this beautiful mess.  If you’ve never trusted Him to actually put your heart back together, it’s worth the risk.  But you have to find that out for yourself.

One day Jesus was walking along the beach of in my heart and He picked up a fragment to a shell and He kept walking.  I came up from behind to see and inquire as to what He had there in the palm of His hand.  He opened His hand and showed me this iridescent pink looking shell no bigger than a thumbnail.  He said, “It’s you – it is a fragment of who you are.  I’m going to find the rest and put your heart back together.”  Tears streamed down my face as I watched Him tuck it into His […]

I Heard A Voice Behind Me Saying

A Voice Saying...I heard a voice from behind me saying… “You wouldn’t be interested in a wilderness therapy program would you?”

God’s set-ups and divine appointments are always doors to walk through in great awe and wonder.  They serve as signs and wonders indeed!  Let me give you some context: I am nearing the end of my master’s degree in Professional Counseling, but one thing is yet required and that is a practicum/internship experience.

While busy banging on one door that wasn’t budging open, one day I was having a simple conversation while checking out at a local hiking shop.  John McFerrin, the owner of Take A Hike in Black Mountain, N.C., had asked me how school was going.  I replied, “It’s going great, I love it and in fact I am looking for an internship.” 

This is when the voice of the man behind me in line said, “You wouldn’t be interested in a wilderness therapy program would you?”  I turned and replied, “Why yes I would be!”  After making quick introductions right there in the store front, I realize that this is the same place I had already placed a phone call and emails to, not hearing anything in response.  The gentleman writes his name, phone number, and email on a business card and soon after I got in touch.  Turns out he is the executive director of the program.

I stand amazed continually at how God works.  That’s the child in me, while the adult in me struggles with doubt and unbelief.  Trying to make things work according to my plans and agendas rather than childlike trust and faith.

That God ordained voice behind me was […]