Broken Bones

I missed church again this morning. ¬†My poor children have had the worst experiences with allergies this summer. ¬†Not to be too crass but I’ve decided to dub this the “Summer of Puke”. ¬†It’s been… BAD. ¬†So. Bad. ¬†So I took my eldest to Urgent Care because she was amazingly sick this morning. ¬†She is doing much better now but I still missed church again.

That being said, I did get to hear all about church later from my husband, Nick. ¬†I definitely missed out on some good stuff this morning. ¬†Nick posted this pic from the service on FB with the caption: “We’re all dancing on broken bones.”

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He was quoting Bob Bretsch, who was quoting Psalm 51:8 – “Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones¬†that you have broken rejoice.”

Psalm 51 is a well-known and much quoted psalm. ¬†It’s beautiful and inspiring and if you haven’t read it lately, go take the time.

Anyway, as I went about my day, I just couldn’t get those words out of my mind, “We’re all dancing on broken bones.” ¬†For some reason I identify with them so much. ¬†Maybe because I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the battles we are all waging inwardly. ¬†Thinking how many of us are engaged in a war we don’t even know about.

And so with spiritual violence on my mind, Psalm 51 in my hand, and those poignant words on my lips, I sat down at the piano and wrote a new song. ¬†The song is called “Broken Bones”. ¬†(Per usual, I quickly recorded it with my phone sooooo… that explains the quality of the recording. ¬†You’re welcome?)

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Tell me what to do (and don’t)

Genesis 3:4-6

4¬†But the serpent said to the woman, ‚ÄúYou will not die;¬†5¬†for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God,¬†knowing good and evil.‚Ä̬†6¬†So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate.¬†

This morning while I was meditating, I started thinking about reconciliation. ¬†I remembered when Peter cut off the ear of the temple guard in the Garden of Gethsemane and Jesus reached out and healed the guard. ¬†Do you know what Jesus didn’t do? ¬†He didn’t make Peter apologize.

I had to think about that. ¬†I know that Jesus preached on reconciliation. ¬†I know the verses because I’ve read them many times. ¬†“Blessed are the peacemakers…” “If you know someone has ought against you leave your gift at the altar and go and be reconciled…” ¬†“If someone has sinned against you, go and talk with them about it…” ¬†I’m paraphrasing right now because I’m in a hurry and don’t want to go look up the verses. ¬†“Peacemakers” is Matthew 5, can’t remember exactly where “leave your gift” is and “sinned against you” is Matthew 18 I believe (or maybe it’s 15). ¬†Anyway, if you want to read them yourself, I encourage you to go look it up.

So for 3 years, Jesus preached on a lot of stuff and Peter probably heard most or all of it but these parts on reconciliation seemed to get overlooked after he cuts off the poor guy’s ear. ¬†But then later on after he has denied Jesus 3 times, Jesus sits down with him and 3 times asks Peter, “Do you love me?” giving Peter a chance to reconcile with Jesus.

That got me thinking about my own views on Christian reconciliation. ¬†I’ve kind of always viewed it as somewhat mandatory. ¬†As if the things that Jesus preached about were the New Ten Commandments. ¬†As if you could go through the New Testament and make a list of do’s and don’ts based solely off what Jesus said or the disciples wrote.

And then that got me thinking about the Old Ten Commandments and the fact that people seem to just want a list of do’s and don’ts to follow no matter what century you’re in or what you believe. ¬†Even people you may deem as having no sense of right and wrong, they also have a list of do’s and don’ts in their head somewhere. ¬†Do’s and Don’ts seem to be what humanity wants. ¬†Look at any major world religion or any business or organization. ¬†There is always a list. ¬†Always a line. ¬†The lists and lines vary from religion to religion and culture to culture but they are always there.

So that brings me back to Peter in the Garden. ¬†If reconciliation is a “do”, why didn’t Jesus make him do it? ¬†Why didn’t they hug it out? ¬†Maybe later in life Peter and the guard crossed each other’s paths again and they talked it out and made things right but if that happened, it’s not recorded anywhere.

In John 3, Jesus said that those who follow the Spirit are like the wind, you don’t know where it comes from or where it goes. ¬†Could it be that God never wanted to give us a list of do’s and don’ts but that way back in the Garden of Eden, when Eve and Adam saw that they could follow a clearly defined list of do’s and don’ts (albeit an internal one) and they would no longer have to rely on God’s constant guidance, that they jumped at the chance? ¬†Could it be that God has always desired to be our guide in life, following the Spirit like the wind, and that he never intended a “one size fits all” remedy to life’s situations? ¬†Isn’t this why He sent the Holy Spirit?

Maybe it’s time I stopped focusing so hard on trying to do what is right and avoid what is wrong and, instead, focused hard on following the Spirit of the Living God. ¬†After all, if Jesus didn’t jump Peter’s case for not “reconciling” with the temple guard and let that one slide, maybe He’s not keeping a tally of everything I do and don’t do. ¬†Maybe “judgment” looks a lot different than I’ve always been taught.

It’s the curse of the Garden that makes us crave a “list” so that we can be “right with God” without having to actually engage with Him. ¬†I mean, if He just gives us a list then we can accomplish what He wants without His help, right? ¬†That is the curse of the Garden, desiring to live and be “righteous” without God. ¬†And it really doesn’t matter what culture you come from or whether or not you’re an atheist or a Catholic priest or a follower of Zorg. ¬†Even devout Christians, pastors, priests, rabbis, etc., struggle with this desire. ¬†The “just give me a list” desire or the desire to do it on our own, in our own strength, without help. ¬†Religious people get their list from the tenets of their faith. ¬†Atheists derive their list from their own internal voice and the culture they identify with. ¬†But no matter what, we all have a list.

I think it’s actually harder to abandon our lists and try to follow the leading and guidance of God than to live by those lists. ¬†But I see (at least I hope I see) that God’s intention for our lives is to abandon these lists and follow Him. ¬†Do I mean throw out the Bible? ¬†No! ¬†I just mean, especially for myself, that I have to stop looking at the Bible as rules to obey, as a list of do’s and don’ts to follow. ¬†I have to see that Jesus wants me to seek Him and not to try to live “a righteous life” ¬†because if I’m following Him, and He’s a righteous God, then I WILL live a righteous life just not one of my own misguided making.

I have to sign off now because I have a lot to do. ¬†And to be honest I’m not gonna proofread this before I post it because I don’t want to. ¬†If you find any glaring spelling/grammar mistakes, feel free to comment and I’ll fix them later.

P.S.  The short story I started a few weeks ago is still being written, I have not abandoned it.

 

I’m 103 and other musings plus another gold nugget from Oswald Chambers


Mr. Chambers does it again. This. I NEEDED to read this. It is just another huge confirmation that the decision Nick and I recently made for our family was the right thing for us. 

It would be hard for me to explain why this meant so much to me without telling you a lot of our personal history and I don’t think I want to do that… But it is still an amazing read for any Christian. 

If you don’t own a copy of My Utmost for His Highest, I highly recommend getting one or downloading the phone app or having both the book and the phone app, like me. Be forewarned, however, there is more than one version. The original version written in the early 1900’s (1911-1917) and an updated version that puts Mr. Chambers old timey speech into more modern language. I personally prefer the original old timey one because I think the way Mr. Chambers phrases things is poetic and makes me think. Also, I’m secretly 103 and kindly request that you get off my lawn, you dang kids. 

Anyway… go read it. HashtagGoodStuff

When you feel evil: Pt 2

Basically… I’m trying to work through this feeling – the feeling that I am evil. The feeling that I am a bad person. Like at my core. I don’t just do “bad” things, no, deeper than that. I am weird, crude, strange, foolish, socially inept, and a lot more junk. 

It’s a pretty pervasive feeling inside of me right now. It’s like suddenly a flood light has come on and I’m seeing all of my flaws with stark, blinding clarity. And it’s no fun. 

I’m not trying to bum you out or get sympathy. I’m not looking for praise or encouragement. Because even though these feelings keep erupting in me at the most inconvenient of times of late, they are almost always followed by a whisper from my loving Father, that I am loved. 


In Mark 10, verse 18, Jesus said that no one is good except God. That verse actually brings me a lot of comfort because I know I’m not alone. No one is good. Everyone sucks. It isn’t just me. 

But as my good friend, Austin Crooks, likes to quote, “But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

We all suck but God loves us anyways. That’s the message of the gospel. Brennan Manning is famous for saying that God loves us as we are and not as we should be because no one is as they should be. And I need to hear that right now. I need to feel that right now. Yes, I’m no good, but God loves me. 

It’s true that I’m a big mess. It’s true that I’m weird and strange. I overshare. I gossip even when I’m trying not to. I lie. I’m lazy. I’m crude. I enjoy things that I really shouldn’t. But God still loves me. I don’t know how or why. I just know that he does and I need it. Oh, how I need it. 

I hope and pray that people around me can see that I’m a work in progress and even though I’m a mess, I really don’t want to be. Even though I’m a jerk, I love God and want him to change me. I hope people can see that, because I’m sure it’s not obvious. I’m sure my pride is what shines brightest. I’m positive that, at times, I seem like the most arrogant, butt that has ever existed. And at times, I am. 

This morning, in the midst of feeling broken, God used a very unlikely source to remind me that, “He heals the broken-hearted, and binds up their wounds.” – Psalm 147:3. 

What an amazing God I love! Here I am, feeling so broken because I know that I’m a huge butt, and He reaches down and tells me He loves me. He’s not looking at me saying, “You’re right, Bonnie, you are a butt. Now, repent so I can fix you.”  Instead, He’s saying, “Shh, shh, shh. It’s ok, sweetie. I love you. Just put your head on my shoulder and cry it out, I’ll hold you.”


As the one and only Toby Flenderson said in a moment of joy, “I’m gonna chase that feeling.”  I’m gonna chase that feeling too, that God loves me as I am right now, not as I should be and it’s gonna be ok. 

When you feel evil

In case you haven’t noticed, life is complex. 

Decisions are never easy, no matter what stage of life you are in. Looking back on my youth, I feel that the decisions I was faced with daily then were nothing compared to the ones I’m faced with now, but those decisions were difficult for me at that stage in my life. And the decisions I’m faced with now are just as difficult to make, even more so at times. 

Recently, my husband and I came to a crossroads again for the umpteenth time in our married life together. We had a choice to make, a choice that would redefine our lives no matter which direction we took. Let me tell you that it was one of the most heart wrenching decisions we’ve ever had to make. 

We spent months discussing, arguing, yelling, crying, swearing, praying, listening. In the end, we both came to the same conclusion and felt a great peace with our decision. But decisions like this never come without a cost. 

The cost for our decision: hurt, pain, confusion, anger, sadness. Even though we knew we were making the right decision for our family, a decision we felt God was leading us in, it still cost. It cost us. It cost our children. It cost our friends. 

I titled this post: “When you feel evil” because some days that is how my heart feels. I feel that I must be evil because of the pain we’ve caused. I feel so very evil inside and unworthy of friendship or love. I know I’m being dramatic but that is how I feel. 

Decisions are difficult, especially when you’ve counted the cost and you know the cost will be high. But if our family is going to discover where God is leading us, we have to travel down this difficult path for the time being. 

If I could beam my heart straight from inside of me into the hearts and minds of those I’ve hurt I would, so they would know how evil I feel for causing them any pain at all. I’m a pretty loving person usually. I don’t like being the cause of someone’s hurt, anger and confusion. And even though I’ve tried to express this in words to the people I’ve hurt, words are frail and fall short of what I really feel. 

If I’ve recently hurt you, please know how sick inside I feel because of it. Please know that I love you and that I feel evil inside for what our decision has cost you. 

I can’t express with enough urgency how much I genuinely love you all. 

Be blessed, my friends.