Bless me Father, for I have sinned.

I grew up in a liturgical church. It was very legalistic in the sense that you were REQUIRED to go to church on Sunday (or you were sinning); you were REQUIRED to go to confession before you took communion (or you were sinning); you were REQUIRED to fast for at least an hour before receiving communion (or you were sinning). I learned about sins of commission, sins of omission, mortal sins and venial sins. I learned about Heaven, Hell, Purgatory and Limbo.

I grew up believing that these rules and regulations were sanctioned by God Himself. To be a "good Catholic", you went to church on Sunday (or Saturday after 4 pm), confessed your sins to the priest on a regular basis, and abstained from eating meat on Fridays during Lent. In my senior religion class, we were told that the primary reason for marriage was procreation.

Then I went to college. A public institution. Where I wasn't REQUIRED to go to church on Sunday; I wasn't REQUIRED to take religion classes; I wasn't REQUIRED to go to confession.

I was Catholic in name only.

During my freshman year, a friend shared with me some materials from Campus Crusade for Christ, an Evangelical Christian organization with chapters on many college campuses around the world.

The materials were about "getting to know God personally" and "receiving Christ". These were foreign concepts to me. "Getting to know God" sounded all Bible-belt and born-again to me, and "receiving Christ" was something I did at communion on Sundays. What really got me, though, was when she quoted Romans 3:23.

"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

Now, it wasn't like I considered myself perfect, or anything. I knew perfection was God's business. But I certainly didn't consider myself a SINNER! I was a good girl. I listened to my parents, did well in school, didn't lie, cheat or steal, went to church occasionally, was nice to my brother and had lots of friends. I didn't drink or smoke, and I didn't even THINK about sex!

A sinner? Me?

So we chatted and basically agreed to disagree. She was still a sweet and dear friend and we just went our separate ways when it came to religion.

Fast forward twenty-odd years.

I get it. I am a sinner. And to use the words of my three year-old, The Manimal, it makes God "so sad" when I sin. And he doesn't want to send me to Hell. He just wants to bring me back into the fold.

Now I know. True Christianity isn't about just following a bunch of rules to the letter (although rules can be good guidelines). It isn't about standing or sitting at just the right time (but again, disciplined worship isn't necessarily a bad thing).

It's about relationships. Starting with the most important one, and building (or rebuilding, as the case warrants) from there. So while my friend didn't realize it, God had a plan, as He always does. I wasn't ready to hear her words (or His).

It's about loving and living others to God. Praying for others, yes. But more importantly, SHOWING the love of God by how we live.

It's about realizing that God really loves us and wants the best for us. He wants us to make good decisions, in consultation with Him. He wants us to live our lives to glorify Him. He wants us welcome Him into our hearts, minds, bodies and souls.

And really, all it takes is a simple request on our part.

Bless me Father, for I have sinned.
I have offended you and I am most truly sorry.
I firmly resolve, through Your grace,
to do my penance and change my life.
To live my life...




I was riding in a car from Chicago to Indianapolis for a work event when I heard what happened. Because our event would feature the talents of hundreds of high school-aged musicians, we were especially shaken.

What if the same thing had happened, not in Colorado, but in one of the schools that would perform throughout the weekend?

And then there were the kids. They were thinking the same thing. What if? What if the shooters were students at their own schools? What if their friends had died? What if....?

And yet, that Colorado high school moved on. The kids from the school rebounded, as kids do. They moved on, and graduated. Got jobs and went to college. Had relationships, got married, stayed single.

Lived their lives.

Today, take just a moment to pray. Remember the kids, those who lived and those who died. Remember the community. Remember the two shooters who, in a matter of minutes, changed the world forever.

But most of all, remember the life. Like the flower for which the community is named, the school came through the adversity of a long, cold winter.

And blossomed.


He is Risen!

How sweet the sound!

I once was lost,
But now am found.

My God, my Savior
Has ransomed me!

Unending love...

He is risen indeed!


Good Friday

A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.

It was the third hour when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS. They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, "So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!"

In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. "He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe." Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

When some of those standing near heard this, they said, "Listen, he's calling Elijah."

One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to take him down," he said.

With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

Mark 15:21-38 (NIV)

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?


Enthusiastic Inspiration

This week, I've been blessed to be able to participate in the A Woman Inspired Web Conference. There have been so many wonderful speakers and I'm really looking forward to downloading the mp3's when they become available and listening again!

Yesterday, I heard Melissa Michaels and Allison Worthington talk about what God can do through you. Melissa is the creative genius behind The Inspired Room, her blog and redecorating business. Alli is known to Blogland as Mrs. Fussypants, as well as the media matriarch behind Blissfully Domestic and The Worthington Wire.

These women are amazing! Both have incredible stories about God carrying them through some serious issues in their lives and how He inspired them to create their businesses and ministries. They talked about hearing God speak to them and how you know something is God-inspired, rather than just "a good idea".

God must've known that I needed to hear them at that time, because it was exactly what I needed to hear. I've had an idea rolling around in my noggin for awhile now and feel as though God has been trying to tell me something. My dear girlfriend (also a believer) suggested that I take some time to do guided journaling, to listen to Him very closely and try to write what I hear. Then Melissa and Alli talked about listening for His voice.

Hmm....maybe I need to clean out my ears!

Enthusiastically listening for His voice, and praying for His grace, but all in His time...


A Woman Inspired

An Enthusiastic Hello to all my new friends from the "A Woman Inspired" Conference! I'm SO enjoying the sessions and hope you are as well!