Thursday, July 18, 2013


I've been doing a lot of private writing lately.  Journaling.  That's not even a recognized word in my desktop dictionary.  It's similar to the new word "pinning"...not meaning what one does when hemming a pair of pants, but the process by which we keep our Pinterest boards full.  Journaling is a much more important word than should be a real word, yes? 

I digress.

I've been doing a lot of heart work lately too.  Prying my controlling tendencies out of my clenched fists and learning to forgive.  Learning to forgive myself.  I've read before that if Jesus forgives us and we can't forgive ourselves then we are saying we have a higher God and standard than Jesus- ourselves.  Pretty strong statement- BOOM.

But it just honestly makes me want to say hmm.  (I'm about to break out into 90s hip hop here.)

While I don't necessary disagree with the truth in the hammer blow statement above, it sounds very judgmental to me.  Can we extend the grace necessary to forgive ourselves through the process of judging ourselves about NOT forgiving the way Jesus did?  Messed up.

Forgiveness is strong as steel, yet gentle.  Graceful and glorious.  Freeing.  It is a process.

Here is my start. 

I am posting two songs which are resonating in my heart this morning.  Music speaks to me and moves says things my heart wants to express, with passion and a realness I can't always yet communicate in my writing. As I've stated before Here, I can find grace and redemption in many places, especially in songs which will most likely never ever be played in church.  (I like to think of my little grace-finding song hobby as a constant, small exercise in keeping me legalistic-free...I grew up in legalism and it was a messy, ugly non-grace filled, incorrect view of Jesus which still sometimes tries to wrap its tentacles around my heart.  Legalism always makes me cranky, on-edge and very, very judgy of others.)

The first song is an acoustic version of Florence and the Machine's Shake it Out.  She has such an amazing, soaring voice.  It has some off-color language in it, although not as much as Mumford's famous Little Lion Man.  (For a very cool Christ follower perspective on that song and Mumford and Sons in general, read THIS by a man I seriously admire.)  If you feel the language will offend you, don't listen to the first song. But I love almost every word of is where I am today. 

The second song is by Mumford and Sons...imagine that.  I know, you are wearing your,

"Wow, this is Val's blog and she posted a MUMFORD SONG??"

face, aren't you?  Smile.  It's good stuff.  We build walls of stone...or glass...around our hearts and grace forgiveness gentleness kindness freedom press their noses right up against the walls to tear them down, no matter how bloody and messy.  Thank God, yes?  Yes. 

Be free today, friends. I am starting too.


"I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart."

 Babel, Mumford and Sons
"Cause I'll know my weakness, know my voice
And I'll believe in grace and choice."