When Your Greatest Weakness is Strength

When Your Greatest Weakness is Strength

I couldn't stop looking at his ankles. Scrutinizing. Wondering if they were slightly bigger or slightly smaller. Was the edema coming back with a vengeance like it did in January? Were his protein levels elevated? Or was this because of something else? Because, we are finding, autoimmune diseases can be quite the puzzle. We began going over everything: exercise, nutrition, weight, water intake. And with everything, I kept scrutinizing. Wondering. Looking.

Stressing.

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10 Ways Porn Destroys a Person (& Jen's new writing gig)

10 Ways Porn Destroys a Person (& Jen's new writing gig)

So...I (Jen) got a new writing gig. And of course, the first post is about porn. 

It's a long story, but I got a nickname-Patty Porn. And for a while, before we published the book, I was afraid that I would be known simply as "The Girl Who Writes about Porn." 

But the truth is, I'm okay with all that. We don't always get to choose our mission field, but we do have the choice whether to embrace it or not.

This is me. Embracing.

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The Distractions of Anxiety and Self-Doubt

The Distractions of Anxiety and Self-Doubt

I love things to run smoothly. I like life to fit in the tiny boxes on my calendar, for schedule activities to always take "x" amount of time, and for the weather to cooperate with my plans.

I love meeting agendas, productivity, grocery lists where things don't get left off. I love it when people respond to my emails in timely manners and when I don't forget to do the same.

I love order. I abhor chaos. I love calm and I don't function well in a frenzy.

I know many of you who are just like me and many of you who are not. But no matter how you're built, no matter what your personality leans towards, I think we all long for peace—a deep inner peace that is not contingent on the outside circumstances. A peace that is so embedded in us that we function like a mighty oak in a storm. Our leaves and branches will for sure sway, but our trunk, our foundation, is so deeply planted that we will never forget who we are and Whose we are.

I've been working hard with Jesus lately to practice this rooted way of living. My deepest desire is that when people interact with me I will no longer be the whirlwind of things to do, errands to run, and a plethora of needs and wants on my mind. I want to exude the same kind of atmosphere that my living room does—fresh, inviting, cozy, and safe.

If I'm continually distracted from what God has asked me to do, if I'm filling my life with tasks because I'm trying to prove worth, and if my state of mind is contingent on things going exactly as planned, I will not be safe. I will not be fresh. I will not be inviting. 

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Free with me?

Free with me?

"Free" is my word for the year. Craig was the one who thought of it, probably because he notices on a continual basis how enslaved I am. I rarely I notice the chains. I don't even picture them as chains—more like I'm a magnet and I allow burdens to become a part of daily living and breathing and moving. The problem is, when you've attracted all this weight, moving becomes heavy and breathing, ragged.

I want to be very clear: I love helping people. I love listening to people. It's an honor to be invited to share burdens, to be privy to vulnerability. But where I get muddy is I allow their problems to become my problems. When my thoughts wander, I find myself tangled in their possible solutions. I drown in their sorrow. I lament continually to God. I lose where I end and they begin. There's no clearly defined raindrop—just a puddle

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