I Learned to Hate: Guest post by Jaime Wright

I’m thrilled to have the talented and coffee-crazed (and not ashamed to admit that) Jaime Wright with me today! Mostly you see the silly and sarcastic side of Jaime and it’s a beautiful thing, but Jaime’s deep spiritual insight always messes with my mind and leaves me wanting more. (Is that stalker-ish?) She inspires me and encourages me and today, I hope you’ll feel the same! Take it away, Jaime.
I have learned to hate.
Hate is a driving force that spurs
me to action, opinion, and determination. Weirded out yet? Yeah. I guess that’s
not your typical opening statement for a devotional. .But hate — in the correct
context — can make a lot of sense.

the Apostle stated it best when he said: “For I do not
understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing
I hate.” (Romans 7:15 ESV)
I do the very thing that I hate. There is
so much of my sinful self that I have come to despise. My impatience is one of
them. When I have projects to complete, I become driven — focused — and my two
year old suffers. The other night she was following me close on my heels, like
a needy little puppy dog. I turned and snapped “go watch Bubbleguppies!”
Like really — what kid doesn’t want their
mother to tell them to watch TV? The look in her big baby blues just about
killed me. Sadness. Mommy didn’t want her help, or her prancing on tiptoes
singing, “I may never march in the infary, toot in the tootery”. Mommy was too
busy. She hung her head and without question returned to her banishment on the
couch and the cheerful cartoons went over her head as she buried her face in
her Blanky.

I have
come to hate the darkness inside of me.

“For I
know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the
desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” (Romans 7:18
As humanity, we have formed a culture that
fights for the right to act on our fleshly impulses. But as Paul defines, those
impulses are “nothing good”. Strangely enough, in our fight for human rights,
we have also fought for the right to damage, wound, impale, break, and scar
those around us. For sin does not only affect ourselves. It does not only
affect our relationship to God. It touches others in a rippling effect of pain.

“I have
the desire to do what is right…” — I do. I really do. “…but not the ability to
carry it out.”
Failure. Morbid utter

man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ
our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25a ESV)
I stared at my daughter while I was
consumed with hatred for the sin inside of me that caused me to selfishly snap
at my child, wounding her spirit of joy and creating even a smidgeon of doubt
that I wanted her presence in my life.
“Are you mad at Mommy, honey?”
She nodded.
“I’m sorry.” I whispered it. She turned and
her cheeks stretched into a smile. Sitting up, she patted my knee with all the
motherly love she could muster.
“It’s o-tay, Mommy.”
She understood. Why? Because she’s already
been there too. In her own tiny sinful self, she knows what it’s like to wound.
She knows what it’s like to ask forgiveness.
Thanks be to God … to Jesus Christ our Lord
… for in and of myself, I will continue to wound, to scar, to walk in darkness.
But in Jesus, I find life, healing,
strength, and the ability to claim His victory over my sinful self.
I have learned to love. I have learned to
love life — and the righteousness found therein.
What have you learned to hate about your old nature and/or what new character has God recently taught you?

Come by to chat and encourage others today! I’m
hosting at Living By Grace on facebook

Jaime Wright is…Moses?

I’m swinging with Jaime Wright today! Well, blog swinging that is. I’m over there and she’s over here! So read all her awesomeness and then skip over there by clicking HERE. Don’t forget to follow her blog if you don’t already, and be a doll or tough guy and go “like” her writer page on facebook. She asks lots of interesting questions and cool conversations take place all the time.
Tomorrow I’ll be talking about my journey in writing over at Dawn Alexander’s 

 I’m also at Jennifer Slattery’s blog, today, talking about hoarding. Are YOU a hoarder? Come by! 

So, heeeeeere’s Jaime!

Jess – wow! I’m on your blog! I feel like – important.
And important is just what friendships are meant to make you feel – at least I believe so. There’s nothing neater than when a co-worker/friend shows up at work and plops your favorite hazelnut soy latte on your desk (yes, it happens frequently). It makes me feel important. Or maybe valued is a better word.

Value in the writing world is critical. It’s a world where – frankly speaking – you spend most of your time feeling like a dead opossum that just got smucked by a semi truck and double-smucked by some rich dude driving a Hummer and then obliterated by a cowboy in a Dodge diesel. Fine. I’m graphic. Needless to say, we fledgling writers who are struggling to impress an agent, aching to sign with an editor, and trying to understand what the heck it is we just wrote … well, we need to be valued. A few too many rejections suffered alone is enough to make me bust the screen out of my laptop and short out its motherboard. Just be done with it.

Fellow friends in the writing world can relate to my hissy fits. They can understand the sadness and even the tears. They know what it feels like to give up when you’ve gone three weeks without writing one word because life is so busy you wonder if you’re living a pipe dream. They comprehend the true meaning of writer’s block.
Two months ago, I was pretty sure I was hanging up writing altogether. It wasn’t for lack of self-confidence. Lord knows I have enough of that. 😛 It was for timing, and sometimes the lack of time. I posted my resolve to quit on Twitter and emailed a few critical people – my critique partner and my mentor. While none of them told me the answer, all of them gave me encouragement in whatever direction I took. Their presence gave me value – encouragement – importance. Not arrogant importance. The type of importance that made me feel a bit like Moses when he needed Aaron and Joshua to lift up his arms because his strength was not enough.

Needless to say, it was shortly after that the Lord brought Jess into my life – via a little social network called Twitter. Gosh dang it – if I don’t love Twitter! Jess gets my sarcasm, my borderline sense of humor, and she’s short – she’s really – short. And I’m really tall. Funny how you picture a person you’ve never met physically and you find out facts that make you giggle.

We need each other. Plain and simple. We need people who UNDERSTAND our value as writers and to reinforce that in our low points. I’m still writing, by the way, and I haven’t busted my laptop. Although tonight I feel a bit like the smucked opossum, I know Jessica will make me laugh. S’all good, peeps J
Who’s your Aaron or Joshua? Who lifts your arms when you’re tired and how have your writing friends impacted your writing world?

Not Just Summer Blues

Good morning everyone! It’s Wednesday. Profound observation, I know. Before I jump in the waters of the Word, I have taken the plunge into the facebook currents and created a Writer Page. I’d love for you to take a second and click HERE, to “like” my page.

This has been a crazy two weeks for me. Inside. I’ve noticed relationships falling away and no way to stop it. I have those days where I barely like my husband, my feelings for my kids are on the fence.

I keep wondering, what is going on? Am I hormonal? I cry at most everything. You should have seen me at Potter as I blubbered, “Snape! Poor Snape!” Ridiculous.

And deep within me, I know what’s really wrong.

I ignore it. I pass it off as lazy summer days. I should be relaxing and sleeping in, which is 7 ish for me.

I crack open my Bible. I read a devotion from the Word for you Today. I try to ignore what it says. I stare at a Psalm. My mind wanders. I hear my Twitter chime go off. I check it. Laugh. Send a response. My son wakes up and I fix him a pancake, or toss him a bag of cookies. What? I said it was one of those weeks, didn’t I?

The day moves on.

And during that moving day, God uses more words.  He uses them to add to what I already know.

I get to work, before 8, so I read the MBT Ponderers blog. Different Levels, Different Devils.

“Have you ever wondered why things seem to get harder the closer you get to success?” Ginger Takamiya writes.

She begins to give examples, and some of them are as if she’s been stalking my life. A lightbulb goes off. It’s more than what I already know deep inside.


Not just in my writing ministry/career, but I’m about to launch a new life group at church. I’m excited about the limitless possibities of it. A bookclub may sound silly to some, but I know fiction can be used as a powerful tool to open blinded eyes, be used as a tool by God to rub balm on festering wounds, and encourage a reader. Who knows what book will be the one to help free someone from a lie they tell themselves every day!

I read my devotional and God speaks through the pages.

“People will leave you. It may be that you’ve outgrown them, or to fulfill their own vision, or because they don’t want to go where God is taking you. People left Jesus.”

“Satan will attack you…it lets you know you’re valuable to God. It also dictates the level of blessing that awaits you beyond the attack. Satan will attack when God is about to birth something in your life. It may be the birth of a relationship, a career, a ministry…”

Here is what I already know deep within.

1. I have not been giving God quality time in the last couple weeks (and I know better). Reading a devotion, even when it speaks to  me isn’t enough. For me. I need to steep in His presence, study until I find a treasure, worship. I need more than 30 minutes. I don’t need a shower, I need a long, warm bath.

I’ve been in a rotten funk, the lack of daily renewal has made me stagnant. I’m dirty flesh. I see it in my attitude, hear it in my impatient tones, taste it on my biting tongue.

I know I need to dig in, but I just don’t want to.

Then yesterday, I read Jaime Wright’s blog. I love Jaime and her blog. She talks about having a horrible week, feeling blah. Same as me, yet we didn’t share that as we bantered sarcastically on twitter one morning.

As I read what God said to her, He said the same thing to me. I didn’t get offended. He was right. Read her blog if you want to know what He said!

Things are changing. Friendships are taking on a different shape, and yes it’s sad. God is preparing me to get ready for that. To get ready for this new life group, gear up for  my husband’s mission trip to Thailand, my daughter has to go back to public school, where she shares her faith openly, and maybe my writing is about to move forward. I’m not sure.

God prepares us without always giving us the detailed 411.


Maybe this is you, too. Maybe you need to take the enemy by the horns and give him a good shaking. I know I do. And that means putting on my garments of praise, and spending more than a few seconds with God. It means pressing in, even when you don’t feel like it.

Refuse to let him win. Refuse to be complacent. “Be sober and vigilant, knowing your enemy prowls around like a roaming lion, seeking who he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

We’ll do it together.

Question for you: What’s your last hoo-rah before summer ends?