Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Blessing in All Forms

Blessings can come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, it's a person who says just the right thing at just the right time. It may be finding a few extra dollars when you're short on cash. Maybe it's a friend helping you along the way.

This Lent, I was praying about how I wanted to observe the 40 days before Easter. In the past, I have given up pop, meat, etc. This year, I felt that the Lord was calling me to join a friend of mine and honor a different person every day.

What I thought would happen was that people would smile, and be blessed by it. What I didn't expect was that I would be blessed as well. Remembering how these people touched my life, impacted me and helped shaped who I am today has been incredible... and it's only Day 7!!

Join me by honoring those around you in small (or big) ways. Write them a letter of appreciation. Send them a postcard. Share your favorite memories. Love them.

Follow my posts on YouTube via my channel lindsaymyates.

In Two Weeks...

I will be on a cruise ship.

I will be 30.

I will be sun-kissed.

I will be reading and relaxing.

I will be content.

I will be thankful for the opportunity to celebrate my birthday in style on an almost non-existent budget.

I will be laughing.

I will be in the middle. Of. The. Ocean.

I will NOT be thinking of movies like Titanic, Poseidon, and other such movies.

Two weeks.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

"That Thing"

What is That Thing that you said that you would never do. That Thing is something that you know if you ever did, then that would mean that maybe your parents would be disappointed in you or you would lose your friends or you would get fired or.... God would look at you differently... like in a bad way.

That Thing could be doing drugs, having sex with a boyfriend or girlfriend, having an affair, murder, abortion, abusing your children, stealing, anorexia, selling drugs.... the list goes on and on and on.

That Thing makes you feel ashamed. That Thing makes you want to isolate yourself. That Thing may have consequences that haunt you the rest of your life. That Thing may be something that you think only affects you, but slowly begins to seep into your relationships and hurt the people around you too.

So, what happens when you do That Thing? Do people look at you differently? Do you feel that people are whispering about you when you walk in the room? (Been there) Does shame keep you from going to church and facing people that know what's going on in your life? (I've been there more times than I can list) Do you feel like there is no possible way that someone can forgive you? Do you feel like there is no possible way that God can forgive you.... because you did That Thing... and it was awful and you feel awful and you ARE awful?

Well, here's the thing. That Thing is just that. It is a Thing. Yes, it is sin... but That Thing is not so bit that God can't or won't forgive you.

I was on a walk today with the girl I nanny going over some scripture for a class I'm taking. When I came to a specific verse, I literally stopped in my tracks. Ella trotted back to me and said, "Hand!" and grabbed my hand to pull me down the sidewalk. Which verse?

Isaiah 1:18: "No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow."

So, check this out... I've read Isaiah. I've done two studies on it. I love it. But, I've never thought about this verse beyond the classic, "God can forgive your sins" application.

Today, it was different. Because two days ago I confessed That Thing to a leader at my church and we worked through The Plan to help me walk through the consequences of That Thing. I felt shame and embarrassment when explaining. But, it was nothing compared to the stuff the leader had heard before. I wasn't worried about what she would think about me. I was stressed about the awkwardness between God and I afterwards.

Isn't that weird? I mean, He already knew what happened. He was there. He sees everything. But something about owning up to my defects makes the relationship with Him awkward for me. Like I have to have God prove that He still loves me in order to gain my trust again.

Well, He did just that.

You know what He said to me with that verse? He said, "What is a stain, Lindsay?" And I thought about it. A stain is something that ruins something's appearance. It can also ruin it's ability to function, depending on the circumstances. A stain is something that destroys, frustrates and can cause years of remembering That Thing that caused the stain.

In terms of sin, a stain may be a broken relationship, going to jail, the death of another person, a baby, a physical scar, depression, becoming permanently paralyzed, losing your license, or facing the death penalty. A stain is a consequence of sin, something that may affect your livelihood or may simply affect your heart.

The amazing thing about God is that His promise is, "No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you [not declare or deem or pronounce.... MAKE] as clean as freshly fallen snow."

Amazing. Breathtaking. Love. Grace. Mercy.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

40 Days of Honor

Below is a video explaining my choice of commitment for the next 40 days. Join me from now up until Easter as I open up, dig deep and speak out to honor those who mean the most to me :)
P.S. Please forgive my hair. I am a nanny and this was one of "those mornings" when I left the house without so much as a glance in the mirror :)

40 Days of Honor

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Sometimes we just need some time to digest what has been given to us. Death is a big pill to swallow, and sometimes it is shoved in your face with no warning.

My last post explained how God was shielding me from having to deal with everything all at once.

But since then? I've been trying to process things in my own way, but also asking God to show me how to grieve. I know that there is no "right way" to process and accept someone's death- especially when they've been close to you. But, the girl who wants to do things the right way the first time actual googled "How to Grieve." I mean.... if I'm gonna do this "grief" thing, then I want to make sure I'm following all the guidelines.

What? There are none? But....oh. Well, I guess that changes things. I guess that means that, once again, I am going to need to rely on God to show me every step to take and every area to press into. Because if I know one thing, it's that God wants freedom for me.

God is for me. He is not just rooting for me in the stands though. He is in front of me... pulling me along. He is next to me... holding my hand. He is behind me... pushing me forward. He is under me... making the times I fall maybe be a little less harsh. And He is over me... seeing farther in front of me than I can imagine so that He can guide me.

God is for me.

So, in the middle of this... mess? Emotions? Sadness? Whatever you want to call it... in the middle of it, God pushed me forward to express to my father the words that I could not. I never got to say goodbye to him. I was in my Jeep, driving towards him, but still eight hours away. My sister and brother and aunt... they were all able to see him one last time. So, I never got to say the things that I wanted to... the things that people have stored up inside them just in case "that moment" comes when you have seconds to say goodbye.
God helped me write this song:

"To See You Again"
Yesterday you were tucking me in
Making up stories to get me to sleep
In the blink of an eye
I was learning to drive
Watching you disappear
As I drive away

I miss you and what could have been
I need you here holding my hand
Why'd you leave me? I wanted quite done
Daddy, I'd give anything to see you again.

Yesterday we were on the phone
Talking 'bout nothing but saying a lot
You didn't quite know
What to do with me
But every now and then
Your love was enough

I miss you and what could have been
I need you here holding my hand
Why'd you leave me? I wasn't quite done
Daddy, I'd give anything to see you again.

Days go by
I'm left asking why
I had to let go
Cause you seemed so young...

I miss you and what could have been
I need you here holding my hand
Why'd you leave me? I wasn't quite done.
Daddy, I'd give anything to see you again.

I'm not at the finish line. But, writing that piece of music... that was a HUGE step towards healing for me. Huge.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Moment (or two) Of Silence

I realize that I haven't written in a while. Usually that means that I am avoiding an issue, since writing helps me process. This time, however, I think it just needed to step back and process a large amount of emotions.

And now, two weeks later, I am ready to share....

Two basic things are weighing on me heart, both of which I will share:

1. I am lonely.
2. I feel like I am grieving incorrectly.

I am going to address the first one first.... mostly because it just feels like the right thing to do. I have not had to make friends in a long time. I can't remember the last time I wasn't "involved" in some "activity" (okay, not necessary to use quotations, but I wanted to). When I was 5, I started playing soccer (that lasted until I was 16). When I was 6 or 7 I joined the Girl Scouts (that lasted way beyond when it was considered cool). I did Odyssey of the Mind in Elementary School, volunteered with the Special Olympics in Middle School, and started playing in the band when I was 13.

I realize that looks like maybe I'm bragging, but that's not my intention. I'm almost 30 (GASP!!!), and for the past 25 years, I've been busy being involved in activities. In college, Marching Band took up a lot of time, and I joined a Book Club when I moved back to OH in 2006, then dove into being involved in church.... what is the pattern? Nothing negative... Just a busy girl with.....and here's the point... a TON of opportunities to make new friends, develop them, pour into people, and be poured into as well.

All that to say that I've tried to reconnect with college friends, met new people, get involved at church (without committing until God tells me, "This... go for this!"), and plug in. I have lived here for two months and one day. I have a few people I can hang out with, but my heart wants more. I want flesh and blood people that I can call and make spontaneous plans with, or cry with, or go for walks or get into mischief or have adventures with.... because that's what life is all about, right?

So, I want that. Sometimes, our prayers are simple.

So, here I am asking, "God: Can you please provide friends? Thank you."

Now for the second one.

I have heard people say (and I have said it as well!) that everyone grieves differently. Some grieve quickly, some slowly, some avoid, some work hard to tackle issues.

I feel like I'm not doing it correctly.


I feel like I have so much more to say that I'm saying. Like tons. But, sometimes all that comes out is the same phrases/sentences that I am just repeating.... as if filling in the space with words that don't quite express how I'm feeling is better than saying nothing at all. Or worse, what if I can't stop talking/crying/stammering/getting that deer-in-the-headlights look? So, sometimes I just say "I don't know what to do." And people are okay with that. They accept the fact that I have NO clue how to grieve the death of my father. I feel like it would be easier if I were back home in OH. I could call my old pastor (who knows me quite well) or my old lay counselor (who walked me through two years of counseling) or one of my amazing friends... and then I could just talk and not have to explain the family dynamics or who my father and I weren't close the past few years or why I feel so confused all the time.

So... that's it. I have no plan. I just am admitting that I have NO idea what I'm doing. I just need to invite God into this mess and know/trust/believe that He will show up. He who raises the dead and heals people of crazy diseases and spoke the world into existence... He is going to show up and walk me through this. Because going back to Ohio and doing this the easy way is simply not an option right now.