Before you hurt someone, feel.

When the Lord saw her he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Luke 7:13

I am a people-pleasing junkie. I admit it. If there was a support group for people like me, I would be there with my hand raised, ready to say, “Hi, my name is Renee and I am a people-pleasing addict.” And then I would go on to confess how many times I fell off the wagon that week. It's in my nature. I know it's wrong to please people before we please God, but I do it without thinking all of the time. Along that vein, I have to admit that I did not want to write this. I’ve been fighting it since I received the letter, but God won’t give me anything else to write about, so I’m doing it. I want to write about happy things, but God seems to have other plans for me. These words do need to be written and they need to be read by many in the Christian community.
In one month I had two very different encounters about the same issue. I think they display the difference between Jesus's love and …

The other side

I made a terrible mistake last summer. 

I repented of my sin, and over the course of a year I dealt with my sin in the only way I know how. I was honest. Many of you followed my journey and wept with me, and prayed with me, and found a picture of your own struggles in mine as I shared. I felt your love and acceptance as I walked through the valley. Thank you.

The lessons I learned this past year could fill pages and pages. I'm sure they will fill pages and pages as I allow the Spirit of God to lead me in this ministry of writing He has given me.

I want all of you to know, I made it safely to the other side. I crossed the storm-tossed sea and I'm on the other side now. Jesus did not leave me.

In one of my darkest moments God gave me these words;

Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you? I will show you what it's like when someone comes to to Me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the…

Wide Awake

When you are present, the world is truly alive. 
~Natalie Goldberg,
Writing Down The Bones

Sometimes life is raw and totally in your face.
The first few days of welcoming a tiny human into this world are one of those sacred times.

Life continues it's relentless march outside your windows and you are barely aware of it, sun up and sun down. Anything that isn't happening in your moment, isn't happening at all, as far as you're concerned.

This is what happened to me during the first two weeks of November. The day after I had my great idea and declared a month of disciplined writing practice. The very next morning I was on a plane.

I went to live every second completely alive, to be wide awake with my grandson as he was waking up to the world around him.

I had no idea.

Twenty minutes after Maverick James Panco took in his first breath, I held him in my arms. Life is forever changed. We are all forever changed. There is one more life on this earth with my blood flowing throu…