Journaling for Perspective 

Sometimes I can get stuck in my head…

Trying to sort things out sends me in 10 different directions, each with their own feeling. 

Writing stuff down helps me capture what’s going on and shows me what areas need to be covered with prayer.

There are times when what I see is ugly. The truth is right there in its distorted, disfigured form. 

As I read through past entries, I notice the moments where my perspective turned out to be wrong, which means everything else–my attitude, feelings, and opinions–were wrong as well. 

The good news about perspective is that it can change! 

It’s easy for me to spot the shift because my angry scribbles and stratch outs give way to hope-filled words–even if my handwriting is still a jumbled scrawl!

Most of the time I end up finding the right words to express the things I couldn’t bring myself to say before. 

There might still be a hint of pain behind the words, but the joy is bigger than the pain. 

The idea of someone else reading my journal is a bit frightening to me. 

However, I believe that when the time is right it will all make sense to whoever ends up with my mountain of words. 

He or she will say, “Yes, this chick struggled, but the struggle always led her closer to God, to seeing things from His perspective.”


The opportunities in your reality

Did you ever watch The Brady Bunch movie?

It was a spoof from the ’90s that was not that great, but made me laugh nonetheless. In it, Mike Brady gave Bobby some great advice:

“Wherever you go, there you are.”

I’ve seen this “advice” plastered all over novelty items. (I also googled the saying and found out it’s the title of a meditation book. Go figure.) What a goofy thing to say, right? We all know that…..or do we?

Recently, I was part of a conversation where a friend said, “Do you know what I could be doing?” and then went on for about 10 minutes about a job he could have.

I told this friend,  “You’re right and I agree. But here you are, so what are you going to do?”

There’s nothing wrong with dreaming or wanting to better yourself. Just remember that improvement starts right where you are. The weaknesses we possess do not magically disappear with a new opportunity.

The more I listened to my friend, the more I understood that the root of the problem was not feeling appreciated. Maybe an elevated position, a better job would do the trick. These people would appreciate me. These people see my true potential.

Once again, there’s truth in these thoughts. There’s nothing wrong with getting praised and honored for good work. Just be careful that praise and accolades aren’t the primary motivators. Applause is momentary–and it’s fickle too.

Motivation really is everything.

What are you looking to gain from an opportunity?

Be honest.

Answering this one question will show you the motivations of your heart.

Like I said earlier, the messy parts of ourselves–the things we want to leave behind–won’t disappear. You can’t just move on and not leave the new address.

Look around. There’s a lot to learn, a lot to do right, where you are now. Don’t be afraid to dream, but don’t ignore the opportunities in your current reality either.

I know where I’m going

IMG_1694Many times the Lord gives me direction through dreams. I think of it like a road map.

“Audra, this is where you are headed.”

With a dream, though, comes the knowledge that staying stuck is not possible. You cannot decide to camp out on the side of the road when you need to be moving forward.

I find myself facing some situations where running away would be so easy. (I think by now my vulnerability issues are well known.)

During these tough times, I yell–I mean, pray–to the Lord.

He’s given me permission to be 100% honest with him. His exact words were, “I know your heart anyway, so stop hiding.”

God has seen the angelic side of me and the grumpy side of me. My prayer is that as I follow Him, Angel Audra shows up more and more. (Think halo not being held up by horns.)

Do you know where He takes me at the end of each conversation?

My dreams.

Remember, Audra, where you are going. Don’t settle for anything less than where I am sending you.

All of my tantrums are ruined by God.

I am pouting and angry and God just laughs. And HIs laughter is like a whack from a belt.

Then I remember my dream.

I’m such a hard headed brat……..

When God shows you something don’t let go. Take it and run. Let that hope be an anchor for your soul. Nothing will motivate you more than a glimpse of where God’s taking you.  

And no worries if you find yourself camping out either. God will help you pack back up and keep moving.

Crash landing

I just crash landed back into reality. 

The weekend was amazing and there’s much to do now that I’ve scouted the land, so to speak. 

Reality is mean isn’t it?

I barely walked in the door before my mind was filled with the many things that need to happen in the coming week.

This is the trickiest part of any transition. 

There’s so much to do to prepare for what’s ahead and yet you want to and need to finish well where you are. 

The emotions of crash landing hit me hard.  

Excitement and sadness mingle together, along with a dose of calendar reality. 

Life goes on. Time ticks away. And I can’t help but wish everyone and everything would slow down for a minute. 

Honestly, I have a difficult time with the messy middle of transitions. 

God is so faithful, though, to walk along beside me and to encourage me to keep going, to press in. 

Yes, the future is bright. Yes, there’s a lot to do. 

I am choosing, however, to look ahead while soaking in the goodness of my present. 

I am not leaving here in a hurry.

 I will cherish the time and all the reasons I have to be thankful. 

All I need is a cup of coffee and a little perspective

I used to be a chipper morning person. My grumpier self told her to get lost.

My younger siblings do not care.

They are loud and boisterous and excited about the day–even if they don’t know what day it is.

“Audra, what day is it?” Caleb asks.

“It’s Tuesday,” I reply.

His response is normally something like:

“Yay! That means we get to ________” or “What are we going to do today?”

Maybe us grumpy adults should be more easily excitable.

We tend to see each day from a more practical, soul sucking point of view. I don’t think we mean to, though, but it’s easy to fall in line with our work hating, wish-it-was-the-weekend culture.

Last night my little brother–in his childlike wisdom–prayed the most beautiful blessing over our dinner.

“Dear God,

Thanks for having us today.

Thank you for dinner and this time with my family.”


Caleb thanked God for letting us live.

And the thunderbolt of conviction struck my heart….

IMG_1692Every breath, every day comes from God. Begrudging my life and all the things I “have to do” is a slap in God’s face.

I understand that we all have hardships and bad days, but our worst day–especially if you live in the West–is someone else’s best day.

The minor inconveniences of our life will not affect whether we live or die. With that in mind, you and I have very little to complain about.

This is not meant to be a guilt trip.

Just call it a good, old fashioned reality check.

Sure, you’re not a morning person but you can be a thankful–yet quiet–non-morning person.

Sure, money is tight but you have food, water, and shelter. A cancelled Netflix account or a month without cable will not kill you.

Perspective has a way of making us honest.

Balancing Acts

Healthy balances are hard to achieve. 

And isn’t that what we all want? 

Balance. Stability. Some sense of normalcy. 

A balanced diet. 

A balanced social life. 

A balanced budget. 

The magical moment of perfect equilibrium is always on our mind. 

It rarely happens….

I hate to be the one who bursts your bubble. Mine just got busted too. 

Dear Audra, 

Things will rarely be in balance. It’s a nice goal, but quit stressing out. 

Having no balance especially trips me up on bad days and I’ve had some doozies here recently, so you can imagine my frustration. 

I told you we were going to talk more about vulnerability today. 


Bad, unbalanced days send me reeling. 

I don’t handle them well. 

In fact, I was tempted to not blog today. 

I refuse, though, to mess up my goal and I refuse to not be honest with you about where I’m at. 

Some days Miss Molly Sunshine goes on holiday and her crazy cousin comes to town. 

I don’t want this blog to be negative, but I do want to be honest. 

You can’t be vulnerable without honesty. 

Things won’t always be perfect. 

People will irritate the snot out of you. 

Life will go on–even if it is a little off kilter. 

Looking for the best

I had a bad dream last night. A girl was being bullied at school and no one stood up for her.

In the dream I could feel everything she was feeling.

I still feel it too.



I’m currently reading Rising Strong by Brené Brown. (A book review will follow when I’m finished.)

Dr. Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She’s done ground breaking studies in the areas of shame, guilt, and vulnerability.

The last chapter I read posed the following question:

“Do you believe others are doing the best they can?”

The rest of the chapter explores what Dr. Brown learned when both herself and research groups to answer the question.

My own answer shocked me because I try hard to be an optimistic person.

I often do not think others are doing the best they can.

It was an ouch moment, for sure. I sat there dumbfounded and reread the question again and again.

Am I really that critical? The harsh reality is that many times I am….

Like I mentioned earlier, the dream rattled me, and I was recovering from that shock when I got to Dr. Brown’s question.

Grappling with the meanness in areas such as bullying, racism, religion, politics, etc. is tough.

But at the end of the day, you can’t let that meanness lead to hopelessness.

There is a lot more light in the world than darkness. You don’t hear much about it, but it’s true.

Plus, as a Christian, I know there is hope for the meanest, most evil person in the world because of Jesus.

And then there’s all the times I fall.

I don’t set out to screw up and hurt the ones I love.

…I’m just doing the best that I can!


The moment when truth pierces through my hypocritical heart.

Lord, please forgive my double standards.