This year my family has faced the most beautiful and painful season of our lives. My husband was diagnosed with stage four melanoma cancer in May. The news came like a sucker-punch to the gut, but it was no surprise to God. In the weeks that followed, we experienced God’s presence and provision in the most profound way and I began to understand how critical community is to our lives.
dorina lazo gilmore
This is the difficulty. We learn to edit. We start to look around and compare. We recognize other great artists, and we feel the weight of expectations. We squelch the creative for the practical.
It’s time for us Christians to live and breathe and speak and act like we are Christmas people. We need to believe in the Hope brought by our Christ-King and fight for it.
Rather than a pat-myself-on-the-back moment, this was a stoop-lower opportunity. I was acutely aware that feeding Mary or offering someone dignity through a smile or learning their name or advocating for the homeless is really not about charity or me changing the world as much as it is about obedience to the gospel.
My friend and I signed up for the 10k. We figured we could do anything for 6.2 miles – even if it meant we had to hike, walk or crawl. We heard the scenery at the San Joaquin River Gorge Trail (just 45 minutes from my home in Central California) was breathtaking. I longed to try something new. How hard could it be?
Let’s just say it was hard. Maybe the hardest race I’ve ever run in my life.
Worship is an opportunity to make our day, our life into a prayer. What I discovered this month is that worship is not limited to formal choirs and Sunday singing. In fact, worship is so much more than music.
As humans, our nature is to avoid pain. But sometimes grief is about returning to the places where you laid your most precious memories and remembering…and then finding the grace and strength to forge new memories. It’s about wading through instead of marching around.
Little did I know that this single, 5-letter word would be the thing God would use to transform me, inspire me, lift me and carry me through the most difficult year of my life. This would be the beginning of tracing His “glory story” in the most unexpected narrative. God has shown me this past year that Glory is the very beginning of the story and also the grand finale.
This Christmas as you are facing your mile-long to-do list, your family drama, I urge you to press in face-to-face with the Savior. I invite you to unwrap the simple, yet most profound gift of the season. The baby. Hold him close. Rock him in your mama heart.
I’m a recovering perfectionist. It’s only been in recent years that I have learned to embrace the “beautiful mess” that is my life. I have discovered that the more I release my desire for things to be smiley-picture-perfect, the deeper joy I have with my family.
The only way I have survived as a mother is because other women walk with me on this journey. My own mother, a few honest mentors and a core group of authentic mama friends have come along side me. They have shared their stories. They have shared their experiences, their hopes, their disappointments, their dreams. They have helped me to see the beautiful in my mess.