Confessional Living

Taking a good look in the mirror… acknowledging what is actually there… and then living out that vision can require a certain level of honesty that is often times not very easy to do.  Truth is that, what is actually there isn’t always pretty… and most people tend to only want to show what is desirable… not what is worn and tattered.

This way of living can be referred to as: confessional living.

Many of us at one point or another have had the experience of putting a great deal of energy into maintaining an image that life is better than what it actually is.  For many of us, this took the shape of covering up a bad relationship in the home so that friends and family members aren’t able to get a good glimpse into the separation that is being experienced between two people.

Sin is anything that breaks relationships.  We’ve all contributed to the breaking of relationships at some point.  Unfortunately… we’ve become better at covering up the sin than we have at letting a healing light be shed on it that we learn to become masters in masquerading.  ‘Nothing to see here.’ … and if there is nothing to see… well, there is nothing to confess.

With ‘nothing to confess’… the relationship will undoubtedly experience such a separation, that a breaking will take place.  And that is when all hell will break loose.

Forcing an exposure of that which was unconfessed or unseen can bring a level of violence at emotional, mental, sometimes physical, and spiritual levels that can wear down an individual rather quickly… but then again… you probably know that.

You need to be realistic about the nature of the broken relationship.  You’ve experienced them.  You may feel like it’s killing you.  But keep this in mind… the damage done to you is not the last word on your relationship with yourself, or with others.

You can be set free.

Below are five things to keep in mind as you adopt a confessional life, rather than a coercive, manipulative life that you hope will protect your image, or a relationship that is long since broken.

Be honest about the bad in your life.  Nobody is perfect, and every new day is an opportunity to come to terms with this.  It doesn’t matter the lies that may be spread about you… even if that is what is forming ‘popular’ or facebook opinion about you.  If you spend more time defending yourself against the voices of others… you will not take the time to be honest to yourself… about yourself.

Invite someone you trust to come in and look at the bad in your life.  We can get by with a little help from our friends.  In our relationship, we have a simple framework that provides the safety needed to come to the table who we are… no more, no less.  Three things: allow for randomness… no retreat… no judgement (see below).

Tell it like it is.  Within the framework mentioned above, you have space to not to have to be serious all the time, or just allow what comes to your heart/mind to come out (randomness)… you have the space to wrestle through running away from letting your voice be heard (no retreat)… you have the space to just be you without getting belittled or looked down on (no judgement).  I will expand this in a later post.

Lay down the power to control how others see you.  Some days may be easier to do this than others.  There is going to be a temptation to project upon others what you want them to see… but this is what tends to get us in trouble in the first place.  When we put a certain image out there, then we will eventually need to spend energy maintaining it… and then we lose sight of the honesty needed to be real with our self.  To remedy this temptation: nurture the close and safe relationships you have versus spreading yourself out there.  As you heal and strengthen in less relationship, you’ll have the ability to expand your boundaries (should you choose to).

Lay down the power to control how others see your abuser.  Chances are good, you’ve got haters on your hand.  Those who are not going to like seeing you find a life without them.  These people ‘know’ you… these people ‘know’ your buttons… these people ‘know’ how to keep you in your place.  You have probably spent a great deal of energy protecting these people over the years, and now that you have made the break from them… hell has been unleashed upon you.  This is the point where the abuser is able to become the ‘victim’ to family and friends… and you are going to want everyone to see these frauds for who they really are.  You are going to be tempted to beat the monster… by becoming the monster… at which point, you’ve played right into their hand.  Fight or flight are not the only two options… there is a third way…

(more to come…)


The Mocking Series: Family, Food, Technology, Conversation and One-ness

31 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. 32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. 33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? 34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

A couple nights ago, we had our first night alone in over a month since the wedding. That doesn’t seem like the most romantic way to ‘start’ your new life together… but it was enjoyable to have a house full of loved ones… laughter… conversations over coffee in the RV with the folks… bonfires… drive in movie nights… meals around two tables… and a sense of community with people who have remained close through thick and thin. The honeymoon is coming soon.

Without divulging to much into the nitty gritty of specific conversations and experiences that were had, here are some reflections of recent weeks gone by…


We are reminded of a part of the gospels where Jesus’ ‘mother and brothers’ showed up outside a home that he was teaching in. The house was packed… people were attentively listening to his upside kingdom teachings… and outside the doors come his ‘family’. One of the people inside the house comes to him and let’s him know that his family is waiting outside and would like to talk with him. Rather that ask the crowd for a few minutes that I am sure they would have obliged him with… he uses this as an opportunity to explain that his true family is already in the house with him.

That is quite a rejection if you ask us.

With this statement, Jesus expands the boundaries of family beyond blood relatives and spouses to include those who hunger for godly relationship and actions. Simply being a blood relative is given a second chair if that relative is unwilling to enter into a godly intimacy… that knowing and being known we’ve written so much about. In Jesus’ mind, what really counts are the choices one makes after one is born, not the folks one is related to through no personal decisions.

This has been an important passage of Scripture for us to wrestle through over the past year as some who are ‘blood relatives’ have refused to enter into our lives in a face to face way, but simply remain at arm (or texts) length and play the, ‘I love you because we are (enter functional family name here).’ … and then refuse to do something as simple as have a cup of coffee with us… all the while doing the old ‘talk about instead of to’ thing.

The past month brought a lot of people together… and not all of them were blood relatives. Some were friends that stopped by to wish us some congratulations for our new life together. Some were sons and daughters… and people loved like sons and daughters… some were moms and dads from birth… others have become moms and dads as intimate relationships have grown.

Our family is quite a Mosaic of different people… from different places… who are willing to enter into intimacy with us… who are willing to know and be known together. Many thanks to Jesus for giving us this permission, and not leaving us in the chains of functional family positions.


One of our favorite times of the day over the last month was dinner time… or coffee time in the RV. We had on average 12-18 mouths to feed for dinner every night, and it was enjoyable to share the responsibilities of preparation, partaking and clean up with these people. Everyone chipped in, and their was (usually) plenty to go around.

Technology (and the lack there of…)

The day and age we live in provides opportunity for everyone to be plugged in to something. This is not inherently good or bad. It was fun to watch the kids work on a computer game together… or watch aunt and nephew create a virtual world together that only they understood… or texting from the grocery store to see if anything was needed for the house.

But… the downside is in fact that technology can rob us of connection. The last few weeks have seen the introduction of our ‘Culture of the Home‘. One of the items in this manifesto is that phones, tablets, computers… etc… go off at 9 o’clock for the purpose of unplugging from the ‘wifi’ and plugging into each other. We weren’t sure how much kick back we were going to get… but we expected it. Humbly, we can say… it went pretty well from an attitude stand point. We had a few moments where it appeared like one of the kids was going through withdrawal from crack or something, but for the most part it was good.

The results have been fun… on night one, all the girls in the house started doing each others hair… in the following evenings, Scrabble became a center of attention… nearly every night involves all of us getting cozy in the chairs and on the couches under the blankets watching episodes of the Waltons together.

Nothing more to say on that… other than… our hearts are happy in that cutting off the technology has in fact resulted in more time together as human beings.


We are simple people. We like to talk… to process… to understand. One of our commitments to each other has been to intentionally take time away simply to be together. And when the house is as full as it was, it would have been easy to neglect this important piece of our relationship. That is something that we cannot afford to have happen.

And we didn’t let it happen.

We were able to get out of the house quite often to find each others pace… to debrief after a stressful time with an antagonist… to watch the birds… to dream about what can be created next in the home… to just talk.

We are best friends first and foremost, and we miss each other when not together. The challenges we face are unique to us in that those who would desire to separate us are forceful at times. We have children to help transition into a new family who have are already well on their way to finding their place here, but who are also struggling through what it means to understand that accepting this new family is not rejecting anybody or anything. We have a few functional things to take care of… we have a garden that needs weeding… we have grass that needs to be mowed and dishes that need to be done. We have schedules to balance… and snuggling to do…

all that being said…

We talk.


About everything.


We’ve been given a second chance to make heart vows to another person. This is something that we do not take lightly as we both made many mistakes in the past. Enter into the equation that we have children who are finding their way through this blending of two lives that have experienced a beautiful collision, and that we have some folks that have no intention of living in peace with the separation of relationships that have been dissolving for years, and we have come to the understanding that our oneness needs to be intentional.

Any decision made for or against one of us… is a decision made for or against both of us.

The dissolution of past relationships was an internal ‘death’.

The nature of the relationship that we share now came after there had already been nothing left to salvage in the past. The circumstances of our relationship now tends to lend itself to people being able to point fingers and say that our sin is what broke up the family. An honest and humble look at the past makes clear that even before we knew each other, sin had already had its way to dissolve a past relationship. This is not an attempt to justify anything… it is just a clear picture of the reality that we have lived through.

All that being said… we do not take each other for granted. We will not allow each other to be treated as property. We will establish a culture of love and acceptance in our home, regardless of how others will conduct their business… on their property. We will stand for and with each other. We are willing to instill these values into our family, even if it is not the easiest or most direct route. We will let others be responsible for their actions, if carrying the weight of their sins is something that we, in martyr fashion, carried for them in the past.