A Case of Mis(Taken) Identity by Cara Gabrielse

Does this make me look fat?
The voice in my head says, “Yes.”


Cara Gabrielse, Salt & Grace

The voice in my head says,
“I am fat, and
I am soft, and
I am ugly.”

So it doesn’t really matter
What you say –
My mind is made up.

My mind is made up about
My floppy arms and my squishy belly,
My dimpled thighs that jiggle and wiggle like
And while we’re on the subject,
What happened to my neck?
What’s with the ruts in my face,
Freckles on my skin
Crawling with veins?

I’m a clay pot arguing with its Maker,
Telling The One who shaped me
He did it wrong!

I’ve lost my way,
Forgotten who I am,
Who I was created to be.
I’m Suffering
From a Case of Mis(Taken) Identity,

Covering up instead of stepping out,
Letting Fear rob me of my destiny,
Letting the world determine my worth.

The world perpetuates
The myth of better,
The myth of more.
Forcing its false dream upon us,
The talking box screams:
Keep up!
Don’t you want to be an Idol?
Don’t you want to be A Real Housewife?

We’re ensnared by snake oil salesman
Who promise a quick fix to whatever ails.
Surely you won’t die.
Take, eat,
You’ll be like God.

We nip and tuck our brokenness,
Photoshop, and chemically peel away our imperfections.
We numb, binge, purge, cut it off
And we call it

Courage is
Beating our wings against the chrysalis
Until we become, until we fly.
But the world says, ‘Chill butterfly,
Life ain’t meant to be a struggle.
You do You Bro.’

The world is a liar.

We were knit together in our mother’s womb.
The Maker did not drop a stitch, yet
We cry.
Why did you make us this way?
Why not prettier, blonder, thinner,
Whiter, blacker, richer, smarter?
A little more here,
A little less there,
A little more…
In our derriere?

We’ve lost our way,
Forgotten who we are,
Who we were created to be.
All of us, Suffering
from a Case of Mis(Taken) Identity

The poor and needy search for water
Tongues parched from thirst,
Starving for acceptance.
Fearing the worst,
They crawl over the worn out welcome mat,
Take a seat in the pew,
And see white male privilege in the pulpit.
While the ladies in the church basement
With their felt boards and their felt hats
Are asking each other,
Does this make me look fat?

Church: you’ve lost your way,
Forgotten whose you are:
You are
People of THE Way,
People of THE Power,
Aliens, born not to be comfortable
In this skin because this world is not your home.

But you’ve sold out.

You’ve sold out to The Platform,
You’ve sold out to The Couch,
You’ve sold out
To the World’s definition of beauty,
To the World’s definition of success
To the World’s definition of truth.

It’s time to stop posing,
Time to stop comparing,
Stop rolling our eyes,
And Pointing our fingers,
Managing our image,
Afraid to love, afraid to accept
Building a moat instead of a bridge,
Showing up on Sunday to be fed
Toast and Tea,
Thank you,
Nothing too spicy for me.

Jesus didn’t come to draw a line
On a frosted cake,
He came to put an end to our fake.
He didn’t come to make bad people good,
He came to raise us from the dead,
To silence the voices in our head.
He came to pardon the prisoners,
Heal the heartbroken,
He came to show us the way,
To show us who we were created to be,
Jesus came, and lived, and died to give us our

Let’s behave like we believe that, shall we?
Let’s raise our floppy arms in praise,
Worship like no one is watching,
Let’s swim in the river of grace,
In our bathing suits,
At the beach!
In front of people!
Let’s show off our necks and our scars and our wrinkles
Wear them like badges of honor,
The timeline of our story,
A map to our soul

Let’s stop listening to the talking heads and
Start talking to each other.
Let’s keep our face out of the mirror and
Be about the business that matters.

Show me the way,
Help me be who I was created to be,
Jesus, restore my identity.
© 2014 Cara Gabrielse, used by permission

For more insightful writing, visit Cara’s blog: Salt & Grace

Every Breath I Take

Nothing makes me appreciate my health more than being sick. In our home we don’t do things half-way, including getting sick. When illness strikes, we are completely shut down. This round my husband had full-blown pneumonia and I was following closely behind. Then I coughed up something so nasty I could’ve sworn it flipped me off before swirling down the drain. Until this week, I took breathing for granted.

We’ve seen our doctor more than family these last few weeks. However, I believe we made our final trek today. Much as we love our doctor, four visits in two weeks makes me question the status of our relationship.

While we’re not quite well, I’m thankful the worse is over. After our bi-weekly visit with Doc, I put away most of the sick paraphernalia. I hope we won’t need the nebulizer for at least a few more years. I’ll put it in the very back of the storage room just to be sure.Gratefull

Today I’m dressed and on my way to recovery. I’m breathing in hope and I’m filled with gratitude for something I’ve taken for granted – breathing. I know I will likely fall into complacency again and forget to thank God for the basics. But for now, in this moment I am filled with gratitude for every breath I take.

Reflection: Take a moment to consider what you are taking for granted. Appreciate what God has given you, even something as basic as breathing. You never know what you have until it is taken away.

Meditation: “…For it is He Himself who gives life and breath and all things to all people.” Acts 17:25b

Follow Your Dreams


Dreaming is not just for the young. Regardless of your age, you are never too old to follow your dreams. When I’m 95 and living out the last few years of my life, I hope I’m still reaching for my dreams, and helping others reach for theirs.

Dreams come in all shapes and sizes, from short term dreams to heavy-duty-full-blown-faith size dreams. Dreams give us hope, purpose and motivation.

Some dreams are subconscious, and lay dormant until they bloom unexpectedly. They’re briefly spoken and forgotten about until they unfold. This happened to me with our house in Stonegate. I drove through when it was all decked out for the holidays and said, “I want to live here someday.” Five years later, as I was driving through my Stonegate neighborhood all aglow with lights, I remembered and it bought me such joy! Another time I said, “I want to sell luxury homes.” It wasn’t a wish, it was a simple, declarative statement. This week I closed over a millions dollars of real estate. When you make declarative statements about your dreams, and believe them, they will happen.

Some Dreams are so big and life altering you may be afraid to voice them for fear of being mocked by friends or your inner critic. Those are the dreams of whispered prayers when it’s only you and God. Then one day it pops out of your mouth in an unguarded moment and you know it’s time has come, you can speak it out, for it’s not too big anymore. It’s no longer scary, you are brave enough to release it, to dream out loud, and share it with your inner circle. As you work toward achieving this dream and it begins to unfold, you can tell anyone because you are confident in its success.  It no longer matters if everyone believes in your dream, it’s just you and God, and you press on. As the dream bursts forth, some may think it happened over night, but those are the ones who didn’t know its inception began in secret, decades ago.

My great big dream was becoming a Realtor®. Tonya dreamed about a higher education, Robbie and Bonnie dreamed about writing a novels, Jean dreamed about sharing her Scottish heritage through a devotional. I’m honored to be in the presence of those who are unsatisfied with the status quo, who are brave enough to reach for their dreams and have the tenacity to hold on tight until they unfold.

What about you? Do you still dream in the wee hours of the morning when you’re alone with your thoughts? What happened to your childhood dreams? It’s never too late. Reach for your dreams and grab onto them with a vice-like grip. With enough intestinal fortitude, prayer and perseverance, you can realize those dreams if you never give up.

The Fragrance of Rain

Every now and again, I love a rainy day, especially today. I’m holed up in my office (or as my grandbaby calls it, “our” office), the rain softly pelts my bay window, the street lamps are on though it’s quite early, and I take in few deep cleansing breaths. How I love the fragrance of rain. As the thunder rolls in and out, I envision my stress chasing the thunder, leaving behind only peace.

As usual, I am multitasking as I write – reminiscing on Facebook about canned Spam and looking at photos of my two kids and their spouses on a camping trip. Laundry is tumbling in the dryer, my husband is watching one of his shows on TV and life seems pretty sweet.

It’s been a long, hot summer so I’m grateful for the rain. Here in Colorado, we’ve broken numerous heat records. The high temperatures along with the dry thundershowers ignited numerous wild fires. This rain represents a respite from the arid heat; it’s washing away the dust and smoke, leaving behind a glorious fragrance.

Thank you God for answered prayer – which feeds our thirsty souls as well as our scorched land.

It’s Tebow Time

Me & Grandaughter Kamy Tebow 1-13-12

I’m not a football fan, but I am a big Tim Tebow fan. Not because of his skill as a quarterback, but because of the bold way he shares his faith. I became a Tim Tebow fan when his controversial Prolife Super Bowl ad aired in 2010. So I couldn’t have been more thrilled when the Bronco’s chose Tebow as their first round draft pick.

It would be nearly impossible to find anyone who hasn’t heard of Tim Tebow – especially if you live in Denver. But Tim’s newfound fame hasn’t gone to his head. He continually gives praise to “his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” and is quick to acknowledge the hard work of his teammates. I can’t think of another professional athlete with as much humility.

Tebow takes a moment to bow before the Lord, in thanks, after each touchdown. This action has been coined Tebowing. Now, due to Tebow’s unabashed faith, thousands pose on bended knee. Whether Tebowing is done in jest, as a ‘good luck charm’ or in true faith, it’s help raise awareness for prayer and God’s role in our lives (even football).

Tebow’s positive attitude has energized the Bronco’s and helped create the momentum that got them to the play offs. Even when Tim’s not playing, he’s encouraging others through The Tim Tebow Foundation, which exists to help people through tough times. Tim understands that God gave him this platform so he’d have the opportunity to help others.

Hundreds witnessed the halo over Sports Authority Field at Mile High last weekend. There are pictures all over the internet. Since Tebow’s life has been a miracle from the time of his conception, it’s not hard to accept this as just another miracle from “his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” In fact it could be God’s way of saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Dear God, Thanks

Bethany Parrish, 1997

Dear God,

You do so much for me every day and I am full of gratitude. I have so many thankful thoughts sifting through my mind that I decided to write you a letter of praise.

Thank you for the gift of life, for telling me to go to the ER, and for giving me the strength to recover. Thank you for giving me the faith and fortitude to make it through three surgeries in one year. Thank you for the joy I have in you, despite my circumstances.

Thank you for the dear friends and family who’ve brought meals, gifts, cleaned, and visited. Thank you for all those who prayed, sent cards, donated money and placed me on prayer chains. I am grateful and humbled by their generosity.

Thank you for the teenager who sent $20 of her babysitting money to my fundraiser saying, “They need it more than I do.” Bless the struggling families who gave in spite of their lack. I am rendered speechless in the face of such generosity.

I’m so grateful for the letters you sent with money and gift cards. I felt your love in each envelope. Remember the day I prayed you’d send me some money and hours later one of your cards arrived?  Thank you for the generous souls who hear your voice and obey. Give them favor and blessings in miraculous ways.

Thank you for the wonderful friends who helped us move, some we didn’t even know.  Please bless them with good health and friends who stick by in times of crisis. Thank you for friends and family who sent notes of support, and for those who called right when I needed to hear an encouraging voice.

Thank you for my online community, for their encouragement, funny antics, for sharing and listening to my struggles and joys.

Thank you for my mom, sister and husband who took turns spending the night with me in the hospital, sacrificing their sleep so I could rest easier. Thank you for my precious family, who prayed with me before surgery, showered me with love during my recovery and for the strong bond we share. Thank you for an amazing husband who stood by my side without complaining and encouraged me when I needed it most. Thank you for our incredible children, and their wonderful spouses, who make me proud to be their mom. Thank you for our beautiful grandbaby, who showers us with joy and helps us to look at life in new, exciting ways.

Thank you for sending skilled surgeons to operate on me, for their compassion and expertise. Thank you for the infectious disease doctor who kept me from having allergic reactions to meds and reacted quickly when needed. Thank you for the amazing nurses who went beyond their call of duty to make me comfortable; and for the fabulous nurses in the infusion center who made an unpleasant experience bearable.

Thank you for loving me in spite of my impatience, as my health improves and I try to do more than I should; for lifting my head and my spirits and reminding me of all you’ve done. Thank you for your blessing and protection during my health crisis, and for a life that has meaning, simply because you’re a part of it.

Your grateful daughter,


How to Grow Old Gracefully ~ Part 2

My Sweet Gramma Tweter – 80 years old

To Grow Old Gracefully:

Be comfortable in your own skin from the inside out. Nobody is perfect. In fact, our imperfections often set us apart from the crowd and endear us to others. Lauren Hutton has a cute little gap in her teeth. She probably hated that as a child, but it gives her distinction.

Are you satisfied with what is going on inside your body? Do you have unresolved conflict with a loved one? Are you tormented by the abuse or trauma you suffered as a child? Seek counseling; become more comfortable with who God made you to me and resolve those inner conflicts.

Don’t fight your age – embrace it. I wouldn’t want to be twenty again. I might enjoy looking twenty, but I wouldn’t exchange it for all the lessons my forty-seven years have taught me – and
I certainly wouldn’t want to relive any of those ‘lessons’.

My gramma made peace with her age. As I look at the skin on her face, I don’t see wrinkles, I see the family we share, the places she’s been, years of wisdom, and a life well lived. The small amount of
wrinkles on her skin have always been irrelevant to me.

Take care of your body. You only get one; you can’t trade in it every few years for a newer model. If you abuse your body with lack of exercise, or over indulgence, it will show wear and tear. Feed your body nutritious whole foods, exercise your heart, drink plenty of water, and use daily moisturizer and sunscreen. Care for your soul with prayer, spiritual nourishment, rest and times of quiet reflection.

Growing old gracefully is more than just looking good on the outside – it comes from the inside out. When you fill yourself with grace, it will be evident on your face and in your life.

Instead, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. To him belongs glory now and forever. Amen.

2 Peter 3:18 (CEB)

Read part 1 HERE