Tuesday, June 14, 2016


I went walking tonight. After dinner. At 8:30. In the dreadful humidity. By myself. The even crazier thing? This marks day 11 of having completed some sort of exercise each day. 11 days. Who am I?! I can tell you who I'm not...I'm not quite the same girl I used to be. And it feels good. 

Have you ever stepped back to look at who you are now and wonder when you changed? Wonder how the gradual evolution of your being, your personality, your likes and dislikes, have grown and made you into a different person? That's what I have been reflecting on recently. God has slowly and gradually and ever so subtly changed me. A prime example is that I can now enjoy nature. I've never been a huge nature fan but over the past couple years I've really begun to appreciate the beauty of it. I'm not ready to pack up for a camping trip anytime soon, but I can't explain how much I enjoy watching the sunset and clouds now. I could stare at a magnificent sunset and the colors it paints across the sky for hours if possible. I love to go for a drive and chase it as far as I can before darkness settles in. I see God's creation and imagination and I am in awe of it all. I've recently started walking by the lake and I love to watch the sun set over the water and slide behind the trees as night falls. Beauty. Perfection. Peace. 

God has me on this health journey this year and it, too, is changing me. Learning self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice. Giving up what I want now (anything super tasty but bad for me) for what I want more (to be healthy and physically capable of more). And can I tell you that it. is. hard. Absolutely nothing easy about these changes but God is getting me through them. He's also teaching me patience and about sowing seed that will later produce a harvest. And obedience. Oh, how I can struggle with the obedience part. 

I have hit a plateau of sorts and am struggling to not give up and go back to my old ways. And this morning, I was reminded that I am called to be obedient in this health journey. When I don't see results as quickly as I want, because let's be real-I want to eat a salad and lose 10 pounds, or walk 2 miles and lose 20, I need to stay obedient. When I feel like giving up because it's hard, I need to stay obedient. When I'm tempted to listen to my taste buds and eat things full of sugary goodness but will leave me feeling terrible later, I need to stay obedient. And this morning as I read my Bible and prayed I was reminded that even if I never lose any more weight at all, I still need to stay obedient to what God has called me to do. Um, excuse me, Jesus? Did I hear that right? Even if I never lose one more pound and stay at this weight forever, you still want me to eat better and exercise and take care of my body? Yep. Because I'm being obedient to His call to stay on this health journey. Now I'm not saying that is what will happen because I truly believe that God wants to do some amazing work through this health journey, but this morning I was reminded that it's not about results. It's about obedience. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Run, run as fast as you can!

So, I've got a question for you friends. Does anyone else ever run from Jesus? Or is it just me? I mean, if I ran in my real life like I do from Jesus on occasion, I'd be a marathon runner. Maybe even an Ironman competitor! I think you get what I'm saying.

Now before you check out and go find a quiet spot to pray for me and my running problem, let me just say, I feel like I've definitely been running more toward Jesus than away from Him in the past few months. But these past few days, I've laced up my shoes and hit the road. And although I could give a reason or two as to why, this tweet tonight from Jesus Calling seemed to hit the nail on the head:

"Don't let your need to understand distract you from My Presence."

I can't count how many times in the past two weeks I've uttered the phrase "I don't understand" or "It doesn't make sense to me." There are some things happening in my life right now, especially with my job, that I am at a complete loss about. I don't understand. When I've tried to pray about it, I allow myself to get so worked up over the what ifs and then whats that I drown out anything that God may be trying to say to me. Which leads to frustration because all I want to hear is what He wants me to do. To stay or to go. To persevere or to move on.

And I think part of the reason I don't hear is because I'm still asking God why. Why did He bring me here? Why does it get harder day after day? What should I do right now? What's down the road past this incredibly difficult season? I'm asking these questions because I want to understand. I want to see and know and fully comprehend the big picture. Because somehow, in my human mind, I think that if I were to understand what God is doing, then I'd be more obedient, more trusting, more at peace. But truthfully, my desire to understand, my desire to know the why, only leads me away from His presence. It leads me away from what He asks me to do, which is to trust Him completely and fully surrender everything to Him, without knowing the why, without understanding His reasons or His ways. Believing His word that says He is working all things together for my good (Rom. 8:28), even if it doesn't make sense to me right now.

Lord, forgive me for running when I don't understand but wish that I did. Help me to continually trust you and to seek you more, to sit in your presence and allow it to calm all of my fears and anxiety. Remind me that Your ways are higher than mine and that I don't need to understand everything in order to trust you. Amen.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I'm letting go

For Christmas this past year, my dad bought me the poster below. It references a song by Francesca Battistelli titled "I'm Letting Go." Below are the lyrics to one of the verses and the chorus:

This is a giant leap of faith
Trusting and trying to embrace
The fear of the unknown
Beyond my comfort zone

I'm letting go
Of the life I planned for me
And my dreams
I'm losing control
Of my destiny
It feels like I'm falling and that's what it's like to believe
So I'm letting go

I feel like these words capture the challenge God has extended to me over the past few months. To let go. Some things have been tangible, like all of my clothes that I've held onto since 2004 so that I wouldn't have to buy new ones once I finally get my health in a better place. (By the way, letting go of all those clothes and all of those memories... not easy.) Some things have been intangible but harder than I ever would have imagined, like letting go of my plans and expectations, especially for my future. And other things, that I thought would be difficult, have been surprisingly easy, like letting go of some of the hurts and baggage that I've carried around for far too long. The freedom that I've felt after letting that go has been indescribable. It definitely makes me wonder why I held onto it all for so long.

There are still a few things that God is asking me to let go of and surrender to Him. My desire for perfection, my need for control, and my independent streak, to name a few. I suppose that there will always be more that I can let go of so that I can fully embrace Him and the work He's doing in my life. I've also had to accept that there's a reason God is asking me to let go of these things now, at this time in my life. Because He knows I'm ready. He knows that I'm in a place now where I trust Him more than I did a few years ago. It's hard not to wonder and ask God why He didn't do this earlier, why He has waited so long to heal some deep wounds in my heart. That's when I realize it's because of me. He knew that I wasn't ready to let go 5 years ago. He knew that I wasn't ready to let go last year. And He loves me enough to be patient, and to wait for me to be ready. He knows the right time and the right way to ask me to let go, to surrender everything to Him. And even though it's not always easy, it always worth it.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


One Sunday last September, I had the revelation that restoration isn't easy. God had been speaking to my heart throughout the year that He wanted to restore some things, which I thought sounded great. In my mind, it meant a year full of blessing and happiness. Then came the idea that restoration isn't easy. God and I obviously had different ideas of how this would play out.

I shared this revelation with my counselor the following Tuesday. She listened and then felt like she should share what came to mind when I said the word 'restoration.' She told me she saw a picture of an old house that was falling apart and in need of repair. A house that needed to be completely gutted and redone, so that it could be restored to its former beauty. I didn't think much of it (I'm sure the blank look on my face was not encouraging to her at all), but told myself I'd pray about it later.

The next day, as I began my quiet time with The Lord, I briefly brought up the house metaphor. I planned to move on but then I felt that God wanted to say more. As I listened, God gave me an amazing picture of what He wanted to do in my life. I felt God say that yes, He did want to restore me, just like an old house that needs to be repaired. I felt Him say that He wanted to come in and tear down walls, throw away trash, and re-wire everything so that it went through Him. He gave me a visual of all the windows that He wanted to replace so that others could see Him through me. He showed me that He wanted to heal my heart, so that I could invite others in and show them His love and warmth and care. God even told me that He is preparing my two to know how to care for and cherish this rebuilt home, and that he will understand and value all of the work that has been done. Needless to say, at the end of my quiet time I was more than a little blown away by it all.

Almost six months after God gave me this vision, it's even more clear why He did. God knew that the restoration wasn't going to be easy. He knew that it was going to be hard and painful and much more work than I anticipated. God knew that I would need a visual, a promise, that I could hold onto, especially in the dark days. God knew that I would need HOPE to keep moving forward in this restoration process. God has been faithful; He has been doing the restorative work in my heart, on my house, even though it hasn't always been easy. And I hold tightly to the truth that He will make all things beautiful in His time.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Lord, I Need You

I cannot get enough of this song right now! And almost every time that I hear it I am brought to tears because of the truth that is in it. "Where sin runs deep, Your grace is more... Lord, I need you, oh I need you. Every hour I need you..."

Here's the story behind the song too

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


It comes out of nowhere. Silent. Sneaky. Weaving itself stealthily into my thoughts. So comfortable and at home in my mind that I barely register it's existence. So common are the lies and half-truths that I listen to them before I can stop myself.

You aren't... You can't... You're don't...

Constant reminding of all that I'm not. All that I can't. All that I'll never be. Hearing only what it wants me to hear, never stopping to evaluate the messages It sends. Stuck in its destructive cycle going down, down, down. Drowning underneath the weight of its heaviness.

Comparison. Permeating every area of my life. Slowly draining all that is inside, robbing me of joy and fulfillment, purpose and hope. Deadly. Poisoning my eyes, my mind, my heart, my soul.

But there is HOPE. There is life found in truth, in Him. Truth that is still being sought, still being learned. Believing in God's final word instead of comparison's ever-changing ones. Discipline exercised over every moment, every thought. Hard work, filtering out the lies and clinging only to what is true. Choosing to believe that truth. Allowing it to set free.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Submitting the emotional

I think I'm finally back! I know my loyal reader has missed me :) I'm not sure what kind of virus I caught but it did its best to take me out this past week. That's the last time I'm serving in the 1-2 yr old room at LifeKids! (Just kidding, Maggie!)

I can't tell you how much I'm ready for this sickness to disappear. Besides the usual sickness symptoms, coughing, congestion, stuffy head, etc., I've not had a good nights sleep in over a week. And if you know me, you know that I pride myself on being a good nighttime sleeper. Once my head hits the pillow I'm out in less than 2 minutes and nothing wakes me unless my dog, Sophie, sits on top of my head because its stormy outside and she's scared. However, I haven't gotten more than 4 hours of good sleep since a week ago Friday night. That's 9 days, friends. And do you want to know what the cherry on top is? That stupid devil decided now would be a great time to launch an attack. Really?! When I'm already sick AND sleep deprived?! Oh wait, if I was going to try to take out my own enemy then yes, sick and sleep deprived would probably seem like a prime opportunity.

So yesterday, that stupid devil got me when my defenses were down. In all actuality he's been trying the whole time I've been sick but I was just too busy coughing and too foggy from medicine for it to really register. Until yesterday. And then it was like a full force attack. And do you know what he did? He tricked me into letting the emotional overtake the spiritual. And boy did I.

Some of it started Sunday night in my quiet time. I didn't really "feel" like God was there with me. Then yesterday, that same feeling, that my telephone to Jesus was disconnected and He wasn't accepting my calls. Shoot, at one point I wasn't even sure I was calling the right number! I struggled to the point of tears because I felt like God had abandoned me. I didn't understand why the chapters I'd read in a new book didn't really resonate with me or why the message I'd listened to from church on Sunday didn't have a huge impact or why even in my quiet time it felt like I was doing all the talking and God wasn't even listening.

Then, as I was expressing my distress over the situation, my wise accountability partner told me that maybe I felt that way because God knows I don't always hear things as clearly when I'm sick. Hmm...something I hadn't thought about before. I mean, He does know me after all and I'm sure He knows how I quickly I fall apart when I'm not feeling well. And then later in evening, as things were deteriorating once again, that reminder that I'm sick, and lets not forget sleep deprived, so maybe not everything that I'm "feeling" at the moment is true.

As I thought about it, I remembered a sermon from Perry Noble that I listened to this past fall where he talked about Eve and how she gave in to the way she felt rather than the facts in God's word. She let the emotional overtake the spiritual. He stated that the challenge women have is to submit the emotional to the biblical, to submit how we feel to what God says. And bam! Just like that, my telephone to Jesus was up and running again. Not exactly how I expected it or what I wanted, but 100% what I needed. That gentle reminder that I can't allow my feelings to dictate what I know to be true. God hasn't left my side at any point during this past week. In fact, He never leaves me. And that telephone connection that I was worried about? Always completely intact.

Lord, help me to remember the truth in Your word over my fickle feelings. Especially when my defenses are weak, help me to submit the emotional to the biblical. Amen.