Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Perfection is a thief who steals joy from my hands before clinching her claws tightly around my heart. Each day she slips her calling card in my pocket with printed letters that read "selfish" and "indulgent".
But when I lift my hands in surrender to the Lord, she cannot reach them. And one at a time the Lord pries her boney fingers from my heart.

What is gripping you?

Monday, December 27, 2010


We cannot run from the things God places in our lives to shape our character. Running only breeds discontentment. And discontentment reveals that we know we have what we want but we sometimes wonder if we want what we have.

What is it you are running from today? Or what areas of your life show discontentment?

"But godliness with contentment is great gain." -1 Timothy 6:6

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Sometimes we live within the confines of a glass ceiling where we cannot think outside the box. It is a place where tradition speaks and history repeats itself. But in our own little glass house can we hear the pioneer's voice riding on the wind, begging us to forge a new trail? Or are we too comfortable with all that seems familiar?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Trap Doors

Sometimes we find ourselves looking for a trap door: a way out. Instead of thinking, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" we think, "I can't do this!" But beware because trap doors do not usually lead to long-term solutions.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Doxology

An old familiar hymn sings from a memory in my childhood. It was birthed out of ritual and routine but still echoes through my heart today. Only, not in the way music echoes through the walls of a church, but in the way truth echoes through time.

"Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav'nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

Praise God the Father who's the source;
Praise God the Son who is the course;
Praise God the Spirit who's the flow;
Praise God, our portion here below!"
-Thomas Ken

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Sweater

It arrived in the mail a little bit early. A birthday card from a friend with a note penned, "Here's $50 go shopping". So when the day came I made my way to store where I normally just window shop. On a rack marked "sale" I found what I wanted: a black sweater with fancy ruffles on the front. It was the perfect mix of a classic touched by a trend. So I handed the clerk my money then waited nearly a month and this past Sunday I wore it. But not only that, I treasured it. And I kept the compliments I received tucked tightly in my heart.

When I returned home, I draped the sweater gently over a chair in my room instead of returning it to its proper place. Little did I realize that the sweater slipped from the chair and fell into the laundry basket until today when I pulled a little black sweater from the dryer. Ahh... I sighed as my heart sank with disappointment.

It was an expensive lesson learned that material things are fleeting and should stay tucked in a closet, not in a corner of my heart because when they do, they might try to shape my identity, puff up my pride, or steal the place of important virtues. Now my little black sweater can still be worn, but I shall never wear it the same way again.

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." -Colossians 3:12

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Answering the Call

If we come to a place in life where we can just coast then we better be careful. When we make more of an effort to maximize our own comforts, we tend to minimize God's calling on our lives.

I can guarantee that a life lived in hot pursuit of a God sized dream is action packed and full of adventure, not creature comforts.

So let's check our hearts today. Are we more concerned with the comforts of this life or the calling of a lifetime?

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” -Matthew 4:19

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Poem

Winter came without a warning
on Wednesday morning
when a north wind ushered in the cold.
Word on the street is,
"fall is gone" or so I am told
by the leaves that go skipping by
along the ground
and the Christmas lights proclaiming,
"Tis the season to be jolly".
As I cherish in my heart
the coming celebration of my Savior's birth.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Water into Wine

In a day when Jesus turned water into wine, he met a need. He performed a miracle. And I cannot help but wonder today if Jesus would do the same for me and turn water into coffee? I think he would. But more than that, I think he would say, now that you have your coffee, come and let's sit together and talk. That's the Jesus I serve...not a stuffed shirt or a painted mural, but a relational God.

"On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. "
-John 2:1-11

Monday, November 29, 2010


There is a quiet place of silent surrender that remains in a heart yielded to Christ.
It is a place that keeps the heart anchored in the midst of a storm.
It is a place that knows rest in the midst of weariness.
It is a place that knows wealth in the midst of poverty.
It is a place that finds grace in the midst of depravity.
There is a quiet place of silent surrender.
Have you made that discovery?

"Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts."
-Psalm 139:23

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Counting Blessings

The call to live simply comes from a heart that loves deeply. This Thanksgiving let's count our blessings, not in the same way we count days on a calendar or money in our pockets, but in the way we count answered prayers and priceless relationships. I believe that in doing so we will be able to gage whether or not we are living simply or simply living.

What truly matters most to you this holiday season?

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
-Jesus (Matthew 5:3-10)

Monday, November 22, 2010

In Ruins

There are some things we leave in ruins only for them to be filed away in the archives of our past. And that can be a good thing. But it can also be bad when relationships crumble or when dreams fall apart and we are left with nothing more than broken pieces.

What is in a state of disrepair in your life today? Perhaps it is time to rebuild.

A Time for Everything
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

-Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Sometimes I believe we wander like the Israelites in the desert waiting for an "ah-ha" moment. When the reality is that God does not necessarily wait for that "ah-ha" moment to change us. Instead he has been changing us all along. So when doubt settles in as a dense fog and I feel blinded, I must remember that the righteous walk by faith.

"The righteous will live by faith." -Galatians 3:11

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Meet wisdom. She is the kind of girl every woman wants to be someday, as she carries nothing more than a child-like faith in her hands. While my hands cling tightly to that which I cannot keep and my faith gets muddled by the cares of this world. Until my Heavenly Father gently approaches me, putting wisdom's hand in mine.

Wisdom has built her house;
she has set up its seven pillars.
She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine;
she has also set her table.
She has sent out her servants, and she calls
from the highest point of the city,
“Let all who are simple come to my house!”
To those who have no sense she says,
“Come, eat my food
and drink the wine I have mixed.
Leave your simple ways and you will live;
walk in the way of insight.”
-Proverbs 9:1-6

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reality Check

Easy Street seemed like a million miles from here. And yet even on a rainy day I could still see the sun. Then I woke up from my American dream and realized that not only do I live on Easy Street, but I helped build it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Perspective can be somewhat hard to find. She sometimes travels incognito. But when we find her, she is always in the right place-halfway between grace and truth. And her smile speaks to even the most unfamiliar of strangers.

Have you found her? Or better yet, are you even looking?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mustard Seed Faith

Sometimes we fail to possess the faith we need because our needs already possess our faith. We may have a physical need the doctors cannot heal. We may have a financial need the banks cannot solve. We may have a relational need the counselors cannot address. And our needs grow into problems that hover over our faith like looming giants.

But Jesus does not call us to have a faith the size of mountains. He calls us to have a faith that can move mountains.

"You don't have enough faith," Jesus told them. "I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible." -Matthew 17:20

Thursday, November 4, 2010


She suddenly finds herself saddled with insecurities and bridled with fear. She once ran free but now she feels tethered to something that will not let her go: bondage.

Who will be like Jesus and set her free?

"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners..."
-Isaiah 61:1-2

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Poem

The birds announce it's Tuesday morning!
And summer's strong hands have lost their grip on the air.
Now autumn takes the upper hand.

In this moment I long for Saturday
when the leaves whisper "hush, hush, hush"
as the rake sweeps them across the yard.

But still, I take comfort in knowing
that the sun will still peek through the trees in the late afternoon,
casting shadows over the tall grass.

The birds announce it's Tuesday morning!
And the leaves keep falling
just like they did on Saturday.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


There are times when we allow the demands of the day to interfere with the expectations of eternity. Today shouts, "Do, Do, Do!" while eternity whispers, "Pray, Pray Pray." So we give and take in an effort to find some sort of common ground until once again we lose balance. And suddenly everything practical gains the upper hand. But I have a feeling heaven doesn't see "practical" the same way we do.

Friday, October 29, 2010


We cannot abide in a copy/paste sort of Christianity. And yet we still try to copy/paste scripture to our busy lives until we claim the need to catch our breath when the day gets short and our list gets long. But God does not want us to remain there. While we are busy scrambling to catch our breath he is longing to captivate our hearts. So that leaves us with one question; are we too busy for God today?

Sunday, October 24, 2010


A walk with footsteps marked by humility is a walk that will go the extra mile. A walk with footsteps marred by pride will eventually stumble.

"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." -Proverbs 16:18

Friday, October 22, 2010


Sometimes my life feels like a tangled mess and I find myself lost in a performance trap. Other times my life still feels messy, but beautiful at the same time when I find myself walking in God's anointing.

"You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." -Psalm 23:5,6

Saturday, October 16, 2010


A life lived simply can be a life full of substance, but not so much in the things that are seen. Instead, substance can be found in things unseen-things we can't drive or wear or own. Substance can be found in virtues.

"Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience." -Colossians 3:12

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


We can look at life and see that the glass is half full. And that is very good. But what happens if that is not enough? What if the glass could be so full to the point of overflowing? Wouldn't that be better?

"You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows." -Psalm 23:5

Monday, October 11, 2010


Life is an empty stage waiting for us to step out and shine.

Life is a cozy corner in a coffee shop inviting us to be still.

Life is a bowl full of hope and promise ready to be served.

Life is ...

"...I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." -Jesus (John 10:10)

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Wisdom showed up one day.
She came in the room all aglow.
Her hair sat softly on her shoulders.
Her smiled beamed with an inviting warmth.
She carried a bag that draped across her shoulder,
and she pulled from it something she usually brings... healing.

"Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." -Proverbs 12:18

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Each of our lives are stamped by an authentic story. People morph into characters. Different events no longer remain fragmented, but piece together to form a plot filled with suspense and irony.

But at the end of our lives when the climax has met its resolution, will we look back and say it was a good story? Will it be one filled with adventure? Will it be an epic love story? Will good triumph over evil?

I believe our stories are not ours to create. I believe our stories have already been written and are now ours to live.

"All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be."
-Psalm 139:16

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rainy Day

She takes a meandering approach to life; not living with any agenda, but also lacking any clear direction. Still, she keeps a handful of prayers tucked in her pocket, saving them for a rainy day.

And today, when everything stable in her life crumbled, the rains came pouring down.

"Come near to God and he will come near to you." -James 4:8

Thursday, September 23, 2010


We live in layers. And those layers are a testimony to the complexity of our Creator. We did not just accidentally evolve. We have been hand crafted, knit together, designed with a purpose.

"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be."
-Psalm 139:13-16

Monday, September 20, 2010


Brick by brick I built a wall around my heart. But instead of feeling more guarded, I only felt more alone. I was trapped until you came along. Brick by brick you tore that wall down only to build a bridge instead.

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." -John 8:36

Friday, September 17, 2010

Walking in the Spirit

We were not made for a cookie cutter Christianity. We were made to walk in the Spirit. So when we start to play the comparison game, we are left with a recipe for disaster. Which walk of faith will you take today? The one God intends for you or the one he intends for your neighbor?

"Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."
-Galatians 5:25-26

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


It seems as though we spent the summer in the sun and when we look back over the years, all the summers sort of blend together. Then we wake up only to find that the air feels cooler as a gentle breeze chases leaves from the trees to the ground. And I cannot help but wonder where the time goes. How do we spend our days? Are we merely driven to satisfy our own needs or do we find satisfaction in meeting the needs of others?

"Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." -Philippians 2:4

Sunday, September 12, 2010


While some demand, "Give me the stars! Hand me the moon!", she simply feels content to have a sky over her head. And while she knows with her mind that life has so much more to offer than things that sparkle and shine, she also believes it with her heart.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." -Matthew 6:19-21

Saturday, September 11, 2010


There is something to be said for the everyday and the ordinary when security abides in all that is familiar. Especially when peacemakers take their posts, keeping watch over those who fall vulnerable to strife. Or when caretakers keep close to those who cannot care for themselves. In these times it is best not to throw caution to the wind, but to let caution sit on the shelf.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Sometimes I stand in central command of a ship called Life; sailing stormy seas, navigating through uncharted waters. But then God sends a shifting wind my way to set me on a new course directed and ordained by him. It does not always make for smooth sailing, but it does always make the course clear.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

In Progress

To live as a work in progress means to not arrive at the end result until Jesus calls us home. It means that we have longings that go unfulfilled. We have bumps and bruises that have yet to mend. We have unspeakable joy and unconditional love. We sometimes sing from mountain tops. We sometimes dwell in lonely valleys. But in all that we do and in all that we are, we never, ever go unnoticed.

"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." -Philippians 1:6

Friday, September 3, 2010


A perceived reality does not measure up to truth. And truth does not cater to our emotions. Instead, truth sheds light on all that seems unclear. And it opens our eyes to the lies we are fed. So let's stop feeding on everything false and take a spoonful of grace to help us digest the truth.

"Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar. Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread." -Proverbs 30:5-8

Monday, August 30, 2010


I feel compelled to count the cost of following a God I cannot see, but one who I know to be real. The truth of his existence is sewn into my spiritual genetic make up. My family tree bears the names Sarah, Ruth, Naomi, Esther, Lydia, Mary, Elizabeth, even Leah. All of them women who went before me and served a seemingly invisible God with a very visible hand.

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
-Hebrews 11:1

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Sleeper

She sleeps in the shadow of the rising sun, not yet waking to the light of day. But the day still dawns only to find her lost in a slumber from which she may never wake. It will take more than true love's kiss to woo her. It will take more than the American dream to move her.

"But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: 'Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.'" -Ephesians 5:13,14

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


When we take steps of faith, we take steps of uncertainty because we are not guaranteed the outcome, we are only given the moment. It is in those moments we sometimes sit and stare opportunity in the face without even realizing it. So what will you do with the moments you are given? Or better yet, what will you do with the opportunities?

Monday, August 23, 2010


Ministry can be messy. But then again, so can life. And sometimes I think we tiptoe lightly around the lives of other people as if they hold a sign that reads, "Caution: Enter at your own risk!" But Jesus did not conduct his ministry that way. So what are we doing?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Some say "Remarkable" when they see the works of their hands, but I say remarkable when I see the hand of God. And yet sometimes the works of God's hands do not look quite so different from ours-but only when our hands are yielded to him.

"She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy." -Proverbs 31:20

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


In a portrait called Provision, hope dawns on the horizon while despair fades in the distance. It's not Van Gogh, neither is it Monet, it's God.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Sin is sin. But sin held in the light of forgiveness is redemption.

"But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." -1 John 1:9

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chasing Freedom

She chases after something she can barely see. Some say it is just an illusion. Others call it a fairytale. But somewhere in her once upon a time, a dream stays nestled in her heart. It is not one of romance or one of adventure, but one of freedom. And freedom is neither an illusion nor a fairytale. Freedom, she claims, can be found with a little bit of faith.

"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." -Hebrews 11:1

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Prayer Warrior

Some call her a modern day Joan of Arc while others call her a Mother Theresa. I simply call her a warrior. She charges through enemy territory in a battle too great to ignore, with a weapon so fierce it pierces through body, soul and spirit.

Who is the prayer warrior in your life? Or better yet, who do you wage war for?

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." -Ephesians 6:12

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Our Daily Bread

Our daily bread nourishes the heart and feeds the soul. It is not french, neither is it made with things like bananas or beer. It satisfies our lives, not our stomachs.

"Give us today our daily bread." -Matthew 6:11

God gives

I keep patience in my pocket because I don't always have enough to go around. But instead of holding on to patience, I should be holding on to prayer. So I let go of the little bit I do have, trusting that God gives so much more.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self-control." -Galatians 5:22,23

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dusk at the Beach

A small caravan of clouds travels through a golden desert on a journey to a place called night. Each one weary from the heat of day, but hopeful for the gentle breeze to offer a little push to a place where the sky turns pink. Their shadows mirror across a breaking shoreline where children play and seagulls swoop. And one nearby skeptic who doubts God's very existence declares the beauty of a sunset.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Come Boldly

Sometimes my child-like faith leaves me shaking heaven for pennies. But then I set the piggy bank down and remember that a prayer of faith stretches far beyond any feeble requests.

"So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most." -Hebrews 4:16

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Time is friendly. She ticks through our lives like a kindred spirit, breezing in with a giving heart.

Time is cruel. She ticks through our lives like a thief, stealing with her greedy hands.

Time is fleeting. She remains unknown and illusive as she passes by on the busy days with nothing more than a blank stare.

Time is fickle. How is time treating you?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Swimmer

She swims in unfamiliar places, from shallow water to deep, navigating her way through a new world. But although her world is new, she knows it is right, so she keeps diving deeper.

"Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me." -Psalm 42:7

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Step of Faith

A step of faith is a step like no other.
It propels the desire to obey the still small voice of the Great Almighty.
It is more than a small step for man and it can surpass the greatness of a step for mankind.
A step of faith walks along a road called eternity.

"Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."
-Galatians 5:25

Monday, July 19, 2010


We sleep in the shade to hide from the scorching sun. But shade can be nothing more than a shifting shadow. So we pick up and move in hopes of finding the comfort we crave. Until we realize that true comfort, apart from the Comforter, is simply a mirage.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."
- 2 Corinthians 1:3,4

Monday, July 12, 2010


Confidence speaks loudly as she walks through crowded spaces. Her head held high asks strangers to open doors for her. "Prepare the way," she says silently.

But it is not the kind of confidence that speaks too loudly. Instead, it is just loud enough to invite others to turn their heads and look and listen.

It is an inner confidence. The stick to your ribs kind that mothers fed to their daughters before the world stripped it away...

until redemption rescued her. And confidence was restored.

"...for the LORD will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being snared." -Proverbs 3:26

Friday, July 9, 2010

Starting Somewhere

We all must start somewhere, but I don't always know where that somewhere may be. The world tells me it should be as glamorous as somewhere over the rainbow, but I can't trust the world. I just know that when God is present, somewhere is a great place to start!

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight."
-Proverbs 3:5,6

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Days of Our Lives

These are the days that make memories. Days filled with purpose, not wanting even a minute to be lost to idle time. And so we lather our loved ones up in prayer before seeing them off to a day filled with adventure, knowing the Lord cares about every detail.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


The sun sets in a city where history speaks richly through architecture's frame and photography's lens. And as the night sky darkens, the stars glitter brightly, reminding this city and its history of an even greater past.

"God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning-"
Genesis 1:16-19

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Sometimes I feel as though God leaves me completely in the dark, unable to navigate my way through this life. But isn't that just like God to strip us of those things that keep us from trusting him?

And once my hands stop reaching for what might be in front of me, I become still. So that all I can do is listen.

It's in that moment that God reaches down from heaven to turn the lights back on as if to say, "Now do I have your attention?"

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." -Jesus (John 10:27)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

In the Margins

On paper she lives her life somewhere in the middle among the well-dressed and the well-fed. And on most days that is good enough for her. But on the days when it is not, she scribbles her faith down in the margins of her life, trying to hold onto something bigger. But God is not asking her to squeeze him in the margins. He is telling her to keep him in the center.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." -Jesus (John 15:5)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Quest for Community

Sometimes my quest for community leads me on a path I seem to walk alone. And irony taps me on the shoulder.

But I press on, knowing that my quest must be fulfilled. Until I realize that all along I have been traveling down a road called Ministry, not realizing that this road leads to community. And irony taps me on the shoulder once again.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Spills and Stains

The culture we live in is not contained. It spills out. It overflows. It splatters. It even splatters onto our children.

As a woman madly in love with Jesus Christ, I always feel the need to come alongside my daughters with a wet rag to wash their hands and faces. But I realize that no matter how hard I try, I still miss a spot.

So I tuck my girls into bed and take Jesus by the hand, asking him to go where I cannot go, to see what I cannot see, to clean what I cannot clean.

And when the culture has spilled and left some stains, I trust that Jesus knows how to clean it up.

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 for attaining wisdom and discipline;
for understanding words of insight;
3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life,
doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young-
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance-
6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
8 Listen, my son, to your father's instruction
and do not forsake your mother's teaching.
9 They will be a garland to grace your head
and a chain to adorn your neck.
-Proverbs 1:1-9

Saturday, June 19, 2010

He Cares

With his hands, he hung the stars on a black velvet wall and then he spoke the word "night". And the same two hands are holding my heart on this very night. Thank you, Lord, for being big enough to create, and intimate enough to care.

"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you."
-1 Peter 5:7

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Stray

A stray dog nips at my heels. And while some say her bark is worse than her bite, I know better than to believe them. Her name is complacency, and she hounds me. But I know the second I go to throw her a bone, she'll strike. So I run, trying to shake her.

"Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life."
-Proverbs 4:23

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Got Passion?

Passion sweats from our pores, it beats with our hearts, it flows from every part of who we are. Passion takes us farther, drives us longer, and lifts us higher than we ever dreamed or imagined. And that very passion is planted in our hearts by the One who created us.

What's your passion?

"...I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you..."
-2 Timothy 1:6

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Parenthood is a bit ironic. It seems as though there is a constant blend of harmony mixed with chaos; joy blended with anxiety; uncertainty merged with wisdom. Parenthood is therapy for the control freak. Parenthood is rehab for the perfectionist. Parenthood is a gift.

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one's youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."
-Psalm 127:3-5

Saturday, June 12, 2010

This is the Day

There is a room in my house where the light glows dimly at night while an end table boasts with beauty as her silhouette cascades across one wall. She commands the stage for an audience of several furnishings that sit silently holding their applause. And they do hold their applause until 7 a.m. when tiny little feet clap against the cold tile floors.

Suddenly the staged room no longer illuminates with the legs of a table, but with the legs of a child. My child, in fact. She emerges from a dressing room of sorts to take place on the center stage of my day in my house where the light glows dimly at night.

So I give my regards to the quiet of night, and welcome the beauty of day.

"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." -Psalm 118:24

Monday, June 7, 2010


Sometimes I find myself knocking on grace's door, feeling like a weary traveler looking for shelter. In those moments I feel hungry, dirty, tired, and yet grace always opens the door to feed me, clean me up and give me rest.

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." -2 Corinthians 12:9

Thursday, June 3, 2010


If we raise our cups to toast to our own greatness, then how much more should our lips offer up songs of praise to our God? We work with our hands to create what seems good, but when God works with his hands, He performs miracles. And He does not limit those miracles to a time dated 2,000 years ago. The God I serve still works miracles today.

"Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. With your mighty arm you redeemed your people..." -Psalm 77:13-15

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Her Heavy Heart

She carries around a heavy heart, even though her hands are empty. But empty hands and a heavy heart only drive her to prayer. Like a persistent widow pleading for justice is her cry before the Lord.

And her cry is heard.

It echoes through the halls of heaven to the very throne of God. Just knowing this brings her comfort and suddenly, the weight of her heavy heart feels lifted.

"Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." -Hebrews 4:16

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Growing Together

I stood by your side wearing white without realizing I was hardly more than a girl. That day became a picture frozen in time.

Now I stand by your side in faded blue jeans with little hands clinging to my pockets-the hands of our girls. And I realize that I am hardly more than a woman.

While you stand by our sides- a picture frozen in time.

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." -1 Corinthians 13:13

Friday, May 28, 2010

Super Size It

I find that when my life seems larger than me, then it also seems out of my control. But when I feel larger than life, I feel very much in control. So which way would I rather have it? Well, my head thinks it is best for me to have control, but my heart beats differently.

So go ahead and make mine bigger. Super size it. I want to be living large with God in command.

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." -Proverbs 16:9

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I grew up in what felt like the back side of a small town where the only thing to do on a Friday night was to count the stars in the country.

Until one day my restless heart traded in a sky full of stars for a pocket full of ambition. But I soon came to realize that selfish ambition can't light up the night sky.

So I sat in the dark waiting for someone to give me a light . . . only you did not show up like the rest-all tall, dark and handsome. You should up with sweet salvation.

"Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;

say to those with fearful hearts,
'Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.'

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert."
-Isaiah 35:3-6

Monday, May 24, 2010

God-Sized Dreams

God created us with the ability to create. Just as he placed each star in the sky, he also placed each dream in our hearts. Each one counted and ready to wake like a collection of starry nights awaiting the dawn. But while it is still night, God holds our dreams the same way he holds our hearts, like a small galaxy spinning in the palm of his hand.

What is your God-sized dream?

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
-Ephesians 2:10


Sometimes I wonder if I start my day thinking I can command an empire.
I storm the house!
I sieze the day!
I charge the challenges!
....Until I remember who is really in charge.

"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." -Psalm 118:24

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Brave Heart

Openly embrace the redemptive work of God in your life instead of avoiding it.

There was a time when you sang, "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine..." But now you sing about a time when love left you hurting.

So you sit with a wounded heart that was once called brave. And now God is calling you to stand again . . . and shine.

"Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." -Jesus (Matthew 5:16)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sacrificial Love

Sacrificial love comes from a deep place. Very deep. So deep that I have to dig to discover it. But if I am in fact going to dig, where do I begin? At first I thought there must be some sacrificial love hidden in the soil of my own heart, but it did not take long for me to realize I could find none.

So I acknowledged my need for God himself to supernaturally place his sacrificial love in my heart. And then I kept on digging...only to find the cross.

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." -Jesus (John 15:12,13)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Lost Soul

For the longest time, I felt like a lost soul trying to hitch hike my way into heaven. Until one day I realized I needed more than just a free ride. I knew I needed a relationship. But not the kind to call me on the phone or take me to dinner. No, I did not need a casual date, just like I did not need a casual Jesus.
"For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost." -Jesus (Luke 19:10)

Sunday, May 9, 2010


I tend to be near-sighted when I work with the strength of my own hands, making my own plans. But God is far-sighted, seeing the big picture. So I fold my hands and look at the cross instead of myself, knowing that God's plan is so much bigger than mine.

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 3:12-14

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Mother

Her love is soft like velvet.
Her words are a sweet perfume.
Knowing she has today,
she embraces her child with visions of tomorrow,
as she showers her little one with grace and truth.

"Her children stand and bless her." -Proverbs 31:28

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Artist

Do you ever think of God as The Artist? I do. And I believe he vividly paints a picture of love throughout the Bible. So if loving people is God's art, the let's pick up a paintbrush!

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
-John 3:16

Sunday, May 2, 2010


By mistake I spilled a little bit of doubt on my dreams today. And when I tried to wipe it away, the doubt smeared, leaving a big streak. Now my dreams are stained by something I so carelessly allowed to spill out of my heart.

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."
-James 1:5-8

Thursday, April 29, 2010


A wedding band shines and shimmers. It tells a love story between a man and a woman to anyone who will listen. But somewhere along the line, someone dropped it. Now it is lost in a sandy beach or in a relentless ocean or down a drain or in a street gutter or in worldly pride or in warped ideas or it has been given over to unbridled lust. The sanctity of marriage has slipped off our fingers. But I don't think it has been lost completely. No, it can be recovered.

"... if we are faithless, he will remain faithful..." -2 Timothy 2:13

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Heart

My heart beats to the rhythm of your grace, knowing that the beat of any other drum does not satisfy. So I rejoice in the rhythm of the music heaven makes. And I smile, giving thanks to the Lord for playing our song...

"I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." -Ezekiel 36:26

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Just be you

Ever since I can remember the world has said, "If you can't be skinny, you should be athletic. If you are not smart, you should at least be witty. If you don't seem popular, you should start a new trend." And ever since I can remember the Bible says that we are to be in this world, but not of it . . .

So I say, "Just be you."

"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well."
-Psalm 139:13,14

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Power of Prayer

Sometimes my hands feel tied. My calendar is full. My pockets are empty. Knowing that I do not have the time or money to give to a cause leaves me feeling paralyzed . . . until I remember the power of prayer.

"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." -James 5:16

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I do not believe in airing dirty laundry. But I do believe in telling others about those times and places in our lives that God has redeemed. We should share our stories to build bridges into the lives of others. Those bridges lead us to the gospel.

Do you remember the story that built a bridge in your life?

"Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in;
hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress;
he led them by a straight way, till they reached a city to dwell in.
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to the sons of men!
For he satisfies him who is thirsty, and the hungry he fills with good things."
-Psalm 107:2-9

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Ransom

Jesus is not my homeboy. He's not a mascot I salute. He's not a lucky charm I carry in my pocket. He's not a genie in a bottle.

So why do I sometimes view him this way when I know He is so much more?

"For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men-"
(1 Timothy 2:5,6).

The Path

Sometimes I clearly know the path God wants me to walk, and yet I still tip toe along the way. Perhaps I feel timid, perhaps I have doubts. But then faith takes me by the hand and confidently leads me on. Suddenly I don't feel quite so timid as my heart bravely swells.

"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." -Psalm 16:11

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Truth

A sugar coated story is no story at all, just like a sugar coated truth is no truth at all. You see, sugar coated words may taste sweet in our mouths, but they can eventually leave us with aching bellies-or even worse, aching hearts.

"If you hold to my teaching you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
-Jesus (John 8:31,32)

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Clean Slate

A fresh start. A clean slate. A blank page . . . that's what I need.

A fresh start. A clean slate. A blank page . . . that's what You offer.

"The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us."

-Psalm 103:8-12

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Being Still

Noise hovers around me like a pesky fly disturbing the silence. While the vacant space on today's calendar reminds me that I am really good at "doing," but not so good at "being." So complacency rolls in, all dark and ominous until the truth of your Word breaks through . . . and you gently whisper, "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).

Monday, April 12, 2010


Life is a pilgrimage of sorts. It is a collection of experiences we keep tucked in our pockets. It is a collage of people we keep close to our hearts.

Life is a journey with a beginning and an ending. But I would say that life does not begin in the cradle. It begins at the cross. And it does not have to end at the grave. It can end with grace.

"I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'" -Jesus (John 3:5-7)

Friday, April 9, 2010


Giant character flaws lurked in the corners of my heart, eager to pounce on anything good.

Until you came along and showed me how to die to myself.

But then I died to myself so much that I forgot who I was.

But then again, isn't that the point?

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" -2 Corinthians 5:17

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I thought all I wanted was a seat in the shade until you offered solace in your shadow.

So in my weariness, I sat down, knowing that you can be trusted.

And I realized that while I merely sought after shelter, you sought after me.

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.'" -Psalm 91:1

Monday, April 5, 2010


When I first came to Jesus, I did not feel like a golden girl of summer.

I felt burned and blistered after staying out in the world for too long.

And even though the world scorched my life, Jesus still soothed my soul, healing the blisters and burns.

"For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them." -Jesus
(Matthew 13:15)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Slaying Dragons

Some days I think we still run around in our super hero jammie's with plastic swords in our hands, conquering fire breathing dragons.

Only our dragons no longer appear green and scaly, but instead they come knocking on our door for a 9:00 a.m. conference call, or they jump right out of our day timers.

But now that we are adults, we have a choice to make. Do we slay the day, seize it, or put our swords down and surrender it?

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." -Proverbs 16:3

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Silver Spoon

According to the world's standards, I have been a daughter of privilege, born with a silver spoon in my mouth. But now my mouth is open and the silver spoon sits in my hand, ready to feed others; perhaps not with food from the kitchen or with money from the bank, but with ample servings of God's Word that fills the belly with truth and the mind with wisdom.

According to the world's standards, I have been a daughter of privilege. But now, according to God's standards, I am his daughter, and I stand with his Word in my hand, eager to share it with anyone who will receive it.

"Taste and see that the Lord is good." - Psalm 34:8

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Sometimes I feel brave enough to rub shoulders with the unfamiliar.
So I take a step of faith, and find myself wide-eyed, realizing that God so freely hands us passports to new territories if we will only open our hands to receive them.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." -Joshua 1:9

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Mother

Her love is soft like velvet.
Her words are a sweet perfume.
Knowing she has today,
she embraces her child with visions of tomorrow,
as she showers her little one with grace and truth.

"Her children stand and bless her." -Proverbs 31:28

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Million Different Pieces

When we come to God, He finds us broken in a million different pieces.

Left alone, those pieces stay fragmented.

But if we let Him, God takes each piece in His hands and puts them back together so that little by little, we begin to look the way He originally intended for us to appear: like Him.

Are you putting the pieces of your life in God's hands? Or do they remain shattered and untouched?

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." -Genesis 1:27

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Setting Sail

There comes a time when we must take up our anchors and set sail on the open seas to navigate through uncharted waters.

But sometimes our anchors get rusty. They have been buried in a watery grave for too long.

Perhaps the time has come to cut the line?

What are the anchors in your life that keep you bound to familiar waters, preventing fresh winds from catching your sails?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Love at First Sight

When I met Jesus for the first time, face to face, I was surprised that my previous ideas of him were so far from the truth. I had always pictured him to be powerless, glazed over in a stained glass window. But it was not He who stood powerless and void of life. It was me.

I thought of God in his holiest of holies, as one who could not be approached by me because my place of worship did not land me in a Sunday morning pew, but in a Friday night bar stool. But God was not unapproachable. I was.

So it came as a complete shock when He approached me, penetrating my heart in such a powerful way.

It was love at first sight.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." -Deuteronomy 6:5

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Got Routine?

You may know how to find a diamond in the rough, but do you know how to find beauty in routine? I realize that for some, routine is spelled m-o-n-o-t-o-n-y. And for some, routine appears when you turn the computer on again, or when you change another diaper, or when you take the next semester of classes.

So how do I find beauty in routine? First, I realize that this is the day the Lord has made and if God has made it, then something somewhere must have beauty. So I choose to look for it, but I also ask God to reveal it.

Does God need to uncover some beauty in the midst of your daily regime? If so, ask Him to refresh, recharge, renew your perspective!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Hands of God

Sometimes I feel myself slipping through the cracks like part of me is not solid, but liquid, ever conforming to that which holds me. So if I am held by the hands of God, then I can remain still, for his hands are unchanging.

I however am changing.

Sometimes I let myself fall into the hands of a stranger, whether it be a difficult circumstance or a funky state of mind. Yet I always manage to slip through those fingers.

And still fall right back into the unchanging hands.

Thank you God for staying the same, even when I do not. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
-Hebrews 13:8

Who or what is holding you today?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Control Freak

Have you ever wondered if you really are a control freak dressed up with degrees, a good career, and a happy family? I have. I admit I am sometimes guilty of wearing a cool facade while below the surface I am treading water to stay afloat in a sea called control.

I recently shared my perfectionist tendencies with a sister in Christ and she threw me a life line when she pointed out that perfectionism really is about having control. When we are drowning, we cannot rescue ourselves.

What kind of sea are treading in today? Perhaps you should take it to someone who can throw you a life line?

"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." -Proverbs 27:17

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Cinderella Story

The body of Christ, as broken individuals, ought to come together like puzzle pieces to make up the greater picture: Christ's bride. We are made spotless and pure knowing that one day the Bridegroom will return.

I realized my identity as His bride about a year after my own wedding. I stood in a church service, engaged in worship when an image suddenly flashed before my mind. It was an image of myself standing in a dirty, tattered and torn wedding dress. Then immediately afterward flashed another image of myself in a sparkling white dress, followed by the words, "This is how I see you. Now remain in my love."

You see, I bounced back and forth like a double minded person realizing that in one moment I felt loved and accepted by Christ, while in the next moment I felt unworthy to even stand in His presence.

But the truth tells me that "as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you" (Isaiah 62:5).

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Time Traveler

I recently met a woman covered in the scent of grief as she spoke in memory of her mother and husband. I listened, inhaling the aroma of her sadness. It smelled familiar, and yet unfamiliar. Like a perfume I know I have smelled before, but could not identify the name. Still, it clings to her, musky and bold.

She did not cry. Her eyes did not even tear up. She spoke matter-of-factly as if her loved ones were standing beside us. Their memories so real, they almost appeared at the sound of her voice.

She lives so much in the past that I was not even sure if she knew I am from the present. Like a time traveler, her reality remains stuck on yesterday.

Still, I breathed her sorrow in while listening to her stories.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My Independence

Somewhere between being a girl and becoming a woman, I bought into the idea of living independently. And while independence can be good in certain contexts, it can also be detrimental.

As a freshman at Penn State I spent my nights socializing at fraternities. "This is Leaha. She is an Independent," the frat brothers would introduce me in this way to point out that I was not affiliated with any sorority.

Now, so many years later, I still find myself living up to that label. But independence can come with a price. Often for me, independence is spelled

You see, independence clashes with community. Like siblings they rival with each other, unable to get along. So while I crave community, I often default to independence. For me community is the sibling I don't naturally seek out while independence is always eager to play.

1 John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another..."

How about you?

Friday, March 5, 2010

No Coincidences

There are no coincidences with God.

Whether divine appointments that delight us, or terrifying moments that frighten us, God is not surprised.

But while He is not surprised, we may still feel alarmed, whether in fragile moment or in brave moments.

How do you find rest in God's all-knowing presence? Or have you yet to find rest?

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
-Romans 8:28

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

This World

Sometimes this world leaves me feeling a little flat. I am not blue, but I am not yellow either. I am just playing it safe when I want to play it savvy. I am resting in what's predictable, when I want to be waking to what's powerful.

Maybe I'm stuck on what seems too familiar.

When the world tells me to wish upon a star, I need to pray to my Savior. When the world tells me it's good karma, I need to cling to the One who is good. And when the world calls me lucky, I need to call myself blessed.

But everything I should call familiar, this world calls foreign.

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
- 2 Corinthians 4:18

Friday, February 26, 2010

World Vision

Tonight I huddled around the laptop with my two daughters beside me. We stared into it's glow, browsing through World Vision's website, ready to choose a child to sponsor. We first searched through pictures of children from Africa. South Africa to be specific. But no one profile seemed to be the right fit. We were looking for a girl, somewhere between the ages of 5 and 7 who we could support monthly and love daily. After flipping though several candidates, the thought occurred to me that we should pray.

Dear Jesus, please lead us to the right girl who you want us to sponsor. Make it obvious. Amen.

My daughters were not feeling any sort of connection with the images we had seen, so I broadened our search to the entire continent of Africa. Girl. Five years old. Search. Again we looked at several profiles. Most of the girls wore short hair cuts shaved closely to their heads. "Is that a boy?" My girls would ask. Sometimes their shirts looked dirty, sometimes their shirts looked clean.

And through my American eyes, I found myself viewing the profiles almost as if I were judging a contest. That one has the cutest smile. That one has the chubbiest cheeks. That one likes art.

But my six year old daughter looked through Jesus' eyes.

"STOP!" She exclaimed. A little girl stared back at us. Her big eyes had dark circles under them. She was nearly bald. She looked very thin.

"That's the one!" My daughter declared.

"How do you know?" I asked, kind of surprised.

"Because she looks like she needs help the most. I want to help her." She voiced with her child like faith.

Suddenly my American faith didn't feel so heroic. I felt small.

I marveled at my daughter's compassion.

And I am happy to say that we did not hesitate in choosing that little girl!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Your Umbrella

I stood in the rain with no clear sense of direction. The clouds hovered low in the sky. Rain poured down.

Until you came along and shared your umbrella with me.

"O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago. . . . You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. . . . " -Isaiah 25:1, 4

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Time tugs at my life like a kid sister, eagerly leading me by the hand.

Bravery pushes me forward like a high school friend shouting, "I dare you!"

Faith stretches out like a shadow-always present, but not always seen.

And God calls with a megaphone to my heart saying, "This is the way; walk in it" (Isaiah 30:21)

. . . All so that I cannot help but feel compelled to go.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Seasons

When I think of the word "seasons" I first think of the four seasons. But what about the seasons of our lives?

Like winter we have dormant seasons. These are times when part of us hides away from the light. It stays hidden. It slumbers.

But then spring dawns with a new sense of awakening . Hope sprouts up after being summoned by cleansing rains.

And then the sun breaks through, welcoming summer. Suddenly, life is a picnic.

Until a chill forms in the air, ushering in the autumn. And life seems less vibrant. Perhaps even a little dry.

What kind of season are you in today?

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven . . . He [God] has made everything beautiful in its time." -Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Sometimes in our circumstances God uses the physical to meet us in the spiritual.

This summer will be the two year mark of having broken my foot in two places after tripping and falling. The doctor ordered complete bed rest in order for my body to heal.

For most of that summer I physically sat in a comfy sofa with a bandaged foot, but spiritually I sat at the feet of Jesus. God, in His sovereignty allowed for that time to not only heal my body, but to heal my soul as well.

"Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!" -Isaiah 30:18

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Lady in Red

Do you remember when you were a kid, singing in the back seat of your parents' car with the windows rolled down? Your hair blowing in your face. Your voice competing with the wind. I remember singing as loud as I could to Chris DeBurgh's "The Lady in Red." Clearly it was my dad's tape, since at that time I was still jammin' along to the tune of Sesame Street. But when we got in the car to go somewhere, the music played and I imagined myself as The Lady in Red.

Ironically, now I really am The Lady in Red after having come into a relationship with Jesus Christ. Only I am not the romantic lady of a hit song from the 80's, I am a lady who has experienced redemption.

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding." -Ephesians 1:7,8

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, I sang a Capella to an audience called "Me". Now I sing Hallelujah to an audience of One.

Once upon a time, the world called me "Daughter". Now I am a Daughter of the King.

Once upon a time, true love was a fairy tale. Now true love is mine.

"I have loved you with an everlasting love . . . " -Jeremiah 31:3

Sunday, February 14, 2010


There is a restlessness beating in every heart that is apart from God's peace. And that beating heart pumps complacency through the blood until it infects the whole body, so that all there is left to do is run. But that kind of running can land you in the belly of a whale.

Are you running today?

If so, stop. God does not want to trap you, he wants to talk with you.

Jonah's Prayer (from the book of Jonah, Chapter 2)

1 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. 2 He said:
"In my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me.
From the depths of the grave [a] I called for help,
and you listened to my cry.

3 You hurled me into the deep,
into the very heart of the seas,
and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
swept over me.

4 I said, 'I have been banished
from your sight;
yet I will look again
toward your holy temple.'

5 The engulfing waters threatened me, [b]
the deep surrounded me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.

6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you brought my life up from the pit,
O LORD my God.

7 "When my life was ebbing away,
I remembered you, LORD,
and my prayer rose to you,
to your holy temple.

8 "Those who cling to worthless idols
forfeit the grace that could be theirs.

9 But I, with a song of thanksgiving,
will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
Salvation comes from the LORD."

10 And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I would like to hear from you! How has God given you beauty for ashes?

"... and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." -Isaiah 61:3

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Counting the Cost

I first realized the cost of discipleship when I surrendered my life to Christ in October of 1997. I later left a career to follow God's calling into the mission field.

Perhaps the cost of discipleship seems like it carries a hefty price tag, but I can assure you that there is a rich reward for those who count the cost.

On this side of heaven, the choice to leave some of the "comforts" of this world may seem sacrificial at times, but witnessing God change lives for all eternity far outweighs the luxuries of a "comfortable" lifestyle.

Has God been tugging on your heart to do something for His glory that seems a little out of the box?

"'Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.'" -Jesus (Matthew 6:19-21)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Success and Failure

In life, our ultimate goal should not be to fail or succeed, but to discover the life God planned for each of us to live. It is fun to celebrate our successes and it is good to learn from our failures. Both of these could equally be parts of God's design for our lives. But successes and failures alone should not define our lives as God intended them to be lived.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'" -Jeremiah 29:11-13

Monday, February 8, 2010


What's in a prayer? Is it something we mumble under our breath before heading out to work in the morning? Is it a plea we make on a whim when things are not going our way?

I believe prayer is talking with God.

If I can be honest with you, when I pray, I don't necessarily picture God sitting on His throne, but rather in a rocking chair by a fireside. His hair is white and his smile kindly invites me to enter into a conversation with him. I am not sure if this vision emerged out of fondness for my grandfather, or out of a nostalgic view of Santa Clause still lingering from childhood. Nevertheless, when I pray, I talk with God, not some character I have conjured up in my imagination.

How about you? Has your prayer life been more like a brief hello or a fireside chat?

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
-Philippians 4:6,7

Thursday, February 4, 2010


If life were a picture, it would be dull, one-dimensional and centered upon a single moment. Thankfully, life is so much more than that.

So why do we feel disappointed or discontented when our lives seem less than picturesque?

If our lives are messier than photo shoots, then why do we expect our lives to look staged? We are people, not props. Our lives are made to be lived, not simply looked at.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." -John 10:10

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Facing Trials

Do you feel like you live in an unseen prison? It may be called financial distress. It may look like physical illness. It may feel like emotional pain. Whatever the cause of your pain, whatever the reason for your prison, keep your eyes on Jesus. Then as you "do your time", God does his work in you.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
-James 1:2-4

Monday, February 1, 2010

Guard your heart

Do you think we worship our "almighty schedules"? Perhaps not consciously, but subconsciously? Does our prayer life follow a paper trail that leaves us wondering what time we need to be somewhere? Does our day timer dictate our devotion? Maybe it is time we check our hearts instead of our watches? What do you think?

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." -Proverbs 4:23

Sunday, January 31, 2010


If variety is the spice of life, then balance must be the staple of life. I enjoy excitement and adventure, but I also need consistency. I may get by allowing the pendulum of my life to stop swinging, but after a while I need to regain momentum. Otherwise I end up too far to the right or too far to the left.

I gain tremendous balance from the book of the Bible called Proverbs:
"My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God." -Proverbs 2:1-5

Thursday, January 28, 2010

God's Story

Life can be hard. Some of us make it through to the end, unscathed. Others don't. But all of us have a story. And each story is woven into a greater story: God's story. Did you know that God desires for you to debut as one of his main characters? The Bible tells us to "fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).

Will you take a step of faith and live the story God has written for your life, or will you shrink back and settle for a lesser story and play the part of a lesser character?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Tattoo

As a college freshman, I embarked on an adventure to express my independence after breaking up with a boyfriend. I got a tattoo. Now a blue green butterfly permanently rests on my back. It is, to me, a symbol of freedom. But as an eighteen year old girl, my ideas of freedom were much different than what they are today.

That little tattoo reminds me that at one point I found freedom in the absence of a relationship, but now I find freedom in a relationship with Christ.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" -2 Corinthians 5:17

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Vision

I took off my rose colored glasses only to discover that my sight was skewed. Even my lenses were cracked. What I thought was shabby chic turned out to just be shabby. It took time for my eyes to adjust. The light seemed brighter and my vision remained fuzzy.

The world told me I could have anything, but anything is really nothing apart from Christ.

I see that clearly now.

"... Some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, 'Do you see anything?'
He looked up and said, 'I see people; they look like trees walking around.'
Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly." -Mark 8:22-25

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Fresh Start

Water pours from the sky to the ground, drenching the earth, soaking the soil, washing impurities away. My mind feels clear and refreshed. There is a clean slate. A fresh start. A new beginning. What will this day bring?

Your mercies are new and the possibilities seem endless.

"This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it." -Psalm 118:24

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Prayer

Lord, we lift up to you a bleeding nation deeply anchored in deadly circumstance.

Today orphans live without fathers, the wounded wait for physicians, and the lost long for a Savior. Their prayers ring like echos, calling back with a hollow cry.

We trust in you, Lord, knowing you hear their prayers, for you are The Father, The Physician and The Savior.

Please hear our prayers today, Lord and heal this bleeding nation.


"The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results." -James 5:16

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I love the fact that my Savior does not demand a code of conduct when it comes to worship. We live in a day when our culture, even our Christian culture expects us to conform. So some of us sing out of hymnals while others worship to rock bands. Some of us remain still, while others dance. Some raise their hands while others keep their hands at their sides. Regardless of the style of worship, the Lord cares about whether or not we come before him with a yielded heart, devoted fully to worshipping Him.

"Sing to the Lord a new song . . . " Psalm 96:1

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Echo in Her Tummy

My six year old and I were having a conversation about prayer. As a parent, I always try to make the most of teachable moments, especially those that touch on faith. I instructed her to talk to Jesus about what she feels and thinks, just like she would with me or with another family member or a friend. She then turned to me and said, "But when I pray, I don't hear the echo in my tummy."

"What?" I asked, puzzled by her response.

"You told me that when Jesus talks back to me, it will sound like an echo in my tummy." She explained.

Instantly my memory turned up a conversation in which I think I tried to explain that sometimes when God speaks to us it can seem like a still, small voice inside (in addition to other ways such as through God's Word). Well, after that conversation, she walked away with the idea that she should wait to hear an echo in her tummy.

Her mindset is so innocent and precious.

On a serious note, I pray tonight for the six year old's in Haiti who have an echo in their tummies from the extreme hunger they are experiencing, and the echo of pain in their hearts.

Monday, January 18, 2010


You know you're a mom if (feel free to add to the list) . . .
1. At any given moment, you have a plastic pair of Barbie shoes and a pack of raisins in your purse.
2. You can pitch a softball in your backyard while wearing your church clothes and Crocs.
3. You pee your pants from time to time thanks to the precious babies who sat on your bladder for nine months.
4. You know most, if not all the songs Barnie sings.
5. When someone says "lunch" the first thing that comes to mind is PB&J.
6. Pink and Purple are the new Black and White.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Praying for Haiti

My daughter straps on broken wings without giving a thought to the possibility they may not fly. Outside the rain pours down while she talks of picnics. Her world is safe, simple and secure.

It is a far cry from another world where little girls have strapped on broken hearts instead of broken wings, knowing they may never mend. Outside the night sky serves as a makeshift ceiling, while the ground provides a makeshift bed. Their world is complicated and chaotic.

Oswald Chambers once wrote, "When you work, you work; but when you pray, God works." We are praying the words of Psalm 23 for all the earthquake victims suffering in Haiti today:

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Religious or Relational?

If I were to ask you, "In what ways are you religious?" you might say:
1. I pray.
2. I volunteer.
3. I give.
4. I worship.
5. I read.
6. I meditate.
7. I memorize.

If I were to ask you, "In what ways are you relational?" you might say:
1. I talk.
2. I laugh.
3. I cry.
4. I share.
5. I give.
6. I take.
7. I listen.

What if I told you that your religion could become a relationship? Would you believe me? Jesus says, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me" (Revelation 3:20). Try opening the door of your life to Jesus and see that you can talk, laugh, cry, share, give, take, and listen to the God who created you and loves you.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

He Loves Me

"He loves me. He loves me not. He loves me. He loves me not." How many times have you said that in your lifetime? Perhaps it was 15 years ago or 15 minutes ago. But did you know that God's love is like no other?

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." -Lamentations 3:22,23

The Country Girl and The City Girl

She travels along a lonely road leading to a place in the country where the sun sits low in the sky. In her hand she carries just one bag, but her burden feels heavy. When she was a girl, she could hold her dreams gracefully in the palm of her hands. Now she prays that grace will keep holding onto her.

It's rush hour in the city. The subway swarms with people trying to get to a place called home where the sun sits low in the sky. In her hand she carries a briefcase full of burdens. When she was a girl, she dreamed of opening an art gallery downtown. Now she prays that her desk job will last through a troubled economy.

Sound familiar? At what point did you lose sight of your dreams and settle among the swarms of people around you?

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Daughter

I always heard that little girls were made of sugar and spice, but I could not truly understand until I had little girls of my own. Tonight when I watched you dance, my daughter, my heart swelled with joy. And I feel thankful to know that you are made of so much more.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above . . . " -James 1:17

Monday, January 4, 2010

Freedom Found

She chased after freedom before realizing that chasing freedom is like chasing the wind. So instead she stopped only to waste years of her life caged in a silent prison.

But then You held her heart in Your hands like a bird with a broken wing. You nursed her back to health. And when the winds changed, You set her free.

Now she soars, knowing it is one thing to be born, but it is an entirely different thing to be born again.

When she sings, her voice sounds sweet as it sweeps through the city streets, beckoning hearts to beat wildly to the sound of silence broken.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year

It's amazing how $1.29 can buy sanity. For those of you who know me well, I am sure you are thinking I am about to mention a trip to Starbucks since I often equate sanity with coffee. But after driving 2,639 miles round trip for our holiday vacation, my two young children started to lose it in the back seat of our SUV. We only had 50 miles remaining in our journey when bickering erupted, shattering the peaceful mood in our car.

"She hit me!" Rang through the car's cabin repeatedly.

Finally, when all patience seemed to have gone out the window, we stopped at a 7-11, desperately searching for an intervention. Suddenly, my six year old spots one of her favorite snacks: Cheetos Puffs. To me, they taste like a cheesy piece of Styrofoam, and bear little or no nutritional value. But in that moment, they appeared like an oasis in the desert, so I, the wandering nomad, took them to the register. I handed my dollar with some change to the clerk and returned to the car to enjoy a soft chorus of crunch, crunch, crunch rising up from the back seat. Peace was restored and the last 50 miles of our trip seemed much more pleasant.

I never knew Cheetos could be so priceless.

"Happy New Year," I thought to myself. Boy, are we off to an interesting start. So much for New Year's Resolutions. In reality, my immediate resolutions involve empty suitcases, a clean house, and normal, post-vacation activity. But in light of the grander scheme, let's talk about New Year's Resolutions. Let's talk about goals. Better yet, let's talk about dreams. Remember in 2010 that a dream without action is just a dream. But a dream with action is a plan. So dream big and let your actions follow!