The Messy Places

The Messy Places

Today, as I was putting away a folded pile of laundry, I realized that of all the rooms in our house, our bedroom is usually the messiest. Logically, I suppose it makes sense. We want people to feel welcome in our home, so we spend most of our time cleaning the rooms they are going to see.

But how often is our marriage that way? Continue reading “The Messy Places”

Filling Your Spiritual Hunger With the Fullness of God

Filling Your Spiritual Hunger With the Fullness of God

Life with a toddler is always interesting. It’s the age where children are learning to express their thoughts and emotions, but don’t always understand how to reason through them. It’s the age where the wrong sippy cup can lead to a meltdown and every simple yes or no decision can take half an hour.

Last week my two-year-old told me she was starving, so I laid out a spread of her favorite foods: turkey, apples, cheese, sweet potatoes, peas, and blueberries. Naturally, the “starving” toddler took three blueberries and one piece of cheese and decided that was all she wanted. Not ten minutes later, she looked up and said, “Mommy, I’m still hungry.” Continue reading “Filling Your Spiritual Hunger With the Fullness of God”

You Can’t Control Your Legacy

You Can’t Control Your Legacy

In this day and time, we have control over so many aspects of our identity: we choose what status updates we want to make online, we select (and edit) the photos we want to share with the world, and we actively construct the persona we want to portray on our social media platforms. But we have to keep in mind that while we can create our own highlight reels, we don’t get to write our own obituaries. Ultimately, we can’t control the way other people remember us. Continue reading “You Can’t Control Your Legacy”

Ten Simple Postpartum Tips

Ten Simple Postpartum Tips

I’m excited to announce that we welcomed our son, Jack, in August. I took a small break from blogging, but I’m excited to be back and share a few postpartum tips.

Keep in mind that living a healthy life is a spiritual pursuit! Being physically and emotionally healthy allows you to be a good witness and live the kind of life God has called you to. However, I also want to stress that being “healthy” doesn’t always look the same for different people.

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. – 3 John 1:2

Continue reading “Ten Simple Postpartum Tips”

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

I’ve heard some women say that their favorite part of a love story is seeing how a man can look at a woman and see the good things in her that she can’t see in herself. It’s appealing to us when someone takes time to get to know the girl behind the mask and falls in love with the crazy, honest version of herself that she’s usually too afraid to show the world. Who wouldn’t want someone who always sees past the mess, knows who we truly are, and loves us for it anyhow?

God looks at us like that every day! He sees through every mask we ever try to put on and loves us despite all our deepest, darkest secrets. He not only sees the potential and purpose in us, He also created it.  He is constantly trying to remind us that we are worthy—not because of what we have or have not done, but because of who we are in Christ. Continue reading “The Greatest Love Story Ever Told”

You’re Going to Miss This

You’re Going to Miss This

When my daughter was born, my mom told me to soak in every moment because one day I would wish I had them back. I started writing this poem that night and have added to it over the past two and a half years. Our son arrived two weeks ago and as I watch his big sister hold him and love on him, I can’t help but read back over this and remember the night I first became a mom. Continue reading “You’re Going to Miss This”

To The Person Who Missed Their Calling

To The Person Who Missed Their Calling

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

I have a tendency to look at verses like Romans 8:28 and see them as conditional: if I am called according to His purpose, then all things will work together for my good. My mind then immediately goes down the path of, “How do I know if I’m called? What if I’ve missed my calling and this verse no longer applies to me?” Continue reading “To The Person Who Missed Their Calling”

You Can’t Leap Your Way Through A Marathon

You Can’t Leap Your Way Through A Marathon

Picture this: You’re watching someone prepare for a marathon. They are warming up, stretching, and maybe hopping from one foot to the other in anticipation. The atmosphere is electric. As they take one final deep breath, the gun goes off. Suddenly they bend their knees and leap as far as they can. After landing, they just squat down and jump again as other people run by them.

We would look ridiculous trying to leap our way through an entire marathon, so why do we assume that our faith journey should look that way? We want to experience these huge, defining leaps of faith without realizing that the small steps are just as important. Continue reading “You Can’t Leap Your Way Through A Marathon”

I Love You & Who You Taught Me to Be (A Eulogy)

I Love You & Who You Taught Me to Be (A Eulogy)
What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.
But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:50-57

Continue reading “I Love You & Who You Taught Me to Be (A Eulogy)”

How Expectations Can Sink a Relationship

How Expectations Can Sink a Relationship

 

Too often, our relationships sink under the weight of our expectations. We could spend hours talking about why this is the case, but there’s a simple explanation: There is only one who can love us the way we are created to be loved.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love.” – Jeremiah 31:3

No other love can reach the standard of God’s love. When we tie up our worth in the measure of anyone else’s love, we are selling ourselves short. Not only that, but we are putting a lot of pressure on someone who has no way of living up to who we need them to be. Continue reading “How Expectations Can Sink a Relationship”

He Did Not Spare His Own Son

He Did Not Spare His Own Son

Imagine a room filled with hundreds of people worshiping at God’s feet, with hands and voices raised in unison. As you watch, people begin vanishing one by one as though they were never there at all.

Several years ago, this was the vision God gave me to show what would happen if I wasn’t obedient to walk in the calling He had placed on my life. At the time, I didn’t fully understand the concept of ministry and I certainly didn’t see how I could be used to help bring people to Jesus. My life was messy and, even though I had been saved, I had no personal relationship with God besides waving hello on Sunday mornings. Continue reading “He Did Not Spare His Own Son”

Immigration: What Does the Bible Say?

Immigration: What Does the Bible Say?

All it takes is one glance at any of the news sites to know that our system doesn’t work and our policies need to change in regard to immigration.

My heart aches at the images of children being separated from their parents. I look at them and see my own little girl, who still clings to me when I drop her off at daycare. I can only imagine the fear and panic she would experience if she was forcibly taken away from us.

My heart breaks, but the rest of me is furious. Continue reading “Immigration: What Does the Bible Say?”

Embracing the Season You’re In

Embracing the Season You’re In

After my daughter was born, I worked hard for almost a year to get back in shape. I’m now seven months along in my second pregnancy and those abs are nowhere to be seen, touching my toes is a distant memory, shaving my legs is a terrifying mix between Helen Keller and Edward Scissorhands, and waddling is my main mode of transportation.

While it’s difficult to work hard at something only to watch it fade away, I have to remind myself what this season is going to produce: a sweet baby boy who will turn our family of three into a family of four. Continue reading “Embracing the Season You’re In”

How Big is Your Faith?

How Big is Your Faith?

One of my favorite ways to make scripture come alive is to put myself in someone’s place so I can try to imagine what they were feeling and experiencing.

In Exodus 3, the Lord says He has seen the suffering of His people and that He is sending Moses to Pharaoh to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. All that Moses say in return is, “Who am I that I should go?” followed by, “But what if they ask who sent me?” Continue reading “How Big is Your Faith?”

Is it I, Lord?

Is it I, Lord?

And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover. When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?”

– Matthew 26:19-22

These verses record the conversation at the Last Supper. I’ve always found it interesting that when Jesus announces one of His disciples is going to betray Him, none of them deny the betrayal or try to protect Him from it. These men had been following Jesus for years at this point, and yet not one of them could confidently say, “I would never betray you!”

Instead, they all asked: “Is it me?

Continue reading “Is it I, Lord?”

Replacing Shame With Glory

Replacing Shame With Glory

“Someone’s breakthrough is attached to the testimony you’re too ashamed to share.”

These words hit me like a bucket of ice water. I’m about to be very honest about something I have only told my husband. I love sharing parts of my testimony. I love talking about how God moved in my life when we were told we might not be able to have kids. I love opening up about how God built my faith by leading me through a struggle with postpartum depression, a fear of tithing, and several years of doubting my salvation.

But there’s one part of my testimony that I have always been ashamed of Continue reading “Replacing Shame With Glory”

Face to Face

Face to Face

The concept of “face to face” plays a large role in our culture’s definition of intimacy. Text messages or emails are great, but we still crave that personal interaction; we want to be able to discern the feelings revealed by the face. When we are face to face with someone, we can see love, tenderness, shame, or pain in their expressions—emotions that don’t always come through in other forms of communication.

So how can we have an intimate relationship with our Father when we can never see Him face to face? Continue reading “Face to Face”

“Hell is Real—And You Might Be Going”

“Hell is Real—And You Might Be Going”

Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by this message. I can’t count the number of sermons I’ve heard warning against the dangers of being a “bad” Christian and how it could land you in Hell. I would go so far as to say that this type of sermon was one of the main reasons I grew up doubting my salvation (something I talk about in depth here). Continue reading ““Hell is Real—And You Might Be Going””

Becoming a Cheerful Giver

Becoming a Cheerful Giver

A tithe is typically regarded as the first 10% of your income. The first tithe occurred in Genesis 14 when Abram responded to God’s blessing by giving Melchizedek, the king of Salem, a tenth of his possessions.

“Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.”
– Genesis 14:18-20

Continue reading “Becoming a Cheerful Giver”