Discernment: Power in the Pause

“I just have a pause in my spirit.”

I can’t count how many times I have said these words—in reference to making a commitment, engaging in a relationship, receiving from a sermon, or even just discussing a specific topic.

And I’ll admit when I felt that pause, I got in the habit of just saying no, avoiding the person, ignoring the message, or shutting down the conversation. Then I would go about my merry way, patting myself on the back for being “discerning.” After all, Ephesians 5:10 exhorts us to, “discern what is pleasing to the Lord.”

But in the recent (humbling) year, I’ve learned that discernment is not just recognizing the pause; it’s learning what to do with the pause. It’s taking the time to ask Holy Spirit why the pause is there.

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Overshadowed

“Ministry without prayer is the highest form of arrogance.”

I have this quote framed and sitting on my desk. I’ve decided I also need it written on my hand, taped to my computer, and stamped on my forehead.

Because in a world where every best-selling book is telling me to be self-confident, self-reliant, and self-sufficient, it’s easy to forget that the Bible preaches a different message. Continue reading “Overshadowed”

But You Still Love Me, Right?

As a child, I struggled with OCD-induced anxiety. In an attempt to protect our kids from a similar experience, my husband and I agreed to always reassure them after spills or messes. Life isn’t perfect, and that’s okay was our parenting motto. That turned out to be especially important for our daughter, who would seek affirmation after doing something she considered bad. Every time she knocked over a drink or tipped over a plate full of food, she would ask us things like, “But it will be okay, right?” or “But we can fix it, right?” and we would usually respond with a quick, “Yes, it will be alright, but let’s try to be more careful.”

I assumed she only asked those questions to make sure she wasn’t in trouble until one day after a few cheerios fell off of her tray, she looked at me and asked, “But you still love me, right?” Continue reading “But You Still Love Me, Right?”

Perfect Love

There is nothing better than tucking my kids into bed after a long day and feeling like I loved them well. I will gladly toot my own horn after a full 24 hours of defusing meltdowns, keeping a reign on my temper, and showcasing the patience of a saint. But the truth is that those days are few and far between. More often than not, I end the day frazzled, exhausted, and wondering if I expressed my love well enough.

Continue reading “Perfect Love”