Sunday, June 15, 2014


I was blessed with a fantastic dad. He was loving and patient (except when it came to teaching me geometry, he left that to a tutor ;). He was an amazing encourager and taught us at an early age about Gods love. I only had him for 19 years before he went home to be with Jesus. It was too soon and my heart was broken for 12 years after. 

I went through the stepping stones of life; getting married, graduating college, teaching, and eventually having kiddos. But with each accomplishment, there was a tinge of sadness that surrounded it because my dad was not there to share it. I grew more and more distant from God and had let my earthly father's memory become my guide. And there was no peace in that. 

Finally, with gentle love and encouragement from a dear friend, my eyes were opened to what I had done. I had put my earthly father before my Heavenly Father. At that moment, I let go. I let my dad be a sweet memory for me, and embraced my Daddy God as the most important father I would ever have. And with that, I was set free.

Our Daddy God is the most amazing father we will ever have. If we had a horrible earthly father, or a non existent one, or even an amazing dad, God trumps them all. His love is deeper, wider, and more powerful than any one's love.

1 Corinthians 8:6 

Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

James 1:17 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Luke 12:6-7 

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

No one will ever value or love us as much as Him. And when we renew our minds to this, we rest in Him. We let Him lavish His love and favor upon us. We bask in His warm embrace. And we carry the knowledge that He will never depart from us. That is something worth celebrating today!

Friday, June 13, 2014


"Just poop already!" I yelled this at our dog Twinkie yesterday morning as we were finishing up our morning run. I am sure to any passerby, I looked like a crazy dog owner without compassion for her nervous pooch who was just trying to find the perfect spot to do his business. And they would be right. I was so over it!

As I muttered under my breath while walking back to the apartment complex, I began to feel so silly. Who does that? Who commands anything to poop? It was such a silly moment but it made me wonder where was my compassion for others, including living creatures that our God made for enjoyment, had  disappeared to.

But it was still there. Because the Holy Spirit lives in me, all things from Him are in me as well. I just needed to renew my mind to who I am in Him and all that it entails.

Colossians 3:12-13

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful

Lamentations 3:22-23 

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

We have infinite amounts of compassion in us. We have compassion for our children when they stumble, our family when they falter, and strangers when they offend. Compassion is something we can show ourselves when we are our own worse critic. We have the power of Him in us to show love for all. It is not a burden, it is a gift! And our Heavenly Father renews are mind to it as often as we need to be reminded. Compassion does not come from guilt or from a list of things we must do in order to be the Best Christian Ever. It comes from our Savior and what He accomplished on the cross. And it can flow just as freely from us to others. Amen!

Monday, June 9, 2014


"Mom! Look at me!" cried M before he jumped into the pool. He then proceeded to swim across to the other side, hoist himself out and began the process all over again. Of course my heart swelled with pride and amazement. There were days when I have thought that he would never learn how to swim.

When M was 2, I made the mistake of letting him watch "Finding Nemo" at the beginning of the summer. What was the big deal? It's Pixar! This led to him being terrified for two summers. He was convinced that if he went in the water, invisible jellyfish would attack him. Never mind that we only swam in chlorinated pools. Never mind that the lifeguard at the pool spent 10 minutes trying to convince him. We were all wrong and he was doomed to be stung.

Last summer, we finally got him to go in the water and we were able to do swim lessons. Progress! This year, he has been an absolute fish. It is neat to watch him come into his own, and to see his courage grow.

Courage comes in many forms. It can be seen in the quiet battle of a cancer patient as she endures chemo every week. It can be seen in the heroic firefighter saving the life of a dozen people from a burning building. But what does courage look like in the bible? David and Goliath? Mary giving birth to Jesus? How do those moments of courage relate to us?

Joshua 1:9 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Philippians 4:13 

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Ephesians 6:10

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

I think that being courageous in Christ is not about standing there and trying to psych yourself up in order to accomplish the task before you. The strength of the Lord is already in us. The Holy Spirit lives in us which means we have infinite amounts of courage and strength. I think that the key to tapping into what is already there is to renew our minds and receive His power. Remember what has already been done and stand firm in His promises. If we ask Him for this, He is more than happy to remind us and encourage us. Whether it is through others, through the scriptures, or through His sweet voice whispering in our ear, courage is available all the time. So go ahead and jump in! The water is fine:)

Friday, June 6, 2014


A few weeks ago I was in the kitchen doing the dishes and I could hear my boys laughing and wrestling on the floor. I snuck a peek and this is what I saw. They had created a game where one of them would pin down the other one and ask a series of questions. 

"What's your favorite color?"

"What's your favorite food?"

"What's your favorite animal?"

After the last answer the one on top would proudly announce "okay, you're in the club!" And then the rolls would reverse and they would start all over again. 

This got me thinking about what happens when we become a believer. When we are a part of the very best club where all who believe are accepted and cherished, we gain so much. And one of the best things is freedom.

Galatians 5:1
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

2 Corinthians 3:17 

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Romans 6:22 

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

What does it mean to be free? I believe it means that we are made new, and all of the past has been wiped clean. And the future that is set before us is beautiful. We have the Holy Spirit in us which gives us the power to love and proclaim goodness. And those moments when the enemy attempts to seep in and destroy? We stand firm in knowing that he can't, and that we have the power to cast him out. 

But how do we do this? How do we embrace our freedom and rebuke the things not from our Heavenly Father? We renew our minds to truth! We declare our righteousness in Him! And we do this over and over until it becomes like breathing. We have been set free from condemnation and are covered by His grace. Some days it can be harder to remember this but I believe that those days are getting fewer and farther between for all of us. Amen!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


"You are not invited to my birthday!"

"Well you can come to mine but you can't have any cake or a treat bag!"

According to my boys, this is the ultimate punishment if one is mad at the other. I have been uninvited to their birthday parties too (by the way they are months away).  These comments always make me giggle a bit but I know that the intention behind them is to be angry and hurt the other person. And what prompts this is usually frustration.

I am notorious for snarky comments. Sarcasm is my middle name. It is a defense for me when moments get tough. My words can bite and hurt. And once they are out, it can be so hard to make it right. But it can be made right:) Jesus made it right the moment He gave up His life for us. And with that, we can walk confidently in knowing that our words can be used for good, and not destruction.

Ephesians 4:29 

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

In this day and age, our words are not just coming from our mouth. They can fly just as quickly from our fingers on a keyboard. When we belong to The King, we are transformed and have the power to infuse kindness and grace into the world. It is such a gift to be a light in the darkness! So let's encourage one another to be that light. Who knows, maybe everyone will get a treat bag at the birthday party:) 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Repetition and Renew

My kiddos will get fixated on a movie and watch it every day for weeks. Every. Single. Day. They know every song, every joke, every crazy move inside out and upside down. Of course this transfers to me because I am inadvertently listening and soaking it up. And that's when I find myself busting out "everything is awesome!" in the middle of the produce aisle at the grocery store. Sound familiar?

I got to thinking about the value of repetition. That was how I learned my times tables as a kid. The drill and kill method. I still know my prepositions because of the goofy song my third grade teacher taught us. I mean, I am 33 and that thing is stuck in my mind and will never leave:)

The bible repeats the message of the gospel constantly as well as key points about God's love and our identity in Him. We can never hear these things enough. The repetition is a vital part of renewing our minds.

The word love appears 442 times in the bible. The word faith appears 336 times. Peace appears 353 times. We can never hear these words enough! 

Renewing our mind in Him is not just a one time deal that happens when you accept Christ as your savior. Our minds need to be renewed constantly throughout the day in order to push through what is set out before us.

2nd Corinthians 5:17 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Romans 2:12

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Psalm 51:10

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

We have been made new but we need to hear it . And I believe our Heavenly Father finds such joy in sharing this with us every day. It is His love letter to us. So bring on the repetition:)

Monday, June 2, 2014


Yesterday my friends and I were talking about things we could not believe that our parents let us do when we were kids. It prompted me to think of how I used to take river rocks and put them in my bathing suit so I would be weighed down enough to sit on the bottom of my pool. My mom would get after me because she was concerned that I would make holes in my swimsuit:) Drowning? Not so much.

But I remember the weight of each rock as I would load up my swim suit. And I remember juggling and balancing and holding them all in, trying to not let them fall out as I struggled into the pool. It was crazy. Why did I want to do that? To see if I could?

Carrying our burdens around seems a lot like juggling those river rocks. They weigh us down. They hurt something awful when they fall and land on your toes. They can prevent you from being free and enjoying life.

But God is very clear that we are not meant to carry these burdens. They were placed on His Son 2,000 years ago and demolished for all eternity.

Matthew 11:28-30

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

22 Psalm 55:22

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

John 16:33

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

We are not designed to struggle when things get heavy. God has made it clear time and time again that He loves us and He wants to take care of us. And isn't it about time that we let Him. So lay down your burdens. Quit filling your swimsuit with rocks. And let Him set you free!