A couple of years ago, a major windstorm came through my home town. The one thing I remember most about that night was sitting on our couch looking out our big front window at the enormous pine trees in our neighborhood. They swayed back and forth in a way that made everyone a bit uneasy. We knew that at any moment, one of them could fall and destroy everything in its path. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of that night was not which trees fell, but rather which trees didn’t. Some of the most fragile looking trees were still standing the next morning. What made these trees stronger than the others? Continue Reading
Nearly six years ago, I had a job interview for what I felt was my “dream job.” I prepared for weeks, the timing felt right, and I seriously believed this was it for me. The interview went well, but they ended up choosing someone else for the position. At first, I was really disappointed. But after about six months, I realized why God had allowed this to happen in my life. I not only learned a lesson in how to recover from disappointment, but my career plans took a turn when God put a desire in my heart to write. Continue Reading
The perfect storm… it’s a term we use to describe a storm that is so beyond destructive, so meticulous in its design, that it is nothing short of perfection. This is not exactly the term you would want to use to describe your life. But unfortunately, many of us have been there. We look around at our lives and see a whirlwind of problems threatening to destroy us. So what are we as Christians to do when our life seems to be spinning out of control? Continue Reading
In our politically correct culture, offense is the name of the game. We get offended over every little thing. And I mean every. little. thing. But should offense be a part of the Christian life? The truth is that the Bible calls us to forgive the way Jesus forgave us. That means always and for everything. So if we’re being honest with ourselves, being offended is the exact opposite of that command. Continue Reading
Are you battle weary? Is your shield becoming heavy as you continue to stand in faith for what God has promised? You’ve searched the scriptures, and you’re certain that what you are praying for is His heart for you. He has made it clear that it’s His promise, yet as the weeks, months, and even years pass you are yet to see the manifestation of it. Does it seem like some prayers are answered with no wait at all and others must be contended for?
I understand. I’ve been there. I’m there right now, in fact. If you’ve been a Christian very long you’ve probably experienced this in your own life by now. How do you keep going when it seems like your answer is nowhere in sight? Continue Reading
When I was a freshman in college, I was required to take a class called “stress management.” I learned one important truth: if you desire to rid your mind of stress… good luck! Instead, I was taught how to manage my stress because truth be told, stress is a part of life. The sooner I accepted that fact, the better off I would be in managing it. There was just one problem with this particular class… God wasn’t a part of the equation. The Bible tells us that stress, fear, anxiety, and worry are all a part of our lives before Christ.
Perfect love casts out all fear… and Jesus is the very definition of perfect love. Continue Reading
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was at a concert with friends when I received the call that my grandpa had died. It wasn’t a total surprise. My parents were actually there visiting him in the hospital because we knew his time was short. But none of that mattered. It was still just as hard. It was difficult finding out in front of my friends. I didn’t feel like I could grieve his loss. It wasn’t until later that I was able to let my guard down and cry. Continue Reading
Follow your heart. Do what makes you happy. Make your dreams come true. For many of us, the search for true happiness begins at an early age. My preschool daughters are already bombarded with these cultural messages on a daily basis. But what does true happiness look like? Is it prince charming? The happily ever after? The perfect career or ideal family? These things can certainly make you feel happy for a moment, but what happens when the “feeling” fades? Does happiness go away when imperfection comes? Continue Reading
We all know that forgiveness is a good thing. And not just for Christians. Even non-believers recognize the need to forgive and move forward with one’s life. But what about resentment?
While forgiveness isn’t easy, it’s usually easy to identify a problem. Resentment, however, has a way of sneaking up on you. It’s not so easily recognized. But if left to take root, resentment can grow into something that destroys you from the inside out. Continue Reading
Have you ever envisioned yourself as a superhero? Perhaps as a kid you put on the cape and pretended to fly around the room. Or maybe you’ve given thought to what superhuman skill you’d like to have. (I would love to be able to make myself invisible in case you were wondering!) Unfortunately, adulthood brings its share of challenges – so many in fact that it’s easy to allow reality to take the place of childish superhuman dreams. Continue Reading
My younger brother and I were close in age – 17 months apart to be exact. We had an amazing childhood together. I loved that we were always in the same stages of life together. We could always relate and that has now made us close as adults.
When I had kids of my own, I envisioned something similar for them. While my second daughter came as a bit of surprise, I was so excited that they would be close in age and would reap all of the same benefits my brother and I did growing up.
And then reality set in… Continue Reading
Have you ever had one of those days? A day when you barely struggled to survive? I’ve had a few of them… days when the kids were wild, the house was a wreck, and things were simply not going the way I had planned. I always start my days with the best intentions and to-do lists a mile long. But for some reason, I stray from my original plans. I stop focusing on how to persevere and instead I find myself settling for survival. Continue Reading
We all know it’s best to think before we speak. When faced with a situation where our reactions could get the best of us, we know that the smart thing to do is to take a few moments to calm down before we overreact and make things worse for ourselves. But what if I told you that our reactions run much deeper than our outward responses? And truth be told, God is much more concerned about our reactions than He is about our responses. Continue Reading
I absolutely love the holiday season. We get to celebrate, drink hot chocolate, decorate, shop ’til we drop, and spend time with family and friends. And did I mention Christmas carols? With so much to enjoy, it’s easy to take it all for granted. This season can be the “most wonderful time of the year,” but it can also be the most stressful. Peace on earth, good will to men. I was thinking about this common phrase we sing around Christmas time, and I couldn’t shake it from my mind. Continue Reading
Have you ever experienced a time in your life when you thought to yourself, “If I can just get through this, I’ll be okay”? I have. More than once. Sometimes the trials were work-related. I took on a project that was too much to handle. Or I was thrown into a situation that I felt was beyond my ability. (My first six weeks of motherhood comes to mind!) Other times my trials were thrust upon me by circumstances beyond my control. Hurt feelings, sickness, the loss of someone close… Have I mentioned that life can be hard? Continue Reading