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May 12, 2019

Today is my 22nd year to celebrate being a mom.

The Lord gave me exactly what I asked for — what I dreamed about as a young girl planning my future. He gave me two children — a boy first and then a girl — just as I asked.

But I didn’t end up being the kind of mom I thought I would be. And, through the years, I have battled a lot of shame over my mistakes. Of all the things I wish I could do over, I wish I could redo my early years of motherhood.

I read the “What To Do...” books that were supposed to give me all the answers to my mom questions. But those books didn’t have the answers to what needed to be fixed in my life.

Thankfully, along with all of the other attributes I asked Him for with regards to my husband, God gave me a man who was willing to pray for me and stick with me through the long haul until God could reach me and heal me of my brokenness.

Today, in spite of my regrets, I bask in the blessings of motherhood. My kids have grown into wonderful adults who love me and who, most...

May 11, 2019

Upon reflection of how my life has unfolded thus far, I am thankful for God’s work in me.

Back when I was transitioning into adulthood, there wasn’t as much pressure to have a set plan in place like there is now. At least, I didn’t feel the pressure like how my kids have experienced. So, I didn’t know where I was headed beyond my few small hopes. Yet, here I am, at 51 years of age, successfully living out purpose.

I have a BA in Psychology and MA in teaching, I’m a full time Special Education teacher, I’m a mom to two young adults, and I’m the wife of and co-minister with a successful husband. Now, I’m going for my doctorate.

I never planned any of these things for myself. I only hoped to marry a tall, black-haired, blue-eyed preacher who could play the piano and then, eventually, have two kids— a boy first then a girl. I’ve come a long way from that young girl.

So, I’m amazed. God’s work is perfect even when we don’t have our own plans. I certainly can’t take the credit for who I have bec...

May 4, 2019

I’ve been silently contemplating this question: Will I still have faith?

I’ve had faith, before. Time and again, I’ve taken the risk, even though I had no guarantee of what the end result would look like.

I stepped out of the boat full of expectation of a stable and productive future.

I moved into the unknown with hope that God was fulfilling His purpose in my life.

But it didn’t turn out like I thought it would. I didn’t land in the middle of the picture I had painted for myself.

Yes, I still believe God is at work in my life. Yes, I still understand my future is stable in Him.

But it turned out different than what I had in mind. That disappointed me. And disappointment has begged the question...

Will I still have faith?

I wonder...

Can I step out again? Will I still believe it will be worth the risk? Will I still find hope in God’s purpose?

Jesus told Peter that He had prayed for him that his faith fail not.

God spoke that specific Word to me, too, at the beginning of a tumultuous portion of my...

May 4, 2019

I was awakened in the middle of the night by a thunderous storm blowing through and was momentarily unsettled by the flash of lightening. But I soon fell back into a peaceful and restful sleep because I knew it would pass. The storm wouldn’t last forever.

I awoke to a quiet sunny morning, and my patio beckoned me as I brewed my coffee. After my hectic week, I felt anxious to enter my sanctuary. After the tumultuous weather, I was thankful for the clear day awaiting me.

The impact of the storm was evident in the glorious green of foliage, the brightness of blooms, and the cheerful sound of chirping birds. The air felt clean. The rain and lightening had done their work effectively.

I sat and watched the birds partake of my provisions and basked in the beauty surrounding me. It was the moment I needed for meditation on God’s goodness and mercy.


Life storms are unsettling — unexpected thunder and lightening crash into our world. Momentary panic can cause questions about what the storm will l...

May 1, 2019

I dared to dream.

I took a risk.

I stepped out onto an intangible idea that was bigger than me with no guarantee I’d ever actually live it.

I felt brave.

But, then, I wondered.

To what end?

...to say I have a dream?

...to say I am courageous?

Why did I dare to dream in the first place?

It came from Him, so He is why I dared.

Though it’s scarier to do than when I first dreamed the dream, now, I dare to keep the dream alive.








 

April 22, 2019

According to Mark 16:15 and Matthew 28:19, Jesus commanded His disciples to go into the entire world and tell every person about His good news.

According to Peter in Acts 2:39, the promise of the good news of Jesus was for those in Peter’s day where Peter was preaching, it was for those who were not present while he was preaching, it was for those who lived afar off from where he was preaching, it was for those who were too young to read, it was for those who were not yet born, and it was for future generations.

Just think, after being raised in America, after so many generations have passed, and after being so far removed from the days Jesus walked the earth and the day of Pentecost, I am able to know the good news of Jesus.

How unfortunate for me if I had been required to understand the original languages in which the Bible was written. But it was translated so I could understand. Not just for me in my language, but it has been translated also to Mandarin, Spanish, French, German... The...

April 6, 2019

I told Him I’d rather die than live in fear for the rest of my life. So He led me to a dead place — an ugly, dark, barren, crushing, disappointing, lonely, dead place. But He led me there not to leave me but to plant me for my fruitful future.


 

April 5, 2019

I recently saw these words from Malachi 3:3: “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver...”

I’ve read how silversmiths will hold a piece of silver in the flame for as long as it takes to see their own image. When they can see themselves, they know it’s time to remove the silver from the fire.


To be held in the flame by God until His image is clear is a difficult place to be. He’s not in a hurry, but He is watchful. He won’t see Himself until the impurities are burned away, so He’s looking closely for Himself because, when He sees Himself, He will know its time to remove me from the fire.

Being brought face-to-face with how unlike Him I am is a painful journey. How can I ever look like Him in how I handle rejection, abuse, false accusation, slander, etc...? I’ll never reach His perfection.

That is, I won’t reach it on my own. James 1:5 instructs, “If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him,” (ESV). This verse follo...

March 4, 2019

“If you don’t heal from what hurt you, you’ll bleed on everyone who didn’t hurt you,” (author unknown). I’ve seen this quote a lot, lately, and I believe it’s a true statement. But consider the following perspective.

Physically injured people bleed on those who are helping them. They can’t help it. But those who mend wounds don’t blame bleeders. Doctors, nurses, EMTs, firemen—they all understand getting bled on is part of their job.

The same is true for emotionally injured people. Just like those who have been hurt physically, people who have been hurt emotionally can’t always heal themselves. They need help from others. And those willing to help will often feel the brunt of what hurt the one they’re helping. Though we should work hard, when we’ve been hurt, to not turn and hurt others, we tend to be weak when we are weak. So, when reaching out to help, we should be prepared to give grace. Mending wounds can get messy and being willing to help is risky. But the result of bearing hurt fr...

February 16, 2019

I’m thankful for endurance — in my marriage, in my parenting, in my physical struggles, in my emotional struggles, in my spiritual struggles.

Without endurance, I wouldn’t be in this moment enjoying the blessings and victories of my journey thus far.

In my weakness, God’s strength has been made perfect. I’ve had a lot of weakness along the way, but I’ve experienced a lot of God’s strength. So, even in the midst of current struggles, I celebrate God’s strength as it continues to be made perfect in my weakness. That is endurance.

Are you struggling? Stop focusing on others’ perspectives of your struggle and focus on God’s strength. It ain’t over ‘till it’s over, so stay committed to enduring to the end.  

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