The Land of In-Between

landinbetweenIf you have spent any amount of time near the church or any Bible-centric programming you no doubt are familiar with the story of a young shepherd boy who would one day become king. David was the youngest of eight sons who, despite insignificance in the eyes of the law and man, was handpicked by God to become king.

David was chosen by God to be the king of Israel; he was in the eyes of the LORD the rightful ruler of God’s people and kingdom. David was destined for greatness, destined to become the greatest ruler the kingdom of Israel would ever know…and he had to wait some fifteen years until he could fulfill his divine calling. Continue reading “The Land of In-Between”

My Way Is Better

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My way is better.

I’m pretty sure I wake up thinking that most every day. My brain is already churning, even before coffee (that’s a scary thought) with what I need to get done and how to get it done.

Yes, I’m a pretty good planner. I’m also good at worrying, bossing people around and general anxiety…(cue the jazz hands, but not in a good way).

This cute little graphic with the catchy phrase “God’s Way is Perfect” is sitting on my desk as I write this, and I spy it out of the corner of my eye often during the week. Did I remember this truth when I woke up this morning? Did I really start my day with this in mind? Or did I check off the idea of giving my day and my perfect plans to Him and proceed with my to do list?

Living Out Faith in a Post-Modern Culture: a Lesson from My Über Driver

A few weeks ago I spent several days in a city known for its extreme tolerance, a place where the outrageous isn’t really all that outrageous. After a week of startling observations, I began to wonder what the Gospel looks like in a place where every appetite can find what it craves. I asked God how anyone lives for Jesus there, when success is the norm and wealth abounds, where sex is glorified, and youth and beauty are worshiped. How do you share about the need for a Savior when people seemingly have everything they need or want, and then some? Continue reading “Living Out Faith in a Post-Modern Culture: a Lesson from My Über Driver”

Hanging on Every Word

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A couple months ago, I had an experience that shook my world. A traumatic event, not unlike other things in my past, sent me spinning. All of a sudden I found myself struggling to keep my head above water and just keep breathing. I tried my best to hide it from everyone, though several people kept asking if I was doing okay. I said I was or at least that I didn’t want to talk about it.

Truth was, I was hopeless and not sure what to think or believe. I felt completely worthless and damaged. I was questioning what was true about me, about my life, about God. I sunk into pits of fear and doubt and anger, all familiar places. I reverted to old thought patterns that ultimately are a form of self-harm, because they only serve to tear me down and minimize my worth. Over a 10-year journey, God had brought me so far in working through the old beliefs that came from a painful past, but honestly, I was wondering if I had just been deluding myself into thinking that God could really restore me and redeem my past.

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An Anniversary I’d Like To Forget

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Almost one year ago, my nephew Graham killed himself. I have felt several times since then that I should write something about it, but the words never came to me. I could not think of how to start such a post, or how to end it. Still to this day, I really don’t know what to write.

I could write about my usual approach to dealing with such things—compartmentalization. Wall it off. Shut it out. Refuse to think about it. Admittedly an immature, self-centered approach. And one that really didn’t work this time as the raw grief in my brother-in-law’s—Graham’s father—cries pierced right through that veil. Never have I heard that kind of hurt in a voice or seen that kind of pain written across a face.

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Life Has Gone to the Dogs

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My daughter has been living back at home for about a year now and brought a dog with her. I’m okay with this because I have a couple of dogs myself. Her dog is a little more “high strung,” than mine but we’re figuring each other out (she’s figuring out I don’t give in like her mother). I have observed something on mornings when I go to let the dog, Franni, out from my daughter’s bedroom. Franni LOVES mornings! I mean this dog throws back the covers, jumps off the bed and is ready for the dawn of a new, exciting, fun-filled day!

The other morning as I watched Franni’s joyful self, I said, “What if we woke up with this kind of zeal for life?”

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When Vulnerability is Scary

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There’s a lot of reasons why we build physical walls:

• They’re built for protection, as a way of keeping outsiders out of the things we value.
• They’re built for separation, distinguishing one area from another.
• They’re built as a means of retaining, as a way to hold something back.

When I was younger, we had this massive retaining wall in our backyard that probably seemed a lot bigger to me at the time than it actually was. My siblings and I would spend our summer afternoons digging our fingers into the cobblestone bricks, hoping that maybe our muscles could pull us to the top. Ultimately, my dad would have to come outside and lift us up to the summit of the wall. I remember that life always looked a lot different from the top of the wall. I could see every nook and cranny of my house and could catch a glimpse into my neighbor’s yard through the gaps in the fence.

I think I’ve been building walls in my life for quite some time. They don’t look like physical brick-and-mortar walls, but they’re walls that put a little distance between me and the people I care about. Maybe they served a good purpose at one point, but somewhere along the way I think I started building them out of fear.

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I Am Not My Marital Status

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Singleness…UGH! I hate that term. I hate it! I hate the subject. I hate the attitude that so many people have about it. Recently, I was sent an article by a friend and was asked my thoughts on the content. It was a response to the options that single women have today. I was horrified. Horrified and disappointed. Horrified at the perceived “options” that we have and disappointed at the response. While I agreed with it in part, I was bothered by the overall attitude that I am my marital status.

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“Missing Children”

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I woke up one day and looked across the island in our kitchen as our 13 and 14 year old girls were eating breakfast and readying for the day. I wondered what happened to those two little ones with pigtails, who played Candy Land on the living room floor and were such an incredible joy to have in our home. These two little girls had become children I no longer recognized. Sugar and spice had been traded in for an attitude far from nice. Gone were the days when they would hear me come in the back door and run toward me and wrap those tiny little hands around my neck. All of a sudden, I was an annoyance to them, someone to be tolerated. And, it seemed to happen over night.

Continue reading ““Missing Children””