Stuck between Your Calling and Your Life: What Now?

My first decision of the morning starts around 10 pm the night before. As I sit on the edge of my bed, alarm clock in hand, I decide between sleep and an hour of quiet reading and reflection. I can’t do both; there is only enough time for one thing. When my alarm sounds the next morning, I face the decision again—snooze or rise and enter into that predetermined quiet space. These [Read more...]

The Powerful Connection between Pain and Hope

As an Occupational Therapist, I deal with other people’s pain daily. As soon as the introductions are over, I ask about pain levels. “Do you hurt anywhere? On a scale of one-to-ten, how much pain are you in? Describe your pain.” Most people I encounter are in some kind of pain, so much so that I sometimes become numb to pain. When chronic pain hits someone you love, it is both heartbreaking [Read more...]

The Blessing of Crumbs on the Floor

Today I’m pleased to share my Listen Love Repeat story on Karen Ehman’s blog. This is the second of three guest post winners of our LLR launch team contest. (Read my full review of Listen Love Repeat here.) I’d like to tell you a story about the most powerful crumbs I ever came across. They are as precious to me as gold dust in a miner’s pan. By now they are long gone but [Read more...]

5 Songs to Include in the Christian Writer’s Playlist

I remember the days before Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon Music, where a swipe of the finger pulls up your favorite songs. I even remember the pre-CD days, when I had shoeboxes of my favorite music neatly organized beside my stereo. In my high school days, I kept a blank cassette tape in the jam box. When I song I liked came on the radio, I would rush over and press “record” so I could [Read more...]

The Weight of Worship

In 2004 I arrived. It was the year I accomplished everything on my wish list. After my high school graduation, I packed up my red Chevy Cavalier and headed to the city. I shook the small-town dust off my Birkenstocks and marched full speed toward my dreams. I pursued my degree with unequivocal focus. I landed my first professional job—one that required credentials after my signature. My true [Read more...]

How to Pray for Wisdom Using Scripture

In the first few months of motherhood, I felt completely in over my head. Being the oldest of four children, the mechanics of caring for a child were not new to me. However, being completely responsible for a baby around the clock was a shock. Add in postpartum hormones and the shift from full-time employee to full-time mother, and I was sinking. Things didn’t get easier as she grew. Soon, [Read more...]

How NOT to Panic When Your Kid Asks for a Cell Phone

“Mama, I want a cell phone.” The requests for a cell phone started around third grade. The list of friends who possessed this technological treasure started growing. By the time fifth grade rolled around, my daughter was sure she was the only one without an iPhone. I pointed out a few friends still on the outside. She relented, outsmarted once again. At middle school orientation, the [Read more...]

What I Learned from My Fast (and Why You Should Try It)

In my years of following Jesus, I never fasted. Not once. Not social media, not television, not sugar, not food. I didn’t see the need. Fasting seemed like one of those things you did to enhance your prayer life. My prayer life was good enough—no self-denial necessary. Pride much? However, this year I felt God telling me it was time. Maybe he said so in the past and my pride kept me [Read more...]

Is Real Life Getting in the Way of Your Big Dreams?

Do you dream big dreams about making a difference in the world? Maybe you see yourself behind a podium delivering a message that makes a crowd laugh, cry, and run to Jesus. Your dream may involve bandaging wounds or ladling soup for the sick and hungry in a developing country. You may quietly hope your pastor will choose you to head up an exciting new program at your church. My own dream [Read more...]

I’m Going to the Dominican Republic!

Walking with you in the shadow of the cross is the thing that gets me out of bed before dawn. I most often write in the dark part of the morning, praying that the words here might propel you forward in the disciple’s journey. While my desire for this space is to encourage and equip you, I have a personal update and prayer request to share with you today about an upcoming mission trip. [Read more...]