The DR Diaries: The Day I Understood My Smallness {Day 1}

Earlier this month, I traveled to Juan Dolio, Dominican Republic with Christian Medical Ministries of Alabama (CMMA). They partner with our local university (which happens to be my alma mater) to give students an opportunity to connect their area of study with ministry through short-term missions. This was my first medical mission trip and my first time in the Dominican Republic (DR). I [Read more...]

The Gift of Disagreement

When we moved into our house, an empty spot by the front door begged for a little table. I needed a spot for my keys, incoming mail, and outgoing library books. I meandered through the furniture section of a local thrift store searching for just the right piece. I found my little table on the end of an aisle. It looked pitiful, an old garden bench with peeling, tacky teal paint. I loaded up my [Read more...]

#FridayFive Top Five

Recently, a precious friend stepped down from a leadership position in a ministry where I serve. When she messaged me to let me know, she wanted to make sure our friendship remained intact. The first thing that came to my mind were the lyrics to Michael W. Smith’s “Friends are Friends Forever,” circa 1987. And friends are friends forever If the Lord’s the Lord of them And [Read more...]

The Power of Small Change

“Could you spare some change?” I often hear this request from the residents of a nursing home where I serve. This usually occurs when I walk by the vending machine near my therapy gym. The residents roll up in their wheelchairs and ask for a dollar or seventy-five cents—enough for a sweet bun or a bag of chips. I don’t carry cash with me, so I offer an apology and keep walking. One day, [Read more...]

Look Up for Your Freedom

Look down! Look down! You’ll always be a slave. Look down! Look down! You’re standing in your grave! The opening lines from Les Miserables remind me of the days leading up to my grown-up decision to follow Jesus. You see, I asked Jesus into my heart in elementary school. I was a good girl, seeking to know all the rules so I could follow them. And then, life took a turn. I lived like a [Read more...]

My Favorite Things (a #FridayFive Link Up)

Spring is a time of rediscovery. New flowers in the beds, new wreaths on the door, new fruits showing up at the grocery store.This week, I exchanged my melancholy comforter for a white quilt. The girls are wearing their pastels. We painted our toes and pulled out the sandals. No more hiding from winter! It’s time to party! Everything feels new and fresh! This is the perfect time of year to [Read more...]

True Confessions of a Bad Friend (A Never Unfriended Book Review)

I have a history of difficult friendships. In my early years, I would go so far as characterizing myself as a bad friend. A sampling of my friendship highlight reel: When a small group of friends failed to do things my way at a birthday party, I hid in the closet until they all left. It was my own birthday party. I called a really sweet girl an ugly name behind her back—and to her face. A [Read more...]

Look to the Future

“What you know today can affect what you do tomorrow. But what you know today cannot affect what you did yesterday.” ~Condoleezza Rice I became a mother thirteen years ago. My first kid was a bit of a guinea pig. I tried several parenting strategies on her. Time-outs, counting to three, swift discipline, positive reinforcement—you name it, I tried it. As we enter the teen years, I see the [Read more...]

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...]