faith

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

10 Powerful Truths to Fight Financial Discouragement

For anyone living check-to-check, nothing lifts the spirits like payday. In the days leading up to payday, we bite our nails as we check our shrinking account balances. The minute the direct deposit hits, we can breathe a sigh of relief. Margin feels good after living so close to the red line. That’s why they call it breathing room, right? And for anyone living check-to-check, nothing can [Read more...]

If You Think You’re Not Enough, You May Be Right

My guest bathroom is a mess. About a year ago, a little section of paint started peeling. One child (no one will admit to it) pulled at the little bubble. And pulled. And pulled. Soon, a big section of drywall with rough brush strokes of the original yellow glared at us. We scraped and peeled until forty years of paint came loose. This, combined with the ugly vanity, the cabinet door that hangs [Read more...]

5 Ways to Help Give God Your First 15 Minutes

The early days with a newborn are pure survival. Sleep when you can, as long as you can. At some point, the baby begins to sleep a little longer, a little later. It took almost four years for my first born to sleep through the night. Those years of minimal sleep were difficult, to say the least. I quickly learned the importance of priorities and planning. Showers required strategic timing. [Read more...]

The Pursuit of Holiness

Right about now, New Year’s resolutions and promises to make 2017 the year of [insert your word of the year here] are getting lost in the hurry and flurry of real life. Donuts at the office and pizza for dinner (again) weigh down our hopes of establishing healthy eating habits. Our promise to run every day? Chased off by the need to run errands instead.  Our read-through-the-Bible plan is [Read more...]

The Gift that Promises Forever

It wasn’t the gift I expected, but it promised forever. On our second Christmas as a couple, I held a secret wish in my heart as I sat beneath the Christmas tree. David and I planned to walk the aisle in August of the coming year. In my mind, Christmas seemed like the ideal time for the question and the ring. I opened my gift, a rectangular-shaped box wrapped in thick red paper. Inside the [Read more...]

Chivalry and Respect for Women: The Better Way

While this election causes more contradiction than consent among conservatives, caustic comments caught on tape bring an important topic to the surface. What is the value of a woman? Is she something to ogle and grope or someone to value and protect? What is a man’s role in that protection? The man who hopes to earn our vote on November 8 has a recorded history of abusive language and abhorrent [Read more...]