Prayer

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 Power Found in the Faith of a Friend

After a difficult week of doing the hard work sometimes required in marriage, I picked up my phone to find a voice message from a friend. A few months before, we made a covenant to pray for one another’s marriages weekly. That week, I didn’t feel like praying. Hope seemed too far away. However, as she prayed, hope traveled the hundreds of miles from her home to mine. Without knowing how much [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...]

Give Me Jesus: Easy to Say, Harder to Live

Give me Jesus. Easy enough to say from my air-conditioned home in Alabama suburbia. Three healthy kids walk my halls. My husband of eighteen years shares my bed. My car cranks right up when I need to go to work. I walk fearlessly into my church every Sunday. In light of recent heart-breaking events, I have to wonder: would I be able to say “give me Jesus” if all of this were taken [Read more...]

5 Encouraging Prayers for the Struggling Father

In both my real life and online interactions with other women, a consistent concern continues to surface. Women want to know how to get their uninvolved spouse to engage in parenting. As soon as the lines show up on the pregnancy test, parenting is front and center in the minds of mothers. We are spurred on by Pinterest pins and Instagram images of parenting perfection. Men are not so [Read more...]

When My Worship Is All About Me

I stood in the worship service, hands lifted as music filled me. Emotions swirled in those moments: love for the God who first loved me, gratitude for both life and eternal life through Jesus, a sense of awe at the presence of the Holy Spirit. The speakers rattled just a bit as the volume of the music rose, my thoughts were lost in the chords and phrases. Worship is a sacred place for us to [Read more...]

On Losing My Job and Losing Control

Most weeks, you can trace the beat of my heart through my posts. My struggles and epiphanies often come as I sit here at the keyboard and work out my words. This week, however, a more directed, personal update seems in order. I lost my job. (This is a stunning statement. I come by this propensity to shock with words quite naturally. See, my dad can take a rather ordinary event and make it quite [Read more...]

Breakthrough Insights from an Astonishing Answered Prayer

I learned some things about answered prayer from two Hondas and three friends. It started with a 2002 Honda Odyssey. I really wanted my minivan to make it to 300,000 miles. I babied her, took her to my mechanic faithfully, and beamed at the progressing odometer. It’s not so much because I was attached to her, I just don’t like a car payment. When the oil puddles started growing, I [Read more...]

Too Proud to Pray

I stood by my bed, the folded laundry for my family of five stacked high in front of me. Three laundry baskets of wrinkled clothes sat waiting by my feet. This was a particularly busy season in life; the housework had moved down on the priority list. My husband, in an act of chivalry, offered some advice. “If you need help, just ask and we can all pitch in.” Don’t you just love that kind of [Read more...]

Proverbs for Kids: First Things First

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. Proverbs 3:9-10 Our mornings run fast and furious. I have a little song I sing during the hour it takes us to get from bed to the bus stop. Get up, kids. Get up! Get up now or you will go to school in your pajamas! Pick your clothes [Read more...]