God Remembers

I’ve been involved with three yard sales in my life. One when I was about 7, one during college and one two years ago. It’s this last one I want to tell you about. Everyone who has planned one knows the drill. You prepare for days and then you’re up at the crack of dawn on the day of the sell.

This time was no different. We were about to move and we needed to declutter so we geared up and we were ready to go. The kids were helping and we were all excited. Ok, well, as excited as you can be at a yard sale. We had toys, books, furniture, shoes, the whole 9 yards.

The morning was successful but as the afternoon progressed we had more left than we had hoped. We were tired and ready to go home so we decided to put a “free” sign at the road. A few people stopped and looked around but didn’t take much. Then a couple pulled up and started strolling through our belongings. They ended up packing into their car a crib, a high chair, a baby carrier, clothes and a nursing pump. 

It was then that the man began to cry. He shared with my husband that his wife was 8 months pregnant, they had recently moved to the area and he had no job. The day before, his wife had told him, “Our baby is due in one month and we have no crib and no furniture.” He looked at Jake and said, “God remembered me.”

We talked with them for a while then we said goodbye. We’ve never seen them again but I know that day we were blessed as much as they were.

May we all be encouraged today that when we feel forgotten, God is preparing the answer even in His silence and at the right moment – His moment – He will speak. We are never alone. He sees us. He loves us. He remembers us.


The Journey to the Miracle

I’ve heard the story of Moses and the Israelites at the Red Sea since I was a little girl. There is so much encompassing this story, but let’s be honest, how often do we jump straight to the miracle part? The wow moment. 

Lately, this story has been coming back to me in full force but God has been taking me to a different part of the story – the struggles surrounding the miracle. For God is in the journey as much as He’s in the miracle. 

I’m a planner and a list person so when my daily and monthly routines suddenly get turned into complete uncertainty, it’s easy for me to fall into survival mode shrouded with stress. If I’m not doing something physical to try to figure things out, my mind is working overtime trying to find a solution. And that is where I found myself two months ago. Stressed. Confused. Frustrated. My husband is so good for me. Somehow in the midst of roadblocks and life’s surprises, he has the ability to stay calm and relax. (I’m still working on this gift.)

Through all of this, I’ve been reminded that the presence of God is beyond amazing in our lives. The miracles and provisions we’ve experienced during this challenging season have been a reminder that we serve the God who sees.

It’s been in this state that God has brought me to the story in Exodus over and over again in recent days/months. 

After the mass exodus of thousands of Israelite men, women and children from Pharaoh’s oppression, we read in Exodus 13:17-18, “When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt. So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.”

At the beginning of their journey, no doubt, they were already experiencing unmet expectations. They were ready to fight, probably emotionally fired up anticipating victory. But God didn’t lead them into battle. He took them another route. He took them a longer way of trekking towards the Red Sea. In retrospect, knowing their tendencies for complaining and grumbling, this could have been the onset of a stirring of discontentment. 

What they failed to realize was that God was working on many levels behind the scenes. With every difficult and exhausting step they took, they were walking out a miracle. Scripture says that God led them with a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire by night. Verse 22 says, “Neither…left it’s place in front of the people. 

So here we have them, already journeying through different circumstances than imagined, and God directs them to turn back and encamp by the sea. I’m sure emotions were really stirring at this point. While all of this was happening with the Israelites, the hearts of Pharaoh and his officials were shifting. They were regretting their decision to let their captives go and devising a plan to recapture them. 

Fast forward and once again we see God had them turn back and encamp in another place. Even in this, God had a purpose and was confusing the enemy. Finally we pick up the story where the Egyptians are pursuing the Israelites. They realize the danger and their panic turns to complaining – and lots of it. 

Moses then tells them (verses 13-14), “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” 

Today I can see how God fought for us. I can see how I took unnecessary stress upon myself when God was simply calling me to rest. So once again, I find myself learning to trust on a daily basis.

I pray this for each of you as well, whether you are walking in the struggles surrounding your miracle or experiencing the joy of the miracle itself, be still in the peace that comes from giving Jesus control of every area of your life.  


Show Up

I’m back. How I’ve missed this space! I’m sitting at my desk, the kids are in bed and I’m grabbing a few moments of quiet. What a wild ride it’s been the past two months. Here’s a little glimpse of the reason for my absence. We’ve lived out of suitcases, we’ve moved and I survived the first trimester of my fifth pregnancy (pregnancy is not nice to me) all while managing life, ministry and three kids six years old and younger. 

I love that God is in the sweet chaos and He speaks when we listen. I want to share with you one theme that He has been reiterating to me in these months of transition in hopes that it will encourage you as it has me. 

“Just show up. Speak about My goodness and I’ll do the work.”

The task oriented side of me wants to go hard and get everything done at once, but lately I’ve been reminded of my limitations. In these moments of inadequacies, Jesus’ voice of encouragement has brought a deep joy and expectancy in the midst of the exhaustion. God has reminded me over and over of His greatness. When we are weak, He is strong. When we exalt Him, He will draw others to Himself. 

Limitations are not an excuse for passivity but rather an opportunity to depend on Him and a reminder that anything good we do comes from Him in the first place. God gives us daily opportunities not only to recognize His goodness but also to share it with others. And what a privilege it is to do just that! We can trust Him to open doors for us if we are willing to show up and speak. 

The last chapter of the book of Romans has intrigued me for years and this morning I went back to it. On the surface, it doesn’t seem too interesting as Paul is simply sending greetings and closing out his letter. However, when I stop to imagine the daily lives of the people he is addressing, I’m challenged and inspired. Each person is living out their God-given opportunities and they don’t all look the same. Check it out…

  1. Priscilla and Aquila – they risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.
  2. Mary – worked very hard for you.
  3. Andronicus and Junias – my relatives who have been in prison with me; they are outstanding among the apostles.
  4. Apelles – tested and approved.
  5. Tryphena and Tryphosa – women who work hard in the Lord.
  6. Persis – another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord.
  7. Rufus – chosen in the Lord.
  8. Rufus’ mother – who has been a mother to me, too.
  9. Timothy – my fellow worker.
  10. Gaius – whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy.
  11. Erastus – who is the city’s director of public works.

As I have been reflecting on this theme the past few weeks, I pass on the challenge to you. Examine your season. What opportunities has God placed in front of you? What are you doing with them? I go back to my original thought from God, “Just show up. Speak about His goodness and let Him do the work.” 

We may not know the outcome of showing up but we can be certain of the outcome for not showing up. 


The Art of Letting Go

There are a million little moments I want to tuck away in my pocket to pull out and relive. But life doesn’t pause, leaving me to be content with the memories made. 

People. Places. Events. There are so many things God has used to shape the person I am and mature me into who He has created me to be. It’s a daily process. A daily surrendering. And a lifetime of growth. 

Recently I sat in my favorite spot of our house, looking around the room at the pictures hanging on our walls and my candle and books creating the centerpiece for our coffee table and I simply reminisced the gift of the past season. My heart ached at the upcoming goodbyes but was comforted by God’s reassuring Presence. In that moment, He reminded me that I didn’t have to say goodbye to Him. 

He has been with me in every move, every transition and every season. He is my constant and He is never leaving. An overwhelming peace and joy settled in my heart as I celebrated this part of the journey with Him. Releasing anything we love is hard but when we know God is moving us on, there is comfort in the change and strength in the letting go. 

God is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Remembering this gives me courage to embrace each new horizon. I can let go of what I know and walk toward the unknown because I walk with the One who knows not only my current end but also my new beginning. 


Stress Relieved

I’m not sure what a panic attack actually looks like, but if it’s an overwhelming feeling of stress in my gut that leads to tears every time I think of a situation then I had a mini panic attack this morning. Even while I prepared my tea and excitedly sat down for my moments of quiet before the household woke up, it took every effort to still my pounding heart. 

I’m a pretty transparent person, but this morning I’m going to leave out the details of how I arrived at this moment because that is not the point. (However, if your curiosity gets the better of you, just ask and I’ll gladly share. I’m basically an open book.) 

What I want to focus on is what happened when I sat down. It’s cliche, I know, but it was as if Scripture came alive. The “peace of God that transcends all understanding” (check out Philippians 4:32 in the Bible if you aren’t familiar with this verse) settled in the room and gently took my stress. In the short time that I sat there, God worked on my heart, shifted my perspective and gave me joy for my upcoming day. 

I write this to encourage you in your struggles. Whatever burdens you wake up to, let Jesus carry the weight and teach you how to navigate them gracefully. It doesn’t have to take a long thought out action plan. It simply takes asking God for help. 

If you’re a list person, like myself, here are some bullet points to remember when you feel overwhelmed:

-Be still

-Ask God for help

-Open the Bible

-Let go

It’s that simple. 

So, I leave you with these thoughts and trust you have a wonderful week. Come good or bad – with Jesus’ help, YOU GOT THIS!


Never be content

I hate being satisfied and content. Before you think I’m turning into an egotistical gal, please read on. 

It’s easy to get caught up in the seemingly high speed motion picture that we live in and put our relationship with God into neutral, but I feel a tugging in my spirit to fight this tendency, to reach for more and to challenge you to do the same. I never want to be satisfied with how close I am to God. There is always more. There are more things to learn, more ways to change and more areas in which to grow. And God is desperately waiting for us to want this enough to do something about it.

Do you ever just look around and wonder at God’s handiwork? It’s in everything around us. The mountains, the ocean, the intricate detail of flowers, the variety of personalities, a child’s smile. And in the midst of His grandeur, His voice speaks when we are listening. He is drawing us to Himself. 

My heart’s cry is to know God more. I want to hear the whispers which can only be heard in the close moments of intimacy where His love is spoken over me and I feel the deep beatings of His heart. I want to see the brokenness in this world through His eyes causing me to throw away my comfort in order to do something about it. 

Sometimes we don’t want to listen because we are afraid of what it will cost us. And often times it will cost a lot. But what we will receive in return, both now and in eternity, will far outweigh anything we sacrifice.

Even as I write this, I feel an urgency. Wherever you find yourselves today, I dare you to abandon whatever is hindering you from surrender (fear, doubt, materialism, laziness, stress, busyness, etc.) and run after God like never before. 

You may say you have no idea where to start. Open the Bible, open your heart and watch what God will show you. It’s that simple. 

My prayer for us all:

“Lord, You said that if we draw near to You, You will draw near to us. Give us hearts that desire to know You more. Give us courage to let go of temporal things that hinder a relationship with You. Teach us to slow down. Help us surrender. Mold us into Your likeness. Take us to new levels of friendship with You. Show us Your glory.”



I’m in the middle of a great book, Refiner’s Fire. It’s a compilation of ODGs’ (Old Dead Guys’, as we call them) words, written down by members of their congregations and unedited.  Every time I pick it up I walk away with a challenge whether I read for ten minutes or thirty. Here is an excerpt from my morning reading and some thoughts it evoked. 

“God forbid that the sheep of His pasture should ever cling to any word that proceeds from our mouth that did not first of all proceed out of the mouth of God. God forbid that any of His sheep should willfully follow any one of God’s ministers in any manner of behavior or teaching, that did not originate in the heart of God.”

It is through union with Christ and a daily infilling of the Holy Spirit that we can truly walk and live and work in His power and anointing. I’m reminded of the Scripture in Isaiah 50:4 that says, “The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back.”

As a parent, a minister, a musician, a writer and whatever other title I’m carrying in a day, I desire to be led by the Holy Spirit in every ounce of my communication. I pray that my words and actions are empowered by the presence of Jesus and that out of that flows change, encouragement and Kingdom advancement. I desire that my life glorifies the One – Jesus – who loves me immeasurably.

What could change if we all walked with the knowledge in the forefront of our minds that within the mundane of the day to day God has equipped us with a purpose that is so much greater than ourselves? We are light bearers called to illuminate the darkness. What could happen if we all woke up and lived out this Scripture? An equally crucial question can be asked. What if we don’t? 

Either way we answer these questions for ourselves, someone’s life will be changed, along with our own. 

I feel so passionate about the fact that there are people waiting for the hope we possess and we have the responsibility to share it. We must daily stay connected to the Source in order to properly portray His character and His life to the hurting.

To all my readers, I hope you will chew on these thoughts along with me and let God speak to you in the place you are at. If you’d like to share, leave me a comment below and I’d love to dialogue about what God is doing in your heart through these ideas and this verse. 


Trusting in the Dark

When we speak of our relationship with God, trust and surrender are so intertwined that we can’t really have one without the other. I’ve grown up hearing the Scripture, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight,” so many times that it’s easy to skip over it while reading, forgetting the impact of what that really means. 

To trust means to have a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something. Other definitions include 1 – allowing someone to have, use or look after (someone or something of importance or value) with confidence 2 – commit (someone or something) to the safekeeping of  3 – have faith or confidence in.

This past year I can think of three major moments in my life where I had to choose to trust. One regarded our uncertain future, another was when God asked me to give something up and the last was something that was taken from us. Each moment required a conscious decision to trust preceded by the decision to surrender. 

We cannot trust God with something that we are still holding onto. It’s only when we get to a place where we come with open hands that we can say we trust Him with all of our heart. Our heart is home to our dreams, hurts, hopes, fears and the deep, hidden thoughts that surround these things. So trusting God with our heart is trusting Him with everything dear to us. 

Learning to trust has not been a one time lesson for me but a lifetime of allowing God to teach me how to let go in each season. 

There’s a kids’ show, Daniel Tiger, that has an episode where the children are afraid of a shadow in the dark and the parents come in to show them what it actually is. They start singing this song, “See what it is, you might feel better. See what it is, you won’t be so afraid…” This is great advice in the natural sense but we don’t always get this luxury in the spiritual realm. 

I love the moments when I can look back and see why God did something a certain way, but the definition “firm belief in” comes strongly into play in the moments when we have no idea why He did what He did. 

As hard as it is sometimes to accept things that have happened in my life, I would rather be at rest by the peace God gives when I surrender than live with a striving spirit, trying to have things my own selfish way.

If any of you are in a season of needing to surrender and trust, I encourage you to just let go of what you are clinging to. Sometimes it’s easier than others and, honestly, at times it’s a daily choice. There have been moments in my life where I have told God, “I choose to obey today. Tomorrow, You will have to help me say it again.” Fill in the blank for what you need to pray. Then choose to obey, trust, surrender or follow in this moment and He will give you strength to do it again in the next.

I imagine Father God takes great delight in our trusting as well as in seeing us walk in peace. Certainly the peace that follows surrender will far outweigh the stress of trying to hold on to anything. 


Don’t Forget to Remember

After getting our oldest son off to school this morning, my husband said he’d watch the other boys so I could grab a little quiet time. He is so sweet and knows what I need! I’m grateful for the coffee shop 5 minutes from our house – and that it’s open inside! I’m sitting near a window watching the snow fall and loving this moment of stillness in between my sweet life of rowdy boys and non stop talking. 

Unexpected interruption…three hours later…let’s try this again. 

The following is a thought I jotted down forever ago and set aside. I found it today and decided to post it.

This morning, over a cup of tea, I read Deuteronomy 8. The caption in my Bible reads, Do Not Forget the Lord. The Lord is reminding the Israelites to remember Him when they make it through to victory. Here are some snapshots of the chapter: “Remember how the Lord your God led you…When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God…Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God…He led you through the vast and dreadful desert…He brought you water out of the hard rock…He gave you manna to eat…You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability…”

Today I’m reminiscing on my life with God, the good times as well as the difficult ones. I’m reflecting on His faithfulness, discipline and deep, deep love for me.

God never wastes anything in our lives when we surrender ourselves to Him. So whether we’re learning lessons in the desert or in the promised land, He is always working to draw us closer to Himself and to transform our imperfect nature into characters that reflects His own. 

As different ones of you read this, you will find yourselves in various situations. Some are probably struggling, others are enjoying the reward of hard work paid off, still others are in a season of trusting as you have no idea what comes next. Whatever point in the journey you find yourselves in, I challenge you, as I do myself, never forget to remember the Lord and recognize His hand in each season. 


I Need Help

It’s been a while since I’ve written (confession, I’m in the middle of a historical fiction series that I’m having a hard time putting down) so since my husband is watching the boys this afternoon, I decided to make use of the time and share something that’s been on my mind lately – God as our helper.

This isn’t some new revelation for me because I was taught from a young age that the Holy Spirit was given to be our helper and I have experienced Him more times than I can count. But God has a beautiful way of taking something old and making the fact come alive in a new, fresh and deeply personal way. And He’s done that for me recently so I wanted to share what’s on my heart. He’s been making me keenly aware of His help in the everyday moments of life.

This awareness has been life-giving. It has yielded a renewed closeness and partnership with God as we’ve journeyed this crazy life together. 

When we look at this on a deeper than surface level, it is powerful. For me, this has produced a molding of my character and I’ve experienced growth in certain spiritual fruits that I was lacking. I’ve found myself responding in ways that were clearly not my natural instincts. I’ve been mindful to ask God for wisdom and discernment in seemingly insignificant moments that have actually been steps in forming our history and memories. 

I challenge you to take an honest look at yourself and ask God to unveil things in which you need His help. I’m talking anything and everything from big decisions to daily moments interacting with your family. 

My prayer for all of us: 

God, give us teachable spirits and make us aware of Your readiness to help in every area of our lives. As we rely on You for the little, daily things that add up to life changing moments, teach us to act and react in ways that reflect You and bring You honor.