Day 11: Teach me, O God!

31dayssquareaddressWe live in a world of constant media barrage and connectivity.  We are always bombarded with media images which, for many of us, cause us to question who we are, what we do, why we do it and how.

We see those whom the media suggests we should look up to and all they seem to do is highlight our lack.

Girlfriend, there’s never going to be a day on this earth in which my house is real estate open house ready, that my delightful daughters choose of their own free will to recite scripture in the backseat of our car and eschew a belching contest and I’m fairly certain that the much touted thigh-gap (what in the world???) is a standard I’m never going to achieve.

But who am I really?  I mean, deep down, who is this Jesus girl?

I think that’s where I need the education.  Because I seem to have a masters degree in who I am not.  But who I am really?  As in, who does God see when he looks at me?  How does He view me? That’s what I need to learn.  That’s what I need to drink in.  That’s what I need to have constantly washing over me so it penetrates my very spirit and I start to believe it.

Who am I indeed?  Teach me, O God!

And from the beautiful love letter that is His word, He’s already placed the answers before us.

This is who I am:

Treasured possession.

More than a conqueror.

The righteousness of God.

Born of God.

An heir to the kingdom.

God’s workmanship.

An overcomer.

Part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.


The head and not the tail.

His elect.



A light to the world.








Provided for.


A part of the body of Christ.

Child of the King.

A new creation.


A dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.



Dearly loved.



My friend, this is who I am, whether or not I choose to believe it.  And it’s without a doubt who you are as well.  But the part we need to learn, the part only God can teach is, is that which we find buried in His word and spoken over our lives at the dawn of time.

This is your education.  The lesson has been taught.  And there’s no test to study for.  Only receive it by grace.  And live.

This post is written in conjunction with the #Write31days Challenge and linked up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday crew here and Nester Smith’s friends here.

Day 10: Cast your cares….


Do you ever feel worn out for no good reason?   I don’t mean that normal, bone-weary Mommy tired.  Although I get that.  I’m pretty sure I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep since 1999.

And all the mommies said, “AMEN!”

But no, what I mean in this case is do you ever feel just utterly emotionally overdrawn?  Careworn.

It’s a product of living in the world and being deeply affected by it. Of loving and being loved.  Risky behavior, that.  It’s a product of having our hearts walk around outside our bodies as we send our children out to school each day.  It’s a product of weeping with a friend as she tells you of her great loss.  It’s a product of watching a loved one on a path to certain destruction and knowing they won’t hear you when you try and stand in the middle of the road hoping to turn them to the right or the left.

It’s a product of caring.  Of being alive.

And sometimes it’s just too much.  It hurts.


“Live carefree before God; He is most careful with you.”  1 Peter 5:7–MSG

I love that our Savior knew we’d be worn down and worn out and utterly frazzled by life.  And seriously, it’s probably good for us that this is the case.  Otherwise we’d be tempted to think we could go it alone.  But no.  We can’t.

We get it wrong.  We overestimate our abilities and we try way too hard to carry loads that aren’t ours to bear in the first place.

But here’s the thing.  Jesus said “live carefree before Me.”  Jesus SAID.  Now hear me, that doesn’t mean drink all the wine, max out your credit card and run away to the Bahamas.  No.

But it does mean you can drop all those cares, one by one at the foot of the cross.  And you should.

Because they’ll kill you, sweet sister.  You will be crushed.

Lay them at the foot of the cross.  Lay every burden down.  And trust that the God of the Ages will brush them away like so much dust, and breathe new life into your empty soul.


Because He is most careful with you.


This post is written in conjunction with the #Write31days Challenge and linked up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday crew here and Nester Smith’s friends here.

Day 9: Will you join me?

31dayssquareaddressI made the mistake of Googling last night.  Dumb.  I don’t usually do that.

A long time ago, right after my first daughter was born, I realized that most of life was too harsh for me.  I stopped watching the news because it just hurt too much.  It took me to a dark place.  My sweet husband keeps me connected, news junkie that he is.  But I spare myself from the most mainstream of news because it just doesn’t bring life to my soul.

Between Google and my Facebook feed these last days, the absolutely brokenness of this world has made itself starkly real.

Ebola.  Assisted suicide.  ISIS. Stolen girls.  Hiker mauled.  Cancer.  Destruction.  Death.  Disbelief.  Uncertainty.  Destruction.

And in light of that, I can think of no response other than to pray.

Will you join me?

Father God,

As I look around this amazing earth You’ve gifted to us, I’m at once in awe of Your greatness and grieved by our sin.  It’s so clear that what I see is not what You imagined for your children at the dawn of time.  Yet our choices have caused us to arrive here.

I can only imagine how the mess we’re in grieves You.  And yet Your love is unchanging.  You are bigger than our biggest enemy.  You are stronger than the fiercest foe.  You have promised us a hope and a future.

And thank goodness, because my heart breaks for what I see.  And even though I know that You haven’t given us a spirit of fear, I still tremble in my boots at times.

This world is a scary place.  But it’s not my home.

Praise be to You!

As a sisterhood of Jesus girls, break our heart for hurting people.  Show us exactly what You’d like us to do and remind us that You’ve empowered us to get busy and do exactly what which You’ve called us to.  We doubt, Father God.  We second guess.  We question our effectiveness.

But what if we were bold?  What if we took Your Word at a gut honest level?  What if we stepped out in faith, knowing that we’re on the edge but just as confident that even if we fall, we’ll land safely in Your arms.  And if we don’t fall?  If we succeed?  Oh the work You can do in that!

Lord Jesus, we offer ourselves to You, to this broken world.  We desire to love Your dear ones to the throne of grace.

Even so Lord Jesus, quickly come, and night shall be no more…..

In your precious and holy name–



This post is written in conjunction with the #Write31days Challenge and linked up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday crew here and Nester Smith’s friends here.

Day 8: Say


The words come to me often. Song lyrics.  John Mayer croons, “Say what you wanna say….say what you wanna say.”

I think of my daughters.  So much of their lives are lived with unfiltered speech.  If they think it, they feel it.  If they feel it, they feel entitled to say it.  Sometimes, the words they say are designed to cut the other sister to the quick.  They know each others’ triggers and they delight at pushing the buttons, it seems.

Other times, it’s not the words exactly.  It’s not what you say, but how you say it.  Passive aggressive.  Riding the edge of what is okay to say.  And what is not.

And really, how and what we say, choosing to say it the right way or the wrong way, that’s something we all struggle with, isn’t it?

My kids frustrate me and suddenly I find myself being snarky to my husband over something that is nothing at all.

The driver in front of me does something dumb and I call him an unpleasant name.  He doesn’t hear it but my daughters sure do.

Someone I respect at church hurts my feelings and I choose our words from a place of hurt, so they may know exactly how their words cut me to the quick.

But that’s not Jesus’s way, is it?  That’s not what He has in store for Jesus girls.  He must increase and I must decrease.  In every aspect of my life.  More of Him and less of me.  And in this case, I’m called to choose what I say carefully.  My words should reflect His words.

I’m preaching to myself here because this is not easy for me.  Maybe you feel the same?

Say what you wanna say?  No way.  Say what’s best or say nothing at all.  You never know what a difference that might make in someone’s life.  Especially your own.


This post is written in conjunction with the #Write31days Challenge and linked up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday crew here and Nester Smith’s friends here.

Come and see…

Four days in the tomb.  It was on that fourth day that Jesus arrived.  Mary was heartbroken.  Weeping.  Grieving over the loss of her brother.  Martha heard that Jesus was near and went to meet Him.

No nonsense Martha.  But her heart was heavy too.  They talked.  Martha, hinting that she was confident that God would give Jesus *whatever* He asked.  Asking for the most miraculous of all miracles, perhaps?  Jesus, knowing the very outcome of these moments in time.  Yet fully present.

And He was moved by what He saw.

As Mary came to him, as Jesus looked upon her tear-stained face, as He saw the grief of those surrounding her, He felt their pain, palpable.  He knew it.  God in human flesh.  Fully God, yet fully man, and not without compassion.  Mary threw herself at His feet, completely done in by the sight of Him.  By the vastness of her loss.  And after hoping and praying and wishing that Jesus would come, empty when He did not.

Jesus asked very simply, “Where have you laid him?”  And with equal simplicity, Mary answers, “Come and see.”

“Come and see.”

In my mind’s eye, I see Mary reaching out as she utters these words.  She offers her hand to Him.  And I see Him taking it.  (And yes, I’m sure this is wildly inaccurate in regards to the culture of the day, but please, gentle reader, bear with me…)


Mary reaching out because she knew Jesus had exactly what she needed, drawing strength from Him, pressing into His sovereignty.

They went. And Jesus wept.  For a moment, it seems like His humanness was larger than life.  He was exposed.

How often, I wonder, does Jesus weep over me?  When I finally turn to Him.  When I finally get to the end of myself.  When I hold out my hands and say, “Come and see…”

Come and see, Jesus.  Come and see the broken and dead things in my life.  Come and see the mess I have made.  If you were here, perhaps I wouldn’t be in this mess.  Probably I would have done better.  Been more.  Worked harder.  Gone farther.  But come and see, Jesus.  Come and see.


But no.  I wouldn’t have done better.  Because I can’t.  And He was there all along.  Not limited by what I see or feel or think or do.

Come to me, I invite.  Hands open wide.  Surrendered.  Reaching out.


I reach.  And He comes.  And He weeps.  Not because of the mess I’ve made.  But in spite of it.

He sees the big picture.  He was already at Calvary for my mess and brokenness and certain death.  He has already fought that battle.  But He weeps for me all the same.


Because He loves me.

It’s as simple as that.

And He reminds me of this:

“I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies and whoever lives and believes in me will never die…”  John 11:25-26

Jesus weeps as I stand in the middle of my brokenness.  But he reaches right back to me, refusing to let me there.  By rights, that’s where I belong.  Still, He draws me close and hides me in the shadow of His wings.  And in the middle of His grace and love and utter security, He reminds me to sing again.  To find rest.

And truly, in the shadow of His wings, I sing again.


Day 7: Just go.


One of the things I believe can haunt any self-respecting Jesus girl is the desire to be in the center of God’s will.  It’s what we long for.  We love Him and we want to serve Him.  We want to go where He leads us.  And we want to run the race well for Him.

But. How do we know?  How do we know what His will is?  What if we miss it?  What if we think we know what it is, but we really don’t?  What if we make a wrong decision?  Does that negate His plan for our lives?

And as these thoughts swirl around in our heads we get stuck.  We don’t move.  At all.  Paralyzed.

I don’t know about you, but it seems to me, stuck is exactly where the enemy wants us to be, doesn’t it?  

If I’m stuck, I’m not doing anything for the kingdom.  And that suits the enemy just fine.  He doesn’t need me to be robbing banks or instigating high speed chases.  Nope.  No need.  Just keep me bound up and second guessing everything in my life and I’m rendered ineffective. No threat to him whatsoever.

Here’s the thing….every decision we are presented with, every choice we make, well, they will have good and bad things that come along as part of the package.  We can make the most God-ordained choice in the world but that doesn’t mean the road is going to be easy.

Did you hear that?  Even when we do what God would have us do, it won’t always be sunshine and roses 100% of the time.

So how to know His will, to hear His call on our lives?  Get in the Word.  Know Him.  Spend time with him.  And then go.  Just go.  Step out in faith.  As I heard Lysa TerKuerst say this week, “The only way our faith will ever strengthen is to use it.”

That’s is, isn’t it?  Use your faith and it will grow. Spend time with God and then trust that He’s breathing wisdom into your life.  Because He tells us that’s exactly what He’ll do.  And then go.  Move.  Do something.

So go.  And quit making everything harder than it has to be.  God’s got you.  Trust always in that.


This post is written in conjunction with the #Write31days Challenge and linked up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday crew here and Nester Smith’s friends here.

He knows me

31dayssquareaddressIn my quiet time this morning, I took five minutes and just poured over a verse or two of scripture.  Life is chaotic and busy and my head is noisy.  Even when I’m supposed to be still.  I tend to feel that Im doing something wrong if I’m not pounding through several chapters of scripture every day.  More is better, right?

As if, God, Himself, gave us one and only list of how to do it ….the Holy Expectation of Bible Study….to be a good Jesus girl you must read from the Old Testament, the New Testament, a chapter of Proverbs and a couple Psalms every day.

We might make up our own expectations but He doesn’t do that.  He hasn’t set up those rules.

So I’ve been slowing down and pondering one verse of scripture today.  And this is it:

“My sheep listen to my voice, I know them, and they follow me.”  John 10:27

So often I focus on my part of this verse.  The listening part.  And in that I can get wrapped up in how I might listen wrong.  Or mishear.  Or not hear anything at all.

But today, what spoke to my heart was this…..”I know them…”

Ahhh.  He knows me.  The God of the universe, the Shepherd of my soul knows me.  He knows me.  Me.

Drink that in and understand that wherever you are, whether it’s in trial or joy, whether you’ve got dirty dishes stacked up in your sink and you forgot to run the overfull dishwasher and there is laundry strewn on your couch and the beds aren’t made…..He knows you.  He sees your need.  He wants to meet you right where you are.  If you’ll slow down and let Him.

Jesus is a gentleman.  He calls.  But we often forget to listen.

He knows you.  Listen to His voice.  It’s there.  Only slow down long enough, breathe that tender mercy into your soul rather than jamming another chore in there, and listen.  And then follow.


This post is written in conjunction with the #Write31days Challenge and linked up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday crew here and Nester Smith’s friends here.

Day 5: I’m stuck…or am I?


This morning, as our pastor began to bring us his message during worship these words flashed on the screen:

We all sin.

It took my breath away.  Not because I didn’t know it was true.  Oh, trust me.  I did.  But my heart nearly leaped out of my chest because I was sure I knew where this was going.


Condemnation.  Try harder.  Do better.  Be more.  You’re not enough.  Do it all over.  I’ve heard that message of hell and brimstone a million times.

But no.  No, Pastor Pete reminded us that we were living in a grace place.  One where we no longer have to build a life stuck in sin but pretending as if we weren’t.  Where we no longer have to go to great lenghts to try to convince ourselves that being good and being happy is enough in our lives.

Because it’s not.  And you and I both know that.

We can keep trying to live our lives as though we can jam enough good things into place to cobble together some sort of life here.

Or.  We can focus on eternity.  One where there is repentance and redemption.  One where we can stop, right now, right this minute, right where we are in whatever it is that is nearly killing us, and we can do a complete 180.  We can circle right back around to Jesus.  We can embrace the call and plan he has for us.

Sure, we can stay stuck in the quicksand of sin and the trap of lies the world tells us.

But why?

“Rid yourself of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit.”  Ezekiel 18:31

There is grace, bleeding through right beside you.  Closer than a breath.  Closer than a song.  Closer than you can imagine.

Don’t remain stuck in sin and lies and unbelief.  Turn around.  Turn around and let grace lead you home.


This post is written in conjunction with the #Write31days Challenge and linked up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday crew here and Nester Smith’s friends here.

Lesson learned….


My feet hit the ground and I’m off.  Running.  My head is full of chaos.  Going in too many direcitons at once.

Pack the lunches.  Sign the papers you should have signed last night.  Write the checks.  Make sure the big girl ate something.  Wake up the little girl.  Wake up the little girl again.  Wake up the little girl yet again.  Endure her wrath.  Send hubby out the door.  Send the big girl out the door.  Check the calendar.  Make the grocery list.  Step over cat-hair tumbleweeds rolling across the kitchen floor.  Make  mental note to sweep floor after I get back from the bus stop.

My life moves at the speed of rush and my mind is always spinning.  Always turning.  Trying to keep up.  Desperately wishing I could get ahead.  Always moving.  Until my heart is heavy.  And I remember.

You can’t hear that still small voice if you never take time to listen for it.  And goodness knows God is crying out to me.  Reminding me that He’s there.  Closer than a breath.  If I’d just pause.  If I’d be still.  If I’d listen for his voice.

“Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10

That’s what he wants me to know.  And I can only really embrace His blessing, hear His voice if I stop.  If I quiet my mind and heart.  If I listen.  Just as I ask my daughters to do when I’m talking and they are busy.  “Listen to me.  Put your eyes on my face.”

That’s what I need to do too.  Listen.  And put my eyes on His face.

Lesson learned.


This post is written in conjunction with the #Write31days Challenge and linked up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday crew here and Nester Smith’s friends here.

Day 3: A New Voice


Confession time again.

That voice in my head is very unkind.  You know the one I mean.  I know you do.  You have it too, I’ll bet.

It’s that voice makes big lists of my shortfalls and categorizes my sins.  And while we’re at it, might as well see how my mess stacks up with what I perceive your list looks like.

It tells me I’m not good enough.  Or smart enough.  Not talented enough.  I don’t wear the right size.  Or keep my house properly.  My children aren’t well behaved enough and that is a reflection on the sort of mother I am.  It tells me I don’t pray enough or study enough.  I don’t balance things in my life enough.

Do you see a theme here?  Never.enough.

Funny thing.  It seems that I’m always looking at my own blooper reel while looking at my sister’s highlight clips.  Her best days as opposed to my worst.  As if there’s a competition.  And if I allow it, that ugly voice will dominate my days and control my life. It tells me all the ways I do not measure up, as if this is the gospel truth.

But here’s the thing.  I measure up not because of anything I do.  Ha.  More like in spite of what I do.  Because I mess up a lot.  Like 100 times before lunch.  No, it’s not on my power. I’m enough because of Jesus’s redeeming work on the cross.  There’s no competition.  Only the filter of grace.


He sings a song of love to me daily, calling out to remind me of who I am in Him.

The hearing is up to me.

Listen to the new voice.  There is peace.

This post is written in conjunction with the #Write31days Challenge and linked up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday crew here and Nester Smith’s friends here.