I never saw it coming

“Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His; praise His holy name.  For anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”  ~Psalm 30:4


I never saw it coming.  It was a total shock.  No one told me that labor and delivery might not go as I had planned.  No one told me you aren’t guaranteed the birth experience you want simply because you want it.  And it was a disaster.  We made it to the other side but I had some pretty serious consequences.


I remember heading home from the hospital with our firstborn daughter.  Already, every dream I had had for her first few days was shattered.  I realized I controlled nothing and I knew very little.  The hospital, satisfied that we could bathe a baby without dropping her on her precious little noggin, cut us loose.  That was the least of it really though.


I was tired.  Weak.  On restrictions.  Wasn’t even supposed to lift baby by myself.  How does that even work?  And I had no clue.  Looking back, it was the perfect storm.  Only I hadn’t the faculties to recognize it.


My days were long and the nights longer.  My precious baby girl was colicky like so many babies.  I wondered if I ought to get her to read some of the parenting books I had read because she surely wasn’t following the rules.  We struggled through those early days and I’m pretty sure I cried as much as she did.  Maybe more.


Probably I should have guessed there was a problem when the hallucinations started.  I was afraid to walk near windows for fear I’d somehow drop her.  Going down the steps with her from our second floor apartment caused anxiety attacks.  Driving her someplace solo?  Heck. NO!  And forget about turning the oven on.  We ate crock pot meals or none at all.


Then came the day in which I found myself curled in a ball on the bathroom floor, crying out to God:  Why. Have. You. Forsaken. Me???


Post Partum Depression at its most raw.


If nothing else, those dark days led me to dig into Scripture.  If I believed God was God and He was good, then His constant presence by my side also had to be true.  But oh, it didn’t feel like He was near.   The swirling, bone sucking blackness of depression threatened to destroy me.


God used my daughter’s sweet little face to heal me.


As winter turned into a brilliant spring, I began to look up and see God’s hand around me.  In the beautiful sunrises I got to see (since my daughter seemed to adore them).  In the wonder that was dandelion fluff.  In the contrail cloud left by a passing airplane (something that delighted her ever and ever so much).  But most of all, in her eyes.  In her smile.  In her unadulterated joy.


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It restored my soul to watch her discover the world that had tried to break me.  To see her sheer delight as she was showered by flower petals from a blooming tree.  I began to see that though my struggle was very real and some days were harder than others, I had a choice, too.


In her upcoming book, “She’s Still There,” Chrystal Evans Hurst reminds us, “Sometimes the only way out is through.”  And though the process of working through that season was very painful, it was necessary.  I had to admit my struggle with post partum depression and I had to walk through it.  I couldn’t go around it.  Tried it.  Didn’t work.  I couldn’t ignore it.  Nope.  Couldn’t numb my way out of it.  Because then I missed the joy. Through, long and tiresome though it was, was the only way to the other side.


There was joy.  I just had to see it.  Feel it.  Breathe it in.


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In that season, I began to learn to be thankful for what I had and worry less about what I didn’t have.  I began to look for small joys and celebrate small victories.  A nap without a fight?  Win.  Driving my daughter to the nearby mall without anxiety?  Win.  Story time and snuggles?  Win.  Flowers from the grocery store just because I liked them?  Win.


One of the things a mother so easily loses is the necessary care and keeping of her soul.  And when we’re tapped out and undernourished, we become a prime candidate for disordered thoughts and enemy attack.

nurture your soul

Being willing to walk through is hard.  Recognizing that I wasn’t Wonder Woman and couldn’t do all the things and be well?  Also hard.  Not reaching out when I needed help?  Definitely not a solid plan.  But there was growth through the pain.  There was weeping for a season.  But slowly, slowly joy returned.  And my soul took a breath.



She graduated last month.  To me, it’s a tangible reminder of God’s hand in our lives.  By rights, neither one of us should be here.  But God gave us beauty for our ashes, for sure.  I’d be lying if I said that days weren’t long.  They surely were.  But oh, the season has been so incredibly short.  Gone in the blink of an eye.


I’d love to tell you I learned to always cultivate joy in my life from those days forward, amen.  But that would not be true.  I’d love to say that I’m victorious over depressive thoughts 100% of the time.  Also not true.  It’s been journey for sure.  But here’s what I know to be true:  When God promises to bring joy in the morning, it’s a done deal.  It might not look as you had expected.  He’s surprising like that.  But He will do it.


What I’m learning these days when I feel those dark thoughts crowding in is to stop, to breathe, and to look up.  I pause to remember the many ways God has been faithful to me in the past, trust that He’ll do it again, and then I step out.  Somedays I do that more gracefully than others, but as I make the effort, He’s meeting me.


And in the meeting there is redemption and peace.


The journey back to myself has been long.  Progress has never been linear.  And daggone it, I haven’t arrived yet.  But these days I’m giving myself more grace.  I’ve persevered through a lot but this is the best part:  God is still writing my story!  And I can’t wait to see what the next chapter holds.

The darkest moment

The darkest moment


In life, there are moments that, given a choice, we’d take back in a heart beat.  Moments that define our lives as before and after.  Moments that ultimately change the trajectory of our lives — good, bad or ugly.


Your moment won’t look like mine, but I’ll bet you have one.  A place you failed to represent Christ as you’d prefer.  A word spoken in haste that was misunderstood.  A gross error.  A terrible choice.  An action you can’t take back, which really doesn’t represent you but which can label you in a lighting fast moment.


I remember walking through a season of dark moments in such despair that huge, heaving sobs were the norm, eating was impossible and the song in my heart was so damaged and fragile it became non-existant.


How could redemption come out of the mess that swirled around me?  Could God use me anymore? Would He even want to?  If I had done all I could and the situation was still on fire, how could I go on?


I wallowed.  I despaired.  I was nearly lost.


In her upcoming book, “She’s Still There,” author Chrystal Evans Hurst whispers a gentle reminder…

“Your darkest moments are only a moment in time.”


I wish that truth had penetrated my heart during those days.  It probably wouldn’t have made the hard less so.  But it might have made hope seem more accessible. Tangible.  Because though my mess loomed so large in my life in those days, God still knew who I was.  My heart was transparent to Him.  He wasn’t planning to leave me, though I felt lonelier than I’d ever been.  He’d already promised unity long before a word prompted a firestorm.


One of the bravest things I’ve ever done was step out of the darkness.  To move forward. It hurt so much.  It broke hearts, mine included.  It was uncomfortable.  I had to fight my way through it.  I had to own it.  I had to own my story.

Owning your story

I won’t lie.  There are still days in which the old lies come back full force and the enemy seeks to take me back to that dark place.  It happens.  More than I’d like, if I’m honest.  But God is faithful.  And sometimes I just have to boss myself around.  In His strength, of course.

The mess feels like more than I can bear but God didn’t ask me to fight alone.

“Stop wallowing,” He encourages.

“Don’t hand out a victory to an undeserving enemy,” He cautions.

“Breathe.  And live.  Because You are mine,” He reminds.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing! Now is springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

                                           ~Isaiah 43: 18-19


Sometimes I forget that God is in the business of miracles.  Sometimes I forget that though flawed, I am (still) the apple of His eye.  Sometimes I forget it’s not up to me.  A thousand times I get it wrong, but God is still doing that new thing in my life.  And He’s patient about it.  He has time.


What dark moment do you need to shine Light into?  What season are you ready to let go of? Do you feel like you’re up for the challenge or is the girl inside you terrified and uncertain? Be on the lookout for Chrystal’s new book, launching August 8.  God promises us strength for the journey (Isaiah 40:29 NIV).  But we still have to take the first step, look our dark moments, our very life stories, in the eye, and say, “Thus far, the Lord has helped me (1 Samuel 7:12 NIV).”


Then, sisters, we raise an ebenezer and we charge forward!  We are strong in Jesus name!


It won’t be easy, but with God’s help it will be good.





Wait well…

I walk around the lake on this brisk winter day. It’s desolate save for a pair of bluebirds. What is teeming with expectation in spring and brimming with life in summer is dead at this time of year. Dark and spindly. Frozen. Life buried.


Spring’s promise is obvious. Winter’s?  Not so much.


Without a doubt, winter is a season of waiting and waiting can be a thankless job. Waiting puts a pause on the payoff, a condition on things yet to come. In our instant gratification lives, waiting is more than a little painful. The quiet that can come with a wait is unsettling, because in that silent space, I’m forced to get awfully real with myself and also with God.  Vulnerable places are not my favorite.


Waiting can appear apathetic….I don’t care so I won’t move…and sometimes waiting is that.  Lazy.  Emotionless.  Lacking thought.  Comfortable.  Oh yes, sometimes we wait because where we are is just more comfortable than where we should be going.  But waiting that is gut-level honest takes strength and courage.  It takes stick-to-it-ness.  This God ordained wait requires us to faithfully show up day after day, sometimes year after year.  Death to self.


Not my way, but Thine.


Noah waited.  A year on a boat with only his family, who were probably not super excited about the duration of their cruise.  No port side excursions.  Amenities were questionable.  Oh, and two (plus) of every animal in the world along for the ride.  Once he stepped on that boat there is no record of God speaking to him until over 365 days later.  How lonely and overwhelming that must have been!  As time passed, it would have been tempting to bug out early–they could see land at a certain point, after all. But the absence of a “go” equaled a “wait” for Noah.  And then God spoke and they moved.


Abram waited.  God called Abram, promised an inheritance and he and Sarai set off on a grand adventure.  After a time, God was more specific:  a son, the father of many nations.  Abram looked around, childless and old–how could this be?  He looked with weary, waiting eyes and came to a decision.  Abram took God’s promise and jammed it into his own plan. Much as we do daily.  Ouch.


Waiting makes my skin crawl and I want to resist because waiting necessitates listening and submission and listening and submission are scary.  Waiting on its own isn’t enough.  Waiting well is key.  I want to wait well.  Because with or without me, God is going to have His way, but if I jump ahead, I’m going to have to deal with the consequences of my decisions.  And consequences are also not my favorite.  I would do well to remember that I am a child of promise, one who God sees.  Even when He’s quiet.  Waiting, then, isn’t to be feared, but rather it’s a time to rest in God, gain the skills we need for whatever is next in our journey, all the while being ready and willing to move forward when God calls.


Two men.  Different missions.  Different choices.  Both are “Hall of Famers”–listed among the faithful in Hebrews 11.  I’m equally encouraged by their victories as their mistakes.  Because even when they messed up, God saw them and walked beside them.  And He used them.


Just as the promise of new life springs forth at the lake after a season of wintery waiting, so God’s promises in my life will come to fruition at just the right moment.




Wait well.  Be vulnerable.  Be ready.  Open that space up for God to do a new thing in your life.  He is faithful.


See, I am doing a new thing!  Now is springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”  Isaiah 43:19




In the months before a milestone birthday, I recall spending a lot of time taking stock of my life.  Mulling things over, sitting with them, parked on myself, really (and yeah, that’s *never* good is it?).  In that space, I looked at my life with a magnifying glass and came up lacking.  My life didn’t look like I expected it would as 40 candles approached.  And I was disappointed.  With my life.  With myself.  And if I were brutally honest, I would say that I was also disappointed with God.


I looked around and saw abundance in everyone else’s life but in my own?  Not so much.


That birthday begat a season of contemplation in my life.  Because here’s the thing…if God promised me abundance, I must have it, right?  He’s the Author of Truth so if he’s promised something, there it must be.  What was I missing?


As Christmas approaches, as I’ve helped my small congregation prepare for worship throughout this season, and even via my Facebook feed, Mary’s Song has come up repeatedly.  While drawning in these words, I’ve wondered about Mary.  Young girl, younger than my oldest daughter, really.  Engaged to be married and thinking of all the things that go with that exciting season of life.  And then it happens.  An angel of the Lord steps into her sphere of influence and boom!  Nothing in Mary’s life will ever be the same.


My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant….for the Mighty One has done great things for me–holy is His name.  ~Luke 1:46-49


As Mary sang this song, I wonder if she could have even begun to imagine what her life would look like?


What was it like to parent Almighty God?  As Jesus learned the trade of His earthly father, did she expect that one day He’d lay it down and walk into a place of ministry.  Did she know His touch would heal?  Did she know His words would change the world? Did she have an inkling of a cross, of her beautiful baby boy crying out in agony, giving over his very last breath so she herself would have life?  And if she had foreknown these things, would she still have sung that song?  Would she still have offered her life as an act of service?


Mary was chosen by God.  Handpicked.  But on the day she praised God for what He was doing in her life and in the lives of the Jewish people by extension, I doubt she could have guessed the path she’d have to walk.  Because the honest truth is that God’s plan for us looks very little as we’d expect.  This is our reality.  We want picket fences but instead there are hard places.  We want a picture perfect family but husbands stray and children wander and relatives struggle to connect.  We want happily ever after but the world is broken and happy is both relative and elusive.


Mary offered herself to be used by God because she KNEW God.  She trusted in his absolute truth.   She was willing.  And then she watched God’s promise unfold in a very tangible way in her life.  She held God’s very most precious promise in her very human hands and she knew that God is exactly who He says He is.


Paul reminds us that God is able and willing to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.”  (Ephesians 3:20)  Though these words were yet to be penned as Mary rocked her sweet infant, I believe they would have resonated with her.  Mary was bathed in a life of abundance even though there were hard, hard places.  And we are too.  But that abundance will have a different vein for each of us.    Ultimately it becomes a question of perception:  Do you choose to see it?  Do you choose to receive it as is?


It’s rare that our lives take on the shape we expected they would, although some certainly do.  But God promised that He’s using every single thing for the good of those who love Him.  (Romans 8:28)  He is well able to redeem even the messiest of situations in our lives, but will they resolve as we think best?  Nope.  Not likely.


There is beauty in giving up control.  There is peace in resting in your Savior.  There is blessing in obediently showing up. There is life in His Word.  And there is abundance as He promised. There is.


How has God blessed you with abundance in your life?  During this Christmas season, which is beautiful and hard all at once, how can you purposefully choose to joyfully receive the abundance that is placed before you?  I’d love to hear from you!




If you are visiting after reading my devotion on http://www.wearehisdaughters.com today, welcome!  Well, and even if you didn’t find me that way, a hearty welcome to you, too!


On a dreary December morning, my friend asked me the dreaded question:   What are you doing today?


I found myself heaving a sigh as I mentally calculated all the things I could do, weighed with the things I should do and divided by the things I must do.  Trust me…it was a lot of things.  And none of the things was something I wanted to do.


Some days it seems like everything that comes across my desk is so mundane.  Repetative.  Boring and unfun.  It’s not good to feel so defeated by 7:30 on Monday morning.


As I responded with a whiny text message, the words I saw reflect back to me from the screen gave me pause.  Claity on the screen, as it were.  The reality of life is that while I know that many would love to even have the energy to I have to complete the tasks at hand or the physical ability, I’m seriously never going to love scrubbing toilets or returning emails.  I’m just not.  Still, how I choose to think about those things in the scheme of what God says about me personally makes all the difference.


What does God think of me?  Well, that’s a loaded question, isn’t it?  It’s one I’ve struggled with since I was very young and it’s a question in which the enemy seeks to keep me limited and demoralized.  Which is obviously why I need to hear God’s honest truth over and over and over.  And over.  Eventually it’s going to stick.


As I reached for my Bible, I opened to Ephesians where I’ve been parked for a while and these words jumped off the page…


It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we’re living for.  Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had His eye on us, had designes for us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone.  ~Ephesians 1:12-14 (MSG)


Did you catch that?  Before you heard of Christ, He had his eye on YOU.  I’m not even kidding about this.  And not only did He notice you, He had a PLAN for you.  A design for glorious living.  I’m going to repeat that because it smacked me between the eyes.  God.has.a.design.for.GLORIOUS .LIVING.for.you.


Listen, when you are up to your eyeballs in toddlers who won’t sleep and PTO meetings and Christmas shopping, life doesn’t feel very glorious.  And when you’ve been up all night because of insomnia and you back is against a deadline for a project or program and your high schooler rolls her eyes at you and stomps out the door because the lunch you packed for her doesn’t meet her satisfaction, it’s really easy to question the so called plan God really has for your life.  I get it.  If I had a nickel for every time I wondered if I had taken a potty break when God was handing out purposeful life missions and got stuck with this rag-tag group of high strung people and pets because all the good missions were used up, well, I’d have lots of nickels.


The truth of the matter is that God truly did CHOOSE me to be the mama I am and he CHOSE me to minister in music with the gifts and talents that I have (not to be confused with the super awesome gifts and talents other people have.)  He chose me to be a light in my corner of the world.  Right here.  Right now.  And, sweet friend, He chose you too.  He did.


We are his treasured possessions.  We are a holy nation.  We are chosen.  We are.


So take that, Monday morning!  I may have mundane chores to do today but I am not mundane and I do not serve a mundane God.


And neither do you.

Rock star….

In the middle of my life, I look around.  I realize I will see lack if I’m not careful.  You see, I want to be a rock star for Jesus but instead I’m scrambling eggs on crooked burners that will not lie flat and never making enough bacon to keep the masses happy.

Sometimes I wonder…is this “it”?  Is this “all?”

I keep looking for the promised land.  But maybe it’s here.  Right behind me all along.  

What is the measure of a woman who is truly sold out for Jesus. Does she know she’s made it only when she speaks to crowds of thousands?  Or if all the churches want her to sing?  Or if her Pinterest boards get enough followers or she is re-tweeted and “liked”?

What are we seeking?  What am I seeking?  Popularity with the Jesus girls?  A pat on the back? An escape from crooked burners, dust bunnies and grocery shopping?  Or am I seeking to offer myself as a living sacrifice, broken and poured out in the everyday ordinary sameness for our Redeeming Savior?

It turns out I CAN be a rock star for Jesus and still make eggs on crooked burners.  But I can’t serve Jesus well when I’m comparing myself to everyone else, focusing on what books they have written, how many blog hits they have and how they’ve decorated their homes.

I’m not called to be those sweet sisters.  I’m called to be me.  To live in these beautiful and messy moments God has given me.

I am called, first, to be a rock star to an audience of One.  Then I can ride that ripple out towards my family. I can be their rock star too.  With excellence.  Not indulgence and self-pity, wishing for what could have been. Or, truth be told, what I think should have been.  I need to be present here.  Right where I am.

I follow the God-ripples out to their conclusion.

Recently, the words of speaker and author Annie Downs challenged me.  She suggested that one of the most important things we can do is to REALLY look at our lives and seek to call it good.  Even if we realize that God may not/has not/will not answer our deepest prayer the way we’d like it to be answered.

That’s hard, isn’t it?  It really gets to the core of who we are.  Are we going to live broken and poured out for Jesus, hands held open to what He has for us, or will we find ourselves with hands clenched, clutching, trying to hold on to what we have and stretch it into enough?

Broken and poured out.  A living sacrifice.  That’s who I want to be.

I serve a God who has promised me abundantly more than I’ve EVER asked or imagined.  And in the middle of my mess, I cling to this promise:  “He makes everything beautiful in His time.”  (Ecclesiastes 3:11)  

Everything.  Even me.  Even this chaotic life.

I’m already a rock star for Jesus.  Right here, right now.  Even if I never sing at a huge venue or write an influential book.  No, I’m just a rock star with crooked burners, a kid who is always on stilts and the meanest ginger cat in the world.

And that’s enough.


What’s in a word?

Another year has come and gone.  I can’t believe how quickly 2014 has flown by.  When one’s eight year old even comments on the speed of the year, I take it to mean it was a year on the move.

A lot happened for our family this year.  Well, really a lot happened for me.  It’s been a long time since it’s been my turn.  I’m sure many moms, wives, support people, can relate to that.  You back-burner yourself as you answer God’s earnest call to care for those He has placed in your lives.  And that is a beautiful thing.  But sometimes we can lose focus.

Our sight becomes short.

That happened for me.  I got to a place where the lies of the enemy were so loud in my head that I really lost sight of who God has always said I was.  And that was dangerous because I was for sure living in lack.  Missing out on some of the things God had for me because I doubted myself and ultimately I doubted God, although I didn’t realize it at the time.

I forgot, for just a bit, how very, very big my great, good God truly is.

But when I got back on track, I was blessed to find a new ministry position that is totally and completely and wonderfully out of my comfort zone.  I HAD to rely on God if I was going to succeed because His power was the only way it was going to happen.  And guess what?  God met me right there in the middle of my stress and uncertainty.  He’s been so good!

And then.  Then.   He brought me to a completely unexpected volunteer ministry that has totally and utterly knocked my socks off.  I still can’t believe that I *get* to do these amazing things.  To minister in music.  To love hurting woman to the throne of grace.  To make new friends when I thought I would never have a friend again.  To nurture and be nurtured.

I’ve been in a very anointed grace place lately but as I approached this year, I knew I needed a focus.  Because most days I find myself running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  I have plenty of time but I’m always scrambling to get things done.  I seem to accomplish the bare minimum, focus divided, and then things like self-care and even things like really, honest to goodness cleaning the house just never happen as they should.

So as I approached God for a focus for this year, the overwhelming thought that came to me was “intentional.”


Yeah, I’m not usually very intentional.  At least not in terms of carrying out things with a plan and a purpose.  Actually I think a better way to characterize me would really be “reactionary.”

But this year, it’s a year of intentional thinking.  Of planning ahead while also seeking God’s face for what it is He wants me to do.  Of self-discipline where needed.  Of pushing through the less fun things.  But knowing always that there is blessing in obedience.

In Colossians 3:2 it says, “fix your eyes on things above; have done with lesser things.”  I think those words really bring to focus what I’ve been lacking.  When I’m focused all over the place but not on the things of heaven, my intentionality will always be skewed. But in the asking….”Abba, what do you have for me today?  How does this fill your purposes today?  How can I serve you best today?”….my intentions begin to reflect the intentions of the Lord.  It’s all about focus, really.  I can’t be intentional if I’m not first intentionally seeking God.  I’m like a flame flickering in the wind, desperately clinging to life.


So first things first.  It’s time to get intentional.  I’m excited for the ways God will use this season in my life.  I know he’s got some amazing things planned.

And p.s. …if you have a word and a verse for 2015, I’d love to hear about it!


It’s time for Five Minute Friday…it’s been a while, but fasten your seatbelts and away we go!


My alarm chimes again I know I can’t delay it any longer.  I.must.get.up.

I stumble to the kitchen and, half asleep, begin to pack the lunches.  Another night of wakefullness and too much thought.  I slam sandwiches together and try to remember who wants mustard and who doesn’t and who hates carrots and who needs dip for her tomatoes.  Don’t put cheese in allergy girl’s lunch.  (You wouldn’t think that would be hard to remember since she was diagnosed at birth, but yeah…not a morning person….) The thoughts intrude….

This isn’t the life I thought I’d live.  I’m not sure exactly what I expected, but this isn’t quite it.  I think I thought it would be more glamorous.

But most days after everyone hurries out the door, to the world of professional people, to the high school, hopping on the shiny yellow school bus with rosy,cold cheeks, I wonder…..

Does anyone see me?  Does anyone notice that I am here?  Probably they would notice if I were gone.  I think.  But do they notice what I do.

It’s easy to get lost in a trap of self-pity in the season of growing a family, chaos and self-sacrifice.  I must renew my mind.  Because I don’t HAVE to do these things.

I GET to do these things.

AND.  And I have a Heavenly Father who reminds me that from the dawn of time, before the dawn actually, He had a plan in place for my life.  A plan for me.

Wrap your brain around that.

So my daughters may not notice that I put their favorite cookies in their lunches today.  Or maybe they do.  They for sure notice when I put something in there they don’t like.  Why does it work that way?  But I believe they always notice how much I love them.

And me?  No worries.  I don’t have to fear.  Yes, it’s easier to remember that at some times versus others.  But He sees.  He notices everything I do with my heart turned towards Him.

Everything I GET to do.

And He turns it all into good.


To pray or not to pray….

Prayer.  It’s a very important part of this spiritual journey we are on.  But it can be scary, it seems.

Do I pray correctly?  Do I pray often enough?  Do I pray at the right time of day?  Are my prayers long enough?  Is more better? Or less?

And I know I’m not alone in this.  I hear my sisters in Christ crying out all around me….feeling inadequate and guilty for not doing more.

I get so wrapped up on the “not good enoughs” and the “am I doing it rights”, with a healthy does of “I’m not worthy thrown” in there.  And I they distract me from praying.  If those are the thoughts running through my mind, I’m lost.  Because I get so busy thinking about them that I’m certainly not praying. Just focusing on my lack.

When I lose track of what the purpose of prayer is, God enters in and seeks to remind me.

In his new book, “before AMEN”, Max Lucado, makes this statement:

“Prayer is not a privilege for the pious, not the art of a chosen few.  Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and his child.  My friend, he wants to talk with you.”

Did you catch that?  Prayer isn’t something reserved for people who know how to do it “right.”  It’s simple.  And heartfelt.

Sweet sister, YOU know how to do it right.  It’s just a sharing of your heart with Almighty God, while knowing that he cares.  He sees you.  And he loves you.  Mess and all.

Seriously.  Mess and all.  Don’t wait until you get your act together to pray.  Don’t wait until you learn the right buzz words that you hear other people use.  Don’t wait until you can pray like your pastor.  Don’t wait until you don’t have any distractions. Don’t wait until you think you’re good enough.

Don’t wait.

For some of us, that means getting those kiddos on the bus and then curling up in our favorite chair to spend time with Him. For others, it means (ugh!!) getting up early.  Or turning off the tv/shutting down social media/putting away our knitting projects a bit earlier before we go to bed.  For still others, it’s stealing random quiet moments throughout the day in between arbitrating penetrating arguments over who gets the prize out of the cereal box and negotiating with naptime terrorists.  Or while we commute.  Or as we do laundry.  Or in a hospital waiting room.  Or in a quiet sanctuary.  Or when you can’t sleep.  Or so you can.

But do it.  Pray.  With many words if you have them.  With few if that’s what you’ve got.  Crying out Jesus name because there’s nothing left.  In silence as you wait.  Or because you’re cried out.  Just pray.  With whatever you’ve got.

Because He’s waiting.  Longing for your conversation.  Longing for you.

So pray.  Don’t wait.

Pray.  fall2

Day 31: Leave

31dayssquareaddressIt’s time.  Kind of.  But maybe not really.

A month of thoughts shared from the heart.  Knowing that you and I are similar.  Oh, our circumstances may be different but the heart of the matter is that we all share similar issues, challenges, heartaches, joys and concerns.  And those issues are things we often beat ourselves up over.  They cause us to feel less than.

I look at other Jesus girls and wish I had it all together like them.  But I don’t.  And as I leave this short season, I’m coming to a place where I think that’s okay.

The reality is this:  I’m always going to be lacking in myself.  It’s God’s miraculous grace that covers over my imperfections and makes them perfect in His sight.  That’s who He is.  And what He does.

As long as I look at all the other Jesus girls and compare my mess to their highlight reel, I’m surely going to come up lacking.  But we’re all in this together.  Or we should be.  And the beauty of that leads us to come together, a community of Jesus girls, perfectly imperfect in His sight, lacking nothing because He’s supplied it all.  Holding one another up.  Bearing the burdens of one another.  Being there.  And trusting that His promises are true.

He speaks the words clearly to our hearts…..be strong and courageous…..don’t be afraid…..I go with you wherever you go….never will I leave you nor forsake you….(from Deuteronomy 31:6)

That’s who He is.  Eternally with us.  And for us as well.

Seasons change and so do circumstances.  But in the end, this isn’t a journey we leave until life has been well lived.  He is unchanging but we are constantly refined.

Embrace the journey, sweet sister.  This is your legacy.  Refined.  Redeemed.  Well loved.  Never forsaken or forgotten.  Always, always, always on His mind.


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.