Category Archives: Take Him at His Word

Lucky Charms are really not magically delicious <3

I have miles to go before I sleep today. 


I have about 34 minutes to get my face and hair looking presentable and head out the door for a full 14 hours of travel and hangs with the Fab Four…so knowing this on Monday I had mapped out what I would write each day. 

If you know anything about me, you know that I have been riddled with doubt each and every morning as I followed through with the outline but I am forging ahead in faith that this is a word for someone, even if it is just for me <3

In dealing with my various levels of trying to figure myself out over the years, I have uncovered a strange motivator for my “worry and anxiety” tendencies. 

At some point as I prayed to have God remove this from me and was blaming it on my own mom’s extreme cases of getting herself worked up to the point of needing bed rest and meds…I came face to face with the reality that while yes, I had learned some of it…I needed to own some of it too.

So as I thought back through the years to my childhood, I began to wonder when I went from the wild child with off-center pig tails who played til she dropped into exhaustion and morphed into someone who manages to drum up all the possible ways things could go wrong even if all we are doing is making plans for an outing to the zoo. 

As I prayed it through and asked God to help, I began to realize that at some point in mid-grade school I began to develop a theory that seemed to prove true all the way through my high school years. 

If I was off somewhere having fun and enjoying myself, somehow when I got home I would have forgotten the time or to check in or my mom didn’t know where I was and had been calling out for me for quite a while. 

She would be worried sick. 


And it heaped guilt on me for my thoughtless and careless ways.

However; if I worried and kept nagging doubt hanging over me whilst playing in the creek down the street or riding my bike to friends in the next neighborhood or taking an extra long time to get home because I had crammed 10 high school kids in the gray Nova and was dropping them off one by one around town…(there were pre-cell phone; pre-seat belt days my friends)…it seemed she hadn’t even given a thought to it and was surprised I was home so soon. 

So I started to equate “worry” with being in good graces with my mom. 

It’s weird, I know. 

But we do this.

We establish a pattern of the lesser of two evils and lock ourselves into a prison that Jesus blasted the door off of when we received Him into our hearts. 

We live like we are chained when we are free. 

Not free from responsible behavior. 

But free from the binding laws we have made up in our own minds that we think will keep us safe and comfortable. 

What is freeing is realizing that I will encounter trouble, but He is with me. 

That I will not be able to avoid the pitfalls of this world by following some sort of five step plan. 

I will pray and think He’s not  hearing, but He is.

I will feel alone and confused and there will be times when the rut of worry, fear, dread and anxiety will look familiar because I have run the wheels of my life down that road many a time. 

But each and every time, as I acknowledge that I am back in those well-worn tracks and I cry out for help to rise again, I will. 

That’s freedom for me. 

My mom also experienced freedom in the last five years of her life. 

Somehow in the midst of her physical and mental breakdown after caring for my Alzheimer-ridden dad for far too long, she met Jesus face to face. 

In her delirium, He broke through and she finally knew the One she had given her life to as a little girl. 

The change in her was dramatic and marked and incredible. 

I am so thankful for the kindness of God that sets us free.

Now I must be off, but I pray you know His freedom in your own areas of lock-down today <3

Monday reflections <3

This weekend our women’s ministry team hosted the first ever retreat in a local setting. 

We kept it in house, with speakers from our own church and the whole theme was about pausing from our busy-ness to connect and refresh and get closer to God and each other. 

It was lovely.

Let’s just say when you bring 80 plus females together on a beautiful outdoor campus in perfect fall weather…there will be a lot of personalities, sharing, talking, eating, laughing, crying and all the feels.

Our three teachings centered on removing distractions so we can fully worship God, coming to terms with repentance from ways we have walked away or refused to obey and then just being still and knowing His voice.

I was made aware of some heavy needs and longings that have been added to my prayer list and I feel like I know some of the women who attend our church in a deeper and better way. 

Yesterday as we sat in service and I saw several new friends and old friends and pondered what it means to be in community with the Body of Christ, there was a point where the children were brought from their classrooms and led up on the platforms of both meeting places so that our pastor could pray a blessing over them. 

We watched them in all their wiggly cuteness as they climbed up on the stage and as always, I loved watching them as their eyes scanned the many faces out in front of them.

As one by one they recognized a parent or grandparent, a huge smile and wave would indicate they had found them.

I was reminded of a time when Sarah was in high school and I attended a huge concert at one of the local school auditoriums. I had gotten there early and found a seat near the front. 

The rows filled up quickly all the way to the back and there was a large number of students who had attended as well as families. 

As the orchestra eventually came in, Sarah was seated in the front row and I watched her as her eyes scanned the rows above me. She was looking for someone and I wondered if she had some special friends who were attending or perhaps a fellow who had caught her eye at school and she was interested in seeing if he came. 

I could tell she was searching and then lo and behold her eyes rested in front of her own chair and she saw me and her smile brightened and chased away the furtive searching look. To this day I am humbled to tears that it was me she had been looking for. 

Notoriously late, she would have assumed I had to sit way up at the back…so she had been looking to see if I was there. 

I have always been reminded of the joy that swelled in my heart when she found who she was looking for and it was me.

I think how God, our Father, must sit at times waiting for our eyes to finally search Him out of the crowd of options and faces and what sweet communion it is for Him and for us when finally we focus solely on Him and we cease all striving and just take Him in. 

Be blessed today on your journey. 

You will find what you seek.

Seek Him with all your heart. 

He is right in front of you <3

So much in my heart but only one thing matters <3
Thank you Auntie Lisa for telling us about this find at TJ Maxx…huge hit!

I am writing to you this morning raw from the start of my day because I pray and ask God what to say, and this morning I am led to just share straight from the reality of what living in 2019 can look like for one like me. 

As I was measuring beans into the coffee grinder, Russ and I listened in horror as the news told of the tragic death of a 19 month old, apparently at the hands of his mother. I can’t imagine what desperate state of mind she was in and how little we regard the sanctity of life in increasing measures. 

On the counter is a stack of pictures of our little bundle of energy and love and enthusiasm rolled into a three year old who I knew was waking up extra early. Today is his preschool birthday celebration. He will get to bring a special snack and be the line leader and his “Show and Share bag” has been packed since Tuesday. He has carried it with him everywhere and I know the contents represent the love of his Tia and his Uncle John. And even though you are only allowed one item, his mommy has figured out a way to attach the Longhorn hat to the stuffed monster and make it work.

Two ends of the spectrum of emotion filled me as I stood in our kitchen and poured my coffee while Russ did what he has done every work day morning for 38 plus years and the tears came with no hope of holding them back. 

My heart is full. 

Full of grief for this little life that has ended so abruptly and in such a cruel way. 

Full of love for our family. 

Full of gratitude to God that He would allow me live the life I live. 

Full of sorrow for mothers and fathers and siblings who are without one or more of their precious ones. 

Full of joy at the thought of that one-tooth-missing boy who gives hugs away as freely as he takes in and breathes out oxygen. 

Full of disbelief that we can see how wrong killing a child is but have no problem killing an embryo. 

Full of compassion for children and adults who do not know how much they are valued by God. 

Full of wonder at the patience of God with the likes of us all. 

I don’t know where you are on the fullness scale. 

We can become overwhelmed at times by too much grief, but we can also become overwhelmed by too much happiness. Both extremes can harden us to the full range of what life is like on planet earth for our fellow humans.

Our cups can be so full of the earthly rewards that we forget to empathize with others or so drained that we are unable to lift our heads from the pit…and that is why it is so important to stay in God’s Word. 

It is in the Scriptures that we encounter who God is and He is the only one who can help us balance the joys and sorrows of experiences. 

I am sharing a passage I found strength in this morning to raise my perspective to His thinking and ways:

Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us because God’s LOVE HAS BEEN POURED OUT IN OUR HEARTS through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  Romans 5:1-5 CSB

Whatever state your heart is in today – too empty…too full….too worried…too preoccupied….let His love be poured into your heart. It is the only filling that matters <3   

Living free of unforgiveness <3

Last night it was so warm and still in the house that I turned the air on for a bit…this morning I switched to the furnace…oh my…tis the season!

This morning I read a section in a book of prayers for your grandchildren about forgiveness. Prayers for them to forgive quickly and sincerely. 

With all prayers of intercession for anyone, the pray-er must always bring him or herself under the same prayer.

As I read about the importance for all of us to truly, deeply and sincerely forgive; I felt my own convictions.

One of the Scriptures was Matthew 5:44-45:

I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. 

Matthew 5:44-45 NKJV

This is a teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ, the One I say I follow. 

If He is my Leader, then this is my example. 

So I have to stop this morning and step back from the culture I live in and the voices inside me and around me that speak a different teaching and really examine my heart. 

Do I love my enemies?

Do I bless others when they curse me?

Do I do good to those who hate me?

Do I pray for those who have spitefully used me and those who have betrayed and/or persecuted me?

And by “me” I can tell you that anyone who has done any of the above to any of my people…may as well have done it to me; and better for them if they had done it to me instead of one of them. 

So no. 

I don’t measure up well. 

I carry grudges and ill-will wishes for others who have done any and all of the above to me or to those I love. 

So I have to acknowledge that in this teaching, I have missed the mark.

I have sinned. 

And in my failing, I fall on grace. 

In my confession, I find forgiveness extended to me and thus, I am empowered and equipped to live counter culture and I choose to forgive. 

He gives me grace to extend grace. 

What an incredible gift He has given to us, His children.

Be blessed today….Let us ask God to call to mind those against whom we still hold a grudge. 

Yet again, we can lift up our battered and hardened hearts and ask Him to soften them and shape them even more today into the image of the One who forgave us all.

He is able, even when we are not <3

Who are you listening to?
t-shirt designed by TheWarriorShe <3

Well it’s Thursday and with the writing challenge on Instagram and my little foray into the commitment to do a weekly Facebook Live…I am feeling a tad overexposed and vulnerable. 

So it is fitting that I find myself needing to get ready to go and sit on a panel for the MOPS group at our church this morning for the first time ever. 

I was honored to be asked a few weeks ago if I would do this and to be honest, it was sort of uplifting to the soul to think someone, somewhere in our church thought I might have something to add to any kind of panel…

but this morning I am full of doubts and insecurities because I have no idea what sitting on a MOPS panel means…I don’t know what the expectations are and what the topics will be and if I will even remember what it was like to navigate those preschool years with our own three. 

I fear I will apply the wisdom gained from thirty plus years of mothering and gloss over the reality of the inadequacies I felt as every phase of our children’s lives brought new strategies and lessons and joys and heartaches. 

And the three very different personalities in our children meant a brand new playing field…every single time…

My empty nest friends and I sometimes talk about how we remember some parts of those years and others are graciously erased by time. 

We also look at the culture our children are raising children and realize God put us in that phase in a very different world setting and while we still know how to lay down the law regarding sneaking snacks from the pantry or sass-talking…we have no foundation for issues facing young parents today. 

And as I try to figure out how to transition my attire from the summer clothes I sweated in yesterday when it was literally 90 degrees…to layers to get me through the cold front that is sweeping over the midwest…I feel like perhaps the sweet leaders of this ministry were scraping the bottom of the barrel when they asked me and I hope and pray I can come through for them. 

This week I had several exchanges on Marco Polo with two women who do what I do through writing, speaking and podcasting. 

We talked about how there is a voice in the back of our minds who is constantly reminding us why we probably have no business encouraging others, speaking hope and life, sharing teachings and insight because….look at the messier parts of our own stories and well…we need to just quiet down and realize who and what we are. 

Only guess what. 

We know who and what we are. 

We are women who love Jesus and know the difference He has made in our lives. 

We know what we are capable of without Him and we know that with Him we can do abundantly more than we could even think or dream or imagine. 

We know we are His and that He stands for us and intercedes for us. 

We know that we are sinners saved by grace and thus saints. 

We know our identity is found in our relationship with Him and we are not defined by either our failures or our successes. 

And we will silence the voice of the enemy of God and we will follow the voice of our Leader. 

And sometimes we will stumble…and sometimes we will put our foot in our mouth…and sometimes we will get it wrong and sometimes we will get it right…but all the time…is His time.

Who are you listening to?

What is God calling you to do that the devil is trying to say you have been disqualified to do?

God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Ephesians 3:20 The Message by Eugene Peterson

Meditate on THAT voice today <3