Category Archives: Take Him at His Word

When holding on means we have to let go <3

Oh my…it seems my deer story resonated with you all and for that I am high fiving Jesus, because I struggled with actually publishing it. 

I had, you guessed it, anxiety that you all would think I was insane for finding humor in that story…but you get me and for that, I am so grateful <3

I have one more little story of God showing me the futility of worry and then I promise…Thursday and Friday will be devoted to how God offers us hope and freedom from the vortex of angst. 

I know I have written a post about this at some point in the past, but its worth sharing again because it fits so well with our theme. 

Our mall, like so many others, has a central stage type area. It is a venue for school organizations and dance studios to put on exhibitions.

Picture a carpeted mini-amphitheater that descends down toward a pool of water separating the audience from the performers. 

When our children were little, it was a favorite place for them as they would toddle down the stairs and throw coins in the water. 

After they were grown, I didn’t have much reason to stop there but one day I needed to check some phone messages and so I sat for a while on the top step. 

A young mom came along and I watched as she followed her child down and handed pennies to be tossed in. 

I smiled nostalgically and wistfully pined for those days when life was easier.

Back then, I could kiss skinned knees and whip up a favorite meal, say bedtime prayers and tuck them in safe and sound and life was good. 

Now they were off facing unknown-to-me battles and adventures.

Their hearts got hurt in ways I couldn’t ease away with my love and in that season, I was overwhelmed with the process of transitioning into the role of adult-children-parenting. 

And then in the middle of my rose colored glasses reminiscing, God spoke to me in that candid and slightly firm way He has and flashed a real life visual of me as a young mom in that same setting.

After racing down those carpeted steps behind my charges, I stood grasping the back of a jacket or the shoulder straps of a pair of overalls with a white knuckle grip and giving shrill instructions to be careful and get back and don’t lean so far over when you throw that penny for crying out loud!

 That body of water between us and the stage was swirling like the white water rapids coming off a mountain in Colorado and at any moment I knew our precious child was going to be sucked in. 

I could hear my mom’s voice in the back of my head reminding me a child can drown in a teaspoon of water and I would breathe a sigh of relief when our coins were gone and we could start the climb back out of this nightmare death trap. 

You think I exaggerate, but you think wrong. 

As the mother of adult children, I recognized the truth that the penny-throwing had never really been a fun thing for me because I feared our kids would fall in. 

I got up and walked down to the bottom of the stairs and looked at the water to see it in its reality and said to my more grown up self…good grief…it is like 4 inches deep. 

The worst thing that could have happened is they got wet. 

I went back and sat down and tried to grasp how I could have had such a distorted perspective that was clearly uncalled for and God whispered how perhaps I needed to apply this to my new role. 

Grasping the back of their grown up selves was destroying me. 

It was sucking the life out of my soul, interfering with the relationship changes God was wanting to bring about and it would not keep them safe and dry not matter how much I shouted warnings and grappled to maintain control.

I needed to let go of the worry and the anxiety of the what-if’s.

They might fall in…but they also might find out that they don’t have to.

They might learn their lessons the hard way and they might have the time of their lives at the edge of what looked so scary to me.

They might just find out that God sets wondrous and wide open boundaries if we learn to trust Him. 

But it needed to be their story…their falls…their standing firms… their sorrows…their joys.

Let go of your grip on them Laura, I heard Him say…I’ve got them…I always have… I always will <3

Oh Deer….

Happy Tuesday!

Hope you are keeping warm – spring is coming…I promise!

I am sharing another thought that cropped up in my mind as I am mulling over this sermon series from our church.

(Side note…here is the link if you want to listen to the series

As I mentioned yesterday, I have strong tendencies to worry and can elevate a small thing into scenarios that are Oscar worthy as my mind spins and adds to the worse possible outcome of a situation. 

One memory of an anxiety attack that just screams about the futility of me worrying as I orchestrate how things are going to happen still stands out in vivid detail in my head and thankfully makes me laugh at the absurdity of my angst-habit.

Our Sarah was actively involved in all things musical throughout her schooling and so every year we made the trek to Charleston for some competition thing.

We usually made it a family trip but this particular year Russ must have been with John for a game and I drove Sarah down by myself. 

We had the Tahoe and somehow when the whole event was over and we were ready to leave the parking lot, I decided to just pull forward since the car in front of us had backed out and with all the cars leaving at the same time, it seemed safer to do so.

Except for the fact that I had forgotten there was a concrete curb separating the two slots. 

As the Tahoe clumsily traversed the block, I cringed and Sarah gasped and there was nothing to do but continue forward and get the back wheels over it and then stew my way out of the city and on to the highway. 

I fretted about what I would have done to the tires…the alignment…any metal underneath that I may have scraped…how could I be so stupid…how could I respond to Russ’s question as to what the heck was I thinking…if worry was knit stitches, I had a good sized afghan going as we made our dreaded way toward home. 

However all of my worry and anxiety and fear of damage incurred was abruptly interrupted as Sarah called out “Deer!” and I saw Bambi’s mother stare through the windshield into my eyes and then a gentle poof and we began to lose momentum and an odd smell filled the inside of the car. 

I pulled over and we got out to observe that we no longer had a front to the Tahoe. 

The grill was gone, the headlight on Sarah’s side vanished, the innards were exposed and steam ascended as various liquids dripped…and we began the process of calling dad to see what our next step should be. 

As we sat in the dark marveling that we had just killed a deer and wrecked our car and her violin was still sitting nice and safe on the seat behind us and we had experienced not even a jerk from the impact, Sarah said…well…at least we don’t have to worry about that little alignment issue. 

Oh  my gosh. 

I still laugh. 

Sure it was a nasty deal to the car but thankfully we were safe. 

And come on. 

You have to see the humor in the irony of how futile all my worry was in the long run of that day. 

And Jesus said…don’t worry about tomorrow…tomorrow will have it’s own worries…or in my paraphrase…don’t worry about driving over the curb and wrecking the alignment because tomorrow may bring an encounter with a large mammal and you will lose the whole front of your SUV….

His grace is sufficient.

Sufficient when we jump a curb and sufficient when we hit a deer. 

Happy Valentine’s Day <3

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Busy day here as I am spending the morning with two little sweethearts. 

The two brothers tumbled out the door with bags of Valentines to deliver and party treats and it is a grand day for sure. 

And in a perfect world, I would have gotten this typed yesterday…but as we know…far from perfect is where we live.

So we are going candid and I am sharing another thing about love.

Love covers.

In Genesis 3 Love covered sin and shame and a couple who were deeply regretting playing at being God.

It clothed them and set up boundaries that would give them the ten billionth and then some chances we have all partaken in. 

On Calvary God covered Himself in all our sin and all sin and then He covered us. 


Happy Valentine, beloved <3

What kind of love is this?(best love ever)

I have had on my heart…

no pun intended…

for quite some time to use this week to talk a little about love because…Valentines…

but it is also tempting to not be one more place you hear about it.

So I have prayed and jotted notes and even did a “brain dump” where I wrote down all the ideas that were flying around.

As you might expect, if you have followed these posts for any length of time…it looks like it’s going to be a mixed bag of things. 

God loves us so big that I could never capture it in an entire library of words.

I could never run out of ways to tell you all the large and small things He has done in my life. 

But if you think that intimidates me, think again Cupid…I will just come up with something every day and on Friday we will pack it up and move onto something new.

Because this is how we roll here on the Journey <3

As I drove and ran errands and worked around the house on Monday, I kept thinking about how we often attach to our expectations about our efforts to “love well” the idea it is our job to make everything as easy and beautiful and perfect for the object of our feelings as we could possibly do. 

Until we have children.

And then we learn that to smooth out every bump and give in to every whim and fix every problem and navigate them to avoid every discouraging circumstance is not only impossible, it would be a living hell for the parent and would produce the most shallow, needy, selfish of human beings. 

Because it is in the very midst of the trials and the hard things, the being picked on and left out, the stubbed toes and scraped up knees…the tears and fears and falling downs…that is where we develop character, muscle, compassion and the grit to get up and move on. 

And as a loving parent, we come alongside them and guide, correct, console and encourage so the child hopefully emerges stronger, better, kinder and wiser.

God loves us with this kind of love. 

He wipes tears and takes a firm hand when we are going down in the muck. 

He binds our wounds and disciplines us when we stray. 

He takes on in a personal way the ways we are attacked. 

But He lets us do it all. 

He lets us try and fail, love and lose, feel abandoned when He is really right there, He lets us tough it out and feel the heat…He lets us because He loves us.

One of my favorite and most reassuring verses is one that speaks of this kind of love 

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; nor shall the flame scorch you.  Isaiah 43:2

Think about it. 

Have you ever waded in a river? 

I picture my dad fly fishing up to his waist in a river in Montana. In chest-high waders he battled the current around him as he firmly held onto the rod while balancing on the unsteady river rocks under his feet. 

He felt the waters as he passed through. 

It was a struggle.

Have you gotten too near to the campfire or opened the oven door and were leaning too close when the blast of 375 degrees hit your face and made your eyes burn?

You feel the power of that flame. 

God is telling us right up front.

Just like Jesus said. 

In this world, you will have trouble. 

In this world, you will feel the icy waters creeping up and the tug of the current threatening to pull you under.

You will feel the pressure cooker of trials.

But in the middle of them all, take heart.

I AM is with you. 

He will hold you and your soul and your spirit…they will make it through. 

This is the love He gives His children. 

Lean into it today <3

What’s up Doc?

Happy Friday! 

We are making our way through February so if you are not a fan of winter, spring is just a hop, skip and a jump from Valentine’s Day. 

Oh sure…we will have cold weather and no signs of green for several months but once the calendar says March, we will embrace Spring or at least the promise of it. 

The last few days I have had a weird pain in my knee. I kind of tweaked it a couple of times and then on one of my longer drives i realized I had held it in the same position for the whole time so I chalked it up to that. Until it woke me (and my patient and kind husband) up on Wednesday night. 

We got through it and it seems better today, but of course I googled the symptoms and came up with a ton of possible diagnoses. 

I contemplated calling our daughter who was the Nurse Practitioner for an orthopedic surgeon for a number of years to get her input. 

I have several other nurse friends and I considered checking in with them as well. I also have some friends who do a lot of research on their own with holistic health measures and they would be my next go to for medical concerns. 

*if you are a medical person or have an ounce of common sense, please hold tight…there is a point being made here….ok…back to the story…***

This is my typical method of dealing with questions regarding the various aches and pains and such that tend to crop up. 

The last thing on my radar is usually the first thing my, as formerly mentioned, patient and kind husband suggests…and repeats. Frequently.

Why don’t I go see a doctor? …he will ask and I have as many excuses as searches on my computer. 

They are stacked up in my head and here are just a few:

I don’t have the time (yes, I know…I invest large chunks of time chasing web diagnosis…don’t lecture me. I am aware of my problem)

  • I am afraid of what they will tell me
  • It’s probably nothing
  • It might be something awful
  • It will probably cost a bunch of money
  • If they tell me to do this or that unpleasant thing, I won’t want to do it.

It’s embarrassing since most of the doctors and nurses in this small town are people I pass in the lobby at church, sit next to the table of when dining out, wait on them and/or their spouses at the store…you name it – they are too close to my daily life to be that intimate with what’s wrong with me. 

There you have just a few and as I ticked them off in my head today as I, yes…made my way to a doctor for not my knee, but my nose…

don’t ask…

it occurred to me that I can do the same thing with my spiritual health. 

I will have some kind of conviction about behavior that I know doesn’t line up with God’s Word. Something is amiss in my spirit and soul. 

But I don’t go to God. 

I read about it from a topical “Christian” book or article. 

I google the issue and see what advice is out there. 

I talk to friends. 

I self-talk about it trying to work it through. 

I make excuses.

Why don’t I go to God?

Well…perhaps…it’s ….

  •  an investment of time I think I don’t have
  • a fear of what He is going to tell me
  • maybe it really isn’t that big of deal..lots of other people have the same issue and they are ok
  • maybe it is way bigger than I even thought possible and I don’t want to open up the mess
  • it may cost me something I don’t want to give up
  • it may involve some unpleasant refining
  • it’s embarrassing to be humbled ….

which is, after all the whole point right? 

I can’t get healed if I won’t take it to the Healer. 

What’s bugging you these days? 

Take time to get face to face with God and work it out with Him <3 

Isaiah 1:18-20 The Message (MSG)
Let’s Argue This Out
18-20 “Come. Sit down. Let’s argue this out.”
    This is God’s Message:
“If your sins are blood-red,
    they’ll be snow-white.
If they’re red like crimson,
    they’ll be like wool.
If you’ll willingly obey,
    you’ll feast like kings.
But if you’re willful and stubborn,
    you’ll die like dogs.”
That’s right. God says so.
The Message (MSG)Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson