Are You A Rebel In a Good Girl’s Skin?


I don’t think that anyone who knows me would call me a rebel. In fact, they might call me a rule follower. I believe I’m a rule following rebel, or better yet, I’m a rebel in a good girl’s skin.

The rebel that lives inside me is quietly determined, acts in small ways, and can be painfully stubborn. That little rebel behaves well, does what’s expected, and for the most part remains pretty quiet. Until something shakes her awake and begins stirring in her soul.

I’ve become familiar with these rousings. And it comes as no surprise to me, given the state of our nation, that my rebel is speaking a little louder in my head. It’s more than my little rebel right now, it’s God impressing deeply a message on my heart that I must share with you.

To my knowledge I’ve never asked you to share any of my posts. Honestly, it’s because my good girl rebel says, “Who cares about building platforms and audiences. I’m here to share what God shows me and to encourage the believer.” When the publishers and agents advise what a blogger/author should do, my little rebel quietly moves in the opposite direction most times. I say this to say, I’m not asking you to share this because I am trying to develop a larger audience. I don’t write for profit (though there is nothing wrong with that). I’m asking you to share this because God has placed something on my heart and the only way I know to spread the message beyond your eyes is to ask you to spread it to your friends.

The thing is… this is not what I planned or wanted to be writing or focusing on this month. To be shamefully honest, I’m envious of my blogging and writer friends who are posting fun and light posts, who are celebrating book releases and instragraming their days. God knows that in my heart, I had a great lineup planned for this month. But as He often does, He directed me off the path I thought best and is steering me in a different direction for a time.

Our nation stands at a point where we have never stood before. We are seeing culture and politics move in a way that is both shocking and numbing. The thing that is frightening right now is that many are living blind to the times we are living in. When you pair all of this with prophesy, remaining silent is not an option.

I’ve been reading a book about Louis Zamperini to my boys. When we reached the end of the book where Louis chose to forgive his prison camp tormentors, Jacob, my child who has a strong sense of justice, couldn’t believe Louis could forgive them. He said he would probably want to see them pay for what they’d done.

Initially, it bothered me that he felt that way. I reminded myself that he is a child immature in his faith and not to freak out just yet. At least I know what to pray for his heart. But then God reminded me how I feel the same way, I’ve just learned how to phrase it coated with some pleasantries. Heart to heart, we are no different.

The following morning God pressed in hard on my heart. Hard. There are days and moments when God speaks, and it is undeniable. No matter how you try to run from it, you can’t. He will hunt you down. In my quiet time, I tried to escape where He was leading by finding something more pleasant to land on. But God is relentless in His pursuit, stopping at nothing. He started in with me at His Word, but He hasn’t stopped chasing me down with the message He impressed on me.

2 Chronicles 7:14

“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Our nation has weighed heavily on me. It’s affecting my thoughts and heart all day long. From Planned Parenthood videos about selling baby body parts, to the redefining of marriage, to Ashley Madison – God help us-, to the Duggars, to sex trafficking, to a predicted stock market crash, to a world of dying and starving children. It’s one thing after another. It’s too much to bear.

I stand here and wonder, why? Why has America turned so far from God? A nation created one nation under God? How did we move so far from Him, and at what point will He remove His hand of protection from our nation? Do we not understand that every blessing we’ve ever enjoyed is directly from His hand? Do we not know that any protection has come from His hand? Do we not believe that a point comes when He will remove His protection because of our disobedient and defiant hearts that refuse to believe and repent?

When I fix my eyes on this world, discouragement is an understatement, despair doesn’t do it justice. Jesus has a word on this.

John 16:33

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

I am speaking at a Women’s Retreat in November. Our theme is Take Heart. Isn’t God sweet like that, that I’ve been writing and preparing to share the very words He needs me to hold tight to right now.

On the morning of my quiet time, when God was speaking louder than my sleepy ears wanted to hear, He led me to the book of Jonah. I’ve written on Jonah before. He’s one of my favorites for so many reasons. I encourage you to sit down and read the entire book of Jonah fresh today. You’ll be glad you did.

Now remember, first God led me to 2 Chronicles 7:14 where He says if the people turn to Him and repent, He will heal their land. Now He takes me to Jonah. I read the entire book, which is very short.

God sends Jonah to preach repentance to the evil city of Nineveh. Jonah runs from God. God sends a giant fish to swallow him, where he lives in the belly praying for 3 days. The fish vomits him out, he goes to Nineveh and preaches repentance to the people. The people repent!

Guess what, the people believed Jonah, they believed God, they called for a fast:

Jonah 3:7-10

“Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.”

Did y’all read that???? The people called urgently out to God, God saw their repentant hearts, God had compassion, God withheld His judgement of destruction.

America, fellow rebels in a good girl’s (or man’s) skin, it’s time for us to call out urgently to God.

I love Jonah. My Jacob reminds me of him in the following verses. I think Jonah had a strong sense of justice and a little less compassion in the face of evil. But that is not our God. God is just, but God is compassion and mercy and love. But a time will come and is coming when time is up and judgement falls. That is why we need to cry out now!

In chapter 4 of Jonah, Jonah is angry at God and basically says, “Lord, I knew you are slow to anger and compassionate, you abound in love and relent from sending calamity when your people repent, but now I’m so angry I could die.”

God asks a fair question back to Jonah. “What right do you have to be angry?”

God causes a vine to grow up and provide shade to Jonah. Then at night He sent a worm to destroy the vine so it withered. Jonah was happy when the vine provided him shade and mad when it died and he suffered the scorching heat. And this is just a beautiful picture of the compassion of the God we serve.

Jonah 4:10

“But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?”

Good girl rebels, do we believe God is concerned about our great nation? Yes!!!  Do we believe God is full of compassion, abounding in love, and slow to anger? Yes!!! Do we believe that often God shows mercy when we show repentance and withholds His judgement? Yes!!!

What can we do? How can we change the world? It’s so easy. It’s so easy, yet we forget. We pray.

Tim Keller says in Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy With God, “Prayer has been called ‘rebellion against the world’s evil status quo.'”

It’s time we lead a rebellion against the world’s evil status quo. We can’t stand by and watch this nation fall under the hand of God’s judgement when He is in His great mercy giving us time to turn back to Him. He desires we return to Him.

Here’s how we can’t lead a rebellion. With words of anger or hate, with words of fear and condemnation, with violence. Our God has never shown us that as the example of bringing His people to Him. It’s His lovingkindness that brings us to repentance.

Will you become a rebel with me? A rebel in a good girl’s skin? A rebel in a good man’s skin?

Our nation can’t tell its right hand from its left hand right now. We need to boldly proclaim a message of repentance. We need to show fierce love by pointing to the cross. But the very first thing we do is pray. We pray for God to change the hearts of our nation, for God to open up eyes and stir up desire to follow Him and His ways. Pray for God to reveal and manifest in ways to His people that draw them to Him. Pray for a turning back point where our nation honors God and follows Him wholeheartedly.

And we need to remember:

Psalm 127:13-14

I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

I’m going drastic for the month of September and asking you to join me in going prayer crazy. I’m setting aside 3 times a day to pray specifically for an awakening in our nation and a turning back to God. I’m setting my alarm to pray every day 3 times a day. What if we all set our alarms and prayed together at the exact same time?

Here’s when I’m praying: 9:00 am (est), 12:00 pm, 3:00 pm. These times will be set aside to pray for our nation, revival, awakening, and repentance in our country.

I’m asking you to fast with me on September 1st. If you’ve never fasted, here’s a great resource. I’m asking you to join me September 1-30 praying for our nation 3 times a day. I’m asking that you remain confident that we will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. I’m asking that you take heart, be encouraged, be courageous, be a rebel in a good girl’s(man’s) skin.

When the people of Nineveh heard the message from Jonah, they believed, then they called a fast, and they called out to God. And God had compassion on them and withheld His judgement.

We are standing at the gates of our Nineveh. Please join me on this journey. And I ask that you share this post. On your social media, through email, Bible study, etc. I want the entire country crying out to God this month.

We can remind and encourage each other when we pray at our specified times by posting on social media using the following hashtags #rebelinagoodgirlsskin #rebelinagoodmansskin #prayingforamerica

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We Can’t Say We Didn’t Know




Over the last few weeks, I’ve been sickened, as I’m sure you have, over the videos released exposing Planned Parenthood selling baby body parts. I could write my own rant here, but others have already done that and done it amazingly well. I highly recommend reading Matt Walsh’s blog on this issue. He sugar coats nothing, and his blunt voice is very unlike my own, but he points to truth, which I appreciate. I also recommend John Piper’s posts on this topic.

We are not shocked by much anymore. Our world seems to have lost its moral common sense. But I have never been more inspired to live out my faith with bold determination. The only way I can do this is to keep my mind set on the One who reigns and the One who wins the war. But oh how my heart aches for how we have individually and collectively been blinded by the enemy.

God is so good. While we watch these Planned Parenthood videos, and sob and cry out to God, I can’t help but say, “Thank you, God, for allowing this information to be revealed. Thank you!”

Last week, Steve and I were having our weekly date on the screen porch when he began to encourage me to do what I’ve never done before. Attend a protest. So I gathered a couple of friends and Saturday we attended the protest in Charlotte.

I don’t know what I expected, but what I experienced is not what I expected. It was families. Lots and lots of families. It was peaceful, full of grace, truth, and love. There were no angry words, only truth.

Sign after sign brought tears to my eyes. As women arrived at the clinic, I couldn’t help but wonder about their story. I only saw 2 women enter that morning, but I didn’t have my eyes on the door the entire time either. As I looked at those women, my heart cried for them, ached for them.

One of my friends who went with me works at a crisis pregnancy center. She had shared how her heart aches for the women. Yes, for the unborn, but for those women who may be scared, forced into abortion, feeling like they have no choice or support, not knowing that God has a plan for that child they carry, or understanding she is being lied to at the clinic.

Jacob didn’t understand why I felt I needed to go to the protest. “You didn’t change anything by being there.” I get it. I see where he’s coming from. While it might not seem that anything changed, I believe we did bring change and will bring change. We gathered together in the name of Jesus. That brings change. We prayed as a unified voice calling on the One who is the only giver and taker of life. That brings change. We prayed and spoke for the ones with no voice. That brings change. Faith encouraged faith, passion encouraged passion, we saw we weren’t alone. That brings change.

Satan would love us to think our voice brings no change. It’s a lie. We bring change when we stand in the name of Jesus and call on the power of God. WE don’t bring change, HE brings change.

While I stood in the blazing sun Saturday morning, I thought of the night Jesus was betrayed. (Matthew 26:36-45) How his soul was grieved, and he knew where to go for comfort and help. To his father in prayer. So he asked his disciples to keep watch and pray. One hour later, he returned to find them sleeping, so he asked could they not stay awake for 1 hour. So again he asked them to stay awake and pray. The scenario repeats. He comes back to find sleeping disciples. This time, he left them, went back and prayed a third time, then returned to find them still sleeping. He woke them and told them the hour is near, get up.

My friends, it’s time for us to wake up. It’s time to force open our sleepy eyes and pray. It’s time we follow the lead of Jesus, we turn to the Father. Our souls are overwhelmed with grief. This is not a time to sleep. It’s a time to stay awake and pray. Pray without ceasing.

The enemy tempts us  toward discouragement telling us it’s not worth the fight. The fight is in us. The fight is on our knees. The power doesn’t come from us. We are powerless without God. If He is for us, who can be against us? God is for us. God is for the unborn. God is for those women walking into that clinic who don’t know they have another option. We call out to Him. God is for His people.

Proverbs 24:11-12

“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?”

It’s not only those unborn babies being led to death, it’s a part of the hearts of the mamas too. Once a mama, always a mama. Her heart will ache for what has been taken from her.

We live in the age of too much information at a speed that dizzies our souls. We do not have the excuse we did not know. We know.

We speak up on our knees. We are a voice for the voiceless first on our knees. We call on His power. Then we take a stand in our country. We call our senators. We write letters. We don’t let this issue drop. It’s too big. It’s human life we are talking about!!!

If this has been heavy on your heart, move with it. He wants to use you to bring change.

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What Happens When Our Freedom Is Lost?


Steve turns 40 this year, and I follow suit next year. In January, Steve decided it was time we take healthy eating and living to new levels. It wasn’t long that we were feeling better than we’d ever felt in our lives. The change was exciting and invigorating….when it was my choice to change.

Fast forward a few months, and I was told I must adhere to a particular diet for a time being. This is the moment everything changed. My entire perspective was lost when my freedom to choose was removed from me.

Join me over at For Kingdom Life Now where I’m writing about what happens when our freedom is lost.

P.S. I actually did not pose my boys for this picture. I was called outside for an “emergency” to find this. Boys!

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How to See God in the In-Between Moments


The doctor placed oversized glasses on his eyes. One lens blue, the other red. The lights dimmed low, she held her flashlight tool inches from his face. “Ok, buddy, how many lights do you see?”

His slumped back straightened, and that dimpled chin I can’t get enough of took a slight turn north, “Three!”

“Great, how about now?” she inched closer to the door.

His shoulders drew back, “Three!”

The doctor repeated at several distances, and each time, his confidence grew. The doctor put her tool away and turned on the lights. The assistant led him outside to the treasure box, as the doctor gently closed the door behind them.

“Put these glasses on. I want to show you something.” She performed the same tests on me as she did my 6-year-old. At each distance I saw four lights rather than the sure three Andrew saw. Taking notice of my confusion, she said, “Now cover your left eye and tell me how many lights you see.”

Despite the questions running relays in my mind, I answered, “Three?” At each distance, with one eye patched, I saw three lights. Slowly exhaling, I removed the glasses and met the compassionate eyes of the doctor.

Join me over at Crosswalk for the rest of today’s post where I’m sharing how my son’s learning disabilities are teaching me more about seeing God beyond the obvious and the “big” and  seeing Him in all the in-between moments. Aren’t the in-between moments where we tend the hang out the most? 

Full post published originally on

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When I was too angry to pray


Click here to listen to the audio recording of this post.

During the summer my boys wake up to the dogs pouncing on their bed, slobbering kisses all over their faces. No annoying blaring alarm clocks, or worse, no annoying mom repeating ‘get up and hurry’. I found the key to boys rising from bed in a pleasant mood. Let the dogs be the alarm and quickly mention the breakfast menu.

The morning was typical, nothing out of the ordinary. Bristol and Macy, our Schnoodles, jumped on Andrew’s head and licked his face mercilessly. He laughed through eyes clenched tightly shut, not ready to come fully awake. His hands groped to find the dogs and pull them close into him.

I made mention of food, he hopped out of bed, we chatted happily down the stairs. All so normal. He plopped into a chair, and his eyes kind of glazed over. I kept chatting about nothing in particular. I caught sight of his face again and took pause. Right before my eyes, I watched his facial expression transform from happy to downright mad. He turned to me and said, “Why are you making me turn into a bad attitude?”

Inside my head I screamed. Inside my head I stomped my feet and pounded my fists. Inside my head I railed at God, “Why???? Seriously, why? I did everything as ‘right’ as I could. Why does he have to be so difficult at times? Can’t we have one morning of peace here?”

I turned to Andrew, and with all the calm sweetness I could muster, I answered, “Andrew, I’m not turning you into a bad attitude. You are in control of your own attitude, not me. You are the boss of your attitude.” (Side note, I found a trick with a strong willed child. Show them what they are in control of that can be used for good. On this day, it didn’t work.)

The other boys came down the stairs expecting the same chipper mom they’d seen minutes earlier. Instead they found a snappy, irritated crazy woman just wanting some peace in the morning. There are times I hear God’s still small voice, and there are times I silence Him. He likely whispered to me, “Remember how you told Andrew that he is control of his own attitude? Well, you are too, my daughter.” I didn’t hear it, didn’t want to hear it. I wanted Andrew to fix his behavior and that was that. We forged on.

We had 2 friends arriving at our house for VBS carpool. (Side note- it’s a week of double VBS. A morning VBS at another church and evening VBS at our own church where I’m also volunteering. What’s about to go down happened not at our home church.) I loaded 5 boys in the car and we set out. Andrew continued to be difficult and disrespectful. Handling right in the moment was difficult as we were running late and had a couple of extra kids. So I just held my breath and hoped by the time we arrived, he’d snap out of his funk.

The check-in girl greeted me with the most cheerful smile. Jealousy told me that she likely hadn’t dealt with what I’d dealt with that morning. She printed off name stickers, I passed them out to each boy, Andrew looked up at me with defiant eyes, ripped off his name tag, placed it on the ground, stomped on it, looked back at me with defiant eyes, crossed his arms, and loudly proclaimed, “I’m not going to sports camp today!”

I glanced around wondering how many moms were staring at me, how many were thinking I had the biggest brat on the planet, and how many wondered if I knew how to parent at all. Been there before? I knelt down, pulled his ear to my lips, and said, “Yes you are. Now let’s go.”

He followed me down the hall and up the steps ranting, “I’m not going. You can’t make me. I hate this place. I hate everything.” Ya’ll it was humiliating. Mamas passed by holding babies and toddler hands. I listened to sweet sentiments shared. I listened to mamas using gentle tones and watched as they planted tender kisses on the heads of their angels. And all I kept thinking was, “Just wait til they get older.” Real spiritually mature, right? Super Christ-like. I was angry. Angry because my child turned into this totally different person in an instant, and I was powerless to control his heart and attitude.

Again, I silenced God’s still small voice. I bet He whispered to me, “Daughter, I love you. Love my son well, shower him with grace and mercy. Speak gently to him. Pray and let me take over here. I don’t want you to do this alone. I want to do it with you.”

Nope, I put my hand up. Didn’t want to hear it. We got to his hallway, he stopped, crossed his arms, I carried on. His teacher greeted me with a super chipper smile. I told her he refused to enter. I thought back to the baby/toddler days when I could physically place them in another’s arms crying and walk away knowing all would be well. I realized that I physically can’t place a 52 pound 6 1/2 year old in the arms of anyone without endangering their life. My anger began to boil. I was powerless. I had no control. I asked her if he had behaved. She looked surprised at my question. “Andrew? He’s behaved perfectly. There are others we’ve had to get on to, but not him.” Lovely.

I marched back to Andrew, knelt down, through gritted teeth I said, “Fine, let’s go home. You win. But this will be one of the worst days ever! You will not behave like this and come home and play and have a day with mommy. You will sit in your room all day, no toys, nothing. This day will be so boring, you will wish you’d stayed at camp.” I’m not proud of this moment. I wish I could erase it.

His stubborn eyes met my stubborn eyes. “I don’t care.” We proceeded to the car. I passed a sweet friend and spewed my frustration on her, she gave me a hug, I drove home and placed Andrew in the guest room, which lacks toys and books.

God tapped my shoulder. “Pray, daughter. Pray.” I told God no. I couldn’t pray. I was too angry to pray. I wasn’t in a holy frame of mind to pray. I just wanted to be angry, and I wanted to get my way. Oh, sin. Sin that is always crouching at my door. An enemy always waiting to attack and knock us off course.

I texted a friend, she asked if I could talk, I called her and cried. Cried. I told her it’s exhausting parenting a strong-willed child. I cried that if he acts like this at 6, what will 15 look like. The longer I talked, the more I realized the roots of my anger. Fear. Fear of Andrew following a path that leads to destruction. My fear makes me hold tight and try to control his behavior. And when I see how powerless I am, so many of my sins come spewing out like a volcano. I hold them down and keep them dormant until something shakes them awake.

I hung up the phone and sat in silence. I felt God tapping me again asking me to pray. I told God I needed to calm down first. God did what any good parent does. He got creative. If asking me to pray isn’t working, He’d try another method to get me on my knees. I walked around the corner and saw Andrew standing in the hall.

“You are not to come out of your room.”

“Mommy, I need God to help me be a good behaver.”

“Yes, you do. You need to pray that God helps you to behave.” I love that God is kind and compassionate. He didn’t blast me by telling me I’m a hypocrite and how could I tell my kid to pray and ask for help when I myself couldn’t do the same thing. Instead, God works on our hearts.

“Mommy, but I need you to come and pray with me and to help me ask God to help me.”

I didn’t even realize God was working to get me on my knees. In fact, my pride stayed puffed up as I thought to myself, ‘Good, glad God is working on Andrew.’

We got on our knees, bowed our heads, I placed my hand on Andrew’s leg, and I began to pour my heart out to God. As I prayed, I physically felt God softening my heart. I physically felt God lifting my burdens and removing my fears. I felt the walls of pride and fear crumble. And my prayers changed. I prayed for us both.

As I prayed, I could hear God telling me that just like I want Andrew to obey me, God wants me to obey Him. When He asks me to pray, He wants me to obey. He doesn’t want me to wait until I feel like it. That may never happen, and then I lose out on unleashing God’s power to change the course. I felt God reminding me that just like I became angry over Andrew’s attitude, which led to his disobedience, I myself had allowed my circumstances to control my attitude, which led me to disobey God.

My bad attitude clouded my vision. My bad attitude placed foolishness where wisdom wanted to reside. My bad attitude caused me to disobey. Just like Andrew’s bad attitude caused him to disobey.

Andrew is no different than me. He is a sinner just like me. Because he’s accepted Jesus as his Savior, he is forgiven just like me.

I continued praying with Andrew something like this, “God, just like we are learning in VBS this week, help us to follow you wherever you lead us, help us to trust you no matter what, and help us to stay on track by keeping our focus on you and not our circumstances. Lord, your Word tells us whenever we turn to the right or to the left, we will hear in our ear this command behind us saying this is the way, walk in it. Isaiah 30:21.

I left Andrew’s room feeling like a new person. I felt free. The weight of my sin had been lifted. I laid it down in prayer. I’d asked God to forgive me, and His Word assures me He always forgives.

The rest of the day my eyes were open to the gifts He had in store for me. Gifts I might have missed if I’d continued in my disobedient path.

Here’s a sampling of the gifts I received – Andrew came out of his room a new person as well. He looked at me with the most tender eyes, eyes completely opposite of the ones that stared back at me defiantly only hours before. He said, “Mommy, I love you so much. From the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry. Thank you for praying with me.” My heart melted, but at the same time I couldn’t help but wonder if he was simply manipulating me. He grabbed me in the tightest hug I’ve received in months and held tight. I whispered thank you to God over and over in my head. Andrew never hugs me anymore. This was a gift from the Lord.

I told Andrew that I forgave him and there is nothing he could ever do that I wouldn’t forgive and reminded Him of the kind of forever forgiveness of God. I followed it up with, “But you still must stay in your room today.”

“I know, mommy, I don’t want to come out. I just wanted to hug you and tell you I love you.”

Another time in the day, he showered me with kisses. I can’t remember the last kiss I got from him. One day when he was 5 he decided he didn’t like kisses, and they came to an end. His kisses were a gift from the Lord.

Somehow I managed to clean my entire house from top to bottom in super record time. A gift from the Lord.

I had incredibly rich conversations with Jacob later in the day. A gift from the Lord.

All 3 of my boys fell asleep for 2 to 3 hours that afternoon, and I had the peace I desperately wanted that morning. This time God freely gave me that peace when He allowed all boys to fall exhausted into bed in  the middle of the day. (It’s a week where the boys are in a sports VBS in the morning then we all go to our VBS at our own church where I’m also teaching. So we are a little more tired than normal.) Sleep and peace – a gift from the Lord.

When Andrew was allowed to emerge from his extended time out later that day, he was a transformed little boy. It was true, genuine change that ONLY the Holy Spirit can accomplish. A gift from the Lord.

This time I could hear that still small voice of the Lord speaking to me. I believe He said something like this, “Daughter, I have the power to change a heart, an attitude, and a mind. And when I change it, it is true and right. When you hold tight out of fear and try to control your circumstances around you, you will wear yourself out and you will not get the results you want.”

When I finally prayed, God’s power unleashed in our home. Everything looked different.

I know I will forget this lesson. I know I will find myself directed by fear rather than walking in obedience again at some point. I also know that I have a Father in Heaven who loves me enough to enter into every tiny detail of my life. Down to giving me kisses through my 6-year-old that I’ve longed for.

Later that night I tried to talk to Andrew about our day again. I wanted to get to the root of his refusal to go to the morning sports VBS camp. I explained that it was never about me forcing him to go to something he didn’t enjoy, but it was his attitude and behavior that I disciplined. I told him that if he didn’t like it, he didn’t have to go back. He responded, “No, mommy, I like it. It was just my bad attitude.”

I nodded. I get it. My bad attitude makes me behave in ways that I am later ashamed of. Going forward I hope to remember this lesson quicker and pray in the middle of my bad attitude so God can change my heart before I walk in disobedience to Him.

As I lay in bed that night I thought back to the day. God blesses obedience. I know this to be true. God showed me that day when I let go of the reigns of my life, and surrender my need to control, and invite Him into the details, everything changes. When I became obedient, God worked out what I was powerless to work out. The rest of the day rained blessings I might have missed if I’d continued in the path of disobedience.

Parenting for me is more about learning how my Father loves me and cares for me more than it is training and loving my own children. He never stops parenting us. Often these lessons come to us through our very own children.

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Summer is for refreshment


I miss writing. I miss my blog. I miss working on outside writing projects. I think it’s ok to miss something you love, but to find contentment in the season of hold at the same time. Sometimes when we put on hold one thing we love, we have a fresh opportunity to experience new things God has to show us.

At the beginning of summer I knew I would place writing on hold so I could fully invest in the time I have with the boys. I may not always have this choice or opportunity, so while I do, I want to hold it dearly.

I also knew that I would miss my work. I’d miss the moments of reflection, the moments of struggling to understand concepts and feelings, the moments of studying God in the world around me. I’d miss the contemplation.

I’ll admit I feared losing my readers who might lose interest in hanging around a quiet community. I feared the inner struggle of ideas begging to find a home on paper that I would have to hold inside. I feared having to say no more than I wanted. Lots of fears.

But God is gracious. He knew full well how I am wired, so He went before me this summer and prepared the way.

At the end of Spring, I felt God leading me into a season of resting from writing. I felt Him asking me to simply delight in Him this summer. To lay down my passion for making Him known and to simply spend time knowing Him. To lay down my constant desire to share what He is teaching me and to soak in my soul what He is feeding to me, to hold it for a time before I move away too quickly.

I said yes to God, which means I’m saying no to some things I want to do for God. Because sometimes the things I say yes to for God take me away from actually saying yes to Him if that makes any sense at all. It’s all in the season, though. Saying yes to God in another season may look identical to saying yes to doing something for Him. It’s one of the unique aspects of God. What He is asking me to do might look completely opposite to what He is asking you to do. We see His love for variety and uniqueness in the world He created, so we know He creates that in our lives as well.

For the first time in as long as I can remember, I have no burning passions I must write about. For the first time in years I don’t have three book ideas I must write right now. I don’t have 10 blog posts hanging out in my head.

My writing head feels silent. And that feels scary. When I realized this the other day, I initially began to squirm, to question why, to wonder what’s wrong. Then I remembered, I’d said yes to spending a summer knowing Him, laying down the desire to make Him known. Because only when I stop for periods of time and devote all of my time to Him can I actually go forward in making Him known. So He’s given me a gift. He took away my inner struggles. He took away my ideas and that burning passion for a season so that I wouldn’t struggle to simply delight in Him.

I’m surprisingly ok with my lack of ideas and desires right now. Passions, desires, ideas – they are all gifts from God. But sometimes the lack of them is a gift as well. My mind is a bit clearer right now as nothing is competing for the spot I’ve reserved for Him. The times I’ve normally spent processing what He’s teaching me so I can put it right back out are saved for lingering on Him that much longer. One day He’ll move me to pouring it back out. Right now, summer is for refreshment.

How about you? What is the season He has you in right now and how does it stand in contrast to other seasons He’s placed you in? For the season you are in, can you find the gifts hidden in the parts that make you squirm?

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When God Says You Are What The World Says You’re Not


For most of my life, I’ve been told I’m not creative, that art is not my strength. My stick figure drawings are unrecognizable, my paintings are laughable. I’ve never sculpted a thing. Art class in 6th grade turned into a complete nightmare. My attempts at art combined with the words spoken into my life led me to believe that I’d been created by God lacking all artistic abilities and creativity.

My mom can take a collection of scrap materials, and in little time, create a wreath fit for designer magazines. My sister can sit down with photographs and card stock to craft a scrapbook that looks professionally produced. I watch friends with paintbrush and empty canvas. They give little thought to colors and design. Their hands seem to move with natural grace as they effortlessly create works that drop my jaw. I listen to music, feeling swept away by rhythms and melodies I only dream of creating.

I wanted to create art too but accepted that God gave me gifts outside the world of art. I was wrong. God, the Creator of art, the ultimate Artist, endless in creativity, design, and ideas, led me down a winding road to find the artist hiding inside my soul.

When my three boys were babies, I began to document our days on a blog. Blogging began as a way for me to keep our long distance family up-to-date. As time marched on, my writing began to shift from documenting details to connecting God to those very details to encouraging others through the sharing of our experiences.



When I sat at my computer to write, my fingers began to type, and it was like I could sense God sitting next to me. He felt so present. Suddenly, a world that felt chaotic seemed to come into order. As fingers pounded keys, my heart quickened as I heard His whispers. My heart began to crack as I wrote about our life and began to see His fingerprints covering our lives.

Life became a beautiful work of art. God used the art of writing to reveal to me that I’d been creating art all along. I only failed to see it as art. My life is my art. I express art every single day of my life. God had created an artist within me. It just looked different than the artists I compared myself to.

God created an artist in each of us. Shouldn’t I have seen that His expressions of art in each of us would appear drastically different than another’s? The God who created a world of sunsets that render one speechless. The God who created the seasons with their sharp contrasts of life and death. Had I limited His artistic creations within myself?

We make art with our life. Motherhood is art. Friendship is art. Sisterhood is art. Marriage is art. Acts of compassion and mercy are art.

Art is an expression, sometimes an outpouring of the heart, often a magnificent display of God at work. If we look closely, we can see art everywhere. We can see that we are all the creators of art because we have been created by the Creator of art. He has placed us in His masterpiece to create art daily with our very lives.

Art is a gift that grows with practice and use. God used writing, an art I failed to see hiding in my heart, to show me that He had in fact created art for me to express daily through my life.

While my art doesn’t look like the art anyone else might create, He created me that I might express Him through my life. That is art. Whatever the world says about my art, it doesn’t matter, He looked at His creation and said it is very good.

We all are artists, created by the One who created art. While we might not all sing, dance, paint, draw, write, we all create art wherever we are. Art is subjective, to appreciate the art of our life, we have to look for the beauty. What will your art look like today?

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