Do you ever struggle with unanswered prayer? Does it ruffle your control feathers when it seems that God has answered with a “wait,” or worse yet, a “no.”? Truly, one of the greatest challenges I have personally navigated as a Christ-follower has been watching the petitions of others open doors and bring breakthrough, while I have clung desperately to the sometimes flimsy belief that God loves me, too.

But from those who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man—for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me.  – Galatians 2:6

The truth is that some of the longest desert experiences I have walked through have brought with them unexpected growth and insight that I would have otherwise not had the opportunity to experience, had not those seasons gone on as long as they did. While I was shaking my fist at the timeline of God, He was patiently putting into place everything I needed to triumphantly navigate the next season of my journey.

My mouth shall speak wisdom, And the meditation of my heart shall give understanding. – Psalm 49:3

Over the years, my understanding of the words in the bible have changed. As my filter system has developed, and my understanding of the nature of God has evolved, many of the scriptures I once read as being condemning I now understand as gentle warnings of the harsher truths of life. No longer do I receive stated consequences to choice as a punishment, but as a deeper knowing that there is a wise manner in which to walk. And, not to walk.

One cannot say we have not been warned.

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. – James 1:6

The single most significant breakthrough of my adult life happened after 13 years of prayer. Yes, 13. I will be completely honest with you that my faith wavered many a time, and doubt reigned in my heart more than I like to admit. Tempering my faith was the cloud of disillusionment, and there were weeks of clamoring, weeping, begging, and screaming, followed by a full surrender to whatever God had planned for me. I took my hope, tattered and torn, wrapped it in grief, and defeated, placed it at the foot of the cross for Him to do what He would. 

A few years later (yes, years), I saw a tiny break in the clouds, and over the subsequent months, I chose to believe again in the journey to breakthrough that lasted yet another 4 years of prayer and resignation to the process.

On the other side of that season, I find myself no longer tossed by the wind, or at least, when I am, not for as long as before. I walk in greater confidence in the truth that my Heavenly Father hears my cries, for He has shown me He is faithful.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! – 1 Chronicles 16:8

Wherever you are in your personal faith journey today, my prayer would be that you could find encouragement in knowing that just as we grow and change, so does the fulness of our understanding of His faithfulness increase. Limiting or seemingly condemning, or at least directive, scriptures, become less challenging and more reassuring. Words that once seemed hard to fathom, or believe, begin to take shape in our own lives – revealing parts of the mysteries of life and unfolding into a beautiful canvas of color, painted just for us. 

May your journey become just a little more clear, your faith a wee bit stronger, and His warnings your weapons against the battles you face today. 



the rock.

I have this friend. I have a friend who steadies me. In the flesh, from earthly standards, I can tell you she is not perfect. She, will tell you she is not perfect. More times than I can count she has freely offered up her flaws – never exalting herself above anyone else. Her heart is humble. It is good, and reflects the love of a heavenly Father more than she knows.

Her faith, and friendship, inspire me. 

This season has not been quiet for me. It’s been jolting. Confusing. I have been angry and disillusioned. Tonight, as I was spending time in worship, I began to feel myself settle. I began to breathe again.

Sometimes I am moved by the situations of life. The questions. The anger. Frustration and confusion. Personal failings when I have given all I could and it was still insufficient. Love poured out, only to be denied and shut out. Weakness. Brokenness. Ever choosing joy, sometimes minute by minute.

When I come to my end, there are no more options than to quiet my spirit before my God. And worship. 

In the steadiness, my thoughts fell upon my friend. She so often rests in His power and authority in and over her life. Over that of her family. Long before the emotional waterfall that is inevitably my first response, hers is predictably one of faith. Words of strength come before impassioned pleas for justice.

She is a rock.

Faith is not an overnight sensation. God is not a genie in a bottle. A life following Jesus is one of self-sacrifice; it means dying to self and what we might believe we are owed. It’s about forgiveness, submission, humility, and grace. It means choosing what we are promised over what we have, what we believe far above what we see. 

It means that when the winds of change and rains of loss wash away what we thought belonged to us; we are. not. moved.

There is a lot of noise in our world; conflict, confusion, and instability reign. Sometimes even the most simple of challenges can feel overwhelming when added to all that we walk in so many of our days. My friend, please know the truth, though, that we don’t have to jump into the river of chaos like those to our left and our right. Look for those who aren’t moving. Who remain in Him. Who walk with a steady perspective. So often we are drawn to those also drowning and flailing through life, and yet God’s people are not called to such a fate. Rather, we are admonished to actively pursue LIFE in Him. Abundance. Joy. Hope. And, to stand upon the Rock of our Salvation.

Be not moved, my friend. Stand. 

The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let God be exalted, The Rockof my salvation! – 2 Samuel 22:47

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. – Psalm 18:2

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. – Matthew 7:24-25

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17

true humanity

Having binge-watched our way through several of our favorite shows to their completion, my husband and I have started a couple more to see if they are something we want to start watching. Last night as we were discussing some highlights, we noticed that several of them had “heroes” who were starting the slippery decline towards the dark side. Subsequently, we were experiencing some uncertainty as to where we stood, whose “side” we were on.

Brilliantly written work always reflects the truest nature of humanity.

In our culture, we love the idea of good versus evil, right and wrong, our way or no way. When those closest to us fail us (or seemingly so), we are quick to move them over to the category of undesirable and wait indignantly for our apology.

Revealing our deepest of mortal failings.

Having been blessed with a few more years than I would like to expand upon, the canvas of life behind me is slowly becoming increasingly clear in its lessons and revelation. In the soft glow of God’s grace, the truth is being revealed that we all have our shining moments…and our days where the darkness came unwittingly gushing from our deepest lack. 

We all fall short of being the hero at times.

What tremendous value there is in the willingness to marvel at the grace we are offered in Christ. The truth that God can and will bring all things to good for those who love Him, even when the consequences we are facing come as a direct result of our own shortcomings, is nothing short of miraculous. Basking in the sunlight that poured through my window this morning as it pierced through the fog, I was overwhelmed by the awareness of my own perspective being shifted from darkness into light.

Into revelation of the redeeming love of God, and the distinct privilege of being called to administer that same grace to others.

A privilege extended to us all, friends. 

 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? – Matthew 7:3

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound… – Isaiah 61:1

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. – 2 Peter 3:9

the door

The past few weeks I have joined a group of delightful ladies in a study written by Lisa Harper. The study itself was life-changing, but what resonated the most in my spirit was her tone and demeanor of grace as she shared some really painful and challenging stories.

With all the conversation that whirls around every metaphorical water cooler these days, rarely is revelation or resolution taken home personally, as actual root issues resist coming to light to permeate our own consciousness.

Unforgiveness is a relational, and extremely contagious, cancer.

Cloaking ourselves in bitterness and waving blame like a banner over the people around us fosters negativity, suffocates authentic relationship (with everyone!), and gives roots to darkness in all the spaces.

Oddly enough, multiple people have made reference to me recently, the belief that our pain is of no concern to our offenders, and that choosing not to forgive only hurts us. In some cases, this is true. As much as we love to justify holding on to our own pain and grief, however, very few people are intentionally hurtful and in those rare instances, infliction is a gift that redirects our loyalties to those more worthwhile.

More often than not, though, those who have not met our expectations, or who have unwittingly injured us, bear the weight of affliction as well. When we choose to hold another person in debt to us, we stifle personal growth and perpetuate a cesspool of septic negativity, resulting in myriad struggles not only interpersonally, but truly around everyone we touch.

Most notably, within.

I think sometimes when we read the bible and the mandate to forgive, we can perceive it as weakness; a command to sit down and let others steamroll our lives and emotions. We buck at the goads, if you will. And yet if we trust who God says He is, we can walk in the complete truth that an integral part of our spiritual journey is tied directly to our trusted obedience to walk in forgiveness. 

Freedom begets freedom.

At the end of the day, the truth is that we are free to do things God’s way or ours. Life is a series of choices with limited outcomes – what we sow will always bring predictable fruit, regardless of our own self-justification. Challenging as it can sometimes seem, the door to restoration and authenticity opens up when we walk in obedience to biblical truths.

Would you step into your healing today?

“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.” – Mark 11:25

For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” – Matthew 18:20-22

But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” – Mark 11:26

coffee out

My brother came to town to visit yesterday, and at one point in the evening, he paused at my coffee tray in the kitchen and said, “I think this is my favorite part of your house when I come over.” I kind of chuckled, as coffee is not nearly as much his thing as it is mine. When I asked him why, he said it’s because “it kinda just says ‘come over, have some,’ like it’s all just out here waiting to be enjoyed.”

And then he said, “you know, how some people kind of hide their coffee…”

Walking around my house this morning, turning on lights, lighting apple cinnamon candles, and fluffing pillows on the couch, I began to do some inventory of how well I put my “coffee out.” 

What we do says a lot about how we feel about those around us. 

Take this morning  … My getting up early even though I could have slept in, and helping my husband get things together for his first indoor baseball practice for this session, communicated way more care and appreciation than last week when I barely acknowledged his pre-daylight goodbye kiss as he left for a business trip.

What we do is how we love.

Now, in no way am I touting perfection or advocating that we cease to exercise self love (sleep IS important!), but I think the art of intentionality, especially when it comes to relationships, is a dying one. In our pursuit of ‘freedom’ of self-promotion, and longing to shake off the shackles of ‘traditional’ gender roles and ‘old fashioned’ etiquette, I fear we’ve also thrown out common courtesy, generosity and authentic empathy.

Even more sadly, we often hide our gifts or extra effort for fear of not having enough, not realizing that what we create we will also enjoy.

How do you show your people love? What could you do better today to create a safe haven for your tribe? My daughter loves lots of blankets available to her at any given moment, hence a basket full of cozies in the corner of the living room. Our youngest loves to snuggle with his fam, so we try at least once a week to all pile into our bed for a tv show. One of my college kids (actually both), feel thought of when a little snack-cash arrives via Venmo. And my hubby loves knowing there are certain foods in the fridge at any given moment, just in case he gets a hankerin’ …

Now, while some of you might be rolling your eyes a bit, I want to empower you (ladies especially) to remember that atmosphere is everything. We have the ability to change the mood, emotion and conversation literally in how we set the table, create a space, or how we dress (When was the last time you went on a hot date night in your sweats?? Yeah, I didn’t think so …).

What we do and how we do it communicates to ourselves, and those around us, value.

Today, I would joyfully encourage you to change just one thing, in order to love someone just a little differently. Perhaps even lighting that candle and putting on that music, just for YOU. Set the table today with the intent of starting perhaps, just a little different conversation.