• My Life

    Seeing Beauty

    I’m a believer that when something is repeated, we should probably pay attention. Again …. when something is repeated … 😉 My morning devotion invited me to reflect on the fact that Jesus was never in a hurry. NEVER. I’d never really thought about it, but I can’t recall a time in the Gospel stories where Jesus acted too busy for what was happening right in front of him. Man, that convicted me. I don’t know who authored the following but I am grateful. I have heard many a sermon on the other qualities of Christ, but very few on the truth that Jesus’s life was marked by a moment-by-moment appreciation of the world He died to redeem. The boundaries of Christlikeness do not stop at humility, or wisdom, or even supernatural power. They extend to a willingness to take the yoke of Christlikeness, which encompasses ALL we see of Him and more. To live with the same unhurried gentleness…

  • My Life

    On Feeling Sad

    I’ve felt sad the last couple of days. Normally I wouldn’t blog about such things. Who wants to read a blog about sadness? Who wants to write a blog about sadness? But both – the reading and the writing – are needed more than we think. Too many of our posts and online sharings are filtered, cleaned-up, or misleading. Sometimes they are lies or simply wishful fairy tales. Why am I sad? I really don’t have an answer to that question. Sometimes we are just sad and I’ve learned that is okay. Perhaps it is adjusting back to the day-to-day life after our mission trip to Ukraine. I love traveling and spending time with partners and friends and sharing new experiences with teams. It is busy but it fills my bucket. Returning home to a different routine, a known routine is sometimes like hitting the brakes too hard when driving. It takes me a little while to adjust. Maybe it…

  • My Life

    Seasons

    Any time I think of the seasons changing, I start singing the catchy tune, “Turn, Turn, Turn” by the Byrds. “To everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season (turn, turn, turn) And a time to every purpose, under heaven” I love the seasons and the unique purposes of each. Since I’m not a fan of the cold, I think the sole purpose of winter is to make sure I truly savor spring, summer, and fall. That is what cold, darker times do – make us appreciate the warm, brighter days. The longer the winter, the more glorious the spring. Tuesday my summer season “officially” ends as I return to work after a whirlwind of trips the past ten weeks – senior trip to North Carolina; mission trip to Kenya; youth mission trip to Houston. The past two weeks have been all about recouping and reconnecting. I’ve claimed my house back, reintroduced myself to the neighbors, found the grocery store,…

  • My Life

    I Matter

    I’ll be honest … my biggest struggle with blogging is that it is primarily about me. Which is unfortunate since I think it is more genuine to write about what you know. And what I know is me – my experiences, my reflections, my fears, my joys. I savor this from other writers. I love to read their stories, their mishaps, their wisdom, their life lessons. I’ve never read another person’s blog and thought, “geez… all they write about on their OWN PERSONAL BLOG is themselves. How selfish.” Yet, it is a major hang-up for me. When I sit down to share something in this space, all my energy is consumed by an internal battle: >> write what you know // stop being selfish >> tell your story // get over yourself >> share what you’ve learned // everyone knows that already >> spread some encouragement // who are you to think your words will matter In all the mental…

  • My Life

    It's a New Day

    There’s always a lot of pressure on a new year. So many expectations that, with the turn of the calendar, everything will magically be better. We’ll no longer crave sugar. We’ll never be weak in the knees (and the wallet) at Target. We’ll live more adventures, laugh at more moments, love more people. We’re 10 days into the new year now, friends. Some of us are going strong, owning our resolutions like a boss. And some of us fell flat three days in. Although I don’t do resolutions, I do enter the year with an anticipation that I’m going to get my stuff together. I love fresh starts and new beginnings. A new year feels the same as a new school year to me. I get new school supplies and lay out my clothes. I organize all the things and, armed with giddy enthusiasm, I march into January with all the hope that This. Is. My. Year.

  • My Life

    A Year Ago

    Just over a year ago I was returning from a three-week vacation. It sounds wonderful. It was wonderful. Unfortunately, the catalyst to take three weeks was less than wonderful. I was on empty – once again. In 2006, I struggled with depression brought on by excessive work, nearly non-existent boundaries, lack of rest, and relationships that depleted my soul. How crazy to sum up that very difficult, long, and painful journey into a single sentence. Yet, I celebrate the summation because it is a testimony to the deserts that feel like death valley when you’re walking them but on the other side look more like a rocky beach leading to a life-giving ocean we would have missed had we not gone on the walk. A year ago, 10 years after my first journey, I found myself at the entrance to death valley again, having ignored all the warning signs along the way. But things looked regrettably familiar to me and before I…

  • My Life

    My Word for 2018

    A few years ago, I decided to forego the annual resolution gig. Not that I was always good about making resolutions or keeping them. Resolutions tend to make me focus on behavioral changes which doesn’t always last and often results in guilt rather than growth. Honestly, if I made it to February with a resolution intact, I would celebrate that as a win. Five years ago, I stumbled upon some folks who had sworn off resolutions and, instead, were beginning each new year with a theme word – a word they would aspire to; a word they would grow toward rather than a behavior they would run away from. I liked the idea. A lot. 2014 was my first year with a theme word and it made all the difference. Choosing one word gave me a focus that no resolution every had. It gave me a clarity about decision-making. It gave me a plumb line by which I measured growth and movement.…

  • Faith Reflections,  My Life

    Back in the Boat

    Several years ago I attempted to learn to water ski. Some friends had the cabin and the connections – an awesome lady who was a professional water skier and a ski instructor. The plan came together with ease and I said yes – eager to try something to new. But there was a big part of me that was afraid. I wanted to learn to ski but water skiing involves water apparently. I’m not a fan of water since a rafting trip went terribly wrong in 1997. I was on a youth mission trip to Wyoming and we were rafting the Snake River near Jackson Hole. My raft of youth and adults hit some the most intense rapids at the same time a gust of wind blew – flipping our boat and flinging us all into the water. Despite what I knew about using my hands to guide myself to the edge of the raft, the rapids moved the boat continuously, preventing…

  • Faith Reflections,  My Life

    Basketball and God

    I doubt many folks think of God when they think of basketball. I’m sure a multitude of prayers have been lifted up from courts and stands across the nation with the desperate hope of a buzzer-beating shot. But on the daily, not so much. I certainly didn’t relate the two until a couple of months ago. I was in the middle of a personal retreat, wrestling with my soul-crushing inability to allow God’s love to define my worth rather than work and ministry. It was an agonizing couple of days struggling to traverse the deep canyon from head knowledge to heart knowledge. My head knows God’s unconditional love constitutes my worth. My heart, however, tends to think God is far too nice to hurt my feelings by telling me how much I’ve disappointed him. Maybe God doesn’t even realize he is disappointed. Maybe he isn’t being honest with himself. But I know. Which makes me feel worse so I work even harder to be worthy of His love and…

  • My Life

    Love Anyway

    There is so much hatred and fear filling the airwaves and news feeds these days. Fear does not look good on the people of God. We are suppose to dress ourselves in with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience and over all that wear the coat of love. (Col. 3:12, 14) Right now thousands of mamas and children are starving to death in displacement camps after escaping ISIS in Fallujah. I’m thankful for organizations like Preemptive Love Coalition, a global movement of peacemakers changing the way we engage the world’s most polarizing conflicts by confronting fear with acts of love. Join me in giving. $35 feeds a family of six for two weeks. https://preemptivelove.nationbuilder.com/fallujah