5 Verses for When We’re Sick (Unto Death) of Politics

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To say this has been an unusual political campaign season would be an understatement. Every news report of candidates hurling accusations and slurs makes the knots in my stomach tighten a little bit more. These folks aren’t just slinging mud—they’re rolling around like tawdry mud wrestlers while the gathering crowd works themselves into a frenzy. And the more coarse and vulgar the contenders, the more deafening the throng of onlookers.

If you’re like me, you are sick. Of. It.  Continue reading

3 Verses for When Life Doesn’t Make Sense (And We’re Tempted to Doubt God)

 

stormpicWe all have them—times that our feet get knocked out from under us. Life happens and we feel blind-sided by pain and sorrow.

Betrayal. Death. Financial hardship. Sickness. Job loss.

We feel trapped in a cloud of confusion and no matter how hard we pray, we can’t feel God’s presence or see His hand in our circumstances. Continue reading

An Open Letter to My College Kid

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Hi, Sweetheart. Mom here.

It’s that time of year and I’m feeling it—that uncomfortable heart-squeeze from the effort of letting you go. Again.

You would think it gets easier, but um…it doesn’t. So with that in mind, there are a few things I would like to say. None of this is new to you—but humor me. Sometimes a mom needs to “put it all out there.” (We tend to worry about gaps in your life-education.)

So, here goes…

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Warm Juice and Leftover Cookies

file0001341742619 I should have been excited about the evening. I wanted to be. But I had a sense of heaviness—and to be honest, I felt a little betrayed.

It was a Monday night, and my family had just returned home from serving in a Kids’ Club sponsored by our church. We were blessed to be part of a great team of youth and adults willing to jump in and use their gifts to share the Gospel with unchurched children in our community.

But my uneasiness lingered through the night and into the morning. Frustrated, I went outside, sat on our front porch swing, and started talking…

“Okay, Lord. What’s going on? Is it my attitude? What is…wrong?”

For a while, there was silence. Then…

Say it, child.

“I don’t know what you mean, Lord.”

Say it.

I sighed. There was no use trying to hide it. Frustration spilled from my heart…

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What a RUSH

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There we were–two grown women–strapped into harnesses, attached to the same monster-kite, and tethered to a speedboat.

In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

My brain is firing on all cylinders – I. Am. Going. To. Die.

My sister and I were enjoying a get-away-from-it-all mini-vacation, and Charlene had talked me into going parasailing. As we sat on the back of the boat, waiting to be yanked off into our forever-home-in-Glory, Charlene and I had dramatically different mindsets.

She had already begun to hoot and holler, anticipating the adrenaline rush of soaring miles in the air. I was fighting nausea and reviewing all the things I should have said to my husband and children.

I thought of everything that could go wrong. I didn’t trust the hardware clipping us to the overgrown kite. I didn’t trust the harness, or the boat. I didn’t trust the driver of the boat. I didn’t trust the sharks that I assumed were circling beneath us. And I especially had no confidence in my free-spirited sister who was rushing me head-long into an untimely death.  photo

For the next ten minutes, two sisters soared over the earth, making lifetime memories. My cohort screamed with laughter and urged me to look around and soak it up. I kept one hand above the metal clips (just in case they were to fail…I would at least stay in contact with the parasail), and managed a quick smile for a sky-high selfie (way before selfies were cool). It was all over in a flash, and after being safely reeled back into the boat it hit me:

Charlene had experienced it.

I had survived it.

It all came down to trust. My adventure-loving sibling didn’t waste time worrying about the people or equipment involved. Because she trusted that all was in order, she was free to live the experience.

thI7UTI7RIIn our walk with Christ, it can happen in the same way. We can trust His heart, knowing that He works all for our good (the whole Romans 8:28 thing), or we can obsess and worry ourselves into simply surviving. What if God isn’t watching this time? What if this is actually out of His control? What can I do to fix this if He doesn’t come through on my timetable? What if, what if, what if…?

Jesus didn’t die on a cross, justifying me before a Holy God, just so I could worry myself through this life.

His sacrifice set me free to live the experience.

I can trust Him, because He is Faithful. I may be weak and inconsistent, but He is Faithful. I may be terrified of the surrounding storms and circumstances, but HE is Faithful and True. He invites me to keep my eyes on Him, not the surrounding chaos.

A trustworthy Savior Who loves me…

…now that’s an adrenaline rush!

Father, thank you for the peace You provide, regardless of circumstances. When I’m tempted to be distracted by the chaos around me, help me to keep my eyes and heart focused on You. Help me to remember that because I belong to You, You are working all things for my good.

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You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.  Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)

This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Hebrews 6:19 (NLT)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6,7 (NIV)