My husband and I were recently en route from Philadelphia to Washington DC listening to a podcast by The Bible Project on a passage in Exodus when God changes his mind: Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened. Exodus 32:14 We got into this discussion about whether God changes his mind or not. Spoiler alert: This is not really a blog about this question, as exciting as that might be. Part of my response to him was this though: God no more “changes his mind” like we do as God loves like we do. We and God are not the same thing. We are made in His image, but we aren’t Him. However, we do strive to be like Him, to care like Him, to mourn like Him, to be bold like Him, to love like Him – in summary, to […]
Grace and Mercy in the New Mom Season
This past December, my husband and I welcomed a new member into our family, Owen. In the months leading up to his birth, I was all in on reading to prepare for taking care of a baby: the classic What to Expect When You’re Expecting, the Christian book Made for This on childbirth, and the baby whisperer book, The Happiest Baby on the Block, kindly gifted to me by a friend. In addition to having a handy dandy best friend who is an OBGYN, I read all the articles on Lucie’s List and did extensive research on baby products. Even in the midst of all this learning I knew none of it was actually going to adequately prepare me for the trial by fire experience of having a little human we’re suddenly responsible for. All this — while I’m recovering from what the comedian Ali Wang calls someone’s house being […]
Christmas: An Annual Reminder that Jesus Doesn’t Cancel Us
Our culture has become quite confident in its ability to determine who should get a second chance and who should not. How dare they, right? The “cancel culture” nonsense has really gotten out of hand. Maybe. But what if you and I are just as guilty of trying to be an arbiter of who is right and who is wrong? Even as Christ-followers, we find time and time again that we too desire to take on this role of God. We want to be in control. We want to be The Judge. In fact, if we’re honest, we believe we are a GOOD Judge. I cannot deny that deep down, a sinful part of me believes I am the best arbiter not only of what is best for me, but of what is best for other people I love, and even for the whole of society. Since we love to […]
As I Carry This Human (a poem)
This body is yours.Your spirit breathes life into the human in my body.There is a person in me you desire to use in your mission field.A person with a purpose – to love and be loved –And a vocation of which will unfold.Whatever good comes of their life is from you, your spirit.This body is a mere vessel,Our parenthood a vocation. Every craving, every discomfort – a joy I often overlookIn that present moment of suffering As I seek a quick fixIn the form of pretzels. You’ve revealed this journey is the one I’m called to,And yet …I feel a twinge of frustration.That this journey comes with no map. I like a map.But You like my sanctification more.Sigh. There’s a little comfort in knowing many faithfully travelled this roadWith no map(!)And became great saints in the process,With your mighty compass to guide them. …Is a map needed? You breathe in life […]
Are these the Lord’s plans or just MY plans for my life?
Earlier this year at Bible study, someone asked about this verse: “Was I fickle when I intended to do this? Or do I make my plans in a worldly manner so that in the same breath I say both “Yes, yes” and “No, no”?” 1 Corinthians 1:17 (emphasis added) She then asked, “How can we know whether the plans we’re making are the Lord’s and not ‘worldly’?” A few weeks ago, someone else shared that she feels uncertain about how to pray about what she should do with her career. Then, a third person asked me how to discern when it’s time to leave a job and go to the next one. “How would I know if it’s His will or not?,” she asked. This made me reflect on my own journey. Looking back at my past decisions, many of them seem like my own plans and not necessarily His. […]
For those without fathers or with insufficient fathers
Since last fall, I have seen a counselor to deal with some lingering guilt about my mother’s death I still carry with me. In the first session, I let her know I grew up as an only child of a single parent, and no, we did not need to deal with my “daddy issues,” as I have done all the reflecting and processing about that throughout my adolescent years. I’m in a good place about it – I’ve forgiven him, I don’t think about him at all, and I have no issues with seeing God as Father. I’m good with where I’m at with this part of my identity, and I feel made new in Christ. Fast forward six months to a session where I share with her that I think our work in terms of my grief is complete, insofar as it can be in my current life stage. […]
Look at Jesus on the cross. Who do you need to forgive?
During this Lenten season, I’ve been thinking a lot about my disposition towards forgiving others, a virtue we all should at least be thinking about today, on Good Friday. Join me on a journey through Psalm 88, and then through the lens of a woman’s testimony from the Rwandan genocide only two decades ago. Let’s start in Psalm 88: LORD, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you. May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry. I am overwhelmed with troubles and my life draws near to death. I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am like one without strength. I am set apart with the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more, who are cut off from your care. You have put me in the lowest […]
Don’t You See? God’s Design is Everywhere.
What did you notice in 2020 that seemed designed by God? Despite the uniqueness of 2020, God has undoubtedly answered prayers in our families, communities, and in our own hearts. Indeed, God has designed some of this year for our good. For me, in the past several months, I have been inundated with obvious ways God is at work around me. He has given me a lot of merciful clarity and peace on my vocation and about the people he has put in front of me, even in a time where we can’t be around that many people. In the midst of this, I have been reading Esther with several college women over the past two months. This Old Testament book takes a deeper investigation to see God in the text through the events surrounding the two main characters in the book, Esther and Mordecai. The answers aren’t obvious like […]
Top 5 Blogs of 2020
At All The More, 2020 gave us a deeper belief in our mission to encourage one another, all the more (Hebrews 10:23) via our online community. This year brought many new milestones — hiring our first employee, Kylie, launching our first book study on the Book of Psalms, and bringing on new contributors from outside of the U.S. We have much to be grateful for in this community, and that includes these top 5 blogs of the year that encouraged you — our readers — greatly. It encouraged us as well! So, without further ado: Our most-read blog of 2020: What I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Marriage by Natalie Mayo “A spouse who loves Jesus more than they love you can ultimately love you with a truer and deeper love that comes not from their own volition, but from God. His love is truly never-ending and far better than […]
Our Limitedness and His Limitlessness
In response to a friend’s recent question about for others, I shared something that I do not always remember myself: Part of being on mission means accepting the invitation to pray and intercede for others (1 Thessalonians 5:9, Ephesians 6:19). “And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.” Colossians 4:3 I both want to share in others’ burdens by thinking about how they might be feeling, but also turn these burdens over to the Lord (Psalm 55:22, Galatians 6:2). We catch glimpses of the early church doing this regularly (Acts 12:12, 20:36). These prayers are also an opportunity to gain humility as we pray prayers often ones no one even knows about. This could lead us to a different question, “Does it really matter that I pray for […]