Hello, 2022. Has a nice ring to it doesn’t it? As I sit here writing this on the tail end of 2021, my mind is spinning at all that has happened in one year. Isn’t wild how when we are in the day-to-day, the days can seem so long and then suddenly weeks turn into months and you are back at Dec 31st, reflecting again at all that has happened in one year. The days go slow but the years seem to go fast. A year of blessings, change, loss, new life, friendship, conflict, hurt, encounter, and discovery of self– amazing all of those things can go on in the span of a year. Each year right around this time I get the overwhelming urge that this year, I will not just run a half marathon, but I will buckle down and run a full marathon. It always feels good […]
We’ve gathered together, we’ve offered our thanks, and we’ve taken our Thanksgiving naps. Next: a flurry of activity as we prepare for Christmas. Gift buying and wrapping, parties and Secret Santa exchanges. For those grieving: loneliness. For others: joy. For others still: stress. Before we launch into the month of December, let’s pause for a moment. Breathe in, and out, and in again. Still and listen. I’m making a reverse New Year’s Resolution this year. Instead of committing to something starting in January, I’m making a commitment to a goal that will end in January. Today, I would like to gently offer a reflection before we reach the end of the year. I would be honored for you to read. In her book None Like Him, Jen Wilken writes how certain traits (being all-powerful, all-knowing, etc) can only describe God, while other traits (being loving, joyful, patient, etc.) are for […]
Forgiveness seems like such an elementary principle. If you hurt someone, say “I’m sorry”, they forgive you, and everyone goes about their day, right? Even my 18-month-old understands the most basic form of asking for forgiveness when he gives a hug and a kiss after he hurts his sister. Although he can say “I’m sorry” in an infantile way, he most likely does not feel bad for his actions or understand the pain of the other person. He’s just going through the motions. And though I like to think of myself as more mature than this chalk-eating baby, if I’m being honest, I have acted the same for most of my life. I have gone through the motions of saying “I’m sorry” without truly evaluating my wrongdoing (my sin), seeking forgiveness, and turning away from that sin. In 2010, as a sophomore in college, I gave my life to Christ […]
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. A season overflowing with joy and gratitude as we reveal in belonging, surrounded by our loved ones. With long-standing family traditions and the anticipation of creating new memories, it all seems so festive, so perfect—but not for everyone. For some, it’s a season defined by grief, reminded of the things that are no longer and the things they have yet to experience. My Internal Story I feel so alone. Fear not, for I am with you. I feel forgotten. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands. I feel abandoned. I have loved you with an everlasting love. Grief has been my quiet companion. It waits for me when I wake up and lingers as the day ends. It accompanies me every single day, demanding to be seen, heard, and felt. With unexpected family turmoil, reminders of hopes deferred, […]
Between a pandemic and feeding a newborn a billion times a day, I’ve spent a significant amount of time on social media over the past several months. I pick up my phone, use my thumbprint to unlock it, and pull up Instagram or Facebook like a bad habit. By the time I’m done, my heart is heavy because while my thumb was busy scrolling, my heart was busy comparing, judging, loving self-promotion, and wanting to respond to someone’s online foolishness with my own folly. For such a simple and mindless habit, my heart can really come out spinning. While social media may be an area of temptation we need to flee at times, there are many beautiful, redeeming aspects of social media, especially in this moment in history. Social media is not the reason why my heart spins out of control; my sin is. Social media may be new, but […]
In any healthy relationship, we have to recognize our own sin and our own harmful contributions to the relationship and be a spouse/friend/employer/church leader marked by repentance.
In every season of life, I’ve wanted God to give me clear direction and a clear answer. What should I major in? Should I marry this guy? What should I do with my life? Do I let my baby cry-it-out or would that permanently damage her for the rest of her life? What kind of schooling should I have my kids in? Life is full of tough decisions that the Bible just doesn’t always directly answer. As much as I sometimes wish He would, God doesn’t operate like a magic 8 ball. While God doesn’t always give us the direct answer we want to all of life’s questions, He does give us the wisdom to navigate through life. But how do we get it? If you’re familiar with the Bible, you might know that Proverbs 1:7 says that the fear of God – trusting His voice instead of your own […]
When I first came to truly understand what the gospel says in college, that understanding was primarily as a result of discovering the joy of digging into Scripture. Throughout high school, I never understood why we were asked to mull over what deep meanings were tucked away in the books we had to read. Yet when I was taught later that the Bible had many different meanings that were discoverable if only we take the time to meditate and search the Scripture (Acts 17:11), I was overwhelmed with excitement and curiosity. I knew I would never be able to understand it all, but I would seek to do so as much as I could.