Submission and the Surrender of Speech

2 women sitting on brown wooden bench

“I don’t think that anything reveals the state of a person’s soul more clearly than the words that come out of his mouth.” R.C. Sproul, The Prayer of The Lord If you’re like me, you probably put your foot in your mouth more often than you’d care to admit. Certainly, making an ill-timed comment is an inescapable element of our humanity, but in my case, I often find that my impulsive speech can be not merely ill-timed, but also careless, inconsiderate, and even demeaning. Many times over the past six months, the Holy Spirit has consumed me with the conviction to simply stop talking. Naturally, my flesh hates this, arguing that I must stay true to all my impulses – in the name of supposed “authenticity” (read: hastiness). How dare I be asked to sacrifice my quippy comments and expression of opinions, the very things that brand me as ME […]

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No New Clothes 2021

person holding assorted clothes in wooden hanger

On New Year’s Day, my annual ritual is to reflect on the past year by journaling and writing out prayers for the new year. I’ve never participated in New Year’s resolutions. But  last January, as I sat in my teeny tiny one-bedroom apartment and stared at all the ways I was trying to make everything fit inside my teeny tiny one closet, I thought to myself: “no more clothes” and then immediately and in shock, “No More Clothes??”  Little did I know, the Spirit was moving in me to tell me to stop buying clothes. Stop online shopping, stop buying a new dress for every wedding or event or new outfit for singing at church on Sunday. Stop buying clothes.  So last year, (apart from one situation where the dress I was wearing to an event broke on the way there), I did not buy any new clothes. I resisted […]

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Am I where I am supposed to be?

woman looking out over city

“Let us not be women on our deathbeds who look back on our lives and think, ‘I spent every season of my life just trying to arrive in the next one.’” Emily Wilson New years have a tendency to stir in my heart a new uncertainty about the place I find myself. Or maybe the uncertainty is not what is new, but rather a new urgency to confront the parts of my life I am most unsure about. With every passing year, I ask myself a simple question that lacks a simple answer: “Am I where I am supposed to be?” I have asked myself this question countless times across countless aspects of my life. Am I where I am supposed to be professionally? Am I where I am supposed to be in regards to my relationship status? Am I where I am supposed to be in terms of the […]

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Prepare Him Room

christmas tree

Tonight is the night.  Christmas Eve means different things to so many people throughout the ages. It’s the centerpiece of famous poems and song lyrics. It’s the night of magic and trips to and from the North Pole. It’s a time we are filled with joy and gratitude for the people we have nearby. It’s a time we are filled with sorrow for the people we are separated from. For some, it’s a night of presents and setting out cookies. For others, it’s a night of midnight church services. For all Christians, it’s a time of remembering the personhood of Jesus – when the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). It is a time to receive Jesus into our hearts as He was received into a manger the night of His birth.  This year, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on what it means to […]

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Holy Infant: Tender, Mild, Dependent


It’s that time of the year again – Sleigh bells are ringing, chestnuts are roasting by an open fire somewhere and the weather outside is frightful. Well, maybe the weather isn’t frightful for you depending on where you live, but you get the point. Anything below 70 is frightful to me. Nonetheless, grab your cup of hot chocolate or hot apple cider, snuggle up with your favorite chunky knit blanket and let’s talk about Jesus.  Around this time of year, some people get caught up in the logistics of when Christ was born, if you should have a tree or not or if it’s sinful to even say Merry Christmas, but let’s just focus on the fact that Christ was born!  One of the basics of Christianity is that we believe that Jesus was born both fully man and fully God. I don’t know about you, but, if we are […]

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Good News For the Poor

ashes burning

My heart burned within me as I read Isaiah 61:1-3. The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,because the Lord has anointed meto proclaim good news to the poor.He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,to proclaim freedom for the captivesand release from darkness for the prisoners,to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favorand the day of vengeance of our God,to comfort all who mourn,and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beautyinstead of ashes [dignity — valued, respected, worthy],the oil of joyinstead of mourning [honor],and a garment of praiseinstead of a spirit of despair [heaviness].They will be called oaks of righteousness,a planting of the Lordfor the display of his splendor [glory]. It took me a while to realize why my heart was burning. Weeks, actually. At first, I was simply moved by the stunning imagery of Isaiah 61. Then, I began […]

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When Goals Become Idols

goals mock up

“I want to be a teenager, cheerleader, and have braces,” I proudly stated without pause from our kitchen table in Yorktown, Virginia. I was three when my mom first asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  The youngest in my family, I was greatly influenced by my older siblings and was captivated by the idea of getting older, which meant I could hang with the older girls on the block. My plastic high heels would become leather heels, and my given age would move from toddler to teenager… What more could I have wanted?  Looking back, I laugh, because my three-year-old self was successful in accomplishing her goals. Cheerleader was checked when my third-grade self had glitter cascading across her eyelids, and a silver bow equally the size of her head, on top of her high ponytail. The glitter sparkled as she experienced the effects of […]

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Are these the Lord’s plans or just MY plans for my life?

person choosing between two paths

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. […]

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What does it mean to live from faith to faith?

woman praising

There have been many things that have transpired in my life I could not control and would not have chosen for myself. Likewise, there are many things I have hopes for concerning my and my family’s future. With that, I’m sure I could draw on a lot of new age spiritism (which is actually old-age) and ideals of attracting goodwill towards my life by “being good” and by speaking my desires into existence. Actually, a lot of people I have heard use this language profess to know Christ. There’s this ideal that if I speak it enough, if I think happy thoughts, if I can just conjure up enough good energy, then I can produce the things that I desire in life. There’s this notion that I am so powerful that I can alter my future by just changing my thoughts to be happy and positive. Some call it the […]

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What Contacts Have Taught Me About Comparison

silhouette of pregnant woman

Life-long contact wearers make putting them in look so easy, don’t they? Boop! and it’s in.  My first week of wearing contacts, however, was less ‘boop’ and more UGH. I wasn’t patient or gentle with myself at all. I was flustered and frustrated and honestly? A little embarrassed that contacts were bringing out a “shame monger” in me. Dramatic as it might sound, for a split second I actually felt like a failure of a person for not being able to easily put in contacts. Similarly, comparison has a way of obscuring our vision. “Those People” The second I begin to notice I’m comparing myself to the proverbial they, I know my vision is clouded. For me lately, that’s been comparing myself to other pregnant mamas. How they looked. What they did to prepare. How they felt throughout pregnancy.  But to say something is one way for ALL pregnant women […]

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