Is God holding out on me?

person in blue and white hospital cap plaid shorts

The nature of my autoimmune disease means that some days, unbeknownst to me until that morning arrives, I am completely out of commission. You wouldn’t know by looking at me, but full-body exhaustion, severe pain, and otherwise unfortunate and unmentionable symptoms are a part of my everyday reality. Because of my weakened immune system and struggling digestive system, I have countless frameworks and coping mechanisms in place to ensure that I can engage and attempt to thrive in the world each day. As a habitual achiever, this bodily deficiency is hugely disruptive and discouraging. It’s been six long years of chronic disease, most of which has been defined by poorly controlled symptoms and by silently fighting (and failing) to get my body back to 100%. My gradual breaking is not the fault of any singular entity, occurring in part because of first, my initial slowness to act and lack of […]

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Defense (doesn’t) win championships

black and white football game

The static from the AM radio station comes through the speakers of the Chevy truck. The bumpy dirt road feels even rougher than normal with the cattle trailer pulling behind us. I am sitting in the front seat with my dad on a Saturday morning, eating breakfast tacos and listening to the football game on our way home from hauling some cattle to a sale.  I feel as if I have discovered a secret time warp where I am back as a small girl, or even a teenager, driving these familiar backroads, surrounded by familiar smells, views, movements, and sounds. It feels deeply nostalgic. It feels secure. It feels really safe. When I am in the front seat of the truck with Kevo (my dad) on a Saturday morning, I don’t have to be “on” in any definition of the word. I wear crusty old boots, denim shorts, and a […]

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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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Where is God?

fireman wearing firesuit

Our world is on fire.  I mean this mostly figuratively, but I live in Northern California, and we currently have  several wildfires ravaging our terrain.  Their frequency and intensity are not like we’ve seen in this region before. In Haiti, a poor nation still reeling from the assassination of its president, a devastating earthquake struck in the same area that is still recovering from a paralyzing earthquake that happened eleven years ago. Hurricane Ida made landfall 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans.  It ripped its way through the region again and this time made its way all the way northeast, causing record flooding in New York and New Jersey. As we come upon the twentieth anniversary of September 11th, there is renewed unrest in Afghanistan and a resulting humanitarian crisis in the Middle East.   Globally, there is the raging Delta variant overfilling our hospitals and […]

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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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God Hasn’t Left Us

person wearing silver ring on ring finger on bible

I stayed in Charleston for 10 days straight this summer, working from a hotel, exploring the town in the evenings and weekends. At the hotel, I made a friend named Greg. We ran into each other over a continental breakfast of muffins, granola bars, and microwavable waffles. We’d see each other in passing – the elevators dinging open to a chance greeting and bringing a sense of community in a new place.  Greg was being treated at the hospital around the corner for cancer. He just finished a bone marrow transplant, and the staff was monitoring its success. This was his third bout with cancer – it hit him in his early twenties, and then again a few years ago, and now again in his fifties. His family lives several hours away, so he’d been at the hotel alone for three weeks – isolated and with an uncertain future. Greg […]

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Having Kids is the End of Your Life

mom walking child

I’ve heard before that Austin, Texas, the city I live in and love, has more dogs than children. Needless to say, having my first kid at 25 made me weird, and now having four kids qualifies me as absolutely crazy.  It’s not surprising that people often look at me and say: “I’m not ready for kids. I just don’t want to give up _______.” Often that blank is filled with “my freedom,” “my time,” “my selfishness,” “my career,” “my money,” etc. We live in a culture that is looking for life in traveling the world, drinking lattes, and happy hours (which don’t get me wrong – I love those things! Lattes are my love language), but we tend to value our enjoyment, entertainment and ease more than we value giving our lives away to the next generation. We want to live our life and then have kids. Because having kids […]

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Body Image and the Gospel

woman putting makeup in front of mirror

You’ll never be thin enough. She’s definitely prettier than you. Is that the best outfit you could put together? For many years, sentiments like these were my natural reaction to seeing myself in a mirror. I have wrestled with my body image on and off since adolescence. Prior to following Jesus, I cared so much about my appearance I willingly nurtured harmful habits to become “beautiful”. I was bulimic, worked out too much, ate too little, followed trendy diets, spent countless hours on beauty tutorials, wore lots of gaudy makeup, and even went so far as to steal when I wanted the coolest clothing brands I couldn’t afford.  When I began following Jesus in my late teen years, I assumed my body image struggles would disappear. After all, a Christian knows that God doesn’t care about outward appearances, so I shouldn’t care about them either, right? Wrong. I continued to […]

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Tomorrow Is Not Promised

man riding black motorcycle on road between forest

If you ask most people what dealing with a worldwide pandemic has taught them, I’m sure many would say that they have learned that tomorrow is not promised. Life is so fragile, so it’s important to show love to those you care about while they are still here. Changed In An Instant They say life can change in the blink of an eye – in an instant. My family was reminded of this a few years back when my dad was involved in a terrible accident. My mom had gotten a phone call that my dad was the victim of a hit and run, and that she needed to get to the hospital as soon as possible. We knew my dad had been riding his motorcycle, so we feared the worst. When we got to the hospital, they were in the middle of performing life-saving surgery on my dad. He […]

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Changing Your Outlook (in Christ)

horse in sunshine

Riding has been my passion since I was 8 years old. It is what I have lived, breathed, and dreamed of at times, and the Lord has always provided a way for me to be around horses–to which I am incredibly thankful. Riding has affected my life in such a knitted way that many of my experiences riding affect who I am outside of the arena.  A few months ago, something changed with my riding that has deepened my love for Christ and trickled into the rest of my life.  When you get on the horse, the horse looks, listens, and responds to what you want her to do or where to go, how fast, straight, and energetic you want her to be. Riding can be like a dance between two partners. The rider leads the way and the horse responds. It can be something beautiful…but if the rider is […]

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