Want to Know the Will of God for Your Life? Give Thanks.

white candles on round table

Want to know what the will of God is for your life? Give thanks. No, don’t give thanks in order to coax God into laying out His will for you; giving thanks is God’s will for you.  Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  (emphasis added) 1 Thess. 5:18 So often, I focus on seeking God’s will for the “big” things in my life, but miss His will for the “small” things in my life, which aren’t really small at all. Thankfulness, for instance, is clearly Biblically part of God’s will for me and is commanded throughout the Scriptures as a key component of the Christian life. And yet, I can be so focused on seeking God to reveal the next step or direction of my life that I forget the will of God that He’s already revealed.  There are […]

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Don’t Stop Believing the Best About Others

silhouette of two person sitting on chair near tree

Cynicism and suspicion. Those were the two lenses through which I was viewing our friends when we drove past them gathered outside for a cookout to which we weren’t invited.  Immediately, my heart sank. “Why weren’t we invited? Did I do something wrong? No, I don’t think I did anything wrong, they’re just being inconsiderate and cliquey.” And not long after came feelings of hurt, forgottenness, and ultimately disdain towards them.  As I processed with Adam later on, he encouraged me to think through some of the other possible reasons they hadn’t invited us. He pointed out that we had just gotten back from a vacation earlier that day and maybe they hadn’t realized we were home yet. Or maybe since all their kids are similar ages they were having a little get-together for their school-age kids. Or maybe it was a last-minute plan without time for any proactive invites. […]

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As I Carry This Human (a poem)

woman in gown standing near forest

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 […]

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Real estate, the terrible two’s, and God’s peace amidst it all

toddler playing water

My two year old wants to be in control. Whether he says “No, please”, “stop it”, “go away”, or “mine”, he wants what he wants NOW. Patience is not his virtue. We try to give him choices, but when those options do not give him the outcome he wants, he throws a fit.  He throws his food on the floor, lays on the ground, or tries to hit something. This unfiltered desire for control is comical when we are talking about a two year old because we know it is silly for kids to cry and get angry when they cannot  ___ (eat off the floor, color on the table, fill-in-the-blank). Similarly, I long for and search for control in any way I can find it and get upset when things are out of my control. If you are anything like me, we want things our way and quickly. I […]

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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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