We Forget.


I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. Psalm 9:1 ESV

I was glancing through my journal when I came across an entry from October 2014. This was a difficult time in life. I’d had a baby a few months prior and was going through a time of discouragement and loneliness.

The entry listed several different things I wished were different at the time and ended with the words “I wish, I wish, I wish” followed by the passage below I had read that morning:

May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests. Now I know the LORD saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. Psalm 20:1-6 NIV

As I re-read the list of “I wishes” today, I was moved by how every single one of them–seven total–have been answered and allowed. These weren’t mere “wishes” but heart cries to my Abba Father and now I look back and see how God’s word did not fail in the promise to hear and answer my prayers.

While I was aware that life is tremendously different and miles easier than it was those two years ago, I hadn’t fully realized just how specifically and completely my prayers had been answered. I needed this reminder both to stand in awe of the God who does indeed answer prayer but also to remember to give thanks for all God has already done and not to focus only on what I would like to see happen next.

I’ve had some things pressing on my heart lately–things I worry about and have a hard time handing over to God. How good it was to be reminded that God is completely trustworthy with all my heart’s desires and disappointments.


I needed to be reminded too that last time I had to walk through the valley first. I had to trust when my heart was hurting and I couldn’t see what was next or imagine how some of those prayers could possibly be answered. Several of the things on my heart two years ago have only recently changed and been supplied–but they have changed–and that’s all I needed today to face tomorrow with hope and confidence.

Today, I read again in Psalms (before discovering the journal entry) and marked both the passages this post opens and ends with; how fitting they are now in light of all I’ve been reminded of today.

For you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10 ESV

We can trust God–totally, completely, with all our heart for all our lives. Test him and see.

Your Joy is Your Strength

11199399_1581552952122173_1678725977_nI keep meaning to get on here and write but apparently my baby can climb the steps now, so ya. Also, it’s 85 degrees out. I know it’s been summer everywhere else in the country for like two months, but seriously you guys— EIGHTY FIVE DEGREES. Sometimes I just have to go outside barefoot for a few minutes before I can sit down calm enough to write.

The other day I was walking around the block pushing Roman in his stroller. It had been a rough day, rough week…a really rough winter and season of life if I’m being honest. While I walked, I kept thinking about this verse, “…the joy of the LORD is your strength” {Nehemiah 8:10}.

I struggle with being a joyful person. I tend to be a pessimist and often see the negative in a situation before I catch sight of the good. I have good days when I feel positive and hopeful but even more days when I struggle with seeing the hope, joy, and light all around me.

So I mulled over this verse and thought about what it means for me on the days when I’m weighed down and overwhelmed, when I’m struggling against the darkness and missing the light.

I thought about strength and finding strength in joy. Strength—I’ve been tired lately, more tired than I was when Roman was just born. And the idea of strength for my days and the tasks before me—that is something I’m searching for.

It didn’t make sense to me, how joy could give me strength. But the more I mull over these words, the better I understand just how true they are. It’s hard to feel discouraged when I choose to focus my thoughts on God and all his mercy and gifts to me. Even when I’m tired, discouraged, overwhelmed—remembering all God has brought me through, all he has given me—these things fill my mind with joy and it is true, that in that joy, there is strength. When I am consciously choosing to think right—choosing joy—I am encouraged and find the strength I need for that day.

Of course I still have bad days, I’m not happy or encouraged all the time. But I’m finding that I have a lot of power over my own thinking and the way I choose to think greatly impacts my mood and the way I choose to live each day. If I choose to dwell on those things that frustrate and discourage me, then it’s no surprise when I find myself discouraged and overwhelmed. But if I choose to dwell on all the good and hope in my life each day, there is strength and joy enough even for the hard things.

So I’m learning, learning to choose joy. Learning to control my own thoughts and beliefs about life rather than being tossed around by difficult and changing circumstances.

My joy, the joy of the Lord, is my strength—it’s not just a saying or a pretty verse, it’s a way of thinking and living and there is so much hope to be found in living a life filled with joy, strength, and peace rather than gloom and discouragement.

Is Modern Christianity Relevant?

10859615_10152506058101517_915080845_nThere is something about the rain that makes me want to write…a sleeping baby doesn’t hurt either. I’m curled up on the couch in a dark living room listening to the rain hit the window. The cat is in my lap, after turning about 15 times before finding just the right spot—that spot being one that requires I hold the laptop just far enough away to be a bit uncomfortable for typing. But I feel sorry for him—he doesn’t get much attention anymore so I’ll hold him and type this way if it lets him know I still love him—even if I am the one who brought that noisy baby into the house. Besides, I need someone to proofread this for me and he’s quite scrupulous.

And now the baby is awake; you see why I don’t write anymore?

I’ve been thinking lately about modern Christianity. I think it’s the modern part that’s bothering me. I was looking through a list of the Top 100 Christian Bloggers or something like that. I was familiar with some of the names and faces and have read articles from many of them. But it was the words describing these writers that got my attention:




Rethinking Biblical Christianity

Brew your own faith

All of these blogs seemed to be coming from the same basic perspective: Modern Christianity is bad so we need to rewrite our faith.

Now before you start pummeling me with words, let me be clear: I’m not against change—sometimes change is needed. I’m not against asking hard questions and examining our faith knowing we may find things we’re doing wrong. I’ve been attending conservative Baptist churches my whole life and let me tell you, sometimes Baptists can be cray cray. Some of the worst people I’ve ever known were “born again” Baptist church goers and I’ve been to a few churches that caused more harm than good. So I’m not here to defend organized religion or the people who run it. There’s been more than one day when I was ready to be done with religion {not God, religion} altogether.

But on the other side of this story, I believe if our faith is right and true, then it is also timeless. There’s no need to “brew my own faith” because my faith is not my own—it wasn’t written by or for me. It was written by and for God, for his people all over the world for all time. Perhaps my particular church in my teeny, tiny corner of the world needs to change—but my faith, the Bible I read to know and understand that faith, and God himself—these are unchangeable and no new or progressive interpretation need change that.

I’m getting tired of the negativity among Christians these days. I’m getting tired of my brothers and sisters in Christ being ashamed of our faith and practice. This is not to say I haven’t at times been guilty of the very same things. But it seems the general attitude about the church among my generation is, let’s burn it to the ground and start over.

Let’s take our ancient, timeless faith and do something new and exciting with it.

Let’s show people how our peculiar, countercultural way of life is super relevant and not hard or sacrificial.

Forgive me if I sound harsh but this doesn’t make sense.

Because here’s the thing: my way of life doesn’t make sense unless it’s based on something bigger and more important than me, something bigger and more important than what I find relevant and exciting for me personally. I do not need to make my way of living relevant to the culture around me because I am not trying to be like the culture around me. I’m trying to be like Christ and if Christ is anything like the world I live in, then why would I want him anyway? My God is different. He’s light. He’s beauty. He’s justice. He’s hope. He’s everything this world can’t give me and that is part of why I believe and hope in him—not because he’s relevant but because he’s so very different from everything else I’ve ever known.

I don’t want to change God into my image; I want to be changed into his. I don’t want God to be current or progressive; I want him to be timeless and unchanging so I can anchor my soul to a rock who won’t move.

I’ve been reading my way through the Old Testament and am just a few pages into Leviticus. Leviticus is not easy reading, my friends. This book is all about rules and regulations and the very specific way God wants things done. Why? Because God is holy and not like us. Because God wants his people to be set apart and different from the people around them. Christianity is about God and about being his peculiar people. Though organized religion may falter and change, the God of the Bible and the way he desires his people to live never does.

Let’s not confuse changing our mistakes in religion with changing the timeless truth of God and his Word. Yes, God is relevant to modern culture but it’s not because we changed him and made him that way; it’s because he and his timeless truth are always relevant in every culture just as they are.


Not Alone


My Boys Collage





10735788_10152432829691517_710490961_nTonight I sat outside in the dark looking at the stars. I felt small here on earth looking at all the light poking through from up there. Roman was with me and fussed if ever I took my hand off of him. So I rested it on his head or chest and he quieted back to sleep with his mittened fingers wrapped around mine in the cold. He just wants to know I’m there, still holding onto him in the dark. Maybe that’s why I look at the stars, even though they make me feel small—I just want to know God is watching over me in the dark.

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Psalm 19:1 {ESV}


I didn’t know until this week how our fingerprints are formed but apparently the amniotic fluid flowing around our fingers in the womb creates the waves and patterns that leave every single person with their own unique prints.

Isn’t it sort of amazing that we are forever marked and identified by the distinctive way we were carried around in our mother’s womb?

It makes me think about God and the way he flows and moves in our lives, leaving his fingerprints all over us. It makes me think about how his prints are unique to every individual life and how no two people are marked exactly the same way by his touch.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5 {NIV}

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.” Psalm 139:13-18 {ESV}

His fingerprints are everywhere—touching, shaping, and forming all things; and we are but clay, forever marked by the unique prints of the master potter’s hands.

On Becoming a Mother: It’s Okay to Change


The thing that scares me the most about having a baby is the idea of change. There are things about my life I love and don’t want to change—and it scares me to think that they will.

The other day I thought about writing myself a letter as a way of looking back after the baby is born and reminding myself of who I was before I became a mom. I wanted to remind myself of who I am and what I value. I was afraid of getting swallowed up in motherhood and losing myself completely. I wanted that letter to remind me who I was so I could make sure I hadn’t changed.

But I didn’t write that letter.

Because I realized instead that it’s okay to change.

Even though I don’t want to lose myself when I become a mother, I also don’t want to fight and resist the changes that can and should be born in me during this time.

Pregnancy is changing me; it’s changing my heart and my soul and my body—and that’s okay. How could I possibly bring another life into this world—through my own body—without being transformed in the process?

What I realized when I thought about writing that letter is this:

Change is okay.

Change is good.

Change is not something to fight or resist or run away from.

All the best things that have happened in my life have required that change be born in me. If I were to hold onto who I am, to who I was—I would still be a child, immature and incapable. Change moves me forward and helps me grow into who I am able to be.

So yes, becoming a mother still scares me and I still wonder in what ways I will be different on the other side of this journey. I still don’t want to lose myself completely along the way. But I’m not afraid to change. I’m not afraid to grow. I’m ready to let pregnancy and motherhood birth new life not only in the child I’m carrying, but also in me—in my own soul and spirit as it stretches, grows, and changes right along with my body.

There is this story in the Bible, a parable used to illustrate a bigger idea, about how a seed must be buried, torn open, and essentially—die—before new life can sprout up out of that seed {John 12:24}. The seed is useless if it stays the same, if it doesn’t give itself up and allow new life to spring from it. And I think right now I’m that seed. New life can only be born from me if I’m willing to be buried, torn open, and die to myself a little bit. It sounds really bad for the seed, but think of the blossoms and the life that springs from that giving up and giving out of oneself. It’s really quite beautiful and spiritual.

So it’s true—I will not be the girl I am today when I reach the other side of this journey. I will be a mother. I will have brought life into this world. New life will have been born in me. And everything will be different after that.

And that’s okay.